A Travel Price Comparison for Families, Couples, and Backpackers Athens vs. Cusco for Vacations, Tours, and Honeymoons

Should you visit Athens or Cusco?

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 Cusco. 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.

Where Should I go: Athens or Cusco?


Athens is the capital city of Greece and is home to a population of over 3.7 million people. It's most famous as the birthplace of Classical Greece and the history in the city is incomparable to that found anywhere. It became the national capital of the modern Greek State in the 1830s, before which it was just a small village with a very impressive history. The city was redesigned by architects and city planners and incorporated large public squares, lots of green space, and wide avenues. The city has had its ups and downs both economically and politically, but it remains a beautiful and impressive place to explore.


Cusco is most famous as the historic capital of the Inca Empire. It is in the southern Sierras and is one of the most popular travel destinations within Peru. The city is located at 3,400 meters above sea level so it is best to acclimate yourself slowly to avoid altitude sickness.

Cusco is the starting point for many travelers making their way to the famed Machu Picchu or other Inca sites in the surrounding area.

The city is very beautiful and has impressive architecture throughout. The history is obvious as you walk around town and there are impressive ruins nearby, with the most impressive being Sacsayhuaman. The city also has a significant indigenous population that is obvious from their traditional clothing and style.

Cusco has a subtropical highland climate with a pleasant daytime temperature year around. There are two distinct seasons with the dry season being between May and August and the wet season between December and March. During the dry season there is plenty of sun with occasional nighttime freezes. Frost is less common in the wet season.

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 One-Week (7-Day) Tours from Cusco, and The Best 3-Day Tours from Cusco.

Which place is cheaper, Cusco 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 Cusco is €46. 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 Cusco in more detail.

  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Athens 63
    Cusco 21
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Athens 126
    Cusco 42
Compare Hotels in Athens and Cusco

Looking for a hotel in Athens or Cusco? 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 Cusco

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 Cusco Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Athens 27
    Cusco 9.17
Typical Local Transportation Prices in Athens

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

  • Airport Bus for Two
  • Metro
  • Metro
  • Metro from Airport to City Center
  • Taxi from Airport

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Athens

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

  • Bus Transfer to/from Argos: $14
  • Private Transfer from Piraeus Port and Hotels to Athens: $22
  • Athens Hotels To Piraeus Port-Hotels Luxury Transfer Services: $22
  • Private transfer between Athens hotels and Piraeus Port: $22
  • From Athens Airport: 1-Way Private Transfer to Rafina Port: $24
  • Santorini Private Transfer: $24
  • Mercedes Private Transfer Athens - Piraeus: $24
  • Athens Private Transfer Service: Athens Hotel To / From Piraeus Port : $25
  • Private Transfer from Athens City Center to Piraeus Port: $25
  • Piraeus Port: Private One-Way Transfer to Athens City Center: $26
  • Private Transfer from Athens City to Piraeus Port: $26
  • Piraeus port to Athens hotels Private arrival transfer: $27

Typical Local Transportation Prices in Cusco

Below are a few samples from actual travelers for transportation costs in Cusco:

  • Taxi Ride

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Cusco

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Cusco:

  • Full-Day Trip to Machu Picchu with Hotel Transfers: $335
  • Direct Private Transfer From Cusco to Puno, English Local Speaking Driver: $269
  • Ollantaytambo train station to Cuzco RoundTrip Private Transfer: $151
  • Scenic Journey from Cusco to Puno by Bus Including Hotel Transfers: $128
  • Half day Acclimatization Hike & Hotel Transfers: $110
  • Private City Tour and Saksaywaman Visit with Transfer: $80
  • Arrival Transfer & Cusco City Tour (Private Service): $80
  • Airport Cusco Transfers: $69
  • Ollantaytambo train station to Cuzco city or airport - Arrival Private Transfer: $68
  • Cuzco city or airport to Ollantaytambo train station -Departure Private Transfer: $68
  • Transfer to Ollantaytambo Cusco Peru: $60

Is it cheaper to fly into Athens or Cusco?

Prices for flights to both Cusco 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 Meals for one day
    Athens 37
    Cusco 12
Typical Food Prices in Athens

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

  • Ice cream
  • Souvlaki

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
  • Street Food Tour Market & City Centre: $42
  • Athens Cooking Lesson - with RICH Dinner: $48
  • Greek Street Food Tour: $54
  • Athens walking and tasting food tour.: $54
  • "A Night in Dinner and Music Under the Stars": $59
  • Greek Spirits & Meze, Food Tour in Athens: $63
  • Greek Traditional Vegan Cooking Class with Meal: $63
  • Street Food Tour with 7 Tastings: $65
  • Eat like an Athenian food tour of Athens: $65
  • Greek Traditional Vegan Cooking Classes in Athina: $65
  • Athens Street Food Tour: Taste the best streed food: $67

Typical Food Prices in Cusco

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

  • Sandwich
  • Mango

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Cusco

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

  • Small-Group Virtual Peruvian Cooking Experience: $25
  • Folkloric Andean Show & 3-Course Dinner at Tunupa: $35
  • CUSCO COOKING CLASS LUNCH - Quick Culinary Dive: $40
  • 3-Hour Peruvian Cooking Class: $49
  • Market Tour & Traditional Peruvian Cooking Class in Cusco: $53
  • CUSCO COOKING CLASS DINNER - Short & Immersive Cooking Class: $53
  • Cusco Cooking Class by ChocoMuseo in Cusco: $54
  • Cooking Class and market tour with a local chef: $56
  • Peruvian Cooking Class and Local Market in Cusco: $59
  • Peruvian Cooking Experience & Pisco Tasting in Cusco : $59
  • Peruvian Cooking Class, Cocktails, Market Tour in Cusco: $59
  • Peruvian Cooking Class, Cocktails & Local Market Tour: $65

  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Athens 36
    Cusco 27

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
  • Self Guided Tour In Athens With 100 Captivating Audio Stories: $3.29
  • Exclusive Self-Guided Audio Tour into Byzantine Gems: $4.60
  • Ancient Athens Quest Experience: $4.83
  • Ancient Highlights Self-Guided Scavenger Hunt & Tour: $4.87
  • A Neoclassical Capital: A Self-Guided Audio Tour: $5.50
  • 360 Virtual tour of Ancient Athens: $6.00
  • Herakleidon Museum of Ancient Greek Technology: Entry Ticket: $6.42
  • Private Audio Guided Walking Tour in Athens: $6.60
  • The Best of Piraeus: A Self-Guided Walking Tour: $6.99
  • Ancient Agora of Athens Self-Guided Audio Tour: $6.99
  • Greece: Tourist eSIM Data Plan: $7.29

Typical Entertainment Prices in Cusco

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

  • Salsa Class

Tours and Activities in Cusco

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

  • 1 Day Rainbow Mountain Tour From Cusco: $75
  • 2 Day Pisac Ollantaytambo Salt flats Moray Sacred Valley Tour: $297
  • City Tour Cusco / Tour in the City: $12
  • City tour of Cusco on E-BIKE: $145
  • Cusco City Tour I Half-Day: $28
  • Half-Day Private Tour to Maras and Moray: $106
  • Humantay Lake Tour From Cusco: $63
  • Moray saltmines ATV (Cuatrimotos) Tour: $70
  • Night Tour in Cusco Private Service: $90
  • Official Machupicchu Ticket: $89
  • Official Ticket- Machu Picchu Lost Citadel: $72
  • Private Tour to Sacred Valley Full Day from Cusco: $85

  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Athens 23
    Cusco 8.71

Sample the Local Flavors in Athens

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

  • Polykala Distillery showroom. A125 years of history along with liqueur tasting.: $15
  • Liquer tasting in Polykala's Distillery Show Room in Athens: $18
  • Pub Crawl with Unlimited Drinks, Free Shots & Deals: $19
  • Sunday Night Bar Crawl in Athens, Greece: $20
  • Greek Wine Tasting: $23
  • Saturday Night Bar Crawl in Athens, Greece: $25
  • Greek Wine Tasting Experience with a Sommelier: $43
  • Old Town Wine Tasting: $52
  • Best rated Acropolis Wine Tasting : $54
  • Greek Wine Tasting with Acropolis view: $54
  • 2 Hours Wine Tasting Odyssey in Athens: $54
  • Greek food and wine tasting: $54

Sample the Local Flavors in Cusco

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

  • Cusco Pub Crawl: Cusco Bar Hopping Experience : $18
  • Pub Crawl with Skip-the-Line Access and Drinks: $18

When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Athens and Cusco, we can see that Athens is more expensive. And not only is Cusco much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. Since Athens is in Europe and Cusco is in South America, this is one of the main reasons why the costs are so different, as different regions of the world tend to have overall different travel costs. So, traveling to Cusco would let you spend less money overall. Or, you could decide to spend more money in Cusco 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 Athens would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in Athens than you might in Cusco.

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

Which is Bigger, Athens or Cusco?

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