A Travel Price Comparison for Italy Lake Garda vs. Como for Food, Families, Couples, and Nightlife

Should you visit Lake Garda or Como?

Which is cheaper to visit? Which is more expensive for vacation?

Should I visit Lake Garda or Como? This is a common question asked by many travelers. By figuring out which city has activities that align with your interests along with knowing which is more affordable, you'll understand where you can get more bang for your buck. So, let's dive into the details and the data, which all comes from actual travelers.

Lake Garda

Lake Garda is a playful, fun, and energetic lake. With stunning beauty, it attracts visitors from all around. It's also popular because of the museums, nightlife, and food.

Como

Como is a trendy, fun, and vibrant lake area. It's considered by many to be an absolutely beautiful destination, too. Visitors also love the beaches, hiking, and shopping.

Lake Garda and Como: Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Active nightlife
  • Popular beach
  • Good for hiking
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
  • Impressive beauty
Things to Consider
  • Less popular for shopping
Pros
  • Active nightlife
  • Popular beach
  • Good for hiking
  • Fun shopping
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
  • Impressive beauty
Things to Consider
  • Less museums and historical sights


Is there more to do in Lake Garda or Como?

Tourists will generally find more to do in Como. Although Lake Garda and Como are both popular with visitors, Como has more sights, activities, and attractions for travelers. Como is more popular for its food, shopping, and impressive beauty, while Lake Garda is known for its museums, nightlife, and beaches. Como is more touristy than Lake Garda and is known for its long-running history as a resort retreat for upscale travelers. It is also home to the lakeside setting. Lake Garda is popular for its beautiful setting, charming towns, and fun amusement parks.

How is Lake Garda different from Como?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

Let's take a look at the differences and similarities between Como and Lake Garda. Then, you can decide for yourself which place is better for your next trip.

Are the Museums and Historical Sights Better in Lake Garda or Como?

Lake Garda
Como

Lake Garda is a nice place to visit for its museums and history. However, Como is lacking in options for its museums and landmarks.

If you're looking for an educational opportunity, there are a decent number of museums and historical sights around Lake Garda. While most people come for the natural beauty, there are also great castles that you can explore. Castello Scaligeri, Grotte di Catullo, and Castello Scaligero.

Como offers a handful of options for museums and historical sights. Most people visit for the lakeside setting, but there's history throughout, with notable buildings including the Duomo, Museo Civico, and Basilica di Sant'Abbondio.


Is the Food Better in Lake Garda or Como? Which Destination has the Best Restaurants?

Lake Garda
Como

Como is terrific for its restaurants. Also, Lake Garda is not quite as popular, but is fairly good for its restaurant scene.

For foodies, Como is an obvious choice, as it is one of the food capitals of the world. The area has its own style of Italian food. Polenta is one of the most popular dishes and it's usually served with meat, fish, or cheese. You can also enjoy several different types of fish such as misultitt (dried fish), salmon trout, pike, bleak, lavarello, and perch.

Dining out in Lake Garda is an experience not to be missed. You'll find many great local restaurants in the area. Most make use of local ingredients such as olive oil, lemons, wine, and fish. Pasta and risotto are both popular throughout the area as well.

Is Lake Garda or Como Better for Nightlife?

Lake Garda
Como

Lake Garda is an excellent place to visit for its evening party scene. Also, Como is not quite as popular, but is fairly good for nightlife.

Lake Garda has a lively atmosphere and nightlife is popular here. You'll find clubs and bars in various towns that make for a great nightlife scene. You'll even find beach parties and fireworks shows during the most popular times of the year.

Como has an active nightlife scene for those who seek it out. It is more known for its glamour and sophistication than its raging party scene. There are fine dining restaurants where you can sip wine and enjoy the view. There are also theaters and jazz clubs that offer a relaxing vibe and a nice night out.

Is Lake Garda or Como Better for Beaches?

Lake Garda
Como

Lake Garda is an excellent place to visit for the beach. Also, Como is not quite as popular, but is fairly good for its beaches.

You'll have a great beach vacation in Lake Garda. Despite there being no ocean, there are many great swimming beaches in the area. Many have sand and great places to relax. There's also plenty of watersports to choose from.

Plenty of visitors enjoy relaxing on the beach in Como. You'll find lakeside beaches where you can relax, sunbath, or swim. Many are affiliated with clubs and the atmosphere is often trendy and upscale. Don't expect a secluded and natural setting, but there are often nice restaurants nearby.


Is Lake Garda or Como Better for Hiking?

Lake Garda
Como

If you're looking to go hiking, Lake Garda and Como both have very good trails.

Many visitors explore the nearby hiking trails while visiting Lake Garda. There are many great walking and hiking trails in the area that take you through the natural beauty, connect the charming towns, and offer spectacular viewpoints.

You'll find a nice variety of hiking trails around Como. There's a wide variety of hiking trails in the area that take you through the mountains or along the water's edge. One of the most popular trails is the Greenway del Lago di Como.

Is the Shopping Better in Lake Garda or Como?

Lake Garda
Como

Como is terrific for its shopping opportunities. Also, Lake Garda is not quite as popular, but is fairly good for its shopping areas.

Known for shopping, Como draws large crowds to its stores. The shopping is comparable to major cities, with everything from high end boutiques to outlets and local markets. There are clothing shops, jewelry stores, and places to pick up local souvenirs. Shopping is a favorite activity for many visitors to Lake Como.

Many visitors go to Lake Garda to go shopping. Many villages around the lake are great for shopping. You'll find clothing stores, jewelry shops, and souvenir vendors with something for everyone.

Is Lake Garda or Como Better for Families?

Lake Garda
Como

Lake Garda is renowned for its kid-friendly activities. Also, Como is not quite as popular, but is fairly good for its family-friendly activities.

Lake Garda is an amazing family-friendly lake to visit. The nearby amusement parks, including Gardaland, make this a popular destination for families. The area also has many places to swim, trails to explore, and castles to experience. Kids and adults alike will love this amazing kid-friendly area.

Como is a very family-friendly place to visit. It has parks and gardens to explore, as well as Vezio Castle and many nice walking trails. A highlight for many kids is a visit to Lake Como Adventure Park.


Is Lake Garda or Como Better for Couples?

Lake Garda
Como

Como is terrific for its romantic activities. Also, Lake Garda is not quite as popular, but is fairly good for couples.

Como makes for a terrific place to visit as a couple. Its beautiful walks, charming towns, and surrounding natural setting make this a great honeymoon and couple's getaway destination. Dine on Italian cuisine as you sip wine and look out on the pristine waters of Lake Como.

Couples visit Lake Garda frequently as it offers plenty of romantic activities. You'll find a lot of families in the area because of the amusement parks, but that doesn't mean that this isn't a romantic and beautiful spot for couples. There are many charming towns to explore and scenic viewpoints to check out. There are also excellent romantic restaurants that you should try.

Is Lake Garda or Como Better for Backpackers and Budget Travelers?

Lake Garda
Como

Como is an excellent place to visit for backpackers and budget travelers. Also, Lake Garda is not quite as popular, but is fairly good for backpackers.

Many backpackers visit Como. It's a popular destination with all types of travelers, so you'll find a decent selection of hostels to choose from, and a number of other backpackers around to hang out with.

Lake Garda is popular with backpackers and budget travelers. There are a few good hostels around the lake that are affordable and fun. The area also see enough backpackers to keep the atmosphere fun and social.

Is Lake Garda or Como Better for Public Transit? Which Is Easier to Get Around Without a Car?

Lake Garda
Como

Lake Garda is an excellent place to visit for times when you don't have a car. Also, Como is not quite as popular, but is fairly good for its public transit.

Many visitors use the public transit system in Lake Garda. There are ferries, buses, and trains in the area.

You'll find some public transit in Como, but it may not be enough to take you everywhere. There are buses, ferries, and a funicular that travel to different towns around the lake.


Is Lake Garda or Como a more walkable city?

Lake Garda
Como

Lake Garda and Como are very good when it comes to walkability.

Lake Garda is a very walkable lake. There are walking trails that connect the villages around the lake and this how many people choose to get around.

Como is a very walkable destination. The entire area is very walkable and you'll enjoy many great views during your stroll.

For even more information, also check out Is Lake Garda Worth Visiting? and Is Como Worth Visiting?.

Should I spend more time in Como or Lake Garda?

How long in Lake Garda or Como?

It's fun to spend time in either Lake Garda or Como. In our opinion, Lake Garda has more to see and do, so we recommend that you spend more time in Lake Garda than Como. However, 2-4 days is a good amount of time to spend in either destination.

Families should spend more time in Lake Garda than Como. Because of the many family-friendly attractions and fun things to do for kids in Lake Garda, it's a great place to visit with the whole family.

Couples should spend more time in Como than Lake Garda. You'll find plenty of romantic sights and fun activities in Como that are perfect for a weekend getaway or a longer couple's trip.

Backpackers and budget travelers should spend more time in Como than Lake Garda if your budget allows for it. With a larger number of budget-friendly sights, good nightlife, and active things to do, anyone traveling on a budget would have a good time in Como.


  • How many days in Lake Garda or Como? Ideal Length of Stay
    Lake Garda 2-4 
    Como 2-4

One day in Lake Garda or Como?

Visitors enjoy the food and shopping when visiting the destination of Lake Garda. Hiking can easily take up a good amount of your time here, too. Take your pick from the many activities offered here. With so much to do, one day is probably not enough time to see everything.

With shopping and nightlife around the fun lake area of Como, there's plenty to do. Anyone can find something fun to do here. Make sure you spend some time hiking while you're in the area. But since there are so many activities, you'll likely want to spend more than one day exploring.

A weekend in Lake Garda or Como?

Lake Garda is a fun place to experience. If you have a weekend, this is a great place to go. It's also a great beach destination, too. A weekend is often enough time to do most activities. The entire region has so many activities, and you'll want time to do everything.

With nightlife and food around the destination of Como, there's plenty to do. Many travelers plan to spend time hiking while in the area. It offers something for everyone. Many people spend a weekend here. In a weekend, you should have a good grasp of this lake area.


Five days in Lake Garda or Como?

You'll find museums and nightlife around the fun destination of Lake Garda. This lake offers something for everyone. Many visitors also spend a good bit of time hiking. Five days is plenty of time to see everything, even with extra days to spare.

Como, a popular lake area, is full of activities for travelers. Hiking can easily take up a good amount of your time here, too. Most people find that five days is more than enough time to see everything. Your budget might influence how long you stay.

A week in Lake Garda or Como?

The playful lake of Lake Garda offers nightlife and food. Make sure you spend some time hiking while you're in the area. The length of your trip often depends on your style of travel. One week is usually plenty of time to spend here with extra days to spare. With this much time, visitors often visit nearby destinations or take day trips.

Como is a popular place that is full of things to see and experience. One week is plenty of time to see everything, even with extra days to spare. It has many unique tourist attractions and fascinating things to do.


For some great organized tour ideas, see The Best Tours for Seniors to Italy, The Best Contiki Tours to Italy, The Best G Adventures Tours to Italy, and The Best One-Week (7-Day) Tours from Rome.


Which place is cheaper, Como or Lake Garda?

These are the overall average travel costs for the two destinations.

The average daily cost (per person) in Lake Garda is €166, while the average daily cost in Como is €214. These costs include accommodation (assuming double occupancy, so the traveler is sharing the room), food, transportation, and entertainment. While every person is different, these costs are an average of past travelers in each destination. What follows is a categorical breakdown of travel costs for Lake Garda and Como in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Lake Garda 84
    Como 146
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Lake Garda 168
    Como 292
Compare Hotels in Lake Garda and Como

Looking for a hotel in Lake Garda or Como? Prices vary by location, date, season, and the level of luxury. See below for options and compare which is best for your budget and travel style.

Hotels in Lake Garda


Hotels in Como


Kayak helps you find the best prices for hotels, flights, and rental cars for destinations around the world. Compare prices for multiple destinations when planning your next trip.


Our Analysis
We've analyzed the average and typical hotel prices based on guest reviews, star ratings, and hotel amenities here: Como Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Lake Garda 66
    Como 14

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Lake Garda

Also for Lake Garda, here are a few examples of actual transportation services:

  • Verona Opera Arena: Transfer from Lake Garda & Opera Ticket: $128

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Como

Also for Como, here are a few examples of actual transportation services:

  • Private Transfer from Lezzeno or Pognana Lario or Faggeto Lario: $169
  • Private Transfer from Como to Milan hotels: $70
  • Private Transfer from Como or Blevio or Torno: $158
  • Private Transfer From Tremezzo or Menaggio or Cadenabbia: $240
  • Pirvate transfer from Malpensa airport to Como and Cernobbio: $218
  • From Milan center : Private 1-Way Transfer to Como: $275
  • From Private 1-Way Transfer to Linate airport: $306
  • From Como : Private 1-Way Transfer to Malpensa airport: $336
  • Cernobbio to Malpensa Milan Airport (MXP) - Departure Private Transfer: $45
  • Argegno: Private Transfer to/from Malpensa Airport: $235

Is it cheaper to fly into Lake Garda or Como?

Prices for flights to both Como and Lake Garda change regularly based on dates and travel demand. We suggest you find the best prices for your next trip on Kayak, because you can compare the cost of flights across multiple airlines for your prefered dates.





Food
  • Food Meals for one day
    Lake Garda 42
    Como 60

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Lake Garda

For Lake Garda, here are some samples of tours and activities related to meals and dining experiences:

  • 3 Hour Fresh Pasta and Tiramisù Private Cooking Class with Meal : $71
  • Valpolicella Wine and Food Tour: $75
  • Cusina - Cooking Class: Fresh Pasta with wine tasting: $86
  • Dining Experience at a local's Home in Cecina with Show Cooking: $93

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Como

For Como, here are some samples of tours and activities related to meals and dining experiences:

  • Cantonese Dimsum Cooking Lesson in Como or Lugano with Chef Ling: $49
  • Dining Experience at a local's Home in Lecco with Show Cooking: $93
  • Lake Como Food Tour - Eat like a real Local: $108
  • Pizzoccheri food game with treasure hunt and cooking lesson: $131
  • Candlelight dinner on Lake Como: $131
  • Como Food Tour and the Farmers Market: $139
  • Cooking on Lake Como with an Amazing View: $140
  • Lecco Food Tour: $142
  • Como Food Tour and the Farmers Market: $142
  • Neapolitan DOC Pizza Class And Cooking in a Wood Oven at a Local's house: $147
  • Typical Italian homemade dinner in Como: $148
  • Como Area: Pizza Training Experience: $160

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Lake Garda 30
    Como -

Tours and Activities in Lake Garda

For Lake Garda, here are a few prices for actual activities, tours, and tickets provided by various companies:

  • Beekeeping Farm Tour and Tasting Experience in Lazise: $43
  • 2 Hour Gin and Waves Tour on Lake Garda: $65
  • 2 Hours Walking and Boat Tour in Sirmione Highlights: $53
  • Andalo: Trekking Tour to Canfedin Peak: $32
  • Bardolino: Vineyard Tour with Wine, Olive Oil & Food Tasting: $37
  • Best of Sirmione with Boat Tour and Grotte di Catullo : $97
  • Boat Tour of the Islands of Lake Garda from Sirmione: $83
  • Boat Tour of the Islands of Lake Garda with Aperitif: $76
  • Dolomites Full-Day Tour from Lake Garda: $75
  • Dolomites Full-day Tour from Lake Garda: $76
  • E-Bike Tour from Lake Garda to Verona : $86
  • Experience in Sirmione Lake Garda: $98

Tours and Activities in Como

For Como, here are a few prices for actual activities, tours, and tickets provided by various companies:

  • A Self-Guided Walking Tour of Como and its Breathtaking Lakeside: $20
  • “Public Tour” Lake Como By SuBacco: $131
  • 1 Hour Boat Tour of Lake Como from Bellagio: $44
  • 1 Hour Boat Tour of Lake Como from Tremezzo: $44
  • 1 Hour Private Boat Tour on Lake Como: $295
  • 1 or 2 Hours Private Boat Tour on Lake villas and more: $374
  • 1 or 2 hours Private Boat Tour on Lake Como with Prosecco: $374
  • 1H Shared Tour in Classic Wooden Boat on Lake Como: $109
  • 2 Hours Como Private Walking Tour: $182
  • 2 Hours Como Private Walking Tour: $179
  • 2 Hours Guided Night Tour in Como : $104
  • 2 hours Private Boat Tour Como Lake: $933

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Lake Garda 19
    Como -

Sample the Local Flavors in Lake Garda

Also in Lake Garda, these are the prices for nightlife and alcohol related activities from various tour providers:

  • Bardolino: Wine tasting at Cantina Valetti: $26
  • Wine Tasting with Local Food in Lazise Countryside: $32
  • Wine Tasting and Tour of Lugana Wines in Sirmione: $32
  • Garda Hills Wine Tour and Tasting: $42
  • Lazise: Biodynamic Farm Tour and Natural Wine Tasting: $42
  • Wine Tasting in Historical Center of Lazise: $44
  • Art Experience with Food and Wine Tasting in Lazise: $55
  • E-Bike Tour and Wine Tasting in Lazise: $87
  • Lazise: Bike Tour and Wine Tasting: $90
  • E-Bike Tour and wine tasting in Lazise Countryside: $92
  • Castles boat tour with Bardolino wine tasting and nibbles: $98

Sample the Local Flavors in Como

Here are a few nightlife and alcohol tours and activities from local tour providers in Como:

  • Domaso: Wine Tasting at the Winery on Como Lake: $60
  • Italian Wine Tasting & Food Como Lake: $70
  • Wine Tastings with Chef Luigi Gandola: $135


When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Lake Garda and Como, we can see that Como is more expensive. And not only is Lake Garda much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. So, traveling to Lake Garda would let you spend less money overall. Or, you could decide to spend more money in Lake Garda and be able to afford a more luxurious travel style by staying in nicer hotels, eating at more expensive restaurants, taking tours, and experiencing more activities. The same level of travel in Como would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in Como than you might in Lake Garda.

If you're trying to decide if either of these two destinations are within your price range, also see Is Lake Garda Expensive? and Is Como Expensive?.



When is the best time to visit Lake Garda or Como?

Both destinations experience a temperate climate with four distinct seasons. And since both cities are in the northern hemisphere, summer is in July and winter is in January.

Should I visit Lake Garda or Como in the Summer?

Both Como and Lake Garda are popular destinations to visit in the summer with plenty of activities. Many travelers come to Lake Garda for the beaches, the hiking, and the family-friendly experiences. Also, many visitors come to Como in the summer for the beaches, the hiking, and the family-friendly experiences.

In the summer, Lake Garda is around the same temperature as Como. Typically, the summer temperatures in Lake Garda in July average around 24°C (75°F), and Como averages at about 23°C (73°F).

It's quite sunny in Como. The sun comes out a lot this time of the year in Lake Garda. Lake Garda usually receives more sunshine than Como during summer. Lake Garda gets 286 hours of sunny skies, while Como receives 250 hours of full sun in the summer.

In July, Lake Garda usually receives around the same amount of rain as Como. Lake Garda gets 62 mm (2.4 in) of rain, while Como receives 60 mm (2.4 in) of rain each month for the summer.


  • Summer Average Temperatures July
    Lake Garda 24°C (75°F) 
    Como 23°C (73°F)

Should I visit Lake Garda or Como in the Autumn?

Both Como and Lake Garda during the autumn are popular places to visit. Many visitors come to Lake Garda in the autumn for the hiking trails, the shopping scene, and the natural beauty of the area. Also, most visitors come to Como for the hiking trails, the shopping scene, and the natural beauty of the area during these months.

In October, Lake Garda is generally around the same temperature as Como. Daily temperatures in Lake Garda average around 14°C (57°F), and Como fluctuates around 15°C (58°F).

In the autumn, Lake Garda often gets less sunshine than Como. Lake Garda gets 137 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Como receives 152 hours of full sun.

Como gets a good bit of rain this time of year. Lake Garda usually gets less rain in October than Como. Lake Garda gets 82 mm (3.2 in) of rain, while Como receives 103 mm (4 in) of rain this time of the year.


  • Autumn Average Temperatures October
    Lake Garda 14°C (57°F) 
    Como 15°C (58°F)

Should I visit Lake Garda or Como in the Winter?

The winter attracts plenty of travelers to both Lake Garda and Como. Most visitors come to Lake Garda for the museums, the shopping scene, and the cuisine during these months. Also, the winter months attract visitors to Como because of the museums, the shopping scene, and the cuisine.

The weather in Como can be very cold. Lake Garda can be very cold during winter. Lake Garda is much colder than Como in the winter. The daily temperature in Lake Garda averages around 2°C (36°F) in January, and Como fluctuates around 5°C (41°F).

Lake Garda usually receives less sunshine than Como during winter. Lake Garda gets 98 hours of sunny skies, while Como receives 119 hours of full sun in the winter.

In January, Lake Garda usually receives less rain than Como. Lake Garda gets 55 mm (2.1 in) of rain, while Como receives 68 mm (2.7 in) of rain each month for the winter.


  • Winter Average Temperatures January
    Lake Garda 2°C (36°F) 
    Como 5°C (41°F)

Should I visit Lake Garda or Como in the Spring?

The spring brings many poeple to Lake Garda as well as Como. The spring months attract visitors to Lake Garda because of the beaches and the natural beauty. Also, the beaches and the natural beauty are the main draw to Como this time of year.

In the spring, Lake Garda is around the same temperature as Como. Typically, the spring temperatures in Lake Garda in April average around 13°C (55°F), and Como averages at about 13°C (55°F).

In the spring, Lake Garda often gets around the same amount of sunshine as Como. Lake Garda gets 169 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Como receives 176 hours of full sun.

Lake Garda usually gets less rain in April than Como. Lake Garda gets 69 mm (2.7 in) of rain, while Como receives 76 mm (3 in) of rain this time of the year.


  • Spring Average Temperatures April
    Lake Garda 13°C (55°F) 
    Como 13°C (55°F)

Typical Weather for Como and Lake Garda

Lake Garda Como
Temp (°C) Rain (mm) Temp (°C) Rain (mm)
Jan 2°C (36°F) 55 mm (2.1 in) 5°C (41°F) 68 mm (2.7 in)
Feb 5°C (40°F) 48 mm (1.9 in) 6°C (44°F) 60 mm (2.3 in)
Mar 9°C (47°F) 58 mm (2.3 in) 10°C (49°F) 85 mm (3.4 in)
Apr 13°C (55°F) 69 mm (2.7 in) 13°C (55°F) 76 mm (3 in)
May 17°C (63°F) 85 mm (3.3 in) 17°C (62°F) 102 mm (4 in)
Jun 21°C (70°F) 86 mm (3.4 in) 20°C (69°F) 78 mm (3.1 in)
Jul 24°C (75°F) 62 mm (2.4 in) 23°C (73°F) 60 mm (2.4 in)
Aug 23°C (73°F) 88 mm (3.4 in) 22°C (72°F) 94 mm (3.7 in)
Sep 19°C (67°F) 63 mm (2.5 in) 19°C (67°F) 74 mm (2.9 in)
Oct 14°C (57°F) 82 mm (3.2 in) 15°C (58°F) 103 mm (4 in)
Nov 8°C (46°F) 75 mm (3 in) 9°C (49°F) 102 mm (4 in)
Dec 3°C (37°F) 51 mm (2 in) 6°C (42°F) 60 mm (2.4 in)