How to Tour Italy on a Modest Budget


Italy remains one of the most popular tourist destinations in Europe, beyond any doubt. The mesmerizing landscapes, the exotic wine and foods, places of lavish lifestyle the attractions are many. However, it is not exactly the perfect holiday destination for those on a modest budget. Italy is a country where you will have to search harder to find special offers and recessionary discounts for either accommodation or food! You can still resort to a few methods to make sure you do not bleed your wallet heavily when touring Italy. This Italy vacation guide will be helpful for you to travel the country on a tight budget.



In Italy, you may have to travel to many places based on your tour plan. You can search for discounted air tickets for flying to Italy and for flying between various cities in Italy. Owing to deregulation in recent years, price war has shot up in internal flight routes. If you search carefully, flights between various cities in Italy can actually be lighter on wallet than train. Some of the budget carriers that you can check out are ryanair, alitalia and blu express. For flying to Italy, flexibility in terms of time can help you save a lot.

Train travel can also be easy on wallet in Italy provided you book the right ones. Occasional discounts on certain routes and certain days are available on Italian Railways website. On some routes, you can save on round trip tickets on same day. Of course, high-speed trains are not wallet friendly but you can opt for regional trains that run slower and cost less. However, keep in mind that not all train stations in Italy are at the center of the city and if you are with lot of luggage, it can be rather cumbersome. In cities like Venice and Florence, you can even resort to walking for sightseeing. For most cases, renting a car in Italy is not ideal for budget oriented tourists.


Finding budget accommodation can be tougher in Italy compared to other European countries. Even for a room in hostel with basic amenities you may have to churn out 25 EUR per night. The place also has an impact on cost. In prime cities like Milan and Rome, the accommodation cost is likely to be on steep side. It would be prudent to stay in adjacent cities well-connected by train network.

Eating and drinking

With a little caution, you can save on eating and drinking when touring Italy. In many restaurants in Italian cities, you will get reasonably priced menu for lunch. You may also grab a large pizza at evening. Explore the local food markets if budget is on your mind. While most restaurant offer fixed price menu for lunch in Italy, you have no obligation to stick to full three courses. You may even place order for starter and a dessert if you want a light meal. In Italy, you will not have to spend much for tipping in restaurants. To save money while eating at restaurants, ask for tap water. Or else, they will charge you extra for serving bottled water. In some hotels and hostels, you can also expect to get some type of breakfast without extra charges.

Activities, sightseeing on budget

Even when you resort to sightseeing in Italy, there are ways to save cost. You can opt for the walking tours in many Italian cities. Yes, exploring city by walking does take time but it will be lighter on your wallet. Some hostels in big cities have walking tours meant for budget minded tourists.

In Italy, you can explore a lot of museums that offer great insight into the fascinating history and culture of the country. However, you can search in the web to find out if some museums offer free entry on certain days of the week. Incidentally, a lot of churches including the Duomo in Milan and the St. Mark’s Basilica in Venice have free entry for visitors. Some museums allow free enter to certain types of people. You need to have valid proof of your citizenship and age proof to avail such facilities. Teachers and students of art can avail benefits in this regard.

A lot of cities have options for special passes for travelers that you can avail. In Naples, Rome and Venice for example, the passes enable you to explore several attractions. You can check online for such cards and what is included in them. You may also approach the tourist information offices in those cities for details. Remember some of the major tourist attractions in Italy will cost you including the Colosseum in Rome and Leaning Tower of Pisa. Check out the web for information on the beaches in Italy before you head for them. Not all of them are free.


For most tourists, traveling in a new destination remains incomplete without some shopping! When exploring popular places in Italy, you should shop with care. The street vendors offering cheap souvenirs should be evaded. You may rather opt for the fleece markets in major cities. Sometimes, shopping for specific items in selected regions of Italy can prove to be worthwhile. If you buy glass from Murano and ceramics from Deruta as souvenirs- it will be good value for money. However, get your facts clear on how much import tax you will have to churn out for such items.

Summing it all up

To save on traveling cost in Italy, you may evade the packaged tours. A lot of travelers actually enjoy exploring Italian cities on their own. Thanks to the Internet resources and enhanced communication options, finding your way about and getting resources on food and lodging will not be tedious. The timing or travel is so crucial when you want to save money. If you have plans to explore the beautiful coastal cities in Italy, evade the summer months. You may think of traveling in spring or fall to get lower rates on everything including flight and accommodation. Hope this vacation guide helps you in exploring Italy well on a budget!

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