A Travel Price Comparison for Families, Couples, and Backpackers Albufeira vs. Madrid for Food, Nightlife, Couples, and Backpackers

Should you visit Albufeira or Madrid?

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

Should I visit Albufeira or Madrid? 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 touristy, popular, and activity-filled resort town. Since it's a large city, you'll find plenty of things to do. This is also a very beautiful destination which attracts plenty of visitors. Other reasons to visit include nightlife, food, and scuba diving and snorkeling.

Madrid

Madrid is a compact, friendly, and authentic city. With plenty of activities and things to do, it's a huge city that draws plenty of visitors. And you can't forget about the food, shopping, and museums.

Albufeira and Madrid: 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 popular for shopping
  • Public transit not as usable
  • Less walkable
Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Active nightlife
  • Good music scene
  • Fun shopping
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
  • Good for students
  • Good public transit
  • Very walkable
  • Big city activities


Is there more to do in Albufeira or Madrid?

Travelers will usually find more to do in Madrid. Although Albufeira and Madrid are popular destinations, Madrid has more sights and attractions for tourists. Madrid is very popular for its museums, food, music, shopping, and big city activities, while Albufeira attracts visitors for its nightlife, resorts, scuba diving & snorkeling, beaches, hiking, and impressive beauty. Albufeira is more touristy than Madrid and is popular for its golden beaches and limestone cliffs. Madrid is famous for its art and architecture, its tapas and culinary scene, and its lively flamenco dancing. It is also well known for The Prado Museum.

How is Albufeira different from Madrid?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

Let's take a look at the differences and similarities between Madrid 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 Madrid?

Albufeira
Madrid

Madrid is a popular place for its museums and landmarks. However, Albufeira does not have museums and landmarks.

Madrid offers a variety of museums and landmarks to choose from. There are a number of cultural sights in the city including Museo Nacional del Prado, the Royal Palace and Gardens, and Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía.

Albufeira does not have museums and landmarks.


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

Albufeira
Madrid

Madrid is a world-class destination for its restaurant scene. Also, Albufeira is still popular, but not quite as popular for its local flavors and cuisine.

For foodies, Madrid is an obvious choice, as it is one of the food capitals of the world. The city has a mix of flavors that come from all of Spain. There are amazing markets where you can grab a meal or snack. There are also many high quality restaurants around town where you're guaranteed a good meal. Local favorites include roast suckling pig, Spanish omelette, and meat and chickpea stew.

Albufeira has a number of nationally recognized food spots and restaurants. 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.

Is Albufeira or Madrid Better for Nightlife?

Albufeira
Madrid

Albufeira is renowned for nightlife. Also, Madrid is not as popular, but is still a nice city for nightlife and partying.

Albufeira is a destination that you simply have to visit at least once for nightlife. 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.

Madrid offers plenty to do in the evening. Many tourists and international students hang out in the Huertas area, while Malasaña has a bohemian, hipster vibe with small clubs that play indie music. Chueca is a fun area that's known for being gay-friendly with many good bars. Finally, you'll find that the area around Avenida de Brasil is where famous DJs often perform.

Is Albufeira or Madrid Better for Music?

Albufeira
Madrid

Madrid is a world-class destination for its live music scene. However, Albufeira is not a live music destination.

Live music, and music in many other forms, is everyone in Madrid Rock, jazz, and flamenco are all popular in the city. Some of the most well known music venues include Sala Caracol, Sala Clamores, and Costello Club.

Albufeira is not a live music destination.


Is Albufeira or Madrid Better for Resorts?

Albufeira
Madrid

Albufeira is renowned for its luxury resorts. However, Madrid is not a resort destination.

Albufeira is a world class resort vacation destination. 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.

Madrid is not a resort destination.

Is Albufeira or Madrid Better for Scuba Diving and Snorkeling?

Albufeira
Madrid

Albufeira is a great resort town for the nearby scuba diving and snorkeling. However, Madrid is not a scuba or snorkeling destination.

Albufeira is an extremely popular place to visit for scuba diving and snorkeling. 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.

Madrid is not a scuba or snorkeling destination.

Is Albufeira or Madrid Better for Beaches?

Albufeira
Madrid

Albufeira is renowned for its beaches. However, Madrid is not a beach destination.

Albufeira is considered to be a world-class beach destination. 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.

Madrid is not a beach destination.


Is Albufeira or Madrid Better for Hiking?

Albufeira
Madrid

Albufeira is a resort town with good options for hiking. However, Madrid is not a hiking destination.

Plenty of visitors go hiking around Albufeira. 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.

Madrid is not a hiking destination.

Is the Shopping Better in Albufeira or Madrid?

Albufeira
Madrid

Madrid is a world-class destination for its shopping opportunities. However, Albufeira is a resort town with minimal options for its shopping areas.

The abundance of shops in Madrid make it a world-class shopping destination. Gran Vía is a main thoroughfare in Madrid that is also popular for shopping. Calle Fuencarral is where you'll find the fashion shops and Calle Preciados is a fun pedestrian area to explore.

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 Madrid Better for Families?

Albufeira
Madrid

Madrid is a great destination for its family-friendly activities. Also, Albufeira is still popular, but not quite as popular for its kid-friendly activities.

Madrid is a very kid-friendly city. Kids love splashing around at Madrid Río, taking a ride on the cable car (Teleférico), and exploring the city's many parks and playgrounds. There's even a maze at Sabatini Gardens. Restaurants around the city are also very kid-friendly.

Albufeira offers lots of family activities. 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."


Is Albufeira or Madrid Better for Couples?

Albufeira
Madrid

Albufeira is renowned for romance. Also, Madrid is not as popular, but is still a nice city for its romantic activities.

Albufeira is a great resort town for couples, as it has plenty to offer. 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.

Madrid is a very popular place to visit for couples. Fun and romantic activities around town include taking a boat ride at Casa de Campo, riding a bike in one of the many parks, and enjoy dinner and show in the evening.

Is Albufeira or Madrid Better for Backpackers and Budget Travelers?

Albufeira
Madrid

Albufeira is renowned for backpackers and budget travelers. Also, Madrid is not as popular, but is still a nice city for backpackers.

Many backpackers frequent Albufeira. 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.

Madrid is a great resort town to visit for backpackers. The many hostels around town make it easy for backpackers to find affordable accommodation while also meeting other travelers.

Is Albufeira or Madrid Better for Students?

Albufeira
Madrid

Madrid is a world-class destination for students. However, Albufeira is not popular with students.

Many students frequent Madrid. With several great universities, this city is popular with international and study abroad students. The city also has a diverse population and an active nightlife that appeals to students.

Albufeira is not popular with students.


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

Albufeira
Madrid

Madrid is a world-class destination for its public transit. However, Albufeira is a resort town with minimal options for times when you don't have a car.

With a huge network, the transit system in Madrid can get you around easily. The system includes the Madrid Metro, buses, and a light rail system.

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 Madrid a more walkable city?

Albufeira
Madrid

Madrid is a world-class destination for its high level of walkability. However, Albufeira is a resort town with minimal options for its ease of walking around.

Getting around Madrid on foot is easy. Most tourists stay in the central part of Madrid where it's compact and relatively easy to walk to most tourist sights.

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 Madrid Worth Visiting?.

Should I spend more time in Madrid or Albufeira?

How long in Albufeira or Madrid?

In either Albufeira or Madrid, you'll find plenty of activities to fill your time. Most visitors tend to spend more time in Albufeira than Madrid because of the overall number of sights and activities. Usually, 3-7 days is a good amount of time for Albufeira, and 2-5 days is enough time in Madrid.

Families should spend more time in Madrid than Albufeira. Because of the many family-friendly attractions and fun things to do for kids in Madrid, it's a great place to visit with the whole family.

Couples should spend more time in Albufeira than Madrid. 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 Madrid 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 Madrid? Ideal Length of Stay
    Albufeira 3-7 
    Madrid 2-5

One day in Albufeira or Madrid?

Many travelers enjoy the food and scuba diving and snorkeling when visiting the destination of Albufeira. It's a great spot for a beach vacation. But since there are so many activities, you'll likely want to spend more than one day exploring.

People visit Madrid because there is so much to do. 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 Madrid?

Albufeira is a great place to explore. With so much to do, a weekend is probably not enough time to see everything. Your budget might influence how long you stay.

People visit Madrid because there is so much to do. This is a popular place to visit for a weekend.A weekend should give you a good understanding of everything this city has to offer. This city offers a variety of activities to choose from.

Five days in Albufeira or Madrid?

It's hard to know how much time to spend in Albufeira. For many, it makes a great getaway for five days. Most people come for the beaches. With all of its activities, you can easily fill five days here. It has many unique tourist attractions and fascinating things to do.

People visit Madrid because there is so much to do. The length of your ideal trip is an individual decision. If you have five days, this city makes for a great vacation. Five days should give you a good understanding of everything this city has to offer.

A week in Albufeira or Madrid?

Many travelers enjoy the food and scuba diving and snorkeling when visiting the touristy destination of Albufeira. This resort town offers a variety of activities to choose from. Many visitors spend time at the beach while visiting the area. If you have one week, this is a great place to go. This would be the perfect place to spend one week, as it has just the right amount of activities.

Madrid 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 Contiki Tours to Spain, and The Best G Adventures Tours to Spain.


Which place is cheaper, Madrid 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 Madrid is €136. 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 Madrid in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Albufeira 74
    Madrid 77
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Albufeira 148
    Madrid 154
Compare Hotels in Albufeira and Madrid

Looking for a hotel in Albufeira or Madrid? 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 Madrid


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 Madrid Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Albufeira 34
    Madrid 19

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Albufeira

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Albufeira:

  • Private Transfer From Algarve to Sevilha By 8 Seats Minibus: $511
  • Private transfer from Albufeira to Lisbon with 2 hours sightseeing: $282
  • Transfer Vila Real de Santo Antonio - Alto Golf Pestana (Alvor): $163
  • Transfer Vila Nova de Cacela - Alamos Golf (Portimão): $151
  • Transfer Vila Nova de Cacela - Alto Golf Pestana (Alvor): $151
  • Transfer Vila Real de Santo António - Balaia Golf (Albufeira): $139
  • Private Airport Transfer To Albufeira Area: $109
  • Transfer Alcantarilha - Benamor Golf (Conceição): $98
  • Private Airport Transfer To Albufeira Area: $98
  • Faro Airport (Algarve) Departure Transfer (Vilamoura Hotels to Faro Airport): $88
  • Private Transfer from Pera to Faro (FAO) Airport: $81
  • Private Transfer from Alte to Faro (FAO) Airport: $81

Typical Local Transportation Prices in Madrid

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


  • Taxi Ride
    26

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Madrid

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

  • Madrid Airport MAD Round-Trip Transfer in Private Van: $173
  • Private One-Way Transfer to OR from Madrid Airport with private pick up: $77
  • Arrival Private Transfer Madrid Airport MAD to Madrid City by Van: $71
  • Arrival Private Transfer by Business Car from MAD Airport to Madrid: $53
  • Arrival Transfer from Madrid Airport MAD to Madrid in Private Van: $87
  • Arrival Transfer from Madrid MAD Airport to Madrid by Luxury Car: $81
  • Arrival Transfer: Madrid Airport MAD to Madrid in Business Car: $80
  • Departure Transfer from Madrid to Madrid Airport MAD in Private Van: $87
  • Departure Transfer: Madrid to Madrid Airport MAD in Business Car: $80
  • From Madrid Airport: 1-Way Private Hotel Transfer: $80
  • From Hot Air Balloon over Segovia with Transfer: $261
  • Hotel Madrid City Private Transfer To Madrid Barajas Airport: $26

Is it cheaper to fly into Albufeira or Madrid?

Prices for flights to both Madrid 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
    Madrid 34

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: $49
  • Portuguese Dinner and Cocktail Experience with Pick up: $52
  • Dinner at the Vineyards in Lagoa: $60
  • Algarve Bike and Food Tour with Sea Food and Wine Tasting: $61
  • Sunset Safari with Traditional Dinner : $65
  • 6-Hour Sunset Dinner Catamaran Cruise from Albufeira: $74
  • Sunset Tour - Champagne and Traditional Dinner: $75
  • Half-Day-Orange Picking &Jam Cooking/Lunch with the Orange Farmer: $109

Typical Food Prices in Madrid

Here are some examples of typical meal expenses from previous travelers to Madrid:


  • Coffee
    2.00
  • Ice Cream
    3.00
  • Kebabs (for 2)
    16
  • Croissant
    1.50
  • Lunch at Airport (for 2)
    16

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Madrid

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

  • Tipsy Tapas Food Tour with Drinks and Food: $27
  • Drunken Tapas Food Tour with Dinner in Madrid: $32
  • Tapas Dinner Party Food Tour with Guide: $33
  • Tapas Crawl Food Tour with 6 Tapas and 4 Drinks: $35
  • Torres Bermejas Flamenco Show in Madrid with Dinner, Tapas or Drink: $38
  • Madrid Tipsy Tapas Guided Food Tour with Dinner: $42
  • Paella and Sangria Workshop with Dinner and Drinks: $42
  • Madrid Tipsy Tapas Tour with Dinner and Drinks: $42
  • San Miguel Market and Street Food Tour: $52
  • The Authentic Morning Madrid's Food Tour: $59
  • Zarzuela Opera and Dinner at La Castafiore Restaurant in Madrid: $60
  • Opera and Zarzuela Show and Dinner: $61

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Albufeira 39
    Madrid 34

Tours and Activities in Albufeira

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

  • Algarve Coast & Chapel of Bones ( Private Van Tour ): $52
  • Safari Experience with Traditional Tapas: $76
  • 3 Hour Benagil Sunset and Coastline Boat Tour in Albufeira: $36
  • 3 Hour Cruise Experience from Vilamoura: $33
  • 4 Hour Cruise along the Algarve Coastline: $92
  • Albufeira 1 hour Off-Road Tour Buggy Adventure Tour: $33
  • Albufeira 1.5-Hour Off-road Quad Tour: $43
  • Albufeira 2 hour Off-Road Tour Quad Adventure Tour: $35
  • Albufeira 3.5 hour Off-Road Tour Buggy Adventure Tour: $65
  • Albufeira 3.5 hour Off-Road Tour Quad Adventure Tour: $46
  • Albufeira 6-Hour Off-Road Quad Tour: $201
  • Albufeira Algarve 4Hours Benagil Tasting Experience: $96

Tours and Activities in Madrid

Also, here are some specific examples of entertainment, tickets, and activities for Madrid.

  • Madrid Essential: Free Walking City Tour: $1.07
  • First Discovery Walk and Reading Walking Tour: $3.20
  • Madrid Mountains Free Walking Tour: $3.26
  • Madrid Old Town & Hidden Gems Walking Tour: $4.26
  • Escape Game and Tour: $4.26
  • Secrets of Madrids Walking Tour: $4.26
  • Marvels of Madrid Walking Tour: $4.26
  • Wonders of Madrid Walking Tour: $4.26
  • 2 Hour Madrid Walking Tour : $4.35
  • Wonders of Madrid Walking Tour : $4.35
  • Ticket Entrance to the Madrid Nougat Museum: $5.33
  • Mapfre Foundation Entry Ticket: $5.33

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Albufeira 26
    Madrid 20

Sample the Local Flavors in Albufeira

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

  • 3 Hours Pub Crawl in Albufeira with Professional Party Makers: $32
  • Sunset Wine Tasting With BBQ in Porches: $49
  • Exclusive Wine Tasting Experience in Porches (Algarve): $49
  • Porches Algarve Vineyard Tour and Wine Tasting Experience: $53
  • Half Day Safari Tour with Wine Tasting: $58
  • Winery Tour with Wine Tasting and Tapas: $63
  • Small-Group Wine Tour & Silves Exploration (from Albufeira): $67
  • Wine Tour and Tasting - Semi-Private from Albufeira: $71
  • Albufeira Coast Tour w/ Wine tasting & Chicken lunch: $74
  • Albufeira Coast Tour with Wine Tasting and Chicken PiriPiri Lunch: $75
  • From Private Lagos Tour Whith Wine Tasting: $92
  • Lagos and Ponta Da Piedade Private Tour & Algarvian Wine Tasting: $106

Typical Alcohol Prices in Madrid

Some typical examples of the costs for nightlife and alcohol in Madrid are as follows:


  • Beer
    5.00
  • Drinks and Tapas (for 2)
    13

Sample the Local Flavors in Madrid

Some specific costs for nightlife related activities in Madrid:

  • Pub Crawl with Tapas and VIP Club Entry: $9.59
  • Madrid Pub Crawl with VIP Club Entrance: $11
  • Visit to the Winery with Wine Tasting and Appetizers in Navarra: $12
  • Pub crawl & Party Tour Madrid: $14
  • Pub Crawl Madrid Running since 2005 Bar Exploration: $16
  • Guided Pub Crawl Madrid Experience and Club Entry: $16
  • Pub Crawl Madrid-The Original since 2005-Shots-Fun-Clubs-Dance: $16
  • Pub Crawl Madrid: $19
  • Wine Tasting near Plaza Mayor: $22
  • Pub Crawl Madrid: $22
  • Wine Tasting Experience with 4 Spanish Wines: $26
  • Wine Tour with tasting in the Natural Park of La Mata: $38


When comparing the travel costs between Albufeira and Madrid, we can see that Albufeira is more expensive. However, the two cities are actually relatively comparable in price, as the difference is somewhat minimal. Generally, this means that you could travel with generally the same travel style and level of luxury in each place. Since both cities are in Europe, it's no surprise that their costs are relatively close, as many destinations here have somewhat similar travel prices overall.

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


Which is Bigger, Albufeira or Madrid?

Madrid has a larger population, and is about 200 times larger than the population of Albufeira. When comparing the sizes of Albufeira and Madrid, 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.