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.

How is Bar Harbor different from Portland, Maine?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

Is Bar Harbor or Portland, Maine better for Food?

Local dishes 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.

There are many up and coming restaurants in the Portland, Maine area. The town is famous for its seafood, lobster rolls (and whole lobsters!), and Haddock.


Is Bar Harbor or Portland, Maine better for Beaches?

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.

Portland, Maine is considered a top beach destination. 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?

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 is a good destination for hiking. In addition to bike trails, there are several good hikes in the area.

Is Bar Harbor or Portland, Maine better for Shopping?

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.

Many visitors go to Portland, Maine to go shopping. The town has many nice local boutiques to explore.

Is Bar Harbor or Portland, Maine better for Families?

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.

You'll find plenty of kid-friendly things to do in Portland, Maine. 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?

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.

Couples visit Portland, Maine frequently as it offers plenty of romantic activities. 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?

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 limited or non-existant in Portland, Maine. There is a very basic bus system.

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

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 very walkable. Downtown is very walkable but if you want to travel to other areas you'll need a car.

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


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 around the area. 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 area has lots to do. A weekend is often enough time to spend here.

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

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.

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Bar Harbor vs. Portland, Maine Travel Comparison

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