Should you visit Italy or Germany?
Italy and Germany are both interesting countries with a lot to offer visitors. Their cultures and atmosphere are different so consider what you're interested in before deciding where to go. Italy is one of the most popular travel destinations in the world, and because of this, prices might be slightly higher than in Germany, but not dramatically so.
Germany is a very efficient country to visit. Trains and buses are reliable and run like clockwork. The cities are very clean and modern and the facilities are comfortable. Italy, particularly as you head south, may feel a little more rough around the edges. Even so, the tourist infrastructure in Italy is well organized and you're unlikely to have any real hiccups during your travels.
Which country is cheaper, Germany or Italy?
Should I visit Italy or Germany? This is a popular question for many travelers. By figuring out which country is more expensive, you'll understand where you'll get more bang for your buck. A week in Germany can cost you about €747 (per person), while a week in Italy may cost you around €869. These differences become even more noticable if you plan to spend a longer time in the country. 10 days, two weeks, or even one month of travel to Germany or Italy can realy add to your travel budget.
Accommodation is often cheaper in Germany compared to Italy (€54 vs. €64). Budget travelers usually stay in less expensive hostels and guest houses, while nicer hotels often appeal to families and upscale travelers.
Compare hostel, B&B, and guesthouse prices between Germany and Italy to find the cheapest accommodation here: Germany hostels and Italy hostels.
When comparing food in Italy vs. Germany they are not just different in cuisine, but also in price. Meal and restaurant costs in Italy (€33) are often cheaper than Germany (€28).
When is the best time to visit Italy and Germany?
Italy can be very hot in the summer months. This is also when the crowds are at their worst and the prices are highest. Traditionally, Italians are known for taking a vacation in August, but this is increasingly becoming less common. In particular, if you're visiting the most popular Italian cities then you likely won't face any inconveniences during this time. The weather can be quite hot and muggy though. The late spring and early fall months are some of the best times to visit Italy.
If you must travel during the summer months, Germany is a bit cooler and more comfortable. There are also a lot of festivals in Germany during the late summer and early fall months which can be an interesting way to experience the country.
Why is Italy more expensive than Germany?
Although the prices aren't dramatically different, Italy is a bit more expensive than Germany, mostly because it is one of the most popular travel destinations in the world. Accommodation and food can be a bit more expensive because many places are geared specifically to tourists. In Germany it can be a bit easier to eat where the locals eat and these local restaurants usually have a bit more reasonable prices.
One exception is travel costs within the country. Traveling between cities in Germany can be more expensive than in Italy. Train and bus tickets are slightly more expensive, but the German transportation system is very reliable and comfortable.
What are the most expensive and cheapest cities and regions in Italy and Germany?
The Speicherstadt in Hamburg, Germany
In general, the larger cities and most popular destinations are the most expensive places to visit in both Italy and Germany. In Italy, Rome, Florence, and Venice have no shortage of accommodation and restaurant options, but the prices can be quite high. In particular, hostels in Venice are a bit hard to come by, so even backpackers and budget travelers end up paying more for accommodation. Visitors to cities often spend more on museum tickets or shows, which can get expensive.
In Germany, cities like Berlin can be a bit more expensive than the countryside. In some cases though, there may only be one hostel and a few small hotels in a town. The limited options and lack of competition can drive prices up, so you might find yourself spending a bit more than you expected.
How you can save money when visiting Italy and Germany?
Travel during the shoulder season. Prices inevitably climb during the peak summer months so make sure you visit when the crowds are less.
Eat where the locals eat. Restaurants that are geared toward tourists will inevitably be more expensive. Try to find a local eatery and you're sure to save a good bit of money.
Alternatively, find a street vendor that sells bratwurst or a local dish. Then you can find a great place to sit and people watch while you enjoy your quick and cheap meal.
Buses are almost always cheaper than trains, so look into all of your transportation options before buying tickets.
Stay at a locally owned hostel or hotel. Local accommodation options are often more affordable and more interesting places to stay.