Is Italy Expensive? An Italy Trip Cost Guide for 2024

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by Maggie Turansky

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Italy is a country that inspires thousands of people across the globe to travel here each year. But is Italy expensive to visit? And how much will an Italy trip cost?

Renowned the world over for its fascinating history, beautiful landscapes, amazing cuisine, and hospitable people, it is also essential to be aware of average prices in Italy before you travel.

You’ll likely find Italy to be less expensive than many other European countries. On average, you can expect a trip to Italy to cost roughly €70-305 per person per day (around $75-328 USD).

However, these prices will be heavily influenced by how you choose to spend your money across accommodation, transportation, food, activities, and entertainment and what region of the country you are visiting.

Accommodation Prices

The first thing you need to consider in your Italy travel budget is the cost of accommodation as this is likely going be the biggest portion of your overall trip cost.

Because the whole country is so popular amongst travellers, there are several different accommodation options to choose from pretty much anywhere you wish to go. These range from backpacker hostels to rural B&Bs to boutique hotels to large international hotel chains.

The most budget-friendly option for accommodation would be to get a dorm bed at a hostel. There is usually at least one hostel in most major Italian cities, however, the prices actually don’t really differ all that much depending on where you are.

On the whole, you can expect the price of a bed in a hostel to start somewhere around €25-30 for the cheapest option. If you are in Venice or Rome, this might mean a bed in a 15+ person dorm, but in smaller cities, you can expect to pay the same for a dorm with a smaller capacity.

The postcard-perfect town of Perugia
The postcard-perfect town of Perugia

Another fantastic budget option, especially for those travelling as a couple or with a friend, is to opt for a private room on Airbnb.

Along with being a great way to see how locals live in the city you’re visiting, Airbnb tends to be significantly less expensive than a traditional hotel. A private room can also work out to be less expensive per person than a bed in a hostel dorm if you’re not travelling solo.

Though you can generally expect prices to be higher in bigger cities that have a higher cost of living, like Venice, Florence, or Rome, on average a price for a private room on Airbnb costs about €50-60 per night. If you split this between two people, this can be an extremely cost-effective accommodation option in Italy.

If you’re interested in renting an entire, one-bedroom apartment in a major urban area then expect prices to start at around €60-90 per night. Once again, expect to pay more in Rome and keep in mind that prices can be higher in Milan, Florence and Venice.

Seasonality has a lot to do with prices, as well. For instance, the Amalfi Coast is going to have a lot higher accommodation costs in the summer months.

If neither hostels nor Airbnb appeals to you as accommodation options, you can find some decent budget and mid-range hotels that won’t take a huge proportion out of your total Italy trip cost.

A good thing to keep in mind is that it is almost always less expensive to stay in a locally run establishment than a well-known chain. Expect a mid-range hotel room to start at around €70-100 per night.

Keep in mind that this can vary drastically depending on where you are in the country and the season, as well. For instance, if you’re travelling on the Amalfi Coast, you can safely assume that these prices could double.

If you’re looking for a higher-end or luxury stay in Italy, expect, on average, prices to start at around €300-350 and to go up from there. Prices will be more expensive in places like Venice, Lake Como, the Amalfi Coast and Cinque Terre than they will be in lesser-visited areas.

Overall, if you’re smart about your choices, accommodation in Italy doesn’t have to break the bank.

Bergamo from Castello di San Vigilio
Bergamo from Castello di San Vigilio

Transportation Prices

The second biggest thing that needs to be considered in your total trip cost are the transportation prices in Italy.

Unless you’re planning on only visiting one place and walking absolutely everywhere (make sure to pack good shoes if so!) while you’re in Italy, then you’re going to be spending at least some money on both local and intercity transport.

In the big cities like Rome or Naples, there are multiple public transport options — buses, trams, and metro — and you will probably end up taking a few of them, as places and sites are spread out from one another.

If you want to cover a lot of ground while visiting this city and plan on using the public transport network frequently (ie, more than once or twice per day) then it can oftentimes work out to be more cost-effective to buy a daily travel card rather than purchasing individual, single-journey tickets.

In other, smaller cities such as Modena, public transport is often just limited to the bus. If the city is walkable, which is most cities besides the bigger ones, then it is rarely necessary to buy more than one or two bus tickets that will get you to and from the train station. Expect single tickets to be around €2, though it can definitely vary from locality to locality.

Cathedral and Ghirlandina Tower in the town of Modena
Cathedral and Ghirlandina Tower, Modena

The other thing you need to consider when it comes to transport in Italy are longer journeys, ie. intercity trains and buses. These can range in price significantly depending on the distance you plan on travelling and the type of train you are travelling on.

If you know of your general Italy itinerary beforehand, then take the time to research the travel options available to you as there can be many different ways to get from point A to point B.

To give you a general idea, the high-speed intercity trains tend to cost a bit more than the regional, commuter trains.

While taking one of the high-speed options can be great if you’re travelling long distances, it’s not needed if you’re only travelling a short distance in the same or neighbouring region. A high-speed train is about three times the price of a regional train and the journey time will not be much longer.

Depending on how long you’ve planned for your Italy itinerary, it may work out to be a better bet to take the high-speed train and pay a bit more so as to properly maximise your time in your destinations. If you have a number of weeks that you’re planning to spend in Italy, longer train journeys may not matter as much.

Another tip that can help you save a fair amount on your total trip to Italy cost is to book your longer train journeys in advance. It is much less expensive to do this rather than to purchase tickets on the day.

While we’re always advocates of not over-planning and letting the wind take you where it will, it can sometimes save you a good amount of money to have a few things planned ahead of time. We suggest booking on Omio to find deals on train tickets in Italy.

If you’re planning on taking a number of trains during your time in Italy, then a train pass can be good value. If you’re from outside of Europe, you can view Eurail Italy Passes here. Alternatively, if you’re from the EU, you can view Interrail Italy Passes here.

If you want to get a bit off the beaten path in Italy and explore on your own terms, renting a car is an excellent option. Prices for a hire car can vary, but you’re looking at a price starting at about €25-30 per day for a basic car without any additional insurance. Note that prices are often lower for a manual transmission.

If you do rent a car, you need to also factor in the cost of petrol and likely parking into your daily costs. The average fuel price in Italy is about €1.80 per litre in December of 2023. Prices for parking can vary depending on where you are and which kind of place you are parking in. Toll road pricing can also vary and it depends on the road and the distance you’re travelling.

If you want to find great deals for renting a car, we recommend using This is particularly important if travelling to places with limited public transport options such as Lake Garda or Lake Como or if you’re spending time exploring Sicily the Puglia region.

On average, plan to spend about €10-30 per person per day on transportation taking all of the above-mentioned things into account.

Lovely Salo on Lake Garda
Lovely Salo on Lake Garda

Food Prices

So let’s talk about the cost of one of the main things that attract thousands to visit Italy: food. Food in Italy is delicious, diverse and, surprisingly, doesn’t have to be that expensive. Sure, it is possible to splash out a small fortune on a high-end meal but in my experience, this is more of an exception rather than the rule.

Contrary to popular belief, you don’t need to only eat kebabs or cook your own meals in order to eat on a budget while in Italy. Sure, if you’re really trying to pinch pennies and make your budget stretch as far as possible, then it can be beneficial to cook some of your meals from time to time. However, eating out at a decent restaurant actually isn’t all that expensive.

The biggest tip that I can give when it comes to saving money while dining out in Italy is to always avoid tourist-centric restaurants. This means not eating at places a stone’s throw from big attractions and sites, and avoiding places that have a photo-laden menu published outside with every type of food under the sun.

Learn about the foods that are typical for the region of Italy that you are travelling in and if a restaurant doesn’t have many of them on the menu, it generally means that locals don’t eat there.

If you walk just a few streets over from the main tourist centre, you will probably find about a 10-15% decrease in the prices on menus. This is because these restaurants are meant for locals who don’t typically hang out around the Colosseum every day. Eat in these places — you will not only save money but the food will almost always be better.

Food in Italy can be affordable and you can eat exceptionally well on only a small budget, but like elsewhere, prices can vary by region. For instance, it’s much cheaper to eat out in Sicily than it is dine at an equivalent restaurant in Venice.

Keeping that in mind, plan for a main meal at a restaurant to average around €15. And if you’re eating out with another person, each getting a main dish, sharing an appetiser and splitting a half-litre of house wine, expect this to average about €30-40 for the entire bill, depending on where you are.

All in all, plan to budget around €20-40 per person per day on food. On the low end, this allows one restaurant meal out and on the upper end, a couple of meals out each day at a mid-range establishment.

Pasta in Italy
Delicious Italian food doesn’t have to break the bank!

Activity Prices

Now that we’ve covered the basic costs of the most necessary things on your Italy vacation, let’s talk about how much daily activities are going to set you back. Well, like most anything else, this really depends on what it is you plan to do.

If you’re travelling to Italy in order to take advantage of all of the fantastic history, art and culture there is in this country, then you’re most likely going to be visiting a lot of museums.

Museum entry prices can vary depending on if they are state-run or privately funded. But it’s generally safe to assume that a museum visit will set you back somewhere around €5-15.

When it comes to entry into any museum or historical site, be aware if you qualify for any discounts as well. Almost everywhere in Italy offer significant (up to 50%) discounts if you have a valid student ID and you also won’t have to pay as much if you are under the age of 26 or over the age of 65. Do your research beforehand to see if you qualify for these.

Also, if you plan to visit several historical sites and museums in any given city, it can often work out to be more cost-effective to purchase the city’s tourism card rather than pay the full price of every individual site you want to visit. Take the time to work out the sums before you go to see if it’s worth it for you.

If you’re curious about going on any food tours or wine tastings, it’s normally always cheaper to look for individual places to visit independently rather than paying for an organised tour.

Also, it can be a better bang for your buck to seek out smaller, locally-run businesses rather than bigger corporations. For instance, we went on a balsamic vinegar tour in Modena that was completely free. We just contacted the acetaia directly.

However, if you’d like to go on something like an organised food tour of Palermo or even a day tour to Capri from Naples, you’re going to have to pay a bit more for this. Expect tours to land around €40-100 per person depending on where it is and what is offered.

If you are on an extreme budget, then you actually don’t need to spend anything on daily activities. Italian cities just beg to be wandered through and explored and this doesn’t cost a dime!

All in all, however, expect to spend an average of about €10-30 per person per day to account for museum entry or the occasional tour.

Barrels storing balsamic vinegar
Barrels storing balsamic vinegar — the tour of the acetaia was free

Entertainment Prices

The last thing you need to consider in your total Italy trip cost is the price of entertainment. How much money you spend on this really depends on your habits.

If you’re looking to grab a coffee at a classic Italian cafe, you’re not going to have to pay a lot for the privilege. On average, something like a macchiato or a cappuccino will be under €2. It’s worth keeping in mind that it’s often cheaper to drink your coffee standing at the bar rather than being served at a table, though this practice does vary by region.

While there are certainly places to party into the wee hours of the night in almost every Italian city, it can be expensive to drink a lot and it also isn’t what Italians typically do every day. If you do, however, enjoy the occasional cocktail or glass of wine in the evening, you are in luck.

Italians have an excellent happy hour culture, called aperitivo. During the few hours before one would typically go out for dinner, usually between around 6 PM-8 PM, cafes and bars will typically offer discounted wine and cocktails that come with either snacks or access to a buffet of charcuterie, cheese, bread, olives, etc.

You can normally get a drink along with a few snacks (the amount really depends on the establishment) for a good price – usually between €5-12 depending on where you are.

These kinds of things are especially prevalent in cities that have a large student population, like Bologna, but can be found throughout the country and we’ve experienced this culture everywhere from Bergamo to Palermo. This can be a great way to save money while still enjoying the drinking culture of Italy.

All in all, however, you can expect the average cost of a pint of local draft beer in Italy to land somewhere around €4-5 depending on where you are. A glass of wine will start around the same. If you’re after a basic cocktail like an Aperol spritz or a gin and tonic, expect to pay around €5-10 for this. Again, it really depends on the region or city you’re in and who the bar is catering to.

Aperol Spritz in Sicily
Aperol Spritz in Sicily

Italy Trip Cost Estimator

With the above aspects taken into consideration, this is the average daily amount you should expect to spend per person on your trip to Italy.

This is assuming that you stay in budget to mid-range accommodation, travel long distances every three or four days, cook some meals or take advantage of included breakfasts, don’t eat at high-end restaurants every night and are splitting costs like accommodation and potential car hire between two people.

Accommodation: €25-175 / night

Transportation: €10-40 / day

Food: €20-40 / day

Activities: €10-30 / day

Entertainment: €5-20 / day

All in all, you can expect your average total cost of a trip to Italy to set you back roughly €70-305 per person per day. Obviously, this can also be cut down or increased depending on your travel habits and preferences. It also doesn’t include any pre-trip expenses such as a prepaid SIM for Italy.

Finally, make sure that you factor in the cost of a travel insurance policy. World Nomads offers flexible and simple travel insurance policies with coverage for more than 150 activities that you can buy or extend while on the road.

Segesta Archaeological Site in Sicily

Travelling to Italy doesn’t have to cost you a lot of money. While the country does have a reputation for being expensive, if you are smart about where and how you spend, it is completely possible to have a fun and fulfilling trip to Italy while on a budget.

Are you planning a trip to Italy? Have any questions about the prices? Let us know in the comments!

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Maggie is a co-founder and writer for The World Was Here First. Originally from the US, she has lived in five different countries and has travelled to dozens more, both solo and with her partner, Michael. She particularly loves exploring Spain and spending time in the Caucasus and the Baltics. Read more about Maggie


  1. Thank you again for your informative information….
    My wife & I did travel to Italy this pass May 2023 for 3-wks to Florence, Venice, Bellagio & Milan, loved the different cities & sights & had a wonderful time…We are traveling back to Italy this May for 2-wks…Flying into Naples, having a driver pick us up & drive to Amalfi for 1-wk.
    & while there explore Positano, Sorrento & Capri, then taking a flight from Naples to Genoa, having a driver pick us up & drive to Portofino for 1-wk. & explore the 5-towns of
    Cinque Terre as well….Love Italy…Wishing you a happy, healthy & safe traveling 2024…

  2. My wife and I are beginnig to plan our 50th wedding anniverary in 2025. We plan to travel to Italy for this experience. Paris was our 25th.
    This was very helpful start for us.

  3. Hi, a girlfriend and I are going to Rome for 2 weeks in April. I have travelled Europe using Airbnb and driving in a very low key but fun way. My husband has had Parkinson for 15 years and can longer do long hall flights and I only have minders for him for 3 weeks.
    So I chose Rome, have never been there. Booked a room for us on Airbnb and have a map and lots of ideas and good walking shoes.
    Will report back on our return.

    • Hello

      How was your travel to Italy can you help in letting me know the cost of stay in an Air BNB
      Did you find it costly and how much did you pay
      I am a family of 4 with wife and 2 kids plan to travel and stay in such places
      Thanks for your help

  4. Very helpful!
    Thanks Maggie.
    I’m travelling to Italy in late August till the end of October 2023 and was wondering if it’s worthwhile getting the Eurail Pass. I’ll check out the train prices online to see what the best option is.
    Your articles are very helpfull for a first time, solo traveller to Italy… thank you.

  5. My sister and I and our two adult daughters are planning a trip to Italy in June. This was very helpful information. Thank you!

    • Hello

      Wishing you very best and a safe travel share some thoughts on travel and stay for us as we 4 of a family are also planning to travel this December


  6. My son and I are going on a school trip in summer 2024. Basic travel and services are included, minus tips and it includes 2 meals per day. Can you help recommend a budget for us and what the best way to travel with our money might be? Thanks!


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