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

Should you visit Athens or Madrid?

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 Madrid. 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 energetic, historic, and ancient city. It's a large city with plenty of activites for visitors as well. It's a gorgeous place to visit. Other reasons to visit include museums, nightlife, and food.

Madrid

Madrid is a friendly, cultural, and diverse city. Visitors will also find so much to do here because it's a large city with many sights and attractions. It's also popular because of the live music, food, and shopping.

How is Athens different from Madrid?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

Is Athens or Madrid better for Museums and Historical Sights?

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

You'll find a good number of museums and monuments packed into Madrid. 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.


Is Athens or Madrid better for Food?

Dining out in both Athens and Madrid 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 Madrid have been singled out for their culinary prowess. The city has a mix of flavors that come from all of Spain. Local favorites include roast suckling pig, Spanish omelette, and meat and chickpea stew.

Is Athens or Madrid better for Nightlife?

The vibe at night is comparable in Athens and Madrid.

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.

Madrid is a destination that you simply have to visit at least once for nightlife. 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 Athens or Madrid better for Shopping?

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

Many people travel to Madrid specifically to go shopping. 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.

Plenty of visitors enjoy shopping while in Athens. Most neighborhoods have a shopping street but head to Ermou Street for some of the city's best shopping.

Is Athens or Madrid better for Families?

Both Athens and Madrid 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.

Madrid is a very family-friendly destination. 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.


Is Athens or Madrid better for Couples?

Athens and Madrid both fun destinations for a couple.

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

Madrid is a great city if you're traveling as a couple. 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 Athens or Madrid better for Backpackers and Budget Travelers?

For backpackers, both Athens and Madrid 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.

Madrid is a mecca for backpackers and budget travelers. The many hostels around town make it easy for backpackers to find affordable accommodation while also meeting other travelers.

Is Athens or Madrid better for Students?

For students, both Athens and Madrid 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.

Madrid is a very popular city for students. 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.

Is Athens or Madrid better for Public Transit?

Athens and Madrid 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.

Madrid has a great public transit system. The system includes the Madrid Metro, buses, and a light rail system.


Is Athens or Madrid a more walkable city?

Athens and Madrid 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.

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

Athens and Madrid: Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • 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 couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
  • Big city activities


Should I spend more time in Madrid or Athens?

How long in Athens or Madrid?

In either Athens or Madrid, you'll find plenty of activities to fill your time. Most visitors tend to spend more time in Athens than Madrid because of the overall number of sights and activities.

The ideal length of time for a trip to Athens is 3-7 days, and the ideal length of time for a trip to Madrid is 2-5 days.


  • How many days in Athens or Madrid? Ideal Length of Stay
    Athens 3-7 
    Madrid 2-5

One day in Athens or Madrid?

Athens is a bustling city that offers something for everyone. But since there are so many activities, you'll likely want to spend more than one day exploring.

Many travelers enjoy the food and shopping when visiting the big city destination of Madrid. But since there are so many activities, you'll likely want to spend more than one day exploring.

A weekend in Athens or Madrid?

Athens 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.

Madrid 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 Madrid?

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

It's hard to know how much time to spend in Madrid. For many, it makes a great getaway for five days. 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 Madrid?

Athens is a bustling city that offers something for everyone. This city offers a variety of activities to choose from. 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.

Travelers enjoy the nightlife and live music when visiting the cultural big city of Madrid. This city offers a variety of activities to choose from. Most people find that one week is more than enough time to see everything.

Which city is cheaper, Madrid 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 Madrid is €107. 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 Madrid in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Athens 51
    Madrid 59
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Athens 102
    Madrid 118

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Athens 22
    Madrid 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:

  • Private Transfer from Αthens City to Igoumenitsa Port: $1,763
  • Private Transfer from Athens City to Syvota: $1,203
  • Private City Transfer From Athens To Pilos: $970
  • Private City Transfer From Athens to Kranidi: $970
  • Transfer to Corfu from Athens including visit to Delphi: $964
  • Athens to Corfu Luxury Private Transfer: $890
  • Private Transfer to/ from Lefkada Marina to/ from Athens Airport or City Centre: $759
  • Transfer From Athens To Lefkada: $678
  • Private Transfer from Athens to Nafplio: $666
  • Transfer to Lefkada - The Safest and most Convinient way: $605
  • Delphi Private Full Day Luxury Transfers From Athens: $597
  • Private Transfer from Athens-Pireaus-ATH to Igoumenitsa-Parga-Sivota-Ioannina: $592

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:

  • Private one way transfer from Madrid to Seville with private pick up & drop off: $1,081
  • Private Transfer from Madrid city to Biarritz: $890
  • Private Transfer from Madrid city to Biarritz Airport: $890
  • Private Weekend Trip to Madrid with Private Transfers and Private Tours: $840
  • Private Transfer from Madrid city to Pamplona: $753
  • Private Transfer from Madrid city to Pamplona Airport: $753
  • DUCA - Hassle-Free transfer from Madrid to Vicentine Coast: $743
  • Private Transfer from Madrid to Bilbao Cruise Port: $739
  • Private Transfer from Madrid city to Bilbao: $739
  • Private Transfer from Madrid city to Bilbao Airport: $739
  • Private Transfer from Madrid city to Santander Airport: $677
  • Private Transfer from Madrid to Santander Port: $677

Is it cheaper to fly into Athens or Madrid?

Prices for flights to both Madrid 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
    Madrid 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 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:

  • Virtual Cooking Class: The Spanish Paella Experience: $24
  • Florida Retiro Dinner Show: $38
  • Murder Mystery Dinner Experience: $49
  • Virtual cooking - spanish "tortilla de patatas": $50
  • Murder Mystery Dinner Experience: $50
  • Flamenco Workshop and Show with Dinner and Drinks: $51
  • Skip the Line: Flamenco Show with Dinner and Workshop in Madrid Ticket: $52
  • Homemade pasta cooking class and lunch in the heart of Madrid: $58
  • Mamaz Social Italian Dinner in Madrid: $60
  • 3-hour Virtual Spanish Cooking Class in Madrid: $62
  • Iberico Ham and Spanish Wine Small-Group Food Tour: $67
  • Authentic Italian Dinner in Madrid: $68

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

Tours and Activities in Athens

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

  • "A Must-See" Anc. Epidaurus, Mycenae & Nafplion Premium Full Day Tour By Locals: $411
  • "Athens city tour": $270
  • "Private tour in Athens": $243
  • ''Tour in Athens'': $118
  • 1 Day Private Tour Corinth, Cave of Lakes at Kalavrita & Journey by Cog Railway: $264
  • 1 Day Private tour to Meteora, visit the Monasteries are lying on the cliffs.: $317
  • 1 Day Saronic Islands Cruise: $168
  • 10 Day Greek Island Tour: Mykonos, Santorini-Volcano, Crete, Delos, Knossos,: $2,457
  • 10 Day Ultimate Ancient Greece Tours Experience: $2,411
  • 10 Day to Explore the Best Historical Gems in Greece and tour in Santorini: $1,798
  • 10 Days Private Tour: North Greece: $2,706
  • 10 Days Private Tour: Peloponnese: $2,706

Tours and Activities in Madrid

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

  • 10 Days Tour Heart of Spain: $1,592
  • 10-Day Andalusia and Morocco escorted tour from Madrid: $1,680
  • 10-Day Guided Tour Morocco and Andalusia from Madrid: $1,709
  • 11-Day Portugal and Andalucia Guided Tour from Madrid: $1,735
  • 12-Day Morocco and South of Spain Tour from Madrid: $1,722
  • 13-Day Mediterranean Capitals Guided Tour from Madrid: $2,114
  • 2 Hour Hidden Oasis Retiro Park Madrid Small Group Segway Tour: $33
  • 2 Hours Secrets of Madrid Retiro Park Tour: $11
  • 2-Day Guided Tour Cordoba and Seville from Madrid: $404
  • 2-Day guided tour Caceres & Sevilla from Madrid by Bus and High Speed Train: $361
  • 2-Hour Patisserie Experience for Dessert Lovers: $50
  • 2-Hour Tour of Prado Museum in Madrid: $72

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Athens 18
    Madrid 16

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

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 in Madrid: $15
  • Pub Crawl Madrid by Madpartycrew: $19
  • Wine Tasting near Plaza Mayor: $20
  • Wine Tasting Experience: $32
  • Wine Tasting Experience: $43
  • Madrid Tapas and Mysteries Walking Tour with Private Option and Pub Crawl: $47
  • Wine Tasting and Flamenco Master Class in Madrid: $58
  • Segovia and Spanish Versailles Full-Day Tour with Wine Tasting: $62
  • Old Town Madrid Gourmet Tapas and Wine Tasting Walking Tour: $82
  • Gourmet Tapas & Wine Tasting Experience In Madrid: $91
  • Madrid Tapas and Wine Tasting Tour: $93
  • Madrid Tapas Diaries- A Premium Food & Wine Tour in the old city of Madrid: $123


When comparing the travel costs between Athens and Madrid, we can see that Madrid 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.

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Athens vs. Madrid Travel Comparison

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