A Travel Price Comparison for Families, Couples, and Backpackers Santorini vs. Malaga for Nightlife, Couples, Backpackers, and Food

Should you visit Santorini or Malaga?

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

If you're trying to decide where to visit between Santorini or Malaga, 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 historic, romantic, and stunning island. You'll find world class beauty here as well. This is an attractive and quaint destination worth visiting as well. And you can't forget about the beaches, hiking, and shopping.

Malaga

Malaga is a beautiful, friendly, and welcoming port city. The beauty of this spot is also one of the main reasons why visitors come. Visitors also love the shopping, nightlife, and live music.

How is Santorini different from Malaga?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

Is Santorini or Malaga better for Food?

Dining out in both Santorini and Malaga can be an enjoyable experience.

Santorini has a delicious food scene that relies on local flavors. Popular foods on this island include fava, Greek salad, and kofta.

Eating is part of the travel experience when you visit Malaga. Head to any of the local food markets and seafood shops to try local cuisine. Also make sure you try tapas and a filling Andalusian breakfast.


Is Santorini or Malaga better for Nightlife?

For nightlife, head to Malaga instead of Santorini.

The nightlife in Malaga is well established with world renowned clubs and venues. The city has some of the most active nightlife in Europe. There are plenty of opportunities to party in Malaga and you'll find the most vibrant nightlife in the Centro Historico.

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 Malaga better for Scuba Diving and Snorkeling?

You'll find snorkeling or scuba diving in both Santorini and Malaga.

Santorini has a few areas where visitors often go scuba diving or snorkeling. Some of the best snorkeling places are found at Red Beach, White Beach, and the less accessible Kambia. One of the island's best diving spots is Caldera Beach.

Grab a mask and fins and explore the underwater scenery in Malaga. Water temperatures are mild enough for diving or snorkeling near Malaga. For the best diving, head to Cala del Canuelo Beach. Closer by, Penon del Cuervo Beach offers diving and snorkeling as well.

Is Santorini or Malaga better for Beaches?

Both Santorini and Malaga have beaches worth visiting.

Santorini has a beach worth visiting. The island has many beaches, most of which are made of black pebbly sand that are a result of the island's volcanic history. Popular beaches include Perissa Beach, Kamari Beach, and Perivolos Beach.

You can check out the beach in Malaga. There are some nice beaches around Malaga, but for the best options you'll have to travel further outside of the city.

Is Santorini or Malaga better for Shopping?

If you're looking to go shopping, Santorini and Malaga 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.

Malaga offers some nice shopping areas. There are a number of shopping areas in the city with both local boutiques and name brands.


Is Santorini or Malaga better for Families?

Santorini and Malaga 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.

Malaga is a family-friendly place to visit. The city has castles that you can explore as well as a waterpark.

Is Santorini or Malaga better for Couples?

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

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.

Malaga makes for a fun place to visit for a couple. It has a beautiful coastline and a rich history that makes it unique.

Is Santorini or Malaga better for Backpackers and Budget Travelers?

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

Backpackers and budget travelers come from all over the world to visit Malaga. From an endless supply of hostels to plenty of opportunities to meet other backpackers, this is a very backpacker friendly area.

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 Malaga better for Public Transit?

Santorini and Malaga 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.

Malaga has a few public transit options. There is an efficient bus system as well as a light metro system.


Is Santorini or Malaga a more walkable city?

Santorini and Malaga 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.

Malaga is a very walkable island. It has a very compact and walkable historic center with most of the tourist attractions easily accessible on foot.

Santorini and Malaga: Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Good scuba and snorkeling destination
  • Popular beach
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Impressive beauty
  • Quaint atmosphere
Cons
  • Less popular for nightlife
  • Less popular with backpackers
Pros
  • Good nightlife
  • Good scuba and snorkeling destination
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
  • Impressive beauty
Cons
  • Less attractive beach
  • Less popular with couples


Should I spend more time in Malaga or Santorini?

How long in Santorini or Malaga?

Both Santorini and Malaga 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 Malaga is 3-7 days.


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

One day in Santorini or Malaga?

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.

You'll find nightlife and live music around the port city of Malaga. Visiting the old town is also a must. 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 Malaga?

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.

You'll find live music and food around the friendly destination of Malaga. The old town is one of the main draws for visitors. A weekend is usually not enough time for a trip here as there is plenty to do. This port city offers a variety of activities to choose from.

Five days in Santorini or Malaga?

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.

You'll find food and scuba diving and snorkeling around the beautiful port city of Malaga. The length of your ideal trip is an individual decision. If you have five days, this port city makes for a great vacation. Exploring the old town is a popular activity. Most people head to the area for the nightlife. Five days should give you a good understanding of everything this port city has to offer.


A week in Santorini or Malaga?

Many travelers enjoy the nightlife and food when visiting the romantic 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.

Malaga is a popular choice for travelers. One week here is typical. Make sure you visit the old town while you're here. While some people choose to spend more or less time in Malaga, one week is sufficent for most. It will give you the chance to have new experiences.

Which city is cheaper, Malaga 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 Malaga is €106. 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 Malaga in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Santorini 66
    Malaga 54
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Santorini 132
    Malaga 108

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Santorini 23
    Malaga 25

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Santorini

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

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

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Malaga

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Malaga:

  • Private 5 days in Malaga - Private tours and arrival and departure transfer: $1,695
  • Private Transfer from Málaga to Faro (FAO) Airport: $909
  • Departure Private Transfer Malaga Airport AGP to Seville Airport by Luxury Van: $742
  • Private Transfer: Malaga Airport (AGP) to Malaga: $622
  • Private Transfer: Malaga to Malaga Airport (AGP): $622
  • Malaga Airport: Cadiz, Jerez, Chiclana & Rota private arrival transfer: $614
  • Departure Private Transfer Malaga Airport AGP to Seville SVQ by Business Car: $611
  • Private Transfer from Malaga Airport (AGP) to Huelva: $552
  • Private Transfer from Malaga Airport (AGP) to Sanlúcar la Mayor: $486
  • Private Transfer from Malaga Airport (AGP) to Cádiz: $475
  • Private Transfer from Malaga Airport (AGP) to Novo Sancti Petri: $464
  • Private Transfer from Malaga Airport (AGP) to Retamar: $443

Is it cheaper to fly into Santorini or Malaga?

Prices for flights to both Malaga 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
    Malaga 27

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 Malaga

Some typical examples of dining costs in Malaga are as follows:


  • Breakfast for 2
    8.00

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Malaga

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

  • Sardines Espetos Cooking Workshop: $73
  • Malaga Food Tour - Do Eat Better Experience: $86
  • Sardines On Skewers Cooking Class in Malaga: $111
  • Malaga Sunset Cruise and Restaurant Dinner: $112
  • Málaga Swim Cruise with Tapas Dinner and Flamenco Show: $128
  • Malaga Catamaran Cruise with BBQ Lunch and Port Restaurant Dinner: $146
  • Malaga Market Visit and Cooking Class in Malaga Countryside House: $149

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Santorini 29
    Malaga 25

Tours and Activities in Santorini

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

  • Akrotiri Prehistoric City Audio Tour: $18
  • Unique Oia's Sunset Tour in Santorini: $30
  • Royalty Unique Oia’s Sunset Tour in Santorini: $31
  • Santorini-Unique Oia’s Sunset Tour: $31
  • Island Bus Tour: The Majestic Spots Of Santorini: $43
  • Santorini Volcano and Thirassia Islands Tour: $43
  • Oia and Fira Evening Small Group Tour: $45
  • 3 Hour Santorini Walking Tour with Hotel Pickup: $50
  • Volcanic Sunset Cruise: $58
  • Santorini Traditional Villages and Oia Sunset Tour: $62
  • Santorini-Classic Tour in Traditional Villages: $67
  • Santorini-Classic Tour in Traditional Villages: $71

Typical Entertainment prices in Malaga

Some typical examples of activities, tours, and entrance ticket prices in Malaga are as follows:


  • Entrance to Castillos
    7.10
  • Concert
    31

Tours and Activities in Malaga

Some specific costs of activities, tours, and entrance tickets for Malaga are as follows:

  • 1 Hour Malaga Panoramic Segway Tour: $39
  • 1-hour Segway Tour in Malaga: $28
  • 1.5-Hour Roman Theater and Alcazaba Castle Walking Tour: $16
  • 2-day Granada, Toledo & Madrid Tour from Costa del Sol: $311
  • 2-hour E-bike Tour of Malaga: $30
  • 3 Hours Malaga Tapas Crawl Tour: $83
  • 4-Day Morocco Tour: Fez, Meknes, Rabat and Tangier: $671
  • 5-Day Morocco Tour: Casablanca, Marrakech, Meknes, Fez and Rabat from Malaga: $677
  • 6-Night Morocco Tour from Fez, Meknes, Marrakech, Casablanca, Rabat and Tangier: $899
  • 7-Day Morocco Tour from Costa del Sol: Fez, Meknes, Marrakech, Casablanca, Rabat and Tangier: $899
  • 8 Days Morocco Tour From Spain: $1,460
  • 90min Segway Small Group Tour in Malaga: $34

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Santorini 21
    Malaga 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 Malaga

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

  • Malaga Nightlife - Pub Crawl Tour with Skip-the-line Club Access: $26
  • Frigiliana Small-Group Hike and Wine Tasting Tour from Malaga: $49
  • Muscatel Winery Tour and Wine Tastings from Malaga: $75
  • Malaga Tapas and Wine Tour: $81
  • Flamenco, Tapas and Wine Tour: BEST OF Málaga in one evening!: $108
  • Private Ronda Wine Tour with Tapas Including a Visit to Ronda: $404
  • Ronda Private Full Day Wine Tour with Tapas: $406
  • Malaga Shore Excursion: Panoramic Buggy Tour with Wine Tasting in a Historical Cellar: $481


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

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Santorini vs. Malaga Travel Comparison

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