So you want to go to Italy but are worried it’ll break the bank. I get it. I was there. I know how expensive parts of Europe can be. (I was that student in London who wouldn’t buy anything in the grocery store over ￡3.) Luckily times have changed and so has my budget. But I’m still very conscientious about my money. So I found myself wondering, how much does a trip to Italy cost? And in case you have a similar feeling, I want to help you out. This is my complete budget for our 10 day trip to Italy.
The below breakdown includes everything from the moment we got on the plane to the moment we got off it. I’m not including our travel expenses to the airport. I want this to be representation of our Italy costs. But please factor that into your budget. Think gas, food, airport food (but beware here – it’s always so expensive), and airport parking.
Also note that I converted all Euros to US dollars. But we did luck out and go when the exchange rate was pretty reasonable.
So here it is, the cost for a trip to Italy:
Total Cost for Two People: $3,653.82
So read on for the full breakdown to see exactly where all that money went.
- Flights: $1,102.52
- Train Tickets: $559
- Vaporetto Tickets: $39
- Milan Subway Tickets: $7
- Left Luggage: $7
We got fairly cheap flights to Milan (only about $550 per person). But we did spend a lot of time on trains. That price includes tickets for 3 big journeys (Milan->Venice, Venice->Florence, & Florence->Milan). Each of these routes was about $50/person. We also took a day trip to Pisa (~$10 per person per way). And there was the train from Milan Airport to the main train station (~$16 per person per way).
Total for Transportation: $1,714.52
We didn’t stay in any hostels this time around. And we roughly tried to stick to a budget of $100/night. As you can see we ended up going over that a little bit. But I ended up really liking all of the places we stayed at. And our Florence room was so close to the duomo. Less than a 5 minute walk.
Total for Accommodation: $857.72
- Venice: $13 (this was our breakfast and lunch cost)
- Venice: $134 (includes two nights of dinners)
- Florence: $224 (includes five nights of dinners)
- Florence: $91 (this was our breakfast, lunch, & gelato cost)
- Pisa: $29 (this was lunch and snacks for the train)
- Milan: $56.50 (our only dinner in Milan)
Ryan and I love food. But we also know this can be a major expense. So we tried to eat sort of cheaply for a few nights. Both nights in Venice we ate big since we basically skipped lunches. And for two nights in Florence we got pizza or sandwiches. But what about the nights we ate out in restaurants in Florence? Our average bill was ~$65. This was kept low-ish by the fact that we drank the house wine, ordered antipasti & first courses, and tried to go to places outside of the main tourist zone.
Total for Food: $547.50
- Venice: $41
- Florence: $177
- Milan: $26
We love to go out for drinks. A glass of wine, a cocktail, a beer. And we went out for something mosts of the nights we were there. Now we usually only got 1 or 2 drinks, so this is not a budget for a heavy drinker. But this does accommodate a couple of drinks per night.
Total for Drinks: $244
- Venice Campanile: $20
- Venice Doge Palace: $48
- Florence Galleria dell’Accademia (David): $20
- Florence Museo Del Duomo: $36
- Florence Museo Galileo: $22
- Pisa Leaning Tower: $43
Note that all of these prices have been converted to dollars and are for two people. Our two big costs here were the Doge Palace and the Leaning Tower of Pisa. The best bang for our buck? The Museo Del Duomo. With this single ticket you get access to 5 attractions – including climbing to the top of the dome.
Total for Entrance Fees: $189
Read Next: My Quest To Find The Best Views In Florence
- Pasta: $12
- More Pasta: $14.50
- Earrings + Magnet: $18
- Limoncello + Spreads: $21.50
- Florence Magnet + Ornament: $14.50
- Pisa Magnet: $2.50
- Tobacco: $6
- ATM Fees: $12.08 (wasn’t sure where to put this, so tacking it on here)
I tried to go easy on the souvenirs this trip and not just buy everything. We got some pasta to bring back home. And I always try to get a magnet or an ornament from the places we go to. But jeez, those pesky ATM fees. And that was just at the beginning of the trip when my ATM card wasn’t working. See my tips below for ways to combat this expense.
Total for Souvenirs: $101.08
What Was My Cost Per Day In Italy
Okay I’m cutting out flights from this since I want to give my on-the-ground in Italy cost. So if my expenses (half of what’s above) was $1,826.91, then my cost per day minus flights was…
Total Per Day: ~$141
And by category:
- Transportation: $34 per day (again no flights here)
- Accommodation: $47.50 per day
- Food: $30 per day
- Drinks: $13.50
- Entrance Fees: $10.50
- Souvenirs: $5.50
It’s important to realize that these costs per day above are for me alone. So it’s per person per day.
How To Save Money In Italy
Eat outside of the tourist zones. It can be hard to find “local” places in Venice or Florence. But there is a big tourist zone in each of these cities. And so we usually went outside of it. That can definitely help if you want to lower some of your food costs.
Grab a small breakfast and lunch. This is a big thing we tried to do. We ate very light for breakfast and lunch. A cappuccino or espresso and a pastry. Then we were out and about. For lunch we sometimes just grabbed some cheap pasta or a sandwich to hold us over.
Stick to the first courses. These will be cheaper than the second courses. We liked to share an antipasti and then each get our own first course. Plus some house wine.
Don’t go out drinking every night. I think this should be fairly obvious. Alcohol is expensive. If you drink a lot, then you should put this in your budget.
Bring a reusable water bottle. Especially one that fits in your purse. Buying a plastic water bottle here or there will definitely start to eat into your expenses. Plus it’s better for the environment.
Buy your train tickets ahead of time. We did not do this. Since we were traveling in the winter we could just go to the station and get on a train within the hour. But doing this meant that we were definitely paying a bit more for tickets. Want to save $10-ish on each ticket? Buy them ahead of time.
Travel with someone. Traveling with someone is huge. You can split accommodation costs. And sometimes meals as well. For most of our dinners, Ryan and I shared an antipasti and then each got our own pasta. Definitely the way to go.
Use a bank that will reimburse you for your ATM fees. I have Charles Scwabb and they reimburse me for all ATM fees. Yes all. Even the ones the machine charges. And they don’t charge one of those pesky % fees most banks do if you go to an ATM overseas. Just be sure you know your PIN number. (I forgot mine and so had to use another card with ATM fees for our first day. Then once I got a new PIN, we never had another ATM fee.)
That’s it! Hopefully my expenses above and tips will help you plan your own budget for your trip to Italy!
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