Spain vs Italy for Vacation: The Ultimate Comparison

By: Leah Shoup

Spain is generally a bit cheaper.

You can find affordable restaurants and hotels even in major cities here. Just avoid peak holiday periods to save money in both countries!

First-time visitors often prefer Italy.

Many people visiting Europe for the first time travel to Italy, as this country is home to popular tourist attractions they're more familiar with.

Visitors to Spain are better dispersed throughout the country.

By comparison, visitors to Italy tend to be more concentrated among the four hotspots of Rome, Milan, Venice, and Florence.

We recommend visiting both during shoulder seasons.

Instead of visiting in the summer months and fighting the crowds in Rome, Venice, Barcelona, or Madrid, travel in the spring or fall.

The food is slightly better in Italy.

Spanish food includes paella, gazpacho, tapas, and more! However, nothing really competes with delicious pasta and olive oil when visiting Italy.

Vegetarians often prefer visiting Italy.

We've had plenty of people tell us they've had an easier time finding vegetarian menu options in Italy than in Spain.

Spain is the better option for a beach vacation.

Spanish beaches–think the Canary Islands or Southern Spain– are perfect for a family trip. Italian beaches are smaller and more rugged.

Both have interesting histories.

Spain is known for its Moorish influences in Granada and Seville, while Italy boasts Roman and Renaissance architecture in Rome and Florence.

Italy might not be ideal for your trip if you don't like history.

Many of Italy's highlights, like Rome and Florence, heavily focus on history, architecture, and art as the main activities.