A Travel Price Comparison for Families, Couples, and Backpackers Pattaya vs. El Nido for Vacations, Tours, and Honeymoons

Should you visit Pattaya or El Nido?

Trying to figure out where to travel next? This travel cost comparison between Pattaya and El Nido can help. For many travelers, the cost of a destination is a primary consideration when choosing where to go.

Pattaya

Go where the locals go. If that is your vacation motto, you will want to take a look at the popular weekend getaway of Pattaya, Thailand. This seaside resort on the Eastern Gulf Coast of Thailand is just outside of Bangkok, and full of resorts, beer bars and beaches.

Hosting more than five million visitors a year, Pattaya is easily accessed from the capital and the airport. Keep in mind, the sex tourism industry is still a large money earner for this city, but efforts by local authorities have created resorts and attractions for families and vacationers from all around the world.

El Nido

El Nido is a coastal destination on the Philippine island of Palawan. It consists of about 45 islands and islets all with beautiful beachfront scenery and plenty of opportunities for experiencing nature above and below the water. Some of the island's best features include limestone karst cliffs, coral reefs, lagoons, coves, and waterfalls.

Which city is cheaper, El Nido or Pattaya?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Pattaya is $60, while the average daily cost in El Nido is $36. 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. Below is a breakdown of travel costs for Pattaya and El Nido in more detail.



Accommodation

Travelers usually pay around $42 for a double occupancy room in Pattaya If you want to be in a premiere location or have high end amenities, you can expect to pay a bit more.

An average hotel room with basic furnishings costs about $26 in El Nido For the most convenient locations and nicer amenities you can expect to pay a bit more.


  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Pattaya $21
    El Nido $13
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Pattaya $42
    El Nido $26

Food

Food in Pattaya costs travelers about $20 per day on average. Restaurants can vary significantly in price, so choose wisely if you're trying to save money. Fast food and street stalls are typically your cheapest options, which sit down restaurants can be significantly more expensive.

In El Nido travelers spend around $11 a day on food. You can save money by choosing casual restaurants or food stalls, or you can spend plenty more by dining in nicer restaurants at every meal.


  • Food Meals for one day
    Pattaya $20
    El Nido $11

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Pattaya

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

  • Drink Drunk Drunk night & Sunset landmark selfie with Dinner: $56

Local Transportation

Public transportation tends to be much less expensive in Pattaya than paying for a taxi or private car service, as is expected. Typically, people spend $11 on transportation in Pattaya on average per day.

El Nido's transportation costs can vary by the type of transport chosen by visitors. Naturally, taxis and private drivers cost much more than public transportation options. On average, visitors spend $17 per person, per day on transportation in El Nido.


  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Pattaya $11
    El Nido $17

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Pattaya

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

  • Tiffany's Show Pattaya Admission Ticket with Return Transfer: $44
  • Sanctuary of Truth at Pattaya Admission Ticket with Transfer: $35
  • Ripley's Believe It or Not! Museum at Pattaya with Return Transfer: $52
  • Return hotel transfers to Gems Gallery Pattaya (Jewelry): $2.56
  • Ramayana Water Park Admission with Hotel Transfers from Pattaya: $65
  • Ramayana Water Park Admission Ticket with Return Transfer: $55
  • Private Transfer: Pattaya to Bangkok: $82
  • Private Transfer: DMK Airport to Pattaya hotel 100% All-Electric Car: $85
  • Private Transfer: BKK Airport to Pattaya hotel 100% All-Electric Car: $100
  • Private Transfer from Pattaya to Suvarnabhumi Airport: $73
  • Private Transfer from Pattaya Hotel to DMK Airport: $73
  • Private Transfer from Pattaya Hotel to Bangkok Airport or Don Muang Airport: $60

Hired Cars and Shuttles in El Nido

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

  • El Nido to Sabang Private Transfer: $140
  • El Nido to Puerto Princesa - Private Transfer: $115
  • Private Van Transfer: One way El Nido to Puerto Princesa: $103
  • Palawan Transfers between El Nido and Puerto Princesa: $30
  • One Way Sharing Van Transfer El Nido to Puerto Princesa: $10

Is it cheaper to fly into Pattaya or El Nido?

Prices for flights to both El Nido and Pattaya 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.





Entertainment

Sightseeing expenses in Pattaya, including the cost of admission tickets for day tours, museums, and attractions, usually cost an average of $18 per day, per person.

Sightseeing, admission tickets, things to do, and other entertainment expenses in El Nido can vary widely by price. On average, visitors spend around $4.87 per person, per day on entertainment and sightseeing here.


  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Pattaya $18
    El Nido $4.87

Tours and Activities in Pattaya

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

  • 3-Hour Mini Siam Tour in Pattaya: $55
  • Admission Ticket to Ramayana Water Park in Pattaya: $41
  • Alcazar Cabaret Admission Ticket with Optional Hotel Pickup in Pattaya: $21
  • Alcazar Cabaret Admission Ticket with Optional Hotel Pickup in Pattaya: $16
  • Alcazar Cabaret Show Admission Tickets: $19
  • Alcazar Cabaret Show at Pattaya Admission Ticket: $17
  • Art in Paradise Pattaya Entrance (Ticket Only): $9.09
  • Art in Paradise at Pattaya Admission Ticket: $15
  • Art in Paradise in Pattaya Admission Ticket: $15
  • Bangkok Temples Private Tour from Pattaya – Full Day: $150
  • Coral Island (Koh Larn) & Sanctuary of Truth Private Tour from Pattaya –Full Day: $85
  • Coral Island (Koh Larn) Tours with Lunch: $18

Tours and Activities in El Nido

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

  • EL NIDO ISLAND HOPPING (TOUR A)- Lagoons and Beaches with Buffet Lunch: $67
  • EL Nido Tour A: $26
  • EL Nido Tour B: $35
  • EL Nido Tour C: $40
  • EL Nido Tour D: $33
  • El Nido Island Hopping (Tour A) – Full Day: $28
  • El Nido Island Hopping Tour B: $32
  • El Nido Island Hopping Tours(A-D): $25
  • El Nido Nacpan Beach + Lio Beach + Las Cabanas Tour: $82
  • El Nido Nacpan Beach + Lio Beach Tour: $68
  • El Nido Tour A Private Tour: $95
  • El Nido Tour A With Big Or Small Lagoon: $39

Alcohol

Alcoholic beverages can often be a significant portion of a traveler's budget, and the costs can vary greatly from person to person. In Pattaya, the average amount that a visitor spends on alcoholic beverages per day is $7.38.

Typically, people visiting El Nido spend on average $7.57 on alcoholic beverages per person, per day.


  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Pattaya $7.38
    El Nido $7.57


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

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Pattaya vs. El Nido Travel Comparison

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