Is Sicily cheap/expensive? Prices in Sicily, 2021

If you’re unsure how much money you have to commit to your Sicily trip, maybe you wonder whether such a famed tourist destination is cheap or quite the opposite, we’ve got a guide for you that should be able to answer all of your questions, about the hotels, transport, car rentals, etc.

Is Sicily expensive?

Many of you probably pick and choose the holiday destinations based on the prices – often the wallet decides, not the tourist. Since Sicily is quite a far away land, quite exotic, compared to the UK, that may raise some concerns – are trips to Sicily generally expensive? How much money does one have to commit to such a trip? Can you visit the island with thin pockets?

sicily prices in 2021

Are car rentals expensive in Sicily?

Renting a car in Sicily does not differ much from the rest of Europe. Prices depend on the type and size of the car, pick-up point and the length of the planned ride, but the prices aren’t higher than what we consider to be a standard.

Because of the Sicilian infrastructure, renting a car in Sicily can be of great value, especially if we want to venture outside of the big cities. There are some places that are quite hard to get to by public transport or by train, and even if such an option exists, it wastes a lot more time.

car rental sicily

Also, keep in mind the number of people you’re travelling with. In the case of one or two people, public transport will probably turn out to be much cheaper, but when you have a group of five or seven people, the costs will be very comparable.

If you’re sure you want to, you should rent a car from home, before the trip, as it’ll save you a lot of unnecessary stress. Thanks to the online rental sites, we can easily compare the prices of cars from different rentals, pick the best pick up point and get to know all the details about additional costs, like insurance. It’s generally a good idea to get insurance, just to make sure that a single scratch on a door doesn’t empty your wallet. In many rentals you can buy insurance right at the end of the process, when picking up the car, so you have plenty of time to consider all the possible variants of security.

Are hotels expensive in Sicily?

As trivial as it sounds – it depends. It’s not really more expensive than elsewhere in Europe, but we wouldn’t go as far as to say that it’s on the lower side either. We can find plenty of five star hotels of the highest standard, and the tiny hotels, which will allow us to save a fortune. It’s all about doing the research earlier, comparing different options and focusing on what we’re looking for as a customer. Some may need a dedicated parking lot, some prefer to have a balcony with the greatest of views. No matter the focus though, in most Sicilian towns the hotel list is quite rich, so there are rarely problems with finding a place for ourselves.

sicily hotels

We recommend using the online hotel comparison sites, which will rule out the options that do not interest us, and focus on what we want, like short distance from the main attractions or a parking lot, for instance.

B&B in Sicily – is it cheap?

Bed & Breakfast hotels tend to be quite popular, especially in smaller towns. They tend to be well equipped, and the main upside is that we get to meet the owner. Sicilians tend to be very open and passionate about their beloved island. We also have to keep in mind, that Sicily is among the poorer regions in Italy, oftentimes making B&B the main source of income for many. The person in charge, whose place we will stay in, will try to make the best impression, just to keep you coming back and not to give you any reasons to leave a negative review online. That does not mean, of course, that their politeness and courtesy are forced – it’s rather that extra incentive.

bnb prices sicily

Additionally, the owner will surely tell you about his/her favourite attractions nearby and help you find the nearest bus stops, shops and good places for a lunch.

Breakfasts in B&B are oftentimes local products, prepared by the owners. So we’re sure to get the typical Sicilian cuisine – cakes, orange juice and some local cheese. The limit’s only the owner’s imagination.

Are hostels that cheap?

Hostels tend to be the cheapest option for holidays, and it’s no different in Sicily. Additionally, the general quality of hostels is also improving as of late. Private chambers are becoming more and more of a standard and the kitchen available for guests is usually very well equipped. Of course, there’s also the aspect of meeting other travellers, with whom we can exchange ideas, tips etc.

Sicily Hostels

Hostels do still have their flaws though. It’s usually not the best option for families with children. Even if we do get a hostel with private rooms, they’re usually not soundproofed, so any noise from the adjacent rooms may disturb the younger kids – or the other way around, if the children are noisy late at night. Private bathrooms also tend to be more of a rare luxury, rooms are equipped in only the necessary and there are no safes or fridges.

Airbnb in Sicily

Airbnb is an option that, recently, has been getting a lot more attention. There’s always an option to rent a room, but for some, that’s not enough. They’d rather rent the whole flat. Such an option allows us to feel like a true local, especially since most of the offers tend to have a very distinct, Sicilian style. Apart from that, we can use all the equipment in the flat, a fully equipped kitchen, a dishwasher, we can do laundry and sometimes we can even find a house with a pool and a garden.

The main downside of Airbnb is that there’s no hotel staff. If anything breaks, we can only rely on ourselves. We can’t expect someone to order us a taxi, iron for us or prepare breakfast (although, that’s not entirely out of the question). Another plus however, is that we know exactly where we’ll stay. In the case of hotels or B&B, we’re not sure which room we’ll get, while Airbnb gives us all the details upfront.

sicily airbnb

Is Airbnb expensive though? We think it’s better you judge that yourselves. We’ve checked the pricings per day for a two person flat in the first week of August, 2019.

In Catania, such an accommodation would cost around 76 p,

In Palermo, 78 p,

Trapani would set us back 79 p, 

Cefalu would be more expensive, at around 120 p,

Taormina similarly stays around 121 p.

Marsala turns out to be cheaper, at 83 p,

Messina, 82 p,

Ragusa gets the cheapest option prize, at 62 pounds a day for two,

and finally Agrigento goes for 77 pounds a day.

Of course, the prices may vary depending on the standard we’re looking for, the distance from the center, how well equipped the place is, etc.

For you, wonderful readers, we have a small discount:

Is food expensive on Sicily? Can I eat cheaply in Sicily?

Now that’s one hell of a topic. Sicily offers a very rich repertoire of meals. We can opt for a dinner in the most expensive restaurants or choose the more rational, local street food booths. There are also the local, family driven bars and pizzerias. Every option varies greatly in terms of pricings, and we can adjust each to our budget. Sicilia does not differ much from the rest of Italy, when it comes to the prices. While, compared to the rest of Europe, Sicily may be a tiny bit above the average, the quality is much higher. Usually, Sicilians use fresh, local products, a lot of vegetables and fruits, good quality olive oil and oftentimes, you’ll get homemade wine for a good price.

Prices of food on Sicily

To sum up, Sicilian food can be cheap and good. Street food is usually of very high quality and there’s a lot to choose from. Whether you choose to eat in trattorias or more luxurious restaurants, the prices shouldn’t surprise you too much.

Are groceries expensive in Sicily?

We can also just opt for buying groceries locally, and make meals ourselves. It’s obviously much cheaper, but it consumes much of your time, and not everyone will have access to a fully functional kitchen. It’s most sensible to keep a fine balance between the two. Worth noting, that the fresh veggies and fruits tend to be of fantastic quality in Sicily (at least compared to our local standards), so do not hesitate.

Prices of food on Sicily

Supermarkets and smaller grocery shops are generally not expensive in Sicily, oftentimes the better equipped ones are outside the city centres. In the smaller shops, we’ll surely find all the necessary products. Additionally, small shops have the advantage of being able to talk to the shopkeeper, get to know what he’d recommend, what’s fresh and what we can make out of the products we buy. Generally, Sicilians love their cuisine and will gladly tell you all that you need to know.

prices in Sicily

Is public transport expensive in Sicily?

No, it’s not. The pricings do vary a bit from region to region and depending on the length of the journey, but generally speaking, it’s all very reasonable. If you’re traveling solo, or with a partner, picking public transport is the way to go, the ticket prices between adjacent cities usually stay at around 3 to 9 EUR.

Sicily transport

Renting a car with a driver – is it worth it?

Sicily has companies that offer trips or just transit to the place we want to see. It can be a reasonable option, if our destination isn’t accessible by train or bus, and we don’t want to rent a car for that long. Usually, such a service costs less than a taxi (which also doesn’t take us anywhere we want). It can work in two ways – either the driver gets us where we want and waits for us there, or he comes back for us on a set hour. It can be a great option for touring over bigger sites. For instance, let’s take the National Park – if we were to rent a car to get there, we’d have to go all the way back to the starting point when we’re done. In the case of renting a car with a driver, we can ask him to wait for us at the other end of the park. 

Sicily driver
If you’re interested, you can ask the staff at the hotel you’re staying at, or the locals in general. Oftentimes, owners have contacts for such services and can order one for us, commonly for a better price. We’ve utilised this type of transport in Sicily, and it’s worth recommending. To be more specific, we used it in Zingaro and Etna.

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