In my general travel experience, it has to be said that travelling to islands never works out as cheap as hitting up mainland destinations.
There’s usually an added cost of getting there, plus services tend to be a little more expensive after you arrive too – either due to the fact that options are limited, or the fact that most things (including food and drink and even hire cars!) often have to be shipped in.
But I’m delighted to say that travelling in Sicily appeared to be the exception to this rule.
Having visited mainland Italy only a few months ago, prices here are pretty fresh in my mind, I have to say that the costs of travelling in Sicily actually proved cheaper than travelling in Puglia!
So if you’re thinking of heading to Sicily, but are worried about how much an adventure to this island might cost you, don’t be.
Check out my full lowdown about the price of a trip here and get yourself booking one!
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Intro to this Sicily Trip Budget
The first thing I’d encourage you to do is head over to my 1 week Sicily itinerary and then come back here!
To give you some notion of what to expect on this island, this other article is a great read and will give you some idea about the sort of things you might want to budget for here, as well as the general vibe of the place – which I have to say is pretty relaxed (music to many a budget travellers’ ear!)
As that article suggests, I recently spent 7 days in Sicily, so this budget is costed exactly inline with the trip I took, staying in the same places, enjoying the same activities and getting around in the same way.
Obviously, this will involve travelling affordably as much as possible, i.e. utilising Airbnbs, local guesthouses and small-scale activity providers to try and keep the costs down.
That said, it will include a few splurges that normally wouldn’t be considered budget travel items but which, in Sicily, are well worth the expense, such as a hire car and a few nice meals.
This budget doesn’t include the cost of flights to get to Sicily, but thankfully a whole host of budget airlines service the 3 international airports here, meaning you can usually pick up a bargain.
As always I recommend Skyscanner for finding the best fight deals.
Worth pointing out too, that this budget does not include any visa expenses or travel insurance costs, so don’t forget to factor those in as well.
Sicily is part of Italy, which means the same entry requirements apply i.e. whatever visa you need (or don’t need) to enter mainland Italy will also apply to Sicily.
For many travellers from outside Europe, this will involve a Schengen visa. For EU nationals, no visas are required. For British passport holders, no visas are required for stays of up to 90 days in any 180 day period.
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First up, I’m going to give you a breakdown of each expense category so that, if you are travelling to Sicily for longer than a week, or with a bit more / less cash, you can work out your own budget.
Then, at the end of this post, you’ll find the complete budget breakdown of my 7 day stay in Sicily to let you know exactly how much to set aside for your trip.
Hope it helps and that you have a wonderful time travelling on this island too!
Accommodation costs in Sicily are really reasonable, especially for Europe and you can pick up some real bargains, especially if you are travelling as a couple or a group.
There aren’t many hostels in Sicily, so almost all affordable accommodation, outside of the major cities, is in the form of local guesthouses or Airbnbs.
The former of these is a great place in the heart of vibey Palermo that has been lovingly restored and is the perfect affordable place to stay in this city, with private sunset balcony views thrown in for free!
Otherwise, low-mid range Airbnb apartments in Sicily can be picked up for around 70- 150€ a night – a real bargain if there’s a lot of you, as these spaces often sleep up to 5-6 people and include a kitchen space so you can prepare your own breakfast and aperitives!
At the other extreme of the country and price range, luxury stays in Sicily can be up to 250€ a night, like the amazing Palermo Inn Boutique, which offers a Cathedral location and a terrace with city views.
After you’ve decided on your budget, the hardest thing about choosing accommodation in Sicily is knowing where to stay.
Check out this article I wrote to help you choose which part of the island to base yourself in.
Transport costs can make a huge difference when it comes to the price of travelling in Sicily and are based, largely, on how much time you have on the island and how much you want to see.
What I mean by this is, if you want to really explore the island at your own pace and enjoy lots of day trips and hikes, you’re probably best to hire a car.
If you’re based in Palermo or Catania and only want to venture out to other parts of the island on a couple of day trips, then taking tours for these excursions (and using the public transport network the rest of the time) might prove a more cost-effective option for you.
Hiring a car is also a cheaper option if there’s a group of you – we were 2 in a car, which made it more affordable – but having to foot all the costs yourself if you’re a solo traveller means your budget could soon start spiralling. Check out Discover Cars for a great deal in Sicily.
As a guide, a hire car with fully comp insurance can be picked up for around 90€ a day. If you have excess insurance, you can bring this cost down by not going fully comp and using your excess insurance to mop up the costs of any potential accidents.
Of course, you’ll need to add fuel onto the rental costs of hiring a car, but this can be eliminated by renting an electric vehicle – although charging points are sadly not super common around the island, so ensure you undertake some research on this.
Alternatively, if you don’t want to rent a vehicle, you can use local buses or trains to get between Catania / Palermo as well as some of the islands’ other main towns / destinations – although do be aware public transport only really covers the popular places!
As an example, a day return train ticket from Palermo to Cefalu cost me 15€.
Find out more details about getting around Sicily using public transport in these posts I wrote…
And if you don’t have wheels, but want to explore some of Sicily’s best natural landscapes (including hiking routes, beaches and historic villages), then it’s probably best to take a day tour. These tend to operate from both Palermo and Catania… more about these in the next section.
Sadly no Uber is available in Sicily and taxis can be costly, but are available, including from the airports to the main respective cities.
You can also use collectivos (shared minibuses) to get from the airport to the city (no need to book) or book a private pickup if you’re arriving really early or late.
The collectivo I took from Palermo airport to the city centre cost 8€.
#3 Tours & Activities
And coming in at number 3, it’s another variable cost in your Sicily travel budget, because it really depends on how many tours and activities you do.
As I mentioned above, if you don’t have a car, then you probably will take at least a couple of day tours in Sicily to help you experience the island’s stunning natural landscapes and historic highlights.
If you have a car, then you might not take any day trips – apart from maybe a food or city tour or hiring a bike for the day, which usually costs around 5-10€.
When it comes to food tours, this Palermo street food & market tasting tour gets great reviews and costs around 50€ per person.
Alternatively, this Taormina half day Sicilian cooking class & market tour is another fav and costs around 70€ pp.
When it comes to city tours, check out this Syracuse: Ortigia and Neapolis guided walking tour, this Palermo no mafia walking tour or this Catania city highlights walking tour.
In Palermo, you don’t really need to take any tours if you don’t want to – you can easily wander this city for free and entrance to churches and many museums / gardens are either free or cost under 10€.
However, I really do advise a tour (even a free walking tour) to get some historical insight into this ancient place.
If you’re venturing beyond Palermo or Catania on some epic day trips, then here’s my top picks which all cost between 50-100€ per person.
- From Catania: the Godfather filming locations tour
- From Catania: Noto, Modica and Ragusa: the Baroque tour
- From Taormina: full day Etna, wine & Alcantara canyons tour
- From Palermo: Villa Romana and Valley of the Temples trip
#4 Food & Drink
Following on from the tour expenses, it’s now time to address the Italian favourite – food and drink!
Quite simply, you can’t come to this island and not eat / drink your heart away!
One great meal really should be part of your Sicily itinerary and my pick would be a sunset dinner at the amazing Azzurra Makari.
Outside of this, a coffee in a local Sicilian café will cost you around 2€, an Aperol Spritz costs around 6€, a gelato is around 3€ and a slice of pizza around 4€.
Staying somewhere that offers breakfast, or has a small kitchen, so you can pop to a supermarket for a few bits, is a good way to save money here.
A casual sandwich and drink lunch in a café is likely to be around 10€ and dinner out with a glass of local beer around 20€.
Limiting how much alcohol you drink in Sicily is an easy way to keep the budget even lower, but if you do enjoy a glass or 2, sticking to local drinks such as wine is a good way to go!
This means you should be able to get by on as little as 30€ a day when it comes to eating and drinking – it just depends how much, and in what quantities, you like doing that stuff!
Can I also point out that food is one of Sicily’s strong points and well worth enjoying!
Final Sicily Budget Breakdown
And here it is, the complete per person breakdown of what it costs to travel in Sicily for 7 days on a low – mid-range scale!
- 7 nights accommodation per person in a shared double room or group Airbnb – 350€
- 7 days hire car based on 2 people sharing – 280€
- 7 days fuel for car – 100€
- Entrance fees and short tours in Sicily – 100€
- 7 days of Food and Drink – 250€
Total – €1080
SAVE THIS TO PINTEREST!
I hope you’ve found this article about how much it costs to travel in Sicily useful.
Is the total figure more or less than you expected?
I’d love to know what you think and also how much you’ve budgeted for / spent on your Sicily travels…