How much does it cost to travel to and through Italy?
Italy is known as one of the priciest European destinations – but it doesn’t have to be! After spending 10 days in Rome, Turin and Milan I’m now sharing how much it cost me and how you can plan how much Italy could set you back!
The whole trip – 562.43€
These are the parts of the trip which I booked beforehand:
Flights – 122€
I flew from Edinburgh to Rome in mid February with Ryanair which set me back 80€. I then returned to Edinburgh from Milan at the end of February with Easyjet, costing 42€.
TIP: Use comparison sites like skyscanner, momondo and kayak to find the cheapest flights. Be flexible because it might be cheaper flying from an airport other than your nearest. (For me, I could have flew from Glasgow or Manchester.)
TIP: Book in ICOGNITO MODE and flights tend to be cheapest 6 weeks before (often booking early in the week brings the costs down as well.
TIP: Fly mid week. They seriously bump up the prices at the weekend.
Accommodation – 145€
I will go into accommodation in each city later in this post, but I used hostels and airbnb and for 8 nights accommodation I spent an average of 18€ per night. This included breakfast for 6/8 nights and all of the places I stayed had a kitchen so I could cook.
Transport (trains between cities) – 46€
I took an overnight train from Rome to Turin (thus saving a night’s accommodation) which cost 30€ and a short train from Turin to Milan costing 16€.
TIP: Trains in Italy are pretty cheap, but make sure you either book on the correct website – trenitalia – or just book them at the station.
TIP: Overnight trains in Italy are quite comfortable and the seats fully lean back into beds. Book a seat opposite a free seat (and hopefully no one will book that) and then you effectively get a full bed!
This is what I spent whilst there:
Eating out – 113.50€
I ate out 8 times over the course of the trip, usually for dinner. This means that my average spend on a meal out was 14€. Normally I would just have some bread, a main meal and a soft drink but there were a couple of times where I splashed out on a starter or some wine. This also includes a tip for each meal out (about 10%). Eating out in Italy is wonderful because they really can cook! I enjoyed every single meal and had a varied mix of pasta, pizza, gnocchi, salads and one very tasty lasagna. I typically spent between 8€ and 10€ on a main.
TIP: Go where the locals go. Simple. Ask your host/hostel owner etc where they recommend. Avoid places with pictures of their food and watch out for sneaky service charges (especially in touristy locations).
Supermarket/market food – 41.98€
Most of my lunches and snacks throughout the day were homemade to cut costs. It also means I can eat on the go and enjoy sitting in piazzas in the sun with a nice baguette. Where possible I bought this food from local markets or small stores in the cities. We also cooked some dinners in our airbnbs which is fantastic for saving your euros.
TIP: Find the local markets! If only for a wander they are amazing!
Attractions – 28€
I actually didn’t spend much on attractions as in Italy most things are free. Especially wandering in and out of churches or between piazzas and gardens. I did have to buy tickets for the Vatican, the Royal Palace of Turin, the museum of cinema in Turin and Milan Cathedral. All very reasonable prices I believe.
TIP: Student discount! Some places didn’t even ask for any ID to show I was a student, so if you look like one – try it!
Local Transport – 23.95€
In big cities like Rome and Milan you are unlikely to avoid the metro. I only used it a couple of times in Rome (at 1.50€ a time) but in Milan I bought the 48hr card for 8.25€. I also incurred costs getting to and from the airports (only 3.20€ for a train from Rome Ciampino but 8€ for a bus to Milan Malpensa).
TIP: In big cities, getting a 24/48 hr pass could be worth the money. I didn’t get one in Rome because I think it’s just small enough to walk around but Milan is huge, so you would need one, unless you’re staying right in the centre.
TIP: The metro in Italy is simple and very effective. However, watch out for people who are ‘helping’ with the machines. They want money/a free ticket.
Extras – 42€
For me this was gelato, hot chocolates, postcards, gifts and a swanky bottle of limoncello at the airport. The little things every day do add up, but I have no regrets on the treats front. Italian ice cream and hot chocolates are incredible.
TIP: Coffees in Italy will set you back about 1€. Hot chocolates, that I had, cost me between 2.50€ and 4€ (the latter was in a cat cafe so I didn’t mind). I typically paid 2€ to 3.50€ for a little tub with 2 or 3 scoops of gelato. If you’re paying more, you’re in a very touristy place and the ice cream probably won’t be that great.
I will now go through the cities one by one, showing how much you may budget per day based on location and activities.
141.98€ for 4 days/3 nights = 35.50€ per day
These numbers reflect the cost of staying in the city based on accommodation, food, activities and local transport. I stayed in a great hostel (Freedom Traveller) which gave free breakfast and even free wine in the evenings. It cost 17.50€ per night for a bed in a 4 bed mixed room. Due to being in the city with all of my classmates, I ate out in more than the other cities which bought the price up.
Check out my letters from Rome here:
TIP: I found that eating out in Rome was cheapest around my hostel, which was near the Termini station. We ate in a couple of restaurants that were purely Italians and were the cheapest and nicest food I had.
TIP: Be sensible if you’re staying near the station. It turns into a rough area at night and a few of my classmates were actually followed back to their hostel. Just be aware – and if you don’t look like a tourist, they won’t treat you like one.
128.12€ for 3.5 days/3 nights = 36.61€ per day
This turned out to be the most expensive leg of my trip. This is mainly due to the attractions, where I paid to go to the Palace and the Museum – both of which I completely loved! I also indulged in a wonderful 2 course dinner, many hot chocolates and delicious market foods. The airbnb we stayed in was my favourite place and cost us 21€ each per night. The owner bought us breakfast and it was stunning so it was worth it. I think Turin is worth every penny, but I could definitely have been more stringent.
Check out my letters from Turin here:
TIP: Turin is one of the smallest, easiest cities to navigate – you will not get lost. But grab a free map in one of the many churches and it will label most of Turin’s churches. I did a couple of routes based on where these churches are.
TIP: Up in the north of the city, still walkable, is the Piazza della Republica where you will find an INCREDIBLE market! It sells everything.
70.83€ for 2.5 days/ 2 nights = 28.33€ per day
Milan was by far the cheapest destination, helped very much by finding airbnb accommodation for less than 14€ a night. The attractions were mainly free and we ate in one night so costs were cut. Milan is definitely a city where you can find free things to do everywhere!
Check out my letters from Milan here:
TIP: If you’re staying in an airbnb (or a hostel for that matter) that is a bit out of the city, check what underground lines you can access from it. The YELLOW line is the best for getting to the centre (Duomo) and also for getting to the buses to the airport and trains to the rest of Italy (Centrale). Our airbnb was also on the purple line which I also used one day to get near the centre.
TIP: The 48hr metro pass is 8.25€, each individual journey costs 1.50€ so weigh up how much you’ll use it.
So there you have it! 10 days in the beautiful country of Italy, visiting 3 cities for 562.43€. I was pretty pleased with the amount I spent considering I did do quite a bit of indulging. I was on holiday, can you blame me?
- Accommodation: 18€ per night
- Eating out: 14€ per meal
- Eating in: 3-5€ per evening meal
- Homemade lunch: 5€ for 3 days worth
- Attractions: depend on the city (about 8€)
- AVERAGE DAILY BUDGET: 33.48€
Hope this has been useful! Any questions, fire away!
PS. I’ve written post about my travel budgeting formula, which you can read here: How to calculate a travel budget (and other tips)