Don’t put off traveling and exploring different parts of the world because you don’t have enough funds. If Italy is a country you want to visit, don’t worry; you can make your budget work. Luckily, with the influx of remote jobs, you can travel and work from anywhere, thus ensuring you have extra funds to support your adventures.

Although Italy is an expensive place to visit, you can still travel with a budget; you only need to research and plan your stay. If you are on a budget, the best time to explore Italy is during the off-peak season, as hotels, Airbnb, and hostels usually have offers. It would be best to dine in non-expensive places and engage in activities that do not require high fees.

guide to travel to italy on a budget
Venice, Italy. Photo by Dan Novac on

A Guide to Traveling to Italy on a Budget

You must plan your trip accordingly if you want your funds to allow you to enjoy and explore Italy during your stay. Use this guide to plan your vacation in Italy.

Passport and Visas

You first need to check whether your passport and visa are valid for travel and how long citizens from your country are allowed to stay in Italy on a tourist visa. For instance, people from the US, Australia, New Zealand, and Canada are allowed to stay for a maximum of 90 days without a visa, and your passport must have a validity of six months.

Other countries must check their visa and passport requirements with the Italian government.

Means of Travel 

The best means of traveling to Italy is by flight from one of the many international airports across the globe. You can save on flight costs by booking days or weeks before your trip. Also, scan the web for the best flight deals on sources such as Google flights or Skyscanner.

You must also arrange airport transfers when booking your flight, as you don’t want to start looking for a cab on your first day in a new country. Working with a reputable tourist agency is recommended as you are assured of getting to your final destination safely.

The Length of Your Stay

After ensuring that your passport is up to date and you know how long you are allowed to stay, you must determine how long you want to be there. The length of your stay will be defined by your budget. 

Limiting your trip to one major city, such as Rome, Milan, Florence, Venice, or Naples, is good if you only stay for a week. This will allow you to explore and see all what these cities have to offer.

If you are planning to stay for several weeks or a month, you can opt to visit several cities. If you want to extend your stay, you can reduce your spending by booking a stay in a hostel or Airbnb instead of a hotel. 

You can also save more by not dining in high-end places. And instead of drinking wine in a club, get it from the local supermarket.

Places to Go

Now that you’ve decided how long your trip will last, it’s time to plan the places you wish to visit. You probably want to see all Italy has to offer, but since you are traveling on a budget, it will be pretty hard, so choosing places with free or low entrance fees is best.

For instance, if your travel destination is Venice, you can visit the following places:

  • Explore the Venice canal (Grand Canal by Gondola) for €28 – €35.50 per person
  • Boat trip to Glimpse of Murano, Torcello, and Burano Islands for €20- €25 per person
  • Take the water bus for €10.50 per person
  • Saint Mark’s Basilica €19.50
  • Doge’s Palace € 28
  • A guided tour to explore the streets of Venice

If you want to avoid the hassle of planning your travel details, you can join a group tour, where the hosting company does all the planning; you just need to pay and show up.

Watch this to get a glimpse into a boat tour in Venice:


Booking Timelines

When you have zeroed in on the places you want to visit and activities you intend to engage in, it’s time to book a tour flight to Italy. You’d better avoid going to Italy on a budget during the peak season, especially between July and August, as the price of everything doubles, making it hard for you.

You are recommended to book your flight at least six months before your trip, especially when the deals are too sweet to pass up.

Your Budget

To avoid overspending and exceeding your spending limit, you must budget for each activity, including flight, airport transfers, accommodation, food, and transportation.

If you are backpacking and staying in a hostel, then budget for your everyday expenses to be within €60 – €80. This budget depends on the fact that you will cook your meals, use public means of transport, and engage in free or low-cost activities. And you can sneak in a drink or two.

With a budget of €140 per day, you can afford to stay in an Airbnb and eat out several times, do more paid activities, and occasionally take a taxi.


Choosing your accommodation is crucial to enjoying your trip to Italy. Therefore, if you are working on a low budget, you should look for the most affordable places to live in Italy, a hostel or Airbnb. Ensure your accommodation is in a secure neighborhood, as you don’t want to be a victim of muggers or pickpockets.

travel to italy
Portofino, Italy. Photo by Kristine Tanne on

Suppose you want to experience life in the country. In that case, you can opt to stay at agriturismo, a farm owned by Italian farmers who earn extra income by providing accommodation and meals. 

Agriturismo is pretty popular among tourists as it has all the amenities from swimming pools, wine cellars, and Hammans, and a plus their food is food as it’s gotten straight from the farm.

If you have a moderate budget, you can stay in a private Airbnb. The cost of staying in a hostel or an Airbnb ranges between €20 – €40. Some of the best sites to use when booking accommodation include, Airbnb, VRBO, Plum Guide, and Tripadvisor.


You need to determine how you will move around Italy during your trip. The best way to travel between cities is by flight or train; the train is the most affordable. And if you want to travel to the countryside or the small villages, you can use the train, buses, or rent a car.

Traveling by train

Italy has a modern train system whose speed is pretty fast, making it the most convenient way to travel between cities, into the countryside or villages. The major train networks in Italy include Italo and Trenitalia. You will want to book in advance to enjoy the best rate for the high-speed train. You can use Omio or Trainline to compare rates and times between the two networks.

Rent a car

If you want to explore Italy with ease, you can opt to rent a car. If you don’t plan on hiring a driver, ensure you have an International Driver’s Permit and learn all the rules and requirements of driving around Italy.

For instance, you will incur a heavy fine if you are found driving in areas where driving is not permitted, such as historic districts. Renting a car is expensive, so choose the smallest car that can fit all your luggage. You can use for the best car rental deals.

  • Buses

You can also use buses, although they are not as glamorous or as fast as a private car or train.

Tickets, Tours, and Attractions

You should book your tickets for tours and attraction sites in advance to avoid standing in lines for hours, especially in peak seasons. However, during off-peak seasons such as winter, you don’t need advance tickets as there are fewer people. You can use GetYourGuide or Viator for booking tours and tickets. The best part about booking in advance is that you can pay using your own currency or international credit cards.  

If you want to explore the streets of Italy, you can book guided tours. Make sure to book with reputable agencies who customize your experience and don’t have a huge crowd. And if you want to get familiar with the city, try walking around alone, but avoid alleys and any other place that seems unsafe.

Eating and Drinking

Since you are working on a budget, you must avoid splurging on high-end hotels and seek to taste the country’s authentic cuisine in the street and in those small cafes. However, it’s great to treat yourself to an exquisite meal in a fancy hotel once a week, but ensure it’s within your budget.

Many restaurants in Italy charge a fee for sitting down, so before getting a table, read the menu to see how much the fee is; most will charge 3 Euros. During lunchtime, many restaurants – not unlike many of the unique restaurants in New York – try to draw in customers by offering set menus, so it’s good to have your main meal during lunch and a snack later, which reduces your costs significantly.

Internet Access

If you are staying in a hostel or Airbnb, ensure they have Internet included in their accommodation fees. This will help you save the cost of roaming data and still be able to work remotely.

Packing List

After you have made your plans, and your day for traveling is near, pack all your trip essentials such as a camera, water bottle, battery pack, and charger. You can use packing cubes to organize your clothes.

Money-Saving Tips

When traveling on a budget in Italy, you will be able to find plenty of delicious food, tours, and attractions. If you start buying everything that appeals to you, you will spend more than your budget. So use these money-saving tips.

  • Many restaurants in Italy offer you bread when you sit down. Decline it as it will be added to your bill.
  • Instead of eating out, do your own cooking as many hostels and Airbnb provide the cooking essentials; you just need to buy ingredients.
  • Always bring a bottle of water, and ask for tap water in restaurants.
  • Buy wine from the store instead of going to the bar every day.
  • You can use the bus to travel to the countryside and villages. Yes, it’s not as fast or glamorous as the train, but it’s pretty cheap.
  • You can use Couchsurfing for free accommodation. It’s also a great way to make friends.                                                        

Final Thoughts

Traveling is a great way to experience new cultures and expand your thinking. So whether you are traveling on a budget or going first class, enjoy your trip. Use this guide for the most cost-effective options when planning your trip to Italy.