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What to do before moving to Istanbul?

What to do before moving to Istanbul?
Before moving to a new country, you need a checklist or a list of advice that you need to consider to ensure your move will be as smooth as possible. Our list is created by Experts and Expats living in Istanbul.


  • Get all your legal documents translated and notarized. You would save money, time, and energy by doing it ahead.
  • Make sure your passport is valid for more than 6 months. To be able to apply for a residency permit.
  • Bring your medical history and medications. To ensure that your doctor will get a complete picture of your condition.
  • Research Istanbul districts and areas. To know where to live, each district has its own culture and lifestyle.
  • Ask if your bank has a branch in Istanbul. To easily transfer your funds and open a bank account.
  • Get your International Driving license. To use before applying for the Turkish Driving license.
  • Learn a few essential Turkish Words such as (Lütfen, Pardon, and İyi akşamlar). Simple words will smooth your daily tasks.
  • Understand that Istanbul is a big city with two sides (Asian & European). Each side has its own culture and lifestyle. Enjoy the difference and uniqueness of each side. 
  •  Come with an open mind, each country has its own culture and lifestyle. It’s a new adventure and you may need to be flexible.
  • Take advantage of having many Bazars, and shop locally unique products such as (fresh vegetables,& handmade pottery). Discover the culture of Istanbul.
  • Look for groups or pages on Social Media with members of Expats living in Istanbul. (You might find mutual friends or experts). Their experiences will guide and help you.
  • If you know any friends in Istanbul ask them about what they wish they knew before moving to Istanbul.
  • Formalize yourself with the Turkish Language by watching Youtube videos or Tv shows.
  • If you want to bring your cell phone, you will be granted (3-4) months before being asked to register it.
  • Add the Turkish keyboard to your cell phone, you will need it.
  • Don’t worry about transportation, there are buses, metro, trams, Metrobus, ferries, and taxis.
  • If you have a sweet tooth you need to try San Sebastian cheesecake.
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