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

Should you visit Aqaba or Istanbul?

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

If you're trying to decide where to visit between Aqaba or Istanbul, this travel comparison, which includes costs, can help. The overall cost of travel is usually a consideration when deciding where to go next, and the cost comparison down below can help you decide based on the average prices from other travelers along with your own travel budget.

Where Should I go: Aqaba or Istanbul?

Aqaba

Aqaba is a port city in Jordan, in fact, it is the only port city in the country. This city is located on the Gulf of Aqaba on the Red Sea, which is in the southern part of Jordan. The city is still being developed; many of its facilities and infrastructures are being improved. The population of Aqaba is about 190,000 and the city has been key in developing Jordan's economy via trade and tourism.

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 place is cheaper, Istanbul or Aqaba?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Aqaba is $126, while the average daily cost in Istanbul is $133. 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 Aqaba and Istanbul in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Aqaba $59
    Istanbul $50
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Aqaba $118
    Istanbul $100
Compare Hotels in Aqaba and Istanbul

Looking for a hotel in Aqaba 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 Aqaba


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: Aqaba Hotel Prices and Istanbul Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Aqaba $24
    Istanbul $58

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Aqaba

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Aqaba:

  • Transfer From Aqaba Airport to Aqaba City Or TalaBay: $25
  • King Hussein Int Airport Transfers One Way to Aqaba : $25
  • Aqaba Airport transfer to Aqaba City: $25
  • Private Transfer: Aqaba Hotels to Aqaba Airport: $27
  • Private Transfer from Aqaba Airport to Aqaba City Hotels: $27
  • Private Transfer from Aqaba Airport to Arava Border: $27
  • Snorkeling in The Red Sea With Equipment And Free Transfer: $29
  • Aqaba King Hussein Intl Airport to Aqaba-Arrival Private Transfer: $33
  • Aqaba to Aqaba King Hussein Airport - Departure Private Transfer: $33
  • Private Transfer from Aqaba Tala bay Hotels to Aqaba Airport: $33
  • Private Transfer from Aqaba Airport to Tala Bay Hotels: $33
  • Aqaba Airport Private Transfer To Aqaba, Jordan : $35

Typical Local Transportation Prices in Istanbul

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


  • Ferry
    $0.09
  • Local Bus
    $0.10

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Istanbul

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Istanbul:

  • Istanbul Airport Private Arrival Transfer with Meet & Greet: $43
  • Istanbul Airport Private Transfer to the City : $30
  • Istanbul Airport Transfer by Private Minivan + Meet & Greet Service: $85
  • Istanbul Cruise Port(Galataport) Private Transfer Service: $35
  • Istanbul Princes’ Islands Guided Tour | Transfer & Lunch Included : $66
  • Private Airport Transfer in Istanbul: $110
  • 1-Way Private Transfer to/from Sabiha Gokcen Airport: $75
  • Airport - Otel Transfer and City Tours: $20
  • Airport Transfer: $59
  • Airport Transfer, Hotel Tranfer, Shuttle Service, Taxi Service: $26
  • Airport to Hotel---Hotel to Airport Transfer with Mercedes Vito: $66
  • Airport transfer Istanbul: $54

Is it cheaper to fly into Aqaba or Istanbul?

Prices for flights to both Istanbul and Aqaba 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
    Aqaba $42
    Istanbul $33

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Aqaba

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

  • Explore Wadi Rum: Jeep Tour, Bed and Breakfast, and Dinner: $43
  • Suhaila (connecting through cooking): $50
  • Overnight in Bedouin Camp. Dinner and breakfast included.: $56
  • 4 hour desert jeep tour with overnight in beduin camp including dinner&breakfast: $68
  • 4 Hours Jeep Tour with Overnight in Bedouin Camp and Dinner: $70
  • Wadi Rum Full Day Jeep Tour + Overnight in Bedouin Camp & Dinner : $76
  • Wadi Rum Full Day Jeep Tour + Overnight + Dinner in Bedouin Camp: $87
  • Wadi Rum Full Day Jeep Tour + Overnight & Dinner in Bedouin Camp: $88
  • Wadi Rum New Year Eve Party (Jeep Tour + Dinner + Music + Fireworks + Overnight): $112
  • 2 Day Wadi Rum Tour: Traditional Dinner and Starlit Cave Camp: $115
  • Wadi Rum Full Day Jeep Tour + Overnight + Dinner Under the Stars: $135
  • From Wadi Rum Full-Day Private Jeep Tour with Dinner: $169

Typical Food Prices in Istanbul

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


  • Juice
    $0.07
  • Turkish Delight
    $0.02
  • Dessert
    $0.28
  • Pastries
    $0.05

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Istanbul

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

  • Dinner Cruise and Entertainment with Private Table: $17
  • Bosphorus Dinner Cruise , Unlimited Drinks, & Show: $22
  • Bosphorus Dinner Cruise and Turkish Night Show: $22
  • Bosphorus Dinner Cruise & Show with Private Table: $22
  • Istanbul Bosphorus Cruise with All inclusive Dinner and Belly-Dancer Show : $27
  • Bosphorus Dinner Cruise Tour With Turkish Night Show: $27
  • Istanbul Bosphorus Dinner Cruise with Unlimited Drinks and Shows: $28
  • Dinner Cruise Bosphorus with Hotel Transfer: $28
  • Istanbul Bosphorus Dinner Cruise: $28
  • Istanbul Bosphorus Dinner Cruise and Turkish Night Show: $29
  • Half Day Sunset Luxury Yacht Dinner Cruise Tour in Istanbul: $30
  • 3 Hour Ottoman Dinner Cruise in Istanbul : $30

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Aqaba $54
    Istanbul $84

Tours and Activities in Aqaba

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

  • Sightseeing Bike Rental in Aqaba: $7.00
  • Turgut camp with tour: $15
  • Aqaba Local Tour : $28
  • Private Walking Tour in Aqaba City with Free Meal: $30
  • Stargazing Adventure in Jordan: $30
  • Glass-Bottom Boat 2-hours Tour and Coral-Reef Viewing from Aqaba: $30
  • 3-Hour Shore Dive or Snorkel Experiences in Aqaba: $30
  • Aqaba Walking Tour : History ,Culture & Food: $30
  • Wadi Rum Desert Adventure Tour 4x4, choose your package: $35
  • 2 Hour Jeep Tour (Morning or Sunset) Wadi Rum Desert Highlights: $35
  • 2 Hours Morning or Sunset Jeep Tour in Wadi Rum Desert Highlights: $35
  • 2-Hour Sunset Tour Wadi Rum Desert Highlights: $35

Typical Entertainment Prices in Istanbul

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


  • Bosphurus Boat (for 2)
    $0.65
  • Yerebatan Cistern for Two
    $0.65
  • Museum of Turkish and Islamic Arts for Two
    $0.33
  • Hagia Sofia entrance
    $0.98

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: $3.23
  • Private Guided Walking Tour in Istanbul: $4.25
  • App self-guided tours Istanbul with multilingual audioguide: $4.31
  • Kadikoy's history, theatres and sweet shops: a self-guided audio tour: $5.00
  • Highlights Self Guided Scavenger Hunt & Tour: $5.39
  • Hagia Sophia Exclusive Digital Audio Guided Tour: $5.39
  • Istanbul Sites: Peel back the layers of Turkish history a self-guided audio tour: $5.40
  • City Exploration Game and Tour: $6.47
  • Turkey: Tourist eSIM Data Plan: $6.55
  • Istanbul Scavenger Hunt and Best Landmarks Self-Guided Tour: $6.58
  • Istanbul's Karaköy Neighbourhood: A Self-Guided Photography Tour: $6.79
  • Hippodrome Guided Tours: $7.68

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Aqaba $9.07
    Istanbul $16

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
  • Famous Istanbul Pub Crawl #1 Nightlife Experience: $27
  • #1 Rated Istanbul Party Pub Crawl w Party Bus/Sultanahmet&Taksim: $27
  • Party Pub Crawl with Party Bus: $29
  • Istanbul 7-Hour Pub Crawl: Big Night Out: $32
  • Istanbul Wine Tasting at Home with Local Family: $88
  • Istanbul Wine Tasting at Home with Local Family: $110
  • 2-Day Wine Tasting Tour along the Thracian Wine Route: $180
  • Istanbul Private Wine Tasting Tour Through 3 City Wineries : $247
  • Guided, Food and Wine Tasting Tour in Istanbul : $300
  • Istanbul Private and Guided, Food and Wine Tasting Tour: $430
  • Luxury Wine Tasting on a Private Yacht: $850


When comparing the travel costs between Aqaba and Istanbul, we can see that Istanbul is more expensive. However, the two cities are actually relatively comparable in price, as the difference is somewhat minimal. Generally, this means that you could travel with generally the same travel style and level of luxury in each place. Even though Aqaba is in Middle East and Istanbul is in Europe, both of these destinations have relatively similar prices of travel. Generally, the levels of luxury and expenses are the same for these cities even though they are geographically far apart.

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


Which is Bigger, Aqaba or Istanbul?

Istanbul has a larger population, and is about 120 times larger than the population of Aqaba. When comparing the sizes of Aqaba 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 Aqaba or Istanbul?

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

Should I visit Aqaba or Istanbul in the Summer?

The summer attracts plenty of travelers to both Aqaba and Istanbul. Warm weather and sunshine bring visitors to Aqaba year-round. Furthermore, the city activities and the family-friendly experiences are the main draw to Istanbul this time of year.

Aqaba can become quite hot in the summer. In July, Aqaba is generally a little warmer than Istanbul. Daily temperatures in Aqaba average around 33°C (91°F), and Istanbul fluctuates around 24°C (74°F).

People are often attracted to the plentiful sunshine in Istanbul this time of the year. In Aqaba, it's very sunny this time of the year. Aqaba usually receives more sunshine than Istanbul during summer. Aqaba gets 384 hours of sunny skies, while Istanbul receives 333 hours of full sun in the summer.

In July, Aqaba usually receives less rain than Istanbul. Aqaba gets 0 mm (0 in) of rain, while Istanbul receives 19 mm (0.7 in) of rain each month for the summer.


  • Summer Average Temperatures July
    Aqaba 33°C (91°F) 
    Istanbul 24°C (74°F)

Should I visit Aqaba or Istanbul in the Autumn?

The autumn brings many poeple to Aqaba as well as Istanbul. Aqaba attracts visitors year-round for its warm weather and sunny climate. Additionally, many travelers come to Istanbul for the city's sights and attractions, the shopping scene, and the natural beauty of the area.

Aqaba is much warmer than Istanbul in the autumn. The daily temperature in Aqaba averages around 26°C (79°F) in October, and Istanbul fluctuates around 16°C (61°F).

People are often attracted to the plentiful sunshine in Aqaba this time of the year. In the autumn, Aqaba often gets more sunshine than Istanbul. Aqaba gets 295 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Istanbul receives 169 hours of full sun.

Aqaba usually gets less rain in October than Istanbul. Aqaba gets 1 mm (0 in) of rain, while Istanbul receives 71 mm (2.8 in) of rain this time of the year.


  • Autumn Average Temperatures October
    Aqaba 26°C (79°F) 
    Istanbul 16°C (61°F)

Should I visit Aqaba or Istanbul in the Winter?

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

In the winter, Aqaba is much warmer than Istanbul. Typically, the winter temperatures in Aqaba in January average around 14°C (57°F), and Istanbul averages at about 6°C (43°F).

The sun comes out a lot this time of the year in Aqaba. Aqaba usually receives more sunshine than Istanbul during winter. Aqaba gets 234 hours of sunny skies, while Istanbul receives 75 hours of full sun in the winter.

In January, Aqaba usually receives less rain than Istanbul. Aqaba gets 3 mm (0.1 in) of rain, while Istanbul receives 99 mm (3.9 in) of rain each month for the winter.


  • Winter Average Temperatures January
    Aqaba 14°C (57°F) 
    Istanbul 6°C (43°F)

Should I visit Aqaba or Istanbul in the Spring?

Both Istanbul and Aqaba during the spring are popular places to visit. Plenty of visitors come to Aqaba because of the warm climate and sunshine that lasts throughout the year. Also, most visitors come to Istanbul for the activities around the city and the natural beauty during these months.

In April, Aqaba is generally much warmer than Istanbul. Daily temperatures in Aqaba average around 24°C (75°F), and Istanbul fluctuates around 13°C (55°F).

It's quite sunny in Aqaba. In the spring, Aqaba often gets more sunshine than Istanbul. Aqaba gets 282 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Istanbul receives 180 hours of full sun.

Aqaba usually gets less rain in April than Istanbul. Aqaba gets 1 mm (0 in) of rain, while Istanbul receives 49 mm (1.9 in) of rain this time of the year.


  • Spring Average Temperatures April
    Aqaba 24°C (75°F) 
    Istanbul 13°C (55°F)

Typical Weather for Istanbul and Aqaba

Aqaba Istanbul
Temp (°C) Rain (mm) Temp (°C) Rain (mm)
Jan 14°C (57°F) 3 mm (0.1 in) 6°C (43°F) 99 mm (3.9 in)
Feb 16°C (61°F) 1 mm (0 in) 6°C (44°F) 67 mm (2.6 in)
Mar 19°C (66°F) 1 mm (0 in) 8°C (47°F) 62 mm (2.4 in)
Apr 24°C (75°F) 1 mm (0 in) 13°C (55°F) 49 mm (1.9 in)
May 27°C (81°F) 0 mm (0 in) 17°C (63°F) 31 mm (1.2 in)
Jun 31°C (88°F) 0 mm (0 in) 21°C (71°F) 21 mm (0.8 in)
Jul 33°C (91°F) 0 mm (0 in) 24°C (74°F) 19 mm (0.7 in)
Aug 33°C (91°F) 0 mm (0 in) 24°C (74°F) 26 mm (1 in)
Sep 31°C (88°F) 0 mm (0 in) 20°C (69°F) 41 mm (1.6 in)
Oct 26°C (79°F) 1 mm (0 in) 16°C (61°F) 71 mm (2.8 in)
Nov 20°C (68°F) 2 mm (0.1 in) 12°C (54°F) 89 mm (3.5 in)
Dec 15°C (59°F) 3 mm (0.1 in) 9°C (47°F) 122 mm (4.8 in)