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

Should you visit Ephesus or Istanbul?

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

If you're trying to decide where to visit between Ephesus 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: Ephesus or Istanbul?

Ephesus

The ancient city of Ephesus was famed for the Temple of Artemis (completed around 550 BC). It is one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. The temple was destroyed in 401 AD and rebuilt by Emperor Constantine I along with new public baths. The town was again partially destroyed by an earthquake in 614 AD. The city's importance as a commercial center declined as the harbor was slowly silted up by the Cayster River (Kucuk Menderes).

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 Ephesus?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Ephesus is $151, 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 Ephesus and Istanbul in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Ephesus $74
    Istanbul $50
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Ephesus $148
    Istanbul $100
Compare Hotels in Ephesus and Istanbul

Looking for a hotel in Ephesus 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 Ephesus


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: Ephesus Hotel Prices and Istanbul Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Ephesus $54
    Istanbul $58

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Ephesus

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

  • Private Transfer from Kusadasi hotels to Kusadasi Cruise Port: $22
  • Private Transfer from Kusadasi Cruise Port to Kusadasi Hotels: $22
  • Private Transfer from Kusadasi Cruise Port to Kusadasi hotels: $24
  • Private Transfer from Kusadasi hotels to Kusadasi Cruise Port: $24
  • Kusadasi Boat Trip With Lunch And Hotel Transfer: $30
  • Kusadasi Buggy Car Safari With Free Hotel Transfer Service: $40
  • Kusadasi Half Day Quad Safari Experience With Free Hotel Transfer: $50
  • Kusadasi Samos Ferry Trip With Free Hotel Transfer Service: $55
  • Private Transfer from Kusadasi Cruise Port to Izmir Airport (ADB): $58
  • Kusadasi Private Port Transfer to Kusadasi Hotels: $60
  • Kusadasi Port Private Departure Transfer: $63
  • Private Transfer from Kusadasi Port to Adnan Menderes Airport ADB: $65

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:

  • Private Bosphorus Tour on Luxury Yacht w/transfer: $364
  • From Pamukkale Day Tour With Flights and Transfers: $325
  • Private Guided Istanbul Luxury Tour (Tickets and Transfers): $297
  • Istanbul Airport S-Class Premium Luxury Sedan Transfer: $291
  • Hagia Sophia, Topkapi & Mosque Tour with Transfer: $286
  • Troy and Gallipoli Day Guided Tour with Transfer: $280
  • Luxury Private Istanbul Tour (allTickets and Transfers) VIP OSCAR: $250
  • Traditional Luxury Hamam Experience with one way Transfer included: $250
  • Private Transfer to Bursa Uludag Hotels from Sabiha Gokcen airport: $245
  • Istanbul Dolmabahçe Palace Private Tour with Transfers: $228
  • Istanbul Airport Transfer: New Airport IST to Istanbul in Luxury Car: $226
  • Istanbul Airport Transfer: Istanbul to New Airport IST in Luxury Car: $226

Is it cheaper to fly into Ephesus or Istanbul?

Prices for flights to both Istanbul and Ephesus 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
    Ephesus $35
    Istanbul $33
Typical Food Prices in Ephesus

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


  • Sandwiches
    $0.16
  • Dessert
    $0.18
  • Lunch at Beach (for 2)
    $0.62
  • Snacks
    $0.26

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Ephesus

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

  • Cooking Class in Kusadasi Ephesus: $110
  • Ephesus Tour with Cooking Class in the Village: $189
  • Taste of Traditional Turkish Cuisine | Small Group Kusadasi Food Tour: $213
  • Cooking Class in Ephesus Selcuk Town: $230
  • Gourmet & Street Food Tour: Taste the Excellence at Kusadasi & Selcuk: $279

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
  • 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
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Ephesus $62
    Istanbul $84

Tours and Activities in Ephesus

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

  • Self-guided Virtual Tour of The Highlights: $6.61
  • EPHESUS PRIVATE TOUR (Car & Guide): $9.00
  • Skip The Lines : Ephesus Mini Group Tour with Private Option: $13
  • Half Day Small Group Ephesus Tour for Princess and Norweigen Cruise Passengers: $15
  • Small Group Ephesus Tour for Cruise Passengers: $15
  • ( Skip The Line - Max 10 Pax) Small Group Ephesus Tour for Cruise Passengers : $15
  • SKIP THE LINE: Half Day Ephesus Group Tour for Cruise Passengers: $15
  • Half Day Small Group Ephesus Tour For Cruise Passengers: $15
  • Self-guided Virtual Tour of the ancient pearl of the Mediterranean: $18
  • Kusadasi Traditional Turkish Bath Hamam Experience : $18
  • Time Travel in Affordable and Spectacular Experience: $20
  • Kusadasi Scuba Diving Tour By Local Experts: $20

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:

  • 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
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Ephesus $16
    Istanbul $16
Typical Alcohol Prices in Ephesus

Here are a few samples of the prices for alcohol and nightlife in Ephesus from other travelers:


  • Beer
    $0.13

Sample the Local Flavors in Ephesus

Also in Ephesus, these are the prices for nightlife and alcohol related activities from various tour providers:

  • Ephesus&Sirince Village with Wine Tasting Shore Ex: $40
  • Ephesus port tours and Wine Tasting Tours : $70
  • Ephesus and Sirince with Wine tasting Private Half Day Shore Excursion: $100
  • Ancient Ephesus tour with Wine Tasting in the village and visit to Mother's Mary House: $109
  • Ephesus Tour for Cruise Guests: Highlights with Wine Tasting: $139
  • Full-Day Private Ephesus Tour with Wine Tasting from Kusadasi: $150
  • Virgin Mary Bread and Wine Tour included Lunch: $270

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 comparing the travel costs between Ephesus and Istanbul, we can see that Ephesus 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.

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


Which is Bigger, Ephesus or Istanbul?

Istanbul has a larger population, and is about 180 times larger than the population of Ephesus. When comparing the sizes of Ephesus 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 Ephesus or Istanbul?

Both places have a temperate climate with four distinct seasons. As both cities are in the northern hemisphere, summer is in July and winter is in January.

Should I visit Ephesus or Istanbul in the Summer?

Both Istanbul and Ephesus during the summer are popular places to visit. Furthermore, the city activities and the family-friendly experiences are the main draw to Istanbul this time of year.

In July, Ephesus is generally a little warmer than Istanbul. Daily temperatures in Ephesus average around 27°C (81°F), and Istanbul fluctuates around 24°C (74°F).

In Istanbul, it's very sunny this time of the year. It's quite sunny in Ephesus. In the summer, Ephesus often gets more sunshine than Istanbul. Ephesus gets 378 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Istanbul receives 333 hours of full sun.

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


  • Summer Average Temperatures July
    Ephesus 27°C (81°F) 
    Istanbul 24°C (74°F)

Should I visit Ephesus or Istanbul in the Autumn?

The autumn attracts plenty of travelers to both Ephesus and Istanbul. Furthermore, many travelers come to Istanbul for the city's sights and attractions, the shopping scene, and the natural beauty of the area.

Ephesus is a little warmer than Istanbul in the autumn. The daily temperature in Ephesus averages around 19°C (66°F) in October, and Istanbul fluctuates around 16°C (61°F).

In Ephesus, it's very sunny this time of the year. Ephesus usually receives more sunshine than Istanbul during autumn. Ephesus gets 232 hours of sunny skies, while Istanbul receives 169 hours of full sun in the autumn.

In October, Ephesus usually receives less rain than Istanbul. Ephesus gets 29 mm (1.1 in) of rain, while Istanbul receives 71 mm (2.8 in) of rain each month for the autumn.


  • Autumn Average Temperatures October
    Ephesus 19°C (66°F) 
    Istanbul 16°C (61°F)

Should I visit Ephesus or Istanbul in the Winter?

The winter brings many poeple to Ephesus as well as Istanbul. Additionally, many visitors come to Istanbul in the winter for the museums, the shopping scene, and the cuisine.

In the winter, Ephesus is much warmer than Istanbul. Typically, the winter temperatures in Ephesus in January average around 10°C (50°F), and Istanbul averages at about 6°C (43°F).

In the winter, Ephesus often gets more sunshine than Istanbul. Ephesus gets 131 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Istanbul receives 75 hours of full sun.

Ephesus receives a lot of rain in the winter. Ephesus usually gets more rain in January than Istanbul. Ephesus gets 149 mm (5.9 in) of rain, while Istanbul receives 99 mm (3.9 in) of rain this time of the year.


  • Winter Average Temperatures January
    Ephesus 10°C (50°F) 
    Istanbul 6°C (43°F)

Should I visit Ephesus or Istanbul in the Spring?

Both Istanbul and Ephesus are popular destinations to visit in the spring with plenty of activities. Also, most visitors come to Istanbul for the activities around the city and the natural beauty during these months.

In April, Ephesus is generally a little warmer than Istanbul. Daily temperatures in Ephesus average around 15°C (59°F), and Istanbul fluctuates around 13°C (55°F).

The sun comes out a lot this time of the year in Ephesus. Ephesus usually receives more sunshine than Istanbul during spring. Ephesus gets 231 hours of sunny skies, while Istanbul receives 180 hours of full sun in the spring.

In April, Ephesus usually receives less rain than Istanbul. Ephesus gets 32 mm (1.3 in) of rain, while Istanbul receives 49 mm (1.9 in) of rain each month for the spring.


  • Spring Average Temperatures April
    Ephesus 15°C (59°F) 
    Istanbul 13°C (55°F)

Typical Weather for Istanbul and Ephesus

Ephesus Istanbul
Temp (°C) Rain (mm) Temp (°C) Rain (mm)
Jan 10°C (50°F) 149 mm (5.9 in) 6°C (43°F) 99 mm (3.9 in)
Feb 10°C (50°F) 103 mm (4.1 in) 6°C (44°F) 67 mm (2.6 in)
Mar 12°C (53°F) 86 mm (3.4 in) 8°C (47°F) 62 mm (2.4 in)
Apr 15°C (59°F) 32 mm (1.3 in) 13°C (55°F) 49 mm (1.9 in)
May 19°C (67°F) 16 mm (0.6 in) 17°C (63°F) 31 mm (1.2 in)
Jun 24°C (75°F) 3 mm (0.1 in) 21°C (71°F) 21 mm (0.8 in)
Jul 27°C (81°F) 1 mm (0 in) 24°C (74°F) 19 mm (0.7 in)
Aug 27°C (81°F) 1 mm (0 in) 24°C (74°F) 26 mm (1 in)
Sep 24°C (75°F) 23 mm (0.9 in) 20°C (69°F) 41 mm (1.6 in)
Oct 19°C (66°F) 29 mm (1.1 in) 16°C (61°F) 71 mm (2.8 in)
Nov 14°C (58°F) 110 mm (4.3 in) 12°C (54°F) 89 mm (3.5 in)
Dec 12°C (53°F) 164 mm (6.5 in) 9°C (47°F) 122 mm (4.8 in)