Florence is not expensive
Florence can be quite a pleasant surprise moneywise. If you are planning a trip in the summer, then it does get more expensive at this time compared to the shoulder season, or winter, for example. But on the whole a trip to Florence will never get as expensive as a visit to Rome or Venice, at any time of the year.
Budget €80 per day per person
At minimum, a budget daily plan in Florence could look like this:
- Accommodation: approximately €25-35
- Food and Drinks: €25 for food, €6 for drinks
- Transport: €5
- Activities: €10-€15 for one attraction, plus free activities
Note: this is a very modest budget and it will probably cost you more if you paying for entry tickets to attractions or are looking for more expensive accommodation and food.
Accommodation budget for Florence (€20-70)
Accommodation isn't especially cheap in Florence, but there are options that will not completely break the bank. You should remember that prices for accommodation can sky rocket in the busy months (the high summer season is during July and August).
A shared dorm room in a hostel will be your cheapest option in Florence, and the cheapest beds are from around €18-€25. A private room would cost you around €45-€70. You can find and compare prices for lots of hostels on booking websites like hostelworld.com
If you are wanting a slightly better quality room, you would be looking at a minimum of about €70 (though you can find cheaper hotel rooms for about €45 if you are lucky).
If you are in a big group, it can sometimes be cheaper per person to find an apartment to stay in, in which case you could look on websites like AirBnb to find a place. In some cases this would mean that you could also have access to a kitchen which would reduce food costs if you cooked for yourself.
Cost of eating out in Florence (€15-50)
You do not necessarily need to break the bank to try real Italian dining experiences, but you will probably not be eating at any high class restaurants. Prices will vary depending on how you want to plan your meals.
If you are staying a hostel you often have the option of a free breakfast, but if you want to go and buy it yourself, there are extensive bakeries and coffee stands where you can pick up a quick breakfast for around €3
If you want to eat while you are out exploring for the day, you can easily find places selling hot sandwiches, paninis, pizza and pasta. These should range from about €4-€9. Alternatively you could grab some supplies from a supermarket and make your own for an even cheaper option. If you want to take advantage of the many gelaterias, these average at about €2.
The prices for this will depend on what style of dining you are looking for. If you want some classic, hearty food maybe seek out a trattoria style dining experience. These prices usually range from €15-€25. If you are wanting a lot of food on a budget then seek out a deal out the 'aperitivo' time of day from about 7pm to 9pm. At these places you can pay for your drink (around €5-€9) and then take advantage of the free buffet. For this option you obviously need to get there early to get a seat. You can also find many of the same options as the lunchtime ideas.
A coffee should not cost you more than about €1.5, a glass of wine will come in about around €3, and a beer will be around €4.5. Buying beer and wine at a supermarket will be cheaper, where a pint is usually less than €1 and a bottle of wine can be about €5.
Luckily, Florence is a city where you can easily walk everywhere, but if you do need to catch one of the public buses, they are very cheap and can easily be fit into a budget.
Bus fares are generally about €1.20 (or €2 if you buy it on the bus). You can also purchase 4 tickets for about €4.70. Tram rides will cost about the same, but make sure you stamp your ticket before getting on board
This will vary depending on what you want to see. Unfortunately you will need to pay for most of the main attractions, but there are activities that you can do free of charge. Assuming most visitors see the Galleria dell’ Accademia and Uffizi, you should budget a total of €30 for the trip. Add more for the Duomo complex if you intend to climb the Dome.
If you are budgeting for one day, attractions like the Uffizi gallery, the Accademia and the Piazza Duomo come in at prices from €10-€15. This can be slightly more if you are booking online and need to pay reservation fees. Combination tickets for things like the five attractions in the Piazza Duomo are a great way to see a lot of things economically.
Some of the great free attractions that you could check out are the Santa Maria del Fiore cathedral (entrance is free even though things like climbing the dome have a fee), and checking out the breath-taking views of the city from the Piazzale Michelangelo.
Of course, it depends on your activities and your restaurants choice. Visits to museums can become quite expensive if you visit many of them and you don’t have a Firenze Card. That’s why I recommend you to buy one if you’re keen on Florentine art and history.
Florence is not the most expensive city in Italy, unlike Venice or Rome, but you have to get smart: if during summer you buy a little bottle of water in Piazza Signoria it will cost you up to 2.50 euros. Why rather not to go to a local supermarket and buy 6 for the same price?
Central restaurants can become very expensive if they are in front of the Duomo or in Piazza Signoria and not necessarily are they the best in Florence. Better have a look on tripadvisor to have the real deal. In a day you could get away with only 100 euros per person, without too much pretence at food and making the wisest choices.