A Travel Price Comparison for Greece Kos vs. Hydra for Attractions, Food, Scuba Diving & Snorkeling, and Beaches

Should you visit Kos or Hydra?

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 Hydra 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 is a party-hard, vibrant, and beautiful island. The famous beauty of this place is one of the main draws. It's also known for food, scuba diving and snorkeling, and beaches.


Hydra is a accessible, quaint, and picturesque island. It offers plenty of small town charm along with sights and activities, too. This is also a very beautiful destination which attracts plenty of visitors. Other reasons to visit include hiking, shopping, and museums.

Kos and Hydra: Pros and Cons

  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Popular for food and cuisine
  • 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
  • Impressive beauty
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Scenic old town
  • Good for hiking
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Small town charm
  • Impressive beauty
Things to Consider
  • Less popular for food
  • Less popular for nightlife
  • Not as popular for scuba diving and snorkeling
  • Less attractive beach
  • Less popular with backpackers
  • Public transit not as usable

Is there more to do in Kos or Hydra?

Tourists will generally find more to do in Kos. Although Kos and Hydra are both popular with visitors, Kos has more sights, activities, and attractions for travelers. Kos is more popular for its museums, food, nightlife, scuba diving & snorkeling, beaches, and impressive beauty, while Hydra is known for its historical sights, hiking, shopping, and small town charm. Hydra is more touristy than Kos and is popular for its picturesque setting, car-free setting, and beautiful old town. Kos is popular for its sandy beaches and crystal clear blue water. It is also home to Asklepieion Archeological Site.

How is Kos different from Hydra?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

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


Kos is a world-class destination for its museums and landmarks. Also, Hydra is still popular, but not quite as popular for its historical sights.

Visitors will find world class museums and historical sights in Kos that are not to be missed. 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!

Many visitors head to Hydra specifically to visit some of its top-rated museums and other sights. For such a small island, there are many local museums and sights. Highlights include the Historical Archives Museum, the Ecclesiastical Museum, the Monastery of Agia Efpraxia, and the Monastery of Prophet Elias.

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


Kos is a world-class destination for its restaurant scene. Also, Hydra 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.

Hydra has a delicious restaurant scene that relies on local flavors. For such a small island, it really packs in some great restaurants. Head down the side streets to find the best souvlaki. There are also tavernas where you can sample local wine. Fresh caught seafood is a favorite on the island as well.

Is Kos or Hydra Better for Nightlife?


Kos is a great destination for nightlife. However, Hydra is a island with minimal options for nightlife and partying.

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.

Hydra doesn't have the most active nightlife scene. It's a small island that is often visited as a day trip, so don't expect a huge party scene. There are about seven places in total that make up the island's nightlife scene. Each is centered around the harbor and many people start their evening at one bar and slowly hop around. They usually have DJs and full bars.

Is Kos or Hydra Better for Resorts?


If luxury resorts are your style, both Kos and Hydra have good options.

Kos has a handful of resorts to choose from. 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.

With a selection of resorts, Hydra makes a nice vacation spot. It's a popular day trip destination, but if you stay for a night or two, you'll find boutique hotels and charming pensions.

Is Kos or Hydra Better for Scuba Diving and Snorkeling?


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

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.

It's worth going snorkeling or scuba diving in Hydra. There are some snorkeling spots around the island - most notably Bisti Beach, which is pebbly and has some interesting sea life.

Is Kos or Hydra Better for Beaches?


Kos is a world-class destination for its beaches. Also, Hydra is still popular, but not quite as popular for the beache.

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

Many people head to Hydra to enjoy the beach. The beaches are usually pebbly with nice blue water. Many people visit the beaches as part of a boat tour, which leaves from the port and tours the island. Some of the most popular beaches are Vlichos, Kaminia, Bisti and Agios Nikolaos.

Is Kos or Hydra Better for its Old Town?


Hydra is an excellent place to visit for its historic old town. However, Kos does not have a historic old town.

Hydra is an extremely popular place to visit the historic old town area. With no cars and plenty of charm, the island's old town feels as if you've stepped back in time. Donkey pulled carts and quaint streets give this town its atmosphere.

Kos does not have a historic old town.

Is Kos or Hydra Better for Hiking?


Hydra is an excellent place to visit for its hiking trails. Also, Kos is not quite as popular, but is fairly good for its hiking experiences.

Many visitors explore the nearby hiking trails while visiting Hydra. The island is filled with walking paths and donkey trails that are fun to explore. Some walk along the sea and offer spectacular views while others take you inland through the hills.

Kos offers some nice hiking trails. This is a great walking island with a number of easy walks or hikes that take you along the coastline or through interesting landscapes.

Is the Shopping Better in Kos or Hydra?


Hydra is an excellent place to visit for shopping. Also, Kos is not quite as popular, but is fairly good for its shopping opportunities.

Shopping is a popular activity when visiting Hydra. Charming shops fill the town and sell local items such as handmade jewelry and traditional embroideries.

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.

Is Kos or Hydra Better for Families?


Hydra is an excellent place to visit for its kid-friendly activities. Also, Kos is not quite as popular, but is fairly good for its family-friendly activities.

Hydra is a very family-friendly destination. The island feels like it's frozen in time. There are no cars allowed here, so kids can run freely without the worry of traffic. They'll be as fascinated as you are by the carts pulled by donkeys. Most things you'll visit are also close together, making accessibility easy. In addition to some interesting museums, there are beaches and kid-friendly food. The whole island really is a playground.

You'll find plenty of kid-friendly things to do in Kos. 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.

Is Kos or Hydra Better for Couples?


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

Hydra is a great island for couples, as it has plenty to offer. This beautiful island makes a great honeymoon or couple's destination. Most visitors come as a day trip, but spending a night or two on the island is a unique experience. It has a laid back vibe and is filled with romance. The food is amazing, and the traditional atmosphere will make you feel as if you've traveled back in time.

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 Hydra Better for Backpackers and Budget Travelers?


Kos is a great destination for backpackers. However, Hydra is a island with minimal options for backpackers and budget travelers.

Backpackers come from all over to visit Kos. 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.

Hydra is a challenging destination for budget travelers and backpackers due to the higher prices. Most people visit the island as a day trip and it doesn't attract nearly as many backpackers as the larger Greek islands. If you visit during the lower season, you might find some affordable accommodation.

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


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

Many visitors rely on the effecient and affordable public transportation in Kos. Buses connect many of the tourist destinations including beaches, cultural sights, are resort areas.

Public transit is mostly limited in Hydra. There are sea taxis and beach boats on the island.

Is Kos or Hydra a more walkable city?


Hydra is very popular for its walkability. Also, Kos is not quite as popular, but is fairly good for its high level of walkability.

It's very easy to get around on foot in Hydra. The entire island is car-free and everything that you want to visit is close together and easy to explore on foot.

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.

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

Should I spend more time in Hydra or Kos?

How long in Kos or Hydra?

You'll be able to find lots of things to do in Kos or Hydra to fill your time. Many travelers usually spend more of their time in Kos than Hydra because of the number of activities and things to do in the area. Usually, 2-5 days is a good amount of time for Kos, and 1-2 days is enough time in Hydra.

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

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

Backpackers and budget travelers should spend more time in Kos than Hydra 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 Hydra? Ideal Length of Stay
    Kos 2-5 
    Hydra 1-2

One day in Kos or Hydra?

In Kos, many people enjoy the food and scuba diving and snorkeling that this vibrant destination offers. It's also a great beach destination, too. This island offers a variety of activities to choose from. Since there is so much to do in the area, one day is probably not enough for all of it.

Hydra is a small town with plenty to do. Exploring the old town is a popular activity. 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 Kos or Hydra?

It's hard to know how much time to spend in Kos. For many, it makes a great getaway for a weekend. It's a great spot for a beach vacation. This would be the perfect place to spend a weekend, as it has just the right amount of activities. The length of your ideal trip is an individual decision.

Many people visit Hydra for a weekend. Hydra might be a small town, but there's plenty to do in the area. Make sure you spend some time hiking while you're in the area. Because of this, a weekend is usually enough time for a trip here.

Five days in Kos or Hydra?

Kos is a fun place to experience. In Kos, many people enjoy the shopping and museums that this destination offers. You'll find plenty of activities on the beach. This would be the perfect place to spend five days, as it has just the right amount of activities.

Because Hydra is a small town, it's easy to explore in a short amount of time. Most visitors spend time around the old town while in the area. 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 Kos or Hydra?

You'll find museums and nightlife around the party-hard destination of Kos. Most people come for the beaches. Take your pick from the many activities offered here. One week is plenty of time to see everything, even with extra days to spare.

Hydra, a popular island, 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 2-Week Tours from Athens, The Best Family-Friendly Tours to Greece, The Best Hiking & Trekking Tours in Greece, and The Best Historical Tours in Greece.

Which place is cheaper, Hydra 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 Hydra is €97. 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 Hydra in more detail.

  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Kos 62
    Hydra 51
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Kos 124
    Hydra 102
Compare Hotels in Kos and Hydra

Looking for a hotel in Kos or Hydra? 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 Hydra

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.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Kos 37
    Hydra 26

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Kos

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

  • Arrival transfer from Kos Airport : $67
  • Artemis Hamam and Spa with Hotel Transfers Kos Island: $59
  • Departure transfer to Kos Airport : $67
  • From Kalymnos Self-Guided Day Trip with Hotel Transfer: $59
  • Kalymnos, Pserimos & Plati Island Cruise with Hotel Transfer: $59
  • Kos - Airport Private Transfer: $54
  • Kos Airport to Kos Hotels Private One–Way Transfer: $64
  • Kos Hotels to Kos Airport Private One–Way Transfer: $59
  • Kos Private Transfer Services: $59
  • Kos Town: Kalymnos & Pserimos Day Cruise & Optional Transfer: $30
  • Kos transfer services, Kos - Airport - Kos: $106
  • Paradise Beach Return Transfer: $25

Is it cheaper to fly into Kos or Hydra?

Prices for flights to both Hydra 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 Meals for one day
    Kos 43
    Hydra 30

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
  • Kefalos Sunset Cruise from Kos with Dinner: $61
  • Sunset Cruise with Swimming and BBQ Dinner: $62
  • Tavern Dinner Experience with Greek Dancing and Wine: $65
  • Kos Cooking Classes by Mama Contessa: $85
  • Private Greek Cooking Class in Kos with Lunch: $90
  • Sunset Safari Tour with Dinner: $95
  • Private Cooking Class in Kos, Local Recipes: $97
  • Half Day Wine Tasting with Dinner in Kos: $116

  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Kos 33
    Hydra 11

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: $3.20
  • Kos Scavenger Hunt and Best Landmarks Self-Guided Tour: $6.52
  • Self-Guided Highlights Scavenger Hunt and Walking Tour: $7.99
  • Escape Game and Tour: $7.99
  • Kos Town: Glass-Bottom Boat Cruise with Swimming Stops: $21
  • From Zia Sunset Tour: $27
  • Dory's Glass Bottom Boat Adventure in Pserimos and Pserimos Beach: $29
  • Kos Island: 3-Island Wooden Ship Cruise w/ Lunch: $32
  • From the Port of Full Day Boat Cruise to 3 Islands: $32
  • 3-Island Cruise with Greek BBQ Lunch and Swimming: $32
  • From Kalymnos, Pserimos and Plati Day Cruise: $32
  • Full Day Boat Cruise to 3 Islands with optional pickup: $33

  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Kos 19
    Hydra 11

Sample the Local Flavors in Kos

Some specific costs for nightlife related activities in Kos:

  • Wineries Tour w/ Wine Tastings, Lunch & Transportation: $59
  • From Tour of 2 Wineries with Wine Tasting & Small Bites: $63
  • Kos Island: Wine Tasting & Zia Village Visit for Sunset: $149

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

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

Which is Bigger, Kos or Hydra?

Kos has a larger population, and is about 8 times larger than the population of Hydra. When comparing the sizes of Kos and Hydra, 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.