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

Should you visit Paphos or Kos?

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

If you're trying to decide where to visit between Paphos or Kos, this travel comparison, which includes costs, can help. The overall cost of travel is usually a consideration when deciding where to go next, and the cost comparison down below can help you decide based on the average prices from other travelers along with your own travel budget.


Paphos is a beautiful, cultural, and coastal town. This is also a very beautiful destination which attracts plenty of visitors. Other reasons to visit include beaches, shopping, and museums.


Kos is a beautiful, ancient, and cultural island. The famous beauty of this place is one of the main draws. It's also known for shopping, museums, and nightlife.

Paphos and Kos: Pros and Cons

  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Great resorts
  • Popular beach
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
  • Impressive beauty
  • Not as popular for scuba diving and snorkeling
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Good scuba and snorkeling destination
  • Popular beach
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
  • Impressive beauty
  • Not as many resort options

How is Paphos different from Kos?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

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

Is Paphos or Kos Better for Museums and Historical Sights?


Both Paphos and Kos have interesting landmarks and museums for visitors.

Visitors will find world class museums and historical sights in Paphos that are not to be missed. The area is well known for its impressive archeological ruins, many of which are found at Paphos Archaeological Site. Other impressive sights include the Tombs of the Kings, the Chrysopolitissa Basilica & St. Paul's Pillar, Agia Paraskevi, and Paphos Fort.

The museums and tourist attractions in Kos are world-renowned. 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!

Is Paphos or Kos Better for Food?


There are opportunities to sample the local cuisine at great restaurants in both Paphos and Kos.

Known for it's food and restaurant scene, Paphos is always at the top of any foodie's travel list. Food is a huge part of the culture and family life in the area. The cuisine is influenced by the surrounding areas and you'll see similarities to Greek, Turkish, and Middle Eastern cuisines. Popular dishes include koupepia (vine leaves stuffed with a filling called gemista), souvlaki (a meat and salad filled pita), and makaronia tou fournou (a pasta dish made with halloumi and béchamel sauce).

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.

Is Paphos or Kos Better for Nightlife?


It's hard to distinguish whether Paphos or Kos has a better nightlife scene.

Paphos has an active nightlife scene for those who seek it out. Most people think of history, culture, beaches, and wine, but the city also has its share of clubs and bars. It's not the party-hard beach destination that you'll find at some Mediterranean tourist areas, but there are still plenty of bars and clubs with atmosphere and style. Head to Agiou Antoniou Street for the most action.

The nightlife in Kos has something for everybody. 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 Paphos or Kos Better for Resorts?


Paphos is more known as a resort destination than Kos.

Paphos offers an unforgettable resort vacation. The area is filled with all types of resorts. There are many all-inclusive resorts that cater to families, honeymooners, or luxury vacationers. If you want to experience more of the local culture, there are also smaller boutique hotels or local apartments available.

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 Paphos or Kos Better for Scuba Diving and Snorkeling?


Generally, you'll find better scuba diving and snorkeling in Kos than Paphos.

People travel to Kos specifically to enjoy its famous scuba diving and snorkeling areas. 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 fun to get in the water and check out the local marine life in Paphos. There are many snorkeling and dive spots that aren't far away. You'll also find a number of scuba or snorkeling excursions that you can join. The water conditions for snorkeling and diving are best during the summer months.

Is Paphos or Kos Better for Beaches?


Both Paphos and Kos have beaches worth visiting.

The beaches in Paphos are among the best in the world. Many people head to the area specifically for the beaches. This region has the longest coastline of any region in Cyprus, but keep in mind that some of the best beaches are found outside of the main tourist areas. However, they most are usually accessible by city bus with many remote stretches found along the Akamas Peninsula. Within town the beaches are often rocky and pebbly.

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.

Is Paphos or Kos Better for Shopping?


Shopping is a popular activity in both Kos and Paphos.

Paphos is an extremely popular place for shoppers. There are outdoor markets, major shopping streets, and international fashion brands. You can pick up local souvenirs or beach gear that you may have forgotten.

Shopping is a popular activity when visiting 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.

Is Paphos or Kos Better for Families?


Paphos and Kos are both fun destinations for the whole family.

Paphos is a very family-friendly place to visit. There are plenty of outdoor activities that kids will enjoy. Head to the beach or take a walk along the coastline. Animal lovers will appreciate a visit to the zoo, bird park, or aquarium and young thrill seekers will enjoy a day at the Aqua-park of Aphrodite. And, of course, there's also the ruins that kids can have fun exploring.

Kos offers lots of family activities. 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 Paphos or Kos Better for Couples?


Paphos and Kos are both fun to visit as a couple.

Paphos has so much to offer for a romantic couple's vacation. Honeymooners who enjoy history, nature, beaches, and culture will find it all in the area. There are stunning beaches where you can relax in the sun, world renowned archeological ruins where you can immerse yourself in a historical world, and beautiful views around every corner. There are also excellent restaurants and wine tasting opportunities that will make for a memorable trip.

Kos is a great town if you're traveling as 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.

Is Paphos or Kos Better for Backpackers and Budget Travelers?


Paphos and Kos are comparable places to visit for backpackers and budget travelers.

Backpackers come from all over to visit Paphos. The area is generally accessible with a few good hostels and budget accommodation options sprinkled about. There are great beaches and restaurants as well as plenty of beautiful places to enjoy a walk.

Many 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.

Is Paphos or Kos Better for Public Transit?


You'll find somewhat comparable public transit options in both Paphos and Kos.

Visitors to Paphos can move around easily with public transportation. It's possible to get around by city bus to most places. Buses connect many touristy areas such as Kato Paphos, Tombs of the Kings, Chloraka, Kissonerga, Coral Bay and Paphos Center.

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

Is Paphos or Kos a more walkable city?


Paphos and Kos both are comparable when exploring on foot.

Paphos is somewhat walkable. The main tourist area is Kato Paphos which is small, compact and easy to walk around, but if you want to head to areas further away then you likely won't be able to travel on foot. It's important to understand where your hotel is located if you're planning to explore on foot.

Kos is a very walkable town. 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.

Should I spend more time in Kos or Paphos?

How long in Paphos or Kos?

In either Paphos or Kos, you'll find plenty of activities to fill your time. You can fill a similar amount of time in either place.

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

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

One day in Paphos or Kos?

With museums and nightlife around the coastal destination of Paphos, 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.

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.

A weekend in Paphos or Kos?

Many people visit Paphos for a weekend. With nightlife and food around the coastal town of Paphos, 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.

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.

Five days in Paphos or Kos?

With food and scuba diving and snorkeling around the destination of Paphos, 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.

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.

A week in Paphos or Kos?

Paphos, a popular town, is full of activities for travelers. People often spend their time relaxing at one of the resorts. 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.

Travelers enjoy the nightlife and food when visiting the party-hard 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.

Which city is cheaper, Kos or Paphos?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Paphos is €77, while the average daily cost in Kos is €107. 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 Paphos and Kos in more detail.

  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Paphos 37
    Kos 49
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Paphos 74
    Kos 98
Compare Hotels in Paphos and Kos

Looking for a hotel in Paphos 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 Paphos

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: Paphos Hotel Prices and Kos Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Paphos 9.29
    Kos 29

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Paphos

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Paphos:

  • Transfer Paphos Airport PFO to Limassol: $75
  • Shared transfer from Paphos Town to Paphos Airport PFO: $12
  • Shared transfer from Coral Bay to Paphos Airport PFO: $14
  • Shared shuttle transfer from Paphos Airport to Hotels: $13
  • Shared shuttle transfer from Hotels to Paphos Airport: $13
  • Shared airport transfer Paphos Airport - Paphos Town: $11
  • Shared Transfer from Paphos Airport to Coral Bay: $14
  • Shared Departure Transfer: Paphos or Limassol Hotels to Paphos Airport: $16
  • Shared Arrival Transfer: Paphos Airport to Paphos or Limassol Hotels: $16
  • Private Transfer from Paphos to Larnaca Airport LCA in 4 seater Taxi: $151
  • Private Transfer from Paphos Airport to Larnaca in Minivan(Taxi): $218
  • Private Departure Transfer: Cyprus Hotels to Paphos Airport: $26

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Kos

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

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

Is it cheaper to fly into Paphos or Kos?

Prices for flights to both Kos and Paphos 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
    Paphos 30
    Kos 35

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Paphos

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

  • Traditional Cuisine & Cultural Flavours - City Walking Food Tour Paphos 2.5hrs: $59
  • Sea Star Evening Dinner and Fireworks Cruise from Paphos: $73

  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Paphos 9.56
    Kos 26

Tours and Activities in Paphos

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

  • 1 Hour Tour to Local Radio in Paphos with Live Radio Show: $50
  • Akamas 4x4 Adventure: $197
  • All in Paphos big photo tour!: $398
  • Authentic Cyprus Historic Day Tour from Paphos: $32
  • Blue Lagoon Day Cruise from Paphos: $83
  • Cruise and 4X4 Safari Tour at Akamas Peninsula from Paphos: $106
  • Fireworks Night Cruise from Paphos: $81
  • Full-day Famagusta, Varosha, and Salamis Tour from Paphos: $47
  • Grand Tour Jeep Safari - Kykkos Monastery (From Paphos): $93
  • Guided tour “Love stories of Paphos”: $496
  • Half Day BBQ Lunch Cruise from Paphos: $58
  • Halloumi Heaven ( Cheese-Making Workshop & Tour): $112

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

  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Paphos 7.98
    Kos 16

Sample the Local Flavors in Paphos

Some specific costs for nightlife related activities in Paphos:

  • WINE TOUR from Paphos: $372

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

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Paphos vs. Kos Travel Comparison

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