A Travel Price Comparison for Greece Heraklion vs. Athens for Vacations, Tours, and Honeymoons

Should you visit Heraklion or Athens?

Trying to figure out where to travel next? This travel cost comparison between Heraklion and Athens can help. For many travelers, the cost of a destination is a primary consideration when choosing where to go.

Heraklion

The largest city on the island of Crete, Heraklion on first glance is almost completely modern — a frenzy of traffic, concrete, and dust. Do not expect pristine beaches and glittering waves (those can be found on other parts of Crete). Heraklion is first and foremost a city. Once you get past its grittiness, you will find that there are some attractive features beneath first impressions. The antiquity of the place lies embedded in the modern and is presented in one of the best museums in Greece, the food is excellent, and the people are friendly and welcoming. And though the sea is not great for swimming, its presence along the Venetian port will take you to another time if you need a break from Heraklion's bustling center.

Athens

Athens is the capital city of Greece and is home to a population of over 3.7 million people. It's most famous as the birthplace of Classical Greece and the history in the city is incomparable to that found anywhere. It became the national capital of the modern Greek State in the 1830s, before which it was just a small village with a very impressive history. The city was redesigned by architects and city planners and incorporated large public squares, lots of green space, and wide avenues. The city has had its ups and downs both economically and politically, but it remains a beautiful and impressive place to explore.

Which city is cheaper, Athens or Heraklion?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Heraklion is €126, while the average daily cost in Athens is €103. 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. Below is a breakdown of travel costs for Heraklion and Athens in more detail.



Accommodation

Travelers usually pay around €130 for a double occupancy room in Heraklion If you want to be in a premiere location or have high end amenities, you can expect to pay a bit more.

For a normal double-occupancy room in Athens, €102 is the average cost for a hotel room. Also in Athens, the typical price for a place to stay for one person is €51, such as in a hostel.


  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Heraklion 65
    Athens 51
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Heraklion 130
    Athens 102

Food

The average traveler spends about €41 per day in Heraklion for food, but obviously this is dependent on the type of restaurant and the amount of food ordered. To save money you can grab a lighter lunch or dinner, or you can try fast food or street food.

In Athens travelers spend around €30 a day on food. You can save money by choosing casual restaurants or food stalls, or you can spend plenty more by dining in nicer restaurants at every meal.


  • Food Meals for one day
    Heraklion 41
    Athens 30

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Heraklion

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

  • Live from Heraklion - Cheese Making and Vegeterian Pie Online Cooking class: $39
  • Cretan Cooking Class Gouves (Free Transfer Included): $86
  • 5-Hour Cooking Class: $97
  • Private Cooking Class Gouves (Free Transfer Included): $123
  • Heraklion Private Cretan Cooking Class at a Traditional Village: $218
  • Private Cooking Class and Wine Tasting in Heraklion: $440

Typical Food prices in Athens

Here are some examples of typical meal expenses from previous travelers to Athens:


  • Ice cream
    3.00
  • Souvlaki
    2.20

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Athens

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

  • Online 1hr Cooking Class: Santorini Tomato Fritters: $6.22
  • Flavors and Memories Self-Guided Mobile Food Tour: $9.21
  • Hard Rock Cafe Dinner Menu with Priority Seating: $23
  • Greek Meatballs Private Online Cooking Class: $27
  • Withlocals the 10 Tastings: Athens Private Food Tour with a Local: $42
  • Online Cooking Class: Greek mini cheese pies: $45
  • Favorite Food Tour - 10 Tastings w/ a Local: $47
  • Athens Food Tour and Lunch: $52
  • 3.5-Hour Traditional Greek Cooking Class: $54
  • 1.5-Hour Greek Cooking Class in Downtown Athens: $54
  • 3-Hour Private Food Tour with Tastings: $55
  • Taste of Athens 3-Hour Walking Food Tour: $56

Local Transportation

Public transportation tends to be much less expensive in Heraklion than paying for a taxi or private car service, as is expected. Typically, people spend €25 on transportation in Heraklion on average per day.

Athens's transportation costs can vary by the type of transport chosen by visitors. Naturally, taxis and private drivers cost much more than public transportation options. On average, visitors spend €22 per person, per day on transportation in Athens.


  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Heraklion 25
    Athens 22

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Heraklion

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

  • MiniVan for Private Tour Transfer in Heraklion Crete: $560
  • Creta Private Transfer from Heraklion (HER) Airport to Paleochora: $498
  • Transfer Airport to PLATANIAS CHANIA area up to 7 customers: $459
  • Creta Private Transfer from Heraklion (HER) Airport to Kastelli Kissamou: $457
  • Transfer Airport to CHANIA CITY or PORT area up to 7 customers: $429
  • Transfer Airport to SITIA area up to 7 customers: $385
  • Creta Private Transfer from Heraklion (HER) Airport to Máleme: $373
  • Creta Private Transfer from Heraklion (HER) Airport to Gerani: $332
  • Creta Private Transfer from Heraklion (HER) Airport to Palekastro: $332
  • Transfer Airport to IERAPETRA area up to 6 customers: $326
  • Creta Private Transfer from Heraklion (HER) Airport to Agia Marina: $311
  • Creta Private Transfer from Heraklion (HER) Airport to Sitia: $291

Typical Local Transportation prices in Athens

Here are some examples of typical transportation prices from actual travelers in Athens:


  • Airport Bus for Two
    6.40
  • Metro
    1.50
  • Metro
    2.00
  • Metro from Airport to City Center
    8.00
  • Taxi from Airport
    35

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Athens

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

  • iMove Transfers Services Athens: $75
  • VIP VAN Piraeus Port Transfer 1 - 8 persons or Alimos Kalamaki Marina to Athens: $61
  • VIP VAN Athens Airport Transfer 1 - 4 persons: $101
  • VIP VAN Airport Transfer 5 - 8 persons: $105
  • VIP Ferry Ticket from Piraeus Port To Mykonos & Private Transfer included: $167
  • VIP Ferry Ticket From Piraeus Port To Santorini & Private Transfer Included: $174
  • VAN Piraeus Port Transfer 1 - 8 persons or Alimos Kalamaki Marina to Athens: $39
  • Ultra - Private Transfer from Athens City Centre to Piraeus Cruise Port: $9.41
  • Ultra - Athens Private Airport Transfer from City Centre to Athens Airport ATH: $9.41
  • Transfers around Athens and city tours: $373
  • Transfers and Guided Tours in all over Greece, sightseeing and Private hire!!: $106
  • Transfer to Loutraki/Corinth from Athens: $166

Is it cheaper to fly into Heraklion or Athens?

Prices for flights to both Athens and Heraklion 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.





Entertainment

Sightseeing expenses in Heraklion, including the cost of admission tickets for day tours, museums, and attractions, usually cost an average of €30 per day, per person.

Sightseeing, admission tickets, things to do, and other entertainment expenses in Athens can vary widely by price. On average, visitors spend around €28 per person, per day on entertainment and sightseeing here.


  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Heraklion 30
    Athens 28

Tours and Activities in Heraklion

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

  • Accessible Heraklion tour to Knossos & Archaeological Museum or Shopping: $455
  • Agios Nikolaos - Elounda - Spinalonga - (Private tour): $523
  • Architectural- gastronomic Walking tour in Heraklion: $870
  • Best of Crete (3-days Tour package): $1,120
  • Chrissi Island Cruise from Heraklion: $61
  • Cretan Folklore Night Tour TR: $66
  • Crete private tour: Knossos Palace, Archaeological museum, and Heraklion Town: $485
  • Drive Tour Crete - Best of Heraklion Crete: $560
  • From Heraklio: Full-Day Knossos & Heraklion Tour Guided English and German: $45
  • From Spinalonga Island ,Elounda Barbeque and Agios Nikolaos Tour: $45
  • Full Day Tour to Samaria Gorge: $88
  • Full-Day Guided Spinalonga Island Tour: $137

Tours and Activities in Athens

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

  • "A Must-See" Anc. Epidaurus, Mycenae & Nafplion Premium Full Day Tour By Locals: $411
  • "Athens city tour": $270
  • "Private tour in Athens": $243
  • ''Tour in Athens'': $118
  • 1 Day Private Tour Corinth, Cave of Lakes at Kalavrita & Journey by Cog Railway: $264
  • 1 Day Private tour to Meteora, visit the Monasteries are lying on the cliffs.: $317
  • 1 Day Saronic Islands Cruise: $168
  • 10 Day Greek Island Tour: Mykonos, Santorini-Volcano, Crete, Delos, Knossos,: $2,457
  • 10 Day Ultimate Ancient Greece Tours Experience: $2,411
  • 10 Day to Explore the Best Historical Gems in Greece and tour in Santorini: $1,798
  • 10 Days Private Tour: North Greece: $2,706
  • 10 Days Private Tour: Peloponnese: $2,706

Alcohol

Typically, people visiting Heraklion spend on average €21 on alcoholic beverages per person, per day.

Alcoholic beverages can often be a significant portion of a traveler's budget, and the costs can vary greatly from person to person. In Athens, the average amount that a visitor spends on alcoholic beverages per day is €18.


  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Heraklion 21
    Athens 18

Sample the Local Flavors in Heraklion

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

  • The Gourmet Wine Tour of Heraklion area: $187

Sample the Local Flavors in Athens

Here are a few nightlife and alcohol tours and activities from local tour providers in Athens:

  • Wine Tasting: $35
  • Athens Walking Tour with Food and Wine Tasting: $37
  • The Greek Wine Tasting Beginner's Class: $46
  • 1-Hour Wine Tasting: $46
  • Athens Old City: Wine Tasting Experience: $52
  • Greek Wine Tasting Experience: $56
  • Greek Wine Tasting Experience: $58
  • Private Wine Tasting Experience in Athens: $63
  • Local Greek Wine Tasting and Meze: $68
  • Wine Tour and Tasting in a 19th-Century Tower: $78
  • Food and Wine Tasting Tour at Night: $80
  • From Wine Tasting Tour to a Greek Winery: $83


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

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Heraklion vs. Athens Travel Comparison

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