A Travel Price Comparison for Families, Couples, and Backpackers Istanbul vs. Barcelona for Attractions, Food, Nightlife, and Old Town

Should you visit Istanbul or Barcelona?

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

If you're trying to decide where to visit between Istanbul or Barcelona, 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.

Istanbul

Istanbul is a historic, diverse, and beautiful city. It's an amazing and huge city with tons of activities and things to do. This is also a very beautiful destination which attracts plenty of visitors. It's also known for nightlife, food, and shopping.

Barcelona

Barcelona is a youthful, colorful, and laid-back city. It's an amazing and huge city with tons of activities and things to do. This is also a very beautiful destination which attracts plenty of visitors. It's also known for nightlife, live music, and food.

Istanbul and Barcelona: Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Active nightlife
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
  • Very walkable
  • Big city activities
  • Impressive beauty
  • Home to the Blue Mosque
Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Active nightlife
  • Good music scene
  • Popular beach
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
  • Big city activities
  • Impressive beauty
  • Home to Basilica Sagrada Familia
Things to Consider
  • Less walkable


Is there more to do in Istanbul or Barcelona?

Visitors will generally find more to do in Barcelona than Istanbul. While Istanbul is larger than Barcelona, Barcelona has more sights, attractions, and activities for tourists. Barcelona is more popular for its nightlife, music, beaches, and shopping, while Istanbul is known for its museums, food, and historical sights. Istanbul is popular for its world class historical sights, stunning mosques, and dynamic energy. Barcelona is popular for its landmarks designed by Antoni Gaudí, its wild nightlife, and its urban beaches. It is also home to Basilica Sagrada Familia.

How is Istanbul different from Barcelona?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

Let's take a look at the differences and similarities between Barcelona and Istanbul. Then, you can decide for yourself which place is better for your next trip.

Are the Museums and Historical Sights Better in Istanbul or Barcelona?

Istanbul
Barcelona

Istanbul is renowned for its sights and museums. Also, Barcelona is not as famous, but is still a good city to visit for its museums and history.

Visitors will find world class museums and historical sights in Istanbul that are not to be missed. With such a long and diverse religious and political history, it has many museums, mosques, churches, and archeological sites that you can visit. Some of the most famous sights include the Hagia Sophia, Topkapi Sarayi, and the Blue Mosque.

Visitors can fill many days exploring the museums and attractions around Barcelona. Architecture and history all contribute to the city's impressive sights and museums. Famous landmarks include the Basílica de la Sagrada Família, Casa Milà, and the Palace of Catalan Music. In addition to Casa Milà, there are several other landmarks that are designed by Gaudi. You can expect a crowd outside any of his creations.


Is the Food Better in Istanbul or Barcelona? Which Destination has the Best Restaurants?

Istanbul
Barcelona

Istanbul is renowned for its local cuisine and restaurants. Also, Barcelona is not as famous, but is still a good city to visit for its restaurants.

Many restaurants in Istanbul have been singled out for their culinary prowess. From Turkish classics to sweet desserts, the city has it all. Popular dishes include Turkish style pizza, kebabs, and doner, which you'll find everywhere for affordable prices. You'll also find many tourist-centered restaurants in the touristy areas but if you get away from the main sights, you'll find more local options that let you sample high quality food for affordable prices.

Barcelona has a huge number of terrific restaurants. With easy access to fresh produce, there are many food markets around town. You'll also find great fresh local dishes at the many restaurants. While some restaurants are more touristy, particularly along Las Ramblas, there are also many local options that offer higher quality dishes. Make sure you try the paella, croquettes, and jamon iberico. Many visitors enjoy taking a cooking class while they're in town as well.

Is Istanbul or Barcelona Better for Nightlife?

Istanbul
Barcelona

Barcelona is an amazing city to visit for nightlife. Also, Istanbul is not as famous, but is still a good city to visit for nightlife and partying.

Barcelona has a colorful and one-of-a-kind nightlife scene. The city offers an amazing nightlife at a much more affordable price than many places in Europe. There are beach parties, boat parties, and bars that stay packed late into the night. The city also hosts many street fiestas and music festivals.

Istanbul has a lively atmosphere and nightlife is popular here. Dancing, dining, and partying have all become part of Istanbul's culture. Top nightclubs in the city include Reina, Sortie, and Supperclub. If you're looking for dance clubs and alcohol, your best bet is to head to the Beyoglu district.

Is Istanbul or Barcelona Better for Music?

Istanbul
Barcelona

Barcelona is an amazing city to visit for live music. However, Istanbul is not a live music destination.

Barcelona is a world class music destination. Popular music venues include Tablao de Carmen, Razzmatazz, and Jamboree.

Istanbul is not a live music destination.


Is Istanbul or Barcelona Better for Beaches?

Istanbul
Barcelona

Barcelona is a nice place to visit for its beaches. However, Istanbul is not a beach destination.

Barcelona has a beach worth visiting. The city features long sandy beaches where you can soak up the Mediterranean sun right in the heart of town. Many of the beaches can get crowded during the warmer months, but if you're looking for a party, then this is the place. These are urban beaches, so don't expect the pristine coastal setting that you might find in a more remote areas. Popular beaches include Bogatell Beach, Barceloneta Beach, and Nova Icària.

Istanbul is not a beach destination.

Is Istanbul or Barcelona Better for its Old Town?

Istanbul
Barcelona

Istanbul is renowned for its historic old town. Also, Barcelona is not as famous, but is still a good city to visit for its old town.

The old town of Istanbul is one of the most recognized in the world. The Old City in Istanbul is the most historic part of the city. It's where you'll find most of the city's historic sights. The area around Sultanahmet Square is the most popular tourist area to explore.

There are many historical things to see in the old town of Barcelona. Dating back 2,000 years the Gothic Quarter remains a hub of life and activity. It's fun to explore the wandering streets or people watch in one of the plazas. There are also many fascinating boutique shops and restaurants. Many people consider the Gothic Quarter to be one of the best parts of Barcelona.

Is the Shopping Better in Istanbul or Barcelona?

Istanbul
Barcelona

Barcelona is an amazing city to visit for shopping. Also, Istanbul is not as famous, but is still a good city to visit for its shopping opportunities.

Barcelona is a famous shopping destination with plenty of stores. Head to Portal De L'Angel, Rambla de Catalunya, or Passeig De Gracia for some of the city's best shopping districts.

Istanbul is well-known for its shopping. It is the capital of culture and fashion in Turkey, and there are many shopping areas that carry all kinds of brands. For a more traditional, but touristy experience head to the Grand Bazaar and the Spice Market. For modern brands, Istiklal Caddesi is the most popular area for shopping.


Is Istanbul or Barcelona Better for Families?

Istanbul
Barcelona

Istanbul is a well-known place for its family-friendly activities. Also, Barcelona is not as famous, but is still a good city to visit for its kid-friendly activities.

Istanbul is a very family-friendly place to visit. The city has several kid-friendly museums, a couple of aquariums, and fun theme parks. If the kids need a break from the city, you can spend a day at Vialand Theme Park or LEGOLAND Discovery Center Istanbul. Food in Istanbul is also very kid-friendly with many affordable dishes that young ones will enjoy.

Barcelona is a family-friendly city. The city has a bit of a party vibe, but there are also kid-friendly activities everyone. With a number of museums, an aquarium, and lots of parks, the whole family can stay entertained. There's also a playground with a great view right by Sagrada Familia. Also make sure you check out the Magic Fountain Show near Plaça d'Espanya, wander through the aquarium, or sample some chocolate at the Chocolate Museum.

Is Istanbul or Barcelona Better for Couples?

Istanbul
Barcelona

Istanbul is a well-known place for romance. Also, Barcelona is not as famous, but is still a good city to visit for its romantic activities.

Istanbul is a very popular place to visit for couples. Couples who enjoy history, culture, and vibrant neighborhoods will enjoy a romantic stay here. The city lights up at night and there are many rooftop dessert cafes where you can take in the view. The waterfront setting is the perfect place to watch the sunset and there are many places to walk and soak up the atmosphere.

Barcelona makes for a fun place to visit for a couple. It's an active city with a party atmosphere, so young couples will enjoy their time here. Couples can take a sunset cruise or enjoy a Flamenco show. There are also many great viewpoints around town.

Is Istanbul or Barcelona Better for Backpackers and Budget Travelers?

Istanbul
Barcelona

Both Istanbul and Barcelona are first-rate destinations for backpackers.

Istanbul is a mecca for backpackers and budget travelers. There are plenty of hostels and budget accommodation options, and there's also plenty of ways to meet other travelers. You'll find plenty of hostels concentrated in the Sultanahmet area.

With so many budget-friendly offerings, Barcelona is extremely popular for backpackers. There are many hostels around town, each with its own personality. Many of the hostels also organize activities or dinners for guests so it's easy to meet other travelers. Backpackers will also appreciate the young vibe and late night party venues that keep the city fun and entertaining.


Is Istanbul or Barcelona Better for Students?

Istanbul
Barcelona

Barcelona is an amazing city to visit for students. Also, Istanbul is not as famous, but is still a good city to visit for its student-friendly activities.

Barcelona is a great destination for students. This is a popular study abroad destination and you'll find international students from around the world. It's a beautiful city with plenty to see and do. It's also a lively city, but do expect the price tag to be higher than other Spanish cities.

Students come from all over to stay in Istanbul. Students appreciate the city's vibrant neighborhoods, constant activity, and diverse population.

Is Istanbul or Barcelona Better for Public Transit? Which Is Easier to Get Around Without a Car?

Istanbul
Barcelona

Istanbul is renowned for its public transit. Also, Barcelona is not as famous, but is still a good city to visit for times when you don't have a car.

Istanbul has a great public transit system. It has a comprehensive and diverse public transit system that includes buses, trams, minibuses, ferries, funicular, and more.

The public transit in Barcelona can get you around easily. There's a metro, bus, and tram system that navigates the city. It's a huge city, and while many places are accessible by public transit, sometimes the trip can be hot and frustrating.

Is Istanbul or Barcelona a more walkable city?

Istanbul
Barcelona

Istanbul is a well-known place for its walkability. However, Barcelona is not a good city for its high level of walkability.

Istanbul is very walkable. Although it is huge, most of the neighborhoods that tourists visit are incredibly walkable and pedestrian-friendly.

Barcelona is generally not a very walkable city. The city is more spread out than many other major European cities and you'll find wide roads with lots of car traffic. There are some neighborhoods and plazas that are fun to explore on foot and the city has designed "superilles," which are areas where car traffic has been directed around pedestrian-friendly plazas so visitors can explore, relax, or play.


For even more information, also check out Is Istanbul Worth Visiting? and Is Barcelona Worth Visiting?.

Should I spend more time in Barcelona or Istanbul?

How long in Istanbul or Barcelona?

Both Istanbul and Barcelona have a number of activities to choose from. In our opinion, Istanbul has more to see and do, so we recommend that you spend more time in Istanbul than Barcelona. However, 3-7 days is a good amount of time to spend in either destination.

Families should spend more time in Istanbul than Barcelona. Because of the many family-friendly attractions and fun things to do for kids in Istanbul, it's a great place to visit with the whole family.

Couples should spend more time in Istanbul than Barcelona. You'll find plenty of romantic sights and fun activities in Istanbul that are great for a weekend getaway or a longer couple's trip.


  • How many days in Istanbul or Barcelona? Ideal Length of Stay
    Istanbul 3-7 
    Barcelona 3-7

One day in Istanbul or Barcelona?

People visit Istanbul because there is so much to do. Visiting the old town is also a must. Since there is so much to do in the area, one day is probably not enough for all of it. It has many unique tourist attractions and fascinating things to do.

The beautiful city of Barcelona offers museums and nightlife. Exploring the old town is a popular activity. With so much to do, one day is probably not enough time to see everything. It will give you the chance to have new experiences.

A weekend in Istanbul or Barcelona?

People visit Istanbul because there is so much to do. The old town is one of the main draws for visitors. A weekend is usually not enough time for a trip here as there is plenty to do. This city offers a variety of activities to choose from.

Barcelona is a popular place that is full of things to see and experience. Make sure you visit the old town while you're here. But since there are so many activities, you'll likely want to spend more than a weekend exploring. Take your pick from the many activities offered here.

Five days in Istanbul or Barcelona?

People visit Istanbul because there is so much to do. The length of your ideal trip is an individual decision. If you have five days, this city makes for a great vacation. Exploring the old town is a popular activity. Five days should give you a good understanding of everything this city has to offer.

Barcelona is a popular choice for travelers. Five days here is typical. While some people choose to spend more or less time in Barcelona, five days is sufficent for most. The entire region has so many activities, and you'll want time to do everything.


A week in Istanbul or Barcelona?

Istanbul is a popular choice for travelers. One week here is typical. Make sure you visit the old town while you're here. While some people choose to spend more or less time in Istanbul, one week is sufficent for most. It will give you the chance to have new experiences.

Barcelona is a great place to explore. It is common to spend one week here. Visiting the old town is also a must. One week is a great amount of time to relax and see the many things that Barcelona has to offer. This city offers something for everyone.


For some great organized tour ideas, see The Best Budget Tours to Turkey, The Best Tours for Seniors to Turkey, The Best Family-Friendly Tours to Spain, and The Best 10-Day Tours in Spain.


Which place is cheaper, Barcelona or Istanbul?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Istanbul is $126, while the average daily cost in Barcelona is $169. 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 Istanbul and Barcelona in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Istanbul $47
    Barcelona $104
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Istanbul $94
    Barcelona $208
Compare Hotels in Istanbul and Barcelona

Looking for a hotel in Istanbul or Barcelona? 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 Istanbul


Hotels in Barcelona


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: Istanbul Hotel Prices and Barcelona Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Istanbul $55
    Barcelona $21
Typical Local Transportation Prices in Istanbul

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


  • Ferry
    $0.09
  • Local Bus
    $0.09

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Istanbul

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Istanbul:

  • Istanbul IST Airport Economy Minivan Transfer: $11
  • Princes' Islands Tour with Lunch and Transfers: $13
  • Private Transfer from Istanbul Hotels to Istanbul Cruise Port: $19
  • Istanbul City to Istanbul Sabiha Gokcen Airport (SAW)-Departure Private Transfer: $20
  • Airport - Otel Transfer and City Tours: $20
  • Private One-Way New Istanbul Airport Transfer To/From Istanbul: $21
  • Istanbul Airport (SAW) to Istanbul - Arrival Private Transfer: $22
  • Istanbul Ataturk Airport (ISL) to Istanbul hotels - Arrival Private Transfer: $22
  • Istanbul Airport Private Transfers: $22
  • Princes' Islands Cruise w/Music, Lunch & Transfer: $22
  • Princes' Islands Cruise with Lunch and Transfer Full-Day Tour: $23
  • Istanbul New Airport (IST) to City Center - Arrival Private Transfer: $24

Typical Local Transportation Prices in Barcelona

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


  • 10 Trip Metro Ticket
    $8.45
  • Airport Bus
    $5.42
  • Metro
    $2.27

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Barcelona

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Barcelona:

  • One-Way Shared Transfer to/from Airport and City: $9.80
  • Roca Village Shopping Mall Transfers: $13
  • Transfer departure Shuttle Barcelona Port to Barcelona Airport: $18
  • Barcelona Josep Tarradellas Barcelona-El Prat Airport (BCN) Private Transfer: $25
  • Transfer arrival Shuttle Barcelona Airport to La Pineda: $27
  • Barcelona City to Cruise Port Private Transfer: $29
  • Private Transfer: El-Prat Airport (BCN) to Barcelona City Center: $30
  • Barcelona Airport Private Arrival Transfers: $31
  • Arrival Barcelona Airport Private Transfer: $31
  • Private Transfer from Barcelona Airport to Sant Station : $31
  • Barcelona Airport Private Arrival Transfer: $31
  • Taxi-Cab- Private Transfer from Barcelona City to Cruise Terminal: $31

Is it cheaper to fly into Istanbul or Barcelona?

Prices for flights to both Barcelona and Istanbul 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
    Istanbul $31
    Barcelona $35
Typical Food Prices in Istanbul

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


  • Juice
    $0.06
  • Turkish Delight
    $0.02
  • Dessert
    $0.26
  • Pastries
    $0.05

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Istanbul

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

  • Bosphorus Dinner Cruise with Turkish Night Show from Istanbul: $16
  • Dinner Cruise and Entertainment with Private Table: $17
  • Bosphorus Dinner Cruise & Show with Private Table: $17
  • Bosphorus Dinner Cruise Tour With Turkish Night Show: $21
  • Bosphorus Dinner Cruise , Unlimited Drinks, & Show: $21
  • Bosphorus Luxury Catamaran Cruise with Dinner Show: $25
  • Bosphorus Dinner Cruise and Turkish Night Show: $26
  • Bosphorus Boat Cruise with Dinner & Entertainment: $27
  • Istanbul Bosphorus Dinner Cruise with Unlimited Drinks and Shows: $28
  • Istanbul Bosphorus Dinner Cruise: $28
  • Istanbul Bosphorus Dinner Cruise and Turkish Night Show: $28
  • 3 Hour Ottoman Dinner Cruise in Istanbul : $29

Typical Food Prices in Barcelona

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


  • Hot Cocoa & Churro
    $4.50
  • Sandwich
    $1.84
  • Baguette & Horchata
    $4.12
  • Tapas on the beach
    $8.97
  • Gelatto
    $2.71

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Barcelona

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

  • Barcelona Street Food Tour with Local Market & City Center Visit: $21
  • Walking Tour + Flamenco + Tapas Dinner (choose options): $27
  • Flamenco at El Patio Andaluz with Optional Dinner: $27
  • Hard Rock Cafe Barcelona with Set Lunch or Dinner: $30
  • Tasty Barcelona Street Food Tour With Local Market Visit : $32
  • La Barceloneta: Tapas Food Tour: $37
  • Barcelona Street Food Tour: Local Market & Gothic Quarter with Expert Guide: $42
  • Boqueria Market & Barrio Gotico Street Food Tour: $56
  • Wine Tasting and Tapas 5-Course Pairing Dinner: $59
  • Paella Cooking Experience & Wine: $59
  • Paella Cooking Experience and Wine in Barcelona: $60
  • Barcelona Food Tour - Do Eat Better Experience: $68

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Istanbul $79
    Barcelona $36
Typical Entertainment Prices in Istanbul

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


  • Bosphurus Boat (for 2)
    $0.62
  • Yerebatan Cistern for Two
    $0.62
  • Museum of Turkish and Islamic Arts for Two
    $0.31
  • Hagia Sofia entrance
    $0.93

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: $3.20
  • City Tour with Audio Guide in your smartphone: $5.33
  • Hagia Sophia Exclusive Digital Audio Guided Tour: $5.33
  • Highlights Self Guided Scavenger Hunt & Tour: $5.33
  • Istanbul Sites: Peel back the layers of Turkish history a self-guided audio tour: $5.40
  • Self Guided City Audio Tour of Istanbul: $5.44
  • Kadikoy's history, theatres and sweet shops: a self-guided audio tour: $5.99
  • City Exploration Game and Tour: $6.39
  • Istanbul Outdoor Escape Game: The Royal Adventure: $7.06
  • Istanbul in a day: A Self-Guided Audio Tour in English: $7.81
  • Istanbul Self-Guided Audio Tour: $9.00
  • App self-guided tours Istanbul with multilingual audioguide: $9.59

Typical Entertainment Prices in Barcelona

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


  • Picasso Walking Tour and Museum Pass
    $45
  • Souvenir Gaudi Book
    $9.26
  • Admission to Museo Picasso
    $6.50

Tours and Activities in Barcelona

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

  • Sagrada Familia: History&Legends Comedy Tour: $2.13
  • History & Legends Comedy Tour: Barcelona Gothic Quarter: $2.93
  • Alternative Free Tour of the Raval: $3.20
  • Escape Game and Tour: $3.20
  • Barcelona Free Tour: Gaudi Highlights and La Sagrada Famila: $3.20
  • Gaudí Free Tour in English: $3.20
  • Gothic Quarter Free Walking Tour in English: $3.20
  • Self-Guided Tours 150+ Captivating Audio Stories: $3.25
  • Barcelona Gothic Quarter: History&Legends Comedy Tour: $3.25
  • Barcelona Gaudi and Sagrada Familia Tour: $3.26
  • Gaudí & Sagrada Familia Free Tour in English : $3.26
  • Gaudi self-guided tour app with multilingual audio guide: $4.26

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Istanbul $15
    Barcelona $18

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
  • Istanbul 7-Hour Pub Crawl: Big Night Out: $27
  • Party Pub Crawl with Party Bus: $29
  • Wine Tasting Experience in Istanbul : $45
  • Istanbul Wine Tasting at Home with Local Family: $83
  • 2-Day Wine Tasting Tour along the Thracian Wine Route: $180
  • Istanbul Private Wine Tasting Tour Through 3 City Wineries : $245
  • Istanbul Private and Guided, Food and Wine Tasting Tour: $430
  • Luxury Wine Tasting on a Private Yacht: $841

Sample the Local Flavors in Barcelona

Some specific costs for nightlife related activities in Barcelona:

  • Original Pub Crawl: $13
  • Barcelona Pub Crawl by King - Bar & Nightclub Hopping Tour: $14
  • Barcelona Pub Crawl by KING - Nightlife Party Experience: $16
  • Estrella Damm Brewery Guided Tour with Tasting: $16
  • Barcelona Pub Crawl by KING - Free shot and VIP Entry: $16
  • Barcelona Bar Crawl: 4+ Venues, Free shots, Free Club Entry: $19
  • Estrella Damm Old Brewery Tour with Tasting: $21
  • Estrella Damm Old Brewery Barcelona Guided Tour with Beer Tasting: $22
  • Nightlife Tour - Barcelona Bar Crawl with Flamingos: $23
  • Barcelona Bar Crawl: $26
  • Barcelona Halloween Bar Crawl: $27
  • Catalan Nightlife Pub Crawl Tour & VIP Club Entry: $29


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

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


Which is Bigger, Istanbul or Barcelona?

Istanbul has a larger population, and is about 7 times larger than the population of Barcelona. When comparing the sizes of Istanbul and Barcelona, 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 Istanbul or Barcelona?

Both destinations experience a temperate climate with four distinct seasons. And since both cities are in the northern hemisphere, summer is in July and winter is in January.

Should I visit Istanbul or Barcelona in the Summer?

Both Barcelona and Istanbul are popular destinations to visit in the summer with plenty of activities. The city activities and the family-friendly experiences are the main draw to Istanbul this time of year. Also, many travelers come to Barcelona for the beaches, the city activities, the music scene, and the family-friendly experiences.

Istanbul is around the same temperature as Barcelona in the summer. The daily temperature in Istanbul averages around 24°C (74°F) in July, and Barcelona fluctuates around 23°C (73°F).

It's quite sunny in Barcelona. The sun comes out a lot this time of the year in Istanbul. Istanbul usually receives more sunshine than Barcelona during summer. Istanbul gets 333 hours of sunny skies, while Barcelona receives 308 hours of full sun in the summer.

In July, Istanbul usually receives less rain than Barcelona. Istanbul gets 19 mm (0.7 in) of rain, while Barcelona receives 22 mm (0.9 in) of rain each month for the summer.


  • Summer Average Temperatures July
    Istanbul 24°C (74°F) 
    Barcelona 23°C (73°F)

Should I visit Istanbul or Barcelona in the Autumn?

Both Barcelona and Istanbul during the autumn are popular places to visit. Many travelers come to Istanbul for the city's sights and attractions, the shopping scene, and the natural beauty of the area. Furthermore, many visitors come to Barcelona in the autumn for the city's sights and attractions, the shopping scene, the music scene, and the natural beauty of the area.

In the autumn, Istanbul is around the same temperature as Barcelona. Typically, the autumn temperatures in Istanbul in October average around 16°C (61°F), and Barcelona averages at about 17°C (63°F).

In the autumn, Istanbul often gets around the same amount of sunshine as Barcelona. Istanbul gets 169 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Barcelona receives 181 hours of full sun.

Istanbul usually gets less rain in October than Barcelona. Istanbul gets 71 mm (2.8 in) of rain, while Barcelona receives 94 mm (3.7 in) of rain this time of the year.


  • Autumn Average Temperatures October
    Istanbul 16°C (61°F) 
    Barcelona 17°C (63°F)

Should I visit Istanbul or Barcelona in the Winter?

The winter attracts plenty of travelers to both Istanbul and Barcelona. Many visitors come to Istanbul in the winter for the museums, the shopping scene, and the cuisine. Furthermore, most visitors come to Barcelona for the museums, the shopping scene, and the cuisine during these months.

In January, Istanbul is generally cooler than Barcelona. Daily temperatures in Istanbul average around 6°C (43°F), and Barcelona fluctuates around 9°C (48°F).

Istanbul usually receives less sunshine than Barcelona during winter. Istanbul gets 75 hours of sunny skies, while Barcelona receives 146 hours of full sun in the winter.

In January, Istanbul usually receives more rain than Barcelona. Istanbul gets 99 mm (3.9 in) of rain, while Barcelona receives 44 mm (1.7 in) of rain each month for the winter.


  • Winter Average Temperatures January
    Istanbul 6°C (43°F) 
    Barcelona 9°C (48°F)

Should I visit Istanbul or Barcelona in the Spring?

The spring brings many poeple to Istanbul as well as Barcelona. Most visitors come to Istanbul for the activities around the city and the natural beauty during these months. Additionally, the spring months attract visitors to Barcelona because of the beaches, the activities around the city, and the natural beauty.

Istanbul is around the same temperature as Barcelona in the spring. The daily temperature in Istanbul averages around 13°C (55°F) in April, and Barcelona fluctuates around 13°C (55°F).

The sun comes out a lot this time of the year in Barcelona. In the spring, Istanbul often gets less sunshine than Barcelona. Istanbul gets 180 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Barcelona receives 204 hours of full sun.

Istanbul usually gets around the same amount of rain in April as Barcelona. Istanbul gets 49 mm (1.9 in) of rain, while Barcelona receives 51 mm (2 in) of rain this time of the year.


  • Spring Average Temperatures April
    Istanbul 13°C (55°F) 
    Barcelona 13°C (55°F)

Typical Weather for Barcelona and Istanbul

Istanbul Barcelona
Temp (°C) Rain (mm) Temp (°C) Rain (mm)
Jan 6°C (43°F) 99 mm (3.9 in) 9°C (48°F) 44 mm (1.7 in)
Feb 6°C (44°F) 67 mm (2.6 in) 10°C (50°F) 36 mm (1.4 in)
Mar 8°C (47°F) 62 mm (2.4 in) 11°C (52°F) 48 mm (1.9 in)
Apr 13°C (55°F) 49 mm (1.9 in) 13°C (55°F) 51 mm (2 in)
May 17°C (63°F) 31 mm (1.2 in) 16°C (61°F) 57 mm (2.2 in)
Jun 21°C (71°F) 21 mm (0.8 in) 20°C (67°F) 38 mm (1.5 in)
Jul 24°C (74°F) 19 mm (0.7 in) 23°C (73°F) 22 mm (0.9 in)
Aug 24°C (74°F) 26 mm (1 in) 23°C (74°F) 66 mm (2.6 in)
Sep 20°C (69°F) 41 mm (1.6 in) 21°C (70°F) 79 mm (3.1 in)
Oct 16°C (61°F) 71 mm (2.8 in) 17°C (63°F) 94 mm (3.7 in)
Nov 12°C (54°F) 89 mm (3.5 in) 13°C (55°F) 74 mm (2.9 in)
Dec 9°C (47°F) 122 mm (4.8 in) 10°C (49°F) 50 mm (2 in)