A rental apartment from Istanbul skyscraper

Näkymä 23. kerroksesta Marmaranmerelle, Maltepe, Istanbul


A rental apartment from Istanbul skyscraper

In this post I’m talking about something as mundane as renting an apartment in Istanbul. There are a wide range of housing options, from modest to a palace. The options at both ends are so extreme they don’t even exist in Finland. I’ll also present you an average option for living in Istanbul, a modern and brand new skyscraper home with both great services and a stunningly beautiful sea view.

The most important thing when renting an apartment in Istanbul is probably speed. When you find an interesting abode in the housing market you need to act immediately. Or preferably even faster. After all Istanbul is an enormous metropolis, meaning you compete for good housing with around 20 million other inhabitants.

It’s a matter of hours at most before the apartment you’re interested in will be gone. Add to this that a couple of hours is actually a very short time in Istanbul, because just the commuting takes a lot of time. The diameter of the metropolitan area in the east-west direction is around 80 km as the crow flies. When you take into account winding streets, bridges and congestion it’s much more than that.

We noticed this reality when a family member was looking for rental apartment. Despite being fleet of foot, we were too slow for several apartments.

But in the end we finally made it.

The apartment of our dreams was found in a skyscraper in a pleasant location with good transport connections and a beautiful sea view. For Istanbul the apartment isn’t very high though – the flat is only on the 23rd floor. However, for a Finn it feels like a skyscraper home; for example the tallest residential building in my Finnish hometown Turku has only 18 floors. Istanbul’s tallest skyscrapers on the other hand has more than 60 floors.

The view from the skyscraper in Maltepe, Istanbul.
The view of the city and the continent from the 23th floor.

On average, the apartment sizes in Istanbul are larger than in Finland. This apartment is 164/103 m2 and it is an approximately medium-sized or even slightly small apartment on Istanbul’s scale. The first number means the total area of the apartment is 164 m2, but when you deduct the size of the walls, cabinets, wardrobes etc. the actual floor area is 103 m2. It’s a slightly different calculation method than the one used in Finland.

The floor plan of the skyscraper apartment in Istanbul on the Asian side.
The floor plan of the apartment (reverse).

This apartment has an open living-dining area, kitchen, two bedrooms, two bathrooms with separate showers, utility room, hallway and two balconies. Each room has a multifunctional balcony door – you can open it normally, use it as a sliding door, or as a large ventilation window that opens at the top.

The view from the desk in Istanbul.
The view from the desk.

The balconies are not very deep: they can only accommodate a small chair. It’s maybe for safety reasons, as the balconies are not enclosed, which can make you feel a bit dizzy at these heights. The railings of the balconies are made of glass. Likewise, one wall in each room is made entirely of glass from floor to ceiling. As a result, the view is stunning even from the back of the room. The landscape and the light seem to roll over you, as if you were gliding in the open sky by the sea, free as a bird. The architect has thus succeeded excellently in his design.

The kitchen and the open living room/dining area.
The kitchen and the open living room/dining area.

Also at night, the view is breathtakingly beautiful. In one direction, there is a dense city view and you can enjoy the diverse lights of tall skyscrapers like pieces of art made of light. In the other direction you can see the sea where the lights of the islands’ houses on the hills are like tiny fluttering candles. At the same time, hundreds of airplanes take off and land with their flashing lights in the sky above the sea like a twinkling rain of stars. In this darkness, Istanbul shows its magical and dazzlingly beautiful side. Even the call to prayers from the minarets echo stunningly at these heights and complement the uniquely mystical experience, especially in the dark.

The apartment is brand new, clear, spacious, light and modern in style. The color scheme is black and white. The floor materials are partly marble and tiles – after all, we are in the country of tiles, Turkey. On the other hand the real wooden parquet floor adds homely and warm feeling to the modern look – the parquet (material) is so authentic we have even got a few splinters from it to our soles.

The hallway and the bathroom in Istanbul.
The hallway and the bathroom.
The second bathroom and the view to the bedroom and to Marmara Sea in Istanbul.
The second bathroom and the view to the bedroom.

The apartment comes with 24/7 security, armored exterior doors of the apartments, air conditioning, a basement storage unit and a underground parking lot. There are several passenger lifts in the house, as well as one larger service lift.

The exterior door and the stairwell of the skyscraper in Istanbul..
The exterior door and the stairwell.

The services in the new building are also excellent, although this block does not have – as in the general case of skyscrapers – a giant shopping center on the lower floors. In this housing company you can find a gym, a Finnish sauna, a children’s playground, a swimming pool with a children’s pool and a pool bar, which is actually a café-restaurant. These all are available to you free of charge, in other words they are included in the rent. However, if you want to relax at home, you can order refreshments straight to your door from your flat’s intercom’s touch screen. In more serious situations, you can also get help from the security by tapping the screen of the intercom.

The skyscraper's intercom's main menu in Istanbul.
The intercom’s main menu.
The reception in the skyscraper in Maltepe, Istanbul
The reception and the part of security.
The svimming pool in the skyscraper in Maltepe, Istanbul.
Swimming pool.

The tenant’s payment obligations are very similar to those in Finland: rent, water, electricity and deposit, although the maintenance charge is paid by the tenant in Turkey. In addition, you also pay for heating powered by natural gas – but the cost is reasonable, because most of the year the temperature is like Finnish summer or even hotter. In this apartment, even the stove is modern and operates with electricity rather than with more traditional gas.

The skyscraper's modern kitchen in Istanbul
The modern kitchen.

The total costs of this home are similar to a Finnish one bedroom apartment, but of course when comparing prices, you must remember the differences in income levels of our countries and the values of the currencies. It is also good to note that if you want to rent an apartment as a foreigner, each country naturally has their own regulations in this regard.

However, the move itself in Istanbul is effortless – and also the comfort of living is enhanced by the Turkish service society and the helpful, encouraging and polite attitude of the people. You’ll feel warmly welcome to home!


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