A Travel Price Comparison for Vacations, Tours, and Honeymoons Athens vs. Istanbul

Should you visit Athens or Istanbul?

Which city should you visit? Read on to compare the prices of travel for Athens and Istanbul. We’ll break down costs for accommodation, food, transportation and more to help you learn more about these two destinations. Then, you can figure out if either of these two places are accessible based on your travel budget. So, let's dig into it.

Athens

Athens is the capital city of Greece and is home to a population of over 3.7 million people. It's most famous as the birthplace of Classical Greece and the history in the city is incomparable to that found anywhere. It became the national capital of the modern Greek State in the 1830s, before which it was just a small village with a very impressive history. The city was redesigned by architects and city planners and incorporated large public squares, lots of green space, and wide avenues. The city has had its ups and downs both economically and politically, but it remains a beautiful and impressive place to explore.

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 Athens?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Athens is €72, while the average daily cost in Istanbul is €77. 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. Below is a breakdown of travel costs for Athens and Istanbul in more detail.



Accommodation

For a normal double-occupancy room in Athens, €78 is the average cost for a hotel room. Also in Athens, the typical price for a place to stay for one person is €39, such as in a hostel.

A hotel room in Istanbul is about €96 This assumes double occupancy and modest accommodations.


  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Athens 39
    Istanbul 48
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Athens 78
    Istanbul 96

Food

In Athens travelers spend around €20 a day on food. You can save money by choosing casual restaurants or food stalls, or you can spend plenty more by dining in nicer restaurants at every meal.

On average, meal and food prices in Istanbul cost around €19 per person, per day. While this price can vary widely by location, the type of restaurant, and the amount of food ordered, a typical meal often costs around €7.60.


  • Food Meals for one day
    Athens 20
    Istanbul 19
Typical Food prices in Athens

Here are some examples of typical meal expenses from previous travelers to Athens:


  • Ice cream
    3.00
  • Souvlaki
    2.20

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Athens

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

  • Online 1hr Cooking Class: Santorini Tomato Fritters: $6.22
  • Flavors and Memories Self-Guided Mobile Food Tour: $9.21
  • Hard Rock Cafe Dinner Menu with Priority Seating: $23
  • Greek Meatballs Private Online Cooking Class: $27
  • Withlocals the 10 Tastings: Athens Private Food Tour with a Local: $42
  • Online Cooking Class: Greek mini cheese pies: $45
  • Favorite Food Tour - 10 Tastings w/ a Local: $47
  • Athens Food Tour and Lunch: $52
  • 3.5-Hour Traditional Greek Cooking Class: $54
  • 1.5-Hour Greek Cooking Class in Downtown Athens: $54
  • 3-Hour Private Food Tour with Tastings: $55
  • Taste of Athens 3-Hour Walking Food Tour: $56

Typical Food prices in Istanbul

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


  • Juice
    0.19
  • Turkish Delight
    0.06
  • Dessert
    0.81
  • Pastries
    0.14

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 With Non Alcoholic Menu ISTANBUL Dinner cruise: $36
  • Bosphorus Dinner & Show Cruise (All Inclusive): $36
  • Bosphorus Dinner Cruise An Unforgettable Experience in Istanbul: $36
  • Bosphorus Dinner Cruise & Night Show from Istanbul: $37
  • Istanbul Cruise&Show with Dinner: $37
  • Istanbul Dinner Cruise & Show: $39
  • Istanbul Bosphorus Dinner Cruise & Soft Drinks: $40
  • Istanbul Dinner Cruise&Show: $40

Local Transportation

Athens's transportation costs can vary by the type of transport chosen by visitors. Naturally, taxis and private drivers cost much more than public transportation options. On average, visitors spend €13 per person, per day on transportation in Athens.

The cost of a taxi ride in Istanbul is significantly more than public transportation. On average, past travelers have spent €4.51 per person, per day, on local transportation in Istanbul.


  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Athens 13
    Istanbul 4.51
Typical Local Transportation prices in Athens

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


  • Airport Bus for Two
    6.40
  • Metro
    1.50
  • Metro
    2.00
  • Metro from Airport to City Center
    8.00
  • Taxi from Airport
    35

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Athens

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

  • Ultra - Athens Private Airport Transfer from City Centre to Athens Airport ATH: $9.41
  • Ultra - Private Transfer from Athens City Centre to Piraeus Cruise Port: $9.41
  • Mercedes Luxury Private Transfer Athens - Piraeus: $16
  • Athens Port Private Transfer: $16
  • Private Luxury Transfer from Athens - Piraeus: $17
  • Athens Private Transfer Service: Athens Hotel to Piraeus Port: $19
  • Athens Private Transfer: Piraeus Cruise Port to Central Athens: $22
  • Athens Private Transfer: Central Athens to Piraeus Cruise Port: $22
  • Athens hotels to Piraeus port Private departure transfer: $22
  • Piraeus port to Athens hotels Private arrival transfer: $22
  • Shared Departure Transfer: Hotel to Athens Airport: $24
  • Transfer from and to Athens International Airport: $25

Typical Local Transportation prices in Istanbul

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


  • Ferry
    0.27
  • Local Bus
    0.29

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Istanbul

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Istanbul:

  • Private Transfer from Istanbul to Bodrum: $1,244
  • Istanbul 5-Day City Package with Hotel, City Tours and Airport Transfers: $722
  • Transfer From Istanbul to Bodrum: $722
  • Transfer From Istanbul to Izmir: $653
  • Transfer From Istanbul to Kusadasi: $647
  • 2-Hour Bosphorus Yacht Cruise with Transfers: $500
  • 4-Day Wonderful Istanbul Including Accommodation Plus Transfer: $474
  • Istanbul Airport to Kartalkaya Transfer: $460
  • Safe Istanbul Airport Transfer in Luxury with English Speaking Chauffeur: $355
  • 4-Day Istanbul City Package including Full-Day Istanbul City Tour plus Airport Transfers: $350
  • Istanbul to Bursa Uludag private minivan transfer service: $348
  • Private Luxury Transfer from Istanbul Airport to Istanbul City: $317

Entertainment

Sightseeing, admission tickets, things to do, and other entertainment expenses in Athens can vary widely by price. On average, visitors spend around €12 per person, per day on entertainment and sightseeing here.

Entertainment and activities in Istanbul typically cost an average of €28 per person, per day. This includes fees paid for admission tickets to museums and attractions, day tours, and other sightseeing expenses.


  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Athens 12
    Istanbul 28

Tours and Activities in Athens

Also, here are some specific examples of entertainment, tickets, and activities for Athens.

  • Athens virtual History, Philosophy and Democracy Tour: $6.22
  • Skip the Line: Frissiras Museum Entrance Ticket: $7.46
  • Skip the Line: War Museum of Athens Entrance Ticket: $7.46
  • Private Tour with a Local Guide: $8.07
  • Skip the Line: Temple of Olympian Zeus Entrance Ticket: $8.09
  • The Acropolis Museum Ticket & Access to Ancient Excavation: $8.24
  • Skip the Line: Roman Agora of Athens Entrance Ticket: $8.71
  • Athens Museum of Cycladic Art Admission Ticket: $8.71
  • Cats of Self-Guided Mobile Tour in Plaka: $9.21
  • Hellenic Motor Museum Entrance Ticket: $9.22
  • Temple of Olympian Zeus Skip-the-Line and Audio Tour: $9.22
  • Skip the Line: Admission Ticket for Acropolis Museum: $9.33

Typical Entertainment prices in Istanbul

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


  • Bosphurus Boat (for 2)
    1.92
  • Yerebatan Cistern for Two
    1.92
  • Museum of Turkish and Islamic Arts for Two
    0.96
  • Hagia Sofia entrance
    2.88

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

Alcoholic beverages can often be a significant portion of a traveler's budget, and the costs can vary greatly from person to person. In Athens, the average amount that a visitor spends on alcoholic beverages per day is €8.98.

The average person spends about €6.91 on alcoholic beverages in Istanbul per day. The more you spend on alcohol, the more fun you might be having despite your higher budget.


  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Athens 8.98
    Istanbul 6.91

Sample the Local Flavors in Athens

Here are a few nightlife and alcohol tours and activities from local tour providers in Athens:

  • Wine Tasting: $35
  • Athens Walking Tour with Food and Wine Tasting: $37
  • The Greek Wine Tasting Beginner's Class: $46
  • 1-Hour Wine Tasting: $46
  • Athens Old City: Wine Tasting Experience: $52
  • Greek Wine Tasting Experience: $56
  • Greek Wine Tasting Experience: $58
  • Private Wine Tasting Experience in Athens: $63
  • Local Greek Wine Tasting and Meze: $68
  • Wine Tour and Tasting in a 19th-Century Tower: $78
  • Food and Wine Tasting Tour at Night: $80
  • From Wine Tasting Tour to a Greek Winery: $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 comparing the travel costs between Athens 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. Since both cities are in Europe, it's no surprise that their costs are relatively close, as many destinations here have somewhat similar travel prices overall.

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Athens vs. Istanbul Travel Comparison

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