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Comparison between Antalya, Bursa, Fethiye, Izmir & Bodrum

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Hi,

 

I was hoping those living in Turkey can provide some insight on this.. Which cities among Antalya, Bursa, Fethiye, Izmir & Bodrum rank better compared to each other on factors such as cost of living, employment opportunities, quality of life etc.

 

Thanks

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Advice on where you should go to live here in Turkey is extremely subjective, you should come and stay in each of them, it's not a good idea to ask us to choose for you because you will surely be disappointed.

 

Those cities you quote are very different both in size and ambience. My choice would be Izmir, Antalya, Bodrum, Fethiye, Bursa but I am retired and like the sea. In fact I live in a village near Kaş by the sea halfway between Antalya and Fethiye.

 

Come and live here for a while and make your own mind up, it is very unlikely that you will get employment or a business set up that will provide you with an income you can live on inside three years, if at all. Sorry to be gloomy.

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Antalya is by far my favourite, it's touristic & has great beaches but not as touristic as Fetiye or Bodrum. Izmir is seaside as well but with no beaches. Bursa I think has the highest rent but it is possible to find affodable housing outside of the cıty areas. The cost of living is almost the same in all these places. It can be affordable or costly based on location & your tastes.

 

I move around alot so it's possible to try out several cities until you think you've found the right one. Quality of life here is good because the cost of living is lower than in most countries, so it's really what you make of it. I think that depends on your likes & needs. Employment oppotunitıes are limited for foreigners, most teach eglish or become tour guides. Since you're a Software developer you might find opportunities in Istanbul, the cost cost of living there is high though, but it's a great city to live in.

 

Everwhere has it's charms, you'll have to figure out where is best for you & your family.

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I'll give you my subjective opinion.

 

Antalya: I agree with Yabancıgirl. Antalya is my favorite, because practically everything that is open in the summer is open in the winter. Beaches are closeby, and you can get to them by the AntRay, with its last stop at Konyaaltı beach, or by bus which will take you to the Lara beaches. There's a city beach next to the yacht harbor too, Memerli beach. It is more "Turkish" than Izmir, and the food available is mostly all Turkish. For international cuisine you have to go to the mall or to an expensive restaurant, unfortuately. Strangely enough, one of the cheapest places to live is in Sinan Mahalle, right next to the ancient city. In Sinan Mahalle you can also walk to get practically anything you need, unlike the outlying areas where everything is much farther apart.

 

Lara and Konyaaltı are where many of the foreigners live, and they are more expensive. Quality of life is excellent, there are plenty of cultural events always going on. The main complaint about Antalya is how hot it is in the summer, but overall Antalya is an excellent choice. Antalya is a major tourist destination but it is also a working city, with plenty of job opportunities I would think. The expat community in Antalya consists of more younger working professionals than retirees. Antalya also has a major international airport, so if you want to go to Istanbul, you can get there on a flight in just an hour. Or you can go practically anywhere else directly.

 

Izmir: Izmir is a lot like Antalya, but it has a lot of European and Greek influence, which is a big plus. International food is much more plentiful. It is more rainy and cold in the winter. For good beaches you have to go to Kuşadası or Çeşme, at the end of the peninsula, but an inter-city bus will get you there in an hour or so. Practically everything in Izmir is open year-round. In Alsancak, the best place to live, there are lots of rock bars, discos, and night spots. Like Antalya, Izmir always has some kind of cultural event going on. The dreary and rainy winters would be the main complaint. Izmir is not a major tourism destination, and is a nice place to live. The main reason I moved from there was because I had been there for so long, and the expat community had completely dried up. There should be plenty of job opportunities in Izmir.

 

As I mentioned, Alsancak is the best area, but it can be expensive. Alsancak is the cultural center of Izmir. Konak is the official center, but it's more crowded with buildings and congested. Karşıyaka, across the bay, is also a nice place to live. It's an excellent alternative to Alsancak and more affordable. You can take the ferry to and from Alsancak and Konak from there. Affordable areas near Alsancak include Karamanlar, and in the back streets of Alsancak's main pedestrianized shopping street called Kıbrıs Şehitleri. If you settle in this area, stay as near to Talatpaşa Bulvarı as you can, neighborhoods farther north of there are not good ones to live in.

 

Bodrum: VERY touristic, packed with touristy stuff, even overtaking the beaches. The main thing I don't like about these touristy cities is the the mix of foreign tourists, who are often only interested in partying all night and laying on the beach all day, and behaving in ways they probably would not behave at home. That combined with shop workers imported from other parts of Turkey and their constant hassling of passers by, their number one mission being to get as much money from the tourists as they can. My heart goes out to these workers, but I get tired of being asked to go into some shop and people making conversation with me only because they want to sell me something. That kind of thing doesn't happen in Izmir or Antalya. Thankfully, you can escape to some of the towns on the Bodrum peninsula or on the outskirts of Bodrum. These places are probably a lot less active in the winter, but you can take a bus or dolmuş into town if you can't get what you need there. I doubt there would be too many jobs available in Bodrum, since there is always an ample supply of imported workers. I like Bodrum but I wouldn't want to live there.

 

Fethiye: A big British holiday haven and place to live. Also very touristic (especially around Çalış beach across the bay). It's relatively small, but I have stayed there in the winter and it was pretty quiet, but I found quite a few places still open. There are excellent beaches nearby, including the very touristy Oludeniz, but also there are more unspoiled beaches as well. I think year-round employment opportunities would be difficult to find in Fethiye. I like Fethiye too, but I wouldn't want to live there, either. Fethiye is kind of a compromise between the huge tourism areas and the small resort towns which are always dead in the winter. The expat community is mostly older retirees, not working professionals.

 

Bursa: I have been to Bursa, but not long enough to learn a lot about it.

 

Of your options, my choices would be Izmir or Antalya. I lived in Izmir for seven years, and I live in Antalya now (nearly one year). With either of these cities I don't think you could go wrong, and the employment opportunities would be greater in these larger cities. Also both cities are relatively cheap as compared to a lot of other locations.

 

I do agree that you should take a trip and spend a couple of days in these places to get a feel for them.

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If you come to Antalya, send me a PM before you arrive. I'd be happy to meet you and give you an orientation personally. I could also answer any questions you have about Izmir.

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Advice on where you should go to live here in Turkey is extremely subjective, you should come and stay in each of them, it's not a good idea to ask us to choose for you because you will surely be disappointed.

 

Come and live here for a while and make your own mind up, it is very unlikely that you will get employment or a business set up that will provide you with an income you can live on inside three years, if at all. Sorry to be gloomy.

EXCELLENT advice...

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If you come to Antalya, send me a PM before you arrive. I'd be happy to meet you and give you an orientation personally. I could also answer any questions you have about Izmir.

 

Thanks for the super-hospitality. Would certainly get in touch if I come to Antalya. I'll be visiting Bursa first hopefully in October.

 

Thank you guys!

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Coincidentally, I just came back from Didim, Bodrum, and Marmaris. Part of the reason was to see if I might want to live there. After going around and also talking to people, I decided Antalya was better for me. Antalya is active all year, it has great beaches in Lara and Konyaaltı, and you can find peaceful neighborhoods even in city center (Işıklar or Gençlik neighborhoods for example). Or you can travel farther away from the seaside for cheaper accommodations... get something near the Antray light rail system if you do that.

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