A Travel Price Comparison for Families, Couples, and Backpackers Faro vs. Marbella for Nightlife, Resorts, Scuba Diving & Snorkeling, and Beaches

Should you visit Faro or Marbella?

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

If you're trying to decide where to visit between Faro or Marbella, 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. Visitors also love the scuba diving and snorkeling, beaches, and shopping.

Marbella

Marbella is a high energy, ritzy, and glamorous resort town. 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 Marbella: Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Active nightlife
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
Things to Consider
  • Not as popular for scuba diving and snorkeling
  • Less attractive beach
  • Less popular for shopping
  • Less family-friendly
  • Less popular with couples
Pros
  • Active nightlife
  • Good music scene
  • Good scuba and snorkeling destination
  • Popular beach
  • Fun shopping
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
  • Impressive beauty


Is there more to do in Faro or Marbella?

Travelers will usually find more to do in Marbella. Although Faro and Marbella are popular destinations, Marbella has more sights and attractions for tourists. Faro is famous for its historical sights and rich culture. Marbella is famous for its luxury hotels, beautiful beaches, and lively nightlife. It is also well known for Plaza de los Naranjos.

How is Faro different from Marbella?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

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

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

Faro
Marbella

Marbella is a nice place to visit for its local flavors and cuisine. However, Faro is not a good destination for its local cuisine and restaurants.

There are plenty of up and coming restaurants around Marbella. The area is filled with tourists, so finding an authentic dining experience can be difficult. Several favorite dishes include croquetas, boquerones, and pulpo.

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 Marbella Better for Nightlife?

Faro
Marbella

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

Marbella is a world class party destination. European tourists flock to the town for its beaches and resorts. The town has a glamorous nightlife scene with exclusive clubs and ritzy cocktail bars, particularly in Puerto Banus and along the Golden Mile.

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 Marbella Better for Music?

Faro
Marbella

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

The music scene in Marbella draws a good crowd. Some of the best music venues include Starlite, Kitch Social Club, and Momento.

Faro is not a live music destination.

Is Faro or Marbella Better for Resorts?

Faro
Marbella

With a similar set of options, amazing resorts can be found in both Faro and Marbella.

Faro offers an unforgettable resort vacation. Popular resorts include Vila Vita Parc Resort and Spa, Conrad Algarve, and Tivoli Carvoeiro.

Marbella is a world class resort vacation destination. From luxury to family-friendly, this area has plenty of resorts to choose from. Popular resorts in the area include Marbella Club Hotel, Puente Romano Marbella, and Don Carlos Resort and Spa.


Is Faro or Marbella Better for Scuba Diving and Snorkeling?

Faro
Marbella

Marbella is a must-visit destination for the nearby scuba diving and snorkeling. Also, Faro is not as popular, but is still a nice resort town for its diving and snorkeling.

People travel to Marbella specifically to enjoy its famous scuba diving and snorkeling areas. There are more than 100 dive sights and endless snorkeling opportunities in the area. There are deep offshore reefs that you can explore as well as shallower wrecks and caves.

It's fun to get in the water and check out the local marine life in Faro. 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.

Is Faro or Marbella Better for Beaches?

Faro
Marbella

Marbella is a must-visit destination for its beaches. Also, Faro is not as popular, but is still a nice resort town for the beache.

The beaches in Marbella are among the best in the world. The area boasts some of the best beaches in Europe. They are hubs of activity with lots of energy, and there are more than 18 miles of sandy beach in the area. Popular options include Guadalmina Beach, San Pedro de Alcántara Beach, and Nueva Andalucía Beach.

Plenty of visitors enjoy relaxing on the beach in Faro. 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.

Is Faro or Marbella Better for its Old Town?

Faro
Marbella

Faro and Marbella both have nice historical old towns that attract visitors.

Faro is a good destination for visiting its 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.

Many people head to Marbella to see the old town. Head into the old town to explore a quaint area with small, meandering streets, churches, restaurants, shops, and cafes.


Is the Shopping Better in Faro or Marbella?

Faro
Marbella

Marbella is a must-visit destination for shopping. Also, Faro is not as popular, but is still a nice resort town for its shopping opportunities.

People travel from around the world to go shopping in Marbella. This area attracts vacationers from around Europe and the shopping is some of the best in Europe.

Faro offers some nice shopping areas. 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.

Is Faro or Marbella Better for Families?

Faro
Marbella

Marbella is great for its kid-friendly activities. However, Faro is not a good destination for its family-friendly activities.

Marbella is a very family-friendly destination. The area has beautiful, family-friendly beaches and many resorts with pools that are great for kids.

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 Marbella Better for Couples?

Faro
Marbella

Marbella is a must-visit destination for romance. Also, Faro is not as popular, but is still a nice resort town for its romantic activities.

Marbella has so much to offer for a romantic couple's vacation. The area has luxury resorts, nice beaches, water sports, golf, and water activities that are perfect for a honeymoon or a romantic weekend or a honeymoon.

Faro makes for a fun place to visit for a couple. With the beautiful natural areas and historic old town, this seaport makes a nice couples vacation.


Is Faro or Marbella Better for Backpackers and Budget Travelers?

Faro
Marbella

For backpackers, both Faro and Marbella are nice places to visit.

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

Marbella is a good resort town to visit for backpackers. There are a few good hostels in the area for backpackers who want to enjoy this part of Spain's cost. There's also a lively nightlife scene and plenty of opportunities to meet others.

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

Faro
Marbella

Faro is a nice place to visit for times when you don't have a car. However, Marbella is lacking in good options for its public transit.

Faro has some public transit options. There are buses that connect the city to the beach, the airport, and other outlying areas.

Public transit is generally limited in Marbella. There is a bus system through the area, but most visitors prefer to get around by car.

Is Faro or Marbella a more walkable city?

Faro
Marbella

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

Marbella is very walkable. The old town is particularly walkable and there are a number of hotels and nice resorts within a short walk of the town along a nice promenade.

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 Marbella Worth Visiting?.

Should I spend more time in Marbella or Faro?

How long in Faro or Marbella?

In either Faro or Marbella, you'll find plenty of activities to fill your time. In our opinion, Marbella has more to see and do, so we recommend spending more time in Marbella than Faro. However, 2-5 days is a good amount of time to spend in either destination.

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

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

Backpackers and budget travelers should spend more time in Marbella 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 Marbella.


  • How many days in Faro or Marbella? Ideal Length of Stay
    Faro 2-5 
    Marbella 2-5

One day in Faro or Marbella?

The resort town of Faro offers nightlife and scuba diving and snorkeling. It's also a relaxing resort destination. 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.

Visitors enjoy the nightlife and live music when visiting the destination of Marbella. People usually spend lots of time at the beach. 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 Marbella?

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

Marbella is a fun place to experience. If you have a weekend, this is a great place to go. You can also relax and pamper yourself at one of the resorts. A weekend is often enough time to do most activities. The entire region has so many activities, and you'll want time to do everything.

Five days in Faro or Marbella?

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

Visitors enjoy the food and scuba diving and snorkeling when visiting the high energy destination of Marbella. This resort town offers something for everyone. It's a great spot for a beach vacation. 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 Marbella?

Faro is a great place to explore. People often spend their time relaxing at one of the resorts. One week is more than enough time to enjoy everything. Take some day trips to nearby places to fill the extra days. This resort town offers something for everyone.

The ritzy resort town of Marbella offers scuba diving and snorkeling and shopping. You'll find plenty of activities on the beach. The length of your trip often depends on your style of travel. 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.


For some great organized tour ideas, see The Best 2-Week Tours in Portugal, The Best Hiking & Trekking Tours in Portugal, The Best Sightseeing Tours in Spain, and The Best Romantic Tours for Couples in Spain.


Which place is cheaper, Marbella 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 Marbella is €117. 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 Marbella in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Faro 75
    Marbella 61
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Faro 150
    Marbella 122
Compare Hotels in Faro and Marbella

Looking for a hotel in Faro or Marbella? 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 Marbella


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 Marbella Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Faro 9.52
    Marbella 24

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Faro

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

  • 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
  • Transfers taxi tours golf wedding: $56
  • Transfers From Faro Airport to Muthu Club Praia da Oura: $72
  • Transfers From Faro Airport to Hotel Paraiso Albufeira: $71
  • Transfers Algarve: Airport Faro - Albufeira, 4 or 8 PAX: $63
  • Transfer from Faro airport to Hotel Vila Recife: $43
  • Transfer from Faro airport to Hotel São Rafael Atlântico: $43
  • Transfer from Faro airport to Cabanas de Tavira: $57
  • Transfer from Faro airport to Almancil: $30
  • Transfer from Faro airport to Alcoutim: $166
  • Transfer from Faro Airport to Júpiter Hotel Albufeira: $43

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Marbella

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

  • From Malaga: Private Transfer Malaga Airport to Marbella: $239
  • Private Transfer from Benaoján to Malaga (AGP) Airport: $217
  • Private Transfer from Puerto de la Duquesa to Malaga (AGP) Airport: $177
  • Private Transfer from Manilva to Malaga (AGP) Airport: $177
  • Private Transfer from Estepona to Malaga (AGP) airport: $157
  • Private Transfer from Cómpeta to Malaga (AGP) Airport: $138
  • Private Transfer from Guadalmina to Malaga (AGP) Airport: $133
  • Private Transfer from Benahavís to Malaga (AGP) Airport: $133
  • Private Transfer from San Pedro de Alcántara to Malaga (AGP) Airport: $133
  • Private Transfer from Mezquitilla to Malaga (AGP) Airport: $127
  • Private Transfer from Torrox to Malaga (AGP) Airport: $121
  • Private Transfer from Benamargosa to Malaga (AGP) Airport: $121

Is it cheaper to fly into Faro or Marbella?

Prices for flights to both Marbella 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
    Marbella 38

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

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Marbella

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

  • Showcooking Paella from Our Andalusian Grandmother at a Family Farm: $99
  • Fuengirola: Boat Tour Champagne Dinner & Sunset: $111
  • The Mediterranean Diet & Lifestyle Cooking Class.: $181
  • Gourmet Cooking Class & Culture in the rural Montes de Malaga.: $192

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Faro 9.41
    Marbella 19

Tours and Activities in Faro

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

  • Faro to Benagil Hiking Tour and Marinha beach: $61
  • Quad Biking Adventure Tour in Albufeira: $83
  • 1 Hour Private Speed Boat Tour: $50
  • 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
  • 2:30 Hours Tour: $277
  • 3-Hour Boat Tour in Ria Formosa on Olhão Algarve: $33
  • 3:30 hours Guided Tour on Classic boat in Ria Formosa, Olhão..: $39
  • 5 Hour Boat Tour in Ria Formosa: $44
  • 5-hour island hopping tour: $61
  • 6 hour boat tour navegating through the Islands of Ria Formosa National Park : $66

Tours and Activities in Marbella

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

  • 2 h Estepona Bay Tour: $41
  • 2 hours Quad Tour in Marbella - 1 quad for 1/2 persons 170€: $188
  • Authentic Andalusia - Jeep Eco Tour (pick up from Marbella - Estepona) : $105
  • Buggy Adventure with Incredible Views of the Sea and the Reservoir: $111
  • Caminito del Rey and Ardales Guided Tour from Costa del Sol: $76
  • Dolphin Watching Adventure in Estepona Bay: $39
  • E-Mountain Bike Explorer Tour departing from Marbella: $88
  • From Costa del Sol: Casares Private Tour: $359
  • From Estepona: Canyoning Tour in Guadalmina, Benahavis: $59
  • From Estepona: Guided Via Ferrata Adventure in Benalauría: $72
  • From Canyoning Tour in Guadalmina Canyon: $54
  • From Guided Via Ferrata Tour in the Tajo de Ronda: $72

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Faro 3.13
    Marbella 5.71

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 Marbella

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

  • Ronda Full Day Wine Tour from Marbella: $198
  • VIP Ronda Wine Tour and Tasting and Gourmet Lunch Experience with Winemaker: $276


When comparing the travel costs between Faro and Marbella, we can see that Faro 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 Marbella Expensive?.


Which is Bigger, Faro or Marbella?

Marbella has a larger population, and is about 3 times larger than the population of Faro. When comparing the sizes of Faro and Marbella, 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 Marbella?

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 Faro or Marbella in the Summer?

The summer attracts plenty of travelers to both Faro and Marbella. The summer months attract visitors to Faro because of the beaches, snorkeling, and the family-friendly experiences. Furthermore, the beaches, snorkeling, the music scene, and the family-friendly experiences are the main draw to Marbella this time of year.

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

People are often attracted to the plentiful sunshine in Marbella 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 Marbella during summer. Faro gets 374 hours of sunny skies, while Marbella receives 348 hours of full sun in the summer.

In July, Faro usually receives less rain than Marbella. Faro gets 1 mm (0 in) of rain, while Marbella receives 2 mm (0.1 in) of rain each month for the summer.


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

Should I visit Faro or Marbella in the Autumn?

The autumn brings many poeple to Faro as well as Marbella. The shopping scene are the main draw to Faro this time of year. Additionally, many travelers come to Marbella for the shopping scene, the music scene, and the natural beauty of the area.

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

The sun comes out a lot this time of the year in Marbella. People are often attracted to the plentiful sunshine in Faro this time of the year. In the autumn, Faro often gets around the same amount of sunshine as Marbella. Faro gets 222 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Marbella receives 213 hours of full sun.

Faro usually gets more rain in October than Marbella. Faro gets 67 mm (2.6 in) of rain, while Marbella receives 54 mm (2.1 in) of rain this time of the year.


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

Should I visit Faro or Marbella in the Winter?

Both Marbella and Faro are popular destinations to visit in the winter with plenty of activities. Many travelers come to Faro for the shopping scene and the cuisine. Also, many visitors come to Marbella in the winter for the shopping scene and the cuisine.

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

Faro usually receives around the same amount of sunshine as Marbella during winter. Faro gets 161 hours of sunny skies, while Marbella receives 171 hours of full sun in the winter.

In January, Faro usually receives around the same amount of rain as Marbella. Faro gets 78 mm (3.1 in) of rain, while Marbella receives 83 mm (3.3 in) of rain each month for the winter.


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

Should I visit Faro or Marbella in the Spring?

Both Marbella and Faro during the spring are popular places to visit. Many visitors come to Faro in the spring for the beaches. Also, most visitors come to Marbella for the beaches and the natural beauty during these months.

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

In Marbella, it's very sunny this time of the year. It's quite sunny in Faro. In the spring, Faro often gets more sunshine than Marbella. Faro gets 248 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Marbella receives 220 hours of full sun.

Faro usually gets around the same amount of rain in April as Marbella. Faro gets 38 mm (1.5 in) of rain, while Marbella receives 40 mm (1.6 in) of rain this time of the year.


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

Typical Weather for Marbella and Faro

Faro Marbella
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)