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Where is the Best Place to Live in Istanbul?

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NOYSEE

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Hi everyone. I'm hoping some of you seasoned Istanbulites might offer me some advice about the best places in Istanbul to set up home. We're currently living in Antalya (husband, toddler and I) but hubby has recently accepted a job in Istanbul (where he will be working from home). Although we've both visited Istanbul many times it's mostly been for shopping, partying or sightseeing so we're not at all familiar with residential areas. Ideally, we would like to live within walking distance to parks/rivers/walking trails (we NEED to be close to nature) but we also want to be walking distance to public transport and shopping areas.

Most of hubby's business will likely take place on the European side. And finally we don't want to spend all our money on rent. Does such a place like I've described exist?

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Hi NOYSEEI think you're going to need to go to Istanbul for a recce to make your decision.

You'll need to decide what size of flat you're looking for, then contact estate agents and have a look at what's on offer. You need to go on google earth to have a look at the areas, but it's very difficult to suggest areas as there are so many. How far do you want to be from the ferries/Taksim for example, but bear in mind that travelling distances is the norm in Istanbul. It will also depend on your budget, Yesilkoy/Yesilyurt are nice, but can be pricey, there again other areas are very crowded and busy, cheaper, but maybe not so nice to have kids there.

Not much use, I know, but my best advice is to go and have a look on the ground!

Good luck.

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Hi Noysee, Definately the asian side will be cheaper and less crowded. I had a friend who lives on the asian side and she said it was much nicer. She used to take a ferry over to the european side ever morning to work and she said it was cheap and quick. Sue's suggestion of looking at Google for starters was sound also that you really need to go on a recce first.

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Thanks Sue and Abi for your comments and advice. As suggested, I've been looking on Google Earth and know that I want to live either within walking distance to the seaside or to the Bosphorus. But what I can't see from Google Earth is what the areas are really like. Are they close to public transport? Are they clean (or are there rubbish dumping sites all over the place)? Are there parks/greenery around? Of course we are going to go to Istanbul to have a look but since the city is so huge (and takes forever to get from A to B), I wanted some suggestions of areas that people love so that we can narrow our search. I guess I should have been more specific. For example, in your opinion:

  • What are the greenest (in terms of parks, nature trails, seaside/Bosphorus) areas in Istanbul?
  • What are the best areas in Istanbul for kids/families?
  • What are the cleanest areas?

I'm looking forward to reading your opinions :)

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I use to live in Cihangir, which I loved at the time. It is very near Taksim, and there is a park there. You are very central,as it is a starting place for buses and dolmus's that go all over the place, including the anatolian side. There is also a metro that has still only one line, but a quick way of getting to various places ontowards the bosphorus, I heard that a new station is opening near Tarabıya. Another mini metro line takes you down towards Karataş where there are boats to take you to the islands, another lovely place to see. Difficult is'nt it!!

It's a bit like going to London and trying to pick an area!!!

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I used to live in Cihangir too, Mimosa, 1990-1991, in the Ufuk apartment (you can imagine how it was pronounced by the naughty English teachers) in Akyol Sokak (formerly Tavuk Ucmaz sokak, but that's another story). Where did you live? Did you ever hang out in Bilsak?

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Hi Fil, sorry if I seem dim, but for the life of me I cant remember the street where I lived.

I lived opposite a park. I taught at Dilko in Bakirkoy.

I must be getting senile because I cant remember the year either. The next time I came to teach, I lived in Macka, and taught in 'Academy Istanbul' :doh[1]:

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  • 2 years later...

I heard that from several sources that kadikoy is a really lovely residential area and not expensive, I am not speaking form experience though but I might consider it as one of the options. 

I have similar preferences as you, I need to be near nature and at the same time near transportation so that I can move with ease

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Kadikoy (not the central bar part) and Moda are great if you have children. There is a long seaside walking/green area along the Sea of Marmara (you can also rent bicycles and ride the length of it) and a great park in Fenerbahce. You can catch the ferry across to the Princess Islands, and easily get to most places on the European side. Most of the suburbs along the European side of the Bosphorus are very expensive, and the streets are narrow and crowded, not great for kids! Rents in Kadikoy give you more for your money, but it all depends on what is reasonable according to your budget.

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  • 2 months later...

Hi there,

  1. First things first. You should definitely stick to the side where you will be also working. Living in European side and working at Anatolian or vise versa, will get you a world of headache. Why? long commutes...very long commutes.
  2. Since you mentioned 2 primary age kids, school factors in to narrowing your choices.
  3. Your budget plays a big role making that decision. Assuming you will be renting, you could be living on the suburbs renting out a 2 story semi detached "villa" for 2500TL in Bahçeşehir.

    If you wanted to live on the coast, that same amount would get you a substandard 3 bedroom on a 7 story apartment building. If you  are asking  in general though, expats usually chose to live close to city: Taksim, Ortaköy, Beşiktaş, Bebek etc.

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