A Travel Price Comparison for Italy San Remo vs. Lucca for Old Town, Food, Families, and Couples

Should you visit San Remo or Lucca?

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

Should I visit San Remo or Lucca? 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.

San Remo

San Remo is a authentic, historic, and relaxing coastal city. With stunning beauty, it attracts visitors from all around. Other popular activities here include beaches, shopping, and nightlife.


Lucca is a charming, quaint, and popular city. With stunning beauty, it attracts visitors from all around. It's also popular because of the food, shopping, and museums.

San Remo and Lucca: Pros and Cons

  • Active nightlife
  • Popular beach
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good public transit
  • Impressive beauty
Things to Consider
  • Less popular with backpackers
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Active nightlife
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
  • Impressive beauty
Things to Consider
  • Public transit not as usable

Is there more to do in San Remo or Lucca?

Tourists will generally find more to do in Lucca than San Remo. It is bigger and it has more sights, attractions, and activities for travelers. Lucca is very popular for its museums and historical sights, while San Remo attracts visitors for its beaches. Lucca is more touristy than San Remo and is popular for its ancient city walls and its many historic buildings. It is also well known for The Guinigi Tower. San Remo is famous for its olives, lemons, and flower market.

How is San Remo different from Lucca?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

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

Are the Museums and Historical Sights Better in San Remo or Lucca?

San Remo

Lucca is a very popular place for its museums and history. However, San Remo does not have museums and landmarks.

Lucca offers many unique museums, sights, and landmarks that will make for a memorable trip. There are many interesting historic sights and buildings around this charming town. You can climb to the top of the Guinigi Tower or visit the Roman Amphitheater. Many visitors enjoy walking or biking around the city walls as well. Also make sure you visit the cathedral.

San Remo does not have museums and landmarks.

Is the Food Better in San Remo or Lucca? Which Destination has the Best Restaurants?

San Remo

Local dishes at restaurants are fun to try in both San Remo and Lucca.

San Remo has a number of nationally recognized food spots and restaurants. The local restaurants are charming and sell a number of local specialties. Many traditional dishes are made with rabbit or chicken. There are also vegetable pies and sardenaira, which is a type of pizza that's made with tomatoes, garlic, and anchovies. Also make sure you pick up Baci di Sanremo, which are soft chocolate biscuits that are available in local bakeries.

With its innovative style combined with traditional elements, Lucca makes for a great culinary experience. There are many great Tuscan restaurants inside the city walls. Perhaps the most popular local dish is tordelli Lucchesi. Its a meat filled pasta that has a beef ragu sauce. There are also other Tuscan recipes that include steak, boar, or rabbit.

Is San Remo or Lucca Better for Nightlife?

San Remo

The nice nightlife scene is relatively similar in San Remo and Lucca.

With a handful of venues, visitors can find a fairly lively vibe in San Remo. The city has a number of clubs and bars where you can enjoy a drink or hang out late into the evening. It's a pretty mellow nightlife scene, but there's still plenty of places to go as well as a local vibe that doesn't have the influx of tourists that you find in many of other Italian cities.

Lucca has an active nightlife scene for those who seek it out. The nightlife scene is most lively during the spring and summer months when tourists crowd into the city. For the highest concentration of bars, clubs, and lounges, head to Piazza Amfiteatro, Piazza San Michele and Via Fillungo.

Is San Remo or Lucca Better for Beaches?

San Remo

San Remo is well known for the beach. However, Lucca is not a beach destination.

The beaches at San Remo attract visitors from all over. The beautiful sandy beaches are nice to visit and it's possible to rent chairs and umbrellas in many places. The main beach in town is Spiaggia dei Porti. Other popular nearby beaches include Spiaggia dei tre ponti, which is a large public beach, and Cala degli Orsi, which is one of the most beautiful public beaches in the area.

Lucca is not a beach destination.

Is San Remo or Lucca Better for its Old Town?

San Remo

Lucca is terrific for its historic old town charm. Also, San Remo is not quite as popular, but is fairly good for its historic old town.

Lucca has a unique history which comes to life in its historic area. The historic city is surrounded by city walls, which you can walk around. Within the walls there are cobblestone streets and a charming atmosphere.

There is a nice variety of sights in the old town of San Remo. The old quarter of Pigna is a Medieval area with narrow streets that feel as if they're frozen in time. The hills offer impressive city views and the area has a unique historic character.

Is the Shopping Better in San Remo or Lucca?

San Remo

Shoppers can find a variety of nice stores in both San Remo and Lucca.

San Remo has a variety of shopping areas worth visiting. There are local and international brands as well as a shopping mall and outlets where you can enjoy shopping.

Lucca is a great destination for shopping. The city is filled with a mix of tourist shops and more authentic local vendors. If you look hard, you can still find some interesting local items that make for a more unique and personal shopping experience.

Is San Remo or Lucca Better for Families?

San Remo

San Remo is well known for its family-friendly activities. Also, Lucca is still popular, but not quite as popular for its kid-friendly activities.

San Remo is known to be a very family-friendly place to visit. The area offers plenty of outdoor activities that the whole family will enjoy. There's horseback riding, hiking, rowing, snorkeling, cooking classes, farm tours and more. There are also a number of hotels in the area that have kid-friendly activities.

Lucca offers lots of family activities. You can pass through town in a day or two, or stay longer and use it as a base for exploring Tuscany. There are playgrounds for the kids as well as some fun activities like cycling the city walls and climbing towers.

Is San Remo or Lucca Better for Couples?

San Remo

With fun activities for couples, both San Remo and Lucca make for a excellent place to visit.

San Remo makes for a fun place to visit for a couple. It's known as the city of flowers, and the many beautiful gardens make this a truly romantic place to visit. Couples will enjoy soaking up the city's history and enjoy the vibrant culture and outdoor activities that are available.

Couples visit Lucca frequently as it offers plenty of romantic activities. It's a beautiful city with good restaurants and access to nice countryside. Couples who want to explore Tuscany can use this town as a base to take in much of the region.

Is San Remo or Lucca Better for Backpackers and Budget Travelers?

San Remo

Lucca is a popular place for backpackers and budget travelers. However, San Remo is lacking in good options for backpackers.

Plenty of budget travelers visit Lucca. While there aren't many traditional hostels around town, guesthouses are usually affordable.

San Remo is a challenging destination for budget travelers and backpackers due to the higher prices. There aren't many hostels in town, and most backpackers head to more popular Italian destinations. If you're looking for a more off-the-beaten path destination, then this may be your style.

Is San Remo or Lucca Better for Public Transit? Which Is Easier to Get Around Without a Car?

San Remo

San Remo is a coastal city with good options for its public transit. However, Lucca is not particularly known for times when you don't have a car.

You'll find some public transit in San Remo, but it may not be enough to take you everywhere. There are local buses around town.

Public transit is quite limited in Lucca. There's no public transit within the city so if you can't walk somewhere, you'll want to take a taxi. In general, walking is the best option though.

Is San Remo or Lucca a more walkable city?

San Remo

San Remo and Lucca are excellent when it comes to walkability.

San Remo is a very walkable destination. The old quarter is fun to explore on foot and there are a number of walking tours through town.

Lucca is very walkable. Much of the city can be explored on foot.

For even more information, also check out Is San Remo Worth Visiting? and Is Lucca Worth Visiting?.

Should I spend more time in Lucca or San Remo?

How long in San Remo or Lucca?

You'll be able to find lots of things to do in San Remo or Lucca to fill your time. You can spend a similar amount of time exploring either. However, 1-2 days is a good amount of time to spend in either destination.

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

Backpackers and budget travelers should spend more time in Lucca than San Remo 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 Lucca.

  • How many days in San Remo or Lucca? Ideal Length of Stay
    San Remo 1-2 
    Lucca 1-2

One day in San Remo or Lucca?

In San Remo, many people enjoy the nightlife and food that this authentic destination offers. It's also a great beach destination, too. This coastal city offers a variety of activities to choose from. Because of this, one day is usually enough time for a trip here.

The beautiful city of Lucca offers food and shopping. Exploring the old town is a popular activity. With all of its activities, you can easily fill one day here. It will give you the chance to have new experiences.

A weekend in San Remo or Lucca?

It's hard to know how much time to spend in San Remo. For many, it makes a great getaway for a weekend. Most visitors spend time around the old town while in the area. This would be the perfect place to spend a weekend, as it has just the right amount of activities. The length of your ideal trip is an individual decision.

Lucca is a popular place that is full of things to see and experience. If you have a weekend, this city makes for a great vacation. Make sure you visit the old town while you're here. While some people choose to spend more or less time in Lucca, a weekend is sufficent for most. Take your pick from the many activities offered here.

Five days in San Remo or Lucca?

San Remo is a fun place to experience. Travelers enjoy the shopping and nightlife when visiting the destination of San Remo. You'll find plenty of activities on the beach. Most people find that five days is more than enough time to see everything.

Lucca is a popular choice for travelers. Five days 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. The entire region has so many activities, and you'll want time to do everything.

A week in San Remo or Lucca?

You'll find nightlife and food around the scenic destination of San Remo. Most people come for the beaches. Take your pick from the many activities offered here. One week is plenty of time to see everything, even with extra days to spare.

Lucca is a great place to explore. Visiting the old town is also a must. One week is more than enough time to enjoy everything. Take some day trips to nearby places to fill the extra days. This city offers something for everyone.

For some great organized tour ideas, see The Best Sightseeing Tours in Italy, The Best Vineyard & Wine Tours in Italy, The Best Food and Culinary Tours in Italy, and The Best Romantic Tours for Couples in Italy.

Which place is cheaper, Lucca or San Remo?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in San Remo is €152, while the average daily cost in Lucca is €106. 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 San Remo and Lucca in more detail.

  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    San Remo 80
    Lucca 61
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    San Remo 160
    Lucca 122
Compare Hotels in San Remo and Lucca

Looking for a hotel in San Remo or Lucca? 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 San Remo

Hotels in Lucca

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: San Remo Hotel Prices and Lucca Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    San Remo 46
    Lucca 4.29

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Lucca

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Lucca:

  • Tasting in a Tuscan Vineyard with transfer from Lucca: $88
  • Private Transfer from Lido di Camaiore to Pisa (PSA) Airport: $128

Is it cheaper to fly into San Remo or Lucca?

Prices for flights to both Lucca and San Remo 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 Meals for one day
    San Remo 44
    Lucca 41

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Lucca

Also, here are some specific examples of food and dining related activities in Lucca.

  • Flavors of Lucca Food Tour with Local Guide: $76
  • Dining Experience at a local's Home in Gaiole in Chianti with Show Cooking: $94
  • Dining Experience at a local's Home in San Miniato with Show Cooking: $94
  • Lucca Food Tour - Do Eat Better Experience : $101
  • Every Day Cooking Class in Lucca Italy: $106
  • Typical Dining & Cooking Demo at Local's Home in Lucca: $122
  • Traditional-Traditional Cooking Class cuisine course: $125
  • Pasta Cooking Class with a Local Chef: $152
  • Private Cooking Class at a Cesarina's Home in Gaiole in Chianti: $161
  • Private Cooking Class at a Cesarina's Home in Pistoia: $161
  • Cooking Class at a Local's Home: $195
  • Cesarine: Pizza & Tiramisu Feast at local's home in Lucca: $199

  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    San Remo 23
    Lucca 5.68

Tours and Activities in Lucca

Here are a few actual costs in Lucca for available activities, ticket prices, and tours:

  • Wine and olive oil tasting & farm tour: $40
  • 2 Hour Walking Tour at Lucca : $144
  • 2-Hours Relax Walking Tour Through Lucca: $172
  • Adventure with racing bike between sea and hills of Lucca: $156
  • BASIC guided tour of the historic center: $16
  • BASIC join a 'must see' walking tour!: $16
  • Bike Self-Tour in the Lucca Countryside and Green Landscapes: $71
  • Canyoning Experience for Small Groups in Tuscany: $106
  • Carrara Marble Tour by shuttle from Lucca, Pisa or La Spezia port: $166
  • Cinque Terre Tour Small Group Tour from Lucca: $166
  • Complete tour of the city and walls: $214

  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    San Remo 14
    Lucca 13

Sample the Local Flavors in Lucca

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

  • Wine Tasting Experience - Tenuta Adamo Winery: $22
  • Guided Winery Tour with Wine Tasting: $27
  • Wine Tasting Guided by the Enologist on the Lucca Hills: $44
  • Wine tasting in Lucca: $44
  • Honest Wines- Wine tasting at Cantina Biagiotti: $50
  • Wine tasting in the Lucca countryside with sommelier: $67
  • Wine tasting with sommelier - The great wines of Tuscany: $78
  • Tuscany Wine Tours in a family winery Podere Pellicciano: $78
  • Aperitivo Evening Food and Wine Tour: $82
  • Chianti Half-Day Wine Tour in the Tuscan Hills Small Group from Lucca: $99
  • Guided E-Bike and Wine Tour: $119
  • Guided E-Bike Tour with Wine Tasting from Lucca: $121

When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between San Remo and Lucca, we can see that San Remo is more expensive. And not only is Lucca much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. So, traveling to Lucca would let you spend less money overall. Or, you could decide to spend more money in Lucca 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 San Remo would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in San Remo than you might in Lucca.

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

Which is Bigger, San Remo or Lucca?

Lucca has a larger population, and is about 62% larger than the population of San Remo. When comparing the sizes of San Remo and Lucca, keep in mind that a larger population does not always imply the destination has more attractions or better activities. So, always research the type of place that you want to visit along with the activities and attractions that interest you.

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