A Travel Price Comparison for Families, Couples, and Backpackers Portimao vs. Marbella for Vacations, Tours, and Honeymoons

Should you visit Portimao or Marbella?

Which city should you visit? Read on to compare the prices of travel for Portimao and Marbella. We’ll break down costs for accommodation, food, transportation and more to help you learn more about these two destinations. Then, you can figure out if either of these two places are accessible based on your travel budget. So, let's dig into it.

Portimao

The second biggest city in the Alrgarve region of Portugal, Portimao sits on the coast where the Arade River meets the Atlantic Ocean. It is renowned for its fresh fish restaurants and is also a popular destination for beachgoers at the Praia da Rocha to the south of the city.

Marbella

Marbella is a city in southern Spain in the province of Malaga. It is part of the Costa del Sol (Coast of the Sun) and is located on the Mediterranean Sea between Malaga and the Strait of Gibraltar. It is one of the most important tourist cities in the area and receives many national and international tourists year round due to its climate and tourism structures. Marbella is a bit of a glamorous city due to its beauty and resort-type environment. The old town with its narrow cobbled streets and flower-filled plazas is packed with shops and art galleries selling boutique clothes and accessories, and handmade wares. The city has significant archaeological and historical heritage and many events and performances throughout the year.

Which city is cheaper, Marbella or Portimao?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Portimao is €121, 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. Below is a breakdown of travel costs for Portimao and Marbella in more detail.



Accommodation

Accommodation prices vary by location and style, but travelers pay on average about €124 for a double occupancy room in Portimao.

The prices for places to stay in Marbella can vary by date, location, and type. Generally, the average cost for accommodation per person is €49, while a typical double-occupancy hotel room for two people will cost around €98.


  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Portimao 62
    Marbella 49
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Portimao 124
    Marbella 98

Food

The price of a meal in Portimao can vary widely. However, the average price for food per day is €36 per person, and a typical meal will cost around €14 based on the spending of previous visitors. Less expensive dining options can be found by eating street food or at fast food restaurants.

While meal prices in Marbella can vary, the average travelers spends about €31 per day on food. Based on the spending habits of previous travelers, when dining out, an average meal in Marbella should cost around €12 per person. Breakfast prices are usually a little cheaper than lunch or dinner. The price of food in sit-down restaurants in Marbella is often higher than fast food prices or street food prices.


  • Food Meals for one day
    Portimao 36
    Marbella 31

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Portimao

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

  • Portimão - Food Tour: $96

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

Local Transportation

While taxis and private drivers typically cost much more than public transportation, people usually spend around €30 per day to get around in Portimao.

Public transportation tends to be much less expensive in Marbella than paying for a taxi or private car service, as is expected. Typically, people spend €19 on transportation in Marbella on average per day.


  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Portimao 30
    Marbella 19

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Portimao

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Portimao:

  • Transfer Praia da Rocha - Boavista Golf (Lagos): $52
  • Transfer Praia da Rocha - Balaia Golf (Albufeira): $66
  • Transfer Praia da Rocha - Alto Golf Pestana (Alvor): $36
  • Transfer Praia da Rocha - Alamos Golf (Portimão): $36
  • Transfer Portimão - Boavista Golf (Lagos): $52
  • Transfer Portimão - Balaia Golf (Albufeira): $62
  • Transfer Portimão - Alto Golf Pestana (Alvor): $36
  • Transfer Portimão - Alamos Golf (Portimão) Pending: $36
  • Private Transfer from Portimao to Faro (FAO) Airport: $96
  • Private Transfer from Hotel da Rocha to Faro (FAO) Airport: $96
  • Faro Shared Transfer to or from Portimão: $38
  • Faro Private Transfer to or from Portimão: $44

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Marbella

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

  • Marbella to Malaga Airport (AGP) - Departure Private Van Transfer: $45
  • Marbella to Malaga Airport (AGP) - Departure Private Car Transfer: $61
  • Departure Private Transfer Business Car Marbella to Malaga airport AGP: $62
  • Departure Private Transfer Luxury Van Marbella to Malaga airport AGP: $92
  • TRANSFER MALAGA AIRPORT from/to PUERTO BANUS-PRICE ALL INCUSIVE: $106
  • TRANSFER MALAGA AIRPORT from/to MARBELLA-PRICE ALL INCLUSIVE: $106
  • Private Transfer from Las Chapas to Malaga (AGP) Airport: $111
  • Private Transfer from Elviria to Malaga (AGP) Airport: $111
  • Private Transfer from Hotel Marbella Beach Resort to Malaga (AGP) Airport: $111
  • Private Transfer from Marbesa 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 Portimao or Marbella?

Prices for flights to both Marbella and Portimao 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

Activities, things to do, and other forms of entertainment usually cost around €33 per person, per day in Portimao. This cost includes the price of admission tickets to attractions and museums as well as daily tours.

Sightseeing expenses in Marbella, including the cost of admission tickets for day tours, museums, and attractions, usually cost an average of €15 per day, per person.


  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Portimao 33
    Marbella 15

Tours and Activities in Portimao

Some specific costs of activities, tours, and entrance tickets for Portimao are as follows:

  • 1 Hour - Express tour to Benagil Cave: $28
  • 2 Hours Portimão Walking Tour: $20
  • 2.5-Hour Cruise to Benagil Caves From Portimão: $37
  • 2h30min Private Benagil Caves Tour & Snorkeing & Cliff-jumping with Lots of fun!: $373
  • Afternoon Sailing and Caves Tour from Portimao: $44
  • Algarve Coastline Tour from Portimao jeep and boat tour: $75
  • Algarve Jeep Safari tours: $38
  • Benagil & Marinha Boat Tour: $44
  • Benagil - Private Tour with Captain - Algarve Cave Captain: $348
  • Benagil Boat Tour with Local Guide: $35
  • Benagil Cave and Marinha Beach Boat Tour from Portimao: $37
  • Benagil Caves Tour & Snorkeling & Cliff-jumping - lots of fun and adventure: $50

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
  • 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
  • Stand-up Paddle Sunset Tour in Marbella: $91
  • E-Mountain Bike Explorer Tour departing from Marbella: $93

Alcohol

The average person spends about €24 on alcoholic beverages in Portimao per day. The more you spend on alcohol, the more fun you might be having despite your higher budget.

Typically, people visiting Marbella spend on average €4.57 on alcoholic beverages per person, per day.


  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Portimao 24
    Marbella 4.57

Sample the Local Flavors in Portimao

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

  • Portimão & Carvoeiro: Algarve Wine Tour in a VW T2 Van: $57
  • Algarve Wine Tour of Two Wine Estates: $72
  • Algarve wine tour of two wine estates and lunch at hystorical town of Silves: $112
  • Algarve Wine Tour and Mountain Discovery With Lunch at Mountain Top: $144
  • Alentejo Wine Tour from the Algarve: $207

Sample the Local Flavors in Marbella

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

  • 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 Portimao and Marbella, we can see that Portimao is more expensive. And not only is Marbella much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. So, traveling to Marbella would let you spend less money overall. Or, you could decide to spend more money in Marbella 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 Portimao would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in Portimao than you might in Marbella.

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Portimao vs. Marbella Travel Comparison

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