Which country is cheaper, Italy or France?
These are the overall average travel costs for the two destinations.
Should I visit France or Italy? This is a common question asked by many travelers. By figuring out which country has activities that align with your interests along with knowing which is more affordable, you'll understand where you can get more bang for your buck. So, let's dive into the details and the data, which all comes from actual travelers.
We'll start with a quick overview, and below we will go into all of the details.
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Both Italy and France are popular travel destinations in Western Europe. They're both relatively expensive, particularly for budget travelers who want to keep costs to a minimum. Both countries also have their own unique culture and cuisine, and each country has a lot to offer visitors. If you're short on time and want to soak up as much of the country as possible, then Italy may be the better option. It's relatively easy and affordable to travel around Italy. There is a lot to seen and the transportation system is good. France is a larger country with a lot of interesting places to visit. If you don't have time to explore the whole country, then many visitors spend a lot of time in Paris and the surrounding areas.
In general, Italy is slightly more affordable than France, but the difference is not too significant. Accommodation is slightly more expensive in France, particularly in the larger cities such as Paris. Transportation is also a bit more expensive depending how far you're going and how much you're hoping to explore the countryside.
France is a cultural, romantic, and prosperous country. It's considered by many to be an absolutely beautiful destination, too. Visitors also love the food, water sports, beaches, and hiking.
France is actually the most visited country in the world, and it's easy to see why. Offering amazing food, deep history, beautiful coastlines, wine regions, world-class cities, and small villages, this amazing and diverse country offers something for everyone.
Italy is a scenic, historical, and cultural country. You'll find world class beauty here as well. Other popular activities here include museums, adventure travel, national parks, and history and culture.
Italy is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world. This is no surprise considering it offers world-famous sights and attractions, delicious food, beautiful scenery, abundant history, and gorgeous architecture.
Below we will examine the differences and similarities between France and Italy. With this information, you can decide for yourself which place is better for your next trip.
For an educational experience, head to a museum or a notable sight in either France or Italy.
You'll find many recognizable landmarks that put France on the map. Some of the world's best museums can be found in the major cities. The Louvre in Paris can't be missed, as it offers a huge collection of art, historical artifacts, and cultural items that would take several days to peruse. But it's only one of many museums in the city of lights, as it's also possible to see other major art exhibits around town. Additionally, other major cities offer plenty of museum options as well. Especially Lyon which has several marionette puppet museums, a cinema museum, and the large Musee de Confluences which focuses on humanity.
Paris: One of the most world famous landmarks is the Eiffel Tower. The city is also home to the world renowned Louvre, Notre-Dame, and Palais Garnier Opera House.
Lyon: There are many world class museums and historic landmarks in the city including Musée des Beaux Arts, Musée de la Civilisation Gallo-Romaine, and Basilique Notre-Dame de Fourvière.
Travelers visit Italy from around the world to see its many world-famous attractions. The major cities offer a unique combination of art, history, and cultural museums that are unmatched anywhere else in the world. From the famous art museums in Florence and Venice to the historical center of Rome, it's hard to find another country that offers as many museums as Italy.
Rome: The historical sights around the city are among the most impressive in the world. Almost anywhere you look you'll find a notable landmark but some of the most famous include the Colosseum, the Pantheon, the Trevi Fountain, the Vatican, and the Roman Forum.
Florence: Because of it's important role in the Renaissance, the city has many world-renowned museums that you can visit. Famous sights and landmarks include the Uffizi Gallery, the Duomo, and the Academy Gallery.
Venice: The many historic and famous landmarks in town include St. Mark's Basilica, St. Mark's Square, Doge's Palace, and the Rialto Bridge.
Both France and Italy offer similar levels of history and culture when visiting.
France is known for its world-famous historical and cultural sights and attractions. It's hard to find a country with more cultural and historical destinations. Starting with Paris, you'll find multiple museums, monuments, cathedrals, and other attractions that showcase the history and art of France as well as Europe as a whole. But Paris is not the only place, as other major cities such as Lyon and Marseille offer similar historical and artistic experiences in their museums, theatre productions, and architecture. Furthermore, even the small towns in the countryside have historic sights such as the numerous chateaus, castles, winery villages, and more.
For those interested in history, art, and culture, Italy is not to be missed. It's hard to find another country as proud of its heritage, culture, and history. In Italy, all of these are mixed together as the historical architecture and cuisine are constant reminders of the rich history and artistic contributions throughout the centuries. From the ancient Roman civilization up to the Renaissance to modern times, it's all on display here in the cities and the countryside.
You'll find a similar number of big city activities in both France and Italy.
Visitors will also find so much to do in France, as the large cities offer many sights and attractions. With multiple large cities, anyone looking to explore museums, history, restaurants, and attractions will easily find it all in France. And Paris is just the beginning, as Lyon, Marseille, Toulouse, and others offer charming streets filled with art, architecture, museums, nightlife, and more.
Italy has amazing and huge cities with tons of activities and things to do. With numerous world-famous cities, this country offers a special city vibe many times over. From the bustling streets of Rome and Milan to the historic centers of Florence, Venice, and Naples, visitors will find no shortage of sights, attractions, nightlife, restaurants, and museums to explore in the big cities of Italy.
You'll find a similar number of small towns and villages to explore in both France and Italy.
Because France offers so many small towns with a variety of charming activities, it attracts plenty of visitors for a good reason. Travelers could easily spend their entire trip in the small towns in the French countryside. Many of the most charming small towns are in the wine regions of Burgundy, Bordeaux, the Loire Valley, Provence, and others. Visitors to these towns will find historic architecture surrounded by beautiful agricultural landscapes along with delicious food and friendly locals. Some have their own history dating back centuries, too.
Since Italy offers plenty of small towns and villages with a variety of activities, it attracts plenty of visitors, too. If quintessential small towns are what you seek, then you will find them here. Along the coastline as well as inland, Italy is home to numerous charming small towns with colorful buildings and gorgeous landscapes. Many of these towns offer great views of the surrounding countryside or coastlines, a maze-like selection of narrow alleyways, and quaint cafes to while away the afternoons.
There are opportunities to sample the local cuisine at great restaurants in both France and Italy.
For foodies, France is an obvious choice, as it is one of the food capitals of the world. The food here is second to none. French food has earned its reputation over the centuries as being gourmet, elegant, delicious, diverse, and gluttonous. From the fine dining restaurants of Paris and Lyon to the farm-fresh cafes in the small towns, to the abundance of wine in Burgundy or Bordeaux, we promise that you won't go hungry. Every city is proud of the food they serve, and you'll find regional specials throughout the nation, too.
Paris: There are countless local restaurants, markets, and patisseries to explore. Make sure you try the steak tartare, pate, and macarons.
Marseille: It's famous for its bouillabaisse, which is a hearty seafood soup that was once affordable but is now quite pricey.
Lyon: Known as "the Gastronomic Capital of the World" this city stands above the rest when it comes to Michelin star restaurants (there are 17!), fresh ingredients, and unique local flavors. Favorite local dishes include pâté en croûte, rosette de Lyon, and saucisson brioché.
Nice: The cuisine brings together fresh regional ingredients and mixes Provençal and Niçoise flavors. You'll find a lot of Italian influence as well. Fresh seafood is the thing to try while you're in town, but other local favorites include socca, Ratatouille, and Salade niçoise.
Bordeaux: Both food and wine are a major draw to this culinary city, which is known for its pastries and rich flavors. Popular local dishes include grilled duck, duck foie gras, and canelés.
Italy has long been recognized as a culinary destination with great restaurants. The food here is world-famous, as you probably already know. In fact, the food is one of the main attractions. Pasta, pizza, seafood, and gelato are only just the beginning. Many regions of Italy have their own culinary specialties, too. So, be prepared to eat your way through this gourmet country.
Rome: Homemade pasta, fresh sauces, and fine wine all make the food scene among the best. Also make sure you try the gelato.
Milan: The city has a mix of traditional dishes combined with modernized, trendy restaurants. You can try a new dish by a groundbreaking chef, or sample a long running favorite like risotto alla Milanese.
Florence: Once you've worked up an appetite exploring museums and churches, you'll find many amazing local restaurants around town. Local dishes incorporate a lot of hearty vegetables and meats. Famous dishes include a Florentine steak dish, rabbit, and a bean bed and cabbage soup.
Sorrento: The food is world class and you'll find most Italian classics here including pizza, fine cheeses, and fresh seafood. Many visitors enjoy taking a pasta or pizza making class while they're in town. You'll also find Limoncello everywhere, made from the locally grown lemons, which are impressive in both their size and flavor. Also make sure you allow for plenty of stops at gelato shops.
Positano: Seafood is the obvious choice along the Amalfi Coast but Positano is also famous for its salami, chestnuts, cheese, and figs.
See also Make Your Own Pizza in Naples, Italy.
Both France and Italy are comparable when it comes to partying.
France offers plenty to do in the evening. While Paris is the obvious choice for its bars, clubs, theatre, and shows, the rest of France offers plenty of nightlife, too. The other major cities each have their own vibe, especially along the southern coastal destinations of Marseille, Nice, and Biarritz where beach-goers turn towards nightclubs at sundown. Even some of the smaller cities in the wine regions offer then own nightlife experiences after a day of tastings.
Paris: Head to Pigalle or the Latin Quarter for some of the city's best nightlife. There are all-night parties, cabarets, and exclusive night clubs that you can experience.
Marseille: Much of the city's nightlife is centered around being outdoors. Whether you're on the beach or hanging out at a rooftop bar, Marseille is a magical place.
Nice: The city has some of the best nightlife on the Cote d'Azur. You'll find a number of nightclubs along the seaside as well a bars and pubs in the Old Town. Some of the best clubs are along Promenade des Anglais.
Saint-Tropez: It is a place to see and be seen, so if you're looking for A-list celebrities, glamourous yacht parties, and ritzy dance clubs, then this is your place. While the nightlife scene is filled with extravagance, there are still laid back clubs where you can sip a cocktail in style. The best season to come and party is during the summer months, but you'll still find plenty to do throughout the year.
See also Paris Party Hostels.
Italy has a colorful and one-of-a-kind nightlife scene. The major cities of Rome, Milan, Florence, and Naples offer plenty of nightlife for every type of person. From bars and clubs to restaurants and theatre, the larger and even the smaller cities have plenty of options.
Rome: You'll find a huge concentration of bars and clubs in the Testaccio area. There are late night clubs with salsa dancing, merengue, and live DJ's spinning every type of music.
Milan: The city has a huge number of students and young professionals, which make it a fun place with an active nightlife. There are cocktail bars, trendy clubs, and relaxed pubs that you can chose from.
France and Italy offer a relatively similar set of luxury resort options.
France has a few great resort options. The beach areas on the southern and western coastline are home to numerous resorts, especially once you get away from the historic towns and move a bit further along the coast. Plenty more ski resorts can be found in the mountains, too, and are especially busy during the winter months. Numerous destinations in the interior of France also offer resort-like amenities, such as the options near Disneyland Paris or some of the historic castles which have been renovated into hotels.
Nice: The city has boutique hotels as well high end luxury resorts. Popular options include Hyatt Regency Nice Palais de la Méditerranée, Hôtel Suisse, and AC Hotel by Marriott.
Cannes: The city is filled with luxury resorts and elegant hotels. Among the best are Hôtel Martinez, Hôtel Barrière Le Majestic, and Five Seas Hotel.
Saint-Tropez: Luxury and extravagance is what this resort town is all about. If you have the money to spend, you'll have no trouble finding a glamourous villa or luxury hotel where you can relax, party, or soak up the French Riviera sun.
Italy has a handful of resorts to choose from. The coastal and beach areas host some nice resorts, especially in the south where the water is clear and blue. Otherwise, almost all of Italy is home to luxurious hotels featuring nice amenities.
Positano: The town has a number of luxury resorts including Le Sirenuse, Il San Pietro di Positano, and Hotel Le Agavi.
Portofino: Known for it's exclusive luxury, there are a number of high end resorts in the area. Popular options include Splendido, Sublimis Boutique Hotel, and Grand Hotel Miramare.
There's scuba diving or snorkeling available in both France and Italy.
Snorkeling is an option in France. The southern coastline, known as the French Riviera, is a nice place for snorkeling and scuba diving because of the clear waters and warm weather. Generally speaking, the diving here is easily accessible and generally affordable if you're right off the coast. Nice has some good locations such as Le Tombant Des Americains, and Marseille is close to Calanques National Park which encompasses a large area of protected coastline and the Riou Archipelago, a group of small islands with reefs and abundant marine life. Not far from St. Tropez you can find Port-Cros National Park which was specifically created as a marine sanctuary. There are some wrecks in this area, too. Corsica also offers a number of great spots for diving and snorkeling, many of which are right off of the beaches.
Saint-Tropez: The Gulf of Saint Tropez is one of the best places to snorkel and scuba dive along the French Riviera. There are wreck dives including the most famous, The Rubis, a submarine that is surrounded by marine life. Although you're not allowed to enter the vessel, there is still plenty to see. There are also plenty of dive spots that feature rock formations, schools of fish, and lobsters.
It's worth going snorkeling or scuba diving in Italy. In the southern regions of Italy, and in Sicily and Sardinia, scuba diving and snorkeling are popular because of the clear waters, gorgeous scenery, and easy accessibility. It's also popular to scuba dive in the central and northern areas around the Amalfi coast and Sorrento, as well as the coastline around Portofino (in Liguria) and some spots on the eastern Adriatic coastline.
For a relaxing beach holiday, both France and Italy are good choices.
Travelers come from around the world to visit the beaches in France. The southern, Mediterranean coast of France offers plenty of beaches with gorgeous sand, blue water, warm weather, and historical towns. Whether you stay in a larger town with restaurants, hotels, history, and nightlife, or move further along to the quieter spots, you'll enjoy plenty of clear skies with equally clear water and that special French Riviera feeling. Some of the most popular beach destinations in this part of France include Nice, Saint-Tropez, Cannes, and Marseille. Along the Atlantic coast, you'll find even more diversity. The northern coastline is a bit colder and historic, while in the south you can find even more warm-weather beach vacation towns such as Biarritz and the surrounding resort towns close to Spain.
Italy is a very popular place to visit for its beaches. Many of the beaches along the coastline offer fantastic scenery and stunning beauty, but are actually not as great for swimming due to the rocks. But they still attract plenty of visitors. The southern regions and Sicily offer flatter beaches with more sand if you're looking for better swimming.
See also The Ultimate Amalfi Coast Travel Guide.
Both France and Italy are good shopping destinations.
Browsing through shops is a popular activity in France. Paris quickly comes to mind as one of the best shopping cities in the world, as it offers multiple neighborhoods each with their own vibe and personality. But other major cities, as well as the resort areas on the coast, showcase diverse and trendy boutiques where everyone can find something they like.
Paris: Some of the best areas for shopping are Boulevard Haussmann and the Grands Boulevards, the Marais, and Avenue Montaigne and the Champs-Elysées.
Lille: The city is filled with shopping opportunities. Almost any store you could want is in or around the old town and the two main shopping centers in town are McArthur Glen and A l'Usine. Also by the train station is a shopping mall.
Cannes: With its many affluent visitors, the shopping scene in town is filled with luxury brands and posh boutiques. Perfume and porcelain are both popular things to buy in the area.
Saint-Tropez: Surrounded by luxury, shopping is a must in this glamourous resort town. There are international luxury brands as well as local designer boutiques. Whether you're looking for yachting clothes, cigars, jewelry, or perfume, this is one of the best shopping destinations along the Cote d'Azur. Art is a particularly popular item to purchase while you're in town.
People travel from around the world to go shopping in Italy. From Milan to Florence to Rome, this country offers some terrific fashion and shopping experiences. The big cities and the smaller towns can provide unique opportunities to find new clothes, fun souvenirs, and interesting crafts.
Rome: For the biggest brand names, head to Via del Corso, which is near the Spanish Steps. Popular items to buy include Italian ceramics, shoes, leather goods, and jewelry.
Milan: Famous as the fashion capital of Italy, shopping is the thing to do here. There are many streets that are lined with the biggest designers in fashion. Make sure you check out Via Monte Napoleone, Via Della Spiga, and Corso Buenos Aires.
Venice: There are many unique items that people purchase in town. Some of the most popular include Murano glass, Burano lace, Venetian masks, and local fabrics.
Both France and Italy are fun destinations to visit around Christmas.
France is an extremely popular place to visit during the Christmas season. Plenty of cities and towns put up lights and trees with Christmas decorations, host festivals and shows, and organize festive markets. While larger cities such as Paris are always popular, smaller towns are equally as beautiful and visited. Strasbourg, Dijon, Reims, Tours, and Lille are just a few of the destinations which organize extravagant holiday celebrations for residents and visitors alike.
Paris: The city of lights really proves itself around the holiday season. In addition to checking out the Christmas lights, it's fun to go window shopping or check out one of the city's Christmas markets.
Italy offers plenty of sights and activities around Christmas. Rome is a very popular destination at Christmas, especially since it is home to the Vatican. The city is fantastically decorated for the season. But it's not the only one, as other larger cities and smaller towns also put on large holiday displays with huge Christmas trees, ice skating rinks, and theatre shows. Many of the towns in the northern regions of Italy also put on markets and decorate large areas of their public squares.
Visiting the Christmas markets is popular activity in both Italy and France.
France has a lively atmosphere around its Christmas markets. It would be hard to visit all of the destinations hosting markets in France, as there are so many. Strasbourg is home to the Christkindelsmarik, the oldest Christmas Market in Europe, and it sprawls through many of the winding streets and alleyways of the city. Reims also has a terrific market worth visiting, as it is one of the largest in northern France. You'll find food, drinks, gifts, ice skating, and Santa's Grotto. Colmar is another town hosting five different markets which all blend together into one large festive atmosphere. Other popular towns with markets include Lille, Dijon, Sarlat, Annecy, Metz, Mulhouse, and others.
The Christmas markets in Italy offer plenty to see during the holidays. Many of the smaller towns in northern Italy host Christmas markets in their central areas. A few of the best include Bolzano, Trento, Merano, Bressanone, and Arezzo. Florence also puts on a large market during the holidays. And in Milan, families and kids will love the Village of Wonders which offers plenty of activities, as well as a market in the heart of the city.
France and Italy are fun places to visit for winter sports such as skiing.
France is a well-known ski destination which attracts visitors from far and wide. The French Alps are quite popular for skiing and snowboarding during the winter months. Some of of the more popular places include Chamonix, Tignes, Val-d'Isere, La Clusaz, and others nearby. Experienced skiers and snowboarders will be quite pleased with the amenities and variety of ski runs in this region of France, as the Alps are second to none when it comes to skiing.
Italy offers world-class skiing that is fun for everyone. In the northern mountainous areas of Italy visitors will find the Alps and the Dolomites. Here, a number of world-class ski resorts draw visitors from all over Europe and the rest of the world.
If you're looking to go hiking, France and Italy both have various trails.
France is a good destination for hiking. A diverse set of hiking options is available for travelers here, as you'll find great trails from the Alps to the Pyrenees to the hills in the wine regions to the beautiful coastlines. In the summer months, the Alps and Pyrenees are especially welcoming to hikers, as these winter ski areas become warm and active with visitors. Also, when exploring the wine regions of Bordeaux, Burgundy, or the Loire Valley, don't forget to take a break from wine and history to admire the beautiful landscapes on foot.
Many people include a hike when visiting Italy. The northern regions around the Dolomites and the Alps offer plenty of hiking trails, as do some of the central inland areas where the terrain is higher and rugged. Plenty of coastal trails can be found with stunning views of the Mediterranean, too. Check out the trails around the Amalfi Coast and Cinque Terre, for example. Also, one of the most famous hikes is the historic walk along the Appian Way.
Cinque Terre: The five towns are part of Cinque Terre National Park and there are 120 kilometers of hiking trails in the park. Most people hike along the trails that follow the coastline and connect the towns. There are fees for the most popular stretch of trails which connect Monterosso to Vernazza and then go from Vernazza to Corniglia. All other hiking is free in the area.
Both France and Italy are good destinations for visiting national parks.
Many visitors go to France to see the national parks. Visitors looking to escape to the wilderness can find plenty of parks to see, especially in the rugged mountainous regions. A few of the best include Pyrenees national park and Vanoise national park, both of which are known for their hiking and beautiful mountain scenery. Elsewhere in France, Le Perche natural regional park in Normandy and Armorique natural regional park in Brittany offer beautiful natural landscapes with a touch of history.
Plenty of travelers enjoy the national parks of Italy. While not necessarily famous for its national parks, here you'll still find plenty of absolutely gorgeous regions to explore. From the Dolomites in the north to the beautiful stretches of coastline, Italy has plenty of park areas to explore. Don't miss Cinque Terre with its colorful villages and vineyards, or Gargano in the south with its clear waters and white cliffs.
Both France and Italy offer adventure travel opportunities for visitors.
France is a pretty good destination for adventure travel with a good array of experiences. Across this diverse country, you can find plenty of adventurous activities if you're looking for a break from the history, wine, and food that brings in most travelers. Horseback riding, hiking, canyoning, rock climbing, rafting, and snow skiing are popular activities in the mountain regions, especially around the Alps in the east. Skydiving and bungee jumping are also popular in the countryside. Water sports, surfing, and kayaking are popular along the coastline as well.
Adventure travel experiences in Italy are quite popular with travelers. If thrills are what you're after, you can find a number of adventure sports here. From skiing in the north to scuba diving in the south, you can find it here. Visitors can also find plenty of hiking and paragliding in the mountains, as well as canyoning in many of the central regions of Italy.
Both France and Italy offer an similar amount of mountain activities for visitors.
France is an extremely popular destination for those interested in visiting the mountains. The two main mountain ranges are the Alps in the southeast and the Pyrenees in the southwest. Furthermore, you'll find more hilly areas with great scenery along the southern coast and also near the German border on the east. While the Alps are the highest, the Pyrenees and other regions still offer plenty of amazing views as well as activities such as hiking, horseback riding, and adventure sports.
Visiting the mountains in Italy is a very popular activity. While not known for mountains as much as some of its neighbors, this country has its fair share in the northern regions where you'll find the Alps and Dolomites. Plenty of mountain villages can be found here, along with winter skiing, summer hiking, scenic lakes, and more.
You can find a fairly equal amount of watersports in both France and Italy.
France is a great destination for participating in watersports. With a very long stretch of coastline on both the Atlantic and Mediterranean, as well as a huge array of rivers and lakes, there's no shortage of watersports here. Surfing is popular along both coasts, and not just where the water is clear and blue. Snorkeling and scuba diving are popular, as is kayaking, canoeing, and boating on the ocean, sea, and rivers.
Italy is a popular place to visit because of the wide range of watersports. As a coastal nation, it's no surprise that visitors can get out on the water here. From boating to surfing to fishing, it's quite easy to find plenty of activities. Scuba diving and snorkeling are especially popular in the southern regions of Italy where the water is clear and warm.
You can find a fairly equal amount of outdoor activities in both France and Italy.
France is a great destination for participating in outdoor activities. The countryside that normally draws a crowd to see the vineyards and castles also offers plenty of other activities for visitors. From hiking through the beautiful landscapes to horseback riding to rafting and kayaking, there's something for everyone here. Many of these activities are also kid-friendly, and it's easy to find a day tour or rent equipment on your own for whatever you choose.
Outdoor activities in Italy are quite popular with travelers. Hiking, snow skiing, boating, kayaking, rafting, snorkeling, and more are all popular activities here. One of the main reasons is that the natural beauty is everywhere, and that most of the country's outdoor areas are so accessible to the larger cities.
Both France and Italy offer plenty of great road trip opportunities.
Taking a road trip through France is very good way to see the countryside and smaller destinations. As the roads and highways here can take you anywhere fairly quickly, many visitors to France will hire a car and leave the major cities to venture into the countryside. The wine regions of Burgundy, the Loire Valley, Bordeaux, and Alsace are popular destinations, as you can see the vineyards, chateaus, castles, and historic towns intermixed with beautiful mountains, rivers, and the French countryside.
Italy is a great place to take a road trip. If you're looking to drive through the countryside from city to city, or even just through the small towns, you'll find some great roads in Italy. Take a drive down the coast from Rome to see a diverse set of coastlines, towns, and historical sights. Or, drive through the mountains in the north interspersed with gorgeous lakes. And don't forget about Tuscany where you can explore the small towns among the vineyards and wineries.
Kids will enjoy a visit to either France or Italy.
As it has a large number of activities for kids, France is a very family-friendly destination. Plenty of activities for families and kids can be found in almost every corner of the country. The coastal areas in the south draw families for the beaches and resorts, while the mountains bring families for outdoor activities mixed with history and culture. The larger cities offer plenty of fun as well in the form of museums, theme parks, great food, and large parks.
Saint-Tropez: With great beaches, several amusement parks, waterparks, and even Marineland, there are an endless supply of activities for kids. There's also a zoo and nature reserve for wildlife enthusiasts. For adventure lovers, there are a number of different watersports to try and if the weather isn't cooperating, there are a few good museums and other indoor activities as well.
Italy is one of the most popular family destinations. With plenty of diverse activities for children and adults, here you'll find large cities with famous attractions, beautiful beaches on stunning coastlines, small towns with great food. Plenty of amusement parks, outdoor activities, and water sports are also available.
With fun activities for couples, both France and Italy make for a good place to visit.
France makes for a terrific place to visit as a couple. So many destinations in this large country are perfect for couples looking to get away on a romantic trip, or even a honeymoon. Paris is the obvious choice, as the city of lights oozes romance with fine restaurants, historic architecture, theatre productions, and hidden alleyways. But other destinations are terrific for couples as well, such as the coast, the mountains, the wine regions, and the small towns.
Paris: A city filled with romance, you really can't find a more ideal destination for a European honeymoon or a couple's getaway.
Nice: The old town is filled with romance and charm. You can also take a walk along the Promenade Des Anglais or soak up the romantic countryside that surrounds the town.
Cannes: It's grand hotels and luxury beach clubs make this a perfect romantic destination. There are world class restaurants, a vibrant nightlife scene, and many romantic spots around town that make for a memorable honeymoon or couple's getaway.
Saint-Tropez: Whether you're honeymooning or taking a short getaway to the French Riviera, this is a great option for couples. You can take a stroll at sunset, relax on one of the beautiful beaches, dine on local seafood, and soak up the rich local culture. The romance and beauty of this French Riviera city make it a world class romantic destination.
For those traveling as a couple, Italy has plenty to offer. Known for its romantic destinations, couples will have a hard time simply deciding which destination to choose first. From world-famous cities full of charm, romance, and cuisine to gorgeous beaches to small colorful towns, Italy has everything a couple would want for a honeymoon or a romantic getaway.
Florence: Art and history lovers will enjoy a visit to this truly beautiful city. Couples who enjoy museums, historic buildings, and world-renowned art, will find plenty to do in this city.
Venice: With its many truly unique romantic experiences, this city makes for a truly memorable honeymoon or romantic getaway. Ride a gondola, get lost in the city, and enjoy pasta and music around town to make the experience unlike any other.
Sorrento: This beautiful romantic destination is one of the world's top honeymoon areas. It's a small city that offers access to the many nearby destinations, so it makes a good base or gateway city for visiting places like Capri and the Blue Grotto as well as the Amalfi Coast. You can enjoy romantic hikes full of stunning views, explore by kayak, dine at romantic restaurants, or experience a one-of-a-kind farm tour. If you base yourself in Sorrento, you'll likely be doing a lot of day trips.
Positano: It is a picturesque coast town that is both romantic and fun. Wandering through the streets and sampling Italian food make this the perfect honeymoon getaway.
Cinque Terre: These stunning five Italian villages are perched precariously on the water's edge. They're surrounded by beautiful vineyards and connected by impressive hiking trails. This area is truly a dream honeymoon destination and it is sure to make a memorable vacation for any couple who enjoys exploring charming village.
While France and Italy are both good for backpackers, overall Italy is more popular.
Italy is a very popular country to visit for backpackers. Plenty of affordable and budget-friendly options are available here which allow backpackers to spend less on a trip. From hostels to street food to free attractions, it's possible to explore the cities and countryside of Italy without breaking the bank.
Rome: Backpackers will find no shortage of hostels where they can stay, particularly near the main train station where accommodation is particularly cheap (but not always the best quality).
Florence: The city is part of a popular route through Italy, and you'll find many backpackers and students in town. There are also many hostels, so you should have no trouble meeting other young travelers.
Sorrento: Because its a small city with accessible transportation, you'll find a decent number of hostels that make it an affordable base for exploring the area. You can hit many nearby sights as day trips or use this as a first stop off point as you make your way along the coast.
See also Best Hostels in Rome, Florence's Best Hostels, and Party Hostels in Florence.Plenty of backpackers visit France. It's easy to find budget accommodation in most cities and towns, although the overall in this Western European country tend to be high. But the sheer diversity of sights and destinations means that budget travelers or backpackers can find low cost food, activities, and accommodations in most places around the country.
Paris: It's a big city, so it's easy to get lost in the chaos, but there are many hostels and other backpacker hangouts around town.
France and Italy are both good destinations for students and younger travelers.
France is a very popular country for students and younger travelers. With multiple large universities, this country hosts many students every year as both tourists and study-abroad participants. From the large cities to the small towns, it's easy to get around as a student, especially since many hostels and museums offer discounts for anyone under 26. Also, the nightlife is terrific in many of the major cities such as Paris, Lyon, and Nice.
Paris: The city is one of the most popular destinations for international and study abroad students.
Lyon: It is a very livable city with many fun cultural activities for students. There are many different entertainment options during the day, and during the evening there are plenty of places to hang out.
Montpellier: Montpellier is a popular university town that is home to many trendy university students. It's also where you'll find the youngest population of any city in France.
See also Free Things to do in Paris.
Italy is very popular with students. As the home of many study-abroad programs and major universities, students will feel right at home here. Plenty of academic and budget-travel options are available in the major cities as well as some of the smaller towns.
Rome: The city is a popular study abroad destination and you'll find plenty of international students here.
Milan: It is one of the more popular city's for international students in Italy. It is very livable with a lot of culture and a fun nightlife, so you're sure to have the experience of a lifetime.
Florence: Many students visit this city as part of a short term study abroad program, or for the entire length of their studies. The city is beautiful, and whether your focus is art, history, or culture, this city will not disappoint.
Venice: Because of its well-established reputation, this city attracts many international students for both semester and full length programs. There are many programs to choose between, and many students focus on the region's art, architecture, history, and language.
See also Hostels in Genoa for Solo Travellers, Backpackers, and Students, Affordable, Safe, and Quiet Hostels in Naples, Italy for Students and Backpackers, and Affordable and Safe Hostels in Milan for Backpackers and Students.
Both France and Italy offer a very good transportation system.
France has a great public transit system. The French rail system is a terrific way to move around the country quickly and easily. Most small towns are connected to the larger cities by rail, and the larger cities are connected with high-speed rail, too. The airports are also modern and efficient, and offer connections to everywhere in the world. The roads are also great for driving, too.
See also How to Visit the Loire Valley from Paris.
Is it easy to travel around France?
Visitors to Italy can move around easily with public transportation. Nationally, the major cities and smaller towns in Italy are connected with a terrific rail system, and high-speed trains connect major destinations. Furthermore, the cities have terrific public transit systems that include subways, trams, and buses. Getting around Italy is quite easy.
Is it easy to travel around Italy?
France and Italy are both modern and comfortable places to visit.
France is extremely comfortable for travelers as it is a modern destination with plenty of amenities. If you're looking to explore in comfort and luxury, then you'll have no trouble here. As the most visited country in the world, travelers will find a huge number of modern and luxurious hotels, along with great public transport, plenty of taxis and tour companies, and an amazing selection of restaurants and cafes. Even if you're traveling on a budget, the level of comfort and amenities in France is very high.
Italy is a very comfortable and luxurious destination with plenty of hotels, restaurants, and activities. This is a country with a huge infrastructure for tourists and travelers. With a wide range of nice hotels and luxurious resorts, a great public transit network of high-speed trains, fine-dining and casual restaurants, nightlife, and modern conveniences, Italy can be extremely comfortable for travelers.
France and Italy are both quite touristy, seeing a large number of visitors every year.
France is known for being extremely touristy. Since it's the most visited country in the world, no one should be surprised with the number of tourists around major sights and attractions, especially in the more popular areas. Paris, Lyon, the southern coastline, the wine regions, and the French Alps are all quite busy with tourists year-round. So, when visiting, you won't be alone. However, it's also not too hard to escape the crowds as this country is fairly large.
Italy is a destination which hosts a huge number of visitors. This is one of the most visited countries in the world for tourists. Its major cities such as Rome, Venice, Florence, and Milan host millions of visitors every year because of their world-famous attractions, cuisine, and history. Even some of the smaller towns and rural areas see plenty of tourists. Whether you're visiting the coastline or an inland region, it can be hard to escape other travelers.
France and Italy both offer a nice selection of activities for visitors. Many people usually spend more of their time in France than Italy.
The ideal length of time for a trip to France is 7-21 days, and the ideal length of time for a trip to Italy is 7-14 days.
It's hard to know how much time to spend in France. It's a great spot for a beach vacation. A weekend is usually not enough time for a trip here as there is plenty to do. The length of your ideal trip is an individual decision.
Italy is a great place to explore. With so much to do, a weekend is probably not enough time to see everything. Your budget might influence how long you stay.
France is a fun place to experience. In France, many people enjoy the shopping, museums, and theater that this destination offers. You'll find plenty of activities on the beach. Five days is usually not enough time for a trip here as there is plenty to do.
It's hard to know how much time to spend in Italy. Most people come for the beaches. With so much to do, five days is probably not enough time to see everything. It has many unique tourist attractions and fascinating things to do.
In France, many people enjoy the museums, theater, and adventure travel that this beautiful destination offers. Plenty of people spend one week in the area when traveling. Most people come for the beaches. Take your pick from the many activities offered here. One week is often enough time to do most activities.
Many travelers enjoy the adventure travel, national parks, and history and culture when visiting the scenic destination of Italy. This country offers a variety of activities to choose from. Many visitors spend time at the beach while visiting the area. If you have one week, this is a great place to go. This would be the perfect place to spend one week, as it has just the right amount of activities.
In France, many people enjoy the museums, theater, and adventure travel that this historic destination offers. Plenty of people spend two weeks in the area when traveling. Most people come for the beaches. Take your pick from the many activities offered here. This would be the perfect place to spend two weeks, as it has just the right amount of activities.
Many travelers enjoy the adventure travel, national parks, and history and culture when visiting the historical destination of Italy. This country offers a variety of activities to choose from. Many visitors spend time at the beach while visiting the area. If you have two weeks, this is a great place to go. With all of its activities, you can easily fill two weeks here.
These are the overall average travel costs for the two destinations.
The average daily cost (per person) in France is €186, while the average daily cost in Italy is €132. These costs include accommodation (assuming double occupancy, so the traveler is sharing the room), food, transportation, and entertainment. While every person is different, these costs are an average of past travelers in each country. What follows is a categorical breakdown of travel costs for France and Italy in more detail.
Looking for a hotel in France or Italy? Prices vary by location, date, season, and the level of luxury. See below for options and compare which is best for your budget and travel style.
Kayak helps you find the best prices for hotels, flights, and rental cars for destinations around the world. Compare prices for multiple destinations when planning your next trip.
Here are some examples of typical transportation prices from actual travelers in France:
Some specific examples of transportation prices in France:
Below are a few samples from actual travelers for transportation costs in Italy:
Also for Italy, here are a few examples of actual transportation services:
Prices for flights to both Italy and France change regularly based on dates and travel demand. We suggest you find the best prices for your next trip on Kayak, because you can compare the cost of flights across multiple airlines for your prefered dates.
Some typical examples of dining costs in France are as follows:
Also, here are some specific examples of food and dining related activities in France.
For Italy, here are some examples of average food and meal prices for travelers:
For Italy, here are some samples of tours and activities related to meals and dining experiences:
Some typical examples of activities, tours, and entrance ticket prices in France are as follows:
Some specific costs of activities, tours, and entrance tickets for France are as follows:
Below are a few sample prices from actual travelers for Italy's activities, tours, and tickets:
For Italy, here are a few prices for actual activities, tours, and tickets provided by various companies:
Below are a few samples from actual travelers for alcohol and nightlife costs in France:
Here are a few nightlife and alcohol tours and activities from local tour providers in France:
Here are a few samples of the prices for alcohol and nightlife in Italy from other travelers:
Also in Italy, these are the prices for nightlife and alcohol related activities from various tour providers:
When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between France and Italy, we can see that France is more expensive. And not only is Italy much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. So, traveling to Italy would let you spend less money overall. Or, you could decide to spend more money in Italy and be able to afford a more luxurious travel style by staying in nicer hotels, eating at more expensive restaurants, taking tours, and experiencing more activities. The same level of travel in France would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in France than you might in Italy.
Although the prices aren't dramatically different, France is slightly more expensive than Italy, particularly in cities like Paris or along the coast. France's accommodation is typically more expensive, even for the most basic hostels and hotels. Restaurants are also more expensive in France and because of its large size, transportation prices can be higher as well.
If you plan ahead, it is possible to find deals in France. Eat lunch at a restaurant that offers a mid day discount. Find accommodation that is centrally located so you spend less time and money of transit. Or you could spend more time in the countryside where prices are usually a bit less.
In both France and Italy, the most touristy places are also the most expensive. Cities like Florence and Venice are among the most popular places to visit in Italy and prices reflect this. In particular, there is a shortage of hostels and budget accommodation in Venice, so even backpackers may find themselves spending more than they expected.
In France, Paris can be a bit more expensive than more rural areas or other smaller cities. Towns along the coast can also be quite expensive, particularly during the peak summer months when prices climb and budget accommodation fills up quickly.
The peak summer months are the most expensive time to visit both Italy and France. If you're visiting during this season make sure you make reservations well in advance to ensure there is availability at the places you wish to stay. Budget options can fill up early.
Be willing to change your plans if the places you're visiting aren't what you expected.
Spend some time just exploring the neighborhoods of the city you're in. Each neighborhood has it's on character and atmosphere and this can be a great way to understand the area without spending a fortune.
In general, buses are more affordable than trains so find out all of the transportation options before you reserve tickets.
Find local businesses. Spending your money on local business ventures is both rewarding and beneficial to the local economy.
Both places have a temperate climate with four distinct seasons. As both cities are in the northern hemisphere, summer is in July and winter is in January.
The weather in France is fairly predictable, as it sees four seasons. Summers are warm all over, and winters can be cold, especially in the northern areas. The southern coastal areas are not quite as cold in the winter, but they can still be a bit chilly at times. The summer, fall, and spring tend to be the busier times for travelers to visit, with summer being the peak time of year for most of the country.
Italy is a peninsula in the Mediterranean Sea, and thus has a much warmer climate than most of its European neighbors. The southern regions can be especially warm year-round, and very hot in the summer. The northern regions are home to a more mountainous landscape, so they can have cold and snowy winters. But in general, any time of the year is a great time to visit.
Both Italy and France are beautiful places to visit year around. The peak travel season is during the summer months. Temperatures can be hot and the crowds intense during these months. If your schedule is more flexible, the spring and fall seasons are a great time to visit either country. The temperatures are cooler and the overwhelming crowds start to go away. Keep in mind that the peak tourist season in southern Italy can last a little longer due to the warmer southern climate.
The winter months are colder, but it is possible to get off season deals. In larger cities the hotels stay expensive year around because they accommodate business travelers, but smaller towns often have discounted rates. Plane tickets are also more affordable during the winter months. The holiday season is a nice time to visit France, although prices can be high during this time. The Christmas decorations are nice and the country has a nice atmosphere.
Both Italy and France during the summer are popular places to visit. The summer months attract visitors to France because of the beaches, snorkeling, the hiking, the music scene, and the family-friendly experiences. Furthermore, the beaches, snorkeling, the hiking, and the family-friendly experiences are the main draw to Italy this time of year.
In July, Paris is generally cooler than Rome. Temperatures in Paris average around 20°C (68°F), and Rome stays around 25°C (77°F).
In Rome, it's very sunny this time of the year. It's quite sunny in Paris. In the summer, Paris often gets less sunshine than Rome. Paris gets 241 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Rome receives 338 hours of full sun.
Paris usually gets more rain in July than Rome. Paris gets 58 mm (2.3 in) of rain, while Rome receives 19 mm (0.7 in) of rain this time of the year.
The autumn attracts plenty of travelers to both France and Italy. The hiking trails, the shopping scene, the music scene, and the natural beauty of the area are the main draw to France this time of year. Furthermore, many travelers come to Italy for the hiking trails, the shopping scene, and the natural beauty of the area.
Paris is cooler than Rome in the autumn. The temperature in Paris is usually 13°C (56°F) in October, and Rome stays around 17°C (63°F).
Paris usually receives less sunshine than Rome during autumn. Paris gets 127 hours of sunny skies, while Rome receives 198 hours of full sun in the autumn.
In October, Paris usually receives less rain than Rome. Paris gets 55 mm (2.2 in) of rain, while Rome receives 94 mm (3.7 in) of rain each month for the autumn.
The winter brings many poeple to France as well as Italy. Many travelers come to France for the skiing, the museums, the Christmas ambience, the shopping scene, the theater shows, and the cuisine. Additionally, many visitors come to Italy in the winter for the skiing, the museums, the Christmas ambience, the shopping scene, and the cuisine.
Be prepared for some very cold days in Paris. In the winter, Paris is much colder than Rome. Typically, the winter temperatures in Paris in January are around 5°C (40°F), and Rome is about 8°C (47°F).
In the winter, Paris often gets less sunshine than Rome. Paris gets 62 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Rome receives 127 hours of full sun.
Paris usually gets less rain in January than Rome. Paris gets 55 mm (2.2 in) of rain, while Rome receives 81 mm (3.2 in) of rain this time of the year.
Both Italy and France are popular destinations to visit in the spring with plenty of activities. Many visitors come to France in the spring for the beaches and the natural beauty. Also, most visitors come to Italy for the beaches and the natural beauty during these months.
In April, Paris is generally cooler than Rome. Temperatures in Paris average around 11°C (52°F), and Rome stays around 14°C (57°F).
It's quite sunny in Rome. Paris usually receives less sunshine than Rome during spring. Paris gets 172 hours of sunny skies, while Rome receives 204 hours of full sun in the spring.
In April, Paris usually receives around the same amount of rain as Rome. Paris gets 50 mm (1.9 in) of rain, while Rome receives 50 mm (2 in) of rain each month for the spring.
|Temp (°C)||Rain (mm)||Temp (°C)||Rain (mm)|
|Jan||5°C (40°F)||55 mm (2.2 in)||8°C (47°F)||81 mm (3.2 in)|
|Feb||6°C (42°F)||45 mm (1.8 in)||9°C (49°F)||76 mm (3 in)|
|Mar||8°C (47°F)||52 mm (2.1 in)||11°C (52°F)||64 mm (2.5 in)|
|Apr||11°C (52°F)||50 mm (1.9 in)||14°C (57°F)||50 mm (2 in)|
|May||15°C (59°F)||62 mm (2.4 in)||18°C (64°F)||42 mm (1.6 in)|
|Jun||18°C (64°F)||53 mm (2.1 in)||22°C (71°F)||21 mm (0.8 in)|
|Jul||20°C (68°F)||58 mm (2.3 in)||25°C (77°F)||19 mm (0.7 in)|
|Aug||20°C (67°F)||46 mm (1.8 in)||25°C (77°F)||36 mm (1.4 in)|
|Sep||17°C (63°F)||53 mm (2.1 in)||22°C (71°F)||74 mm (2.9 in)|
|Oct||13°C (56°F)||55 mm (2.2 in)||17°C (63°F)||94 mm (3.7 in)|
|Nov||8°C (47°F)||57 mm (2.2 in)||12°C (54°F)||105 mm (4.1 in)|
|Dec||5°C (42°F)||55 mm (2.2 in)||9°C (49°F)||94 mm (3.7 in)|
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