A Travel Price Comparison for Families, Couples, and Backpackers Spain vs. Italy for Museums & Attractions, Food, Nightlife, and Resorts

Should you visit Spain or Italy?

Which is cheaper to visit? Which is more expensive for vacation?

Trying to figure out where to travel next? This travel comparison between Spain and Italy can help. It includes a travel cost comparison in addition to other factors. For many travelers, the cost of a destination is a primary consideration when choosing where to go.

We'll start with a quick overview, and below we will go into all of the details.


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Both Italy and Spain are popular travel destinations in Western Europe and because of their popularity, each country can be expensive to visit. In general, Spain is a bit more affordable than Italy, but deals can be found in both countries.

Both Italy and Spain have a lot to offer visitors. Each country has its own culture and history, which can be explored through the many sights, attractions, and destinations. Many visitors are drawn to the Roman history of Italy, but throughout Spain you can see Arabic influences, which make it an interesting and unique country to visit in Europe. Spain is also known for it's vibrant nightlife and lively festivals that attract crowds, while Italy has world renowned museums and archaeological sites. Spain also has a very diverse landscape that lets you experience several different climates all in one country.

Spain

Cudillero, Spain Cudillero, Spain

Spain is a historic, proud, and gorgeous country. It's considered by many to be an absolutely beautiful destination, too. It's also popular because of the hiking, mountains, shopping, and museums.

From the popular coastlines to the rugged interior, Spain is full of history, natural beauty, vibrant people, amazing cities, unique cuisines, and gorgeous views. While Madrid is the capital, it's by no means the main attraction of a country full of beaches, ancient castles, and cultural diversity. Barcelona is the hub of the Catalan region with its own unique culture, and the southern areas have a deep historic relationship with Moorish culture, too. Visitors will also find epic hikes, world-class food, vineyards and wineries, epic nightlife, famous art, natural wildlife, multiple coastlines, cultural dances and music, friendly smiles, and affordable prices.

Italy

San Gimignano, Italy San Gimignano, Italy

Italy is a historical, cultural, and captivating country. It's considered by many to be an absolutely beautiful destination, too. It's also popular because of the beaches, hiking, mountains, and shopping.

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.

Spain and Italy: Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Great culture, history, and arts
  • Great resorts
  • Good scuba and snorkeling destination
  • Popular beach
  • Good for hiking
  • Beautiful national parks
  • Adventure!
  • Great road trips
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
  • Impressive beauty
Cons
  • Less popular for shopping
  • Less popular for Christmas markets
  • Less popular for skiing
Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Great culture, history, and arts
  • Good scuba and snorkeling destination
  • Popular beach
  • Good for shopping
  • Known for Christmas markets
  • Popular for skiing
  • Beautiful national parks
  • Adventure!
  • Great road trips
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
  • Impressive beauty
Cons
  • Not as many resort options
  • Less hiking options


Santillana, Spain Santillana, Spain

How is Spain different from Italy?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

Below we will examine the differences and similarities between Spain and Italy. With this information, you can decide for yourself which place is better for your next trip.

Are the Museums and Historical Sights Better in Spain or Italy?

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Italy

While you'll find a number of sights and museums in both Spain and Italy, those in Italy are generally more well known.

With plenty of landmarks, attractions, and museums, Italy has many famous sights for visitors. 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.

Pompeii: Pompeii is a city frozen in time and it is truly a one-of-a-kind destination. The streets remain as they once stood, lined with shops and homes. Highlights of a visit include the Forum, the Antiquarium, the Temple of Isis, and the Teatro Grande.

See also Florence Activity Guide, The Ultimate Rome Travel Guide, and Cheap Tours and Activities in Rome, Italy.

Visitors can fill many days exploring the museums and attractions around Spain. The major cities of Barcelona, Madrid, Seville, Granada, and others all have world-class museums that cover a variety of topics from history to art to science. Many of them are also family-friendly. In Barcelona, don't miss the Picasso museum dedicated to the famous artist. Casa Batllo is one of Gaudi's famous buildings and worth a tour along with Casa Vicens, too. MNAC is a great place to learn about the local Catalan art and history. And the Joan Miro museum is dedicated to the work and life of this famous artist. In Madrid, you can find plenty of historical places such as the Royal Palace and the National Archaeology Museum. If it's art you seek, make sure to visit the Prado, the Queen Sofia Arts Center, or the Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum, all of which have world-class art from Spain and Europe. In Valencia, kids will love the Oceanografic aquarium and the Bioparc zoo. In Seville, the Real Alcazar has fascinating architecture. and the Flemenco museum showcases Spain's most famous dance. This is just a small sample, as you'll find even more museums in Bilbao, Malaga, Granada, and other cities around the country, too.

Seville: This elegant city is filled with historic buildings and world famous architecture. From the iconic Catedral de Sevilla to the Real Alcázar and Plaza de España, there is an endless supply of world class sights around town.

Cordoba: The city is filled with monuments that reflect its past. The Great Mosque (La Mezquita) is one of the most iconic sights. You can also visit Alcázar de los Reyes Cristianos, Palacio de Viana, and Puente Romano.

Granada: Many visitors head to Granada specifically to visit the famed Alhambra. The palace and fortress complex will not disappoint. The gardens are beautifully maintained and the palace is filled with intricate details. It's easy to spend hours wandering around. In addition to The Alhambra, the Granada Cathedral is also impressive to visit. If you have kids or extra time to fill, head to Parque de las Ciencias, which is the city's Science Park.

Santiago de Compostela: The iconic Cathedral of Santiago has long attracted pilgrims and travelers from around Europe and the world. The spectacular sight includes a museum and the crypt and tomb of Saint James. Another interesting sight in town is the former hostel for pilgrims, the Hostal de los Reyes Católicos. Also make sure you visit Plaza del Obradoiro and the Galician Center of Contemporary Art.

See also Barcelona: The Ultimate Travel Planning Guide.


Is Spain or Italy Better for Culture, Arts, and History?

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Italy

While both cultures have their own history and culture, generally Italy offers more of this on a visit than Spain

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.

See also How to Buy Tickets to the Colosseum, Rome Activity Guide, and The Ultimate Florence Travel Guide.

Spain is a terrific destination to visit for history, arts, and culture, as it has many sights worth visiting. The blending of cultures in this region of Europe along with the accessibility of historic sights and cultural traditions make this country an obvious place to visit for history lovers. A long period of Spain's history was influenced by the Moors from the south, and you can see it in the architecture, art, cuisine, and music. Furthermore, the Catalan region in the east has it's own cultural differences. The Roman empire also left its mark, as did visitors from the rest of Europe and northern Africa. Some of the best historic places to see in Spain include the Alhambra palace and fortress in Granada, the huge cathedrals of Seville, Barcelona, and Madrid, El Escorial palace outside of Madrid, Montserrat Monastery near Barcelona, amongst others. Some of the best historical sites are actually the smaller castles and fortresses that are left from the long conflict between the Spanish and Moors that dot the countryside in the southern regions. Furthermore, Spain has made unique contributions of music, theater, and culture to the world stage. Flamenco dancing and Paso Double are just two of the musical art forms that are worth seeing on a smaller, intimate stage during a visit. And don't miss the world-class cuisine, too.

See also Barcelona: Activities, Tickets, and Things to Do, Things to Do in Madrid, and Cheap Tours and Activities in Granada, Spain.

Is Spain or Italy Better for Big City Activities?

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Italy

Italy offers more big cities to explore than Spain.

Visitors will also find so much to do in Italy, as the large cities offer many sights and attractions. 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.

See also Milan: The Ultimate Travel Planning Guide, Naples: The Ultimate Travel Planning Guide, and The Ultimate Venice Travel Guide.

Spain has large cities with plenty of activites for visitors as well. Madrid and Barcelona are the two largest cities and most popular places to visit. Both have world-class museums, historical attractions, cathedrals, parks, shopping, restaurants and cafes, markets, and unique culture. Some of the other cities in Spain should not be overlooked either, as they also offer plenty of big city activities, museums, and culture. Valencia, Seville, Alicante, and Cadiz are also large and full of terrific activities.

Is Spain or Italy Better for Small Towns and Villages?

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Italy

You'll find a similar number of great small towns and villages to explore in both Spain and Italy.

Spain is also a fantastic country to explore small towns with plenty of charm and local activities. A few of the most popular small towns to visit include Ronda with its dramatic cliffs, Besalu and it's bridge and castle-like gate, Cudillero on the northern coast, and Morella with its castle. All around Spain visitors can find small towns that once contained fortified cities, fishing villages, monasteries, and more. Bunol, near Valencia, is the location of the famous annual tomato fight. And Pamplona is home to the running of the bulls every year. Benasque in the Pyrenees sits in a valley and offers plenty of outdoor activities. And don't miss the famous hanging houses of Cuenca. Frigiliana is full of white-washed Andalucian houses, along with other nearby towns worth visiting. Every region of Spain offers something unique and special, so make sure you add some of these places to your itinerary.

You'll find plenty of local activities in all of the small towns and villages in Italy. 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.

See also Amalfi Coast's Seaside Towns, The Best Day Trips from Venice, and Things to Do in Cinque Terre.

Is the Food Better in Spain or Italy? Which Country Has the Best Restaurants?

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Italy

For a nice culinary experience, head to Italy, which is well known for it's local dishes and restaurants.

Many restaurants in Italy have been singled out for their culinary prowess. 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.

Naples: As the birthplace of pizza, the city has a well known food reputation. Many local dishes, including an authentic Napoli pizza, use simple flavors such as olive oil, garlic, and tomatoes. The dishes are lighter than their northern counterparts and tomatoes are a very popular ingredient. In addition to the pizza, you should try Lasagna Al Forno Napoletana and Spaghetti Alla Vognole. Also check out a pizza making class.

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.

Bologna: Foodies will appreciate the city's well earned culinary reputation. Some people even consider Bologna to be a food capital in Italy. There are cooking classes and food tours around town, as well as many great restaurants that serve up local dishes. Visitors should try Tagliatelle with Ragu (now famously known around the world as Bolognaise), Tortellini in broth, and Mortadella (salami).

See also Make Your Own Pizza in Naples, Italy.

With its innovative style combined with traditional elements, Spain makes for a great culinary experience. Tapas are perhaps the most famous Spanish culinary export. These small sharable dishes started as something to snack on while drinking, and have transformed into a style of meal all their own. Typical tapas dishes include potatoes, sausages, stewed meats, calamari, olives, cheese, and more. But tapas are not the only local foods you should try. Chirizo is a special type of smoked sausage, and jamón Iberico is a smoked ham with tons of flavor. Calamares (rings of squid) are also popular around the costal areas, and are cooked with a variety methods. Anchovies and other seafood are popular, too. Paella is also famous. The name comes from the wide pan that the rice dish is served in, usually with seafood or meat and a variety of spices for flavoring. Finally, while in Spain, taste the local olives, bread, cheese, and fruit as they are all usually fresh and delicious.

Madrid: The city has a mix of flavors that come from all of Spain. There are amazing markets where you can grab a meal or snack. There are also many high quality restaurants around town where you're guaranteed a good meal. Local favorites include roast suckling pig, Spanish omelette, and meat and chickpea stew.

Valencia: The city is famous as the birthplace of paella, which is one of Spain's most famous dishes. Beyond the paella, there are a number of other amazing traditional dishes. Fideuà is similar to paella but made with noodles instead of rice. All i pebre is an eel and potato dish and clóchinas are tiny local mussels. For dessert make sure you try the flan de calabaza, which is pumpkin flavored. Many restaurants also have tapas that can be shared. Restaurants in the old town are charming and delicious, but out by the beaches the quality isn't as good.

San Sebastian: It is a famed culinary capital of not just Spain, but the entire world. The city has many Michelin-starred restaurants where you can experience modern or traditional recipes prepared by world class chefs. There are also pintxo bars, food markets, and gourmet food shops, that sell local ingredients and dishes. Much of the cuisine includes seafood, but you'll also find a local twist on traditional tapas. Dining is a true experience in this town.

Almeria: The food is focused on local, fresh ingredients with many traditional recipes that have been passed down for centuries. Popular dishes change with the seasons because they rely so heavily on local produce. Particularly during the winter months you'll find hearty stews like patatas en ajopollo and gurullos con conejo, which is prepared with rabbit. Sardines are also popular year round.

See also Food and Dining in Madrid, Delicious Tapas Tours in Madrid, and The Best Cheap Food Tours in Madrid.


Is Spain or Italy Better for Nightlife?

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Italy

Most visitors prefer the nightlife in Italy.

Italy is a destination that you simply have to visit at least once for nightlife. 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.

See also Party Hostels in Florence, and Party Hostels in Rome.

The people in Spain know how to have a good time. Barcelona, Madrid, Granada, Seville, Malaga, Valencia, and many other beach resort towns all have active nightlife scenes, each with their own personality. Barcelona is very popular with all types of bars and dance clubs for locals and travelers alike. Sidecar, Opium, and Pacha are some of the most popular places, and many more can be found in Raval, El Born, and the Gothic Quarter. In Madrid, check out Kapital, Barbara Ann, or Ochoymedio. Along the coast, the nightlife varies from family-friendly restaurants and theaters to more active dance clubs, pubs, and bars for singles and younger couples.

Barcelona: The city offers an amazing nightlife at a much more affordable price than many places in Europe. There are beach parties, boat parties, and bars that stay packed late into the night. The city also hosts many street fiestas and music festivals.

Valencia: Dinner starts late, so you can expect the nightlife to pick up even later. During the summer there are all night terrace parties and year round you'll find nightclubs filled from evening to dawn. If all night raves aren't really your thing, you'll also find plenty of local bars where you can hang out with friends in a more relaxed setting. The nightlife scene really is varied enough that there's something for everyone.

Malaga: The city has some of the most active nightlife in Europe. There are plenty of opportunities to party in Malaga and you'll find the most vibrant nightlife in the Centro Historico.

Palma de Mallorca: Head to Magaluf and Palma for the most popular places.

Marbella: European tourists flock to the town for its beaches and resorts. The town has a glamorous nightlife scene with exclusive clubs and ritzy cocktail bars, particularly in Puerto Banus and along the Golden Mile.

See also Barcelona Nightlife, The Best Nightlife in Madrid, and Party Hostels in Barcelona.

Is Spain or Italy Better for Resorts?

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Italy

If you're looking for a better selection of resorts, you'll probably want to head to Spain.

Spain is a world class resort vacation destination. A holiday trip to Spain for many means a trip to one of the beach resorts along the southern coast, or in Ibiza or Majorca. Marbella, Cadiz, Valencia, Sitges, Alicante, and even Barcelona are all popular destinations with a variety of luxury hotels and resorts. Many are very family-friendly, and some are all-inclusive. Generically, the resorts offer terrific beaches and many are close to nearby towns, as well as some historical and cultural attractions. But no matter where you choose to go, the beach resorts in Spain are world-class and draw plenty of visitors every year. Also, keep in mind that Spain offers a handful of ski resorts open in the winter months, as well as some relaxing inland retreats outside of major cities and historical areas.

Almeria: Stretched along the coastline you'll find many high end resorts with pools and nice atmospheres. There are all inclusive resorts as well as family-friendly and romantic options to choose from.

Marbella: From luxury to family-friendly, this area has plenty of resorts to choose from. Popular resorts in the area include Marbella Club Hotel, Puente Romano Marbella, and Don Carlos Resort and Spa.

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.

Is Spain or Italy Better for Scuba Diving and Snorkeling?

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Italy

Both Spain and Italy offer great scuba diving or snorkeling.

It's fun to get in the water and check out the local marine life in Spain. While the southern coast of the mainland provides plenty of great dive spots with clear waters and a good selection of marine life, the crown jewels of diving are in the Canary Islands, and the Balearic Islands. Here you'll find even better opportunities to see marine wildlife in more ideal conditions. You can see barracuda, octopus, moray, a variety of large fish species, and more. Also, diving in the Canary islands can be done year-round, where as in the Mediterranean, only during the warmer months. If you're looking for a quicker trip, it's also possible to dive or snorkel off the Costa Brava coastline near Barcelona where a variety of interesting species can be found in the usually clear waters.

Marbella: There are more than 100 dive sights and endless snorkeling opportunities in the area. There are deep offshore reefs that you can explore as well as shallower wrecks and caves.

Grab a mask and fins and explore the underwater scenery 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.

Is Spain or Italy Better for Beaches?

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Italy

While Italy and Spain are both popular beach destinations, overall the beaches at Spain have more to offer.

Spain is considered to be a world-class beach destination. The beaches in Spain are world-class, popular, and extensive. With a huge stretch of coastline on the Mediterranean and the Atlantic, as well as famous islands such as Ibiza and Mallorca. The coastline of Andalusia and Valencia are perhaps the most visited, as tourists from all of Europe, and all of the world, come here for holiday beach vacations in Spain. Good food, sunny warm weather, wide sandy beaches, and family-friendly amenities are found up and down the coast. Some areas are more party-oriented, while others offer a calm, relaxing vibe, or family-friendly activities. Some of the best and most popular beach destinations in southern Spain include Tossa de Mar in Costa Brava, Puerto Banus near Marbella, Bogatell in Barcelona, Almunecar in Costa Tropical, and the beaches of Cadiz, amongst others. You can't go wrong with any of them.

Palma de Mallorca: The island is lined with sandy beaches and rocky coves, which have contributed to it becoming one of Europe's most popular beach destinations.

Almeria: Outside of town you'll find kilometers of stunning coastline and beaches. There are pristine natural beaches that still feel undiscovered with beautiful long stretches of sand. One of the biggest resort areas is Roquetas de Mar.

Marbella: The area boasts some of the best beaches in Europe. They are hubs of activity with lots of energy, and there are more than 18 miles of sandy beach in the area. Popular options include Guadalmina Beach, San Pedro de Alcántara Beach, and Nueva Andalucía Beach.

Many people visit Italy for it's beautiful beaches. Many of the beaches along the coastline offer fantastic scenery and stunning beauty, and consist of coves with dramatic rock formations with clear blue waters. While not as sandy as in other countries, 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.


Is the Shopping Better in Spain or Italy?

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Italy

While Spain and Italy are both popular shopping destinations, overall Italy is considered to be better.

Many people travel to Italy specifically to go shopping. 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.

Como: The shopping is comparable to major cities, with everything from high end boutiques to outlets and local markets. There are clothing shops, jewelry stores, and places to pick up local souvenirs. Shopping is a favorite activity for many visitors to Lake Como.

Spain is a great destination for shopping. In Barcelona, visitors can find plenty of great areas with fashion boutiques, local arts and crafts, and souvenirs. Check out Portal De L'Angel in the Gothic Quarter, Paseo de Gràcia with its high-end stores, Avenida Diagonal for its diversity of shops, and the famous Boqueria Market where you'll find fresh food and other surprises. In Madrid, don't miss Gran Via, Calle Preciados, Calle de Fuencarral, or the historic El Rastro flea market where you can find plenty of hidden gems. Elsewhere in Spain, most beach resort areas have shopping streets, and the larger towns such as Valencia, Malaga, and Marbella have multiple shopping neighborhoods. In Granada and Seville, it's also possible to find those special local arts and craft shops for the perfect gift or souvenir.

Madrid: Gran Vía is a main thoroughfare in Madrid that is also popular for shopping. Calle Fuencarral is where you'll find the fashion shops and Calle Preciados is a fun pedestrian area to explore.

Barcelona: Head to Portal De L'Angel, Rambla de Catalunya, or Passeig De Gracia for some of the city's best shopping districts.

Marbella: This area attracts vacationers from around Europe and the shopping is some of the best in Europe.

Is Spain or Italy Better for Christmas Markets?

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Italy

While Spain and Italy both have Christmas markets, overall Italy has more to offer.

Italy has a lively atmosphere around its Christmas markets. 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.

Spain is a good spot to see some Christmas markets. Despite weather that's warmer than most of Europe, this country still has strong Christmas traditions and therefore the major cities showcase decorations in public places along with Christmas festivals, markets, and shows during the holiday season. Malaga is on the southern coast, but still boats some terrific lights and decorations for the holidays. Madrid and Barcelona also have festivals and large public displays of lights along with some outdoor markets and performances. Seville, Granada, Bilbao, and other cities do the same. So, if you're in Spain for the holidays, don't miss the festivities.

Is Spain or Italy Better for Skiing?

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Italy

Even though Italy and Spain provide opportunities for snow skiing, most people consider Italy to be more popular.

Italy draws a large crowd in the winter for its impressive snow skiing opportunities. 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.

Locals like to visit Spain to take advantage of their winter sports. For many, it's surprising to hear that the interior mountains of Spain have a variety of ski areas. While they are not as high-quality as those in the Alps, they are still good and offer plenty of runs, and usually at a much lower price. Some of the best include Formigal and Candanchu in the Pyrenees, Pradollano near Granada in the Sierra Nevada range, and San Isidro near Leon. If you're in the area in the winter months, they are worth a visit.

Is Spain or Italy Better for Hiking?

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Italy

While Italy and Spain both offer hiking, overall Spain is considered to have more to offer.

Around Spain visitors will find world-class hiking trails. The Camino de Santiago is Spain's most famous hiking route. Also known as the Way of St. James, this historic 500 mile-long pilgrimage route stretches across the entire width of Spain and also has numerous secondary paths. Hikers come from around the world to trek the entire length or just a small portion of the trail which ends at the cathedral in Santiago de Compostela in the northwest. Additionally, you'll find plenty of other hiking opportunities in the Pyrenees mountains, the various national parks, or even in the Canary islands or Mallorca. Also, the Caminito del Rey has amazing trails along cliffs near Malaga. From Barcelona, it's easy to reach the base of Montserrat, where you can hike up to the monastery instead of taking the cable car, or hike on the higher up trails as well. Sierra Nevada national park, near Granada, also offers plenty of hiking trails that are close to a major city. And in the Costa Brava region up the coast from Barcelona, even more gorgeous trails have great views of the landscapes and Mediterranean Sea. Generally, no matter where you visit in this country, you can find some great trails.

Santiago de Compostela: This small city is the culmination point for the famed Camino de Santiago. The 780 kilometer route is followed by pilgrims and travelers who seek enlightenment or adventure. Hikers travel both independently or as part of organized tours.

Tenerife: The island's volcanic landscapes mean that there are dramatic and breathtaking hikes throughout the island. Some of the best hikes are found in the Anaga Rural Park, Teide National Park, and the Teno Mountains.

Italy offers some nice hiking trails. 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.

See also A Hiking Guide to Cinque Terre, and Tours and Hiking Trips to Mt. Vesuvius and Pompeii.


Is Spain or Italy Better for its National Parks?

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Italy

Travelers can find good number of great national parks in both Spain and Italy.

Spain has a range of national park areas worth visiting. With sixteen national parks and a variety of other natural parks and wilderness protection areas, visitors are offered a diverse set of natural destinations to explore. Some are in the mountains, some at the coast, and others are found in unique ecosystems. Some of the most popular include Cabañeros in the mountains of Toledo, Guadarrama near Madrid, and Illas Atlánticas de Galicia near A Coruna on the northern coast. Several national parks are found on the Canary Islands and make the trip there even more interesting if you have the time. In many of Spain's national parks, you'll find hiking, camping, horseback riding, adventure sports, and beautiful views.

Italy is a great destination for touring the national parks. 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.

Is Spain or Italy Better for Adventure Travel?

Spain
Italy

Spain generally offers more adventure travel options for travelers than Italy.

Spain is a very popular place for adventure travel because of its abundant wildlife. From the mountains to the coastline, visitors can experience bungee jumping, mountain biking, paragliding, zip-lines, ropes courses, rock climbing, canyoning, whitewater rafting, and more. The coast also offers surfing, kite surfing, wind surfing, scuba diving, and boating. It's possible to find these activities all around the country, usually in the countryside not far from major cities.

Italy has some adventurous travel experiences that often attract visitors. 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.

Is Spain or Italy Better for Visiting the Mountains?

Spain
Italy

Both Spain and Italy have some great mountain areas to explore.

Visiting the mountains in Spain is a very popular activity. The Pyrenees are the largest mountain chain in the country, making a divide between Spain and France. Here you'll find epic views, hiking, camping, wildlife viewing, mountain biking, ski resorts, and more. Elsewhere in Spain you can find plenty of other mountains, as the inland is quite varied. The Sierra Nevada mountains in the south are some of the most beautiful, and are also easily accessible. Across northern Andalusia, you can find even more mountains north of Seville and Cordoba, with several national parks and wilderness areas. In all of these places you'll find natural beauty, wildlife, horseback riding, hiking, camping, and even paragliding. And don't miss the Canary Islands, where you'll find even more great activities. Tenerife is the largest island and offers gorgeous mountain views, native wildlife, and an exotic, tropical atmosphere. Spain absolutely has some gorgeous mountains worth visiting.

Italy has some beautiful mountain areas that attract visitors. 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.

Is Spain or Italy Better for Watersports?

Spain
Italy

You can find a fairly equal amount of great watersports in both Spain and Italy.

Spain is a popular place to visit because of the wide range of watersports. With a huge length of coastline both on the southern Mediterranean shore and the northern Atlantic shore, water sports in all forms can be found here. Surfing is very popular on both coasts, as wake boarding, kite surfing, and wind surfing. It's also easy to rent kayaks or canoes both on the coastline or in the rivers and lakes of the interior. Scuba diving and snorkeling are popular along the coast, as well as in the Canary Islands and around Ibiza and Majorca. The beaches and clear waters of these island paradises attract plenty of water bound tourists for a good reason. If you're interested in doing more at the beach than just laying on the sand, Spain is the place for you.

The watersports in Italy attract many visitors. 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.


Is Spain or Italy Better for Outdoor Activities?

Spain
Italy

Overall, Spain is considered to offer more outdoor activities and attractions to visitors.

Spain is a popular place to visit because of its outdoor activities. Popular outdoor activities here include camping, hiking, horseback riding, rock climbing, mountain biking, and more. Canyoning is popular, especially in the Pyrenees. The Sierra de Guara is one of the most popular spots for this, located outside of Zaragoza. Or, try rock climbing in Andalucía where you'll find a variety of spots not far from Malaga, Cordoba, and Granada. For those looking for a hike, trails are everywhere and not just in the national parks. Of course, there's always the famous Camino de Santiago if you're looking for an adventure.

Italy has some outdoor activities that attract visitors. 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.

Is Spain or Italy Better for a Road Trip?

Spain
Italy

Spain is usually considered to be a better destination to explore on a road trip than Italy.

Taking a road trip through Spain is very good way to see the countryside and smaller destinations. The roads in Spain are efficient, quick, and well-maintained, making it easy to get around. If you don't have a car, it's also easy and often affordable to rent or hire one at the airport upon arrival. Many visitors take a road trip along the coastlines. The northern coastline in particular is very scenic with epic views and small towns The southern coastline is lined with beaches, more small towns, and larger cities. The Catalan coast north of Barcelona is especially beautiful with small towns, cliffs along the sea, and historical sites. The interior shouldn't be missed either, as you'll find national parks, castles and fortresses, and beautiful cities such as Granada, Ronda, Seville, and Toledo. And since Spain is not too large, the drives won't be too long between destinations.

See also Andalusia Road Trip.

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.

Is Spain or Italy Better for Families?

Spain
Italy

Both Spain and Italy are great to visit with kids.

Spain is an extremely popular country to visit for families. Beach vacations are one of the first things that come to mind for a family holiday or vacation to Spain. The Mediterranean coast has multiple beach resort towns such as those in Valencia or around Malaga and Marbella. Even Costa Brava and the areas around Barcelona are popular beach spots, too. But don't assume that the beaches are the only thing to see for families, as the big cities and mountains have plenty of activities as well. Madrid has kids tours of the Prado museum, the Mercado de San Miguel, a great zoo, the Warner Brothers Park, a railway museum, and a fantastic natural sciences museum. Barcelona offers the CosmoCaixa science museum, Montjuic and it's fun gondolas, the chocolate museum, a terrific aquarium, and plenty of interesting architecture. Kids also love all of the old castles and fortresses that dot the countryside, especially the Alhambra, the Castillo de Peñíscola, and the Royal Palace of Olite. Furthermore, plenty of cities have a mix of cultural and historical sites combined with modern family attractions such as amusement parks, water parks, and natural park areas. The mountains also have national parks with wide open spaces which are great for family hikes, bike rides, camping, and road trips. You can't go wrong with a family trip to Spain, as there's just so much to do.

Tenerife: The island has many great waterparks for kids, with one of the best being Siam Park. Other family-friendly destinations include Aqualand, Loro Parque, Jungle Park, and Monkey Park. There are whale watching trips, outdoor adventures, and kid-friendly beaches as well.

See also The Ultimate Guide to Madrid.

With a huge array of activities for kids, Italy is very family-friendly. 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.

Lake Garda: The nearby amusement parks, including Gardaland, make this a popular destination for families. The area also has many places to swim, trails to explore, and castles to experience. Kids and adults alike will love this amazing kid-friendly area.

See also Cinque Terre: The Ultimate Travel Planning Guide, and Hostels in Palermo, Sicily for Couples, Women, Families & Solo Travellers.

Is Spain or Italy Better for Couples?

Spain
Italy

Both Spain and Italy are great destinations for a couple's getaway.

Spain is a great country for couples, as it has plenty to offer. In addition to the historical centers of Madrid, Barcelona, Seville, and Valencia which contain plenty of romantic attractions, couples and honeymooners also love Majorca and Ibiza for it's epic beaches, the southern coast of Spain for the beach resorts, and Costa Brava for its charming small towns with fantastic cuisine. Honeymooners could stay in one spot for a week, or spend their entire trip touring the highlights. Or, if you're just looking for a quick weekend getaway, any of the major cities or smaller towns offers plenty of charming activities. Andalucía is a popular destination because it combines the beaches with historic towns, mountain retreats, and fantastic food. The Asturias region on the northern coast is popular for many of the same reasons. No matter where you visit, it's easy to combine all of the best features of Spain into one terrific and romantic trip.

Marbella: The area has luxury resorts, nice beaches, water sports, golf, and water activities that are perfect for a honeymoon or a romantic weekend or a honeymoon.

See also Hostels for Solo Travellers, Female Travellers, & Couples in Madrid, Hostels & Campgrounds in Ibiza for Solo Travellers, Couples, and Groups, and Hostels in Pamplona for Backpackers, Solo Travellers, and Couples.

Italy is fantastic couple's destination with fun and romantic activities. 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.

Como: Its beautiful walks, charming towns, and surrounding natural setting make this a great honeymoon and couple's getaway destination. Dine on Italian cuisine as you sip wine and look out on the pristine waters of Lake Como.

Siena: With its impressive beauty and long running history, this is a truly romantic city. The atmosphere is relaxed and there are plazas and neighborhoods that are great for exploring. There are also many great restaurants, superb wine, and world class sights that are not to be missed.

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.

See also Hostels in Palermo, Sicily for Couples, Women, Families & Solo Travellers, and Hostels in Bologna for Solo Travellers, Female Travellers, and Couples.


Is Spain or Italy Better for Backpackers and Budget Travelers?

Spain
Italy

Italy is a more popular country for backpackers.

A large number of backpackers visit Italy, as it is a very popular country for budget travelers. 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.

Backpackers come from all over to visit Spain. Affordable prices, easy transportation, and a wide array of budget accommodation make this country extremely popular for backpackers and budget travelers. Barcelona, Madrid, the costal cities, and small towns all have plenty of hostels, pensions, and guest houses. Barcelona is also known for its nightlife, attracting younger travelers on a budget, and plenty of places cater to them with low-cost accommodations with a party vibe. Also, a huge number of museums and cultural attractions have low-cost or free entry tickets, or provide discounts for anyone under 25. Affordable food is also found everywhere, whether at local restaurants, street vendors, or markets. Transportation is also easy, cheap, and efficient, and serves the entire country. Overall, prices in most spots in Spain tend to be a little more affordable than in the rest of Europe.

Barcelona: There are many hostels around town, each with its own personality. Many of the hostels also organize activities or dinners for guests so it's easy to meet other travelers. Backpackers will also appreciate the young vibe and late night party venues that keep the city fun and entertaining.

Malaga: From an endless supply of hostels to plenty of opportunities to meet other backpackers, this is a very backpacker friendly area.

See also The Best Hostels in Seville, Party Hostels in Barcelona, and Partying at Hostels in Madrid.

Is Spain or Italy Better for Students?

Spain
Italy

While Spain and Italy are both good for students, overall Italy is genreally more popular.

Students come from all over to stay in Italy. 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.

Bologna: It's a top study abroad destination in Italy and is home to a few great universities including the well ranked University of Bologna. There are many great activities for students and a variety of fun places to explore.

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.

Spain is popular with students. Other than Barcelona and Madrid, the most popular cities for students include Granada, Seville, Valencia, and Bilbao. Here, you'll find large universities surrounded by student-friendly neighborhoods. Nightlife, bars, affordable restaurants, and fun activities can be found in all of these cities which cater to budget travelers and locals alike. Spain is a popular destination overall for study-abroad students and younger travelers.

Madrid: With several great universities, this city is popular with international and study abroad students. The city also has a diverse population and an active nightlife that appeals to students.

Barcelona: This is a popular study abroad destination and you'll find international students from around the world. It's a beautiful city with plenty to see and do. It's also a lively city, but do expect the price tag to be higher than other Spanish cities.

Valencia: The city is young and vibrant with a lot of culture and beautiful neighborhoods. It's also well connected to the rest of Spain with a convenient central train station.

Seville: It's a top destination for international students who appreciate the many great educational institutions, beautiful year-round weather, and many festivals and evening activities.

Cordoba: It's a top study abroad destination for international students. The university is excellent and the city is easy to navigate. It's a cultural city with a great student-friendly atmosphere.

See also Hostels in Bilbao, Spain for Groups, Students, or Solo Travellers.

Is Spain or Italy Easier for Transportation? Which is Easier to Get Around Without a Car?

Spain
Italy

Spain generally offers better transportation than Italy.

Spain has a great public transit system. High speed trains as well as local trains take visitors and residents around all of the cities in Spain fairly quickly. Once in a city, the local transit systems are excellent at reaching most places quickly. And if you choose to drive, you'll find a quality and efficient highway system, too. Buses can fill in the spots where trains don't go, and sometimes buses are a cheaper alternative to trains or flights between cities as well. The most popular airport connections are found in Madrid and Barcelona.

Is it easy to travel around Spain?

  • Traveling by train is extremely popular.
  • It's fairly easy to travel by bus.
  • It's very easy and convenient to travel on cruise ships and excursions.
  • It's quite common to get around if you join an organized tour.
  • It's quite common to travel by car.
  • Travel by airplane is possible.

Public transit in Italy is fairly effecient and thorough. 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.

See also Transportation in Venice, and Transportation in Rome.

Is it easy to travel around Italy?

  • Traveling by train is extremely popular.
  • It's possible to travel by bus.
  • Traveling on cruise ships and excursions is very common and fairly easy.
  • It's quite common to travel by car.
  • Travel by airplane is possible.

Is Spain or Italy more Comfortable for a Trip?

Spain and Italy are both modern and comfortable places to visit.

Spain is a very comfortable and luxurious destination with plenty of hotels, restaurants, and activities. Luxury beach vacations and historical attractions in famous cities usually come to mind when people think of Spain. Rightly so, because this country is modern and offers a wide array of comfortable modes of travel and vacationing. It's easy to find budget-friendly accommodation, but even at the lowest prices, guests can still expect to find modern and comfortable amenities. The roads, trains, and public transit are also clean, safe, and can get visitors anywhere. The tourist infrastructure here is extensive, and anyone can travel comfortably here no matter their budget or price range.

Generally, Italy is considered to be a comfortable and luxurious place to visit. 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.


Is Spain or Italy more Touristy?

Generally, Italy is considered to be more touristy than Spain.

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.

Spain sees a large number of visitors. While Madrid and Barcelona are the most popular cities to visit, the beach resort areas in Andalucía and Valencia can also get touristy, especially in the busy summer months. Additionally, other cities such as Toledo, the towns in Catalonia, Granada, and Seville attract many visitors. The summer months are the most busy, and you can expect larger crowds in these destinations as well as at major tourist sites. In some places, entrance queues for museums or attractions can get quite long. The most popular places to visit in Madrid include the Prado museum, the Royal Palace, the Crystal Palace in Retiro park, and sometimes the football museum at the Real Madrid football stadium. In Barcelona, you can expect crowds at the Sagrada Família cathedral, Park Güell, the Magic Fountain of Montjuïc at night when it's lit up, and in the streets of the Gothic Quarter. Despite the crowds, it's never too chaotic or unmanageable, and Spain is absolutely worth the trip in any case.

For some great organized tour ideas, see The Best Family-Friendly Tours to Spain, The Best 10-Day Tours in Spain, The Best One Week (7-Day) Tours in Spain, The Best 2-Week Tours in Spain, The Best 3-Week Tours in Spain, The Best Bicycle Tours in Spain, The Best Adventure Tours to Spain, The Best Sightseeing Tours in Spain, The Best Romantic Tours for Couples in Spain, The Best Luxury Tours to Spain, The Best Budget Tours to Spain, The Best Tours for Seniors to Spain, The Best Contiki Tours to Spain, The Best G Adventures Tours to Spain, The Best 3-Day Tours from Madrid, The Best One-Week (7-Day) Tours from Madrid, The Best One-Week (7-Day) Tours from Barcelona, The Best 10-Day Tours from Madrid, The Best 10-Day Tours from Barcelona, The Best 2-Week Tours from Madrid, The Best 2-Week Tours from Barcelona, The Best Family-Friendly Tours to Italy, The Best Hiking & Trekking Tours in Italy, The Best Historical Tours in Italy, The Best 10-Day Tours in Italy, The Best One Week (7-Day) Tours in Italy, The Best 2-Week Tours in Italy, The Best Bicycle Tours in Italy, Tours for Outdoor and Nature Lovers in Italy, The Best Coach Bus Tours in Italy, The Best Adventure Tours to Italy, The Best Sightseeing Tours in Italy, The Best Vineyard & Wine Tours in Italy, The Best Food and Culinary Tours in Italy, The Best Romantic Tours for Couples in Italy, The Best Walking Tours in Italy, The Best Luxury Tours to Italy, The Best Budget Tours to Italy, The Best Tours for Seniors to Italy, The Best Contiki Tours to Italy, The Best G Adventures Tours to Italy, The Best One-Week (7-Day) Tours from Rome, The Best 10-Day Tours from Rome, and The Best 2-Week Tours from Rome.


San Gimignano, Italy San Gimignano, Italy

Should I spend more time in Italy or Spain?

How long in Spain or Italy?

Spain and Italy both offer a nice selection of activities for visitors. Many travelers usually spend more of their time in Spain than Italy because of the number of activities and things to do in the area. Usually, 7-21 days is a good amount of time for Spain, and 7-14 days is enough time in Italy.

Families should spend more time in Italy than Spain. Because of the many family-friendly attractions and fun things to do for kids in Italy, it's a great place to visit with the whole family.

Couples should spend more time in Italy than Spain. You'll find plenty of romantic sights and fun activities in Italy that are perfect for a weekend getaway or a longer couple's trip.

Backpackers and budget travelers should spend more time in Italy than Spain if your budget allows for it. With a larger number of budget-friendly sights, good nightlife, and active things to do, anyone traveling on a budget would have a good time in Italy.


  • How many days should I spend in Spain or Italy?
    Spain 7-21 
    Italy 7-14

A weekend in Spain or Italy?

It's hard to know how much time to spend in Spain. Adventure travel is very popular here, too. 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.

It's hard to know how much time to spend in Italy. 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.

Five days in Spain or Italy?

Spain is a fun place to experience. In Spain, many people enjoy the museums, theater, and adventure travel 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.

Italy is a fun place to experience. In Italy, many people enjoy the shopping, museums, and adventure travel 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.

A week in Spain or Italy?

In Spain, many people enjoy the theater, adventure travel, and national parks that this gorgeous 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.

In Italy, many people enjoy the museums, adventure travel, and national parks that this scenic 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.

Two weeks in Spain or Italy?

In Spain, many people enjoy the theater, adventure travel, and national parks that this friendly destination offers. Plenty of people spend two weeks in the area when traveling. Adventure travel is very popular here, too. 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.

In Italy, many people enjoy the museums, adventure travel, and national parks that this scenic 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.

Pamplona, Spain Pamplona, Spain

Which country is cheaper, Italy or Spain?

These are the overall average travel costs for the two destinations.

The average daily cost (per person) in Spain is €150, while the average daily cost in Italy is €167. 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 Spain and Italy in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Spain 67
    Italy 85
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Spain 134
    Italy 170
Compare Hotels in Spain and Italy

Looking for a hotel in Spain 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.

Hotels in Spain


Hotels in Italy


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.


Our Analysis
We've analyzed the average and typical hotel prices based on guest reviews, star ratings, and hotel amenities here: Spain Hotel Prices and Italy Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Spain 27
    Italy 26
Typical Local Transportation prices in Spain

Here are some examples of typical transportation prices from actual travelers in Spain:


  • Taxi Ride
    26
  • 10 Trip Metro Ticket
    7.80
  • Airport Bus
    5.00
  • Bus Ride
    3.50
  • Taxi Ride
    6.80
  • Bus Ride
    1.25
  • 7 Trip Bus Pass
    5.00
  • Metro
    2.10

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Spain

Also for Spain, here are a few examples of actual transportation services:

  • transfer from malaga Airport to Estepona: $174
  • from Malaga Airport to Gibraltar Border Vip Private Transfer: $87
  • Zaragoza Private Transfer from the city centre to Zaragoza Airport: $67
  • Zaragoza Private Transfer from Zaragoza Airport to City centre: $67
  • Zaragoza Downtown hotels to Zaragoza Airport (ZAZ) - Departure Private Transfer: $28
  • Zaragoza Airport (ZAZ) to Zaragoza Downtown hotels - Round-Trip Private Transfer: $55
  • Zaragoza Airport (ZAZ) to Zaragoza Downtown hotels - Arrival Private Transfer: $28
  • Whale and Dolphin Watching Catamaran with Transfer and Buffet : $65
  • Vip Transfer from Malaga Airport to Nerja: $133
  • Vip Transfer from Malaga Airport to Malaga Fuengirola or Marbella: $55
  • Vip Transfer from Malaga Airport to Fuengirola or Marbella: $22
  • Vip Private Transfer from Malaga Airport to Gibraltar Border: $166

Typical Local Transportation prices in Italy

Here are some examples of typical transportation prices from actual travelers in Italy:


  • Metro Ride (for Two)
    2.00
  • Venice 12 Hour Transport Pass
    16
  • Train to the Airport
    15
  • Taxi Ride Within City
    8.00
  • Train to Airport
    7.00
  • Vaporetto Ride
    6.50
  • 1 Day Travel Card
    18
  • Taxi from Airport
    25
  • In City Parking (Full Day)
    30
  • Bus Pass (Full Day)
    5.00
  • 7 Day Transport Card (for Two)
    101
  • Malpensa Airport Train (for Two)
    22

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Italy

Also for Italy, here are a few examples of actual transportation services:

  • transfer from napoli to sorrento or back: $103
  • transfer from napoli to positano or back: $109
  • transfer from Sorrento to Naples with a 2 hour stop in Pompeii: $167
  • transfer from Naples Airport to the Port of Naples: $55
  • transfer from Catania to Modica: $94
  • transfer da Comiso aeroporto a Ragusa : $30
  • transfer: $211
  • taxi / transfer service to and from airports: $244
  • private transfer from Positano to Naples or reverse: $83
  • private transfer from Naples to Sorrento: $255
  • private transfer from NAPLES to MATERA: $277
  • private transfer Naples to Sorrento: $123

Is it cheaper to fly into Spain or Spain?

Prices for flights to both Italy and Spain 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.





Food
  • Food Meals for one day
    Spain 40
    Italy 45
Typical Food prices in Spain

For Spain, here are some examples of average food and meal prices for travelers:


  • Hot Cocoa & Churro
    4.15
  • Sandwich
    1.70
  • Baguette & Horchata
    3.80
  • Coffee
    2.00
  • Lunch
    14
  • Fiesta Paella
    8.00
  • Soda
    2.50
  • Sangria
    2.50
  • Sandwich to go
    3.00
  • Bocadillo & Drink
    6.25
  • Lunch
    9.50
  • Ice Cream
    2.30

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Spain

For Spain, here are some samples of tours and activities related to meals and dining experiences:

  • Barcelona Street Food Tour with Local Market & City Center Visit: $21
  • Barcelona Guided Street Food Tour and Gothic Quarter Visit: $21
  • Palma: Mallorcan Cooking Class With 5+ Tastings: $22
  • Local cooking class in Cordoba. Hands on: Salmorejo: $22
  • Madrid Sunset Walking Tour with Optional Flamenco Show and Dinner: $27
  • Barcelona: Flamenco at El Patio Andaluz with Optional Dinner: $27
  • Walking Tour + Flamenco + Tapas Dinner (choose options): $27
  • Malaga: Tablao Flamenco Show Antojo & Optional Dinner: $29
  • Tasty Barcelona Street Food Tour With Local Market Visit : $32
  • Malaga: Hard Rock Cafe Entrance with Lunch or Dinner: $33
  • Cordoba: Flamenco Show at Tablao El Jaleo & Optional Dinner: $33
  • Torremolinos: Horse Show, Dinner Option, Drinks, & Flamenco: $33

Typical Food prices in Italy

For Italy, here are some examples of average food and meal prices for travelers:


  • Casual Lunch (for Two)
    14
  • Panini Sandwich
    4.00
  • Gelato
    6.00
  • 4 Ice Cream Sandwiches
    2.99
  • Artichoke & Mushroom Pizza
    7.90
  • Dinner
    75
  • Cheese
    3.10
  • Pizza
    14
  • Dinner for Two at a Pub
    60
  • Gelato
    2.20
  • Dinner at Pizzeria (for 2)
    24
  • Gelato and Coffee
    7.00

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Italy

For Italy, here are some samples of tours and activities related to meals and dining experiences:

  • Rome: Award-Winning Roman Food Tours: $16
  • Palermo Street Food Tour including Market and City Centre: $21
  • Milan: PYT Milano Dinner Show with Live Music and DJ Set: $22
  • Florence Street Food Tour: Market & City Center: $25
  • Hard Rock Cafe Florence with Set Menu for Lunch or Dinner: $27
  • Milan: Hard Rock Cafe with Set Menu for Lunch or Dinner: $30
  • Venice: Hard Rock Cafe with Set Menu for Lunch or Dinner: $30
  • Hard Rock Cafe Florence with Set Lunch or Dinner: $31
  • Florence Street Food Tour, Market and City Center: $31
  • Florence: Walking Food Tour at Sunset with Tastings: $32
  • Wine Tasting and Dinner/Lunch or Aperitivo in Franciacorta Winery: $32
  • Rome Food Tour with Wine Tasting and Farmers Market in Prati Area: $32

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Spain 27
    Italy 26
Typical Entertainment prices in Spain

Below are a few sample prices from actual travelers for Spain's activities, tours, and tickets:


  • Picasso Walking Tour and Museum Pass
    42
  • Souvenir Gaudi Book
    8.55
  • Snorkel
    5.00
  • Flamenco Tour
    16
  • Entrance to Cathedral
    8.00
  • Garden Entrance Fee
    6.00
  • Admission to Museo Picasso
    6.00
  • Entrance to Castillos
    7.10
  • Concert
    31
  • Cadiz Sightseeing Tour
    15
  • Tower of Hercules
    3.00
  • Valle de los Caídos Monument
    6.00

Tours and Activities in Spain

For Spain, here are a few prices for actual activities, tours, and tickets provided by various companies:

  • 2 Hour Deluxe Segway Tour from Palma: $84
  • Chef Roberto Medda's Private BBQ Experience - At Your Doorstep!: $89
  • Cruise into Barcelona? Get the Most out of Your Visit!: $117
  • Dali Museum, Besalu & Girona Tour from Barcelona by Fast Train : $122
  • Firgas, Tejeda, Guayadeque - VIP Tour Gran Canaria: $53
  • Flamenco tour of Seville: $40
  • Guided E-bike tour - easy level - 35km: $61
  • Half-Day Luxury Motor Yacht Cruise in Granada: $155
  • Hidden Trujillo Dusk Tour of Legends and Ghosts: $14
  • Kids Buggy Experience in Salou: $66
  • Lobos Island Half-Day Sailing Tour with Lunch: $83
  • Madrid Photo Tour with Pro Photographer Lifestyle and Portrait: $94

Typical Entertainment prices in Italy

Below are a few sample prices from actual travelers for Italy's activities, tours, and tickets:


  • Venice Boat Ride
    15
  • Bell tower of St. Mark Entrance Fee
    8.00
  • Gondola Ride (for Group)
    80
  • Admission to Uffizi
    11
  • Phone Booking Fee for Uffizi
    4.00
  • Firenze Card (for Two)
    100
  • Rome Museum Vaticano (for 2)
    69
  • Coliseum Tickets (for Two)
    33
  • Audioguides at Uffizi (for Two)
    20
  • Roma Pass
    30
  • Hop on Hop Off Bus (All Day)
    20
  • Segway Tour
    75

Tours and Activities in Italy

For Italy, here are a few prices for actual activities, tours, and tickets provided by various companies:

  • 2-Hour Private Walking Tour from Via Del Campo 29 Rosso: $83
  • 2.5 Hour Guided Walking Tour of the Beauty and Art of Florence: $16
  • 3-Hours of Activities with Safari Grand Tour and Tasting in Vineyards: $72
  • A Self-Guided Walking Tour of Como and its Breathtaking Lakeside: $20
  • Accademia Gallery Skip the line Tickets : $34
  • Alberobello: The secret origins of the trulli, private tour 2 hours: $39
  • All inclusive Herculaneum Skip the Line Tour From Sorrento: $116
  • Amarone wine experience in Verona countryside: $38
  • Archaeological Tour with Tuk Tuk: $133
  • Bari tour with a local tour guide.: $221
  • Best of Florence walking tour & Accademia Gallery- monolingual small group tour: $93
  • Bologna: the red medieval pearl and its delicious food (private tour): $288

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Spain 19
    Italy 17
Typical Alcohol prices in Spain

Below are a few samples from actual travelers for alcohol and nightlife costs in Spain:


  • Beer
    5.00
  • A Sangria & a Beer
    6.50
  • Bottle of Wine
    5.00
  • Wine in Front of Cathedral
    4.00
  • Beer
    3.00
  • Bottle of Wine
    1.65
  • Beer
    1.20
  • Celebratory Shots
    5.00
  • Beer
    2.80
  • 1 Pint Beer
    2.00
  • Drinks and Tapas (for 2)
    13
  • Coffee
    3.10

Sample the Local Flavors in Spain

Here are a few nightlife and alcohol tours and activities from local tour providers in Spain:

  • Madrid: Pub Crawl with Tapas and VIP Club Entry: $9.78
  • Visit and wine tasting at BODEGA PIRINEOS: $11
  • Madrid Pub Crawl with VIP Club Entrance: $11
  • Barcelona Pub Crawl by King - Bar & Nightclub Hopping Tour: $13
  • Visit winery and wine tasting: $14
  • Tenerife: Guided Tour at Casa del Vino & Wine Tasting: $14
  • Barcelona Pub Crawl by KING - Nightlife Party Experience: $15
  • Madrid: Pub Crawl Madrid Running since 2005 Bar Exploration: $16
  • Madrid: Guided Pub Crawl Madrid Experience and Club Entry: $16
  • Barcelona: Estrella Damm Brewery Guided Tour with Tasting: $16
  • Madrid: Guided Bar Crawl with Drinks and Nightclub Entry: $16
  • Barcelona Pub Crawl by KING - Free shot and VIP Entry: $17

Typical Alcohol prices in Italy

Below are a few samples from actual travelers for alcohol and nightlife costs in Italy:


  • Two Beers
    5.00
  • Bottle of Wine
    15
  • 1/2 Litre of wine
    9.00
  • 2 Glasses of Wine
    7.00
  • Beer with Dinner (for 2)
    4.00
  • 2 Glasses of Wine
    8.60
  • 1/2 Liter Wine
    5.20
  • Glass of Chianti
    4.20
  • Bottle of Wine
    7.50
  • Bottle of Wine
    6.50
  • Pint of Beer
    6.34
  • Beer
    4.90

Sample the Local Flavors in Italy

Here are a few nightlife and alcohol tours and activities from local tour providers in Italy:

  • Organic wine tasting: $13
  • Naples: Guided Pub Crawl in the Old Town: $16
  • Lucca: Wine Tasting Experience - Tenuta Adamo Winery: $17
  • Wine Tasting by CarusVini in San Casciano in val di Pesa: $17
  • Venice Food and Wine Tasting Tour with a Local Guide: $17
  • Visit among vineyards and wine cellar with wine tasting in Nizza Monferrato: $17
  • Food and Wine Tour: visit to the oil mill with tasting: $17
  • Wine tasting and visit to the wine cellar: $20
  • Tenuta Mareli - Wine Tasting in Tuscany: $21
  • Private Wine Tasting in Mezzane di Sotto: $21
  • Lucca: Guided Winery Tour with Wine Tasting: $22
  • Wine Tasting with the Producer - Visit to the Cellar & Vineyards between Langhe & Monferrato : $22


When comparing the travel costs between Spain and Italy, we can see that Italy is more expensive. However, the two cities are actually relatively comparable in price, as the difference is somewhat minimal. Generally, this means that you could travel with generally the same travel style and level of luxury in each place. Since both cities are in Europe, it's no surprise that their costs are relatively close, as many destinations here have somewhat similar travel prices overall.

Milan, Italy Milan, Italy

Why is Italy more expensive than Spain?

Although the prices aren't dramatically different, the tourist dollar can stretch a bit further in Spain than in Italy. In particular, accommodation and food it is a bit cheaper in Spain. There is no shortage of budget accommodation, particularly hostels, throughout Spain, and affordable restaurants are plentiful as well. Even in Spain's most expensive cities, it's not hard to find a cheap place to stay or an affordable place to eat. In general, Spain's economy has kept prices a bit lower for visitors, so good deals are not hard to find. Because Italy remains one of the most popular countries to visit in not only Europe, but also the world, competition can drive prices up a bit more.

What are the most expensive and cheapest cities and regions in Italy and Spain?

In Italy, the most popular cities and travel destinations tend to be the most expensive areas to. In particular, Venice is an expensive city for both food and accommodation. There are very few hostels in the city, so even if you're backpacking, you should be prepared to pay a bit more for accommodation. Coastal Italy can also be quite expensive, particularly during the summer months when cruise ships are most common.

In Spain, coastal cities and towns can actually be a bit more expensive to visit than the larger cities. The high demand for accommodation drive prices up, particularly during the peak times when most visitors visit.

How can you save money while visiting Italy and Spain?

Prices in both Spain and Italy are effected by the seasons. Travel during the fall and spring months if you want to save a little money. Prices inevitably climb during the peak summer months.

Travel slowly if you want to save some money and really soak up the countries. In both Spain and Italy, transportation between cities can be a bit expensive so if you Choose fewer places to visit and spend more time in those places you will save a good amount of money.

Stay flexible. If things aren't going like you'd planned, be willing to change your plans up a bit to save a little money.

Just wander. Take a day or two to just explore a city on foot. Soak up the atmosphere without rushing around and trying to see all of the sights and activities.

Look into all of your transportation options before you book tickets. In general, buses are cheaper than trains.

Stay in local accommodation instead of major chain hotels. Local hotels and hostels tend to be cheaper and have a bit more character.