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

Should you visit Ios or Hvar?

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

Should I visit Ios or Hvar? 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 backpacker-friendly, historical, and party-oriented island. The beauty of this spot is also one of the main reasons why visitors come. And you can't forget about the shopping, museums, and nightlife.

Hvar

Hvar is a party-oriented, historic, and beautiful island. The beauty of this spot is also one of the main reasons why visitors come. And you can't forget about the nightlife, food, and scuba diving and snorkeling.

Ios and Hvar: 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
  • Good scuba and snorkeling destination
  • Popular beach
  • Good for hiking
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
  • Impressive beauty


Is there more to do in Ios or Hvar?

Both Hvar and Ios have plenty of things to do for visitors. Both offer a variety of sights, activities, and attractions for tourists. Hvar is more touristy than Ios and is known for its wild parties, beautiful buildings, and world class cuisine. Ios is well known for its party hard atmosphere that attracts a younger and rowdier crowd.

How is Ios different from Hvar?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

Let's take a look at the differences and similarities between Hvar 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 Hvar?

Ios
Hvar

Plenty of people visit the notable sights and museums in both Ios and Hvar.

Ios offers a variety of museums and landmarks to choose from. 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.

If you're looking for an educational opportunity, there are a decent number of museums and historical sights around Hvar. Wandering around the old town you'll see many historic buildings such as the Cathedral of St. Stephen. You can also visit the nearby Hvar Fort or explore the Franciscan Monastery.


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

Ios
Hvar

Both Ios and Hvar offer excellent local cuisine and restaurants.

Eating is part of the travel experience when you visit Ios. 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.

Hvar has a number of nationally recognized food spots and restaurants. It's an island, so you'll find no shortage of seafood in the restaurants. There's fish, crab, lobster, squid, and octopus on the menus around town. Many dishes are prepared with risotto or pasta and you'll find a lot of olive oil and wine.

Is Ios or Hvar Better for Nightlife?

Ios
Hvar

Evening events are terrific in both Ios and Hvar.

Ios is a party destination, and you'll find plenty of activity all night long. 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.

People head to Hvar just to party. The island has a reputation as a party island, and it's well earned. Most of the activity is found in Hvar Town, particularly between the months of June and September. Young people flock to the island for the all night parties and wild beach bars and clubs.

Is Ios or Hvar Better for Resorts?

Ios
Hvar

Ios is notable for its resorts. However, Hvar is not a resort destination.

In Ios, you'll find some of the region's top resorts. 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.

Hvar is not a resort destination.


Is Ios or Hvar Better for Scuba Diving and Snorkeling?

Ios
Hvar

There's notable scuba diving or snorkeling available in both Ios and Hvar.

Ios has a few good snorkeling spots. There are some nice snorkeling and diving areas around the island as well as vendors who organize snorkeling and dive trips.

It's worth going snorkeling or scuba diving in Hvar. The water is clear and there are snorkeling day trips that leave from town. This is a great way to get out on the water and glimpse the undersea world.

Is Ios or Hvar Better for Beaches?

Ios
Hvar

Ios is renowned for the beache. Also, Hvar is not as famous, but is still a good island to visit for the beach.

Ios is considered to be a world-class beach destination. 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.

Many people visit Hvar for it's beautiful beaches. The island has hilly bays and coves that are fun to explore. The best beaches are found to the south and southwest of the island and many are pebbly or gravelly.

Is Ios or Hvar Better for Hiking?

Ios
Hvar

If you're looking to go hiking, Ios and Hvar both have notable trails.

Ios is a good destination for hiking. 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.

Many people include a hike when visiting Hvar. There are a number of hikes on the island that cater to every skill level and take you through natural areas or past historic sights.


Is the Shopping Better in Ios or Hvar?

Ios
Hvar

Both Ios and Hvar are notable 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.

Hvar has a variety of shopping areas worth visiting. In the town you'll find galleries, boutiques, jewelry shops and other beach stores. It's fun to pop in and look at the different items.

Is Ios or Hvar Better for Families?

Ios
Hvar

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

Hvar is a very kid-friendly island. There are adventure parks, water parks, and other fun activities for kids. There are also beaches where everyone can swim and sea kayaking trips. Hvar Observatory is also a unique and fun place to visit as a family.

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 Hvar Better for Couples?

Ios
Hvar

With fun activities for couples, both Ios and Hvar make for a excellent place to visit.

Ios is a very popular place to visit for couples. 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.

Hvar makes for a fun place to visit for a couple. There are some romantic hotels and beautiful beaches that make this a wonderful destination for couples. Anyone who enjoys a coastal setting with clear waters and a variety of water sports will enjoy their time here.


Is Ios or Hvar Better for Backpackers and Budget Travelers?

Ios
Hvar

Both Ios and Hvar are terrific destinations for backpackers.

Backpackers and budget travelers come from all over the world to visit Ios. 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.

A large number of backpackers visit Hvar, as it is a very popular island for budget travelers. The island has long been a popular stop with backpackers who enjoy the affordable prices, abundance of hostels, and active nightlife scene. You'll have no trouble meeting other travelers, particularly during the peak summer months.

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

Ios
Hvar

Ios is notable for its public transit. Also, Hvar is not as famous, but is still a good island to visit for times when you don't have a car.

Public transit in Ios can get you to some places easily. 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.

Hvar has some public transit options. Buses are operated by Cazmatrans Hva and they travel between the major municipalities.

Is Ios or Hvar a more walkable city?

Ios
Hvar

Ios and Hvar both are notable when exploring on foot.

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

Hvar is a somewhat walkable island. Hvar Town can be explored on foot, but you'll need a vehicle to explore other parts of the island.


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

Should I spend more time in Hvar or Ios?

How long in Ios or Hvar?

It's fun to spend time in either Ios or Hvar. Generally, people tend to spend more time in Hvar due to the larger number of activities and things to do. Usually, 1-3 days is a good amount of time for Ios, and 2-4 days is enough time in Hvar.

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

Couples should spend more time in Ios than Hvar. 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 Hvar 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 Hvar? Ideal Length of Stay
    Ios 1-3 
    Hvar 2-4

One day in Ios or Hvar?

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 museums and nightlife around the party-oriented destination of Hvar, there's plenty to do. Many visitors spend time at the beach while visiting the area. One of the main draws to the area is the nightlife. One day is usually not enough time for a trip here as there is plenty to do. The length of your trip often depends on your style of travel.

A weekend in Ios or Hvar?

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 Hvar for a weekend. With nightlife and food around the energetic island of Hvar, there's plenty to do. One of the main draws to the area is the nightlife. People usually spend lots of time at the beach. Because of this, a weekend is usually enough time for a trip here.

Five days in Ios or Hvar?

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 Hvar offers food and scuba diving and snorkeling. It's also a great beach destination, too. It offers something for everyone. One of the main draws to the area is the nightlife. 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 Hvar?

The party-oriented 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.

Hvar, a popular island, is full of activities for travelers. It's a great spot for a beach vacation. 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 One Week (7-Day) Tours in Croatia, and The Best 2-Week Tours in Croatia.


Which place is cheaper, Hvar 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 Hvar is €101. 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 Hvar in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Ios 39
    Hvar 37
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Ios 78
    Hvar 74
Compare Hotels in Ios and Hvar

Looking for a hotel in Ios or Hvar? 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 Hvar


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 Hvar Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Ios 16
    Hvar 47

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

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Hvar

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Hvar:

  • Speedboat Transfer from Hvar Town to Split Airport: $544

Is it cheaper to fly into Ios or Hvar?

Prices for flights to both Hvar 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
    Hvar 38

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Hvar

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

  • Hvar Charming Abandoned Village Small Group Tour and Local Dinner: $182
  • Hvar Hidden Gems Tour with Lunch or Dinner: $190
  • Hvar Abandoned Village Tour with Local Dinner: $217
  • Food Tour: Traditional Flavours and Food Sampling on Hvar: $266
  • Hvar Small Group Wine Tour and Authentic Dalmatian Dinner: $276
  • The Best of Hvar in a Day with Wine tasting and Local Dinner: $277

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Ios 26
    Hvar 7.41

Tours and Activities in Ios

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

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

Tours and Activities in Hvar

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

  • Private Multi-Activity Experience in Adventure Park Hvar Jelsa: $25
  • Walking tour of Hvar with your local guide: $43
  • Pakleni Islands Self-Guided Kayaking Tour: $49
  • Hvar Island Self-Guided E-Bike Tour: $66
  • Half-day kayak tour from Hvar town: $66
  • Romantic Sunset Sailing Experience On A Comfort Yacht: $71
  • Experience Romantic Sunset Sailing on a modern 36ft (11m) sail yacht | Hvar: $72
  • Private Hvar Island E-Bike Tour: $72
  • Blue cave group tour with swimming and snorkelling from Hvar: $77
  • Boat Tour at Delfina Hvar: $77
  • Sunset tour with a SpeedBoat: $80
  • Paklinski Islands: Hvar Half-Day Afternoon Sailing Tour: $87

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Ios 33
    Hvar 9.10

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

Sample the Local Flavors in Hvar

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

  • Epic Off Road Hvar Island Adventure Plus Wine Tasting & Snacks: $95
  • Private Hvar Island Bike Tour and Wine Tasting: $104
  • Thrilling Hvar Island Off-Road Sunset Ride and Wine Tasting: $106
  • Hvar Wine Tasting Experience: $120
  • Hvar Wine tasting small group experience: $133
  • Private Hvar Wine Tasting Tour : $144
  • Wine Tasting Tour: $159


When comparing the travel costs between Ios and Hvar, we can see that Hvar 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 Ios Expensive? and Is Hvar Expensive?.


Which is Bigger, Ios or Hvar?

Hvar has a larger population, and is about 2 times larger than the population of Ios. When comparing the sizes of Ios and Hvar, 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.