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

Should you visit Istanbul or Lucerne?

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

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

Lucerne

Lucerne is a cultural, historic, and vibrant city. Since it's a large city, you'll find plenty of things to do. This is also a very beautiful destination which attracts plenty of visitors. It's also known for nightlife, food, and shopping.

Istanbul and Lucerne: Pros and Cons

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


How is Istanbul different from Lucerne?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

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

Is Istanbul or Lucerne Better for Museums and Historical Sights?

Istanbul
Lucerne

Both Istanbul and Lucerne 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.

You'll find a good number of museums and monuments packed into Lucerne. Top sights in town include the famous Chapel Bridge, the Lion Monument and the town walls and towers. There are also a number of museums including the Swiss Transport Museum and Museum Sammlung Rosengart.


Is Istanbul or Lucerne Better for Food?

Istanbul
Lucerne

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

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.

Lucerne has a delicious restaurant scene that relies on local flavors. Food is expensive around town, but there are some unique specialties like fondue, br├Ątwurst, and of course, chocolate. It's nice to sit out by the river and enjoy a hearty meal while you soak up the view.

Is Istanbul or Lucerne Better for Nightlife?

Istanbul
Lucerne

Evening events are similar in both Istanbul and Lucerne.

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.

Lucerne has a lively atmosphere and nightlife is popular here. The city has some of the best nightlife in Switzerland, with many lively clubs, bars, and pubs. There are also many local events that hosted in town and bring in a crowd.

Is Istanbul or Lucerne Better for its Old Town?

Istanbul
Lucerne

While Lucerne and Istanbul both have old towns, overall Istanbul is more well-known.

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.

Plenty of visitors enjoy exploring the old town in Lucerne. Sitting on the water's edge, this old town has a number of historic buildings and the beautiful Chapel Bridge.

Is Istanbul or Lucerne Better for Shopping?

Istanbul
Lucerne

Both Istanbul and Lucerne 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.

Lucerne is well-known for its shopping. The city is filled with high end shopping opportunities with everything from boutique shops to major chains. Popular items to purchase in town include chocolate, watches, jewelry, and Swiss army knives.


Is Istanbul or Lucerne Better for Families?

Istanbul
Lucerne

Istanbul and Lucerne 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.

Lucerne is a family-friendly city. The city is filled with history and there are a number of playgrounds around town. If the weather's warm, you can also take a swim in Lake Lucerne. Many kids enjoy escaping the city and doing a day trip to the amazing Mt. Titlis, or other peaks that are nearby.

Is Istanbul or Lucerne Better for Couples?

Istanbul
Lucerne

Istanbul and Lucerne 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.

Lucerne makes for a fun place to visit for a couple. The city has many pleasant square, excellent restaurants, and a romantic atmosphere that makes for a great couple's getaway. There are a number of nice hotels to choose from as well.

Is Istanbul or Lucerne Better for Public Transit?

Istanbul
Lucerne

While Lucerne 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.

Lucerne has some public transit options. There's a comprehensive system of buses around town.

Is Istanbul or Lucerne a more walkable city?

Istanbul
Lucerne

Istanbul and Lucerne 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.

Lucerne is a somewhat walkable place. The major tourist areas are fairly walkable if your hotel is in a convenient location.


Should I spend more time in Lucerne or Istanbul?

How long in Istanbul or Lucerne?

Visitors can find plenty of fun things to do in both Istanbul and Lucerne. With generally more activities and things to do, visitors tend to spend more time in Istanbul than Lucerne.

The ideal length of time for a trip to Istanbul is 3-7 days, and the ideal length of time for a trip to Lucerne is 1-3 days.


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

One day in Istanbul or Lucerne?

Because Istanbul is a large city, there are a variety of ways to spend your time. Most visitors spend time around the old town while in the area. This city offers something for everyone. One day is usually not enough time for a trip here as there is plenty to do.

The beautiful city of Lucerne offers food and shopping. 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 Lucerne?

Because Istanbul is a large city, there are a variety of ways to spend your time. The length of your trip often depends on your style of travel. Visiting the old town is also a must. Since there is so much to do in the area, a weekend is probably not enough for all of it.

Lucerne 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 Lucerne, a weekend is sufficent for most. Take your pick from the many activities offered here.

Five days in Istanbul or Lucerne?

Istanbul is a great place to explore. It is common to spend five days here. The old town is one of the main draws for visitors. Five days is a great amount of time to relax and see the many things that Istanbul has to offer. Anyone can find something fun to do here.

Lucerne is a popular choice for travelers. Five days is usually plenty of time to spend here with extra days to spare. With this much time, visitors often visit nearby destinations or take day trips. The entire region has so many activities, and you'll want time to do everything.

A week in Istanbul or Lucerne?

It's hard to know how much time to spend in Istanbul. Because Istanbul is a large city, there are a variety of ways to spend your time. Exploring the old town is a popular activity. With all of its activities, you can easily fill one week here.

Lucerne is a great place to explore. 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, Lucerne or Istanbul?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Istanbul is $65, while the average daily cost in Lucerne is $218. 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 Lucerne in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Istanbul $37
    Lucerne $139
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Istanbul $74
    Lucerne $278
Compare Hotels in Istanbul and Lucerne

Looking for a hotel in Istanbul or Lucerne? 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 Lucerne


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 Lucerne Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Istanbul $4.45
    Lucerne $13
Typical Local Transportation prices in Istanbul

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


  • Ferry
    $0.14
  • Local Bus
    $0.15

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

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Lucerne

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

  • Private transfer from Lucerne City to Lucerne Train Station: $110
  • Zurich Airport Transfers : Lucerne City to Zurich Airport ZRH in Business Car: $118
  • Private Transfer from Lucerne City to interlaken City: $174
  • Departure Private Transfer Lucerne-Basel-Bern to Zurich Airport by Business Car: $191
  • Between Basel and Luzern: One-Way Private Transfer: $193
  • Zurich Airport Transfers : Lucerne City to Zurich Airport ZRH in Luxury Van: $207
  • From Canyoning in Interlaken w/ Return Transfer: $239
  • Rafting in Interlaken with Return Transfer from Lucerne: $239
  • Zurich Airport: Private Transfer to/from Lucerne: $240
  • Departure Private Transfer Lucerne-Basel-Bern to Zurich Airport by Luxury Van: $251
  • Private transfer from Lucerne City to Zurich Airport: $271
  • ZRH Airport - Lucern City (Transfer Service): $287

Is it cheaper to fly into Istanbul or Lucerne?

Prices for flights to both Lucerne 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 $20
    Lucerne $63
Typical Food prices in Istanbul

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


  • Juice
    $0.10
  • Turkish Delight
    $0.03
  • Dessert
    $0.43
  • 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

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Istanbul $22
    Lucerne $35
Typical Entertainment prices in Istanbul

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


  • Bosphurus Boat (for 2)
    $1.02
  • Yerebatan Cistern for Two
    $1.02
  • Museum of Turkish and Islamic Arts for Two
    $0.51
  • Hagia Sofia entrance
    $1.53

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 Lucerne

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


  • 1 Day Bicycle Rental
    $35
  • The Swiss Transport Museum Entrance Fee
    $36

Tours and Activities in Lucerne

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

  • Swiss Chocolate Adventure Experience at Swiss Museum of Transport in Lucerne: $19
  • Lucerne Swiss Museum of Transport Entrance Ticket: $39
  • Mount Titlis: Admission Ticket: $52
  • Pearls of Switzerland Cristina Tschuppert Private city walking tour Lucerne: $178
  • Day Trip from Grindelwald First Mountain Adventure: $206
  • Chocolate World Experience and Tasting Private Tour from Luzern: $226
  • Lucerne City Walking Tour in Portuguese (1-2 guests): $231
  • Luzern City Tour with Lake Cruise Private Tour: $231
  • Lake Lucerne Villas & Castles Private Walking Tour: $234
  • Lake Lucerne Castles and Villas Tour: $261
  • Mount Rigi with Lake Cruise Private Tour from Luzern: $279
  • ALL TRANSPORT INCLUSIVE Mt. Pilatus Guided Golden Roundtrip Tour: $280

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Istanbul $5.26
    Lucerne $22

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 Lucerne

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

  • Chocolate, Cheese and Wine Tour in Luzern region: $627


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


When is the best time to visit Istanbul or Lucerne?

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 Lucerne in the Summer?

The summer brings many poeple to Istanbul as well as Lucerne. Many travelers come to Istanbul for the city activities and the family-friendly experiences. Additionally, many visitors come to Lucerne in the summer for the city activities and the family-friendly experiences.

In July, Istanbul is generally around the same temperature as Lucerne. Temperatures in Istanbul average around 24°C (74°F), and Lucerne stays around 21°C (70°F).

The sun comes out a lot this time of the year in Lucerne. People are often attracted to the plentiful sunshine in Istanbul this time of the year. In the summer, Istanbul often gets more sunshine than Lucerne. Istanbul gets 333 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Lucerne receives 241 hours of full sun.

Istanbul usually gets less rain in July than Lucerne. Istanbul gets 19 mm (0.7 in) of rain, while Lucerne receives 89 mm (3.5 in) of rain this time of the year.


  • Summer Average Temperatures July
    Istanbul 24°C (74°F) 
    Lucerne 21°C (70°F)

Should I visit Istanbul or Lucerne in the Autumn?

Both Lucerne and Istanbul are popular destinations to visit in the autumn with plenty of activities. Many visitors come to Istanbul in the autumn for the city's sights and attractions, the shopping scene, and the natural beauty of the area. Also, most visitors come to Lucerne for the city's sights and attractions, the shopping scene, and the natural beauty of the area during these months.

Istanbul is a little warmer than Lucerne in the autumn. The temperature in Istanbul is usually 16°C (61°F) in October, and Lucerne stays around 13°C (56°F).

Istanbul usually receives more sunshine than Lucerne during autumn. Istanbul gets 169 hours of sunny skies, while Lucerne receives 120 hours of full sun in the autumn.

In October, Istanbul usually receives around the same amount of rain as Lucerne. Istanbul gets 71 mm (2.8 in) of rain, while Lucerne receives 70 mm (2.8 in) of rain each month for the autumn.


  • Autumn Average Temperatures October
    Istanbul 16°C (61°F) 
    Lucerne 13°C (56°F)

Should I visit Istanbul or Lucerne in the Winter?

Both Lucerne and Istanbul during the winter are popular places to visit. Most visitors come to Istanbul for the museums, the shopping scene, and the cuisine during these months. Also, the winter months attract visitors to Lucerne because of the museums, the shopping scene, and the cuisine.

The weather in Lucerne can be very cold. In the winter, Istanbul is much warmer than Lucerne. Typically, the winter temperatures in Istanbul in January are around 6°C (43°F), and Lucerne is about 3°C (37°F).

In the winter, Istanbul often gets more sunshine than Lucerne. Istanbul gets 75 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Lucerne receives 55 hours of full sun.

Istanbul usually gets more rain in January than Lucerne. Istanbul gets 99 mm (3.9 in) of rain, while Lucerne receives 77 mm (3 in) of rain this time of the year.


  • Winter Average Temperatures January
    Istanbul 6°C (43°F) 
    Lucerne 3°C (37°F)

Should I visit Istanbul or Lucerne in the Spring?

The spring attracts plenty of travelers to both Istanbul and Lucerne. The spring months attract visitors to Istanbul because of the activities around the city and the natural beauty. Also, the activities around the city and the natural beauty are the main draw to Lucerne this time of year.

In April, Istanbul is generally around the same temperature as Lucerne. Temperatures in Istanbul average around 13°C (55°F), and Lucerne stays around 12°C (53°F).

Istanbul usually receives more sunshine than Lucerne during spring. Istanbul gets 180 hours of sunny skies, while Lucerne receives 150 hours of full sun in the spring.

In April, Istanbul usually receives less rain than Lucerne. Istanbul gets 49 mm (1.9 in) of rain, while Lucerne receives 79 mm (3.1 in) of rain each month for the spring.


  • Spring Average Temperatures April
    Istanbul 13°C (55°F) 
    Lucerne 12°C (53°F)

Typical Weather for Lucerne and Istanbul

Istanbul Lucerne
Temp (°C) Rain (mm) Temp (°C) Rain (mm)
Jan 6°C (43°F) 99 mm (3.9 in) 3°C (37°F) 77 mm (3 in)
Feb 6°C (44°F) 67 mm (2.6 in) 5°C (40°F) 70 mm (2.8 in)
Mar 8°C (47°F) 62 mm (2.4 in) 8°C (46°F) 72 mm (2.8 in)
Apr 13°C (55°F) 49 mm (1.9 in) 12°C (53°F) 79 mm (3.1 in)
May 17°C (63°F) 31 mm (1.2 in) 16°C (60°F) 101 mm (4 in)
Jun 21°C (71°F) 21 mm (0.8 in) 19°C (66°F) 100 mm (3.9 in)
Jul 24°C (74°F) 19 mm (0.7 in) 21°C (70°F) 89 mm (3.5 in)
Aug 24°C (74°F) 26 mm (1 in) 21°C (69°F) 104 mm (4.1 in)
Sep 20°C (69°F) 41 mm (1.6 in) 18°C (64°F) 79 mm (3.1 in)
Oct 16°C (61°F) 71 mm (2.8 in) 13°C (56°F) 70 mm (2.8 in)
Nov 12°C (54°F) 89 mm (3.5 in) 7°C (45°F) 82 mm (3.2 in)
Dec 9°C (47°F) 122 mm (4.8 in) 4°C (39°F) 83 mm (3.3 in)


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Istanbul vs. Lucerne Travel Comparison

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