A Travel Price Comparison for Families, Couples, and Backpackers Abu Dhabi vs. Istanbul for Vacations, Tours, and Honeymoons

Should you visit Abu Dhabi or Istanbul?

Which is cheaper to visit? Which is more expensive for vacation?

Which city is more affordable and which is best for your travel style? If you're trying to figure out where to go next, comparing the travel costs between Abu Dhabi and Istanbul can help you decide which place is right for you.

Where Should I go: Abu Dhabi or Istanbul?

Abu Dhabi

It doesn't get more "lifestyles of the rich and famous" than a vacation to Abu Dhabi. The federal capital and center of government for the United Arab Emirates is arguably the most modern city in the world.

Abu Dhabi has a population of 1.5 million and provides a home to several oil companies and embassies, but this place is definitely a playground for the world's fanciest tourists. This city has several large projects underway including Yas Island's Formula 1 track and Ferrari theme park.

Note: homosexuality is still outlawed in the UAE with harsh punishments including deportation, fines, jail time or even a death sentence.

Istanbul

Istanbul is strategically located on the Bosphorus and is split between Europe and Asia. It truly is a city where east meets west. Istanbul is the cultural and financial hub of Turkey, and also the most populous city. The sites are countless and there's something for everybody, whether you're interested in art, music, food, or adventure. You can pass many days exploring both the residential and commercial pockets of this city. Much of the appeal is hidden away along back alleys or within corner shops.

Which city is cheaper, Istanbul or Abu Dhabi?

These are the overall average travel costs for the two destinations.

The average daily cost (per person) in Abu Dhabi is $131, while the average daily cost in Istanbul is $43. These costs include accommodation (assuming double occupancy, so the traveler is sharing the room), food, transportation, and entertainment. While every person is different, these costs are an average of past travelers in each city. What follows is a categorical breakdown of travel costs for Abu Dhabi and Istanbul in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Abu Dhabi $78
    Istanbul $26
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Abu Dhabi $156
    Istanbul $52
Compare Hotels in Abu Dhabi and Istanbul

Looking for a hotel in Abu Dhabi or Istanbul? Prices vary by location, date, season, and the level of luxury. See below for options and compare which is best for your budget and travel style.

Hotels in Abu Dhabi


Hotels in Istanbul


Kayak helps you find the best prices for hotels, flights, and rental cars for destinations around the world. Compare prices for multiple destinations when planning your next trip.


Our Analysis
We've analyzed the average and typical hotel prices based on guest reviews, star ratings, and hotel amenities here: Abu Dhabi Hotel Prices and Istanbul Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Abu Dhabi $16
    Istanbul $2.50
Typical Local Transportation prices in Abu Dhabi

Some typical examples of transportation costs in Abu Dhabi are as follows:


  • Car Rental
    $31
  • Taxi to Airport
    $14

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Abu Dhabi

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Abu Dhabi:

  • Private Airport Transfer: Abu Dhabi International Airport (AUH) to Abu Dhabi: $20
  • Private Airport Transfer: Abu Dhabi to Abu Dhabi International Airport (AUH): $20
  • Abu Dhabi Airport Private Arrival Transfer to Any Hotel in UAE: $22
  • Abu Dhabi Airport Private Departure Transfer: $22
  • Abu Dhabi Airport Transfers: $30
  • Private Arrival Transfer from Abu Dhabi International Airport AUH to Abu Dhabi City: $30
  • Private Airport Transfers: $38
  • Private Transfer from Ferrari world to Abu Dhabi City Center: $39
  • Private Transfer from Abu Dhabi City Center to Ferrari world: $39
  • Private Transfer from Abu Dhabi City Center to Yas Waterworld Abu Dhabi: $40
  • Private Transfer from Yas Waterworld Abu Dhabi to Abu Dhabi City Center: $40
  • Transfer in private vehicle from Abu Dhabi City to Abu Dhabi Airport: $40

Typical Local Transportation prices in Istanbul

Some typical examples of transportation costs in Istanbul are as follows:


  • Ferry
    $0.15
  • Local Bus
    $0.16

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Istanbul

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Istanbul:

  • Istanbul Airport Transfer / Private Airport Transfer: $3.73
  • Istanbul Airports Transfer: $6.22
  • istanbul airport cheapest vip transfer by private car: $14
  • Safe Airport transfer service in istanbul: $16
  • Private Airport Transfer Arrival or Departure in Istanbul: $17
  • Sabiha Airport Arrival Or Departure Hotel Transfer: $17
  • PRIVATE DEPARTURE TRANSFER - Istanbul European Side To Istanbul New Airport: $18
  • Istanbul New Airport Private Transfer: $18
  • New Istanbul Airport Private Transfer: $18
  • İstanbul Private Airport Transfer: $19
  • Istanbul Airport Arrival Or Departure Hotel Transfer: $19
  • One Way Istanbul Airport Transfer to SultanAhmet: $22

Is it cheaper to fly into Abu Dhabi or Istanbul?

Prices for flights to both Istanbul and Abu Dhabi change regularly based on dates and travel demand. We suggest you find the best prices for your next trip on Kayak, because you can compare the cost of flights across multiple airlines for your prefered dates.





Food
  • Food Meals for one day
    Abu Dhabi $36
    Istanbul $11

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Abu Dhabi

Also, here are some specific examples of food and dining related activities in Abu Dhabi.

  • Abu Dhabi 6-Hour Desert Safari With BBQ Dinner: $58
  • Abu Dhabi Afternoon Desert Safari and BBQ Dinner: $59
  • Evening Desert Safari with Dune Bashing, Camel Riding, BBQ Dinner: $62
  • Abu Dhabi Desert Tour With BBQ Dinner, Camel Ride and Belly Dance Hotel Pickup: $62
  • Evening Desert Safari with BBQ Dinner,Belly Dance,Tanura & Fire Dance,Camel Ride: $65
  • Dune Dinner Safari Abu Dhabi: $69
  • 4x4 Desert Safari Abu Dhabi with BBQ Dinner: $69
  • Abu Dhabi Desert Safari Experience Live's show's Bbq Dinner & much More: $73
  • Desert Safari with BBQ Dinner, Belly Dance & Tannura Dance: $83
  • Evening Desert Safari With BBQ Dinner, Camel Ride and Sand Boarding: $83
  • Evening Desert Safari Abu Dhabi with Dinner: $85
  • Sunset Camel Trek and BBQ Dinner with Shows: $85

Typical Food prices in Istanbul

Some typical examples of dining costs in Istanbul are as follows:


  • Juice
    $0.11
  • Turkish Delight
    $0.03
  • Dessert
    $0.45
  • Pastries
    $0.08

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Istanbul

Also, here are some specific examples of food and dining related activities in Istanbul.

  • Istanbul Dinner Cruise & Show: $29
  • Istanbul Dinner Cruise Show: $30
  • Bosphorus Dinner Cruise Inc. Dinner and Belly Dance Show with Hotel Transfer: $34
  • Alaturca Ottoman Dramatic Stage Show & Dinner Cruise ( Non - Alcoholic ): $35
  • Bosphorus Dinner & Show Cruise (All Inclusive): $36
  • Bosphorus Dinner Show Cruise With Non Alcoholic Menu ISTANBUL Dinner cruise: $36
  • Bosphorus Dinner Cruise An Unforgettable Experience in Istanbul: $36
  • Bosphorus Dinner Cruise & Night Show from Istanbul: $37
  • Istanbul Cruise&Show with Dinner: $37
  • Dinner Cruise on the Bosphorus: $38
  • Istanbul Dinner Cruise & Show: $39
  • Istanbul Dinner Cruise with Sema Ceremony: $40

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Abu Dhabi $32
    Istanbul $16

Tours and Activities in Abu Dhabi

Some specific costs of activities, tours, and entrance tickets for Abu Dhabi are as follows:

  • Fast-Track Admission Ticket to Qasr Al Hosn: $8.37
  • Skip the Line: Admission Ticket Qasr Al Watan: $16
  • City Tour of Abu Dhabi Landmarks: $22
  • Louvre Abu Dhabi Mindful Museum Admission Ticket: $30
  • 90-Minute Small-Group Yas Marina Circuit Tour: $30
  • Abu Dhabi Like a Local: Customized Private Tour: $31
  • Abu Dhabi city tour with Entry ticket to Louvre Museum from Abu Dhabi: $34
  • Skip the Line: Abu Dhabi Park Zoo and Resort Entrance Ticket with Options: $35
  • Abu Dhabi City Tour From Abu Dhabi: $35
  • Abu Dhabi Half Day City Tour By Bus: $37
  • 4 Hours Abu Dhabi City Tour: $40
  • Full Day Abu Dhabi City Tour: $40

Typical Entertainment prices in Istanbul

Some typical examples of activities, tours, and entrance ticket prices in Istanbul are as follows:


  • Bosphurus Boat (for 2)
    $1.06
  • Yerebatan Cistern for Two
    $1.06
  • Museum of Turkish and Islamic Arts for Two
    $0.53
  • Hagia Sofia entrance
    $1.59

Tours and Activities in Istanbul

Some specific costs of activities, tours, and entrance tickets for Istanbul are as follows:

  • Just Hagia Sophia Tour /Skip The Lines: $8.71
  • VR Dervish Experience: $10
  • Museum of Illusions Istanbul Ticket: $11
  • Piri Self-Guided Audio Tour: Istanbul, Historical Peninsula: $11
  • Old City Insider Walking Tour: $11
  • Bosphorus Cruise with Audio App: $11
  • Basilica Cistern VIP Tickets: $12
  • Vip Ticket For Hagi̇a Sophi̇a: $12
  • Hagia Sophia & Blue Mosque&Hippodrome Guided Tours Everyday /No que / No line!: $12
  • Istanbul LEGOLAND Discovery Center Entrance Ticket: $14
  • SEA LIFE Istanbul Entry Ticket: $14
  • Hagia Sophia: Entry with Guided Tour: $14

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Abu Dhabi $11
    Istanbul $3.83

Sample the Local Flavors in Istanbul

Some specific costs for nightlife related activities in Istanbul:

  • Daily Tekirdag Wine Tasting Tour from Istanbul: $427


When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Abu Dhabi and Istanbul, we can see that Abu Dhabi is more expensive. And not only is Istanbul much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. Since Abu Dhabi is in Middle East and Istanbul is in Europe, this is one of the main reasons why the costs are so different, as different regions of the world tend to have overall different travel costs. So, traveling to Istanbul would let you spend less money overall. Or, you could decide to spend more money in Istanbul and be able to afford a more luxurious travel style by staying in nicer hotels, eating at more expensive restaurants, taking tours, and experiencing more activities. The same level of travel in Abu Dhabi would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in Abu Dhabi than you might in Istanbul.


When is the best time to visit Abu Dhabi or Istanbul?

Istanbul has a temperate climate with four distinct seasons, but Abu Dhabi experiences a tropical climate with fairly warm weather most of the year.

Should I visit Abu Dhabi or Istanbul in the Summer?

Both Istanbul and Abu Dhabi are popular destinations to visit in the summer with plenty of activities. The warm tropical climate attracts visitors to Abu Dhabi throughout the year. Also, many travelers come to Istanbul for the city activities and the family-friendly experiences.

It's very hot in Abu Dhabi this time of the year. Abu Dhabi is a little warmer than Istanbul in the summer. The temperature in Abu Dhabi is usually 35°C (95°F) in July, and Istanbul stays around 24°C (74°F).

It's quite sunny in Istanbul. The sun comes out a lot this time of the year in Abu Dhabi. Abu Dhabi usually receives around the same amount of sunshine as Istanbul during summer. Abu Dhabi gets 331 hours of sunny skies, while Istanbul receives 333 hours of full sun in the summer.

In July, Abu Dhabi usually receives less rain than Istanbul. Abu Dhabi gets 10 mm (0.4 in) of rain, while Istanbul receives 19 mm (0.7 in) of rain each month for the summer.


  • Summer Average Temperatures July
    Abu Dhabi 35°C (95°F) 
    Istanbul 24°C (74°F)

Should I visit Abu Dhabi or Istanbul in the Autumn?

Both Istanbul and Abu Dhabi during the autumn are popular places to visit. Plenty of visitors come to Abu Dhabi because of the warm tropical climate that lasts throughout the year. Furthermore, many visitors come to Istanbul in the autumn for the city's sights and attractions, the shopping scene, and the natural beauty of the area.

In the autumn, Abu Dhabi is much warmer than Istanbul. Typically, the autumn temperatures in Abu Dhabi in October are around 29°C (84°F), and Istanbul is about 16°C (61°F).

It's quite sunny in Abu Dhabi. In the autumn, Abu Dhabi often gets more sunshine than Istanbul. Abu Dhabi gets 314 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Istanbul receives 169 hours of full sun.

Abu Dhabi usually gets less rain in October than Istanbul. Abu Dhabi gets 10 mm (0.4 in) of rain, while Istanbul receives 71 mm (2.8 in) of rain this time of the year.


  • Autumn Average Temperatures October
    Abu Dhabi 29°C (84°F) 
    Istanbul 16°C (61°F)

Should I visit Abu Dhabi or Istanbul in the Winter?

The winter attracts plenty of travelers to both Abu Dhabi and Istanbul. Abu Dhabi attracts visitors year-round for its warm weather and tropical climate. Furthermore, most visitors come to Istanbul for the museums, the shopping scene, and the cuisine during these months.

In January, Abu Dhabi is generally much warmer than Istanbul. Temperatures in Abu Dhabi average around 18°C (64°F), and Istanbul stays around 6°C (43°F).

In Abu Dhabi, it's very sunny this time of the year. Abu Dhabi usually receives more sunshine than Istanbul during winter. Abu Dhabi gets 269 hours of sunny skies, while Istanbul receives 75 hours of full sun in the winter.

In January, Abu Dhabi usually receives less rain than Istanbul. Abu Dhabi gets 10 mm (0.4 in) of rain, while Istanbul receives 99 mm (3.9 in) of rain each month for the winter.


  • Winter Average Temperatures January
    Abu Dhabi 18°C (64°F) 
    Istanbul 6°C (43°F)

Should I visit Abu Dhabi or Istanbul in the Spring?

The spring brings many poeple to Abu Dhabi as well as Istanbul. The warm tropical climate attracts visitors to Abu Dhabi throughout the year. Additionally, the spring months attract visitors to Istanbul because of the activities around the city and the natural beauty.

Abu Dhabi is much warmer than Istanbul in the spring. The temperature in Abu Dhabi is usually 27°C (81°F) in April, and Istanbul stays around 13°C (55°F).

People are often attracted to the plentiful sunshine in Abu Dhabi this time of the year. In the spring, Abu Dhabi often gets more sunshine than Istanbul. Abu Dhabi gets 297 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Istanbul receives 180 hours of full sun.

Abu Dhabi usually gets less rain in April than Istanbul. Abu Dhabi gets 10 mm (0.4 in) of rain, while Istanbul receives 49 mm (1.9 in) of rain this time of the year.


  • Spring Average Temperatures April
    Abu Dhabi 27°C (81°F) 
    Istanbul 13°C (55°F)

Typical Weather for Istanbul and Abu Dhabi

Abu Dhabi Istanbul
Temp (°C) Rain (mm) Temp (°C) Rain (mm)
Jan 18°C (64°F) 10 mm (0.4 in) 6°C (43°F) 99 mm (3.9 in)
Feb 20°C (68°F) 20 mm (0.8 in) 6°C (44°F) 67 mm (2.6 in)
Mar 23°C (73°F) 10 mm (0.4 in) 8°C (47°F) 62 mm (2.4 in)
Apr 27°C (81°F) 10 mm (0.4 in) 13°C (55°F) 49 mm (1.9 in)
May 31°C (88°F) 10 mm (0.4 in) 17°C (63°F) 31 mm (1.2 in)
Jun 33°C (91°F) 10 mm (0.4 in) 21°C (71°F) 21 mm (0.8 in)
Jul 35°C (95°F) 10 mm (0.4 in) 24°C (74°F) 19 mm (0.7 in)
Aug 36°C (97°F) 10 mm (0.4 in) 24°C (74°F) 26 mm (1 in)
Sep 33°C (91°F) 10 mm (0.4 in) 20°C (69°F) 41 mm (1.6 in)
Oct 29°C (84°F) 10 mm (0.4 in) 16°C (61°F) 71 mm (2.8 in)
Nov 25°C (77°F) 10 mm (0.4 in) 12°C (54°F) 89 mm (3.5 in)
Dec 21°C (70°F) 10 mm (0.4 in) 9°C (47°F) 122 mm (4.8 in)


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Abu Dhabi vs. Istanbul Travel Comparison

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