A Travel Price Comparison for Greece Hydra vs. Athens for Attractions, Food, Nightlife, and Old Town

Should you visit Hydra or Athens?

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

Should I visit Hydra or Athens? This is a common question asked by many travelers. By figuring out which city has activities that align with your interests along with knowing which is more affordable, you'll understand where you can get more bang for your buck. So, let's dive into the details and the data, which all comes from actual travelers.

Hydra

Hydra is a picturesque, charming, and accessible island. With plenty of activities and sights, this is a small town worth visiting. With stunning beauty, it attracts visitors from all around. It's also popular because of the museums, food, and scuba diving and snorkeling.

Athens

Athens is a vibrant, energetic, and historic city. It's a large city with plenty of activites for visitors as well. It's a gorgeous place to visit. It's also known for shopping, museums, and nightlife.

Hydra and Athens: Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Nice resorts
  • Good scuba and snorkeling destination
  • Popular beach
  • Good for hiking
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Small town charm
  • Impressive beauty
Things to Consider
  • Less popular for food
  • Less popular for nightlife
  • Less popular with backpackers
  • Public transit not as usable
Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Popular for food and cuisine
  • Active nightlife
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
  • Good for students
  • Good public transit
  • Big city activities
  • Home to the Acropolis
Things to Consider
  • Less popular with couples


Is there more to do in Hydra or Athens?

Visitors will usually find more to do in Athens than Hydra, as it offers more sights, attractions, and activities. Athens is better known for its museums, food, nightlife, historical sights, and big city activities, while Hydra is more popular for its resorts, scuba diving & snorkeling, beaches, hiking, shopping, small town charm, and impressive beauty. Hydra is well known for its picturesque setting, car-free setting, and beautiful old town. Athens is well known for its ancient temples and landmarks as well as its influence as the birthplace of democracy. Also, Athens is famous for The Acropolis.

The Acropolis
The Acropolis

How is Hydra different from Athens?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

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

Are the Museums and Historical Sights Better in Hydra or Athens?

Hydra
Athens

Athens is a world-class destination for its museums and landmarks. Also, Hydra is still popular, but not quite as popular for its historical sights.

Visitors will find world class museums and historical sights in Athens that are not to be missed. As a historical capital of the world, this city has countless museums and archeological sites including the famous Acropolis, the National Archaeology Museum, and the Ancient Agora.

Many visitors head to Hydra specifically to visit some of its top-rated museums and other sights. For such a small island, there are many local museums and sights. Highlights include the Historical Archives Museum, the Ecclesiastical Museum, the Monastery of Agia Efpraxia, and the Monastery of Prophet Elias.


Is the Food Better in Hydra or Athens? Which Destination has the Best Restaurants?

Hydra
Athens

Athens is a world-class destination for its restaurant scene. Also, Hydra is still popular, but not quite as popular for its local flavors and cuisine.

For foodies, Athens is an obvious choice, as it is one of the food capitals of the world. Make sure you try the souvlaki, moussaka, and dolmades at any of the many local restaurants throughout the city.

Hydra has a delicious restaurant scene that relies on local flavors. For such a small island, it really packs in some great restaurants. Head down the side streets to find the best souvlaki. There are also tavernas where you can sample local wine. Fresh caught seafood is a favorite on the island as well.

Is Hydra or Athens Better for Nightlife?

Hydra
Athens

Athens is a world-class destination for nightlife. However, Hydra is a island with minimal options for nightlife and partying.

People head to Athens just to party. There are all-night dance clubs as well as local bars and chill live music venues.

Hydra doesn't have the most active nightlife scene. It's a small island that is often visited as a day trip, so don't expect a huge party scene. There are about seven places in total that make up the island's nightlife scene. Each is centered around the harbor and many people start their evening at one bar and slowly hop around. They usually have DJs and full bars.

Is Hydra or Athens Better for Resorts?

Hydra
Athens

Hydra is a good destination for its luxury resorts. However, Athens is not a resort destination.

Hydra has a few great resort options. It's a popular day trip destination, but if you stay for a night or two, you'll find boutique hotels and charming pensions.

Athens is not a resort destination.


Is Hydra or Athens Better for Scuba Diving and Snorkeling?

Hydra
Athens

Hydra is a good destination for snorkeling and scuba diving. However, Athens is not a scuba or snorkeling destination.

Grab a mask and fins and explore the underwater scenery in Hydra. There are some snorkeling spots around the island - most notably Bisti Beach, which is pebbly and has some interesting sea life.

Athens is not a scuba or snorkeling destination.

Is Hydra or Athens Better for Beaches?

Hydra
Athens

Hydra is a good destination for the beach. However, Athens is not a beach destination.

Hydra offers a nice beach destination. The beaches are usually pebbly with nice blue water. Many people visit the beaches as part of a boat tour, which leaves from the port and tours the island. Some of the most popular beaches are Vlichos, Kaminia, Bisti and Agios Nikolaos.

Athens is not a beach destination.

Is Hydra or Athens Better for its Old Town?

Hydra
Athens

Athens is a world-class destination for its historic old town. Also, Hydra is still popular, but not quite as popular for its old town.

The historic old town of Athens is revered around the world. The city's "historic triangle" is between Syntagma, Omonia, and Monastiraki Squares. This area is also at the political and financial heart of the city.

There is a nice variety of sights in the old town of Hydra. With no cars and plenty of charm, the island's old town feels as if you've stepped back in time. Donkey pulled carts and quaint streets give this town its atmosphere.


Is Hydra or Athens Better for Hiking?

Hydra
Athens

Hydra is great for hiking. However, Athens is not a hiking destination.

Many visitors go to Hydra for the hiking trails. The island is filled with walking paths and donkey trails that are fun to explore. Some walk along the sea and offer spectacular views while others take you inland through the hills.

Athens is not a hiking destination.

Is the Shopping Better in Hydra or Athens?

Hydra
Athens

Hydra is great for its shopping areas. Also, Athens is not as popular, but is still a nice city for shopping.

Many visitors explore the shopping areas in Hydra. Charming shops fill the town and sell local items such as handmade jewelry and traditional embroideries.

Athens is a great destination for shopping. Most neighborhoods have a shopping street but head to Ermou Street for some of the city's best shopping.

Is Hydra or Athens Better for Families?

Hydra
Athens

Kids will enjoy a visit to either Hydra or Athens.

Hydra is a very family-friendly place to visit. The island feels like it's frozen in time. There are no cars allowed here, so kids can run freely without the worry of traffic. They'll be as fascinated as you are by the carts pulled by donkeys. Most things you'll visit are also close together, making accessibility easy. In addition to some interesting museums, there are beaches and kid-friendly food. The whole island really is a playground.

Because of its large number of kid-friendly activities, Athens is very family-friendly. With its rich history, beautiful outdoor activities, and kid-friendly food, Athens is a fun place to explore with the whole family.


Is Hydra or Athens Better for Couples?

Hydra
Athens

Hydra is an unbeatable place for couples. Also, Athens is not as popular, but is still a nice city for romance.

Hydra is fantastic couple's destination with fun and romantic activities. This beautiful island makes a great honeymoon or couple's destination. Most visitors come as a day trip, but spending a night or two on the island is a unique experience. It has a laid back vibe and is filled with romance. The food is amazing, and the traditional atmosphere will make you feel as if you've traveled back in time.

Athens is a nice destination for couples. The city is historical, fascinating, and romantic, making it a beautiful place to explore as a couple.

Is Hydra or Athens Better for Backpackers and Budget Travelers?

Hydra
Athens

Athens is a world-class destination for backpackers. However, Hydra is a island with minimal options for backpackers and budget travelers.

Athens is a mecca for backpackers and budget travelers. The city has long been established as a backpackers destination with budget friendly food and plenty of hostels around town.

Hydra is a challenging destination for budget travelers and backpackers due to the higher prices. Most people visit the island as a day trip and it doesn't attract nearly as many backpackers as the larger Greek islands. If you visit during the lower season, you might find some affordable accommodation.

Is Hydra or Athens Better for Students?

Hydra
Athens

Athens is a great destination for students. However, Hydra is not popular with students.

Athens is a very popular city for students and younger travelers. International students will appreciate the rich history, archaeological ruins, and unique opportunities that are available here.

Hydra is not popular with students.


Is Hydra or Athens Better for Public Transit? Which Is Easier to Get Around Without a Car?

Hydra
Athens

Athens is a great destination for its public transit. However, Hydra is a island with minimal options for times when you don't have a car.

Many visitors rely on the effecient and affordable public transportation in Athens. The city's metro system has 3 lines that connect to bus, tram and commuter rail lines.

Public transit is mostly limited in Hydra. There are sea taxis and beach boats on the island.

Is Hydra or Athens a more walkable city?

Hydra
Athens

Hydra is an unbeatable place for its ease of walking around. Also, Athens is not as popular, but is still a nice city for its walkability.

Hydra is a very easy island to get around on foot. The entire island is car-free and everything that you want to visit is close together and easy to explore on foot.

Athens is very walkable. You'll find the city's most walkable area's in the historical heart, where there are many pedestrian only streets and shopping areas.

For even more information, also check out Is Hydra Worth Visiting? and Is Athens Worth Visiting?.

Should I spend more time in Athens or Hydra?

How long in Hydra or Athens?

Both Hydra and Athens have a number of activities to choose from. With generally more activities and things to do, visitors tend to spend more time in Athens than in Hydra. Usually, 1-2 days is a good amount of time for Hydra, and 3-7 days is enough time in Athens.

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

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

Backpackers and budget travelers should spend more time in Athens than Hydra 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 Athens.


  • How many days in Hydra or Athens? Ideal Length of Stay
    Hydra 1-2 
    Athens 3-7

One day in Hydra or Athens?

Hydra might be a small town, but there's plenty to do in the area. Hikers are also drawn to this area. One day is often enough time to do most activities.

Each neighborhood in Athens has its own distinct appeal, so there are pleny of areas to explore. Make sure you visit the old town while you're here. This city offers a variety of activities to choose from. Since there is so much to do in the area, one day is probably not enough for all of it.


A weekend in Hydra or Athens?

Hydra 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.

It's hard to know how much time to spend in Athens. Most visitors spend time around the old town while in the area. A weekend is usually not enough time for a trip here as there is plenty to do. The length of your ideal trip is an individual decision.

Five days in Hydra or Athens?

It's hard to know how much time to spend in Hydra. Make sure you spend some time hiking while you're in the area. Five days may feel like too much time unless you plan to do a lot of relaxing. It has many unique tourist attractions and fascinating things to do.

Athens is a fun place to experience. Each neighborhood in Athens has its own distinct appeal, so there are pleny of areas to explore. Visiting the old town is also a must. This would be the perfect place to spend five days, as it has just the right amount of activities.

A week in Hydra or Athens?

Hydra is a small town, so it's a great destination if you're short on time. This island offers a variety of activities to choose from. Many travelers plan to spend time hiking while in the area. Most people find that one week is more than enough time to see everything.

Each neighborhood in Athens has its own distinct appeal, so there are pleny of areas to explore. Plenty of people spend one week in the area when traveling. The old town is one of the main draws for visitors. Take your pick from the many activities offered here. One week is often enough time to do most activities.


For some great organized tour ideas, see The Best Historical Tours in Greece, The Best 10-Day Tours in Greece, The Best One Week (7-Day) Tours in Greece, and The Best 3-Day Tours in Greece.


Which place is cheaper, Athens or Hydra?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Hydra is €97, while the average daily cost in Athens is €127. 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 Hydra and Athens in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Hydra 51
    Athens 63
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Hydra 102
    Athens 126
Compare Hotels in Hydra and Athens

Looking for a hotel in Hydra or Athens? 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 Hydra


Hotels in Athens


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: Athens Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Hydra 26
    Athens 27

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:

  • Athens Airport To Piraeus Port / Hotel Private Luxury Transfer : $44
  • Private Athens International Airport to Piraeus Port Transfer: $80
  • "Private Trip to Delphi with Transfer": $299
  • A mini Embark / Disembark Tour In Athens With Transfers from airport / port.: $259
  • Airport Transfer: Athens Airport ATH to Athens by Business Car: $80
  • Airport Transfer: Athens Airport ATH to Athens by Luxury Van: $113
  • Airport Transfer: Athens to Athens Airport ATH by Business Car: $80
  • Airport Transfer: Athens to Athens Airport ATH by Luxury Car: $127
  • Airport transfer: $131
  • Arrival Private Transfer from Athens Airport ATH to Athens City by Minibus: $109
  • Arrival Private Transfer from Athens Airport ATH to Athens City by luxury van: $91
  • Arrival Private Transfer from Athens Piraeus Port to Athens City by Business Car: $44

Is it cheaper to fly into Hydra or Athens?

Prices for flights to both Athens and Hydra 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
    Hydra 30
    Athens 37

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:

  • Hard Rock Cafe Athens with Set Menu for Lunch or Dinner: $24
  • Street Food Tour Market & City Centre: $42
  • Greek Street Food Tour: $52
  • Middle-eastern Cuisine Cooking Class with Meal: $53
  • Street Food Tour with Local Guide and 7 Tastings: $58
  • Koukaki Food Tour with a Local Friend: $60
  • Traditional Greek Cooking Class and Organic Lunch on Poros: $61
  • Alternative, truly authentic food tour in secret Athens: $64
  • Greek Traditional Vegan Cooking Class with Meal: $64
  • Oriental Kitchen Cooking Classes in Athina: $64
  • Street Food Tour - Sample the Food the Locals Love: $64
  • Ramen & Gyoza - Vegan Cooking Course in Athina: $64

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Hydra 11
    Athens 36

Tours and Activities in Athens

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

  • Meouzo Online City Tour: $2.92
  • Self-guided First Discovery Walk and Reading Tour: $3.25
  • Exclusive Self-Guided Audio Tour in Old Plaka: $4.66
  • Exclusive Self-Guided Audio Tour into Byzantine Gems: $4.66
  • A Neoclassical Capital: A Self-Guided Audio Tour: $5.50
  • 360 Virtual tour of Ancient Athens: $6.00
  • Herakleidon Museum of Ancient Greek Technology: Entry Ticket: $6.50
  • Athens Scavenger Hunt and Best Landmarks Self-Guided Tour: $6.55
  • Traditional Greek Food: A Self-Guided Audio Tour of Athens: $6.99
  • Ancient Agora of Athens Self-Guided Audio Tour: $6.99
  • Ancient Highlights Self-Guided Scavenger Hunt & Tour: $7.04
  • Greece: Tourist eSIM Data Plan: $7.27

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Hydra 11
    Athens 23

Sample the Local Flavors in Athens

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

  • Polykala Distillery showroom. A125 years of history along with liqueur tasting.: $15
  • Liquer tasting in Polykala's Distillery Show Room in Athens: $17
  • Greek Wine Tasting: $23
  • Premium Wine Tastings: $36
  • Athens Speakeasy & Alternative Bar Crawl: Discover Hidden Gems: $38
  • Athens Old Town: Wine Tasting based on Ancient Greek Grapes: $40
  • Greek Wine Tasting Experience with a Sommelier: $43
  • 1 Hour Private Four Greek Wine Tasting and Food Pairing in Athens: $44
  • Organic and Vegan Indigenous Wine Tasting Private Experience: $44
  • Old Town Athens Wine Tasting: $53
  • Greek food and wine tasting: $54
  • Best rated Acropolis Wine Tasting : $54


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

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


Which is Bigger, Hydra or Athens?

Athens has a larger population, and is about 320 times larger than the population of Hydra. When comparing the sizes of Hydra and Athens, 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 Hydra or Athens?

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 Hydra or Athens in the Summer?

Both Athens and Hydra during the summer are popular places to visit. Most visitors come to Hydra for the beaches, snorkeling, the hiking, the small town charm, and the family-friendly experiences during these months. Furthermore, the summer months attract visitors to Athens because of the city activities and the family-friendly experiences.

In July, Hydra is generally around the same temperature as Athens. Daily temperatures in Hydra average around 27°C (81°F), and Athens fluctuates around 27°C (81°F).

In Athens, it's very sunny this time of the year. It's quite sunny in Hydra. In the summer, Hydra often gets around the same amount of sunshine as Athens. Hydra gets 357 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Athens receives 357 hours of full sun.

Hydra usually gets around the same amount of rain in July as Athens. Hydra gets 6 mm (0.2 in) of rain, while Athens receives 6 mm (0.2 in) of rain this time of the year.


  • Summer Average Temperatures July
    Hydra 27°C (81°F) 
    Athens 27°C (81°F)

Should I visit Hydra or Athens in the Autumn?

The autumn attracts plenty of travelers to both Hydra and Athens. The autumn months attract visitors to Hydra because of the hiking trails, the shopping scene, the small town atmosphere, and the natural beauty of the area. Furthermore, the city's sights and attractions, the shopping scene, and the natural beauty of the area are the main draw to Athens this time of year.

Hydra is around the same temperature as Athens in the autumn. The daily temperature in Hydra averages around 19°C (67°F) in October, and Athens fluctuates around 19°C (67°F).

People are often attracted to the plentiful sunshine in Athens this time of the year. In Hydra, it's very sunny this time of the year. Hydra usually receives around the same amount of sunshine as Athens during autumn. Hydra gets 206 hours of sunny skies, while Athens receives 206 hours of full sun in the autumn.

In October, Hydra usually receives around the same amount of rain as Athens. Hydra gets 48 mm (1.9 in) of rain, while Athens receives 48 mm (1.9 in) of rain each month for the autumn.


  • Autumn Average Temperatures October
    Hydra 19°C (67°F) 
    Athens 19°C (67°F)

Should I visit Hydra or Athens in the Winter?

The winter brings many poeple to Hydra as well as Athens. The museums, the shopping scene, and the cuisine are the main draw to Hydra this time of year. Additionally, many travelers come to Athens for the museums, the shopping scene, and the cuisine.

In the winter, Hydra is around the same temperature as Athens. Typically, the winter temperatures in Hydra in January average around 10°C (51°F), and Athens averages at about 10°C (51°F).

In the winter, Hydra often gets around the same amount of sunshine as Athens. Hydra gets 143 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Athens receives 143 hours of full sun.

Hydra usually gets around the same amount of rain in January as Athens. Hydra gets 45 mm (1.8 in) of rain, while Athens receives 45 mm (1.8 in) of rain this time of the year.


  • Winter Average Temperatures January
    Hydra 10°C (51°F) 
    Athens 10°C (51°F)

Should I visit Hydra or Athens in the Spring?

Both Athens and Hydra are popular destinations to visit in the spring with plenty of activities. Many travelers come to Hydra for the beaches, the small town charm, and the natural beauty. Also, many visitors come to Athens in the spring for the activities around the city and the natural beauty.

In April, Hydra is generally around the same temperature as Athens. Daily temperatures in Hydra average around 16°C (60°F), and Athens fluctuates around 16°C (60°F).

It's quite sunny in Athens. The sun comes out a lot this time of the year in Hydra. Hydra usually receives around the same amount of sunshine as Athens during spring. Hydra gets 226 hours of sunny skies, while Athens receives 226 hours of full sun in the spring.

In April, Hydra usually receives around the same amount of rain as Athens. Hydra gets 25 mm (1 in) of rain, while Athens receives 25 mm (1 in) of rain each month for the spring.


  • Spring Average Temperatures April
    Hydra 16°C (60°F) 
    Athens 16°C (60°F)

Typical Weather for Athens and Hydra

Hydra Athens
Temp (°C) Rain (mm) Temp (°C) Rain (mm)
Jan 10°C (51°F) 45 mm (1.8 in) 10°C (51°F) 45 mm (1.8 in)
Feb 11°C (51°F) 48 mm (1.9 in) 11°C (51°F) 48 mm (1.9 in)
Mar 12°C (54°F) 44 mm (1.7 in) 12°C (54°F) 44 mm (1.7 in)
Apr 16°C (60°F) 25 mm (1 in) 16°C (60°F) 25 mm (1 in)
May 20°C (68°F) 14 mm (0.6 in) 20°C (68°F) 14 mm (0.6 in)
Jun 24°C (76°F) 6 mm (0.2 in) 24°C (76°F) 6 mm (0.2 in)
Jul 27°C (81°F) 6 mm (0.2 in) 27°C (81°F) 6 mm (0.2 in)
Aug 27°C (81°F) 8 mm (0.3 in) 27°C (81°F) 8 mm (0.3 in)
Sep 24°C (76°F) 10 mm (0.4 in) 24°C (76°F) 10 mm (0.4 in)
Oct 19°C (67°F) 48 mm (1.9 in) 19°C (67°F) 48 mm (1.9 in)
Nov 16°C (60°F) 51 mm (2 in) 16°C (60°F) 51 mm (2 in)
Dec 12°C (54°F) 66 mm (2.6 in) 12°C (54°F) 66 mm (2.6 in)