A Travel Price Comparison for Families, Couples, and Backpackers Tehran vs. Istanbul for Vacations, Tours, and Honeymoons

Should you visit Tehran or Istanbul?

Which city should you visit? Read on to compare the prices of travel for Tehran 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. So, let's dig into it.

Tehran

The capital of Iran, Tehran is a cosmopolitan city with great museums, art galleries, parks, restaurants, and more. It is located in the northernmost part of Central Iran at the foot of the towering Alborz mountain range. Some of the most popular attractions include the Treasury of the National Jewels, Golestan Palace, and the Tajrish Bazaar.

Istanbul

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 Tehran?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Tehran is $63, while the average daily cost in Istanbul is $95. 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. Below is a breakdown of travel costs for Tehran and Istanbul in more detail.



Accommodation

For a normal double-occupancy room in Tehran, $100 is the average cost for a hotel room. Also in Tehran, the typical price for a place to stay for one person is $50, such as in a hostel.

A hotel room in Istanbul is about $118 This assumes double occupancy and modest accommodations.


  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Tehran $50
    Istanbul $59
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Tehran $100
    Istanbul $118

Food

While meal prices in Tehran can vary, the average travelers spends about $11 per day on food. Based on the spending habits of previous travelers, when dining out, an average meal in Tehran should cost around $4.40 per person. Breakfast prices are usually a little cheaper than lunch or dinner. The price of food in sit-down restaurants in Tehran is often higher than fast food prices or street food prices.

On average, meal and food prices in Istanbul cost around $24 per person, per day. While this price can vary widely by location, the type of restaurant, and the amount of food ordered, a typical meal often costs around $9.60.


  • Food Meals for one day
    Tehran $11
    Istanbul $24

Typical Food prices in Istanbul

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


  • Juice
    $0.24
  • Turkish Delight
    $0.07
  • Dessert
    $1.00
  • Pastries
    $0.18

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 With Non Alcoholic Menu ISTANBUL Dinner cruise: $36
  • Bosphorus Dinner & Show Cruise (All Inclusive): $36
  • Bosphorus Dinner Cruise An Unforgettable Experience in Istanbul: $36
  • Bosphorus Dinner Cruise & Night Show from Istanbul: $37
  • Istanbul Cruise&Show with Dinner: $37
  • Istanbul Dinner Cruise & Show: $39
  • Istanbul Bosphorus Dinner Cruise & Soft Drinks: $40
  • Istanbul Dinner Cruise&Show: $40

Local Transportation

Tehran's transportation costs can vary by the type of transport chosen by visitors. Naturally, taxis and private drivers cost much more than public transportation options. On average, visitors spend $0.31 per person, per day on transportation in Tehran.

The cost of a taxi ride in Istanbul is significantly more than public transportation. On average, past travelers have spent $5.56 per person, per day, on local transportation in Istanbul.


  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Tehran $0.31
    Istanbul $5.56

Typical Local Transportation prices in Istanbul

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


  • Ferry
    $0.33
  • Local Bus
    $0.35

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
  • Private Luxury Transfer from Istanbul Airport to Istanbul City: $317

Is it cheaper to fly into Tehran or Istanbul?

Prices for flights to both Istanbul and Tehran 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.





Entertainment

Sightseeing, admission tickets, things to do, and other entertainment expenses in Tehran can vary widely by price. On average, visitors spend around $3.66 per person, per day on entertainment and sightseeing here.

Entertainment and activities in Istanbul typically cost an average of $35 per person, per day. This includes fees paid for admission tickets to museums and attractions, day tours, and other sightseeing expenses.


  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Tehran $3.66
    Istanbul $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)
    $2.36
  • Yerebatan Cistern for Two
    $2.36
  • Museum of Turkish and Islamic Arts for Two
    $1.18
  • Hagia Sofia entrance
    $3.54

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

Alcohol

The average person spends about $8.51 on alcoholic beverages in Istanbul per day. The more you spend on alcohol, the more fun you might be having despite your higher budget.


  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Tehran -
    Istanbul $8.51

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 Tehran and Istanbul, we can see that Istanbul is more expensive. And not only is Tehran much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. Since Tehran is in Middle East and Istanbul is in Europe, 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 Tehran would let you spend less money overall. Or, you could decide to spend more money in Tehran 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 Tehran.

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Tehran vs. Istanbul Travel Comparison

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