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

Should you visit Istanbul or Edinburgh?

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

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

Edinburgh

Edinburgh is a ancient, charming, and character-filled city. This is also a very beautiful destination which attracts plenty of visitors. It also has that perfectly quaint feel that is like no other place. It's also known for theater, nightlife, and live music.

How is Istanbul different from Edinburgh?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

Is Istanbul or Edinburgh better for Museums and Historical Sights?

Both Istanbul and Edinburgh 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.

The museums and tourist attractions in Edinburgh are world-renowned. The most famous sights include the Edinburgh Castle, the Palace of Holyroodhouse, and the National Museum of Scotland.


Is Istanbul or Edinburgh better for Food?

Most foodies will appreciate the options in Istanbul a bit more than Edinburgh.

Known for it's food 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.

You'll find the standard options when it comes to food in Edinburgh. The city has some unique but famous dishes to try including haggis and black pudding. For slightly less intimidating options, check out the cullen skink, porridge, or smoked salmon.

Is Istanbul or Edinburgh better for Nightlife?

Evening events are similar in both Istanbul and Edinburgh.

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.

Edinburgh has a large number of nightlife venues. With so many students, the nightlife stays very active. There are a wide range of bars, clubs and pubs to choose from.

Is Istanbul or Edinburgh better for its Old Town?

Istanbul and Edinburgh 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.

Edinburgh has a unique history which comes to life in its historic area. The city's Old Town attracts international visitors who come to see the Edinburgh Castle, the quaint streets, and the many shops and cafes. The Royal Mile is a popular area with pubs and souvenir shops. It connects the castle to the Scottish Parliament.

Is Istanbul or Edinburgh better for Shopping?

Both Istanbul and Edinburgh 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.

Edinburgh is well-known for its shopping. Head to Princes Street in the New Town to visit department stores and other name brand shops. Nearby George Street has more boutique style shops and less crowds.


Is Istanbul or Edinburgh better for Families?

Istanbul and Edinburgh are both fun destinations for the whole family.

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

Because of its large number of kid-friendly activities, Edinburgh is very family-friendly. There are a variety of unique activities for families in town including exploring Edinburgh Castle, a visit to the Edinburgh Dungeon, and of course, following the Harry Potter Trail.

Is Istanbul or Edinburgh better for Couples?

Istanbul and Edinburgh 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.

Edinburgh makes for a fun place to visit for a couple. With its castle and the Royal Mile, there are many romantic places to explore as a couple. There are also good restaurants and some nice hotels.

Is Istanbul or Edinburgh better for Backpackers and Budget Travelers?

Both Istanbul and Edinburgh are popular destinations for backpackers.

Backpackers and budget travelers come from all over the world to visit Istanbul. 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.

Backpackers come from all over to visit Edinburgh. The city has some good hostels and an active nightlife, so it's not hard to find other travelers to hang out with.

Is Istanbul or Edinburgh better for Students?

Istanbul and Edinburgh 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 Edinburgh. This multicultural city is popular with international students because of its excellent research and academic centers as well as its unique history.


Is Istanbul or Edinburgh better for Public Transit?

While Edinburgh and Istanbul both provide public transit, overall the system in Istanbul is considered to be better.

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.

Edinburgh has some public transit options. Buses are the best way to get into town from the outer edges if you don't have a car.

Is Istanbul or Edinburgh a more walkable city?

Istanbul and Edinburgh 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 Edinburgh. The Old Town in particular is fun to walk around

Istanbul and Edinburgh: Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Popular for food and cuisine
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
  • Good public transit
  • Big city activities
  • Impressive beauty
Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
  • Impressive beauty
  • Quaint atmosphere
Cons
  • Less popular for food
  • Public transit not as usable


Should I spend more time in Edinburgh or Istanbul?

How long in Istanbul or Edinburgh?

In either Istanbul or Edinburgh, you'll find plenty of activities to fill your time. Most visitors tend to spend more time in Istanbul than Edinburgh 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 Edinburgh is 1-5 days.


  • How many days in Istanbul or Edinburgh? Ideal Length of Stay
    Istanbul 3-7 
    Edinburgh 1-5

One day in Istanbul or Edinburgh?

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 Edinburgh offers theater and nightlife. Exploring the old town is a popular activity. With all of its activities, you can easily fill one day here. It will give you the chance to have new experiences.

A weekend in Istanbul or Edinburgh?

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.

Edinburgh 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 Edinburgh, a weekend is sufficent for most. Take your pick from the many activities offered around the area.


Five days in Istanbul or Edinburgh?

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.

Edinburgh is a popular choice for travelers. Five days here is typical. While some people choose to spend more or less time in Edinburgh, five days is sufficent for most. The entire area has lots to do.

A week in Istanbul or Edinburgh?

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.

Edinburgh 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, Edinburgh or Istanbul?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Istanbul is $47, while the average daily cost in Edinburgh is $143. 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 Edinburgh in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Istanbul $29
    Edinburgh $76
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Istanbul $58
    Edinburgh $152

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Istanbul $2.75
    Edinburgh $17
Typical Local Transportation prices in Istanbul

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


  • Ferry
    $0.16
  • Local Bus
    $0.18

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 Edinburgh

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


  • Local Bus
    $4.43

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Edinburgh

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

  • Edinburgh Airport: Bus Transfer: $6.06
  • Private luxury transfer from Edinburgh Airport to Edinburgh: $28
  • Private luxury transfer from Edinburgh to Edinburgh Airport: $28
  • Private Edinburgh Departure Transfer - Hotel / Accommodation to Airport: $29
  • Private Airport Transfer: from Edinburgh Airport (EDI) to Edinburgh: $32
  • Private Airport Transfer: from Edinburgh to Edinburgh Airport (EDI): $32
  • Private Edinburgh city to Edinburgh Airport transfer - Or airport to city: $45
  • Private Edinburgh Arrival Transfer - Airport to Hotel / Accommodation: $47
  • Private Arrival Transfer: Edinburgh Airport to City Hotel: $52
  • Departure Transfer - Edinburgh City to Edinburgh Airport: $52
  • Round Trip Edinburgh Airport (EDI) Transfer to Edinburgh City Center: $58
  • Edinburgh Airport (EDI) to Edinburgh Accommodation - Arrival Private Transfer: $60

Is it cheaper to fly into Istanbul or Edinburgh?

Prices for flights to both Edinburgh 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 $12
    Edinburgh $39
Typical Food prices in Istanbul

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


  • Juice
    $0.12
  • Turkish Delight
    $0.04
  • Dessert
    $0.50
  • Pastries
    $0.09

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 Edinburgh

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


  • Breakfast
    $10
  • Dinner at Filling Station
    $12
  • Lunch for Two
    $18
  • Sandwich
    $2.28
  • Cheese & bread
    $8.90
  • Thai Restaurant Dinner (for 2)
    $31
  • 2 Coffees and Scones
    $7.14
  • Turkish Delight
    $1.72
  • Soup at the Pub
    $7.27

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Edinburgh

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

  • Scottish Classic Desserts private cooking class with professional chef: $66
  • Discover Royal Mile-Old Town & ENJOY Indian Dinner ~ Walking Tour!: $79
  • 3-Hour Guided Secret Food Tour: $94
  • Vegetarian/Vegan Curry Cooking Class – pure comfort food for the soul!: $97
  • Curry Around The World Cooking Class: $97
  • Private Tour: Secret Food Tours Edinburgh: $106
  • Relaxing Handmade Pasta with meal and wine - Safe Cooking Class: $110
  • Vegetarian/Vegan Curry Private Cooking Class with professional chef: $116
  • "Curry Around The World" Private Cooking Class with professional chef: $116
  • Private Food Tour with a Local Expert including 10 Tastings in Edinburgh: $136
  • Handmade Pasta Cooking Class & Dinner with professional chef for private groups: $137
  • 3-Hour Secret Food Tour in Edinburgh w/ Private Tour Option: $228

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Istanbul $17
    Edinburgh $20
Typical Entertainment prices in Istanbul

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


  • Bosphurus Boat (for 2)
    $1.17
  • Yerebatan Cistern for Two
    $1.17
  • Museum of Turkish and Islamic Arts for Two
    $0.58
  • Hagia Sofia entrance
    $1.75

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 Edinburgh

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


  • Show Tickets
    $39
  • Movie Tickets for Two
    $15
  • Donation for Storytellers
    $7.39

Tours and Activities in Edinburgh

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

  • City Highlights Self-Guided Smartphone Tour: $5.66
  • Harry Potter’s Explore the magic of the city on an audio walking tour: $5.99
  • The Witches Tour: $6.80
  • Edinburgh Audio Tour: Discover its History and Secrets: $8.26
  • Edinburgh Royal Mile (New Self Guided Tour): $8.26
  • Late Night Haunted Underground Vaults Tour: $12
  • Historic Underground Vaults Daytime Tour: $12
  • Old Town Historical Walking Tour: $12
  • Self-Guided City Experience: $12
  • Self-Guided City Sightseeing Treasure Hunt: $14
  • Ghost and Gore Walking Tour of Edinburgh: $14
  • Murder and Mystery Walking Tour of Edinburgh: $14

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Istanbul $4.21
    Edinburgh $15

Sample the Local Flavors in Istanbul

Some specific costs for nightlife related activities in Istanbul:

  • Daily Tekirdag Wine Tasting Tour from Istanbul: $427

Typical Alcohol prices in Edinburgh

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


  • Beer & Wine
    $17
  • Half Pint at Tollbooth Tavern
    $2.03
  • Pint of Beer
    $4.31

Sample the Local Flavors in Edinburgh

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

  • The Orange Pub Crawl - Edinburgh: $18
  • Edinburgh Brewery Tour: $22
  • Holyrood Distillery Gin and Whisky Guided Tour: $24
  • Edinburgh Literary Pub Tour: $24
  • Guided Gin Tasting at 56 North Distillery: $34
  • Pickering's Gin Distillery Tour with Gin Tastings: $34
  • Loch Lomond, Stirling, and Glengoyne Distillery Tour from Edinburgh: $52
  • Rosslyn Chapel, Scottish Borders & Glenkinchie Distillery from Edinburgh: $54
  • Loch Ness, Highlands and Whisky Distillery Day Tour from Edinburgh: $66
  • Bike, beers and brewery tour: $90
  • Edinburgh and Golf and Distillery Tour with Private Driver: $259
  • Whisky Distillery Tour from Edinburgh by Private Vehicle: $284


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

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Istanbul vs. Edinburgh Travel Comparison

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