A Travel Price Comparison for Families, Couples, and Backpackers Athens vs. Barcelona for Attractions, Food, Nightlife, and Backpackers

Should you visit Athens or Barcelona?

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

Which city should you visit? Read on to compare the activities as well as the prices of travel for Athens and Barcelona. We'll break down costs for accommodation, food, transportation and more to help you learn more about these two destinations. Then, you can figure out if either of these two places are accessible based on your travel budget, schedule, and interests. So, let's dig into it.

Athens

Athens is a historic, ancient, and vibrant city. It's a large city with plenty of activites for visitors as well. It's a gorgeous place to visit. It's also known for nightlife, food, and shopping.

Barcelona

Barcelona is a laid-back, historic, and cultural city. Visitors will also find so much to do here because it's a large city with many sights and attractions. Many visitors also come here because of it's amazing beauty. It's also popular because of the museums, nightlife, and live music.

How is Athens different from Barcelona?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

Is Athens or Barcelona better for Museums and Historical Sights?

You'll find a number of museums and attractions in both Barcelona and Athens.

With plenty of landmarks, attractions, and museums, Athens has many famous sights for visitors. As a historical capital of the world, this city has countless museums and archeological sites including the famous Acropolis, the National Archaeology Museum, and the Ancient Agora.

Visitors will find world class museums and historical sights in Barcelona that are not to be missed. Architecture and history all contribute to the city's impressive sights and museums. Famous landmarks include the Basílica de la Sagrada Família, Casa Milà, and the Palace of Catalan Music.


Is Athens or Barcelona better for Food?

Dining out in both Athens and Barcelona can be an enjoyable experience.

Eat your way through Athens, as it has many local or world renowned restaurants to choose from. Make sure you try the souvlaki, moussaka, and dolmades at any of the many local restaurants throughout the city.

Many restaurants in Barcelona have been singled out for their culinary prowess. With easy access to fresh produce, there are many food markets around town. You'll also find great fresh local dishes at the many restaurants. Make sure you try the paella, croquettes, and Jamon Iberico.

Is Athens or Barcelona better for Nightlife?

The vibe at night is comparable in Athens and Barcelona.

The nightlife in Athens is well established with world renowned clubs and venues. There are all-night dance clubs as well as local bars and chill live music venues.

Barcelona is a destination that you simply have to visit at least once for nightlife. The city offers an amazing nightlife at a much more affordable price than many places in Europe. There are beach parties, boat parties, and bars that stay packed late into the night. The city also hosts many street fiestas and music festivals.

Is Athens or Barcelona better for Shopping?

Barcelona is generally considered to be a more popular shopping destination.

Many people travel to Barcelona specifically to go shopping. Head to Portal De L’Angel, Rambla de Catalunya, or Passeig De Gracia for some of the city's best shopping districts.

Athens is a great destination for shopping. Most neighborhoods have a shopping street but head to Ermou Street for some of the city's best shopping.

Is Athens or Barcelona better for Families?

Both Athens and Barcelona are family-friendly destinations.

You'll find plenty of family-friendly things to do in Athens. With its rich history, beautiful outdoor activities, and kid-friendly food, Athens is a fun place to explore with the whole family.

Barcelona is a very family-friendly place to visit. Check out the Magic Fountains Show near Plaça d’Espanya, wander through the aquarium, or sample some chocolate at the Chocolate Museum. There are also many great parks and playgrounds around town.


Is Athens or Barcelona better for Backpackers and Budget Travelers?

For backpackers, both Athens and Barcelona are fairly comparable places to visit.

With so many budget-friendly offerings, Athens is extremely popular for backpackers. The city has long been established as a backpackers destination with budget friendly food and plenty of hostels around town.

Barcelona is a mecca for backpackers and budget travelers. There are many hostels around town, each with its own personality. Many of the hostels also organize activities or dinners for guests so it's easy to meet other travelers.

Is Athens or Barcelona better for Students?

For students, both Athens and Barcelona are fairly comparable places to visit.

Many students visit Athens. International students will appreciate the rich history, archaeological ruins, and unique opportunities that are available here.

Barcelona is a very popular city for students. This is a popular study abroad destination and you'll find international students from around the world. It's a beautiful city with plenty to see and do.

Is Athens or Barcelona better for Public Transit?

Athens and Barcelona both offer public transit to get you around.

Many visitors use the public transit system in Athens. The city's metro system has 3 lines that connect to bus, tram and commuter rail lines.

Barcelona has a great public transit system. There's a metro, bus, and tram system that navigates the city.

Is Athens or Barcelona a more walkable city?

Athens and Barcelona are similar when it comes to walkability.

Athens is a very walkable destination. You'll find the city's most walkable area's in the historical heart, where there are many pedestrian only streets and shopping areas.

Barcelona is very walkable. The city is more spread out than some other major European cities, but there are many plazas and outdoor areas that are fun to explore on foot. The city has designed "superilles," which are areas where car traffic has been directed around pedestrian-friendly plazas so visitors can explore, relax, or play.


Athens and Barcelona: Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
  • Big city activities
Cons
  • Less popular for shopping
Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Good for shopping
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
  • Big city activities
  • Impressive beauty


Should I spend more time in Barcelona or Athens?

How long in Athens or Barcelona?

Both Athens and Barcelona have a number of activities to choose from. You can spend a similar amount of time exploring either.

The ideal length of time for a trip to Athens is 3-7 days, and the ideal length of time for a trip to Barcelona is 3-7 days.


  • How many days in Athens or Barcelona? Ideal Length of Stay
    Athens 3-7 
    Barcelona 3-7

One day in Athens or Barcelona?

People visit Athens 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.

Many travelers enjoy the food and shopping when visiting the big city destination of Barcelona. The old town is one of the main draws for visitors. But since there are so many activities, you'll likely want to spend more than one day exploring.

A weekend in Athens or Barcelona?

People visit Athens because there is so much to do. A weekend is usually not enough time for a trip here as there is plenty to do. This city offers a variety of activities to choose from.

Barcelona 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.

Five days in Athens or Barcelona?

People visit Athens 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.

It's hard to know how much time to spend in Barcelona. For many, it makes a great getaway for five days. Make sure you visit the old town while you're here. With all of its activities, you can easily fill five days here. It has many unique tourist attractions and fascinating things to do.

A week in Athens or Barcelona?

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

Many travelers enjoy the nightlife and live music when visiting the friendly big city of Barcelona. This city offers a variety of activities to choose from. Most visitors spend time around the old town while in 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.

Which city is cheaper, Barcelona or Athens?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Athens is €103, while the average daily cost in Barcelona is €123. 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 city. What follows is a categorical breakdown of travel costs for Athens and Barcelona in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Athens 51
    Barcelona 75
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Athens 102
    Barcelona 150

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Athens 22
    Barcelona 15
Typical Local Transportation prices in Athens

Here are some examples of typical transportation prices from actual travelers in Athens:


  • Airport Bus for Two
    6.40
  • Metro
    1.50
  • Metro
    2.00
  • Metro from Airport to City Center
    8.00
  • Taxi from Airport
    35

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Athens

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

  • Ultra - Private Transfer from Athens City Centre to Piraeus Cruise Port: $9.41
  • Ultra - Athens Private Airport Transfer from City Centre to Athens Airport ATH: $9.41
  • Mercedes Luxury Private Transfer Athens - Piraeus: $16
  • Athens Port Private Transfer: $16
  • Private Luxury Transfer from Athens - Piraeus: $17
  • Athens Private Transfer Service: Athens Hotel to Piraeus Port: $19
  • Athens Airport Shuttle Bus Transfer: $21
  • Athens Private Transfer: Piraeus Cruise Port to Central Athens: $22
  • Athens Private Transfer: Central Athens to Piraeus Cruise Port: $22
  • Athens hotels to Piraeus port Private departure transfer: $22
  • Piraeus port to Athens hotels Private arrival transfer: $22
  • Shared Departure Transfer: Hotel to Athens Airport: $24

Typical Local Transportation prices in Barcelona

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


  • 10 Trip Metro Ticket
    7.80
  • Airport Bus
    5.00
  • Metro
    2.10

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Barcelona

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Barcelona:

  • Private 5 days in Barcelona with private transfers and private tours: $1,524
  • Private 5 days in Barcelona with tours and transfers and pick up and drop off: $1,213
  • Private Round-Trip transfer from Barcelona Airport or Barcelona city to Andorra: $876
  • Private 3 days in Barcelona with private tours and transfers: $796
  • Montserrat Monastery Tour & Hot Air Balloon Flight, Including Transfer, Lunch, Photos, Cava: $791
  • Private Transfer & Tours to Andorra from Barcelona 10 Hours: $597
  • Barcelona city or airport to Andorra Private Transfer: $564
  • Private Transfer from Barcelona travel to Andorra: $554
  • Transfer Barcelona-Madrid: $531
  • Private Round-Trip Transfer to Montserrat from Barcelona: $529
  • Private Transfer: Andorra to Barcelona City or BCN Airport by Luxury Van: $522
  • Barcelona city to Andorra Private Transfer: $520

Is it cheaper to fly into Athens or Barcelona?

Prices for flights to both Barcelona and Athens 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
    Athens 30
    Barcelona 27
Typical Food prices in Athens

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


  • Ice cream
    3.00
  • Souvlaki
    2.20

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Athens

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

  • Online 1hr Cooking Class: Santorini Tomato Fritters: $6.22
  • Greek Meatballs Private Online Cooking Class: $27
  • Withlocals the 10 Tastings: Athens Private Food Tour with a Local: $42
  • Online Cooking Class: Greek mini cheese pies: $45
  • Street Culture & Food Tour: $56
  • Afternoon Food Tour: $56
  • Athens walking and tasting food tour.: $60
  • 4-Hour Cooking Class with Market Visit: $69
  • Homemade Gyros cooking class and dinner in Athens for private groups: $75
  • The Classic Food Tour: $76
  • Taste of Half-Day Small Group Food Tour: $77
  • Greek Phyllo and Pie Cooking Class in Athens: $77

Typical Food prices in Barcelona

Some typical examples of dining costs in Barcelona are as follows:


  • Hot Cocoa & Churro
    4.15
  • Sandwich
    1.70
  • Baguette & Horchata
    3.80
  • Tapas on the beach
    8.28
  • Gelatto
    2.50

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Barcelona

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

  • Live from Potato Gnocchi Online Cooking Class: $23
  • Live from Barcelona to China: Potato Gnocchi Online Cooking Class: $23
  • Barcelona organic dinner in a beautiful rooftop garden: $35
  • Paella Cooking Experience + Boqueria Market Tour: $48
  • Interactive Spanish Cooking Experience in Barcelona: $49
  • Hands-on Brunch Cooking Class with Bottomless Mimosas!: $50
  • Born district food tour and tasting in Barcelona: $51
  • Street Food Tour & Gothic Quater Sightseeing with Local Expert: $52
  • Barcelona Street Food Tour: Local Market & Gothic Quarter with Expert Guide: $52
  • Tasty Barcelona Street Food Tour With Local Market Visit: $59
  • Skip the Line: Flamenco Show and Dinner Ticket: $62
  • 2-Hour Bites & Flavors Private Food Tour: $66

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Athens 28
    Barcelona 27

Tours and Activities in Athens

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

  • Athens virtual History, Philosophy and Democracy Tour: $6.22
  • Skip the Line: Frissiras Museum Entrance Ticket: $7.46
  • Skip the Line: War Museum of Athens Entrance Ticket: $7.46
  • Skip the Line: Temple of Olympian Zeus Entrance Ticket: $8.09
  • Skip the Line: Roman Agora of Athens Entrance Ticket: $8.71
  • Athens Museum of Cycladic Art Admission Ticket: $8.71
  • Skip the Line: Admission Ticket for Acropolis Museum: $9.33
  • Temple of Olympian Zeus: Self-Guided Audio Tour on your Phone (without ticket): $9.94
  • Skip the Line: Ancient Agora of Athens and Temple of Hephaestus Entrance Ticket: $11
  • Benaki Museum of Islamic Art Entrance Ticket: $11
  • Athens Museum of Illusions Ticket: $11
  • Self-Guided City Experience: $12

Typical Entertainment prices in Barcelona

Some typical examples of activities, tours, and entrance ticket prices in Barcelona are as follows:


  • Picasso Walking Tour and Museum Pass
    42
  • Souvenir Gaudi Book
    8.55
  • Admission to Museo Picasso
    6.00

Tours and Activities in Barcelona

Some specific costs of activities, tours, and entrance tickets for Barcelona are as follows:

  • #1dayBarcelona. 6-Hour Action Packed Private City Discovery Tour: $549
  • 'Game Of Thrones' Small Group Tour in Girona from Barcelona: $125
  • 1 hour private sailing tour: $158
  • 1,5 hour Vermut & Sailing Experience Barcelona with drinks and snacks!: $41
  • 1-hour Private Speedboat Cruise from Barcelona: $372
  • 1.5-Hour Sights of Barcelona E-Bike Tour Led by a Local Guide: $34
  • 2 Hours Private Sailing Tour for Family and Friends: $316
  • 2 Hours Running Tour in Barcelona with Local Guide: $35
  • 2 hour Private Sunset Sailing Cruise Barcelona: $372
  • 2 hour Sailing Cruise Barcelona: $47
  • 2 hour Sunset Sailing Cruise Barcelona: $47
  • 2 hours Exclusive Sunrise Sailing Experience from Port Vell: $335

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Athens 18
    Barcelona 14

Sample the Local Flavors in Athens

Here are a few nightlife and alcohol tours and activities from local tour providers in Athens:

  • Athens Walking Tour with Food and Wine Tasting: $37
  • Virtual Greek Wine Tasting: $87
  • Athens Food and Wine Tasting Tour: $96
  • Wine tasting tour: $131
  • Wine Tasting and Athens Trikke Combo Tour: $133
  • The Best Winery & Tasting Tour in Nemea.Enjoy a unique all day wine tasting tour: $140
  • Private Wine Tasting Experience of Greek Awarded Wines in Athens: $148
  • Premium Wine Tour in Peloponnese -Ancient Corinthos, Nemea - the Land of Myth: $148
  • Athens Private Wine Tasting Tour - Dionysian Grapes: $149
  • Ancient Corinth & Nemea Wine Tasting (up to 15 in a Luxurious Mercedes Minibus): $151
  • Greek Private Wine Tasting: $166
  • Mercedes Private Full-Day Tour, Nafplio, Corinth Canal and Wine Tasting: $168

Sample the Local Flavors in Barcelona

Some specific costs for nightlife related activities in Barcelona:

  • Estrella Damm Brewery Guided Tour with Tasting: $9.08
  • Generation Pub Crawl in Barcelona: $19
  • Barcelona Pub Crawl: $20
  • Wine Tasting Experience in Barcelona: $22
  • Opera Samfaina: Food and Wine Tasting Interactive Experience in Barcelona: $26
  • Wine tasting & tapas: $39
  • Barcelona Guided Local Wine Tasting Tour: $44
  • Wine Tasting near Sagrada Familia: $47
  • Home Food and Wine Tasting with Wine Lover: $51
  • Fun Wine Tasting in Barcelona with a Sommelier!: $53
  • Spanish wine tasting in a historic building with a Sommelier: $54
  • Food Tasting Tapas and Wine Tour: $62


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

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Athens vs. Barcelona Travel Comparison

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