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

Should you visit Varenna or Positano?

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 Positano. 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.

Positano

Positano is a colorful, stunning, and luxurious Mediterranean village. You'll find plenty of local activities in this small town. It's considered by many to be an absolutely beautiful destination, too. It also has a unique and quaint vibe that attracts lots of visitors. Visitors also love the beaches, hiking, and shopping.

Varenna and Positano: 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
Pros
  • Nice resorts
  • Good scuba and snorkeling destination
  • Popular beach
  • Scenic old town
  • Good for hiking
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
  • Small town charm
  • Impressive beauty
  • Quaint atmosphere
Things to Consider
  • Less popular for nightlife


Is there more to do in Varenna or Positano?

Tourists will generally find more to do in Positano. Although Varenna and Positano are both popular with visitors, Positano has more sights, activities, and attractions for travelers. Positano is more popular for its resorts, scuba diving & snorkeling, beaches, historical sights, shopping, small town charm, and quaint atmosphere, while Varenna is known for its museums. Positano is more touristy than Varenna and is known for its beautiful cliffside setting, its colorful buildings, and its quintessential Amalfi atmosphere. It is also home to The Church of Santa Maria Assunta. Varenna is popular for its beautiful location by Lake Como.

How is Varenna different from Positano?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

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

Varenna
Positano

Varenna is a good destination for its historical sights. However, Positano does not have 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.

Positano does not have museums and landmarks.


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

Varenna
Positano

Foodies will find both Varenna and Positano both to be terrific 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, Positano is an obvious choice, as it is one of the food capitals of the world. Seafood is the obvious choice along the Amalfi Coast but Positano is also famous for its salami, chestnuts, cheese, and figs.

Is Varenna or Positano Better for Nightlife?

Varenna
Positano

Both Varenna and Positano have decent vibes after the sun sets.

Those looking for nightlife will find a few places to hang out in Varenna. The best way to enjoy the evening is to head to a restaurant and spend the time sipping wine in a laid back setting.

Positano is generally a quiet destination but there are options around. The town has a relaxing nightlife that is usually centered around the clubs found at nearby resorts.

Is Varenna or Positano Better for Resorts?

Varenna
Positano

Positano is a world-class destination for its luxury resorts. However, Varenna is not a resort destination.

Vacationers flock to Positano for its luxury resorts. The town has a number of luxury resorts including Le Sirenuse, Il San Pietro di Positano, and Hotel Le Agavi.

Varenna is not a resort destination.


Is Varenna or Positano Better for Scuba Diving and Snorkeling?

Varenna
Positano

Positano is a decent place to visit for its diving and snorkeling. However, Varenna is not a scuba or snorkeling destination.

It's possible to go snorkeling in Positano. There are snorkeling boat trips that you can book to enjoy exploring the undersea world.

Varenna is not a scuba or snorkeling destination.

Is Varenna or Positano Better for Beaches?

Varenna
Positano

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

Positano offers a nice beach destination. Like the rest of the Amalfi Coast, beaches near Positano tend to be pebbly instead of sandy. They can also get a bit crowded during the summer months. Still, the picturesque setting makes these beaches truly amazing. The main beach at the edge of town is Spiaggia Grande, but there are several others nearby as well.

Varenna is not a beach destination.

Is Varenna or Positano Better for its Old Town?

Varenna
Positano

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

The historic old town of Positano is revered around the world. Exploring the old town, soaking up the atmosphere, and simply enjoying the colorful buildings is what a trip to Positano is all about.

Varenna does not have a historic old town.


Is Varenna or Positano Better for Hiking?

Varenna
Positano

Hiking trails can be found around both Varenna and Positano, and they are excellent.

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 Positano. The best way to explore the area out of town is on foot. There are a number of foot paths and trails that will take you through the stunning landscapes.

Is the Shopping Better in Varenna or Positano?

Varenna
Positano

Positano is an excellent place to visit for its shopping opportunities. Also, Varenna is not quite as popular, but is fairly good for its shopping areas.

Positano is well-known for its shopping. The main street in town is lined with quaint shops that sell local lemon products, ceramics, clothing, and more.

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 Positano Better for Families?

Varenna
Positano

Both Varenna and Positano 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 Positano. Fun activities include boat rides, eating gelato, and hanging out at the beach. Some of the best family-friendly beaches are Spiaggia Grande, Fornillo Beach, and Arienzo Beach.


Is Varenna or Positano Better for Couples?

Varenna
Positano

Varenna and Positano both terrific 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.

Positano makes for a terrific place to visit as a couple. It is a picturesque coast town that is both romantic and fun. Wandering through the streets and sampling Italian food make this the perfect honeymoon getaway.

Is Varenna or Positano Better for Backpackers and Budget Travelers?

Varenna
Positano

Varenna and Positano 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 Positano. The town has a handful of great hostels that make the Amalfi Coast accessible to backpackers on a budget.

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

Varenna
Positano

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

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 Positano, but it may not be enough to take you everywhere. You can walk everywhere once you arrive, and the SITA bus travels to and from the town.


Is Varenna or Positano a more walkable city?

Varenna
Positano

Varenna and Positano are terrific 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 Positano on foot is easy. The town is best explored on foot. You can wander the quaint streets or take the foot path to the beach or nearby castles.

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

Should I spend more time in Positano or Varenna?

How long in Varenna or Positano?

Both Varenna and Positano have a number of activities to choose from. With generally more activities and things to do, visitors tend to spend more time in Positano than in Varenna. Usually, 1-2 days is a good amount of time for Varenna, and 2-7 days is enough time in Positano.

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

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

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


  • How many days in Varenna or Positano? Ideal Length of Stay
    Varenna 1-2 
    Positano 2-7

One day in Varenna or Positano?

The beautiful village of Varenna offers food and shopping. Many visitors also spend a good bit of time hiking. With all of its activities, you can easily fill one day here. It will give you the chance to have new experiences.

Positano is a small town with plenty to do. Travelers enjoy the resorts in the area as well. One reason most visitors come is for the food. This Mediterranean village 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 Positano?

Varenna is a popular place that is full of things to see and experience. If you have a weekend, this village makes for a great vacation. Make sure you spend some time hiking while you're in the area. While some people choose to spend more or less time in Varenna, a weekend is sufficent for most. Take your pick from the many activities offered here.

Positano might be a small town, but there's plenty to do in the area. 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 Positano has to offer.


Five days in Varenna or Positano?

Varenna is a popular choice for travelers. It's no surprise that food is why people visit. 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.

Positano is a great place to explore. It is common to spend five days here. You can also relax and pamper yourself at one of the resorts. Five days is a great amount of time to relax and see the many things that Positano has to offer. Anyone can find something fun to do here.

A week in Varenna or Positano?

Varenna is a great place to explore. It's no surprise that food is why people visit. 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 village offers something for everyone.

It's hard to know how much time to spend in Positano. Positano is a small town where visitors enjoy the shopping and food. One reason most visitors come is for the food. It's also a relaxing resort destination. With all of its activities, you can easily fill one week here.


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, Positano 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 Positano is €222. 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 Positano in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Varenna 86
    Positano 148
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Varenna 172
    Positano 296
Compare Hotels in Varenna and Positano

Looking for a hotel in Varenna or Positano? 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 Positano


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 Positano Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Varenna 34
    Positano 7.73

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: $362

Typical Local Transportation Prices in Positano

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


  • Bus Ticket
    1.60

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Positano

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

  • private transfer from Positano to Naples or reverse: $82
  • Transfer- Naples Train Station/area to Positano with a stop Sorrento: $171
  • Transfer to Naples with a stop in Pompeii from Positano: $196
  • Transfer from Positano to The Path of the Gods: $110
  • Transfer from Naples to Positano or Positano to Naples : $241
  • Transfer Positano to Naples: $88
  • Transfer Naples - Positano: $274
  • Private transfer from Positano to Salerno: $124
  • Private transfer from Positano to Naples: $122
  • Private transfer from POSITANO to SALERNO: $110
  • Private transfer Positano to Naples: $122
  • Private Transfer from and to Amalfi Coast: $121

Is it cheaper to fly into Varenna or Positano?

Prices for flights to both Positano 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
    Positano 53

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 Positano

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


  • Sitdown Dinner (for Two)
    31
  • Pizza in a Restaurant
    9.32
  • Sandwich in a Restaurant
    12

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Positano

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

  • Gastronomical Amalfi Coast Hike with Cooking Class: $54
  • Cooking class with Pasta, mozzarella and Tiramisu with wine: $65
  • Sorrento Pizza School Activity in Italy: $99
  • Cooking Class in the Rooftop of Rada Restaurant: $130
  • Pizza e Tiramisù class with local mum in Positano: $137
  • Small Group Positano Cooking Class Gnocchi Tiramisù with Drinks : $148
  • Private Cooking Class at a Cesarina's Home in Sant'Agnello: $159
  • Vico Equense: Market Tour, Home Cooking Class, and Dinner: $204
  • Small Group Positano Cooking Class with Prosecco and Dessert: $204
  • Hike and Dinner in Positano among ancient flavors and traditions: $210
  • Pasta and Tiramisu Cooking Class with Wine: $232
  • Small Group Home Cooking Class with a Local: $232

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Varenna 34
    Positano 60

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: $1,502
  • Magnificent Hiking Tours: $211
  • Private Luxury Boat Tour of Lake Como with Stops & Drinks: $431
  • Castello di Vezio Entry Ticket: $5.40
  • Dining Experience at a Local's Home: $113
  • Lake Como Shared Boat Tour: $32
  • Lake Como Shared Boat Tour: $43
  • Picnic Experience in the Italian Alps: $151
  • Shared Sunset Boat Tour with a Prosecco Aperitif: $119

Typical Entertainment Prices in Positano

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


  • Chair & Umbrella at Spiaggia Grande
    17
  • Day Trip of Capri & Amalfi
    80
  • Sunset Cruise
    24
  • Full Day Wine Tour
    97
  • Cooking Class
    65

Tours and Activities in Positano

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

  • Amalfi Coast Premium Boat Tour From Sorrento Max 8 People: $247
  • Amalfi Coast Private Half Day Tour from Positano/Praiano: $1,371
  • Amalfi Coast Tour: secret caves and stunning beaches: $2,160
  • Amalfi Coast: Path of the Gods Private Walking Tour: $135
  • Amalfi Coast: Pompei & Vesuvius small group with Skip the line tickets: $148
  • Amalfi Coast: Private half-day walking tour with Lunch & Wine: $185
  • Amalfi Coast: Romantic Sunset Cruise with Music & Cocktails: $215
  • Capri All Inclusive Small Group Tour from Positano: $273
  • Capri Half-Day Sightseeing Cruise From Sorrento, with Pickup: $181
  • Capri luxury cruise from Amalfi or Positano: $2,052
  • Climbing Experience - Positano: $208
  • Climbing Experience - The path of the Gods: $219

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Varenna 23
    Positano 15

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: $113
  • Wine Tasting and Entry Ticket to Villa Monastero: $135

Typical Alcohol Prices in Positano

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


  • Bottle of Limoncello
    16

Sample the Local Flavors in Positano

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

  • 5 Wine Tastings with Typical Products in Sorrento Coast: $77
  • Private Food and Wine Tasting on the Sorrento Coast: $110
  • Pompeii Wine Tasting Tour from Positano: $247
  • Positano or Amalfi, Ravello and Wine Tour: $432


When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Varenna and Positano, we can see that Positano 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 Positano would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in Positano 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 Positano Expensive?.


Which is Bigger, Varenna or Positano?

Positano has a larger population, and is about 5 times larger than the population of Varenna. When comparing the sizes of Varenna and Positano, 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 Positano?

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 Positano in the Summer?

The summer attracts plenty of travelers to both Varenna and Positano. The summer months attract visitors to Varenna because of the hiking and the family-friendly experiences. Furthermore, the beaches, snorkeling, the hiking, the small town charm, and the family-friendly experiences are the main draw to Positano this time of year.

In the summer, Varenna is around the same temperature as Positano. Typically, the summer temperatures in Varenna in July average around 23°C (73°F), and Positano averages at about 23°C (74°F).

People are often attracted to the plentiful sunshine in Positano this time of the year. In Varenna, it's very sunny this time of the year. Varenna usually receives less sunshine than Positano during summer. Varenna gets 250 hours of sunny skies, while Positano receives 313 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 Positano. Varenna gets 133 mm (5.2 in) of rain, while Positano receives 26 mm (1 in) of rain each month for the summer.


  • Summer Average Temperatures July
    Varenna 23°C (73°F) 
    Positano 23°C (74°F)

Should I visit Varenna or Positano in the Autumn?

The autumn brings many poeple to Varenna as well as Positano. The hiking trails, the shopping scene, and the natural beauty of the area are the main draw to Varenna this time of year. Additionally, many travelers come to Positano for the hiking trails, the shopping scene, the small town atmosphere, and the natural beauty of the area.

In October, Varenna is generally cooler than Positano. Daily temperatures in Varenna average around 15°C (58°F), and Positano fluctuates around 17°C (63°F).

In the autumn, Varenna often gets less sunshine than Positano. Varenna gets 152 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Positano receives 189 hours of full sun.

It's quite rainy in Positano. Varenna receives a lot of rain in the autumn. Varenna usually gets around the same amount of rain in October as Positano. Varenna gets 140 mm (5.5 in) of rain, while Positano receives 132 mm (5.2 in) of rain this time of the year.


  • Autumn Average Temperatures October
    Varenna 15°C (58°F) 
    Positano 17°C (63°F)

Should I visit Varenna or Positano in the Winter?

Both Positano and Varenna are popular destinations to visit in the winter with plenty of activities. Many travelers come to Varenna for the museums, the shopping scene, and the cuisine. Also, many visitors come to Positano in the winter for the shopping scene and the cuisine.

Be prepared for some very cold days in Varenna. Varenna is much colder than Positano in the winter. The daily temperature in Varenna averages around 5°C (41°F) in January, and Positano fluctuates around 8°C (47°F).

Varenna usually receives around the same amount of sunshine as Positano during winter. Varenna gets 119 hours of sunny skies, while Positano receives 115 hours of full sun in the winter.

It rains a lot this time of the year in Positano. In January, Varenna usually receives less rain than Positano. Varenna gets 76 mm (3 in) of rain, while Positano receives 111 mm (4.4 in) of rain each month for the winter.


  • Winter Average Temperatures January
    Varenna 5°C (41°F) 
    Positano 8°C (47°F)

Should I visit Varenna or Positano in the Spring?

Both Positano and Varenna during the spring are popular places to visit. Many visitors come to Varenna in the spring for the natural beauty. Also, most visitors come to Positano for the beaches, the small town charm, and the natural beauty during these months.

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

In the spring, Varenna often gets around the same amount of sunshine as Positano. Varenna gets 176 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Positano receives 189 hours of full sun.

It rains a lot this time of the year in Varenna. Varenna usually gets more rain in April than Positano. Varenna gets 152 mm (6 in) of rain, while Positano receives 71 mm (2.8 in) of rain this time of the year.


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

Typical Weather for Positano and Varenna

Varenna Positano
Temp (°C) Rain (mm) Temp (°C) Rain (mm)
Jan 5°C (41°F) 76 mm (3 in) 8°C (47°F) 111 mm (4.4 in)
Feb 6°C (44°F) 71 mm (2.8 in) 9°C (48°F) 99 mm (3.9 in)
Mar 10°C (49°F) 106 mm (4.2 in) 11°C (51°F) 88 mm (3.5 in)
Apr 13°C (55°F) 152 mm (6 in) 13°C (55°F) 71 mm (2.8 in)
May 17°C (62°F) 194 mm (7.6 in) 17°C (63°F) 52 mm (2.1 in)
Jun 20°C (69°F) 171 mm (6.7 in) 21°C (69°F) 31 mm (1.2 in)
Jul 23°C (73°F) 133 mm (5.2 in) 23°C (74°F) 26 mm (1 in)
Aug 22°C (72°F) 166 mm (6.5 in) 24°C (74°F) 46 mm (1.8 in)
Sep 19°C (67°F) 153 mm (6 in) 21°C (70°F) 87 mm (3.4 in)
Oct 15°C (58°F) 140 mm (5.5 in) 17°C (63°F) 132 mm (5.2 in)
Nov 9°C (49°F) 120 mm (4.7 in) 12°C (54°F) 161 mm (6.3 in)
Dec 6°C (42°F) 63 mm (2.5 in) 9°C (49°F) 118 mm (4.6 in)