A Travel Price Comparison for Turkey Antalya vs. Istanbul for Attractions, Food, Old Town, and Backpackers

Should you visit Antalya or Istanbul?

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

Should I visit Antalya or Istanbul? This is a common question asked by many travelers. By figuring out which city has activities that align with your interests along with knowing which is more affordable, you'll understand where you can get more bang for your buck. So, let's dive into the details and the data, which all comes from actual travelers.

Antalya

Antalya is a relaxing, luxurious, and historic vacation spot. This is also a very beautiful destination which attracts plenty of visitors. This is a quaint and attractive place to visit, too. It's also known for beaches, hiking, and shopping.

Istanbul

Istanbul is a beautiful, historic, and diverse city. Visitors will also find so much to do here because it's a large city with many sights and attractions. With stunning beauty, it attracts visitors from all around. It's also popular because of the food, shopping, and museums.

Antalya and Istanbul: Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
  • Impressive beauty
Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
  • Big city activities
  • Impressive beauty


How is Antalya different from Istanbul?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

Let's take a look at the differences and similarities between Istanbul and Antalya. Then, you can decide for yourself which place is better for your next trip.

Is Antalya or Istanbul better for Museums and Historical Sights?

You'll find a number of museums and attractions in both Istanbul and Antalya.

Antalya offers many unique museums, sights, and landmarks that will make for a memorable trip. The city combines history with a relaxing resort vacation. Sights in the area include the Antalya Museum and the Yivli Minare.

Visitors will find world class museums and historical sights in Istanbul that are not to be missed. With such a long and diverse religious and political history, it has many museums, mosques, churches, and archeological sites that you can visit. Some of the most famous sights include the Hagia Sophia, Topkapi Sarayi, and the Blue Mosque.

Antalya
Istanbul


Is Antalya or Istanbul better for Food?

Picking the best cuisine and restaurants between Antalya and Istanbul can be difficult as they are each unique in their own way.

Antalya has a number of nationally recognized food spots and restaurants. Food is excellent throughout Turkey and this city is no exception. The local cuisine offers a combination of fresh caught seafood as well as various grilled meats. Local specialties include meatball skewers, kulakli soup, and even lentil ice cream. The traditional Turkish breakfast is also popular, which usually includes hard boiled eggs, cheese, tomatoes, cucumber, olives, and Turkish breads or pastries. It's almost always served with Turkish tea.

Istanbul has long been recognized as a culinary destination with great restaurants. From Turkish classics to sweet desserts the city has it all. Popular dishes include Turkish style pizza, kebabs, and doner, which you'll find everywhere for affordable prices.

Antalya
Istanbul

Is Antalya or Istanbul better for Nightlife?

The nightlife scene is relatively similar in Antalya and Istanbul.

Antalya has a large number of nightlife venues. The city has an insane nightlife scene with huge glamorous dance clubs that fill to the brink as well as low key bars and pubs that everyone can enjoy.

Istanbul is a popular destination for visitors looking to party into the night. Dancing, dining, and partying have all become part of Istanbul's culture. Top nightclubs in the city include Reina, Sortie, and Supperclub.

Antalya
Istanbul

Is Antalya or Istanbul better for its Old Town?

It's fun to wander around the old towns in both Antalya and Istanbul.

Many visitors explore the old town while visiting Antalya. The city has a beautiful old town area, Kaleiçi, that is known for its narrow streets and historic buildings. The area has many sights including Hadrian's Gate.

Istanbul has a world-famous historical area. The Old City in Istanbul is the most historic part of the city. It's where you'll find most of the city's historic sights. The area around Sultanahmet Square is the most popular tourist area to explore.

Antalya
Istanbul

Is Antalya or Istanbul better for Shopping?

Shoppers can find a variety of stores in both Antalya and Istanbul.

Many people travel to Antalya specifically to go shopping. Antalya combines modern high end malls with more traditional bazaars. From luxury fashion brands to souvenirs and local trinkets, the area has everything.

Istanbul is an extremely popular place for shoppers. It is the capital of culture and fashion in Turkey, and there are many shopping areas that carry all kinds of brands. For a more traditional, but touristy experience head to the Grand Bazaar and the Spice Market. For modern brands, Istiklal Caddesi is the most popular area for shopping.

Antalya
Istanbul


Is Antalya or Istanbul better for Families?

Kids will enjoy a visit to either Antalya or Istanbul.

You'll find plenty of family-friendly things to do in Antalya. The city has beautiful beaches, historic ruins, and resorts that cater specifically to families. It's a popular family-friendly destination in Turkey.

You'll find plenty of kid-friendly things to do in Istanbul. The city has several kid-friendly museums, a couple of aquariums, and fun theme parks.

Antalya
Istanbul

Is Antalya or Istanbul better for Couples?

With fun activities for couples, both Antalya and Istanbul make for a good place to visit.

Antalya makes for a fun place to visit for a couple. Antalya is a top-rated honeymoon destination in Turkey. It's beautiful beaches, romantic resorts, and great shopping put it at the top of many couples' list.

Couples visit Istanbul frequently as it offers plenty of romantic activities. Couples who enjoy history, culture, and vibrant neighborhoods will enjoy a romantic stay here.

Antalya
Istanbul

Is Antalya or Istanbul better for Backpackers and Budget Travelers?

Antalya and Istanbul are both good destinations for backpackers.

Plenty of budget travelers and backpackers visit Antalya. Despite the many resorts in town, there are also budget accommodation options available including hostels. Backpackers appreciate Antalya's impressive old town as well as the area's stunning beaches.

Istanbul is a mecca for backpackers and budget travelers. There are plenty of hostels and budget accommodation options, and there's also plenty of ways to meet other travelers. You'll find plenty of hostels concentrated in the Sultanahmet area.

Antalya
Istanbul

Is Antalya or Istanbul better for Public Transit?

Visitors will find public transit in both Antalya and Istanbul.

Antalya offers a very effecient public transportation network. Buses and minibuses will help you get around town.

Istanbul has an effecient and thorough public transportation system which can take you anywhere in the city. It has a comprehensive and diverse public transit system that includes buses, trams, minibuses, ferries, funicular, and more.

Antalya
Istanbul


Is Antalya or Istanbul a more walkable city?

Antalya and Istanbul are similar when it comes to walkability.

Antalya is a somewhat walkable vacation spot. The historic area in particular is compact, filled with historic sights, and easy to explore on foot.

Istanbul is very walkable. Although it is huge, most of the neighborhoods that tourists visit are incredibly walkable and pedestrian-friendly.

Antalya
Istanbul

Should I spend more time in Istanbul or Antalya?

How long in Antalya or Istanbul?

Both Antalya and Istanbul have a number of activities to choose from. With generally more activities and things to do, visitors tend to spend more time in Istanbul than Antalya.

The ideal length of time for a trip to Antalya is 2-5 days, and the ideal length of time for a trip to Istanbul is 3-7 days.


  • How many days in Antalya or Istanbul? Ideal Length of Stay
    Antalya 2-5 
    Istanbul 3-7

One day in Antalya or Istanbul?

The beautiful vacation spot of Antalya offers scuba diving and snorkeling and shopping. Many visitors also spend a good bit of time hiking. With so much to do, one day is probably not enough time to see everything. It will give you the chance to have new experiences.

Because Istanbul is a large city, there are a variety of ways to spend your time. Most visitors spend time around the old town while in the area. This city offers something for everyone. One day is usually not enough time for a trip here as there is plenty to do.

A weekend in Antalya or Istanbul?

Antalya is a popular place that is full of things to see and experience. If you have a weekend, this vacation spot makes for a great vacation. People enjoy relaxing at one of the resorts. While some people choose to spend more or less time in Antalya, a weekend is sufficent for most. Take your pick from the many activities offered around the area.

Because Istanbul is a large city, there are a variety of ways to spend your time. The length of your trip often depends on your style of travel. Visiting the old town is also a must. Since there is so much to do in the area, a weekend is probably not enough for all of it.

Five days in Antalya or Istanbul?

Antalya is a popular choice for travelers. Five days here is typical. While some people choose to spend more or less time in Antalya, five days is sufficent for most. The entire area has lots to do.

Istanbul is a great place to explore. It is common to spend five days here. The old town is one of the main draws for visitors. Five days is a great amount of time to relax and see the many things that Istanbul has to offer. Anyone can find something fun to do here.


A week in Antalya or Istanbul?

Antalya is a great place to explore. Hiking can easily take up a good amount of your time here, too. One week is more than enough time to enjoy everything. Take some day trips to nearby places to fill the extra days. This vacation spot offers something for everyone.

It's hard to know how much time to spend in Istanbul. Exploring the old town is a popular activity. With all of its activities, you can easily fill one week here.

Which city is cheaper, Istanbul or Antalya?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Antalya is $25, while the average daily cost in Istanbul is $44. 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 Antalya and Istanbul in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Antalya $12
    Istanbul $27
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Antalya $24
    Istanbul $54
Compare Hotels in Antalya and Istanbul

Looking for a hotel in Antalya 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 Antalya


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.


Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Antalya $4.01
    Istanbul $2.56

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Antalya

Also for Antalya, here are a few examples of actual transportation services:

  • Transfers: $5.00
  • One-Way Shared Transfer: Antalya City & Beach to Antalya Airport: $9.95
  • One-Way Shared Transfer: Antalya Airport to Belek: $11
  • Private Airport Transfer: from Antalya Airport (AYT) to Antalya: $13
  • Private Airport Transfer: from Antalya to Antalya Airport (AYT): $13
  • One-Way Shared Transfer: Antalya Airport to Kemer: $14
  • One-Way Shared Transfer: Antalya Airport to Side: $14
  • One-Way Shared Transfer: Antalya Airport to Alanya: $14
  • Antalya Airport - Antalya City Hotels Private Transfers (Lara, Kundu, Old Town): $17
  • Private Departure Transfer: Kundu / Lara Region Hotels to Antalya Airport: $22
  • Private Arrival Transfer: Antalya Airport to Antalya, Kundu or Lara: $22
  • Private Departure Transfer from Antalya, Kundu or Lara to Antalya Airport: $22

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:

  • İstanbul Private Airport Transfer: $19
  • İstanbul Airport Transfer: $45
  • istanbul airport transfer-sabiha gokcen airport transfer-vip transfer: $28
  • istanbul airport cheapest vip transfer by private car: $14
  • istanbul airport & sabiha gokcen airport transfer by private car: $30
  • VIP Transfer Services for Airports, Hotels or Other Location: $80
  • VIP Airport Transfer and Shuttle: $62
  • VIP Airport Transfer: $56
  • Turkish Bath in Istanbul with transfer: $199
  • Transfer in Private Vehicle from Istanbul Old City to Sabiha Gokcen Airport: $57
  • Transfer in Private Vehicle from Istanbul Old City to Istanbul Airport: $51
  • Transfer in Private Minivan from Istanbul Old City to Sabiha Gokcen Airport: $61

Is it cheaper to fly into Antalya or Istanbul?

Prices for flights to both Istanbul and Antalya 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
    Antalya $8.37
    Istanbul $11

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Antalya

For Antalya, here are some samples of tours and activities related to meals and dining experiences:

  • Giza Pyramids Sound and Light Show with Dinner: $83

Typical Food prices in Istanbul

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


  • Juice
    $0.11
  • Turkish Delight
    $0.03
  • Dessert
    $0.46
  • 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.
    Antalya $6.65
    Istanbul $16

Tours and Activities in Antalya

For Antalya, here are a few prices for actual activities, tours, and tickets provided by various companies:

  • Skip the Line: Yoruk Parki Kemer Admission Ticket: $5.75
  • Admission Ticket to Sandland Antalya: $7.46
  • Shopping Tour From Kemer: $10
  • Smartphone Audio City Tour: $14
  • From Manavgat: Boat Tour to Side: $22
  • Sapadere Canyon Full-Day Sightseeing Tour from Alanya: $28
  • Canyoning and Rafting Tours from Antalya: $29
  • Antalya Rafting Tour: $31
  • Antalya Local Bazaar Tour: $33
  • Koprulu Canyon Water Rafting Adventure with Lunch from Antalya: $34
  • Turkey: Day Tour of Ancient Lycia: $34
  • Day Tour to Xanthos City, Saklikent Canyon and Patara Beach: $36

Typical Entertainment prices in Istanbul

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


  • Bosphurus Boat (for 2)
    $1.09
  • Yerebatan Cistern for Two
    $1.09
  • Museum of Turkish and Islamic Arts for Two
    $0.54
  • Hagia Sofia entrance
    $1.63

Tours and Activities in Istanbul

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

  • 1 Day - Istanbul Tour: $315
  • 1 Day Cappadocia Hot Air Balloon Tour From Istanbul: $300
  • 1 Day Istanbul & Ephesus Tour By Plane - YK230: $419
  • 1 Day Regular Cappadocia Tour by Plane - YK0011: $384
  • 1 Day Tour - Sapanca: $300
  • 1 Night 1 Day Cappadocia Tour from Istanbul - Including Hot Air Balloon Tour: $496
  • 1 Night 1 Day Cappadocia Travel from Istanbul - Including Hot Air Balloon Tour: $509
  • 1 Night 1 Day Cappadocia Trip from/to Istanbul - Including Hot Air Balloon Tour: $513
  • 1 Night 1 Day Trip from Istanbul to Cappadocia - Including Hot Air Balloon Tour: $490
  • 1 Night 2 Days Cappadocia Trip from/to Istanbul - Including Hot Air Balloon Tour: $521
  • 1 Night 2 Days Ephesus, Kusadasi, Hierapolis & Pamukkale Tour from/to Istanbul: $372
  • 1 Night Cappadocia Trip with Hot Air Balloon Tour: $525

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Antalya $3.73
    Istanbul $3.91

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 Antalya and Istanbul, we can see that Istanbul is more expensive. And not only is Antalya much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. So, traveling to Antalya would let you spend less money overall. Or, you could decide to spend more money in Antalya 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 Antalya.


When is the best time to visit Antalya or Istanbul?

Both places have a temperate climate with four distinct seasons. As both cities are in the northern hemisphere, summer is in July and winter is in January.

Should I visit Antalya or Istanbul in the Summer?

The summer brings many poeple to Antalya as well as Istanbul. Many travelers come to Antalya for the beaches, snorkeling, the hiking, the music scene, and the family-friendly experiences. Also, many visitors come to Istanbul in the summer for the city activities and the family-friendly experiences.

In the summer, Antalya is a little warmer than Istanbul. Typically, the summer temperatures in Antalya in July are around 28°C (83°F), and Istanbul is about 24°C (74°F).

The sun comes out a lot this time of the year in Istanbul. People are often attracted to the plentiful sunshine in Antalya this time of the year. In the summer, Antalya often gets more sunshine than Istanbul. Antalya gets 376 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Istanbul receives 333 hours of full sun.

Antalya usually gets less rain in July than Istanbul. Antalya gets 3 mm (0.1 in) of rain, while Istanbul receives 19 mm (0.7 in) of rain this time of the year.


  • Summer Average Temperatures July
    Antalya 28°C (83°F) 
    Istanbul 24°C (74°F)

Should I visit Antalya or Istanbul in the Autumn?

Both Istanbul and Antalya are popular destinations to visit in the autumn with plenty of activities. Many visitors come to Antalya in the autumn for the hiking trails, the shopping scene, the music scene, and the natural beauty of the area. Also, most visitors come to Istanbul for the city's sights and attractions, the shopping scene, and the natural beauty of the area during these months.

In October, Antalya is generally a little warmer than Istanbul. Temperatures in Antalya average around 21°C (69°F), and Istanbul stays around 16°C (61°F).

The sun comes out a lot this time of the year in Antalya. Antalya usually receives more sunshine than Istanbul during autumn. At this time of the year, Antalya gets 251 hours of sunny skies, while Istanbul receives 169 hours of full sun.

In October, Antalya usually receives around the same amount of rain as Istanbul. At this time of the year, Antalya gets 70 mm (2.8 in) of rain, while Istanbul receives 71 mm (2.8 in) of rain.


  • Autumn Average Temperatures October
    Antalya 21°C (69°F) 
    Istanbul 16°C (61°F)

Should I visit Antalya or Istanbul in the Winter?

Both Istanbul and Antalya during the winter are popular places to visit. Most visitors come to Antalya for the museums, the shopping scene, and the cuisine during these months. Furthermore, the winter months attract visitors to Istanbul because of the museums, the shopping scene, and the cuisine.

Antalya is much warmer than Istanbul in the winter. The temperature in Antalya is usually 11°C (51°F) in January, and Istanbul stays around 6°C (43°F).

In the winter, Antalya often gets more sunshine than Istanbul. Antalya gets 161 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Istanbul receives 75 hours of full sun.

It rains a lot this time of the year in Antalya. Antalya usually gets more rain in January than Istanbul. Antalya gets 239 mm (9.4 in) of rain, while Istanbul receives 99 mm (3.9 in) of rain this time of the year.


  • Winter Average Temperatures January
    Antalya 11°C (51°F) 
    Istanbul 6°C (43°F)

Should I visit Antalya or Istanbul in the Spring?

The spring attracts plenty of travelers to both Antalya and Istanbul. The spring months attract visitors to Antalya because of the beaches and the natural beauty. Furthermore, the activities around the city and the natural beauty are the main draw to Istanbul this time of year.

In the spring, Antalya is a little warmer than Istanbul. Typically, the spring temperatures in Antalya in April are around 16°C (62°F), and Istanbul is about 13°C (55°F).

In Antalya, it's very sunny this time of the year. Antalya usually receives more sunshine than Istanbul during spring. At this time of the year, Antalya gets 243 hours of sunny skies, while Istanbul receives 180 hours of full sun.

In April, Antalya usually receives around the same amount of rain as Istanbul. At this time of the year, Antalya gets 46 mm (1.8 in) of rain, while Istanbul receives 49 mm (1.9 in) of rain.


  • Spring Average Temperatures April
    Antalya 16°C (62°F) 
    Istanbul 13°C (55°F)

Typical Weather for Istanbul and Antalya

Antalya Istanbul
Temp (°C) Rain (mm) Temp (°C) Rain (mm)
Jan 11°C (51°F) 239 mm (9.4 in) 6°C (43°F) 99 mm (3.9 in)
Feb 11°C (52°F) 196 mm (7.7 in) 6°C (44°F) 67 mm (2.6 in)
Mar 13°C (56°F) 103 mm (4.1 in) 8°C (47°F) 62 mm (2.4 in)
Apr 16°C (62°F) 46 mm (1.8 in) 13°C (55°F) 49 mm (1.9 in)
May 20°C (69°F) 28 mm (1.1 in) 17°C (63°F) 31 mm (1.2 in)
Jun 25°C (77°F) 8 mm (0.3 in) 21°C (71°F) 21 mm (0.8 in)
Jul 28°C (83°F) 3 mm (0.1 in) 24°C (74°F) 19 mm (0.7 in)
Aug 28°C (83°F) 1 mm (0 in) 24°C (74°F) 26 mm (1 in)
Sep 25°C (77°F) 11 mm (0.4 in) 20°C (69°F) 41 mm (1.6 in)
Oct 21°C (69°F) 70 mm (2.8 in) 16°C (61°F) 71 mm (2.8 in)
Nov 16°C (61°F) 134 mm (5.3 in) 12°C (54°F) 89 mm (3.5 in)
Dec 12°C (54°F) 227 mm (8.9 in) 9°C (47°F) 122 mm (4.8 in)


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Antalya vs. Istanbul Travel Comparison

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