A Travel Price Comparison for Families, Couples, and Backpackers Istanbul vs. London for Vacations, Tours, and Honeymoons

Should you visit Istanbul or London?

If you're trying to decide where to visit between Istanbul or London, this travel cost comparison can help. The overall cost of travel is usually a consideration when deciding where to go next, and the cost comparison below can help you decide based on the average prices from other travelers along with your own travel budget.

Istanbul

Istanbul is strategically located on the Bosphorus and is split between Europe and Asia. It truly is a city where east meets west. Istanbul is the cultural and financial hub of Turkey, and also the most populous city. The sites are countless and there's something for everybody, whether you're interested in art, music, food, or adventure. You can pass many days exploring both the residential and commercial pockets of this city. Much of the appeal is hidden away along back alleys or within corner shops.

London

The capital of the United Kingdom is a thriving multicultural metropolis. Steeped in iconic landmarks, world-class museums and royal parks, London is energetic, majestic, ambitious and one of the world's greatest cities. London is a cultural and fashion capital, a great place to go out, an amazing place to eat and one of those cities that is constantly changing with new and exciting things sprouting up almost every day. History and tradition greet you at every turn in the UK's capital. London is also a city with an edgy underbelly, delighting in neon pink dive bars, cheeky graffiti and mind-blowing street food. When you need a break from the action, pop into a pub or relax in one of the city's many parks. Blow through the city on a double-decker bus, and take a pinch-me-I'm-in-London walk through the West End. As one of the most visited cities in the world, London is busy, vibrant and very tourist friendly. The only problem with London is that it's very expensive; it can eat away at your budget if you aren't careful. Luckily, there are also tons of free or cheap things to do in London that can fill your time.

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 $95, while the average daily cost in London is $201. 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. Below is a breakdown of travel costs for Istanbul and London in more detail.



Accommodation

A hotel room in Istanbul is about $118 This assumes double occupancy and modest accommodations.

Double occupancy rooms typically run around $252 in London For nicer amenities and a premiere location, you can expect to pay a bit more.


  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Istanbul $59
    London $126
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Istanbul $118
    London $252

Food

On average, meal and food prices in Istanbul cost around $24 per person, per day. While this price can vary widely by location, the type of restaurant, and the amount of food ordered, a typical meal often costs around $9.60.

Food in London costs travelers about $40 per day on average. Restaurants can vary significantly in price, so choose wisely if you're trying to save money. Fast food and street stalls are typically your cheapest options, which sit down restaurants can be significantly more expensive.


  • Food Meals for one day
    Istanbul $24
    London $40
Typical Food prices in Istanbul

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


  • Juice
    $0.24
  • Turkish Delight
    $0.07
  • Dessert
    $1.00
  • Pastries
    $0.18

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 With Non Alcoholic Menu ISTANBUL Dinner cruise: $36
  • Bosphorus Dinner & Show Cruise (All Inclusive): $36
  • Bosphorus Dinner Cruise An Unforgettable Experience in Istanbul: $36
  • Bosphorus Dinner Cruise & Night Show from Istanbul: $37
  • Istanbul Cruise&Show with Dinner: $37
  • Istanbul Dinner Cruise & Show: $39
  • Istanbul Bosphorus Dinner Cruise & Soft Drinks: $40
  • Istanbul Dinner Cruise&Show: $40

Typical Food prices in London

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


  • Lunch at Starbucks
    $18
  • Tea
    $8.30
  • Afternoon Tea at Fortnum & Mason
    $54
  • Morning Tea
    $8.79
  • Pastry
    $6.92
  • Sushi Dinner for One
    $25

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
  • Moroccan Couscous Dinner in Shoreditch: $50
  • Modern British Dinner at Chef's Home in East London: $62
  • Dinner with Filmmakers & Filmmaking Experience in London: $74
  • 3-Hour Secret British Food Tour: $82
  • Private Cooking Class with a London Cookbook Author: $87
  • BYOB Pizza Workshop Supper Club: $91
  • 3-Hour Thames Jazz Dinner Cruise: $92
  • 4-Hour East End Food Tour: $98
  • Evening City & Food Tour (non-guided): $110
  • London Half-Day Food Tour: International Foods of Soho: $111
  • Soho International Food Tour: $113

Local Transportation

The cost of a taxi ride in Istanbul is significantly more than public transportation. On average, past travelers have spent $5.56 per person, per day, on local transportation in Istanbul.

London's transportation costs can vary by the type of transport chosen by visitors. Naturally, taxis and private drivers cost much more than public transportation options. On average, visitors spend $28 per person, per day on transportation in London.


  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Istanbul $5.56
    London $28
Typical Local Transportation prices in Istanbul

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


  • Ferry
    $0.33
  • Local Bus
    $0.35

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
  • Private Luxury Transfer from Istanbul Airport to Istanbul City: $317

Typical Local Transportation prices in London

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


  • Taxi Ride
    $20
  • Heathrow Express
    $25
  • Luggage Storage
    $11
  • London Map
    $1.79
  • Oyster Card
    $50
  • Train to Gatwick Airport (2)
    $30
  • Oyster Card
    $37

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: $11
  • London Airports: Shared Transfer to London Hotels: $16
  • Luton Airport to Central London Bus Transfer: $16
  • 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
  • Shared Transfer from London City Center to Heathrow: $28
  • Heathrow Airport to London City Center: Shared Transfer: $28
  • Shared City Center Transfer to London City Airport: $30
  • Shared Transfer from London City Airport to City Center: $30

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.





Entertainment

Entertainment and activities in Istanbul typically cost an average of $35 per person, per day. This includes fees paid for admission tickets to museums and attractions, day tours, and other sightseeing expenses.

Sightseeing, admission tickets, things to do, and other entertainment expenses in London can vary widely by price. On average, visitors spend around $36 per person, per day on entertainment and sightseeing here.


  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Istanbul $35
    London $36
Typical Entertainment prices in Istanbul

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


  • Bosphurus Boat (for 2)
    $2.36
  • Yerebatan Cistern for Two
    $2.36
  • Museum of Turkish and Islamic Arts for Two
    $1.18
  • Hagia Sofia entrance
    $3.54

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
    $115
  • London Symphony Orchestra
    $48
  • London Pass
    $65
  • Comedy Show
    $11

Tours and Activities in London

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

  • Royal Canadian Regiment Museum: Historic Wolseley Barracks Tour: $5.64
  • Shakespeare's Italy Virtual Experience: $6.90
  • 59-Minutes British Museum Audio-guided Tour: $8.71
  • Banqueting House Entrance Ticket: $9.22
  • 59-Minutes National Gallery Audio-guided Tour: $9.95
  • The Clink Prison Museum Admission Tickets: $11
  • 12 Angry Guests: The Online Jury Experience: $11
  • British Museum Guided Tour: $12
  • Private 90-Minute London Kick-Start Tour with a Local: $13
  • Virtual Guided Tour of London's Off the Beaten Track Areas: $14
  • Guided Tour of Handel House: $14
  • London Old City Highlights Walking Tour in Spanish: $14

Alcohol

The average person spends about $8.51 on alcoholic beverages in Istanbul per day. The more you spend on alcohol, the more fun you might be having despite your higher budget.

Alcoholic beverages can often be a significant portion of a traveler's budget, and the costs can vary greatly from person to person. In London, the average amount that a visitor spends on alcoholic beverages per day is $17.


  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Istanbul $8.51
    London $17

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:

  • 5-Hour Shoreditch Pub Crawl: $14
  • Central London 4-Hour Pub Crawl: $14
  • Central Daily 5-Hour Pub Crawl: $14
  • The Shoreditch Pub Crawl: $14
  • Camden Pub Crawl: $14
  • The London Pub Crawl - Shoreditch: $14
  • Camden Pub Crawl: $20
  • 3-Hour Pub Tour: $21
  • The Original Shoreditch Pub Crawl: $28
  • 2-Hour Historic Pub Tour: $28
  • London Pub Crawl and Nightlife Tour: $28
  • Sipsmith Distillery Tour and Complimentary Tasting: $35


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.

Budget Your Trip

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Istanbul vs. London Travel Comparison

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