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

Should you visit Cairo or Istanbul?

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

Trying to figure out where to travel next? This travel comparison between Cairo and Istanbul can help. It includes a travel cost comparison in addition to other factors. For many travelers, the cost of a destination is a primary consideration when choosing where to go.

Where Should I go: Cairo or Istanbul?

Cairo

Cairo is the chaotic capital city of Egypt. With a population of more than 16 million, it is one of the largest cities in both Africa and the Middle East. As a traveler, you're likely to arrive and leave from here and you'll get your first orientation to the area during the chaotic and congestion filled taxi ride from the airport.

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 Cairo?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Cairo is $27, 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 Cairo and Istanbul in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Cairo $14
    Istanbul $50
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Cairo $28
    Istanbul $100
Compare Hotels in Cairo and Istanbul

Looking for a hotel in Cairo 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 Cairo


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: Cairo Hotel Prices and Istanbul Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Cairo $4.59
    Istanbul $58
Typical Local Transportation Prices in Cairo

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


  • Metro Ride
    $0.13
  • Taxi Ride
    $0.49

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Cairo

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Cairo:

  • Private Departure Transfer from Cairo or Giza Hotels to Cairo Airport: $5.00
  • Private Transfer from Hotels in Cairo to Cairo Airport : $8.00
  • Private Arrival or Departure Cairo Airport Transfer: $9.50
  • Cairo Airport: Private Transfer Service: $9.50
  • Cairo Airport Private Transfer: $9.60
  • Cairo Airport Transfer by private car: $10
  • Private Airport Transfer to Cairo and Giza Hotels: $10
  • Private Cairo Airport Transfers & Limousine to Anywhere in Cairo or vice versa: $10
  • Cairo Airport Private Arrival Transfer to Anywhere in Cairo: $10
  • Private Transfer from Cairo City to Cairo Airport: $10
  • Private Transfer from Cairo Airport to Your Hotel: $11
  • Transfer from Cairo or Giza Hotels to Cairo Airport: $11

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 Transfer to the City : $30
  • Istanbul Airport Transfer by Private Minivan + Meet & Greet Service: $85
  • Istanbul Cruise Port(Galataport) Private Transfer Service: $35
  • 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 to Hotel---Hotel to Airport Transfer with Mercedes Vito: $66
  • Airport transfer Istanbul: $54
  • Airport vip transfer istanbul. Hotel transfer from Istanbul airports.: $66
  • Arrival & Departure Private Transfer in Istanbul: $43
  • Arrival Private Transfer IST or SAW Airport to Istambul, Levent or Taksim by Bus: $65

Is it cheaper to fly into Cairo or Istanbul?

Prices for flights to both Istanbul and Cairo 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
    Cairo $7.30
    Istanbul $33
Typical Food Prices in Cairo

Below are a few samples from actual travelers for food and meal costs in Cairo:


  • Juice
    $0.06

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Cairo

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

  • Nile Sunset, Dinner Cruise, Show and Private Transfer: $11
  • Cairo Dinner Cruise On The Nile River With Private Transfer: $12
  • Dinner Cruise on the Nile River: $13
  • Super Safari Quad Bike Jeep Safari Buggy and Dinner in Hurghada: $14
  • Private Dinner Cruise on the Nile River in Cairo: $15
  • Nile dinner cruises in Cairo at night with different categories : $15
  • Unusual Cairo Food Tour : $15
  • Dinner Cruise on the Nile with Private Transfer from Cairo: $16
  • 2-Hour Nile River Night Dinner Cruise from Cairo: $16
  • Super Safari ATV , Drive Buggy Car, Camel Ride, Dinner, Show-Hurghada: $19
  • Private Tour Giza pyramids, Camel Ride, Lunch, Nile Dinner Cruise & Shopping: $20
  • Giza Pyramids ,Sphinx & Dinner Nile Cruise from Cairo/Giza hotel: $20

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: $28
  • Istanbul Bosphorus Dinner Cruise: $28
  • Dinner Cruise Bosphorus with Hotel Transfer: $28
  • Istanbul Bosphorus Dinner Cruise with Unlimited Drinks and Shows: $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.
    Cairo $8.83
    Istanbul $84
Typical Entertainment Prices in Cairo

Here are a few typical costs in Cairo for activities, ticket prices, and tours that come from previous visitors:


  • Entry to Camel Market for Two
    $1.30
  • Egyptian Museum Entry for Two
    $9.98

Tours and Activities in Cairo

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

  • Cairo Shopping tour Private Papyrus Perfume, Bazar Cotton Shop : $4.25
  • New Grand Egyptian Museum Tour with optional the pyramids tour..: $5.00
  • Shopping tour Private Papyrus Perfume, Bazar Cotton Shop in Cairo: $5.00
  • Dahshur Pyramids Skip the Line Entry Tickets : $6.61
  • El Sultan Hassan Mosque Entry Ticket: $6.84
  • Baron Palace Entry Tickets: $6.84
  • The Baron Empain Palace Entry Ticket: $6.84
  • Cairo Shopping Tour.: $7.00
  • Mosque and Madrasa of Sultan Hasan Entry Ticket: $7.95
  • Baron Empain Palace Entry Tickets: $7.95
  • Entry Ticket to the Prince Mohamed Ali Palace : $8.72
  • Skip the Line Coptic Museum Entry Ticket: $8.74

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
  • Hagia Sophia Exclusive Digital Audio Guided Tour: $5.39
  • Highlights Self Guided Scavenger Hunt & 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: $6.62
  • Istanbul's Karaköy Neighbourhood: A Self-Guided Photography Tour: $6.79
  • Istanbul Outdoor Escape Game: The Royal Adventure: $7.16

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Cairo $1.80
    Istanbul $16

Sample the Local Flavors in Cairo

Some specific costs for nightlife related activities in Cairo:

  • Pub Crawl and Speakeasy Bar Tour with 2 Free Drinks: $60

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: $28
  • 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 : $248
  • 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 we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Cairo and Istanbul, we can see that Istanbul is more expensive. And not only is Cairo much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. Since Cairo 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 Cairo would let you spend less money overall. Or, you could decide to spend more money in Cairo 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 Cairo.

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


Which is Bigger, Cairo or Istanbul?

Istanbul has a larger population, and is about 44% larger than the population of Cairo. When comparing the sizes of Cairo 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 Cairo or Istanbul?

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

Should I visit Cairo or Istanbul in the Summer?

The summer attracts plenty of travelers to both Cairo and Istanbul. Warm weather and sunshine bring visitors to Cairo year-round. Furthermore, the summer months attract visitors to Istanbul because of the city activities and the family-friendly experiences.

Cairo is a little warmer than Istanbul in the summer. The daily temperature in Cairo averages around 28°C (82°F) in July, and Istanbul fluctuates around 24°C (74°F).

People are often attracted to the plentiful sunshine in Istanbul this time of the year. In Cairo, it's very sunny this time of the year. Cairo usually receives around the same amount of sunshine as Istanbul during summer. Cairo gets 350 hours of sunny skies, while Istanbul receives 333 hours of full sun in the summer.

In July, Cairo usually receives less rain than Istanbul. Cairo gets 1 mm (0 in) of rain, while Istanbul receives 19 mm (0.7 in) of rain each month for the summer.


  • Summer Average Temperatures July
    Cairo 28°C (82°F) 
    Istanbul 24°C (74°F)

Should I visit Cairo or Istanbul in the Autumn?

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

In the autumn, Cairo is a little warmer than Istanbul. Typically, the autumn temperatures in Cairo in October average around 23°C (73°F), and Istanbul averages at about 16°C (61°F).

People are often attracted to the plentiful sunshine in Cairo this time of the year. In the autumn, Cairo often gets more sunshine than Istanbul. Cairo gets 290 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Istanbul receives 169 hours of full sun.

Cairo usually gets less rain in October than Istanbul. Cairo gets 5 mm (0.2 in) of rain, while Istanbul receives 71 mm (2.8 in) of rain this time of the year.


  • Autumn Average Temperatures October
    Cairo 23°C (73°F) 
    Istanbul 16°C (61°F)

Should I visit Cairo or Istanbul in the Winter?

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

In January, Cairo is generally much warmer than Istanbul. Daily temperatures in Cairo average around 14°C (57°F), and Istanbul fluctuates around 6°C (43°F).

The sun comes out a lot this time of the year in Cairo. Cairo usually receives more sunshine than Istanbul during winter. Cairo gets 221 hours of sunny skies, while Istanbul receives 75 hours of full sun in the winter.

In January, Cairo usually receives less rain than Istanbul. Cairo gets 15 mm (0.6 in) of rain, while Istanbul receives 99 mm (3.9 in) of rain each month for the winter.


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

Should I visit Cairo or Istanbul in the Spring?

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

Cairo is much warmer than Istanbul in the spring. The daily temperature in Cairo averages around 21°C (70°F) in April, and Istanbul fluctuates around 13°C (55°F).

It's quite sunny in Cairo. In the spring, Cairo often gets more sunshine than Istanbul. Cairo gets 276 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Istanbul receives 180 hours of full sun.

Cairo usually gets less rain in April than Istanbul. Cairo gets 7 mm (0.3 in) of rain, while Istanbul receives 49 mm (1.9 in) of rain this time of the year.


  • Spring Average Temperatures April
    Cairo 21°C (70°F) 
    Istanbul 13°C (55°F)

Typical Weather for Istanbul and Cairo

Cairo Istanbul
Temp (°C) Rain (mm) Temp (°C) Rain (mm)
Jan 14°C (57°F) 15 mm (0.6 in) 6°C (43°F) 99 mm (3.9 in)
Feb 14°C (57°F) 4 mm (0.2 in) 6°C (44°F) 67 mm (2.6 in)
Mar 17°C (63°F) 8 mm (0.3 in) 8°C (47°F) 62 mm (2.4 in)
Apr 21°C (70°F) 7 mm (0.3 in) 13°C (55°F) 49 mm (1.9 in)
May 25°C (77°F) 0 mm (0 in) 17°C (63°F) 31 mm (1.2 in)
Jun 27°C (81°F) 0 mm (0 in) 21°C (71°F) 21 mm (0.8 in)
Jul 28°C (82°F) 1 mm (0 in) 24°C (74°F) 19 mm (0.7 in)
Aug 28°C (82°F) 0 mm (0 in) 24°C (74°F) 26 mm (1 in)
Sep 26°C (79°F) 5 mm (0.2 in) 20°C (69°F) 41 mm (1.6 in)
Oct 23°C (73°F) 5 mm (0.2 in) 16°C (61°F) 71 mm (2.8 in)
Nov 19°C (66°F) 1 mm (0 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)