A Travel Price Comparison for Italy San Remo vs. Portofino for Couples, Food, Nightlife, and Beaches

Should you visit San Remo or Portofino?

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

Should I visit San Remo or Portofino? 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.

San Remo

San Remo is a relaxing, beautiful, and scenic coastal city. The beauty of this spot is also one of the main reasons why visitors come. And you can't forget about the nightlife, food, and beaches.

Portofino

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 beaches, hiking, and shopping.

San Remo and Portofino: Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Active nightlife
  • Popular beach
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Impressive beauty
Things to Consider
  • Less popular with backpackers
Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • 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 family-friendly
  • Less popular with backpackers


Is there more to do in San Remo or Portofino?

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

its scenic harbor
Its scenic harbor

How is San Remo different from Portofino?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

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

Are the Museums and Historical Sights Better in San Remo or Portofino?

San Remo
Portofino

Portofino is a decent place to visit for its museums and history. However, San Remo does not have museums and landmarks.

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.

San Remo does not have museums and landmarks.


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

San Remo
Portofino

Local dishes at restaurants are fun to try in both San Remo and Portofino.

San Remo has a number of nationally recognized food spots and restaurants. The local restaurants are charming and sell a number of local specialties. Many traditional dishes are made with rabbit or chicken. There are also vegetable pies and sardenaira, which is a type of pizza that's made with tomatoes, garlic, and anchovies. Also make sure you pick up Baci di Sanremo, which are soft chocolate biscuits that are available in local bakeries.

With its innovative style combined with traditional elements, Portofino makes for a great culinary experience. Located by the sea, you'll enjoy tons of great seafood here. Make sure you try the mussels, swordfish, and salt cod.

Is San Remo or Portofino Better for Nightlife?

San Remo
Portofino

Portofino is a very popular place for its evening party scene. Also, San Remo is not quite as popular, but is fairly good for nightlife.

Portofino has a large number of nightlife venues. 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.

San Remo has an active nightlife scene for those who seek it out. The city has a number of clubs and bars where you can enjoy a drink or hang out late into the evening. It's a pretty mellow nightlife scene, but there's still plenty of places to go as well as a local vibe that doesn't have the influx of tourists that you find in many of other Italian cities.

Is San Remo or Portofino Better for Resorts?

San Remo
Portofino

Portofino is terrific for its luxury resorts. However, San Remo 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.

San Remo is not a resort destination.


Is San Remo or Portofino Better for Beaches?

San Remo
Portofino

San Remo is notable for the beache. Also, Portofino is not as famous, but is still a good seaside village to visit for the beach.

San Remo is considered a top beach destination. The beautiful sandy beaches are nice to visit and it's possible to rent chairs and umbrellas in many places. The main beach in town is Spiaggia dei Porti. Other popular nearby beaches include Spiaggia dei tre ponti, which is a large public beach, and Cala degli Orsi, which is one of the most beautiful public beaches in the area.

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.

Is San Remo or Portofino Better for its Old Town?

San Remo
Portofino

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

Many visitors explore the old town while visiting San Remo. The old quarter of Pigna is a Medieval area with narrow streets that feel as if they're frozen in time. The hills offer impressive city views and the area has a unique historic character.

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.

Is San Remo or Portofino Better for Hiking?

San Remo
Portofino

Portofino is a very popular place for its hiking trails. However, San Remo 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.

San Remo is not a hiking destination.


Is the Shopping Better in San Remo or Portofino?

San Remo
Portofino

Portofino is a very popular place for its shopping areas. Also, San Remo is not quite as popular, but is fairly good 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.

San Remo is a great destination for shopping. There are local and international brands as well as a shopping mall and outlets where you can enjoy shopping.

Is San Remo or Portofino Better for Families?

San Remo
Portofino

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

San Remo is a very kid-friendly coastal city. The area offers plenty of outdoor activities that the whole family will enjoy. There's horseback riding, hiking, rowing, snorkeling, cooking classes, farm tours and more. There are also a number of hotels in the area that have kid-friendly activities.

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 San Remo or Portofino Better for Couples?

San Remo
Portofino

Portofino is terrific for couples. Also, San Remo is not quite as popular, but is fairly good 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.

Couples visit San Remo frequently as it offers plenty of romantic activities. It's known as the city of flowers, and the many beautiful gardens make this a truly romantic place to visit. Couples will enjoy soaking up the city's history and enjoy the vibrant culture and outdoor activities that are available.


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

San Remo
Portofino

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

San Remo has a few public transit options. There are local buses around town.

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 San Remo or Portofino a more walkable city?

San Remo
Portofino

Portofino is terrific for its ease of walking around. Also, San Remo is not quite as popular, but is fairly good for its walkability.

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

San Remo is very walkable. The old quarter is fun to explore on foot and there are a number of walking tours through town.

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

Should I spend more time in Portofino or San Remo?

How long in San Remo or Portofino?

In either San Remo or Portofino, you'll find plenty of activities to fill your time. Most visitors tend to spend more time in Portofino than San Remo because of the overall number of sights and activities. Usually, 1-2 days is a good amount of time for San Remo, and 2-5 days is enough time in Portofino.

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

Couples should spend more time in Portofino than San Remo. 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 Portofino than San Remo 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 San Remo or Portofino? Ideal Length of Stay
    San Remo 1-2 
    Portofino 2-5

One day in San Remo or Portofino?

You'll find food and shopping around the coastal city of San Remo. Many visitors spend time at the beach while visiting the area. One day is a great amount of time to relax and see the many things that San Remo has to offer. It has many unique tourist attractions and fascinating things to do.

Portofino is a small town where visitors enjoy the nightlife and food. Many visitors also spend a good bit of time hiking. With so much to do, one day is probably not enough time to see everything. It will give you the chance to have new experiences.


A weekend in San Remo or Portofino?

You'll find shopping and nightlife around the historic destination of San Remo. 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 coastal city has to offer. This coastal city offers a variety of activities to choose from.

Portofino is a popular place that is full of things to see and experience. If you have a weekend, this seaside village makes for a great vacation. People enjoy relaxing at one of the resorts. While some people choose to spend more or less time in Portofino, a weekend is sufficent for most. Take your pick from the many activities offered here.

Five days in San Remo or Portofino?

Travelers enjoy the nightlife and food when visiting the historic coastal city of San Remo. The length of your ideal trip is an individual decision. It's also a great beach destination, too. Five days is plenty of time to see everything, even with extra days to spare.

Portofino is a popular choice for travelers. Five days here is typical. While some people choose to spend more or less time in Portofino, five days is sufficent for most. The entire region has so many activities, and you'll want time to do everything.

A week in San Remo or Portofino?

San Remo is a popular choice for travelers. It's a great spot for a beach vacation. 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.

Portofino is a great place to explore. Hiking can easily take up a good amount of your time here, too. One week is more than enough time to enjoy everything. Take some day trips to nearby places to fill the extra days. This seaside village offers something for everyone.


For some great organized tour ideas, see The Best Sightseeing Tours in Italy, The Best Vineyard & Wine Tours in Italy, The Best Food and Culinary Tours in Italy, and The Best Romantic Tours for Couples in Italy.


Which place is cheaper, Portofino or San Remo?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in San Remo is €152, 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 San Remo and Portofino in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    San Remo 80
    Portofino 190
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    San Remo 160
    Portofino 380
Compare Hotels in San Remo and Portofino

Looking for a hotel in San Remo 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 San Remo


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: San Remo Hotel Prices and Portofino Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    San Remo 46
    Portofino 23

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Portofino

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Portofino:

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

Is it cheaper to fly into San Remo or Portofino?

Prices for flights to both Portofino and San Remo 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
    San Remo 44
    Portofino 118

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.
    San Remo 23
    Portofino 27

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
  • Boat Tour to Portofino and San Fruttuoso for Small Groups: $99
  • Easy Kayak Tour to Portofino with Optional Snorkeling: $52
  • Paddle Boarding Experience in Portofino: $54
  • Portofino Kayak Tour: $54
  • Portofino Private Walking Tour: $268
  • Portofino San Fruttuoso and Camogli One Day Boat Tour: $148
  • Portofino Stand Up Paddleboard Experience: $52
  • Coasteering Tour: $74
  • Private Sunset Boat Tour with Aperitif of Ligurian goods: $482
  • Private Tour of Genoa and Portofino from Genoa: $714
  • Snorkel Tour in Paraggi Bay: $43

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    San Remo 14
    Portofino 16


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

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


Which is Bigger, San Remo or Portofino?

San Remo has a larger population, and is about 100 times larger than the population of Portofino. When comparing the sizes of San Remo 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.

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