Prices in Crete: Budget Guide for a Convenient Vacation in Crete!

prices in Crete

Interested in visiting Crete but not sure how much you would need? Or have you already made your plans and are wondering how much to save for the trip? Either way, this article is just for you.

Keep reading to discover how much it costs to travel to Crete. And then prepare your luggage. Off we go!

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How Much Does it Cost to Spend a Vacation in Crete?

How to budget your trip to Crete

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📍 Top tours I recommend on the island:
Boat cruise to Balos Lagoon & Gramvousa
Ticket to Knossos Archaeological Site

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📲 Book a consultation call if you need help planning your trip to Crete!

Prices in 2023: This guide was adjusted after the economic crisis in 2023 that saw an important increase in prices all over Europe and that, as a consequence, also affected prices in Crete.

The beautiful thing about holiday costs is that you can choose how small or big they are. In short, a holiday in Crete can cost as little or as much as you want it to. Crete is an island that covers all budgets

Depending on your lifestyle and what you want to do, you may need a different budget for your holidays in Crete.

Planning a rip to Crete and don't know how much it will cost? Read on to get the best suggestions from a local!

You can start from as low as €50 per day and reach as much as you want. Indeed, there is no roof over how much you can spend in Crete. 

To get a better idea of the budget you will need, it is best to think of the main expenses that you will have.

Because accommodation, food, and activities can take 80 to 90% of your budget, it is wise to examine the cost for each category.

Cost of Accommodation in Crete

Agios Nikolaos Hotels Ammoudara Beach Hotel Apartments
(Courtesy Ammoudara Beach Hotel Apartments).

The main daily expense that you will incur in Crete is no other than accommodation. Studios and rooms start from as low as 50 to 70 euros for budget stays.

You can also rent entire houses or summer villas for an average price of around €150 per day, or give the same amount for a better room in a hotel. 

If you want to save 50 to 70% of your accommodation budget, remember that you can also choose to sleep in hostels, usually situated in major towns.

prices in Crete
(Courtesy Kumba Hostel).

Sleeping in a hostel offers you a great way to save a lot on your trip. For just 15-20 euros per person per night, some would not mind sharing a toilet.

So, if all you need is a place to lie down and sleep, feel free to consider this option. 

On the contrary, if you want and can afford to treat yourself to unparalleled luxuries, the accommodation options in Crete are limitless.

Choose anything from beachfront resorts to extravagant villas and deluxe apartments. If you are looking for a number, note that the sky is the limit. I’ve written several accommodation guides that are very helpful to find hotels on the island.

In short…
Hostel: €15 – €25 per person per night
Budget hotel: €60-70 per room per night
Mid-range hotel: €100-120 per night
Luxury hotel or resort: (as much as you can afford)

Cost of Food in Crete

Food from crete
Having lunch in the market will help your budget stay low and healthy!

There is no doubt that, during your holidays in Crete, you will taste some of the most authentic and delicious Greek food in Greece.

Unfortunately, unless your best Greek friend hosts you at their house, you most likely have to pay for the food. 

And in general, the better the quality of the food, the more expensive it is. Just like with the accommodation, there are thousands of tavernas and restaurants on the island.

Although not two tavernas are the same, there is a rough guideline on how much they charge for each dish. 

prices in Crete

If you head to an economy tavern, you can expect to pay anything from €6 to €8 per side dish, also called meze in Greek, or about €8 to 12 for a main dish such as moussaka.

In comparison, a more fancy restaurant will set you off about €10 to €12 for a salad or €15 to €18 for a plate of fresh fish. 

When you come to Crete, you also have to try street food. If you are used to big companies and franchises monopolizing the street food industry, prepare yourself for a surprise.

prices in Crete
Gyro wrap.

Greeks hate fast food companies and daily show their love for traditional Greek street food, usually offered by small entrepreneurs who strive daily for the quality of their meals. 

For just as low as 2 euros, you can get a large slice of freshly baked pizza.

And of course, don’t forget to try the king of street food in Greece: the infamous gyros. Under €3-4 for a gyro wrap, this is a steal in both quality and price for Western standards.

All the places in town for the Best Pizza in Chania

To get a better idea of how much food in Crete costs, here are some examples of items you may consume daily:
Ice Cream: €2-4
Coffee: €1.80-2.5
Beer: €2.50-3.50
A glass of wine: €4-6
Bottle of wine in the supermarket: €7-15

Traveling to Crete soon? Check these rookie mistakes you want to avoid making on the island.

Cost of Activities in Crete

Boat Trips Crete - Balos
Boats in Balos Lagoon.

Apart from food and accommodation, activities are the next big expense you will have during your holidays in Crete. 

In contrast with food and accommodation, you can choose to do activities and things that come for free, such as visiting a beach, taking a city walk, or hiking a gorge.

There are so many free things that you can do in most cities in Crete.

prices in Crete
Spinalonga island

However, many worthwhile and memorable activities do bring a cost.

For example, a day trip to the historical island of Spinalonga will cost around 30 Euros per person.

In comparison, hiking Samaria, the longest gorge in Europe, can take as much as 50 Euros, including transport and entrance fee, although there are affordable hiking groups that take you to Samaria for a smaller fee.

HERAKLION-CRETE-Archaeological-Museum
Archaeological Museum of Heraklion

Next to its majestic landscape and incredible natural beauty, Crete is also full of history and museums.

Although the price can vary depending on the specific museum and the exhibits, you can expect to pay around €6-€10 per ticket.

For example, the Archaeological Museum of Heraklion has an entrance fee of €10, although a pre-purchase ticket might cost only a little more and include also an informative audio guide.

Getting to CretAquarium will cost around €8. And, of course, many smaller museums and exhibitions ask for 2 to 3 Euros.

prices in Crete
Samaria Gorge.

Apart from hundreds of museums, Crete is also full of archaeological sites inherited from the glory of the past. The prices here are lower on average.

As an example, the entrance fee to Spinalonga island is €8, €2 more than the ticket to the ancient city of Phaistos.

The most you can expect to pay for visiting an archaeological site is €15 for getting into the Minoan Palace of Knossos, one of the most famous buildings in Crete.

Especially for this site, buying a ticket online before heading to the Palace is the best solution to avoid waiting in line in summer, keep in mind that this is Crete’s most visited attraction.

Even though the price may seem a bit too much for some, exploring this 8,000-year-old site and its rich history will reward you with incredible scenery and memories.

How Much Do You Need to Travel Around Crete

prices in Crete

When you are in Crete, you can decide whether you want to stay in one place or explore parts of the island.

Although you can have the time of your life in one single town like Chania or in a smaller village like Paleochora, you will most likely want to move around and explore the surrounding area. 

Remember that unless you have a few weeks at your disposal, traveling the entire Crete can be daunting and tiring, let alone you will miss many things in the process.

And most importantly, it will hurt your wallet big time.

GREECE - CRETE - DRIVING KOURTALIOTIKO GORGE
Driving in Crete.

So if you want to appreciate and discover the most a region in Crete has to offer while staying on budget, it is clever to focus on one place and explore it at your own pace.

To do so, you can rent an economy car for as low as €35 per day. Car rentals are almost everywhere around the island.

To save even more from your budget, try to rent a car for the days you really need it. After all, you often do not use a vehicle for the entirety of your holidays.

prices in Crete

For example, if you decide to stay in Chania, you can easily spend a whole week exploring the city without using any rented vehicle. 

When you decide to head outside the city into the countryside, you can rent a car from the city town and discover the urban side of Crete.

If renting a car is a bit difficult for you, remember that you also have the cheaper option of public transport. 

prices in Crete

The average city ride will set you off about €1.8 to €2.5, whereas long-distance bus trips can cost anything from €8 to €20.

For instance, a one-way ticket from Chania to Heraklion is about €16 (with hourly departures from Chania’s main bus station) while a ticket from Chania to Paleochora is about €7.60 (and it offers 4 departures per day).

>> Find prices for local and long-distance buses here.
>> Find prices for urban buses in Heraklion here.

Although the buses in Greece and Crete are not as punctual as in other European countries, they will get you from one place to another without hurting your wallet.

>> Which car rental service is the best to choose? If you want to rent a car for your trip, consider Discover Cars, a worldwide car rental booking engine.

How Much Does it Cost to Visit Crete?

prices in Crete

Although getting around Crete is something that you can do without, there is no way you can avoid paying for getting to Crete in the first place.
However, you can try to limit the cost as much as possible. 

The most economical way to get to Crete is by sea. The ferry from Athens will cost you around €48 per person for a standard seat.

Although the trip can take anything between seven to twelve hours, you can save much of the cost of a direct flight to Crete.

✈️ Find cheap flights with Skyscanner.

If comfort is more important than the budget, you can also get a room on the ferry. A cabin may cost up to €190, but you will have your private bedroom on a huge ferry.

As a result, you have the opportunity to get some quality sleep on the way to Crete. 

prices in Crete

When it comes to flights, the costs can vary a lot. There are so many factors that are in play here.

The season you visit, how far ahead you book your flight, the international airport you land in Crete, where you take the plane from, or the airline, to name only a few.

Giving a cost estimate for a flight to Crete is not an easy feat. If you plan ahead and do your research, you can pay as little as €100 or less for an international flight to Crete from an airport in Europe.

However, the standard ticket would approach €300 or €400 depending on where your departure airport is.

Remember that international flights can be cheaper if your first head to the international airport in Athens.

Not only will you have the chance to spend a few hours or days in the birthplace of democracy, but you will save a lot for your trip to Crete.

Once in Athens, you can take an inexpensive domestic flight or ferry to Crete.

Crete Saving Tips: How to Save Money and Lower Your Crete Costs

No matter your traveling style, you have the power to follow a few saving tips and lower your budget. Here are five of the most effective ways to spend less money on your holidays in Crete:

Visit Crete in the Low Season 

Greece - Crete - Lasithi, Lasithi Plateau in Winter

The most economically friendly time to visit Crete and still enjoy the warm Greek weather is undoubtedly the month of September.

Not only does this month have the ideal water temperature for endless swimming, but you will also notice that prices in Crete are lower than they are in July and August. 

And if you want to save even more, consider visiting the island between April and May. October is another month when there are only a few tourists on the island, temperatures are pleasant and prices are more affordable.

In short, those months are part of the so-called shoulder season, when accommodation and many activities are much cheaper than in the high season amid the summer. 

Get Off the Tourist Trail

Trail-in-Kourtaliotiko-Gorge-Gorges-in-Crete
Kourtaliotiko Gorge. Gorges in Crete.

The easiest way to save money in Crete is to live like a local. Take the local buses, eat street food instead of typical restaurant food, and drink beer or raki instead of more expensive alcoholic drinks.

Just notice how the locals behave, where they go, and follow their example.

Getting off the beaten path sounds like a cliche, but it is an efficient way to bring costs down while also getting an authentic experience of the place you are visiting.

And this applies to Crete as well. So, to the extent that it is possible, try to avoid big tourist centers and focus on visiting lesser-known parts of the island.

For instance, having lunch in a family-run tavern in a small village in Lasithi will certainly be more affordable (and authentic) than having a regular dinner in the tourist port of Chania, Rethymnon, or by the Lake in Agios Nikolaos… In these cases, you will be paying for the view other than for the food.

Your wallet will notice the difference right away!

LOCALS KNOW:
As a general rule, prices are lower on the eastern side of the island (Heraklion – Lasithi, than in the west, Rethymnon and Chania). Keep this in mind when deciding where to stay.
When it comes to food, portions are cheaper in Heraklion and a lot more generous, which makes it a better destination for budget-conscious travelers.

Book Tours Way Beforehand (Or at the very last minute)!

prices in Crete

No matter what you’re looking to do, you can wait until you get into Crete to book any tour or activity.
Travel agencies are everywhere on the island, so they are easy to find.

Of course, you can purchase these tours online a few days before you arrive, but you would be paying a lot more when booking last minute.

However, the best thing to do is book a few months in advance. This will save you a lot of money and will guarantee to find a ticket for places that are easily sold out such as tickets to access the Knossos Palace or an affordable bus tour to Elafonisi Beach.

Trust me, I have many times left booking a tour to the last minute and didn’t find affordable tickets, as a consequence, I had to pay extra to book a private visit that was not always worth the extra money.

You might also enjoy reading: Chania vs. Rethymnon: Which Cretan City You Should Visit?

Limit Your Drinking

red cocktail
(Source: Pixabay)

This is a no-brainer: you can save a lot of money by limiting how much alcohol you drink. When you can, go with the local raki, the most popular alcoholic drink in Crete.

And it is inexpensive too! If its taste does not suit you, the next best option for your budget would be a bottle of beer.

Crete is one of the many islands producing excellent beer, and if you’re a fan, you won’t be disappointed.

There are incredibly tasty artisan beers, but a glass of the local Xarma will be more than satisfying without breaking the bank.

Rent a Car from the Town or Online, not at the Airport 

prices in Crete

If you plan to get a car during your stay in Crete, rent it from a rental agency in a town, not at the airport… never at the airport!

The daily prices for renting a vehicle are usually a lot higher in the airport than in the city center. 

It is always a great idea to compare prices a few months before the trip, do so online, this way of booking in advance can save you some money!

Remember: Although getting a car from the airport can be convenient, you will save a lot if you rent one from an online agency a few months before the trip.

In addition, you will also be able to rent the car for just the days that you need it, rather than the entirety of your holidays.

Prices in Crete: Bottom Line

prices in Crete

All in all, an average traveler in Crete can expect to pay about €80 to €100 per day. However, it all depends on the lifestyle and the way you want to spend your holidays.

This budget is only indicative, and you can stretch it on both sides. 

If you want to go super budget-friendly, you can spend as little as €35 per day, doing mainly free things and staying in hostels.

Prices in 2023: This guide was adjusted after the worldwide economic crisis in 2023 (…you know). Prices have stayed stable in services like public transport, and museum tickets, but many other services have seen an increase that ranges from 15% to 40%, especially for accommodation, food, and some private tours.
Always compare prices before booking hotels or activities.

GREECE - CRETE - CHANIA OLD TOWN
A self-made walking tour of Chania is free and rewarding!

On the other side, if luxury is your second name, Crete will treat you well. And this will come at the right price as well.

So here is a budget guide to Crete. You have all you need to plan your next holiday! Take your time, prepare your budget, and visit the island.

Crete will reward you with memories that last a lifetime and cost almost nothing in comparison.

prices in Crete
Enjoying the old town of Chania.

Read more about Crete

>> Join our Facebook Group!

More resources to enhance your Crete adventure

Start by checking out my guide to planning your trip to Crete, packed with helpful essential information. Explore the articles on prices in Crete, common mistakes to avoid, and insider secrets. You can also get one of the digital travel guides I’ve written about Crete. They are affordable and practical to check from your mobile.

When it’s time to plan, explore the best places to visit on Crete Island, discover my tours and activities, and be amazed at Crete’s incredible beaches. If you are exploring specific areas like Heraklion, Rethymnon, Lasithi, and Chania, I’ve got detailed guides to help you make the most of your time.

Suggested accommodation in Crete

No time to read all my accommodation guides? Check out these places to stay:

prices in Crete

Written by Dimitrios Tsevremes
Passionate about travel, spirituality, and sports, Dimi divides his time between Chania (Crete) and other countries. Writing is a way for him to express himself and his creativity. You can find out more about him and his work here.

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How to budget your trip to Crete


About me:

Gabi Ancarola | The Tiny Book

Gabi Ancarola

I have lived in Chania, Crete, since 2016. As a local, I have an intimate knowledge of the island. I host culinary and concierge tours and experiences in Crete and write about the island for several travel media. During the last five years, I have helped many travelers plan the perfect holiday in Crete. I co-authored DK Eyewitness Top 10 Crete and had more glasses of frappe than any regular person could ever handle.

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