Best Places to See in Italy Without Breaking Bank (on a Budget)

Updated On October 5, 2023

It is a well-known fact that Italy is one of the most popular destinations for European vacations.

Visiting this country, you can enjoy picturesque cities, beautiful architecture, stunning landscapes, as well as incredible accommodations.

However, most people think that Italy is one of the most expensive places to see in Europe.

Of course, it can be absolutely true for some places but there is also a bunch of pretty cheap options.

The main question is that how it is possible to reduce your expenses while visiting Italy.

You can use various useful hacks such as booking in the lean season, volunteering for food/accommodation, and so on.

However, one other great option is to look for some budget-friendly destinations in Italy.

Cheapest Places To Go In Italy

While such popular places like Rome and Venice can be very expensive, there are other beautiful cities and towns that will late you save your money.

Just look for the options in The Boot Country where you can find lots of great sites without spending a fortune.


Monumental building
Monumental building

Bologna is one of the most budget-friendly places in Italy.

This city can offer you lots of great things at lower prices including cheap accommodations, a plate of tagliatelle al ragu for €6, and access to a rooftop observatory.

If you think that Bologna is associated with food, you are absolutely right.

There is a whole variety of great places where you can prepare and taste some absolutely incredible food.

Also, Bologna has lots of great places of interest you can visit.

The first place you may want to see is one of the numerous historic buildings in the city.

The center of the city is full of medieval buildings while surrounding areas are packed with a bunch of architectural and historical attractions.

The city is known as Bologna la Rossa or Bologna the Red because of yellow, red, and ochre-colored buildings.

The most famous place in the city is Piazza Maggiore.

In the Middle Ages, it was the place where the Roman forum was held.

Now, it is a popular destination for numerous music and art festivals held in the city.

Bologna has an incredible history well-known for each Italian but most foreigners don’t know it well.

If you are going to visit this city, it is better to plan your trip between March and October.

Just keep in mind that it is pretty hot there in July and August.


A huge white building
A huge white building

Merano with its verdant boulevards, cacti, and oleanders is a perfect place for anyone who looks for paradise vacations.

The city isn’t only a tropical paradise but a very budget-friendly traveling destination.

It has a whole variety of amazing attractions such as beautiful buildings, vicinity’s castle, and stunning mountains.

Near the city, there are two beautiful natural parks – Parco Nazionale dello Stelvio and Parco Naturale Gruppo del Tessa.

Merano is surrounded by the Ortles mountains that are very accessible and provides a variety of outdoor activities for any taste.

One unique thing about Merano is that locals speak German and the city is full of beer and sausage stands.

Also, a whole bunch of incredible events and celebrations are held there.

If you want to explore the city, you can take a ride at an aerial tramway that is also called funiva.

It is a great way to enjoy the beauty of the city.

Cinque Terre

A city on the cliff
A city on the cliff

Cinque Terre can be considered one of the cheapest places in Europe as daily expenses there is no higher than €52.

The name of the city is pronounced as CHEEN-kweh TEHR-reh.

It is known as a UNESCO World Heritage site and consists of 5 towns of the Ligurian drift in north Italy.

All the five towns are very old and have an incredible history but each of them has something absolutely unique.

Just keep in mind that cars are forbidden there so be ready to use public transportation.

To get from one town to another, you can use a train or choose one of the local hiking trails.

The truth is that the area is known for its absolutely gorgeous beaches.

If you are looking for the most picturesque trail to get from one town to another, the Sentiero Azzurro or Blue Trail is a perfect option for you.

You need to know that there is a whole bunch of great hiking routes that offer numerous stunning views.


A city by the sea
A city by the sea

Located in the Veneto region, Verona is known as a setting of the most popular Shakespeares’s play “Romeo and Juliet”.

Also, it is a perfect destination for anyone who looks for budget-friendly places in Italy.

This city has an incredibly romantic vibe and a perfect place for any traveler.

The great point is that the city has a whole bunch of amazing sites and landmarks.

One of the most popular places in the city is “Juliet’s House” where the famous balcony scene took place.

It is a great spot if you want to make some great photos.

One other place you need to see is The Arena that is an ancient Roman amphitheater.

The place was build in the 1st century but it still hosts some Opera performances.

The truth is that even a simple walk through the city will provide you with numerous emotions and impressions.

Just take a walk on foot through the city streets and you’ll for sure fall in love with this place.


Houses by the sea
Houses by the sea

Naples is one of the largest cities in the country and one of the oldest as well.

Also, it is known for its incredible food and numerous talented artists.

You need to know that the historic center of the city is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Naples is one of the reachest and most famous archeological sites in the world.

It’s full of gorgeous ancient castles, palaces, and churches that will keep you busy for a long time.

Moreover, the city is known for its very tasty food.

Due to its volcanic soils, a munificent sea, and rich culture, Naples has a great cuisine that includes such incredible options as pizza, coffee, pasta, delicious seafood, and high-quality wine.

From first sight, the city may look revolutionary, ragged, and unloved.

However, if you just take a deeper look, you’ll find beautiful views, frescoes, and sculptures.

In fact, the city has incredible elegance and a very friendly vibe.


City view
City view

As well as Naples, Ancona is seen as an intractable, gritty town from the first sight.

However, the truth is that it is pretty charming so the trip there is absolutely worth it.

Ancona is the capital town of one of the most beautiful regions with a rich history.

It is a great option to explore a piece of Italia and relax on one of the local gorgeous beaches.

The city has incredible coastline with numerous white-sand beaches and sparkling azure sea.

Ancona is surrounded by beautiful hells and located not far from Recanati, Loreto, Urbino, and Jes as well as the Grotte di Frasassi.

It is a great destination for any active vacation lover as there are lots of great landscapes and hiking trails.

One other great thing is that there is a mountaineering school so you can take some classes and learn climbing.

Visiting the town during the winter, you may want to try some skiing.


A square
A square

When it comes to affordable places in Italy, Sicily is for sure one of them.

If you want to save as much as possible, your expenses in Sicily can be as low as €30 per day.

Going to Sicily, first of all, you need to plan your stay in Palermo.

This city should be on your list of places that you need to see while visiting this island.

The city has lots of incredible sites that may impress tourists.

There are beautiful churches with stunning mosaics, bustling markets with absolutely tasty street food, and many other great places.

As Sicily is an island, it has a great coastline with a whole bunch of gorgeous beaches.

The most incredible of them are located at the Golfo di Castellammare and Taormina.

The island has a great landscape with far-flung hill towns, mountain ranges, grasslands, and beautiful flower fields.

The most popular attraction on the island is Mount Etna that is an active volcano.

Due to the rich volcanic soil, Sicily is known for its delicious citruses, walnut trees, and vineyards.

Cheapest Time To Visit

It is impossible to go to Italy and miss such places as Rome, Venice, and Florence.

While these cities are pretty expensive, you still can save some money.

Below, you can find some useful tips that will help you to reduce your expenses while visiting popular places in Italy.

Saving On Airfare

If you are going to Italy by plane, you need to know that the most expensive tickets to Italy are from June to September.

If you want to save some money on your tickets, it is better to plan your trip on April-May or September-October.

The great point is that Italy is less crowded in Spring and Fall.

The cheapest season for traveling to Italy is from November to March except for the Christmas holidays, of course.

Plane tickets’ prices depend on the provider and there is a possibility to get very cheap tickets just in a few days before your flight.

However, you need to know that it is a rare possibility to find such an offer so it is better to make an early reservation especially if you are going to travel as a family or in a group.

If you want to get the cheapest tickets, it is better to book an early-morning flight.

Low Season Perks

When it is the lean season, you can look for various promotional priced group tours of different places.

The reason is that most tourist agencies book tours pretty early but during the low seasons it may lead to financial drawbacks so agencies prefer offering lower prices to sell some tours.

When it comes to hotel rates, they are also much lower during the lean seasons.

It is a great opportunity to save a great amount of money when going to Italy during the low seasons.

When To Avoid Booking

The highest prices are there in Italy during the summer as it is the hottest season in Italy.

It means that tickets, hotels, and other things will be much more expensive than during other seasons.


You still may visit Italy during the summer but you need for sure to avoid  August.

It is the time when streets are overflowed with tourists while locals go on vacation.

As a result, most establishments are closed, transport works worth, and most shops don’t work.

It means that it is better to avoid visiting Italy in August as much as you can.

Shopping And Eating Out

If you want to save some money on food while going to Italy, there is a tip, you should know.

The cheapest options are usually available on the mid-day menu.

You can find some cheap options at lunch and enjoy a local pizza or go shopping at one of the local markets.

The last one is a great way to experience Italian culture and way of living.

If you are looking for cheap souvenirs, you need to avoid shops near popular attractions.

Prices there are more than twice higher so it is better to take a little further walk and get cool souvenirs at lower prices.

It is always possible to travel to Italy without spending lots of money.

You just need to do some good planning and choose a proper place to visit.

We hope, this article was helpful for you and you’ll have a great time in Italy without breaking a bank.

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