A Travel Price Comparison for Families, Couples, and Backpackers Barcelona vs. Portofino for Attractions, Food, Nightlife, and Beaches

Should you visit Barcelona or Portofino?

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

Trying to figure out where to travel next? This travel comparison between Barcelona and Portofino 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.

Barcelona

Barcelona is a historic, cultural, and friendly city. With plenty of activities and things to do, it's a huge city that draws plenty of visitors. You'll find world class beauty here as well. And you can't forget about the shopping, museums, and nightlife.

Portofino

Portofino is a luxurious, glamorous, and picturesque seaside village. This is a great small town that is just waiting to be explored. You'll find world class beauty here as well. It also has that perfectly quaint feel that is like no other place. It's also known for nightlife, food, and beaches.

How is Barcelona different from Portofino?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

Is Barcelona or Portofino better for Museums and Historical Sights?

While you'll find a number of sights and museums in both Portofino and Barcelona, you can spend more time enjoying those in Barcelona.

Visitors will find world class museums and historical sights in Barcelona that are not to be missed. Architecture and history all contribute to the city's impressive sights and museums. Famous landmarks include the Basílica de la Sagrada Família, Casa Milà, and the Palace of Catalan Music.

Portofino offers a handful of options for museums and historical sights. The village is mostly about soaking up the atmosphere, but you can also visit sights such as Sun Church of St. George and Cervara Abbey.


Is Barcelona or Portofino better for Food?

There are opportunities to sample the local cuisine in both Barcelona and Portofino.

Many restaurants in Barcelona have been singled out for their culinary prowess. With easy access to fresh produce, there are many food markets around town. You'll also find great fresh local dishes at the many restaurants. Make sure you try the paella, croquettes, and Jamon Iberico.

Eating is part of the travel experience when you visit Portofino. Located by the sea, you'll enjoy tons of great seafood here. Make sure you try the mussels, swordfish, and salt cod.

Is Barcelona or Portofino better for Nightlife?

Both Barcelona and Portofino are comparable when it comes to partying.

Barcelona is a destination that you simply have to visit at least once for nightlife. The city offers an amazing nightlife at a much more affordable price than many places in Europe. There are beach parties, boat parties, and bars that stay packed late into the night. The city also hosts many street fiestas and music festivals.

Portofino has plenty to do after the sun goes down. Most of the nightlife is found around Piazzetta (Oliveri Square) and Molo Umberto I. Happy hours (aperitivo) start around 5pm or 6pm and then as the evening continues, the party often moves to Paraggi Beach.

Is Barcelona or Portofino better for Beaches?

While Portofino and Barcelona are both popular beach destinations, overall the beaches at Barcelona have more to offer.

Barcelona is considered to be a world-class beach destination. The city features long sandy beaches where you can soak up the Mediterranean sun right in the heart of town. Popular beaches include Bogatell Beach, Barceloneta Beach, and Nova Icària.

Portofino is a good option for a beach vacation. Like much of the Italian coast, the beaches in the area are dramatic and beautiful. They're also rocky and pebbly and can get a bit crowded during the summer months.

Is Barcelona or Portofino better for its Old Town?

Both Barcelona and Portofino have historic old towns worth visiting.

The old town of Barcelona is one of the most recognized in the world. Dating back 2,000 years the Gothic Quarter remains a hub of life and activity. It's fun to explore the wandering streets or people watch in one of the plazas. There are also many fascinating boutique shops and restaurants.

Many visitors explore the old town while visiting Portofino. Despite evolving into a famous resort town, Portofino still holds on to its fishing village charm.


Is Barcelona or Portofino better for Shopping?

Both Barcelona and Portofino are good shopping destinations.

Barcelona is a famous shopping destination with plenty of stores. Head to Portal De L’Angel, Rambla de Catalunya, or Passeig De Gracia for some of the city's best shopping districts.

Portofino is a popular shopping destination with plenty of stores. The quaint cobblestone streets are lined with high end boutiques that target the opulent jet-setter crowd that frequents Portofino. Much of the shopping is around Martiri dell'Olivetta Square.

Is Barcelona or Portofino better for Families?

Barcelona is considered to a better choice for families.

Barcelona is a very family-friendly place to visit. Check out the Magic Fountains Show near Plaça d’Espanya, wander through the aquarium, or sample some chocolate at the Chocolate Museum. There are also many great parks and playgrounds around town.

Portofino is not the most family-friendly destination. The town has a picturesque setting and some beautiful pebbly beaches. It's fun for kids to run around the town, explore by kayak, or play in the waters edge.

Is Barcelona or Portofino better for Public Transit?

While Portofino and Barcelona both provide public transit, overall the system in Barcelona is considered to be better.

Barcelona has a great public transit system. There's a metro, bus, and tram system that navigates the city.

Public transit is generally limited in Portofino. The closet train stations are Santa Margherita Ligure and Camogli. You can catch a bus from the Santa Margherita train station. There are also some ferry options.

Is Barcelona or Portofino a more walkable city?

Barcelona and Portofino both are comparable when exploring on foot.

Barcelona is very walkable. The city is more spread out than some other major European cities, but there are many plazas and outdoor areas that are fun to explore on foot. The city has designed "superilles," which are areas where car traffic has been directed around pedestrian-friendly plazas so visitors can explore, relax, or play.

It is easy to get around Portofino on foot. It's easy to walk around the village and then explore the countryside on one of the nearby trails.


Barcelona and Portofino: Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Popular beach
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
  • Good public transit
  • Big city activities
  • Impressive beauty
Pros
  • Small town charm
  • Impressive beauty
  • Quaint atmosphere
Cons
  • Less museums and historical sights
  • Less attractive beach
  • Less family-friendly
  • Less popular with backpackers
  • Public transit not as usable


Should I spend more time in Portofino or Barcelona?

How long in Barcelona or Portofino?

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

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


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

One day in Barcelona or Portofino?

People visit Barcelona because there is so much to do. Many visitors spend time at the beach while visiting the area. Since there is so much to do in the area, one day is probably not enough for all of it. It has many unique tourist attractions and fascinating things to do.

Even though Portofino is a small town, it has plenty of activities to choose from. People often spend their time relaxing at one of the resorts. Since there is so much to do in the area, one day is probably not enough for all of it. It has many unique tourist attractions and fascinating things to do.

A weekend in Barcelona or Portofino?

People visit Barcelona because there is so much to do. The old town is one of the main draws for visitors. A weekend is usually not enough time for a trip here as there is plenty to do. This city offers a variety of activities to choose from.

Portofino is a small town where visitors enjoy the shopping and nightlife. Hikers are also drawn to this area. This is a popular place to visit for a weekend.A weekend should give you a good understanding of everything this seaside village has to offer. This seaside village offers a variety of activities to choose from.

Five days in Barcelona or Portofino?

People visit Barcelona because there is so much to do. The length of your ideal trip is an individual decision. If you have five days, this city makes for a great vacation. It's also a great beach destination, too. Five days should give you a good understanding of everything this city has to offer.

Portofino is a small town with plenty to do. The length of your ideal trip is an individual decision. If you have five days, this seaside village makes for a great vacation. It's also a relaxing resort destination. Five days should give you a good understanding of everything this seaside village has to offer.

A week in Barcelona or Portofino?

Barcelona is a popular choice for travelers. One week here is typical. It's a great spot for a beach vacation. While some people choose to spend more or less time in Barcelona, one week is sufficent for most. It will give you the chance to have new experiences.

Portofino is a popular choice for travelers. People enjoy relaxing at one of the resorts. One week is usually plenty of time to spend here with extra days to spare. With this much time, visitors often visit nearby destinations or take day trips. It will give you the chance to have new experiences.

Which city is cheaper, Portofino or Barcelona?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Barcelona is €123, while the average daily cost in Portofino is €261. 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 Barcelona and Portofino in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Barcelona 75
    Portofino 152
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Barcelona 150
    Portofino 304

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Barcelona 15
    Portofino 18
Typical Local Transportation prices in Barcelona

Some typical examples of transportation costs in Barcelona are as follows:


  • 10 Trip Metro Ticket
    7.80
  • Airport Bus
    5.00
  • Metro
    2.10

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Barcelona

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Barcelona:

  • Ultra - Barcelona Private Transfer from City Centre to Barcelona Cruise Port: $9.41
  • Ultra - Barcelona Private Transfer from Barcelona Cruise Port to City Centre: $9.41
  • Ultra - Barcelona Private Airport Transfer city centre to El Prat Airport BCN: $9.41
  • Airport Transfers: $20
  • Private Departure Transfer from Barcelona City Center to El-Prat Airport (BCN): $24
  • Private Transfer from Barcelona City to Barcelona Airport: $27
  • Barcelona Airport Transfers: $27
  • Barcelona Airport Transfer: $28
  • Private Transfer from Bcn City Centre to Bcn Cruise Terminal: $29
  • Barcelona Private Transfer from City Centre to Cruise Terminal: $29
  • Private Transfer from Barcelona City Centre to Barcelona Cruise Terminal: $29
  • Barcelona Private Transfer from City Centre to Cruise Terminal: $29

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Portofino

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Portofino:

  • Portofino - Genoa Airport (GOA) / Private Departure Car Transfer: $56
  • Portofino – Genoa / Private Van Transfer: $56
  • Portofino - Genoa Airport (GOA) / Private Departure Car Transfer: $100
  • Portofino – Genoa / Private Car Transfer: $100
  • Private Transfer from Portofino to Firenze (FLR) Airport: $952
  • Private Transfer from Portofino to Rimini (RMI) Airport: $1,512

Is it cheaper to fly into Barcelona or Portofino?

Prices for flights to both Portofino and Barcelona 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
    Barcelona 27
    Portofino 94
Typical Food prices in Barcelona

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


  • Hot Cocoa & Churro
    4.15
  • Sandwich
    1.70
  • Baguette & Horchata
    3.80
  • Tapas on the beach
    8.28
  • Gelatto
    2.50

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Barcelona

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

  • Live from Potato Gnocchi Online Cooking Class: $23
  • Live from Barcelona to China: Potato Gnocchi Online Cooking Class: $23
  • Barcelona organic dinner in a beautiful rooftop garden: $35
  • Paella Cooking Experience + Boqueria Market Tour: $48
  • Interactive Spanish Cooking Experience in Barcelona: $49
  • Hands-on Brunch Cooking Class with Bottomless Mimosas!: $50
  • Born district food tour and tasting in Barcelona: $51
  • Street Food Tour & Gothic Quater Sightseeing with Local Expert: $52
  • Barcelona Street Food Tour: Local Market & Gothic Quarter with Expert Guide: $52
  • Tasty Barcelona Street Food Tour With Local Market Visit: $59
  • Skip the Line: Flamenco Show and Dinner Ticket: $62
  • 2-Hour Bites & Flavors Private Food Tour: $66

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Portofino

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

  • Private cooking class at the old mill in Portofino: $261

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Barcelona 27
    Portofino 22
Typical Entertainment prices in Barcelona

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


  • Picasso Walking Tour and Museum Pass
    42
  • Souvenir Gaudi Book
    8.55
  • Admission to Museo Picasso
    6.00

Tours and Activities in Barcelona

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

  • A Culinary Audio Tour of El Born by VoiceMap: $5.50
  • Self-Guided Tour with Over 100 Sights: $5.67
  • Private Barcelona Ghost Tour: Gothic Quarter Exploration Game: $7.45
  • Museu de la Xocolata Admission Ticket: $7.46
  • History Museum of Catalonia Skip-The-Line Ticket: $9.08
  • Skip the Line: Erotic Museum of Barcelona Admission Ticket with free souvenir: $9.95
  • Skip the Line: Human Bodies - Entrance to the exhibition Ticket: $9.95
  • Skip the Line: History Museum of Catalonia & Rooftop Access Ticket: $9.95
  • Guided Tour at Catalonia's Royal Academy of Medicine: $10
  • Guided Tour at Barcelona's Royal Academy of Sciences and Arts: $10
  • IDEAL Frida Kahlo, the Life of an Icon Ticket: $10
  • Hash Marihuana & Hemp Museum Entry Ticket: $10

Tours and Activities in Portofino

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

  • Snorkel Tour in Paraggi Bay: $44
  • Portofino Stand Up Paddleboard Experience: $51
  • Easy Kayak Tour to Portofino with Optional Snorkeling: $51
  • Portofino Kayak Tour: $60
  • Paddle Boarding Experience in Portofino: $61
  • San Fruttuoso Bay: Half-Day Hiking Tour with Lunch: $170
  • Portofino Private Walking Tour: $230
  • Portofino and Santa Margherita Ligure Small Group Tour with Local Dirver: $235
  • Half-Day Private Hike Adventure to Portofino and San Fruttuoso: $235
  • Portofino private boat tour: $1,058

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Barcelona 14
    Portofino 13

Sample the Local Flavors in Barcelona

Some specific costs for nightlife related activities in Barcelona:

  • Estrella Damm Brewery Guided Tour with Tasting: $9.08
  • Generation Pub Crawl in Barcelona: $19
  • Barcelona Pub Crawl: $20
  • Wine Tasting Experience in Barcelona: $22
  • Opera Samfaina: Food and Wine Tasting Interactive Experience in Barcelona: $26
  • Wine tasting & tapas: $39
  • Barcelona Guided Local Wine Tasting Tour: $44
  • Wine Tasting near Sagrada Familia: $47
  • Home Food and Wine Tasting with Wine Lover: $51
  • Fun Wine Tasting in Barcelona with a Sommelier!: $53
  • Spanish wine tasting in a historic building with a Sommelier: $54
  • Food Tasting Tapas and Wine Tour: $62


When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Barcelona and Portofino, we can see that Portofino is more expensive. And not only is Barcelona much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. So, traveling to Barcelona would let you spend less money overall. Or, you could decide to spend more money in Barcelona 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 Portofino would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in Portofino than you might in Barcelona.

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Barcelona vs. Portofino Travel Comparison

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