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

Should you visit Istanbul or London?

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

If you're trying to decide where to visit between Istanbul or London, 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 museums, nightlife, and food.

London

London is a iconic, global, and international 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, live music, and food.

Istanbul and London: 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
  • Big city activities
  • Impressive beauty


How is Istanbul different from London?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

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

Is Istanbul or London Better for Museums and Historical Sights?

Istanbul
London

Both Istanbul and London 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 London are world-renowned. The city has so many iconic sights that we can't list them all, but some of the most famous include the Tower of London, Buckingham Palace, St. Paul's Cathedral, Westminster Abbey, Big Ben, and the British Museum.


Is Istanbul or London Better for Food?

Istanbul
London

Picking the best cuisine and restaurants between Istanbul and London 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.

London has a huge number of terrific restaurants. Although food here was once the butt of a number of jokes, the restaurant scene has come a long way, and you can find anything and everything around town.

Is Istanbul or London Better for Nightlife?

Istanbul
London

Evening events are similar in both Istanbul and London.

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.

London is a party destination, and you'll find plenty of activity all night long. Some of the best neighborhoods for nightlife are Camden, Westend, Soho, and Shoreditch.

Is Istanbul or London Better for Shopping?

Istanbul
London

Both Istanbul and London 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, London draws large crowds to its stores. With so much iconic shopping around town, it's hard to decide where to go. Head to Oxford Street, Regent Street, or Piccadilly Circus for a quintessential British experience.

Is Istanbul or London Better for Families?

Istanbul
London

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

London is an amazing family-friendly city to visit. Whether you do a Harry Potter Tour, take a ride on the London Eye, or enjoy afternoon tea, there are plenty of activities for kids around town. There are also many great playgrounds and toy stores to explore.

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


Is Istanbul or London Better for Couples?

Istanbul
London

Istanbul and London 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.

London is a great city for couples, as it has plenty to offer. With every type of entertainment that you can imagine, this city is the ultimate couple's getaway.

Is Istanbul or London Better for Backpackers and Budget Travelers?

Istanbul
London

Both Istanbul and London 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.

With so many budget-friendly offerings, London is extremely popular for backpackers. Although the city is very expensive, it has tons of hostels, affordable restaurant options, and great public transit.

Is Istanbul or London Better for Students?

Istanbul
London

Istanbul and London 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.

London is a very popular city for students. The city has a number of universities and is a popular study abroad destination. It's also a very diverse city, so international students will feel right at home.

Is Istanbul or London Better for Public Transit?

Istanbul
London

Both Istanbul and London 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.

London has an effecient and thorough public transportation system which can take you anywhere in the city. From the iconic double decker buses to the Tube, there are plenty of options throughout the city.


Is Istanbul or London a more walkable city?

Istanbul
London

Istanbul and London 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 London. With many walkable areas, it is considered to be one of the world's most walkable major cities.

Should I spend more time in London or Istanbul?

How long in Istanbul or London?

Both Istanbul and London 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 London is 2-7 days.


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

One day in Istanbul or London?

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 London offers shopping and museums. 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 London?

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.

London 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. While some people choose to spend more or less time in London, a weekend is sufficent for most. Take your pick from the many activities offered here.

Five days in Istanbul or London?

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.

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

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.

London is a great place to explore. It is common to spend one week here. One week is a great amount of time to relax and see the many things that London has to offer. This city offers something for everyone.

Which city is cheaper, London 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 London is $175. 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 London in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Istanbul $27
    London $109
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Istanbul $54
    London $218
Compare Hotels in Istanbul and London

Looking for a hotel in Istanbul or London? 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 London


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 London Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Istanbul $2.53
    London $25
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:

  • Private Transfer from Istanbul to Bodrum: $1,244
  • Istanbul 5-Day City Package with Hotel, City Tours and Airport Transfers: $722
  • Transfer From Istanbul to Bodrum: $722
  • Transfer From Istanbul to Izmir: $653
  • Transfer From Istanbul to Kusadasi: $647
  • 2-Hour Bosphorus Yacht Cruise with Transfers: $500
  • 4-Day Wonderful Istanbul Including Accommodation Plus Transfer: $474
  • Istanbul Airport to Kartalkaya Transfer: $460
  • Safe Istanbul Airport Transfer in Luxury with English Speaking Chauffeur: $355
  • 4-Day Istanbul City Package including Full-Day Istanbul City Tour plus Airport Transfers: $350
  • Istanbul to Bursa Uludag private minivan transfer service: $348
  • From Pamukkale Day Tour With Flights and Transfers: $334

Typical Local Transportation prices in London

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


  • Taxi Ride
    $18
  • Heathrow Express
    $22
  • Luggage Storage
    $9.67
  • London Map
    $1.56
  • Oyster Card
    $43
  • Train to Gatwick Airport (2)
    $26
  • Oyster Card
    $33

Hired Cars and Shuttles in London

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

  • Ultra - London Private Airport Transfer from City Centre to Heathrow Airport LHR: $8.71
  • Ultra - London Airport Transfer from City Centre to London Gatwick Airport LGW: $8.71
  • Gatwick Airport to Central London Bus Transfer: $14
  • Shuttle transfer from your Hotel To Heathrow Airport - Super Saver: $18
  • Shared departure transfer from your London hotel to the Airport: $27
  • Private London Departure Transfer - Accommodation to St Pancras Eurostar Station: $28
  • Executive Transfer from Central London to Eurostar St Pancras: $31
  • Private Transfer from London City Center to Stratford: $31
  • Shared London Departure Transfer - Hotel / Accommodation to Airport: $32
  • London To St Pancras Station Private Transfer Departure Service: $34
  • Private Business Transfer from London City Airport (LCY) to London City Center: $36
  • Private Business Transfer from London City Center to London City Airport (LCY): $36

Is it cheaper to fly into Istanbul or London?

Prices for flights to both London 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
    London $35
Typical Food prices in Istanbul

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


  • Juice
    $0.11
  • Turkish Delight
    $0.03
  • Dessert
    $0.46
  • 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 London

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


  • Lunch at Starbucks
    $16
  • Tea
    $7.25
  • Afternoon Tea at Fortnum & Mason
    $47
  • Morning Tea
    $7.68
  • Pastry
    $6.05
  • Sushi Dinner for One
    $22

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in London

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

  • Traveling Spoon Nepalese Momos Private Online Cooking Class: $27
  • Private Cooking Class with a London Cookbook Author: $87
  • BYOB Pizza Workshop Supper Club: $91
  • Private Cooking Class in Central London with a Food Expert: $150
  • South London Food Tour With A Local: Borough Market, Southbank & London Bridge: $150
  • Borough Market Visit & Cooking Class in Central London with a Food Professional: $164
  • 3.5-Hour Shoreditch Street Food Tour: $261
  • Private Food Tour, Cooking Class and Market Visit in London with a Food Expert: $315

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Istanbul $16
    London $31
Typical Entertainment prices in Istanbul

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


  • Bosphurus Boat (for 2)
    $1.08
  • Yerebatan Cistern for Two
    $1.08
  • Museum of Turkish and Islamic Arts for Two
    $0.54
  • Hagia Sofia entrance
    $1.61

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 London

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


  • Two Tickets to a Concert
    $100
  • London Symphony Orchestra
    $42
  • London Pass
    $57
  • Comedy Show
    $9.67

Tours and Activities in London

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

  • Haunted Exploration Game and Tour: $5.63
  • Royal Canadian Regiment Museum: Historic Wolseley Barracks Tour: $5.64
  • Self-Guided Tour with Over 100 Sights: $5.64
  • Shakespeare's Italy Virtual Experience: $6.90
  • Queen and Freddie Mercury Exploration Game and Tour: $7.88
  • 59-Minutes British Museum Audio-guided Tour: $8.71
  • 59-Minutes National Gallery Audio-guided Tour: $9.95
  • 12 Angry Guests: The Online Jury Experience: $11
  • The Clink Prison Museum Admission Tickets: $11
  • Virtual Guided Tour of London's Off the Beaten Track Areas: $14
  • Guided Tour of Handel House: $14
  • Tiger King: The Murder Mystery Experience: $15

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Istanbul $3.88
    London $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 London

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

  • The Original Shoreditch Pub Crawl: $27
  • Camden Pub Crawl with Drinks: $27
  • Sipsmith Distillery Tour and Complimentary Tasting: $35
  • Private:Brewery, Winery, and Cider & Spirit Tastings Tour in SW Ontario: $101
  • Gin Palace Crawl with Distillery Tour & Tastings: $107
  • English Sparkling Wine Tours from London: $392
  • Private London Pub History and Brewery (Full Day Tour): $621
  • Private visit to Bombay Sapphire Distillery and Stonehenge: $851


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


When is the best time to visit Istanbul or London?

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 London in the Summer?

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

In July, Istanbul is generally a little warmer than London. Temperatures in Istanbul average around 24°C (74°F), and London stays around 18°C (64°F).

People are often attracted to the plentiful sunshine in Istanbul this time of the year. In the summer, Istanbul often gets more sunshine than London. Istanbul gets 333 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while London receives 195 hours of full sun.

Istanbul usually gets less rain in July than London. Istanbul gets 19 mm (0.7 in) of rain, while London receives 46 mm (1.8 in) of rain this time of the year.


  • Summer Average Temperatures July
    Istanbul 24°C (74°F) 
    London 18°C (64°F)

Should I visit Istanbul or London in the Autumn?

Both London 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, the music scene, and the natural beauty of the area are the main draw to London this time of year.

Istanbul is a little warmer than London in the autumn. The temperature in Istanbul is usually 16°C (61°F) in October, and London stays around 12°C (53°F).

Istanbul usually receives more sunshine than London during autumn. Istanbul gets 169 hours of sunny skies, while London receives 107 hours of full sun in the autumn.

In October, Istanbul usually receives more rain than London. Istanbul gets 71 mm (2.8 in) of rain, while London receives 58 mm (2.3 in) of rain each month for the autumn.


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

Should I visit Istanbul or London in the Winter?

Both London 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. Furthermore, many travelers come to London for the museums, the Christmas ambience, the shopping scene, the theater shows, and the cuisine.

Be prepared for some very cold days in London. In the winter, Istanbul is a little warmer than London. Typically, the winter temperatures in Istanbul in January are around 6°C (43°F), and London is about 4°C (40°F).

In the winter, Istanbul often gets more sunshine than London. Istanbul gets 75 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while London receives 52 hours of full sun.

Istanbul usually gets more rain in January than London. Istanbul gets 99 mm (3.9 in) of rain, while London receives 52 mm (2 in) of rain this time of the year.


  • Winter Average Temperatures January
    Istanbul 6°C (43°F) 
    London 4°C (40°F)

Should I visit Istanbul or London in the Spring?

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

In April, Istanbul is generally a little warmer than London. Temperatures in Istanbul average around 13°C (55°F), and London stays around 9°C (48°F).

Istanbul usually receives more sunshine than London during spring. Istanbul gets 180 hours of sunny skies, while London receives 147 hours of full sun in the spring.

In April, Istanbul usually receives more rain than London. Istanbul gets 49 mm (1.9 in) of rain, while London receives 45 mm (1.8 in) of rain each month for the spring.


  • Spring Average Temperatures April
    Istanbul 13°C (55°F) 
    London 9°C (48°F)

Typical Weather for London and Istanbul

Istanbul London
Temp (°C) Rain (mm) Temp (°C) Rain (mm)
Jan 6°C (43°F) 99 mm (3.9 in) 4°C (40°F) 52 mm (2 in)
Feb 6°C (44°F) 67 mm (2.6 in) 5°C (40°F) 35 mm (1.4 in)
Mar 8°C (47°F) 62 mm (2.4 in) 7°C (44°F) 47 mm (1.9 in)
Apr 13°C (55°F) 49 mm (1.9 in) 9°C (48°F) 45 mm (1.8 in)
May 17°C (63°F) 31 mm (1.2 in) 13°C (55°F) 51 mm (2 in)
Jun 21°C (71°F) 21 mm (0.8 in) 16°C (61°F) 51 mm (2 in)
Jul 24°C (74°F) 19 mm (0.7 in) 18°C (64°F) 46 mm (1.8 in)
Aug 24°C (74°F) 26 mm (1 in) 18°C (64°F) 51 mm (2 in)
Sep 20°C (69°F) 41 mm (1.6 in) 15°C (59°F) 51 mm (2 in)
Oct 16°C (61°F) 71 mm (2.8 in) 12°C (53°F) 58 mm (2.3 in)
Nov 12°C (54°F) 89 mm (3.5 in) 7°C (45°F) 55 mm (2.2 in)
Dec 9°C (47°F) 122 mm (4.8 in) 5°C (42°F) 57 mm (2.2 in)


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Istanbul vs. London Travel Comparison

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