Visit Cinque Terre on a budget!
Visiting Cinque Terre can be challenging but is a MUST! It is an experience you have to get and it is a place you need to see! There is no other option. But what is the challenge about…well as always it’s all about the money! Cinque Terre got very popular and become one of the most visited places in Italy, therefore the prices offered there are designed for tourists! You need to be prepared to have an expensive meal when eating in restaurant. You have to be prepared to pay a lot for accommodation if you decide to stay in Cinque Terre. And you need to be prepared to pay for transport as using a car is impossible there, so either you end up with a high parking fees (and limited number of parking spots) or you will use the trains or bikes…for everything you will be charged and even overcharged for the toilets! (Cinque Terre and have the highest toilets fee I have seen so far…1 Euro for a pee, how unfair!)…
So as you can see you need to be careful with your budget when visiting Cinque Terre …but I have been & seen & used my savvy spirit and I could afford it. Now I have some tips for you on how you can visit the Cinque Terre on a budget!
If you plan to visit Cinque Terre villages, you need to know that you will have to use the public transport. Its impossible to take a car but don’t be put off. This is actually a great idea cause firstly leaving your car behind, will save you hassle with parking and the cost! The places are too small for cars but thanks to this fact the train links have been very well developed to make it easier for tourists to visit the small & charming towns. So you can take a train from such big cities like Florence, Pisa, Bologna and pay 12-17 Euros for 2-2.5 hour journey or you can stay in a nearby cities like La Spieza and arrive to Cinque Terre in just few minutes also by train. The train links between the cities are running very often and effective so you can just jump in the train and decide which village to visit! It is called freedom! The short train ride takes you from one town to another, with the Riomaggiore being the first stop. You can buy tickets at the station, which cost around €6 one way to Riomaggiore and €8 to Monterosso. But I recommend getting the daily ticket deal which save you time, money and hassle with queuing if you decide to visit more than just one Cinque Terre! On top of that the Information Stands at each station can explain you in more details on what other benefits the daily pass has. Profit & Enjoy using train this time!
If you consider staying in the village you might have a problem with high prices but also and mostly with the availability. You have to be realistic and think on how many people those villages can actually accommodate. So if you are decided to stay in any Cinque Terre town, look for a hostel or small bed and breakfast rather then hotel. If you want to save even more money, decide to come not in the season. You are sure then that the prices drop and on top of that there are more accommodation options to choose from. But the super benefit on going to Cinque Terre for me personally would be the fact that there are less crowds and tourists. Then you can really enjoy the relaxing seaside resort rather than feel squeezed with all those people. In my opinion a very good solution for finding a good accomodationf while visiting Cinque Terre is to go to the nearby city like La Spezia. It is nice and big city which you can also discover while staying there. Its bigger, calmer, with more shops, cheaper places to eat, harbour but no beach unfortunately. Anyway search for cheaper accommodation in La Spezia via Airbnb site. You will have better prices and bigger choice. As I mentioned, you can easily get into Cinque Terre anytime you want and pay less for room & food and you avoid the crowds!
Be prepared that if you want to eat out in Cinque Terre this can be expensive. The restaurants serve very good quality food, specialities and best fish but the prices are pretty high. So either you extend your budget spending on restaurants to fully enjoy or you will consider other lunch & dinner & snack options. And I have some ideas here. The cheapest one is to get prepared with picnic lunch but then you have to realize you have to carry the backpack with it and at the end of the day the food can be nicely melted thanks to the heat! Other cheaper and easier option for eating in Cinque Terre is to buy sth in a shop or in a local take away – their well-known specialities – a friggitoria – a bite-sized seafood piled into a paper cone. This costs less then 10 Euros and nicely fills you up! Another cheaper thing to eat is the focaccia bread which you can often get for €2 or less. For snack and water…well take them from home. Take one small bottle of water as you are sure to get fresh, cold and free drinking water in each village! Fill up your bottle anytime you need! Stay hydrated!
This is an easy one. Just don’t decide to take the organized tours and you will save. As simple as it sounds it works very well! Tours usually start at around €100, and yes it is true you will save the cost of room and board and you will have access to many of the activities Cinque Terre has to offer. But this is a lot to pay for one person! SO plan what to do in Cinque Terry yourself. You can look at my blog posts which I am writing about the Top Things to Do in Cinque Terry. Alternatively visit any of the touristic sites of Cinque Terry as they have already planned tracks to follow. Have a look, print out the map with the tracks and get ready for your free sightseeing in the amazing Cinque Terre!
Well actually thanks to the fact that this is such a touristic place, there are many souvenir shops around and so there is big competition among souvenir shops! completion. This makes the prices of souvenirs, magnets and postcards realistic and affordable. The only thing I would recommend is to pay attention when buying a postcard is and international stamps. Try to avoid the barcode tracked stamps which are very popular in Italy but choose the stamps from tobacco and post office. The Mail Box Tracked Stamps cost 1.30 Euro while the standard European stamp will cost you just 1Euro. If you send a lot, this can save you some money!
So now …do you think you can afford the Cinque Terre when visiting Italy? I hope you do as it is the place you cannot miss when you are in Italy…beautiful, magnificent and stunning and I will agree with everyone who have recommended them to me…Now I would like to recommend them to you and encourage you to visit and en plus …I have added few tips on how you can visit Cinque Terre on a budget! I hope you found that useful.