• Home
  • Blog
  • How Inflation Is Affecting The Cost of Living in Turkey

How Inflation Is Affecting The Cost of Living in Turkey

9 min read time

Inflation has been a downright problem in every part of the modern world, but over the last few months, the situation has been de-escalating into something worse and worse. The ever-increasing prices of living while incomes are at a static halt are making it difficult for people even to afford the necessities of life, mainly the middle and lower class in countries, and things aren't too different from this in Turkey.

According to the latest official figures of inflation rates, the prices in Turkey are rising at an excruciating level. While in the last 24 years, the country's economy has been slowly declining and the rates are increasing, this year breaks all previous records. To explain in figures, Turkey's inflation rate recorded in September 2022 was 80.2%, the highest ever recorded since September 1998.

Another reason for this price surge is the out-of-the-box tactic used by Turkey's prime minister back in 2021. Where most countries increase interest rates during times of inflation to cool the whole process down, the president did the exact opposite. In hopes of boosting the economy, the interest rates were cut down from 19% to 13%.

While it was a calculated attempt to get out of the inflation slump, it staggered the value of the Turkish lira, which led to imported goods becoming even more expensive. All of these collective reasons have increased the cost of living in Turkey sky-high, with houses running on a single income experiencing dire times in their lives. Household equipment has seen an increase of 93% compared to prices last year, while transportation has gone as high as 120%, making a living in Turkey extremely difficult for locals.

The Cost of Living in Istanbul

Tourism stays the highest source of income for the Turkish government, as people from around the world travel to this country, especially Istanbul, its largest city and the most important financial center. The city is the most attractive tourist spot for people from all over the globe, as it provides a wealth of every kind. From the inglorious Hagia Sophia to the bridge of the Bosphorus, the city itself is the perfect blend of historical culture, the likes of which have been passed down from generations, and pure artistic passion engraved in every nook and cranny.

Despite being a tourist attraction, Istanbul is a city worth living in, and it's a dream of many among us to experience that. While inflation has struck the locals here with a devastating time in managing bills, the average monthly cost of living in Istanbul is way lower than most tourist attractions in other parts of the world, which make it an excellent place to live.

If you're looking to move to the cultural capital of Turkey, we've broken down the cost of living in Istanbul for you, giving you a rough idea of the expenses in this city. This guide includes everything you need to know about the city, its expenses, and everything. Read till the end to find out everything essential, and thank us later!


What Does a Month in Istanbul Look Like?

As we mentioned, the cost of living in Istanbul is way lower than in other parts of the world. The monthly minimum wage in Turkey is 5500 TL, which equals $295. Sadly, 33.8 percent of Turkey, earn minimum wage or lower. The average salary of any person, regardless of their qualification, is $450.

While that may seem like a low number compared to a US citizen, it's essential to know that the cost of living is much lower. For $970, a single person can easily live in the city center of Istanbul, with the rent for a single person in this area averaging about $450. For couples and people with children, a 3-bedroom apartment averages a mere $600.

Accommodation Cost in Istanbul

When we compare the cost of living in Istanbul to the rest of the world, the comparative figures are undoubtedly cheaper here in the cultural capital of Turkey. However, Istanbul is more expensive compared to other cities in the country.

Different parts of Istanbul are cheaper than others, depending on how close you live to the city center. Take the outskirts of Istanbul, for example. The average rental prices in a district like Silivri are much lower, averaging about $320. On the contrary, the accommodation in City Center, the heart of Istanbul, can go as high as $950. It all depends on where you choose to live; consequently, the more well-off life is close to City Center.

Wages and Salary in Istanbul

The wages and salaries for people in Istanbul vary drastically concerning their profession and career, but according to our statistics, the average salary is $450. However, to get a better idea of the salaries, here's a retrospect of how wages in Istanbul work and which side of the graph you should be on.

The minimum salary in Turkey is 5500 TL, which translates to $295 and the median salary currently stands at a price point of 9,530 TL, or $510. It means that half of the population in Istanbul earns less than $510. If it's not painfully obvious, you want to be on the latter side of the graph and make more than $510 to live a good, comfortable life with ease.

Cost of Utilities in Istanbul

The utilities in a single-bedroom apartment in Istanbul don't come too expensive, despite the city's roaring sense of tourism. According to our updated statistics, only 14% of a single person's salary goes towards fulfilling their utility bills, including the internet bill. Electricity, water, and gas are all included in this estimated figure. The collective bill inclusive of all these expenses is no more than $65 a month. Not so expensive when compared to any major city in the world.

As for the mobile phone, bills are almost non-existent even if you're earning an average salary in Istanbul. A single minute of calls made with a prepaid plan costs as low as $0.07 when no discounts are available. Typically, all major networks provide a boatload of discounts and plans, which make this figure even lower than it already is.

Cost of Food and Drink in Istanbul

For individuals, the expenses on food and drinks don't stray from the standard of costs explained earlier in this article. A single resident's money spent on food averages about $300 a month, which includes all groceries. For people that like to go out on a lot of dates, food for two at most restaurants stands at a price point of $17, while a quick fast-food meal at Mcdonald's starts from $4.30.

A morning cappuccino at any restaurant is priced at $2. As for the beer fanatics, domestic and imported beer are priced at $3.5. A glass of wine, however, is much more expensive, going as high as $8.

Transportation Costs in Istanbul

Transportation can be very convenient in Istanbul, as the rates are affordable. A one-way ticket on most local transport means, which includes bus, ferry metro, funicular, cable cars, and many others, costs as low as $0.43. If you're a student or someone that takes public transport daily, a $20 monthly pass makes it even cheaper to travel anywhere in Istanbul.

On the contrary, unlike most expensive cities like New York or Zurich, people opt to buy their cars to commute, as the gasoline prices are much lower in Istanbul, starting from a mere $1.3 per liter. Although this rate was relatively down in the past, with the current inflation rate and hiked prices, it's still priced at a more affordable point than most cities of the world.

Childcare Costs in Istanbul

Childcare is given great importance in Istanbul, with monthly daycare plans that are highly affordable and schooling systems that don't come too heavy on the pocket, especially if you have more than a single income stream in your household. Apartment prices for a family of three start anywhere from $320 outside of the city center, which is what most people opt for as it's more peaceful away from the tourist hotspot of Istanbul. For apartments in the city center, rent for a family of three is way higher, starting from a low of $600.

For couples working jobs and busy, numerous daycare centers are available. For just $240 a month, a privatized preschool/kindergarten is public for a full day. However, if you want to go a bit more fancy with your child's education, international schools are also available, billed annually at around $4,800.

Cost of Leisure Activities in Istanbul

When it comes to having fun, Istanbul is a place where there's always something going on. All year round, tourists and locals have a boatload of leisure options to indulge in for every age group. For people who want to stay fit throughout life, most gym and fitness club memberships start from a $20 a month. In terms of sports, Tennis is among the most played in Istanbul, and you can rent the whole tennis court for just $10 for an hour!

However, what people in Istanbul, or anywhere in Turkey for that matter, will always tell you is how cheap the clothes here can be. The infamous Levi's 501, expensive in most countries, can be bought $50 here. Brands like Zara are also abundant in Istanbul, with summer dresses averaging about $16.

Some Close Cities to Istanbul

Whether you're moving to Istanbul or going temporarily for the historic attractions in this large city, restricting yourself to just Istanbul would be a shame. There are a lot of other beautiful towns and places to uncover, and luckily, the neighboring cities surrounding Istanbul don't fall short of beauty and culture. Some popular towns that surround Istanbul are as follows:




All three of these cities are very close to Istanbul and are worth visiting whether you're a resident of Istanbul or just visiting for a few weeks.

Average Weather in Istanbul

Istanbul, stretching towards both parts of Asia and Europe, is host to both hot summers and cold months of the winter, so there's a variety of weather and a diverse climate to enjoy. The warmer season in Istanbul(above 28°C), unlike most Asian cities, starts in late June and stretches toward the middle of September, after which the colder season takes over.(under 13°C)

Both warm and cool weather lasts for about four months each, and the rest of the months are filled with moderate temperatures. If you're considering touring Istanbul, it's advised to visit during the hot weather, as that's when Istanbul is the most active, lavishing with activities and things to do.