A Travel Price Comparison for Italy Portofino vs. Pompeii for Attractions, Couples, Families, and Backpackers

Should you visit Portofino or Pompeii?

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

Should I visit Portofino or Pompeii? 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 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 hiking, shopping, and nightlife.


Pompeii is a ancient, famous, and iconic archeological site. And you can't forget about the museums.

Portofino and Pompeii: Pros and Cons

  • Popular for food and cuisine
  • Active nightlife
  • Nice resorts
  • Popular beach
  • Scenic old town
  • Good for hiking
  • Fun shopping
  • 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
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
  • Good for students
  • Home to the Pompeii Archaeological Ruins
Things to Consider
  • Less popular for food
  • Less popular for nightlife
  • Less popular for shopping
  • Less popular with couples

Is there more to do in Portofino or Pompeii?

Tourists will generally find more to do in Portofino. Although Portofino and Pompeii 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 Pompeii is known for its museums. Portofino is popular for its picturesque harbor, high end shopping, strikingly blue waters, and popularity with superyachts. It is also home to its scenic harbor. Pompeii is popular for its well preserved archaeological ruins that are still intact following the eruption of Mount Vesuvius.

its scenic harbor
Its scenic harbor

How is Portofino different from Pompeii?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

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


Pompeii is an unbeatable place for its sights and museums. However, Portofino is a mediocre seaside village for its museums and history.

The museums, monuments, and landmarks in Pompeii are among the most recognizable in the world. Pompeii is a city frozen in time and it is truly a one-of-a-kind destination. The streets remain as they once stood, lined with shops and homes. Highlights of a visit include the Forum, the Antiquarium, the Temple of Isis, and the Teatro Grande.

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 Pompeii? Which Destination has the Best Restaurants?


Portofino is an excellent place to visit for its restaurants. However, Pompeii is lacking in options for its restaurant scene.

Portofino has a number of nationally recognized food spots and restaurants. Located by the sea, you'll enjoy tons of great seafood here. Make sure you try the mussels, swordfish, and salt cod.

While Pompeii is not famous for its food, you'll find what you need there. While there is a café near the Forum, the quality of the food isn't great and it can get crowded. You'd do best to bring your own food as the site is large and you'll want to eat on your own schedule.

Is Portofino or Pompeii Better for Nightlife?


Portofino is an excellent place to visit for its evening party scene. However, Pompeii is lacking in options for nightlife.

Portofino has a lively atmosphere and nightlife is popular here. 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.

Things get quiet in the evenings in Pompeii. As a popular tourist destination, you'll find some bars nearby, but most people visit as a day trip and head out of town before the evening hours.

Is Portofino or Pompeii Better for Resorts?


Portofino is renowned for its luxury resorts. However, Pompeii is not a resort destination.

If you're looking for a fantastic resort destination, Portofino is a perfect 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.

Pompeii is not a resort destination.

Is Portofino or Pompeii Better for Beaches?


Portofino is very good for the beach. However, Pompeii is not a beach destination.

Many people head to Portofino to enjoy the beach. 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.

Pompeii is not a beach destination.

Is Portofino or Pompeii Better for its Old Town?


Portofino is an excellent place to visit for its historic old town charm. However, Pompeii does not have a historic old town.

There is a nice variety of sights in the old town of Portofino. Despite evolving into a famous resort town, Portofino still holds on to its fishing village charm.

Pompeii does not have a historic old town.

Is Portofino or Pompeii Better for Hiking?


Portofino is an excellent place to visit for its hiking trails. However, Pompeii is not a hiking destination.

Many visitors explore the nearby hiking trails while visiting Portofino. There are many beautiful hikes and treks along the coastline that pass by scenic landscapes and breathtaking views.

Pompeii is not a hiking destination.

Is the Shopping Better in Portofino or Pompeii?


Portofino is an excellent place to visit for its shopping areas. However, Pompeii is lacking in options for shopping.

Many visitors explore the shopping areas 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.

Pompeii has some shopping areas for those that seek them out. There are some souvenir stands outside of the site where you can buy trinkets to remember your visit.

Is Portofino or Pompeii Better for Families?


Pompeii is notable for its family-friendly activities. However, Portofino is a mediocre seaside village for its kid-friendly activities.

Pompeii is a very kid-friendly archeological site. Its a city frozen in time, and even kids will get lost in the history and story behind Pompeii. The trick is to find a kid-friendly tour and understand the layout before you arrive. Because it's so big, you want to know which places to visit and which you might want to skip with kids who have short attention spans.

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 Pompeii Better for Couples?


Portofino is renowned for couples. Also, Pompeii is not quite as popular, but is fairly good for romance.

For those traveling as a couple, Portofino has plenty to offer. 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.

Pompeii is a nice destination for couples. It's an iconic destination in Italy, and should be added to any Italian trip itinerary. It's not exactly a romantic destination, but it's something that every visitor should see.

Is Portofino or Pompeii Better for Backpackers and Budget Travelers?


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

Plenty of budget travelers visit Pompeii. It's touristy and crowded, but also world renowned and not-to-be-missed. Whether you're a backpacker or a luxury traveler, Pompeii is on most itineraries.

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 Pompeii Better for Students?


Pompeii is a popular place for students. However, Portofino is not popular with students.

Pompeii is a good archeological site to visit for students. It's history and educational significance make it a great study abroad destination, whether you visit alone, with friends, or as part of a tour group.

Portofino is not popular with students.

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


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

Pompeii has a few public transit options. Many visitors from Sorrento and Naples arrive via the the Circumvesuviana train. There are also buses from many different locations.

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 Pompeii a more walkable city?


Portofino and Pompeii both are world-class 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 Pompeii. You can walk around the entire site in about 4 hours, but you'll really want to allow a full day if you want to see everything in depth.

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

Should I spend more time in Pompeii or Portofino?

How long in Portofino or Pompeii?

You'll be able to find lots of things to do in Portofino or Pompeii to fill your time. Many travelers usually spend more of their time in Portofino than Pompeii 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 Pompeii.

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

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

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

One day in Portofino or Pompeii?

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 museums around the archeological site of Pompeii. One day is a great amount of time to relax and see the many things that Pompeii has to offer. It has many unique tourist attractions and fascinating things to do.

A weekend in Portofino or Pompeii?

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 around the ancient destination of Pompeii. This is a popular place to visit for a weekend.A weekend should give you a good understanding of everything this archeological site has to offer. This archeological site offers a variety of activities to choose from.

Five days in Portofino or Pompeii?

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 museums when visiting the ancient archeological site of Pompeii. The length of your ideal trip is an individual decision. Most people head to the area for the museums. Five days is plenty of time to see everything, even with extra days to spare.

A week in Portofino or Pompeii?

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.

Pompeii 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, Pompeii 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 Pompeii is €151. 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 Pompeii in more detail.

  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Portofino 190
    Pompeii 70
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Portofino 380
    Pompeii 140
Compare Hotels in Portofino and Pompeii

Looking for a hotel in Portofino or Pompeii? 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 Pompeii

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 Pompeii Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Portofino 23
    Pompeii 54

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Portofino

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Portofino:

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

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Pompeii

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

  • Transfer from Pompeii to Naples or viceversa: $66
  • Transfers from Naples to Sorrento Positano Amalfi Ravello Maiori: $98
  • Small Group Pompeii Wine Tasting with Lunch & Transfer Included : $98
  • Private transfer Ravello to Naples: $122
  • Transfer Ravello to Naples: $122
  • Private Transfer from Ravello to Salerno: $176

Is it cheaper to fly into Portofino or Pompeii?

Prices for flights to both Pompeii 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
    Pompeii 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: $250

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Pompeii

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

  • Pompei Market Cooking Class with Lunch: $83
  • Lunch or dinner and cooking demo at a local home in Pompei: $94
  • Small Group Market tour and Cooking class in Pompei: $143
  • Private Pizza & Tiramisu Class at a Cesarina's home with tasting in Pompei: $160
  • Private market tour and cooking class with lunch or dinner in Pompei: $208
  • guided tour of the ruins and cooking class fresh pasta : $275

  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Portofino 27
    Pompeii 77

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
  • 3 Hour Boat Tour in Portofino: $115
  • Boat Tour to Portofino and San Fruttuoso for Small Groups: $100
  • Easy Kayak Tour to Portofino with Optional Snorkeling: $53
  • Paddle Boarding Experience in Portofino: $54
  • Portofino Kayak Tour: $54
  • Portofino Private Walking Tour: $270
  • Portofino San Fruttuoso and Camogli One Day Boat Tour: $150
  • Portofino Stand Up Paddleboard Experience: $53
  • Coasteering Tour: $75
  • Private Sunset Boat Tour with Aperitif of Ligurian goods: $487
  • Private Tour of Genoa and Portofino from Genoa: $721

Tours and Activities in Pompeii

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

  • Escape the Dead Quest Experience in Pompeii: $5.71
  • The Rise, Fall, and Rediscovery of A Self-Guided Tour: $20
  • Pompeii Express 1 hour Guided Tour: $21
  • 2 Hours Skip the Line Visit with a Licensed Guide: $26
  • Pompeii Ticket with Optional Guided Tour: $31
  • PompeiI VIP: Guided Tour with your Archaeologist in a Small Group : $32
  • Entry Ticket with Digital Audio Guide: $35
  • Pompeii Archaeological Area Entrance Ticket: $36
  • Pompeii Archeological Site Fast Track Entry Ticket : $36
  • Pompeii tour with archaeologist: $39
  • Skip the Line Ticket for Pompeii with a Guide Book of the Site: $39
  • guided tour of the archaeological excavations of Pompeii: $39

  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Portofino 16
    Pompeii 7.31

Sample the Local Flavors in Pompeii

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

  • Wine Tasting Tour on the Slopes of Vesuvius: $46
  • Private Pompeii Wine Tasting with Lunch: $55
  • Seafood Lunch with Wine Tasting & Tour on a golf cart: $88
  • Wine tasting in the Vesuvius national park: $95
  • Guided Tour of Pompeii Ruins with Lunch and Wine Tasting: $99
  • Pompeii Guided Tour & Horse Riding on Vesuvius with Wine Tasting: $193
  • Private tour of Pompeii Ruins, Organic Wine tasting and Lunch: $198
  • Pompeii, Herculaneum and scenic drive of the Mt. Vesuvius with wine tasting: $209

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

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