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

Should you visit Athens or Cardiff?

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 Cardiff. 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 vibrant, energetic, and historic city. Travelers will also find plenty of sights and attractions here, as it's a big city that attracts lots of visitors. It's a beautiful place to visit, too. And you can't forget about the shopping, museums, and nightlife.

Cardiff

Cardiff is a up-and-coming, green, and industrial city. Because this is such a big city, visitors will find many sights and attractions around town. It offers plenty of beauty for visitors. It's also popular because of the museums, nightlife, and shopping.

Athens and Cardiff: Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Popular for food and cuisine
  • Active nightlife
  • Scenic old town
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
  • Good public transit
  • Big city activities
  • Home to the Acropolis
Pros
  • Family-friendly
Things to Consider
  • Less museums and historical sights
  • Less popular for food
  • Less popular for nightlife
  • Less popular with couples
  • Public transit not as usable


Is there more to do in Athens or Cardiff?

Travelers will usually find more to do in Athens than Cardiff, as it is bigger with more sights, attractions, and activities for visitors. Athens is more touristy than Cardiff and is popular for its ancient temples and landmarks as well as its influence as the birthplace of democracy. It is also home to The Acropolis. Cardiff is popular for having the most castles per square mile of any city in Europe.

The Acropolis
The Acropolis

How is Athens different from Cardiff?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

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

Are the Museums and Historical Sights Better in Athens or Cardiff?

Athens
Cardiff

Athens is a must-visit destination for its museums and landmarks. Also, Cardiff is still popular, but not quite as popular for its historical sights.

The museums, monuments, and landmarks in Athens are among the most recognizable in the world. 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.

If you're looking for an educational opportunity, there are a decent number of museums and historical sights around Cardiff. The most notable landmark of the city is the famous and well-preserved Cardiff Castle. Visitors also enjoy seeing the Victorian arcades, museums, and cathedrals around town.


Is the Food Better in Athens or Cardiff? Which Destination has the Best Restaurants?

Athens
Cardiff

Athens is a must-visit destination for its restaurant scene. However, Cardiff is a city with minimal options for its local flavors and cuisine.

For foodies, Athens is an obvious choice, as it is one of the food capitals of the world. Make sure you try the souvlaki, moussaka, and dolmades at any of the many local restaurants throughout the city.

Cardiff may not make the list for most foodies, but you'll find what you need while you're in town. Welsh cuisine is known for its stews and hearty vegetable dishes. The national dish is cawl, which is a stew made with lamb and vegetables. Other local favorites include Welsh rarebit, which is a type of cheese toast, and Glamorgan Sausage, which is actually made with vegetables.

Is Athens or Cardiff Better for Nightlife?

Athens
Cardiff

Athens is a must-visit destination for nightlife and partying. Also, Cardiff is still popular, but not quite as popular for its evening party scene.

Athens is a world class party destination. There are all-night dance clubs as well as local bars and chill live music venues.

If you're looking for night time activities Cardiff has a few options to choose from. The nightlife scene is all about fun and most of the activities are driven by the large and diverse student population.

Is Athens or Cardiff Better for its Old Town?

Athens
Cardiff

Athens is a must-visit destination for its old town. However, Cardiff does not have a historic old town.

The rich history of Athens can be explored in its historical center. The city's "historic triangle" is between Syntagma, Omonia, and Monastiraki Squares. This area is also at the political and financial heart of the city.

Cardiff does not have a historic old town.


Is the Shopping Better in Athens or Cardiff?

Athens
Cardiff

If you're looking to go shopping, Athens and Cardiff both offer plenty of good spots.

Athens has a variety of shopping areas worth visiting. Most neighborhoods have a shopping street but head to Ermou Street for some of the city's best shopping.

Cardiff is a great destination for shopping. Shopping options include shopping malls and boutique lined streets. There is a nice mix of independent shops and major chains to choose between.

Is Athens or Cardiff Better for Families?

Athens
Cardiff

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

Athens is a very kid-friendly city. With its rich history, beautiful outdoor activities, and kid-friendly food, Athens is a fun place to explore with the whole family.

Cardiff offers lots of family activities. The city has a number of climbing and play areas, museums, and playgrounds that can keep the little ones entertained. There are also plenty of outdoor parks and trails to wander around.

Is Athens or Cardiff Better for Couples?

Athens
Cardiff

Athens is a popular place for its romantic activities. However, Cardiff is a city with minimal options for couples.

Athens makes for a fun place to visit for a couple. The city is historical, fascinating, and romantic, making it a beautiful place to explore as a couple.

Cardiff is not always the best place to visit for a couple. The most romantic experiences involve a night out dining at nice restaurants, enjoying a cocktail at a classy bar, and strolling through neighborhoods and soaking up the atmosphere.


Is Athens or Cardiff Better for Backpackers and Budget Travelers?

Athens
Cardiff

Athens is a must-visit destination for backpackers. However, Cardiff is not a backpacker-friendly destination.

Backpackers and budget travelers come from all over the world to visit Athens. The city has long been established as a backpackers destination with budget friendly food and plenty of hostels around town.

Cardiff is not a backpacker-friendly destination.

Is Athens or Cardiff Better for Students?

Athens
Cardiff

Athens is a great destination for students. Also, Cardiff is still popular, but not quite as popular for its student-friendly activities.

Athens is a very popular city for students and younger travelers. International students will appreciate the rich history, archaeological ruins, and unique opportunities that are available here.

It's common for students to visit Cardiff. Most students come to study at Cardiff University, which is a leading university in Great Britain.

Is Athens or Cardiff Better for Public Transit? Which Is Easier to Get Around Without a Car?

Athens
Cardiff

Athens is a great destination for its public transit. However, Cardiff is a city with minimal options for times when you don't have a car.

The public transit in Athens can get you around easily. The city's metro system has 3 lines that connect to bus, tram and commuter rail lines.

Public transit is mostly limited in Cardiff. There is a bus system that you can use to get around.


Is Athens or Cardiff a more walkable city?

Athens
Cardiff

Athens is a great destination for its high level of walkability. Also, Cardiff is still popular, but not quite as popular for its ease of walking around.

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

Cardiff is a somewhat walkable city. There are pedestrianized areas and the waterfront is nice to walk around but there is still room for improvement when it comes to walkability.

For even more information, also check out Is Athens Worth Visiting? and Is Cardiff Worth Visiting?.

Should I spend more time in Cardiff or Athens?

How long in Athens or Cardiff?

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

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

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

Backpackers and budget travelers should spend more time in Athens than Cardiff 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 Athens.


  • How many days in Athens or Cardiff? Ideal Length of Stay
    Athens 3-7 
    Cardiff 1-3

One day in Athens or Cardiff?

Because Athens is a large city, there are a variety of ways to spend your time. Most visitors spend time around the old town while in the area. This city offers something for everyone. One day is usually not enough time for a trip here as there is plenty to do.

Many travelers enjoy the shopping and museums when visiting the destination of Cardiff. One day is often enough time to do most activities.

A weekend in Athens or Cardiff?

Because Athens is a large city, there are a variety of ways to spend your time. The length of your trip often depends on your style of travel. Visiting the old town is also a must. Since there is so much to do in the area, a weekend is probably not enough for all of it.

Cardiff is a great place to explore. It is common to spend a weekend here. With all of its activities, you can easily fill a weekend here. Your budget might influence how long you stay.


Five days in Athens or Cardiff?

Athens is a great place to explore. It is common to spend five days here. The old town is one of the main draws for visitors. Five days is a great amount of time to relax and see the many things that Athens has to offer. Anyone can find something fun to do here.

It's hard to know how much time to spend in Cardiff. Five days may feel like too much time unless you plan to do a lot of relaxing. It has many unique tourist attractions and fascinating things to do.

A week in Athens or Cardiff?

It's hard to know how much time to spend in Athens. Because Athens is a large city, there are a variety of ways to spend your time. Exploring the old town is a popular activity. With all of its activities, you can easily fill one week here.

Travelers enjoy the shopping and museums when visiting the green destination of Cardiff. This city offers a variety of activities to choose from. Most people find that one week is more than enough time to see everything.


For some great organized tour ideas, see The Best 10-Day Tours in Greece, The Best One Week (7-Day) Tours in Greece, The Best Budget Tours to United Kingdom, and The Best Tours for Seniors to United Kingdom.


Which place is cheaper, Cardiff or Athens?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Athens is €127, while the average daily cost in Cardiff is €184. 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 Athens and Cardiff in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Athens 63
    Cardiff 110
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Athens 126
    Cardiff 220
Compare Hotels in Athens and Cardiff

Looking for a hotel in Athens or Cardiff? 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 Athens


Hotels in Cardiff


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: Athens Hotel Prices and Cardiff Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Athens 27
    Cardiff 25
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:

  • Athens Airport To Piraeus Port / Hotel Private Luxury Transfer : $44
  • Athens to Piraeus (Athens) Cruise Port - Departure Private Transfer: $33
  • Private Athens International Airport to Piraeus Port Transfer: $80
  • Transfer from Athens-Pireaus-Athens Airport to Corinth-Loutraki-Agioi Theodoroi: $219
  • "Luxurious Transfer": $48
  • Accessible Private Transfer WAV from Athens Airport to Port Rafina: $43
  • Airport Private Transfers: $79
  • Airport Transfer: Athens Airport ATH to Athens by Luxury Car: $134
  • Airport Transfer: Athens to Athens Airport ATH by Luxury Van: $119
  • Arrival Private Transfer from Athens Airport ATH to Athens City by Minibus: $110
  • Arrival Private Transfer from Athens Rafina Port to Athens City by Business Car: $73
  • Arrival Private Transfer from Athens Rafina Port to Athens City by Luxury Van: $102

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Cardiff

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Cardiff:

  • Private Transfer from Mold to Manchester Airport (MAN): $125
  • Private Transfer from Holyhead Port to Manchester Airport (MAN): $102
  • Arrival Private Transfer from Cardiff Airport CWL to Cardiff by Luxury Vehicle: $97
  • Departure Private Transfer from Cardiff to Cardiff Airport CWL by Luxury Vehicle: $97
  • Newport Accommodation to Cardiff Airport (CWL) - Departure Private Transfer: $60
  • Private Cardiff Arrival Transfer- Airport to Hotel / Accommodation : $59
  • Private Cardiff Departure Transfer - Hotel / Accommodation to Airport: $59
  • Barry Accommodation to Cardiff Airport (CWL) - Departure Private Transfer: $33
  • Bristol Airport: Bus Transfer to/from Cardiff: $11

Is it cheaper to fly into Athens or Cardiff?

Prices for flights to both Cardiff 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 37
    Cardiff 52
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:

  • Hard Rock Cafe Athens with Set Menu for Lunch or Dinner: $24
  • Hard Rock Cafe Athens with Set Lunch or Dinner: $26
  • Street Food Tour Market & City Centre: $42
  • Foodies’ Favorite Food tour: $46
  • Greek Street Food Tour: $53
  • Athens Street Food Tour: Explore City's Iconic Eateries: $55
  • "A Night in Dinner and Music Under the Stars": $59
  • Koukaki Food Tour with a Local Friend: $60
  • Greek Spirits & Meze, Food Tour in Athens: $62
  • Greek Traditional Vegan Cooking Class with Meal: $63
  • Greek Traditional Vegan Cooking Classes in Athina: $65
  • Athens Street Food Tour: Taste the best streed food: $67

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Cardiff

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

  • Welsh Food Tour in Cardiff: $77

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Athens 36
    Cardiff 29

Tours and Activities in Athens

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

  • Self-guided First Discovery Walk and Reading Tour: $3.21
  • Ancient Highlights Self-Guided Scavenger Hunt & Tour: $4.87
  • 360 Virtual tour of Ancient Athens: $6.00
  • Ancient Athens Quest Experience: $6.01
  • Herakleidon Museum of Ancient Greek Technology: Entry Ticket: $6.42
  • Private Audio Guided Walking Tour in Athens: $6.56
  • Ancient Agora of Athens Self-Guided Audio Tour: $6.99
  • Greek Mythology Quest Experience in Athens: $7.10
  • Greece: Tourist eSIM Data Plan: $7.27
  • Ancient Agora: Audiovisual self-guided tour with 3D models: $7.48
  • South Slope of the Acropolis audiovisual self-guided tour: $7.48
  • Athens Olympic Museum: Skip-the-Line Entry Ticket: $7.49

Tours and Activities in Cardiff

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

  • 2.5 hour Walking and Tasting Tour in Cardiff: $58
  • 30 Minute Archery Experience in Llangollen: $19
  • 30 Minute Axe Throwing Experience in Llangollen: $19
  • A Journey through Tudor A Self-Guided Audio Tour: $5.99
  • A Silent Disco Adventure in Cardiff: $22
  • Canoe Aqueduct tours Llangollen: $76
  • Canyoning with Beezra Experiences in South Wales: $89
  • Cardiff All in One Walking Tour: $63
  • Cardiff Bay Boat Tour: $15
  • Cardiff Bay Private Self-Guided Tour: $11
  • Cardiff City Private Guided Walking Tour: $181
  • Cardiff City Tour: $161

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Athens 23
    Cardiff 15

Sample the Local Flavors in Athens

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

  • Liquer tasting in Polykala's Distillery Show Room in Athens: $18
  • Sunday Night Bar Crawl in Athens, Greece: $20
  • Pub Crawl with Unlimited Drinks, Free Shots & Deals: $21
  • Premium Wine Tastings: $35
  • Greek Wine Tasting Experience with a Sommelier: $43
  • Organic and Vegan Indigenous Wine Tasting Private Experience: $44
  • Old Town Wine Tasting: $52
  • Best rated Acropolis Wine Tasting : $54
  • Greek food and wine tasting: $54
  • Greek Wine Tasting with Acropolis view: $54
  • 1 Hour Private Four Greek Wine Tasting and Food Pairing in Athens: $55
  • Wine Tasting with a Sommelier under the Acropolis: $59

Sample the Local Flavors in Cardiff

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

  • Gin Tour at Hensol Castle Distillery: $32


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

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


Which is Bigger, Athens or Cardiff?

Athens has a larger population, and is about 2 times larger than the population of Cardiff. When comparing the sizes of Athens and Cardiff, 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.


When is the best time to visit Athens or Cardiff?

Both places have a temperate climate with four distinct seasons. As both cities are in the northern hemisphere, summer is in July and winter is in January.

Should I visit Athens or Cardiff in the Summer?

The summer brings many poeple to Athens as well as Cardiff. The city activities and the family-friendly experiences are the main draw to Athens this time of year. Also, many travelers come to Cardiff for the city activities and the family-friendly experiences.

In July, Athens is generally much warmer than Cardiff. Daily temperatures in Athens average around 27°C (81°F), and Cardiff fluctuates around 17°C (63°F).

The sun comes out a lot this time of the year in Cardiff. People are often attracted to the plentiful sunshine in Athens this time of the year. In the summer, Athens often gets more sunshine than Cardiff. Athens gets 357 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Cardiff receives 220 hours of full sun.

Athens usually gets less rain in July than Cardiff. Athens gets 6 mm (0.2 in) of rain, while Cardiff receives 62 mm (2.4 in) of rain this time of the year.


  • Summer Average Temperatures July
    Athens 27°C (81°F) 
    Cardiff 17°C (63°F)

Should I visit Athens or Cardiff in the Autumn?

Both Cardiff and Athens are popular destinations to visit in the autumn with plenty of activities. Many travelers come to Athens for the city's sights and attractions, the shopping scene, and the natural beauty of the area. Also, many visitors come to Cardiff in the autumn for the city's sights and attractions, the shopping scene, and the natural beauty of the area.

Athens is much warmer than Cardiff in the autumn. The daily temperature in Athens averages around 19°C (67°F) in October, and Cardiff fluctuates around 11°C (52°F).

The sun comes out a lot this time of the year in Athens. Athens usually receives more sunshine than Cardiff during autumn. Athens gets 206 hours of sunny skies, while Cardiff receives 95 hours of full sun in the autumn.

It rains a lot this time of the year in Cardiff. In October, Athens usually receives less rain than Cardiff. Athens gets 48 mm (1.9 in) of rain, while Cardiff receives 101 mm (4 in) of rain each month for the autumn.


  • Autumn Average Temperatures October
    Athens 19°C (67°F) 
    Cardiff 11°C (52°F)

Should I visit Athens or Cardiff in the Winter?

Both Cardiff and Athens during the winter are popular places to visit. Many visitors come to Athens in the winter for the museums, the shopping scene, and the cuisine. Furthermore, most visitors come to Cardiff for the museums, the shopping scene, and the cuisine during these months.

Cardiff can be very cold during winter. In the winter, Athens is much warmer than Cardiff. Typically, the winter temperatures in Athens in January average around 10°C (51°F), and Cardiff averages at about 3°C (38°F).

In the winter, Athens often gets more sunshine than Cardiff. Athens gets 143 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Cardiff receives 57 hours of full sun.

Athens usually gets less rain in January than Cardiff. Athens gets 45 mm (1.8 in) of rain, while Cardiff receives 95 mm (3.7 in) of rain this time of the year.


  • Winter Average Temperatures January
    Athens 10°C (51°F) 
    Cardiff 3°C (38°F)

Should I visit Athens or Cardiff in the Spring?

The spring attracts plenty of travelers to both Athens and Cardiff. Most visitors come to Athens for the activities around the city and the natural beauty during these months. Furthermore, the spring months attract visitors to Cardiff because of the activities around the city and the natural beauty.

In April, Athens is generally much warmer than Cardiff. Daily temperatures in Athens average around 16°C (60°F), and Cardiff fluctuates around 9°C (48°F).

In Athens, it's very sunny this time of the year. Athens usually receives more sunshine than Cardiff during spring. Athens gets 226 hours of sunny skies, while Cardiff receives 183 hours of full sun in the spring.

In April, Athens usually receives less rain than Cardiff. Athens gets 25 mm (1 in) of rain, while Cardiff receives 47 mm (1.9 in) of rain each month for the spring.


  • Spring Average Temperatures April
    Athens 16°C (60°F) 
    Cardiff 9°C (48°F)

Typical Weather for Cardiff and Athens

Athens Cardiff
Temp (°C) Rain (mm) Temp (°C) Rain (mm)
Jan 10°C (51°F) 45 mm (1.8 in) 3°C (38°F) 95 mm (3.7 in)
Feb 11°C (51°F) 48 mm (1.9 in) 4°C (40°F) 70 mm (2.7 in)
Mar 12°C (54°F) 44 mm (1.7 in) 6°C (42°F) 80 mm (3.2 in)
Apr 16°C (60°F) 25 mm (1 in) 9°C (48°F) 47 mm (1.9 in)
May 20°C (68°F) 14 mm (0.6 in) 12°C (53°F) 62 mm (2.4 in)
Jun 24°C (76°F) 6 mm (0.2 in) 15°C (59°F) 57 mm (2.3 in)
Jul 27°C (81°F) 6 mm (0.2 in) 17°C (63°F) 62 mm (2.4 in)
Aug 27°C (81°F) 8 mm (0.3 in) 17°C (62°F) 75 mm (3 in)
Sep 24°C (76°F) 10 mm (0.4 in) 14°C (58°F) 95 mm (3.7 in)
Oct 19°C (67°F) 48 mm (1.9 in) 11°C (52°F) 101 mm (4 in)
Nov 16°C (60°F) 51 mm (2 in) 7°C (45°F) 97 mm (3.8 in)
Dec 12°C (54°F) 66 mm (2.6 in) 5°C (40°F) 96 mm (3.8 in)