Picture this: rolling vineyards, colourful cliffside villages, sparkling turquoise waters, and copious amounts of wine. If that sounds like a dream come true, then Italy should be at the very top of your travel bucket list.
Italy isn’t always the cheapest European country to explore, but if you’re working with a tight to mid-range budget there are plenty of ways to avoid excessive spending. Looking to splurge on a more luxurious experience? Then Italy is definitely the place to visit. And believe us—once you go, you’ll want to keep going back.
Travel to: Italy
The best time to visit Italy for every budget
Like any popular travel destination, the cost of flights is one of the biggest factors impacting budget. Flexibility in terms of when you travel and the route you travel through is important. That means, if you’re really looking to cut costs, you may not be able to visit during your desired season.
Italy is a travel hotspot, so there’s no doubt that the cost of flights can skyrocket—especially in the summer between mid-May and mid-September. Traveling to Italy during low season could easily save you hundreds of dollars, but if you’re not interested in cold weather consider visiting during early spring and fall instead.
Traveling to Italy on a small to mid-range budget
- Roughly how much you’ll need for two weeks in Italy on a small to mid-range budget: 840-1680 EUR
- Cost per day: 60-150 EUR
How to get around
This is an obvious statement, but walking is seriously one of the best ways to see a city. For exploring smaller cities like Florence and Venice, walking is a great way to truly take in all the sights at your own pace. Take your sweet time strolling through old alleyways and stopping at shops along the way. If the sights you’re interested in seeing are more spread out, consider renting a bike. Costs may vary, but renting a bike is roughly $15 EUR per day.
For traveling between cities, the regional trains, the Metro and the bus are great affordable options. They may not be the fastest or most efficient, but they’ll do the job of getting you from point A to point B. Another option to consider is cheap flights from budget airlines—just book early.
Where to stay
In bigger cities such as Rome, Milan, and Venice, accommodation can be quite expensive. So, if you’re if you’re working with a small to mid-range budget, think about booking your stay in a neighbouring town that is easily accessible by public transit. If you’re interested in staying in the city, hostels and cheap Airbnbs are going to be your best bet. A hostel bunk within a dorm can cost as low as 25 EUR per night.
Activities to do
When in Italy, activities are where you can probably save the most. Unless shopping is on the top of your to dos, there are plenty of activities to enjoy that cost little to nothing. After all, exploring Italy requires no more than walking around and soaking in the incredible landscapes and culture.
- Walking tours are usually free and a great way to get to know a city with a local guide. Ask your hostel or Airbnb host if they offer anything similar.
- Churches and basilicas offer a peek into the long history and culture of Italy. Entry is usually free, but a small donation may be recommended.
- Have a picnic at a local park or public space. People-watching with a cappuccino or snack in hand can be an entertaining pastime.
- Museums are another affordable activity that often offer free admission on specific days. About 480 state museums (including the Colosseum in Rome) are currently free to the public on the first Sunday of every month.
See Also: The Cheapest Cities in Italy to Visit
What to eat and drink
Street eats all the way. And we’re not just talking about pizza and gelato—although those are also fantastic options. From arancini (stuffed rice balls) to pesce fritto al cono (fried fish in a cone) and zeppole (deep fried dough balls), Italy’s colourful street food scene offers plenty of gourmet snacks to enjoy on the go. Plus, they’ll only set you back a minor 3-5 EUR.
If you opt for a sit-down meal instead, keep in mind small things like water and bread may cost you—even if sounds like it’s being offered free. You can ask for tap water to avoid the 2-3 EUR charge for bottled water, but many restaurants may consider it rude.
Travel to: Italy on a budget
Traveling to Italy on a luxury budget
- Roughly how much you’ll need for two weeks in Italy on a luxury budget: 4900 EUR
- Cost per day: 350+ EUR
How to get around
If comfort is your top priority and cost isn’t, hire a private driver for day-to-day sightseeing. Most drivers are also local experts on the best places to see, eat and explore—extremely helpful for avoiding overly touristy spots. Prices vary by city, but expect a private day tour to cost around 100-300 EUR.
For travel between cities, Italy’s high-speed train network covers almost all major destinations with some trains running as fast as 300 km/h. Compared to regional trains, Italy’s high-speed trains offer far more luxurious seating. They’re comfortable, spacious and a wonderful way to see the country. However, if you’re looking to soak in the scenery, Italy’s high-speed trains may actually be too fast. You might want to consider the regional train instead.
Where to stay
Indulging on accomodation in Italy is easy, but it will cost you around 150-200 EUR per night. There are endless options to choose from: trendy boutique hotels in the city centre; resort-style living right on the coast; and rustic villas that offer a charming and intimate experience. When booking your stay, look for the following amenities: breathtaking views, a private pools, five-star fine dining experiences with tasting menus, geothermal spas, and a 24/7 concierge service to help with any additional inquiries. Exp
Activities to do
Besides your accommodation and transport, there are plenty of activities you can do to experience luxury on a whole other level. Shopping is an obvious option; after all, Italy is considered the capital of luxury retail. But if you’re looking for more unique options, here are a few to consider.
- Winery hopping is basically a must when visiting Italy. Get a trust taste of Italy’s famous wineries in the Chianti, Brunello, Barolo and Valpolicella regions.
- Private boat cruises are perfect for both large groups and couples. Sail the high seas while shipping champagne with your friends or cozy up to partner and enjoy a leisurely sunset.
- Spa retreats are the ultimate way to relax, and Italy has no shortage of five-star spas. Unwind and enjoy everything from geothermal pools to extensive treatments using only the best ingredients.
- Truffle hunting is an exciting activity if you’re interested in something uniquely Italian. Hunt for truffles walking while walking through the woods and get top tips on how to use them.
What to eat and drink
Fine-dine your way through Italy’s many Michelin-starred restaurants:10 three-star restaurants and a whopping 357 other one and two-star restaurants. Enjoy the diversity of Italian cuisine, with everything from the freshest of seafood to melt-in-your-mouth pastas and innovative takes on traditional dishes.
When it comes to drinking, Italians takes their alcohol seriously. Discover charming cocktail bars, artisanal wine bars and hidden speakeasies preparing drinks that could easily pass as art. Just make sure to dress to impress—everybody else will!
Travel to: Italy on a luxury budget
Do you have any tips for visiting Italy? Share with us in the comments below!