A Travel Price Comparison for Turkey Izmir vs. Istanbul for Vacations, Tours, and Honeymoons

Should you visit Izmir or Istanbul?

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

Which city should you visit? Read on to compare the activities as well as the prices of travel for Izmir and Istanbul. We'll break down costs for accommodation, food, transportation and more to help you learn more about these two destinations. Then, you can figure out if either of these two places are accessible based on your travel budget, schedule, and interests. So, let's dig into it.


Izmir is a metropolitan city of Turkey and the second most populous city on the Aegean Sea after Athens, Greece. Known as Smyrna in antiquity, it was founded by the Greeks, taken over by the Romans, and rebuilt by Alexander the Great before becoming part of the Ottoman Empire in the 15th century. Most remnants of this past are gone; however, there are a few archaeological sites in addition to beaches, bustling city streets, and colorful markets.


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

Which city is cheaper, Istanbul or Izmir?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Izmir is $24, while the average daily cost in Istanbul is $48. 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 Izmir and Istanbul in more detail.

  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Izmir $11
    Istanbul $30
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Izmir $22
    Istanbul $60

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Izmir $4.61
    Istanbul $2.81

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Izmir

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Izmir:

  • Private Departure Transfer from Izmir Center to Izmir Airport (ADB): $17
  • Private Arrival Transfer: Izmir Airport to Izmir City: $17
  • Private Departure Transfer from Izmir City to Izmir Airport: $17
  • Private Arrival Transfer from Izmir Airport (ADB) to City Center: $17
  • Private Transfer From Izmır Airport to Izmir Hotels: $30
  • Transfer between Izmir Airport and İzmir Cİty Hotels: $31
  • Private Airport Round-Trip Transfer: Izmir Airport to Izmir City: $33
  • Private Transfer From Izmir Hotels to Izmir Airport: $37
  • Izmir Transfer: $37
  • Izmir Arrival Private Airport Transfer: $40
  • Izmir Private Departure Airport Transfer: $40
  • Arrival Private Transfer Izmir Adnan Menderes Airport ADB to Izmir by Minivan: $41

Typical Local Transportation prices in Istanbul

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

  • Ferry
  • Local Bus

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Istanbul

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Istanbul:

  • 2 Ways Istanbul Airport Transfer: $109
  • 2 Ways Istanbul Airport Transfer: $56
  • 2 Ways Sabiha Gokcen Airport Transfer: $56
  • 2-Hour Bosphorus Yacht Cruise with Transfers: $500
  • 2m Transfer: $85
  • 4-Day Istanbul City Package including Full-Day Istanbul City Tour plus Airport Transfers: $350
  • 4-Day Wonderful Istanbul Including Accommodation Plus Transfer: $474
  • Air Transfer Lines | Airport Transfer Service: $44
  • Airport Transfer, Hotel Tranfer, Shuttle Service, Taxi Service: $26
  • Airport private transfer to hotel and back: $109
  • Arrival Private Transfers from New Airport IST to Istanbul in Business Car: $123
  • City Center to Istanbul Airport (IST) Departure Transfers: $87

Is it cheaper to fly into Izmir or Istanbul?

Prices for flights to both Istanbul and Izmir 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 Meals for one day
    Izmir $8.37
    Istanbul $12

Typical Food prices in Istanbul

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

  • Juice
  • Turkish Delight
  • Dessert
  • Pastries

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 Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Izmir $7.05
    Istanbul $18

Tours and Activities in Izmir

Here are a few actual costs in Izmir for available activities, ticket prices, and tours:

  • Ephesus, House of Virgin Mary, & Artemis Temple Group Tour: $29
  • Private Ephesus Tours from Izmir Port: $30
  • Ephesus: 2-Hour Small Group Walking Tour: $34
  • Small-Group Half Day Sightseeing Tour from Izmir: $50
  • Izmir Shore Excursion: Small-Group Half Day Sightseeing Tour in Izmir: $50
  • Ephesus and the house of virgin mary tours Tours from KUSADASI CRUİSE PORT: $55
  • Cesme-Alacati Tour: $56
  • Private Ephesus and artemis Tour from Port Izmir 100% Satisfaction Guarantee-: $56
  • Regular Full-Day Tour Ephesus From Izmir: $57
  • Archaeological Ephesus & Museum from Izmir Hotels , Airport , Cruise Port: $60
  • Deluxe Ephesus with Terrace Houses tour from Izmir Hotel , Cruise Ports, Airport: $68
  • UNESCO World Heritage Tour of Ephesus and Terrace Houses from Izmir,Izmir Hotels: $73

Typical Entertainment prices in Istanbul

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

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

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

  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Izmir $4.68
    Istanbul $4.30

Sample the Local Flavors in Izmir

Some specific costs for nightlife related activities in Izmir:

  • Ancient Ephesus tour with Mother's Mary House and visit to old village Sirince with wine tasting: $101
  • Cesme on Foot and Wine Tasting: $124
  • Car Museum and Wine Tasting: $149

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 Izmir and Istanbul, we can see that Istanbul is more expensive. And not only is Izmir much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. So, traveling to Izmir would let you spend less money overall. Or, you could decide to spend more money in Izmir 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 Istanbul would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in Istanbul than you might in Izmir.

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Izmir vs. Istanbul Travel Comparison

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