A Travel Price Comparison for Families, Couples, and Backpackers Albufeira vs. La Spezia for Nightlife, Beaches, Couples, and Backpackers

Should you visit Albufeira or La Spezia?

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

Should I visit Albufeira or La Spezia? 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.

Albufeira

Albufeira is a party hard, vibrant, and touristy resort town. It's a large city, so you'll find plenty of things to do around town. The beauty of this spot is also one of the main reasons why visitors come. Visitors also love the food, scuba diving and snorkeling, and beaches.

La Spezia

La Spezia is a cultural, lively, and convenient town. And you can't forget about the beaches, shopping, and nightlife.

Albufeira and La Spezia: Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Active nightlife
  • Nice resorts
  • Good scuba and snorkeling destination
  • Popular beach
  • Good for hiking
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
  • Impressive beauty
Things to Consider
  • Less walkable
Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Scenic old town
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
  • Very walkable
Things to Consider
  • Less popular for nightlife
  • Less attractive beach


Is there more to do in Albufeira or La Spezia?

Visitors will usually find more to do in Albufeira than La Spezia, as it offers more sights, attractions, and activities. Albufeira is better known for its nightlife, resorts, scuba diving & snorkeling, beaches, hiking, big city activities, and impressive beauty, while La Spezia is more popular for its museums, historical sights, and shopping. Albufeira is more touristy than La Spezia and is popular for its golden beaches and limestone cliffs. Also, Albufeira is famous for Praia da Falesia. La Spezia is well known for being the gateway to Cinque Terre.

How is Albufeira different from La Spezia?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

Let's take a look at the differences and similarities between La Spezia and Albufeira. Then, you can decide for yourself which place is better for your next trip.

Are the Museums and Historical Sights Better in Albufeira or La Spezia?

Albufeira
La Spezia

La Spezia is a town with a few options for its museums and landmarks. However, Albufeira does not have museums and landmarks.

La Spezia offers a handful of options for museums and historical sights. The highlight of the area is the surrounding natural beauty, but in town you can visit the Maritime Museum, The castle of San Giorgio, and The Amedeo Lia Art Museum.

Albufeira does not have museums and landmarks.


Is the Food Better in Albufeira or La Spezia? Which Destination has the Best Restaurants?

Albufeira
La Spezia

Foodies will find both Albufeira and La Spezia both to be superb destinations.

Eating is part of the travel experience when you visit Albufeira. As the largest resort town in the Algarve, the city also has the widest selection of restaurants. There are traditional options that serve up classic dishes like grilled sardines, as well as international restaurants with traveler favorites. As expected, you'll find a lot of seafood, but you'll also find inland influences from local farms in the area.

La Spezia has a number of nationally recognized food spots and restaurants. The town has many local flavors that incorporate seafood and other local ingredients. Focaccia is popular, as is Farinata, which is a chickpea flour pancake. Anchovies and mussels are also common ingredients.

Is Albufeira or La Spezia Better for Nightlife?

Albufeira
La Spezia

Albufeira is very popular for nightlife and partying. Also, La Spezia is not quite as popular, but is fairly good for its evening party scene.

Albufeira is a party destination, and you'll find plenty of activity all night long. It's probably the most infamous party destination in the Algarve and it won't disappoint. During the peak summer months you'll find the streets around the popular "Strip" filled with tourists and party-goers. There are hen and stag parties, backpackers, and drunken travelers out for a good time. The Strip has become so popular that there are now bars and clubs on the adjacent streets as well. If you're not staying in the area, you'll likely want to take a taxi, as it's a couple kilometers outside of the town center.

La Spezia has an active nightlife scene for those who seek it out. You'll find more bars and clubs around town than you do in the smaller nearby towns. Some people head into La Spezia for the evening to grab a drink and socialize.

Is Albufeira or La Spezia Better for Resorts?

Albufeira
La Spezia

Albufeira is very popular for its luxury resorts. However, La Spezia is not a resort destination.

Vacationers flock to Albufeira for its luxury resorts. As the largest resort town in the Algarve, you'll find a wide selection of hotels to choose from. Party-goers will want to stay near the Strip while families will prefer the old town or resorts in Olhos de Agua.

La Spezia is not a resort destination.


Is Albufeira or La Spezia Better for Scuba Diving and Snorkeling?

Albufeira
La Spezia

Albufeira is a very popular place for its diving and snorkeling. However, La Spezia is not a scuba or snorkeling destination.

There are many scuba diving and snorkeling spots near Albufeira. There are countless vendors who will take you by boat to explore the underwater world, either by snorkeling or scuba diving. The marine life is impressive and the water is generally clear.

La Spezia is not a scuba or snorkeling destination.

Is Albufeira or La Spezia Better for Beaches?

Albufeira
La Spezia

Albufeira is very popular for the beache. Also, La Spezia is not quite as popular, but is fairly good for the beach.

Albufeira offers stunning beaches that attract visitors from around the world. With their golden sands and blue waters, the beaches are world class. The area also has a diversity of beaches that are perfect for all types of vacationers. For water sports, head to Praia dos Alemaes but for relaxation and catching some rays check out Praia da Falesia. You'll find some interesting rock formations at Praia dos Olhos de Agua. One of the most convenient beaches to town is Praia dos Pescadores. For nightlife you'll want to head to Praia da Oura.

La Spezia is a good option for a beach vacation. The beaches in the area tend to be rocky and pebbly. For the best beaches, head out of town to nearby areas.

Is Albufeira or La Spezia Better for its Old Town?

Albufeira
La Spezia

La Spezia is a popular place for its old town. However, Albufeira does not have a historic old town.

Many people head to La Spezia to see the old town. The old town runs between the streets of Corso Cavour and Via Prione and is best explored on foot.

Albufeira does not have a historic old town.


Is Albufeira or La Spezia Better for Hiking?

Albufeira
La Spezia

Albufeira is a good destination for its hiking trails. However, La Spezia is not a hiking destination.

Albufeira offers some nice hiking trails. There are countless coastal walks that are perfect for all skill levels. Many offers stunning views along the rocky coast and pass through natural settings. Popular trails in the area include Praia Grande Interpretation Trail and Paderne Castle Trail.

La Spezia is not a hiking destination.

Is the Shopping Better in Albufeira or La Spezia?

Albufeira
La Spezia

La Spezia is a popular place for its shopping opportunities. However, Albufeira is a resort town with minimal options for its shopping areas.

La Spezia offers some nice shopping areas. There's a morning market at Piazza del Mercato as well as many clothing and souvenir shops around town.

Albufeira has some good spots for those that want to go shopping. You'll find most of the shops are geared toward souvenirs or beach items, particularly near the beach and marina. If you look hard you might find some nice ceramics or items made of cork.

Is Albufeira or La Spezia Better for Families?

Albufeira
La Spezia

Kids will enjoy a visit to either Albufeira or La Spezia.

You'll find plenty of kid-friendly things to do in Albufeira. Despite it's reputation as a party-hard city, there are actually a lot of family-friendly activities in the area. Because it's the largest resort town in the Algarve, it also has the most activities to choose from, including theme parks, water parks, dolphin watching, ropes courses, go karting, and more. The best area's for families are in the old town or the most of the family-friendly resorts outside of town. Families should avoid staying near "the Strip."

La Spezia offers lots of family activities. Visitors often use La Spezia as a base for visiting nearby Cinque Terre. The surrounding region has many kid-friendly activities like hiking, swimming, and beaches.


Is Albufeira or La Spezia Better for Couples?

Albufeira
La Spezia

Albufeira is very popular for its romantic activities. Also, La Spezia is not quite as popular, but is fairly good for couples.

Albufeira is fantastic couple's destination with fun and romantic activities. For an active honeymoon or couple's retreat, this resort town has it all. Beautiful beaches, adventure-filled activities, a wild nightlife scene, and excellent resorts and restaurants all make for a memorable couple's getaway.

Couples visit La Spezia frequently as it offers plenty of romantic activities. It makes a nice base for visiting nearby sights if the more popular Cinque Terre area is too overwhelming.

Is Albufeira or La Spezia Better for Backpackers and Budget Travelers?

Albufeira
La Spezia

Albufeira is very popular for backpackers and budget travelers. Also, La Spezia is not quite as popular, but is fairly good for backpackers.

With so many budget-friendly offerings, Albufeira is extremely popular for backpackers. If you're looking for a party, then you found it. The area is a top pick for European holidays, so you'll find plenty of energy and activities around town. There are also golden beaches and a decent selection of hostels to choose from.

La Spezia is a very popular resort town for backpackers and budget travelers. It's more affordable than the nearby towns in Cinque Terre, but they're still easily accessible from town.

Is Albufeira or La Spezia Better for Public Transit? Which Is Easier to Get Around Without a Car?

Albufeira
La Spezia

La Spezia is a popular place for its public transit. However, Albufeira is a resort town with minimal options for times when you don't have a car.

You'll find some public transit in La Spezia, but it may not be enough to take you everywhere. Buses, trains, and ferry boats offer the main forms of transportation in the area.

Public transit is mostly limited in Albufeira. There are regional buses and even trains, but do take note that many of the train and bus stations are a good distance outside of town.


Is Albufeira or La Spezia a more walkable city?

Albufeira
La Spezia

La Spezia is a great destination for its high level of walkability. However, Albufeira is a resort town with minimal options for its ease of walking around.

La Spezia is a very walkable town. The town is easy to walk around and you'll find a pedestrian-only area downhill from the train station.

Albufeira is generally not a very walkable resort town. Most people prefer to hire a car, but if your hotel is near the beach and you're ok with walking to restaurants, then you may be able to get away without one. If you hope to travel into the countryside at all then a car is necessary.

For even more information, also check out Is Albufeira Worth Visiting? and Is La Spezia Worth Visiting?.

Should I spend more time in La Spezia or Albufeira?

How long in Albufeira or La Spezia?

Visitors can find plenty of fun things to do in both Albufeira and La Spezia. With generally more activities and things to do, visitors tend to spend more time in Albufeira than in La Spezia. Usually, 3-7 days is a good amount of time for Albufeira, and 2-3 days is enough time in La Spezia.

Couples should spend more time in Albufeira than La Spezia. You'll find plenty of romantic sights and fun activities in Albufeira that are great for a weekend getaway or a longer couple's trip.

Backpackers and budget travelers should spend more time in Albufeira than La Spezia if your budget allows for it. With a larger number of budget-friendly sights, good nightlife, and active things to do, anyone traveling on a budget would have a good time in Albufeira.


  • How many days in Albufeira or La Spezia? Ideal Length of Stay
    Albufeira 3-7 
    La Spezia 2-3

One day in Albufeira or La Spezia?

You'll find food and scuba diving and snorkeling around the resort town of Albufeira. People often spend their time relaxing at one of the resorts. Since there is so much to do in the area, one day is probably not enough for all of it. It has many unique tourist attractions and fascinating things to do.

You'll find food and shopping around the town of La Spezia. Since there is so much to do in the area, one day is probably not enough for all of it. It has many unique tourist attractions and fascinating things to do.

A weekend in Albufeira or La Spezia?

You'll find scuba diving and snorkeling and nightlife around the party hard destination of Albufeira. People usually spend lots of time at the beach. A weekend is usually not enough time for a trip here as there is plenty to do. This resort town offers a variety of activities to choose from.

You'll find shopping and nightlife around the lively destination of La Spezia. This is a popular place to visit for a weekend.A weekend should give you a good understanding of everything this town has to offer. This town offers a variety of activities to choose from.


Five days in Albufeira or La Spezia?

You'll find nightlife and food around the activity-filled resort town of Albufeira. The length of your ideal trip is an individual decision. If you have five days, this resort town makes for a great vacation. It's also a relaxing resort destination. Five days should give you a good understanding of everything this resort town has to offer.

Travelers enjoy the nightlife and food when visiting the lively town of La Spezia. The length of your ideal trip is an individual decision. Five days is plenty of time to see everything, even with extra days to spare.

A week in Albufeira or La Spezia?

Albufeira is a popular choice for travelers. One week here is typical. People enjoy relaxing at one of the resorts. While some people choose to spend more or less time in Albufeira, one week is sufficent for most. It will give you the chance to have new experiences.

La Spezia is a popular choice for travelers. One week is usually plenty of time to spend here with extra days to spare. With this much time, visitors often visit nearby destinations or take day trips. It will give you the chance to have new experiences.


For some great organized tour ideas, see The Best 10-Day Tours in Portugal, The Best One Week (7-Day) Tours in Portugal, The Best Family-Friendly Tours to Italy, and The Best Hiking & Trekking Tours in Italy.


Which place is cheaper, La Spezia or Albufeira?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Albufeira is €148, while the average daily cost in La Spezia is €198. 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 destination. What follows is a categorical breakdown of travel costs for Albufeira and La Spezia in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Albufeira 74
    La Spezia 113
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Albufeira 148
    La Spezia 226
Compare Hotels in Albufeira and La Spezia

Looking for a hotel in Albufeira or La Spezia? Prices vary by location, date, season, and the level of luxury. See below for options and compare which is best for your budget and travel style.

Hotels in Albufeira


Hotels in La Spezia


Kayak helps you find the best prices for hotels, flights, and rental cars for destinations around the world. Compare prices for multiple destinations when planning your next trip.


Our Analysis
We've analyzed the average and typical hotel prices based on guest reviews, star ratings, and hotel amenities here: Albufeira Hotel Prices and La Spezia Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Albufeira 34
    La Spezia 41

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Albufeira

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Albufeira:

  • Transfer Vilamoura - Benamor Golf (Conceição): $80
  • Transfer Vilamoura - Alto Golf Pestana (Alvor): $72
  • Transfer Vilamoura - Alamos Golf (Portimão): $72
  • Transfer Vila Real de Santo Antonio - Benamor Golf (Conceição): $65
  • Transfer Vila Real de Santo Antonio - Alto Golf Pestana (Alvor): $167
  • Transfer Vila Real de Santo António - Balaia Golf (Albufeira): $142
  • Transfer Vila Nova de Cacela - Benamor Golf (Conceição): $65
  • Transfer Vila Nova de Cacela - Balaia Golf (Albufeira): $142
  • Transfer Vila Nova de Cacela - Alto Golf Pestana (Alvor): $154
  • Transfer Vila Nova de Cacela - Alamos Golf (Portimão): $154
  • Transfer Silves - Benamor Golf (Conceição): $100
  • Transfer Silves - Balaia Golf (Albufeira): $41

Hired Cars and Shuttles in La Spezia

Also for La Spezia, here are a few examples of actual transportation services:

  • Arrival Private Transfer from La Spezia to Porto Venere or Lerici: $93
  • La Spezia Cruise Port to Florence - Round-Trip Private Transfer: $264
  • La Spezia Cruise Port to Pisa Intl Airport (PSA) - Departure Private Transfer: $93
  • Private Transfer from La Spezia Cruise Port to La Spezia hotels: $22
  • Private Transfer from La Spezia Hotels to La Spezia Cruise Port: $22
  • Private Transfer from La Spezia to Cinque Terre by car or van: $144
  • Private Transfer from Lerici to Pisa (PSA) Airport: $296

Is it cheaper to fly into Albufeira or La Spezia?

Prices for flights to both La Spezia and Albufeira 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
  • Food Meals for one day
    Albufeira 48
    La Spezia 56

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Albufeira

Also, here are some specific examples of food and dining related activities in Albufeira.

  • A Portuguese Dinner and Cocktail Experience with pick up: $50
  • Food Tour: Wine and Traditional Tapas Experience w hotel pick up: $54
  • Dinner at the Vineyards in Lagoa: $61
  • Sunset Safari with Traditional Dinner : $66
  • Half-Day-Orange Picking &Jam Cooking/Lunch with the Orange Farmer: $111

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in La Spezia

For La Spezia, here are some samples of tours and activities related to meals and dining experiences:

  • La Spezia Cinque Terre Food Tour: $92
  • Small-Group Street Food Tour: $97
  • La Spezia Cinque Terre Food Tour - Do Eat Better Experience: $99
  • Small-group Street food tour in La Spezia: $99
  • Portovenere: Sunset Cruise with Aperitif and Dinner: $118
  • Tour of Apericena at Sunset and Dinner on Boat: $122
  • Porto Venere & Islands Sunset Boat Tour w/ Dinner: $140
  • Market Tour & Lunch/Dinner at a Cesarina's Home: $151
  • Private Cooking Class in an Italian Home: $158
  • Market Visit and Seafood Cooking Class with Lunch: $159
  • Private Pizza & Tiramisu Class at a Cesarina's home with tasting in La Spezia: $161
  • Cesarine: Home Cooking Class & Meal with a Local in La Spezia: $161

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Albufeira 39
    La Spezia 37

Tours and Activities in Albufeira

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

  • 4 Hour Cruise along the Algarve Coastline: $94
  • 70 Minutes Guided Secrets of Albufeira Walking Tour: $22
  • Adventure between friends - Private safari, from 1 to 6 PAX: $165
  • Albufeira 1 hour Off-Road Tour Quad Adventure Tour: $19
  • Albufeira 1.5-Hour Off-road Quad Tour: $44
  • Albufeira 2 hour Off-Road Tour Buggy Adventure Tour: $50
  • Albufeira 2 hour Off-Road Tour Quad Adventure Tour: $36
  • Albufeira 3-Hour Off-Road Quad Tour: $75
  • Albufeira 3.5 hour Off-Road Tour Buggy Adventure Tour: $66
  • Albufeira 6-Hour Off-Road Quad Tour: $205
  • Albufeira Beach BBQ with Caves and Coastline Cruise : $80
  • Albufeira Beaches and 2 Hour Kayak Tour with pick up: $66

Tours and Activities in La Spezia

For La Spezia, here are a few prices for actual activities, tours, and tickets provided by various companies:

  • Hop-On Hop-Off Open-Top Bus City Tour Ticket: $27
  • From Round-Trip to Pisa Cruise Shore Excursion: $42
  • Guided Walking Tour with Italian-Inspired Music: $43
  • From La Spezia to Pisa with optional Leaning Tower Ticket: $50
  • Portovenere & the 3 Islands: Sunset Boat Tour from La Spezia: $59
  • From Florence & Pisa Cruise Shore Excursion: $59
  • The Sunset Tour: $65
  • Boat Tour of the 3 Islands & Portovenere: $67
  • Cinque Terre Tour by Boat: $70
  • Ferry boat tour to the Cinque Terre with stop in Portovenere and Vernazza: $71
  • Sunset Boat Tour with drinks and Snacks: $76
  • Sunset Boat Tour with Aperitivo and Snacks: $76

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Albufeira 26
    La Spezia 35

Sample the Local Flavors in Albufeira

Also in Albufeira, these are the prices for nightlife and alcohol related activities from various tour providers:

  • Sunset Wine Tasting With BBQ in Porches: $50
  • Wine Tasting Tour in Algarve Winery : $59
  • Half Day Safari Tour with Wine Tasting: $59
  • Winery Tour with Wine Tasting and Tapas: $64
  • Small-Group Wine Tour & Silves Exploration (from Albufeira): $69
  • Wine Tour and Tasting - Semi-Private from Albufeira: $72
  • Albufeira Coast Tour w/ Wine tasting & Chicken lunch: $75
  • From Private Lagos Tour Whith Wine Tasting: $93

Sample the Local Flavors in La Spezia

Also in La Spezia, these are the prices for nightlife and alcohol related activities from various tour providers:

  • boat tour with seafood and wine tasting: $217


When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Albufeira and La Spezia, we can see that La Spezia is more expensive. And not only is Albufeira much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. So, traveling to Albufeira would let you spend less money overall. Or, you could decide to spend more money in Albufeira 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 La Spezia would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in La Spezia than you might in Albufeira.

If you're trying to decide if either of these two destinations are within your price range, also see Is Albufeira Expensive? and Is La Spezia Expensive?.


Which is Bigger, Albufeira or La Spezia?

La Spezia has a larger population, and is about 6 times larger than the population of Albufeira. When comparing the sizes of Albufeira and La Spezia, keep in mind that a larger population does not always imply the destination has more attractions or better activities. So, always research the type of place that you want to visit along with the activities and attractions that interest you.