The picturesque city of Venice offers a wide variety of significant places which showcases artistic and cultural exhibits acquired through thousands of years of rich Venetian history.
Like other tourist destinations though, the surreal “City of Bridges” can be a pretty expensive place if you don’t know where to find the cheapest deals and steals. Let me give you a few tips on how to prevent shelling out all your hard-earned money and still have a grand time in Venice.
1. Keep your Stay Cheaper and Hassle-free
Venice was designed to be explored either by foot or by boat. If you choose the latter, purchasing a Venice Connected card online and in advance will save you at least 15 percent from the original price of the public service fees. Services covered by the card include Vaporettos (water buses) and buses, car parks, public rest rooms, and entrance to public museums (no more long lines!)Policies seem complicated and card rates changes often, depending on the season so you might want to check their website.
2. Free Tourist Attractions
Not everything in Venice has an entrance fee. Churches for instance such as Basilica San Marco and Basilica di Santa Maria della Salute are free and will surely amaze everyone for its centuries-old classic architecture, intricately-designed mosaics, and paintings made by great artists. Expect long lines and remember to keep yourself covered and well-behaved when inside church premises.
3. Cheap Venice Destinations
Looking for something inexpensive and authentically Venetian? The smallest of the six siesteres (neighborhoods) in Venice, San Polo west of the Rialto Bridge is packed with souvenir shops and workshops of Venetian artisans. Whether you want to buy a Murano glass ornament, learn what a forcola is, or bargain for a mysterious-looking Venetian mask which will surely look good on your wall; the narrow streets of San Polo is where you should head to!
4. Eat Where the Locals Eat
Grabbing a bite to eat in Venice need not be expensive. Stay away from tourist traps in and around Piazza San Marco. Instead, walk around Venice and find where the locals eat. A good area to start your search is at the Strada Nuova in Cannaregio (second largest siestere), one of the longest and widest streets in Venice. You can find pizzerias and trattorias (a casual eatery) here which sells a delectable plate of pasta for a measly price of €5.
5. Riding a Gondola is a Must!
A gondola ride may cost you around €80 to €120 for a 40 to 60-minute ride. But booking in advance on a private tour can get you half of that price. Still a little bit pricey if you ask me. But nevertheless, it would be perfectly fine to skip a meal or forget buying the souvenirs, just don’t ever, ever miss riding a Gondola. These floating masterpieces are the real essence of Venice!
Top 5 Budget Hotels in Venice
- Nuova Residenza Laguna – Double Room: €45 per night
- Hotel Caneva – 1-Star Hotel – Double Room: €50
- Hotel Città di Milano – 2-Star Hotel – Double Room: €55
- B&B Residenza degli Angeli – Double Room: €45 per night
- Bed & Breakfast Al Saor – Double Room: €55 per night
Photo of restroom entry in Venice, Italy, by Cfinke