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 city 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 $32, 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 Cairo and Istanbul in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Cairo $17
    Istanbul $27
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Cairo $34
    Istanbul $54
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.


Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Cairo $5.78
    Istanbul $2.56
Typical Local Transportation prices in Cairo

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


  • Metro Ride
    $0.20
  • Taxi Ride
    $0.76

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Cairo

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Cairo:

  • Ultra - Private Airport Transfer from Cairo city centre to Cairo Airport CAI: $8.73
  • Cairo Airport Arrival or Departure Transfers: $8.75
  • Private Transfer from Cairo Airport: $11
  • Transfer from Cairo or Giza Hotels to Cairo Airport: $11
  • Private Transfer from Cairo Airport to Your Hotel: $11
  • Cairo International Airport Transfer: $12
  • Cairo Airport Transfers: $13
  • Cairo Airport Transfer to Hotel: $13
  • Private pickup & Transfer from & to cairo Airport: $13
  • Private Transfer from Cairo and Giza to Cairo Airport: $14
  • Private Transfer Cairo Airport to the Hotel in Cairo or Giza: $14
  • cairo airport transfer: $15

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:

  • 2 Ways Istanbul Airport Transfer: $109
  • 2 Ways Istanbul Airport Transfer: $56
  • 2 Ways Sabiha Gokcen Airport Transfer: $56
  • 2-Hour Bosphorus Yacht Cruise with Transfers: $500
  • 2m Transfer: $85
  • 4-Day Istanbul City Package including Full-Day Istanbul City Tour plus Airport Transfers: $350
  • 4-Day Wonderful Istanbul Including Accommodation Plus Transfer: $474
  • Air Transfer Lines | Airport Transfer Service: $44
  • Airport Transfer, Hotel Tranfer, Shuttle Service, Taxi Service: $26
  • Airport private transfer to hotel and back: $109
  • Arrival Private Transfers from New Airport IST to Istanbul in Business Car: $123
  • City Center to Istanbul Airport (IST) Departure Transfers: $87

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 $9.19
    Istanbul $11
Typical Food prices in Cairo

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


  • Juice
    $0.10

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Cairo

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

  • Delicious food tour in Cairo: $15
  • Enjoy a dinner on the boat in the River Nile.: $19
  • Enjoy a dinner on the boat in the River Nile: $19
  • Cairo 2-Hour Nile River Cruise with Dinner and Pickup: $20
  • Cairo dinner cruise includes dinner belly dancing show pickup & all transfers: $21
  • Dinner on a boat in Luxor Nile Cruise with oriental dance: $21
  • Dinner on the river nile and party: $23
  • Nile Cruise Dinner at the Nile with Oriental Show: $24
  • Dinner on the river nile: $25
  • Dinner on the River Nile with Pick-up: $25
  • Special Bedouin Dinner+ watching oriental show: $26
  • Cairo Food Tour: $27

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.
    Cairo $11
    Istanbul $16
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
    $2.04
  • Egyptian Museum Entry for Two
    $16

Tours and Activities in Cairo

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

  • Giza Pyramids and Solar Boat Museum Half Day Private Tour: $7.48
  • Cairo City Tour: $8.58
  • Private Tour of the Pyramids: $9.71
  • Pyramids Day Tour: $10
  • Day_tour :Pyramids of Giza & Great Sphinx: $11
  • Virtual Tour of Giza Pyramids and Egyptian Museum: $12
  • Egypt Virtual Tour of Tomb of King Tut: $12
  • Private Day Tour at Pyramids, Sakkara And Dahshur: $13
  • Giza Pyramids & Sphinx with Camel Ride Private Tour: $13
  • Papyrus Manufacturing Tour and learn Papyrus making in Egypt: $13
  • Papyrus Manufacturing Tour and learn Papyrus making in Egypt: $13
  • Papyrus Manufacturing Tour and Papyrus Making Demonstration: $13

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:

  • Just Hagia Sophia Tour /Skip The Lines: $8.71
  • VR Dervish Experience: $10
  • Museum of Illusions Istanbul Ticket: $11
  • Piri Self-Guided Audio Tour: Istanbul, Historical Peninsula: $11
  • Old City Insider Walking Tour: $11
  • Bosphorus Cruise with Audio App: $11
  • Basilica Cistern VIP Tickets: $12
  • Vip Ticket For Hagi̇a Sophi̇a: $12
  • Hagia Sophia & Blue Mosque&Hippodrome Guided Tours Everyday /No que / No line!: $12
  • Istanbul LEGOLAND Discovery Center Entrance Ticket: $14
  • SEA LIFE Istanbul Entry Ticket: $14
  • Hagia Sophia: Entry with Guided Tour: $14

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Cairo $2.27
    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 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.


When is the best time to visit Cairo or Istanbul?

Istanbul has a temperate climate with four distinct seasons, but Cairo experiences a tropical climate with fairly warm 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. The warm tropical climate attracts visitors to Cairo throughout the year. 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 temperature in Cairo is usually 28°C (82°F) in July, and Istanbul stays 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. At this time of the year, Cairo gets 350 hours of sunny skies, while Istanbul receives 333 hours of full sun.

In July, Cairo usually receives less rain than Istanbul. At this time of the year, Cairo gets 1 mm (0 in) of rain, while Istanbul receives 19 mm (0.7 in) of rain.


  • 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. Plenty of visitors come to Cairo because of the warm tropical climate that lasts throughout the year. 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 are around 23°C (73°F), and Istanbul is 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. Cairo attracts visitors year-round for its warm weather and tropical climate. Also, many travelers come to Istanbul for the museums, the shopping scene, and the cuisine.

In January, Cairo is generally much warmer than Istanbul. Temperatures in Cairo average around 14°C (57°F), and Istanbul stays 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. At this time of the year, Cairo gets 221 hours of sunny skies, while Istanbul receives 75 hours of full sun.

In January, Cairo usually receives less rain than Istanbul. At this time of the year, Cairo gets 15 mm (0.6 in) of rain, while Istanbul receives 99 mm (3.9 in) of rain.


  • 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. The warm tropical climate attracts visitors to Cairo 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 temperature in Cairo is usually 21°C (70°F) in April, and Istanbul stays 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)


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Cairo vs. Istanbul Travel Comparison

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