A Travel Price Comparison for Families, Couples, and Backpackers Islamabad vs. Mandalay for Vacations, Tours, and Honeymoons

Should you visit Islamabad or Mandalay?

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

Trying to figure out where to travel next? This travel comparison between Islamabad and Mandalay 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: Islamabad or Mandalay?


Islamabad is the capital of Pakistan, specially built in the 1960's to replace the former capital, Karachi. Most of the city's population are employees of the government, though many people come from all over Pakistan to enjoy the city's peaceful atmosphere and green spaces, museums, and monuments.


Located in Myanmar (formerly known as Burma) on the banks of the Irawaddy River, Mandalay is the nation's second largest city behind Yangon. It is centered on the restored Royal Palace and has a large population of Buddhist monks who frequent the city's many temples and monasteries.

For some great organized tour ideas, see The Best Adventure Tours to Pakistan, The Best Cultural Tours in Pakistan, The Best Cultural Tours in Myanmar, and The Best Budget Tours to Myanmar.

Which place is cheaper, Mandalay or Islamabad?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Islamabad is $42, while the average daily cost in Mandalay is $15. 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 Islamabad and Mandalay in more detail.

  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Islamabad $20
    Mandalay $8.65
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Islamabad $40
    Mandalay $17
Compare Hotels in Islamabad and Mandalay

Looking for a hotel in Islamabad or Mandalay? 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 Islamabad

Hotels in Mandalay

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: Islamabad Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Islamabad $7.68
    Mandalay -

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Islamabad

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

  • Islamabad International Airport Arrival Pick up Transfer: $55
  • Islamabad International Airport Departure Drop off Transfer : $55
  • Islamabad International Airport Transfer: $35
  • Islamabad International Airport Transfer - ARRIVAL: $40
  • Islamabad International Airport Transfer - DEPARTURE: $40
  • Islamabad Round Trip Airport Transfer & Customizable Day Trip: $95
  • Premium Services: Islamabad Day Trip & Round Trip Airport Transfers.: $170
  • Premium Services: Islamabad International Airport Transfer - Arrival: $55
  • Premium Services: Islamabad International Airport Transfer - Departures: $55
  • Private Chauffeur: Arrival Transfer Airport Pick up (Islamabad, Karachi, Lahore): $50
  • Private Transfer from Islamabad Airport to Pakistan: $61

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Mandalay

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Mandalay:

  • From Mandalay To Kalaw-NyaungShwe-Inle Lake Private Transfer: $200
  • Around Mandalay in 2 Day and Next Day to Transfer Bagan: $200
  • Mandalay To Bagan Transfer Tour: $150
  • Private Transfer Of Mandalay To Bagan: $150
  • From Private Transfer to Bagan: $150
  • Private Land Transfer : Mandalay to Bagan: $139
  • Bagan Land Transfer form Mandalay: $103
  • Inle [Heho] Airport Private Transfer : $46
  • Private Mandalay Airport Transfer: $27

Is it cheaper to fly into Islamabad or Mandalay?

Prices for flights to both Mandalay and Islamabad 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
    Islamabad $15
    Mandalay $5.95

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Mandalay

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

  • Myanmar traditional cooking class with local: $26
  • Bamboo Bike Food Tour: $42
  • Bicycle Food Tour in Mandalay: $45

  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Islamabad $9.48
    Mandalay -

Tours and Activities in Islamabad

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

  • Full Day Tour To The Ancient City Of Taxila From Islamabad: $70
  • Islamabad In & Around Full Day Customized City Tour: $80
  • Full-Day Sightseeing Tour Of Islamabad: $85
  • Private Tour: Hidden Gems of Islamabad Exploration Tour: $90
  • Guided Top 5 Wonders Exploration Tour: $95
  • City Tour with Faisal Mosque and Lake View Park: $95
  • Islamabad Instagram Tour: Most Famous Spots (Private & All-Inclusive): $95
  • Best of Islamabad Half Day Tour With Meal At Monal Restaurant (Morn & Eve Slots): $100
  • Islamabad City Tour With Faisal Mosque, Pakistan Monument & Lunch : $110
  • Top Ten Wonders of Islamabad Guided City Tour: $120
  • Private Tour: Guided Day Trip To Murree from Islamabad: $130
  • Full Day Private Guided Tour of Taxila Gandahara Civilization : $140

Tours and Activities in Mandalay

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

  • 1-night in Pyin Oo Lwin next day to Gokteik tour: $226
  • Kayah Villages Full Day Tour (Pan Pet & Hta Nee La): $260
  • 2 Days Private Tour in Mandalay: $176
  • A Little Adventure Village Explore: $17
  • Adventure Road Trip from Mandalay to Monywa – Bagan : $174
  • Adventure to Dee Dote Waterfalls from Mandalay: $63
  • Amarapura,Mingun,Sagaing,Innwa Sightseeing Tour: $85
  • Amarapura,Sagaing,Innwa Sightseeing Tour: $75
  • Ancient Capitals of Myanmar Tour: $105
  • Ancient City Tour in Mandalay : $70
  • Full Day Adventure: $153
  • Half day to Mandalay city tour: $65

  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Islamabad $2.88
    Mandalay -

When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Islamabad and Mandalay, we can see that Islamabad is more expensive. And not only is Mandalay much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. So, traveling to Mandalay would let you spend less money overall. Or, you could decide to spend more money in Mandalay 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 Islamabad would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in Islamabad than you might in Mandalay.

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

Which is Bigger, Islamabad or Mandalay?

Mandalay has a larger population, and is about 2 times larger than the population of Islamabad. When comparing the sizes of Islamabad and Mandalay, 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.