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

Should you visit Portofino or Pisa?

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

Should I visit Portofino or Pisa? 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 is a glamorous, picturesque, and breathtaking seaside village. With plenty of activities and sights, this is a small town worth visiting. Many visitors also come because of it's amazing beauty. It also has a unique and quaint vibe that attracts lots of visitors. Visitors also love the beaches, hiking, and shopping.


Pisa is a classic, charming, and iconic city. The beauty of this spot is also one of the main reasons why visitors come. And you can't forget about the beaches, shopping, and museums.

Portofino and Pisa: Pros and Cons

  • Active nightlife
  • Nice resorts
  • Popular beach
  • Good for hiking
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Small town charm
  • Impressive beauty
  • Quaint atmosphere
Things to Consider
  • Less museums and historical sights
  • Less family-friendly
  • Less popular with backpackers
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Active nightlife
  • Popular beach
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
  • Good for students
  • Impressive beauty
  • Home to the Leaning Tower of Pisa
Things to Consider
  • Less popular with couples

Is there more to do in Portofino or Pisa?

Visitors will usually find more to do in Portofino than Pisa, as it offers more sights, attractions, and activities. Portofino is better known for its resorts, hiking, small town charm, impressive beauty, and quaint atmosphere, while Pisa is more popular for its museums. Portofino is more touristy than Pisa and is popular for its picturesque harbor, high end shopping, strikingly blue waters, and popularity with superyachts. Also, Portofino is famous for its scenic harbor. Pisa is well known for its iconic Leaning Tower, its beautiful squares, and its lively atmosphere.

its scenic harbor
Its scenic harbor

How is Portofino different from Pisa?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

Let's take a look at the differences and similarities between Pisa 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 Pisa?


Pisa is notable for its sights and museums. However, Portofino is a mediocre seaside village for its museums and history.

Pisa offers many unique museums, sights, and landmarks that will make for a memorable trip. The city is more than a one hit wonder. In addition to the famous Leaning Tower of Pisa, you'll find many beautiful buildings and museums. Popular places to visit include the Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta, Campo Santo (Sacred Field), and Museo dell'Opera del Duomo.

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 Pisa? Which Destination has the Best Restaurants?


Dining out at restaurants in both Portofino and Pisa 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.

Pisa has a number of nationally recognized food spots and restaurants. The local cuisine is heavily influenced by the city's maritime roots. You'll find many seafood dishes as well as local classic recipes that have been passed down through the generations. A quintessential local dish is Bordatino alla Pisana, which is made with beans, cabbage, and cornflour. Also popular are Pasta e Ceci (chickpea pasta), Palette (a local polenta), and Trippa alla Pisana.

Is Portofino or Pisa Better for Nightlife?


Evening events are high quality in both Portofino and Pisa.

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.

Pisa has a lively atmosphere and nightlife is popular here. Head out to an aperitivo bar for an early drink, then head to one of the area's best nightlife neighborhoods. For the biggest party scene, go about 10 kilometers out of town to the Versilian coast. This area has the most popular clubs. If you decide to stay in town, there are still plenty of places to catch live music and dance.

Is Portofino or Pisa Better for Resorts?


Portofino is terrific for its luxury resorts. However, Pisa 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.

Pisa is not a resort destination.

Is Portofino or Pisa Better for Beaches?


For a relaxing beach holiday, both Portofino and Pisa are notable 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.

Many people head to Pisa to enjoy the beach. Many people forget that there are beaches near Pisa, but the city is close to the sea. Some of the closest beaches include Marina di Vecchiano and Marina di Pisa.

Is Portofino or Pisa Better for its Old Town?


It's fun to wander around the high quality old towns in both Portofino and Pisa.

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.

There is a nice variety of sights in the old town of Pisa. The old town is where you'll find the city's classic charm and many of the best sights.

Is Portofino or Pisa Better for Hiking?


Portofino is a great seaside village for hiking. However, Pisa is not a hiking destination.

Many visitors go to Portofino for the hiking trails. There are many beautiful hikes and treks along the coastline that pass by scenic landscapes and breathtaking views.

Pisa is not a hiking destination.

Is the Shopping Better in Portofino or Pisa?


Both Portofino and Pisa are high quality 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 visitors explore the shopping areas in Pisa. There's a great mix of traditional markets, high end stores, and indoor shopping malls where you can find anything that you might need. Corso Italia is one of the most popular shopping areas, but also worth checking out are Centro Commerciale Pisanova, Borgo Stretto and Borgo Largo.

Is Portofino or Pisa Better for Families?


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

Pisa is a family-friendly place to visit. It's a lively city with beautiful squares and the famous Leaning Tower of Pisa. Kids will enjoy hanging out in the city center, visiting Parco Don Bosco, Giardino Scotto Park, or Marina di Pisa. If you have a car and are willing to venture a bit further away, there's the Piccolo Mondo Amusement Park and Parco Preistorico Peccioli.

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 Pisa Better for Couples?


Portofino is terrific for its romantic activities. Also, Pisa is not as popular, but is still a nice city for couples.

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.

Pisa is a good seaside village for couples to visit. It's an iconic Italian destination that offers so much more than its most famous landmark. The city is filled with charming squares, beautiful architecture, and plenty of fun activities that couples can enjoy.

Is Portofino or Pisa Better for Backpackers and Budget Travelers?


Pisa is notable for backpackers. However, Portofino is a mediocre seaside village for backpackers and budget travelers.

Pisa is a great city to visit for backpackers. Most backpackers pass through on their way to other towns, but for those that linger, there are plenty of hostels and a lively social scene.

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 Pisa Better for Students?


Pisa is an unbeatable place for students. However, Portofino is not popular with students.

Many students frequent Pisa. Many study abroad students flock to Italy for its beautiful culture, art, and architecture. Pisa makes a nice base for international students, and it offers easy access to other parts of Italy. It's also home to an internationally acclaimed university, Scuola Normale Superiore, which was founded in 1810.

Portofino is not popular with students.

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


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

Pisa has a few public transit options. There are public buses through town with the most popular lines being the Red and Green 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 Pisa a more walkable city?


Portofino is terrific for its high level of walkability. Also, Pisa is not as popular, but is still a nice city for its ease of walking around.

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

Pisa is a very walkable destination. The city is a great place to explore on foot.

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

Should I spend more time in Pisa or Portofino?

How long in Portofino or Pisa?

Visitors can find plenty of fun things to do in both Portofino and Pisa. With generally more activities and things to do, visitors tend to spend more time in Portofino than in Pisa. Usually, 2-5 days is a good amount of time for Portofino, and 1-3 days is enough time in Pisa.

Families should spend more time in Pisa than Portofino. Because of the many family-friendly attractions and fun things to do for kids in Pisa, it's a great place to visit with the whole family.

Couples should spend more time in Portofino than Pisa. 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 Pisa than Portofino 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 Pisa.

  • How many days in Portofino or Pisa? Ideal Length of Stay
    Portofino 2-5 
    Pisa 1-3

One day in Portofino or Pisa?

Portofino is a small town where visitors enjoy the shopping and nightlife. Hiking can easily take up a good amount of your time here, too. Take your pick from the many activities offered here. With so much to do, one day is probably not enough time to see everything.

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

A weekend in Portofino or Pisa?

Portofino is a fun place to experience. If you have a weekend, this is a great place to go. You can also relax and pamper yourself at one of the resorts. A weekend is often enough time to do most activities. The entire region has so many activities, and you'll want time to do everything.

You'll find museums and nightlife around the world-famous destination of Pisa. 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 Pisa?

Portofino might be a small town, but there's plenty to do in the area. This seaside village offers something for everyone. Many visitors also spend a good bit of time hiking. Plenty of people spend five days in the area when traveling. Five days is often enough time to do most activities.

Travelers enjoy the nightlife and food when visiting the charming city of Pisa. The length of your ideal trip is an individual decision. Exploring the old town is a popular activity. Five days is plenty of time to see everything, even with extra days to spare.

A week in Portofino or Pisa?

Because Portofino is a small town, it's easy to explore in a short amount of time. Make sure you spend some time hiking while you're in the area. The length of your trip often depends on your style of travel. 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.

Pisa 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.

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, Pisa 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 Pisa is €120. 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 Pisa in more detail.

  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Portofino 190
    Pisa 60
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Portofino 380
    Pisa 120
Compare Hotels in Portofino and Pisa

Looking for a hotel in Portofino or Pisa? 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 Pisa

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 Pisa Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Portofino 23
    Pisa 11

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Portofino

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Portofino:

  • Private Transfer - Portofino Cruise Port to Florence Airport(FLR): $161
  • Private Transfer from Portofino Cruise Port to Florence hotels: $161
  • Portofino hotels to Genoa Airport (GOA) - Departure Private Transfer: $54
  • Private Transfer from Portofino Cruise Port to Genoa Airport(GOA): $50
  • Private Transfer from Portofino Cruise Port to Genoa city hotels: $50

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Pisa

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

  • Train Transfer from Pisa Airport to San Giusto/Aurelia: $5.45
  • Pisa Airport: Transfer to/from Pisa Central Railway Station: $7.09
  • Private Transfer from Pisa (PSA) Airport to San Giuliano Terme: $70
  • Private Transfer from Pisa (PSA) Airport to Vecchiano: $70
  • Pisa Airport (PSA) to Florence - Arrival Private Transfer: $75
  • Private Transfer from Marina di Pisa to Pisa (PSA) Airport: $80
  • Private Transfer from Tirrenia to Pisa (PSA) Airport: $80
  • Private Transfer from Pisa (PSA) Airport to Tirrenia: $80
  • Private Transfer from Pisa (PSA) Airport to Marina di Pisa: $80
  • Private Transfer from Pisa (PSA) Airport to Calci: $80
  • Private Transfer from Calambrone to Pisa (PSA) Airport: $80
  • La Spezia: Guided Tour of Florence & Pisa with Bus Transfer: $82

Is it cheaper to fly into Portofino or Pisa?

Prices for flights to both Pisa 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 Meals for one day
    Portofino 118
    Pisa 50

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: $249

Typical Food Prices in Pisa

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

  • Dinner

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Pisa

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

  • Chianni: wine and oil tasting with lunch or dinner: $44
  • Pisa Private Cooking Class: $94
  • Dining Experience at a local's Home in Carrara with Show Cooking: $94
  • Dining experience at a local's home in Pontedera with cooking demo: $94
  • Pisa Food Tour: $97
  • Pisa Food Tour - Do Eat Better Experience: $103
  • Lucca: Private Home-made Pasta Cooking Class: $131
  • Private Home-made Pasta Cooking Class: $131
  • Private Home-Made Pasta Cooking Class in Pisa.: $133
  • Hands-On Cooking Class at a Local's Home: $158
  • Private Pizza & Tiramisu Class at a Cesarina's home with tasting in Pisa: $160
  • Authentic Italian Food Tour in Pisa: $531

  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Portofino 27
    Pisa 20

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: $43
  • Boat Tour to Portofino and San Fruttuoso for Small Groups: $100
  • Easy Kayak Tour to Portofino with Optional Snorkeling: $53
  • Genova: Sunset Cruise to Portofino with Free Time to Explore: $28
  • Paddle Boarding Experience in Portofino: $54
  • Portofino Kayak Tour: $54
  • Portofino Private Walking Tour: $273
  • Portofino San Fruttuoso and Camogli One Day Boat Tour: $150
  • Portofino Stand Up Paddleboard Experience: $53
  • Coasteering Tour: $75
  • Luxury Immersed in Nature – Private Tour: $305
  • Private Sunset Boat Tour with Aperitif of Ligurian goods: $502

Tours and Activities in Pisa

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

  • First Discovery Walk and Reading Walking Tour: $3.27
  • Tower of Pisa & Square of Miracles Audio Tour: $4.35
  • City Exploration Game and Tour: $4.36
  • Self-Guided Highlights Scavenger Hunt & Walking Tour: $4.36
  • digital guide made with a local for your walking tour: $4.42
  • Pisa Scavenger Hunt and Sights Self-Guided Tour: $4.47
  • From Italy eSIM Tourist Roaming Data Plan: $4.91
  • Pisa Scavenger Hunt and Landmarks Self-Guided Tour: $5.52
  • Pisa Exploration Game and City Tour on your Phone: $6.17
  • City Exploration Game and Tour on your Phone: $7.09
  • Romantic Pisa Quest Experience: $7.17
  • Private Audio Guided Walking Tour in Pisa: $8.82

  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Portofino 16
    Pisa -

Sample the Local Flavors in Pisa

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

  • Cathedral Guided Tour & Wine Tasting & Optional Tower: $49
  • Pisa guided tour and Wine tasting with Leaning Tower ticket (option): $51
  • Afternoon Wine Tasting Aperitif on the vineyards Small Group from Pisa: $74
  • From Pisa or Lucca: Half-Day Tuscany Chianti Wine Tasting: $92
  • Chianti Half-day Wine Tour in the Tuscan's Hills from Pisa: $93
  • A horse riding in the Vineyards with wine tasting: $98
  • Authentic Food & Wine Tour with a Sommelier: $140
  • An Authentic Food & Wine Tour with a Sommelier in Pisa: $141
  • Pisa & Lucca with wine Tasting and Lunch from Livorno: $676

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

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

Which is Bigger, Portofino or Pisa?

Pisa has a larger population, and is about 170 times larger than the population of Portofino. When comparing the sizes of Portofino and Pisa, 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.