Corfu remains one of Greece’s most popular tourist destinations. Located in the Ionian island group in the western part of the country, it is composed of white sand beaches, an active nightlife, and stunning mountains. It’s very crowded during the summer months, especially with young backpackers looking to party and sit on the beach. However, there are still many quiet places to stay on the island. Corfu also tends to be a popular stop for people coming or going to Italy as it’s relatively near the ferry. I love the atmosphere here. It is a lot more relaxed than the islands in the Mediterranean and I like the cross mix of Italian and Greek culture. If you get a chance, visit Corfu! It’s one of my favorite destinations in Greece!
Hostel prices – Hostels in Corfu cost around 19 EUR per night for a dorm bed. During the peak summer months, prices often double. Private rooms that sleep two people start at 40 EUR per night in the off-season. Hostels here often include free breakfast. The Pink Palace is the most famous and popular hostel here!
Budget hotel prices – A room at a 2-star hotel starts around 45 EUR a night. Hotels at this price often include free WiFi, air-conditioning, and free breakfast. On Airbnb, shared rooms start at 10 EUR and entire homes (including studio apartments) can be rented for about 30 EUR.
Average cost of food – Food is cheap in Greece and restaurants will cost no more than 18 EUR for a nice dinner with wine and table service (even in a tourist area). If you really want to eat cheap, eat a gyro (meat, cheese, sauce, onions, and tomatoes served on pita bread) as they only cost about 3 EUR! You can also find sandwiches and snack shops all around the island for around 9 EUR (drink included). If you cook your meals, expect to pay 35-40 EUR per week for groceries that will include pasta, vegetables, chicken, and other basic foods.
Transportation costs – Buses are the best way to get around The main bus terminal in Corfu is the San Rocco Square. The blue bus system has two different zones – A or B – and a ticket in the A zone is 1.20 EUR and a ticket in the B zone is 1.70 EUR. A one-day pass is 5 EUR. If you buy a package of 10 trips, you can get one trip free. If you want to explore outside Corfu town, the green bus will take you to other places around the island.
Suggested daily budget – 50 EUR / $52 USD (Note: This is a suggested budget assuming you’re staying in a hostel, eating out a little, cooking most of your meals, and using local transportation. Using the budget tips below, you can always lower this number. However, if you stay in fancier accommodation or eat out more often, expect this to be higher!)
Money Saving Tips
- Stay in nearby Messonghi – This village lies 15 miles out of Corfu, but it has the same seaside atmosphere. If you want a small-town feel without the crazy tourism, you can take advantages of this city, the fewer crowds, and the cheaper prices.
- Rent a bike – A great way to see Corfu is by bike. Daily rentals should cost under 20 EUR.
- Eat super cheap – Gyros and other street snacks only cost a few Euros and can keep you full for less than 10 EUR per day.
- Visit in the off-season – August is the most expensive month, so if you can arrange for a visit before June which would really cut down your accommodation and flight costs by up to half.
- Couchsurf – If you plan ahead, you can usually find really nice Couchsurfing hosts all throughout the country. This way, you not only have a place to stay, but you’ll have a local host that can tell you the best places to go and things to see.
Top Things to See and Do in Corfu
- Explore Kassiopi – A small and quaint ancient town, it’s worth spending a half day here exploring the ancient Greek and Roman ruins. It will give you something to do other than the beach.
- See the Church of Saint Spyridon – This 300-year-old church is full of ancient relics and beautiful paintings. It’s free to get in and one of my favorite on the island.
- Lounge on Lakkeiss Beach – This quiet beach is a good place to go when the main beaches near town fill up with tourists and drunk backpackers.
- Take a day trip to Paleokastritsa – This relaxing seaside town has good beaches, some nearby caves, and delicious waterfront seafood restaurants. It’s a quiet option on this otherwise busy island.
- Check out Nymphes – According to a legend, in ancient times the Nymphs used to bathe in the village’s nearby waterfalls. Just outside the village, you can visit Askitario, a small but historic monastery.
- Explore Achilleion – This is a palace built in Corfu by Empress of Austria Elisabeth of Bavaria in 1890. The palace was designed with the mythical hero Achilles as its central theme. Admission is 7 EUR and it’s open daily from 9am-3:30pm with extended hours in the summer.
- Visit Aqualand – This is a small waterpark with only a few main “rides”. It’s a little cheesy but it gives you something different to do after you’ve spent a few days on the beach. It’s open daily from 10am-6pm. A full-day pass is 27 EUR and a pass for after 3pm is 19 EUR.
- Take the Corfu trail – Corfu is an ideal location for people who like to hike. The Corfu trail is a 222 km long distance footpath covering the full length of the islands. The route is well-signed, not too hard, and offers some great views of the island, cities, and water.
- Hit the beaches – There is no end to the beautiful and captivating beaches throughout the island. The western side of Corfu is host to a long stretch of sandy beaches, while the eastern side is more peaceful with calmer waters. Messonghi beach is a great place to spot some fish.
- Go yachting – Thanks to the calm water and consistently beautiful weather, Corfu is an ideal place to go out on a boat. There are various companies that offer charter trips and many of which offer lunch packages and open bars. Many of the hostels run day long party boats.
- The Museum of Coins – Founded by the Ionian Bank, this coin museum can be found in Corfu Town. There is a large collection, featuring several coins, stamps, bank documents, banknotes (post-Greek liberation), books, and foreign banknotes. The exhibits show an interesting contrast to life before the spread of the Euro. It’s open from 8:30am-3pm.