A Travel Price Comparison for Greece Nafplio vs. Kos for Attractions, Food, Beaches, and Nightlife

Should you visit Nafplio or Kos?

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

Should I visit Nafplio or Kos? 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.

Nafplio

Nafplio is a romantic, beautiful, and picturesque city. This is also a very beautiful destination which attracts plenty of visitors. Other reasons to visit include nightlife, food, and beaches.

Kos

Kos is a party-hard, vibrant, and beautiful island. It's considered by many to be an absolutely beautiful destination, too. It's also popular because of the beaches, hiking, and shopping.

Nafplio and Kos: Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Active nightlife
  • Scenic old town
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
  • Impressive beauty
Things to Consider
  • Less attractive beach
Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • 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


Is there more to do in Nafplio or Kos?

Visitors will usually find more to do in Kos than Nafplio, as it offers more sights, attractions, and activities. Kos is better known for its museums, food, resorts, scuba diving & snorkeling, beaches, hiking, and impressive beauty, while Nafplio is more popular for its historical sights. Nafplio is more touristy than Kos and is known for its romantic atmosphere, beautiful architecture, and impressive Venetian castles. Kos is well known for its sandy beaches and crystal clear blue water. Also, Kos is famous for Asklepieion Archeological Site.

How is Nafplio different from Kos?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

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

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

Nafplio
Kos

Kos is a must-visit destination for its museums and history. Also, Nafplio is not quite as popular, but is fairly good for its museums and landmarks.

With plenty of landmarks, attractions, and museums, Kos has many famous sights for visitors. 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 Nafplio specifically to visit some of its top-rated museums and other sights. There are a number of historic sights that are accessible from the town. One of the most iconic sights is the Palamidi Castle. You'll also find several fortresses in the area. There's also an archeological museum in town as well as the Folklore Museum.


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

Nafplio
Kos

Kos is a must-visit destination for its restaurants. Also, Nafplio is not quite as popular, but is fairly good for its restaurant scene.

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.

With its innovative style combined with traditional elements, Nafplio makes for a great culinary experience. The local restaurants serve up traditional Greek dishes that are local to the region and country. You'll find fresh seafood on most menus as well as moussaka, souvlaki, the famous Greek salad.

Is Nafplio or Kos Better for Nightlife?

Nafplio
Kos

Both Nafplio and Kos have excellent vibes after the sun sets.

Nafplio has a lively atmosphere and nightlife is popular here. You'll find a good concentration of bars and clubs along the waterfront. There are also a number of smaller bars and cafes near Syntagma Square and the nearby streets. In the later hours, many bars turn up the music and turn into dance clubs.

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 Nafplio or Kos Better for Resorts?

Nafplio
Kos

Kos is a popular place for its luxury resorts. However, Nafplio is not a resort destination.

Kos has a few great resort options. 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.

Nafplio is not a resort destination.


Is Nafplio or Kos Better for Scuba Diving and Snorkeling?

Nafplio
Kos

Kos is a must-visit destination for snorkeling and scuba diving. However, Nafplio is not a scuba or snorkeling destination.

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.

Nafplio is not a scuba or snorkeling destination.

Is Nafplio or Kos Better for Beaches?

Nafplio
Kos

Kos is a must-visit destination for the beach. Also, Nafplio is not quite as popular, but is fairly good for its beaches.

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 Nafplio to enjoy the beach. If you head outside of the city, you'll find some nice beaches where you can spend a day. The most notable beaches in the area are Tolo, Kandia, and Nea Kios.

Is Nafplio or Kos Better for its Old Town?

Nafplio
Kos

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

Nafplio is an extremely popular place to visit the historic old town area. The charming old town spreads out from Syntagma Square. It's a great place to start your day with many cafes spilling into the streets.

Kos does not have a historic old town.


Is Nafplio or Kos Better for Hiking?

Nafplio
Kos

Kos is a popular place for its hiking trails. However, Nafplio is not a hiking destination.

Kos is a good destination for hiking. This is a great walking island with a number of easy walks or hikes that take you along the coastline or through interesting landscapes.

Nafplio is not a hiking destination.

Is the Shopping Better in Nafplio or Kos?

Nafplio
Kos

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

Nafplio has a variety of shopping areas worth visiting. Shopping in the old town is charming, but for the best retail options, you'll actually want to visit the new town. There are a variety of clothing and fashion outlets, with some of the best shopping streets being Sidiras Merarchias, Argous, and Asklipiou.

Kos is a great destination for shopping. 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 Nafplio or Kos Better for Families?

Nafplio
Kos

Kids will enjoy a visit to either Nafplio or Kos.

Nafplio is a family-friendly city. The charming, car-free center is fun to explore for all ages. There are several archeological sights around town as well as playgrounds and a great castle.

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 Nafplio or Kos Better for Couples?

Nafplio
Kos

With fun activities for couples, both Nafplio and Kos make for a excellent place to visit.

Nafplio makes for a fun place to visit for a couple. Many people consider this to be one of the most romantic towns in Greece. You can explore the quaint village center and sample the cuisine at one of the many restaurants. It's easy to reach from Athens and the seaside setting is perfect any time of the year.

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 Nafplio or Kos Better for Backpackers and Budget Travelers?

Nafplio
Kos

Kos is an excellent place to visit for backpackers and budget travelers. Also, Nafplio is not quite as popular, but is fairly good for backpackers.

Plenty of budget travelers and backpackers 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.

Nafplio is popular with backpackers and budget travelers. There are pensions and other affordable accommodation options around town, if you decide to spend a night here.

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

Nafplio
Kos

Kos is an excellent place to visit for times when you don't have a car. Also, Nafplio is not quite as popular, but is fairly good for its public transit.

Kos offers a very effecient public transportation network. Buses connect many of the tourist destinations including beaches, cultural sights, are resort areas.

You'll find some public transit in Nafplio, but it may not be enough to take you everywhere. There are buses through the region that are operated by KTEL Argolidas. Most routes leave from the central bus station.


Is Nafplio or Kos a more walkable city?

Nafplio
Kos

Nafplio 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 Nafplio. There are parts of the center of town that are car-free and there are many great areas that you can explore on foot.

Kos is a very walkable city. 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 Nafplio Worth Visiting? and Is Kos Worth Visiting?.

Should I spend more time in Kos or Nafplio?

How long in Nafplio or Kos?

In either Nafplio or Kos, you'll find plenty of activities to fill your time. Most visitors tend to spend more time in Kos than Nafplio because of the overall number of sights and activities. Usually, 2-3 days is a good amount of time for Nafplio, and 2-5 days is enough time in Kos.

Families should spend more time in Kos than Nafplio. 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.

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

Backpackers and budget travelers should spend more time in Kos than Nafplio 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 Nafplio or Kos? Ideal Length of Stay
    Nafplio 2-3 
    Kos 2-5

One day in Nafplio or Kos?

With nightlife and food around the romantic destination of Nafplio, there's plenty to do. Exploring the old town is a popular activity. 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.

In Kos, you'll find shopping and museums. You'll find plenty of activities on the beach. This island offers something for everyone. One day is usually not enough time for a trip here as there is plenty to do.

A weekend in Nafplio or Kos?

Many people visit Nafplio for a weekend. With food and shopping around the beautiful city of Nafplio, 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.

In Kos, you'll find museums and nightlife. The length of your trip often depends on your style of travel. A weekend here is typical. Most people come for the beaches. A weekend is a great amount of time to relax and see the many things that Kos has to offer.


Five days in Nafplio or Kos?

The destination of Nafplio offers shopping and museums. 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.

Kos is a great place to explore. It is common to spend five days here. Many visitors spend time at the beach while visiting the area. Five days is a great amount of time to relax and see the many things that Kos has to offer. Anyone can find something fun to do here.

A week in Nafplio or Kos?

Nafplio, a popular city, 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.

It's hard to know how much time to spend in Kos. Many people enjoy the food and scuba diving and snorkeling when visiting Kos. People usually spend lots of time at the beach. One week may feel like too much time unless you plan to do a lot of relaxing.


For some great organized tour ideas, see The Best Luxury Tours to Greece, The Best Budget Tours to Greece, The Best Tours for Seniors to Greece, and The Best Contiki Tours to Greece.


Which place is cheaper, Kos or Nafplio?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Nafplio is €112, while the average daily cost in Kos is €134. 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 Nafplio and Kos in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Nafplio 50
    Kos 62
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Nafplio 100
    Kos 124
Compare Hotels in Nafplio and Kos

Looking for a hotel in Nafplio or Kos? 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 Nafplio


Hotels in Kos


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: Nafplio Hotel Prices and Kos Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Nafplio 46
    Kos 37

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Nafplio

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

  • PRIVATE TRANSFER ATHENS-AIRPORT-PORT-TOURS-EXCURSIONS: $97
  • Athens: Bus Transfer to/from Nafplio: $16

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Kos

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

  • Roundtrip Minivan Transfer to Therma Natural Spa Beach: $27
  • Roundtrip Minivan Transfer to Therma Natural Spa Beach: $24
  • Lido Water Park Admission Ticket with Transfers: $24
  • Roundtrip Bus Transfer to Mount Zia for Sunset Viewing: $27
  • Paradise Beach Return Transfer: $25
  • Lido Water Park Entry Ticket and Optional Transfer: $41
  • Kos transfer services, Kos - Airport - Kos: $108
  • Kos Town: Kalymnos & Pserimos Day Cruise & Optional Transfer: $30
  • Kos Hotels to Kos Airport Private One–Way Transfer: $59
  • Kos Airport to Kos Town Taxi - Transfer Services: $59
  • Kos Airport to Kos Hotels Private One–Way Transfer: $65
  • Kos - Airport Private Transfer: $61

Is it cheaper to fly into Nafplio or Kos?

Prices for flights to both Kos and Nafplio 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
    Nafplio 34
    Kos 43

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Kos

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

  • Sunset Cruise with Swimming and BBQ Dinner: $59
  • Kefalos Sunset Cruise from Kos with Dinner: $62
  • Tavern Dinner Experience with Greek Dancing and Wine: $66
  • Greek Dinner with Music, Dancing, and Unlimited Wine: $81
  • Private Greek Cooking Class in Kos with Lunch: $91
  • Kos Cooking Classes by Mama Contessa: $96
  • Sunset Safari Tour with Dinner: $96
  • Half Day Wine Tasting with Dinner in Kos: $117

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Nafplio 22
    Kos 33

Tours and Activities in Nafplio

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

  • Argolis: Full-Day Private Peloponnese Tour from Athens: $431
  • Athens: Corinth, Epidaurus, Mycenae and Nafplio Day Tour: $529
  • From Hydra Island Private-Tour to Nafplio, Epidaurus&Mycenae: $389
  • From Nafplion: Mycenae, Corinth Canal and Epidavros Day Tour: $184
  • Mycenae Epidavrous Nafplio Isthmus Canal Full Day Tour 8 H: $191
  • Mycenae-Nafplio-Epidaurus Private Full Day Tour with Sedan: $756
  • Nafplio Hop On Hop Off Bus Tour: $11
  • Nafplio Sun Sail Cruises | Full Day: $1,350
  • Nafplio Sun Sail Cruises | Half Day: $1,080
  • Nafplio Sun Sail Cruises | Semi-Private Half Day: $130
  • City Walking Tour: $86
  • Highlights Walking Tour: $59

Tours and Activities in Kos

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

  • Barco De Pirata Cruise at 3 Islands in Greece : $33
  • Dory's Glass Bottom Boat Adventure in Pserimos and Pserimos Beach: $30
  • From Boat Tour to the Volcanic Island of Nisyros: $38
  • From Cruise to Kalymnos, Pserimos, and Plati with Lunch: $31
  • From Kalymnos, Pserimos and Plati Day Cruise: $32
  • From Nissyros guided island tour and volcano: $57
  • From Pserimos Island Snorkeling Cruise by Diving Boat: $54
  • From Zia Sunset Tour: $27
  • From the Port of Full Day Boat Cruise to 3 Islands: $32
  • Full Day 3-Island Boat Cruise from Port of Kos: $33
  • Full Day Boat Cruise to 3 Islands with optional pickup: $33
  • Full Day Kos Guided Boat Tour Including Lunch: $45

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Nafplio 6.86
    Kos 19

Sample the Local Flavors in Nafplio

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

  • Nafplion: Nemea Vineyards Wine Tour: $173
  • Peloponnese: Corinth, Nafplio, Mycenae and Wine Tasting Trip: $251

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: $64
  • Kos Island: Wine Tasting & Zia Village Visit for Sunset: $151


When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Nafplio and Kos, we can see that Kos is more expensive. And not only is Nafplio much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. So, traveling to Nafplio would let you spend less money overall. Or, you could decide to spend more money in Nafplio 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 Nafplio.

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


Which is Bigger, Nafplio or Kos?

Kos has a larger population, and is about 32% larger than the population of Nafplio. When comparing the sizes of Nafplio and Kos, 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.