Known as Turkey’s political hub, Ankara is often viewed as a grey and solemn capital, but new arrivals moving to the city are often surprised by its vibrant nature and rich culture. Ankara is home to the Presidential Symphony Orchestra, the State Opera and Ballet and several national theatre companies, making it the country’s centre for performing arts.
Thanks to its diverse population, Ankara is a melting pot of cultures, and newcomers moving to the city will soon discover that this is where the ancient and contemporary harmoniously meet.
Living in Ankara
Ankara is one of the best Turkish cities for new arrivals looking for employment, due to its largely international and continuously evolving job market. Newcomers can find work in a range of industries, including operational and administrative services, education, technology and hospitality. It is imperative that prospective newcomers ensure they have all the relevant visa and work permit paperwork if they intend to stay in Turkey long-term.
Perhaps one of the biggest downsides to living in Ankara is that the city is landlocked, meaning there aren't many opportunities for seaside activities, as is the case in other Turkish cities. Still, with more than 50 museums, two lakes and a forest, there is plenty to see and do in Ankara. One thing that stands out about Turkey’s capital is the city’s modern infrastructure and organisation, which make getting around Ankara fairly easy. The city’s public transport system, which comprises bus and metro networks, is efficient and dense. Taxis and e-hailing services also abound.
Cost of living in Ankara
The cost of living in Ankara is far more reasonable than in Istanbul. In fact, Mercer’s 2022 Cost of Living survey ranks Ankara as the least expensive city for expats to live in out of the 227 cities surveyed. Accommodation is relatively easy to find and affordable, while public transport is reliable and budget-friendly.
Newcomers who want to own a vehicle will have to account for the cost of petrol and parking, which go for a premium in most Turkish cities.
Families and children in Ankara
Family is important in Turkish society, and this makes Ankara an ideal city to raise a family in. With more than 20 universities, free public education and a fair few international schools, parents will have no trouble finding a suitable school for their children. While international schools generally offer exceptional facilities and a wider range of extracurricular activities, this comes at a high price and parents will need to consider this carefully.
Healthcare in Ankara is also accessible and far more economical than in other European cities. Newly arrived parents will have no issues keeping their little ones entertained during their leisure time thanks to the myriad green spaces, aquariums and historical sites sprinkled throughout the city.
Climate in Ankara
Ankara’s climate is categorised as temperate and semi-arid. The weather is characterised by four distinct seasons, with freezing winters and hot summers. Rainfall typically occurs during spring, and snowfall is a marked feature of the winter months.
Newcomers moving to Ankara can truly find the best of both worlds: modern luxuries and efficiencies juxtaposed by ancient Roman and Anatolian ruins, with friendly locals to boot.
►For an overview of life in the country, check out Moving to Turkey
►See Getting Around in Ankara to learn about the city's transport links
Are you an expat living in Ankara?
Expat Arrivals is looking for locals to contribute to this guide, and answer forum questions from others planning their move to Ankara. Please contact us if you'd like to contribute.
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