The advantages of living in Istanbul as a remote worker
Remote workers favor cities with suitable remote workplaces but also intriguing sites that satisfy the urge to travel.
Our city meets all these needs, therefore it is a great choice to do remote working in Istanbul.
Located on two continents, its eclectic mix of cultures is second to none in the Western world. Better still, its livability, low prices and top-notch infrastructure make the megacity an ideal place to spend a few months as a remote worker.
On that basis, here are six reasons why Istanbul is a great base for digital nomads.
Diversity: the meeting point between East and West
Istanbul is the only city in the world that spans two continents: Europe and Asia. Its history is long and eventful, and the remnants of that multifaceted past are still omnipresent in the megacity of over 18 million.
Today Istanbul is a melting pot of ideas, cultures and architecture. To some extent, Istanbul is a microcosm of Turkey, a highly diverse country.
From conservative Muslim neighborhoods to hip bar areas filled with nightclubs, you can find it all in Turkey’s largest city. It is where East and West meet, ideologies collide and people come together.
All this diversity makes Istanbul such an amazing place to live and work as a digital nomad.
In short, you will learn something new every day and encounter the meaning of diversity in the real world, one of my main reasons for traveling the world full time.
A great cultural and gastronomic offer
When it comes to cultural and culinary sites, few cities compete with Istanbul.
Heading to the old Ottoman center of Sultanahmet, you can visit the Hagia Sophia, Blue Mosque, Topkapi Palace, Basilica Cistern and the world famous Archaeological Museum, all within a few hundred meters.
Away from the historic center, there are huge palaces like the Dolmabahçe, picturesque areas like Galata, and attractive oriental markets like the Grand Bazaar.
Aside from historical sites, Istanbul’s culinary offerings are unlimited.
All in all, Istanbul will undoubtedly ensure the adventurous aspect of your digital nomad lifestyle.
Infrastructure, nice people and livability
In Istanbul you can find powerful WiFi throughout the city and SIM cards are available in every corner. The malls are first class and sell everything you could find in Western Europe or North America. All in all, the infrastructure is fine and you won’t miss Western amenities, creating a highly livable environment.
Learning a few phrases in Turkish will come in handy if you want to venture off the beaten track.
This brings me to the locals. Sure, it’s wrong to generalize, but Turks are among the friendliest and most hospitable souls on this planet.
The locals will remember it as one of the most welcoming and charming you will find anywhere.
When it comes to security, Istanbul has no significant problems with crime. Most minor offenses are, in fact, opportunistic.
Great places to work remotely
Historic sites are great, but digital nomads naturally want to learn about remote workplaces.
Don’t worry, Istanbul has plenty of them.
Being the economic heart of Turkey, Istanbul attracts thousands of ambitious young professionals and entrepreneurs from all over the country and the Middle East. Better yet, there’s no shortage of coffee shops, coworking spaces, and other places to work as a digital nomad.
As a remote worker, your best choice is to rent an Airbnb in Taksim, Mecidiyeköy, Osmanbey, Kadiköy or Levent. These areas have many cafes, apartments with fast WiFi, and convenient coworking spots.
Cost of living
Most remote workers want to take advantage of geo-arbitrage by moving to a cheaper city.
This is where the fall of the Turkish lira plays into the hands of digital nomads.
The city has gotten more expensive for locals in recent years, and the prices of imported products have gone up, but Istanbul is still very affordable for nomads earning dollars or euros.
Today Istanbul is probably the cheapest big city in Europe. Whether it’s for rent, food or cultural experiences, there are few places in Europe that cheap.
Compared to similar-sized American cities, the cost of living is 63% lower than New York City and 54% lower than Los Angeles, according to Numbeo.
The public transport network and Istanbul airport
Istanbul has a rapidly growing metro network connecting the main transit hubs of the city. Better still, trams connect the smaller neighborhoods and ferries to the Bosphorus make traveling the continent a breeze.
The final piece of the city’s excellent transport network is the brand new Istanbul Airport. Opened in 2019, this is undoubtedly one of the best airports in the world. For digital nomads it is important that the selected city is well connected with other destinations and Istanbul excels from this point of view. Whether you want you can continue your journey in South America, Russia, Southeast Asia or Australia. You will find a flight easily.