A Travel Price Comparison for Italy Portofino vs. Milan for Food, Nightlife, Old Town, and Couples

Should you visit Portofino or Milan?

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

Should I visit Portofino or Milan? 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. With plenty of activities and sights, this is a small town worth visiting. Many visitors also come here because of it's amazing beauty. As it offers a special and quaint atmosphere, visitors come from all over to experience this destination. It's also popular because of the nightlife, food, and beaches.

Milan

Milan is a trendy, chic, and cultural city. With plenty of activities and things to do, it's a huge city that draws plenty of visitors. You'll find world class beauty here as well. And you can't forget about the food, shopping, and museums.

How is Portofino different from Milan?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

Is Portofino or Milan better for Museums and Historical Sights?

Both Portofino and Milan offer a variety of museums and places of interest, but Milan generally has more to choose from.

Milan offers many unique museums, sights, and landmarks that will make for a memorable trip. The Milan Cathedral is the most famous landmark in the city, but other sights include Castello Sforzesco, Pinacoteca di Brera, and Sant'Ambrogio.

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 Portofino or Milan better for Food?

Dining out in both Portofino and Milan 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.

Many restaurants in Milan have been singled out for their culinary prowess. The city has a mix of traditional dishes combined with modernized, trendy restaurants. You can try a new dish by a groundbreaking chef, or sample a long running favorite like risotto alla Milanese.

Is Portofino or Milan better for Nightlife?

Evening events are similar in both Portofino and Milan.

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.

Milan has a colorful and one-of-a-kind nightlife scene. The city has a huge number of students and young professionals, which make it a fun place with an active nightlife. There are cocktail bars, trendy clubs, and relaxed pubs that you can chose from.

Is Portofino or Milan better for its Old Town?

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

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.

Milan offers visitors a world-class historical old town to explore. Known as the Centro Storic, this area is the most popular with tourists. It's where you'll find the most historic buildings and beautiful sights in the city.

Is Portofino or Milan better for Shopping?

Both Portofino and Milan are good shopping destinations.

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.

Many people travel to Milan specifically to go shopping. Famous as the fashion capital of Italy, shopping is the thing to do here. There are many streets that are lined with the biggest designers in fashion. Make sure you check out Via Monte Napoleone, Via Della Spiga, and Corso Buenos Aires.


Is Portofino or Milan better for Families?

Kids will enjoy a visit to either Portofino or Milan.

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.

Milan offers lots of family activities. The city has a science museum and a children's museum, MuBa, that is great for the kids. There are also a number of parks to explore as well as playgrounds where the kids and get out their energy.

Is Portofino or Milan better for Couples?

With fun activities for couples, both Portofino and Milan 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.

Milan is a great seaside village if you're traveling as a couple. There are many beautiful buildings, excellent shopping, and romantic restaurants that make for a wonderful couple's getaway.

Is Portofino or Milan better for Public Transit?

While Portofino and Milan both provide public transit, overall the system in Milan is considered to be better.

Visitors in Milan can get around quickly with the extensive public transit system. Options include metro, bus, tram, and train lines.

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 Milan a more walkable city?

Portofino and Milan 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.

Milan is a very easy seaside village to get around on foot. In particular, the city center is walkable.


Portofino and Milan: Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Small town charm
  • Impressive beauty
  • Quaint atmosphere
Cons
  • Less museums and historical sights
  • Less family-friendly
  • Less popular with backpackers
  • Public transit not as usable
Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
  • Good public transit
  • Big city activities
  • Impressive beauty


Should I spend more time in Milan or Portofino?

How long in Portofino or Milan?

In either Portofino or Milan, 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 Milan is 1-5 days.


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

One day in Portofino or Milan?

Even though Portofino is a small town, it has plenty of activities to choose from. People enjoy relaxing at one of the resorts. This seaside village offers a variety of activities to choose from. Since there is so much to do in the area, one day is probably not enough for all of it.

People visit Milan because there is so much to do. Visiting the old town is also a must. One day is a great amount of time to relax and see the many things that Milan has to offer. It has many unique tourist attractions and fascinating things to do.

A weekend in Portofino or Milan?

It's hard to know how much time to spend in Portofino. For many, it makes a great getaway for a weekend. Many travelers plan to spend time hiking while in the area. This would be the perfect place to spend a weekend, as it has just the right amount of activities. The length of your ideal trip is an individual decision.

People visit Milan because there is so much to do. The old town is one of the main draws for visitors. This is a popular place to visit for a weekend.A weekend should give you a good understanding of everything this city has to offer. This city offers a variety of activities to choose from.

Five days in Portofino or Milan?

Portofino is a fun place to experience. People often spend their time relaxing at one of the resorts. This would be the perfect place to spend five days, as it has just the right amount of activities.

People visit Milan because there is so much to do. The length of your ideal trip is an individual decision. If you have five days, this city makes for a great vacation. Exploring the old town is a popular activity. Five days should give you a good understanding of everything this city has to offer.

A week in Portofino or Milan?

Portofino is a small town, so you can explore the area with less time. You can also relax and pamper yourself at one of the resorts. Take your pick from the many activities offered around the area. One week is plenty of time to see everything, even with extra days to spare.

Milan 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, Milan 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 Milan is €133. 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 Milan in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Portofino 152
    Milan 76
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Portofino 304
    Milan 152

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Portofino 18
    Milan 28

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 Airport (GOA) / Private Departure Car Transfer: $100
  • Portofino – Genoa / Private Car Transfer: $100
  • Portofino - Genoa Airport (GOA) / Private Departure Car Transfer: $56
  • Portofino – Genoa / Private Van Transfer: $56

Typical Local Transportation prices in Milan

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


  • Train to Airport
    7.00
  • Malpensa Airport Train (for Two)
    22
  • Taxi From Airport
    90
  • Public Transit Day Pass
    4.50
  • Short Taxi Ride
    7.13

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Milan

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

  • Linate Airport and Milan Central Station Transfer: $5.67
  • Bergamo: Bus Transfer to/from Milan City Center: $9.07
  • Ultra - Milan Private Airport Transfer from city Milan centre to Malpensa (MXP): $9.41
  • Ultra - Milan private transfer from train station to Milan city centre: $9.41
  • Ultra - Milan Private Airport Transfer from city centre to Milan train station: $9.41
  • Direct Transfer between Malpensa Airport and Center: $11
  • Bus Transfer from Malpensa Airport and Milan Central Station: $11
  • Milan Hotel to Linate Airport: Shared Departure Transfer (max 8 people): $21
  • Private Departure Van Transfer: Hotel to Linate Airport Milan (LIN): $31
  • Private Arrival Transfer from Milan Linate Airport to Milan City: $40
  • Private Departure Transfer from Milan City to Milan Linate Airport: $40
  • Private Business Transfer from Milan City Center to Linate Airport (LIN): $41

Is it cheaper to fly into Portofino or Milan?

Prices for flights to both Milan 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
    Milan 31

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 Milan

Here are some examples of typical meal expenses from previous travelers to Milan:


  • Snack at Train Station
    8.60
  • Restaurant Pizza
    6.60
  • Casual Cafe Lunch (for Two)
    27
  • Three Course Dinner (for Two)
    64
  • Cappuccino
    1.63

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Milan

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

  • Evening Food Tour: $90
  • Dining experience at a local's home in Milan with show cooking: $106
  • Food Tour of Brera: $110
  • Small-group Street food tour in Milan: $111
  • Pizza and Gelato-Making Class: $112
  • Gourmet Food Tour: $113
  • Private Italian cooking class & lunch in the woods outside Milan: $118
  • 3.5-Hour Traditional and Modern Food Tour: $130
  • Central Market Tour and Cooking Class: $135
  • Market Tour and Lunch or Dinner at a Cesarina's Home: $158
  • Small Group Market tour and Cooking class in Milan: $162
  • Private Pizza & Tiramisu Class at a Cesarina's home with tasting in Milan: $180

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Portofino 22
    Milan 25

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 Milan

For Milan, here are some examples of average entertainment and activity prices from previous travelers:


  • Stairs to Duomo Rooftop
    7.00

Tours and Activities in Milan

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

  • Santa Maria delle Grazie Self-Guided Tour App: $3.97
  • Self-Guided Smartphone Tour of Sforza Castle: $3.97
  • Santa Maria delle Grazie Reserved Entry Ticket & Tour: $14
  • Bagatti Valsecchi Museum Ticket Entrance: $14
  • Cathedral, Archeological Area and Museum Ticket: $14
  • Milan Cathedral: Rooftop Terraces Ticket (No Church Access): $15
  • Leonardo3 The World of Leonardo: Tickets for the Interactive Exhibition: $15
  • Leonardo's Vineyard with Guided Tour Option: $15
  • Leonardo3 - The World of Leonardo Museum Entrance Ticket: $16
  • Skip the Line: Milan Cathedral Rooftop Ticket: $17
  • Casa Milan Admission Ticket: $17
  • Walking Street Art Tour of Ticinese and Navigli: $17

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Portofino 13
    Milan 19

Typical Alcohol prices in Milan

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


  • Cocktail at a Bar
    8.40
  • Beer
    3.35

Sample the Local Flavors in Milan

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

  • Wine Tasting Experience in the City Centre: $41
  • Wine Tastings with Chef Luigi Gandola: $93
  • From Wine Tasting Tour in the Countryside: $101
  • Food and Wine Tasting enjoying the New Milan: $127
  • Milan Countryside and Wine tasting Tour: $148
  • Wine Tour Barolo from Milan: $243
  • Day trip from Valtellina and wine tasting - private tour: $603
  • Food & Wine Tour on Lake Orta from Milan - Private Tour: $695
  • Wine Tour in Franciacorta from Milan: $821


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

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Portofino vs. Milan Travel Comparison

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