A Travel Price Comparison for Families, Couples, and Backpackers Ios vs. Bari for Food, Nightlife, Beaches, and Backpackers

Should you visit Ios or Bari?

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

Should I visit Ios or Bari? 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.

Ios

Ios is a touristy, backpacker-friendly, and historical island. With stunning beauty, it attracts visitors from all around. It's also popular because of the hiking, shopping, and museums.

Bari

Bari is a local, cultural, and authentic port 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.

Ios and Bari: Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Active nightlife
  • Nice resorts
  • Good scuba and snorkeling destination
  • Popular beach
  • Good for hiking
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
  • Impressive beauty
Things to Consider
  • Less family-friendly
Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Active nightlife
  • Scenic old town
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
  • Good for students
Things to Consider
  • Less attractive beach


Is there more to do in Ios or Bari?

Tourists will generally find more to do in Bari. Although Ios and Bari are both popular with visitors, Bari has more sights, activities, and attractions for travelers. Bari is more popular for its museums, food, historical sights, and big city activities, while Ios is known for its nightlife, resorts, scuba diving & snorkeling, beaches, hiking, and impressive beauty. Ios is more touristy than Bari and is popular for its party hard atmosphere that attracts a younger and rowdier crowd. Bari is popular for its authentic old town and its role as a ferry port for travelers headed across the Adriatic. It is also home to San Nicola.

How is Ios different from Bari?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

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

Are the Museums and Historical Sights Better in Ios or Bari?

Ios
Bari

Bari is notable for its sights and museums. Also, Ios is not as famous, but is still a good island to visit for its museums and history.

Bari offers many unique museums, sights, and landmarks that will make for a memorable trip. The city is filled with historical sights and archeological ruins. San Nicola is the main basilica in town and a popular tourist sight. The Castello is also a highlight, as is San Sabino.

If you're looking for an educational opportunity, there are a decent number of museums and historical sights around Ios. If you can pull yourself away from the beaches or parties, there are a number of archaeological and historic sights around the island. Churches like Panayia Gremiotissa Church and Evangelisimos Cathedral are worth visiting. Other attractions include Odysseas Elytis Theatre, Homer’s Tomb, and Skarkos Hill.


Is the Food Better in Ios or Bari? Which Destination has the Best Restaurants?

Ios
Bari

Bari is very popular for its local cuisine and restaurants. Also, Ios is not as famous, but is still a good island to visit for its restaurants.

For foodies, Bari is an obvious choice, as it is one of the food capitals of the world. It's off-the-beaten-path vibe means that you won't find the overpriced tourist restaurants that have taken over more touristy cities. Instead you'll find locally owned pasta shops that cater to the town's residents. You can taste authentic Pugliese cuisine, which is centered around wheat and olive oil. Orecchiette is the local pasta and seafood is one of the most common staples.

Ios has a number of nationally recognized food spots and restaurants. Most of the island's restaurants are found in the port area or in the town of Chora, but you'll also find several options near Mylopotas Beach. Most restaurants offer typical Greek dishes, but they often have a local twist. You'll often find local cheeses or a slightly different take on an old favorite. Popular ingredients include cheese, yogurt, fish, olives, honey, olive oil, and grains. Common meats include lamb, beef, and even rabbit, but seafood is obviously popular as well.

Is Ios or Bari Better for Nightlife?

Ios
Bari

Ios is terrific for its evening party scene. Also, Bari is not as popular, but is still a nice port city for nightlife.

Ios is a must-see party destination. This is one of the quintessential party islands in Greece. Many young backpackers come here just to party, particularly during the summer months. You'll find many parties start around midnight or later and carry on well into the morning. Most of the clubs and bars are around the main square and nearby streets in Chora, but there are also clubs spread throughout the town. Outside of town, Mylopotas Beach is another popular party area.

Bari offers plenty to do in the evening. The city really comes to life at night with many dance clubs, bars, and other fun venues. There's plenty of live music as well as jazz clubs and other local bars.

Is Ios or Bari Better for Resorts?

Ios
Bari

Ios is a great island for its luxury resorts. However, Bari is not a resort destination.

There are plenty of resorts in Ios to choose from. There are a number of resort areas around the island with families preferring the areas around Yialos Beach and Manganari Beach. Partiers usually head to Chora and the great beaches near Mylopotas, but if you want to escape the crowds, head to Agia Theodoti.

Bari is not a resort destination.


Is Ios or Bari Better for Scuba Diving and Snorkeling?

Ios
Bari

Ios is a good destination for snorkeling and scuba diving. However, Bari is not a scuba or snorkeling destination.

Grab a mask and fins and explore the underwater scenery in Ios. There are some nice snorkeling and diving areas around the island as well as vendors who organize snorkeling and dive trips.

Bari is not a scuba or snorkeling destination.

Is Ios or Bari Better for Beaches?

Ios
Bari

Ios is terrific for the beach. Also, Bari is not as popular, but is still a nice port city for its beaches.

Ios offers stunning beaches that attract visitors from around the world. The island has beautiful sandy beaches that range from family-friendly to party hard. There are popular and more developed beaches near Chora like Koumbara and Mylopotas as well as more relaxing beaches a little more removed like Kalamos and Manganari. Because of their striking beauty, the beaches around the island have been featured in a few films.

Bari is a good option for a beach vacation. There's a sandy beach that you can reach by bus outside of the city center. There are also many great beaches around Puglia if you're willing to take a day trip or travel a bit farther.

Is Ios or Bari Better for its Old Town?

Ios
Bari

Bari is notable for its old town. However, Ios does not have a historic old town.

Many visitors explore the old town while visiting Bari. The old town is filled with historic sights, mazelike streets, and great food. It's pedestrian-only and, because Bari is not as popular with tourists, it holds on to its authentic charm.

Ios does not have a historic old town.


Is Ios or Bari Better for Hiking?

Ios
Bari

Ios is a good destination for hiking. However, Bari is not a hiking destination.

Ios offers some nice hiking trails. The island has a barren and rocky landscape that offers spectacular views. Many of the hikes are quite challenging, but there are a few options for beginners as well. Many also pass by the spectacular ruins around the island.

Bari is not a hiking destination.

Is the Shopping Better in Ios or Bari?

Ios
Bari

Both Ios and Bari are good shopping destinations.

Ios offers some nice shopping areas. There are a number of local souvenirs that you can pick up. Many visitors prefer to take home unique items such as a tin of olives or olive oil. Jewelry, honey, and local ceramics also make good gifts.

Bari has a variety of shopping areas worth visiting. You won't find the souvenir shops that you find in more touristy cities, so if you take the time to do some shopping while you're in town, you can enjoy a truly authentic and cultural experience.

Is Ios or Bari Better for Families?

Ios
Bari

Bari is notable for its family-friendly activities. However, Ios is a mediocre island for its kid-friendly activities.

Bari is a very kid-friendly port city. There are historical sites and castles to explore as well as the fun-filled Miragica amusement park. There's also an impressive underground city that will spark the kid's imagination. Other fun activities include visiting the nearby beaches, taking a kayak tour, or wandering around the old town.

Ios is not always a place people visit with their families. While the island is known as one of the top party destinations in Greece, it also has a more cultural side. There are impressive archaeological ruins and stunning beaches that kids will enjoy. The island also has snorkeling and plenty of kid-friendly food. Some of the best family-friendly beaches are in Manganari Bay and Yialos Beach is a nice family-friendly area.


Is Ios or Bari Better for Couples?

Ios
Bari

Ios is a great island for couples. Also, Bari is not as popular, but is still a nice port city for romance.

Ios is a great island if you're traveling as a couple. Because it's so close to Santorini, many people visit as a day trip. While the island is synonymous with partying, there are still many world-class archaeological sites and romantic beaches that make for an active and fun honeymoon. It's a bit quieter outside of the peak summer months.

Bari is a nice destination for couples. The old town is filled with mazelike streets and the city has many unique activities that appeal to history buffs and outdoor enthusiasts alike.

Is Ios or Bari Better for Backpackers and Budget Travelers?

Ios
Bari

Ios is terrific for backpackers and budget travelers. Also, Bari is not as popular, but is still a nice port city for backpackers.

A large number of backpackers visit Ios, as it is a very popular island for budget travelers. For many backpackers, partying in Ios is a quintessential European experience. Nights are spent at all night clubs or beach raves, while days are spent nursing a hangover on the beach. There are plenty of venues that cater to the budget crowd, with cheap food available at different places.

Backpackers come from all over to visit Bari. There's plenty of hostels around town and the prices are usually very reasonable. Many backpackers pass through this port city on their way to Greece or other Adriatic destinations.

Is Ios or Bari Better for Students?

Ios
Bari

Bari is notable for students. However, Ios is not popular with students.

Bari is a very popular port city for students and younger travelers. It's a great student city that offers access to many nearby Mediterranean destinations. There are also a number of historical sights within town that students can visit.

Ios is not popular with students.


Is Ios or Bari Better for Public Transit? Which Is Easier to Get Around Without a Car?

Ios
Bari

Ios is a great island for times when you don't have a car. Also, Bari is not as popular, but is still a nice port city for its public transit.

Many visitors use the public transit system in Ios. There are public buses that travel to most of the tourist sights around the island including several of the more remote beaches like Manganari and Agia Theodoti.

Bari has a few public transit options. There are buses around town that are operated by the AMTAB.

Is Ios or Bari a more walkable city?

Ios
Bari

Bari is notable for its high level of walkability. Also, Ios is not as famous, but is still a good island to visit for its ease of walking around.

Bari is a very walkable port city. The old town is pedestrian-only and best explored on foot. It's also about a 20 minute walk from the central train station.

Ios is a somewhat walkable island. Chora is the most walkable part of the island.

For even more information, also check out Is Ios Worth Visiting? and Is Bari Worth Visiting?.

Should I spend more time in Bari or Ios?

How long in Ios or Bari?

Visitors can find plenty of fun things to do in both Ios and Bari. In our opinion, Ios has more to see and do, so we recommend that you spend more time in Ios than Bari. However, 1-3 days is a good amount of time to spend in either destination.

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

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

Backpackers and budget travelers should spend more time in Ios than Bari 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 Ios.


  • How many days in Ios or Bari? Ideal Length of Stay
    Ios 1-3 
    Bari 1-3

One day in Ios or Bari?

Visitors enjoy the nightlife and food when visiting the destination of Ios. People usually spend lots of time at the beach. Take your pick from the many activities offered here. One day is usually enough time to experience most activities.

With nightlife and food around the local destination of Bari, there's plenty to do. Exploring the old town is a popular activity. One of the main draws to the area is the food. So, one day is just the right amount of time to spend here. The length of your trip often depends on your style of travel.


A weekend in Ios or Bari?

Ios 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.

Many people visit Bari for a weekend. With food and shopping around the authentic port city of Bari, there's plenty to do. One of the main draws to the area is the food. Make sure you visit the old town while you're here. Because of this, a weekend is usually enough time for a trip here.

Five days in Ios or Bari?

You'll find scuba diving and snorkeling and shopping around the beautiful destination of Ios. This island offers something for everyone. It's a great spot for a beach vacation. Five days is plenty of time to see everything, even with extra days to spare.

The destination of Bari offers shopping and museums. Most visitors spend time around the old town while in the area. It offers something for everyone. One of the main draws to the area is the food. Five days 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.

A week in Ios or Bari?

The vibrant island of Ios offers shopping and museums. 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.

Bari, a popular port city, is full of activities for travelers. Visiting the old town is also a must. Your budget might influence how long you stay. One week is more than enough time to enjoy everything. Take some day trips to nearby places to fill the extra days.


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


Which place is cheaper, Bari or Ios?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Ios is €91, while the average daily cost in Bari is €113. 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 Ios and Bari in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Ios 39
    Bari 73
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Ios 78
    Bari 146
Compare Hotels in Ios and Bari

Looking for a hotel in Ios or Bari? 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 Ios


Hotels in Bari


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: Ios Hotel Prices and Bari Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Ios 16
    Bari 11

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Ios

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Ios:

  • 1-Way Private Helicopter Transfer to the Greek Islands: $2,451

Typical Local Transportation Prices in Bari

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


  • Train to Lecce
    44

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Bari

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

  • Bari Airport: 1-Way Shared Transfer to Matera City Center: $5.42
  • Bari Airport: Shared Transfer to/from Taranto Train Station: $9.22
  • From Bari Airport: Shared Transfer to/from Salento Airport: $9.76
  • Bari Airport Transfer to/from Foggia Train Station: $13
  • Bari Intl Airport (BRI) to Bari Cruise Port - Arrival Private Transfer: $25
  • Bari Cruise Port (Terminal di Bari) to Bari hotels - Arrival Private Transfer: $25
  • Bari hotels to Bari Port (Terminal Crociere di Bari)- Departure Private Transfer: $25
  • Private Transfer from Bari Intl Airport (BRI) to Bari Cruise Port: $25
  • Private Transfer from Bari Cruise Port to Bari Intl Airport (BRI): $25
  • Private Transfer from Bari hotels to Bari Cruise Port: $25
  • Departure Private Transfer from Bari to Bari BRI Airport by Van: $47
  • Bari Intl Airport (BRI) to Bari Cruise Port- Round-Trip Private Transfer: $51

Is it cheaper to fly into Ios or Bari?

Prices for flights to both Bari and Ios 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
    Ios 33
    Bari 32

Typical Food Prices in Bari

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


  • Dinner
    44
  • Coffee
    2.00

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Bari

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

  • Street food tour of Polignano a Mare: $44
  • Bari Walking Street Food Tour: $49
  • Italian Street Food Tour with Tastings and Drinks: $71
  • Bari Street Food Tour by Bike: $71
  • Street Food Tour in Bari old town - Do Eat Better Experience: $78
  • Rickshaw Street Food Tour: $81
  • Bari Street Food Tour by Rickshaw: $83
  • Cooking class: We prepare orecchiette with vegetables from the garden: $85
  • Street Food Tour on Segway: $87
  • Dining Experience at a local's Home in Barletta with Show Cooking: $94
  • Dining Experience at a local's Home in Castellana Grotte with Show Cooking: $94
  • Dining Experience at a local's Home in Cisternino with Show Cooking: $94

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Ios 26
    Bari 8.61

Tours and Activities in Ios

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

  • 5 -6 Hour Private Chora E-Bike Tours: $133
  • Electric Bike Tour Chora to Diaseli Cheesery: $111
  • Electric Bike Tour Chora to Homer's Tomp: $111
  • From RIB Boat Trip to Sikinos Island and Winery Tour: $92
  • Ios Island Trekking Tours: Discover Ios Unexplored: $28
  • Ios Island: Speedboat Cruise from Mylopotas Beach: $60
  • 4-Hour Cruise of the Best Beaches: $71
  • Private Orienteering Experience in Mylopotas: $166

Tours and Activities in Bari

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

  • First Discovery Walk and Reading Walking Tour: $3.25
  • Tour "Hunt for the treasures of Bari": $3.32
  • City Exploration Game and Tour on your Phone: $6.50
  • Self-Guided Highlights Scavenger Hunt & Walking Tour: $6.51
  • Bari Scavenger Hunt and Best Landmarks Self-Guided Tour: $6.61
  • Bari Self-Guided Audio Tour: $14
  • Wonderful Bari Self-Guided Audio Tour: $15
  • Olive Oil Private Tour and Extra Virgin Olive Oil Tasting in Altamura: $22
  • Simi Palace and Byzantine Church Tour with Ticket: $24
  • St. Nicholas Basilica and Crypt Guided Tour: $27
  • Sup Tour in Polignano caves : $28
  • Bari Walking City Tour: $30

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Ios 33
    Bari 13

Sample the Local Flavors in Ios

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

  • Bar Crawl Ios Ticket in Cyclades: $39

Typical Alcohol Prices in Bari

Below are a few samples from actual travelers for alcohol and nightlife costs in Bari:


  • Beer
    2.00

Sample the Local Flavors in Bari

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

  • Afternoon Tour Secrets of Alberobello incl. Food & Wine tasting: $80
  • Private Tour: Trani walking tour with Moscato wine tasting: $116
  • Wine tasting experience in the Apulian countryside : $276


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

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


Which is Bigger, Ios or Bari?

Bari has a larger population, and is about 180 times larger than the population of Ios. When comparing the sizes of Ios and Bari, 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.