Got a ticket to Venice but are looking forward to a trip that will not scrape the bottom of your wallet? Then pack your little bag now and travel Venice on a budget with these tips:
Go off season.
Summer attracts hordes of tourists, so go at any time from November to February when things are a little less hectic and cheaper.
Hotels are a no-no for the budget traveler, so hostels, campsites and B&Bs are the next best thing. Better yet, head off to nearby towns or cities, such as Padua where food and accommodation are cheaper and just travel to Venice for sightseeing.
Know the streets.
Grab a good street map and do not leave home without it. This city is best explored and discovered on foot, although you may want to hop on the vaporetto, the water bus that plies the famous canals bringing passengers from one place to the next. A must-try is the vaporetto that will take you on a Grand Canal tour of the city.
What about the gondola? As romantic as they are, the cost of the ticket may easily eat up your budget for the trip. If you really must, then do it once and take other transportation options from there.
Eat like the locals.
Cafes in Venice can be expensive, particularly around the area of Piazza San Marco. If you want a drink, go in and stand with the locals at a bar. Bring an empty bottle and have the wine shop fill it instead of buying a ready bottle for just under $5. Hungry? Some of the cheapest restaurants can be found in alleyways but you do get full value with the taste. All’Anfora Pizzeria in Sta. Croce offers a good deal for hungry tourists.
You might also want to try trattorie that offer what is called the ‘menu operai’ as opposed to the ‘menu turistico’, which costs more. These meals are typically sold at lunch time but will cost about $10 to $15USD. Try La Bea Vita for a lovely yet affordable feast.
Go for the free stuff.
There is no charge for sightseeing in Venice. The fairytale architecture of the Jewel of Italy is famous the world over, so go ahead and indulge your senses since many of these beautiful buildings can be visited and appreciated free of cost. Ones to visit:
- St. Mark’s Square and Basilica
- Santa Maria della Salute Church
- San Zaccaria church – look for paintings by Bellini
- San Vidal Church
- Scala Contarini del Bovolo
- Murano Island for a glass blowing demonstration
- Mercato di Rialto – the famous markets that sell fresh produce; you can also buy stuff to take on a picnic from here.