A Travel Price Comparison for Greece Santorini vs. Athens for Attractions, Food, Nightlife, and Couples

Should you visit Santorini or Athens?

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

If you're trying to decide where to visit between Santorini or Athens, this travel comparison, which includes costs, can help. The overall cost of travel is usually a consideration when deciding where to go next, and the cost comparison down below can help you decide based on the average prices from other travelers along with your own travel budget.

Santorini

Santorini is a romantic, stunning, and historic island. Many visitors also come because of it's amazing beauty. Since it has a quaint atmosphere, you'll want to spend time soaking it all in. It's also popular because of the scuba diving and snorkeling, beaches, and hiking.

Athens

Athens is a energetic, historic, and ancient city. Travelers will also find plenty of sights and attractions here, as it's a big city that attracts lots of visitors. It's a beautiful place to visit, too. Visitors also love the museums, nightlife, and food.

Santorini and Athens: Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Impressive beauty
  • Quaint atmosphere
Cons
  • Less museums and historical sights
  • Less popular for food
  • Less popular for nightlife
  • Less popular with backpackers
Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Popular for food and cuisine
  • Good nightlife
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
  • Big city activities
Cons
  • Less popular with couples


How is Santorini different from Athens?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

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

Is Santorini or Athens Better for Museums and Historical Sights?

Santorini
Athens

Head to Athens if you're looking for good museums or notable landmarks, as it has more to offer than Santorini.

The museums and tourist attractions in Athens are world-renowned. As a historical capital of the world, this city has countless museums and archeological sites including the famous Acropolis, the National Archaeology Museum, and the Ancient Agora.

If you're looking for an educational opportunity, there are a decent number of museums and historical sights around Santorini. One of the most impressive historical sights is Akrotiri Archaeological Site. The island has many archeological sites as well as the Archeological Museum in Fira.


Is Santorini or Athens Better for Food?

Santorini
Athens

Foodies will appreciated the dining options available in Athens a bit more than Santorini.

Known for it's food and restaurant scene, Athens is always at the top of any foodie's travel list. Make sure you try the souvlaki, moussaka, and dolmades at any of the many local restaurants throughout the city.

There are many up and coming restaurants in the Santorini area. Popular foods on this island include fava, Greek salad, and kofta.

Is Santorini or Athens Better for Nightlife?

Santorini
Athens

For nightlife, head to Athens instead of Santorini.

The nightlife in Athens is well established with world renowned clubs and venues. There are all-night dance clubs as well as local bars and chill live music venues.

There's a variety of activities in the evening in Santorini. It is one of the calmer, more romantic islands in Greece. For the best nightlife, you'll want to stay near Fira.

Is Santorini or Athens Better for Shopping?

Santorini
Athens

If you're looking to go shopping, Santorini and Athens both offer plenty of spots.

Santorini is well-known for its shopping. Towns around the island are filled with clothing and jewelry boutiques as well as many unique Greek shopping experiences.

Many visitors go to Athens to go shopping. Most neighborhoods have a shopping street but head to Ermou Street for some of the city's best shopping.

Is Santorini or Athens Better for Families?

Santorini
Athens

Santorini and Athens are both fun destinations for the whole family.

Santorini offers lots of family activities. It is a calmer destination than many of the Greek Islands. While it's a great place to relax with kids, the beaches aren't as good as they are on some of the other islands. Most families hang out in Kamari and Perissa Beach.

Athens is known to be a very family-friendly place to visit. With its rich history, beautiful outdoor activities, and kid-friendly food, Athens is a fun place to explore with the whole family.


Is Santorini or Athens Better for Couples?

Santorini
Athens

Couples will find a longer list of romantic activities in Santorini than Athens.

Santorini has so much to offer for a romantic couple's vacation. It is a dream honeymoon destination that is famous for its picturesque setting and luxury resorts. For many couples, this is a top pick for a romantic trip to the Greek Isles.

Athens is a good island for couples to visit. The city is historical, fascinating, and romantic, making it a beautiful place to explore as a couple.

Is Santorini or Athens Better for Backpackers and Budget Travelers?

Santorini
Athens

Travelers usually think of Athens as a better destination for backpackers than Santorini.

With so many budget-friendly offerings, Athens is extremely popular for backpackers. The city has long been established as a backpackers destination with budget friendly food and plenty of hostels around town.

Santorini is a good island to visit for backpackers. The island has its share of 5 star resorts, but if you head a few streets in you'll find some surprisingly affordable accommodation. Backpackers are welcomed on the island and beaches are free, so it's possible to get by on a relatively low budget.

Is Santorini or Athens Better for Public Transit?

Santorini
Athens

Santorini and Athens both offer public transit to get you around.

While Santorini offers some public transit options, it might not be your first choice. There is a bus system, KTEL Santorini Buses, that runs 23 buses during the summer months but only a small fraction of that operate during the winter months.

Athens offers a very effecient public transportation network. The city's metro system has 3 lines that connect to bus, tram and commuter rail lines.

Is Santorini or Athens a more walkable city?

Santorini
Athens

Santorini and Athens are similar when it comes to walkability.

Santorini is a somewhat walkable place. Many towns on the island are walkable, including Fira, but the actual island is too large to explore on foot.

Athens is a very walkable destination. You'll find the city's most walkable area's in the historical heart, where there are many pedestrian only streets and shopping areas.


Should I spend more time in Athens or Santorini?

How long in Santorini or Athens?

Both Santorini and Athens have a number of activities to choose from. You can spend a similar amount of time exploring either.

The ideal length of time for a trip to Santorini is 3-7 days, and the ideal length of time for a trip to Athens is 3-7 days.


  • How many days in Santorini or Athens? Ideal Length of Stay
    Santorini 3-7 
    Athens 3-7

One day in Santorini or Athens?

Many travelers enjoy the scuba diving and snorkeling and shopping when visiting the quaint destination of Santorini. You can also relax and pamper yourself at one of the resorts. But since there are so many activities, you'll likely want to spend more than one day exploring.

People visit Athens 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.

A weekend in Santorini or Athens?

Santorini is a great place to explore. With so much to do, a weekend is probably not enough time to see everything. Your budget might influence how long you stay.

People visit Athens 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.

Five days in Santorini or Athens?

It's hard to know how much time to spend in Santorini. For many, it makes a great getaway for five days. People enjoy relaxing at one of the resorts. With all of its activities, you can easily fill five days here. It has many unique tourist attractions and fascinating things to do.

People visit Athens 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.

A week in Santorini or Athens?

Many travelers enjoy the nightlife and food when visiting the historic destination of Santorini. This island offers a variety of activities to choose from. Travelers enjoy the resorts in the area as well. If you have one week, this is a great place to go. This would be the perfect place to spend one week, as it has just the right amount of activities.

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

Which city is cheaper, Athens or Santorini?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Santorini is €131, while the average daily cost in Athens is €103. 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 Santorini and Athens in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Santorini 66
    Athens 51
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Santorini 132
    Athens 102
Compare Hotels in Santorini and Athens

Looking for a hotel in Santorini or Athens? 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 Santorini


Hotels in Athens


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: Santorini Hotel Prices and Athens Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Santorini 23
    Athens 22

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Santorini

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

  • Helicopter Transfer between Mykonos & Santorini: $2,839
  • Premium Santorini Private Day Tour Lagoon 450, BBQ, drinks, transfer: $933
  • Tour of Caldera on Sailing Boat & Bus Transfer:Volcano-Hot springs-Thirassia-Oia: $75
  • Santorini Taxi Service & Airport, Hotel and Port Transfers: $62
  • Private Transfer to/from Santorini Airport (JTR): $50
  • Santorini Airport to Hotel: Private Arrival Transfer: $45
  • Transfer from Santorini Airport&Port all destination except OIA up to 4 customer: $37
  • Santorini Airport Hotels Transfer Shuttle Bus Service: $27
  • Private Airport Transfer: $25
  • Oia Sunset: Evening Shuttle Transfer and Free Time: $23
  • Santorini transfer service: $17
  • Shared Transfer Service: $17

Typical Local Transportation prices in Athens

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


  • Airport Bus for Two
    6.40
  • Metro
    1.50
  • Metro
    2.00
  • Metro from Airport to City Center
    8.00
  • Taxi from Airport
    35

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Athens

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

  • Private Transfer from Αthens City to Igoumenitsa Port: $1,763
  • Private Transfer from Athens City to Syvota: $1,203
  • Private City Transfer From Athens To Pilos: $970
  • Private City Transfer From Athens to Kranidi: $970
  • Transfer to Corfu from Athens including visit to Delphi: $964
  • Athens to Corfu Luxury Private Transfer: $890
  • Private Transfer to/ from Lefkada Marina to/ from Athens Airport or City Centre: $759
  • Transfer From Athens To Lefkada: $678
  • Private Transfer from Athens to Nafplio: $666
  • Transfer to Lefkada - The Safest and most Convinient way: $605
  • Delphi Private Full Day Luxury Transfers From Athens: $597
  • Private Transfer from Athens-Pireaus-ATH to Igoumenitsa-Parga-Sivota-Ioannina: $592

Is it cheaper to fly into Santorini or Athens?

Prices for flights to both Athens and Santorini 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
    Santorini 38
    Athens 30

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Santorini

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

  • Live Virtual Cooking Class: $26
  • A taste of Mediterranean Cuisine Dinner: $90
  • Hands on Cooking Class with a Chef: $90
  • Fira: 4-Hour Walking Food Tour With Tastings: $108
  • Sunset Sea Kayak and Snorkel with Dinner: $108
  • Santorini : Sunset Sea Kayak & Snorkel with Dinner: $118
  • Santorini : Cooking Class, Easy Hike, and Snorkeling: $131
  • Cooking Class with Santorini’s Aroma: $506
  • Full-Day Royalty Private Cooking Class and Tour in Santorini: $506
  • Cooking Class with Santorini’s Aroma: $546
  • Santorini Private Sunset Sailing Cruise with Dinner, Drinks &Transfer included: $1,350

Typical Food prices in Athens

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


  • Ice cream
    3.00
  • Souvlaki
    2.20

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Athens

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

  • Online 1hr Cooking Class: Santorini Tomato Fritters: $6.22
  • Greek Meatballs Private Online Cooking Class: $27
  • Withlocals the 10 Tastings: Athens Private Food Tour with a Local: $42
  • Online Cooking Class: Greek mini cheese pies: $45
  • Street Culture & Food Tour: $56
  • Afternoon Food Tour: $56
  • Athens walking and tasting food tour.: $60
  • 4-Hour Cooking Class with Market Visit: $69
  • Homemade Gyros cooking class and dinner in Athens for private groups: $75
  • The Classic Food Tour: $76
  • Taste of Half-Day Small Group Food Tour: $77
  • Greek Phyllo and Pie Cooking Class in Athens: $77

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Santorini 29
    Athens 28

Tours and Activities in Santorini

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

  • 3 Hour Santorini Walking Tour with Hotel Pickup: $50
  • 5-Hour Santorini Photography Day Tour: $606
  • Discover Prehistoric Akrotiri & Winery Tour: $182
  • Explore Akrotiri GroupTour: $583
  • Exploring the Myth of Santorini - Full Day Tour: $133
  • From Athens: Overnight Tour to Santorini: $373
  • From Folegandros Private Rib Boat Tour: $2,725
  • Full-Day Royalty Private Wine Walking Tour in Santorini: $428
  • Full-Day Santorini Southeastern Side Tour with Drink Tasting: $127
  • Half-Day Private Santorini Tour with Hidden Beaches: $323
  • Half-Day Walking Tour in Santorini with Canava Ouzo Visit: $413
  • Highlits Of Santorini Private Tour: $560

Tours and Activities in Athens

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

  • "A Must-See" Anc. Epidaurus, Mycenae & Nafplion Premium Full Day Tour By Locals: $411
  • "Athens city tour": $270
  • "Private tour in Athens": $243
  • ''Tour in Athens'': $118
  • 1 Day Private Tour Corinth, Cave of Lakes at Kalavrita & Journey by Cog Railway: $264
  • 1 Day Private tour to Meteora, visit the Monasteries are lying on the cliffs.: $317
  • 1 Day Saronic Islands Cruise: $168
  • 10 Day Greek Island Tour: Mykonos, Santorini-Volcano, Crete, Delos, Knossos,: $2,457
  • 10 Day Ultimate Ancient Greece Tours Experience: $2,411
  • 10 Day to Explore the Best Historical Gems in Greece and tour in Santorini: $1,798
  • 10 Days Private Tour: North Greece: $2,706
  • 10 Days Private Tour: Peloponnese: $2,706

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Santorini 21
    Athens 18

Sample the Local Flavors in Santorini

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

  • 4-Hours Santorini Vothonas Village Tour with Wine Tasting: $89
  • Authentic Santorinian Tour at Vothonas Village with Wine Tasting: $93
  • Half-Day Santorini Tour Vothonas Village with Wine Tasting: $93
  • Santorini-Wine Tour Αround Megalochori Village: $111
  • Sunset and Wine Tasting Tour by Electric Bike: $114
  • Santorini-Wine Tour Around Megalochori Village: $117
  • Santorini-Wine Tour Around Megalochori Village: $124
  • Santorini-Sunset Caldera’s View from Megalochori with Wine Tasting: $134
  • Santorini-Sunset Caldera’s View from Megalochori with Wine Tasting: $140
  • Half-Day Sunset Wine Tasting Tour in Santorini with Pick Up: $141
  • Santorini Wine Tasting and History Small Group Tour: $153
  • 4-Hour Sunset Wine Tour: $159

Sample the Local Flavors in Athens

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

  • Athens Walking Tour with Food and Wine Tasting: $37
  • Virtual Greek Wine Tasting: $87
  • Athens Food and Wine Tasting Tour: $96
  • Wine tasting tour: $131
  • Wine Tasting and Athens Trikke Combo Tour: $133
  • The Best Winery & Tasting Tour in Nemea.Enjoy a unique all day wine tasting tour: $140
  • Private Wine Tasting Experience of Greek Awarded Wines in Athens: $148
  • Premium Wine Tour in Peloponnese -Ancient Corinthos, Nemea - the Land of Myth: $148
  • Athens Private Wine Tasting Tour - Dionysian Grapes: $149
  • Ancient Corinth & Nemea Wine Tasting (up to 15 in a Luxurious Mercedes Minibus): $151
  • Greek Private Wine Tasting: $166
  • Mercedes Private Full-Day Tour, Nafplio, Corinth Canal and Wine Tasting: $168


When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Santorini and Athens, we can see that Santorini is more expensive. And not only is Athens much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. So, traveling to Athens would let you spend less money overall. Or, you could decide to spend more money in Athens 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 Santorini would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in Santorini than you might in Athens.

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Santorini vs. Athens Travel Comparison

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