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

Should you visit Istanbul or Zurich?

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

If you're trying to decide where to visit between Istanbul or Zurich, 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 diverse, beautiful, and historic city. With plenty of activities and things to do, it's a huge city that draws plenty of visitors. The beauty of this spot is also one of the main reasons why visitors come. And you can't forget about the nightlife, food, and shopping.

Zurich

Zurich is a liberal, beautiful, and historic city. This is also a very beautiful destination which attracts plenty of visitors. It's also known for museums, nightlife, and live music.

Istanbul and Zurich: Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Big city activities
  • Impressive beauty
Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Impressive beauty


How is Istanbul different from Zurich?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

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

Is Istanbul or Zurich Better for Museums and Historical Sights?

Istanbul
Zurich

Both Istanbul and Zurich 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 Zurich. Make sure you check out the Museum of Fine Arts, the Fraumünster, as well as the Swiss National Museum.


Is Istanbul or Zurich Better for Food?

Istanbul
Zurich

Picking the best cuisine and restaurants between Istanbul and Zurich 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.

Zurich has a huge number of terrific restaurants. Many restaurants have a strong German influence, but you'll also find traditional Swiss dishes such as cheese and chocolate fondue. There are also several Michelin star restaurants in town.

Is Istanbul or Zurich Better for Nightlife?

Istanbul
Zurich

Evening events are similar in both Istanbul and Zurich.

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.

Zurich has a lively atmosphere and nightlife is popular here. The city has some of the best nightlife in Switzerland. There are a high concentration of bars and clubs around town, or you could check out one of the badis, which are pools that also act as bars during the summer months. They're usually located by the lake.

Is Istanbul or Zurich Better for its Old Town?

Istanbul
Zurich

Istanbul and Zurich 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.

Zurich has a world-famous historical area. The city has an old town that is split into two parts on each side of the Limmat River. The historic districts are filled with churches, squares, and charming areas that are fun to explore. Walking tours are the best way to explore the old town.

Is Istanbul or Zurich Better for Shopping?

Istanbul
Zurich

Both Istanbul and Zurich 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, Zurich draws large crowds to its stores. Visitors often buy chocolate, watches, and jewelry in this city. You'll find brand names and luxury items that are of high quality. Each neighborhood has its own character with stores ranging from traditional to international.


Is Istanbul or Zurich Better for Families?

Istanbul
Zurich

Istanbul and Zurich 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.

Because of its large number of kid-friendly activities, Zurich is very family-friendly. It's a surprisingly mellow city with a relaxing vibe that makes it easy to explore with kids. Popular family-friendly activities include swimming in the Limmat River, sailing on Lake Zurich, and visiting Josefwiese park, which has a large playground.

Is Istanbul or Zurich Better for Couples?

Istanbul
Zurich

Istanbul and Zurich 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.

Zurich makes for a fun place to visit for a couple. One of the most romantic experiences you can have in town is visiting the Zurich Thermal Baths and Spa. There's an outdoor rooftop thermal pool as well as many ways that you can pamper yourselves.

Is Istanbul or Zurich Better for Students?

Istanbul
Zurich

Istanbul and Zurich 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.

Zurich is a very popular city for students. The city offers a number of unique experiences for international students. The academics are good and the university campuses are nice.

Is Istanbul or Zurich Better for Public Transit?

Istanbul
Zurich

Both Istanbul and Zurich 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.

Zurich has some very good public transit options. The system is made up of streetcars and buses.


Is Istanbul or Zurich a more walkable city?

Istanbul
Zurich

Istanbul and Zurich 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.

Zurich is a very walkable city. There are paths that lead along the rivers and the lake connecting the old town areas to other parts of the city.

Should I spend more time in Zurich or Istanbul?

How long in Istanbul or Zurich?

In either Istanbul or Zurich, you'll find plenty of activities to fill your time. Most visitors tend to spend more time in Istanbul than Zurich because of the overall number of sights and activities.

The ideal length of time for a trip to Istanbul is 3-7 days, and the ideal length of time for a trip to Zurich is 2-5 days.


  • How many days in Istanbul or Zurich? Ideal Length of Stay
    Istanbul 3-7 
    Zurich 2-5

One day in Istanbul or Zurich?

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 Zurich offers museums and nightlife. Exploring the old town is a popular activity. 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 Zurich?

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.

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

Five days in Istanbul or Zurich?

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.

Zurich is a popular choice for travelers. Five days here is typical. It's no surprise that shopping is why people visit. While some people choose to spend more or less time in Zurich, 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 Zurich?

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.

Zurich is a great place to explore. It's no surprise that shopping is why people visit. 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, Zurich 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 Zurich is $210. 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 Zurich in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Istanbul $26
    Zurich $133
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Istanbul $52
    Zurich $266
Compare Hotels in Istanbul and Zurich

Looking for a hotel in Istanbul or Zurich? 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 Zurich


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 Zurich Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Istanbul $2.50
    Zurich $28
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:

  • Istanbul Airport Transfer / Private Airport Transfer: $3.73
  • Istanbul Airports Transfer: $6.22
  • istanbul airport cheapest vip transfer by private car: $14
  • Safe Airport transfer service in istanbul: $16
  • Private Airport Transfer Arrival or Departure in Istanbul: $17
  • Sabiha Airport Arrival Or Departure Hotel Transfer: $17
  • PRIVATE DEPARTURE TRANSFER - Istanbul European Side To Istanbul New Airport: $18
  • Istanbul New Airport Private Transfer: $18
  • New Istanbul Airport Private Transfer: $18
  • İstanbul Private Airport Transfer: $19
  • Istanbul Airport Arrival Or Departure Hotel Transfer: $19
  • One Way Istanbul Airport Transfer to SultanAhmet: $22

Typical Local Transportation prices in Zurich

Below are a few samples from actual travelers for transportation costs in Zurich:


  • City Pass (2)
    $28

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Zurich

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Zurich:

  • Ultra - Zurich Private Airport Transfer from Train Station to Zurich Airport ZRH: $9.41
  • Ultra - Zurich Private Transfer from Train Station to Zurich City Centre: $9.41
  • Ultra - Zurich Private Transfer from Zurich City Centre to Train Station: $9.41
  • Ultra - Davos Private Airport Transfer from Zurich Airport ZRH to Davos: $9.41
  • Ultra - Zurich Private Airport Transfer from Zurich Airport ZRH to City Centre: $9.41
  • Ultra - Zurich Private Airport Transfer from City Centre to Zurich Airport ZRH: $9.41
  • Ultra - Zurich Private Airport Transfer from Zurich Airport ZRH to Train Station: $9.41
  • Shared Arrival Transfer: Zurich Airport to Hotel: $31
  • Shared Departure Transfer: Hotel to Zurich Airport: $31
  • Private Arrival or Departure Transfer: Zurich Airport: $39
  • Private Departure Transfer from Zurich City to ZRH Zurich Airport: $39
  • Private Arrival Transfer from ZRH Zurich Airport to Zurich City: $39

Is it cheaper to fly into Istanbul or Zurich?

Prices for flights to both Zurich 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
    Zurich $49
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 Zurich

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


  • Breakfast for 2
    $13

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Zurich

Also, here are some specific examples of food and dining related activities in Zurich.

  • Culinary Tour from Zurich with Traditional Swiss Cheese Fondue Dinner: $154
  • Overnight Mount Titlis including 4-course dinner: $545

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Istanbul $16
    Zurich $28
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:

  • Just Hagia Sophia Tour /Skip The Lines: $8.71
  • VR Dervish Experience: $10
  • Museum of Illusions Istanbul Ticket: $11
  • Piri Self-Guided Audio Tour: Istanbul, Historical Peninsula: $11
  • Old City Insider Walking Tour: $11
  • Bosphorus Cruise with Audio App: $11
  • Basilica Cistern VIP Tickets: $12
  • Vip Ticket For Hagi̇a Sophi̇a: $12
  • Hagia Sophia & Blue Mosque&Hippodrome Guided Tours Everyday /No que / No line!: $12
  • Istanbul LEGOLAND Discovery Center Entrance Ticket: $14
  • SEA LIFE Istanbul Entry Ticket: $14
  • Hagia Sophia: Entry with Guided Tour: $14

Tours and Activities in Zurich

Some specific costs of activities, tours, and entrance tickets for Zurich are as follows:

  • Zurich Private Tour: Albert Einstein Old Town Exploration Game: $7.45
  • Historical Zürich: An audio tour through the city of a thousand fountains: $9.99
  • Lindt Home of Chocolate Museum Entry Ticket: $16
  • Museum Rietberg Zurich Entrance Ticket: $21
  • Zurich Old Town Walking Tour: 2-Hours: $27
  • Shopping and History Tour of Zurich: $30
  • Zurich Old Town Walking Tour: $30
  • Zürich Historic District Tour: $30
  • Swiss Chocolate Walking Tour of Zurich: $36
  • Zurich Highlights Tour: $40
  • Zurich City Tour Experience: $40
  • Zurich Like a Local: Customized Private Tour: $45

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Istanbul $3.83
    Zurich $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 Zurich

Also in Zurich, these are the prices for nightlife and alcohol related activities from various tour providers:

  • Pub Crawl Zurich: $29


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


When is the best time to visit Istanbul or Zurich?

Both destinations experience a temperate climate with four distinct seasons. And since both cities are in the northern hemisphere, summer is in July and winter is in January.

Should I visit Istanbul or Zurich in the Summer?

Both Zurich and Istanbul are popular destinations to visit in the summer with plenty of activities. Many travelers come to Istanbul for the city activities and the family-friendly experiences. Also, many visitors come to Zurich in the summer for the music scene and the family-friendly experiences.

In the summer, Istanbul is around the same temperature as Zurich. Typically, the summer temperatures in Istanbul in July are around 24°C (74°F), and Zurich is about 21°C (70°F).

It's quite sunny in Zurich. The sun comes out a lot this time of the year in Istanbul. Istanbul usually receives more sunshine than Zurich during summer. Istanbul gets 333 hours of sunny skies, while Zurich receives 241 hours of full sun in the summer.

In July, Istanbul usually receives less rain than Zurich. Istanbul gets 19 mm (0.7 in) of rain, while Zurich receives 89 mm (3.5 in) of rain each month for the summer.


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

Should I visit Istanbul or Zurich in the Autumn?

Both Zurich and Istanbul during the autumn are popular places to visit. 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. Furthermore, most visitors come to Zurich for the shopping scene, the music scene, and the natural beauty of the area during these months.

In October, Istanbul is generally a little warmer than Zurich. Temperatures in Istanbul average around 16°C (61°F), and Zurich stays around 13°C (56°F).

In the autumn, Istanbul often gets more sunshine than Zurich. Istanbul gets 169 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Zurich receives 120 hours of full sun.

Istanbul usually gets around the same amount of rain in October as Zurich. Istanbul gets 71 mm (2.8 in) of rain, while Zurich receives 70 mm (2.8 in) of rain this time of the year.


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

Should I visit Istanbul or Zurich in the Winter?

The winter attracts plenty of travelers to both Istanbul and Zurich. Most visitors come to Istanbul for the museums, the shopping scene, and the cuisine during these months. Furthermore, the winter months attract visitors to Zurich because of the museums, the shopping scene, and the cuisine.

The weather in Zurich can be very cold. Istanbul is much warmer than Zurich in the winter. The temperature in Istanbul is usually 6°C (43°F) in January, and Zurich stays around 3°C (37°F).

Istanbul usually receives more sunshine than Zurich during winter. Istanbul gets 75 hours of sunny skies, while Zurich receives 55 hours of full sun in the winter.

In January, Istanbul usually receives more rain than Zurich. Istanbul gets 99 mm (3.9 in) of rain, while Zurich receives 77 mm (3 in) of rain each month for the winter.


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

Should I visit Istanbul or Zurich in the Spring?

The spring brings many poeple to Istanbul as well as Zurich. The spring months attract visitors to Istanbul because of the activities around the city and the natural beauty. Additionally, the natural beauty are the main draw to Zurich this time of year.

In the spring, Istanbul is around the same temperature as Zurich. Typically, the spring temperatures in Istanbul in April are around 13°C (55°F), and Zurich is about 12°C (53°F).

In the spring, Istanbul often gets more sunshine than Zurich. Istanbul gets 180 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Zurich receives 150 hours of full sun.

Istanbul usually gets less rain in April than Zurich. Istanbul gets 49 mm (1.9 in) of rain, while Zurich receives 79 mm (3.1 in) of rain this time of the year.


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

Typical Weather for Zurich and Istanbul

Istanbul Zurich
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. Zurich Travel Comparison

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