Venice, Italy on a Budget: 7 Money-Saving Tips
Venice is considered to be one of the most romantic and expensive cities in Europe. The islands are almost flooded with tourists nearly all year round - so you can bet that the food, the accommodations, and the tours will be higher than most places in Italy. With the new tax on visitors, it’s getting more difficult to lower travel expenses (See my reaction below when I first learned about this). But don't fret! There are ways to budget your finances.
Here are some money-saving tips when visiting Venice, Italy.
1. Stay on the mainland or a hostel
Booking a place outside of the city is one way you can avoid overspending - especially if you’re only planning to explore Venice for a day. One of the closest towns, Mestre, offers reasonably priced hotels and B&Bs. It’s also quite easy to reach the City of Water from Mestre. The bus ride from our Airbnb was only an 11-minute ride, and it only cost a few euros.
If you're dying to stay on the islands and want to soak up every moment, you should consider staying at a hostel in Venice. You can pay as low as $34 per day, and the rooms are not all that bad. See for yourself and visit HostelWorld.com.
Quick tip: Venice now requires every visitor to pay an admission fee before setting foot in the city. The price will vary from $2.85 to $11.50 (€2.50 to €10) per person, with exemptions for students, business travelers, and overnight guests.
2. B.Y.O.W. - Bring your own wine
When in Italy, one must always wine and dine - but a glass of Italy's finest wines can cost $17 or more. I'd suggest purchasing a bottle - or two - from a local market and have a little picnic at one of the squares. A small bottle of wine is relatively cheap in Italy and will cost roughly around $7-$17.
Also, avoid high-traffic areas like St. Mark’s Square. Eating at one of the restaurants in this plaza can lighten your wallet faster than you can finish your meal.
Quick tip: Restaurants in this area usually have a bar of some sort, where you can purchase wines and cocktails to go for half the price. If you want to sit at one of the tables on St. Mark’s Square, prepare to pay double.
2. Eat before you explore
Wandering through the narrow streets of Venice can increase your appetite. As I mentioned before, the prices on the islands are hiked up due to high demands. So, be sure to pack some snacks or eat before you leave your hotel or hostel. You'll be surprised to know how easy it is to spend money on cannolis and gelatos in the summer!
Quick tip: Do treat yourself with a nice Italian meal (or two) and splurge a little on your first or last day. After all, you're on vacation!
3. Choose your tours wisely
There are a plethora of things to see and do in Venice, but most places will have an entrance fee. Be sure to plan ahead, compare prices, and look for free walking tours.
Here's a list of some of the most popular tours you can take:
Saint Mark's Basilica: FREE - $28 (Guided)
Saint Mark’s Square Museums (Doge’s Palace, Museo Correr, Museo Archeologico Nazionale, and Monumental Rooms of the Biblioteca Nazionale Marciana): $20 - $34
The Grand Canal: FREE (Taxi boats and gondolas cost extra)
Basilica dei Frari: $4
Peggy Guggenheim: $17
Venice Natural History Museum: $6 (Children) - $9 (Adult)
Basilica di Santa Maria Della Salute (Church of Santa Maria): FREE
4. Walk when you can
Strolling through the narrow streets is not only best way to experience Venice, but it’s also a great way to stay on your budget. The city has countless alleyways that will take you to beautiful open squares.
When you get tired of exploring on foot, you can always take the ACTV Vaporetto or water buses. ACTV offers the following unlimited travel cards for visitors:
5. Ride the gondola during the day
Riding a gondola is probably the most expensive activity my boyfriend and I did. It costs $90 for two people during the day and $113 at night. If you're on a tight budget, it's best to hop on a gondola while the sun is still out. You can find gondolas pretty much anywhere on the islands. The most famous sights to ride one are near the Bridge of Sigh and the Rialto Bridge.
6. Visit during the off-season
Traveling to Venice during the off-season is another way to save some extra euros. The hotels and B&Bs’ rates tend to drop in January and April or between September and December. There are also fewer crowds and businesses won't be as busy. Some people prefer visiting during the winter, so they can savor the city more and experience this incredible place as the locals do!
Quick tip: The weather will be chilly between December and March. There's also a higher chance of rain and floods. Bring some rain boots just in case.
I hope you found these budget travel tips useful. Every person in the world should be able to enjoy Venice's stunning architecture, rich history, and romantic atmosphere without breaking the bank.
If you need more reasons to visit magnificent Italian city, check out these breathtaking images that will trigger you to book a plane ticket right now.
A travel & lifestyle blog about working, hiking and traveling.
Hey there! My name is Margareth. I'm a curious individual, with a great desire to explore eclectic cities, gaze at the great wonders of the world, and more importantly - inspire others to live, love and travel.
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