A Travel Price Comparison for Italy Varenna vs. Bologna for Vacations, Tours, and Honeymoons

Should you visit Varenna or Bologna?

Which city should you visit? Read on to compare the prices of travel for Varenna and Bologna. We’ll break down costs for accommodation, food, transportation and more to help you learn more about these two destinations. Then, you can figure out if either of these two places are accessible based on your travel budget. So, let's dig into it.

Varenna

A golden light cascades from the heavens, bathing the misty blue mountains in a honey haze. The shivering waters of Lake Como blend the gentle blues and yellows of the sky to a tea rose pink that sits under white sailboats. A quaint village hustled around lush gardens, Varenna, Italy is an attractive fishing village that dates back to the eleventh century. Founded in 769 AD by fisherman, the town was originally destroyed in 1126 AD by the rival town Como, only to be restored refugees from the Isola Comacina whose town was also destroyed. Located on the eastern shore of the lake in the province of Lecco, Varenna is filled with a romantic air from its old Italian fisherman houses to the picturesque lanes. Unlike the towns of Bellagio or Milan, Varenna holds a particular authenticity to Italian culture without the burdens of tourist-ridden streets and hotel-packed areas. As Lake Como works as the main attraction of Varenna, the village provides its visitors with a wide array of entertainment on its pebbly beaches. Besides this, Varenna is also known for its exquisite gardens of two villas, Villa Monastero and Villa Cipressi. Besides this, Varenna also has museums just waiting to be explored. Take a tranquil retreat to Varenna!

Bologna

Bologna is the capital city of the northern region of Italy, Emilia-Romagna, with a population of 380,000. It is a historical city known well by Italians, however, not as well known among foreigners. The locals of Bologna speak little to no English. The city is most known for having the oldest university in the West. Another reason many visit this city is because of its exquisite cuisine. Many Italians would consider it one of the most beautiful cities in the entire country because of its impeccably preserved historic centers. The best time to visit Bologna is usually between March and October, although bare in mind that July and August can get quite hot.

Which city is cheaper, Bologna or Varenna?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Varenna is €131, while the average daily cost in Bologna is €141. 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 city. Below is a breakdown of travel costs for Varenna and Bologna in more detail.



Accommodation

For a normal double-occupancy room in Varenna, €138 is the average cost for a hotel room. Also in Varenna, the typical price for a place to stay for one person is €69, such as in a hostel.

Bologna's average price for two people sharing a typical double-occupancy hotel room is €150. A typical place to stay for one person, per day is €75.


  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Varenna 69
    Bologna 75
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Varenna 138
    Bologna 150

Local Transportation

Public transportation tends to be much less expensive in Varenna than paying for a taxi or private car service, as is expected. Typically, people spend €27 on transportation in Varenna on average per day.

While taxis and private drivers typically cost much more than public transportation, people usually spend around €16 per day to get around in Bologna.


  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Varenna 27
    Bologna 16

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Varenna

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

  • Varenna/Bellano/Lierna to/from Milan Malpensa Apt (private transfer): $243

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Bologna

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Bologna:

  • Return Private Transfer from Bologna to Fico Eataly World: $149
  • Private transfer: Bologna to Bologna Guglielmo Marconi Airport (BLQ): $52
  • Private transfer from Bologna to Ljubljana: $605
  • Private Transfer: Fiumicino Airport (FCO) to Bologna or vice versa: $574
  • Private Transfer: Civitavecchia Port to Bologna or vice versa: $561
  • Private Transfer: Ciampino Airport (CIA) to Bologna or vice versa: $556
  • Private Transfer from Bologna to Rimini (RMI) Airport: $523
  • Private Transfer from Bologna to Pisa (PSA) Airport: $626
  • Private Transfer from Bologna to Firenze (FLR) Airport: $514
  • Private Transfer from Bologna to Bologna Airport: $75
  • Private Departure Van Transfer: Hotel to Bologna Airport (BLQ): $31
  • Private Departure Transfer: Bologna City Center - Bologna Airport: $31

Is it cheaper to fly into Varenna or Bologna?

Prices for flights to both Bologna and Varenna 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

The average traveler spends about €42 per day in Varenna for food, but obviously this is dependent on the type of restaurant and the amount of food ordered. To save money you can grab a lighter lunch or dinner, or you can try fast food or street food.

The average traveler spends about €32 per day in Bologna for food, but obviously this is dependent on the type of restaurant and the amount of food ordered. To save money you can grab a lighter lunch or dinner, or you can try fast food or street food.


  • Food Meals for one day
    Varenna 42
    Bologna 32

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Varenna

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

  • Lunch or dinner and cooking demo at a local home in Varenna: $106
  • Small-group Street food tour in Varenna: $111
  • Small Group Market tour and Cooking class in Varenna: $162
  • Private Pizza & Tiramisu Class at a Cesarina's home with tasting in Varenna: $180
  • Private cooking class at a local's home with lunch or dinner in Varenna: $180
  • Cruise and Dinner on Lake Como from Varenna: $184
  • Market Tour and Home Cooking Class with Meal: $214

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Bologna

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

  • FICO with Gelato Cooking Class and Luna Farm Ticket: $22
  • FICO Eataly World, Pizza Making, & Luna Farm: $22
  • Virtual Cooking Class: Ravioli variations with classic tomato sauce: $40
  • Bologna Traditional Home Cooking Class with Lunch or Dinner: $56
  • Traditional Home cooking class in Bologna: $67
  • Private Walking tour and Traditional Home Cooking Experience in Bologna: $73
  • Hands on Home Cooking Class: $78
  • Learn to Make Bolognese Pasta: Private Cooking Lesson in Bologna with Giovanna: $86
  • Bologna traditional food tour - Do Eat Better Experience: $95
  • Guided Traditional Food Tour: $95
  • Withlocals The 10 Tastings™: Bologna PRIVATE Food Tour: $103
  • Dining experience at a local's home in Bologna with cooking demo: $106

Entertainment

Sightseeing expenses in Varenna, including the cost of admission tickets for day tours, museums, and attractions, usually cost an average of €27 per day, per person.

Activities, things to do, and other forms of entertainment usually cost around €31 per person, per day in Bologna. This cost includes the price of admission tickets to attractions and museums as well as daily tours.


  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Varenna 27
    Bologna 31

Tours and Activities in Varenna

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

  • HIKING TOUR: VARENNA, Castle of VEZIO Villa MONASTERO, FIUMELATTE: $74
  • Dining Experience at a Local's Home: $96
  • Small Group Market tour and Dining Experience at a Cesarina's home in Varenna: $136
  • E-Bike Experience on Lake Como East Bank: $138
  • LA DOLCE VITA - BELLAGIO: Cruise & Lunch + Villa Melzi: $243
  • From Milan: Semi-Private Lake Como Day Trip with Cruise: $271
  • Romantic Tour: $322
  • Villa Balbianello and Flavors of Lake Como Walking and Boating Full-Day Tour: $325
  • LA DOLCE VITA - BELLAGIO: Cruise & Lunch + Villa Melzi (Guided Tour): $330

Typical Entertainment prices in Bologna

Some typical examples of activities, tours, and entrance ticket prices in Bologna are as follows:


  • Food Tour (for 2)
    31
  • Wine Tasting Tour (for 2)
    115
  • Hop-on-Hop-off Bus Tour (for 2)
    67
  • National Gallery Museum Bologna (for 2)
    12
  • Archaeology Museum of Bologna (for 2)
    12

Tours and Activities in Bologna

Some specific costs of activities, tours, and entrance tickets for Bologna are as follows:

  • 2-Hour Bike Tour of Bologna: $48
  • 2-hour Walking Tour of Bologna: $32
  • 2.5-Hour Bike Tour of Bologna with Food Tasting: $81
  • 2.5-hour Bologna City and University Walking Tour: $310
  • Art tour of Ravenna from Bologna: $137
  • BOLOGNA, City & Food Private Tour: $266
  • Best of BOLOGNA on a Private Tour: $208
  • Best of Private & Personalised Walking Experience: $68
  • Best walking tour of Bologna: $149
  • Bike Tour of Bologna for Instagram: $38
  • Bologna 3 hour walking tour: $343
  • Bologna By Run: Sightseeing Running Tours: $44

Alcohol

Typically, people visiting Varenna spend on average €18 on alcoholic beverages per person, per day.

The average person spends about €23 on alcoholic beverages in Bologna per day. The more you spend on alcohol, the more fun you might be having despite your higher budget.


  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Varenna 18
    Bologna 23

Sample the Local Flavors in Bologna

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

  • Wine Tasting Tour in One of the Oldest Inns: $62
  • Food & Wine Tasting Tour Bologna: $81
  • Amarone Classico Wine Tasting from Bologna by Train: $210
  • Bologna Food Experience: Factory Visits with Gourmet Lunch and Wine Tasting: $212
  • From Romagna Region Wine Tasting Tour: $286


When comparing the travel costs between Varenna and Bologna, we can see that Bologna is more expensive. However, the two cities are actually relatively comparable in price, as the difference is somewhat minimal. Generally, this means that you could travel with generally the same travel style and level of luxury in each place. Since both cities are in Europe, it's no surprise that their costs are relatively close, as many destinations here have somewhat similar travel prices overall.

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Varenna vs. Bologna Travel Comparison

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