A Travel Price Comparison for Families, Couples, and Backpackers Croatia vs. Portugal for Resorts, Beaches, Families, and Couples

Should you visit Croatia or Portugal?

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

Should I visit Croatia or Portugal? This is a common question asked by many travelers. By figuring out which country 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.

We'll start with a quick overview, and below we will go into all of the details.


Croatia Portugal
Museums & Attractions check
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Portugal and Croatia are both beautiful countries with impressive coastlines, historic towns, and interesting cultures. Both Portugal and Croatia are also relatively affordable countries to visit in Europe, but in general, your money will go a bit farther in Croatia, which is generally cheaper than Portugal.

Portugal attracts a lot of visitors for its diverse landscape, which includes mountains, beaches, and almost desert like settings. The country also has vibrant cities like Lisbon and Porto, and natural areas where you can enjoy a more peaceful setting. Portugal has a lot to offer, whether you're interested in hanging out on the beach, sipping some wine, or playing golf.

Croatia also has beautiful coastlines, a fascinating culture, and a rich history. It's one of the more affordable countries to visit in Europe, yet it offers one of the most unique settings. Many cities and towns in Croatia have beautiful Old Towns. One of the most famous Old Towns is in the popular city of Dubrovnik. Although Croatia used to feel a bit off the beaten path, it has grown in popularity and it is quickly becoming a top tourist destination in Europe.

Croatia

Sibenik, Croatia Sibenik, Croatia

Croatia is a costal, gorgeous, and mountainous country. You'll find world class beauty here as well. Other popular activities here include adventure travel, national parks, history and culture, and nightlife.

This coastal and island nation has become very popular with visitors because it offers such a wide array of attractions. The gorgeous beaches with clear, blue waters are just the start, as Croatia also offers historic cities and towns surrounded by walls with old cathedrals and amazing seafood restaurants. Ancient Roman ruins are mixed in with medieval fortresses, along with outdoor activities such as hiking trails, lakes, boating, snorkeling, and more. The weather is usually warm, and the people are also very friendly. If you visit yourself, you'll see why Croatia has become so popular in recent decades.

Portugal

Faro, Portugal Faro, Portugal

Portugal is a captivating, coastal, and vibrant country. Many visitors also come because of it's amazing beauty. Visitors also love the shopping, museums, theater, and adventure travel.

At the western end of Europe, Portugal has a long history of exploration as well as beautiful countryside, gorgeous beaches, and fun cities. Lisbon and Porto are thriving cities with an active nightlife scene, museums, historic cathedrals, and terrific cuisine. And don't forget about the wine which you can enjoy in both the cities as well as in the vineyards of the countryside. In the south, the beautiful Algarve region has a unique coastal landscape with a mix of small towns and resort areas. Inland you'll find beautiful national parks with hiking, camping, and bicycling opportunities. And all along the coastline are small fishing villages along with larger towns rich in history and culture.

Croatia and Portugal: Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Great culture, history, and arts
  • Good scuba and snorkeling destination
  • Popular beach
  • Good for hiking
  • Beautiful national parks
  • Adventure!
  • Great road trips
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
  • Impressive beauty
Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Great culture, history, and arts
  • Good scuba and snorkeling destination
  • Popular beach
  • Good for hiking
  • Adventure!
  • Great road trips
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
  • Impressive beauty
Cons
  • Not as many national parks


Funchal, Portugal Funchal, Portugal

How is Croatia different from Portugal?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

Below we will examine the differences and similarities between Croatia and Portugal. With this information, you can decide for yourself which place is better for your next trip.

Are the Museums and Historical Sights Better in Croatia or Portugal?

Croatia
Portugal

Both Croatia and Portugal offer a variety of museums and places of interest, but Portugal generally has more to choose from.

Portugal offers many unique museums, sights, and landmarks that will make for a memorable trip. The big cities and smaller towns both offer plenty of museums of all types, from art and history to science and family-friendly museums. In Lisbon, don't miss the National Azulejo Museum to see the history and art of these unique glazed tiles. MUDE teaches visitors all about design, while MAAT covers art, architecture, and technology in a way that feels like a modern art museum mixed with modern science. For a local musical experience, check out the Fado Museum, or for international history don't miss the Maritime Museum which is dedicated to the famous Portuguese explorers who set sail across the oceans. Dozens more are found around the city, too. In Porto, don't miss the Serralves Contemporary Art Museum, the Museum of the Holocaust, the Tram Museum, and the World of Wine. This last one is actually 5 different museums focusing on not just wine, but also the agricultural production of wine, cork, and chocolate and their impacts on Portuguese society and history. The Pink Palace is fun for kids and adults alike, as the theme is Rose Wine with a variety of humorous selfie spots. The Chocolate Museum is always a favorite, too. Finally, a variety of port and wine cellars are found on the riverfront which offer museum-like tour experiences to see where and how the wines are made. Elsewhere in Portugal, you should see the astronomical observatory near Monsaraz, the Universo de Memorias Joao Carlos Abreu in Funchal, and the Museu de Portimao.

Lisbon: World renowned landmarks include St. George's Castle, Jerónimos monastery, the Belém Tower, Santa Justa Lift, and countless world class museums.

If you're looking for an educational opportunity, there are a decent number of museums and historical sights around Croatia. A variety of museums can be explored in the major cities, such as in Zagreb where you'll find the Archeology Museum, the Zoo, and several large art museums. The technical museum is quite interesting itself, as is the museum of Torture. In Zadar, you'll find a glass museum focused on ancient glass works. Also, check out the Museum of Illusions while in town, too. In Dubrovnik, you can visit the Museum of the Croatian War of Independence, which is dedicated to the war in the 1990's. It sits at the top of Mount Srd and reached by cable car. The views from the top are worth the trip itself. Several other historic museums are found around Dubrovnik, focusing on the old fortifications of the city and its walls. And throughout the countryside, many of the historic castles and estates have been turned into museums. Trakošćan Castle is just one of many beautiful sites to visit for a glimpse into Croatian history.


Is Croatia or Portugal Better for Culture, Arts, and History?

Croatia
Portugal

You'll find great culture, arts, and history when visiting both Croatia and Portugal.

Croatia is an extremely popular destination for those that want to visit historical and cultural sights and attractions, as it offers plenty. The history of this country is on display everywhere, as many of the cities and towns have historical architecture dating back to medieval times. The old town of Dubrovnik is a UNESCO World Heritage site itself, as the beautiful walled city sits on the coast like a castle, protecting the old buildings, cathedrals, and harbor inside. Plenty of other historic sites are on display from Roman ruins to cultural Renaissance-era artwork and churches. The restored Pula Arena is a Roman amphitheater from the 1st century, and you can admire it during a concert, too. The Walls of Ston date back to the 14th century and are referred to as the Great Wall of Croatia because of their extensive length and beauty. The Roman Forum in Zadar has ruins and architecture that date back to the 1st century also, among other buildings from various historic periods. The Diocletian's Palace in Split, from the 4th century, provides a historical maze of old streets lined with temples, shops, and more. In general, the close proximity of Croatia to ancient Greece, ancient Rome, as well as plenty of medieval history means that visitors who are interested in history will have plenty to see and do during their visit. Trogir, Korcula, Zadar, Hvar, and many other towns showcase even more of the beautiful history and culture of Croatia, too.

Portugal has many famous historic and cultural sights and attractions worth visiting, and is one of the main reasons why poeple come here. You can see the deep and rich history around every corner, especially along the coastline where historic fishing villages, castles, and famous cities are found. Lisbon and Porto might be the largest cities with museums, fortresses, and historic homes, but plenty of other smaller towns have long history and unique culture, too. Sintra has a gorgeous castle, the Pena National Palace. Coimbra's historic library and university leaves visitors in awe. In Lisbon, check out Belem Tower and St. George’s Castle before wandering the old historic streets of the old town, dotted with churches and quaint viewpoints. Carmo Convent and Jeronimos Monastery are also two very popular sites that draw large crowds because of their beauty and rich history. In Porto, the Luis I bridge provides a great overview of everything before you visit the historic wine cellars, Porto Cathedral, and the narrow, weaving alleyways through the historic city center.

Is Croatia or Portugal Better for Big City Activities?

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Portugal

Portugal is considered to have more larger cities than Croatia.

Portugal has some large cities, so you'll find plenty of things to do when visiting. Lisbon and Porto are the largest cities in Portugal, and they each offer a unique atmosphere and vibe. Lisbon was built on seven hills, and you can find one of them topped with a castle overlooking the surrounding area. Much of the old town area is a winding path of streets made out of steps. Cathedrals, museums, restaurants, and a great transportation network are also mixed in. Porto is the wine capital and straddles the river Douro with high bridges and colorful houses. Check out the wine cellars and wine museums along with the historical sights.

With a variety of activities, Croatia has some large cities to explore. While the largest cities are full of beautiful historical architecture and terrific cultural experiences, they are also not so large. Near the cities on the coast, you'll find beaches, historic ruins, easy access to rural areas, and gorgeous clear waters. Also, the cities in the interior are close to national parks, hiking trails, wineries, and more historic sites. These cities all lack large skyscrapers and the busy hustle of larger European cities, though, as the overall population of the country is around 4 million people.

Is Croatia or Portugal Better for Small Towns and Villages?

Croatia
Portugal

Croatia offers more villages and small towns to explore than Portugal.

Since Croatia offers plenty of small towns and villages with a variety of activities, it attracts plenty of visitors, too. The coastline and many islands are dotted with beautiful small towns, many of which have historical architecture, nearby Roman ruins, and waterfront and beaches with clear, blue water that's perfect for swimming or snorkeling. These small towns also have cafes, restaurants, guest houses, shops, and historic churches, too. Some of the most scenic small towns in Croatia include Skradin, Purisca, Primosten, Rovinj, Trogir, and Hvar. Other medium-sized towns also dot the coastline and have a small-town feel. Dubrovnik, for example, has a beautiful, historic walled city center with a small town feel, even though the city itself spreads much further along the coast and into the hills above. No matter where you visit, you'll love exploring these amazing small towns, as they are one of the highlights of a trip to Croatia.

As Portugal is a destination with many small towns and villages, visitors also come to explore the sights and local activities. In addition to the charming towns inland, almost the entire coastline is dotted with charming small towns, many of which were fishing villages in the past. While some of these costal towns have grown into modern beach resorts, others still have their historical charm with nearby churches, castles, and harbors. Many inland towns in the hills still retain their charm, especially those located in beautiful mountain areas. Some of the best places to visit are Sintra with its castle, Marvão in the Alentejo, Amarante in the north, Monsanto with its castle ruins, and Pinhão in the Douro River valley surrounded by vineyards.

Is the Food Better in Croatia or Portugal? Which Country Has the Best Restaurants?

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Portugal

Both Croatia and Portugal offer great local cuisine and restaurants.

Croatia has a huge number of terrific restaurants. Seafood is the obvious choice, as most of this country lies along the Adriatic Sea. The lengthy coastline of the mainland and the many islands is dotted with historic fishing villages and towns that pull in fresh fish and other seafood delights every day. You can have quick and affordable dishes at small street side cafes, quick-service restaurants, taverns, and also street vendors. Or, you can dine in style at delicious fine-dining restaurants in the city centers. Some of the best Croatian dishes to try include cuttlefish (squid), mussels and oysters in various recipes, and larger white fish species. Local wines are also very popular, as the countryside is dotted with vineyards. The same is true for olive oil, so make sure you try the delicious local varieties. Truffles are also popular, as the countryside offers a mix of species that locals enjoy. And don't miss the famous meat dishes. Ham and ox should be tried as Peka, Istrian dried ham, or Boškarin, which is ox served in different forms such as with pasta, thin sliced, or as a steak.

Dubrovnik: Restaurants are usually locally-sourced with fresh produce and seafood. Traditional local dishes include black risotto (made with squid ink), pašticada (a beef dish), and various pasta dishes.

Trogir: For such a small place there's a surprising number of amazing restaurants. You won't find touristy restaurants here. Instead, locals and tourists intermingle, enjoying the same amazing dishes. There's also a number of fine dining restaurants that are affordable and high quality.

Dining out in Portugal is an experience not to be missed. As a coastal nation, seafood here is fantastic, but it's not the only type of cuisine available. Popular traditional dishes begin with the small but famous custard tart known as Pastel de Nata. It's easy to get them at bakeries and street vendors. If fish is what you're after, try the bacalhau (salted cod), or any of the other terrific cod dishes such as a bras where it is mixed in with potatoes and eggs in a casserole. It's also popular to have cod (or other fish) fried, sautéed, or boiled along with potatoes and other veggies. Octopus is another favorite which you should try, as it's usually boiled or steamed and served with olive oil and potatoes. If you seek land food, try the Iberian black pork, the duck rice, or the Francesinha, which is a meat and cheese sandwich with an interesting variety of ham and pork. In addition to the traditional dishes, you'll find plenty of other European cuisines in restaurants around the nation, as well as global dishes. So, there's something for everyone. The local breads and cheeses are terrific, and it's quite easy to grab a breakfast at a local bakery or sit down for an affordable, casual, and delicious meal almost anywhere in Portugal.

Lisbon: There are many local restaurants as well as food tours and cooking classes that you can enjoy. Make sure you try the local favorites like bacalhau à brás, frango no churrasco, and pastel de nata. Given the beautiful climate, outdoor seating is also popular. Head into the less touristy neighborhoods to try some local dishes or hit up a seafood market. There are also many cafes that offer great breakfasts with fresh ingredients.

Porto: The area's cuisine combines the ocean setting with the agriculture of the surrounding area, so you'll enjoy both seafood dishes as well as fresh meats and vegetables. The area is also famous for its Port wines and red wines. There are plenty of cellar tours as well was waterfront seafood restaurants to choose from.


Is Croatia or Portugal Better for Nightlife?

Croatia
Portugal

If the nightlife is your priority, you'll find great options in both Croatia and Portugal.

The nightlife in Croatia has something for everybody. This country has become a party destination, attracting plenty of younger travelers. The nightlife and party scene here is not just focused on the typical bars and nightclubs of the major cities, but also on epic beach parties, huge music festivals, and huge dance clubs. On Pag Island, north of Zadar, you can visit during one of the popular festivals such as Electro Beach, Hideout, and Croatia Rocks which are held at Zrce beach. The nearby Noa Beach Club brings in crowds whenever there's not a festival happening, too. Hvar, Zagreb, and Dubrovnik have plenty of bars, clubs, and events that bring in crowds, too. Some of the best are Boogaloo in Zagreb, Banje Beach Club in Dubrovnik, and Carpe Diem on Stipanska island outside of Hvar. Many of these and other beach clubs can be found all over the coastline, and they swell with visitors at spring break and summer vacation travel periods. Another fun option for many visitors is to head out on a party boat. These can be booked in almost any coastal city, and they take groups around nearby islands for swimming, snorkeling, and partying on the water. If you're looking for something a little more relaxed than a huge dance party, Croatia also offers a variety of theaters, fine-dining, cultural shows, casual pubs, and other relaxing nightlife options.

Split: It has some of the best nightlife on mainland Croatia. Backpackers and students flock to this city for its parties and nightclubs. There's a great live music scene as well as DJs who keep the party going well into the early morning.

Hvar: The island has a reputation as a party island, and it's well earned. Most of the activity is found in Hvar Town, particularly between the months of June and September. Young people flock to the island for the all night parties and wild beach bars and clubs.

See also Party Hostels in Hvar Island and Split, Croatia.

Portugal offers plenty to do in the evening. Lisbon and Porto both have very active nightlife scenes. In Lisbon, the city center is full of bars and nightclubs that come alive after the crowds enjoy dinner at a variety of restaurants and cafes. Theater productions are also popular in Lisbon. In Porto, you'll find plenty of activities centered around wine and port, naturally. Also, the city center here has a large number of bars and dance clubs. The downtown area of Porto has seen a significant resurgence of bars and clubs at night in recent years. Other smaller cities, especially around resort areas, can have a vibrant nightlife scene, especially during the busy summer months.

Lisbon: It is a bustling city with a lot of energy late into the night. There are countless bars, clubs, and music venues that cater to every personality type and style. Whether you want a more relaxed vibe or a raging party, there is likely an place for you.

Albufeira: It's probably the most infamous party destination in the Algarve and it won't disappoint. During the peak summer months you'll find the streets around the popular "Strip" filled with tourists and party-goers. There are hen and stag parties, backpackers, and drunken travelers out for a good time. The Strip has become so popular that there are now bars and clubs on the adjacent streets as well. If you're not staying in the area, you'll likely want to take a taxi, as it's a couple kilometers outside of the town center.

See also Lisbon Party Hostels, Beach & Party Hostels in Albufeira, Portugal, and Party Hostels in Peniche, Portugal near the Beach.

Is Croatia or Portugal Better for Resorts?

Croatia
Portugal

Croatia generally brings in more resort visitors than Portugal.

If you're looking for a fantastic resort destination, Croatia is a perfect choice. The long coastline is full of beaches, many of which have fantastic luxurious resorts. While some of the resorts are adults-only, most are family friendly with beaches, fun activities, restaurants, and fabulous swimming pools. Many of these larger resorts are found outside of the main city centers, as they have larger properties. A few of the best resort areas are found near Dubrovnik, Hvar, Brac, the islands around Zadar, and on the Dalmatian coastline region. Many are quite luxurious with price tags to match, but have a terrific set of amenities to show for it.

Vacationers can choose from a number of terrific resorts in Portugal. With such a long stretch of coastline, beach resorts are very common. Towns in the Algarve such as Portimao and Albufiera have smaller hotels, but if you travel out of the towns along the coastline you'll find larger beach resorts, some of which are all-inclusive. The same can be said for the smaller towns on the Atlantic coast, where historic fishing villages are mingled with larger resort properties. While some of these larger resorts are adult-only, most are family-friendly, and a range of prices and luxury is offered.

Faro: Popular resorts include Vila Vita Parc Resort and Spa, Conrad Algarve, and Tivoli Carvoeiro.

Portimao: The area has all types of resorts, from all-inclusive options to luxury or more family-friendly. Many of the resorts are surprisingly affordable and offer easy access to the beach.

Lagos: As a resort town, you'll find no shortage of places to stay in the area. If you don't have a car, your best options are in the historic center. If transportation isn't a concern, then you'll find plenty of great resorts in the Marina, Meia Praia, Dona Ana Beach, Camilo Beach, and Porto de Mós Beach.

Is Croatia or Portugal Better for Scuba Diving and Snorkeling?

Croatia
Portugal

While Portugal and Croatia both provide spots for scuba diving or snorkeling, overall Croatia is considered to be a more popular choice.

There is a nice variety of marine life that makes scuba diving and snorkeling great in Croatia. The beautiful clear waters around the thousands of islands of this coastal nation offer a myriad of diving opportunities. You can see plenty of marine life on local reefs, dive with dolphins, and find larger fish too. But one of the best aspects of diving in Croatia is the large number of wrecks and "underwater museums" that are found around the islands. From old ship wrecks to more modern WWI and WWII wrecks and planes to some ancient underwater ruins from historic periods, there's plenty to see in addition to marine life. Some of the best spots are around the island of Brac where you'll find dolphins and calm waters. Also, don't miss the underwater museum at Mali Lošinj or the one on the island of Vis. The latter offers sunken B-17 and B-24 bombers from WWII along with various sea caves which reflect the light in dazzling ways. Almost every town along the coast offers dive shops which can take you out to the nearby reefs, islands, and inlets for a terrific experience.

It's worth going snorkeling or scuba diving in Portugal. The Azores are an island chain to the west of Portugal in the Atlantic, and here visitors will have much better diving and snorkeling experiences. This is generally considered to be one of the best diving regions of Europe. Near Santa Maria Island, for example, divers can see manta rays, tuna, barracudas, and amberjack. The waters are clear and provide excellent visibility. Also, the Madeira Islands are part of Portugal and can be found to the west of Morocco. A number of terrific dive locations can be found here, too, such as those near Funchal. The Algarve coastline offers pretty good visibility in its clear waters, and a variety of dive shops provide boat trips out into the waters during the warmer months. Many spots have wrecks which are worth visiting, too. Some fish and wildlife can be seen in the shallower areas located a bit off of the shoreline. The cities of Lagos, Portimao, and Albufiera have dive centers.

Is Croatia or Portugal Better for Beaches?

Croatia
Portugal

Most people pick Portugal for its beaches over Croatia.

Travelers come from around the world to visit the beaches in Portugal. With a huge stretch of coastline, you'll find plenty of fantastic beaches both on the Atlantic coast and the southern Algarve coast. Furthermore, the Azores and Madeira Islands are part Portugal, too, and offer even more terrific beach resort areas. The coastal landscapes are diverse and beautiful. The southern coast around Lagos, Portimao, and Albufiera has beautiful sea cliffs with unique beach coves. Along the Atlantic coast you'll find rocky hills and wide sandy beaches, such as in Praia da Adraga near Sintra or Praia de São Bernardino in Peniche. This seafaring nation has so many great beaches and something for everyone.

Portimao: The stunning beaches are a major draw to the area. They are sandy and feature a backdrop of dramatic red cliffs. The most popular beach in town is Praia da Rocha, which can get crowded during the summer months, but it is quite large so you should still be able to find a spot. The strip behind the beach is lined with shops, bars, restaurants, and a casino. If you want to avoid some of the crowds you can make the walk down to Praia do Vau. Families often enjoy Praia de Alvor, which has a boardwalk that leads to Ria de Alvor nature reserve.

Lagos: The beaches are long, flat and sandy with beautifully dramatic rock formations. The largest beach in the area is Meia Praia and arguably one of the best beaches is Praia Dona Ana. For convenience, Praia da Batata is the closest beach to town. Praia de Porto de Mós is one of the more quiet beaches, but it's still along a bus line. For beautiful nature head to either Praia dos Estudantes or Praia dos Pinheiros.

Albufeira: With their golden sands and blue waters, the beaches are world class. The area also has a diversity of beaches that are perfect for all types of vacationers. For water sports, head to Praia dos Alemaes but for relaxation and catching some rays check out Praia da Falesia. You'll find some interesting rock formations at Praia dos Olhos de Agua. One of the most convenient beaches to town is Praia dos Pescadores. For nightlife you'll want to head to Praia da Oura.

See also The 10 Best Algarve Beaches.

Croatia is a very popular place to visit for its beaches. With over 1,200 islands and a huge length of beautiful coastline, it's no surprise that this country has plenty of beaches. The beaches in Croatia are stunning and beautiful. While they can be a bit rocky and pebbly compared to other European countries' beaches, they more than make up for it with clear, blue water that is perfect for swimming, snorkeling, and admiring the scenery. Many beach areas and harbors have colorful fishing boats that seem to float in the air because the water is so clean and clear. And in most of the Croatian coast, the mountains and rocky shoreline adds to the dramatic beauty. If you're visiting the beaches here, you'll find activities such as boat rides, kite surfing, wind surfing, kayaking, scuba diving, fishing, and more. Some of the best and most scenic beaches are found in Hvar, Korcula, Dubrovnik, around Zadar, Brac, and Novalja.


Is the Shopping Better in Croatia or Portugal?

Croatia
Portugal

Portugal often provides a better shopping experience than Croatia.

Shopping is a popular activity when visiting Portugal. Lisbon and Porto both have a variety of shopping neighborhoods as well as malls and street markets. In Lisbon, you can find plenty of shops on the Avenida da Liberdade and the Chiado area. The Feira da Ladra is the best antique and flea market in the city, and is worth browsing through even if you're not planning to buy anything. In Porto, you'll find plenty of shopping along the streets in the historic center and downtown streets on the north side of the river, and more touristy shops on the south side of the river near the wine cellars. Rua de Santa Catarina has plenty of fashion boutiques, while the Mercado do Bolhão has a mix of food, souviniers, crafts, and more. Elsewhere in Portugal, smaller cities and towns will often have main shopping streets, and the beach resort cities will sometimes have fashion boutiques and local craft shops.

Lisbon: For high end shopping, head to The Avenida da Liberdade. It's lined with designer brands and luxury boutiques.

Croatia has some good spots for those that want to go shopping. The major cities offer plenty of shopping areas within along their scenic and historic streets. Dubrovnik, Split, Zadar, Zagreb, and others have various streets where visitors and locals alike can find boutique clothing shops, art galleries, local craft stores, cafes and restaurants, and food markets. In addition to the shops in the city center, most cities also have larger shopping malls such as SubCity Dubrovnik and Arena Centar in Zagreb.

Is Croatia or Portugal Better for Christmas?

Croatia
Portugal

With various activities, both Croatia and Portugal are great places to visit during Christmas.

The Christmas holiday can be fun in Croatia. Many of the cities and quaint towns throughout the country decorate with lights, trees, and holiday decor that turns these towns into magical Christmas wonderlands. The combination of the historic architecture with the lights is dazzling. Also, many towns set up festive Christmas markets that are filled with delicious foods as well as arts and crafts for sale. Zagreb and Zadar host large ice skating rinks, and many cities also put on festivals with concerts, theater shows, and small amusement parks with rides for kids. The town of Čazma, near Zagreb, hosts SalajLand. Here you'll find millions of Christmas lights along paths with holiday themed decorations and light shows that creates a terrific magical atmosphere for the whole family.

Many enjoy the Christmas activities while in Portugal. Porto, Lisbon, and other cities often decorate the large squares with lights and other festive decorations. While not known for Christmas markets as much as other European countries, you can still find some holiday markets in the public squares, such as Rossio in Lisbon. The larger cathedrals have special services, and many cities have evening festivals and holiday concerts leading up to the 25th of December. Generally, Christmas Eve in Portugal is more important than the actual day, as many areas gather crowds looking for evening meals, shopping, festivities, and decorations around town.

Is Croatia or Portugal Better for Hiking?

Croatia
Portugal

If you're looking to go hiking, Croatia and Portugal both have great trails.

Croatia is a good destination for hiking. The rugged terrain of the coastline and the interior means that hikers will find a variety of trails here. National parks such as Plitvice and Krka offer some gorgeous trails around lakes, waterfalls, and through the forest. Other high mountain trails can be found in more national parks, too. If you're looking for a challenge, check out the Velebit Hiking Trail which is a multi-day journey through epic mountains where you stay in huts. Or, adventourous hikers can head up Vosac Peak. If you're near Dubrovnik and are looking for some amazing views, head up Mount Srd. Also, if you're up for the full Croatian hiking experience, the Via Dinarica is a set of trails that runs the entire coastline from the northern border with Slovenia to the southern border with Albania. Offering epic views and some challenging hills, the route spans over 1,200km. But don't worry, you can just do a small section of it if you like.

Many people include a hike when visiting Portugal. Hiking trails are found all over the country, along the coastline and in the mountains in the interior. Hiking along the coast in the Algarve is a unique experience, especially along the Seven Hanging Valleys trail where you'll take on the sea cliffs, caves, and the small coves. Near Lisbon in Sintra-Cascais Natural Park, you can't miss the trail from Cabo da Roca to Azenhas do Mar where you'll see gorgeous beaches, old houses on the hills, and beautiful landscapes. The Serra do Topo trail in the Azores takes you through steep green hills overlooking the ocean, and it's breathtaking. Inland, the Covao dos Conchos trail is found in Serra da Estrela natural park, and here you'll experience scenic mountain vistas.

Is Croatia or Portugal Better for its National Parks?

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Portugal

Most people pick Croatia for its national parks over Portugal.

Many visitors go to Croatia to see the national parks. The 8 national parks found here offer a wide array of landscapes from coastal regions to mountains to rivers and lakes. The most famous national park in Croatia is perhaps Plitvice Lakes, where visitors can walk through gorgeous landscapes made of up clear lakes, waterfalls, and forests that all feel magical. Krka River also has similar beautiful landscapes with waterfalls and rocky pools full of green and blue clear water, lined with small villages, hiking paths, and rolling hills. You can also see a 14th-century medieval fortress and a monastery, too. Mljet national park, located on an island, offers gorgeous coastlines, interior lakes, and forested hills waiting to be explored. Risnjak national park offers visitors a more typical mountain vibe with beautiful valleys, hiking trails, and wildlife such as wolves, deer, and lynx, among others. Fishing is popular here on the lakes and rivers, especially fly fishing. And if sailing and snorkeling is on your bucket list, make sure to visit the many islands of Kornati Islands National Park, which are unique and mostly untouched. The abundant marine and coastal life will leave you breathless.

Portugal has some good regions for those that want to go visit national parks. While it technically has only one national park, Portugal has a large number of Natural and Nature parks to protect scenic areas and native wildlife. Douro International Natural Park, at the border with Spain, has epic mountainous landscapes as the winding river cuts through deep canyons. On the other hand Ria Formosa Natural Park offers a wide stretch of beautiful coastline to explore. Serra da Estrela is in the mountains, and has hiking trails and great views over the stunning landscapes. Southwest Alentejo and Vicenti Coast is part of the Algarve. It has stunning cliffs, nice beaches, and plenty of outdoor activities. Peneda-Geres National Park is another mountainous park with hiking trails and a unique ecosystem.


Is Croatia or Portugal Better for Adventure Travel?

Croatia
Portugal

Croatia generally offers more adventure travel options for travelers than Portugal.

Croatia is an extremely popular destination for those interested in adventure travel. Along the coast, you'll be able to participate in amazing activities such as sailing, snorkeling, scuba diving, kayaking, paddle boarding, and more. And in the mountains, you'll find hiking, mountain biking, canoeing, horseback riding, paragliding, bungee jumping, whitewater rafting, snow skiing, caving, ropes courses, and rock climbing. Some of the best areas for all of these activities include the national parks, as well as just outside of some of the major cities such as Zagreb and Zadar. And all along the coastline, you'll find a huge number of amazing watersports activities.

Portugal is a pretty good destination for adventure travel with a good array of experiences. Along the coast, surfing is very popular, as some areas of the Atlantic coast have massive waves. Kite surfing and wind surfing are also popular in many areas, too. Inland, you can find mountain biking trails, zip lines and ropes courses, bungee jumping from high bridges, kayaking in the rivers and along the coast, just to name a few. Rock climbing and canyoning area also popular as the landscape offers plenty of great opportunities. Horseback riding along the coast or in the mountains is also a popular way to see the gorgeous landscapes, too. Adventure seekers can find exciting activities almost anywhere in Portugal.

Is Croatia or Portugal Better for Visiting the Mountains?

Croatia
Portugal

Overall, Portugal is considered to offer more mountain activities and attractions to visitors.

The mountainous areas of Portugal are worth exploring. The interior of the country has plenty of mountain ranges for those looking to explore. Many of the natural park areas are found in the mountains as well, and offer hiking, camping, horseback riding, cozy cabins, and more. The Serra da Estrela range is where you'll find the nation's highest peak as well as a unique ecosystem, a large network of trails (Trilhos Verdes), and beautiful valleys. You'll also find quaint mountain villages with hotels and restaurants where you can relax. Other mountain ranges worth visiting include the Montanhas Magicas (Magic Mountains), the Serra da Freita, and the Montemuro range.

Croatia does have some mountain areas to explore. While it's not as famous for its mountains as much as its beaches, the northern half of the country is actually quite rugged, natural, and mountainous. This region offers plenty of hiking, camping, protected wildlife areas, rivers, horseback riding, whitewater rafting, and other fun and fantastic mountain activities. The capital, Zagreb, is located in the heart of the northern mountain region, and puts you within easy reach of snow skiing, mountain biking, and hiking trails. Also, plenty of mountain ranges and related activities can be found near the coastline, as the rugged terrain extends all the way to the shores of the Adriatic sea. So, if you're visiting Dubrovnik, Hvar, Split, or any of the other seaside cities, hiking, biking, camping, and other activities are only an hour away at the most. For some of the best mountain views, check out Ucka Nature Park, Sjeverni Velebit National Park, Paklenica National Park, and Risnjak National Park, among others.

Is Croatia or Portugal Better for Watersports?

Croatia
Portugal

Both Croatia and Portugal have a good array of great watersports to choose from.

With world-famous watersports and marine activities, Croatia attracts many visitors interested in seaside activities marine exploration, and adventure. With over 1,200 islands, a huge array of watersports and aquatic activities are offered along the vast coastline of Croatia. You'll find more than just beaches and swimming, as snorkeling, diving, sailing, kite surfing, wind surfing, kayaking, and paddle boarding are all very popular. Some of the best places to explore the coastline are on the islands and coastline near small towns such as Korcula, Hvar, Brac, Trogir, Sibenik, Rovinj, or Novalja. These towns make it easy to head out into the water on boats or from the shore. In many places, it's possible to hop right in for snorkeling, stand up paddle, kayaking, or other seaside activities. You'll also find plenty of boats for hire to take you on a day tour to nearby islands, or charter a sailboat for a week to have a truly amazing adventure through the islands.

The huge number of watersports activities in Portugal is one of the main reasons people come to visit. Surfing is very popular all along the coast. In some areas of the Atlantic coast, you can find some of the largest waves in the world. Kite surfing and wind surfing are also popular, as is kayaking, canoeing, and boating both on the coast and inland on the rivers. The Algarve region in the south is especially popular with kayakers who wish to explore the unique sea caves and cliffs, such as those at Benegil. Scuba diving and snorkeling is also popular in some areas along the southern coast, too.

Is Croatia or Portugal Better for Outdoor Activities?

Croatia
Portugal

Overall, Portugal is considered to offer more outdoor activities and attractions to visitors.

With world-famous outdoor activities, Portugal attracts many visitors interested in natural scenery, exploration, and adventure. With a mix of coastline and mountains, visitors will find a diverse array of options here. Hiking and camping in the natural parks is very popular because the mountains offer great views, river valleys, and unique ecosystems. Zip-lining and ropes courses are found throughout the country, and rock climbing or bouldering are commonplace, too. Horseback riding through the mountains or on the beach is also a fun activity, especially for couples. For those looking for something more relaxed, you can take a walk through the vineyards or a jeep tour around the mountain regions.

Croatia is an extremely popular destination for those interested in outdoor activities. Popular outdoor activities here include horseback riding, mountain biking, hiking, kayaking, whitewater rafting, and watersports such as snorkeling, diving, and boating. The landscape of Croatia is diverse, and offers a bit of everything. From the mountains to the coastline, it's possible to travel around to experience watersports, coastal scenery at the beach, and mountain activities within just a few days of each other. Some of the best areas to see the outdoors are at Plitvice Lakes national parks, Krka River, Korcula island, around Hvar, and the Vis archipelago, among others.


Is Croatia or Portugal Better for a Road Trip?

Croatia
Portugal

Croatia is usually considered to be a better destination to explore on a road trip than Portugal.

Taking a road trip through Croatia is very good way to see the countryside and smaller destinations. The long coastline, multitudes of quaint and beautiful small towns, and rugged mountains make this country a perfect place for a road trip. The roads are in great condition, and you'll find scenic viewpoints, castles, coastal fishing towns, secret beaches, and mountain views all along the way. Start in the north in Zagreb or in the sound in Dubrovnik and work your way up or down the coast and mountain ranges for plenty of epic adventures along the way.

See also The Croatian Coast: A Split to Dubrovnik Road Trip.

With many possiblities for a road trip, Portugal is a great place to take on the open road. With a long coastline and gorgeous mountain ranges, plenty of opportunities for road trips can be found here. Take a drive from Porto south along the coast to Lisbon, then keep heading south all the way to the Algarve. Or, just focus on one particular stretch of coastline such as the dramatic cliffs along the southern coastline, or the historic towns and castles on the Atlantic. Inland you'll find natural park areas, mountain ranges, small villages, vineyards and wineries, ancient ruins, adventure sports, and cozy cottages.

Is Croatia or Portugal Better for Families?

Croatia
Portugal

There's generally more to do with your family in Portugal than Croatia.

As it has a large number of activities for kids, Portugal is a very family-friendly destination. Just to get started, you'll have a combination of amazing beaches, historical cities, castles, national parks, mountains, and more. Family-friendly beach resorts in the Algarve offer more than just a beach vacation, as you can also explore the cliffs and sea caves as well as old fishing villages, and even take a dolphin watching cruise. Up the Atlantic coast are more beach towns such as Praia da Costa Nova, Figueira da Foz, or Peniche, all with rich cultural and outdoor experiences. Sintra has castles to explore and public gardens, and the big cities of Lisbon and Porto offer family friendly museums, amazing viewpoints, fun trams, tuk tuk tours, and yummy foods. The interior of the country is home to fun national park and wildlife areas with camping, hiking, and scenic viewpoints. You can also tour monasteries, uncover ancient ruins, and explore old castles that dot the landscape. Kids will love every bit of it.

Portimao: Kids will love the wide range of activities available near Portimao. They can kayak through caves, see an underwater world snorkeling, learn to surf, visit waterparks, explore nature parks, and more. There are activities that the whole family can enjoy, making this stretch of coastline the perfect option for those traveling with kids.

Lagos: You can spend days hanging out on the beautiful beaches, but there are so many other activities that the whole family will enjoy. Explore the caves in kayaks, take surfing lessons, head for the zoo, or go dolphin watching. There are also plenty of playgrounds and kid-friendly restaurants around town.

See also Top 10 Kid-friendly things to do in the Algarve.

Croatia is known to be a very family-friendly place to visit. The combination of beaches, beautiful small towns, historical sites, and natural scenery makes for a terrific combination that kids and adults will love. You'll find multiple destinations that offer both beaches and history, so after a terrific morning in the sand and water, you can explore the beauty of the ancient city walls, old cathedrals, and historic ruins. Dubrovnik is one such place with terrific activities for the whole family. Not only are there some nearby beaches and the amazing historic city center, but you'll also find some nearby hiking trails and a gondola to the top of the mountain with stunning views over the nearby landscape. Hvar, Split, Zagreb, Korcula, and Zadar also have similar attractions where historic towns are surrounded by beautiful hills, stunning beach areas, and historic sites. And if you seek nature, Plitvice Lakes national park combines gorgeous views with fun hiking trails that kids will love exploring.

Is Croatia or Portugal Better for Couples?

Croatia
Portugal

Couples will find a longer list of romantic activities in Portugal than Croatia.

Portugal makes for a terrific place to visit as a couple. Whether it's a honeymoon or just a weekend getaway, this country offers so many diverse opportunities for a couple's trip. The beach is always an obvious choice for a romantic destination, and you'll find plenty here. The Algarve region in the south has stunning landscapes along the coast with cliffs forming intimate beach coves, as well as hiking trails, fishing villages, and boat rides. Up the Atlantic coast you'll find more beaches with castles, historic towns to explore such as Sintra and Praia da Costa Nova, along with the cultural centers of Lisbon and Porto. These large cities offer amazing food, nightlife, historical tours, old cathedrals, museums, and epic views. Plenty of luxurious romantic hotels and fine dining options await, as does the fantastic local wine selection. More gorgeous inland areas should also be on a romantic itinerary such as Coimbra, the vineyards of the Douro Valley in the north, the mountains of Serra da Estrela Natural Park, and the Valley of Guadiana. It's hard to find such diverse romantic attractions packed into a small country anywhere else in the world.

Portimao: This beautiful stretch of coastline offers unique beaches and stunning outdoor activities. It makes a wonderful honeymoon destination for couples who enjoy adventure, pampering, and romantic resorts. There are great restaurants as well as places to relax or activities for thrill seekers.

Lagos: The beaches and hotels in the area offer a truly romantic setting for couples, whether you're on a honeymoon or a couple's weekend getaway. Spend some time on the beach or go kayaking through the caves. Get a spa treatment at a luxury hotel or go wine tasting through the countryside. You can also enjoy the beautiful sunsets on a sunset boat cruise while sipping a glass of local wine.

Albufeira: For an active honeymoon or couple's retreat, this resort town has it all. Beautiful beaches, adventure-filled activities, a wild nightlife scene, and excellent resorts and restaurants all make for a memorable couple's getaway.

Croatia is a very popular place to visit for couples. The small towns with their quaint historic vibe, beautiful islands with stunning beaches and clear blue waters, and classical historic cities provide the perfect combination for a romantic honeymoon or couple's getaway. Add to this all of the terrific seafood restaurants, local music and culture, and sunset cruises, and you have a recipe for the best romantic trip you can find. Rab Island is referred to as the island of love, because it has a small walled city lined with artists and shops. But it's not the only one, as Korcula, Dubrovnik, Hvar, and others also offer the choice of exploring historic sites, snorkeling in blue waters, hiking in the nearby hills, or all of them on the same day! Zagreb, Dubrovnik, and other larger cities have historic cathedrals, theaters with cultural and musical productions, delicious restaurants, fresh markets, and other romantic activities that couples will love.

Split: It's not uncommon for couples to choose Split as their honeymoon destination. The old town is filled with character and charm. There are also parks where you can enjoy a picnic and beaches where you can soak up the fun of the Adriatic Sea. Cafes serving local cuisine spill into the streets and the old world charm offers a romantic ambiance that can only be found in Croatia.

Dubrovnik: With its beautiful old town, nice beaches, and laid back atmosphere, this makes the perfect couple's getaway destination. Pop in a local restaurant and try the seafood before exploring the charming squares and historic buildings.

See also Hostels for Solo Travellers, Couples, & Groups in Plitvice Lakes National Park, Hostels in Dubrovnik for Solo Travellers, Couples, & Groups, and Hostels in Zadar, Croatia for Solo Travellers, Couples, and Groups.

Is Croatia or Portugal Better for Backpackers and Budget Travelers?

Croatia
Portugal

For backpackers, both Croatia and Portugal are great places to visit.

Many backpackers visit Croatia. The overall affordable prices combined with the wide array of fun activities has led this country to become very popular with budget-oriented travelers and younger backpackers. While the most famous and popular city for tourists is Dubrovnik, its prices are still not as expensive as in other European cities. Add to this the other beautiful towns along the gorgeous coastline that offer more affordable prices, and you'll be able to explore this dynamic country on a reasonable budget. Hvar, Zagreb, Korcula, Zadar, Split, Vis, and Rovinj are just some of the many terrific places that can be visited in an affordable manner. Hostels and low-cost guest houses are prevalent, the beaches are free, hiking is easily accessible, food can be found at lower prices, and museums are usually not too expensive, either.

Split: There's no shortage of hostels in town. This is a not-to-be-missed backpacker destination in Croatia and the social scene, beaches, water activities, and history all make Split a highlight for many backpackers.

Dubrovnik: It's not hard to find a room in a local's home near old town at an affordable price. The food is delicious and affordable as well, and you'll find plenty of other backpackers in town to hang out with.

See also Hostels in Split, Croatia for Backpackers and Budget Travellers, Hostels in Zagreb, and Hostels for Solo Travellers, Couples, & Groups in Plitvice Lakes National Park.

Portugal is a very popular country for backpackers and budget travelers. Fairly affordable by European standards, budget travelers will find plenty of opportunities here to explore the cities and countryside without breaking the bank. Hostels and budget-friendly hotels can be found in the major cities, at the beaches, and in smaller towns. Lisbon and Porto offer plenty of low cost attractions, affordable street food, and cheap transit. The national transportation system makes getting around easy and affordable, too. While some of the attractions have high entry fees, and some of the beach areas have expensive resorts, plenty of alternatives are available if certain spots are beyond your budget.

Lisbon: Hostels are abundant, and you'll have no trouble finding other backpackers to hang out with. Many hostels even organize activities and group meals for travelers. Prices are also reasonable for a large and vibrant city.

Porto: By combining world-class activities with affordability, this city has become a popular stop off for backpackers in the area.

Lagos: The area is a favorite for backpackers who come to hang out on the beaches during the day or party late into the night after the sun goes down. There are plenty of hostels around town and many offer a social vibe where it's easy to meet other travelers.

See also Affordable, Quiet, and Safe Hostels in Lisbon, Portugal, Lisbon Party Hostels, and Lisbon Hostels Near the Train Station.


Is Croatia or Portugal Easier for Transportation? Which is Easier to Get Around Without a Car?

Croatia
Portugal

Portugal has better transportation options to get you around the region.

Portugal has some very good public transit options. Since Portugal is not too large, getting around is fairly easy. The train system is very effecient and convenient, and connects major cities such as Lisbon and Porto to smaller towns and coastal resort areas on the Algarve coast and elsewhere. The highway system is also terrific, and long distance bus companies can get you to most places in half a day or so. When in cities and larger towns, the public buses and trams are clean, safe, and affordable, too. Getting around this country without a car is quite easy, although you might want your own vehicle if you're planning to visit some of the natural areas in the interior.

Is it easy to travel around Portugal?

  • It's quite common to travel by train.
  • Traveling by bus is very common and fairly easy.
  • It's quite common to travel on cruise ships and excursions.
  • It's possible to travel with an organized tour.
  • It's fairly easy to travel by car.
  • Travel by airplane is possible.

Croatia has a few public transit options. Trains connect the major cities in the northern half of the country quickly and efficiently, but only travel as far south as Split. This leaves Dubrovnik and other southern regions without train service, but they are connected by a terrific bus system. The rail lines provide a smooth and efficient way of traveling between the major cities and to nearby countries, and high-speed trains and night trains are also available on some of the routes. Buses fill the gaps of where the trains don't go, and it's possible to take a bus to Dubrovnik from Split and other destinations. Also, the roads are great, and if you want to see more of the countryside or national parks, hiring a rental car could be worth the money for a terrific road trip. Furthermore, with so many islands, Croatia has a huge network of ferry boats to transport people and vehicles. Many of these are high-speed catamarans, too. The major cities, including Dubrovnik, have airports with connections to the rest of Europe. Also, many travelers arrive on cruise ships.

Is it easy to travel around Croatia?

  • It's possible to travel by train.
  • Traveling by bus is extremely popular.
  • It's quite common to travel on ferry boats.
  • Traveling on cruise ships and excursions is extremely popular.
  • It's possible to travel with an organized tour.
  • It's quite common to travel by car.
  • It's possible to travel by airplane.

Is Croatia or Portugal more Comfortable for a Trip?

Both Croatia and Portugal can feel quite modern and comfortable as they both have an established tourist infrastructure.

People often come to Croatia because it is such a comfortable and luxurious destination. Even though it's in Eastern Europe, you'll still find modern standards of comfort here as you would expect in any other European or western country. Hotels at all prices ranges have modern amenities, clean facilities, and helpful service. Tour companies offering a variety of services can be found everywhere, the public transportation is clean and safe, and food quality is extremely high.

Portugal is extremely comfortable for travelers as it is a modern destination with plenty of amenities. As a modern and developed European country, it's very easy to find comfortable places to stay along with easy means to travel around. At any price range visitors will have modern comforts, clean and healthy food, affordable and efficient public transit, and more. While luxury hotels are available which provide every comfort available, even the budget-friendly options have modern conveniences that are expected in a developed nation.

Is Croatia or Portugal more Touristy?

Both Croatia and Portugal host many visitors every year.

Croatia has a reasonable number of visitors. The most popular places to visit are Dubrovnik, Plitvice Lakes, and some of the other beautiful cities such as Hvar, Split, Zagreb, and the island of Korcula. While Dubrovnik hosts the most tourists, many of which arrive on cruise ships for the day, the crowds are still not too bad compared to other European cities. The evenings see less crowds, so you can experience the city lights and restaurants in style without any hassle most of the time. The other destinations also don't see too many tourists, meaning that you can relax and enjoy your time exploring Croatia without having to wait in long lines or deal with crowds that are unmanageable.

Portugal is fairly touristy, with a decent number of visitors coming each year. Some of the most popular places for tourists can attract large crowds, especially the major sites in Lisbon and Porto, as well as some of the more popular beach resort areas along the coast. Otherwise, most of Portugal is easily visited without dealing with large hordes of other travelers, making it quite enjoyable. In Lisbon, you can often expect large crowds at the castle, in the winding stairs through the old town, and at the museums in Belem. In Portugal, the riverfront area and its wineries can get quite busy as the crowds gather for wine tours, visit the shops, and eat at the restaurants along the riverfront. In the Algarve, some of the town centers can be very busy in the summer months, especially Lagos and Albufeira. However, it's easy to find less crowded beach areas along the coastline. Generally, summer is the busy travel season for the entire country, and visiting in the off-season will let you avoid the crowds, and uncover lower prices, too.

For some great organized tour ideas, see The Best Family-Friendly Tours to Croatia, The Best Hiking & Trekking Tours in Croatia, The Best Historical Tours in Croatia, The Best 10-Day Tours in Croatia, The Best One Week (7-Day) Tours in Croatia, The Best 2-Week Tours in Croatia, Tours for Outdoor and Nature Lovers in Croatia, The Best Bicycle Tours in Croatia, The Best Adventure Tours to Croatia, The Best Sightseeing Tours in Croatia, The Best Romantic Tours for Couples in Croatia, The Best Honeymoon Tours in Croatia, The Best Walking Tours in Croatia, The Best Luxury Tours to Croatia, The Best Budget Tours to Croatia, The Best Tours for Seniors to Croatia, The Best G Adventures Tours to Croatia, The Best 3-Day Tours from Split, The Best 3-Day Tours from Dubrovnik, The Best One-Week (7-Day) Tours from Split, The Best One-Week (7-Day) Tours from Dubrovnik, The Best 2-Week Tours from Dubrovnik, The Best 2-Week Tours from Split, The Best Family-Friendly Tours to Portugal, The Best 10-Day Tours in Portugal, The Best One Week (7-Day) Tours in Portugal, The Best 2-Week Tours in Portugal, The Best Hiking & Trekking Tours in Portugal, Tours for Outdoor and Nature Lovers in Portugal, The Best Bicycle Tours in Portugal, The Best Coach Bus Tours in Portugal, The Best Adventure Tours to Portugal, The Best Sightseeing Tours in Portugal, The Best Vineyard & Wine Tours in Portugal, The Best Food and Culinary Tours in Portugal, The Best Romantic Tours for Couples in Portugal, The Best Walking Tours in Portugal, The Best Luxury Tours to Portugal, The Best Budget Tours to Portugal, The Best Tours for Seniors to Portugal, The Best G Adventures Tours to Portugal, The Best One-Week (7-Day) Tours from Lisbon, The Best 10-Day Tours from Lisbon, and The Best One-Week (7-Day) Tours from Porto.


Porto Porto
Braga, Portugal Braga, Portugal

Which country is cheaper, Portugal or Croatia?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Croatia is $103, while the average daily cost in Portugal is $147. 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 country. What follows is a categorical breakdown of travel costs for Croatia and Portugal in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Croatia $53
    Portugal $63
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Croatia $106
    Portugal $126
Compare Hotels in Croatia and Portugal

Looking for a hotel in Croatia or Portugal? 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 Croatia


Hotels in Portugal


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: Croatia Hotel Prices and Portugal Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Croatia $13
    Portugal $29
Typical Local Transportation prices in Croatia

Below are a few samples from actual travelers for transportation costs in Croatia:


  • Bus Around Town
    $1.53

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Croatia

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

  • From Zagreb: Plitvice Lakes Round-Trip Comfort Bus Transfer: $15
  • Porter Service, Baggage Transfer, Baggage pick up & delivery.: $17
  • Zagreb to Franjo Tudman Airport(ZAG) - Departure Private Transfer: $21
  • Private transfer from Dubrovnik airport to Dubrovnik city: $22
  • Private Transfer from airport Split to Marina Kastela & Baotic: $22
  • Transfer from Dubrovnik airport to Dubrovnik: $22
  • Return transfer to Dubrovnik airport: $25
  • From Split: Ferry Transfer to Bol on Brac Island: $26
  • Split Cruise Port to Split Airport SPU-Departure Private Transfer: $28
  • Split Airport (SPU) to Cruise Port of Split - Arrival Private Transfer: $28
  • Private Transfer from Split Hotels to Cruise Port of Split: $28
  • Split Hotels to Cruise Port of Split - Departure Private Transfer: $28

Typical Local Transportation prices in Portugal

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


  • Taxi Ride
    $6.99

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Portugal

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Portugal:

  • Private Transfer From Porto or Douro Valley To Algarve: $1,713
  • Lisbon: Transfer to Porto with stops in Óbidos-Nazaré-Aveiro: $927
  • Transfer de Lisboa-Porto parando em Óbidos, Nazaré e Aveiro: $813
  • Private Tour/Transfer Lisbon - Porto: $813
  • Faro Airport: Private Transfer to Porto City: $813
  • Private Transfer: Faro/Lagos to Porto: $772
  • Lisbon to Algarve Private Transfer: $705
  • Lisbon to Seville private transfer one way max 6 persons: $696
  • Lisbon to Porto Private Transfer: $650
  • Transfer privativo de Lisboa para o Porto.: $650
  • From Porto: One-Way Private Transfer to Lisbon: $650
  • Lisbon Airport: Transfer To/From Lagos: $650

Is it cheaper to fly into Croatia or Croatia?

Prices for flights to both Portugal and Croatia 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
    Croatia $31
    Portugal $43
Typical Food prices in Croatia

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


  • Seafood Dinner (for 2)
    $31

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Croatia

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

  • Zadar: Small Group Cooking Class: $39
  • 2-Hour Dolphin Guided Safari NP Brijuni from Fazana with Dinner: $42
  • 3-Hour Sunset Dolphin Spotting and Dinner in Medulin Archipelago : $44
  • Exclusive Dolphin & Sunset Cruise with Dinner & Drinks from Pula: $61
  • Fantastic DOLPHIN & SUNSET TOUR with dinner (Pula - NP BRIJUNI): $61
  • Cres Food Tour with a Local Guide: $66
  • Taste Zagreb Food Tour: $77
  • Strukli cooking class with Dolac Market Tour: $83
  • Traditional Plitvice Lakes Cooking Class: $87
  • Private Half-Day Cooking Workshop Gastronomy in Korcula: $88
  • Zadar: Private City Tour and Cooking Class: $98
  • Zadar Private City Tour and Cooking Class: $99

Typical Food prices in Portugal

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


  • Pizzaria Lunch (for 2)
    $16
  • Coffee
    $1.51
  • Coffee
    $2.69
  • Lunch for Two
    $13

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Portugal

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

  • 1 Hour Wine Tasting Apéritif Before Dinner: $21
  • Lisbon: Soirée Rivage - Sunset cruise with dinner and Party: $25
  • Porto: Pastel de Nata Cooking Class with Grandma's Recipe: $29
  • Private Walking Food Tour Around Funchal: $31
  • Morning Food Tour in Ponta Delgada: $33
  • Pastel de Nata Cooking Class in Downtown Porto: $38
  • Food Tour: Portuguese wine & Tapas with Ginjinha Tasting: $38
  • Food Tour: Portuguese wine & Tapas with Ginjinha Tasting: $39
  • Porto: Pastel de Nata Cooking Class: $43
  • Madeira by Night with Traditional Dinner: $43
  • Madeira:TypicalShowFolklore Evening.included.Dinner transpt: $47
  • Lisbon: Fado Show and Portuguese Dinner: $49

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Croatia $14
    Portugal $23
Typical Entertainment prices in Croatia

For Croatia, here are some examples of average entertainment and activity prices from previous travelers:


  • Boat to Lokrum Island (for 2)
    $14
  • Dubrovnik City Wall Tour (for 2)
    $57
  • Dubrovnik Cable Car (for 2)
    $48

Tours and Activities in Croatia

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

  • Walking Tour Rovinj with a local: $3.30
  • Zagreb Scavenger Hunt and Best Landmarks Self-Guided Tour: $6.11
  • Time Travel Adventure Quest Experience in Dubrovnik: $7.19
  • Cavtat Old Town Quest Experience: $7.19
  • Zagreb Quest Experience: Seeking for Love: $7.21
  • Split: Walking Tour with Audio Guide on App: $7.38
  • Dubrovnik Game Of Thrones self-guided tour with mobile app: $7.85
  • Museum of Selfies & Memories Zagreb Ticket: $8.89
  • Split's Old Town and Marjan Hill: A Self Guided Audio Tour: $8.99
  • A Self-Guided Tour of Zadar's Medieval Heart: $8.99
  • Zagreb Self-Guided Audio Tour: $9.00
  • Walls of Liberty: A Self-Guided Audio Tour of Dubrovnik: $9.99

Tours and Activities in Portugal

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

  • Óbidos - Nazaré - Mafra (National Palace of Mafra)Private tour from Lisbon: $245
  • 2 Hours Surf Lesson Experience in Costa da Caprica: $33
  • 3h30 Hours Vilamoura Algarve Tour and Tasting Experience: $107
  • Algarve Coast & Chapel of Bones ( Private Van Tour ): $53
  • Faro to Benagil Hiking Tour and Marinha beach: $55
  • Full Day Private Tour in Silves and Coast Gems: $194
  • Full Day Tour Sete Cidades & Lagoa do Fogo with Lunch: $87
  • Kayak Tours to Benagil & Marine caves - From Benagil Beach: $28
  • Lisbon by Heart Private Walking Tour: $77
  • Lisbon cruise on a classic Cadillac & private boat tour: $265
  • Low Cost Wheelchair Handicap Half Day Tour, Fully Accessible Tour : $78
  • Ponta da Piedade Costal cruise and Caves-2h: $33

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Croatia $12
    Portugal $18

Sample the Local Flavors in Croatia

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

  • Local Craft Distillery Pairing Spirits with Local Craft Chocolate: $17
  • Wine Tasting at Black Island Winery: $31
  • From Split: Krka Waterfalls, Food & Wine Tasting Tour: $40
  • Wine Tasting Experience at the organic winery in Šišan: $46
  • Krka Waterfalls and wine tasting Tour from Split or Trogir : $47
  • Zadar: Krka Waterfalls, Food & Wine Tasting, & Old Town Tour: $53
  • Krka Waterfalls, Food & Wine Tasting, Boat Ride & Zadar Old Town: $53
  • Craft Gin and exclusive brandies in unique distillery: $61
  • Zadar: Wine Tasting with Finger Food: $65
  • Wine Tasting Grabovac Tour From Makarska: $72
  • From Split/Trogir: Mostar and Medjugorje Tour with Wine Tasting: $75
  • Half-Day Wine Tasting with Snacks and Ston Place Visit: $76

Sample the Local Flavors in Portugal

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

  • Porto: Museu do Vitral Entry Ticket and Wine Tasting: $8.67
  • Museu do Vitral Entry Ticket with Wine Tasting: $8.83
  • Porto: Port Cellar Visit and Wine Tasting at Fonseca: $11
  • Algarve: 3 Types of Wine Tastings with Vineyard Views: $15
  • Porto: Magic Train Tour and Port Wine Tastings: $16
  • Funchal: H.M. Borges Winery Guided Tour with Wine Tasting: $16
  • Douro Valley: 1h Solar Boat Experience - Two Wine Tasting: $17
  • Lisbon: Pub Crawl with Unlimited Drinks and VIP Club Entry: $17
  • Lisbon: Port Wine Tasting at Taylor’s Shop and Tasting Room: $17
  • Loulé: Quinta da Tôr Winery Guided Tour and Wine Tasting: $18
  • Pub Crawl Lisbon - 1 Hour of Unlimited Beer and Sangria and more!: $19
  • Tour & Wine tasting - Authentic Algarve Flavours by Quinta da Tôr: $19


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

Split, Croatia Split, Croatia

Why is Portugal more expensive than Croatia?

Both Portugal and Croatia are affordable countries to visit in Europe, but prices are usually a bit less in Croatia than in Portugal. Croatia's cost of living and currency keep prices low. It's also common for locals to rent out rooms in their homes in Croatia. These rooms may be basic, but they're often well located and very reasonably priced. Staying in a local's home can also offer a unique perspective into the country and its culture, while also saving you some money.

What are the most expensive and cheapest cities and regions in Portugal and Croatia?

In Portugal, Lisbon and the coastal towns are usually the most expensive places to visit. Prices can vary based on the season so if you're traveling during the peak summer months you'll likely to pay significantly more for a room.

In Croatia, the most popular coastal towns tend to be the most expensive places to visit. Towns like Dubrovnik, where you'll likely see several cruise ships docked, have higher prices than more off the beaten path destinations.

How can you save money while visiting Portugal and Croatia?

Both Portugal and Croatia are relatively affordable countries to visit, but prices are heavily dependent on the season you visit. Travel during the spring and fall seasons if you want the best prices, pleasant weather, and less crowds.

Use buses and public transportation whenever possible. Buses are convenient and relatively comfortable in both countries, and prices are quite reasonable.

Stay with a local. Lots of locals rent out rooms, particularly in Croatia. This is a fun and affordable way to experience the country.

Move slow if you want to save some money. This also gives you enough time to explore an area in depth, without paying a high price for transportation.


Sibenik, Croatia Sibenik, Croatia

When is the best time to visit Croatia or Portugal?

Both places have a temperate climate with four distinct seasons. As both cities are in the northern hemisphere, summer is in July and winter is in January.

The Mediterranean climate on the Adriatic coastal areas of Croatia is hot and dry in the summer, but wet and colder in the winter. The warmer months are fantastic for travelers, beach-goers, and hikers, which is one of the many reasons why the Croatian coast is a popular destination. Winter months see lots of rain with temperatures that are cold, but not freezing. In the northern regions away from the coast, the summers are not as hot and a bit more rainy, and the winters are much colder as they experience freezing temperatures and snow.

While most of the country experiences four seasons, the weather tends to be warmer in Portugal than in the rest of Europe, especially along the southern coastal areas. This is one of the reasons why so many people are attracted to the beaches of the Algarve almost year-round. The coastal and inland areas can get quite hot during the summer months. In the colder months, he northern areas see a good bit of rain and cooler weather from autumn through winter and into the spring, with only a touch of snow in the mountain regions in winter.

Portugal is a popular tourist destination during the summer months, when the temperatures are quite warm and the sun is abundant. Many Portuguese take their holidays during the month of August, so if you plan to visit during this month it is best to book your reservations well in advance. This is also when the prices are highest.

If you have a flexible schedule, spring and fall are the best times to visit Portugal. The crowds are less intense and the prices are a bit lower. The weather is also cooler so you can enjoy wandering around outside without becoming too hot. During the spring season the flowers bloom and it's a beautiful time to be in the area.

Winters are relatively mild in most of Portugal, but the northern areas do experience snow and cooler temperatures. Rain is more common during this time as well.

Croatia is a beautiful country to visit during the spring and fall seasons as well. Crowds are a bit less, cruise ships are less common, and prices are bit lower during these months. The summer season can get crowded with travelers and the temperatures can become uncomfortably hot.

It can be a bit challenging to visit Croatia during the winter months. Accommodation and restaurants often close during this time in coastal Croatia. If you're looking for a more relaxed place to visit and don't mind a little inconvenience, then this can be an affordable time to visit. Some smaller towns can start to feel a bit like ghost towns though, and accommodation might be hard to come by.

Should I visit Croatia or Portugal in the Summer?

Both Portugal and Croatia during the summer are popular places to visit. The beaches, snorkeling, the hiking, and the family-friendly experiences are the main draw to Croatia this time of year. Also, many travelers come to Portugal for the beaches, snorkeling, the hiking, and the family-friendly experiences.

In the summer, Dubrovnik is around the same temperature as Lisbon. Typically, the summer temperatures in Dubrovnik in July average around 25°C (77°F), and Lisbon averages at about 23°C (73°F).

Dubrovnik usually gets more rain in July than Lisbon. Dubrovnik gets 26 mm (1 in) of rain, while Lisbon receives 5 mm (0.2 in) of rain this time of the year.


  • Summer Average Temperatures July
    Dubrovnik 25°C (77°F) 
    Dubrovnik 23°C (73°F)

Should I visit Croatia or Portugal in the Autumn?

The autumn attracts plenty of travelers to both Croatia and Portugal. Many travelers come to Croatia for the hiking trails, the shopping scene, and the natural beauty of the area. Also, many visitors come to Portugal in the autumn for the hiking trails, the shopping scene, and the natural beauty of the area.

In October, Dubrovnik is generally around the same temperature as Lisbon. Daily temperatures in Dubrovnik average around 18°C (64°F), and Lisbon fluctuates around 19°C (66°F).

Dubrovnik gets a good bit of rain this time of year. In October, Dubrovnik usually receives more rain than Lisbon. Dubrovnik gets 162 mm (6.4 in) of rain, while Lisbon receives 80 mm (3.1 in) of rain each month for the autumn.


  • Autumn Average Temperatures October
    Dubrovnik 18°C (64°F) 
    Dubrovnik 19°C (66°F)

Should I visit Croatia or Portugal in the Winter?

The winter brings many poeple to Croatia as well as Portugal. Many visitors come to Croatia in the winter for the skiing, the museums, the Christmas ambience, the shopping scene, and the cuisine. Also, most visitors come to Portugal for the museums, the Christmas ambience, the shopping scene, the theater shows, and the cuisine during these months.

Dubrovnik is cooler than Lisbon in the winter. The daily temperature in Dubrovnik averages around 9°C (48°F) in January, and Lisbon fluctuates around 12°C (53°F).

It's quite rainy in Lisbon. Dubrovnik receives a lot of rain in the winter. Dubrovnik usually gets more rain in January than Lisbon. Dubrovnik gets 139 mm (5.5 in) of rain, while Lisbon receives 110 mm (4.3 in) of rain this time of the year.


  • Winter Average Temperatures January
    Dubrovnik 9°C (48°F) 
    Dubrovnik 12°C (53°F)

Should I visit Croatia or Portugal in the Spring?

Both Portugal and Croatia are popular destinations to visit in the spring with plenty of activities. Most visitors come to Croatia for the beaches and the natural beauty during these months. Also, the spring months attract visitors to Portugal because of the beaches and the natural beauty.

In the spring, Dubrovnik is cooler than Lisbon. Typically, the spring temperatures in Dubrovnik in April average around 14°C (57°F), and Lisbon averages at about 16°C (60°F).

It's quite rainy in Dubrovnik. In April, Dubrovnik usually receives more rain than Lisbon. Dubrovnik gets 104 mm (4.1 in) of rain, while Lisbon receives 64 mm (2.5 in) of rain each month for the spring.


  • Spring Average Temperatures April
    Dubrovnik 14°C (57°F) 
    Dubrovnik 16°C (60°F)

Typical Weather for Lisbon and Dubrovnik

Dubrovnik Lisbon
Temp (°C) Rain (mm) Temp (°C) Rain (mm)
Jan 9°C (48°F) 139 mm (5.5 in) 12°C (53°F) 110 mm (4.3 in)
Feb 10°C (50°F) 125 mm (4.9 in) 13°C (55°F) 111 mm (4.4 in)
Mar 11°C (52°F) 104 mm (4.1 in) 14°C (58°F) 69 mm (2.7 in)
Apr 14°C (57°F) 104 mm (4.1 in) 16°C (60°F) 64 mm (2.5 in)
May 18°C (64°F) 75 mm (3 in) 18°C (64°F) 39 mm (1.5 in)
Jun 22°C (72°F) 48 mm (1.9 in) 21°C (69°F) 21 mm (0.8 in)
Jul 25°C (77°F) 26 mm (1 in) 23°C (73°F) 5 mm (0.2 in)
Aug 25°C (77°F) 38 mm (1.5 in) 23°C (74°F) 6 mm (0.2 in)
Sep 22°C (72°F) 101 mm (4 in) 22°C (72°F) 26 mm (1 in)
Oct 18°C (64°F) 162 mm (6.4 in) 19°C (66°F) 80 mm (3.1 in)
Nov 14°C (57°F) 198 mm (7.8 in) 15°C (59°F) 114 mm (4.5 in)
Dec 11°C (52°F) 178 mm (7 in) 12°C (54°F) 108 mm (4.3 in)