Istanbul is one of the world’s great cities, a historic treasure-trove, and an eclectic, diverse lifestyle option. Though not the capital, Istanbul is the country’s beating heart. Istanbul offers the best of any European city—from lattes to the latest Hollywood releases (in English)—but with a superior nightlife. You really can watch the world go by beneath a skyline of minarets and modern office blocks as ships from all over the globe trundle up and down the Bosphorus, the narrow straits that divide Europe from Asia.
Megacity Istanbul straddles the shores of both Europe and Asia and is the only city to have been a capital to both Christian and Muslim empires, as evidenced, inside its great Roman walls, by an architectural legacy like nothing else anywhere on earth.
Istanbul has long been referred to as the Paris of the East. The cafes, gardens, parks, and river walks of Istanbul are all a la Paris. The windows of bakeries and confectioners can be picture-perfect arrangements of breads, pastries, and sweets. The people dress smartly and wish each other good day as they come and go. The old city is ancient, but spreading out from it are many and diverse other quarters, from bohemian and artsy to chic and modern.
Istanbul owes its place in world history to these waters, which, since the days of Byzantium, have meant tolls, harbor fees, trade, and prosperity. Today, this metropolis with such a unique and enviable geographic situation is again thriving. Officially, the population of Istanbul is 14 million, but some estimate that the city’s true current population is closer to 20 million.
Cost Of Living In Istanbul
Istanbul is attracting foreign investor and entrepreneur attention right now. Increased business activity means expanding economies and healthy though not always convenient employment scenes. The cost of living city-center has outpaced them…but city-center is where the work is. The best part is that this world-class city is also exceedingly affordable, perhaps the best place in the world to enjoy the best of city living on a budget. A couple could retire here on a budget of as little as 980 euros per month.
Monthly Budget For A Couple Living In Istanbul, Turkey
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Infrastructure In Instanbul
All this population expansion means epic infrastructure strains. Cars, congestion, construction, traffic, and delays…they’re all dominant parts of both these scenes. In both cities, the effects can be frustrating though far less so in Istanbul where the chaos is more controlled, even genteel. This is a great city, but it is very hard to live here. In the summer, the heat. In the winter, the cold.