One of the main tourist destinations in Greece, Mykonos attracts cruises, families, and honeymooning couples. It is the most expensive island in the Cyclades, but it’s tough to resist with its quiet winding streets, small alleys lined with whitewashed houses overlooking a beautiful harbor, beautiful beaches, amazing restaurants, and out of control nightlife. Mykonos is one of the most popular islands in Greece for a reason. I love the island, but, while this travel guide can help lower your costs, prices are so high during the peak season that I wouldn’t spend a lot of time here if you want to stick to a budget.
Hostel prices – You can find cheap hostels on Paradise beach for 15 EUR per night (during the low season). However, most hostels on this island aren’t cheap and cost around 30 EUR per night.
Budget hotel prices – You can find a room at a 2-star hotel for 50 EUR per night. Hotels at this price point include private bathrooms, air-conditioning, and free WiFi. On Airbnb, shared rooms start at 15 EUR and entire homes (including studio apartments) can be rented for 50 EUR per night. Keep in mind prices shoot up in the summer!
Average cost of food – While you can find cheap gyros (meat, cheese, sauce, onions, and tomatoes served on pita bread) and pizza, for the most part, eating out on this island is expensive. The night I went for seafood the going rate was 90 EUR per kilo for fish! Even a light dinner of pasta and wine cost me over 24 EUR! If you want to save money, avoid eating in the main town. Stick to cheap sandwiches, pizza, or gyros. If you cook your meals, expect to pay 50-55 EUR per week for groceries that will include pasta, vegetables, chicken, and other basic foods.
Transportation costs – The quickest way to get around is to rent a moped or scooter, which are cheap but they require a license. You can rent a moped for one day for 22 EUR (but as low as 10 EUR per day in the low season). Bus tickets cost about 1.60 EUR (night buses cost 2 EUR). Buses leave every 30-60 minutes, but the frequency depends on the season. A taxi around the island will cost between 9-18 EUR per person, but there are a limited amount and, depending on if it’s busy, you could be waiting hours.
Suggested daily budget – 50-60 EUR / $52-62 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
- Travel during the off-season – If you can, come here before June before the beaches get overcrowded and prices double.
- Don’t stay in the main town – Accommodation prices in the town are on the high end and the further you go from the town, the cheaper it is. There is a good bus system to get you to and from town.
- 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.
- Book overnight ferries – Greece’s inter-island ferries can get quite expensive if you are visiting a lot of them. Taking the overnight ferries can save you up to half off the normal price plus save you a night of accommodation.
- Book ferries early – If you book the ferries around two months in advance, you can save up to 25% off the cost of your ticket.
Top Things to See and Do in Mykonos
- Walk around Chora Village – From the hills, you can get a wonderful view. Bring a picnic as you’ll want to take it all in for as long as possible. With windmills and great restaurants, this town is on the west side of the island and worth the visit.
- Relax in Little Venice – Because of the houses on the water, this area is referred to as Little Venice. It’s a nice place to spend some time eating a meal or having a coffee. During the late afternoon, lots of people file in to have a drink. There’s a great view of the windmills here too.
- Hang out at Elia Beach – The longest stretch of white sands in Mykonos, this beach also has transparent waters and plenty of tavernas and bars from which to choose.
- Beach hop – Besides Elia, there are plenty of beaches on Mykonos. The three popular ones are Paranga, Paradise, and Super Paradise. Paradise is the most popular among backpackers and is where they party each night.
- Go scuba diving – There’s great scuba diving around Mykonos. If you are a diver, consider taking a few dives while you are here. You won’t find a lot of coral but you’ll find lots of fish and even a few wrecks. An outing starts at 70 EUR.
- Visit Delos – A small uninhabited island close to Mykonos, Delos is known for its important archaeological sites. There are daily excursions from Mykonos Town except on Mondays, when the archaeological site is closed. The excavations are open from 8:30am -3pm, so have an early start if you really want to see it all. The cost is 19 EUR for the boat, or 40 EUR for a guided half day tour (boat, museum entrance included).
- See Panagia Paraportiani – In the western, and oldest part of Mykonos town stands this Byzantine church, which dates back to 1425. There are over 400 churches to see across the island, but this is considered the highlight of them all. It is comprised of 4 chapels, only one of which is open to visitors.
- Tour the museums – There are a number of different museums here, but most of them are only open from April to October. In Mykonos Town alone, there are five – The Archaeological Museum, Folklore Museum, Lena’s House Museum, Agricultural Museum & Boni Mill, and Aegean Maritime Museum. Admission typically runs from 3-7 EUR.
- Find Petros the Pelican – Interestingly enough, the island of Mykonos has a beloved mascot—a real life Pelican. The original died in the late 80s, however, there are now 3 that inhabit the island. It’s fun to try to spot them and capture them in a photo.
- Watch the Sunset at the Windmills – The windmills around Mykonos town are symbolic of the island, and also happen to be the most popular place to catch the sunset. Prepare for crowds if you plan to go; head over there early to get a good spot.
- Go snorkeling – Even if you’re not a diver, you can still check out some of the underwater activity by renting some snorkeling equipment. Paranga Beach has the island’s best snorkeling conditions. An outing costs about 25 EUR.
- Take a boat tour – Although this may not be a budget-friendly option, it’s a relaxing way to spend the afternoon. Depending on what you’re looking for, you can consider a variety of prices and options. You may want to arrange a private sailing trip or a tour on one of the island’s glass-bottomed boats. A tour on a glass-bottom boat is about 45 EUR with lunch included.