A Travel Price Comparison for Greece Kos vs. Athens for Attractions, Food, Nightlife, and Backpackers

Should you visit Kos or Athens?

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 Athens 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 cultural, party-hard, and vibrant island. Many visitors also come because of it's amazing beauty. It's also popular because of the scuba diving and snorkeling, beaches, and hiking.

Athens

Athens is a ancient, vibrant, and energetic city. It's a large city with plenty of activites for visitors as well. It's a gorgeous place to visit. Other reasons to visit include food, shopping, and museums.

Kos and Athens: Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
  • Impressive beauty
Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
  • Big city activities


How is Kos different from Athens?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

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

Is Kos or Athens Better for Museums and Historical Sights?

Kos
Athens

Spend time exploring the sights and museums in either Kos or Athens.

Travelers visit Kos from around the world to see its many world-famous attractions. 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!

The museums, monuments, and landmarks in Athens are among the most recognizable in the world. 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.


Is Kos or Athens Better for Food?

Kos
Athens

Both Kos and Athens offer good local cuisine and restaurants.

Many restaurants in Kos have been singled out for their culinary prowess. 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.

Eat your way through Athens, as it has many local or world renowned restaurants to choose from. Make sure you try the souvlaki, moussaka, and dolmades at any of the many local restaurants throughout the city.

Is Kos or Athens Better for Nightlife?

Kos
Athens

Both Kos and Athens have similar vibes after the sun sets.

Kos has a lively atmosphere and nightlife is popular here. 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.

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

Is Kos or Athens Better for Shopping?

Kos
Athens

Shoppers can find a variety of stores in both Kos and Athens.

Plenty of visitors enjoy shopping while in Kos. 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.

Athens offers some nice shopping areas. Most neighborhoods have a shopping street but head to Ermou Street for some of the city's best shopping.

Is Kos or Athens Better for Families?

Kos
Athens

Both Kos and Athens are fun 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.

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


Is Kos or Athens Better for Couples?

Kos
Athens

Both Kos and Athens are good destinations for a couple's getaway.

Kos makes for a fun place to visit for a couple. 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.

Athens makes for a fun place to visit for a couple. The city is historical, fascinating, and romantic, making it a beautiful place to explore as a couple.

Is Kos or Athens Better for Backpackers and Budget Travelers?

Kos
Athens

Kos and Athens are both good destinations for backpackers.

Kos is very popular with the backpacker crowd. 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.

Backpackers and budget travelers come from all over the world to visit Athens. The city has long been established as a backpackers destination with budget friendly food and plenty of hostels around town.

Is Kos or Athens Better for Public Transit?

Kos
Athens

Visitors will find public transit in both Kos and Athens.

Visitors to Kos can move around easily with public transportation. Buses connect many of the tourist destinations including beaches, cultural sights, are resort areas.

The public transit in Athens can get you around easily. The city's metro system has 3 lines that connect to bus, tram and commuter rail lines.

Is Kos or Athens a more walkable city?

Kos
Athens

Kos and Athens are similar when it comes to walkability.

Kos is very walkable. 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.

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


Should I spend more time in Athens or Kos?

How long in Kos or Athens?

Both Kos 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 Kos.

The ideal length of time for a trip to Kos is 2-5 days, and the ideal length of time for a trip to Athens is 3-7 days.


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

One day in Kos or Athens?

Many travelers enjoy the scuba diving and snorkeling and shopping when visiting the destination of Kos. It's a great spot for a beach vacation. But since there are so many activities, you'll likely want to spend more than one day exploring.

When visiting Athens, people usually allow for lots of time. 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 Athens?

Kos 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.

Many people visit Athens for a weekend. When visiting Athens, people usually allow for lots of time. 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 Athens?

It's hard to know how much time to spend in Kos. For many, it makes a great getaway for five days. Most people come for the beaches. With all of its activities, you can easily fill five days here. It has many unique tourist attractions and fascinating things to do.

When visiting Athens, people usually allow for lots of time. Many people spend five days here. It offers something for everyone. Because of this, five days is usually enough time for a trip here.

A week in Kos or Athens?

Travelers enjoy the nightlife and food when visiting the vibrant destination of Kos. This island offers a variety of activities to choose from. Many visitors spend time at the beach while visiting the area. Most people find that one week is more than enough time to see everything.

Athens, a popular city, is full of activities for travelers. This is a popular place to visit for one week. Your budget might influence how long you stay. One week is usually enough time to experience most activities.

Which city is cheaper, Athens or Kos?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Kos is €107, while the average daily cost in Athens is €103. 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 Kos and Athens in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Kos 49
    Athens 51
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Kos 98
    Athens 102
Compare Hotels in Kos and Athens

Looking for a hotel in Kos 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 Kos


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: Kos Hotel Prices and Athens Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Kos 29
    Athens 22

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Kos

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

  • Private departure Transfer from Kos island resorts to Kos airport: $96
  • Private Transfer to/from Kos Airport (KGS): $71
  • Kos - Airport Private Transfer: $62
  • Private Airport Transfer: from Kos Island to Kos Airport (KGS): $41

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:

  • iMove Transfers Services Athens: $75
  • VIP VAN Piraeus Port Transfer 1 - 8 persons or Alimos Kalamaki Marina to Athens: $61
  • VIP VAN Athens Airport Transfer 1 - 4 persons: $101
  • VIP VAN Airport Transfer 5 - 8 persons: $105
  • VIP Ferry Ticket from Piraeus Port To Mykonos & Private Transfer included: $167
  • VIP Ferry Ticket From Piraeus Port To Santorini & Private Transfer Included: $174
  • VAN Piraeus Port Transfer 1 - 8 persons or Alimos Kalamaki Marina to Athens: $39
  • Ultra - Private Transfer from Athens City Centre to Piraeus Cruise Port: $9.41
  • Ultra - Athens Private Airport Transfer from City Centre to Athens Airport ATH: $9.41
  • Transfers around Athens and city tours: $373
  • Transfers and Guided Tours in all over Greece, sightseeing and Private hire!!: $106
  • Transfer to Loutraki/Corinth from Athens: $166

Is it cheaper to fly into Kos or Athens?

Prices for flights to both Athens 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 35
    Athens 30

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:

  • Online 1hr Cooking Class: Santorini Tomato Fritters: $6.22
  • Greek Meatballs Private Online Cooking Class: $27
  • Withlocals the 10 Tastings: Athens Private Food Tour with a Local: $42
  • Online Cooking Class: Greek mini cheese pies: $45
  • Street Culture & Food Tour: $56
  • Afternoon Food Tour: $56
  • Athens walking and tasting food tour.: $60
  • 4-Hour Cooking Class with Market Visit: $69
  • Homemade Gyros cooking class and dinner in Athens for private groups: $75
  • The Classic Food Tour: $76
  • Taste of Half-Day Small Group Food Tour: $77
  • Greek Phyllo and Pie Cooking Class in Athens: $77

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Kos 26
    Athens 28

Tours and Activities in Kos

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

  • Kalymnos and Pserimos Day Cruise: $55
  • Photo tour island of Kos: $684

Tours and Activities in Athens

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

  • "A Must-See" Anc. Epidaurus, Mycenae & Nafplion Premium Full Day Tour By Locals: $411
  • "Athens city tour": $270
  • "Private tour in Athens": $243
  • ''Tour in Athens'': $118
  • 1 Day Private Tour Corinth, Cave of Lakes at Kalavrita & Journey by Cog Railway: $264
  • 1 Day Private tour to Meteora, visit the Monasteries are lying on the cliffs.: $317
  • 1 Day Saronic Islands Cruise: $168
  • 10 Day Greek Island Tour: Mykonos, Santorini-Volcano, Crete, Delos, Knossos,: $2,457
  • 10 Day Ultimate Ancient Greece Tours Experience: $2,411
  • 10 Day to Explore the Best Historical Gems in Greece and tour in Santorini: $1,798
  • 10 Days Private Tour: North Greece: $2,706
  • 10 Days Private Tour: Peloponnese: $2,706

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Kos 16
    Athens 18

Sample the Local Flavors in Athens

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

  • Athens Walking Tour with Food and Wine Tasting: $37
  • Virtual Greek Wine Tasting: $87
  • Athens Food and Wine Tasting Tour: $96
  • Wine tasting tour: $131
  • Wine Tasting and Athens Trikke Combo Tour: $133
  • The Best Winery & Tasting Tour in Nemea.Enjoy a unique all day wine tasting tour: $140
  • Private Wine Tasting Experience of Greek Awarded Wines in Athens: $148
  • Premium Wine Tour in Peloponnese -Ancient Corinthos, Nemea - the Land of Myth: $148
  • Athens Private Wine Tasting Tour - Dionysian Grapes: $149
  • Ancient Corinth & Nemea Wine Tasting (up to 15 in a Luxurious Mercedes Minibus): $151
  • Greek Private Wine Tasting: $166
  • Mercedes Private Full-Day Tour, Nafplio, Corinth Canal and Wine Tasting: $168


When comparing the travel costs between Kos and Athens, we can see that Kos 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.

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Kos vs. Athens Travel Comparison

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