Just like London, many don’t believe you can do Venice on a budget so I thought I would provide Venice travel tips to help you live largely and spend less in Venice. We are going to be talking Venice budget accommodation, Venice budget restaurants, and everything in between to helo you get around and where to stay while doing Venice on a budget!
This is a city that has inspired many other cities around the world to create floating cities. From London’s Little Venice to Venice of the North, a term that is now used to reference many cities around the globe including Russia’s St Petersburg which I will be sharing soon.
5 Travel Tips For A Weekend Venice on a Budget
As I have visited Venice a couple of times now I thought I would share tips on how to visit Venice on a budget. With all the luxury on offer in this floating city, one would think visiting Venice on a budget would be impossible. It isn’t! You can enjoy your Venice itinerary without expending an absolute fortune. There are so many ways to cut costs on your visit to Venice so that you can spend your money on things that matter most to you, what that is a splurge on a luxury hotel in Venice or opting for a fine dining experience in Venice.
Whatever it is, there is a way to save money on your trip. These include cruising the Grand Canal on budget-friendly Vaporetto(waterbus), walking the alleys on foot instead of using Venice taxis, although I do have a tip onhow you can save money on Venice taxis here. Below are 5 insider tips on visiting Venice, an Italian gem on a budget.
1. Use Waterbuses in Venice
Venice offers the option of taxis and Vaporetto – waterbuses. Taxis can be can be quite expensive and more so if you intend on using them as your main transportation. Waterbuses offer an inexpensive way to get around the city. Tip: Before you arrive in Venice download AVM Venezia official app(Android & iTunes). You can buy your tickets and have them to hand on your phone. You can buy 1, 2, 3 and 7-day tickets as well as buying tickets for 75 minutes for the waterbuses at 7.50 Euros.
These work in a similar way as London’s Oyster or Hong Kong’s Octopus but use a barcode that you scan just before boarding the waterbus on the machines at the entrances of the stops. You can also buy multiple tickets on the apps you don’t have to download several apps on other phones if traveling with others. We used my boyfriend’s app to buy both our tickets, which meant we already had tickets from the moment we arrived as well as the occasional taxi. I will share tips on how to save money on the taxis in the next Venice post.
Exploring Venice needn’t blow the bank balance, hopefully, the tips below offer an insight on how to explore Venice without spending a lot of many. A weekend in Venice in photos below.
2. Explore Venice on Foot
After your initial arrival into Venice, you have the option of getting around by the waterbuses or seeing Venice on foot. I have found opting for exploring on footway better. You will see more of Venice than you will on the waterbuses. Venice is inter-connected by hundreds of bridges so this means you can see all those beautiful little gems hidden within the floating city that only your feet can get as some of the waterways are too narrow for the waterbuses.
The only other mode of transportation that gets around these narrow waterways are Gondolas and smaller boats. That in itself would be a costly way to explore this small city via Gondola. So put on a comfortable pair of shoes, put the map away and let Venice reveal itself to you. Having explored the main interconnected islands on foot you can also check outboat tours of Murano, Burano, and Torcello which start from about £18. There are also tours that combine a walking tour and a gondola ride.
3. Avoid expensive private Gondola rides and take a group ride
If you want to see the city by Gondola, if you are a group then it works out a lot cheap as you can split costs. If you are a couple and don’t mind sharing you can opt to buy advance tickets for a Gondola ride with others. Most Gondola platforms around Venice offer group rides but may have to wait until they have enough people to get on the Gondolas. Also, note that the prices for Gondolas changes in the evening but the benefit is that there are less people on Grand Canal so a little peaceful riding.
4. Buy Local Food In Venice – Food Budget
Eating in Venice can be ridiculously expensive. Venice on a budget food options are plenty, you just have to think outside of the box so to speak. This also doesn’t guarantee you will have quality for the money you are spending. Cafes and restaurants near tourist hotspots like Rialto Bridge or San Marco Square are super expensive for what is on offer. Unless you are visiting a place that comes highly recommended, I would highly recommend finding places hidden within inner Venice. The quality is usually better because they try harder to produce good food as it means they get more footfall with reviews and good reputation. It’s also a lot cheaper.
If exploring on foot also opt for taking away. There are supermarkets around the city offering an inexpensive option for those wanting to do Venice on a budget, especially if you are staying in an apartment in Venice. You can have a quick shop and make your own lunches or breakfast instead of eating out. We booked Airbnb when we visited Venice so we opted to use the supermarket to buy food, which meant we made our own food and enough to keep us going for lunches.
I also had access to Italian cafes serving great coffee right outside our apartment. To get the most of food in Venice you can also check out Food Tours in Venice that will take you around and sample food in Venice. Deciding where to eat in Venice is super is as there are plenty of places but just make sure it’s not in an overly touristy area as they charge more than they ought to.
5. Stay Local and Rent An Apartment In Venice
Don’t feel you have to stay in the center of Venice and there are certainly hotels and apartments in all budgets from luxury to Venice budget hotels. We looked around for hotels but as this year has been filled with so much travel for work, I have found Airbnb a lot more appealing for my style of travel at the moment. I do switch between hotels and Airbnb though. Don’t feel you have to stay near San Marco or Rialto Bridge to feel the essence of Venice.
Venice is not so big that you have to stay so close to the hot spots. Our booking was for a place hidden deep in the alleys of Venice, it seemed that way when we walked to try and find it but after we found it and saw the view from one of our windows(image below with rooftops and the Campanile in the background) we realised just how close we still were to the sights. We were also a short walk to Libra Alta – the famous bookshop. Rialto Bridge was also only about 30 minutes walk.
The point is, don’t feel you have to blow hundreds of Euros on an expensive hotel bill just so you can stay on the edge of the Grand Canal. Especially if you are going to spend most of your stay exploring. For Venice Italy accommodation budget options and to compare hotel prices in Venice click here. You can also use Airbnb, whether rental the whole apartment or renting a room. You can save £30 via this Airbnb link when you sign up. If you are still hungry for more tips on this beautiful city then check out Nicola’s comprehensive guide to Venice.
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