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

Should you visit Dahab 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 Dahab 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: Dahab or Istanbul?


Dahab is a small town on the Sinai Peninsula in Egypt. It is located about 85 kilometers north of Sharm el-Sheikh and sits on the Gulf of Aqaba. It's a popular destination with divers and backpackers alike, and offers some of the best snorkeling and diving that you'll find in the Red Sea. It's a great alternative to the resort driven Sharm el-Sheikh, and is popular with independent travelers who are looking for affordable accommodation. There are some upmarket options however, predominantly in the Laguna area, but budget facilities are not hard to find.


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 Dahab?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Dahab is $21, 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 Dahab and Istanbul in more detail.

  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Dahab $9.35
    Istanbul $50
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Dahab $19
    Istanbul $100
Compare Hotels in Dahab and Istanbul

Looking for a hotel in Dahab 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 Dahab

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: Dahab Hotel Prices and Istanbul Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Dahab $2.95
    Istanbul $58

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Dahab

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

  • Sharm el-Sheikh: 1-Way or Round-Trip Transfer to Dahab: $38
  • Private Transfer from Hotel in Dahab To Sharm el Sheikh Airport: $55
  • Private Transfer From Dahab To Sharm El Sheikh - (1-8 Pax): $60
  • Pickup transfer from Dahab To Sharm El Sheikh airport: $70
  • Private Pickup Transfer From Dahab To St. Catherine: $75
  • Private Sharm El Sheikh Airport (SSH) Transfer: $75
  • Private Transfer From Dahab To Taba border group from 1 to 4: $90
  • Private Transfer from Dahab to Sharm El Sheikh (SSH) Airport: $110
  • Private Pickup Transfers from Dahab to Taba: $120
  • Private Transfer From Dahab To Taba border group from 1 to 12: $220
  • Private Pickup Transfers From Dahab To Cairo: $260

Typical Local Transportation Prices in Istanbul

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

  • Ferry
  • Local Bus

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Istanbul

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Istanbul:

  • İstanbul airport private transfers: $47
  • İstanbul Vip Airport Transfer : $50
  • İstanbul Sabiha Gökçen Airport Transfer (SAW) To Istanbul Hotel: $61
  • İstanbul Private Arrival Transfer : $56
  • İstanbul Private Airport Transfer: $49
  • İstanbul Private Airport Transfer: $140
  • İstanbul New Airport Transfer : $88
  • İstanbul Airports Transfer Services: $41
  • İstanbul Airport Transfer : Your reliable & Stress-Free ride: $56
  • İstanbul Airport Private Transfer: $46
  • istanbul airport transfer: $28
  • istanbul airport transfer: $50

Is it cheaper to fly into Dahab or Istanbul?

Prices for flights to both Istanbul and Dahab 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 Meals for one day
    Dahab $7.41
    Istanbul $33
Typical Food Prices in Dahab

For Dahab, here are some examples of average food and meal prices for travelers:

  • Seafood Dinner (for 2)
  • Juice
  • Breakfast for Two

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Dahab

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

  • Bedouin Dinner in the Mountains In Dahab: $30
  • Bedouin Dinner in the Mountains In Dahab: $36
  • Bedouin Dinner in the Mountains In Dahab: $39
  • Dahab Desert Safari and Bedouin Dinner: $40
  • Stargazer + Camel riding + Bedouin dinner from Dahab : $90

Typical Food Prices in Istanbul

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

  • Juice
  • Turkish Delight
  • Dessert
  • Pastries

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
  • Dinner Cruise Bosphorus with Hotel Transfer: $28
  • Istanbul Bosphorus Dinner Cruise: $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 Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Dahab $7.07
    Istanbul $84

Tours and Activities in Dahab

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

  • Dahab Horseback Riding Desert and Beach Equestrian Adventure: $25
  • Dahab's Kept Secrets 5 Adventures in 1 Tour: $25
  • Blue Hole Snorkeling Tour with lunch from Dahab: $28
  • From Three Pools Guided Snorkeling Tour with Lunch: $29
  • Dahab Windsurfing Adventure in Red Sea Waves: $30
  • Royal seascope Semi-Submarine Cruise: $33
  • Royal Seascope Submarine Guided Boat Tour : $38
  • 4x4 Jeep Adventure from Dahab: $40
  • Blue Hole Snorkeling Adventure in Dahab: $40
  • Three Pools snorkeling and Quad Bike full-day tour in Dahab: $40
  • Astronomy and Bedouin Culture Private Tour in Dahab with Pickup: $40
  • Full Day Climbing and Hiking Tour in Canyon with Pickup: $40

Typical Entertainment Prices in Istanbul

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

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

Tours and Activities in Istanbul

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

  • 4 Hours Private Highlights Tour Of Istanbul: $276
  • All in One Day Istanbul - Historical Tour of Istanbul with Bosphorus Cruise: $165
  • Bosphorus Cruise And Asia Minor Tour: $220
  • Bosphorus Morning or Sunset Guided Cruise Tour: $25
  • Dolmabace Palace, Bosphorus Boat Tour , Eyüp Sultan Mosque Tour: $150
  • Full Day Private Guided Istanbul Tour: $44
  • Green Bursa ~ Uludag Mountain, private Tour;Solo ;Groups: $60
  • Highlights of Cappadocia with Mehmet ( Private Tour ): $86
  • Hippodrome Guided Tours: $7.72
  • Istanbul City Tour Full Day (ASIA AND EUROPE) and Bosphorus Tour: $110
  • Istanbul Old City Walking Tours: $200
  • City Highlights Tour w/Hagia Sophia & Blue Mosque: $35

  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Dahab $4.04
    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: $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: $854

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

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

Which is Bigger, Dahab or Istanbul?

Istanbul has a larger population, and is about 1400 times larger than the population of Dahab. When comparing the sizes of Dahab 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.