A Travel Price Comparison for Italy Portofino vs. Cinque Terre for Food, Old Town, Hiking, and Couples

Should you visit Portofino or Cinque Terre?

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

Should I visit Portofino or Cinque Terre? 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.

Portofino

Portofino is a exclusive, luxurious, and glamorous seaside village. It offers plenty of small town charm along with sights and activities, too. It's considered by many to be an absolutely beautiful destination, too. As it offers a special and quaint atmosphere, visitors come from all over to experience this destination. It's also popular because of the shopping, nightlife, and food.

Cinque Terre

Cinque Terre is a idyllic, quaint, and seaside coastal region. It also offers plenty of small town charm and also has plenty of sights and activities. You'll find world class beauty here as well. It also has a unique and quaint vibe that attracts lots of visitors. And you can't forget about the scuba diving and snorkeling, hiking, and food.

Portofino and Cinque Terre: Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Good nightlife
  • Great resorts
  • Popular beach
  • Good for hiking
  • Good for shopping
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Small town charm
  • Impressive beauty
  • Quaint atmosphere
Cons
  • Less family-friendly
  • Less popular with backpackers
Pros
  • Good for hiking
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
  • Small town charm
  • Impressive beauty
  • Quaint atmosphere
Cons
  • Less popular for nightlife
  • Not as many resort options
  • Less attractive beach
  • Less popular for shopping


How is Portofino different from Cinque Terre?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

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

Is Portofino or Cinque Terre Better for Food?

Portofino
Cinque Terre

Dining out at restaurants in both Portofino and Cinque Terre can be an enjoyable experience.

Eating is part of the travel experience when you visit Portofino. Located by the sea, you'll enjoy tons of great seafood here. Make sure you try the mussels, swordfish, and salt cod.

Cinque Terre has long been recognized as a culinary destination with great restaurants. Like much of Italy, the area focuses on local flavors that include lots of seafood, as well as local fruits, vegetables, and herbs. The towns are known for their focaccia, which actually originated in nearby Genoa. Anchovies are a favorite here as well, and don't be turned off by your experience with anchovies outside of Italy. They don't compare. Also make sure you sample the pesto, mussels, and any fresh caught seafood.


Is Portofino or Cinque Terre Better for Nightlife?

Portofino
Cinque Terre

With more options to choose from, you'll find a more vibrant nightlife in Portofino.

Portofino has plenty to do after the sun goes down. Most of the nightlife is found around Piazzetta (Oliveri Square) and Molo Umberto I. Happy hours (aperitivo) start around 5pm or 6pm and then as the evening continues, the party often moves to Paraggi Beach.

Cinque Terre doesn't offer many options. The whole point of a trip to the area is to soak up the quiet village atmosphere. There is basically no nightlife in most of the towns, but you will find a few bars in Monterosso.

Is Portofino or Cinque Terre Better for Resorts?

Portofino
Cinque Terre

Portofino tends to offer a wider variety of resorts than Cinque Terre.

For the ultimate resort vacation, Portofino is a great choice. Known for it's exclusive luxury, there are a number of high end resorts in the area. Popular options include Splendido, Sublimis Boutique Hotel, and Grand Hotel Miramare.

Not known for its high-end resorts, Cinque Terre offers a few options. Most people stay in apartments or rooms in local hotels or family homes. There aren't many resorts in the traditional sense, but again, that's part of the charm of the area.

Is Portofino or Cinque Terre Better for Beaches?

Portofino
Cinque Terre

For a relaxing beach holiday, both Portofino and Cinque Terre are good choices.

Portofino is a good option for a beach vacation. Like much of the Italian coast, the beaches in the area are dramatic and beautiful. They're also rocky and pebbly and can get a bit crowded during the summer months.

The beach in Cinque Terre is worth checking out. The area is more about the towns than the beaches. The most typical beach setting is in the newer part of Monterosso. There's a long sandy beach with chairs and umbrellas available. There's also a beach near the town's old town. Several of the other towns have swimming areas, including a small stretch of pebbly sand in Vernazza. It's fun to swim between the months of May and October, when the water temperatures are fairly warm.

Is Portofino or Cinque Terre Better for its Old Town?

Portofino
Cinque Terre

It's fun to wander around the old towns in both Portofino and Cinque Terre.

Many visitors explore the old town while visiting Portofino. Despite evolving into a famous resort town, Portofino still holds on to its fishing village charm.

The rich history of Cinque Terre can be explored in its historical center. Each of the five towns have their own charming old town which have restaurants and local boutique shops.


Is Portofino or Cinque Terre Better for Hiking?

Portofino
Cinque Terre

If you're looking to go hiking, Portofino and Cinque Terre both have various trails.

Portofino is a popular spot for hiking. There are many beautiful hikes and treks along the coastline that pass by scenic landscapes and breathtaking views.

Many people visit Cinque Terre specifically for its hiking. The five towns are part of Cinque Terre National Park and there are 120 kilometers of hiking trails in the park. Most people hike along the trails that follow the coastline and connect the towns. There are fees for the most popular stretch of trails which connect Monterosso to Vernazza and then go from Vernazza to Corniglia. All other hiking is free in the area.

Is Portofino or Cinque Terre Better for Shopping?

Portofino
Cinque Terre

Portofino often provides a better shopping experience than Cinque Terre.

Portofino is a popular shopping destination with plenty of stores. The quaint cobblestone streets are lined with high end boutiques that target the opulent jet-setter crowd that frequents Portofino. Much of the shopping is around Martiri dell'Olivetta Square.

Cinque Terre has some good spots for those that want to go shopping. The towns are more about the atmosphere than the shops, but the best shopping can be found in the largest town of Monterosso. You'll find jewelry, clothing, and local food items that are fun to take home as souvenirs.

Is Portofino or Cinque Terre Better for Families?

Portofino
Cinque Terre

Kids will enjoy a visit to either Portofino or Cinque Terre.

Portofino is not the most family-friendly destination. The town has a picturesque setting and some beautiful pebbly beaches. It's fun for kids to run around the town, explore by kayak, or play in the waters edge.

Cinque Terre is a family-friendly seaside village. The five towns are all about exploring on foot, so if that's your kid's thing, then they're in for a treat. The hilly terrain can be a bit tricky, particularly for the little ones, but for older kids this area offers the perfect amount of challenge. There are also a couple of beaches and swimming spots as well as a playground or two around. Food, like most of Italy, is very kid-friendly.

Is Portofino or Cinque Terre Better for Couples?

Portofino
Cinque Terre

With fun activities for couples, both Portofino and Cinque Terre make for a good place to visit.

Portofino makes for a terrific place to visit as a couple. Set beautifully against the ocean's edge, this famous Italian town makes for a truly romantic holiday. Ogle the mega yachts in the harbor and then wander the charming streets while you soak in the atmosphere.

For those traveling as a couple, Cinque Terre has plenty to offer. These stunning five Italian villages are perched precariously on the water's edge. They're surrounded by beautiful vineyards and connected by impressive hiking trails. This area is truly a dream honeymoon destination and it is sure to make a memorable vacation for any couple who enjoys exploring charming village.


Is Portofino or Cinque Terre Better for Public Transit?

Portofino
Cinque Terre

Both Portofino and Cinque Terre offer public transit options.

Public transit is generally limited in Portofino. The closet train stations are Santa Margherita Ligure and Camogli. You can catch a bus from the Santa Margherita train station. There are also some ferry options.

Cinque Terre has some public transit options. Most people arrive by train but there are also ferries available.

Is Portofino or Cinque Terre a more walkable city?

Portofino
Cinque Terre

Portofino and Cinque Terre both are comparable when exploring on foot.

It is easy to get around Portofino on foot. It's easy to walk around the village and then explore the countryside on one of the nearby trails.

It's very easy to get around on foot in Cinque Terre. Vehicle traffic in the towns are heavily restricted so it's very enjoyable to explore on foot. The terrain is hilly and uneven, but that's part of the charm. There are also hiking trails that connect each of the five towns.

Should I spend more time in Cinque Terre or Portofino?

How long in Portofino or Cinque Terre?

In either Portofino or Cinque Terre, 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 Portofino is 2-5 days, and the ideal length of time for a trip to Cinque Terre is 2-5 days.


  • How many days in Portofino or Cinque Terre? Ideal Length of Stay
    Portofino 2-5 
    Cinque Terre 2-5

One day in Portofino or Cinque Terre?

Portofino is a small town where visitors enjoy the food and shopping. Many travelers plan to spend time hiking while in the area. The length of your ideal trip is an individual decision. With so much to do, one day is probably not enough time to see everything.

You'll find food and scuba diving and snorkeling around the quaint coastal region of Cinque Terre. Visiting the old town is also a must. Since there is so much to do in the area, one day is probably not enough for all of it. It has many unique tourist attractions and fascinating things to do.

A weekend in Portofino or Cinque Terre?

Portofino is a fun place to experience. People often spend their time relaxing at one of the resorts. If you have a weekend, this is a great place to go. It will give you the chance to have new experiences. So, a weekend is just the right amount of time to spend here.

You'll find scuba diving and snorkeling and food around the charming small town of Cinque Terre. Hikers are also drawn to this area. This is a popular place to visit for a weekend.A weekend should give you a good understanding of everything this coastal region has to offer. This coastal region offers a variety of activities to choose from.


Five days in Portofino or Cinque Terre?

Portofino might be a small town, but there's plenty to do in the area. Hikers are also drawn to this area. Take your pick from the many activities offered here. Plenty of people spend five days in the area when traveling. So, five days is just the right amount of time to spend here.

You'll find food and scuba diving and snorkeling around the idyllic coastal region of Cinque Terre. The length of your ideal trip is an individual decision. If you have five days, this coastal region makes for a great vacation. Exploring the old town is a popular activity. Five days should give you a good understanding of everything this coastal region has to offer.

A week in Portofino or Cinque Terre?

Portofino is a popular place to visit. Many visitors also spend a good bit of time hiking. One week may feel like too much time unless you plan to do a lot of relaxing. The entire region has so many activities, and you'll want time to do everything.

Cinque Terre is a popular choice for travelers. Make sure you visit the old town while you're here. One week 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. It will give you the chance to have new experiences.

Which city is cheaper, Cinque Terre or Portofino?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Portofino is €261, while the average daily cost in Cinque Terre is €110. 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 Portofino and Cinque Terre in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Portofino 152
    Cinque Terre 56
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Portofino 304
    Cinque Terre 112
Compare Hotels in Portofino and Cinque Terre

Looking for a hotel in Portofino or Cinque Terre? 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 Portofino


Hotels in Cinque Terre


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: Portofino Hotel Prices and Cinque Terre Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Portofino 18
    Cinque Terre 12

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Portofino

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Portofino:

  • Private Transfer from Portofino to Rimini (RMI) Airport: $1,512
  • Private Transfer from Portofino to Firenze (FLR) Airport: $952
  • Portofino – Genoa / Private Van Transfer: $56
  • Portofino – Genoa / Private Car Transfer: $100
  • Portofino - Genoa Airport (GOA) / Private Departure Car Transfer: $56
  • Portofino - Genoa Airport (GOA) / Private Departure Car Transfer: $100

Typical Local Transportation prices in Cinque Terre

Here are some examples of typical transportation prices from actual travelers in Cinque Terre:


  • Ferry Day Pass
    15

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Cinque Terre

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

  • From Florence: Round Trip Transfer to Cinque Terre: $64

Is it cheaper to fly into Portofino or Cinque Terre?

Prices for flights to both Cinque Terre and Portofino 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
    Portofino 94
    Cinque Terre 33

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Portofino

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

  • Private cooking class at the old mill in Portofino: $261

Typical Food prices in Cinque Terre

For Cinque Terre, here are some examples of average food and meal prices for travelers:


  • Whole Pizza
    9.50
  • Panini
    3.75
  • Sitdown Dinner (for Two)
    52
  • Fresh Focaccia
    2.12

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Cinque Terre

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

  • La Spezia Cinque Terre Food Tour: $93
  • Market Tour, Home Cooking Class, Dinner: $214

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Portofino 22
    Cinque Terre 10

Tours and Activities in Portofino

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

  • Easy Kayak Tour to Portofino with Optional Snorkeling: $51
  • Half-Day Private Hike Adventure to Portofino and San Fruttuoso: $235
  • Paddle Boarding Experience in Portofino: $61
  • Portofino Kayak Tour: $60
  • Portofino Private Walking Tour: $230
  • Portofino Stand Up Paddleboard Experience: $51
  • Portofino and Santa Margherita Ligure Small Group Tour with Local Dirver: $235
  • Portofino private boat tour: $1,058
  • San Fruttuoso Bay: Half-Day Hiking Tour with Lunch: $170
  • Snorkel Tour in Paraggi Bay: $44

Typical Entertainment prices in Cinque Terre

Below are a few sample prices from actual travelers for Cinque Terre's activities, tours, and tickets:


  • Double Kayak Rental (One Hour)
    10
  • Bagni Eden Beach Club Umbrella
    16
  • Cinque Terre Card (One Day)
    5.00
  • Cinque Terre Card (Three Days)
    12

Tours and Activities in Cinque Terre

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

  • From La Spezia: Cinque Terre Tour with Limoncino Tasting: $56
  • Small Group Guided Tour from Florence: $146
  • Market Tour & Meal with a Local Cook: $158
  • From Pisa: Cinque Terre Small Group Tour: $169
  • From La Spezia: Cinque Terre Full-Day Boat Tour: $169
  • From Florence: Cinque Terre Small Group Tour with Lunch: $271
  • Private Tour of the Shelleys in Lerici nearby Cinque Terre: $278
  • From Florence: Cinque Terre, Vernazza, Lucca Guided Tour: $624

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Portofino 13
    Cinque Terre 5.37

Typical Alcohol prices in Cinque Terre

Below are a few samples from actual travelers for alcohol and nightlife costs in Cinque Terre:


  • Glass of Local Wine
    2.90

Sample the Local Flavors in Cinque Terre

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

  • Guided Tour with Wine Tasting from Florence: $681


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

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Portofino vs. Cinque Terre Travel Comparison

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