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

Should you visit Istanbul or Lisbon?

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

If you're trying to decide where to visit between Istanbul or Lisbon, 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 beautiful, historic, and diverse city. Visitors will also find so much to do here because it's a large city with many sights and attractions. With stunning beauty, it attracts visitors from all around. It's also popular because of the food, shopping, and museums.

Lisbon

Lisbon is a colorful, vibrant, and stunning 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 museums, nightlife, and live music.

How is Istanbul different from Lisbon?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

Is Istanbul or Lisbon better for Museums and Historical Sights?

Both Istanbul and Lisbon 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.

With plenty of landmarks, attractions, and museums, Lisbon has many famous sights for visitors. World renowned landmarks include St. George's Castle, Jerónimos monastery, the Belém Tower, Santa Justa Lift, and countless world class museums.


Is Istanbul or Lisbon better for Food?

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

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.

For foodies, Lisbon is an obvious choice, as it is one of the food capitals of the world. There are many local restaurants as well as food tours and cooking classes that you can enjoy. Make sure you try the local favorites like bacalhau à brás, frango no churrasco, and pastel de nata.

Is Istanbul or Lisbon better for Nightlife?

Evening events are similar in both Istanbul and Lisbon.

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.

The nightlife in Lisbon is well established with world renowned clubs and venues. It is a bustling city with a lot of energy late into the night. There are countless bars, clubs, and music venues that cater to every personality type and style.

Is Istanbul or Lisbon better for its Old Town?

Istanbul and Lisbon 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.

With a famous historical old-town, Lisbon offers plenty to see. The city is famous for the Alfama area, which is where you find the traditional buildings, cobblestoned streets, wandering alleyways, and steep hills. Make sure you take in the stunning view from various parts of town.

Is Istanbul or Lisbon better for Shopping?

Both Istanbul and Lisbon 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.

Many people travel to Lisbon specifically to go shopping. For high end shopping, head to The Avenida da Liberdade. It's lined with designer brands and luxury boutiques.


Is Istanbul or Lisbon better for Families?

Istanbul and Lisbon 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.

You'll find plenty of family-friendly things to do in Lisbon. Popular family-friendly activities include exploring Castelo Sao Jorge, visiting the aquarium, hanging out on the beach, and of course, taking the funiculars.

Is Istanbul or Lisbon better for Couples?

Istanbul and Lisbon 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.

Lisbon makes for a fun place to visit for a couple. With it's colorful buildings and dramatic hills, this city offers a truly romantic setting for couples.

Is Istanbul or Lisbon better for Backpackers and Budget Travelers?

Both Istanbul and Lisbon 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.

Lisbon is a very popular city to visit for backpackers. Hostels are abundant, and you'll have no trouble finding other backpackers to hang out with. Many hostels even organize activities and group meals for travelers.

Is Istanbul or Lisbon better for Students?

Istanbul and Lisbon 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.

Lisbon is a very popular city for students and younger travelers. It's a lively city with a lot to see and do for international students.


Is Istanbul or Lisbon better for Public Transit?

Both Istanbul and Lisbon 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.

Visitors in Lisbon can get around quickly with the extensive public transit system. The metro has four lines that go around the city. There are also trams, buses, and the funiculars.

Is Istanbul or Lisbon a more walkable city?

Istanbul and Lisbon 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 Lisbon. There are many walkable areas that aren't too hilly like Baixa, a stretch along the Tagus River, and Belém.

Istanbul and Lisbon: Pros and Cons

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


Should I spend more time in Lisbon or Istanbul?

How long in Istanbul or Lisbon?

Both Istanbul and Lisbon have a number of activities to choose from. You can spend a similar amount of time exploring either.

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


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

One day in Istanbul or Lisbon?

Istanbul is a bustling city that offers something for everyone. The old town is one of the main draws for visitors. But since there are so many activities, you'll likely want to spend more than one day exploring.

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

A weekend in Istanbul or Lisbon?

Istanbul is a great place to explore. With so much to do, a weekend is probably not enough time to see everything. Your budget might influence how long you stay.

Lisbon 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 around the area.


Five days in Istanbul or Lisbon?

It's hard to know how much time to spend in Istanbul. For many, it makes a great getaway for five days. Make sure you visit the old town while you're here. With all of its activities, you can easily fill five days here. It has many unique tourist attractions and fascinating things to do.

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

A week in Istanbul or Lisbon?

Istanbul is a bustling city that offers something for everyone. This city offers a variety of activities to choose from. Most visitors spend time around the old town while in the area. If you have one week, this is a great place to go. This would be the perfect place to spend one week, as it has just the right amount of activities.

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

Which city is cheaper, Lisbon 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 Lisbon is $111. 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 Lisbon in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Istanbul $29
    Lisbon $50
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Istanbul $58
    Lisbon $100

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Istanbul $2.75
    Lisbon $20
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 Lisbon

Here are some examples of typical transportation prices from actual travelers in Lisbon:


  • Taxi Ride
    $6.84

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Lisbon

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

  • Lisbon Shared Transfer: To or From the Airport: $9.58
  • Lisbon Shared Transfer: To or From the Airport: $11
  • Lisbon Private Transfer to Airport: $11
  • Lisbon Airport Shared Departure Transfer: $11
  • Lisbon Airport Shared Arrival Transfer: $11
  • Lisbon Private Transfer: To or From the Airport: $11
  • Private Transfer To or From Lisbon Airport: $11
  • Shared Transfer Between Airport and City Hotels: $11
  • From Freeport Shopping Experience with Transfers: $11
  • Lisbon Airport Arrival Shared Transfer: $11
  • Lisbon Shared Departure Transfer to Airport, Train or Port: $11
  • Lisbon Shared Arrival Transfer from Airport, Train or Port: $11

Is it cheaper to fly into Istanbul or Lisbon?

Prices for flights to both Lisbon 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
    Lisbon $35
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 Lisbon

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


  • Coffee
    $2.63

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Lisbon

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

  • Virtual Portuguese Cooking Lesson: $31
  • Live Online Cooking Class from Pastel de Nata with Filipa: $39
  • Bohemian dinner party on a beautiful rooftop near the coast: $42
  • 2-Hour Pastel de Nata Cooking Class: $51
  • The magic of Pasteis de Nata cooking class in Lisbon: $53
  • Bitemojo Self Guided Food Tour New To Lisbon: $54
  • Withlocals Your Way: Lisbon Personalised Private Food Tour: $56
  • Pastel de Nata Cooking Class with Local Baker: $57
  • Private Groups: Pastel de Nata cooking class and tasting in Lisbon's pastry shop: $57
  • Authentic Portuguese dinner with a local chef: $58
  • Lisbon Food Tour: $62
  • Lisbon Old Town Food Tour by Sitway: $63

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Istanbul $17
    Lisbon $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

Tours and Activities in Lisbon

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

  • Lisbon Downtown Tour - The Perfect Introduction to the City: $1.24
  • Lisbon Historical Walking Tour: $3.11
  • Sintra Myths and Legends Interpretative Center Entry Ticket: $3.99
  • Contemporary Park of Nations Walking Audio Tour by VoiceMap: $5.48
  • The Soul of Alfama Self-guided Audio Tour by VoiceMap Lisbon: $5.99
  • Museu Coleção Berardo Admission Ticket: $6.22
  • Skip the Line: Pilar 7 Bridge Experience Admission Ticket: $6.22
  • Street Art Virtual Tour in Lisbon: $6.22
  • Lisboa Story Centre: 1-Day Admission Ticket: $7.41
  • Lisboa Story Centre Admission Ticket: $8.09
  • Capuchos Convent Skip-the-Line Ticket: $8.71
  • Calouste Gulbenkian Museum Admission Ticket: $12

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

Sample the Local Flavors in Istanbul

Some specific costs for nightlife related activities in Istanbul:

  • Daily Tekirdag Wine Tasting Tour from Istanbul: $427

Sample the Local Flavors in Lisbon

Here are a few nightlife and alcohol tours and activities from local tour providers in Lisbon:

  • 1-Hour Portuguese Wine Tasting Session: $22
  • 3-Hour Portuguese History & Flavors Food & Wine Tour: $30
  • Portuguese Wine Tasting and Cheese Lunch: $56
  • Christ the King and Arrábida Small-Group Tour with Wine Tasting from Lisbon: $58
  • Craft Beer, Port & Wine Tour: $68
  • Food & Wine Tasting Walking Tour: $75
  • Santuário Cristo Rei-Sesimbra-Castle Palmela-Bacalhoa Winery with wine tasting: $81
  • Full-Day Évora Wine Tour: $84
  • Wine Tasting in Lisbon: $87
  • Private Van Tour Arrabida and Wine Tasting: $89
  • Wine tasting Private Day Tour ARRABIDA: $92
  • Van Private Tour Arrábida Wine Tour: $96


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

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Istanbul vs. Lisbon Travel Comparison

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