One of the biggest 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.
If you visit Mykonos in the summer, be prepared for heavy crowds and sky high prices. 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.
Come during the shoulder season, enjoy the island, and skip the crowds!
This travel guide to Mykonos will give you the low down on everything you need to know to plan your visit!
Table of Contents
Top 5 Things to See and Do in Mykonos
1. Go beach hopping
2. Relax in Little Venice
3. Explore Mykonos Town
4. Visit Delos
5. Visit Panagia Paraportiani
Other Things to See and Do in Mykonos
1. Hang out at Elia Beach
The longest stretch of white sands in Mykonos, this beach also has clear waters ideal for snorkeling. It’s about 6 miles (10 kilometers) from Mykonos Town, which makes for an ideal day trip away from the bustling tourist spots. It’s lined with restaurants and bars, as well as watersports kiosks advertising water-skiing, parasailing, and windsurfing. (Note: Nudists love hanging out here!)
2. Go scuba diving
There’s great scuba diving around Mykonos. You won’t find a lot of coral, but you’ll see lots of fish and a few wrecks. Paradise Reef has a large variety of marine life, including sponges, barracuda, octopus, and starfish. There’s also Dragonisi with its unique underwater rock formations. Two dives will cost about €140 ($155 USD).
3. Visit the Archaeological Museum
This museum won’t take you long to visit as it’s very small, but it contains some treasures, like the headless statue of Hercules from the 2nd-century BC, carved beautifully out of Parian marble. There are also a lot of artifacts from nearby Delos, including pottery and funerary monuments. It’s €4 ($4.45 USD) to visit.
4. Explore Lena’s House
This is a traditional 19th-century Mykonian house turned folk museum. It contains all of the original owner’s antique furnishings as well as artwork like paintings, tapestries, and woodcarvings all laid out to resemble how the house would have looked in the 1800s. Be sure to also check out the display case of 18th-century Mykonian women’s clothing, as well as two courtyards and dovecote. Admission is €2 ($2.22 USD).
5. Watch the sunset at the windmills
The 16 windmills on the hills around Mykonos Town are a symbol of the island and happen to be the most popular place to catch the sunset. Be prepared for crowds so head over there early to get a good spot.
6. Go snorkeling
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 with calm weather and clear waters, but you can also hop on a boat tour for some deep-water snorkeling. A tour costs about €50.50 ($56 USD).
7. 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, from party cruises to more scenic-themed trips. Many cruises will take you to Delos or the Rhenia Islands (with lots of time for swimming), or you’ll hang out at Paradise Beach for a bit before having a BBQ back on the boat. Tours start from €56 ($62 USD), while all-inclusive trips with food and drink cost from €90 ($100 USD).
8. Visit the Aegean Maritime Museum
The Aegean Maritime Museum covers everything from ancient times to modern-day. Its exhibits include amphorae, old nautical maps, navigational instruments, and incredibly detailed models of sailing ships and steamers. Don’t forget to see the giant Fresnel lighthouse in the courtyard before you leave. Admission is €2 ($2.22 USD).
For more information on specific destinations in Greece, check out these guides:
Mykonos Travel Costs
Hostel prices – There are only three hostel accommodations in Mykonos. During the peak season, a bed in a dorm will cost about €72 ($80 USD) per night for a room with 10 beds or more. In the shoulder season or off-season, the same bed will be about €27 ($30 USD).
You won’t find too many single private rooms here at the hostels. In fact, a four-bed private room costs from €225 ($250 USD) with an ensuite bathroom costs per night. In the shoulder season or off-season, you can find the same room for about €135 ($150 USD).
Camping is your cheapest option here, especially in summer. At Paradise Beach, you can get a campsite for €15 ($17 USD) during peak season, or €10 ($11 USD) in the off-season and shoulder season. They also have single cabins for €66 ($73 USD) during peak season and €24 ($27 USD) during off-season and shoulder season.
Budget hotel prices – Nightly rates for a budget two-star hotel room with a private ensuite bathroom start at about €135 ($150 USD). In the off-season, single rooms are from €50 ($55 USD).
Mykonos has lots of Airbnb accommodations, but no shared rooms. For a private room, expect to pay from €124 ($138 USD) per night, although most places start around €180 ($200 USD). Full apartments start from €135 ($150 USD), but average around €721 ($800 USD).
Prices are significantly cheaper in the off-season. A private room starts from €54 ($60 USD) per night. A full apartment averages about €541 ($600 USD) per night, but you can find studio apartments for €72 ($80 USD).
Average cost of food – You can find gyros or souvlaki anywhere for between €3 ($3.35 USD) or less (but avoid the gyros at Jimmy’s — they’re overpriced). Small plates of grilled meat with a salad, pita bread, and tzatziki will cost between €5-10 ($5.55-11 USD), while a Greek salad is under €5 ($5.55 USD). A meal at McDonald’s will cost about €9 ($10 USD).
At a mid-range Greek restaurant, you’ll find a meal like moussaka for €9 ($10 USD), and a beer to go with it will cost about €6 ($6.65 USD). A burger is around is €12 ($13 USD). Higher-end restaurants will have entrees like lamb costing anywhere between €40-60 ($44-66.50 USD), while gourmet seafood dishes start at €25 ($28 USD).
If you cook for yourself, you can spend as little as €50 ($55 USD) on groceries per week, which would include some meat, bread, eggs, cheese, some veggies, and some fruit.
Backpacking Mykonos Suggested Budgets
If you’re backpacking Mykonos, expect to spend about €95 ($105 USD) per day. This budget will cover a hostel dorm, taking the bus a few times a day, cooking your own food, and a very limited number of attractions. If you want to take part in the party scene, you’ll want to add at least another €20 ($22 USD) per day. If you travel in the off-season or shoulder season, you can budget about 20 Euros less per day on average.
On a mid-range budget of about €190 ($212 USD) per day, you can stay in a two-star hotel, eat at cheap restaurants, enjoy attractions each day, maybe get a scooter rental, and splurge on a nice meal or two. In the shoulder season or off-season, you’ll spend more like €151($167 USD) per day.
On a luxury budget of €448 ($500 USD) or more per day in Mykonos, you’ll stay in a four-star hotel, eat any meal you want, enjoy all the drinks, take any tour, and get around by taxi! For here on up, the sky is the limit, and you’ll enjoy some nice luxury.
Remember: If you’re coming during peak summer, prices are about 10-20% higher for everything!
You can use the chart below to get some idea of how much you need to budget daily, depending on your travel style. Keep in mind these are daily averages – some days you’ll spend more, some days you’ll spend less (you might spend less every day). We just want to give you a general idea of how to make your budget. Prices are in USD.
Mykonos Travel Guide: Money Saving Tips
Mykonos is by far the most expensive island in Greece. Finding budget anything here is a challenge. You’re always gonna spend more than you but stick to cheap eats, a few attractions, limit your drinking, and you’ll be able to cut your cost considerably. Here are some suggested ways to save money in Mykonos:
- Travel during the off-season – If you can, come here before June before the beaches get overcrowded and prices triple in some places.
- Take advantage of free attractions – You can still enjoy Mykonos to the fullest if you just soak up the free attractions, like visiting the windmills, hanging out on the beaches, and walking around Little Venice and Mykonos Town.
- Curb your drinking – It’s easy to blow a LOT of cash on partying in Mykonos. If you do want to experience the nightlife, keep it minimal or have a few drinks in your hotel room first.
- Bargain – Bargaining is normal and expected at markets, so never accept the marked price!
- 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.
- 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.
Where To Stay in Mykonos
Despite its popularity, Mykonos doesn’t have a whole lot of hostel accommodations. Nonetheless, you shouldn’t have trouble finding something to fit your budget. Here are some of my suggested places to stay in Mykonos that don’t cost a fortune:
How to Get Around Mykonos
Bus – The KTEL Mykonos bus network will get you all around Mykonos, and its two main terminals are in Mykonos Town. The Old Port Bus Station will take you to the east and northwest of the island (including Agios Stefanos, Elia, and Kalafatis), while buses leaving Fabrika Bus Station services the southwest of the island (including the airport, Paraga, and Paradise Beach).
The fare for the bus is between €1.80-2.30 ($2-2.55 USD), depending on where you’re going. Mykonobus.com will get you a fare breakdown, routes, and schedules. Keep in mind that routes are drastically reduced in the shoulder season and the off-season.
Boat – Mykonos Sea Transfer is a group of boat taxi operators that will take you to all of the island’s best beaches, including Paraga, Paradise, Super Paradise, and Elia. It’s an excellent way to do some beach hopping throughout the day.
Return trips cost between €5-7 ($5.55-7.75 USD).
Scooter/ATV Rental – There are lots of scooter and ATV rental shops all around the island. You can usually find a scooter rental for about €20 ($22 USD) per day for one person, while ATVs start from €40 ($44 USD) each day for two people. In the off-season, some shops rent out their vehicles for about one-third of that price.
Taxi – You won’t have to go far to find a taxi on Mykonos, but wait times can be long during the peak season. They’re all metered, but prices are high. It’s about €14 ($15.50 USD) from Mykonos Town to Platys Gialos, and €22 ($24 USD) from Mykonos Town to Kalafatis or Elia.
When to Go to Mykonos
The peak season in Mykonos is summer, from June to August. Temperatures average somewhere in the mid-90s°F (mid-30s°C) each day, and this is definitely when the island is busiest with tourist crowds. All the clubs, restaurants, and bars are always jam-packed, and prices are high.
Winters are mild, but many businesses close, and the island is virtually deserted. If that doesn’t bother you, then visiting Mykonos during this time can be very enjoyable for its slower pace of life. Shoulder season (fall and spring) is my favorite time to visit. There’s still enough action to keep you busy, and you’ll still meet people, but it’s not nearly as crowded. Prices are cheaper, and the weather is beautiful, especially during the fall when the average daily high temperature is 79°F (26°C).
How to Stay Safe in Mykonos
Mykonos is very safe to visit, but like most busy places, there’s a risk of pick pocketing and petty crime around tourist attractions. Don’t bring your valuables to the beach, and definitely don’t leave them unattended.
Because this is a party island, be mindful of drinking too much or leaving your drink unattended at the bar. Avoid drugs at all costs, or you may face huge fines or even jail time.
If you’re worried about getting scammed, you can read about the 14 travel scams to avoid right here.
Remember: always trust your gut instinct. Avoid isolated areas at night, and be aware of your surroundings at all times. Make copies of your personal documents, including your passport and ID, and don’t keep a lot of valuables on you.
And be sure to purchase good travel insurance. Travel insurance will protect you against illness, injury, theft, and cancellations. It’s comprehensive protection in case anything goes wrong. I never go on a trip without it as I’ve had to use it many times in the past.
Greece Travel Guide: The Best Booking Resources
These are my favorite companies to use when I travel to Greece. They are included here because they consistently find deals, offer world-class customer service and great value, and overall, are better than their competitors. They are the ones I use the most and are always the starting points in my search for travel deals.
- Momondo – This is my favorite booking site. I never book a flight without checking here first.
- Skyscanner – Skyscanner is another great flight search engline which searches a lot of different airlines, including many of the budget carriers that larger sites miss. While I always start with Momondo, I use this site too as a way to compare prices.
- Airbnb – Airbnb is a great accommodation alternative for connecting with homeowners who rent out their homes or apartments.
- Hostelworld – This is the best hostel accommodation site out there, with the largest inventory, best search interface, and widest availability.
- Couchsurfing – This website allows you to stay on people’s couches or spare rooms for free. It’s a great way to save money while meeting locals who can tell you the ins and outs of their city. The site also lists events you can attend to meet people (even if you’re not staying with someone).
- Booking.com – The best all around booking site that constantly provides the cheapest and lowest rates. They have a no money down policy, great interface, and the widest selection of budget accommodation. In all my tests, they’ve always had the cheapest rates out of all the booking websites.
- Intrepid Travel – If you want to do a group tour around Europe, go with Intrepid Travel. They offer good small group tours that use local operators and leave a small environmental footprint. If you go on a tour with anyone, go with them. And, as a reader of this site, you’ll get a discount when you click the link!
- Rome 2 Rio – This website allows you to see how to get from point A to point B the best and cheapest way possible. It will give you all the bus, train, plane, or boat routes that can get you there as well as how much they cost.
- World Nomads – I buy all my travel insurance from World Nomads. They have great customer service, competitive prices, and in-depth coverage. I’ve been using them since I started traveling in 2003. Don’t leave home without it!
- EatWith – This website allows you to eat home-cooked meal with locals. Locals post listings for dinner parties and specialty meals that you can sign up for. There is a fee (everyone sets their own price), but this is a great way to do something different, pick a local’s brain, and make a new friend.
Mykonos Gear and Packing Guide
If you’re heading on the road and need some gear suggestions, here are my tips for the best travel backpack and for what to pack!
The Best Backpack for Travelers
Straps: Thick and cushy with compression technology that pulls the pack’s load up and inwards so it doesn’t feel as heavy.
Features: Removable top lid, large pocket at the front, hydration compatible, contoured hip belt
If you want something different, refer to my article on how to choose the best travel backpack for tips on picking a pack and other backpack suggestions.
What to Pack for Your Trip
- 1 pair of jeans (heavy and not easily dried, but I like them; a good alternative is khaki pants)
- 1 pair of shorts
- 1 bathing suit
- 5 T-shirts
- 1 long-sleeved T-shirt
- 1 pair of flip-flops
- 1 pair of sneakers
- 6 pairs of socks (I always end up losing half)
- 5 pairs of boxer shorts (I’m not a briefs guy!)
- 1 toothbrush
- 1 tube of toothpaste
- 1 razor
- 1 package of dental floss
- 1 small bottle of shampoo
- 1 small bottle of shower gel
- 1 towel
Small Medical Kit (safety is important!!!)
- Hydrocortisone cream
- Antibacterial cream
- Hand sanitizer (germs = sick = bad holiday)
- A key or combination lock (safety first)
- Zip-lock bags (keeps things from leaking or exploding)
- Plastic bags (great for laundry)
- Universal charger/adaptor (this applies to everyone)
- LifeStraw (A water bottle with a purifier)
Female Travel Packing List
I’m not a woman, so I don’t know what a woman wears, but Kristin Addis, our solo female travel guru, wrote this list as an addition to the basics above:
- 1 swimsuit
- 1 sarong
- 1 pair of stretchy jeans (they wash and dry easily)
- 1 pair of leggings (if it’s cold, they can go under your jeans, otherwise with a dress or shirt)
- 2-3 long-sleeve tops
- 2-3 T-shirts
- 3-4 spaghetti tops
- 1 light cardigan
- 1 dry shampoo spray & talc powder (keeps long hair grease-free in between washes)
- 1 hairbrush
- Makeup you use
- Hair bands & hair clips
- Feminine hygiene products (you can opt to buy there too, but I prefer not to count on it, and most people have their preferred products)
For more on packing, check out these posts:
Mykonos Travel Guide: Suggested Reading
The Iliad, by Homer
A story of men and gods, Homer’s epic poem conveys the horror and heroism of the Trojan War before moving into its heart-wrenching, tragic conclusion. The translated version by classicist Robert Fagles is a beautiful rendition of this story. Just take a second to appreciate the fact that this poem has been around since the 9th century BC. It’s a wonderful glimpse into life at that time. (Follow it up with The Odyssey!)
Zorba the Greek, by Nikos Kazantzakis
This book was first published in 1946, and is now considered a Greek classic. It’s the story of a Greek working man named Zorba, a great lover of life, and the unnamed narrator who accompanies Zorba to Crete where they work together in a mine. But it’s also about the “struggle of men to find their souls and purpose in life.” The best part about this book is Zorba – a memorable character who makes the most out of life, whether it’s work in the mines or hanging out with monks in a mountain monastery. It’s like pure poetry.
Eurydice Street: A Place in Athens, by Sofka Zinovieff
Sofka Zinovieff became enamoured with Greece when she studied there as a student, but years later she moved back with her Greek husband and two young daughters. This book is about her first year in Athens, and all the trials and (hilarious) tribulations that come with learning how to be Athenian. There are a lot of great insights into everyday Athenian life here, including how to catch a taxi, the importance of cigarettes, and how to get a pig cooked at the baker’s. It’ll definitely spark your desire to hang out in Athens for awhile.
It’s All Greek to Me, by John Mole
This is the self-deprecating, humorous true story of John Mole – a man whose ideals of Greek paradise lead him to buying a shambled home in the countryside with no water, no electricity, no doors, no windows…you get the point. Mole drags his family along to this rural escape, where they spend some time cleaning out 20 years of goat poop and getting to know the friendly neighbors (like Elpida, who cures back pain with raw eggs). This is a seriously funny book.
The Summer of My Greek Taverna: A Memoir, by Tom Stone
One summer Tom Stone went to Greece to write a novel, and ended up staying 22 years. On the island of Patmos he fell in love with a French painter named Danielle, and seven years later they moved to Crete. Not long after, his friend offered him a summer partnership at his beach taverna back on Patmos, and Stone decided to go for it – although his wife warned against it. Ultimately she was right: Stone ended up learning the hard lessons about doing business in Greece, and that the partnership was really a “Trojan horse.” Here is his account of that time – about life as an American struggling to make his dreams a reality in a foreign place.
Mykonos Travel Guide: Related Articles
Want more info? Check out all the articles I’ve written on Greece travel and continue planning your trip: