Moscow and Istanbul are the most dynamic and bustling metropolis in Eastern Europe.
They are respectively the largest cities in Russia and Turkey and are symbols of economic strength, rich history and very colorful culture.
They are very similar to each other and yet so different.
Which city is bigger?
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According to estimates from 2012, the population of Moscow, the giant Russian capital, is around 11,510,097 people.
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The city fascinates with its size and endless territory. Sometimes may take you hours to cross the entire territory of Moscow.
However, with a population of 14,160,467 people (estimates from 2013), Istanbul is even bigger.
The ancient metropolis lies on two continents, Europe and Asia. It is so large that it will make your head spin, especially if you go for a rush hour walk.
The combination of numerous local people and giant crowds of tourists, who flock from around the world at any time of the year, makes the city on both sides of the Bosphorus something hard to describe.
With an area of about 5,343 sq.km, Istanbul is more than two times bigger than Moscow, which has an area of about 2,511 sq.km.
Which city has a better climate?
Istanbul has a mild subtropical climate with strong influence from the Mediterranean Sea, while Moscow has a temperate continental climate with warm summers but very harsh winters.
The average daytime temperature in January in Istanbul is 9°C and in Moscow is (-4)°C. At the same time, the average temperature in Istanbul in July is 29°C during the day and in Moscow is 24°C.
In Istanbul there are only two months a year with air temperatures below 10°C (January and February) while in Moscow they are 6 (October, November, December, January, February and March).
Istanbul also has six months of the year with warm weather with average daytime temperatures above 20°C, while in Moscow they are only three.
All that makes the climate of Istanbul much more favorable in comparison with the climate of the Russian capital.
Which city is more dangerous and has higher crime rates?
Moscow is considered to be much more dangerous place than Istanbul. It usually takes the leading positions of many charts for dangerous destinations, whether in Europe or the world.
While in the Russian capital, it is advisable not to stay on the streets after dark.
On the other side, Istanbul is considered less dangerous and still not safe. While in the Turkish city, you have to avoid some urban areas.
Overall, this is a tourist destination and during most of the year is very busy and full of tourists.
However, it is advisable not to underestimate the risks in Istanbul, and women who travel solo in the city have to be very careful.
Which city is richer and is economically more developed?
When it comes to economy, Moscow is among the leading cities in Europe and in the world.
The common between Moscow and Istanbul is the fact that both cities concentrate a large part of the wealth of Russia and Turkey.
According to Brookings Institution, the economy of the capital of Russia is greater than that of Istanbul.
According to data from 2012, the GDP of Istanbul is $ 301.1 billion, compared with 520.1 billion in Moscow.
Moreover, in Moscow the average salary is approximately $ 1,262 in 2012, while in Istanbul is approximately $ 869.
On the other hand, very often the residents of the Russian capital have less purchasing power, because Moscow is one of the most expensive cities on the planet.
It is also interesting to note that Moscow is the city with the largest number of billionaires in the world, although the Turkish metropolis is only a few positions behind the Russian capital.
Which city is more liberal?
Although not the most liberal cities in the world, Moscow and Istanbul are the most open-minded cities in Russia and Turkey.
Istanbul definitely enjoys more tolerance when it comes to diversity in every respect and is closer to being called New York of Eastern European.
The Turkish metropolis is one of the most colorful and bright cities in the world, and here you can see a little bit of everything. Although not much different, Moscow is somewhat more conservative.
In some respects the Russian capital has a strict moral code, and it is good to learn more about the city before to visit it.
Which city has more green spaces?
Istanbul has some really beautiful parks and gardens, but few cities in the world can compete with Moscow when it comes to green areas.
Within the Russian capital there are more than 100 protected areas. Vast territories of the multi-million city are covered with lovely parks with quiet shady promenades.
There are both extremely well-maintained parks as well as some more wild green territories and reserves.
Which city is better in transport terms?
If you are planning to rent a car during your holiday, the Russian capital is definitely a better place.
The traffic in Istanbul is something that is difficult to describe in words, no matter how big the city you came from is.
Furthermore, the public transport in Moscow is really very good. The metro of Moscow ranks among the best in the world along with cities like London and Tokyo.
Unlike Moscow, much of the metro lines in Istanbul are not yet even fully developed.
Which city has more beautiful architecture?
As one of the most important cultural, historical, political and economic centers in this part of the world over the past two millennia, Istanbul is an outstanding city, perhaps one of the most colorful and exciting in the world.
In terms of its architecture and beauty, the former Constantinople could be compared with just a few places in the world, and one of them is Rome.
Moscow also offers many attractions, but the background of the Russian capital seems somehow too serious, dark and gray.
Which city has more skyscrapers?
Moscow has a modern financial center with a number of very high and modern office buildings, and one of them is higher than all the skyscrapers in Istanbul.
However, the Russian capital significantly inferior to the multi-million Turkish metropolis whose skyline is one of the most impressive in Europe. Dozens of skyscrapers form together the staggering skyline of the city.
Which city offers better opportunities for entertainment and more exciting nightlife?
Though Moscow is probably the city with the most bars and clubs in Eastern Europe and has a lot to offer, the nightlife of Istanbul will really amaze you.
After sunset, the Turkish metropolis becomes even more hectic and astonishing than Moscow, especially during the summer months when tourists from all around the world flock here. And there is no wonder.
Do not forget that Istanbul is one of the world’s leading tourist centers, while Moscow has rather political and economic functions.More from Best Cities: