Antalya vs. Istanbul for Attractions, Food, Old Town, and Backpackers


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

Should I visit Antalya or Istanbul? This is a common question asked by many travelers. By figuring out which city has activities that align with your interests along with knowing which is more affordable, you’ll understand where you can get more bang for your buck. So, let’s dive into the details and the data, which all comes from actual travelers.


Antalya is a relaxing, luxurious, and historic vacation spot. This is also a very beautiful destination which attracts plenty of visitors. This is a quaint and attractive place to visit, too. It’s also known for beaches, hiking, and shopping.


Istanbul is a beautiful, historic, and diverse city. Visitors will also find so much to do here because it’s a large city with many sights and attractions. With stunning beauty, it attracts visitors from all around. It’s also popular because of the food, shopping, and museums.

How is Antalya different from Istanbul?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

Is Antalya or Istanbul better for Museums and Historical Sights?

You’ll find a number of museums and attractions in both Istanbul and Antalya.

Antalya offers many unique museums, sights, and landmarks that will make for a memorable trip. The city combines history with a relaxing resort vacation. Sights in the area include the Antalya Museum and the Yivli Minare.

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.

Is Antalya or Istanbul better for Food?

Picking the best between Antalya and Istanbul can be difficult as they are each unique in their own way.

Antalya has a number of nationally recognized food spots and restaurants. Food is excellent throughout Turkey here it is no exception. Local specialties include meatball skewers, kulakli soup, and even lentil ice cream.

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.

Is Antalya or Istanbul better for Nightlife?

The nightlife scene is relatively similar in Antalya and Istanbul.

Antalya has a large number of nightlife venues. The city has an insane nightlife scene with huge glamorous dance clubs that fill to the brink as well as low key bars and pubs that everyone can enjoy.

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.

Is Antalya or Istanbul better for its Old Town?

It’s fun to wander around the old towns in both Antalya and Istanbul.

Many visitors explore the old town while visiting Antalya. The city has a beautiful old town area, Kaleiçi, that is known for its narrow streets and historic buildings. The area has many sights including Hadrian’s Gate.

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.

Is Antalya or Istanbul better for Shopping?

Shoppers can find a variety of stores in both Antalya and Istanbul.

Many people travel to Antalya specifically to go shopping. Antalya combines modern high end malls with more traditional bazaars. From luxury fashion brands to souvenirs and local trinkets, the area has everything.

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.

Is Antalya or Istanbul better for Families?

Kids will enjoy a visit to either Antalya or Istanbul.

You’ll find plenty of family-friendly things to do in Antalya. The city has beautiful beaches, historic ruins, and resorts that cater specifically to families. It’s a popular family-friendly destination in Turkey.

Istanbul is a family-friendly place to visit. The city has several kid-friendly museums, a couple of aquariums, and fun theme parks.

Is Antalya or Istanbul better for Couples?

With fun activities for couples, both Antalya and Istanbul make for a good place to visit.

Antalya makes for a fun place to visit for a couple. Antalya is a top-rated honeymoon destination in Turkey. It’s beautiful beaches, romantic resorts, and great shopping put it at the top of many couples’ list.

Istanbul is a very popular place to visit for couples. Couples who enjoy history, culture, and vibrant neighborhoods will enjoy a romantic stay here.

Is Antalya or Istanbul better for Backpackers and Budget Travelers?

Antalya and Istanbul are both good destinations for backpackers.

Antalya is a very popular vacation spot for backpackers and budget travelers. Despite the many resorts in town, there are also budget accommodation options available including hostels. Backpackers appreciate Antalya’s impressive old town as well as the area’s stunning beaches.

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.

Is Antalya or Istanbul better for Public Transit?

Visitors will find public transit in both Antalya and Istanbul.

Antalya offers a very effecient public transportation network. Buses and minibuses will help you get around town.

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.

Is Antalya or Istanbul a more walkable city?

Antalya and Istanbul are similar when it comes to walkability.

Antalya is a somewhat walkable vacation spot. The historic area in particular is compact, filled with historic sights, and easy to explore on foot.

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

Antalya and Istanbul: Pros and Cons


  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
  • Impressive beauty


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

Should I spend more time in Istanbul or Antalya?

How long in Antalya or Istanbul?

Both Antalya and Istanbul have a number of activities to choose from. With generally more activities and things to do, visitors tend to spend more time in Istanbul than Antalya.

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

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

One day in Antalya or Istanbul?

The beautiful vacation spot of Antalya offers scuba diving and snorkeling and shopping. Many visitors also spend a good bit of time hiking. 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.

Because Istanbul is a large city, there are a variety of ways to spend your time. Most visitors spend time around the old town while in the area. This city offers something for everyone. One day is usually not enough time for a trip here as there is plenty to do.

A weekend in Antalya or Istanbul?

Antalya is a popular place that is full of things to see and experience. If you have a weekend, this vacation spot makes for a great vacation. People enjoy relaxing at one of the resorts. While some people choose to spend more or less time in Antalya, a weekend is sufficent for most. Take your pick from the many activities offered around the area.

Because Istanbul is a large city, there are a variety of ways to spend your time. The length of your trip often depends on your style of travel. Visiting the old town is also a must. Since there is so much to do in the area, a weekend is probably not enough for all of it.

Five days in Antalya or Istanbul?

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

Istanbul is a great place to explore. It is common to spend five days here. The old town is one of the main draws for visitors. Five days is a great amount of time to relax and see the many things that Istanbul has to offer. Anyone can find something fun to do here.

A week in Antalya or Istanbul?

Antalya is a great place to explore. Hiking can easily take up a good amount of your time here, too. One week is more than enough time to enjoy everything. Take some day trips to nearby places to fill the extra days. This vacation spot offers something for everyone.

It’s hard to know how much time to spend in Istanbul. Exploring the old town is a popular activity. With all of its activities, you can easily fill one week here.

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