A Travel Price Comparison for Italy Cagliari vs. Portofino for Couples, Attractions, Food, and Nightlife

Should you visit Cagliari or Portofino?

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

Which city is more affordable and which is best for your travel style? If you're trying to figure out where to go next, comparing the travel costs between Cagliari and Portofino can help you decide which place is right for you.

Cagliari

Cagliari is a laid back, relaxed, and historic city. It's a large city, so you'll find plenty of things to do around town. And you can't forget about the beaches, shopping, and museums.

Portofino

Portofino is a glamorous, picturesque, and breathtaking seaside village. It offers plenty of small town charm along with sights and activities, too. It's considered by many to be an absolutely beautiful destination, too. It also has a unique and quaint vibe that attracts lots of visitors. Visitors also love the hiking, shopping, and nightlife.

Cagliari and Portofino: Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Active nightlife
  • Popular beach
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
  • Good for students
Pros
  • Active nightlife
  • Nice resorts
  • Popular beach
  • Good for hiking
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Small town charm
  • Impressive beauty
  • Quaint atmosphere
Things to Consider
  • Less museums and historical sights
  • Less family-friendly
  • Less popular with backpackers


Is there more to do in Cagliari or Portofino?

Visitors will usually find more to do in Cagliari than Portofino, as it offers more sights, attractions, and activities. Cagliari is better known for its museums, beaches, and big city activities, while Portofino is more popular for its resorts, hiking, shopping, small town charm, impressive beauty, and quaint atmosphere. Portofino is more touristy than Cagliari and is popular for its picturesque harbor, high end shopping, strikingly blue waters, and popularity with superyachts. Cagliari is well known for its medieval quarter, beautiful hilltop setting, and impressive beaches. Also, Cagliari is famous for Castello.

How is Cagliari different from Portofino?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

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

Are the Museums and Historical Sights Better in Cagliari or Portofino?

Cagliari
Portofino

Cagliari is notable for its sights and museums. However, Portofino is a mediocre seaside village for its museums and history.

Cagliari offers many unique museums, sights, and landmarks that will make for a memorable trip. The Castello district is filled with ancient buildings including Bastione San Remy and the Duomo. Also make sure you check out the Archeology Museum.

While most people don't head to Portofino specifically for the museums and attractions, it does offer a few options. 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 the Food Better in Cagliari or Portofino? Which Destination has the Best Restaurants?

Cagliari
Portofino

Picking the best cuisine and restaurants between Cagliari and Portofino can be difficult as they are each great in their own way.

Cagliari has a huge number of terrific restaurants. The cuisine mixes the island's sea and mountain settings. You'll find many local pastas, breads, seafood dishes, and cheeses. There's a wealth of diversity in the food and you should definitely step away from the more traditional Italian flavors and try something uniquely Sardinian.

Dining out in Portofino is an experience not to be missed. Located by the sea, you'll enjoy tons of great seafood here. Make sure you try the mussels, swordfish, and salt cod.

Is Cagliari or Portofino Better for Nightlife?

Cagliari
Portofino

The great nightlife scene is relatively similar in Cagliari and Portofino.

Cagliari has a large number of nightlife venues. There's a thriving nightlife scene that is mostly centered around tourists. You'll find a number of the best bars in the Castello district and the atmosphere is usually relaxed and laid back, like the town itself.

Portofino is a popular destination for visitors looking to party into the night. 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 Cagliari or Portofino Better for Resorts?

Cagliari
Portofino

Portofino is an amazing seaside village to visit for its luxury resorts. However, Cagliari is not a resort destination.

If you're looking for a fantastic resort destination, Portofino is a perfect choice. Known for it's exclusive luxury, there are a number of high end resorts in the area. Popular options include Splendido, Sublimis Boutique Hotel, and Grand Hotel Miramare.

Cagliari is not a resort destination.


Is Cagliari or Portofino Better for Beaches?

Cagliari
Portofino

Cagliari is notable for the beache. Also, Portofino is not as famous, but is still a good seaside village to visit for the beach.

Cagliari is considered a top beach destination. While you'll find some nice beaches in town, if you're willing to head to the surrounding areas just outside of town, you'll be rewarded with amazing beaches. The beaches are enjoyable any time of the year.

Many people head to Portofino to enjoy the beach. 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 Cagliari or Portofino Better for its Old Town?

Cagliari
Portofino

Cagliari and Portofino are both popular destinations with charming historical areas.

There is a nice variety of sights in the old town of Cagliari. The Castello district is the city's old town. It's filled with narrow alleys, historic castles, and a truly unique atmosphere.

Many visitors go to Portofino to see the historical old town. Despite evolving into a famous resort town, Portofino still holds on to its fishing village charm.

Is Cagliari or Portofino Better for Hiking?

Cagliari
Portofino

Portofino is a very popular place for its hiking trails. However, Cagliari is not a hiking destination.

Many visitors explore the nearby hiking trails while visiting Portofino. There are many beautiful hikes and treks along the coastline that pass by scenic landscapes and breathtaking views.

Cagliari is not a hiking destination.


Is the Shopping Better in Cagliari or Portofino?

Cagliari
Portofino

Portofino is a very popular place for its shopping opportunities. Also, Cagliari is not quite as popular, but is fairly good for its shopping areas.

Portofino is well-known for its shopping. 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.

Many visitors go to Cagliari to go shopping. Head to the Marina district for some of the city's best shopping opportunities. There are a number of shopping malls to choose from. For souvenirs and other handicrafts, the port area has a few shops.

Is Cagliari or Portofino Better for Families?

Cagliari
Portofino

Cagliari is notable for its family-friendly activities. However, Portofino is a mediocre seaside village for its kid-friendly activities.

Cagliari is a very kid-friendly city. There are a number of activities for kids to enjoy in the areas surrounding the city. If you're willing to get about an hour out of town, you can check out the Water Park of Pula. In town, there's a little train that young kids will enjoy. And, of course, there are the beaches!

Portofino is not always a place people visit with their families. 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 Cagliari or Portofino Better for Couples?

Cagliari
Portofino

Portofino is an amazing seaside village to visit for its romantic activities. Also, Cagliari is not quite as popular, but is fairly good for couples.

For those traveling as a couple, Portofino has plenty to offer. Set beautifully against the ocean's edge, this famous Italian town makes for a truly romantic holiday. Ogle the mega yachts in the harbor and then wander the charming streets while you soak in the atmosphere.

Couples visit Cagliari frequently as it offers plenty of romantic activities. The waterfront setting and nice beaches make this a great place for couples. There's also the Castello district, which is fun to wander through, and many parks and outdoor walking areas.


Is Cagliari or Portofino Better for Backpackers and Budget Travelers?

Cagliari
Portofino

Cagliari is a popular place for backpackers. However, Portofino is a mediocre seaside village for backpackers and budget travelers.

Plenty of budget travelers visit Cagliari. There's a hostel or two in the area that offer accommodation that backpackers will appreciate.

Portofino is a challenging destination for budget travelers and backpackers due to the higher prices. Known for it's high prices, the town isn't particularly popular with the backpacker crowd. It is possible to stay outside of town and head in for a day trip.

Is Cagliari or Portofino Better for Students?

Cagliari
Portofino

Cagliari is a popular place for students. However, Portofino is not popular with students.

Cagliari is a good city to visit for students. There are some study abroad opportunities in town, and with the nearby beaches and wonderful weather, many international students enjoy their time here.

Portofino is not popular with students.

Is Cagliari or Portofino Better for Public Transit? Which Is Easier to Get Around Without a Car?

Cagliari
Portofino

Cagliari is a popular place for its public transit. However, Portofino is a mediocre seaside village for times when you don't have a car.

Cagliari has a few public transit options. There are buses that travel around town relatively efficiently.

Public transit is mostly 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 Cagliari or Portofino a more walkable city?

Cagliari
Portofino

Portofino is an amazing seaside village to visit for its high level of walkability. Also, Cagliari is not quite as popular, but is fairly good for its ease of walking around.

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

Cagliari is a very walkable destination. While the city is very walkable, it is built on a large hill so come prepared for some steep climbs.

For even more information, also check out Is Cagliari Worth Visiting? and Is Portofino Worth Visiting?.

Should I spend more time in Portofino or Cagliari?

How long in Cagliari or Portofino?

In either Cagliari or Portofino, you'll find plenty of activities to fill your time. Most visitors tend to spend more time in Portofino than Cagliari because of the overall number of sights and activities. Usually, 1-3 days is a good amount of time for Cagliari, and 2-5 days is enough time in Portofino.

Families should spend more time in Cagliari than Portofino. Because of the many family-friendly attractions and fun things to do for kids in Cagliari, it's a great place to visit with the whole family.

Couples should spend more time in Portofino than Cagliari. You'll find plenty of romantic sights and fun activities in Portofino that are perfect for a weekend getaway or a longer couple's trip.

Backpackers and budget travelers should spend more time in Cagliari than Portofino if your budget allows for it. With a larger number of budget-friendly sights, good nightlife, and active things to do, anyone traveling on a budget would have a good time in Cagliari.


  • How many days in Cagliari or Portofino? Ideal Length of Stay
    Cagliari 1-3 
    Portofino 2-5

One day in Cagliari or Portofino?

You'll find shopping and museums around the city of Cagliari. Many visitors spend time at the beach while visiting the area. One day is a great amount of time to relax and see the many things that Cagliari has to offer. It has many unique tourist attractions and fascinating things to do.

Portofino is a small town where visitors enjoy the nightlife and food. Many visitors also spend a good bit of time hiking. With so much to do, one day is probably not enough time to see everything. It will give you the chance to have new experiences.

A weekend in Cagliari or Portofino?

You'll find museums and nightlife around the laid back destination of Cagliari. The old town is one of the main draws for visitors. This is a popular place to visit for a weekend.A weekend should give you a good understanding of everything this city has to offer. This city offers a variety of activities to choose from.

Portofino is a popular place that is full of things to see and experience. If you have a weekend, this seaside village makes for a great vacation. People enjoy relaxing at one of the resorts. While some people choose to spend more or less time in Portofino, a weekend is sufficent for most. Take your pick from the many activities offered here.


Five days in Cagliari or Portofino?

Travelers enjoy the nightlife and food when visiting the under-rated city of Cagliari. The length of your ideal trip is an individual decision. It's also a great beach destination, too. Five days is plenty of time to see everything, even with extra days to spare.

Portofino is a popular choice for travelers. Five days here is typical. While some people choose to spend more or less time in Portofino, five days is sufficent for most. The entire region has so many activities, and you'll want time to do everything.

A week in Cagliari or Portofino?

Cagliari is a popular choice for travelers. It's a great spot for a beach vacation. 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.

Portofino is a great place to explore. Hiking can easily take up a good amount of your time here, too. One week is more than enough time to enjoy everything. Take some day trips to nearby places to fill the extra days. This seaside village offers something for everyone.


For some great organized tour ideas, see The Best One Week (7-Day) Tours in Italy, The Best 2-Week Tours in Italy, The Best Bicycle Tours in Italy, and Tours for Outdoor and Nature Lovers in Italy.


Which place is cheaper, Portofino or Cagliari?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Cagliari is €120, while the average daily cost in Portofino is €326. 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 Cagliari and Portofino in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Cagliari 66
    Portofino 190
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Cagliari 132
    Portofino 380
Compare Hotels in Cagliari and Portofino

Looking for a hotel in Cagliari or Portofino? 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 Cagliari


Hotels in Portofino


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: Cagliari Hotel Prices and Portofino Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Cagliari 31
    Portofino 23

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Cagliari

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

  • Private Transfer from Cagliari hotels to Cagliari Cruise Port: $26
  • Transfer / taxi Cagliari Airport - Cagliari city: $61

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Portofino

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Portofino:

  • Private Transfer from Portofino Cruise Port to Genoa city hotels: $50
  • Private Transfer from Portofino Cruise Port to Genoa Airport(GOA): $50
  • Private Transfer from Portofino Cruise Port to Florence hotels: $161
  • Private Transfer - Portofino Cruise Port to Florence Airport(FLR): $161
  • Portofino hotels to Genoa Airport (GOA) - Departure Private Transfer: $54
  • CAR 3 PAX TRANSFER TO AIRPORT MILANO MALPENSA: $993

Is it cheaper to fly into Cagliari or Portofino?

Prices for flights to both Portofino and Cagliari 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
    Cagliari 35
    Portofino 118

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Cagliari

For Cagliari, here are some samples of tours and activities related to meals and dining experiences:

  • Homemade fresh pasta cooking class: $83

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Portofino

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

  • Portofino Boat and Walking Tour with Pesto Cooking & Lunch: $246

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Cagliari 17
    Portofino 27

Tours and Activities in Cagliari

For Cagliari, here are a few prices for actual activities, tours, and tickets provided by various companies:

  • Guided Electric Bicycle Tour in Cagliari: $50
  • Cagliari : Private Custom Walking Tour with Local Guide: $52
  • boat tour, swim stops, and Prosecco: $61
  • Boat Tour at Devil's Saddle: 4 Swim Stops, Snorkeling & Prosecco: $61
  • Devil's Saddle boat tour, swimming and snorkeling: $61
  • Sunset Boat tour with Prosecco: $61
  • Electric Bike Naturalistic Tour in Cagliari: $67
  • Half day boat tour in Cagliari: $69
  • Cagliari Vintage Tour: $72
  • Cagliari Sightseeing Tour: $76
  • Tour of the beaches in Villasimius: $89
  • Archaeological tour of Nora: $91

Tours and Activities in Portofino

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

  • 1-Hour Snorkeling Tour in Paraggi Bay, Portofino: $42
  • 3 Hour Boat Tour in Portofino: $115
  • Boat Tour to Portofino and San Fruttuoso for Small Groups: $99
  • Easy Kayak Tour to Portofino with Optional Snorkeling: $53
  • Paddle Boarding Experience in Portofino: $54
  • Portofino Kayak Tour: $54
  • Portofino Private Walking Tour: $270
  • Portofino San Fruttuoso and Camogli One Day Boat Tour: $148
  • Portofino Stand Up Paddleboard Experience: $53
  • Coasteering Tour: $75
  • Private Sunset Boat Tour with Aperitif of Ligurian goods: $487
  • Private Tour of Genoa and Portofino from Genoa: $721

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Cagliari 7.57
    Portofino 16

Sample the Local Flavors in Cagliari

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

  • WINE TOUR with sommelier in a winery near Cagliari: $67
  • Small-Group Food and Wine Tour from Cagliari: $99
  • Wine tour aroud vineyards of Cagliari : $111


When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Cagliari and Portofino, we can see that Portofino is more expensive. And not only is Cagliari much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. So, traveling to Cagliari would let you spend less money overall. Or, you could decide to spend more money in Cagliari 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 Cagliari.

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


Which is Bigger, Cagliari or Portofino?

Cagliari has a larger population, and is about 310 times larger than the population of Portofino. When comparing the sizes of Cagliari and Portofino, 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.