A Travel Price Comparison for Families, Couples, and Backpackers Albufeira vs. Monaco for Nightlife, Resorts, Beaches, and Couples

Should you visit Albufeira or Monaco?

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

Should I visit Albufeira or Monaco? 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 popular, activity-filled, and high energy 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. And you can't forget about the beaches, hiking, and nightlife.

Monaco

Monaco is a glamorous, captivating, and thrilling coastal resort area. Travelers will also find plenty of sights and attractions here, as it's a big city that attracts lots of visitors. The beauty of this spot is also one of the main reasons why visitors come. And you can't forget about the scuba diving and snorkeling, beaches, and shopping.

Albufeira and Monaco: Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Active nightlife
  • 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
  • Less walkable
Pros
  • Active nightlife
  • Good scuba and snorkeling destination
  • Fun shopping
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Very walkable
  • Big city activities
  • Impressive beauty
Things to Consider
  • Less attractive beach
  • Less family-friendly
  • Less popular with backpackers


Is there more to do in Albufeira or Monaco?

Both Monaco and Albufeira have plenty of things to do for visitors. Both offer a variety of sights, activities, and attractions for tourists. Albufeira is better known for its scuba diving & snorkeling, beaches, and hiking, while Monaco is more popular for its shopping and big city activities. Albufeira is well known for its golden beaches and limestone cliffs. Monaco is well known for its grand hotels, luxurious casinos, opulent malls, and popularity with celebrities.

How is Albufeira different from Monaco?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

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

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

Albufeira
Monaco

Foodies will find both Albufeira and Monaco both to be great 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.

Monaco has a number of nationally recognized food spots and restaurants. The cuisine is heavily influenced by both French and Italian cuisines. You'll find many dishes that take advantage of the coastal location, with seafood being very common. The national dish is Barbagiuan, which is a deep-fried pastry that is filled with ricotta cheese, Swiss chard, and other vegetables.


Is Albufeira or Monaco Better for Nightlife?

Albufeira
Monaco

It's hard to distinguish whether Albufeira or Monaco has a better nightlife scene.

People head to Albufeira just to party. 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.

The nightlife in Monaco is well established with world renowned clubs and venues. It's where sophistication meets glam, with many luxury nightclubs, cocktail bars, casinos, and even opera houses that you can explore. The city attracts celebrities, wealthy business people, and jetsetters who are looking to socialize, see, and be seen.

Is Albufeira or Monaco Better for Resorts?

Albufeira
Monaco

Albufeira and Monaco offer a relatively similar set of world-class luxury resort options.

For the ultimate resort vacation, Albufeira is a great choice. 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.

If you're looking for a fantastic resort destination, Monaco is a perfect choice. As the playground for the rich and famous, this city has its share of luxury resorts. Famous hotels include the Hôtel de Paris Monte-Carlo, Hôtel Hermitage Monte-Carlo, and the Fairmont Monte Carlo.

Is Albufeira or Monaco Better for Scuba Diving and Snorkeling?

Albufeira
Monaco

Albufeira is well known for its diving and snorkeling. Also, Monaco is still popular, but not quite as popular for snorkeling and scuba diving.

There is a nice variety of marine life that makes scuba diving and snorkeling great in 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.

Monaco has a few areas where visitors often go scuba diving or snorkeling. There are both beaches that offer walk-in snorkeling spots as well as boat tours that you can book that will take you to some of the best snorkeling and dive sights around Monaco.


Is Albufeira or Monaco Better for Beaches?

Albufeira
Monaco

Albufeira is an amazing resort town to visit for the beache. Also, Monaco is still popular, but not quite as popular for the beach.

With world-famous beaches, Albufeira is a very popular vacation 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.

Monaco has a beach worth visiting. Located along the French Riviera, the beaches are a mix of pebbles and sand. The only public beach is Plage du Larvotto in Monte Carlo and there are a number of activities available including jet skis and wind-surfing. This is also a very family-friendly beach that kids of all ages can enjoy.

Is Albufeira or Monaco Better for Hiking?

Albufeira
Monaco

Albufeira is very good for its hiking experiences. However, Monaco is not a hiking destination.

Many people include a hike when visiting 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.

Monaco is not a hiking destination.

Is the Shopping Better in Albufeira or Monaco?

Albufeira
Monaco

Monaco 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 Monaco make it a world-class shopping destination. A visit would not be complete without experiencing the city's shopping. There are couture, luxury brands as well as local boutiques that are frequented by the wealthy and famous. Popular shopping areas include Le Metropole Shopping Center, Fontvieille Shopping Centre, and La Condamine Market.

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 Monaco Better for Families?

Albufeira
Monaco

Albufeira is very good for its family-friendly activities. However, Monaco is not particularly known for its kid-friendly activities.

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."

For families, Monaco is not always the best place to visit. The city has a few family-friendly activities like an Oceanography Museum, a Zoological Park, and a harbor where kids can explore. You can also check out the Changing of the Guards in the Old Town. The public beach in town, Plage du Larvotto, is very family-friendly as well.

Is Albufeira or Monaco Better for Couples?

Albufeira
Monaco

With fun activities for couples, both Albufeira and Monaco make for a world-class place to visit.

Albufeira makes for a terrific place to visit as a couple. 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.

For those traveling as a couple, Monaco has plenty to offer. Filled with luxury, a couple can enjoy perusing the yachts in the harbor, dining on fine cuisine at an award winning restaurant, or staying at one of the many fancy hotels in town. You can also explore the area by air, by taking a truly spectacular helicopter tour.

Is Albufeira or Monaco Better for Backpackers and Budget Travelers?

Albufeira
Monaco

Albufeira is an amazing resort town to visit for backpackers. However, Monaco is not particularly known for backpackers and budget travelers.

Backpackers and budget travelers come from all over the world to visit 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.

Monaco is not the best destination for backpackers and budget travelers due to its high prices. Known for it's luxury accommodation and posh visitors, this coastal area isn't known for its backpacker friendly atmosphere. Most budget travelers skip the glitz and glam of this microstate in order to save a few bucks.


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

Albufeira
Monaco

Monaco 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 Monaco, but it may not be enough to take you everywhere. There is a bus 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 Monaco a more walkable city?

Albufeira
Monaco

Monaco 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 Monaco on foot is easy. It's small and compact size means that it is easy to explore the entire area on foot in a short amount of time.

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 Monaco Worth Visiting?.

Should I spend more time in Monaco or Albufeira?

How long in Albufeira or Monaco?

Visitors can find plenty of fun things to do in both Albufeira and Monaco. With generally more activities and things to do, visitors tend to spend more time in Albufeira than in Monaco. Usually, 3-7 days is a good amount of time for Albufeira, and 1-3 days is enough time in Monaco.

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

Backpackers and budget travelers should spend more time in Albufeira than Monaco 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 Monaco? Ideal Length of Stay
    Albufeira 3-7 
    Monaco 1-3

One day in Albufeira or Monaco?

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 Monaco because there is so much to do. People often spend their time relaxing at one of the resorts. One day is a great amount of time to relax and see the many things that Monaco has to offer. It has many unique tourist attractions and fascinating things to do.


A weekend in Albufeira or Monaco?

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 Monaco because there is so much to do. You can also relax and pamper yourself at one of the resorts. This is a popular place to visit for a weekend.A weekend should give you a good understanding of everything this coastal resort area has to offer. This coastal resort area offers a variety of activities to choose from.

Five days in Albufeira or Monaco?

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.

Travelers enjoy the nightlife and food when visiting the thrilling coastal resort area of Monaco. The length of your ideal trip is an individual decision. It's also a relaxing resort destination. Five days is plenty of time to see everything, even with extra days to spare.

A week in Albufeira or Monaco?

Many travelers enjoy the food and scuba diving and snorkeling when visiting the high energy 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.

Monaco is a popular choice for travelers. People enjoy relaxing at one of the resorts. 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.


Which place is cheaper, Monaco 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 Monaco is €189. 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 Monaco in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Albufeira 74
    Monaco 119
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Albufeira 148
    Monaco 238
Compare Hotels in Albufeira and Monaco

Looking for a hotel in Albufeira or Monaco? 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 Monaco


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.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Albufeira 34
    Monaco 17

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Albufeira

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Albufeira:

  • Albufeira - Faro Airport Transfers 4pax: $50
  • Departure Transfer Albufeira or Açoteias to Faro Airport FAO by Private Vehicle: $34
  • Departure Transfer Vilamoura or Qta do Lago to Faro Airport FAO Private Vehicle: $28
  • Faro Airport (Algarve) Departure Transfer (Vilamoura Hotels to Faro Airport): $89
  • Faro Airport Private Transfer - Albufeira (Departure): $27
  • From One Way Private Transfer to Seville by Van: $76
  • Private Airport Transfer To Albufeira Area: $94
  • Private Airport Transfer To Albufeira Area: $83
  • Private Faro Airport Transfer from Albufeira (up to 4 passangers): $53
  • Private Faro Airport Transfer from Albufeira (up to 8 passangers): $77
  • Private Transfer From Albufeira To Faro Airport By Minibus: $76
  • Private Transfer from Albufeira to Faro (FAO) Airport: $48

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Monaco

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Monaco:

  • Port Hercule (Monte Carlo Monaco Port): Transfer to Monaco: $231

Is it cheaper to fly into Albufeira or Monaco?

Prices for flights to both Monaco 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
    Monaco 53

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: $50
  • Dinner at the Vineyards in Lagoa: $61
  • Algarve Bike and Food Tour with Sea Food and Wine Tasting: $62
  • 6-Hour Sunset Dinner Catamaran Cruise from Albufeira: $75
  • Sunset Tour - Champagne and Traditional Dinner: $76
  • Half-Day-Orange Picking &Jam Cooking/Lunch with the Orange Farmer: $99
  • Sunset Safari with Traditional Dinner : $265

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Albufeira 39
    Monaco 23

Tours and Activities in Albufeira

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

  • Inflatable Waterpark Entry Ticket: $7.72
  • Silves Scavenger Hunt and Sights Private Self-Guided Tour: $8.13
  • Castro Verde Scavenger Hunt and Sights Self-Guided Tour: $8.13
  • Algarve Wines Tasting Shared Experience at Mercado Municipal de Silves: $17
  • Albufeira 1 hour Off-Road Tour Quad Adventure Tour: $19
  • Albufeira The Strip: In-App Adventure Hunt: $22
  • Albufeira Old Town: In-App Adventure Hunt: $22
  • 70 Minutes Guided Secrets of Albufeira Walking Tour: $22
  • 70 Minutes Guided Old Ruins Walking Tour in Albufeira: $22
  • Leãozinho Pirate Ship Cruise from Albufeira: $26
  • 3 Hour Cruise Experience from Vilamoura: $30
  • Tour to Benagil Caves and Coastline in Albufeira: $30

Typical Entertainment Prices in Monaco

Here are a few typical costs in Monaco for activities, ticket prices, and tours that come from previous visitors:


  • Grand Prix for Two
    101

Tours and Activities in Monaco

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

  • First Discovery Walk and Reading Walking Tour: $3.25
  • Monaco Old Town Highlights Self-Guided Scavenger Hunt & Tour: $5.41
  • Monaco City Exploration Game and Tour: $6.49
  • Self-Guided Walking Tour of Monte Carlo & Audioguide: $14
  • City Neighborhoods Self-Guided Audio Tour: $15
  • Oceanographic Museum of Monaco Ticket: $21
  • Monte Carlo Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Tour: $25
  • Formula One Circuit Guided Walking Tour: $54
  • From Nice: Eze, Monaco & Monte Carlo Half Day Tour: $70
  • Eze and Full Day Shared Tour: $103
  • Monaco & Monte-Carlo: Guided Hidden Gems Tour: $141
  • 2 Hour Private Guided Walking Tour: $205

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Albufeira 26
    Monaco 26

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
  • Exclusive Wine Tasting Experience in Porches (Algarve): $50
  • Porches Algarve Vineyard Tour and Wine Tasting Experience: $54
  • Wine Tasting Tour in Algarve Winery : $58
  • Half Day Safari Tour with Wine Tasting: $58
  • Winery Tour with Wine Tasting and Tapas: $64
  • Small group Wine Tasting Tour from Albufeira: $66
  • Wine Tour and Tasting - Semi-Private from Albufeira: $72
  • Albufeira Coast Tour w/ Wine tasting & Chicken lunch: $75
  • Albufeira Tour: Wine Tasting and Chicken PiriPiri lunch: $76
  • full day Wine Tour from Albufeira: $94
  • Lagos and Ponta Da Piedade Private Tour & Algarvian Wine Tasting: $108

Sample the Local Flavors in Monaco

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

  • Wine Tasting : Tour de France in Nice city centre: $74


When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Albufeira and Monaco, we can see that Monaco 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 Monaco would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in Monaco 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 Monaco Expensive?.


Which is Bigger, Albufeira or Monaco?

Albufeira has a larger population, and is about 20 times larger than the population of Monaco. When comparing the sizes of Albufeira and Monaco, 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.