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

Should you visit Istanbul or Budapest?

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

If you're trying to decide where to visit between Istanbul or Budapest, 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 high-energy, historic, and diverse city. With plenty of activities and things to do, it's a huge city that draws plenty of visitors. The beauty of this spot is also one of the main reasons why visitors come. Visitors also love the museums, nightlife, and food.

Budapest

Budapest is a artistic, historic, and authentic 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, shopping, and museums.

Istanbul and Budapest: Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Popular for food and cuisine
  • Active nightlife
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
  • Big city activities
  • Impressive beauty
  • Home to the Blue Mosque
Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Active nightlife
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
  • Big city activities
  • Impressive beauty
Things to Consider
  • Less popular for food


Is there more to do in Istanbul or Budapest?

Tourists will generally find more to do in Istanbul than Budapest. It is bigger and it has more sights, attractions, and activities for travelers. Istanbul is more touristy than Budapest and is popular for its world class historical sights, stunning mosques, and dynamic energy. It is also well known for The Blue Mosque. Budapest is famous for its thermal hot springs, European spas, rich culture, and wild nightlife scene.

How is Istanbul different from Budapest?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

Let's take a look at the differences and similarities between Budapest 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 Budapest?

Istanbul
Budapest

Istanbul is terrific for its historical sights. Also, Budapest is not as popular, but is still a nice city for its sights and museums.

The museums and tourist attractions in Istanbul are world-renowned. 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.

With a variety of museums, monuments, and historical sights, a trip to Budapest can be an interesting and educational experience. Famous sights include the Buda Castle and Castle Hill, the Hungarian Parliament Building, and St. Stephen's Basilica.


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

Istanbul
Budapest

Istanbul is terrific for its local flavors and cuisine. However, Budapest is not a good destination for its local cuisine and restaurants.

Istanbul has long been recognized as a culinary destination with great restaurants. 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.

Budapest may not make the list for most foodies, but you'll find what you need while you're in town. Traditional dishes tend to be heavy on the meat and bread. They make good comfort food and are very filling meals. The city also has many great pastry shops. Make sure you check out the stuffed cabbage, goulash, and chimney cake.

Is Istanbul or Budapest Better for Nightlife?

Istanbul
Budapest

Evening events are excellent in both Istanbul and Budapest.

Istanbul has plenty to do after the sun goes down. 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.

Budapest has a lively atmosphere and nightlife is popular here. The city's active nightlife includes dance clubs, local pubs, and cultural festivals throughout the year.

Is Istanbul or Budapest Better for its Old Town?

Istanbul
Budapest

Istanbul is terrific for its old town. Also, Budapest is not as popular, but is still a nice city for its historic old town charm.

Istanbul has a unique history which comes to life in its historic area. 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.

Many visitors go to Budapest to see the historical old town. The city grew from the merging of two towns, Buda and Pest, which were divided by the Danube River. Buda is the more historical part of town and Pest is more modern.


Is the Shopping Better in Istanbul or Budapest?

Istanbul
Budapest

Both Istanbul and Budapest are excellent shopping destinations.

Istanbul is an extremely popular place for shoppers. 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.

Budapest is well-known for its shopping. The city has a diverse shopping scene that you can experience by visiting the Central Market or Váci Street.

Is Istanbul or Budapest Better for Families?

Istanbul
Budapest

Istanbul is great for its kid-friendly activities. Also, Budapest is not as popular, but is still a nice city for its family-friendly activities.

Because of its large number of kid-friendly activities, Istanbul is very family-friendly. 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.

Budapest is a family-friendly place to visit. The city has the typical trampoline parks and playgrounds, but kids will also enjoy the baths and pools around town. Do take note that most of the museums are less hands on than kids prefer.

Is Istanbul or Budapest Better for Couples?

Istanbul
Budapest

Istanbul and Budapest are both excellent to visit as a couple.

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.

Budapest makes for a fun place to visit for a couple. With it's many beautiful neighborhoods, and unique entertainment options including the opera, this is a fun city for couples. The baths and spas also make for a great experience for couples.


Is Istanbul or Budapest Better for Backpackers and Budget Travelers?

Istanbul
Budapest

Both Istanbul and Budapest are terrific 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, Budapest is extremely popular for backpackers. The city is more affordable than many large cities and it has a number of fun hostels to choose from. There's a good backpacker vibe around town with many places to meet and hang out with other travelers.

Is Istanbul or Budapest Better for Students?

Istanbul
Budapest

Budapest 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.

Budapest is a great destination for students. The city has a great international vibe with several good universities that are welcoming to international students that are studying abroad.

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

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

Istanbul
Budapest

Both Istanbul and Budapest offer terrific public transit options.

Public transit in Istanbul is top-notch. It has a comprehensive and diverse public transit system that includes buses, trams, minibuses, ferries, funicular, and more.

Budapest has an effecient and thorough public transportation system which can take you anywhere in the city. The metro, trams, and buses make it easy to get around town.


Is Istanbul or Budapest a more walkable city?

Istanbul
Budapest

Budapest is an amazing city to visit for its walkability. Also, Istanbul is not as famous, but is still a good city to visit for its high level of walkability.

It is easy to get around Budapest on foot. Pest is very flat, making for an easy stroll, while Buda is more hilly.

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

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

Should I spend more time in Budapest or Istanbul?

How long in Istanbul or Budapest?

In either Istanbul or Budapest, you'll find plenty of activities to fill your time. Most visitors tend to spend more time in Istanbul than Budapest because of the overall number of sights and activities. Usually, 3-7 days is a good amount of time for Istanbul, and 2-5 days is enough time in Budapest.

Families should spend more time in Istanbul than Budapest. 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 Budapest. 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.

Backpackers and budget travelers should spend more time in Istanbul than Budapest if your budget allows for it. With a larger number of budget-friendly sights, good nightlife, and active things to do, anyone traveling on a budget would have a good time in Istanbul.


  • How many days in Istanbul or Budapest? Ideal Length of Stay
    Istanbul 3-7 
    Budapest 2-5

One day in Istanbul or Budapest?

Istanbul is a big city with plenty to do. 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.

The beautiful city of Budapest offers nightlife and shopping. 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 Budapest?

Istanbul 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.

Budapest is a popular place that is full of things to see and experience. If you have a weekend, this city makes for a great vacation. Make sure you visit the old town while you're here. While some people choose to spend more or less time in Budapest, a weekend is sufficent for most. Take your pick from the many activities offered here.


Five days in Istanbul or Budapest?

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

Budapest is a popular choice for travelers. Five days here is typical. While some people choose to spend more or less time in Budapest, 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 Budapest?

Istanbul 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 Istanbul has to offer. This city offers something for everyone.

Budapest is a great place to explore. Visiting the old town is also a must. One week is more than enough time to enjoy everything. Take some day trips to nearby places to fill the extra days. 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 10-Day Tours from Budapest, and The Best 2-Week Tours from Budapest.


Which place is cheaper, Budapest 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 Budapest is $89. 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 Budapest in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Istanbul $47
    Budapest $49
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Istanbul $94
    Budapest $98
Compare Hotels in Istanbul and Budapest

Looking for a hotel in Istanbul or Budapest? 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 Budapest


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 Budapest Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Istanbul $55
    Budapest $10
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:

  • Private Bosphorus Tour on Luxury Yacht w/transfer: $746
  • From Pamukkale Day Tour With Flights and Transfers: $320
  • Private Full Day Walking Tour in Istanbul with Transfer: $293
  • Hagia Sophia, Topkapi & Mosque Tour with Transfer: $286
  • Istanbul Airport S-Class Premium Luxury Sedan Transfer: $285
  • Private Guided Istanbul Luxury Tour (Tickets and Transfers): $282
  • Troy and Gallipoli Day Guided Tour with Transfer: $280
  • Istanbul Dolmabahçe Palace Private Tour with Transfers: $225
  • 3-Day Tours & Transfer Package: $224
  • Istanbul Airport Transfer: Istanbul to New Airport IST in Luxury Car: $223
  • Istanbul Airport Transfer: Istanbul to Sabiha Airport SAW in Luxury Car: $223
  • Istanbul Airport to Sabiha Airport Private Transfer or Vice Versa (1-10pax): $210

Typical Local Transportation Prices in Budapest

Below are a few samples from actual travelers for transportation costs in Budapest:


  • Short Taxi Ride
    $6.91
  • Metro Pass
    $3.79

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Budapest

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

  • Shared Airport Shuttle Bus Transfer: $13
  • Budapest Airport Private Departure Transfer : City to Airport: $16
  • Budapest Private Arrival Transfer: Railway station to hotels: $16
  • Premier Outlet Shopping Transfer from City Center: $16
  • Private Transfer Budapest City to Ferenc Liszt Airport(BUD): $22
  • Private One-Way Budapest Int Airport Transfer To/From Budapest: $24
  • Private Transfer from Budapest city to Budapest Airport - departure: $25
  • Budapest to Ferenc Liszt Intl Airport-Departure Private Transfer : $25
  • Ferenc Liszt Intl Airport to Budapest - Arrival Private Transfer : $25
  • Budapest Airport Transfers: $26
  • Private Transfer Budapest Airport BUD to Budapest by car or van: $34
  • Budapest Airport - Budapest City Transfer: $35

Is it cheaper to fly into Istanbul or Budapest?

Prices for flights to both Budapest 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
    Budapest $23
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 Budapest

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


  • Lunch
    $3.37

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Budapest

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

  • Downtown Budapest Cruise with Pizza and Beer: $45
  • Pizza & Beer Downtown Budapest Cruise: $46
  • Vegan Hungarian Food Tour (full meals): $51
  • Medieval Dinner Show with Drinks: $52
  • Vegan Hungarian Food Tour / Local delights: $57
  • Danube Cruise with Hungarian Dinner and Live Music: $73
  • Budapest Danube Cruise with Buffet Dinner, Performances and Music: $75
  • Evening Cruise and Dinner with Champagne: $85
  • Lángos (Hungary’s nr1 streetfood) cooking class: $87
  • Candlelit Dinner River Cruise with Live Music: $90
  • Budapest Danube River Candlelit Dinner Cruise with Live Music: $93
  • Hungarian Cooking Class - Foodapest: $95

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Istanbul $79
    Budapest $22
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:

  • 4 Hours Private Highlights Tour Of Istanbul: $272
  • All in One Day Istanbul - Historical Tour of Istanbul with Bosphorus Cruise: $163
  • Dolmabace Palace, Bosphorus Boat Tour , Eyüp Sultan Mosque Tour: $150
  • Full Day Private Guided Istanbul Tour: $42
  • Istanbul Customized Daily Tour: $200
  • City Highlights Tour w/Hagia Sophia & Blue Mosque: $35
  • Must - See Istanbul Stops 1: Half Day Morning Tour: $138
  • 1 Day Private Istanbul Guided Tour: $68
  • 1 Tour: Istanbul Highlights Street Food & Hidden Pearls: $201
  • 1-Day Best of Istanbul Private Tour with the Best Local Guides: $250
  • 1-Day Private Istanbul Layover Tour : $220
  • 2 Continents Tour incl. Beylerbeyi Palace [full-day]: $218

Typical Entertainment Prices in Budapest

For Budapest, here are some examples of average entertainment and activity prices from previous travelers:


  • Entrance to the Baths for Two
    $6.77

Tours and Activities in Budapest

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

  • First Discovery Walk and Reading Walking Tour: $3.19
  • Free Tour Budapest Essential in Spanish: $3.25
  • Alternative Street Art Walking Tour of Budapest: $3.26
  • Communist History Evening Walking Tour of Budapest: $3.26
  • Free Walking Tour Budapest incl. the Shoes on the Danube Bank: $3.26
  • Guided Tour in Budapest Castle District: $3.26
  • Budapest Historical Sightseeing - Walking Tour: $3.26
  • Past and Present of Budapest Jewish District Tour: $3.26
  • Free walking tour in the Buda Castle incl. Fisherman's Bastion: $3.26
  • Budapest Castle District Walking Tour: $3.26
  • Self Guided City Audio Tour in Buda Castle: $5.44
  • Self-Guided Highlights Scavenger Hunt & Tour: $5.85

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Istanbul $15
    Budapest $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 Budapest

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

  • 5-Hour Pub Crawl through Ruin Bars: $21
  • Ultimate Budapest Pub Crawl: $23
  • Bingo Bar Crawl: $25
  • Budapest Original Ruin Pub Crawl Including 5 Shots: $27
  • Ruin Bar Pub Crawl with Entry Tickets: $29
  • Detective Pub Crawl Game by App: $38
  • Drunken History Bar Crawl Tour with Local Drinks: $42
  • Tipsy Tour Fun Bar Crawl with a Local Guide: $42
  • Hungarian Wine Tasting (with Cheese and Charcuterie) in Budapest: $50
  • Budapest - Opera Gin Distillery Tour: $51
  • Pub Crawl Through The Ruin Bars in Budapest with T-shirt Included: $53
  • All You Can Drink Pub Crawl Through The Ruin Bars in Budapest: $59


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

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


Which is Bigger, Istanbul or Budapest?

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

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 Istanbul or Budapest in the Summer?

The summer brings many poeple to Istanbul as well as Budapest. Most visitors come to Istanbul for the city activities and the family-friendly experiences during these months. Additionally, the summer months attract visitors to Budapest because of the city activities and the family-friendly experiences.

In the summer, Istanbul is a little warmer than Budapest. Typically, the summer temperatures in Istanbul in July average around 24°C (74°F), and Budapest averages at about 21°C (70°F).

The sun comes out a lot this time of the year in Budapest. People are often attracted to the plentiful sunshine in Istanbul this time of the year. In the summer, Istanbul often gets more sunshine than Budapest. Istanbul gets 333 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Budapest receives 278 hours of full sun.

Istanbul usually gets less rain in July than Budapest. Istanbul gets 19 mm (0.7 in) of rain, while Budapest receives 45 mm (1.8 in) of rain this time of the year.


  • Summer Average Temperatures July
    Istanbul 24°C (74°F) 
    Budapest 21°C (70°F)

Should I visit Istanbul or Budapest in the Autumn?

Both Budapest and Istanbul are popular destinations to visit in the autumn with plenty of activities. The autumn months attract visitors to Istanbul because of the city's sights and attractions, the shopping scene, and the natural beauty of the area. Also, the city's sights and attractions, the shopping scene, and the natural beauty of the area are the main draw to Budapest this time of year.

In October, Istanbul is generally a little warmer than Budapest. Daily temperatures in Istanbul average around 16°C (61°F), and Budapest fluctuates around 12°C (53°F).

Istanbul usually receives more sunshine than Budapest during autumn. Istanbul gets 169 hours of sunny skies, while Budapest receives 152 hours of full sun in the autumn.

In October, Istanbul usually receives more rain than Budapest. Istanbul gets 71 mm (2.8 in) of rain, while Budapest receives 34 mm (1.3 in) of rain each month for the autumn.


  • Autumn Average Temperatures October
    Istanbul 16°C (61°F) 
    Budapest 12°C (53°F)

Should I visit Istanbul or Budapest in the Winter?

Both Budapest and Istanbul during the winter are popular places to visit. The museums, the shopping scene, and the cuisine are the main draw to Istanbul this time of year. Also, many travelers come to Budapest for the museums, the shopping scene, and the cuisine.

Be prepared for some very cold days in Budapest. Istanbul is much warmer than Budapest in the winter. The daily temperature in Istanbul averages around 6°C (43°F) in January, and Budapest fluctuates around -1°C (31°F).

In the winter, Istanbul often gets more sunshine than Budapest. Istanbul gets 75 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Budapest receives 61 hours of full sun.

Istanbul usually gets more rain in January than Budapest. Istanbul gets 99 mm (3.9 in) of rain, while Budapest receives 42 mm (1.7 in) of rain this time of the year.


  • Winter Average Temperatures January
    Istanbul 6°C (43°F) 
    Budapest -1°C (31°F)

Should I visit Istanbul or Budapest in the Spring?

The spring attracts plenty of travelers to both Istanbul and Budapest. Many travelers come to Istanbul for the activities around the city and the natural beauty. Also, many visitors come to Budapest in the spring for the activities around the city and the natural beauty.

In the spring, Istanbul is around the same temperature as Budapest. Typically, the spring temperatures in Istanbul in April average around 13°C (55°F), and Budapest averages at about 12°C (53°F).

Istanbul usually receives around the same amount of sunshine as Budapest during spring. Istanbul gets 180 hours of sunny skies, while Budapest receives 178 hours of full sun in the spring.

In April, Istanbul usually receives more rain than Budapest. Istanbul gets 49 mm (1.9 in) of rain, while Budapest receives 42 mm (1.7 in) of rain each month for the spring.


  • Spring Average Temperatures April
    Istanbul 13°C (55°F) 
    Budapest 12°C (53°F)

Typical Weather for Budapest and Istanbul

Istanbul Budapest
Temp (°C) Rain (mm) Temp (°C) Rain (mm)
Jan 6°C (43°F) 99 mm (3.9 in) -1°C (31°F) 42 mm (1.7 in)
Feb 6°C (44°F) 67 mm (2.6 in) 2°C (35°F) 39 mm (1.5 in)
Mar 8°C (47°F) 62 mm (2.4 in) 7°C (44°F) 35 mm (1.4 in)
Apr 13°C (55°F) 49 mm (1.9 in) 12°C (53°F) 42 mm (1.7 in)
May 17°C (63°F) 31 mm (1.2 in) 16°C (62°F) 62 mm (2.4 in)
Jun 21°C (71°F) 21 mm (0.8 in) 20°C (67°F) 69 mm (2.7 in)
Jul 24°C (74°F) 19 mm (0.7 in) 21°C (70°F) 45 mm (1.8 in)
Aug 24°C (74°F) 26 mm (1 in) 21°C (69°F) 56 mm (2.2 in)
Sep 20°C (69°F) 41 mm (1.6 in) 17°C (63°F) 39 mm (1.5 in)
Oct 16°C (61°F) 71 mm (2.8 in) 12°C (53°F) 34 mm (1.3 in)
Nov 12°C (54°F) 89 mm (3.5 in) 6°C (42°F) 59 mm (2.3 in)
Dec 9°C (47°F) 122 mm (4.8 in) 1°C (34°F) 48 mm (1.9 in)