A Travel Price Comparison for Italy Taormina vs. Lake Garda for Families, Food, Nightlife, and Beaches

Should you visit Taormina or Lake Garda?

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

Trying to figure out where to travel next? This travel comparison between Taormina and Lake Garda can help. It includes a travel cost comparison in addition to other factors. For many travelers, the cost of a destination is a primary consideration when choosing where to go.

Taormina

Taormina is a opulent, historic, and beautiful town. It offers plenty of small town charm along with sights and activities, too. The beauty of this spot is also one of the main reasons why visitors come. Visitors also love the beaches, shopping, and museums.

Lake Garda

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

Taormina and Lake Garda: Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Active nightlife
  • Nice resorts
  • Popular beach
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Small town charm
  • Impressive beauty
Things to Consider
  • Less family-friendly
  • Less popular with backpackers
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


Is there more to do in Taormina or Lake Garda?

Tourists will generally find more to do in Lake Garda. Although Taormina and Lake Garda are both popular with visitors, Lake Garda has more sights, activities, and attractions for travelers. Lake Garda is more popular for its beaches and hiking, while Taormina is known for its resorts and small town charm. Taormina is popular for its long history as a seaside resort town with luxury accommodation and beautiful views. Lake Garda is popular for its beautiful setting, charming towns, and fun amusement parks. It is also home to Sirmione.

How is Taormina different from Lake Garda?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

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

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

Taormina
Lake Garda

You'll find a number of good museums and attractions in both Lake Garda and Taormina.

If you're looking for an educational opportunity, there are a decent number of museums and historical sights around Taormina. The main landmark in town is the Greek Theater which dates back to the 3rd century BC. Also visit Madonna della Rocca as well as Castello di Taormina, which is perched above the sea.

Lake Garda is a good place to visit if you're interested in museums or other recognizable sights. 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.


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

Taormina
Lake Garda

Both Taormina and Lake Garda offer excellent local cuisine and restaurants.

Taormina has a number of nationally recognized food spots and restaurants. The local dishes draw on traditional Italian flavors such as pasta, tomato sauce, and vegetables, but they're also heavily influenced by the island's many historical invaders. You'll find a variety of ingredients in recipes including red chilies, tuna, swordfish, sardines, pine nuts, capers, and olives.

With its innovative style combined with traditional elements, Lake Garda makes for a great culinary experience. 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 Taormina or Lake Garda Better for Nightlife?

Taormina
Lake Garda

If the nightlife is your priority, you'll find excellent options in both Taormina and Lake Garda.

The nightlife in Taormina has something for everybody. The town has a bit of an exclusive vibe and that's felt in the nightlife scene as well. There are lounges and exclusive clubs that serve fine wine and cocktails. You'll also find some late night dance clubs around town.

Lake Garda offers plenty to do in the evening. 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.

Is Taormina or Lake Garda Better for Resorts?

Taormina
Lake Garda

Taormina is an excellent place to visit for its luxury resorts. However, Lake Garda is not a resort destination.

Taormina is known as a popular and fun resort destination. There are a number of high end resorts and hotels in and near town that have pools and five star facilities.

Lake Garda is not a resort destination.


Is Taormina or Lake Garda Better for Beaches?

Taormina
Lake Garda

Lake Garda is a great lake for the beach. Also, Taormina is not as popular, but is still a nice town for its beaches.

The beaches at Lake Garda attract visitors from all over. 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.

Taormina offers a nice beach destination. The easiest beaches to access from town are Mazzaro Beach and Isola Bella Beach. The beaches are near hotels and there are restaurants as well as beach umbrellas and chairs that you can rent.

Is Taormina or Lake Garda Better for Hiking?

Taormina
Lake Garda

Lake Garda is a great lake for hiking. However, Taormina is not a hiking destination.

Many visitors go to Lake Garda for the hiking trails. 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.

Taormina is not a hiking destination.

Is the Shopping Better in Taormina or Lake Garda?

Taormina
Lake Garda

If you're looking to go shopping, Taormina and Lake Garda both offer plenty of good spots.

Taormina has a variety of shopping areas worth visiting. It's a fashion-conscious town and you'll find boutiques and shops that carry high end Italian brands. There are also shops that sell local pottery and other items.

Lake Garda is a great destination for 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 Taormina or Lake Garda Better for Families?

Taormina
Lake Garda

Lake Garda is very popular for its kid-friendly activities. However, Taormina is not known for its family-friendly activities.

Lake Garda is an extremely popular lake to visit for families. 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.

Taormina is not the most family-friendly destination. Kids may not appreciate everything that the adults enjoy about this town, but they will likely have fun taking a ride on the cable car and visiting the Greek Theater. There are also wonderful desserts that kids will enjoy.

Is Taormina or Lake Garda Better for Couples?

Taormina
Lake Garda

Both Taormina and Lake Garda are excellent destinations for a couple's getaway.

Taormina is a great town if you're traveling as a couple. It's a truly beautiful town with impressive views and a great atmosphere. It makes a wonderful stop off for couples or honeymooners who want to soak up the region's beauty.

Lake Garda is a very popular place to visit for couples. 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 Taormina or Lake Garda Better for Backpackers and Budget Travelers?

Taormina
Lake Garda

Lake Garda is a lake with good options for backpackers and budget travelers. However, Taormina is not known for backpackers.

Lake Garda is a good lake to visit for backpackers. 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.

Taormina is not the best destination for backpackers and budget travelers due to its high prices. There aren't many hostels around town and you won't find a large backpacker crowd here. The town has the feel of an exclusive resort community with high end resorts more common than anything else.


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

Taormina
Lake Garda

Lake Garda is a great lake for times when you don't have a car. Also, Taormina is not as popular, but is still a nice town for its public transit.

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

Taormina has a few public transit options. There are minibuses that travel to the more far-reaching parts of the town.

Is Taormina or Lake Garda a more walkable city?

Taormina
Lake Garda

Taormina and Lake Garda are excellent when it comes to walkability.

Taormina is a very walkable destination. Walking is one of the best ways to explore the town.

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

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

Should I spend more time in Lake Garda or Taormina?

How long in Taormina or Lake Garda?

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

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

Backpackers and budget travelers should spend more time in Lake Garda than Taormina 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 Lake Garda.


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

One day in Taormina or Lake Garda?

Taormina might be a small town, but there's plenty to do in the area. Anyone can find something fun to do here. People enjoy relaxing at one of the resorts. But since there are so many activities, you'll likely want to spend more than one day exploring.

The beautiful lake of Lake Garda offers food and shopping. Many visitors also spend a good bit of time hiking. With so much to do, one day is probably not enough time to see everything. It will give you the chance to have new experiences.


A weekend in Taormina or Lake Garda?

Even though Taormina is a small town, it has plenty of activities to choose from. Travelers enjoy the resorts in the area as well. It offers something for everyone. Many people spend a weekend here. In a weekend, you should have a good grasp of this town.

Lake Garda is a popular place that is full of things to see and experience. If you have a weekend, this lake makes for a great vacation. Many visitors spend time at the beach while visiting the area. While some people choose to spend more or less time in Lake Garda, a weekend is sufficent for most. Take your pick from the many activities offered here.

Five days in Taormina or Lake Garda?

Taormina, a popular town, is full of activities for travelers. People often spend their time relaxing at one of the resorts. Most people find that five days is more than enough time to see everything. Your budget might influence how long you stay.

Lake Garda 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 Taormina or Lake Garda?

Taormina 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.

Lake Garda is a great place to explore. Hiking can easily take up a good amount of your time here, too. One week is more than enough time to enjoy everything. Take some day trips to nearby places to fill the extra days. This lake offers something for everyone.


For some great organized tour ideas, see The Best Romantic Tours for Couples in Italy, The Best Walking Tours in Italy, The Best Luxury Tours to Italy, and The Best Budget Tours to Italy.


Which place is cheaper, Lake Garda or Taormina?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Taormina is €108, while the average daily cost in Lake Garda is €166. 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 Taormina and Lake Garda in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Taormina 70
    Lake Garda 84
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Taormina 140
    Lake Garda 168
Compare Hotels in Taormina and Lake Garda

Looking for a hotel in Taormina or Lake Garda? 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 Taormina


Hotels in Lake Garda


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: Taormina Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Taormina 4.29
    Lake Garda 66

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Taormina

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

  • Roundtrip Transfer from Messina: $41
  • Sicily Catania Airport: Bus Transfer to and from Taormina: $7.49

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

Is it cheaper to fly into Taormina or Lake Garda?

Prices for flights to both Lake Garda and Taormina 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
    Taormina 33
    Lake Garda 42

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Taormina

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

  • Cooking Class and tour of Taormina: $963

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

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Taormina 11
    Lake Garda 30

Tours and Activities in Taormina

Also, here are some specific examples of entertainment, tickets, and activities for Taormina.

  • 5 Hours Private Tour of Taormina from Messina: $607
  • From Catania or Agrigento and Piazza Armerina Tour: $744
  • From Catania: Guided Tour of Mount Etna and Taormina: $67
  • From Catania: Guided Tour of Taormina and Castelmola: $106
  • Shore tour from Messina cruise port: Taormina and Castelmola: $428
  • Shore tour from Messina port: Taormina & Godfather Places: $460
  • Sicily: Best of Taormina and Castelmola Private Tour: $213
  • Small Group Sicily Food & Wine Lovers Tour: 8 Days: $2,671
  • Small Group Tour of Sicily Highlights: 8 Days: $2,671
  • Taormina Walking Tour & Ancient theather Private or shared: $589
  • Taormina private tour: $161
  • Taormina. Highlights Tour with Isolabella and Castelmola: $268

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

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Taormina 8.57
    Lake Garda 19

Sample the Local Flavors in Taormina

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

  • Mt Etna Private guided walking Tour with Wine Tasting: $181
  • Catania: Mt. Etna Private Tour with Food and Wine Tasting: $300

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
  • Vineyards Tour and Wine Tasting: $42
  • 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


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

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



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

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 Taormina or Lake Garda in the Summer?

The summer attracts plenty of travelers to both Taormina and Lake Garda. Many travelers come to Taormina for the beaches, the small town charm, and the family-friendly experiences. Furthermore, many visitors come to Lake Garda in the summer for the beaches, the hiking, and the family-friendly experiences.

In July, Taormina is generally a little warmer than Lake Garda. Daily temperatures in Taormina average around 27°C (80°F), and Lake Garda fluctuates around 24°C (75°F).

People are often attracted to the plentiful sunshine in Lake Garda this time of the year. In Taormina, it's very sunny this time of the year. Taormina usually receives more sunshine than Lake Garda during summer. Taormina gets 332 hours of sunny skies, while Lake Garda receives 286 hours of full sun in the summer.

In July, Taormina usually receives less rain than Lake Garda. Taormina gets 6 mm (0.2 in) of rain, while Lake Garda receives 62 mm (2.4 in) of rain each month for the summer.


  • Summer Average Temperatures July
    Taormina 27°C (80°F) 
    Lake Garda 24°C (75°F)

Should I visit Taormina or Lake Garda in the Autumn?

The autumn brings many poeple to Taormina as well as Lake Garda. Many visitors come to Taormina in the autumn for the shopping scene, the small town atmosphere, and the natural beauty of the area. Additionally, most visitors come to Lake Garda for the hiking trails, the shopping scene, and the natural beauty of the area during these months.

Taormina is a little warmer than Lake Garda in the autumn. The daily temperature in Taormina averages around 21°C (69°F) in October, and Lake Garda fluctuates around 14°C (57°F).

In the autumn, Taormina often gets more sunshine than Lake Garda. Taormina gets 189 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Lake Garda receives 137 hours of full sun.

Taormina receives a lot of rain in the autumn. Taormina usually gets more rain in October than Lake Garda. Taormina gets 128 mm (5 in) of rain, while Lake Garda receives 82 mm (3.2 in) of rain this time of the year.


  • Autumn Average Temperatures October
    Taormina 21°C (69°F) 
    Lake Garda 14°C (57°F)

Should I visit Taormina or Lake Garda in the Winter?

Both Lake Garda and Taormina are popular destinations to visit in the winter with plenty of activities. Most visitors come to Taormina for the museums, the shopping scene, and the cuisine during these months. Also, the winter months attract visitors to Lake Garda because of the museums, the shopping scene, and the cuisine.

The weather in Lake Garda can be very cold. In the winter, Taormina is much warmer than Lake Garda. Typically, the winter temperatures in Taormina in January average around 13°C (55°F), and Lake Garda averages at about 2°C (36°F).

Taormina usually receives more sunshine than Lake Garda during winter. Taormina gets 115 hours of sunny skies, while Lake Garda receives 98 hours of full sun in the winter.

In January, Taormina usually receives more rain than Lake Garda. Taormina gets 69 mm (2.7 in) of rain, while Lake Garda receives 55 mm (2.1 in) of rain each month for the winter.


  • Winter Average Temperatures January
    Taormina 13°C (55°F) 
    Lake Garda 2°C (36°F)

Should I visit Taormina or Lake Garda in the Spring?

Both Lake Garda and Taormina during the spring are popular places to visit. The spring months attract visitors to Taormina because of the beaches, the small town charm, and the natural beauty. Also, the beaches and the natural beauty are the main draw to Lake Garda this time of year.

In April, Taormina is generally a little warmer than Lake Garda. Daily temperatures in Taormina average around 16°C (60°F), and Lake Garda fluctuates around 13°C (55°F).

It's quite sunny in Taormina. In the spring, Taormina often gets more sunshine than Lake Garda. Taormina gets 207 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Lake Garda receives 169 hours of full sun.

Taormina usually gets less rain in April than Lake Garda. Taormina gets 37 mm (1.5 in) of rain, while Lake Garda receives 69 mm (2.7 in) of rain this time of the year.


  • Spring Average Temperatures April
    Taormina 16°C (60°F) 
    Lake Garda 13°C (55°F)

Typical Weather for Lake Garda and Taormina

Taormina Lake Garda
Temp (°C) Rain (mm) Temp (°C) Rain (mm)
Jan 13°C (55°F) 69 mm (2.7 in) 2°C (36°F) 55 mm (2.1 in)
Feb 13°C (55°F) 54 mm (2.1 in) 5°C (40°F) 48 mm (1.9 in)
Mar 14°C (57°F) 49 mm (1.9 in) 9°C (47°F) 58 mm (2.3 in)
Apr 16°C (60°F) 37 mm (1.5 in) 13°C (55°F) 69 mm (2.7 in)
May 20°C (67°F) 18 mm (0.7 in) 17°C (63°F) 85 mm (3.3 in)
Jun 24°C (74°F) 6 mm (0.2 in) 21°C (70°F) 86 mm (3.4 in)
Jul 27°C (80°F) 6 mm (0.2 in) 24°C (75°F) 62 mm (2.4 in)
Aug 27°C (81°F) 9 mm (0.4 in) 23°C (73°F) 88 mm (3.4 in)
Sep 25°C (76°F) 45 mm (1.8 in) 19°C (67°F) 63 mm (2.5 in)
Oct 21°C (69°F) 128 mm (5 in) 14°C (57°F) 82 mm (3.2 in)
Nov 17°C (62°F) 64 mm (2.5 in) 8°C (46°F) 75 mm (3 in)
Dec 14°C (57°F) 87 mm (3.4 in) 3°C (37°F) 51 mm (2 in)


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