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

Should you visit Istanbul or Copenhagen?

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

If you're trying to decide where to visit between Istanbul or Copenhagen, 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 diverse, beautiful, and historic 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 food, shopping, and museums.

Copenhagen

Copenhagen is a progressive, friendly, and happy city. Since it's a large city, you'll find plenty of things to do. You'll find world class beauty here as well. It's also known for nightlife, food, and shopping.

Istanbul and Copenhagen: Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
  • Big city activities
  • Impressive beauty
Cons
  • Less family-friendly
Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
  • Impressive beauty


How is Istanbul different from Copenhagen?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

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

Is Istanbul or Copenhagen Better for Museums and Historical Sights?

Istanbul
Copenhagen

Both Istanbul and Copenhagen have interesting landmarks and museums for visitors.

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.

You'll find a good number of museums and monuments packed into Copenhagen. There are many sights and landmarks around town including Tivoli Gardens, Christiansborg Palace, Nyhavn Harbor, and The Round Tower. Some of the most popular museums are the National Museum of Denmark and the National Gallery of Denmark.


Is Istanbul or Copenhagen Better for Food?

Istanbul
Copenhagen

Picking the best cuisine and restaurants between Istanbul and Copenhagen can be difficult as they are each unique in their own way.

Known for it's food and restaurant scene, Istanbul is always at the top of any foodie's travel list. 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.

Many restaurants in Copenhagen have been singled out for their culinary prowess. In recent years the celebrity food scene has put this city on the map. There are many Michelin star restaurants around town including the world famous Noma. But there's also a diversity of restaurants to choose from, ranging from elegant, award-winning options to cozy local eateries. Danish food includes a lot of pastries and sandwiches. Make sure you try a rød pølse, or local hot dog from one of the many stands around town.

Is Istanbul or Copenhagen Better for Nightlife?

Istanbul
Copenhagen

Evening events are similar in both Istanbul and Copenhagen.

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.

Copenhagen is a party destination, and you'll find plenty of activity all night long. The nightlife scene stays active until the early morning hours with many bars and clubs staying open until 5 or 6 in the morning. Some of the most popular areas for nightlife include Istedgade and EnghavePlads in Vesterbro, Sankt Hans Torv in Nørrebro and some areas around Frederiksberg.

Is Istanbul or Copenhagen Better for its Old Town?

Istanbul
Copenhagen

Istanbul and Copenhagen both have historical old towns that attract visitors.

Istanbul offers visitors a world-class historical old town to explore. 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.

Copenhagen is an extremely popular place to visit the historic old town area. Indre By is the oldest part of the city and where you'll find most of the sights and attractions. This is where most visitors stay and you'll find many great restaurants and activities to enjoy.

Is Istanbul or Copenhagen Better for Shopping?

Istanbul
Copenhagen

Both Istanbul and Copenhagen are good 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.

Known for shopping, Copenhagen draws large crowds to its stores. Design and style is notorious with Danish culture. You'll find many great local boutique or fashion design shops in town. Købmagergade is one of the busiest and most famous shopping streets in town, but you should also visit the street parallel to it, Pilestræde.


Is Istanbul or Copenhagen Better for Families?

Istanbul
Copenhagen

Families will find a wider variety of activities in Copenhagen than Istanbul.

Copenhagen is an amazing family-friendly city to visit. The city almost feels like it was designed with kids in mind. There are countless playgrounds, beaches, and other kid-friendly places to explore. Also make sure you stop by Tivoli Gardens, which has rides and rollercoasters that everyone can enjoy. The city also has an aquarium, zoo, and even a deer park. The Little Mermaid statue may fascinate Disney lovers, and if you want to get out on the water there are boat tours through the canals.

Istanbul is a family-friendly city. The city has several kid-friendly museums, a couple of aquariums, and fun theme parks.

Is Istanbul or Copenhagen Better for Couples?

Istanbul
Copenhagen

Istanbul and Copenhagen are both fun 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.

Copenhagen is a great city for couples, as it has plenty to offer. The city is filled with a positive energy that will rejuvenate any couple. You can hire a bike or hop on a boat to explore town, or simply wander through the cobblestone streets. There are many parks and gardens to explore and culture lovers will appreciate the many museums.

Is Istanbul or Copenhagen Better for Backpackers and Budget Travelers?

Istanbul
Copenhagen

Both Istanbul and Copenhagen are popular 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.

Many backpackers visit Copenhagen. While the city is expensive, there are still plenty of free things to do like simply wandering the neighborhoods. The city has a relaxed and friendly vibe that will almost make you forget all of the money you're spending.

Is Istanbul or Copenhagen Better for Students?

Istanbul
Copenhagen

Istanbul and Copenhagen are both good destinations for students and younger travelers.

Istanbul is a great city to visit as a student. Students appreciate the city's vibrant neighborhoods, constant activity, and diverse population.

Students come from all over to stay in Copenhagen. The city has a reputation as the happiest in the world, and students are no exception. There are plenty of activities for students as well as a relaxed, yet productive, atmosphere. It's easy to explore the town on foot or by bike as well.


Is Istanbul or Copenhagen Better for Public Transit?

Istanbul
Copenhagen

Both Istanbul and Copenhagen offer 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.

Copenhagen has an effecient and thorough public transportation system which can take you anywhere in the city. There are metros, s-trains, waterbuses, and regular buses available.

Is Istanbul or Copenhagen a more walkable city?

Istanbul
Copenhagen

Istanbul and Copenhagen both are comparable when exploring on foot.

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

It's very easy to get around on foot in Copenhagen. It is compact enough to explore on foot, but there are also plenty of bikes available as well.

Should I spend more time in Copenhagen or Istanbul?

How long in Istanbul or Copenhagen?

In either Istanbul or Copenhagen, you'll find plenty of activities to fill your time. Most visitors tend to spend more time in Istanbul than Copenhagen because of the overall number of sights and activities.

The ideal length of time for a trip to Istanbul is 3-7 days, and the ideal length of time for a trip to Copenhagen is 2-5 days.


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

One day in Istanbul or Copenhagen?

When visiting Istanbul, people usually allow for lots of time. Anyone can find something fun to do here. 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 one day exploring.

The beautiful city of Copenhagen offers food 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 Copenhagen?

When visiting Istanbul, people usually allow for lots of time. Most visitors spend time around the old town while in the area. It offers something for everyone. With so much to do, a weekend is probably not enough time to see everything.

Copenhagen 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 Copenhagen, a weekend is sufficent for most. Take your pick from the many activities offered here.


Five days in Istanbul or Copenhagen?

Istanbul, a popular city, is full of activities for travelers. This is a popular place to visit for five days. Visiting the old town is also a must. In five days, you should have a good grasp of this city. Your budget might influence how long you stay.

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

Istanbul is a popular place that is full of things to see and experience. If you have one week, this city makes for a great vacation. One week should give you a good understanding of everything this city has to offer. It has many unique tourist attractions and fascinating things to do.

Copenhagen 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.

Which city is cheaper, Copenhagen or Istanbul?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Istanbul is $43, while the average daily cost in Copenhagen is $174. 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 city. What follows is a categorical breakdown of travel costs for Istanbul and Copenhagen in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Istanbul $26
    Copenhagen $75
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Istanbul $52
    Copenhagen $150
Compare Hotels in Istanbul and Copenhagen

Looking for a hotel in Istanbul or Copenhagen? 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 Copenhagen


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 Copenhagen Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Istanbul $2.50
    Copenhagen $61
Typical Local Transportation prices in Istanbul

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


  • Ferry
    $0.15
  • Local Bus
    $0.16

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Istanbul

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Istanbul:

  • İstanbul Private Airport Transfer: $19
  • İstanbul Airport Transfer: $45
  • istanbul airport transfer-sabiha gokcen airport transfer-vip transfer: $28
  • istanbul airport cheapest vip transfer by private car: $14
  • istanbul airport & sabiha gokcen airport transfer by private car: $30
  • VIP Transfer Services for Airports, Hotels or Other Location: $80
  • VIP Airport Transfer and Shuttle: $62
  • VIP Airport Transfer: $56
  • Turkish Bath in Istanbul with transfer: $199
  • Transfer in Private Vehicle from Istanbul Old City to Sabiha Gokcen Airport: $57
  • Transfer in Private Vehicle from Istanbul Old City to Istanbul Airport: $51
  • Transfer in Private Minivan from Istanbul Old City to Sabiha Gokcen Airport: $61

Typical Local Transportation prices in Copenhagen

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


  • Bicycle Renting
    $63

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Copenhagen

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

  • Ultra - Copenhagen Private Airport Transfer City Centre to Copenhagen Airport: $8.71
  • Copenhagen hotel/address to Copenhagen Port - Private Car Transfer: $70
  • Deluxe Private Transfer from Copenhagen Hotels to Copenhagen Airport: $71
  • Private Departure Transfer from Copenhagen City to CPH Copenhagen Airport: $86
  • Private Airport Transfer: from Copenhagen to Copenhagen Airport (CPH): $86
  • Copenhagen hotel/address to Malmö City - Private Car Transfer: $91
  • Copenhagen hotel/address to Copenhagen Airport (CPH)- Departure Private Transfer: $93
  • Departure Private Transfer Copenhagen to Copenhagen Port in Luxury Van: $97
  • Copenhagen City to Copenhagen Roskilde Airport (RKE)- Departure Private Transfer: $112
  • Departure Private Transfer Copenhagen to Copenhagen Airport CPH by Business Car: $118
  • Copenhagen Airport (CPH) Private Transfer: $124
  • Departure Private Transfer: Copenhagen to Copenhagen Airport CPH in Business Car: $124

Is it cheaper to fly into Istanbul or Copenhagen?

Prices for flights to both Copenhagen 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 $11
    Copenhagen $53
Typical Food prices in Istanbul

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


  • Juice
    $0.11
  • Turkish Delight
    $0.03
  • Dessert
    $0.45
  • Pastries
    $0.08

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Istanbul

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

  • Istanbul Dinner Cruise & Show: $29
  • Istanbul Dinner Cruise Show: $30
  • Bosphorus Dinner Cruise Inc. Dinner and Belly Dance Show with Hotel Transfer: $34
  • Alaturca Ottoman Dramatic Stage Show & Dinner Cruise ( Non - Alcoholic ): $35
  • Bosphorus Dinner & Show Cruise (All Inclusive): $36
  • Bosphorus Dinner Show Cruise With Non Alcoholic Menu ISTANBUL Dinner cruise: $36
  • Bosphorus Dinner Cruise An Unforgettable Experience in Istanbul: $36
  • Bosphorus Dinner Cruise & Night Show from Istanbul: $37
  • Istanbul Cruise&Show with Dinner: $37
  • Dinner Cruise on the Bosphorus: $38
  • Istanbul Dinner Cruise & Show: $39
  • Istanbul Dinner Cruise with Sema Ceremony: $40

Typical Food prices in Copenhagen

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


  • Hot Dogs
    $15

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Copenhagen

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

  • Private Copenhagen Street Food Tour with a Local Foodie: $94
  • Traditional Nordic and Danish Cooking Class with an Expert Local: $97
  • Sweden Daytrip: Food Tour to Malmö: $1,724

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Istanbul $16
    Copenhagen $25
Typical Entertainment prices in Istanbul

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


  • Bosphurus Boat (for 2)
    $1.06
  • Yerebatan Cistern for Two
    $1.06
  • Museum of Turkish and Islamic Arts for Two
    $0.53
  • Hagia Sofia entrance
    $1.59

Tours and Activities in Istanbul

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

  • 1 Day - Istanbul Tour: $315
  • 1 Day Cappadocia Hot Air Balloon Tour From Istanbul: $300
  • 1 Day Istanbul & Ephesus Tour By Plane - YK230: $419
  • 1 Day Regular Cappadocia Tour by Plane - YK0011: $384
  • 1 Day Tour - Sapanca: $300
  • 1 Night 1 Day Cappadocia Tour from Istanbul - Including Hot Air Balloon Tour: $496
  • 1 Night 1 Day Cappadocia Travel from Istanbul - Including Hot Air Balloon Tour: $509
  • 1 Night 1 Day Cappadocia Trip from/to Istanbul - Including Hot Air Balloon Tour: $513
  • 1 Night 1 Day Trip from Istanbul to Cappadocia - Including Hot Air Balloon Tour: $490
  • 1 Night 2 Days Cappadocia Trip from/to Istanbul - Including Hot Air Balloon Tour: $521
  • 1 Night 2 Days Ephesus, Kusadasi, Hierapolis & Pamukkale Tour from/to Istanbul: $372
  • 1 Night Cappadocia Trip with Hot Air Balloon Tour: $525

Typical Entertainment prices in Copenhagen

Below are a few sample prices from actual travelers for Copenhagen's activities, tours, and tickets:


  • Boat Tour
    $8.77
  • Coffee
    $14

Tours and Activities in Copenhagen

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

  • Experience The Little Mermaid's story in Copenhagen: $7.35
  • Copenhagen Self-Guided Audio Tour: $12
  • Copenhagen Old City Train Tours: $14
  • 1-Hour Canal Cruise from Ved Stranden or Nyhavn: $15
  • Skip the Line: Tivoli Gardens Admission Ticket: $22
  • Trail Running Adventure from Nørreport Station: $27
  • Skip The Line: Hard Rock Cafe Copenhagen: $36
  • Tivoli Gardens Unlimited Rides Ticket: $37
  • 2-Hour City Walking Tour: $40
  • Copenhagen Welcome Tour: Private Tour with a Local: $40
  • Skip the Line: Tivoli Gardens 1-Day Unlimited Rides Ticket: $41
  • Skip the Line: Tivoli Gardens 1-Day Unlimited Rides Ticket PLUS: $50

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Istanbul $3.83
    Copenhagen $11

Sample the Local Flavors in Istanbul

Some specific costs for nightlife related activities in Istanbul:

  • Daily Tekirdag Wine Tasting Tour from Istanbul: $427


When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Istanbul and Copenhagen, we can see that Copenhagen 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 Copenhagen would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in Copenhagen than you might in Istanbul.


When is the best time to visit Istanbul or Copenhagen?

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 Copenhagen in the Summer?

Both Copenhagen and Istanbul during the summer are popular places to visit. The city activities and the family-friendly experiences are the main draw to Istanbul this time of year. Furthermore, many travelers come to Copenhagen for the city activities and the family-friendly experiences.

In the summer, Istanbul is a little warmer than Copenhagen. Typically, the summer temperatures in Istanbul in July are around 24°C (74°F), and Copenhagen is about 17°C (63°F).

Istanbul usually gets less rain in July than Copenhagen. Istanbul gets 19 mm (0.7 in) of rain, while Copenhagen receives 69 mm (2.7 in) of rain this time of the year.


  • Summer Average Temperatures July
    Istanbul 24°C (74°F) 
    Copenhagen 17°C (63°F)

Should I visit Istanbul or Copenhagen in the Autumn?

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

In October, Istanbul is generally much warmer than Copenhagen. Temperatures in Istanbul average around 16°C (61°F), and Copenhagen stays around 10°C (50°F).

In October, Istanbul usually receives more rain than Copenhagen. Istanbul gets 71 mm (2.8 in) of rain, while Copenhagen receives 59 mm (2.3 in) of rain each month for the autumn.


  • Autumn Average Temperatures October
    Istanbul 16°C (61°F) 
    Copenhagen 10°C (50°F)

Should I visit Istanbul or Copenhagen in the Winter?

The winter brings many poeple to Istanbul as well as Copenhagen. Many visitors come to Istanbul in the winter for the museums, the shopping scene, and the cuisine. Additionally, most visitors come to Copenhagen for the museums, the shopping scene, and the cuisine during these months.

Copenhagen can be very cold during winter. Istanbul is much warmer than Copenhagen in the winter. The temperature in Istanbul is usually 6°C (43°F) in January, and Copenhagen stays around 1°C (33°F).

Istanbul usually gets more rain in January than Copenhagen. Istanbul gets 99 mm (3.9 in) of rain, while Copenhagen receives 51 mm (2 in) of rain this time of the year.


  • Winter Average Temperatures January
    Istanbul 6°C (43°F) 
    Copenhagen 1°C (33°F)

Should I visit Istanbul or Copenhagen in the Spring?

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

In the spring, Istanbul is much warmer than Copenhagen. Typically, the spring temperatures in Istanbul in April are around 13°C (55°F), and Copenhagen is about 7°C (45°F).

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


  • Spring Average Temperatures April
    Istanbul 13°C (55°F) 
    Copenhagen 7°C (45°F)

Typical Weather for Copenhagen and Istanbul

Istanbul Copenhagen
Temp (°C) Rain (mm) Temp (°C) Rain (mm)
Jan 6°C (43°F) 99 mm (3.9 in) 1°C (33°F) 51 mm (2 in)
Feb 6°C (44°F) 67 mm (2.6 in) 1°C (33°F) 31 mm (1.2 in)
Mar 8°C (47°F) 62 mm (2.4 in) 3°C (37°F) 42 mm (1.7 in)
Apr 13°C (55°F) 49 mm (1.9 in) 7°C (45°F) 42 mm (1.7 in)
May 17°C (63°F) 31 mm (1.2 in) 12°C (54°F) 43 mm (1.7 in)
Jun 21°C (71°F) 21 mm (0.8 in) 16°C (61°F) 54 mm (2.1 in)
Jul 24°C (74°F) 19 mm (0.7 in) 17°C (63°F) 69 mm (2.7 in)
Aug 24°C (74°F) 26 mm (1 in) 17°C (63°F) 63 mm (2.5 in)
Sep 20°C (69°F) 41 mm (1.6 in) 14°C (57°F) 62 mm (2.4 in)
Oct 16°C (61°F) 71 mm (2.8 in) 10°C (50°F) 59 mm (2.3 in)
Nov 12°C (54°F) 89 mm (3.5 in) 6°C (42°F) 62 mm (2.4 in)
Dec 9°C (47°F) 122 mm (4.8 in) 2°C (36°F) 58 mm (2.3 in)


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Istanbul vs. Copenhagen Travel Comparison

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