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Have you ever met anyone who doesn’t dream of going to Italy?  Stunning landscapes, vineyards, historic monuments and buildings, picturesque cities and villages, and delicious food. Who doesn’t like the sound of all of that? However, as much as Italy may be a dream vacation for, well, pretty much everyone, it’s also a destination where your budget tends to get in the way. Italy is popular, very popular, and prices often reflect that. However, with a few tips and tricks, it is possible to explore Italy without breaking the bank. In this article, I’m going to share how to make the most of your budget to get your dream trip to Italy. So, how much does it cost to go to Italy? Read on to find out.

For the purpose of this article, I’m going to suggest a ten-day Itinerary in Italy to hit the highlights. This includes three days in Rome, four days in Florence (for which I suggest including a day trip to somewhere in Tuscany and a day trip to Cinque Terre), and three days in Venice. Please keep in mind that this budget for Italy is designed for one person. If you are travelling as a couple, you will need to double all costs except for hotels.

 Estimated cost
Airfare$600
Accommodations$1,200 ($120 per day)
Local transportation$200
Attractions$150
Food and drink$350
Random spending$100
TOTAL$2,600 USD

The above estimate is in American dollars, so please use xe.com to find out the average costs in your home currency.

Also, keep in mind that this is just an estimate. Italy isn’t necessarily a cheap travel destination, however, savvy travellers will be able to reduce their costs by using some of the tips and suggestions shared in this article.

If you’re Canadian, you may want to consider applying for one of the best travel credit cards in Canada to help offset your costs by collecting points. For example, the American Express Gold Rewards Card gives you a signup bonus of up to 30,000 American Express Membership Rewards points which have a minimum value of $300 (potentially more if you transfer your points to Aeroplan or Marriott Bonvoy). There’s also the Scotiabank Passport Visa Infinite card that has no foreign transaction fees and it comes with airport lounge access.   

Airfare

Rome is a popular enough hub in Europe that, if you look early enough, you can probably find a decent deal. Your best bet is to find airfare deals is to avoid travelling during the high season (May – end of September).  Average fares during the shoulder season (April or October) are approximately $600 return.

Insider tip: If you have a couple of extra days to spare, you may also want to consider flying to one of the bigger airports in Europe such as Amsterdam, Paris, or London that often offer cheaper deals. From there, you can then catch a smaller flight with Ryanair or Easy Jet. These small flights can usually be purchased for under $100 each way including paying for checked luggage if you book early enough in advance.

How Much Does It Cost to Go to Italy rome

Local transportation

Getting around Italy is very easy thanks to the train system and public transit in the major cities. Since this itinerary is for the main highlights, I recommend using the train service rather than renting a car. Driving in Italy’s tiny streets can be pretty daunting.

For trains between cities, the easiest and often cheapest is to purchase your ticket the day of or even the day before. Don’t bother with a rail pass of some sort, it’s a waste of money. Italy has two types of trains: the fast trains which are more expensive, or the slower local trains which are a fraction of the price and actually quite scenic since they stop in the smaller towns. Since you don’t have any huge legs in this journey, I would suggest the slow train if you enjoy train travel. Save money and get an enjoyable, more local journey. Tickets for the slower trains depend on the tip, but you can average about $20 per ticket. If you want the fast trains, expect to pay up to $50.

In terms of getting around cities, walking is by far the best way to explore Italy. However, while Florence is pretty easy to do by foot, Rome is quite a large city and you will absolutely need to use public transit if you’re not staying central. Using the subway and buses are an easy way to get around Rome and tickets are quite affordable. You can get a 3-day pass for under 20 euro (about 22 USD). In Venice, there are no cars only the vaporetto which is a public boat that stops along the canal. It is quite expensive with a 2-day card costing about $35 USD. You can walk from one end Venice to the other in about 20 minutes so don’t bother with the vaporetto unless you’re going to one of the surrounding islands

Since you are likely flying in and out of Rome, you will also need to get back to Rome the night before you leave. In this case, I would take the fast train which will cost more but it is the longest journey and you don’t want to spend your final day on a train. The fast train is about 3.5 hours and tickets can be purchased for about $80.

Accommodations

Accommodations really range in price in Italy depending on where you are located, type of accommodation, as well as the time of year that you visit. That being said, there are a number of options available for all budgets. For the sake of an estimate for this article, I have chosen mid-range hotel pricing during the shoulder season (approximately $120/night). To be honest, there are cheaper options when it comes to accommodations, but I wanted to give you an average price for budgeting purposes.

Personally, I recommend not getting too caught up on location in Rome, as long as you are near a metro station or bus stop, you will easily be able to get around. Versus in Venice, it is absolutely worth paying a bit more to stay in Venice proper rather than on the outskirts.

Looking for recommendations? I suggest the following:

Hostels

Mid-range hotels

Luxury Hotels

Or, you can try Airbnb; a popular choice for many travellers, including myself. Most offer clean and safe places to stay at reasonable prices. Just make sure to read the reviews ahead of time. Use my invite to get $45 towards your first stay.

Please note that Airbnb rentals in Venice are not advised. The business has actually harmed the locals and resulted in many people losing their homes thanks to the increase in rental prices. For this reason, I suggest supporting a local hotel or property instead

If you have the right credit card, you can save a fair amount of money on hotels. Americans should strongly consider the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant American Express Card since you can earn up to 125,000 bonus Marriott Bonvoy points. Plus, get complimentary Platinum Elite status with your Card for the 2021 status year (apply by Jan. 13, 2021).

Canadians should consider the BMO World Elite Mastercard since it typically has a sign up bonus worth more than $200 and the annual fee is normally waived for the first year. There’s also the Marriott Bonvoy American Express which gives you 51,000 Marriott Bonvoy when using a referral link. That’s enough points for up to five free nights at some hotels which could easily have a value of over $650.

Attractions

Attractions in Italy are one of those areas where it’s really easy to go over budget depending on what you are looking for. If you are a big museum and art enthusiast, then you will want to make sure you allocate extra for this part of your budget. Italy has plenty of museums and galleries that can keep you busy for days if you like.

I think that most of Italy’s charm lies in exploring the cities by foot and seeing the architecture and the landscapes. If this is more of your type of travel, then you can count on having a smaller budget. That being said, there are a few ‘musts’ including visiting Vatican City with a tour, the Colosseum, and the statue of David.

You definitely want to buy your tickets in advance so you can skip the line whenever you can as the lineups for the attractions can be quite long even during the low season. Here are some of the tickets you’ll want to pick up before you depart.

For the basic attractions, I’d say allocate $150.00. If you are keen on museums you will probably want to double that.

Keep in mind: I’ve also included two day trips on this itinerary. Both Cinque Terre and Tuscany (Pisa, Siena, etc.) can be visited as a day trip on your own using the trains from Florence. However, if you would rather do a guided tour then you need to allocate extra in your budget for that as well.

Food and Drink

Let’s be honest, you can’t come to Italy and not eat. Food and drink is one of the main highlights about a trip to Italy, so do yourself a favour and know in advance that your food and drink budget in Italy may be a bit higher than in other destinations. That being said, it’s easy to keep it reasonable with a few tricks.

Almost all Italian hotels offer breakfast of some sort included in your stay which is a huge help. There are also plenty of vendors that will sell you delicious paninis or slices of pizza for only a few euros to take away. Dinner is the best time to enjoy a big sit down meal, but to get the best deals (and meals!) stay away from the main tourist attractions. Ask your hotel for recommendations for somewhere smaller and local. You’ll be surprised as to how many places you can get a delicious meal with a glass of wine for 20 dollars.

With this type of arrangement in mind, your daily meal costs will look something like this:

  • Breakfast: $5 (if not included in hotel, for coffee + pastry)
  • Lunch: $7
  • Dinner: $20

Which equals $32 per day, though I’d round it up to $35 because I bet you’ll stop for gelato.

First-time visitors to Italy should know that there is a charge for sitting and eating in a restaurant, so don’t be surprised if you see an extra charge for a couple of euro on your bill- this is normal. Italians also tend to eat much later than we do in North America so have a late lunch or grab gelato as a snack so you can hold off until local dinnertime.

How Much Does It Cost to Go to Italy Florence

Random Spending

Italy is a mecca for shopping and it’s easy to find something to want to bring home. Even if you aren’t typically a big shopper on your travels, I recommend you budget a little extra just in case. There are fresh olive oils and bottles of limoncello which not only make great souvenirs but also great gifts. Not to mention the quality leather, Venetian masks, Murano glass…the list goes on. Needless to say, you will probably be tempted by at least something here so, to be safe, I’d budget at least an extra $100 for shopping and random spending (more if you are coming specifically to shop). Even if you don’t use it shopping, you’ll probably use it on gelato or Aperol Spritz on the patios.

Final Thoughts

So how much does it cost to go to Italy? For ten days in Italy including three major cities and two day trips, you can expect to pay about $2,600 USD which is actually more than a month long trip to Southeast Asia. While this may seem like a lot, consider how much you are seeing and doing during your visit. Of course, with some of the tips and tricks mentioned, you may be able to reduce your cost further as well. For more European inspiration, check out my guides to Scotland, Ireland, Cyprus, Croatia, Austria, Malta and Greece.

How Much Does it Cost to go to Italy?

31 Comments

  1. Gabi on September 28, 2018 at 11:06 AM

    I’ve traveled to Italy twice but both with Italian speakers. My husband and I are going next fall and speak no Italian. Did you find it easy to navigate Italy as an English speaker? Do the mid range hotels you suggested have English speaking employees?

    • Barry Choi on September 28, 2018 at 11:17 AM

      Hey Gabi,

      Generally speaking, getting around Italy without knowing any Italian is not a problem. Most people in the major cities (especially those who work in tourism) speak English. The older people in the smaller towns may not know English, but it won’t be hard to find someone who does. Ticket machines at the train station also have an English option. Just about every hotel has English speaking staff.

  2. Sandeep on October 22, 2018 at 3:11 AM

    Dear Barry,

    Thanks for very useful insights on a 10 day trip to Italy.

    I am planning to travel to Italy in Dec 2018 near Christmas with my 2 adult children. What will be the approximate food bill for three of us. Should I simply multiply per person cost mentioned in your article by 3. Do you think the overall cost can be substantially managed in some way.

    • Barry Choi on October 22, 2018 at 4:31 PM

      Hi Sandeep,

      How much you spend on food is really dependent on you. It’s easy to save money by going to grocery stores or just getting take out pizza and pasta. Hotel costs could come down if you look for apartments or hotels in areas that aren’t as popular, but I don’t think you would save a significant amount.

  3. […] but it truly is beautiful and worth the trip. Take a look at my guides to Egypt, Southeast Asia, Italy, and Japan for more […]

  4. Joanne on January 27, 2019 at 1:55 PM

    Good info in article. Have been to Italy before but am attracted to the Almalfi Coast area more than the mid to Northern Italy. Felt like home there. Hoping to venture back with family in tow .
    Thanks again.

  5. tashannon on February 13, 2019 at 1:10 PM

    Hi i read your article it was very helpful i would like to go to Italy next year for my 40th birthday how can i prepare this year for it i dont wanna spend a lot of money and 4 days at the most is good for me

    • Barry Choi on February 13, 2019 at 2:18 PM

      Tashannon,

      If you want to go to Italy next year, then all you need to do is cut some expenses this year which will allow you to save for your trip. Things you could do include eating out less, not buying snacks at work, and cutting subscriptions. You could also track your spending to see where your money is going. If you find you’re spending money for no reason on something, cut that out!

  6. Jackson Oneill on April 11, 2019 at 4:21 PM

    I’m thinking about going in October I’m 35 I’m going alone what do people suggest I do?
    Plus I want to eat pasta and good pizza I’m a pizza lover that is a big reason I want to go

    • Barry Choi on April 11, 2019 at 8:07 PM

      Jackson,

      It depends on how much time you have but the typical route is Rome, Florence, Venice. If you have more time, add a few days to Tuscany and perhaps southern Italy. You won’t have any issues finding good pasta and pizza.

  7. Elizabeth Bostrom on June 1, 2019 at 1:54 PM

    Appreciate all the tips you have provided. We are going to Italy for 24 days in October , part guided tour and on our own in Rome for 4 nights & Venice for 4 nights.

  8. gary cohen on June 11, 2019 at 9:55 PM

    Barry – thanks for the helpful insights. My wife and I planning 1st trip to Italy this oct. possible the last week in sept into the first wk of oct. OR the first 2 weeks in oct. 2019. I want to focus on the Tuscany region – visit small towns – take in the local color. Maybe check out Florence. My wife would like to see Venice. Any suggestions. Probably we’ll do 10 days.

    • Barry Choi on June 12, 2019 at 8:41 AM

      Gary,

      If Tuscany is your area of choice, many people just rent a car and choose one place as their home base. They then do small side trips or take the train/bus to say Florence is Venice. Venice is quite small so you could see it in one day if you wanted.

  9. Uttam Kumar Paul on June 28, 2019 at 2:25 AM

    Hi, I want to visit venice, Rome and Naples from 20 July to 26 July 2019. Please make a travel plan.

  10. Belinda on July 12, 2019 at 9:55 AM

    I have been reading many articles and books. I am heading to Italy this fall with my husband for our anniversary. I am stressing over the transportation portion since we will be staying in Venice and are traveling to cities such as Florence, Rome, and Milan. What would be our best option I know the train is but should I purchase a pass or not? Also booking museum passes is it best when I get there or ahead of time.

  11. Christine Gryga Domijan on July 19, 2019 at 6:23 PM

    How much more money does it cost to go to Italy with a tour company.

    • Barry Choi on July 20, 2019 at 1:03 PM

      Check tourradar.com to get an idea of what tour of Italy would cost you.

  12. Laura Villalobos on July 20, 2019 at 2:47 AM

    Hello. I want to go to Italy, but not the typical places. I want to see the countryside. How can I go about that?

    • Barry Choi on July 20, 2019 at 1:03 PM

      Laura,

      If you want to go see the country, most people just rent a car.

  13. rosie on July 30, 2019 at 3:24 AM

    hi..do u have any idea how much will cost for a 20day travel there in italy?and what is the minimum and the maximum ull gonna spend?if its on a budget and u have a friends house for accomodation thatblocated in modena?how much do u think will cost and do you have any ideas what to prioritize so as to budget spending ?hope to have some.help on u guys..furst time to travel italy

    • Barry Choi on July 30, 2019 at 10:51 AM

      Rosie,

      It’s hard to say what the minimum and maximum you’ll spend will be since every traveller is different. If you’re staying with a friend the entire time, you’ll spend less on accommodations, but you still need to factor in flights and food. You also need to consider the cost of any attractions you plan to see.

  14. Michelle on August 10, 2019 at 10:15 PM

    We want to visit montebelluna, bologna, modena. Need to see family and supercars. Suggestions?.

  15. Laurie on September 11, 2019 at 9:57 PM

    We are traveling to Italy Oct 4th. Flight and accommodation is already pdf for. We r staying in Almafi for the 8 days and taking 2 excursions. Any suggestions on what excursions to take and how much money to take fir spending meals r pd for. One more question what temeture should we pack for ?

  16. Signy Ellerton Rich on January 6, 2020 at 1:13 PM

    Hello.
    We are a family planning a once in lifetime trip.
    Wed love to go to Italy.
    Problem …a very active 7 yr old.
    Should we skip Italy and so something more kid friendly??
    Your article was super helpful if it were just the adults.
    Any kid advice?

    • Barry Choi on January 6, 2020 at 4:35 PM

      Signy,

      I think you know your child better than I do. I know you say he/she is active, but what does your kid like to do? There are lots of things to see in Italy, but it’s a lot of museums and walking which may not appeal to a kid friendly.

      If Italy is a DREAM destination vacation for you, it may be worth waiting a bit.

  17. Mary L. on January 18, 2020 at 2:58 AM

    I love this article & I love your responsiveness to reader’s questions and concerns! I’ll be graduating my undergrad degree next year and I’m looking to go to Italy with my mother and boyfriend… maybe in October since you said it’s usually cheaper, and it’ll be my moms birthday. Long story short she’s a HUGE history buff, my boyfriend studies photography and I LOVE art history! Do you think it would be much more expensive if we spent a whole week (maybe more time) in Rome alone? And from there would it be feasible to make day trips to other cities? I’m surprised at how cheap your budgeting comes out to, but I already know we’d be the most interested in Rome (but obviously have to stop in Venice and Florence). Any advice? Thank you!

    • Barry Choi on January 18, 2020 at 10:29 AM

      Hi Mary,

      All you’re really doing is adding days so besides accommodations, food and maybe a few extra attractions, it’s not that much more expensive. You could technically day trip to Florence or anything within 2 hours from Rome, but if you plan on seeing parts of the country, you might as well build your itinerary around what you want to see. Florence has more day trips compared to Rome IMO. You also don’t need a lot of time in Venice as it is quite small.

  18. Arlene on February 23, 2020 at 11:22 AM

    Best way to Firmo and or Altomonte, Italy
    Where my grandparents are from
    Thank you so much

  19. Pawan on February 23, 2020 at 3:48 PM

    We have a family of three and visiting Italy for the first time for a nine day trip. Any suggestions on the itinerary and places to stay?

    • Barry Choi on February 23, 2020 at 8:11 PM

      Pawan,

      The standard itinerary would be Rome, Florence, Venice.

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