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Paris/Venice/Rome - Average Daily Food cost

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Hi,

My fiance and I will be travelling from India to Paris-Venice-Rome in February 2013 for our honeymoon. We are gonna be staying 3 nights per city; and we are trying to find out hotels that also include breakfast in their room rates. We are trying to figure out a tentative average daily cost of food for each of the 3 cities.

1. Paris: one of our shortlisted hotels (a 4 star one) doesn't include breakfast in its deal for Feb'13 - other one (3 star) does include it, and is cheaper too.. but the rooms are pretty small. So we are giving preference to the 4 star hotel (considering its our honeymoon - plus this one looks much more awesome! :) )
Could anyone tell us what could be our average costs for each day in Paris? If we go ahead with 4 star one, we'll have to look for breakfast options outside. We want to remain on budget, but ready to splurge a little probably for a lavish meal for dinner(s) maybe.

2. Venice: We have booked a hotel in Venice already; thankfully it includes a hot buffet breakfast. That said, need help with calculating the costs for the rest of the meals + any time spent in cafes over the evenings.

3. Rome: yet to finalize on a hotel - but will still need the average daily food costs.

One of us is a non-vegetarian + we would want to include occasional drinks in our meals.
Any recommendations/suggestions on good places to eat (in romantic, value for money categories) in each of the cities are also welcome.

Thanks.
I am so excited! :)

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    Hi P,

    Hi P,

    Congratulations on your upcoming wedding.

    My first suggestion to you is:
    As much as I love Paris, you don't have enough time for 3 cities. Visit Venice and Rome and enjoy your honeymoon.

    My second suggestion is:
    You don't have enough time for 3 cities. Visit Paris and enjoy your honeymoon.

    Regarding food costs:

    There will not be much difference among the 3 cities.

    If you share your hotel choices, we might be able to give you further help.

    ((I))

    The most important factor is how much alcohol you consume. Spirits are highly taxed. Restaurant prices for wine and soft drinks are about the same.

    Breakfast can be as little as 2E for a sweet roll and a cuppa standing up at the bar, to as high as you wish to make it.

    Lunch can be about 5E at a snack bar.

    Dinner will be 30E and up.

    You can save significantly by making lunch your big meal and having a modest dinner. For example, the fixed price lunch at Taillevent is about 100E pp including wines. Dinner will be more than twice that.

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    Having breakfast included in the price of the room is not always a good deal (depending on the hotel), especially when there are better options available near by.

    As for a budget, you can find fixed price menus for lunch in Paris, Venice and Rome, but what you spend will depend on where you dine. We typically budget €50 to €60/day each (including wine) when traveling in France, but again, it will depend on where you dine and if you plan on having both a full lunch and dinner each day, which can get overwhelming.

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    You are kind of sending mixed signals. You seem to be looking for hotels that include breakfast, no doubt as a way to save money. You talk about "staying on budget" yet you don't give us any indication as to what your budget is. And also, you you say you are "ready to splurge" but here again you don't indicate what you consider "splurging". Finally, you say "one of us is a non-vegeterian" - does that mean the other is a vegetarian?

    I've been to Paris and Rome several times and have been to major cities all over the world. While I've not been to Venice, from what I've heard I doubt food prices in Venice are all that different from either Paris or Rome or any other major city.

    You don't say where you are from (other than you are coming from some place in India) nor do you give us any indication of your eating habits. In over 30 years of travel the one thing I've found is that meal prices don't vary very much from major city to city. In other words, all cities have places where you can dine inexpensively and you can also find very high end dining.

    When figuring a "food" budget simply determine how much you'd spend for meals if you dined out in a city near where you live. That will give you a starting point. You can safely assume you'll spend about the same, give or take 10% to 15%, for your meals while traveling (NOW WHAT FOLLOWS IS IMPORTANT) if you eat the same types of meals in the same types of restaurants. What and how much you eat or drink and what type of restaurant you choose to dine at has more of an impact on your food budget than which city you are in at the time. For example, having coffee and a croissant at a street side cafe will cost you about the same not matter what city you are in, however, that same coffee and croissant will cost you three or four times as much if you are having it in the dining room at the Ritz or Four Seasons. The same holds true for lunch items and dinners.

    Now, you are going on your honeymoon - you'll want it to be special and a trip you'll remember for a lifetime. So here's another bit of advice, try not to penny pinch on your meals (at least for dinner). There's nothing wrong with simple breakfasts and lunches but your dinners should be "special occasions", after all you'll be dining with your new spouse and you'll want to make them memorable. So when figuring YOUR budget plan on eating some or all of your dinners at "better restaurants" - they don't necessarily have to be Michelin Star restaurants but but you don't want to be having dinner in a Fast food chain restaurant either.

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    It doesn't make any sense to stay in a hotel that costs 200 euro a night but supposedly gives you a "free" breakfast vs. one that costs 150 euro a night without it. French hotels aren't allowed to pretend you are getting free breakfasts if they really are charging you for it, it is illegal (some hotels quote a price that includes breakfasts but you are paying for it, and they cannot make you buy it).

    And I don't know about Italy, but I don't think there is any place in Paris you can eat breakfast for 2 euro which includes coffee and a roll, standing up or not. Coffee costs more than that usually, although sometimes in real cheap places you can get it for 2 euro. And a croissant can cost about 1 euro in a take-out stand, but costs more in cafes. But even if you stood up in a train station take-out counter, I don't think you could spend only 2 euro.

    I don't even eat breakfast so it is zero cost for me, but meal costs depends on what you want to eat and how much and where. If you want to eat a lot of food at breakfast and go to a cafe, I'll imagine you'll spend 10-15 euro for breakfast (for one).

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    Food budgets are all over the map. If you want a lavish dinner with wine in an upscale (Michelin star) restaurant - you probably need to allow at least 100 euros per person. But if one of you is a vegetarian I would search first for places that will have good vegetarian options (not just a big fat salad).

    If you want to have alight lunch in a casuale cafe, the cost can be quite modest. If you want a nicer restaurant it wil be more.

    Unfortunately in Feb you don;t really have the option of sandwiches on a park bench (unless you eat really fast). I would do a each now for vegetarian restaurants in each city (although veggie options are easier in Italy).

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