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

Should you visit Paphos or Marbella?

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

If you're trying to decide where to visit between Paphos or Marbella, 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

Paphos is a ancient, beautiful, and cultural town. The beauty of this spot is also one of the main reasons why visitors come. Visitors also love the food, scuba diving and snorkeling, and beaches.

Marbella

Marbella is a fun-filled, high energy, and ritzy resort town. This is also a very beautiful destination which attracts plenty of visitors. It's also known for nightlife, live music, and food.

Paphos and Marbella: Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Popular for food and cuisine
  • Popular beach
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
  • Good public transit
  • Impressive beauty
Cons
  • Less popular for nightlife
  • Not as popular for scuba diving and snorkeling
Pros
  • Good nightlife
  • Good scuba and snorkeling destination
  • Popular beach
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
  • Impressive beauty
Cons
  • Less popular for food
  • Public transit not as usable


How is Paphos different from Marbella?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

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

Is Paphos or Marbella Better for Food?

Paphos
Marbella

Paphos has a longer list of notable local restaurants than Marbella.

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).

Marbella has a delicious restaurant scene that relies on local flavors. The area is filled with tourists, so finding an authentic dining experience can be difficult. Several favorite dishes include croquetas, boquerones, and pulpo.


Is Paphos or Marbella Better for Nightlife?

Paphos
Marbella

Party-goers will usually choose Marbella over Paphos.

Marbella is a destination that you simply have to visit at least once for nightlife. European tourists flock to the town for its beaches and resorts. The town has a glamorous nightlife scene with exclusive clubs and ritzy cocktail bars, particularly in Puerto Banus and along the Golden Mile.

If you're looking for night time activities Paphos has a few options to choose from. 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.

Is Paphos or Marbella Better for Resorts?

Paphos
Marbella

With a similar set of options, resorts can be found in both Paphos and Marbella.

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.

Marbella is a world class resort vacation destination. From luxury to family-friendly, this area has plenty of resorts to choose from. Popular resorts in the area include Marbella Club Hotel, Puente Romano Marbella, and Don Carlos Resort and Spa.

Is Paphos or Marbella Better for Scuba Diving and Snorkeling?

Paphos
Marbella

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

People travel to Marbella specifically to enjoy its famous scuba diving and snorkeling areas. There are more than 100 dive sights and endless snorkeling opportunities in the area. There are deep offshore reefs that you can explore as well as shallower wrecks and caves.

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 Marbella Better for Beaches?

Paphos
Marbella

Both Paphos and Marbella 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.

Marbella is considered to be a world-class beach destination. The area boasts some of the best beaches in Europe. They are hubs of activity with lots of energy, and there are more than 18 miles of sandy beach in the area. Popular options include Guadalmina Beach, San Pedro de Alcántara Beach, and Nueva Andalucía Beach.


Is Paphos or Marbella Better for its Old Town?

Paphos
Marbella

Paphos and Marbella both have historical old towns that attract visitors.

Many visitors go to Paphos to see the historical old town. The old town is a pleasant area to walk around with a number of interesting buildings.

Plenty of visitors enjoy exploring the old town in Marbella. Head into the old town to explore a quaint area with small, meandering streets, churches, restaurants, shops, and cafes.

Is Paphos or Marbella Better for Shopping?

Paphos
Marbella

Shopping is a popular activity in both Marbella 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.

Known for shopping, Marbella draws large crowds to its stores. This area attracts vacationers from around Europe and the shopping is some of the best in Europe.

Is Paphos or Marbella Better for Families?

Paphos
Marbella

Paphos and Marbella 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.

Because of its large number of kid-friendly activities, Marbella is very family-friendly. The area has beautiful, family-friendly beaches and many resorts with pools that are great for kids.

Is Paphos or Marbella Better for Couples?

Paphos
Marbella

Paphos and Marbella 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.

Marbella is a great town for couples, as it has plenty to offer. The area has luxury resorts, nice beaches, water sports, golf, and water activities that are perfect for a honeymoon or a romantic weekend or a honeymoon.


Is Paphos or Marbella Better for Backpackers and Budget Travelers?

Paphos
Marbella

Paphos and Marbella 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.

It's common for backpackers to visit Marbella. There are a few good hostels in the area for backpackers who want to enjoy this part of Spain's cost. There's also a lively nightlife scene and plenty of opportunities to meet others.

Is Paphos or Marbella Better for Public Transit?

Paphos
Marbella

Paphos provides more public transit options than Marbella.

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.

Public transit is mostly limited in Marbella. There is a bus system through the area, but most visitors prefer to get around by car.

Is Paphos or Marbella a more walkable city?

Paphos
Marbella

Paphos and Marbella 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.

Marbella is a very walkable town. The old town is particularly walkable and there are a number of hotels and nice resorts within a short walk of the town along a nice promenade.

Should I spend more time in Marbella or Paphos?

How long in Paphos or Marbella?

In either Paphos or Marbella, 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 Marbella is 2-5 days.


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

One day in Paphos or Marbella?

The beautiful town of Paphos offers museums and nightlife. Most people come for the beaches. With so much to do, one day is probably not enough time to see everything. It will give you the chance to have new experiences.

Many travelers enjoy the food and scuba diving and snorkeling when visiting the destination of Marbella. 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 Marbella?

Paphos is a popular place that is full of things to see and experience. People enjoy relaxing at one of the resorts. But since there are so many activities, you'll likely want to spend more than a weekend exploring. Take your pick from the many activities offered here.

Marbella 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 Marbella?

Paphos is a popular choice for travelers. Five days here is typical. While some people choose to spend more or less time in Paphos, five days is sufficent for most. The entire region has so many activities, and you'll want time to do everything.

It's hard to know how much time to spend in Marbella. 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 Marbella?

Paphos is a great place to explore. It's also a great beach destination, too. One week is more than enough time to enjoy everything. Take some day trips to nearby places to fill the extra days. This town offers something for everyone.

Travelers enjoy the nightlife and live music when visiting the fun-filled destination of Marbella. This resort town 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, Marbella 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 Marbella is €93. 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 Marbella in more detail.



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

Looking for a hotel in Paphos or Marbella? 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 Marbella


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 Marbella Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Paphos 9.29
    Marbella 19

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 Marbella

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

  • Departure Private Transfer Business Car Marbella to Malaga airport AGP: $62
  • Departure Private Transfer Luxury Van Marbella to Malaga airport AGP: $92
  • Marbella to Malaga Airport (AGP) - Departure Private Car Transfer: $61
  • Marbella to Malaga Airport (AGP) - Departure Private Van Transfer: $45
  • Private Transfer Marbella, Malaga, Gibraltar or Tarifa to Seville SVQ by Minivan: $698
  • Private Transfer Marbella, Malaga, Gibraltar or Tarifa to Seville SVQ by Sedan: $568
  • Private Transfer from Elviria to Malaga (AGP) Airport: $111
  • Private Transfer from Hotel Marbella Beach Resort to Malaga (AGP) Airport: $111
  • Private Transfer from La Quinta Golf Resort to Malaga (AGP) Airport: $151
  • Private Transfer from Las Chapas to Malaga (AGP) Airport: $111
  • Private Transfer from Lomas De Cabopino to Malaga (AGP) Airport: $111
  • Private Transfer from Los Monteros to Malaga (AGP) Airport: $122

Is it cheaper to fly into Paphos or Marbella?

Prices for flights to both Marbella 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
  • Food Meals for one day
    Paphos 30
    Marbella 31

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

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Marbella

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

  • Cooking courses at home & online: $75
  • Tapas & Paella Cooking Course: $80
  • Food Tour: $85

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Paphos 9.56
    Marbella 15

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 Marbella

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

  • Secrets of Marbella walking tour (Group): $19
  • Marbella small group walking Tour: $24
  • Marbella group walking tour: $32
  • Bike City Tour Marbella: $32
  • Full-Day Gibraltar Shopping Tour from the Costa del Sol: $33
  • Guided Wine and Tapas Bike Tour: $40
  • Marbella Like a Local: Customized Private Tour: $41
  • Paddle Boarding Tour on the beautiful Marbella Coast: $49
  • Sunset SUP Tour in Marbella: $61
  • Can-am Route Experience: $77
  • Original Marbella Tapas Adventure: $86
  • Marbella Gourmet Tapas Tour - Do Eat Better Experience: $88

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Paphos 7.98
    Marbella 4.57

Sample the Local Flavors in Paphos

Some specific costs for nightlife related activities in Paphos:

  • WINE TOUR from Paphos: $372

Sample the Local Flavors in Marbella

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

  • Tour of the Old Town with Wine Tasting & Tapas: $112
  • E-Mountain Bike & Wine Tour from Marbella to Sierra Blanca: $123
  • Manilva & Gaucin Wine Tour from the Costa del Sol: $160
  • Ronda Full Day Wine Tour from Marbella: $210
  • VIP Wine Tour through the Guadalhorce Valley & Wolf Sanctuary Visit: $360
  • Ronda Private Wine Tour and Tapas from Marbella: $406
  • VIP Ronda Wine Tour and Tasting and Gourmet Lunch Experience with Winemaker: $778


When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Paphos and Marbella, we can see that Marbella 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 Marbella would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in Marbella than you might in Paphos.


When is the best time to visit Paphos or Marbella?

Both places have a temperate climate with four distinct seasons. As both cities are in the northern hemisphere, summer is in July and winter is in January.

Should I visit Paphos or Marbella in the Summer?

The summer brings many poeple to Paphos as well as Marbella. The summer months attract visitors to Paphos because of the beaches, snorkeling, and the family-friendly experiences. Also, the beaches, snorkeling, the music scene, and the family-friendly experiences are the main draw to Marbella this time of year.

In the summer, Paphos is around the same temperature as Marbella. Typically, the summer temperatures in Paphos in July are around 27°C (80°F), and Marbella is about 25°C (77°F).

The sun comes out a lot this time of the year in Marbella. People are often attracted to the plentiful sunshine in Paphos this time of the year. In the summer, Paphos often gets more sunshine than Marbella. Paphos gets 388 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Marbella receives 348 hours of full sun.

Paphos usually gets less rain in July than Marbella. Paphos gets 0 mm (0 in) of rain, while Marbella receives 2 mm (0.1 in) of rain this time of the year.


  • Summer Average Temperatures July
    Paphos 27°C (80°F) 
    Marbella 25°C (77°F)

Should I visit Paphos or Marbella in the Autumn?

Both Marbella and Paphos are popular destinations to visit in the autumn with plenty of activities. The shopping scene and the natural beauty of the area are the main draw to Paphos this time of year. Also, many travelers come to Marbella for the shopping scene, the music scene, and the natural beauty of the area.

In October, Paphos is generally a little warmer than Marbella. Temperatures in Paphos average around 21°C (70°F), and Marbella stays around 19°C (67°F).

It's quite sunny in Marbella. The sun comes out a lot this time of the year in Paphos. Paphos usually receives more sunshine than Marbella during autumn. Paphos gets 270 hours of sunny skies, while Marbella receives 213 hours of full sun in the autumn.

In October, Paphos usually receives less rain than Marbella. Paphos gets 19 mm (0.7 in) of rain, while Marbella receives 54 mm (2.1 in) of rain each month for the autumn.


  • Autumn Average Temperatures October
    Paphos 21°C (70°F) 
    Marbella 19°C (67°F)

Should I visit Paphos or Marbella in the Winter?

Both Marbella and Paphos during the winter are popular places to visit. Many travelers come to Paphos for the museums, the shopping scene, and the cuisine. Furthermore, many visitors come to Marbella in the winter for the shopping scene and the cuisine.

Paphos is around the same temperature as Marbella in the winter. The temperature in Paphos is usually 12°C (53°F) in January, and Marbella stays around 12°C (54°F).

In the winter, Paphos often gets around the same amount of sunshine as Marbella. Paphos gets 180 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Marbella receives 171 hours of full sun.

Paphos usually gets less rain in January than Marbella. Paphos gets 65 mm (2.6 in) of rain, while Marbella receives 83 mm (3.3 in) of rain this time of the year.


  • Winter Average Temperatures January
    Paphos 12°C (53°F) 
    Marbella 12°C (54°F)

Should I visit Paphos or Marbella in the Spring?

The spring attracts plenty of travelers to both Paphos and Marbella. Many visitors come to Paphos in the spring for the beaches and the natural beauty. Furthermore, most visitors come to Marbella for the beaches and the natural beauty during these months.

In the spring, Paphos is around the same temperature as Marbella. Typically, the spring temperatures in Paphos in April are around 17°C (62°F), and Marbella is about 16°C (60°F).

People are often attracted to the plentiful sunshine in Marbella this time of the year. In Paphos, it's very sunny this time of the year. Paphos usually receives more sunshine than Marbella during spring. Paphos gets 270 hours of sunny skies, while Marbella receives 220 hours of full sun in the spring.

In April, Paphos usually receives less rain than Marbella. Paphos gets 11 mm (0.4 in) of rain, while Marbella receives 40 mm (1.6 in) of rain each month for the spring.


  • Spring Average Temperatures April
    Paphos 17°C (62°F) 
    Marbella 16°C (60°F)

Typical Weather for Marbella and Paphos

Paphos Marbella
Temp (°C) Rain (mm) Temp (°C) Rain (mm)
Jan 12°C (53°F) 65 mm (2.6 in) 12°C (54°F) 83 mm (3.3 in)
Feb 12°C (54°F) 57 mm (2.2 in) 13°C (55°F) 75 mm (3 in)
Mar 13°C (56°F) 49 mm (1.9 in) 14°C (57°F) 59 mm (2.3 in)
Apr 17°C (62°F) 11 mm (0.4 in) 16°C (60°F) 40 mm (1.6 in)
May 20°C (69°F) 7 mm (0.3 in) 19°C (66°F) 24 mm (0.9 in)
Jun 24°C (75°F) 1 mm (0 in) 22°C (72°F) 13 mm (0.5 in)
Jul 27°C (80°F) 0 mm (0 in) 25°C (77°F) 2 mm (0.1 in)
Aug 27°C (80°F) 0 mm (0 in) 25°C (78°F) 5 mm (0.2 in)
Sep 25°C (76°F) 1 mm (0 in) 23°C (74°F) 15 mm (0.6 in)
Oct 21°C (70°F) 19 mm (0.7 in) 19°C (67°F) 54 mm (2.1 in)
Nov 17°C (62°F) 44 mm (1.7 in) 15°C (60°F) 115 mm (4.5 in)
Dec 13°C (56°F) 76 mm (3 in) 13°C (55°F) 102 mm (4 in)


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Paphos vs. Marbella Travel Comparison

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