Italy is the fifth most visited country in the world, which is not surprising considering its natural landscapes, religious history, and world-renowned cuisine. It is the world's largest wine producer, and a complimentary wine fountain flows 24/7 in Caldari di Ortona.
Italy is very welcoming to visitors, and it's not surprising that tour lovers always want to visit this location throughout the year. It's not surprising that Italy is a favorite travel destination for many people, but how much will an Italian trip cost?
The average cost of a 7-day fun trip to Italy is around $1500. This total cost includes $400 on average for flight tickets gathered from most airports worldwide and $158 for daily spending. The average daily budget includes $80 for accommodation, $36 for meals, $21 for local transportation, and $21 for tourist activities and tours.
However, before packing your bags for an Italian trip, you have to consider creating a detailed travel budget that contains everything you'll spend throughout your trip. Read on to find out how accommodation, transportation, activities, and entertainment affects your budget and tips to cut costs.
How Expensive Is A Visit To Italy?
A trip to Italy is affordable compared to other European countries. While preparing your budget, you should set aside enough money to cover significant expenses like hotel, food, and transportation. It should also be enough for tours, activities, and miscellaneous bills.
You should budget an average of $1500 for a 7-day trip. There's no shortage of activities and tours in every Italian city, so you should find activities that suit your budget, regardless of how big or small.
If you favor a more luxurious traveling style, there's no limit to your budget. You can spend $900-$3000 on first-class tickets. 4-5 star hotels go for $120-$300 or $400-$900 for vacation rentals. Tours and activities will take $100, while $40-$100 should cover daily meals.
Traveling To Italy On A Tight Budget
Traveling on a tight budget to Italy is possible, and you will also participate in activities and tours without spending too much. If you aren't particular about style, the average cost of a 7-day solo trip to Italy on a tight budget is $640. However, it'll mean readjusting your lifestyle and forfeiting some activities.
Airlines always offer discounts, and if you dig deep enough, you can find round-trip flights to Italy between $200 or less. You can also reduce your daily spending from $158 to $70 if you cramp up your style.
Leading cities are more expensive, and you can limit your visits to the countryside. If you're looking for a feel similar to Tuscany, then the small towns of Umbria or Bologna can provide the same experiences. You need $30 for 1-2 star hotels, or you can even get vacation rentals for as low as $15. After spending $2 on bus fares and $17 for meals, you will have change for a train ride to explore major cities and back.
Related Read: 40 BEST Restaurants in Italy
Basic Expenses On A Vacation To Italy
Before creating a detailed budget for your Italian trip, you will need a breakdown of each item that influences the cost. This detailed breakdown will enable you to plan adequately for your trip and prepare for any surprises.
1. Flight Tickets
A significant expense you should consider when planning your trip is the cost of round-trip flight tickets. Italy receives many visitors, and factors such as season, booking in advance, and flight dates will affect the flight fares.
The cost of a round trip to Italy in March, April, May, and October averages $400-$600. However, June, July, August, and September are peak months for tourism, and flight fares average $1200.
The summer months are expensive in Italy because they coincide with peak school holidays and family vacations. If you must visit Italy during summer, there are several tips to reduce airfares that many savvy travelers use. You can try booking flights 30-60 days before departure and dig deeper for airline discounts.
Accommodation in Italy can be expensive and will take the most significant portion of your travel budget. There is accommodation for every style, from backpacker hostels, rural Bed & Breakfast, standard hotels, and large hotel chains.
A budget-friendly dorm in smaller cities costs an average of $20-$25 per day, with a small number of people sharing. However, the same hostels in Rome, Venice, or Florence will cost more with more people sharing. Private Airbnb rooms can go as low as $35-$40 per day in smaller cities.
A standard hotel room costs $80-$120 per day, depending on the location. A typical hotel in the city center of a popular tourist destination like Rome is more expensive at $150-$200 per day.
The accommodation cost varies with season, location, date, and style. You will pay more for the same accommodation type in bigger cities than in smaller towns.
Related Read: Best Time To Visit Tuscany
When traveling to Italy, chances are you will visit more than one city throughout your stay. The cost of both local and Intercity transportation should be high on your list of things to consider. Most exciting places in Italy are far from one another, and you will need a mix of buses, taxis, and trains for transportation.
- Public transportation: Buses and trams have the lowest fares, with an average price of $1.20-$1.60 for a 1km ride. They are your best bet for moving around, especially in smaller towns. The fares increase to $2 when you purchase them inside the bus rather than at a ticket booth.
- Taxis: Moving around with cabs is pricier than using public transportation. You should budget a daily average cost of $21 for local transportation using taxis. Taxis are mainly used in bigger cities and buses in small towns.
- Trains: Fast trains cost $50 while slower trains cost $20. Besides being cheaper, the slow trains are scenic and stop in smaller towns. Remember to validate your tickets, or you will be fined $50 per ticket.
- Gondola ride: the gondola ride is the only method of moving along the canals of Venice apart from walking. A 2-day card is $35, although you can walk the streets of Venice in 20 minutes. Most tourist gondola rides can seat six people at a time and costs $80 during the day and $100 at night.
- Car rentals: the average cost of a car rental is $53-$358, depending on the type of car and the location. When renting a car, you must factor in the cost of fuel ($1.70 per liter) and parking.
Food is one of the main highlights of Italy's culture and another vital part of your budget. Generally, breakfast is cheaper than lunch or dinner, and fast food is more affordable than fine dining.
Almost all hotels offer a $5 breakfast of coffee, tea, and pastry. Lunch or dinner ranges between $20-$60, and most restaurants will charge you an additional fee for dining inside. Food prices are fair in supermarkets, and you can consider cooking your meals if your accommodation style allows it.
Alcohol prices are relatively high, and you will pay $4-$5 for a beer or $7-$8 for cocktails. Fast food prices are fair, with a standard McDonald's meal costing $7.
Related Read: Best Time of Year to Visit Rome
5. Tours & Activities
Italy's tourist attractions spread from its beautiful coastlines, picturesque villages, fine cuisine, and vineyards. Every large and small city has many attractions to offer visitors.
A group tour in Florence costs an average of $30-$50 per person. Tours include the Ponte Vecchio bridge, Michaelangelo's David statue, and the iconic Uffizi gallery. It costs $5-$10 to visit a private or public museum to see Italy's rich history in art and culture.
You need $40-$100 to visit the Colosseum in Rome, the Sistine Chapel, or climb the top of St. Peter's Basilica. It costs an average of $65 per person to take a group tour of Tuscany's vineyards. $30 is enough for a tour of small family-run vineyards, and it comes with excess food and different wines.
6. Souvenirs And Other Expenses
Most people bring back souvenirs as a reminder of their experiences and memorable moments. $100 is enough to buy famous souvenirs such as limoncello bottles, Venetian masks, fresh olive oil, Murano glass, etc.
Another necessary expense to consider on your journey is travel insurance. Travel insurance will protect you during medical emergencies, lost luggage, and canceled flights. Compare quotes from different agencies and go for a policy that covers all. Other miscellaneous expenses include tips for tour guides, restaurants, etc.
Related Read: Best Time To Visit Amalfi Coast
Tips To Save On Your Trip To Italy
Italy offers soaring mountains, ancient ruins, beautiful museums, scenic coastlines, and 55 UNESCO heritage sites. There's no limit to tourist attractions; it's easy to see how you can go over budget. The following tips will show you how to take advantage of this beautiful country without breaking the bank.
1. Avoid Traveling During Peak Seasons
If you want to save money on your trip to Italy, consider traveling outside peak season. Summer is the most expensive time to visit Italy, and flight fares, accommodation, and other travel expenses usually surge during this time. For example, a trip to the Amalfi coast in summer will see a surge in flight costs and difficulty finding housing.
If you have to travel in the summer, consider booking six months before your journey. However, this still doesn't guarantee you will get the best accommodation. Also, you can consider traveling during the first week of summer because flight fees are outrageous in the late summer months.
2. Save Money On Flight Tickets
You can reduce your flight ticket cost by booking 3-6 months in advance. It is possible to save enough travel points on your credit card to cover at least two flight fares.
Sometimes you can get cheaper flights to major European airports like London or Amsterdam. If you book ahead, you can get $100 flights from the major airports to Italy on Ryanair or Easyjet. Always remember to look out for hidden fees and baggage requirements.
According to millions of flight data from airports worldwide, the best days to travel are Tuesdays to Thursdays. Clear your browser cookies before booking flights to get a good deal.
3. Lower Food & Entertainment Expenses
You can lower your food expenses by eating outside of tourist restaurants. Avoid restaurants that are a stone's throw away from main attractions by walking a block or two. You will typically know a tourist restaurant if there's an English menu published outside.
Alcohol is usually expensive, which is probably why Italians don't drink daily; however, look for happy hour 'apertivo' from 6-8 pm. There's a discount on wines and cocktails with snacks with a buffet of charcuterie, cheese, bread, and olives.
4. Take Self-Guided Tours
Italy is easy to navigate alone, and you can wander and explore Italian cities for free. There are free museums like Museo Delle Mura, Museo Scientifico Luigi Guidi, or Museo Nazionale d'arte Medievale e Moderna.
Take self-guided tours to parks such as Circus Maximus and the Botanical gardens in Rome. Or you can rent a car to explore smaller picturesque towns and villages in Bologna.
5. Travel In A Group
Traveling with a group has always been a way to reduce travel costs. Accommodation, food, and transportation take a considerable part of your budget, and you can split this cost among your group.
It is cheaper to split a $50 car rental among yourselves and tour the many vineyards in Tuscany. In addition, most standard hotel rooms are double beds which you can share with a friend and save cost.