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

Should you visit Rome or Portofino?

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

Trying to figure out where to travel next? This travel comparison between Rome and Portofino can help. It includes a travel cost comparison in addition to other factors. For many travelers, the cost of a destination is a primary consideration when choosing where to go.

Rome

Rome is a bustling, fun-filled, and popular 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.

Portofino

Portofino is a picturesque, breathtaking, and opulent seaside village. As this is a charming small town, visitors also come to explore the sights and local activities. The famous beauty of this place is one of the main draws. As it offers a special and quaint atmosphere, visitors come from all over to experience this destination. Other popular activities here include nightlife, food, and beaches.

Rome and Portofino: Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Active nightlife
  • Good music scene
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
  • Good for students
  • Good public transit
  • Big city activities
  • Impressive beauty
  • Home to the Colosseum
Pros
  • Active nightlife
  • Nice resorts
  • Popular beach
  • Scenic old town
  • 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
  • Public transit not as usable


Is there more to do in Rome or Portofino?

Tourists will generally find more to do in Rome. Although Rome and Portofino are both popular with visitors, Rome has more sights, activities, and attractions for travelers. Rome is more popular for its museums, food, nightlife, music, shopping, and big city activities, while Portofino is known for its resorts, beaches, historical sights, hiking, small town charm, and quaint atmosphere. Rome is popular for its iconic archaeological sites such as the Colosseum and the Roman Forum, as well as its gelato, Italian cuisine, and strong religious roots. It is also home to The Colosseum. Portofino is popular for its picturesque harbor, high end shopping, strikingly blue waters, and popularity with superyachts.

The Colosseum
The Colosseum

How is Rome different from Portofino?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

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

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

Rome
Portofino

Rome 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 Rome are among the most recognizable in the world. The historical sights around the city are among the most impressive in the world. Almost anywhere you look you'll find a notable landmark but some of the most famous include the Colosseum, the Pantheon, the Trevi Fountain, the Vatican, and the Roman Forum.

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 Rome or Portofino? Which Destination has the Best Restaurants?

Rome
Portofino

Rome is an unbeatable place for its local cuisine and restaurants. Also, Portofino is not as famous, but is still a good seaside village to visit for its restaurants.

For foodies, Rome is an obvious choice, as it is one of the food capitals of the world. Homemade pasta, fresh sauces, and fine wine all make the food scene among the best. Also make sure you try the gelato.

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.

Is Rome or Portofino Better for Nightlife?

Rome
Portofino

Rome is an unbeatable place for nightlife and partying. Also, Portofino is not as famous, but is still a good seaside village to visit for its evening party scene.

The nightlife in Rome is well established with world renowned clubs and venues. You'll find a huge concentration of bars and clubs in the Testaccio area. There are late night clubs with salsa dancing, merengue, and live DJ's spinning every type of music.

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.

Is Rome or Portofino Better for Music?

Rome
Portofino

Rome is an unbeatable place for its live music scene. However, Portofino is not a live music destination.

Live music, and music in many other forms, is everyone in Rome Popular music venues include Live Alcazar, Atlantico Live, and Beba do Samba.

Portofino is not a live music destination.


Is Rome or Portofino Better for Resorts?

Rome
Portofino

Portofino is an unbeatable place for its resorts. However, Rome is not a resort destination.

Portofino is a world class resort vacation destination. 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.

Rome is not a resort destination.

Is Rome or Portofino Better for Beaches?

Rome
Portofino

Portofino is a seaside village with good options for the beach. However, Rome is not a beach destination.

Plenty of visitors enjoy relaxing on the beach in Portofino. 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.

Rome is not a beach destination.

Is Rome or Portofino Better for its Old Town?

Rome
Portofino

Portofino is a great destination for its historic old town charm. However, Rome does not have a historic old town.

Portofino is an extremely popular place to visit the historic old town area. Despite evolving into a famous resort town, Portofino still holds on to its fishing village charm.

Rome does not have a historic old town.


Is Rome or Portofino Better for Hiking?

Rome
Portofino

Portofino is a great destination for its hiking experiences. However, Rome is not a hiking destination.

You'll find a nice variety of hiking trails around Portofino. There are many beautiful hikes and treks along the coastline that pass by scenic landscapes and breathtaking views.

Rome is not a hiking destination.

Is the Shopping Better in Rome or Portofino?

Rome
Portofino

Rome is an unbeatable place for its shopping opportunities. Also, Portofino is not as famous, but is still a good seaside village to visit for its shopping areas.

The abundance of shops in Rome make it a world-class shopping destination. For the biggest brand names, head to Via del Corso, which is near the Spanish Steps. Popular items to buy include Italian ceramics, shoes, leather goods, and jewelry.

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.

Is Rome or Portofino Better for Families?

Rome
Portofino

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

Rome is a very kid-friendly city. What kid wouldn't be thrilled to be surrounded by pizza and spaghetti restaurants? In addition to kid-friendly food options, there are also a number of great activities that the whole family can enjoy including exploring the Colosseum, taking a gladiator class, and eating gelato.

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 Rome or Portofino Better for Couples?

Rome
Portofino

Portofino is an unbeatable place for couples. Also, Rome is still popular, but not quite as popular for romance.

Portofino is a great seaside village for couples, as it 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.

Rome is a great city if you're traveling as a couple. With many beautiful buildings, world class restaurants, and world renowned sights, this city makes a great romantic destination.

Is Rome or Portofino Better for Backpackers and Budget Travelers?

Rome
Portofino

Rome is an unbeatable place for backpackers. However, Portofino is a mediocre seaside village for backpackers and budget travelers.

Backpackers and budget travelers come from all over the world to visit Rome. Backpackers will find no shortage of hostels where they can stay, particularly near the main train station where accommodation is particularly cheap (but not always the best quality).

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 Rome or Portofino Better for Students?

Rome
Portofino

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

Many students frequent Rome. The city is a popular study abroad destination and you'll find plenty of international students here.

Portofino is not popular with students.


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

Rome
Portofino

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

Visitors in Rome can get around quickly with the extensive public transit system. There's a metro system, trams, and a comprehensive bus system that goes around the city.

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 Rome or Portofino a more walkable city?

Rome
Portofino

Rome and Portofino both are terrific when exploring on foot.

Getting around Rome on foot is easy. You'll find many of the most popular sights in a compact area that's easily explored on foot. Do watch out for traffic, which can be a bit chaotic at times.

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

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

Should I spend more time in Portofino or Rome?

How long in Rome or Portofino?

In either Rome or Portofino, you'll find plenty of activities to fill your time. Most visitors tend to spend more time in Rome than Portofino because of the overall number of sights and activities. Usually, 3-7 days is a good amount of time for Rome, and 2-5 days is enough time in Portofino.

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

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

Backpackers and budget travelers should spend more time in Rome 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 Rome.


  • How many days in Rome or Portofino? Ideal Length of Stay
    Rome 3-7 
    Portofino 2-5

One day in Rome or Portofino?

People visit Rome because there is so much to do. 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.

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.


A weekend in Rome or Portofino?

People visit Rome because there is so much to do. A weekend is usually not enough time for a trip here as there is plenty to do. This city offers a variety of activities to choose from.

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.

Five days in Rome or Portofino?

People visit Rome 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. Five days should give you a good understanding of everything this city has to offer.

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.

A week in Rome or Portofino?

Rome is a popular choice for travelers. One week here is typical. While some people choose to spend more or less time in Rome, one week is sufficent for most. It will give you the chance to have new experiences.

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.


For some great organized tour ideas, see The Best Luxury Tours to Italy, The Best Budget Tours to Italy, The Best Tours for Seniors to Italy, and The Best Contiki Tours to Italy.


Which place is cheaper, Portofino or Rome?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Rome is €170, while the average daily cost in Portofino is €326. 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 Rome and Portofino in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Rome 89
    Portofino 190
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Rome 178
    Portofino 380
Compare Hotels in Rome and Portofino

Looking for a hotel in Rome or Portofino? 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 Rome


Hotels in Portofino


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: Rome Hotel Prices and Portofino Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Rome 21
    Portofino 23
Typical Local Transportation Prices in Rome

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


  • Metro Ride (for Two)
    2.00
  • Train to the Airport
    15
  • Taxi to Airport
    45
  • Bicycle Rental (Full Day)
    10

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Rome

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Rome:

  • Bus Transfer Between Airport and Rome Termini Station: $6.52
  • Shuttle Bus Transfer to or from Ciampino Airport: $6.52
  • Tickets for Bus Transfer to or from Fiumicino Airport: $7.50
  • Tickets for Bus Transfer to or from Ciampino Airport: $7.50
  • Shuttle Bus Transfer to or from Fiumicino Airport: $7.61
  • Transfer Ciampino Airport - Rome center: $7.77
  • Transfer Rome center - Fiumicino airport: $7.77
  • Fiumicino Airport from/to Vaticano Transfer: $8.88
  • Bus Transfer from Rome to Milan or Vice Versa: $11
  • Transfer from Termini Station to the Maximo Shopping Center: $15
  • Civitavecchia Port to/from Vatican City Bus Transfer: $16
  • Transfer between Fiumicino Airport and Rome Termini: $18

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Portofino

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Portofino:

  • CAR 3 PAX TRANSFER TO AIRPORT MILANO MALPENSA: $979
  • Portofino hotels to Genoa Airport (GOA) - Departure Private Transfer: $54
  • Private Transfer - Portofino Cruise Port to Florence Airport(FLR): $160
  • Private Transfer from Portofino Cruise Port to Florence hotels: $160
  • Private Transfer from Portofino Cruise Port to Genoa Airport(GOA): $50
  • Private Transfer from Portofino Cruise Port to Genoa city hotels: $50

Is it cheaper to fly into Rome or Portofino?

Prices for flights to both Portofino and Rome 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
    Rome 47
    Portofino 118
Typical Food Prices in Rome

Below are a few samples from actual travelers for food and meal costs in Rome:


  • Casual Lunch (for Two)
    14
  • 4 Ice Cream Sandwiches
    2.99
  • Cafe e doce
    4.00
  • Pizza (Fast Food)
    2.65
  • Sitdown Lunch (for Two)
    32
  • Cheese and bread
    10
  • Espresso
    2.00
  • Dinner
    58

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Rome

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

  • Award-Winning Roman Food Tours: $16
  • Vatican and Trionfale Farmers Market Food tour and Wine tasting : $32
  • Rome Food Tour with Wine Tasting and Farmers Market in Prati Area: $32
  • Food Tour of the Vatican with Farmers Market and Wine Tasting: $32
  • Dinner in Carbonara,Amatriciana,Cacio&Pepe e wine tasting : $36
  • Campo dei Fiori & Jewish Ghetto area Street Food Tour: $42
  • Painting and Pizza Party in Rome: $43
  • Rome Food Tour : Street Food Testings with Local Guide: $43
  • Leonardo Da Vini, Wine and Pizza Painting Class: $43
  • Pub Crawl and Ultimate Party with Open Bar and Pizza: $43
  • Tiber River Urban Rafting Tour with Roman Pizza: $43
  • Traditional Pizza Making Cooking Class: $45

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

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Rome 36
    Portofino 27
Typical Entertainment Prices in Rome

Here are a few typical costs in Rome for activities, ticket prices, and tours that come from previous visitors:


  • Rome Museum Vaticano (for 2)
    69
  • Coliseum Tickets (for Two)
    33
  • Roma Pass
    30
  • Hop on Hop Off Bus (All Day)
    20
  • Segway Tour
    75

Tours and Activities in Rome

Here are a few actual costs in Rome for available activities, ticket prices, and tours:

  • Bergamo Old Town: Discovery Walk & Reading Walking Tour: $3.26
  • Cambridge: Discovery Walk & Reading Walking Tour: $3.26
  • Roman Forum and Palatine Hill Self-Guided Audio Tour: $3.32
  • Bergamo Old Town: City Exploration Game and Tour: $5.44
  • Civitavecchia's Stories and Secrets: A Self-Guided Audio Tour: $5.50
  • Twilight Treasures: An Evening Tour Through Rome's Rich History: $5.54
  • Vatican Night Tour - Rome: $5.54
  • Jewish Ghetto and Trastevere Tour Rome: $5.54
  • Rome Walking Tour Including the Pantheon and Trevi Fountain: $5.54
  • St. Peter's Basilica Rome Audio Tour Experience: $5.99
  • What Emperor Hadrian Lost: A Self-Guided Audio Tour of Ancient Rome: $5.99
  • Testaccio: A Self-Guided Audio Tour of Rome's Food Traditions: $5.99

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: $53
  • Easy Kayak Tour to Portofino with Optional Snorkeling: $53
  • Paddle Boarding Experience in Portofino: $54
  • Portofino Kayak Tour: $54
  • Coasteering Tour: $75
  • Portofino e San Fruttuoso Boat Experience: $109
  • Portofino Private Walking Tour: $272
  • White Boat Tour Tigullio Portofino: $457
  • Private Sunset Boat Tour with Aperitif of Ligurian goods: $489
  • Private Tour of Genoa and Portofino from Genoa: $725

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Rome 18
    Portofino 16
Typical Alcohol Prices in Rome

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


  • Bottle of Wine
    6.50
  • Pint of Beer
    6.34
  • Beer
    10

Sample the Local Flavors in Rome

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

  • Trionfale Farmers Market and Vatican Quarter Food and Wine Tour: $32
  • Vatican Food and Wine Tasting Tour next to the Sistine Chapel: $32
  • Cabaret and Burlesque Show Entry Ticket: $33
  • Vatican Quarter and Trionfale Farmers Market Food and Wine Tour: $43
  • Food & Wine Tour by the Vatican City: $48
  • The Best Wine Tasting in Trastevere with food pairing and Gelato: $50
  • Bar Crawl with Guide and Drinks Included: $53
  • Bar Crawl with Local Guide & Drinks: $53
  • Roman Night Life and Burlesque Show Tour: $54
  • Guided Wine Tasting Experience in a Roman Vineyard: $54
  • Tipsy Tour: Fun Bar Crawl In Rome With Local Guide : $54
  • Wine Tour in Historic Center of Rome: $55


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

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


Which is Bigger, Rome or Portofino?

Rome has a larger population, and is about 4850 times larger than the population of Portofino. When comparing the sizes of Rome and Portofino, 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.