Are you wondering where is the best place to stay in Paros and if you should stay in Parikia or Naoussa?
I know how you feel!
When I traveled to Paros, I was stuck choosing between staying in Naoussa or Parikia, so I decided to stay in both!
While Naoussa and Parikia are both great towns, depending on what you’re looking for, one might be a better choice than the other.
I know not everybody can spend as much time in Paros as I did, and to be fair it is annoying changing accommodations mid-way through your trip.
If you’re ready to decide where to stay in Paros, Naoussa or Parikia, let’s get started!
- Best place to stay in Paros: Parikia or Naoussa
- Parikia or Naoussa: Sightseeing
- Parikia or Naoussa: Beaches
- Parikia or Naoussa: Nightlife
- Parikia or Naoussa: Accommodation
- Parikia or Naoussa: Getting around
- Parikia or Naoussa: Day trips
- Parikia or Naoussa: Restaurants
- Summary: Where to stay in Paros, Parikia or Naoussa?
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Best place to stay in Paros: Parikia or Naoussa
While all Paros villages are undoubtedly charming, Parikia and Naoussa are the best areas to stay in Paros for most travelers.
They are the two largest towns on the island, where most of the action happens.
But, is Naoussa or Parikia better?
Parikia or Naoussa: Sightseeing
If you’re planning your Paros itinerary and wondering if Naoussa or Parikia is more picturesque, you’re in luck as they are both magical!
Best things to do in Naoussa, Paros
Naoussa is one of the most beautiful places in Greece. It is so quaint and picturesque, with numerous cobblestone alleyways to discover.
The Old Port of Naoussa is simply stunning, especially at night when all the restaurants open their terraces for the most romantic dinner setting.
The streets of Naoussa are very clean and polished, to the point that it looks like a show village where nobody actually lives.
The city is so photogenic that you might consider taking Naoussa tour with a professional photographer to get the best photos!
Pink Bougainvillea trees line the cobblestone streets, in perfect contrast with white-washed houses with bright blue doors and windows. Naoussa is truly postcard-worthy!
Best things to do in Parikia, Paros
If you visit Naoussa first, you might find Parikia a bit rugged. Unlike the picture-perfect, clean streets of Naoussa, Parikia feels like a city where people actually live.
That is not to say that you won’t find picturesque cobblestone alleys and Instagram-worthy corners!
Parikia also has a charming, pedestrian-only city center with numerous picturesque spots. The seafront restaurants of Parikia are a great spot for a sunset dinner.
I loved how the city felt more laid back, and less like a runway compared to Naoussa.
Parikia or Naoussa: Beaches
Relaxing on the beach and swimming in the crystal clear sea is one of the best things to do in Paros.
If you’re coming to Paros in summer, the proximity to the beaches is one of your top priorities when deciding where to stay in Paros.
Naoussa is home to some of the most unique Paros beaches.
Kolympethres Beach is the most popular beach close to Naoussa because it is different than other beaches on the island. Unique rock formations lining the beach make it unique among the island’s beaches, and absolutely worth a visit!
The beach is located about 4km from Naoussa, and the best way to reach it without a car is by taxi boat from Naoussa.
Santa Maria Beach is a large sandy beach north of Naoussa. You can easily reach it by bus, but I actually rented an electric bike (game changer!) to get there and it was a great experience.
Piperi Beach is the closest beach to Naoussa, but it is not the prettiest of beaches. It is a small cove with tiny pebbles instead of sand.
This beach was too close to the marina for my liking, but many people seem to enjoy it.
That being said, I spent most of my life on Pula beaches, so my standards are a bit high.
As Parikia is a port town, you won’t find incredible beaches in the city center.
To get to most beaches you’ll have to take some sort of transportation or walk for at least a couple of kilometers.
Marcelo Beach is my favorite beach in Paros. It is right next to Krios Beach, and in my opinion, it could easily be the same beach. It is a large sandy beach, with a crystal clear sea and a beach bar next to it.
There are two ways to reach Marcelo Beach without a car. Either you go on a 45 min hike from the center of Parikia (which I did, and it was great!) or take a water taxi from Parikia port.
Parasporos Beach is located about 3.5km from the city center of Parikia, and it is one of the best beaches close to the island’s capital. This large sandy beach is located in a sheltered cove with a stunning open sea view.
Parikia Beach is the closest beach to the city center, but in all honesty, I didn’t really like it. I guess it’s nice for a quick dip, but just like Piperi Beach, it wouldn’t be my first choice.
If you want to get to the best beaches in Paros, like Livadia Beach or Golden Beach in Chrissi Akti, you’ll need to take a bus from Parikia.
Parikia or Naoussa: Nightlife
Paros nightlife has become one of the decisive elements for adding Paros to your Cyclades island hopping itinerary.
While Paros is gaining popularity as the cheaper alternative to Mykonos nightlife, you need to know that Paros nightlife is not as lively throughout the island.
So, where to stay in Paros for nightlife?
Nightlife in Naoussa, Paros
Naoussa is where you’ll find the best nightlife in Paros.
In fact, even those living in Naxos take a ferry over to Paros on the weekends to grab a drink in Naoussa.
If you’re coming to Paros for nightlife and elegant seafront bars, the best place to stay in Paros is undoubtedly Naoussa.
Nightlife in Naoussa ranges from elegant, upscale cocktail bars to lively beach club-style bars.
Either way, you’ll want to pack your best summer outfits for nights out in Naoussa. Don’t expect a casual beach bar atmosphere, everybody dresses up in Naoussa.
Nightlife in Parikia, Paros
If you prefer a more local, laid-back nightlife, Parikia is the place for you!
While tourists flock to Naoussa, locals stay in casual Parikia bars with much cheaper drinks.
If you’re backpacking Paros and prefer laid-back nights out, you might enjoy bars in Parikia more than those in Naoussa.
That doesn’t mean there’s no nightlife in Parikia. On the contrary!
Parikia is home to the only backpacker hostel in Paros, so you know you can join pub crawls and other activities in the city.
You can go for small bars with terraces on cobblestone streets or club-style bars with happy-hour cocktails!
Parikia or Naoussa: Accommodation
Both Parikia and Naoussa offer plenty of accommodation options.
Depending on what kind of holiday you’re on, one might be better than the other.
Wherever you decide to stay, book as far in advance as possible since the best places sell out quickly!
Where to stay in Naoussa, Paros
While there are options for every budget, Naoussa is the best place to stay in Paros if you want to stay in boutique hotels or luxury villas.
Madaky Hotel, Naoussa
I stayed in Madaky Hotel and absolutely loved it! It is located right outside Naoussa’s pedestrian zone, so it is quiet at night and super close for walking home after a night out.
Madaky Hotel is great value for money, as it is almost impossible to find a hotel with such a great location at that price point!
Hotel Manto, Naoussa
Another budget-friendly option in Naoussa. While Hotel Manto is more affordable than Madaky Hotel, it is lower on my list as it is a bit further away from the city center.
Hotel Manto is a great option if you want to stay in Naoussa to experience Naoussa nightlife, without breaking the bank!
Bohemian Luxury Boutique Hotel
Located right in the heart of Naoussa city center, Bohemian Luxury Boutique Hotel is an oasis of tranquility.
Tastefully decorated rooms in this hotel will make you feel like you’re living your island life fantasy, as you wake up and admire the sea view from your balcony.
Lilly Residence, Naoussa
If you’re looking for the ultimate luxury, Lilly Residence is the best Naoussa has to offer. Each room comes with its own private heated pool, incredible views over the city, and delicious breakfast.
If you’re coming to Naoussa for an anniversary, birthday, or any other special occasion, you can’t go wrong with Lilly Residence.
Where to stay in Parikia, Paros
Parikia is definitely a more budget-friendly option, while there are luxury hotels available it is easier to find affordable accommodation.
Paros Backpackers Hostel, Parikia
As it is the only hostel on the island, Paros Backpackers is an obvious choice for those backpacking the Cyclades like me!
It is not a boutique hostel, and the facilities are quite basic. However, it is a great place to meet people when traveling alone and join organized activities.
KOKOON has boutique hotel vibes, right in the center of Parikia. It is beautifully decorated, with a secluded private terrace to enjoy the hot summer nights. It is the best mid-range option in Parikia.
Bizas Rooms & Studios
I stayed in Bizas Rooms & Studios, and the fully furnished studio was a great value for money! The accommodation is close to the city center, above the Byzantine church.
Looks like they implemented a minimum of 4 nights policy this summer, so it is a great option if you plan to spend more time in Paros.
Parikia or Naoussa: Getting around
If you don’t rent a car, the availability of public transport will affect your ability to move around the island.
Both towns are served by local buses. However, Parikia is the bus hub of the island.
The local bus is rather affordable, so you don’t have to worry about it affecting your Paros travel budget too much.
Public transport: Naoussa
Naoussa bus station is located just outside of the city center, 5 min walk from the entrance to the pedestrian zone.
You can buy bus tickets at the kiosk at the station.
The problem with Naoussa, if you get around the island by bus, is that all buses pass through Parikia before continuing to other villages around the island.
When you check Paros bus schedule, you’ll see that for some destinations you have to wait for quite some time once you’re in Parikia.
If you want to rent a car, you can pick up your rental car in Naoussa if you booked it in advance!
Naoussa has fewer rental car companies than Parikia, so make sure to book your car in advance if you visit in the summer.
Public transport: Parikia
Parikia is home to Paros’ central bus station. All buses on the island pass through Parikia, making it the best place to stay on Paros without a car.
Even if you are staying somewhere else on the island, you’ll probably have to first get to Parikia and then transfer to a bus for your final destination.
Parikia is a compact town, best explored on foot, so you won’t need a car to get around the city.
If you want to rent a car in Paros, most rental companies have their offices close to Parikia Port.
🚗Check rates and availability of rental cars in Paros here!
Parikia or Naoussa: Day trips
It is important where you stay if you want to go on day trips from Paros, and you don’t have a car to quickly get to the departure point.
If you want to self-organize a day trip from Paros to other islands by ferry, the main port is in Parikia.
However, tours depart from both Naoussa and Parikia, depending on where you want to go.
Day trips from Naoussa
It is possible to explore the island from Naoussa without a carm and there are several Paros boat tours departing from Naoussa as well!
You just have to plan that the bus will go through Parikia before reaching any other destination, making the trip half an hour longer than if you were staying in Parikia.
However, Naoussa is the perfect departure spot for private tours and cruises!
Best tours departing from Naoussa:
If you want to treat yourself to a boat day, take your whole group on this full-day private cruise to Delos and Rhenia Island from Naoussa. On this full-day tour, you’ll get away from the crowds and swim in the crystal clear sea.
Those who want to discover the island, but don’t want to deal with public transport should check out this Island Highlights Half-Day trip by van. The tour picks you up at your accommodation and takes you around all the Paros must-see spots.
If you want to see Mykonos, this Mykonos tour from Naoussa is a great option if you don’t want to deal with ferries and transport around the island on your own.
Another tour to consider is this private boat tour to Koufonisi, Schinousa, & Heraklia. As it is a private tour, you get to take your group of up to 9 people on an unforgettable Small Cyclades cruise.
Day trips from Parikia
Parikia is home to the main ferry port and the central bus station.
Parikia is the best place to stay to avoid losing time on transportation if you’re staying on a budget and going on self-organized day trips without a car.
It is easy to organize day trips to other islands by ferry with Ferryhopper or day trips around the island by bus!
⛴️Check ferry departure times and prices here!
If you prefer to relax on your vacation and join tours, many depart from Parikia!
Best tours departing from Parikia:
This semi-private catamaran cruise takes you from Paros to Antiparos and the small uninhabited islands of Despotiko. You’ll spend a whole day relaxing on the catamaran, swimming, and snorkeling.
If you ever wanted to sail on a traditional boat, this full-day traditional boat tour takes you to Antiparos and Despotiko to discover the best remote beaches and sea caves. It is a great budget-friendly day trip from Parikia, especially for solo travelers as you’ll be joining a large group.
Parikia or Naoussa: Restaurants
Finally, delicious food is one of the highlights of Paros island life.
While Naoussa is known as the fishing village of the island, you’ll find seafront restaurants in both cities.
As you know (now), I’m vegan, so I can’t speak about the quality of seafood in Paros.
That being said, I was on a mission to try all the vegan food on the island. And I’m glad to report that there are some quite delicious vegan options in Paros restaurants.
Best (vegan) restaurants in Naoussa
While there aren’t any fully vegan restaurants in Naoussa, vegan options are available.
Almond Paros is a lovely organic restaurant with plenty of vegan options. You can get breakfast, lunch, or dinner as well as vegan soft-serve ice cream! This is the best spot to get coffee or matcha with plant-based milk.
Allas Souvlaki & More is the best budget-friendly restaurant in Naoussa with vegan options. Vegan items are clearly labeled, and this place was my choice most days. I loved their take on mushroom gyros!
You can’t miss Come Back if you want a seafront dining experience in Naoussa. Vegan options are clearly labeled and include waffles, tofu scramble, Buddha bowls, and vegan burgers.
Best (vegan) restaurants in Parikia
Distrato Cafe is one of my favorite spots in Paros. They had plenty of vegan options for lunch, dinner, and breakfast. It is located on a charming, cobblestone street, in the shade of a large tree.
If you’re looking for fine dining with vegan options in Parikia, Mouragio is the best! This seafront restaurant has clearly labeled vegan options, including a delicious vegan moussaka. It is especially lovely for sunset.
If you’re looking for a quick bite in Parikisa, Gregory’s chain restaurant serves some delicious vegan-friendly pies.
FAQ Naoussa or Parikia:
Paros is a rather small island, so you can have a great time regardless of where you stay. It is better to stay in Naoussa if you want to enjoy Paros’ nightlife, seafront bars, and an upscale atmosphere. Stay in Parikia if you’re on a budget and want to be close to the ferry port and bus.
Yes, Naoussa is worth visiting. It is one of the most picturesque villages in the Cyclades, famous for its picturesque white-washed houses, incredible beaches, seafront bars, and upscale restaurants.
Yes, Parikia is well worth a visit. The capital of Paros is a lively and authentic island town with plenty of things to do, charming cobblestone streets with pink Bougainvillea trees, lively bars, and great beaches.
The distance between Naoussa and Parikia is approximately 10km, and it takes about 20 minutes to half an hour by bus from Naoussa to Parikia, depending on the traffic.
No, Parikia is not the same as Paros. Parikia is the capital town of Paros Island. So, Parikia is a town, and Paros is an island in Greece.
If you’re looking for a place to stay in Paros cheap, the best area to stay in is Parikia. The island’s capital offers the best value for money. It is close to the beach, restaurants, and transportation.
The best part of Paros to stay in depends on your itinerary and if you have a car. Parikia is the best place to stay in Paros without a car. Naoussa is the best place to stay in Paros for nightlife and upscale restaurants. The east coast is the best for those who want to get away from the crowds.
Summary: Where to stay in Paros, Parikia or Naoussa?
Both Parikia and Naoussa are charming seaside towns, and you can’t go wrong with either of them on your next trip to Paros Greece!
Naoussa is the better option for those who want to enjoy Paros’ nightlife, polished cobblestone streets, and upscale restaurants.
Parikia is the island’s capital, the accommodation is cheaper, and it feels more like an authentic Greek town with winding back alleys and local bars.
Whether you stay in Naoussa or Parikia, the island is small and well connected by public transport. It is easy to get around and enjoy your time regardless of where you stay!
Paros is still the hidden gem of the Cyclades and one of the best Greek islands for backpackers, so make sure to add it to your itinerary!