Fira Vs Oia; Here’s What Fira In Santorini Offers Which Oia Does Not; Shopping To Hotels Take A Look!

While both cities have their own charms, Fira certainly takes away some brownie points from me.

by Anupriya Mishra
Fira Vs Oia; Here’s What Fira In Santorini Offers Which Oia Does Not; Shopping To Hotels Take A Look!

Are you planning a holiday in Greece? Is the island of Santorini on the cards for you? Well, then this article has been churned out just for you! If you have found yourself clicking on this piece, then there’s a high chance that you’re considering what to do in Santorini. Well, truth be told I was in a similar situation not too long ago. Endlessly searching for reels, articles and things to do, to ensure that the holiday was no less than those promising Instagram posts.

But during the holiday and the 3-day stay on the beautiful island, one thing was definitely clear, Fira is a personal favourite. And here I am, writing down the reasons why you should consider staying in Fira over Oia!

An Introduction To The Two Cities

Pic credits: Canva

Oia (pronounced as Ia), is a quaint village in Santorini that overlooks the azure blue sea. It’s famous amongst tourists (and on the internet) for the Blue Dome Church. Well, there are many blue-domed churches around, but none as beautiful, as the one you often find yourselves pining over. It’s probably the background with closely built tiny house-like rooms of hotels, on the hill, which makes it prettier.

Fira, on the other hand, is the capital of Santorini. About half an hour away from Oia, this is also an equally gorgeous city with stark white structures and cobbled streets, that overlook the majestic Aegean Sea. However, it’s much more lively and is often buzzing with people, trying to get the best view of the surrounding area.

Why Is Fira Better Than Oia?

Fira City
Pic credits: Anupriya Mishra

While both cities have their own charms, Fira certainly takes away some brownie points from me. The reasons can be broken down into simple factors, which every traveller considers – affordability, satisfaction, and experience.

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Fira is hands down more affordable than Oia. They both have several homegrown labels and small retail stores, selling everything from traditional Greek jewellery and handbags to hoodies and dresses. But the former is more friendly on the pockets! And a reason for this could be the over-commercialisation of Oia, especially on social media. Drawing so many tourists, queueing up to get clicked at the ‘It’ spots, this has naturally affected the prices. While Fira, which also sees a large number of tourists, offers equally quirky and chic stuff, but for much better deals.


Greece all over serves pretty decent food, for both vegetarians and non-vegetarians (and even vegans). And Santorini is no different. Similarly, restaurants serving delicious Greek nibbles served over the panoramic views of the Aegean Sea, just amp up the satisfaction levels. So, although the views are hardly any different when comparing Oia and Fira, I would choose the latter. After all, satisfaction levels encompass everything from food and drinks to shopping!


Fira offers quite a bit of history and beautiful places for tourists. From cable cars that take you down the hill and the panoramic views of the caldera to the Three Bells and gorgeous Cathedral, there’s much to see in this small city. As a result, one can easily spend a day and a half exploring the locale. So, the city does offer a well-rounded experience, not just pretty photo-ops!

On a concluding note, Oia is going to leave you in awe with its timeless beauty. But it’s going to be heavy on the pocket, and the locale is small enough to be explored in a day. While Fira, is a reliable city, that you can go back to after a long day, and it will welcome you with open arms.

So, go ahead, and get in the queue for the picture-perfect Blue Dome shoot. But don’t forget to return to Fira, for a relaxing meal with a view.

Cover Image Courtesy: Anupriya Mishra & Canva

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