It’s tough to be an American tourist in Europe right now, what with the dollar sinking to new lows against the euro every day. The New York Times had a fantastic Practical Traveler feature a few months back titled 10 Ways to Keep Europe Within Reach. I’d like to add to this advice with my own suggestion – consider purchasing combined tickets when touring popular attractions.
A lot of touristy cities in Italy offer joint tickets that include admission to several related attractions at a price lower than each individual ticket. For instance, if you want to check out some of the archeological attractions in Rome, you can purchase the Roma Archeologia Card, a €20 pass to the Colosseum, the Roman National Museum, the Palatine, the Baths of Caracalla, the Tomb of Cecilia Metella, and the Villa of the Quintili. This pass is available at the ticket counters of all of the above sites (except for the latter two) and is good for one week. If you just want to check out the Baths, the Tomb, and the Villa, you can purchase a €6 card, which is also valid for one week. For more information, visit the Roma Turismo website.
Similar deals on admission prices are available in Tuscany. For instance, in Florence, visitors to the Accademia can pay an extra 50 euro cents (for a total of €7) for a joint ticket that includes the Opificio delle Pietre Dure, a fascinating, but oft overlooked attraction. Meanwhile, San Gimignano’s “biglietto cumulativo,” which costs €11, includes entry to all of the town’s major sites, including the Collegiata, the Museo Civico, and the Torre Grossa.
Elsewhere, Venice has a Museum Pass, which includes entry to the Doge’s Palace, the National Archeological Museum, Goldoni’s House, the Murano Glass Museum, and much more, for just €18. In fact, families (of two adults and at least two children) can take advantage of a Museum Pass discount by purchasing one full-price Museum Pass; the rest of the family’s passes are available at the discounted rate of €12 per person.
Before you travel, be sure to check the websites of the museums you plan to visit and the city or regional tourist boards for information about combined tickets. The savings could mean a vacation that doesn’t break the budget.
Photo © Will Spaetzel