A Travel Price Comparison for Families, Couples, and Backpackers Italy vs. Portugal for Museums & Attractions, Food, Nightlife, and Beaches

Should you visit Italy or Portugal?

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

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

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


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Italy and Portugal are both beautiful and fascinating countries to visit in Europe. Italy is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world, and there is no shortage of world renowned sights and attractions. It's also a more expensive travel destination than Portugal.

If you decide to visit Italy, you'll have a wide variety of destinations to choose from. There are historic cities, coastal towns, beautiful beaches, and archaeological sights. The country also has delicious food and a vibrant nightlife. Italy also has a very efficient infrastructure for tourists. There are trains and buses that connect many of the major tourist destinations and it's relatively easy to travel around the country.

Portugal is also a popular tourist destination in Europe. It has a very diverse landscape that includes mountains, beaches, and almost desert like settings and there is no shortage of things to see and do in the country. In addition to natural beauty, Portugal has vibrant cities like Lisbon and Porto. Portugal is a more affordable travel destination than Italy, and it has a lot to offer, whether you're interested in hanging out on the beach, sipping some wine, or playing golf.

Italy

Italian Pizza Italian Pizza

Italy is a scenic, historical, and cultural country. You'll find world class beauty here as well. Other popular activities here include shopping, museums, adventure travel, and national parks.

Italy is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world. This is no surprise considering it offers world-famous sights and attractions, delicious food, beautiful scenery, abundant history, and gorgeous architecture.

Portugal

Lisbon, Portugal Lisbon, Portugal

Portugal is a vibrant, charming, and captivating country. It's considered by many to be an absolutely beautiful destination, too. It's also popular because of the hiking, mountains, shopping, and museums.

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.

Italy and Portugal: Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Great culture, history, and arts
  • Big cities
  • Good scuba and snorkeling destination
  • Popular beach
  • Good for shopping
  • Popular at Christmas
  • Good for hiking
  • Beautiful national parks
  • Adventure!
  • Great road trips
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
  • Not too many tourists
  • Impressive beauty
Cons
  • Less outdoor activities
Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Great culture, history, and arts
  • Good scuba and snorkeling destination
  • Popular beach
  • Good for hiking
  • Adventure!
  • Numerous outdoor activities
  • Great road trips
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
  • Impressive beauty
Cons
  • Not as many big cities
  • Less popular for shopping
  • Less popular at Christmas
  • Not as many national parks
  • Crowded with tourists


Brescia, Italy Brescia, Italy

How is Italy different from Portugal?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

Below we will examine the differences and similarities between Italy 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 Italy or Portugal?

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Portugal

People who enjoy wandering through museums and other attractions will appreciate a visit to Italy a bit more than Portugal.

You'll find many recognizable landmarks that put Italy on the map. The major cities offer a unique combination of art, history, and cultural museums that are unmatched anywhere else in the world. From the famous art museums in Florence and Venice to the historical center of Rome, it's hard to find another country that offers as many museums as Italy.

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

Florence: Because of it's important role in the Renaissance, the city has many world-renowned museums that you can visit. Famous sights and landmarks include the Uffizi Gallery, the Duomo, and the Academy Gallery.

Venice: The many historic and famous landmarks in town include St. Mark's Basilica, St. Mark's Square, Doge's Palace, and the Rialto Bridge.

Pompeii: Pompeii is a city frozen in time and it is truly a one-of-a-kind destination. The streets remain as they once stood, lined with shops and homes. Highlights of a visit include the Forum, the Antiquarium, the Temple of Isis, and the Teatro Grande.

See also Florence Activity Guide, The Ultimate Rome Travel Guide, and Cheap Tours and Activities in Rome, Italy.

Visitors can fill many days exploring the museums and attractions around Portugal. 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.


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

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Portugal

While both cultures have their own history and culture, generally Italy offers more of this on a visit than Portugal

Italy is known for its world-famous historical and cultural sights and attractions. It's hard to find another country as proud of its heritage, culture, and history. In Italy, all of these are mixed together as the historical architecture and cuisine are constant reminders of the rich history and artistic contributions throughout the centuries. From the ancient Roman civilization up to the Renaissance to modern times, it's all on display here in the cities and the countryside.

See also How to Buy Tickets to the Colosseum, Rome Activity Guide, and The Ultimate Florence Travel Guide.

Portugal is a terrific destination to visit for history, arts, and culture, as it has many sights worth visiting. 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 Italy or Portugal Better for Big City Activities?

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Portugal

Italy offers more big cities to explore than Portugal.

Visitors will also find so much to do in Italy, as the large cities offer many sights and attractions. With numerous world-famous cities, this country offers a special city vibe many times over. From the bustling streets of Rome and Milan to the historic centers of Florence, Venice, and Naples, visitors will find no shortage of sights, attractions, nightlife, restaurants, and museums to explore in the big cities of Italy.

See also Milan: The Ultimate Travel Planning Guide, Naples: The Ultimate Travel Planning Guide, and The Ultimate Venice Travel Guide.

Since Portugal has large cities, you'll find plenty of things to do. 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.

Is Italy or Portugal Better for Small Towns and Villages?

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Portugal

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

Since Italy offers plenty of small towns and villages with a variety of activities, it attracts plenty of visitors, too. If quintessential small towns are what you seek, then you will find them here. Along the coastline as well as inland, Italy is home to numerous charming small towns with colorful buildings and gorgeous landscapes. Many of these towns offer great views of the surrounding countryside or coastlines, a maze-like selection of narrow alleyways, and quaint cafes to while away the afternoons.

See also Amalfi Coast's Seaside Towns, The Best Day Trips from Venice, and Things to Do in Cinque Terre.

Portugal is a great destination to visit small towns and villages just waiting to be explored. 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 Italy or Portugal? Which Country Has the Best Restaurants?

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Portugal

Most foodies will appreciate the restaurant options in Italy a bit more than Portugal.

Italy has long been recognized as a culinary destination with great restaurants. The food here is world-famous, as you probably already know. In fact, the food is one of the main attractions. Pasta, pizza, seafood, and gelato are only just the beginning. Many regions of Italy have their own culinary specialties, too. So, be prepared to eat your way through this gourmet country.

Rome: Homemade pasta, fresh sauces, and fine wine all make the food scene among the best. Also make sure you try the gelato.

Milan: The city has a mix of traditional dishes combined with modernized, trendy restaurants. You can try a new dish by a groundbreaking chef, or sample a long running favorite like risotto alla Milanese.

Naples: As the birthplace of pizza, the city has a well known food reputation. Many local dishes, including an authentic Napoli pizza, use simple flavors such as olive oil, garlic, and tomatoes. The dishes are lighter than their northern counterparts and tomatoes are a very popular ingredient. In addition to the pizza, you should try Lasagna Al Forno Napoletana and Spaghetti Alla Vognole. Also check out a pizza making class.

Florence: Once you've worked up an appetite exploring museums and churches, you'll find many amazing local restaurants around town. Local dishes incorporate a lot of hearty vegetables and meats. Famous dishes include a Florentine steak dish, rabbit, and a bean bed and cabbage soup.

Bologna: Foodies will appreciate the city's well earned culinary reputation. Some people even consider Bologna to be a food capital in Italy. There are cooking classes and food tours around town, as well as many great restaurants that serve up local dishes. Visitors should try Tagliatelle with Ragu (now famously known around the world as Bolognaise), Tortellini in broth, and Mortadella (salami).

See also Make Your Own Pizza in Naples, Italy.

With its innovative style combined with traditional elements, Portugal makes for a great culinary experience. 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 Italy or Portugal Better for Nightlife?

Italy
Portugal

Italy has the better options when it comes to nightlife.

People head to Italy just to party. The major cities of Rome, Milan, Florence, and Naples offer plenty of nightlife for every type of person. From bars and clubs to restaurants and theatre, the larger and even the smaller cities have plenty of options.

Rome: You'll find a huge concentration of bars and clubs in the Testaccio area. There are late night clubs with salsa dancing, merengue, and live DJ's spinning every type of music.

Milan: The city has a huge number of students and young professionals, which make it a fun place with an active nightlife. There are cocktail bars, trendy clubs, and relaxed pubs that you can chose from.

See also Party Hostels in Florence, and Party Hostels in Rome.

The people in Portugal know how to have a good time. 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 Italy or Portugal Better for Resorts?

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Portugal

If you're looking for a better selection of resorts, you'll probably want to head to Portugal.

In Portugal, you'll find some of the region's top resorts. 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.

Italy has a handful of resorts to choose from. The coastal and beach areas host some nice resorts, especially in the south where the water is clear and blue. Otherwise, almost all of Italy is home to luxurious hotels featuring nice amenities.

Positano: The town has a number of luxury resorts including Le Sirenuse, Il San Pietro di Positano, and Hotel Le Agavi.

Portofino: Known for it's exclusive luxury, there are a number of high end resorts in the area. Popular options include Splendido, Sublimis Boutique Hotel, and Grand Hotel Miramare.

Is Italy or Portugal Better for Scuba Diving and Snorkeling?

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Portugal

Both Italy and Portugal offer great scuba diving or snorkeling.

It's fun to get in the water and check out the local marine life in Italy. In the southern regions of Italy, and in Sicily and Sardinia, scuba diving and snorkeling are popular because of the clear waters, gorgeous scenery, and easy accessibility. It's also popular to scuba dive in the central and northern areas around the Amalfi coast and Sorrento, as well as the coastline around Portofino (in Liguria) and some spots on the eastern Adriatic coastline.

Grab a mask and fins and explore the underwater scenery 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 Italy or Portugal Better for Beaches?

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Portugal

While Italy and Portugal are both popular beach destinations, overall the beaches at Portugal have more to offer.

Portugal is considered to be a world-class beach destination. 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.

Many people visit Italy for it's beautiful beaches. Many of the beaches along the coastline offer fantastic scenery and stunning beauty, and consist of coves with dramatic rock formations with clear blue waters. While not as sandy as in other countries, they still attract plenty of visitors. The southern regions, and Sicily, offer flatter beaches with more sand if you're looking for better swimming.

See also The Ultimate Amalfi Coast Travel Guide.


Is the Shopping Better in Italy or Portugal?

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Portugal

Most people pick Italy for the shopping over Portugal.

Italy is a world class destination for shoppers. From Milan to Florence to Rome, this country offers some terrific fashion and shopping experiences. The big cities and the smaller towns can provide unique opportunities to find new clothes, fun souvenirs, and interesting crafts.

Rome: For the biggest brand names, head to Via del Corso, which is near the Spanish Steps. Popular items to buy include Italian ceramics, shoes, leather goods, and jewelry.

Milan: Famous as the fashion capital of Italy, shopping is the thing to do here. There are many streets that are lined with the biggest designers in fashion. Make sure you check out Via Monte Napoleone, Via Della Spiga, and Corso Buenos Aires.

Venice: There are many unique items that people purchase in town. Some of the most popular include Murano glass, Burano lace, Venetian masks, and local fabrics.

Como: The shopping is comparable to major cities, with everything from high end boutiques to outlets and local markets. There are clothing shops, jewelry stores, and places to pick up local souvenirs. Shopping is a favorite activity for many visitors to Lake Como.

Portugal is a great destination for shopping. 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.

Is Italy or Portugal Better for Christmas?

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Portugal

Most people pick Italy to visit during Christmas than Portugal.

Italy is a world class destination during the Christmas season. Rome is a very popular destination at Christmas, especially since it is home to the Vatican. The city is fantastically decorated for the season. But it's not the only one, as other larger cities and smaller towns also put on large holiday displays with huge Christmas trees, ice skating rinks, and theatre shows. Many of the towns in the northern regions of Italy also put on markets and decorate large areas of their public squares.

Portugal has some seasonal activities during Christmas. 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 Italy or Portugal Better for Hiking?

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Portugal

Both Italy and Portugal are destinations which offer great hiking.

Plenty of visitors go hiking around Italy. The northern regions around the Dolomites and the Alps offer plenty of hiking trails, as do some of the central inland areas where the terrain is higher and rugged. Plenty of coastal trails can be found with stunning views of the Mediterranean, too. Check out the trails around the Amalfi Coast and Cinque Terre, for example. Also, one of the most famous hikes is the historic walk along the Appian Way.

Cinque Terre: The five towns are part of Cinque Terre National Park and there are 120 kilometers of hiking trails in the park. Most people hike along the trails that follow the coastline and connect the towns. There are fees for the most popular stretch of trails which connect Monterosso to Vernazza and then go from Vernazza to Corniglia. All other hiking is free in the area.

See also A Hiking Guide to Cinque Terre, and Tours and Hiking Trips to Mt. Vesuvius and Pompeii.

Portugal offers some nice hiking trails. 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 Italy or Portugal Better for its National Parks?

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Portugal

Most people pick Italy for its national parks over Portugal.

Many visitors go to Italy to see the national parks. While not necessarily famous for its national parks, here you'll still find plenty of absolutely gorgeous regions to explore. From the Dolomites in the north to the beautiful stretches of coastline, Italy has plenty of park areas to explore. Don't miss Cinque Terre with its colorful villages and vineyards, or Gargano in the south with its clear waters and white cliffs.

Portugal is a good destination to visit the 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 Italy or Portugal Better for Adventure Travel?

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Portugal

Both Italy and Portugal have a wide array of great adventure travel options for those interested.

Adventure travel experiences in Italy are quite popular with travelers. If thrills are what you're after, you can find a number of adventure sports here. From skiing in the north to scuba diving in the south, you can find it here. Visitors can also find plenty of hiking and paragliding in the mountains, as well as canyoning in many of the central regions of Italy.

Portugal has some adventurous travel experiences that often attract visitors. 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 Italy or Portugal Better for Visiting the Mountains?

Italy
Portugal

Both Italy and Portugal have some great mountain areas to explore.

Visiting the mountains in Italy is a very popular activity. While not known for mountains as much as some of its neighbors, this country has its fair share in the northern regions where you'll find the Alps and Dolomites. Plenty of mountain villages can be found here, along with winter skiing, summer hiking, scenic lakes, and more.

Portugal has some beautiful mountain areas that attract visitors. 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.

Is Italy or Portugal Better for Watersports?

Italy
Portugal

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

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.

The watersports in Italy attract many visitors. As a coastal nation, it's no surprise that visitors can get out on the water here. From boating to surfing to fishing, it's quite easy to find plenty of activities. Scuba diving and snorkeling are especially popular in the southern regions of Italy where the water is clear and warm.

Is Italy or Portugal Better for Outdoor Activities?

Italy
Portugal

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

The huge number of outdoor activities in Portugal is one of the main reasons people come to visit. 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.

Italy has some outdoor activities that attract visitors. Hiking, snow skiing, boating, kayaking, rafting, snorkeling, and more are all popular activities here. One of the main reasons is that the natural beauty is everywhere, and that most of the country's outdoor areas are so accessible to the larger cities.


Is Italy or Portugal Better for a Road Trip?

Italy
Portugal

Italy and Portugal both have plenty of great places to explore on a road trip.

With many possiblities for a road trip, Italy is a great place to take on the open road. If you're looking to drive through the countryside from city to city, or even just through the small towns, you'll find some great roads in Italy. Take a drive down the coast from Rome to see a diverse set of coastlines, towns, and historical sights. Or, drive through the mountains in the north interspersed with gorgeous lakes. And don't forget about Tuscany where you can explore the small towns among the vineyards and wineries.

Portugal is a great place to take a road trip. 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 Italy or Portugal Better for Families?

Italy
Portugal

Both Italy and Portugal are great to visit with kids.

Italy is an extremely popular country to visit for families. With plenty of diverse activities for children and adults, here you'll find large cities with famous attractions, beautiful beaches on stunning coastlines, small towns with great food. Plenty of amusement parks, outdoor activities, and water sports are also available.

Lake Garda: The nearby amusement parks, including Gardaland, make this a popular destination for families. The area also has many places to swim, trails to explore, and castles to experience. Kids and adults alike will love this amazing kid-friendly area.

See also Cinque Terre: The Ultimate Travel Planning Guide, and Hostels in Palermo, Sicily for Couples, Women, Families & Solo Travellers.

With a huge array of activities for kids, Portugal is very family-friendly. 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.

Is Italy or Portugal Better for Couples?

Italy
Portugal

Both Italy and Portugal are great destinations for a couple's getaway.

Italy is a great country for couples, as it has plenty to offer. Known for its romantic destinations, couples will have a hard time simply deciding which destination to choose first. From world-famous cities full of charm, romance, and cuisine to gorgeous beaches to small colorful towns, Italy has everything a couple would want for a honeymoon or a romantic getaway.

Florence: Art and history lovers will enjoy a visit to this truly beautiful city. Couples who enjoy museums, historic buildings, and world-renowned art, will find plenty to do in this city.

Venice: With its many truly unique romantic experiences, this city makes for a truly memorable honeymoon or romantic getaway. Ride a gondola, get lost in the city, and enjoy pasta and music around town to make the experience unlike any other.

Como: Its beautiful walks, charming towns, and surrounding natural setting make this a great honeymoon and couple's getaway destination. Dine on Italian cuisine as you sip wine and look out on the pristine waters of Lake Como.

Siena: With its impressive beauty and long running history, this is a truly romantic city. The atmosphere is relaxed and there are plazas and neighborhoods that are great for exploring. There are also many great restaurants, superb wine, and world class sights that are not to be missed.

Sorrento: This beautiful romantic destination is one of the world's top honeymoon areas. It's a small city that offers access to the many nearby destinations, so it makes a good base or gateway city for visiting places like Capri and the Blue Grotto as well as the Amalfi Coast. You can enjoy romantic hikes full of stunning views, explore by kayak, dine at romantic restaurants, or experience a one-of-a-kind farm tour. If you base yourself in Sorrento, you'll likely be doing a lot of day trips.

See also Hostels in Palermo, Sicily for Couples, Women, Families & Solo Travellers, and Hostels in Bologna for Solo Travellers, Female Travellers, and Couples.

Portugal is fantastic couple's destination with fun and romantic activities. 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.

Is Italy or Portugal Better for Backpackers and Budget Travelers?

Italy
Portugal

While Portugal and Italy are both good for backpackers, overall Italy is more popular.

Italy is a very popular country to visit for backpackers. Plenty of affordable and budget-friendly options are available here which allow backpackers to spend less on a trip. From hostels to street food to free attractions, it's possible to explore the cities and countryside of Italy without breaking the bank.

Rome: Backpackers will find no shortage of hostels where they can stay, particularly near the main train station where accommodation is particularly cheap (but not always the best quality).

Florence: The city is part of a popular route through Italy, and you'll find many backpackers and students in town. There are also many hostels, so you should have no trouble meeting other young travelers.

Sorrento: Because its a small city with accessible transportation, you'll find a decent number of hostels that make it an affordable base for exploring the area. You can hit many nearby sights as day trips or use this as a first stop off point as you make your way along the coast.

See also Best Hostels in Rome, Florence's Best Hostels, and Party Hostels in Florence.

Backpackers come from all over to visit Portugal. 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 Italy or Portugal Better for Students?

Italy
Portugal

Students usually think of Italy as better than Portugal.

Italy is very popular with students. As the home of many study-abroad programs and major universities, students will feel right at home here. Plenty of academic and budget-travel options are available in the major cities as well as some of the smaller towns.

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

Milan: It is one of the more popular city's for international students in Italy. It is very livable with a lot of culture and a fun nightlife, so you're sure to have the experience of a lifetime.

Florence: Many students visit this city as part of a short term study abroad program, or for the entire length of their studies. The city is beautiful, and whether your focus is art, history, or culture, this city will not disappoint.

Bologna: It's a top study abroad destination in Italy and is home to a few great universities including the well ranked University of Bologna. There are many great activities for students and a variety of fun places to explore.

Venice: Because of its well-established reputation, this city attracts many international students for both semester and full length programs. There are many programs to choose between, and many students focus on the region's art, architecture, history, and language.

See also Hostels in Genoa for Solo Travellers, Backpackers, and Students, Affordable, Safe, and Quiet Hostels in Naples, Italy for Students and Backpackers, and Affordable and Safe Hostels in Milan for Backpackers and Students.

Portugal is popular with students. The larger cities of Lisbon and Porto are great for students, as they have major universities along with affordable travel accommodations, an active nightlife scene, and low cost food options. Other smaller university towns include Coimbra, Braga, Aveiro, and Faro. All of these towns are within easy reach to other major destinations in Portugal such as the beaches, big cities, castles, national parks, and more. They also offer nightlife and fun student activities for visitors and locals alike.

See also Hostels in Portugal for Students and Backpackers.

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

Italy
Portugal

Visitors will be able to get around equally well in both Italy and Portugal.

Many visitors use the public transit system in Italy. Nationally, the major cities and smaller towns in Italy are connected with a terrific rail system, and high-speed trains connect major destinations. Furthermore, the cities have terrific public transit systems that include subways, trams, and buses. Getting around Italy is quite easy.

See also Transportation in Venice, and Transportation in Rome.

Is it easy to travel around Italy?

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

Public transit in Portugal is fairly effecient and thorough. 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?

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

Is Italy or Portugal more Comfortable for a Trip?

Italy and Portugal are both modern and comfortable places to visit.

Italy is a very comfortable and luxurious destination with plenty of hotels, restaurants, and activities. This is a country with a huge infrastructure for tourists and travelers. With a wide range of nice hotels and luxurious resorts, a great public transit network of high-speed trains, fine-dining and casual restaurants, nightlife, and modern conveniences, Italy can be extremely comfortable for travelers.

Generally, Portugal is considered to be a comfortable and luxurious place to visit. 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 Italy or Portugal more Touristy?

Italy is considered to be much more touristy than Portugal.

Italy is known for being extremely touristy. This is one of the most visited countries in the world for tourists. Its major cities such as Rome, Venice, Florence, and Milan host millions of visitors every year because of their world-famous attractions, cuisine, and history. Even some of the smaller towns and rural areas see plenty of tourists. Whether you're visiting the coastline or an inland region, it can be hard to escape other travelers.

Portugal is somewhat touristy. 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 Italy, The Best Hiking & Trekking Tours in Italy, The Best Historical Tours in Italy, The Best 10-Day Tours in Italy, The Best One Week (7-Day) Tours in Italy, The Best 2-Week Tours in Italy, The Best Bicycle Tours in Italy, Tours for Outdoor and Nature Lovers in Italy, The Best Coach Bus Tours in Italy, The Best Adventure Tours to Italy, The Best Sightseeing Tours in Italy, The Best Vineyard & Wine Tours in Italy, The Best Food and Culinary Tours in Italy, The Best Romantic Tours for Couples in Italy, The Best Walking Tours in Italy, The Best Luxury Tours to Italy, The Best Budget Tours to Italy, The Best Tours for Seniors to Italy, The Best Contiki Tours to Italy, The Best G Adventures Tours to Italy, The Best One-Week (7-Day) Tours from Rome, The Best 10-Day Tours from Rome, The Best 2-Week Tours from Rome, 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.


Vernazza in Cinque Terre Vernazza in Cinque Terre

Should I spend more time in Portugal or Italy?

How long in Italy or Portugal?

Italy and Portugal both offer a nice selection of activities for visitors. In our opinion, Italy has more to see and do, so we recommend that you spend more time in Italy than Portugal. In general, 7-14 days is a good amount of time for Italy, and 3-14 days is enough time in Portugal.

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

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

Backpackers and budget travelers should spend more time in Italy than Portugal if your budget allows for it. With a larger number of budget-friendly sights, good nightlife, and active things to do, anyone traveling on a budget would have a good time in Italy.


  • How many days should I spend in Italy or Portugal?
    Italy 7-14 
    Portugal 3-14

A weekend in Italy or Portugal?

Italy is a popular place that is full of things to see and experience. Many visitors spend time at the beach while visiting the area. But since there are so many activities, you'll likely want to spend more than a weekend exploring. Take your pick from the many activities offered here.

It's hard to know how much time to spend in Portugal. It's a great spot for a beach vacation. A weekend is usually not enough time for a trip here as there is plenty to do. The length of your ideal trip is an individual decision.

Five days in Italy or Portugal?

Italy is a popular choice for travelers. But since there are so many activities, you'll likely want to spend more than five days exploring. The entire region has so many activities, and you'll want time to do everything.

Portugal is a fun place to experience. In Portugal, many people enjoy the museums, theater, and adventure travel that this destination offers. You'll find plenty of activities on the beach. This would be the perfect place to spend five days, as it has just the right amount of activities.

A week in Italy or Portugal?

Italy is a great place to explore. It is common to spend one week here. It's also a great beach destination, too. One week is a great amount of time to relax and see the many things that Italy has to offer. This country offers something for everyone.

In Portugal, many people enjoy the theater, adventure travel, and history and culture that this charming destination offers. Plenty of people spend one week in the area when traveling. Most people come for the beaches. Take your pick from the many activities offered here. One week is often enough time to do most activities.

Two weeks in Italy or Portugal?

Italy is a great place to explore. It is common to spend two weeks here. It's also a great beach destination, too. While some people choose to spend more or less time in Italy, two weeks is sufficent for most. This country offers something for everyone.

In Portugal, many people enjoy the theater, adventure travel, and history and culture that this captivating destination offers. Plenty of people spend two weeks in the area when traveling. Most people come for the beaches. Take your pick from the many activities offered here. This would be the perfect place to spend two weeks, as it has just the right amount of activities.

Naples, Italy Naples, Italy

Which country is cheaper, Portugal or Italy?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Italy is €167, while the average daily cost in Portugal is €136. 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 Italy and Portugal in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Italy 85
    Portugal 59
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Italy 170
    Portugal 118
Compare Hotels in Italy and Portugal

Looking for a hotel in Italy 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 Italy


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: Italy Hotel Prices and Portugal Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Italy 26
    Portugal 27
Typical Local Transportation prices in Italy

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


  • Metro Ride (for Two)
    2.00
  • Venice 12 Hour Transport Pass
    16
  • Train to the Airport
    15
  • Taxi Ride Within City
    8.00
  • Train to Airport
    7.00
  • Vaporetto Ride
    6.50
  • 1 Day Travel Card
    18
  • Taxi from Airport
    25
  • In City Parking (Full Day)
    30
  • Bus Pass (Full Day)
    5.00
  • 7 Day Transport Card (for Two)
    101
  • Malpensa Airport Train (for Two)
    22

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Italy

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

  • Bus Transfer between Lido di Jesolo and Venice: $5.35
  • Milan: Linate Airport to/from Milan Central Station Transfer: $5.35
  • Bari Airport: 1-Way Shared Transfer to Matera City Center: $5.35
  • Pisa: Train Transfer from Pisa Airport to San Giusto/Aurelia: $5.35
  • Naples Airport: Bus Transfer to/from Naples Maritime Station: $5.35
  • Rome: Bus Transfer Between Airport and Rome Termini Station: $6.42
  • Rome: Shuttle Bus Transfer to or from Ciampino Airport: $6.42
  • Rome: Ciampino Airport – Rome Termini Direct Bus Transfer: $6.42
  • Pisa Airport: Transfer to/from Pisa Central Railway Station: $6.96
  • Rome: Tickets for Bus Transfer to or from Ciampino Airport: $7.39
  • Rome: Tickets for Bus Transfer to or from Fiumicino Airport: $7.39
  • Turin Airport: BUS Transfer to/from Turin: $7.48

Typical Local Transportation prices in Portugal

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


  • Taxi Ride
    6.50

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Portugal

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Portugal:

  • mapeTOUR Transfers from Lisbon Airport to Lisbon: $82
  • lisbon private luxury transfer to or from lisbon airport: $38
  • XL Faro Airport Private Transfer: Lagos, Albufeira, and Vilamoura: $76
  • XL Faro Airport Private Transfer Lagos/Albufeira/Vilamoura: $75
  • Tuk Tuk Transfer With Sintra Pena Ticket From Meeting Point: $73
  • Try find your better than us ! Airport transfer service in Porto APT-HTL (OPO): $33
  • Try find your better than us ! Airport transfer service in Lisbon HTL-APT (LIS): $36
  • Try find your better than us ! Airport transfer service in Lisbon APT-HTL (LIS): $36
  • Try find your better than us ! Airport transfer service in Faro HTL-APT (FAO): $36
  • Try find your better than us ! Airport transfer service in Faro APT-HTL (FAO): $36
  • Transfers taxi tours golf wedding: $56
  • Transfers in Lisbon Center To and from the Airport : $44

Is it cheaper to fly into Italy or Italy?

Prices for flights to both Portugal and Italy 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
    Italy 45
    Portugal 40
Typical Food prices in Italy

For Italy, here are some examples of average food and meal prices for travelers:


  • Casual Lunch (for Two)
    14
  • Panini Sandwich
    4.00
  • Gelato
    6.00
  • 4 Ice Cream Sandwiches
    2.99
  • Artichoke & Mushroom Pizza
    7.90
  • Dinner
    75
  • Cheese
    3.10
  • Pizza
    14
  • Dinner for Two at a Pub
    60
  • Gelato
    2.20
  • Dinner at Pizzeria (for 2)
    24
  • Gelato and Coffee
    7.00

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Italy

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

  • Palermo Street Food Tour including Market and City Centre: $21
  • Milan: PYT Milano Dinner Show with Live Music and DJ Set: $21
  • Florence: Walking Food Tour at Sunset with Tastings: $22
  • Florence Street Food Tour: Market & City Center: $22
  • Hard Rock Cafe Florence with Set Menu for Lunch or Dinner: $27
  • Creative Cooking for Young Chefs in Tuscany: $27
  • Milan: Hard Rock Cafe with Set Menu for Lunch or Dinner: $29
  • Venice: Hard Rock Cafe with Set Menu for Lunch or Dinner: $29
  • Private visit to the home of Grand Duke Leopold of Tuscany, dinner and wine: $30
  • Hard Rock Cafe Rome with Set Lunch or Dinner: $30
  • Hard Rock Cafe Florence with Set Lunch or Dinner: $30
  • Florence Street Food Tour, Market and City Center: $31

Typical Food prices in Portugal

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


  • Pizzaria Lunch (for 2)
    15
  • Coffee
    1.40
  • Coffee
    2.50
  • 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.

  • Lisbon: Soirée Rivage - Sunset cruise with dinner and Party: $25
  • Morning Food Tour in Ponta Delgada: $33
  • Lisbon: Tapas Food Tour: $37
  • Madeira Nights Tour - Dinner and Show: $41
  • Lisbon: Fado Show and Portuguese Dinner: $48
  • Chanfana: Cooking Traditional Portuguese Cuisine Experience: $49
  • A Portuguese Dinner and Cocktail Experience with pick up: $49
  • Lisbon Food Tour: $53
  • Lisbon: Alfama Tour and Live Fado with Traditional Dinner: $53
  • Albufeira Food Tour: Wine and Traditional Tapas Experience: $53
  • Lisbon: 2-Hour Pastel de Nata Cooking Class: $53
  • Lisbon: Legendary Beer Dinner: $54

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Italy 26
    Portugal 22
Typical Entertainment prices in Italy

Below are a few sample prices from actual travelers for Italy's activities, tours, and tickets:


  • Venice Boat Ride
    15
  • Bell tower of St. Mark Entrance Fee
    8.00
  • Gondola Ride (for Group)
    80
  • Admission to Uffizi
    11
  • Phone Booking Fee for Uffizi
    4.00
  • Firenze Card (for Two)
    100
  • Rome Museum Vaticano (for 2)
    69
  • Coliseum Tickets (for Two)
    33
  • Audioguides at Uffizi (for Two)
    20
  • Roma Pass
    30
  • Hop on Hop Off Bus (All Day)
    20
  • Segway Tour
    75

Tours and Activities in Italy

For Italy, here are a few prices for actual activities, tours, and tickets provided by various companies:

  • Cagliari: Train ticket to travel between airport and city: $1.59
  • Florence: Dark Mysteries and Legends Guided Walking Tour: $2.68
  • Florence: Renaissance and Medici Tales Guided Walking Tour: $2.68
  • Skip the Line: Trullo Sovrano Admission Ticket: $2.73
  • Trieste: First Discovery Walk and Reading Walking Tour: $3.21
  • Turin: First Discovery Walk and Reading Walking Tour: $3.21
  • Genoa: First Discovery Walk and Reading Walking Tour: $3.21
  • Milan: First Discovery Walk and Reading Walking Tour: $3.21
  • Pisa: First Discovery Walk and Reading Walking Tour: $3.21
  • Siena: First Discovery Walk and Reading Walking Tour: $3.21
  • Cambridge: Discovery Walk & Reading Walking Tour: $3.21
  • Sanremo: Floriseum - Flower Museum Entry Ticket: $3.21

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: $243
  • 4 Hour Blissful Wave Experience at Maceda Haven: $76
  • 4 Hours Vilamoura Algarve Tour and Tasting Experience: $106
  • Algarve Coast & Chapel of Bones ( Private Van Tour ): $52
  • Arieiro Peak with Santana and Machico Golden Beach Experience: $75
  • Divine Journey : Fatima Full Day Private Tour: $164
  • E-Bike Rental Self Guide Tour in Sintra and Cabo da Roca : $76
  • Faro to Benagil Hiking Tour and Marinha beach: $55
  • Full Day Private Tour in Silves and Coast Gems: $192
  • Full Day Tour Sete Cidades & Lagoa do Fogo with Lunch: $86
  • Half Day Private Wine and Traditional Tile Making Tour: $142
  • Horse Carriage Tour on the Mountain in Palmela: $164

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Italy 17
    Portugal 16
Typical Alcohol prices in Italy

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


  • Two Beers
    5.00
  • Bottle of Wine
    15
  • 1/2 Litre of wine
    9.00
  • 2 Glasses of Wine
    7.00
  • Beer with Dinner (for 2)
    4.00
  • 2 Glasses of Wine
    8.60
  • 1/2 Liter Wine
    5.20
  • Glass of Chianti
    4.20
  • Bottle of Wine
    7.50
  • Bottle of Wine
    6.50
  • Pint of Beer
    6.34
  • Beer
    4.90

Sample the Local Flavors in Italy

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

  • Visit Best Wineries in Tuscany - Wine Tasting & Tour: $9.63
  • Wine tasting in the historical Cantalici winery: $12
  • Organic wine tasting: $13
  • San Gimignano Wine Tour and tuscan lunch for small group : $13
  • Naples: Guided Pub Crawl in the Old Town: $14
  • Lucca: Wine Tasting Experience - Tenuta Adamo Winery: $16
  • Wine Tasting by CarusVini in San Casciano in val di Pesa: $16
  • Napoli Pub Crawl in the Old Town: $16
  • Food and Wine Tour: visit to the oil mill with tasting: $17
  • Visit among vineyards and wine cellar with wine tasting in Nizza Monferrato: $17
  • Mastio Brewery Private Tour With Beer Tasting: $17
  • Shared Florence Pub Crawl Walking Tour in Firenze's Old Town: $19

Sample the Local Flavors in Portugal

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

  • Tickets for Port Cellar Visit and Wine Tasting at Fonseca: $11
  • Madeira Wine Tasting and Funchal City tour: $16
  • Douro Valley: 1h Solar Boat Experience - Two Wine Tasting: $16
  • Lisbon: Port Wine Tasting at Taylor’s Shop and Tasting Room: $17
  • Lisbon: Pub Crawl with Unlimited Drinks and VIP Club Entry: $17
  • Loulé: Quinta da Tôr Winery Guided Tour and Wine Tasting: $18
  • Tour & Wine tasting - Authentic Algarve Flavours by Quinta da Tôr: $19
  • Lisbon: Pub Crawl with Open Bar and VIP Club Entry: $19
  • Douro Wine Tasting: $19
  • Douro and Port Wine Tasting: $20
  • Lisbon Wild Pub Crawl : $20
  • Lisbon: 1-Hour Portuguese Wine Tasting Session: $20


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

Coimbra, Portugal Coimbra, Portugal

Why is Italy more expensive than Portugal?

Italy is one of the top travel destinations in the world, so prices can be a bit high, particularly during the peak seasons when tours and cruise ships flock to the area. There are many touristy areas that have expensive restaurants and hotels. If you're looking for a better deal, head to a more off the beaten path location and you'll find prices to be a bit cheaper.

Portugal is one of the more affordable countries to visit in Western Europe. It has a lower cost of living than Italy and there are a wide diversity of accommodation types and restaurants to choose from. Whatever your travel style, there is likely an affordable place to stay that meets your needs. Hostels, hotels, and budget guesthouses are all common throughout the country.

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

In Italy, the most expensive places are usually the most touristy places. Cities like Florence and Venice can be pricey, particularly during the peak season when the few budget accommodation options fill up quickly. Also along the Amalfi Coast prices can be quite high in Italy.

If you want to get off the beaten path a bit and save some money, southern Italy is a beautiful and fun area to explore. Prices also tend to be a bit less in southern Italy.

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

How can you save money while visiting Italy and Portugal?

Because Italy is so touristy, the restaurants can be a bit more expensive than you'd expect. You'll get the best food for the best prices if you get off the beaten path a bit. Eat where the locals eat and you're sure to save some money and enjoy a delicious meal.

Southern Italy is generally cheaper than Northern Italy. It also has a completely different character and vibe, so if you're looking to experience something a bit different, head to Southern Italy instead of the more popular northern cities.

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

If you're traveling during the peak season, make sure you have reservations well in advance to ensure you get the best deals.

Peniche, Portugal Peniche, Portugal

When is the best time to visit Italy 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.

Italy is a peninsula in the Mediterranean Sea, and thus has a much warmer climate than most of its European neighbors. The southern regions can be especially warm year-round, and very hot in the summer. The northern regions are home to a more mountainous landscape, so they can have cold and snowy winters. But in general, any time of the year is a great time to visit.

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.

Italy is a popular tourist destination year around, but the crowds are definitely at their peak during the summer months. This is also when prices are their highest and temperatures can be quite hot, particularly in the south. If you have some flexibility with your timing, it's better to visit Italy during the spring of fall seasons. The crowds are a bit less during these times and the prices a slightly lower. Winter is the low season in Italy. The crowds are at a minimum and there are deals available for budget conscious travelers. Some places do close for the season though, particularly along the coast, so you may have limited options during the winter months.

Portugal is also a popular tourist destination during the summer months. This is when it is sunny but hot. It's best to avoid the month of August because this is when temperatures are quite hot and it's also when many Portuguese go on vacation. Tickets can sell out quickly in August and hotels fill up early. If you're going to be visiting Portugal during this time, make your reservations well in advance. This is also when the prices are highest.

Spring and fall are the best times to visit Portugal. The crowds are less and the prices are a bit lower. The weather is also cooler so you can enjoy wandering around outside. 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.


Should I visit Italy or Portugal in the Summer?

The summer brings many poeple to Italy as well as Portugal. Many visitors come to Italy in the summer for the beaches, snorkeling, the hiking, and the family-friendly experiences. Also, most visitors come to Portugal for the beaches, snorkeling, the hiking, and the family-friendly experiences during these months.

Rome is around the same temperature as Lisbon in the summer. The daily temperature in Rome averages around 25°C (77°F) in July, and Lisbon fluctuates around 23°C (73°F).

The sun comes out a lot this time of the year in Lisbon. People are often attracted to the plentiful sunshine in Rome this time of the year. In the summer, Rome often gets around the same amount of sunshine as Lisbon. Rome gets 338 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Lisbon receives 352 hours of full sun.

Rome usually gets more rain in July than Lisbon. Rome gets 19 mm (0.7 in) of rain, while Lisbon receives 5 mm (0.2 in) of rain this time of the year.


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

Should I visit Italy or Portugal in the Autumn?

Both Portugal and Italy are popular destinations to visit in the autumn with plenty of activities. Most visitors come to Italy for the hiking trails, the shopping scene, and the natural beauty of the area during these months. Also, the autumn months attract visitors to Portugal because of the hiking trails, the shopping scene, and the natural beauty of the area.

In the autumn, Rome is around the same temperature as Lisbon. Typically, the autumn temperatures in Rome in October average around 17°C (63°F), and Lisbon averages at about 19°C (66°F).

It's quite sunny in Lisbon. Rome usually receives around the same amount of sunshine as Lisbon during autumn. Rome gets 198 hours of sunny skies, while Lisbon receives 213 hours of full sun in the autumn.

In October, Rome usually receives more rain than Lisbon. Rome gets 94 mm (3.7 in) of rain, while Lisbon receives 80 mm (3.1 in) of rain each month for the autumn.


  • Autumn Average Temperatures October
    Rome 17°C (63°F) 
    Rome 19°C (66°F)

Should I visit Italy or Portugal in the Winter?

Both Portugal and Italy during the winter are popular places to visit. The winter months attract visitors to Italy because of the skiing, the museums, the Christmas ambience, the shopping scene, and the cuisine. Furthermore, the museums, the Christmas ambience, the shopping scene, the theater shows, and the cuisine are the main draw to Portugal this time of year.

In January, Rome is generally cooler than Lisbon. Daily temperatures in Rome average around 8°C (47°F), and Lisbon fluctuates around 12°C (53°F).

In the winter, Rome often gets less sunshine than Lisbon. Rome gets 127 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Lisbon receives 144 hours of full sun.

Lisbon gets a good bit of rain this time of year. Rome usually gets less rain in January than Lisbon. Rome gets 81 mm (3.2 in) of rain, while Lisbon receives 110 mm (4.3 in) of rain this time of the year.


  • Winter Average Temperatures January
    Rome 8°C (47°F) 
    Rome 12°C (53°F)

Should I visit Italy or Portugal in the Spring?

The spring attracts plenty of travelers to both Italy and Portugal. The beaches and the natural beauty are the main draw to Italy this time of year. Furthermore, many travelers come to Portugal for the beaches and the natural beauty.

Rome is cooler than Lisbon in the spring. The daily temperature in Rome averages around 14°C (57°F) in April, and Lisbon fluctuates around 16°C (60°F).

People are often attracted to the plentiful sunshine in Lisbon this time of the year. In Rome, it's very sunny this time of the year. Rome usually receives less sunshine than Lisbon during spring. Rome gets 204 hours of sunny skies, while Lisbon receives 235 hours of full sun in the spring.

In April, Rome usually receives less rain than Lisbon. Rome gets 50 mm (2 in) of rain, while Lisbon receives 64 mm (2.5 in) of rain each month for the spring.


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

Typical Weather for Lisbon and Rome

Rome Lisbon
Temp (°C) Rain (mm) Temp (°C) Rain (mm)
Jan 8°C (47°F) 81 mm (3.2 in) 12°C (53°F) 110 mm (4.3 in)
Feb 9°C (49°F) 76 mm (3 in) 13°C (55°F) 111 mm (4.4 in)
Mar 11°C (52°F) 64 mm (2.5 in) 14°C (58°F) 69 mm (2.7 in)
Apr 14°C (57°F) 50 mm (2 in) 16°C (60°F) 64 mm (2.5 in)
May 18°C (64°F) 42 mm (1.6 in) 18°C (64°F) 39 mm (1.5 in)
Jun 22°C (71°F) 21 mm (0.8 in) 21°C (69°F) 21 mm (0.8 in)
Jul 25°C (77°F) 19 mm (0.7 in) 23°C (73°F) 5 mm (0.2 in)
Aug 25°C (77°F) 36 mm (1.4 in) 23°C (74°F) 6 mm (0.2 in)
Sep 22°C (71°F) 74 mm (2.9 in) 22°C (72°F) 26 mm (1 in)
Oct 17°C (63°F) 94 mm (3.7 in) 19°C (66°F) 80 mm (3.1 in)
Nov 12°C (54°F) 105 mm (4.1 in) 15°C (59°F) 114 mm (4.5 in)
Dec 9°C (49°F) 94 mm (3.7 in) 12°C (54°F) 108 mm (4.3 in)