A Travel Price Comparison for Italy Varenna vs. Imperia for Food, Couples, Attractions, and Nightlife

Should you visit Varenna or Imperia?

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 Imperia. 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. You'll find world class beauty here as well. Other popular activities here include food, hiking, and shopping.

Imperia

Imperia is a charming, undiscovered, and authentic town. It's a beautiful place to visit, too. Visitors also love the food, shopping, and museums.

Varenna and Imperia: Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Popular for food and cuisine
  • Good for hiking
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
  • Very walkable
  • Impressive beauty
  • Home to Lake Como
Things to Consider
  • Less popular for nightlife
Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Active nightlife
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
Things to Consider
  • Less popular for food
  • Less popular with couples
  • Less walkable


Is there more to do in Varenna or Imperia?

Tourists will generally find more to do in Varenna. Although Varenna and Imperia are both popular with visitors, Varenna has more sights, activities, and attractions for travelers. Varenna is more popular for its food, hiking, and impressive beauty, while Imperia is known for its nightlife. Varenna is more touristy than Imperia and is popular for its beautiful location by Lake Como. It is also home to Lake Como. Imperia is popular for its access to the Ligurian coastline.

Lake Como
Lake Como

How is Varenna different from Imperia?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

Let's take a look at the differences and similarities between Imperia 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 Imperia?

Varenna
Imperia

Visiting museums and landmarks is a fun activity in both Varenna and Imperia.

Varenna offers a variety of museums and landmarks to choose from. 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.

If you're looking for an educational opportunity, there are a decent number of museums and historical sights around Imperia. There are several interesting buildings of importance around town.


Is the Food Better in Varenna or Imperia? Which Destination has the Best Restaurants?

Varenna
Imperia

Varenna is a must-visit destination for its local cuisine and restaurants. Also, Imperia is not as famous, but is still a good town to visit for its restaurants.

For foodies, Varenna is an obvious choice, as it is one of the food capitals of the world. Despite the touristy nature of the town, the restaurants are surprisingly good and you'll find some excellent Italian food around town.

There are plenty of up and coming restaurants around Imperia. Food ranges from typical Italian dishes to local recipes that use local ingredients. Unique ingredients in the area include trumpet zucchini, flat breads, and anchovies.

Is Varenna or Imperia Better for Nightlife?

Varenna
Imperia

Imperia 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 Imperia. There are some bars and lively restaurants around town where you can spend an enjoyable evening.

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 Imperia Better for Hiking?

Varenna
Imperia

Varenna is notable for the nearby hiking options. However, Imperia is not a hiking destination.

Varenna is a popular spot for hiking. 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.

Imperia is not a hiking destination.


Is the Shopping Better in Varenna or Imperia?

Varenna
Imperia

Shoppers can find a variety of good stores in both Varenna and Imperia.

Shopping is a popular activity when visiting Varenna. The streets are lined with artisan shops and boutique venders that are fun to explore.

Many visitors go to Imperia to go shopping. There are some shopping streets in town that have a mix of local brands and standard clothing shops.

Is Varenna or Imperia Better for Families?

Varenna
Imperia

Both Varenna and Imperia are good family-friendly destinations.

Varenna is a family-friendly village. 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.

You'll find plenty of kid-friendly things to do in Imperia. There's some nice walking trails in the countryside that the kids will enjoy.

Is Varenna or Imperia Better for Couples?

Varenna
Imperia

Varenna is a must-visit destination for couples. Also, Imperia is not as famous, but is still a good town to visit for romance.

Varenna makes for a terrific place to visit as a couple. 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.

Imperia is a nice destination for couples. It's a beautiful town with a nice atmosphere that offers a nice break from the tourist crowds.


Is Varenna or Imperia Better for Backpackers and Budget Travelers?

Varenna
Imperia

Varenna and Imperia are both good destinations for backpackers.

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

Plenty of budget travelers visit Imperia. Accommodation tends to be affordable and there's an off-the-beaten-path vibe that some backpackers will appreciate.

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

Varenna
Imperia

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

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 Imperia, but it may not be enough to take you everywhere. There are buses that connect the city to different areas.

Is Varenna or Imperia a more walkable city?

Varenna
Imperia

Varenna is a must-visit destination for its ease of walking around. Also, Imperia is not as famous, but is still a good town to visit for its walkability.

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

Imperia is somewhat walkable. Parts of the town are convenient to walk around.


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

Should I spend more time in Imperia or Varenna?

How long in Varenna or Imperia?

You'll be able to find lots of things to do in Varenna or Imperia to fill your time. In our opinion, Varenna has more to see and do, so we recommend that you spend more time in Varenna than Imperia. However, 1-2 days is a good amount of time to spend in either destination.

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

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

Backpackers and budget travelers should spend more time in Varenna than Imperia 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 Varenna.


  • How many days in Varenna or Imperia? Ideal Length of Stay
    Varenna 1-2 
    Imperia 1-2

One day in Varenna or Imperia?

In Varenna, you'll find museums and food. Many travelers plan to spend time hiking while in the area. One reason most visitors come is for the food. This village offers something for everyone. This would be the perfect place to spend one day, as it has just the right amount of activities.

In Imperia, you'll find nightlife and food. This town offers something for everyone. This would be the perfect place to spend one day, as it has just the right amount of activities.

A weekend in Varenna or Imperia?

In Varenna, you'll find food and shopping. 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. One reason most visitors come is for the food. A weekend is a great amount of time to relax and see the many things that Varenna has to offer.

In Imperia, you'll find food and shopping. The length of your trip often depends on your style of travel. A weekend here is typical. A weekend is a great amount of time to relax and see the many things that Imperia has to offer.

Five days in Varenna or Imperia?

Varenna 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.

Imperia is a great place to explore. 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 Imperia?

It's hard to know how much time to spend in Varenna. Many people enjoy the museums and food when visiting Varenna. One reason most visitors come is for the food. 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.

It's hard to know how much time to spend in Imperia. Many people enjoy the museums and nightlife when visiting Imperia. 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, Imperia 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 Imperia is €108. 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 Imperia in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Varenna 86
    Imperia 51
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Varenna 172
    Imperia 102
Compare Hotels in Varenna and Imperia

Looking for a hotel in Varenna or Imperia? 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 Imperia


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 Imperia Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Varenna 34
    Imperia 36

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

Is it cheaper to fly into Varenna or Imperia?

Prices for flights to both Imperia 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
    Imperia 35

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

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Varenna 34
    Imperia 13

Tours and Activities in Varenna

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

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

Tours and Activities in Imperia

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

  • Imperia - Old Town Private Historic Walking Tour: $428

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Varenna 23
    Imperia 7.50

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


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

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


Which is Bigger, Varenna or Imperia?

Imperia has a larger population, and is about 50 times larger than the population of Varenna. When comparing the sizes of Varenna and Imperia, 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 Imperia?

Both places have a temperate climate with four distinct seasons. As both cities are in the northern hemisphere, summer is in July and winter is in January.

Should I visit Varenna or Imperia in the Summer?

The summer brings many poeple to Varenna as well as Imperia. The hiking and the family-friendly experiences are the main draw to Varenna this time of year. Additionally, many travelers come to Imperia for the family-friendly experiences.

In the summer, Varenna is around the same temperature as Imperia. Typically, the summer temperatures in Varenna in July average around 23°C (73°F), and Imperia averages at about 25°C (76°F).

The sun comes out a lot this time of the year in Imperia. People are often attracted to the plentiful sunshine in Varenna this time of the year. In the summer, Varenna often gets less sunshine than Imperia. Varenna gets 250 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Imperia receives 295 hours of full sun.

Varenna receives a lot of rain in the summer. Varenna usually gets more rain in July than Imperia. Varenna gets 133 mm (5.2 in) of rain, while Imperia receives 12 mm (0.5 in) of rain this time of the year.


  • Summer Average Temperatures July
    Varenna 23°C (73°F) 
    Imperia 25°C (76°F)

Should I visit Varenna or Imperia in the Autumn?

Both Imperia and Varenna are popular destinations to visit in the autumn with plenty of activities. Many travelers come to Varenna for the hiking trails, the shopping scene, and the natural beauty of the area. Also, many visitors come to Imperia in the autumn for the shopping scene and the natural beauty of the area.

In October, Varenna is generally cooler than Imperia. Daily temperatures in Varenna average around 15°C (58°F), and Imperia fluctuates around 19°C (66°F).

Varenna usually receives less sunshine than Imperia during autumn. Varenna gets 152 hours of sunny skies, while Imperia receives 183 hours of full sun in the autumn.

It's quite rainy in Varenna. In October, Varenna usually receives more rain than Imperia. Varenna gets 140 mm (5.5 in) of rain, while Imperia receives 97 mm (3.8 in) of rain each month for the autumn.


  • Autumn Average Temperatures October
    Varenna 15°C (58°F) 
    Imperia 19°C (66°F)

Should I visit Varenna or Imperia in the Winter?

Both Imperia and Varenna during the winter are popular places to visit. Many visitors come to Varenna in the winter for the museums, the shopping scene, and the cuisine. Also, most visitors come to Imperia for the museums, the shopping scene, and the cuisine during these months.

Varenna can get quite cold in the winter. Varenna is much colder than Imperia in the winter. The daily temperature in Varenna averages around 5°C (41°F) in January, and Imperia fluctuates around 11°C (51°F).

In the winter, Varenna often gets around the same amount of sunshine as Imperia. Varenna gets 119 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Imperia receives 127 hours of full sun.

Varenna usually gets around the same amount of rain in January as Imperia. Varenna gets 76 mm (3 in) of rain, while Imperia receives 71 mm (2.8 in) of rain this time of the year.


  • Winter Average Temperatures January
    Varenna 5°C (41°F) 
    Imperia 11°C (51°F)

Should I visit Varenna or Imperia in the Spring?

The spring attracts plenty of travelers to both Varenna and Imperia. Most visitors come to Varenna for the natural beauty during these months. Also, the spring months attract visitors to Imperia because of the natural beauty.

In the spring, Varenna is cooler than Imperia. Typically, the spring temperatures in Varenna in April average around 13°C (55°F), and Imperia averages at about 15°C (58°F).

Varenna usually receives less sunshine than Imperia during spring. Varenna gets 176 hours of sunny skies, while Imperia receives 198 hours of full sun in the spring.

Varenna gets a good bit of rain this time of year. In April, Varenna usually receives more rain than Imperia. Varenna gets 152 mm (6 in) of rain, while Imperia receives 65 mm (2.6 in) of rain each month for the spring.


  • Spring Average Temperatures April
    Varenna 13°C (55°F) 
    Imperia 15°C (58°F)

Typical Weather for Imperia and Varenna

Varenna Imperia
Temp (°C) Rain (mm) Temp (°C) Rain (mm)
Jan 5°C (41°F) 76 mm (3 in) 11°C (51°F) 71 mm (2.8 in)
Feb 6°C (44°F) 71 mm (2.8 in) 11°C (51°F) 73 mm (2.9 in)
Mar 10°C (49°F) 106 mm (4.2 in) 12°C (54°F) 69 mm (2.7 in)
Apr 13°C (55°F) 152 mm (6 in) 15°C (58°F) 65 mm (2.6 in)
May 17°C (62°F) 194 mm (7.6 in) 18°C (64°F) 54 mm (2.1 in)
Jun 20°C (69°F) 171 mm (6.7 in) 21°C (71°F) 33 mm (1.3 in)
Jul 23°C (73°F) 133 mm (5.2 in) 25°C (76°F) 12 mm (0.5 in)
Aug 22°C (72°F) 166 mm (6.5 in) 25°C (77°F) 34 mm (1.3 in)
Sep 19°C (67°F) 153 mm (6 in) 22°C (72°F) 57 mm (2.2 in)
Oct 15°C (58°F) 140 mm (5.5 in) 19°C (66°F) 97 mm (3.8 in)
Nov 9°C (49°F) 120 mm (4.7 in) 14°C (58°F) 70 mm (2.8 in)
Dec 6°C (42°F) 63 mm (2.5 in) 12°C (53°F) 65 mm (2.6 in)


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