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

Should you visit Varenna or Milan?

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 Milan. 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. Many visitors also come because of it's amazing beauty. It's also popular because of the museums, food, and hiking.

Milan

Milan is a trendy, chic, and cultural city. With plenty of activities and things to do, it's a huge city that draws plenty of visitors. It's considered by many to be an absolutely beautiful destination, too. Visitors also love the live music, food, and shopping.

Varenna and Milan: 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
  • Public transit not as usable
Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Active nightlife
  • Good music scene
  • Scenic old town
  • Fun shopping
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
  • Good for students
  • Good public transit
  • Big city activities
  • Impressive beauty


Is there more to do in Varenna or Milan?

Tourists will generally find more to do in Milan. Although Varenna and Milan are both popular with visitors, Milan has more sights, activities, and attractions for travelers. Milan is more popular for its museums, nightlife, music, historical sights, shopping, and big city activities, while Varenna is known for its hiking. Varenna is more touristy than Milan and is known for its beautiful location by Lake Como. Milan is popular for its grand squares, dramatic architecture, and its leadership in the fashion world. It is also home to Piazza del Duomo.

How is Varenna different from Milan?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

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

Varenna
Milan

Milan is an excellent place to visit for its museums and history. Also, Varenna is not quite as popular, but is fairly good for its museums and landmarks.

Visitors can fill many days exploring the museums and attractions around Milan. The Milan Cathedral is the most famous landmark in the city, but other sights include Castello Sforzesco, Pinacoteca di Brera, and Sant'Ambrogio.

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.


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

Varenna
Milan

Foodies will find both Varenna and Milan both to be fantastic 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, Milan is an obvious choice, as it is one of the food capitals of the world. The city has a mix of traditional dishes combined with modernized, trendy restaurants. You can try a new dish by a groundbreaking chef, or sample a long running favorite like risotto alla Milanese.

Is Varenna or Milan Better for Nightlife?

Varenna
Milan

Milan is a world-class destination for nightlife and partying. However, Varenna is lacking in options for its evening party scene.

People head to Milan just to party. The city has a huge number of students and young professionals, which make it a fun place with an active nightlife. There are cocktail bars, trendy clubs, and relaxed pubs that you can chose from.

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 Milan Better for Music?

Varenna
Milan

Milan is a world-class destination for its live music scene. However, Varenna is not a live music destination.

With so many music venues, you're guaranteed a show any night of the week in Milan. The diversity of music ranges from classical concerts to techno raves. Popular venues include Blue Note Milan, Santeria Social Club, and Spirit de Milan.

Varenna is not a live music destination.


Is Varenna or Milan Better for its Old Town?

Varenna
Milan

Milan is a world-class destination for its old town. However, Varenna does not have a historic old town.

The historic old town of Milan is revered around the world. Known as the Centro Storic, this area is the most popular with tourists. It's where you'll find the most historic buildings and beautiful sights in the city.

Varenna does not have a historic old town.

Is Varenna or Milan Better for Hiking?

Varenna
Milan

Varenna is great for hiking. However, Milan is not a hiking destination.

Many visitors go to Varenna for the hiking trails. 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.

Milan is not a hiking destination.

Is the Shopping Better in Varenna or Milan?

Varenna
Milan

Milan 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, Milan draws large crowds to its stores. Famous as the fashion capital of Italy, shopping is the thing to do here. There are many streets that are lined with the biggest designers in fashion. Make sure you check out Via Monte Napoleone, Via Della Spiga, and Corso Buenos Aires.

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 Milan Better for Families?

Varenna
Milan

Both Varenna and Milan 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 Milan. The city has a science museum and a children's museum, MuBa, that is great for the kids. There are also a number of parks to explore as well as playgrounds where the kids and get out their energy.

Is Varenna or Milan Better for Couples?

Varenna
Milan

Varenna is an amazing village to visit for couples. Also, Milan is not as popular, but is still a nice city for romance.

Varenna is a great village for couples, as it has plenty to offer. 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.

Milan is a very popular place to visit for couples. There are many beautiful buildings, excellent shopping, and romantic restaurants that make for a wonderful couple's getaway.

Is Varenna or Milan Better for Backpackers and Budget Travelers?

Varenna
Milan

Milan 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 Milan. While not as popular with backpackers as some Italian city's, there are a number of hostels and great activities that are fun for visitors.

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 Milan Better for Students?

Varenna
Milan

Milan is a world-class destination for its student-friendly activities. However, Varenna is not popular with students.

Milan is a very popular place to visit for students. It is one of the more popular city's for international students in Italy. It is very livable with a lot of culture and a fun nightlife, so you're sure to have the experience of a lifetime.

Varenna is not popular with students.

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

Varenna
Milan

Milan is a world-class destination for times when you don't have a car. Also, Varenna is not quite as popular, but is fairly good for its public transit.

With a huge network, the transit system in Milan can get you around easily. Options include metro, bus, tram, and train lines.

You'll find some public transit in Varenna, but it may not be enough to take you everywhere. The town is easily accessible by public transit and once you're in town you can walk everywhere.

Is Varenna or Milan a more walkable city?

Varenna
Milan

Varenna and Milan are fantastic when it comes to walkability.

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

Getting around Milan on foot is easy. In particular, the city center is walkable.


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

Should I spend more time in Milan or Varenna?

How long in Varenna or Milan?

In either Varenna or Milan, you'll find plenty of activities to fill your time. Most visitors tend to spend more time in Milan than Varenna because of the overall number of sights and activities. Usually, 1-2 days is a good amount of time for Varenna, and 1-5 days is enough time in Milan.

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

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

Backpackers and budget travelers should spend more time in Milan 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 Milan.


  • How many days in Varenna or Milan? Ideal Length of Stay
    Varenna 1-2 
    Milan 1-5

One day in Varenna or Milan?

In Varenna, many people enjoy the food and shopping that this pristine destination offers. Make sure you spend some time hiking while you're in the area. Lots of people come for the food. This village offers a variety of activities to choose from. Because of this, one day is usually enough time for a trip here.

Because Milan is a large city, there are a variety of ways to spend your time. Most visitors spend time around the old town while in the area. This city 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 Milan?

It's hard to know how much time to spend in Varenna. For many, it makes a great getaway for a weekend. Many travelers plan to spend time hiking 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.

Because Milan is a large city, there are a variety of ways to spend your time. The length of your trip often depends on your style of travel. A weekend here is typical. Visiting the old town is also a must. A weekend is a great amount of time to relax and see the many things that Milan has to offer.

Five days in Varenna or Milan?

Varenna is a fun place to experience. Travelers enjoy the museums and food when visiting the destination of Varenna. Lots of people come for the food. Hiking can easily take up a good amount of your time here, too. Most people find that five days is more than enough time to see everything.

Milan is a great place to explore. It is common to spend five days here. The old town is one of the main draws for visitors. Five days is a great amount of time to relax and see the many things that Milan has to offer. Anyone can find something fun to do here.


A week in Varenna or Milan?

You'll find food and shopping around the scenic destination of Varenna. Hikers are also drawn to this area. Take your pick from the many activities offered here. Lots of people come for the food. One week is plenty of time to see everything, even with extra days to spare.

It's hard to know how much time to spend in Milan. Many people enjoy the live music and food when visiting Milan. Exploring the old town is a popular activity. 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, Milan 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 Milan 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 Varenna and Milan in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Varenna 86
    Milan 96
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Varenna 172
    Milan 192
Compare Hotels in Varenna and Milan

Looking for a hotel in Varenna or Milan? 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 Milan


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 Milan Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Varenna 34
    Milan 35

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: $363

Typical Local Transportation Prices in Milan

Here are some examples of typical transportation prices from actual travelers in Milan:


  • Train to Airport
    7.00
  • Malpensa Airport Train (for Two)
    22
  • Taxi From Airport
    90
  • Public Transit Day Pass
    4.50
  • Short Taxi Ride
    7.13

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Milan

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

  • taxi / transfer service to and from airports: $243
  • Varese : Private Transfer to/from Rho Fiera: $174
  • Try find your better than us ! Airport transfer service in Milan HTL-APT (MXP): $185
  • Tremezzo: Private Transfer to/from Milan Malpensa Airport: $249
  • Transfer from Milano or Linate: $138
  • Transfer from Milan to Ravenna Cruise Port with stop in Verona: $260
  • Transfer from Milan to Milan Malpensa: $188
  • Transfer from Malpensa Airport to Milan city center: $12
  • Transfer from Malpensa Airport to Milan city: $217
  • Transfer Milan city center - Malpensa airport: $12
  • Transfer Milan city center - Bergamo Airport: $12
  • Torno: Private transfer to/from Malpensa Airport: $206

Is it cheaper to fly into Varenna or Milan?

Prices for flights to both Milan 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
    Milan 39

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: $157

Typical Food Prices in Milan

Here are some examples of typical meal expenses from previous travelers to Milan:


  • Snack at Train Station
    8.60
  • Restaurant Pizza
    6.60
  • Casual Cafe Lunch (for Two)
    27
  • Three Course Dinner (for Two)
    64
  • Cappuccino
    1.63

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Milan

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

  • PYT Milano Dinner Show with Live Music and DJ Set: $22
  • Hard Rock Cafe with Set Menu for Lunch or Dinner: $30
  • Gourmet Street Food Tour with Sightseeing and Tasting: $46
  • Tasty Milan Street Food Tour with Local Guide: $46
  • Eating Milan Street Food Tour with Guided Tasting and Sightseeing: $46
  • Devour Milan Street Food Tour and Sightseeing: $46
  • NO DIET CLUB - Best Food Tour in Milan !: $60
  • NO DIET CLUB - Best Food Tour in Milan !: $61
  • 2-Hour Cooking Course of Delicious Desserts for Families in Milan: $65
  • Mamma Mia - Make Your own Italian Pizza: $70
  • Italian Cooking Class with Food and Wine: $71
  • Local Market and Cooking Class with an Italian Chef: $71

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Varenna 34
    Milan 31

Tours and Activities in Varenna

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

  • Bellagio: Private Tour on Vintage Wooden Boat: $674
  • Lake Como: Grand Private Tour 5 hours Invictus boat: $1,508
  • Magnificent Hiking Tours: $212
  • Private Luxury Boat Tour of Lake Como with Stops & Drinks: $498
  • Dining Experience at a Local's Home: $114
  • Lake Como Shared Boat Tour: $32
  • Lake Como Shared Boat Tour: $43
  • Picnic Experience in the Italian Alps: $152
  • Shared Sunset Boat Tour with a Prosecco Aperitif: $119

Typical Entertainment Prices in Milan

For Milan, here are some examples of average entertainment and activity prices from previous travelers:


  • Stairs to Duomo Rooftop
    7.00

Tours and Activities in Milan

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

  • Lake Como trekking private guided tour, from Milan or Como: $177
  • Milan Highlights semi-Private Walking Tour: $43
  • Milan Urban Wonders Small Group Tour: $76
  • Gallery Tour, Terraces of the Duomo & Cathedral: $36
  • Skip-the-Line Duomo Cathedral Tour : $55
  • Private Audio Guided Walking Tour in Milan: $6.62
  • Self Guided Tours In Milan With 100 Captivating Audio Stories: $3.30
  • 1 hour Italian Food Experiences in Milan: $40
  • 1.5-hour The Last Supper and Church of San Maurizio tour in Milan - small group: $86
  • 2-Hour Milan by Night Walking Tour: $158
  • 2-Hour Private Guided Tour of Milan by Electric Scooter: $135
  • 2-hours Duomo of Milan guided experience with entrance tickets: $72

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Varenna 23
    Milan 24

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: $114
  • Wine Tasting and Entry Ticket to Villa Monastero: $136

Typical Alcohol Prices in Milan

Below are a few samples from actual travelers for alcohol and nightlife costs in Milan:


  • Cocktail at a Bar
    8.40
  • Beer
    3.35

Sample the Local Flavors in Milan

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

  • Wine Tasting Experience in the City Centre: $43
  • Wine Tasting Experience in Milan city centre: $44
  • Milan Wine Tasting Experience: $53
  • Milan Wine Tasting Aperitivo: $56
  • Milan Wine Tasting with Italian Sommelier: $87
  • Private Food and Wine Tasting Experience in the Center of Milan: $88
  • Wine Tasting with an Italian Sommelier: $94
  • Milano by Night: Bar Crawl Adventure: $136
  • Best of Guided Tour with Duomo, Food & Wine Tasting: $162
  • Food and Wine Tasting enjoying the New Milan: $166
  • Cesarine: Small Group Veggie Class & Wine Tasting in Milan: $187
  • Brescia & Franciacorta Guided Tour with Wine Tasting: $194


When comparing the travel costs between Varenna and Milan, we can see that Milan 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.

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


Which is Bigger, Varenna or Milan?

Milan has a larger population, and is about 1540 times larger than the population of Varenna. When comparing the sizes of Varenna and Milan, 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 Milan?

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 Milan in the Summer?

The summer attracts plenty of travelers to both Varenna and Milan. Most visitors come to Varenna for the hiking and the family-friendly experiences during these months. Furthermore, the summer months attract visitors to Milan because of the city activities, the music scene, and the family-friendly experiences.

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

People are often attracted to the plentiful sunshine in Milan this time of the year. In Varenna, it's very sunny this time of the year. Varenna usually receives around the same amount of sunshine as Milan during summer. Varenna gets 250 hours of sunny skies, while Milan receives 250 hours of full sun in the summer.

Varenna gets a good bit of rain this time of year. In July, Varenna usually receives more rain than Milan. Varenna gets 133 mm (5.2 in) of rain, while Milan receives 60 mm (2.4 in) of rain each month for the summer.


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

Should I visit Varenna or Milan in the Autumn?

The autumn brings many poeple to Varenna as well as Milan. The autumn months attract visitors to Varenna because of the hiking trails, the shopping scene, and the natural beauty of the area. Additionally, the city's sights and attractions, the shopping scene, the music scene, and the natural beauty of the area are the main draw to Milan this time of year.

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

In the autumn, Varenna often gets around the same amount of sunshine as Milan. Varenna gets 152 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Milan receives 152 hours of full sun.

It's quite rainy in Milan. Varenna receives a lot of rain in the autumn. Varenna usually gets more rain in October than Milan. Varenna gets 140 mm (5.5 in) of rain, while Milan receives 103 mm (4 in) of rain this time of the year.


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

Should I visit Varenna or Milan in the Winter?

Both Milan and Varenna are popular destinations to visit in the winter with plenty of activities. The museums, the shopping scene, and the cuisine are the main draw to Varenna this time of year. Also, many travelers come to Milan for the museums, the shopping scene, and the cuisine.

Be prepared for some very cold days in Milan. It's quite cold in Varenna in the winter. Varenna is around the same temperature as Milan in the winter. The daily temperature in Varenna averages around 5°C (41°F) in January, and Milan fluctuates around 5°C (41°F).

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

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


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

Should I visit Varenna or Milan in the Spring?

Both Milan and Varenna during the spring are popular places to visit. Many travelers come to Varenna for the natural beauty. Also, many visitors come to Milan in the spring for the activities around the city and the natural beauty.

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

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

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


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

Typical Weather for Milan and Varenna

Varenna Milan
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)