๐Ÿ’ฐ My 2024 Italy Trip Cost: A Budget Breakdown

A woman sitting in front of a fountain surrounded by marble sculptures.

Italy, a country famous for Renaissance masterpieces and gelato, can be visited with a budget of $75 to $150 a day.

My trip to Italy cost a total of $2,651. In this post, I share:

  • ๐Ÿ’ฐ Expected travel costs
  • ๐Ÿ’ก Budgeting tips
  • ๐Ÿ’ต How much cash to bring
  • โœˆ๏ธ My trip’s costs by category
  • ๐Ÿ“ My trip’s costs by destination
  • โœŒ๏ธ A trip to Italy cost for two people

Planning a trip? Here’s what to know about Italy.

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Is Italy Expensive To Travel To?

Italy is a semi-affordable destination to visit in Europe. Travel costs, such as housing, food, and attractions, vary significantly between regions. While major cities can be pricey, Italy also offers fresh food for cheap, reasonable train ticket prices, and a wide range of accommodations for different budgets.

Compared to other popular European destinations, Italy is less budget-friendly than Portugal, Germany, and Spain, but it’s generally more affordable than the UK, Iceland, and Switzerland.

๐Ÿ’ฐ Trip Daily Budget for Countries in Europe

For comparison, I visited these countries in Europe within a year of visiting Italy, and hereโ€™s how much I spent per day at each one:

CountryDaily Budget
๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡ธ Iceland$306
๐Ÿ‡ช๐Ÿ‡ธ Spain$155
๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡น Italy$131
๐Ÿ‡ต๐Ÿ‡น Portugal$116
Daily Travel Budget for Countries in Europe

See all my daily budget for each destination I’ve visited.

How Much Is a Trip to Italy?

This section covers estimated trip costs depending on your travel style. I share my actual travel expenses further below.

๐ŸŽ’ Budget Traveler โ€“ Italy Trip Cost

A budget traveler can expect to spend approximately $75 per day or $525 for one week of travel in Italy, excluding flights. Two budget travelers visiting Italy can expect to spend about $120 daily.

Here’s what a budget traveler’s cost breakdown can look like:

CategoryCost per Day
๐Ÿ  Accommodation$35
๐Ÿ Food$15
๐Ÿš† Transportation$10
๐Ÿท Entertainment$15
Total$75
Italy Daily Budget for a Budget Traveler

Traveling Italy on a Budget

To travel to Italy on a budget, here are some things youโ€™ll need to do:

  • ๐Ÿ  Accommodation โ€“ Forgo staying in a private room and instead stay at dorm-style hostels for about $35 per night in cities like Rome and Florence. Aim to find housing in less central areas.
  • ๐Ÿš† Transportation โ€“ Take the budget bus, FlixBus, which can be $10 to $15 cheaper than public transportation. However, the bus takes much longer and is more inconvenient than Italy’s trains.
  • ๐Ÿ Food โ€“ Buy food at a grocery store and eat simple meals (like pizza), which will save you more than $100 a week compared to dining out for every meal in Italy.
  • ๐Ÿท Entertainment โ€“ Many of Italy’s top attractions charge an entrance fee. To reduce your trip costs, it’s a good idea to:
    • Buy the most basic ticket at attractions and be prepared to wait in long lines. For example, the Colosseum’s basic ticket requires waiting in the security line and doesn’t allow access to all parts of the amphitheater.
    • Skip expensive attractions like riding a gondola in Venice (which starts at $87 for a 30-minute ride if you don’t split it with anyone else) or taking an all-day wine tour (which usually starts at $40 for a half-day tour).
    • Take advantage of free walking tours in major cities to see top attractions from the outside.
  • โ˜€๏ธ Travel Season โ€“ Travel to Italy during the low season, which coincides with the winter months (November to February). There will be fewer tourists, and accommodation prices can drop by more than 25% during this time, so you’ll get the best deals then.

๐Ÿ’ฐ Mid-Range Budget Traveler โ€“ Italy Trip Cost

A mid-range budget traveler like myself can expect to spend approximately $150 per day or $1,050 for one week of travel in Italy, excluding flights. Two mid-range budget travelers visiting Italy can expect to spend about $270 per day.

I break down my trip expenses by travel category below.

About My Italy Trip

To give context to the expenses below, here’s what you need to know about my trip:

  • ๐Ÿ—“๏ธย 16 days โ€“ I spent a little over two weeks in Italy, visiting eight places:
  • โ˜€๏ธ High season โ€“ I went to Italy in May, which is considered the start of the high season.

Italy’s peak season runs from May to September when the weather is pleasant.

  • โœŒ๏ธย Group travel โ€“ I traveled with one to two other friends at all times, so we were able to split some costs, such as housing. My travel reflects what a trip to Italy would look like for two people.
  • ๐Ÿ’ฐ Mid-range budget โ€“ I consider myself a mid-range budget traveler, and these expenses reflect that. I donโ€™t aim to travel on a budget, but Iโ€™m thoughtful about how and where I spend.
  • ๐Ÿ€ Self-funded โ€“ My trips are self-funded, so I paid for everything listed below. None of my excursions or experiences are sponsored.
  • ๐Ÿ’ต US dollars โ€“ All costs listed in this post are per person and in US dollars, converted from Italy’s local currency, the euro.

The exchange rate was $1 USD = โ‚ฌ0.92 at the time of writing.

A woman holding a glass of red wine against a field of grapes.
Wine-tasting tour in Florence, Italy.

Total Cost for an Italy Trip: $2,651

My two-week trip to Italy cost a total of $2,651, including flights. I traveled with at least one other person at all times, so my budget was slightly lower than if I had traveled solo.

See the highlights of my trip in this Italy itinerary.

๐Ÿ’ฐ Cost Breakdown for Italy

Here’s a quick overview of my expenses by travel category:

CountryCost% of TotalDaily Budget
โœˆ๏ธ Flights$56421%
๐Ÿ  Accommodation$86833%$54
๐Ÿ Food$55621%$35
๐Ÿš‡ Transportation$26510%$17
โญ Entertainment$39815%$25
Total$2,651100%$131
Italy Trip’s Cost Breakdown

๐Ÿ—“๏ธ Daily Budget in Italy: $131

My Italy trip cost $131 per day, excluding my round-trip flights from and to the United States.

Daily Budget
Excluding flights$131
Including flights$166
Italy Trip’s Cost Per Day

A mid-range budget traveler can expect to spend $150 per day in Italy. This generally means staying at mid-range hotels for about $90 a night, eating at primarily $ to $$ restaurants, taking Italy’s convenient trains, and booking group tours for some of the top attractions.

A view of many colorful buildings on a mountain by the ocean.
Cinque Terre, one of my favorite places in Italy.

โœˆ๏ธ Flight Cost to Italy: $564

My round-trip flight from the East Coast of the United States to Milan Malpensa Airport was $564.

A direct, round-trip flight between the US and Italy that costs under $400 is considered cheap; international flights typically cost over $500.

๐Ÿ  Accommodation Costs in Italy: $868

My average cost of accommodation in Italy was $54 per day. I was able to split accommodations with one to two other people at all times.

Here are the accommodations I stayed at and how much I paid for each:

AccommodationTotal CostCost per Night
Florence hotel & Airbnb$273$55
Milan hostel$159$80
Rome hotel$157$79
Venice Airbnb$103$52
Cinque Terre Airbnb$89$44
Modena Airbnb$87$44
Italy Trip’s Accommodation Costs

Budgeting Tips for Accommodations in Italy

Here are my budgeting tips and things to note regarding accommodations in Italy:

  • Try to split accommodations with someone โ€“ Italy has expensive accommodations. Housing is where I saved the most by always traveling with another person.
  • Low and high seasons have nontrivial price differences โ€“ A mid-range hotel room in tourist areas in Italy starts at around $70 per night, and you’ll likely have to pay closer to $100 per night during the high season.
  • Stay in non-central areas โ€“ For cheaper accommodations in popular cities like Rome, Milan, and Florence, you’ll need to stay farther away from the city center. For example, staying in Venice’s less popular Cannaregio district will be significantly cheaper than staying in the San Polo or San Marco districts.
  • Italy has no shortage of luxury hotels โ€“ Italy offers many high-end hotels with stunning views over the ocean, lake, or canal. Expect to pay more than $2,000 for a night at one of these luxury hotels.
Colorful buildings near the shore of a blue lake.
Lake views in Italy. (Photo by my friend, Nami Sumida.)

๐Ÿ Food Cost in Italy: $556

My average cost of food in Italy was $35 per day.

Food costs in Italy vary widely; you can eat on a budget or extravagantly. A mid-range budget traveler can expect to spend about $40 per day on food in Italy. This includes getting coffee, eating a snack, and eating at $ to $$ restaurants.

Cheapest Meals in Italy

Here are the most affordable meals I ate during my trip:

MealLocationCost
Pizza slicePizza restaurant (Rome)$2
Rice bowl with proteinSig.Riso Restaurant (Florence)$7
Fried seafood and gelatoFood stalls (Cinque Terre)$8
Cheapest Meals in Italy
Two people holding gelatos while taking a selfie.
Eating a lot of gelato in Italy.

Most Expensive Meals in Italy

Here are the most expensive meals I ate during my trip:

MealLocationCost
Pasta and prosciuttoRistorante Cocchi (Parma)$34
Seafood mealRistorante La Posada (Cinque Terre)$30
Pasta and dessertUva D’Oro (Modena)$28
Most Expensive Meals in Italy
A plate full of cured meat with a glass of red wine.
Prosciutto di Parma at Cocchi in Parma.

Be warned that you can end up with expensive, mediocre pasta in tourist restaurants if you don’t do a bit of restaurant research and make reservations. A way to enjoy quality food in Italy is to go on highly-rated food tours, especially in big, overwhelming cities like Rome.

๐Ÿš† Transportation Cost in Italy: $265

My average cost of transportation in Italy was $17 per day. I averaged $19 per train ride while traveling between cities.

Here are the transportation methods I took and how much I paid for each:

TransportationTotal Cost
Train$243
Ferry (Lake Como)$10
Bus and metro (Rome, Milan)$12
Italy Trip’s Transportation Costs

Budgeting Tips for Trains in Italy

Here are my budgeting tips and things to note regarding trains in Italy:

  • The best way to get around Italy is by train travel โ€“ Italy has a well-maintained train system primarily operated by Trenitalia that will conveniently get you to many places around the country.
  • Train tickets are reasonably priced โ€“ An average ticket will cost between $10 and $40, depending on the distance traveled and whether you’re taking a high-speed train.
  • Italy generally has two types of trains โ€“ The country has several train operators and tracks, which can get confusing. At a high level, you need to be aware of two types of trains:
    • High-speed trains serve major cities throughout Italy and run on their own train tracks. I took several of these trains and typically paid between $30 and $50.
    • Regional trains are much slower but can reach almost any part of the country. A ticket on a regional train starts at $10.
Two woman sitting inside a foot-operated cart inside a park.
Renting a bike cart around Rome’s park.

๐Ÿท Entertainment Cost in Italy: $392

My average cost for entertainment in Italy was $25 per day. This total includes a 5% to 10% tip at certain places.

Most of Italy’s major attractions charge a basic entrance fee of $20 to $30. This cost significantly increases once you pay for a tour guide or skip-the-line tickets.

Here are all the activities and attractions I paid for and how much each cost:

Activity or AttractionCost
Sistine Chapel guided tour (Rome)$96
Tuscany wine-tasting small-group tour (Florence)$86
Colosseum guided tour (Rome)$66
Gondola ride (Venice)$45
Pasta-making class (Florence)$45
Uffizi Gallery entrance fee (Florence)$27
The Boboli Gardens entrance fee (Florence)$11
Duomo di Milano entrance fee (Milan)$6
Castello di Vezio entrance fee (Lake Como) $5
Villa Borghese bike rental (Rome)$3
Ruins of Doria Tower entrance fee (Cinque Terre) $2
Miscellaneous (laundry & souvenir)$6
Italy Trip’s Entertainment Cost
Two women posing for a selfie in front of an ancient ampiteather.
Inside the Colosseum in Rome.

One of the highlights of my trip was hiking around the stunning Cinque Terre.

Cost Breakdown by Destination in Italy

Below are my trip expense breakdowns for Rome, Florence, Venice, Cinque Terre, Milan, Lake Como, Modena, and Parma. Many of these major locations are often featured in first-timers’ travel itineraries.

๐ŸŽจ Rome Trip’s Total Cost: $428

During my two-day trip to Rome, averagedย $214 in daily travel expenses.

I stayed at a mid-range budget hotel and split it with a friend. I also paid for a guided tour of the Sistine Chapel in Vatican City and the Colosseum, which significantly increased my appreciation for both.

CategoryTotal CostDaily Budget
๐Ÿ  Accommodation$157$79
๐Ÿ Food$65$32
๐Ÿš‡ Transportation$40$20
โญ Entertainment$166$83
Rome Trip’s Costs by Category
Two women standing outside with an ancient dome in the background.
Outside the Sistine Chapel (photos are not allowed inside).

Rome is the most visited city in Italy. It’s home to some of the country’s most famous attractions, like the Sistine Chapel, Colosseum, and Vatican Museums, so expect to spend over $20 on entrance fees here. Other top attractions, like Trevi Fountain and the Pantheon, are free.

๐Ÿฆ Florence Trip’s Total Cost: $608

During my five-day trip to Florence, averagedย $122 in daily travel expenses.

I stayed at an Airbnb and a mid-range budget hotel in the center of Florence and split the cost with another person. I also booked a Tuscany wine-tasting tour, a small-group pasta-making class, and basic entrance tickets to the Uffizi Gallery and the Boboli Gardens.

CategoryTotal CostDaily Budget
๐Ÿ  Accommodation$273$55
๐Ÿ Food$146$29
๐Ÿš‡ Transportation$15$3
โญ Entertainment$174$35
Florence Trip’s Costs by Category

Check out great things to do in Florence.

Two people holding a container with freshly-made pasta.
Pasta-making class in Florence.

Florence is a very walkable city, so you likely won’t spend much on transportation. It’s known for day tours and trips outside the city, so you might spend a lot on entertainment when visiting.

๐Ÿ›ถ Venice Trip’s Total Cost: $255

During my two-day trip to Venice, I averagedย $127 in daily travel expenses.

I stayed at an Airbnb where I shared the living space with the host and paid for a gondola ride. Venice is one of the most touristy places you’ll visit in Italy, so expect costs to be high.

CategoryTotal CostDaily Budget
๐Ÿ  Accommodation$103$52
๐Ÿ Food$74$37
๐Ÿš‡ Transportation$33$17
โญ Entertainment$45$22
Venice Trip’s Costs by Category

See how to spend a day in Venice.

A woman taking a bite out of a crepe while standing in front of a narrow water canal.
Eating in front of one of Venice’s many canals.

Venice’s iconic gondola rides start at โ‚ฌ90 (roughly $98) for a 30-minute ride if you’re not splitting with others (the government regulates the price, so you won’t be able to negotiate). You need to pay in cash, so bring some euros with you.

โ›ฐ๏ธ Cinque Terre Trip’s Total Cost: $420

During my two-day trip to Cinque Terre, I averaged $120 in daily travel expenses.

I visited Cinque Terre mainly to hike through the stunning villages, which doesn’t cost much. Having traveled to several tourist cities in Italy, I found the food to be the most expensive in Cinque Terre.

CategoryTotal CostDaily Budget
๐Ÿ  Accommodation$89$44
๐Ÿ Food$101$50
๐Ÿš‡ Transportation$49$24
โญ Entertainment$2$1
Cinque Terre Trip’s Costs by Category
A woman standing in front of a background with colorful buildings on a mountain by the ocean.
A view in Cinque Terre.

Cinque Terre is a budget-friendly version of Amalfi Coast in southern Italy. The average price of accommodation, restaurants, and attractions is slightly lower in Cinque Terre as Amalfi Coast is considered a luxury destination.

๐Ÿ‘— Milan Trip’s Total Cost: $285

During my two-day trip to Milan, I averagedย $143 in daily travel expenses.

I stayed at a hostel-style Airbnb, paid to enter Milan’s Duomo, and did a few free activities, such as exploring the Navigli district.

CategoryTotal CostDaily Budget
๐Ÿ  Accommodation$159$80
๐Ÿ Food$58$29
๐Ÿš‡ Transportation$63$31
โญ Entertainment$6$3
Milan Trip’s Costs by Category
The exterior view of an elaborate, white cathedral.
The Duomo di Milano.

In Milan, expect to spend a lot on accommodation and shopping if you’re interested in buying clothes from the world’s fashion capital.

๐ŸŒท Lake Como Trip’s Total Cost: $62

I did a day trip to Lake Como from Milan. Despite the rainy weather, it was a beautiful day trip easily accessible via Italy’s trains.

CategoryTotal Cost
๐Ÿ Food$33
๐Ÿš‡ Transportation$24
โญ Entertainment$5
Lake Como Trip’s Costs by Category

Read more on how to do a day trip to Lake Como.

A woman sitting in front of a large lake with a mountain in the background.
A view of Lake Como.

When traveling to Lake Como, you’ll need to account for the roughly $5 one-way ferry rides between each town and the $14 round-trip train tickets to and from Milan.

๐Ÿ Modena & Parma Trip’s Total Cost: $209

During my two-day trip to Modena and Parma, averagedย $105 in daily travel expenses.

I stayed in Modena and did a day trip to Parma. Parma is a small town known as the origin site for Parmigiano Reggiano, the upgraded and regulation version of Parmesan, and Prosciutto di Parma.

CategoryTotal CostDaily Budget
๐Ÿ  Accommodation$87$44
๐Ÿ Food$81$41
๐Ÿš‡ Transportation$41$20
Modena and Parma Trip’s Costs by Category
Thin cured ham sitting on a plate.
Parma ham at Cocchi Restaurant.

Modena and Parma are known to have some of the best restaurants in the world, so I traveled there primarily for the food and to experience a slightly less tourist area of Italy. This Parma travel guide compares Bologna, Modena, and Parma.

Do You Need Cash in Italy?

Like many European countries, Italy has a good credit card infrastructure. However, many places still rely on cash transactions, so make sure to bring some cash.

Below are tips on bringing and using cash in Italy.

๐Ÿ’ถ 1. Withdraw cash in euros.

Italy’s local currency is the euro (โ‚ฌ), and the US dollar is not widely accepted.

Avoid Euronet ATMs when withdrawing cash in Italy. Throughout Europe, Euronet ATMs consistently have high fees and use terrible exchange rates, so unless you’re in desperate need of cash, I would avoid them.

๐Ÿง 2. Carry about $15 to $20 worth of cash per day to Italy.

On a typical day, a mid-range budget traveler in Italy will need at least $15 in cash to cover food, transportation, and attractions. A daily cash expense breakdown can look like this:

  • $5 at cafes
  • $5 for tipping and small entrance fees
  • $5 for miscellaneous spending

On my Italy trip, I spent a total of $118 (about $7 per day) in cash. Here’s a breakdown of how I used my cash:

CategoryTotal Cash
๐Ÿท Attractions$59
๐Ÿ Food (cafe and stalls)$47
๐Ÿ  Housing city tax*$12
Amount of Cash by Category for Italy Trip

*Some accommodations in certain cities, like Cinque Terre, have city tax fees that must be paid in cash.

I keep my cash in my crossbody bag, but if you want extra protection against pickpocketing, carry it in a hidden money belt instead.

๐Ÿ’ต 3. Certain places in Italy are cash-only.

While credit cards are commonly used in Italy, I still had to use cash several times during my two-week trip. Here are some of the places that were cash-only in Italy:

  • Cafes โ€“ Small cafes that mainly serve coffee and pastries are sometimes cash-only.
  • Small attractions โ€“ Several of Italy’s small attractions with entrance fees that are less than $5 will typically only take cash.
  • Gondola rides โ€“ You typically hand cash to gondoliers after going on a ride.
  • Tours โ€“ Tipping is not mandatory, but it’s optional.
  • Accommodation city taxes โ€“ Some Airbnbs in certain cities, like Cinque Terre, have city tax fees that must be paid in cash.

๐Ÿ’ฐ 4. Tipping is not expected in Italy.

Tipping is often appreciated in Italy, but itโ€™s optional. Tips are generally only done for exceptional service.

  • Bars and cafes โ€“ Many locals round up their total cost at bars and cafes, and that will suffice as a tip. Otherwise, tipping is not expected.
  • Restaurants โ€“ Some people tip a small amount to cover the bread and oil, which are usually served as appetizers at restaurants. Still, a tip is generally not expected if a cover charge is already added to the bill.
  • Tours โ€“ Tipping tour guides are more common in Italy, and a 5% to 10% tip is standard.

See other essential travel tips for Italy before visiting.

Italy Trip Planner

To make your travel planning easier, download the trip planner below and use it as a starting point. The planner has country-specific travel information, an itinerary, a packing list, and a map with key places pinned.

The trip planner is built on Notion, which I use for all my travel planning (I genuinely love this tool). If you don’t have Notion, creating an account is free.

Three Notion template screenshots are shown: travel information, itinerary, and map + packing list templates.
Preview of Italy trip planner.

Thoughts? Questions? Leave a comment below.

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1 Comment

  1. Muhammad Awais

    Very Useful, Thank You

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