A Travel Price Comparison for Families, Couples, and Backpackers Istanbul vs. Hong Kong for Attractions, Food, Families, and Couples

Should you visit Istanbul or Hong Kong?

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

If you're trying to decide where to visit between Istanbul or Hong Kong, 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 high-energy 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.

Hong Kong

Hong Kong is a diverse , compact, and dense city. It's an amazing and huge city with tons of activities and things to do. You'll find world class beauty here as well. It's also known for nightlife, food, and beaches.

Istanbul and Hong Kong: Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Active nightlife
  • Scenic old town
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
  • Good for students
  • Big city activities
  • Impressive beauty
  • Home to the Blue Mosque
Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Active nightlife
  • Popular beach
  • Good for hiking
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Big city activities
  • Impressive beauty
Things to Consider
  • Less popular with backpackers


Is there more to do in Istanbul or Hong Kong?

Tourists will generally find more to do in Istanbul than Hong Kong. It is bigger and it has more sights, attractions, and activities for travelers. Istanbul is very popular for its museums and historical sights, while Hong Kong attracts visitors for its beaches, hiking, shopping, and impressive beauty. Istanbul is more touristy than Hong Kong and is popular for its world class historical sights, stunning mosques, and dynamic energy. It is also well known for The Blue Mosque. Hong Kong is famous for its modern skyscrapers, colorful waterfront, lush parks, and amazing dim sum.

How is Istanbul different from Hong Kong?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

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

Istanbul
Hong Kong

Istanbul is an unbeatable place for its museums and history. Also, Hong Kong is not quite as popular, but is fairly good for its museums and landmarks.

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.

You'll find a good number of museums and monuments packed into Hong Kong. The city's skyline is one of the most famous "landmarks", but you'll also want to visit Victoria Peak, the Tian Tan Buddha Statue, Wong Tai Sin Temple, and Avenue of Stars.


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

Istanbul
Hong Kong

Picking the best cuisine and restaurants between Istanbul and Hong Kong can be difficult as they are each amazing 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. 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.

Many restaurants in Hong Kong have been singled out for their culinary prowess. The city's population is famous for its frequency of dining out, and the prolific diversity of restaurants is obvious from the moment you arrive. There are street food stalls and night markets, as well as luxury award winning restaurants. The city holds tight to its culinary traditions, but fusion restaurants are creeping in as well. Some of the most famous Hong Kong foods include dim sum, sweet and sour pork, and roast goose.

Is Istanbul or Hong Kong Better for Nightlife?

Istanbul
Hong Kong

Evening events are superb in both Istanbul and Hong Kong.

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.

Hong Kong has a lively atmosphere and nightlife is popular here. The city lights up after the sun sets. You'll find a diverse range of activities in the evening with everything from night markets to concerts and parties. There's a wonderful mix of traditional and contemporary activities, particularly around Lan Kwai Fong. Many of the most popular venues are found around Central and, like everything else in Hong Kong, the venues are full of energy.

Is Istanbul or Hong Kong Better for Beaches?

Istanbul
Hong Kong

Hong Kong is notable for its beaches. However, Istanbul is not a beach destination.

You'll have a great beach vacation in Hong Kong. You actually don't have to travel far from the city center to find a relatively quiet, sandy beach. The different beaches on Hong Kong Island are relatively close to each other, and each has its own atmosphere. If you need a break from the heat and the crowds, then a beach day is a fun option. Hong Kong's natural coastline give way to popular beaches including Repulse Bay Beach and Shek O Beach. Each offers a number of amenities and dining options.

Istanbul is not a beach destination.


Is Istanbul or Hong Kong Better for its Old Town?

Istanbul
Hong Kong

Istanbul is an unbeatable place for its old town. However, Hong Kong does not have a historic old town.

With a famous historical old-town, Istanbul offers plenty to see. 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.

Hong Kong does not have a historic old town.

Is Istanbul or Hong Kong Better for Hiking?

Istanbul
Hong Kong

Hong Kong is notable for the nearby hiking options. However, Istanbul is not a hiking destination.

Hong Kong is a popular spot for hiking. The city is surrounded by dramatic mountains and beautiful viewpoints, making it easy to enjoy a day in nature. The hikes will offer impressive views and dramatic rock formations. Popular hikes in the area include The Peak, Dragon's Back, and the Violet Hill and Twin Peak hike.

Istanbul is not a hiking destination.

Is the Shopping Better in Istanbul or Hong Kong?

Istanbul
Hong Kong

Hong Kong 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.

Hong Kong is a famous shopping destination with plenty of stores. There is a high concentration of shopping malls in the city, and you'll likely find yourself cutting through malls to access different parts of town. The city is arguably one of the best shopping cities in the world. Popular items to purchase in the city include designer clothes, handbags, electronics, jewelry, watches, and tailor-made suits.

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 Hong Kong Better for Families?

Istanbul
Hong Kong

Hong Kong is an amazing city to visit for its family-friendly activities. Also, Istanbul is not as famous, but is still a good city to visit for its kid-friendly activities.

Hong Kong is an amazing family-friendly city to visit. In addition to its many fascinating cultural experiences like visiting the markets and historical landmarks, this city also has a diversity of kid-friendly entertainment options. The most obvious is Disneyland, but there are also other amusement parks and aquariums like Ocean Park. Make sure you check out the Symphony of Lights in the evening and head to The Peak Tower during the day.

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.

Is Istanbul or Hong Kong Better for Couples?

Istanbul
Hong Kong

Hong Kong is an amazing city to visit for romance. Also, Istanbul is not as famous, but is still a good city to visit for its romantic activities.

Hong Kong has so much to offer for a romantic couple's vacation. This city is filled with luxury hotels, beautiful parks, and impressive restaurants. For a romantic evening, check out the Symphony of Lights over Victoria Harbour after the sun sets.

Istanbul makes for a fun place to visit for a couple. 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.

Is Istanbul or Hong Kong Better for Backpackers and Budget Travelers?

Istanbul
Hong Kong

Istanbul is an unbeatable place for backpackers and budget travelers. Also, Hong Kong is not quite as popular, but is fairly good for backpackers.

With so many budget-friendly offerings, Istanbul is extremely popular for backpackers. 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.

Hong Kong is a good city to visit for backpackers. The city is more expensive than many places, but cheap eateries and free activities are abundant. Many backpackers stay in the Tsim Sha Shui area of Kowloon. This is where you'll find the frequently talked about Chungking Mansions. Times are changing though, and you'll find more hostels on Hong Kong Island these days as well.


Is Istanbul or Hong Kong Better for Students?

Istanbul
Hong Kong

Istanbul is a very popular place for its student-friendly activities. However, Hong Kong is not popular with students.

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

Hong Kong is not popular with students.

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

Istanbul
Hong Kong

Both Istanbul and Hong Kong offer amazing 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.

Hong Kong has an effecient and thorough public transportation system which can take you anywhere in the city. Land transportation includes the MTR (Mass Transit Railway), buses, minibuses, and tramways. There are also ferries that connect the different parts of the city.

Is Istanbul or Hong Kong a more walkable city?

Istanbul
Hong Kong

Hong Kong 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 Hong Kong on foot. The city has many parks and walking paths that connect different areas.

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 Hong Kong Worth Visiting?.

Should I spend more time in Hong Kong or Istanbul?

How long in Istanbul or Hong Kong?

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

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

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

Backpackers and budget travelers should spend more time in Istanbul than Hong Kong 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 Hong Kong? Ideal Length of Stay
    Istanbul 3-7 
    Hong Kong 3-7

One day in Istanbul or Hong Kong?

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 Hong Kong offers food and shopping. Many visitors also spend a good bit of time hiking. 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 Hong Kong?

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.

Hong Kong is a popular place that is full of things to see and experience. Many visitors spend time at the beach while visiting the area. 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 Hong Kong?

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.

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

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.

Hong Kong is a great place to explore. It is common to spend one week here. Hiking can easily take up a good amount of your time here, too. One week is a great amount of time to relax and see the many things that Hong Kong has to offer. This city offers something for everyone.


For some great organized tour ideas, see The Best 2-Week Tours in Turkey, and Tours for Outdoor and Nature Lovers in Turkey.


Which place is cheaper, Hong Kong or Istanbul?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Istanbul is $125, while the average daily cost in Hong Kong is $160. 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 Hong Kong in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Istanbul $47
    Hong Kong $75
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Istanbul $94
    Hong Kong $150
Compare Hotels in Istanbul and Hong Kong

Looking for a hotel in Istanbul or Hong Kong? 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 Hong Kong


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 Hong Kong Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Istanbul $54
    Hong Kong $8.73
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:

  • İstanbul Sabiha Gökçen Airport Transfer (SAW) To Istanbul Hotel: $66
  • İstanbul Private Airport Transfer: $139
  • İstanbul Airports Transfer Services: $43
  • istanbul airport & sabiha gokcen airport transfer by private car: $50
  • Vip Airport Transfer to/from Istanbul City Center: $59
  • VIP Transfer from Hotel, Airbnb To Istanbul Airport: $60
  • VIP Daily Transfer from the Istanbul Airport to Istanbul City: $77
  • Try find your better than us ! Airport transfer in Istanbul HTL-APT (SAW): $52
  • Transfer from Istanbul Port to Istanbul Sabiha Gokcen Airport(SAW: $31
  • Transfer from Hotels to Airports in Istanbul by Private Minivan : $61
  • Transfer from Airports in Istanbul to Hotels by Private Eco-Sedan: $50
  • Sabiha Gokcen Airport transfers to Sisli hotels: $77

Typical Local Transportation Prices in Hong Kong

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


  • MTR (for 2)
    $2.82
  • Local Bus
    $2.82
  • Ferry Ticket
    $0.26
  • Hong Kong Airport Express Train Ticket
    $15

Is it cheaper to fly into Istanbul or Hong Kong?

Prices for flights to both Hong Kong 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
    Hong Kong $33
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: $17
  • Istanbul Bosphorus Dinner Cruise Turkish Night Show All inclusive: $17
  • Istanbul Bosphorus Cruise with All inclusive Dinner and Belly-Dancer Show : $27
  • Dinner Cruise Bosphorus with Hotel Transfer: $28
  • Istanbul Bosphorus Dinner Cruise with Unlimited Drinks and Shows: $30
  • Luxury Bosphorus Dinner Cruise & Shows Private Table & Free Wi-Fi: $31
  • Bosphorus Dinner Cruise with Folklore Show & Belly Dancers: $32
  • 3 Hour Ottoman Dinner Cruise in Istanbul : $33
  • All Inclusive Moonlight Dinner Cruise on The Bosphorus: $33
  • Bosphorus Night Cruise with Dinner, Show and Private Table: $35
  • Bosphorus Dinner Cruise Tour: $38
  • Bosphorus Dinner And Show Cruise With Unlimited Non Alcoholic Drinks: $39

Typical Food Prices in Hong Kong

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


  • Dinner for 2
    $12

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Istanbul $78
    Hong Kong $95
Typical Entertainment Prices in Istanbul

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


  • Bosphurus Boat (for 2)
    $0.61
  • Yerebatan Cistern for Two
    $0.61
  • Museum of Turkish and Islamic Arts for Two
    $0.31
  • Hagia Sofia entrance
    $0.92

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: $275
  • All in One Day Istanbul - Historical Tour of Istanbul with Bosphorus Cruise: $165
  • Bosphorus Cruise And Asia Minor Tour: $220
  • Bosphorus Morning or Sunset Guided Cruise Tour: $23
  • Dolmabace Palace, Bosphorus Boat Tour , Eyüp Sultan Mosque Tour: $150
  • Full Day Private Guided Istanbul Tour: $50
  • Hagia Sophia Private Tour - Skip the Ticket Line : $199
  • Highlights of Cappadocia with Mehmet ( Private Tour ): $95
  • Hippodrome and Blue Mosque Guided Tour: $22
  • Istanbul Half Day City Tour (Ottoman Relics): $77
  • Must - See Istanbul Stops 1: Half Day Morning Tour: $140
  • Private Istanbul Guided Tour: $75

Typical Entertainment Prices in Hong Kong

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


  • Peak Tram
    $7.68
  • Madame Tussauds Hong Kong
    $24

Tours and Activities in Hong Kong

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

  • Plover Cove Bicycling and Hiking Adventure: $110
  • Ma On Shan Climbing Adventure: $115

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Istanbul $15
    Hong Kong $21

Sample the Local Flavors in Istanbul

Some specific costs for nightlife related activities in Istanbul:

  • Famous Istanbul Pub Crawl #1 Nightlife Experience: $27


When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Istanbul and Hong Kong, we can see that Hong Kong is more expensive. And not only is Istanbul much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. Since Istanbul is in Europe and Hong Kong is in Asia, this is one of the main reasons why the costs are so different, as different regions of the world tend to have overall different travel costs. 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 Hong Kong would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in Hong Kong 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 Hong Kong Expensive?.


Which is Bigger, Istanbul or Hong Kong?

Istanbul has a larger population, and is about 59% larger than the population of Hong Kong. When comparing the sizes of Istanbul and Hong Kong, 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.