Beautiful whitewashed buildings, fancy restaurants overlooking a shimmering harbour, immaculate beaches with drink delivery services — Mykonos doesn’t exactly scream “budget travel.” However, Greece’s most popular island still beckons cash-strapped travellers, and we’ve found a way to explore Mykonos on a budget. Scroll down to find out the best and most financially reasonable things to do, foods to eat, and places to stay on the island.
First up on this list of things to do in Mykonos on a budget is hit a beach. Lounging on the immaculate white sands of Mykonos is easily one of the cheapest ways to stretch your money while still feeling like a Greek god/goddess. Whether you visit in the spring, summer, or fall, Mykonos beaches beckon. Check out the three popular spots of Paranga, Super Paradise, and Paradise, the latter of which being the go-to spot for backpacker parties. You can rent a bike in Paradise and take the coastal path all the way northwest to Psarou and stop at five idyllic beaches along the way. For more info on where to sprawl out, check out AllTheRooms’ rundown on the best beaches in Mykonos.
Explore Old Town
The vibrant culture and history of Mykonos can all be soaked up in the island’s old town. Stroll along the iconic Cycladic architecture and blue-painted doors, centuries-old churches and dozens of windmills. The heart of the city is closed to traffic for most of the day which makes it excellent for a tranquil walk. Pop your head in any of the (not-so-budget-friendly) boutiques, cafes, and souvenir shops.
Adjacent to the old town is Little Venice, known as such due to the collection of houses perched above the water. It’s a great place to have a meal or just enjoy the winding narrow streets for an afternoon. For a beautiful tour that will whet your palate, check out this photo walk through old town Mykonos.
Hike to the Lighthouse
Who doesn’t like lighthouses? A stunning four-mile round-trip hike to the Armenistis Lighthouse makes for a great active (and free) morning before the sun starts beating down. Legend has it that the island of Mykonos has a few beloved pelicans that roam about the premises. Keep your eyes peeled and try to spot one of them on your hike.
Scuba diving is known to do a number on the bank account, but snorkelling is way less involved and arguably as fun. Head to Paranga Beach for the best snorkelling conditions and rent some equipment for around $20.
Get Your Museum On
Mykonos lays claim to a good handful of interesting cultural and historical museums that make for a cheap reprieve from the Mediterranean sun. The Folklore Museum has a great collection of old weights and measures, keys and locks, hand-woven tapestries, and painted plates. There’s also the Archeological Museum of Mykonos and the Aegean Maritime Museum of Mykonos.
Where to Stay in Mykonos on a Budget
Generally speaking, Mykonos doesn’t usually top the list of budget-friendly destinations. It’s known for luxurious condos with excellent views and authentic Mediterranean decór. Hostels will average around $30 USD per night, and budget hotels will be about $60 USD per night. Some of our favourites are Paraga Beach Hostel, Artemoulas Studios, and the camping available on Paradise Beach.
Splurge for a Night
If you have stretched your dollar and done Mykonos on a budget you can also splurge on a night at a luxury property such as the Kouros Hotel!
What to Eat in Mykonos on a Budget
With Mykonos being notorious for high prices (you’ll commonly find dishes for $25 USD that would cost $15 on mainland Greece), eating on a budget is going to take some effort. One this is for sure: eating streetside Gyros will end up saving you tons of money. Check out Jimmy’s Gyros, Saki’s Grill House, or Kalammakia Lakka for wraps that cost under $5.
If you’ve exhausted Greek food, head over to Noodle Mykonos for a hearty bowl (carton) of noodles, meat, and vegetables. The Appaloosa Bar advertises itself as an ethnic joint that serves mainly Mexican food. Before 9:00 pm they have an “early dinner” special (i.e. normal dinner time for those of us west of the Atlantic) that’s only $12 for dinner and a drink.
Other Budgeting Tips
If your schedule allows for it, try visiting Mykonos on a budget before June or after September — prices for everything tend to double during the peak season between these months. Getting to the island will be a significant expense, so be sure to book your ferries early, and consider going with an overnight ferry (which takes about five hours from Athens) to cut down even further on costs. The quickest way to get around on the island is to rent a moped. Don’t bother waving down taxis and paying the exorbitant fees if you plan on bouncing around. Rates can be as low as $15 per day in the low season.
Happy budget travelling!
READ MORE: A Photo Walkthrough Old Town Mykonos
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