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

Should you visit Ios or San Remo?

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

Should I visit Ios or San Remo? 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 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.

San Remo

San Remo is a relaxing, beautiful, and scenic coastal city. 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 beaches.

Ios and San Remo: Pros and Cons

  • Good nightlife
  • Popular beach
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
  • Impressive beauty
  • Less family-friendly
  • Popular beach
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Impressive beauty
  • Less popular for nightlife
  • Less popular with backpackers

How is Ios different from San Remo?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

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

Is Ios or San Remo Better for Food?

San Remo

Both Ios and San Remo offer good 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.

San Remo has a number of nationally recognized food spots and restaurants. The local restaurants are charming and sell a number of local specialties. Many traditional dishes are made with rabbit or chicken. There are also vegetable pies and sardenaira, which is a type of pizza that's made with tomatoes, garlic, and anchovies. Also make sure you pick up Baci di Sanremo, which are soft chocolate biscuits that are available in local bakeries.

Is Ios or San Remo Better for Nightlife?

San Remo

With more options to choose from, you'll find a more vibrant nightlife in Ios.

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.

With a handful of venues, visitors can find a fairly lively vibe in San Remo. The city has a number of clubs and bars where you can enjoy a drink or hang out late into the evening. It's a pretty mellow nightlife scene, but there's still plenty of places to go as well as a local vibe that doesn't have the influx of tourists that you find in many of other Italian cities.

Is Ios or San Remo Better for Beaches?

San Remo

For a relaxing beach holiday, both Ios and San Remo are good choices.

Travelers come from around the world to visit the beaches in Ios. 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.

San Remo is a very popular place to visit for its beaches. The beautiful sandy beaches are nice to visit and it's possible to rent chairs and umbrellas in many places. The main beach in town is Spiaggia dei Porti. Other popular nearby beaches include Spiaggia dei tre ponti, which is a large public beach, and Cala degli Orsi, which is one of the most beautiful public beaches in the area.

Is Ios or San Remo Better for Shopping?

San Remo

Both Ios and San Remo 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.

San Remo has a variety of shopping areas worth visiting. There are local and international brands as well as a shopping mall and outlets where you can enjoy shopping.

Is Ios or San Remo Better for Families?

San Remo

There's generally more to do with your family in San Remo than Ios.

San Remo is a very kid-friendly coastal city. The area offers plenty of outdoor activities that the whole family will enjoy. There's horseback riding, hiking, rowing, snorkeling, cooking classes, farm tours and more. There are also a number of hotels in the area that have kid-friendly activities.

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 San Remo Better for Couples?

San Remo

With fun activities for couples, both Ios and San Remo make for a good 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.

San Remo makes for a fun place to visit for a couple. It's known as the city of flowers, and the many beautiful gardens make this a truly romantic place to visit. Couples will enjoy soaking up the city's history and enjoy the vibrant culture and outdoor activities that are available.

Is Ios or San Remo Better for Public Transit?

San Remo

Both Ios and San Remo offer public transit options.

Ios has some very good public transit options. 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.

San Remo has some public transit options. There are local buses around town.

Is Ios or San Remo a more walkable city?

San Remo

Ios and San Remo both are comparable when exploring on foot.

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

San Remo is a very walkable destination. The old quarter is fun to explore on foot and there are a number of walking tours through town.

Should I spend more time in San Remo or Ios?

How long in Ios or San Remo?

You'll be able to find lots of things to do in Ios or San Remo to fill your time. Many people usually spend more of their time in Ios than San Remo.

The ideal length of time for a trip to Ios is 1-3 days, and the ideal length of time for a trip to San Remo is 1-2 days.

  • How many days in Ios or San Remo? Ideal Length of Stay
    Ios 1-3 
    San Remo 1-2

One day in Ios or San Remo?

The beautiful island of Ios offers museums and nightlife. Most people come for the beaches. With all of its activities, you can easily fill one day here. It will give you the chance to have new experiences.

With food and shopping around the beautiful destination of San Remo, there's plenty to do. Many visitors spend time at the beach while visiting the area. 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 San Remo?

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

Many people visit San Remo for a weekend. With shopping and nightlife around the scenic coastal city of San Remo, there's plenty to do. 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 San Remo?

Ios is a popular choice for travelers. 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. The entire region has so many activities, and you'll want time to do everything.

The destination of San Remo offers nightlife and food. It's also a great beach destination, too. It offers something for everyone. 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 San Remo?

Ios is a great place to explore. It's also a great beach destination, too. One week is more than enough time to enjoy everything. Take some day trips to nearby places to fill the extra days. This island offers something for everyone.

San Remo, a popular coastal city, 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.

Which city is cheaper, San Remo or Ios?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Ios is €73, while the average daily cost in San Remo is €122. 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. What follows is a categorical breakdown of travel costs for Ios and San Remo in more detail.

  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Ios 31
    San Remo 64
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Ios 62
    San Remo 128
Compare Hotels in Ios and San Remo

Looking for a hotel in Ios or San Remo? 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 San Remo

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 San Remo Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Ios 13
    San Remo 37

Is it cheaper to fly into Ios or San Remo?

Prices for flights to both San Remo 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 Meals for one day
    Ios 26
    San Remo 35

  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Ios 21
    San Remo 19

Tours and Activities in Ios

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

  • From Ios to Sikinos Island & Winery Tour: $96
  • Half Day Sunset Sailboat tour (afternoon): $210
  • Ios Speed Boat Adventure: $54

Tours and Activities in San Remo

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

  • Cape Woolamai Sightseeing Cruise from San Remo: $24
  • Dolphin & Whale Cruise: $87
  • Phillip Island, George Bass Coastal Walk and Penguins Tour: $170

  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Ios 26
    San Remo 11

When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Ios and San Remo, we can see that San Remo 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 San Remo would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in San Remo than you might in Ios.

Budget Your Trip

Budget Your Trip has average travel costs for thousands of cities around the world, all provided by other travelers. You can also register to organize your spending by category and location with graphs, maps, charts, and tables.

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Ios vs. San Remo Travel Comparison

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