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Antalya or Istanbul? Comprehensive comparison of travel to Istanbul or Antalya

by Parastoo Sahebi
10 minutes read
Galata Tower

Istanbul or Antalya? both are two of the most popular cities in Turkey. Both cities are known for their rich history, beautiful landscapes and amazing food. However, there are also some key differences that make them unique. Turkey is one of the most traveled and touristic destinations for Europeans and Asians. it has many historical and recreational attractions in its heart, and Antalya and Istanbul both are among their most visited cities. If you are planning to travel to Turkey for the first time, you may hesitate between choosing different options such as Antalya or Istanbul. Since these two cities are very popular among tourists, in this article from Eligasht we are going to examine and compare the cities of Istanbul and Antalya in terms of different aspects so that you can choose the best option according to your taste and conditions.

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General comparison between Antalya and Istanbul

Istanbul is the capital of Turkey and the most populous city in the country. It is also a major cultural hub and a hub of business. Antalya is known as the “city of flowers” thanks to its amazing flora and fauna. Antalya is also the most popular tourist destination in Turkey, thanks to its spectacular beaches and lush landscapes. Istanbul is the country’s largest city and is packed with history and culture. You’ll find amazing monuments, delicious food, and friendly people. Meanwhile, Antalya is a coastal city that’s perfect for beach lovers. It has a long sandy beach and lively nightlife. If you’re visiting Turkey for the first time, and you don’t know what to choose Antalya or Istanbul, are great options.

So which city should you visit? It all depends on what you’re looking for in a holiday. If you want to experience Turkey’s rich history and culture, then Istanbul is the best option.

Antalya has a more Mediterranean climate, with warm summers and comfortable winters. Istanbul, on the other hand, has a more temperate Climate, with cooler winters and warmer summers. Antalya has a much smaller downtown area than Istanbul, so it doesn’t feel as crowded or chaotic.

It depends on what you’re looking for in a vacation. Antalya is an exciting new destination that’s growing in popularity every year. Istanbul is a more traditional destination with a rich history and culture.

Overall, Istanbul is probably the better choice if you’re looking for a more traditional vacation experience. Antalya is a great option if you’re looking for something a bit more unique and adventurous. Both cities offer something different, so it all comes down to what you’re looking for in a vacation.


Antalya or Istanbul:  geographical location

On the first trip to Turkey, the question arises for every traveler, where is the desired city on the map, and what vehicle should be used to reach it? For this reason, we will first check the location of each of the cities of Istanbul and Antalya.

Istanbul is considered the tourism capital of Turkey and the largest city in this country, which has a rich history in terms of history. This beautiful and historical city is located next to the Bosphorus Strait and the Sea of Marmara, and half of it is in the Asian continent and the other part is in the European continent.

Antalya is also one of the most popular beach and tourist cities in Turkey. This spectacular city is located right in the northeastern part of the Mediterranean Sea, so it attracts many tourists in spring and summer. Knowing this, you can better decide between choosing to stay in Antalya or Istanbul.


tourist attractions

If you don’t know whether to choose Antalya or Istanbul for your trip to Turkey, we must say that the styles and types of travel to these two cities are completely different from each other. In this section, we will introduce and compare the tourist attractions of these two cities so that you can get to know both of them more.

Tourist attractions of Istanbul

As we mentioned, Istanbul is full of historical buildings and small and large shopping centers. People who choose this city for a trip should know that part of their time will be spent visiting palaces and mosques, because Istanbul is the cultural capital of Turkey, and watching the magnificent architecture and walking through its unique palaces will be an inseparable part of the trip to Istanbul.

Most tourists who go to Istanbul visit buildings such as Topkapi Palace, Hagia Sophia Mosque, Sultan Ahmed Mosque, Galata Tower, Istanbul Grand Bazaar, Blue Mosque, etc., all of which are historical places with unique architecture. Therefore, if you are interested in seeing such buildings, Istanbul will be the right destination for you. But the entertainment available in Istanbul is not limited to these things, it should not be forgotten that the Bosphorus strait passes through Istanbul, and this has caused people to forget such activities as boat and ferry rides, walking along the beaches and watching seagulls in Istanbul.

many people travel to Istanbul to go to shopping centers and local markets. This issue is due to the reasonable price of various goods, especially clothes in Istanbul. Turkey is considered one of the largest producers of fabrics and fibers, and because of this, clothes are offered at reasonable prices. For those who are interested in sightseeing and entertainment in shopping malls, we suggest that they visit Istanbul at least once. In short, it can be said that the style and style of traveling to Istanbul is visiting historical buildings, shopping centers, ports and beaches.

Tourist attractions of Antalya

But unlike Istanbul, Antalya has few historical monuments, instead, it has many very beautiful and clean beaches. Many of Antalya’s hotels and accommodations are located next to the beaches, so if you stay on the beaches of this city, most of your trip will be spent exploring and enjoying beach activities. Countless five-star hotels in Antalya offer very good facilities. These hotels are so luxurious and attractive that many tourists prefer to spend their entire trip in the hotel and not leave the hotel.

However, if you are a bit adventurous, Antalya has other attractions besides beach tourism. The city center of Antalya, like Istanbul, has various shopping centers, some of which offer their products at prices similar to those offered in Istanbul. In general, it should be said that Antalya is a suitable destination for spending leisure time in peace, and if you are also a shopaholic, there are suitable options for you.

Antalya or Istanbul: weather

Undoubtedly, weather conditions have a great influence on choosing a travel destination. As you know, each city has a special climate based on its geographical location, and each traveler should choose Antalya or Istanbul based on their taste.

Due to its proximity to the Sea of Marmara, Istanbul is influenced by several climates such as the Mediterranean, oceanic and semi-oceanic, and in some seasons its weather is harsh. At the beginning of spring, the weather in this city is still cold, but gradually it warms up and sometimes it rains sporadically. The summers of this city are hot and humid and tourists often travel in the summer season. The autumn temperature in Istanbul is different every year, so some years the weather will be hot and some years the weather will be cold, but the average temperature in Istanbul in autumn is about 15 to 23 degrees Celsius.

The best time to travel to Antalya is the spring season, and in this season the nature of the city is very attractive and scattered rains take away the intelligence of tourists. Unlike spring, in Antalya in summer, we see the heat of the air and direct sunlight, in this season, because of various water and beach activities, traveling to Antalya is gaining many fans. In Autumn and winter in Antalya, the weather is cold and cool winds and rain will be a bit annoying and water activities will not be available.

Antalya or Istanbul: public transport

Despite the fact that the important tourist cities of Turkey have a good public transportation system, we will still compare the vehicles in these two cities. In Istanbul, there are various public vehicles, the most important of which are trams, metros, buses, boats, ferries, etc. The best means of transportation in Istanbul is the metro, so we recommend downloading the Istanbul metro map before your trip. But if you think that using the subway is confusing for you, we suggest the bus.

Antalya has less public transportation than Istanbul, but it will be easy to get around the city by bus. You just need to buy a bus card or an Antalya card to be able to access all parts of the city. There is an airport in this city called Antalya Airport, but for political reasons, Iranian tourists use Sparta Airport, which is about 3 to 3 hours and 30 minutes (by bus or minibus) away from Antalya city center.

 Antalya or Istanbul: cultural difference

It is interesting to know that some tourists travel to other countries to get to know different cultures. As you know, Turkey has many cultural similarities with our country, and this cultural closeness can be seen in the behavior of people in Antalya or Istanbul. However, all cities and even villages have some of their local customs and cultures that can be observed when traveling to any place.

Since Istanbul is considered the cultural capital of Turkey, for people who want to get to know the culture of the Turkish people, this city will be the best choice for them. In terms of food culture, we must say that in Istanbul, you will find authentic and homemade food for all kinds of fast food, so if you are interested in traveling, this city is an ideal place for you.

Antalya, but the conditions are different. Some of the outer parts of Antalya still retain their historical color, but due to a large number of tourists in this city, the authentic culture of the people is not visible.


That said, Istanbul is a more traditional city with a rich history and culture. It’s a great place to explore if you’re interested in history and want to learn more about Turkey’s past. Antalya, on the other hand, is a more exciting and adventurous city. It’s a fun place to be if you’re looking for adventure and are not as concerned about history. So ultimately, it will depend on what you’re interested in and what your travel goals are. it doesn’t matter which, Antalya or Istanbul both are similar in many ways and different in many ways. In this article, we tried to check the commonalities and differences between these two cities so that you can make the best choice for your trip to Turkey according to your taste and style.

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