A Travel Price Comparison for Italy Varenna vs. Como for Food, Couples, Hiking, and Families

Should you visit Varenna or Como?

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

Which city should you visit? Read on to compare the activities as well as the prices of travel for Varenna and Como. 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, schedule, and interests. So, let's dig into it.

Varenna

Varenna is a pristine, beautiful, and scenic village. It's considered by many to be an absolutely beautiful destination, too. It's also popular because of the hiking, shopping, and museums.

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 food, beaches, and hiking.

Varenna and Como: Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Good for hiking
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
  • Impressive beauty
  • Home to Lake Como
Things to Consider
  • Less popular for nightlife
  • 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 Varenna or Como?

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

How is Varenna different from Como?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

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

Are the Museums and Historical Sights Better in Varenna or Como?

Varenna
Como

Varenna 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 Varenna. Most people visit the town for its beautiful setting on Lake Como. There are some popular sights around town though such as the Church of San Giorgio and Castello di Vezio.

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 Varenna or Como? Which Destination has the Best Restaurants?

Varenna
Como

Foodies will find both Varenna and Como both to be world-class destinations.

Eat your way through Varenna, as it has many local or world renowned restaurants to choose from. Despite the touristy nature of the town, the restaurants are surprisingly good and you'll find some excellent Italian food around town.

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.

Is Varenna or Como Better for Nightlife?

Varenna
Como

Como is a good destination for nightlife and partying. However, Varenna is lacking in options for its evening party scene.

With a handful of venues, visitors can find a fairly lively vibe in Como. 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.

Varenna is generally a quiet destination but there are options around. The best way to enjoy the evening is to head to a restaurant and spend the time sipping wine in a laid back setting.

Is Varenna or Como Better for Beaches?

Varenna
Como

Como is a good destination for the beache. However, Varenna is not a beach destination.

Como offers a nice beach destination. 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.

Varenna is not a beach destination.


Is Varenna or Como Better for Hiking?

Varenna
Como

Hiking trails can be found around both Varenna and Como, and they are great.

Many visitors explore the nearby hiking trails while visiting Varenna. There are lakefront trails and other hiking options near town. The Lungolago di Varenna - Baia di Varenna loop follows the water and makes for a pleasant stroll.

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 Varenna or Como?

Varenna
Como

Como is a world-class destination for its shopping opportunities. Also, Varenna 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 Varenna to go shopping. The streets are lined with artisan shops and boutique venders that are fun to explore.

Is Varenna or Como Better for Families?

Varenna
Como

Como is an excellent place to visit for its kid-friendly activities. Also, Varenna is not quite as popular, but is fairly good for its family-friendly activities.

Because of its large number of kid-friendly activities, Como is very family-friendly. 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.

You'll find plenty of kid-friendly things to do in Varenna. The charming village has play areas for children and the beautiful Villa Monastero, which are gardens that they'll enjoy exploring. It's also worth visiting the Castle of Vezio.


Is Varenna or Como Better for Couples?

Varenna
Como

Varenna and Como both world-class destinations for a couple.

Varenna is fantastic couple's destination with fun and romantic activities. This beautiful village has a romantic atmosphere with a "lovers promenade" and many stunning views. It makes the perfect couples trip, whether you're on your honeymoon or just need some time away.

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.

Is Varenna or Como Better for Backpackers and Budget Travelers?

Varenna
Como

Como is an excellent place to visit for backpackers and budget travelers. Also, Varenna 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.

Plenty of budget travelers visit Varenna. There are some hostels and guesthouses that cater to budget travelers. There's also plenty of outdoor activities that are free.

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

Varenna
Como

Visitors will find good public transit in both Varenna and Como.

Varenna has some public transit options. The town is easily accessible by public transit and once you're in town you can walk everywhere.

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 Varenna or Como a more walkable city?

Varenna
Como

Varenna is renowned for its ease of walking around. Also, Como is not quite as popular, but is fairly good for its walkability.

It's very easy to get around on foot in Varenna. Everything is walkable and the town is best explored on foot.

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

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

Should I spend more time in Como or Varenna?

How long in Varenna or Como?

It's fun to spend time in either Varenna or Como. Generally, people tend to spend more time in Como due to the larger number of activities and things to do. Usually, 1-2 days is a good amount of time for Varenna, and 2-4 days is enough time in Como.

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

Couples should spend more time in Como than Varenna. 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 Varenna 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 Varenna or Como? Ideal Length of Stay
    Varenna 1-2 
    Como 2-4

One day in Varenna or Como?

Visitors enjoy the museums and food when visiting the destination of Varenna. Hiking can easily take up a good amount of your time here, too. Take your pick from the many activities offered here. One day is usually enough time to experience most activities.

In Como, you'll find shopping and nightlife. Many travelers plan to spend time hiking while in the area. This lake area offers something for everyone. One day is usually not enough time for a trip here as there is plenty to do.

A weekend in Varenna or Como?

Varenna is a fun place to experience. Most people visit for the food. If you have a weekend, this is a great place to go. Hikers are also drawn to this area. 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.

In Como, you'll find nightlife and food. The length of your trip often depends on your style of travel. A weekend here is typical. Hiking can easily take up a good amount of your time here, too. A weekend is a great amount of time to relax and see the many things that Como has to offer.


Five days in Varenna or Como?

You'll find shopping and museums around the beautiful destination of Varenna. This village 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 is a great place to explore. Hikers are also drawn to this area. Five days is more than enough time to enjoy everything. Take some day trips to nearby places to fill the extra days. Anyone can find something fun to do here.

A week in Varenna or Como?

The pristine village of Varenna offers museums 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.

It's hard to know how much time to spend in Como. Many people enjoy the shopping and nightlife when visiting Como. Many visitors also spend a good bit of time hiking. One week may feel like too much time unless you plan to do a lot of relaxing.


For some great organized tour ideas, see The Best Budget Tours to Italy, The Best Tours for Seniors to Italy, The Best Contiki Tours to Italy, and The Best G Adventures Tours to Italy.


Which place is cheaper, Como or Varenna?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Varenna is €164, 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 Varenna and Como in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Varenna 86
    Como 146
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Varenna 172
    Como 292
Compare Hotels in Varenna and Como

Looking for a hotel in Varenna 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 Varenna


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: Varenna Hotel Prices and Como Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Varenna 34
    Como 14

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Varenna

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

  • Varenna : Private transfer to/from Malpensa Airport: $359

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Como

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

  • Transfer from Menaggio-Tremezzo-Lenno to Malpensa Airport: $273
  • Transfer from Cernobbio or Moltrasio or Carate Urio or Laglio: $169
  • Private transfer from Mandello del Lario or Abbadia Lariana: $76
  • Private transfer from Lenno or Argegno or Ossuccio: $147
  • Private Transfer: Lake Como to Milan Airport MXP in Luxury Van: $251
  • Private Transfer from Varenna or Bellano or Lierna or Perledo: $109
  • Private Transfer from Como to Milan hotels: $70
  • Private Transfer from Bellagio or Oliveto Lario or Limonta: $127
  • Private Transfer From Tremezzo or Menaggio or Cadenabbia: $240
  • Private Transfer From Lecco or Malgrate: $65
  • Pirvate transfer from Malpensa airport to Como and Cernobbio: $220
  • Milan Private Transfer from Cernobbio (Como) to Milan airports (LIN or MPX): $245

Is it cheaper to fly into Varenna or Como?

Prices for flights to both Como 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
  • Food Meals for one day
    Varenna 53
    Como 60

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Varenna

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

  • Cooking Class at a Local's Home: $155

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Como

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

  • COOKING, EATING, LOVING - Lasagna cooking Class for everyone!: $46
  • Cantonese Dimsum Cooking Lesson in Como or Lugano with Chef Ling: $49
  • Dining Experience at a local's Home in Lecco with Show Cooking: $94
  • Lake Como Food Tour - Eat like a real Local: $109
  • Tour and historical dinner: Lake Como 1690: $109
  • Cesarine: Como Show Cooking & Dining Experience at Local's Home: $120
  • Dining Experience at a local's Home in Cernobbio with Show Cooking: $120
  • 3 Hours Pizza and Tiramisù Workshop in Como: $129
  • Lake Como Food Tour: $130
  • Pizzoccheri food game with treasure hunt and cooking lesson: $131
  • Como Food Tour and the Farmers Market: $139
  • Neapolitan DOC Pizza Class And Cooking in a Wood Oven at a Local's house: $149

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Varenna 34
    Como -

Tours and Activities in Varenna

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

  • Lake Como: Grand Private Tour 5 hours Invictus boat: $1,488
  • Magnificent Hiking Tours: $209
  • Private Luxury Boat Tour of Lake Como with Stops & Drinks: $393
  • Castello di Vezio Entry Ticket: $5.35
  • Dining Experience at a Local's Home: $112
  • Lake Como Shared Boat Tour: $32
  • Lake Como Shared Boat Tour: $43
  • Picnic Experience in the Italian Alps: $150
  • Shared Sunset Boat Tour with a Prosecco Aperitif: $118

Tours and Activities in Como

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

  • “Public Tour” Lake Como By SuBacco: $131
  • 1 Hour Boat Tour of Lake Como from Bellagio: $44
  • 1 or 2 Hours Private Boat Tour on Lake villas and more: $375
  • 1 or 2 hours Private Boat Tour on Lake Como with Prosecco: $375
  • 1-Hour Private Boat Tour in Lake Como : $261
  • 1H Shared Tour in Classic Wooden Boat on Lake Como: $109
  • 2 Hours Como Private Walking Tour: $179
  • 2 Hours Como Private Walking Tour: $184
  • 2 Hours Guided Night Tour in Como : $104
  • 2 Hours Walking Tour Como: $88
  • 2 hours Private Boat Tour Como Lake: $933
  • 2 hours Private Boat Tour on Como Lake Bellagio (Wood Boat): $1,070

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Varenna 23
    Como -

Sample the Local Flavors in Varenna

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

  • Wine Tasting and Entry Ticket to Castello di Vezio: $112
  • Wine Tasting and Entry Ticket to Villa Monastero: $134

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: $61
  • Italian Wine Tasting & Food Como Lake: $70
  • Lecco Wine Tasting experience: $83
  • Panoramic Wine Tasting in Bellagio area: $104
  • Lake Food and Wine tour in Colico: $115
  • Exclusive wine tasting in Brunate: $120
  • Top Italian Wine Tasting & Food Como Lake: $125
  • Bellagio Wine Tasting + Villa Melzi : $142
  • Private Wine Tasting in Bellagio with Chef Luigi Gandola: $187


When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Varenna and Como, we can see that Como is more expensive. And not only is Varenna much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. So, traveling to Varenna would let you spend less money overall. Or, you could decide to spend more money in Varenna 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 Varenna.

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


Which is Bigger, Varenna or Como?

Como has a larger population, and is about 90 times larger than the population of Varenna. When comparing the sizes of Varenna and Como, 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.


When is the best time to visit Varenna 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 Varenna or Como in the Summer?

Both Como and Varenna are popular destinations to visit in the summer with plenty of activities. Many visitors come to Varenna in the summer for the hiking and the family-friendly experiences. Also, most visitors come to Como for the beaches, the hiking, and the family-friendly experiences during these months.

In the summer, Varenna is around the same temperature as Como. Typically, the summer temperatures in Varenna in July average around 23°C (73°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 Varenna. Varenna usually receives around the same amount of sunshine as Como during summer. Varenna gets 250 hours of sunny skies, while Como receives 250 hours of full sun in the summer.

It's quite rainy in Varenna. In July, Varenna usually receives more rain than Como. Varenna gets 133 mm (5.2 in) of rain, while Como receives 60 mm (2.4 in) of rain each month for the summer.


  • Summer Average Temperatures July
    Varenna 23°C (73°F) 
    Como 23°C (73°F)

Should I visit Varenna or Como in the Autumn?

Both Como and Varenna during the autumn are popular places to visit. Most visitors come to Varenna for the hiking trails, the shopping scene, and the natural beauty of the area during these months. Also, the autumn months attract visitors to Como because of the hiking trails, the shopping scene, and the natural beauty of the area.

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

In the autumn, Varenna often gets around the same amount of sunshine as Como. Varenna gets 152 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. It rains a lot this time of the year in Varenna. Varenna usually gets more rain in October than Como. Varenna gets 140 mm (5.5 in) of rain, while Como receives 103 mm (4 in) of rain this time of the year.


  • Autumn Average Temperatures October
    Varenna 15°C (58°F) 
    Como 15°C (58°F)

Should I visit Varenna or Como in the Winter?

The winter attracts plenty of travelers to both Varenna and Como. The winter months attract visitors to Varenna because of the museums, the shopping scene, and the cuisine. Also, the museums, the shopping scene, and the cuisine are the main draw to Como this time of year.

It's quite cold in Como in the winter. The weather in Varenna can be very cold. Varenna is around the same temperature as Como in the winter. The daily temperature in Varenna averages around 5°C (41°F) in January, and Como fluctuates around 5°C (41°F).

Varenna usually receives around the same amount of sunshine as Como during winter. Varenna gets 119 hours of sunny skies, while Como receives 119 hours of full sun in the winter.

In January, Varenna usually receives more rain than Como. Varenna gets 76 mm (3 in) of rain, while Como receives 68 mm (2.7 in) of rain each month for the winter.


  • Winter Average Temperatures January
    Varenna 5°C (41°F) 
    Como 5°C (41°F)

Should I visit Varenna or Como in the Spring?

The spring brings many poeple to Varenna as well as Como. The natural beauty are the main draw to Varenna this time of year. Also, many travelers come to Como for the beaches and the natural beauty.

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

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

Varenna receives a lot of rain in the spring. Varenna usually gets more rain in April than Como. Varenna gets 152 mm (6 in) of rain, while Como receives 76 mm (3 in) of rain this time of the year.


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

Typical Weather for Como and Varenna

Varenna Como
Temp (°C) Rain (mm) Temp (°C) Rain (mm)
Jan 5°C (41°F) 76 mm (3 in) 5°C (41°F) 68 mm (2.7 in)
Feb 6°C (44°F) 71 mm (2.8 in) 6°C (44°F) 60 mm (2.3 in)
Mar 10°C (49°F) 106 mm (4.2 in) 10°C (49°F) 85 mm (3.4 in)
Apr 13°C (55°F) 152 mm (6 in) 13°C (55°F) 76 mm (3 in)
May 17°C (62°F) 194 mm (7.6 in) 17°C (62°F) 102 mm (4 in)
Jun 20°C (69°F) 171 mm (6.7 in) 20°C (69°F) 78 mm (3.1 in)
Jul 23°C (73°F) 133 mm (5.2 in) 23°C (73°F) 60 mm (2.4 in)
Aug 22°C (72°F) 166 mm (6.5 in) 22°C (72°F) 94 mm (3.7 in)
Sep 19°C (67°F) 153 mm (6 in) 19°C (67°F) 74 mm (2.9 in)
Oct 15°C (58°F) 140 mm (5.5 in) 15°C (58°F) 103 mm (4 in)
Nov 9°C (49°F) 120 mm (4.7 in) 9°C (49°F) 102 mm (4 in)
Dec 6°C (42°F) 63 mm (2.5 in) 6°C (42°F) 60 mm (2.4 in)