Spending money

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May 5th, 2015, 01:02 AM
  #1
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Spending money

Hi everyone!

My partner and I are visiting Europe for 20 days in December; mostly Italy, then Paris, Barcelona and Madrid. We've already paid all the flights and hotels and all we have left are meals, tours and attractions and remaining spending money to focus our savings on.

What we have had trouble with was roughly the amount we would need. We've been told it would be 200 EUROS per day so $6000 AUD savings. We just wanted some more recent clarification with this.

For some consideration:

We're in our 20s so not too expensive stuff.

We plan to be spending standard prices for meals with a few classy dine-outs. So equivalent to $25/30AUD meals per person. Breakfast is included in most of our hotels.

We plan to go to attractions and buy most of the skip the line tickets and few out of town tours (Pompeii, Pisa) online, before we leave. But we are not sure with museums because we don't want to really being paying for them.

We will be staying central in the cities (Rome, Venice, Florence, Milan) and were wondering the best and cheapest way to get around; taxi, public transport, or the hop on and off buses and some walking.

We also wanted to know the best options for regional trains between the Italian cities.

Much help would be appreciated, Thanks!
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May 5th, 2015, 01:56 AM
  #2
 
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Is that 200 Euros per day for both of you together? That sounds ok. Some days will be more expensive, others will be much cheaper. Using high numbers for the budget means you can splurge at the end of the trip or have money left over when you get back home again. That's always nice.

If it's 200 Euros per day for one person it sounds ridiculously high.

I don't know what the AUD is worth right now. But you need to start thinking in Euros.

A cheap lunch can be as low as ten Euros/person. An expensive one can cost over fifty Euros/person. I've seen those prices on menus in Paris and immediately walked away from the expensive places.

Dinners can be under fifteen Euros/person, or it could cost a few hundred Euros/person. A lot depends on if you are going to drink expensive alcohol. Although, in some places a glass of wine could be cheaper than a soft drink.

Frequently, the restaurants/cafeterias will have pricelists clearly visible outside. That makes it easy to decide before going inside.

Entry tickets to sites can cost a lot. Most of the bigger sites have websites where you can look up prices and maybe get advance tickets to avoid lines. In Paris the Museum Pass can be a good idea if you want to see lots of museums. The Paris Pass on the other hand is not worth the cost. It may be a good idea to buy a carnet, that's ten single tickets, for the Paris metro and divide the tickets between you, then do a lot of walking.

Hop On buses are expensive. They can give a nice overview of a city, but I'm not sure it's worth the cost. And in December it's likely to be a bit too cold for sitting up on the open top deck. So, if you're going to be sitting on the lower deck anyway, an ordinary city bus will work equally well. On the other hand, I usually do the Hop On bus for fun, even if I know it's an expensive tourist trap. So I'd be a hypocrite if I said only idiots waste money on it.

Actually, what I'm more worried about is how you're going to have time for all these destinations in twenty days. It sounds rather stressful. But, since you've already booked and paid flights and hotels it's a bit late to drop something.
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May 5th, 2015, 02:42 AM
  #3
 
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I spent 9 days in Rome with my family over Easter. We took a taxi only to and from the airport but otherwise walked everywhere. Didn't take public transport once. We stayed pretty central in Campo di Fiori neighborhood so that was essential. Otherwise, two adults and two pre-teen/teens saw the city by foot. And we walked all over the city too!
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May 5th, 2015, 05:03 AM
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It depends on what you mean by "classy dine-outs". Is this just a little nicer than the corner cafe? Or do you mean you want to try a couple of Michelin starred places?

We usually allow for one special dinner in each major city we visit - and anticipate that this will cost US $300 -$350 per couple including wine - so slightly more than that in euros.

If you mean just slightly nicer but still spending carefully then that could be $100 per couple with modest wine.
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May 5th, 2015, 05:07 AM
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Sorry - the best way to get around - and actually see much - of any city is by foot. Supplement that with public transit (metro or local bus) if needed or taxi if you are really worn out by the end of the day.

I don;t believe in the HoHo buses since they are usually very expensive, don;t run very often - if you get off to see something you may well have to wait more than 30 minutes for another - and insulate you from what you are trying to experience.
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May 5th, 2015, 05:59 AM
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You would need to list your actual hotels before we could determine best/cheapest transport. If you are really central in Rome, Florence and Venice, you should be able to walk everywhere.
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May 5th, 2015, 06:18 AM
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For train travel in Europe see: http://www.seat61.com For regional trains in Italy just show up at the station and buy a ticket (do Australians have chip and PIN credit cards?). For long distance trains, e.g. Venice-Rome, buy your tickets 90 days ahead of time over the internet.

I use a lot of public transport in cities and like day passes, where available - that way you can just hop on a bus for a couple of stops. But if you're younger and more energetic and staying central walking will work a lot of the time. I avoid HO-HO buses. they are expensive, you can get to all the sites on public transport, and I hear you may have a long wait to get on one.

It is impossible to say how much you will spend on food. If you lunch on a panini or a slice of pizza or a crepe and tap water, or picnic on food from a market or deli, that would be just a few euros. If you eat dinner at a fancy restaurant you can spend in nyt's range. Suggest you pick some restaurants from the guidebooks that you think you might like and look for online menus.
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May 5th, 2015, 07:40 AM
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Just on the transportation part:

You say you're staying in "central" locations. If so, that should cut down on your transportation costs, as you'll be able to do a lot on foot, especially if you're in your 20s.

Rome:
Take some time to familiarize yourself with the metro -- the stops, how to use it, etc. It's probably going to be your best bet, though depending on the locale, the bus could work, too.

Florence:
Very compact. You probably can get by on foot for most sights, with an exception here and there, such as a bus to Piazalle Michelangelo.

Milan:
It's pretty spread out, but a lot of what you'll want to see is in a central area around the Duomo. Plan out public transportation to sights like the Last Supper (if you get tix ahead) and Sforza Castle.

Venice:
Very walkable. However, you'll probably want to buy a multi-day vaporetto pass, which includes the ferry to Murano/Burano. To get the most value out of the pass, you'll want to organize your sightseeing to make sure you use up the pass and don't spend money on a ticket you don't use.
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May 5th, 2015, 08:16 AM
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You're locking in your itinerary, even day trips like the one to Pompeii. In December you may want some flexibility. What if it's pouring rain the day you go to Pompeii? You don't have a lot of competition from other tourists in the winter. So there's no need to commit to everything ahead of time.

The other problem with winter is short hours of daylight. Between the weather and short days you may want to spend more time in museums than you anticipate.
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May 5th, 2015, 10:36 AM
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in Paris you can buy a "carnet" of 10 tickets which are valid on the metro and buses and i think that you can do the same in Barcelona too.

in Rome, it's tempting to walk everywhere but the buses can be useful as they increase the amount you can see; you can buy tickets from any shops, often newsagents, showing a T sign or from machines in metro stations or near bus terminals.

in Venice, a pass for the vaporetti for at least part of the time you are there is a real bargain - each journey bought separately is €7.50 and the islands, which are covered by the pass, are a lot more.
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May 5th, 2015, 12:44 PM
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How long do you have in each city? 8 cities in 20 days seems really rushed, you may be spending most of your trip eating on trains.
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May 5th, 2015, 03:01 PM
  #12
ekc
 
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IMO, seeing Paris, Barcelona, Madrid, Rome, Florence, Venice and Milan in 20 days is extremely rushed, considering you generally lose 1/2 day whenever you change cities. So you really only have 17 days for 7 cities, one of which will be jetlagged.

I would drop the day trips to Pompeii and Pisa - you simply don't have time.
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May 5th, 2015, 03:19 PM
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And I'd drop a couple of cities so you have the time to enjoy the ones you do visit. Also, fewer cities means you'll spend less on transport between cities. In 17 days, I'd choose not more than 4 cities, that would give you 4 nights (just three days) in each. It would make the most sense to drop Barcelona and Madrid as they are outliers. And I'd drop Milan so I'd have a bit more time in the places I wanted most to see. And ekc is right about the day trips, forget those as well.
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May 5th, 2015, 06:00 PM
  #14
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Thanks for the replies everyone. Much appreciated

We've decided we'll just be walking the majority of the time and only take the bus when necessary. We've come to a conclusion that we'll have enough to spend and perhaps leftovers.

Forgot to mention, but we'll only be travelling on train between each Italian city, and barcelona and Madrid with flights from milan - paris - barcelona. Rome and Paris is what we're interest in the most with 5 days each. While the rest will be 2 days to explore cause we'd be doing a 'stop 40 mins or so then go to the next place' sort of thing on the public places

We did have a think about time and it does look constraint, probably will be, and we should be only on trains 2 hours max per trip. We've had further looking in with the high speed trains (trenitalia) and came to <80 euros each if we book early for whole of italy. This is looking at the summer timetable. Still confused why rail pass is more expensive.
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May 5th, 2015, 06:26 PM
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With the rail pass you are paying for flexibility. Plus, it covers multiple trips per day, and very long trips. I have never found it worthwhile, but some people do, and some people value being able to just get on a train when they feel like it (although that is less common than it used to be as some countries now require reservations on long distance trains).
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