A Travel Price Comparison for Families, Couples, and Backpackers Kos vs. Albufeira for Food, Nightlife, Resorts, and Scuba Diving & Snorkeling

Should you visit Kos or Albufeira?

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

Trying to figure out where to travel next? This travel comparison between Kos and Albufeira can help. It includes a travel cost comparison in addition to other factors. For many travelers, the cost of a destination is a primary consideration when choosing where to go.

Kos

Kos is a party-hard, vibrant, and beautiful island. The famous beauty of this place is one of the main draws. And you can't forget about the food, scuba diving and snorkeling, and beaches.

Albufeira

Albufeira is a touristy, popular, and activity-filled resort town. Since it's a large city, you'll find plenty of things to do. This is also a very beautiful destination which attracts plenty of visitors. Other reasons to visit include nightlife, food, and scuba diving and snorkeling.

Kos and Albufeira: Pros and Cons

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
  • Good public transit
  • Very walkable
  • Impressive beauty
Things to Consider
  • Not as many resort options
Pros
  • Active nightlife
  • Nice resorts
  • 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
Things to Consider
  • Public transit not as usable
  • Less walkable


Is there more to do in Kos or Albufeira?

Travelers will usually find more to do in Albufeira. Although Kos and Albufeira are popular destinations, Albufeira has more sights and attractions for tourists. Albufeira is very popular for its nightlife, resorts, and big city activities, while Kos attracts visitors for its museums, food, scuba diving & snorkeling, shopping, and impressive beauty. Albufeira is more touristy than Kos and is popular for its golden beaches and limestone cliffs. It is also well known for Praia da Falesia. Kos is famous for its sandy beaches and crystal clear blue water.

How is Kos different from Albufeira?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

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

Are the Museums and Historical Sights Better in Kos or Albufeira?

Kos
Albufeira

Kos is a world-class destination for its museums and landmarks. However, Albufeira does not have museums and landmarks.

The museums, monuments, and landmarks in Kos are among the most recognizable in the world. The small island is packed with archaeological sites and interesting history. Famous places worth visiting include the ruins of Asklepion, the ancient Agora, Roman Odeon, Neratzia Castle, and so many more!

Albufeira does not have museums and landmarks.


Is the Food Better in Kos or Albufeira? Which Destination has the Best Restaurants?

Kos
Albufeira

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

For foodies, Kos is an obvious choice, as it is one of the food capitals of the world. The cuisine relies heavily on locally harvested ingredients with many dishes featuring cheese, seafood, vegetables, olive oil, and potatoes. The dishes are influenced by Italian and Turkish cuisines and common dishes include moussaka, souvlaki and tzatziki. Popular seafood options are prawns, squid, lobster and octopus. A great way to enjoy a sampling of local dishes is to visit an ouzeri, which is a Greek taverna that serves mezza style meals with small dishes that you can share.

Albufeira has a number of nationally recognized food spots and restaurants. As the largest resort town in the Algarve, the city also has the widest selection of restaurants. There are traditional options that serve up classic dishes like grilled sardines, as well as international restaurants with traveler favorites. As expected, you'll find a lot of seafood, but you'll also find inland influences from local farms in the area.

Is Kos or Albufeira Better for Nightlife?

Kos
Albufeira

Albufeira is very popular for nightlife. Also, Kos is not quite as popular, but is fairly good for nightlife and partying.

Albufeira is a party destination, and you'll find plenty of activity all night long. It's probably the most infamous party destination in the Algarve and it won't disappoint. During the peak summer months you'll find the streets around the popular "Strip" filled with tourists and party-goers. There are hen and stag parties, backpackers, and drunken travelers out for a good time. The Strip has become so popular that there are now bars and clubs on the adjacent streets as well. If you're not staying in the area, you'll likely want to take a taxi, as it's a couple kilometers outside of the town center.

The people in Kos know how to have a good time. For such a small island you'll find a huge party scene during the peak summer months. There are almost nightly parties, beach raves, and late night clubs throughout the summer months. The bars and clubs are mostly concentrated around a couple of streets in the center of Kos Town, but Kardamena is also a lively party area. It's popular with British tourists who head here for the all-night clubs.

Is Kos or Albufeira Better for Resorts?

Kos
Albufeira

Albufeira is very popular for its luxury resorts. Also, Kos is not quite as popular, but is fairly good for its resorts.

Albufeira is a world class resort vacation destination. As the largest resort town in the Algarve, you'll find a wide selection of hotels to choose from. Party-goers will want to stay near the Strip while families will prefer the old town or resorts in Olhos de Agua.

With a selection of resorts, Kos makes a nice vacation spot. It's a smaller island and there aren't as many resorts here as there are on some of the larger Greek islands. Some of the best resort areas include Lamp and Psalidi to the northwest, Tigaki on the west coast (a good option for families), as well as Mastihari and Marmari which both have relaxed atmospheres. The younger crowd often hangs out around Kardemena on the east coast.


Is Kos or Albufeira Better for Scuba Diving and Snorkeling?

Kos
Albufeira

Kos is a world-class destination for its diving and snorkeling. Also, Albufeira is still popular, but not quite as popular for snorkeling and scuba diving.

The clear water and abundant marine life make Kos a world-class scuba diving and snorkeling destination. There are countless snorkeling sports around the island where you can immerse yourself in the undersea world. Popular snorkeling areas include Camel Beach and Limnionas Beach. Make sure you understand the water conditions before heading into the water.

There is a nice variety of marine life that makes scuba diving and snorkeling great in Albufeira. There are countless vendors who will take you by boat to explore the underwater world, either by snorkeling or scuba diving. The marine life is impressive and the water is generally clear.

Is Kos or Albufeira Better for Beaches?

Kos
Albufeira

Both Kos and Albufeira are considered to be terrific beach destinations.

Kos is considered to be a world-class beach destination. The island is famous for its beautiful beaches, many of which are sandy with various shades of color. There are touristy beaches with plenty of amenities as well as less frequented beaches that offer a quieter and more remote atmosphere. Some of the most visited beaches on the island include Agios Stefanos, Kardamena, Kefalos and Lambi while some of the more peaceful areas are Cavo Paradiso and Helona Beach.

Albufeira offers stunning beaches that attract visitors from around the world. With their golden sands and blue waters, the beaches are world class. The area also has a diversity of beaches that are perfect for all types of vacationers. For water sports, head to Praia dos Alemaes but for relaxation and catching some rays check out Praia da Falesia. You'll find some interesting rock formations at Praia dos Olhos de Agua. One of the most convenient beaches to town is Praia dos Pescadores. For nightlife you'll want to head to Praia da Oura.

Is Kos or Albufeira Better for Hiking?

Kos
Albufeira

Both Kos and Albufeira are destinations which offer nice hiking.

Plenty of visitors go hiking around Kos. This is a great walking island with a number of easy walks or hikes that take you along the coastline or through interesting landscapes.

Albufeira offers some nice hiking trails. There are countless coastal walks that are perfect for all skill levels. Many offers stunning views along the rocky coast and pass through natural settings. Popular trails in the area include Praia Grande Interpretation Trail and Paderne Castle Trail.


Is the Shopping Better in Kos or Albufeira?

Kos
Albufeira

Kos is a popular place for its shopping opportunities. However, Albufeira is a resort town with minimal options for its shopping areas.

Kos offers some nice shopping areas. There are a number of traditional items that you can pick up while you're in town. Fun souvenirs include jewelry, leather items, and perfumes.

Albufeira has some good spots for those that want to go shopping. You'll find most of the shops are geared toward souvenirs or beach items, particularly near the beach and marina. If you look hard you might find some nice ceramics or items made of cork.

Is Kos or Albufeira Better for Families?

Kos
Albufeira

Both Kos and Albufeira are nice to visit with kids.

Kos is a family-friendly island. It's comparable to other Greek islands when it comes to kids' activities. Kos Town can get a bit lively at night so if you want to avoid the party crowds, then those areas are easily avoided. Popular activities include exploring ancient ruins, going to the Kos Archaeological Museum, visiting The Castle of the Knights, and of course, hanging out at the beach. One of the best family-friendly resort areas is Tigaki along the west coast.

You'll find plenty of kid-friendly things to do in Albufeira. Despite it's reputation as a party-hard city, there are actually a lot of family-friendly activities in the area. Because it's the largest resort town in the Algarve, it also has the most activities to choose from, including theme parks, water parks, dolphin watching, ropes courses, go karting, and more. The best area's for families are in the old town or the most of the family-friendly resorts outside of town. Families should avoid staying near "the Strip."

Is Kos or Albufeira Better for Couples?

Kos
Albufeira

Albufeira is very popular for romance. Also, Kos is not quite as popular, but is fairly good for its romantic activities.

Albufeira is a great resort town for couples, as it has plenty to offer. For an active honeymoon or couple's retreat, this resort town has it all. Beautiful beaches, adventure-filled activities, a wild nightlife scene, and excellent resorts and restaurants all make for a memorable couple's getaway.

Couples visit Kos frequently as it offers plenty of romantic activities. This small island offers beautiful beaches and plenty of ancient ruins to explore. Kos Town is where you'll find the liveliest atmosphere but for some of the best resorts you'll want to stay in one of the resort suburbs like Lampi or Psalidi.


Is Kos or Albufeira Better for Backpackers and Budget Travelers?

Kos
Albufeira

Albufeira is very popular for backpackers and budget travelers. Also, Kos is not quite as popular, but is fairly good for backpackers.

Many backpackers frequent Albufeira. If you're looking for a party, then you found it. The area is a top pick for European holidays, so you'll find plenty of energy and activities around town. There are also golden beaches and a decent selection of hostels to choose from.

Kos is a great island to visit for backpackers. It's a small island but has a few hostels and a variety of apartments available for rent. Despite its small size, there are areas where you'll want to have a car if you wish to explore, but if you stay in town you'll find getting around fairly easy. The island attracts its share of young travelers and you'll find plenty of people to hang out with.

Is Kos or Albufeira Better for Public Transit? Which Is Easier to Get Around Without a Car?

Kos
Albufeira

Kos is a great destination for its public transit. However, Albufeira is a resort town with minimal options for times when you don't have a car.

The public transit in Kos can get you around easily. Buses connect many of the tourist destinations including beaches, cultural sights, are resort areas.

Public transit is mostly limited in Albufeira. There are regional buses and even trains, but do take note that many of the train and bus stations are a good distance outside of town.

Is Kos or Albufeira a more walkable city?

Kos
Albufeira

Kos is a great destination for its high level of walkability. However, Albufeira is a resort town with minimal options for its ease of walking around.

Kos is a very walkable island. It's small size means it's possible to explore parts of the island on foot or bicycle. There are some beautiful walks on the island, but some areas will require a car or bus.

Albufeira is generally not a very walkable island. Most people prefer to hire a car, but if your hotel is near the beach and you're ok with walking to restaurants, then you may be able to get away without one. If you hope to travel into the countryside at all then a car is necessary.


For even more information, also check out Is Kos Worth Visiting? and Is Albufeira Worth Visiting?.

Should I spend more time in Albufeira or Kos?

How long in Kos or Albufeira?

Both Kos and Albufeira have a number of activities to choose from. With generally more activities and things to do, visitors tend to spend more time in Albufeira than in Kos. Usually, 2-5 days is a good amount of time for Kos, and 3-7 days is enough time in Albufeira.

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

Backpackers and budget travelers should spend more time in Kos than Albufeira 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 Kos.


  • How many days in Kos or Albufeira? Ideal Length of Stay
    Kos 2-5 
    Albufeira 3-7

One day in Kos or Albufeira?

You'll find nightlife and food around the island of Kos. Many visitors spend time at the beach while visiting the area. Since there is so much to do in the area, one day is probably not enough for all of it. It has many unique tourist attractions and fascinating things to do.

With food and scuba diving and snorkeling around the vibrant destination of Albufeira, there's plenty to do. It's also a relaxing resort destination. 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 Kos or Albufeira?

You'll find food and scuba diving and snorkeling around the beautiful destination of Kos. People usually spend lots of time at the beach. This is a popular place to visit for a weekend.A weekend should give you a good understanding of everything this island has to offer. This island offers a variety of activities to choose from.

Many people visit Albufeira for a weekend. With scuba diving and snorkeling and nightlife around the party hard resort town of Albufeira, there's plenty to do. People usually spend lots of time at the beach. Since there is so much to do in the area, a weekend is probably not enough for all of it.

Five days in Kos or Albufeira?

You'll find scuba diving and snorkeling and shopping around the vibrant island of Kos. The length of your ideal trip is an individual decision. If you have five days, this island makes for a great vacation. It's also a great beach destination, too. Five days should give you a good understanding of everything this island has to offer.

With nightlife and food around the destination of Albufeira, there's plenty to do. Many people spend five days here. Travelers enjoy the resorts in the area as well. It offers something for everyone. Because of this, five days is usually enough time for a trip here.


A week in Kos or Albufeira?

Kos is a popular choice for travelers. It's a great spot for a beach vacation. 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. It will give you the chance to have new experiences.

Albufeira, a popular resort town, is full of activities for travelers. This is a popular place to visit for one week. People often spend their time relaxing at one of the resorts. Your budget might influence how long you stay. One week is usually enough time to experience most activities.


Which place is cheaper, Albufeira or Kos?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Kos is €134, while the average daily cost in Albufeira is €148. 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 Kos and Albufeira in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Kos 62
    Albufeira 74
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Kos 124
    Albufeira 148
Compare Hotels in Kos and Albufeira

Looking for a hotel in Kos or Albufeira? 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 Kos


Hotels in Albufeira


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: Kos Hotel Prices and Albufeira Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Kos 37
    Albufeira 34

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Kos

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

  • Arrival Transfer From Kos Airport : $61
  • Arrival transfer from Kos Airport : $64
  • Artemis Hamam and Spa with Hotel Transfers Kos Island: $57
  • Departure transfer to Kos Airport : $64
  • Kalymnos, Pserimos & Plati Island Cruise with Hotel Transfer: $55
  • Kos - Airport Private Transfer: $55
  • Kos Airport to Kos Hotels Private One–Way Transfer: $65
  • Kos Town: Kalymnos & Pserimos Day Cruise & Optional Transfer: $30
  • Roundtrip Bus Transfer to Mount Zia for Sunset Viewing: $27
  • Lido Water Park Admission Ticket with Transfers: $24
  • Private Transfer from Kos Airport to Kos Town: $88
  • Private Transfer: Kos Island International Airport (KGS) to Kos: $81

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Albufeira

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Albufeira:

  • Transfer Vilamoura - Benamor Golf (Conceição): $80
  • Transfer Vilamoura - Balaia Golf (Albufeira): $30
  • Transfer Vilamoura - Alto Golf Pestana (Alvor): $72
  • Transfer Vilamoura - Alamos Golf (Portimão): $72
  • Transfer Vila Real de Santo Antonio - Benamor Golf (Conceição): $65
  • Transfer Vila Real de Santo Antonio - Alto Golf Pestana (Alvor): $166
  • Transfer Vila Real de Santo António - Balaia Golf (Albufeira): $141
  • Transfer Vila Real de Santo António - Alamos Golf (Portimão): $166
  • Transfer Vila Nova de Cacela - Benamor Golf (Conceição): $65
  • Transfer Vila Nova de Cacela - Balaia Golf (Albufeira): $141
  • Transfer Vila Nova de Cacela - Alto Golf Pestana (Alvor): $153
  • Transfer Vila Nova de Cacela - Alamos Golf (Portimão): $153

Is it cheaper to fly into Kos or Albufeira?

Prices for flights to both Albufeira and Kos 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
    Kos 43
    Albufeira 48

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Kos

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

  • Greek Dinner with Music, Dancing, and Unlimited Wine: $43
  • Private Greek Cooking Class in Kos with Lunch: $89
  • Kos Cooking Classes by Mama Contessa: $96
  • Sunset Safari Tour with Dinner: $96
  • Private Cooking Class in Kos, Local Recipes: $98
  • Half Day Wine Tasting with Dinner in Kos: $115

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Albufeira

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

  • A Portuguese Dinner and Cocktail Experience: $50
  • Dinner at the Vineyards in Lagoa: $61
  • Algarve Bike and Food Tour with Sea Food and Wine Tasting: $62
  • Sunset Safari with Traditional Dinner : $66
  • 6-Hour Sunset Dinner Catamaran Cruise from Albufeira: $75
  • Sunset Tour - Champagne and Traditional Dinner: $76
  • Half-Day-Orange Picking &Jam Cooking/Lunch with the Orange Farmer: $99

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Kos 33
    Albufeira 39

Tours and Activities in Kos

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

  • First Discovery Walk and Reading Walking Tour: $3.25
  • Kos Scavenger Hunt and Best Landmarks Self-Guided Tour: $6.62
  • Self-Guided Highlights Scavenger Hunt and Walking Tour: $8.12
  • Escape Game and Tour: $8.12
  • Kos Town: Glass-Bottom Boat Cruise with Swimming Stops: $22
  • Dory's Glass Bottom Boat Adventure in Pserimos and Pserimos Beach: $30
  • 3-Island Cruise with Greek BBQ Lunch and Swimming: $32
  • From Kalymnos, Pserimos and Plati Day Cruise: $32
  • Kos Island: 3-Island Wooden Ship Cruise w/ Lunch: $32
  • Full-Day Tour to Nisyros The Volcano Island: $33
  • Full Day Boat Cruise to 3 Islands with optional pickup: $33
  • The Santa Maria Full-Day Island Cruise in Aegean Sea : $34

Tours and Activities in Albufeira

Here are a few actual costs in Albufeira for available activities, ticket prices, and tours:

  • Full Day Private Tour in Silves and Coast Gems: $193
  • Safari Experience with Traditional Tapas: $77
  • 3 Hour Benagil Sunset and Coastline Boat Tour in Albufeira: $36
  • 3 Hour Cruise Experience from Vilamoura: $30
  • 4 Hour Cruise along the Algarve Coastline: $94
  • 70 Minutes Guided Old Ruins Walking Tour in Albufeira: $22
  • 70 Minutes Guided Secrets of Albufeira Walking Tour: $22
  • Adventure between friends - Private safari, from 1 to 6 PAX: $164
  • Albufeira (FULL DAY) Jeep Safari Tour : $75
  • Albufeira 1 hour Off-Road Tour Buggy Adventure Tour: $33
  • Albufeira 1 hour Off-Road Tour Quad Adventure Tour: $19
  • Albufeira 1.5-Hour Off-road Quad Tour: $44

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Kos 19
    Albufeira 26

Sample the Local Flavors in Kos

Some specific costs for nightlife related activities in Kos:

  • Wineries Tour w/ Wine Tastings, Lunch & Transportation: $60

Sample the Local Flavors in Albufeira

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

  • Sunset Wine Tasting With BBQ in Porches: $50
  • Exclusive Wine Tasting Experience in Porches (Algarve): $50
  • Porches Algarve Vineyard Tour and Wine Tasting Experience: $54
  • Wine Tasting Tour in Algarve Winery : $58
  • Half Day Safari Tour with Wine Tasting: $58
  • Winery Tour with Wine Tasting and Tapas: $64
  • Small group Wine Tasting Tour from Albufeira: $66
  • Wine Tour and Tasting - Semi-Private from Albufeira: $72
  • Albufeira Coast Tour w/ Wine tasting & Chicken lunch: $75
  • Albufeira Tour: Wine Tasting and Chicken PiriPiri lunch: $76
  • full day Wine Tour from Albufeira: $94
  • Lagos and Ponta Da Piedade Private Tour & Algarvian Wine Tasting: $108


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


Which is Bigger, Kos or Albufeira?

Kos has a larger population, and is about 21% larger than the population of Albufeira. When comparing the sizes of Kos and Albufeira, 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.