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

Should you visit Alexandria 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 Alexandria and Istanbul can help you decide which place is right for you.

Where Should I go: Alexandria or Istanbul?

Alexandria

There are few cities in the world with a history as rich, deep, tragic and fascinating than Alexandria, Egypt. Founded by Alexander the Great in 331 BC, Egypt's second largest city has seen the most extreme ups and extreme downs. The city watched the beautiful and iconic Alexandria Lighthouse crumble to the ground after several natural disasters. The Alexandria Library housed their most sacred and historical documents only to be burned to the ground. These structures may be physically gone, but the history remains. Alexandria is a city with an ancient allure that draws in visitors from all over the world. Alexandria is a survivor city ready for a comeback.

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.

For some great organized tour ideas, see The Best Luxury Tours to Egypt, The Best Budget Tours to Egypt, The Best Budget Tours to Turkey, and The Best Tours for Seniors to Turkey.


Which place is cheaper, Istanbul or Alexandria?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Alexandria is $17, while the average daily cost in Istanbul is $126. 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 destination. What follows is a categorical breakdown of travel costs for Alexandria and Istanbul in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Alexandria $7.99
    Istanbul $47
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Alexandria $16
    Istanbul $94
Compare Hotels in Alexandria and Istanbul

Looking for a hotel in Alexandria 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 Alexandria


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: Alexandria Hotel Prices and Istanbul Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Alexandria $2.49
    Istanbul $55
Typical Local Transportation Prices in Alexandria

Here are some examples of typical transportation prices from actual travelers in Alexandria:


  • Taxi to Train Station
    $0.08

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Alexandria

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Alexandria:

  • Private Transfer from Alexandria Airport (HBE) to Alexandria Port: $16
  • Private Transfer from Alexandria Port to Alexandria City Hotels: $16
  • Private Transfer from Alexandria City hotels to Alexandria Port : $16
  • Private Transfer from Alexandria Port to Alexandria Airport (HBE): $16
  • Private Airport Transfer in Alexandria: $22
  • Alexandria to Alexandria Airport - Departure Private Transfer: $26
  • Borg El Arab Arrival & Departure Transfers: $40
  • Private Transfer From Alexandria City To Cairo Airport: $40
  • Private Transfer from 6 of October City to El Cairo (CAI) Airport: $52
  • Private Transfer around El Nouzha Airport (ALY) in Alexandria: $63
  • Private Transfer from Alexandria to Cairo/Giza Hotels or Cairo./Giza to Alexandr: $65
  • Private One Way Transfer from Alexandria Hotels to Cairo and Giza Hotels: $68

Typical Local Transportation Prices in Istanbul

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


  • Ferry
    $0.09
  • Local Bus
    $0.09

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Istanbul

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Istanbul:

  • Istanbul Airport Transfer by Private Minivan + Meet & Greet Service: $85
  • Istanbul Cruise Port(Galataport) Private Transfer Service: $35
  • Private Airport Transfer in Istanbul: $109
  • Saw Sabiha Gokcen Airport Transfers for Old City & Taksim Hotels: $54
  • 1-Way Private Transfer to/from Sabiha Gokcen Airport: $74
  • Airport - Otel Transfer and City Tours: $20
  • Airport Istanbul Private Transfer IST or SAW Airport : $34
  • Airport Transfer: $58
  • Arrival Private Transfer IST or SAW Airport to Istambul, Levent or Taksim by Bus: $65
  • Arrival Private Transfer: New Airport IST to Istanbul in Business Car: $54
  • Best VIP Istanbul Luxury Transfer: $65
  • Bursa Uluda─č Mountain Tour From Istanbul w/Lunch & Hotel Transfer: $35

Is it cheaper to fly into Alexandria or Istanbul?

Prices for flights to both Istanbul and Alexandria 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
    Alexandria $6.46
    Istanbul $31

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Alexandria

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

  • Half-Day Food Tour in Alexandria, Egypt: $35
  • Alexandria Food Tour: $50

Typical Food Prices in Istanbul

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


  • Juice
    $0.06
  • Turkish Delight
    $0.02
  • Dessert
    $0.26
  • Pastries
    $0.05

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Istanbul

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

  • Bosphorus Dinner Cruise with Turkish Night Show from Istanbul: $16
  • Dinner Cruise and Entertainment with Private Table: $17
  • Bosphorus Dinner Cruise Tour With Turkish Night Show: $21
  • Bosphorus Dinner Cruise , Unlimited Drinks, & Show: $21
  • Bosphorus Luxury Catamaran Cruise with Dinner Show: $25
  • Bosphorus Dinner Cruise and Turkish Night Show: $26
  • Bosphorus Dinner Cruise & Show with Private Table: $26
  • Bosphorus Boat Cruise with Dinner & Entertainment: $27
  • Istanbul Bosphorus Dinner Cruise with Unlimited Drinks and Shows: $28
  • Istanbul Bosphorus Dinner Cruise: $28
  • Istanbul Bosphorus Dinner Cruise and Turkish Night Show: $28
  • 3 Hour Ottoman Dinner Cruise in Istanbul : $29

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Alexandria $3.50
    Istanbul $79

Tours and Activities in Alexandria

Here are a few actual costs in Alexandria for available activities, ticket prices, and tours:

  • Alexandria Library Entry Ticket: $3.80
  • The Ancient Roman Theater Entry Ticket: $3.80
  • Pompey's Pillar Entry Ticket: $3.80
  • Alexandria Library Entry Tickets With Pickup and Drop Off: $3.80
  • Citadel of Qaitbay Entry Ticket : $3.80
  • Skip The Line Entry Ticket to the Roman Theater in Alexandria: $4.27
  • Alexandria Library Entry Ticket: $5.70
  • Qaitbay Citadel Entry Ticket: $5.70
  • Catacomb Of Kom El-Shoqafa Entry Ticket: $5.70
  • Alexandria Library Skip the line Access Entry Ticket: $6.10
  • Citadel of Qaitbay E-ticket with Audio Tour and City Audio Tour: $12
  • Pompey's Pillar Entry Ticket Included Pickup And Drop Off: $14

Typical Entertainment Prices in Istanbul

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


  • Bosphurus Boat (for 2)
    $0.62
  • Yerebatan Cistern for Two
    $0.62
  • Museum of Turkish and Islamic Arts for Two
    $0.31
  • Hagia Sofia entrance
    $0.93

Tours and Activities in Istanbul

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

  • First Discovery Walk and Reading Walking Tour: $3.19
  • Hagia Sophia Exclusive Digital Audio Guided Tour: $5.32
  • City Tour with Audio Guide in your smartphone: $5.32
  • Highlights Self Guided Scavenger Hunt & Tour: $5.32
  • Istanbul Sites: Peel back the layers of Turkish history a self-guided audio tour: $5.40
  • Self Guided City Audio Tour of Istanbul: $5.44
  • Kadikoy's history, theatres and sweet shops: a self-guided audio tour: $5.99
  • City Exploration Game and Tour: $6.38
  • Istanbul Outdoor Escape Game: The Royal Adventure: $7.06
  • Istanbul in a day: A Self-Guided Audio Tour in English: $7.77
  • Istanbul Self-Guided Audio Tour: $9.00
  • App self-guided tours Istanbul with multilingual audioguide: $9.58

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Alexandria $1.35
    Istanbul $15

Sample the Local Flavors in Istanbul

Some specific costs for nightlife related activities in Istanbul:

  • Istanbul Pub Crawl Big Nightout . Rooftop parties,party Bus & Nightlife: $22
  • Istanbul 7-Hour Pub Crawl: Big Night Out: $27
  • Party Pub Crawl with Party Bus: $29
  • Wine Tasting Experience in Istanbul : $45
  • Istanbul Wine Tasting at Home with Local Family: $84
  • 2-Day Wine Tasting Tour along the Thracian Wine Route: $180
  • Istanbul Private Wine Tasting Tour Through 3 City Wineries : $245
  • Istanbul Private and Guided, Food and Wine Tasting Tour: $430
  • Luxury Wine Tasting on a Private Yacht: $840


When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Alexandria and Istanbul, we can see that Istanbul is more expensive. And not only is Alexandria much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. Since Alexandria is in Africa 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 Alexandria would let you spend less money overall. Or, you could decide to spend more money in Alexandria 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 Istanbul would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in Istanbul than you might in Alexandria.

If you're trying to decide if either of these two destinations are within your price range, also see Is Alexandria Expensive? and Is Istanbul Expensive?.


Which is Bigger, Alexandria or Istanbul?

Istanbul has a larger population, and is about 3 times larger than the population of Alexandria. When comparing the sizes of Alexandria and Istanbul, keep in mind that a larger population does not always imply the destination has more attractions or better activities. So, always research the type of place that you want to visit along with the activities and attractions that interest you.


When is the best time to visit Alexandria or Istanbul?

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

Should I visit Alexandria or Istanbul in the Summer?

The summer attracts plenty of travelers to both Alexandria and Istanbul. Warm weather and sunshine bring visitors to Alexandria year-round. Also, many travelers come to Istanbul for the city activities and the family-friendly experiences.

In the summer, Alexandria is a little warmer than Istanbul. Typically, the summer temperatures in Alexandria in July average around 26°C (79°F), and Istanbul averages at about 24°C (74°F).

In July, Alexandria usually receives less rain than Istanbul. Alexandria 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
    Alexandria 26°C (79°F) 
    Istanbul 24°C (74°F)

Should I visit Alexandria or Istanbul in the Autumn?

The autumn brings many poeple to Alexandria as well as Istanbul. Alexandria attracts visitors year-round for its warm weather and sunny climate. Also, 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 October, Alexandria is generally a little warmer than Istanbul. Daily temperatures in Alexandria average around 22°C (72°F), and Istanbul fluctuates around 16°C (61°F).

Alexandria usually gets less rain in October than Istanbul. Alexandria 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
    Alexandria 22°C (72°F) 
    Istanbul 16°C (61°F)

Should I visit Alexandria or Istanbul in the Winter?

Both Istanbul and Alexandria are popular destinations to visit in the winter with plenty of activities. The warm climate attracts visitors to Alexandria throughout the year. Also, most visitors come to Istanbul for the museums, the shopping scene, and the cuisine during these months.

Alexandria is much warmer than Istanbul in the winter. The daily temperature in Alexandria averages around 13°C (55°F) in January, and Istanbul fluctuates around 6°C (43°F).

In January, Alexandria usually receives less rain than Istanbul. Alexandria gets 50 mm (2 in) of rain, while Istanbul receives 99 mm (3.9 in) of rain each month for the winter.


  • Winter Average Temperatures January
    Alexandria 13°C (55°F) 
    Istanbul 6°C (43°F)

Should I visit Alexandria or Istanbul in the Spring?

Both Istanbul and Alexandria during the spring are popular places to visit. Plenty of visitors come to Alexandria because of the warm climate and sunshine that lasts throughout the year. Furthermore, the spring months attract visitors to Istanbul because of the activities around the city and the natural beauty.

In the spring, Alexandria is much warmer than Istanbul. Typically, the spring temperatures in Alexandria in April average around 19°C (66°F), and Istanbul averages at about 13°C (55°F).

Alexandria usually gets less rain in April than Istanbul. Alexandria 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
    Alexandria 19°C (66°F) 
    Istanbul 13°C (55°F)

Typical Weather for Istanbul and Alexandria

Alexandria Istanbul
Temp (°C) Rain (mm) Temp (°C) Rain (mm)
Jan 13°C (55°F) 50 mm (2 in) 6°C (43°F) 99 mm (3.9 in)
Feb 13°C (55°F) 40 mm (1.6 in) 6°C (44°F) 67 mm (2.6 in)
Mar 16°C (61°F) 20 mm (0.8 in) 8°C (47°F) 62 mm (2.4 in)
Apr 19°C (66°F) 10 mm (0.4 in) 13°C (55°F) 49 mm (1.9 in)
May 22°C (72°F) 10 mm (0.4 in) 17°C (63°F) 31 mm (1.2 in)
Jun 23°C (73°F) 10 mm (0.4 in) 21°C (71°F) 21 mm (0.8 in)
Jul 26°C (79°F) 10 mm (0.4 in) 24°C (74°F) 19 mm (0.7 in)
Aug 27°C (81°F) 10 mm (0.4 in) 24°C (74°F) 26 mm (1 in)
Sep 25°C (77°F) 10 mm (0.4 in) 20°C (69°F) 41 mm (1.6 in)
Oct 22°C (72°F) 10 mm (0.4 in) 16°C (61°F) 71 mm (2.8 in)
Nov 19°C (66°F) 30 mm (1.2 in) 12°C (54°F) 89 mm (3.5 in)
Dec 14°C (57°F) 50 mm (2 in) 9°C (47°F) 122 mm (4.8 in)