A Travel Price Comparison for Families, Couples, and Backpackers Faro vs. Malaga for Nightlife, Backpackers, Food, and Old Town

Should you visit Faro or Malaga?

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

If you're trying to decide where to visit between Faro or Malaga, this travel comparison, which includes costs, can help. The overall cost of travel is usually a consideration when deciding where to go next, and the cost comparison down below can help you decide based on the average prices from other travelers along with your own travel budget.

Faro

Faro is a busy, active, and popular resort town. And you can't forget about the nightlife, scuba diving and snorkeling, and beaches.

Malaga

Malaga is a beautiful, friendly, and welcoming port city. This is also a very beautiful destination which attracts plenty of visitors. Other reasons to visit include scuba diving and snorkeling, beaches, and shopping.

Faro and Malaga: Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Active nightlife
  • Nice resorts
  • Good scuba and snorkeling destination
  • Popular beach
  • Good for couples and romance
Things to Consider
  • Less popular for food
  • Less family-friendly
  • Less popular with backpackers
Pros
  • Popular for food and cuisine
  • Active nightlife
  • Good music scene
  • Good scuba and snorkeling destination
  • Popular beach
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
  • Good for students
  • Impressive beauty


Is there more to do in Faro or Malaga?

Travelers will usually find more to do in Malaga. Although Faro and Malaga are popular destinations, Malaga has more sights and attractions for tourists. Malaga is very popular for its food, nightlife, music, historical sights, and impressive beauty, while Faro attracts visitors for its resorts. Faro is famous for its historical sights and rich culture. Malaga is famous for its perfect blend of sandy beaches, beautiful culture, fascinating history, and a lively nightlife scene. It is also well known for The Alcazaba.

How is Faro different from Malaga?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

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

Is the Food Better in Faro or Malaga? Which Destination has the Best Restaurants?

Faro
Malaga

Malaga is great for its local flavors and cuisine. However, Faro is not a good destination for its local cuisine and restaurants.

The food selection at local restaurants is excellent in Malaga. Head to any of the local food markets and seafood shops to try local cuisine. Also make sure you try tapas and a filling Andalusian breakfast.

You'll find the standard options when it comes to food in Faro. It has become a major tourist town, so you have to get a bit creative to find a more traditional restaurant. Look for fresh seafood like cod, monkfish, or shellfish if you want some local flavors.


Is Faro or Malaga Better for Nightlife?

Faro
Malaga

Malaga is a must-visit destination for nightlife. Also, Faro is not as popular, but is still a nice resort town for nightlife and partying.

Malaga is a world class party destination. The city has some of the most active nightlife in Europe. There are plenty of opportunities to party in Malaga and you'll find the most vibrant nightlife in the Centro Historico.

Faro has plenty to do after the sun goes down. The city's bustling party scene thrives along Rua de São Pedro, Rua Conselheiro Bívar, and Rua do Prior.

Is Faro or Malaga Better for Music?

Faro
Malaga

Malaga is great for live music. However, Faro is not a live music destination.

The music scene in Malaga draws a good crowd. The city has venues that offer pop, rock, blues, soulful, and more. Some of the most popular include ZZ club, Clarence Jazz Club, and Velvet Club.

Faro is not a live music destination.

Is Faro or Malaga Better for Resorts?

Faro
Malaga

Faro is a must-visit destination for its resorts. However, Malaga is not a resort destination.

Vacationers flock to Faro for its luxury resorts. Popular resorts include Vila Vita Parc Resort and Spa, Conrad Algarve, and Tivoli Carvoeiro.

Malaga is not a resort destination.


Is Faro or Malaga Better for Scuba Diving and Snorkeling?

Faro
Malaga

You'll find nice snorkeling or scuba diving in both Faro and Malaga.

Faro has a few areas where visitors often go scuba diving or snorkeling. There are both snorkeling and scuba diving opportunities in the area. It's possible to snorkel off of several beaches or arrange a scuba diving excursion with a local dive shop.

It's fun to get in the water and check out the local marine life in Malaga. Water temperatures are mild enough for diving or snorkeling near Malaga. For the best diving, head to Cala del Canuelo Beach. Closer by, Penon del Cuervo Beach offers diving and snorkeling as well.

Is Faro or Malaga Better for Beaches?

Faro
Malaga

Both Faro and Malaga have nice beaches worth visiting.

Faro has a beach worth visiting. The most popular beach in the area is Faro Beach. It can get crowded during the summer months but if you walk a bit you can often get away from the crowds. To reach the beach you'll need a car or you can take the bus as the beach is about 10 km away.

Plenty of visitors enjoy relaxing on the beach in Malaga. There are some nice beaches around Malaga, but for the best options you'll have to travel further outside of the city.

Is Faro or Malaga Better for its Old Town?

Faro
Malaga

Malaga is great for its historic old town. Also, Faro is not as popular, but is still a nice resort town for its old town.

Many visitors go to Malaga to see the historical old town. The city's old town is compact and small, making it a fun place to walk. There are historic buildings, museums, churches, and squares, as well as many restaurants and shops.

Many people head to Faro to see the old town. You'll find historic buildings and cobblestone streets in the old town. It's a nice place to explore, grab a bite to eat, and do a little shopping.


Is the Shopping Better in Faro or Malaga?

Faro
Malaga

If you're looking to go shopping, Faro and Malaga both offer plenty of nice spots.

Plenty of visitors enjoy shopping while in Faro. The town isn't as big as some others, so it's shopping scene isn't as comprehensive, but you will find the major brands as well as souvenir shops to peruse when you need a break from the beach.

Malaga offers some nice shopping areas. There are a number of shopping areas in the city with both local boutiques and name brands.

Is Faro or Malaga Better for Families?

Faro
Malaga

Malaga is a nice place to visit for its kid-friendly activities. However, Faro is not a good destination for its family-friendly activities.

Malaga offers lots of family activities. The city has castles that you can explore as well as a waterpark.

Faro is not the most family-friendly destination. There are some nice nature reserves in the area so kids who love wildlife will enjoy a visit.

Is Faro or Malaga Better for Couples?

Faro
Malaga

Faro and Malaga are both nice to visit as a couple.

Faro is a nice destination for couples. With the beautiful natural areas and historic old town, this seaport makes a nice couples vacation.

Malaga makes for a fun place to visit for a couple. It has a beautiful coastline and a rich history that makes it unique.


Is Faro or Malaga Better for Backpackers and Budget Travelers?

Faro
Malaga

Malaga is a must-visit destination for backpackers and budget travelers. Also, Faro is not as popular, but is still a nice resort town for backpackers.

Many backpackers frequent Malaga. From an endless supply of hostels to plenty of opportunities to meet other backpackers, this is a very backpacker friendly area.

Faro is a good resort town to visit for backpackers. The are some good hostels in the area, but it's a bit tricky to get around without a car.

Is Faro or Malaga Better for Students?

Faro
Malaga

Malaga is great for its student-friendly activities. However, Faro is not popular with students.

Malaga is a great port city to visit as a student. The city has many opportunities to learn Spanish. It's also an affordable city with a young population and a lively atmosphere that appeals to international students.

Faro is not popular with students.

Is Faro or Malaga Better for Public Transit? Which Is Easier to Get Around Without a Car?

Faro
Malaga

Faro and Malaga both offer nice public transit to get you around.

While Faro offers some public transit options, it might not be your first choice. There are buses that connect the city to the beach, the airport, and other outlying areas.

Malaga has a few public transit options. There is an efficient bus system as well as a light metro system.


Is Faro or Malaga a more walkable city?

Faro
Malaga

Malaga is great for its walkability. Also, Faro is not as popular, but is still a nice resort town for its high level of walkability.

Malaga is very walkable. It has a very compact and walkable historic center with most of the tourist attractions easily accessible on foot.

Faro is a somewhat walkable place. The city's old town is particularly walkable.

For even more information, also check out Is Faro Worth Visiting? and Is Malaga Worth Visiting?.

Should I spend more time in Malaga or Faro?

How long in Faro or Malaga?

Both Faro and Malaga have a number of activities to choose from. With generally more activities and things to do, visitors tend to spend more time in Malaga than in Faro. Usually, 2-5 days is a good amount of time for Faro, and 3-7 days is enough time in Malaga.

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

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

Backpackers and budget travelers should spend more time in Malaga than Faro 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 Malaga.


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

One day in Faro or Malaga?

Many travelers enjoy the scuba diving and snorkeling and shopping when visiting the destination of Faro. You can also relax and pamper yourself at one of the resorts. But since there are so many activities, you'll likely want to spend more than one day exploring.

Visitors enjoy the nightlife and live music when visiting the destination of Malaga. Visiting the old town is also a must. Take your pick from the many activities offered here. With so much to do, one day is probably not enough time to see everything.

A weekend in Faro or Malaga?

Faro 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.

Malaga is a fun place to experience. Most people visit for the nightlife. The old town is one of the main draws for visitors. But since there are so many activities, you'll likely want to spend more than a weekend exploring. The entire region has so many activities, and you'll want time to do everything.


Five days in Faro or Malaga?

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

Visitors enjoy the food and scuba diving and snorkeling when visiting the welcoming destination of Malaga. This port city offers something for everyone. Exploring the old town is a popular activity. Plenty of people spend five days in the area when traveling. Five days is often enough time to do most activities.

A week in Faro or Malaga?

Travelers enjoy the scuba diving and snorkeling and shopping when visiting the active destination of Faro. This resort town offers a variety of activities to choose from. Travelers enjoy the resorts in the area as well. Most people find that one week is more than enough time to see everything.

Visitors enjoy the scuba diving and snorkeling and shopping when visiting the historic port city of Malaga. Make sure you visit the old town while you're here. Many people spend one week here. The length of your trip often depends on your style of travel. Because of this, one week is usually enough time for a trip here.


For some great organized tour ideas, see The Best 2-Week Tours in Portugal, The Best Hiking & Trekking Tours in Portugal, The Best Budget Tours to Spain, and The Best Tours for Seniors to Spain.


Which place is cheaper, Malaga or Faro?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Faro is €133, while the average daily cost in Malaga is €140. 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 Faro and Malaga in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Faro 75
    Malaga 75
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Faro 150
    Malaga 150
Compare Hotels in Faro and Malaga

Looking for a hotel in Faro or Malaga? 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 Faro


Hotels in Malaga


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: Faro Hotel Prices and Malaga Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Faro 9.52
    Malaga 31

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Faro

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

  • Shared Departure Transfer: Algarve Hotels to Faro Airport: $13
  • Faro Airport: Private transfer to Vilamoura & Quarteira: $20
  • Faro Airport: Private Transfer to Quarteira & Vilamoura: $20
  • Private Transfer from Faro (FAO) Airport to Faro City: $26
  • Faro Airport Private Transfer - Albufeira (Arrival): $27
  • Private Transfer: Faro to Faro International Airport (FAO): $28
  • Private Arrival Transfer: Faro Airport to Algarve Hotels: $29
  • Arrival Transfer Faro Airport FAO to Vilamoura Area by Car or Van: $30
  • Transfer from Faro airport to Almancil: $30
  • Transfer Almancil - Balaia Golf (Albufeira): $36
  • Try find your better than us ! Airport transfer service in Faro HTL-APT (FAO): $36
  • Try find your better than us ! Airport transfer service in Faro APT-HTL (FAO): $36

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Malaga

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Malaga:

  • Private Transfer from Malaga Airport (AGP) to Córdoba: $299
  • Private Transfer from Malaga Airport (Agp) to Granada City: $293
  • Private Transfer from Malaga Airport (AGP) to Albuñol: $273
  • Private Transfer from Malaga Airport (AGP) to Tarifa: $266
  • Private Transfer from Malaga Airport (AGP) to Almerimar: $265
  • Private Transfer from Malaga Airport (AGP) to Lanjarón: $246
  • Private Transfer from Malaga Airport (AGP) to Algeciras: $236
  • Private Transfer from Malaga Airport (AGP) to Órgiva: $236
  • Private Transfer from Malaga Airport (AGP) to Algodonales: $226
  • Private Transfer from Malaga Airport (AGP) to Frontera La Línea - Gibraltar: $226
  • Private Transfer from Malaga Airport (AGP) to Benarrabá: $226
  • Private Vip Transfer from Malaga Airport to Sevilla: $221

Is it cheaper to fly into Faro or Malaga?

Prices for flights to both Malaga and Faro 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
    Faro 36
    Malaga 35

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Faro

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

  • The Most Delicious Private Food Tour of 6 or 10 Tastings: $84
  • 3 Hours Classic Food Tour in Faro: $99
  • Authentic Portuguese Cooking Experience in Algarve: $165

Typical Food Prices in Malaga

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


  • Dinner for 2
    30
  • Dinner for 2
    44
  • Breakfast for 2
    8.00

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Malaga

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

  • Dinner and Show at Alegría Flamenco & Restaurant in Malaga: $66
  • Horse and Flamenco Show in Malaga with Dinner: $77
  • Malaga Tapas Cooking Class: $90
  • Andalucia by Sunset - half day tour including dinner and Ronda pickup: $94
  • Sardines On Skewers Show Cooking in Malaga beach: $149

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Faro 9.41
    Malaga 31

Tours and Activities in Faro

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

  • Faro Scavenger Hunt and Sights Self-Guided Tour: $7.70
  • Lagos Scavenger Hunt and Sights Self-Guided Tour: $7.70
  • Faro Scavenger Hunt and Sights Self-Guided Tour: $7.88
  • Tavira Scavenger Hunt and Sights Self Guided Tour: $7.88
  • Algarve Life Sciences Center Museum Family Ticket: $13
  • Cork Factory Tour & Cork Shop: $18
  • Ria Formosa Sunset Boat Tour: $22
  • Eco Boat Tour in the Ria Formosa Lagoon from Faro: $22
  • 1 or 2 Hour Speed Boat Tour - Ria Formosa: $27
  • 2 Hours Boat Tour Fishermen's Route in Ria Formosa: $28
  • 2 Hours Boat Tour in Ria Formosa: $28
  • Sunset Boat Trip of Ria Formosa: an Eco-friendly Tour out from Faro: $28

Typical Entertainment Prices in Malaga

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


  • Entrance to Castillos
    7.10
  • Concert
    31

Tours and Activities in Malaga

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

  • Half-Day Luxury Motor Yacht Cruise in Granada: $155
  • Private Tour of Ronda and Setenil de Las Bodegas: $243
  • Ronda group walking Tour: $28
  • Sealife Benalmadena Entrance Ticket: $22
  • 1 Hour Buggy Safari Experience in the Mountains of Mijas with Guide: $89
  • 1 Hour Family Buggy Tour, Off-Road Adventure in Mijas: $122
  • 1 Hour Quad/ATV Tour Off-Road Adventure in Mijas: $100
  • 2 Hour Sunset Tour! Navigation Dolphin sighting: $94
  • 2 Hours Buggy Safari Experience in the Mountains of Mijas with Guide: $127
  • 2 Hours Kayak Tour in Cerro Gordo Natural Park, La Herradura: $29
  • 2 hours guided Quad tour in Mijas, Malaga.: $127
  • 2-Hour Private Tour at Ronda: $103

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Faro 3.13
    Malaga 22

Sample the Local Flavors in Faro

Some specific costs for nightlife related activities in Faro:

  • Tour & Wine tasting - Authentic Algarve Flavours by Quinta da Tôr: $19
  • Discover Tavira - Tapas and Wine Tour: $83

Sample the Local Flavors in Malaga

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

  • Malaga Nightlife Pub Crawl Tour with Drinks and Clubs Entry: $18
  • Guided Cellar Tour and wine tasting: $35
  • Malaga Wine tour | White Village, Vineyard, Winery, Wine Tasting: $94
  • Malaga City Wine Tour: $96
  • Malaga Food Walking Tour with Tapas & Wine Tasting: $100
  • Flamenco, Tapas and Wine Tour: Best of Málaga in one Evening: $105
  • Traditional Malaga Tapas and Wine Tour: $120
  • Malaga Tapas and Wine Tour: $138


When comparing the travel costs between Faro and Malaga, we can see that Malaga 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.

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


Which is Bigger, Faro or Malaga?

Malaga has a larger population, and is about 10 times larger than the population of Faro. When comparing the sizes of Faro and Malaga, 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.


When is the best time to visit Faro or Malaga?

Both places have a temperate climate with four distinct seasons. As both cities are in the northern hemisphere, summer is in July and winter is in January.

Should I visit Faro or Malaga in the Summer?

Both Malaga and Faro during the summer are popular places to visit. Many travelers come to Faro for the beaches, snorkeling, and the family-friendly experiences. Furthermore, many visitors come to Malaga in the summer for the beaches, snorkeling, the music scene, and the family-friendly experiences.

In the summer, Faro is around the same temperature as Malaga. Typically, the summer temperatures in Faro in July average around 25°C (78°F), and Malaga averages at about 25°C (77°F).

In Malaga, it's very sunny this time of the year. It's quite sunny in Faro. In the summer, Faro often gets around the same amount of sunshine as Malaga. Faro gets 374 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Malaga receives 348 hours of full sun.

Faro usually gets less rain in July than Malaga. Faro gets 1 mm (0 in) of rain, while Malaga receives 2 mm (0.1 in) of rain this time of the year.


  • Summer Average Temperatures July
    Faro 25°C (78°F) 
    Malaga 25°C (77°F)

Should I visit Faro or Malaga in the Autumn?

The autumn attracts plenty of travelers to both Faro and Malaga. Many visitors come to Faro in the autumn for the shopping scene. Furthermore, most visitors come to Malaga for the shopping scene, the music scene, and the natural beauty of the area during these months.

In October, Faro is generally around the same temperature as Malaga. Daily temperatures in Faro average around 20°C (68°F), and Malaga fluctuates around 19°C (67°F).

People are often attracted to the plentiful sunshine in Malaga this time of the year. In Faro, it's very sunny this time of the year. Faro usually receives around the same amount of sunshine as Malaga during autumn. Faro gets 222 hours of sunny skies, while Malaga receives 213 hours of full sun in the autumn.

In October, Faro usually receives more rain than Malaga. Faro gets 67 mm (2.6 in) of rain, while Malaga receives 54 mm (2.1 in) of rain each month for the autumn.


  • Autumn Average Temperatures October
    Faro 20°C (68°F) 
    Malaga 19°C (67°F)

Should I visit Faro or Malaga in the Winter?

The winter brings many poeple to Faro as well as Malaga. Most visitors come to Faro for the shopping scene and the cuisine during these months. Additionally, the winter months attract visitors to Malaga because of the shopping scene and the cuisine.

Faro is around the same temperature as Malaga in the winter. The daily temperature in Faro averages around 12°C (54°F) in January, and Malaga fluctuates around 12°C (54°F).

In the winter, Faro often gets around the same amount of sunshine as Malaga. Faro gets 161 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Malaga receives 171 hours of full sun.

Faro usually gets around the same amount of rain in January as Malaga. Faro gets 78 mm (3.1 in) of rain, while Malaga receives 83 mm (3.3 in) of rain this time of the year.


  • Winter Average Temperatures January
    Faro 12°C (54°F) 
    Malaga 12°C (54°F)

Should I visit Faro or Malaga in the Spring?

Both Malaga and Faro are popular destinations to visit in the spring with plenty of activities. The spring months attract visitors to Faro because of the beaches. Also, the beaches and the natural beauty are the main draw to Malaga this time of year.

In the spring, Faro is around the same temperature as Malaga. Typically, the spring temperatures in Faro in April average around 17°C (62°F), and Malaga averages at about 16°C (60°F).

It's quite sunny in Malaga. The sun comes out a lot this time of the year in Faro. Faro usually receives more sunshine than Malaga during spring. Faro gets 248 hours of sunny skies, while Malaga receives 220 hours of full sun in the spring.

In April, Faro usually receives around the same amount of rain as Malaga. Faro gets 38 mm (1.5 in) of rain, while Malaga receives 40 mm (1.6 in) of rain each month for the spring.


  • Spring Average Temperatures April
    Faro 17°C (62°F) 
    Malaga 16°C (60°F)

Typical Weather for Malaga and Faro

Faro Malaga
Temp (°C) Rain (mm) Temp (°C) Rain (mm)
Jan 12°C (54°F) 78 mm (3.1 in) 12°C (54°F) 83 mm (3.3 in)
Feb 13°C (56°F) 72 mm (2.8 in) 13°C (55°F) 75 mm (3 in)
Mar 15°C (58°F) 39 mm (1.5 in) 14°C (57°F) 59 mm (2.3 in)
Apr 17°C (62°F) 38 mm (1.5 in) 16°C (60°F) 40 mm (1.6 in)
May 19°C (67°F) 21 mm (0.8 in) 19°C (66°F) 24 mm (0.9 in)
Jun 22°C (72°F) 8 mm (0.3 in) 22°C (72°F) 13 mm (0.5 in)
Jul 25°C (78°F) 1 mm (0 in) 25°C (77°F) 2 mm (0.1 in)
Aug 26°C (78°F) 4 mm (0.2 in) 25°C (78°F) 5 mm (0.2 in)
Sep 24°C (75°F) 14 mm (0.6 in) 23°C (74°F) 15 mm (0.6 in)
Oct 20°C (68°F) 67 mm (2.6 in) 19°C (67°F) 54 mm (2.1 in)
Nov 16°C (60°F) 86 mm (3.4 in) 15°C (60°F) 115 mm (4.5 in)
Dec 12°C (54°F) 94 mm (3.7 in) 13°C (55°F) 102 mm (4 in)