Last Updated on September 26, 2020
Are you thinking of moving to Istanbul? We put together the most livable districts and neighborhoods of Istanbul, based on the education level, welfare status and livability according to several academic and social researches made by city authorities and universities.
We also put our picks based on getting around, neighborhood vibes, ease of communication, best food and drink opportunities, best entertainment and nightlife plus a potentially powerful expat and retired scene.
Some Insider Tips
Things to Know Before You Chose Your Place to Live
- Istanbul is a huge metropolitan city with a population of more than 15,000,000 people.
- Bigger than many countries in the world.
- No one should say that living in Istanbul can be easy.
- Traffic and parking is the biggest problem.
- Although the transportation network can be good, note that you’ll travel in crowd during rush hours which will be very uncomfortable. Ferries can be the best choice.
- Asian side is more settlement area than the European side.
- It’s better to live in an apartment or residence with a security service and indoor parking area.
- If you work, than you should stay close to your office, better within walking distance, or at least within easy reach with public transport.
- If you are retired, it’s better to live in quite neighborhoods, some far away from city center, better the Asian side. Make sure to live within good health services.
Istanbul’s Districts by Status
Based on the social welfare status, education, health, social life, municipality services and transportation levels;
- Besiktas, Kadikoy, Sisli, Kadikoy and Maltepe are the leading districts in Istanbul in order.
Based on the only social life status, including the number of museums, cinemas, theaters, and quality of social and cultural services;
- Besiktas, Kadikoy, Beyoglu, Sisli and Sariyer are the leading districts in Istanbul in order.
Based on the only welfare status, including the number of shopping malls, banks, and the housing market value;
- Besiktas, Bakırkoy, Sariyer, Kadikoy and Beyoglu are the leading districts in Istanbul in order.
Based on the health services;
- Kadikoy, Sisli, Fatih and Maltepe are the leading districts in Istanbul in order.
Based on the environmental performance of the district municipalities and services for street animals;
- Sisli, Gungoren, Basaksehir, Bayrampasa and Besiktas are the leading districts in Istanbul in order.
Istanbul’s Top 10 livable districts (Our Pick)
in terms of education and culture level, welfare status and livability
Besiktas is located on the European side, at the entrance of the Bosphorus and famous for its vibrant and colorful daily life, bazaar, fish market, student population, culture and art activities, nightlife, shopping centers, historical buildings, football club, seaside recreation, dine & wine places and ferry piers. Continue reading…
The Most Livable Neighborhoods: Bebek, Levazim, Akat, Arnavutkoy, Kurucesme, Levent and Etiler
Kadikoy, with its lively atmosphere and city life, historical buildings, being an important transportation hub, market, large young and student population, cultural events & arts, shopping centers, cafes, pubs and restaurants by the seaside and inland and lively nightlife, is one of the most popular and colorful districts of Istanbul, situated on the Bosphorus Asian side. Continue reading…
The Most Livable Neighborhoods: Caddebostan, Fenerbahçe, Moda and Suadiye
Beyoglu is a big district and famous for its cosmopolitan city life, and traces of the European architecture of 100 years. Beyoglu hosts one of the most iconic sights of Istanbul such as the Galata Tower, Istiklal Street and Taksim Square. The Galata, Asmalimescit and Cihangir neighborhoods are very lively and good to stay with their unique architecture, lively streets and atmosphere.
The Most Livable Neighborhoods: Galata, Cihangir and Asmalimescit
Sariyer is a beautiful district situated by the far end of the Boshorus European shores. It is famous for its lively city life, dining places along the Bosphorus shores, natural beauties, several historic places and museums. The famous Emirgan Grove, Sadberk Hanim Museum and Rumeli Fortress is situated in Sariyer.
The Most Livable Neighborhoods: Istinye, Yenikoy, Baltalimani, Emirgan and Tarabya
Fatih is a very huge district that covers Istanbul’s historical peninsula and hosts the majority of the historical sites of Istanbul from the periods of the Roman, Byzantine and Ottoman Empire. The region is the old Istanbul inside the city walls with all the sightseeing heavyweights packed together with must-see mosques, museums, palaces and more. The Sultanahmet, Eminonu, Fener and Balat neighborhoods are home to top tourist attractions. Continue reading…
Bakirkoy is located on the European side, on the Marmara sea coast and famous for its modern and vibrant daily life, markets, culture and art activities, nightlife, shopping centers, seaside recreation and good restaurants and shopping malls. Istanbul Aquarium and Istanbul Ataturk Airport is situated in Bakirkoy.
The Most Livable Neighborhoods: Yesilkoy, Atakoy, Florya
Atasehir is located on the Asian side of Istanbul. The newly built residence and home projects, well built network of roads, facilities for a good standard of live, recreation areas give it a big leap among the best districts of Istanbul. Many locals and foreigner currently prefer to live in Atasehir to have good standard of the city living.
Sisli is also a cosmopolitan and upscale district of Istanbul, on the European side. It is famous for its vibrant and busy city life, history and culture, museums, churches, mosques, lively shopping streets and shopping malls. Sisli is one of the most expensive ones in Istanbul as for accommodation.
The Most Livable Neighborhoods: Nisantasi, Tesvikiye, Macka
Uskudar is the district located on the Asian shores of the Bosphorus, just across Besiktas. Uskudar is famous for its beautiful shoreline, the Maiden’s Tower, Camlica Hill, Fethi Pasha Grove, historic places such as 16th century Mosques, fountains and many more. Continue reading…
The Most Livable Neighborhoods: Kuzguncuk, Beylerbeyi, Cengelkoy
Istanbul’s Top 10 livable neighborhoods (Our Pick)
in terms of education and culture level, welfare status and livability, good for expats and retired
1. Bebek in Besiktas
Bebek is a charming and fashionable seaside neighborhood of Besiktas. It is situated on the Bosphorus European shores. Bebek is famous for its elite and classy city life, luxury and quality cafes and restaurants. The sea promenade is always lively. Popular with the majority of the foreigners in Istanbul. Location Map >>
2. Levazim in Besiktas
Levazim neighborhood is one of the best ones in Besiktas, on the upper parts of Besiktas connecting the upper parts of Ortakoy, close to the Bosphorus bridge. Social life and culture standards are excellent here with modern buildings and villas. Location Map >>
3. Akat in Besiktas
Akat neighborhood is one of the newest neighborhoods of Besiktas. It is located on the upper parts of Besiktas, close to the famous Akmerkez shopping mall, and offers quality social life. The neighborhood mostly consist big apartments. Location Map >>
4. Istinye in Sariyer
Istinye is a popular settlement area in Istanbul, neighborhood of Sariyer district, and mostly where the elite and wealthy part of Istanbul live. It is located on the Bosphorus European Shores. Istinye hosts number of beautiful historic mansions along the shores. The upper parts of Istinye is home to luxury villas, and many shopping malls such as famous Istinye Park. Location Map >>
5. Arnavutkoy in Besiktas
Arnavutkoy is a pretty neighborhood of Besiktas, located by the Bosphorus European shores, between Kurucesme and Bebek. It offers great city life with its quality social life, seaside promenade, cafes and restaurants. Majority of the wealthy locals prefer to live in Arnavutkoy. Note: There is also another Arnavutkoy, which is a district located by the New Istanbul Airport, on the far northern Istanbul, don’t mix them :) Location Map >>
6. Moda in Kadikoy
Moda is a very peaceful and green neighborhood of Kadikoy, on the Asian side. Moda is also a popular residential area in the Istanbul’s Asian side. The shores of Moda and the parks are very popular with the young locals. There variety of lovely cafes, tea gardens and restaurants along the Moda coasts and inland. Location Map >>
7. Caddebostan in Kadikoy
Caddebostan is located by the Marmara Sea Asian shores, and it can be considered as the most prestigious neighborhood of the Kadikoy district. It is famous for its lively city life, the coastline attractions, green environment, the Princes’ islands view with numerous luxurious apartments. Location Map >>
8. Emirgan in Sariyer
Emirgan is an extremely peaceful seaside neighborhood of Sariyer district. It is situated by the Bosphorus European shores. It is famous for its lively life, tea gardens, cafes and restaurants by the shore, green environment with famous Emirgan Grove, Sakip Sabanci Museum, beautiful mansions and villas and warm artisans. Location Map >>
9. Atakoy in Bakirkoy
Atakoy is a popular residential area of the Bakirkoy district, located by the Marmara sea European shores. Atakoy offers a comfortable and modern life with its good standard of social life. Location Map >>
10. Atasehir center in Atasehir
Atasehir is located on the Asian side of Istanbul. Famous for its newly built residence and home projects, well built network of roads, facilities for a good standard of live, recreation areas. Many locals and foreigner currently prefer to live in Atasehir town center to have good standard of the city living. Location Map >>