A Travel Price Comparison for Italy Portofino vs. Imperia for Couples, Food, Nightlife, and Attractions

Should you visit Portofino or Imperia?

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

Should I visit Portofino or Imperia? 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 picturesque, breathtaking, and opulent seaside village. This is a great small town that is just waiting to be explored. You'll find world class beauty here as well. As it offers a special and quaint atmosphere, visitors come from all over to experience this destination. Other popular activities here include beaches, hiking, and shopping.

Imperia

Imperia is a charming, undiscovered, and authentic town. It's a beautiful place to visit, too. And you can't forget about the nightlife, food, and shopping.

Portofino and Imperia: Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Active nightlife
  • Nice resorts
  • Popular beach
  • Scenic old town
  • Good for hiking
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Very walkable
  • Small town charm
  • Impressive beauty
  • Quaint atmosphere
Things to Consider
  • Less museums and historical sights
  • Less family-friendly
  • Less popular with backpackers
Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Active nightlife
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
Things to Consider
  • Less popular with couples
  • Less walkable


Is there more to do in Portofino or Imperia?

Tourists will generally find more to do in Portofino. Although Portofino and Imperia are both popular with visitors, Portofino has more sights, activities, and attractions for travelers. Portofino is more popular for its food, nightlife, resorts, beaches, historical sights, hiking, shopping, small town charm, impressive beauty, and quaint atmosphere, while Imperia is known for its museums. Portofino is more touristy than Imperia and is known for its picturesque harbor, high end shopping, strikingly blue waters, and popularity with superyachts. It is also home to its scenic harbor. Imperia is popular for its access to the Ligurian coastline.

its scenic harbor
Its scenic harbor

How is Portofino different from Imperia?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

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

Are the Museums and Historical Sights Better in Portofino or Imperia?

Portofino
Imperia

Imperia is a popular place for its sights and museums. However, Portofino is a mediocre seaside village for its museums and history.

Imperia offers a variety of museums and landmarks to choose from. There are several interesting buildings of importance around town.

While most people don't head to Portofino specifically for the museums and attractions, it does offer a few options. The village is mostly about soaking up the atmosphere, but you can also visit sights such as Sun Church of St. George and Cervara Abbey.


Is the Food Better in Portofino or Imperia? Which Destination has the Best Restaurants?

Portofino
Imperia

Portofino is notable for its local cuisine and restaurants. Also, Imperia is not as famous, but is still a good town to visit for its restaurants.

Dining out in Portofino is an experience not to be missed. Located by the sea, you'll enjoy tons of great seafood here. Make sure you try the mussels, swordfish, and salt cod.

There are plenty of up and coming restaurants around Imperia. Food ranges from typical Italian dishes to local recipes that use local ingredients. Unique ingredients in the area include trumpet zucchini, flat breads, and anchovies.

Is Portofino or Imperia Better for Nightlife?

Portofino
Imperia

Portofino is notable for its evening party scene. Also, Imperia is not as famous, but is still a good town to visit for nightlife.

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.

With a handful of venues, visitors can find a fairly lively vibe in Imperia. There are some bars and lively restaurants around town where you can spend an enjoyable evening.

Is Portofino or Imperia Better for Resorts?

Portofino
Imperia

Portofino is a must-visit destination for its resorts. However, Imperia is not a resort destination.

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.

Imperia is not a resort destination.


Is Portofino or Imperia Better for Beaches?

Portofino
Imperia

Portofino is a popular place for the beach. However, Imperia is not a beach destination.

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.

Imperia is not a beach destination.

Is Portofino or Imperia Better for its Old Town?

Portofino
Imperia

Portofino is notable for its historic old town charm. However, Imperia does not have a historic old town.

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.

Imperia does not have a historic old town.

Is Portofino or Imperia Better for Hiking?

Portofino
Imperia

Portofino is notable for the nearby hiking options. However, Imperia is not a hiking destination.

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.

Imperia is not a hiking destination.


Is the Shopping Better in Portofino or Imperia?

Portofino
Imperia

Portofino is notable for its shopping areas. Also, Imperia is not as famous, but is still a good town to visit for shopping.

Browsing through shops is a popular activity in Portofino. 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.

Plenty of visitors enjoy shopping while in Imperia. There are some shopping streets in town that have a mix of local brands and standard clothing shops.

Is Portofino or Imperia Better for Families?

Portofino
Imperia

Imperia is a popular place for its family-friendly activities. However, Portofino is a mediocre seaside village for its kid-friendly activities.

Imperia is a family-friendly place to visit. There's some nice walking trails in the countryside that the kids will enjoy.

Portofino is not always a place people visit with their families. 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.

Is Portofino or Imperia Better for Couples?

Portofino
Imperia

Portofino is a must-visit destination for couples. Also, Imperia is not as famous, but is still a good town to visit for romance.

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.

Imperia is a nice destination for couples. It's a beautiful town with a nice atmosphere that offers a nice break from the tourist crowds.


Is Portofino or Imperia Better for Backpackers and Budget Travelers?

Portofino
Imperia

Imperia is a popular place for backpackers. However, Portofino is a mediocre seaside village for backpackers and budget travelers.

Plenty of budget travelers visit Imperia. Accommodation tends to be affordable and there's an off-the-beaten-path vibe that some backpackers will appreciate.

Portofino is a challenging destination for budget travelers and backpackers due to the higher prices. Known for it's high prices, the town isn't particularly popular with the backpacker crowd. It is possible to stay outside of town and head in for a day trip.

Is Portofino or Imperia Better for Public Transit? Which Is Easier to Get Around Without a Car?

Portofino
Imperia

Imperia is a popular place for its public transit. However, Portofino is a mediocre seaside village for times when you don't have a car.

Imperia has a few public transit options. There are buses that connect the city to different areas.

Public transit is mostly 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.

Is Portofino or Imperia a more walkable city?

Portofino
Imperia

Portofino is a must-visit destination for its ease of walking around. Also, Imperia is not as famous, but is still a good town to visit for its walkability.

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.

Imperia is somewhat walkable. Parts of the town are convenient to walk around.


For even more information, also check out Is Portofino Worth Visiting? and Is Imperia Worth Visiting?.

Should I spend more time in Imperia or Portofino?

How long in Portofino or Imperia?

You'll be able to find lots of things to do in Portofino or Imperia to fill your time. Many travelers usually spend more of their time in Portofino than Imperia because of the number of activities and things to do in the area. Usually, 2-5 days is a good amount of time for Portofino, and 1-2 days is enough time in Imperia.

Couples should spend more time in Portofino than Imperia. You'll find plenty of romantic sights and fun activities in Portofino that are great for a weekend getaway or a longer couple's trip.

Backpackers and budget travelers should spend more time in Portofino than Imperia if your budget allows for it. With a larger number of budget-friendly sights, good nightlife, and active things to do, anyone traveling on a budget would have a good time in Portofino.


  • How many days in Portofino or Imperia? Ideal Length of Stay
    Portofino 2-5 
    Imperia 1-2

One day in Portofino or Imperia?

Portofino is a small town with plenty to do. Travelers enjoy the resorts in the area as well. This seaside village offers something for everyone. One day is usually not enough time for a trip here as there is plenty to do.

You'll find shopping and museums around the town of Imperia. One day is a great amount of time to relax and see the many things that Imperia has to offer. It has many unique tourist attractions and fascinating things to do.

A weekend in Portofino or Imperia?

Portofino might be a small town, but there's plenty to do in the area. The length of your trip often depends on your style of travel. A weekend here is typical. Hiking can easily take up a good amount of your time here, too. A weekend is a great amount of time to relax and see the many things that Portofino has to offer.

You'll find museums and nightlife around the authentic destination of Imperia. This is a popular place to visit for a weekend.A weekend should give you a good understanding of everything this town has to offer. This town offers a variety of activities to choose from.

Five days in Portofino or Imperia?

Portofino is a great place to explore. It is common to spend five days here. You can also relax and pamper yourself at one of the resorts. Five days is a great amount of time to relax and see the many things that Portofino has to offer. Anyone can find something fun to do here.

Travelers enjoy the nightlife and food when visiting the authentic town of Imperia. The length of your ideal trip is an individual decision. Five days is plenty of time to see everything, even with extra days to spare.


A week in Portofino or Imperia?

It's hard to know how much time to spend in Portofino. Since Portofino is a small town, it's easily explored when your time is limited. It's also a relaxing resort destination. One week may feel like too much time unless you plan to do a lot of relaxing.

Imperia is a popular choice for travelers. 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.


For some great organized tour ideas, see The Best Historical Tours in Italy, The Best 10-Day Tours in Italy, The Best One Week (7-Day) Tours in Italy, and The Best 2-Week Tours in Italy.


Which place is cheaper, Imperia or Portofino?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Portofino is €326, while the average daily cost in Imperia is €108. 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 destination. What follows is a categorical breakdown of travel costs for Portofino and Imperia in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Portofino 190
    Imperia 51
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Portofino 380
    Imperia 102
Compare Hotels in Portofino and Imperia

Looking for a hotel in Portofino or Imperia? 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 Imperia


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 Imperia Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Portofino 23
    Imperia 36

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Portofino

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Portofino:

  • Private Transfer from Portofino Cruise Port to Genoa Airport(GOA): $49
  • Private Transfer from Portofino Cruise Port to Genoa city hotels: $49
  • Portofino hotels to Genoa Airport (GOA) - Departure Private Transfer: $54
  • Private Transfer - Portofino Cruise Port to Florence Airport(FLR): $159
  • Private Transfer from Portofino Cruise Port to Florence hotels: $159
  • CAR 3 PAX TRANSFER TO AIRPORT MILANO MALPENSA: $1,000

Is it cheaper to fly into Portofino or Imperia?

Prices for flights to both Imperia 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 118
    Imperia 35

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Portofino

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

  • Portofino Boat and Walking Tour with Pesto Cooking & Lunch: $246

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Portofino 27
    Imperia 13

Tours and Activities in Portofino

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

  • 1-Hour Snorkeling Tour in Paraggi Bay, Portofino: $42
  • Snorkel Tour in Paraggi Bay: $43
  • Portofino Stand Up Paddleboard Experience: $52
  • Easy Kayak Tour to Portofino with Optional Snorkeling: $52
  • Paddle Boarding Experience in Portofino: $54
  • Portofino Kayak Tour: $54
  • Coasteering Tour: $74
  • Sunset Boat Tour for Small Groups: $82
  • Boat Tour to Portofino and San Fruttuoso for Small Groups: $99
  • Portofino San Fruttuoso and Camogli One Day Boat Tour: $148
  • Portofino Private Walking Tour: $268
  • Private Sunset Boat Tour with Aperitif of Ligurian goods: $482

Tours and Activities in Imperia

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

  • Imperia - Old Town Private Historic Walking Tour: $428

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Portofino 16
    Imperia 7.50


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

If you're trying to decide if either of these two destinations are within your price range, also see Is Portofino Expensive? and Is Imperia Expensive?.


Which is Bigger, Portofino or Imperia?

Imperia has a larger population, and is about 70 times larger than the population of Portofino. When comparing the sizes of Portofino and Imperia, keep in mind that a larger population does not always imply the destination has more attractions or better activities. So, always research the type of place that you want to visit along with the activities and attractions that interest you.

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