Living Cost in Istanbul

1- Accommodation:

Accommodation is at the top of the list of concerns of a candidate student coming to Istanbul. Istanbul is a city that has a lot of options for accommodation. Trying to decide where to stay seems complicated in a town that you do not know well. It is understandable, but there is no need to be stressed to find one that includes all your preferences because this city gives you various alternatives.


You can easily find two types of dormitories in İstanbul. One of them is private, and another one is government. 

1.1.1. Government Dormitory: 

The Government dormitory belongs to the General Directorate of credit and dormitories under the Ministry of Sports and Youth umbrella known as KYK in Turkey.

According to the announcement of the General Directorate of credit and dormitories

“Foreign students who study in our country with their means must have a Foreigner Identity Number, which they will obtain from the Ministry of Interior, to apply for dormitories to our Ministry. It is of great importance that you obtain your Foreigner’s Identity Number in advance, as students who do not have a Foreigner’s Identity Number cannot apply for dormitories” (Yurt Hizmetleri, 2021). So government dormitories are also provided rooms for international students. The Application process mostly starts and ends in October of each year. Unfortunately, the chance to get acceptance from this dormitory is relatively low. Because every year İstanbul hosts a massive number of students.

The government dormitory fee of rooms is between $41-50, depending on how many people you share the room with. This dormitory included two meals(breakfast and dinner) per day (Yurt Hizmetleri, 2021).

1.1.1. Private Dormitories:

Private dormitories services also are provided for international students in Turkey. These dormitories are run by private companies that the Republic of Turkey licenses.

As you can guess when we compare private and KYK, private ones are more luxurious and have more quality services than KYK. In private dormitories, it is possible individual and bilateral rooms. Other facilities which are included are daily housekeeping, internet, TV, meals(breakfast and lunch). Also, anyone outside can not enter the dorm, and it is monitored with cameras 24/7, so it is a safe place. There are a variety of options. You have a chance to choose rooms, and according to your preferences(region, number of people you share the room with, quality of services), the monthly fee is changeable. It is also possible to find private dormitories at most of the universities campuses. These dormitories offer all facilities to you.

Prices approximately can change from $1.300 to $3.000 for a year. Moreover, application for private dormitories is straightforward. All you need is to collect the document taken from the university and some of your information papers.

You can also prefer to stay at the dorm, which is located on the campus. Generally, dormitories are separated based on gender. Rooms are available for single or 2,3,4 people. Tuitions can be changed between $30 and $300 per month.

1.2. Rent for an apartment:

Renting a flat is another alternative for students. The prices of apartments are mainly based on which district/area of İstanbul which you prefer to stay. Furthermore, the costs of flats depending on how many rooms or types of spaces like a studio. Studio apartment prices start from $135 and with more rooms and with more services to $395. We advise you to read all descriptions if it is included all the bills and costs or not when you rent a flat. 

Note: In the first entity, you must pay a certain amount of deposit. Generally, the amount is one month’s rent price.

2- Household Bills:

2.1. Electricity and water: The average electricity and water bill are $25 per month. It may vary depending on the usage of the person.

2.2. Heating: The average of heating is $30.

2.3. The average internet cost is $10 per month.

  1. Food & Drink:

Turkish Cuisine is one of the famous Cuisine in the World because it is rich in various ingredients. Dishes prepared with cereals, different vegetables, and some meat in juicy form, soups, olive oil dishes and pastries, and dishes prepared with self-grown herbs; molasses, yogurt, bulgur, etc. ( Genel Özellikleriyle Türk Mutfak Kültürü, 2021). Cooking at home is very common in Turkey. So you can prepare your food. Finding fresh vegetables and food from the supermarket is easy. Moreover, there are bazaars built on specific days. 

It is possible to have a meal in a restaurant for 3-5 dollars. Furthermore, there are many markets with various price scales. Some of them are: BİM, A101, Şok, Migros, Carrefoursa, Metro. A monthly shopping of $100 will be enough for you. In addition, butchers, greengrocers, dairy, and bakeries are very common, and students’ prices are affordable. 

3- Prices of some staple food:

Milk: Avarage 7 ₺

Bread: 2 ₺

Rice: 1kg/ 15 ₺

Eggs: 12/ 15 ₺

Chicken: 1kg/ 33 ₺

Beef: 1kg/ 70 ₺

Water: 1,5 liter bottle/ 2,50 ₺

(Cost of Living in Istanbul, 2021)

4- Transportation:

You will access to using of comfortable and secure manner travel in İstanbul.

4.1. From outside of Turkey to Turkey

Although the plane is the most preferred way, it is possible to get to Turkey by bus, train, and ferry. Turkish Airlines(THY), Pegasus Airlines, Atlas Jet, Anadolu Jet, Sun Express are the most common Airline companies (Information, 2021).

4.2. Travelling in İstanbul:

Public transportation is very available and cheap in İstanbul. Buses, vast undergrounds/metro system, funicular, minibusses, inner-city ferries, taxi, shared-taxi, tram, nostalgic tram are all available in one city (İstanbul Büyük Şehir Belediyesi, 2021).

These inner-city costs :

–   Single ticket for one ride: 6 ₺ per person, two ride tickets: 10 ₺, three ride tickets: 15₺ 

–   İstanbulkart: This card is valid for all public transport except taxis in Istanbul. And it is rechargeable. As a student, you can benefit from student Istanbul kart, and you can save your money 50% compared to regular prices. Additionally, a monthly card is valid for 30 days, and it costs 57.50₺ for students.

Note: There are no day ticket and fare zones in İstanbul (Schedules and pricing, 2021).

  1. Entertainment:

Festivals, concerts, local performances are widespread in İstanbul. It is very easy to find and even to attend every night.

Theatres: $10-15

Museums: $10-15

Art Galleries: $10-15

Concerts: Some are free, but some have a fee, and they can be changed from $15 to $50.

(Cost of Living in Istanbul, 2021)



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