Turin or Torino might not be the most popular cities in Italy for international tourists. But for anyone who loves football (or soccer for Americans/Australians!), the city is known for two of the biggest football teams in Italian Serie A: Torino FC and Juventus. The latter was where legendary players like Alessandro del Piero or Gianluigi Buffon used to play for decades. It's even where Cristiano Ronaldo currently plays.
But today, despite the fact that Italy just recently won Euro 2020 in England… We're not going to talk about football today, as we're gonna talk about how you can explore Turin on the budget.
Thanks to Natalie from The Best of Turin, we're going to list some recommended activities in the city that is less than $10 on this week's series. So, what could you get in Turin for $10?
8 Budget-Friendly Things to Do in Turin
Turin is a hidden gem in Northern Italy, the country's first capital holds much history and beauty, but it is still known for many international travels. So next time you are visiting Italy, skip Milan and Naples and find your way to Turin or Torino in Italian. I promise you won't regret the change.
But what makes Turin so incredible? It has a royal past with over 20 UNESCO Heritage palaces and royal residences. There are also many museums to visit, from classical art to cars and one of the world's largest collections of Egyptian artifacts. Yes, Turin is full of surprises and flavors. The region is famous for its Barolo wine, slow food movement, truffles, chocolates, coffee, and vermouth.
With so many things to do in Turin, and with fewer tourists on your way, you can experience Turin on a lower budget compared to other Italian cities. The fact that Turin is the fourth largest city in Italy gives you plenty of opportunities for activities, places to stay, experience to live and food to try.
So in this scenario, what would you get in Turin for $10? You can do many things (and eat) in Turin for $10 USD, converting to Euros, roughly 8 Euros.
Did you know?
Apart from being the first capital city of Unified Italy in 1861 before it moved to Florence and Rome, Turin is also the fourth largest city in the country behind Naples, Milan, and Rome.
1. Aperitivo – Turin own version of Happy Hour OK
In Northern Italy, there is a tradition of having an aperitivo at the end of the day. It's their own and cooler version of happy hour. Many bars and restaurants serve the aperitivo from 5:30 pm to 9 or 10 pm. Bars will charge you between 6 to 15 Euros for a glass of cocktail/beer/wine and finger food.
In the cheapest places, you will get a tray of mini pizzas, chips, peanuts, focaccia and baked or deep-fried nibbles to savor while sipping your drink. The restaurants that charge a bit more often offer what they call “apericena“, a buffet of finger food plus pasta, cheese, cold cuts, salads, and the usual pizza and focaccia slices. It's almost a dinner served on small plates with endless runs to the buffet!
You can find some of the best aperitivos in Turin in the San Salvario neighborhood and near Piazza Castello.
2. Follow Sherlock Holmes Steps
If a visit to the National Museum of Cinema in Turin is off your budget, you can have a taste of fiction and literature by joining the Sherlock Holmes Experience. It's a mix of exposition with movie pieces and bits that takes you through this character's story and its importance for the movie industry. The experience costs only 5 euros.
3. Taste the famous Bicerin with a traditional cornetto
Bicerin is a mix of hot chocolate, coffee, and panna (an Italian version of heavy cream), a unique hot beverage that dates back to 1763. The best part of it is the taste; the second is to try the original recipe at the Caffe Al Bicerin, where it was created. How cool is that?
You can get a Bicerin and an Italian cornetto (also called brioche or croissant, of course, the Italian version of them) for less than $10 USD!
4. Go digging for vintage stuff at Balon Market
El Balon is Turin's biggest and most famous flea market. It's a world of arts, clothes, furniture, bikes, everything you can imagine and want you can find there.
Located at Borgo Dora, one of the oldest areas in Turin, just by the city center and off at Turin Royal Palace and Porta Palazzo Fresh Market, Balon is the palace to be at on Saturday morning. For a more immersive experience, visit the Grand Balon that happens every second Sunday of each month.
To visit the market is free, which means that you can use your ten bucks to spend on something cool you will find there. And trust me, among hundreds of vendors, it's hard to resist. You will always end up buying more than you planned or should.
5. Taste the freshest fruits and veggies Porta Palazzo
Still talking about markets, between Turin Royal Palace and Balon Flea Market is Porta Palazzo Fresh market, it's enormous so won't miss it when walking there. They say it is one of the biggest open-air fresh markets in Europe and you'll agree with this title when you see it.
Porta Palazzo is huge, with vendors selling everything from fruit and veggies to cheese, cold cuts, bread, seeds, and spices. It's a world of flavors and aroma, a place to visit even if you are not buying a thing (what never happens, btw).
Local products are always fresh and cheap. It doesn't matter in which season you are visiting Turin; you can buy a lot with 10 USD – 8 Euros. Focus on local delicacies as mushrooms, carmagnola peppers, asparagus, leeks, pumpkins, cherries, apples, peaches and walnuts, chestnuts, and the famous hazelnuts from the Piedmont region (Nutella is from there).
6. Take the funicular to Superga Basilica
It doesn't matter where you are in Turin; you can always see the beautiful Superga Basilica sitting on the top of a green hill. This impressive late baroque – renaissance – neoclassical church dates from 1717, and it's located in a natural park.
Even if you are not fond of visiting churches when in Turin, you must go to the Superga Basilica hill! You can get there by a historic funicular that costs only 6 euros (return ticket) during weekdays and 9 euros on weekends and bank holidays.
The railway dates back from April 1884, and the version we use today was created in 1934, restored over the years, of course. The funicular takes you from Sassi station to the Superga station at 650 meters above sea level. It's a journey of 3.100 meters with an altitude gain of 425 meters.
The funicular has a super pretty vintage look, like traveling to the past, and the views you have during the riddle are superb as well. But the best of it is the views you get from the top of the hill, the impressive Basilica behind you, the city at your feet, and the Italian Alps surrounding you. You can find all the info about going there on the Superga funicular page.
7. See the city from above at Mountaineering Museum
The Alps are not only part of the Turin landscape; they are part of its history. A visit to Mountain Museum might not fit your $10 USD budget, but a visit to the museum terrace is doable.
The Museo Nazionale della Montagna “Duca degli Abruzzi” houses many interesting facts and pieces about mountains in the Alps. While a visit to the complex costs 10 euros, visiting only the rooftop terrace costs 3 euros.
You might not have the opportunity to learn about the mountain's history, but you will have one of the best views from the city surrounded by them. Take the chance to spot the Monviso, the highest munting of the Cottian Alps, located near the Italian-French border.
8. Sunset & Wine at Valentino Park
Piedmont region produces one of the best wines in Italy, so you can't miss the opportunity to grab a nice bottle of red or white and go for a sunset session at Turin's most loved park. Park Valentino is located in the heart of the city, by river Po, and offers endless opportunities for free or cheap things to do. One of them is a picnic at the end of the day; sunset and wine are a must among locals, so follow their steps and have fun.
Depending on how picky you are with your wine, on a 10 dollars budget, you can squeeze a bottle and a piece of freshly baked focaccia; another must eat when traveling in Italy.
As I told you before, Turin has a lot to offer (for $10 USD or more!), and we only scratch the surface in this post. If our suggestions were enough to make you want to plan a trip there, find more info about traveling to Turin here and start planning your trip now.
Contributor: Natalie Deduck from The Best of Turin
Nat Deduck is a journalist and traveler who moved to Turin in 2019 and fell in love with the city. The Best of Turin travel blog was born from this passion and lack of information for international travelers about the city and region. So if you dream of visiting Italy's first capital, be sure you will find the best travel tips and information to plan your trip on The Best of Turin.