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

Should you visit Istanbul or Warsaw?

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

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

Warsaw

Warsaw is a cultural, historical, and under-rated 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 Warsaw: Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Popular for food and cuisine
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
  • Very walkable
  • 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 with backpackers
  • Less walkable


How is Istanbul different from Warsaw?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

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

Is Istanbul or Warsaw Better for Museums and Historical Sights?

Istanbul
Warsaw

Both Istanbul and Warsaw 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 Warsaw. There are a number of landmarks and interesting museums around town. Many of the museums focus on the area's history, including the Warsaw Rising Museum, POLIN Museum of the History of Polish Jews, and the Museum of Warsaw. Other notable sights include the Royal Castle, Łazienki Królewskie Park, and Wilanów Palace Museum and Park.


Is Istanbul or Warsaw Better for Food?

Istanbul
Warsaw

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

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.

Warsaw has a delicious restaurant scene that relies on local flavors. The city's restaurants are diverse with a combination of international flavors, Michelin Star restaurants, and Soviet era "milk bars". Traditional dishes are hearty with many soups, dumplings, and desserts to choose from. Some of the most famous dishes include pierogis (dumplings), zurek (soup), and borsch (beetroot soup).

Is Istanbul or Warsaw Better for Nightlife?

Istanbul
Warsaw

Evening events are similar in both Istanbul and Warsaw.

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.

Warsaw has a lively atmosphere and nightlife is popular here. The city has an active nightlife scene with many bars and clubs spread out in a number of different areas. Many locals dress for the occasion, so depending on your hangout spot of choice, you may want to dress to impress.

Is Istanbul or Warsaw Better for its Old Town?

Istanbul
Warsaw

Istanbul and Warsaw 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.

Warsaw is an extremely popular place to visit the historic old town area. While many buildings have been rebuilt following World War II, there are still some historical gems to explore. St. John's Archcathedral dates back to the 14th century and Rynek Starego Miasta is the square at the heart of the old town.

Is Istanbul or Warsaw Better for Shopping?

Istanbul
Warsaw

Both Istanbul and Warsaw 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.

Shopping is a popular activity when visiting Warsaw. The city has malls, shopping streets, flea markets and boutiques to explore. There are both global brands and local items to choose from. For the best deals you should head to an outlet mall.


Is Istanbul or Warsaw Better for Families?

Istanbul
Warsaw

Istanbul and Warsaw 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.

Warsaw is a family-friendly city. The city has many museums that are dedicated to the area's history. These museums may, at times, cover difficult topics for young children, but there are also science and technology museums that are perfect for young minds. Make sure you check out the Copernicus Science Center. There's also a city zoo and many parks that are fun to explore.

Is Istanbul or Warsaw Better for Couples?

Istanbul
Warsaw

Istanbul and Warsaw 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.

Warsaw makes for a fun place to visit for a couple. While many of the city's historical buildings were destroyed during the war, there are a few gems that remain. Couples will enjoy visiting the Wilanów Palace and the Palace of Culture and Science. There are also many parks and gardens where you can wander or enjoy a picnic. And, of course, the old town is a beautiful way to pass the time.

Is Istanbul or Warsaw Better for Backpackers and Budget Travelers?

Istanbul
Warsaw

While Warsaw and Istanbul are both good for backpackers, overall Istanbul is more popular.

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.

Plenty of backpackers visit Warsaw. While it's not as popular as many other city's in the area, this city remains affordable and fascinating for those who pass through. There are a few hostels around town as well as cheap places to grab a bite to eat.

Is Istanbul or Warsaw Better for Students?

Istanbul
Warsaw

Istanbul and Warsaw 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.

Students come from all over to stay in Warsaw. The city's long history and current standing as a cultural and economic hub make it appealing to international students. The prices are reasonable and the opportunities for students are abundant.


Is Istanbul or Warsaw Better for Public Transit?

Istanbul
Warsaw

Both Istanbul and Warsaw 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.

Warsaw has some very good public transit options. There are buses, trams, and a metro available.

Is Istanbul or Warsaw a more walkable city?

Istanbul
Warsaw

Istanbul is generally more walkable than Warsaw.

Istanbul is very walkable. Although it is huge, most of the neighborhoods that tourists visit are incredibly walkable and pedestrian-friendly.

Warsaw is generally not a very walkable city. Many sights are spread out, so walking between attractions isn't always the best option.

Should I spend more time in Warsaw or Istanbul?

How long in Istanbul or Warsaw?

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

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


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

One day in Istanbul or Warsaw?

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 Warsaw offers food and shopping. Exploring the old town is a popular activity. 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 Warsaw?

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.

Warsaw 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. Make sure you visit the old town while you're here. While some people choose to spend more or less time in Warsaw, a weekend is sufficent for most. Take your pick from the many activities offered here.


Five days in Istanbul or Warsaw?

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.

Warsaw 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 Warsaw?

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.

Warsaw is a great place to explore. Visiting the old town is also a must. 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, Warsaw 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 Warsaw is $68. 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 Warsaw in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Istanbul $26
    Warsaw $41
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Istanbul $52
    Warsaw $82
Compare Hotels in Istanbul and Warsaw

Looking for a hotel in Istanbul or Warsaw? 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 Warsaw


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 Warsaw Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Istanbul $2.50
    Warsaw $3.48
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

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Warsaw

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

  • Private Airport Transfer: from Warsaw to Warsaw Chopin Airport (WAW): $16
  • Private Warsaw Chopin Airport One Way Transfer: $17
  • Luxury Departure Airport Transfer from Warsaw Center to Warsaw Chopin Airport: $18
  • Private transfer from any location in Warsaw to Central Railway Station: $22
  • Private transfer from Warsaw city center to Chopin Airport WAW: $25
  • Private transfer from Central Railway Station to any location in Warsaw: $25
  • Private Transfer: Warsaw to Warsaw Chopin Airport (WAW): $27
  • Private Airport Transfer: from Warsaw to Modlin Airport (WMI): $28
  • Warsaw Chopin Airport One Way Private Transfer: $28
  • Private Transfer to/from Warsaw Chopin Airport (WAW): $28
  • Unique Private Transfer from Warsaw Hotels to Warsaw Airport: $30
  • Private transfer with pick-up from Chopin Airport WAW to Warsaw city center: $30

Is it cheaper to fly into Istanbul or Warsaw?

Prices for flights to both Warsaw 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
    Warsaw $16
Typical Food prices in Istanbul

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


  • Juice
    $0.11
  • Turkish Delight
    $0.03
  • Dessert
    $0.45
  • 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 Warsaw

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


  • Dinner for Two
    $12
  • Lunch for Two
    $9.70

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Warsaw

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

  • Polish Food Tour: $56
  • Traditional Polish Cooking Class in Warsaw: $64
  • Traditional Food Tour with Old Town Sightseeing: $71
  • 4-Hour Polish Food Tour: $90
  • Warsaw Food Tour small group tour by retro minibus: $91
  • Warsaw 6h Private Tour + Traditional Polish Dinner: $118
  • Nicolaus Copernicus Legacy: Private Tour from Warsaw to Torun + Polish Dinner: $274

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Istanbul $16
    Warsaw $5.21
Typical Entertainment prices in Istanbul

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


  • Bosphurus Boat (for 2)
    $1.06
  • Yerebatan Cistern for Two
    $1.06
  • Museum of Turkish and Islamic Arts for Two
    $0.53
  • Hagia Sofia entrance
    $1.59

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 Warsaw

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

  • Skip the Line: Neon Muzeum Admission Ticket: $5.52
  • Skip the Line: Museum of Life Under Communism Ticket: $6.22
  • World of Illusion Museum Skip-the-Line Ticket: $9.18
  • Warsaw Royal Route: Public Tour: $13
  • Old Town Guided Walking Tour: $15
  • Christmas Tour: $23
  • Evening vistula river cruise: $28
  • Highlights Guided Retro Bus Tour: $28
  • Warsaw's Alternative Side: Praga District Private Tour: $36
  • 3-Hour Morning Historical Sites Bus and Walking Tour: $40
  • Warsaw Afternoon, guided, social-distance bus, city tour with pick up&drop off: $44
  • Small-Group Historical Guided Tour of Warsaw with pick up/drop off. Public Tour.: $44

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Istanbul $3.83
    Warsaw $7.75

Sample the Local Flavors in Istanbul

Some specific costs for nightlife related activities in Istanbul:

  • Daily Tekirdag Wine Tasting Tour from Istanbul: $427


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


When is the best time to visit Istanbul or Warsaw?

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 Warsaw in the Summer?

The summer brings many poeple to Istanbul as well as Warsaw. The city activities and the family-friendly experiences are the main draw to Istanbul this time of year. Also, many travelers come to Warsaw for the city activities and the family-friendly experiences.

Istanbul is a little warmer than Warsaw in the summer. The temperature in Istanbul is usually 24°C (74°F) in July, and Warsaw stays around 19°C (65°F).

The sun comes out a lot this time of the year in Warsaw. People are often attracted to the plentiful sunshine in Istanbul this time of the year. In the summer, Istanbul often gets around the same amount of sunshine as Warsaw. Istanbul gets 333 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Warsaw receives 353 hours of full sun.

Istanbul usually gets less rain in July than Warsaw. Istanbul gets 19 mm (0.7 in) of rain, while Warsaw receives 67 mm (2.6 in) of rain this time of the year.


  • Summer Average Temperatures July
    Istanbul 24°C (74°F) 
    Warsaw 19°C (65°F)

Should I visit Istanbul or Warsaw in the Autumn?

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

In the autumn, Istanbul is much warmer than Warsaw. Typically, the autumn temperatures in Istanbul in October are around 16°C (61°F), and Warsaw is about 9°C (49°F).

Istanbul usually receives more sunshine than Warsaw during autumn. Istanbul gets 169 hours of sunny skies, while Warsaw receives 135 hours of full sun in the autumn.

In October, Istanbul usually receives more rain than Warsaw. Istanbul gets 71 mm (2.8 in) of rain, while Warsaw receives 38 mm (1.5 in) of rain each month for the autumn.


  • Autumn Average Temperatures October
    Istanbul 16°C (61°F) 
    Warsaw 9°C (49°F)

Should I visit Istanbul or Warsaw in the Winter?

Both Warsaw and Istanbul during the winter are popular places to visit. Many visitors come to Istanbul in the winter for the museums, the shopping scene, and the cuisine. Furthermore, most visitors come to Warsaw for the museums, the shopping scene, and the cuisine during these months.

Warsaw can be very cold during winter. In January, Istanbul is generally much warmer than Warsaw. Temperatures in Istanbul average around 6°C (43°F), and Warsaw stays around -3°C (27°F).

In the winter, Istanbul often gets more sunshine than Warsaw. Istanbul gets 75 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Warsaw receives 35 hours of full sun.

Istanbul usually gets more rain in January than Warsaw. Istanbul gets 99 mm (3.9 in) of rain, while Warsaw receives 22 mm (0.9 in) of rain this time of the year.


  • Winter Average Temperatures January
    Istanbul 6°C (43°F) 
    Warsaw -3°C (27°F)

Should I visit Istanbul or Warsaw in the Spring?

The spring attracts plenty of travelers to both Istanbul and Warsaw. Most visitors come to Istanbul for the activities around the city and the natural beauty during these months. Furthermore, the spring months attract visitors to Warsaw because of the activities around the city and the natural beauty.

Istanbul is a little warmer than Warsaw in the spring. The temperature in Istanbul is usually 13°C (55°F) in April, and Warsaw stays around 9°C (47°F).

People are often attracted to the plentiful sunshine in Warsaw this time of the year. Istanbul usually receives less sunshine than Warsaw during spring. Istanbul gets 180 hours of sunny skies, while Warsaw receives 247 hours of full sun in the spring.

In April, Istanbul usually receives more rain than Warsaw. Istanbul gets 49 mm (1.9 in) of rain, while Warsaw receives 32 mm (1.3 in) of rain each month for the spring.


  • Spring Average Temperatures April
    Istanbul 13°C (55°F) 
    Warsaw 9°C (47°F)

Typical Weather for Warsaw and Istanbul

Istanbul Warsaw
Temp (°C) Rain (mm) Temp (°C) Rain (mm)
Jan 6°C (43°F) 99 mm (3.9 in) -3°C (27°F) 22 mm (0.9 in)
Feb 6°C (44°F) 67 mm (2.6 in) -1°C (30°F) 21 mm (0.8 in)
Mar 8°C (47°F) 62 mm (2.4 in) 3°C (37°F) 28 mm (1.1 in)
Apr 13°C (55°F) 49 mm (1.9 in) 9°C (47°F) 32 mm (1.3 in)
May 17°C (63°F) 31 mm (1.2 in) 14°C (57°F) 59 mm (2.3 in)
Jun 21°C (71°F) 21 mm (0.8 in) 17°C (63°F) 72 mm (2.8 in)
Jul 24°C (74°F) 19 mm (0.7 in) 19°C (65°F) 67 mm (2.6 in)
Aug 24°C (74°F) 26 mm (1 in) 18°C (65°F) 63 mm (2.5 in)
Sep 20°C (69°F) 41 mm (1.6 in) 14°C (58°F) 43 mm (1.7 in)
Oct 16°C (61°F) 71 mm (2.8 in) 9°C (49°F) 38 mm (1.5 in)
Nov 12°C (54°F) 89 mm (3.5 in) 4°C (39°F) 42 mm (1.7 in)
Dec 9°C (47°F) 122 mm (4.8 in) -0°C (31°F) 32 mm (1.3 in)


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Istanbul vs. Warsaw Travel Comparison

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