Istanbul is the largest European city with an acreage of 5,343 km² and around 15 million residents. We all know that the cultural capital of Turkey attracts thousands of expats each year, but why?
Why Istanbul is One of the Best Places in Europe to Visit?
Istanbul is a metropolitan and welcoming city with extensive opportunities and amenities. It wouldn’t be wrong to say that Istanbul is the informal capital of the country. Its strategic position between Europe and Asia continents and the Bosphorus makes Istanbul a major business hub.
Especially in recent years, Istanbul has become a global city due to the intense migration. This metropolitan city embraces every culture. The complex demographic structure creates the perfect environment for getting to know and intertwining with different cultures altogether.
There are lots of reasons like low crime rate or costs of living that make Istanbul a great place to live. Here is why Istanbul is among the best places to live in Europe for expats.
Deep-Rooted Historical Background
Since its foundation by Constantine the Great in 330 A.D., the city has been a major attraction center of Europe. After its siege by Mehmed the Conqueror, this magnificent city transformed into the Muslim capital of the Ottoman Empire.
The organic cosmopolite population from the Ottoman period is preserved until this day. Today, the city represents the unique diversity of the world’s greatest cultures. The historical landmarks inherited from the Byzantine and Ottoman empires are among the most unique things to see in Istanbul.
Heaven of Opportunities
In line with the increase in the population, the range of opportunities also expanded within. Istanbul has become the main business and trade center of Turkey since the 2000s.
One of the four major shipping ports of Turkey is situated in Istanbul. The city is also home to 3 trade zones operating in managing trade and manufacturing activities. Istanbul caters to nearly 60% of the import and export activities of the country. The city operates with 3 free zones, 2 international airports, and the port of Haydarpasa.
Istanbul’s relatively higher share of trade and business activities transformed the city into a significant business center. Most international companies established their subbranches and headquarters in Istanbul to provide their services to the Turkish market. This makes the city a heaven of opportunities in the context of business, finance, career, and investment.
Especially real estate investment stands out as the most profitable investment instrument. It offers great turnout in both the short and long term. According to the statistics published by Turkish Statistical Institute, 1 million 485 thousand 622 houses were sold in 2022. Istanbul had the highest share in house sales by 17.5%.
Istanbul’s rapidly developing housing market and quality constructions proudly supply the never-ending need for housing.
Lively Ambiance and Unique Experiences
As same as any other metropolitan European city, Istanbul’s vibrant way of living promises unique experiences. It is one of the best places to live in Europe because life in Istanbul is colorful, joyous, and creative. This magnificent city has it all for each specific interest.
Let’s say that you would like to run away from city life. Are you looking for spending your weekend in silence, surrounded by nature? Then, visiting historical groves and forests is a perfect Sunday plan.
Or would you like to take a short cultural trip? Explore the well-preserved historical landmarks inherited from the world’s greatest civilizations in the Historical Peninsula.
What about art? There are more than 80 museums in Istanbul with permanent and temporary exhibitions. Museums and art galleries definitely should be on the Istanbul must-see list.
Do you want to attend an activity and socialize? In your free time, you can always find social events such as concerts, theatres, interactive installations, workshops, and so on. You also have a chance to participate in some of them.
Istanbul also offers the best shopping experience with state-of-the-art shopping malls. The comprehensive shopping centers of the city host the world’s greatest designer brands.
There are lots of activity options for families too. Istanbul’s extensive theme parks and entertainment facilities also create a perfect weekend plan to spend quality time with your children.
Istanbul has it all when it comes to activities and experiences. There is always an event to attend, a social activity to participate in, or things to do in Istanbul.
Advanced Transportation Network
Istanbul has the highest number of districts with 39 districts in total. The city has started expanding from the core centered around Bosphorus and Golden Horn to the outskirts. Since it is among the big cities in Europe, the best solution for travel between districts is an advanced transportation network.
It is among the most developed cities in the world in terms of transportation. Istanbul benefits from every type of transportation from sea routes to land routes. Locals mostly prefer using public transportation instead of wasting a lot of time with their private vehicles.
Among on-road vehicles, there are minibusses operating within the district. Busses are mostly preferred as transportation vessels between districts. Metrobusses are the express lines between certain districts.
More than 10 subway and tram routes are also one of the fastest options while traveling in Istanbul. Also, the main transportation vessel between the European and Asian sides is the ferries. In this way, you can easily reach the other side with being exempted from the busy traffic.
Best International Connections
One of the most outstanding features of Istanbul is its international connections. The city has 2 international airports: Sabiha Gokcen Airport on the Asian Side and Istanbul Airport on the European Side. These international airports make it easier to travel to Istanbul from any other country easily.
Istanbul Airport started its operations in 2018 and can be seen as an intersection between Europe and Asia. It is a highly preferred transfer point while traveling to Europe. According to the list of Cirium, Istanbul Airport ranked second most connected airport with flights to 309 destinations.
The airport is designed with modern features to provide contemporary necessities and is equipped with the latest technology. Istanbul Airport hosted 64.5 million passengers with an average of 1,156 flights per day. It is also ranked as the busiest airport in Europe in 2022.
The comfort of living in Istanbul gets its convenience from being able to easily reach everything you need. In Istanbul, almost every district has its own center where you can provide for your daily needs.
Since it is also a major industrial and production center in Turkey, every product is relatively cheaper in Istanbul. But there are also certain shopping areas where you can provide certain products at the best quality and prices.
For example, the best gold in the city can be bought from the Grand Bazaar (Kapalıçarşı). Or you can get the best deals on antique products from Cukurcuma and Balat.
Knowing what to buy from where comes in handy while living in a metropolitan city like Istanbul. Check out our “Things You Must Know Before Moving to Istanbul” article for the best tips on living in Istanbul.
Wide Range of Options for Self-Development
Istanbul comes first in line if you are looking for ways to promote your self-improvement. There is a wide range of educational institutions from universities to private training centers.
Turkey’s best educational institutions are centered around Istanbul. There are more than 50 universities, dozens of internship programs, and 100+ private education centers and workshops for all ages. International schools in Istanbul provide the best quality bilingual education, especially for foreigners.
See It with Your Own Eyes!
We can talk about Istanbul for hours. But the best way to understand how life goes on in this megacity is to experience it on your own. Book your flight and visit the best place to travel in Europe right now.
Take a look at the best properties for sale in Istanbul and start living your best life in this magnificent megacity.