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

Should you visit Istanbul or New York City?

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

If you're trying to decide where to visit between Istanbul or New York City, 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 historic, diverse, and beautiful 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. Other reasons to visit include food, shopping, and museums.

New York City

New York City is a cosmopolitan, one-of-a-kind, and vibrant city. It's an amazing and huge city with tons of activities and things to do. It's a gorgeous place to visit. It's also known for nightlife, live music, and food.

How is Istanbul different from New York City?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

Is Istanbul or New York City better for Museums and Historical Sights?

Both Istanbul and New York City 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.

Travelers visit New York City from around the world to see its many world-famous attractions. The sights and museums around the city are too numerous to list, but some of the most famous include the Statue of Liberty, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Museum of Modern Art, Central Park, and the Empire State Building.


Is Istanbul or New York City better for Food?

Picking the best between Istanbul and New York City 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.

Eat your way through New York City, as it has many local or world renowned restaurants to choose from. The city has a diverse variety of restaurants, from local dives to Michelin star options. Quintessential NYC dishes include NYC pizza, NYC hot dogs, bagels, and Chinese dim sum.

Is Istanbul or New York City better for Nightlife?

Evening events are similar in both Istanbul and New York City.

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.

New York City is a world class party destination. Known as the city that never sleeps, you can be assured that NYC has some of the best nightlife in the world. Several famous clubs include Paul's Cocktail Lounge, Le Bain, and Avant Gardner.

Is Istanbul or New York City better for Shopping?

Both Istanbul and New York City 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.

People travel from around the world to go shopping in New York City. The shopping is as diverse as the city itself. Head for Fifth Avenue for high end shopping or check out any of the many street markets for local items.

Is Istanbul or New York City better for Families?

Istanbul and New York City 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.

New York City is a very family-friendly destination. The city has many activities for kids of all ages including world class museums, beautifully designed playgrounds, and theater shows designed just for young ones.


Is Istanbul or New York City better for Couples?

Istanbul and New York City 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.

New York City makes for a fun place to visit for a couple. From a beautiful carriage ride through Central Park, to a romantic river cruise at night, there is an endless list of unique activities that couples can enjoy in the city.

Is Istanbul or New York City better for Backpackers and Budget Travelers?

Both Istanbul and New York City 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.

Many backpackers visit New York City. It isn't a particularly budget friendly destination, but it does get its share of backpackers, so you'll find a nice list of hostels and affordable hangouts that are perfect for the backpacker crowd.

Is Istanbul or New York City better for Students?

Istanbul and New York City 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.

New York City is a very popular place to visit for students. The city has a diverse population, and international students will feel right at home here exploring the city. There are also plenty of major universities including NYU, Columbia University, and Cornell University.

Is Istanbul or New York City better for Public Transit?

Both Istanbul and New York City 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.

New York City has a world-class public transit network to take passengers everywhere in the city. The city has one of the largest subway systems in the world. There's also an elaborate bus system, ferry system, and yellow taxis all around town.


Is Istanbul or New York City a more walkable city?

Istanbul and New York City 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 New York City. The majority of the neighborhoods in Manhattan are very walkable and easy to explore on foot. Most people prefer not to drive here as it can be overwhelming and chaotic.

Istanbul and New York City: 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


Should I spend more time in New York City or Istanbul?

How long in Istanbul or New York City?

Both Istanbul and New York City 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 New York City is 3-7 days.


  • How many days in Istanbul or New York City? Ideal Length of Stay
    Istanbul 3-7 
    New York City 3-7

One day in Istanbul or New York City?

Istanbul is a bustling city that offers something for everyone. Exploring the old town is a popular activity. Your budget might influence how long you stay. Since there is so much to do in the area, one day is probably not enough for all of it.

The city of New York City 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 New York City?

It's hard to know how much time to spend in Istanbul. Make sure you visit the old town while you're here. It has many unique tourist attractions and fascinating things to do. A weekend is usually not enough time for a trip here as there is plenty to do.

New York City is a popular place that is full of things to see and experience. 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 New York City?

Istanbul is a bustling city that offers something for everyone. Most visitors spend time around the old town while in the area. This city offers a variety of activities to choose from. If you have five days, this is a great place to go. Five days is usually enough time for a trip here.

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


A week in Istanbul or New York City?

Istanbul is a bustling city that offers something for everyone. Visiting the old town is also a must. Plenty of people spend one week here when traveling.So, one week is just the right amount of time to spend here. The length of your ideal trip is an individual decision.

New York City 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 New York City has to offer. This city offers something for everyone.

Which city is cheaper, New York City 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 New York City is $238. 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 New York City in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Istanbul $29
    New York City $137
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Istanbul $58
    New York City $274

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Istanbul $2.75
    New York City $39
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:

  • ─░stanbul Private Airport Transfer: $19
  • ─░stanbul 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 New York City

Some typical examples of transportation costs in New York City are as follows:


  • Subway
    $4.50
  • Taxi Ride
    $8.00
  • Subway
    $2.50

Hired Cars and Shuttles in New York City

Also for New York City, here are a few examples of actual transportation services:

  • Private Departure Transfer Manhattan to NYC Airports JFK EWR LGA: $22
  • Private Departure Transfer Brooklyn to NYC Airports (JFK) (LGA) (EWR): $29
  • New York City Shared Shuttle Departure Transfer: Hotel to NYC Airports: $30
  • Private All Inclusive New York Transfer: Airport or Manhattan to Cruise Port: $71
  • Private New York airport transfer: New York airport to Manhattan and Brooklyn: $83
  • Private Transfer from New York City to LaGuardia Airport: $85
  • Private transfer: New York to New York Airport (LGA): $86
  • Private All Inclusive New York City Airport Arrival Transfer: $90
  • Private All Inclusive New York City Airport Departure Transfer: $90
  • Manhattan Private Luxury Transfer to NYC Airports: $98
  • New York Airport Luxury Departure Transfer via Stretch Limousine, SUV, Sedan: $100
  • Private Transfer from Manhattan to John F Kennedy Airport JFK by Luxury Car: $111

Is it cheaper to fly into Istanbul or New York City?

Prices for flights to both New York City 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
    New York City $37
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 New York City

For New York City, here are some examples of average food and meal prices for travelers:


  • Gelato
    $7.50
  • Snacks for Two at Yankees Game
    $34
  • Coffee
    $6.53
  • Smoothie
    $6.95

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in New York City

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

  • New York Pizza, Beer, and History Tour: $69
  • Greenwich Village History, Culture, and Food Tour with Local Expert: $129
  • Private New York City Food Tour of East Village and Greenwich Village: $147
  • JAPANESE guided tour! Bateaux Dinner Cruise tour with hotel transportation. The best way to enjoy the Manhattan night view from the river & sea. Full course French dinner, live band music included.: $333
  • Limo trip Hotel to Dinner round trip in NEW MKT Limousine: $481

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Istanbul $17
    New York City $77
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

Typical Entertainment prices in New York City

Below are a few sample prices from actual travelers for New York City's activities, tours, and tickets:


  • Comedy Show Tickets
    $56
  • City Map
    $8.00
  • Broadway Musical
    $111
  • Broadway Show Program
    $10
  • Magazine
    $6.99

Tours and Activities in New York City

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

  • New York: Brooklyn Heights & DUMBO Self-Guided Walking Tour: $6.00
  • 9/11 Tribute Museum Admission Ticket: $12
  • Central Park Zoo General Admission Ticket: $14
  • New York Self-Guided Audio Tour: $14
  • Brooklyn Museum General Admission Ticket: $14
  • New York: The Rubin Museum of Art Admission Ticket: $19
  • New York Aquarium Admission Tickets: $20
  • Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island Ticket: $21
  • American Dream: TiLT Interactive Museum Admission Ticket: $21
  • American Museum of Natural History Ticket: $23
  • New York Botanical Garden Admission Ticket: $23
  • American Museum of Natural History Admission Ticket: $23

For more ideas for your next trip, check out The Best Things to do in New York City with Kids, Things to Do in Central Park in NYC, and The Best Museums in New York City.


Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Istanbul $4.21
    New York City $23

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 New York City

Some specific costs for nightlife related activities in New York City:

  • Pub Crawl Tour of Historic Stone Street: $40


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

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Istanbul vs. New York City Travel Comparison

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