A Travel Price Comparison for Maine Bar Harbor vs. Portland, Maine for Food, Beaches, Families, and Couples

Should you visit Bar Harbor or Portland, Maine?

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

Trying to figure out where to travel next? This travel comparison between Bar Harbor and Portland, Maine can help. It includes a travel cost comparison in addition to other factors. For many travelers, the cost of a destination is a primary consideration when choosing where to go.

Bar Harbor

Bar Harbor is a charming, relaxed, and quaint coastal town. Because it offers so much small town charm with a variety of activities, it attracts plenty of visitors for a good reason. With stunning beauty, it attracts visitors from all around. As it offers a special and quaint atmosphere, visitors come from all over to experience this destination. Other popular activities here include hiking, shopping, and food.

Portland, Maine

Portland, Maine is a laid-back, scenic, and picturesque coastal town. This is also a very beautiful destination which attracts plenty of visitors. It's also known for food, beaches, and hiking.

Bar Harbor and Portland, Maine: Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Popular beach
  • Good for hiking
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Very walkable
  • Small town charm
  • Impressive beauty
  • Quaint atmosphere
Pros
  • Popular beach
  • Good for hiking
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Impressive beauty
Cons
  • Less walkable


How is Bar Harbor different from Portland, Maine?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

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

Is Bar Harbor or Portland, Maine Better for Food?

Bar Harbor
Portland, Maine

Local dishes at restaurants are fun to try in both Bar Harbor and Portland, Maine.

With its innovative style combined with traditional elements, Bar Harbor makes for a great culinary experience. The town is famous for its Maine lobster, but there are also countless other types of fresh seafood available.

Portland, Maine has a delicious restaurant scene that relies on local flavors. The town is famous for its seafood, lobster rolls (and whole lobsters!), and Haddock.


Is Bar Harbor or Portland, Maine Better for Beaches?

Bar Harbor
Portland, Maine

Both Bar Harbor and Portland, Maine are considered to be good beach destinations.

Plenty of visitors enjoy relaxing on the beach in Bar Harbor. A nice beach is close by but do note that the sand is very shelly and there is a big difference between high and low tides.

Many people visit Portland, Maine for it's beautiful beaches. It has many sandy and calm beaches. The water may be too cold to swim, but the beaches are perfect for flying a kite or hanging out with family.

Is Bar Harbor or Portland, Maine Better for Hiking?

Bar Harbor
Portland, Maine

Both Bar Harbor and Portland, Maine are destinations which offer hiking.

Plenty of visitors go hiking around Bar Harbor. Nearby Acadia National Park has plenty of hiking options.

Portland, Maine offers some nice hiking trails. In addition to bike trails, there are several good hikes in the area.

Is Bar Harbor or Portland, Maine Better for Shopping?

Bar Harbor
Portland, Maine

Both Bar Harbor and Portland, Maine are good shopping destinations.

Bar Harbor is an extremely popular place for shoppers. Filled with plenty of local boutique shops, its fun to enjoy some shopping around town.

Shopping is a popular activity when visiting Portland, Maine. The town has many nice local boutiques to explore.

Is Bar Harbor or Portland, Maine Better for Families?

Bar Harbor
Portland, Maine

Both Bar Harbor and Portland, Maine are fun to visit with kids.

Bar Harbor is a very family-friendly place to visit. It is a small town with a lot of outdoor activities that kids will enjoy. Whale watching, kayaking, and wildlife spotting are all fun activities for all ages.

Portland, Maine is a family-friendly coastal town. It is a charming town with a number of kid-friendly museums, walks, and waterfront activities.


Is Bar Harbor or Portland, Maine Better for Couples?

Bar Harbor
Portland, Maine

Both Bar Harbor and Portland, Maine are good destinations for a couple's getaway.

Bar Harbor is a very popular place to visit for couples. It is a quaint coastal town that is perfect for a couple's getaway or a short honeymoon.

Portland, Maine makes for a fun place to visit for a couple. Couples will enjoy the beautiful waterfront setting, the fine dining restaurants, and everything that the city has to offer.

Is Bar Harbor or Portland, Maine Better for Public Transit?

Bar Harbor
Portland, Maine

Both Bar Harbor and Portland, Maine offer public transit options.

Public transit is generally limited in Bar Harbor. There is a free shuttle bus that will help you get around town if needed.

Public transit is quite limited in Portland, Maine. There is a very basic bus system.

Is Bar Harbor or Portland, Maine a more walkable city?

Bar Harbor
Portland, Maine

Bar Harbor is generally more walkable than Portland, Maine.

Bar Harbor is very walkable. The town is small enough that it's easily explored on foot.

Portland, Maine is generally not a very walkable coastal town. Downtown is very walkable but if you want to travel to other areas you'll need a car.

Should I spend more time in Portland, Maine or Bar Harbor?

How long in Bar Harbor or Portland, Maine?

Visitors can find plenty of fun things to do in both Bar Harbor and Portland, Maine. You can spend similar amounts of time exploring each one.

The ideal length of time for a trip to Bar Harbor is 2-3 days, and the ideal length of time for a trip to Portland, Maine is 2-3 days.


  • How many days in Bar Harbor or Portland, Maine? Ideal Length of Stay
    Bar Harbor 2-3 
    Portland, Maine 2-3

One day in Bar Harbor or Portland, Maine?

Bar Harbor is a small town with plenty to do. Take your pick from the many activities offered here. One day is usually not enough time for a trip here as there is plenty to do.

With shopping and food around the laid-back coastal town of Portland, Maine, there's plenty to do. Anyone can find something fun to do here. People usually spend lots of time at the beach. But since there are so many activities, you'll likely want to spend more than one day exploring.


A weekend in Bar Harbor or Portland, Maine?

Bar Harbor might be a small town, but there's plenty to do in the area. A weekend here is typical. The entire region has so many activities, and you'll want time to do everything. A weekend is often enough time to do most activities.

With food and shopping around the destination of Portland, Maine, there's plenty to do. It's also a great beach destination, too. It offers something for everyone. Many people spend a weekend here. In a weekend, you should have a good grasp of this coastal town.

Five days in Bar Harbor or Portland, Maine?

Bar Harbor is a great place to explore. This coastal town offers something for everyone. Most people find that five days is more than enough time to see everything.

Portland, Maine, a popular coastal town, is full of activities for travelers. It's a great spot for a beach vacation. Most people find that five days is more than enough time to see everything. Your budget might influence how long you stay.

A week in Bar Harbor or Portland, Maine?

Since Bar Harbor is a small town, it's easily explored when your time is limited. The length of your trip often depends on your style of travel. One week is plenty of time to see everything, even with extra days to spare.

Portland, Maine is a popular place that is full of things to see and experience. One week is plenty of time to see everything, even with extra days to spare. It has many unique tourist attractions and fascinating things to do.

Which city is cheaper, Portland, Maine or Bar Harbor?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Bar Harbor is $161, while the average daily cost in Portland, Maine is $154. 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 Bar Harbor and Portland, Maine in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Bar Harbor $94
    Portland, Maine $92
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Bar Harbor $188
    Portland, Maine $184
Compare Hotels in Bar Harbor and Portland, Maine

Looking for a hotel in Bar Harbor or Portland, Maine? 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 Bar Harbor


Hotels in Portland, Maine


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: Bar Harbor Hotel Prices and Portland, Maine Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Bar Harbor $28
    Portland, Maine $27

Is it cheaper to fly into Bar Harbor or Portland, Maine?

Prices for flights to both Portland, Maine and Bar Harbor 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
    Bar Harbor $45
    Portland, Maine $39
Typical Food prices in Bar Harbor

Some typical examples of dining costs in Bar Harbor are as follows:


  • West Street Cafe (for 4)
    $70

Typical Food prices in Portland, Maine

Below are a few samples from actual travelers for food and meal costs in Portland, Maine:


  • Breakfast for 2
    $17
  • Dinner for 2
    $30

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Bar Harbor $31
    Portland, Maine $31
Typical Entertainment prices in Bar Harbor

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


  • Acadia National Park Entrance Fee
    $25
  • Sunset Cruise (for 4)
    $96

Tours and Activities in Bar Harbor

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

  • Acadia National Park Self-Driving Audio Tour: $2.50
  • Acadia National Park Self-Guided Driving Tour: $8.00
  • Premium Narrated Bus Tour of Bar Harbor and Acadia National Park (3.5 Hours): $65
  • 2-Hour Tall Ship Cruise from Bar Harbor: $76
  • Savor Bar Harbor Culinary Walking Tour: $109
  • 3 Hour: ACADIA NATIONAL PARK TOUR Cadillac Mountain, Sand Beach & Thunder Hole: $590

Tours and Activities in Portland, Maine

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

  • Portland: Old Port Culinary Walking Tour: $129
  • Portland: Old Port Seafood Lovers Tour: $142

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Bar Harbor $24
    Portland, Maine $19


When comparing the travel costs between Bar Harbor and Portland, Maine, we can see that Bar Harbor 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 North America, it's no surprise that their costs are relatively close, as many destinations here have somewhat similar travel prices overall.


When is the best time to visit Bar Harbor or Portland, Maine?

Both destinations experience a temperate climate with four distinct seasons. And since both cities are in the northern hemisphere, summer is in July and winter is in January.

Should I visit Bar Harbor or Portland, Maine in the Summer?

The summer attracts plenty of travelers to both Bar Harbor and Portland, Maine. Many travelers come to Bar Harbor for the beaches, the hiking, the small town charm, and the family-friendly experiences. Also, many visitors come to Portland, Maine in the summer for the beaches, the hiking, and the family-friendly experiences.

In July, Bar Harbor is generally around the same temperature as Portland, Maine. Temperatures in Bar Harbor average around 69°F (21°C), and Portland, Maine stays around 69°F (20°C).

In July, Bar Harbor usually receives more rain than Portland, Maine. Bar Harbor gets 3.3 inches (84 mm) of rain, while Portland, Maine receives 2.6 inches (66 mm) of rain each month for the summer.


  • Summer Average Temperatures July
    Bar Harbor 69°F (21°C) 
    Portland, Maine 69°F (20°C)

Should I visit Bar Harbor or Portland, Maine in the Autumn?

The autumn brings many poeple to Bar Harbor as well as Portland, Maine. Many visitors come to Bar Harbor in the autumn for the hiking trails, the shopping scene, the small town atmosphere, and the natural beauty of the area. Also, most visitors come to Portland, Maine for the hiking trails, the shopping scene, and the natural beauty of the area during these months.

Bar Harbor is around the same temperature as Portland, Maine in the autumn. The temperature in Bar Harbor is usually 48°F (9°C) in October, and Portland, Maine stays around 49°F (9°C).

Bar Harbor usually gets around the same amount of rain in October as Portland, Maine. Bar Harbor gets 3.4 inches (87 mm) of rain, while Portland, Maine receives 3.3 inches (84 mm) of rain this time of the year.


  • Autumn Average Temperatures October
    Bar Harbor 48°F (9°C) 
    Portland, Maine 49°F (9°C)

Should I visit Bar Harbor or Portland, Maine in the Winter?

Both Portland, Maine and Bar Harbor are popular destinations to visit in the winter with plenty of activities. Most visitors come to Bar Harbor for the shopping scene and the cuisine during these months. Also, the winter months attract visitors to Portland, Maine because of the Christmas ambience, the shopping scene, and the cuisine.

The weather in Portland, Maine can be very cold. Bar Harbor can be very cold during winter. In the winter, Bar Harbor is cooler than Portland, Maine. Typically, the winter temperatures in Bar Harbor in January are around 18°F (-8°C), and Portland, Maine is about 21°F (-6°C).

In January, Bar Harbor usually receives less rain than Portland, Maine. Bar Harbor gets 3 inches (77 mm) of rain, while Portland, Maine receives 3.4 inches (86 mm) of rain each month for the winter.


  • Winter Average Temperatures January
    Bar Harbor 18°F (-8°C) 
    Portland, Maine 21°F (-6°C)

Should I visit Bar Harbor or Portland, Maine in the Spring?

Both Portland, Maine and Bar Harbor during the spring are popular places to visit. The spring months attract visitors to Bar Harbor because of the beaches, the small town charm, and the natural beauty. Furthermore, the beaches and the natural beauty are the main draw to Portland, Maine this time of year.

In April, Bar Harbor is generally around the same temperature as Portland, Maine. Temperatures in Bar Harbor average around 43°F (6°C), and Portland, Maine stays around 43°F (6°C).

Bar Harbor usually gets around the same amount of rain in April as Portland, Maine. Bar Harbor gets 3.3 inches (84 mm) of rain, while Portland, Maine receives 3.3 inches (85 mm) of rain this time of the year.


  • Spring Average Temperatures April
    Bar Harbor 43°F (6°C) 
    Portland, Maine 43°F (6°C)

Typical Weather for Portland, Maine and Bar Harbor

Bar Harbor Portland, Maine
Temp (°C) Rain (mm) Temp (°C) Rain (mm)
Jan 18°F (-8°C) 3 inches (77 mm) 21°F (-6°C) 3.4 inches (86 mm)
Feb 20°F (-6°C) 2.9 inches (73 mm) 24°F (-5°C) 3.5 inches (89 mm)
Mar 31°F (-1°C) 3.1 inches (80 mm) 33°F (1°C) 3.6 inches (91 mm)
Apr 43°F (6°C) 3.3 inches (84 mm) 43°F (6°C) 3.3 inches (85 mm)
May 54°F (12°C) 3.6 inches (91 mm) 53°F (12°C) 3.3 inches (85 mm)
Jun 64°F (18°C) 3.4 inches (85 mm) 63°F (17°C) 3.1 inches (79 mm)
Jul 69°F (21°C) 3.3 inches (84 mm) 69°F (20°C) 2.6 inches (66 mm)
Aug 67°F (20°C) 3.4 inches (85 mm) 67°F (20°C) 2.6 inches (66 mm)
Sep 59°F (15°C) 3.4 inches (87 mm) 59°F (15°C) 3.1 inches (78 mm)
Oct 48°F (9°C) 3.4 inches (87 mm) 49°F (9°C) 3.3 inches (84 mm)
Nov 37°F (3°C) 4.6 inches (116 mm) 39°F (4°C) 4.8 inches (123 mm)
Dec 24°F (-5°C) 4 inches (100 mm) 27°F (-3°C) 4.1 inches (103 mm)


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Bar Harbor vs. Portland, Maine Travel Comparison

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