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Venice On A Budget

You cannot deny Venice is one of those absolute bucket list destinations. People flock to Venice in their droves to explore the canals and hop on a gondola. I mean, can you blame them for wanting to gorge on Italian food and visit the world-famous sites? But Venice can be an expensive destination. And we don’t all have buckets of money to chuck at each getaway, which is why I’ve compiled some tips for visiting Venice on a budget.

How To Visit Venice on a Budget

As with any getaway there are so many things you can do to be budget savvy. Some of these tips can be applied to any getaway so grab a tea (could I be any more British?!) and get ready to make some notes!

Eating Cheap in Venice

Venice has so much choice when it comes to dining. There are 1315 places to eat in Venice on Trip Advisor so you really are spoilt for choice! There is so much variety and of course you may be wanting to treat yourselves and splash out, especially if you’re visiting Venice for a romantic occasion, but if you’re looking to watch the pennies here are some suggestions!

Dine With the Locals

It’s quite easy to spot the places where the locals eat in Venice. They tend to be the restaurants tucked off the main streets and quite often they’ll have solo diners eating al fresco. Places a little off the beaten track are probably half the price of dining in St Mark’s Square, where of course you’re paying for the destination and the views of the Basilica. The quality of the food where the locals eat is often top notch and you’re likely to be served slightly more traditional cooking than somewhere overrun with tourists, which is catering for the traveller’s palette.

Trattoria da Gigi

Grab Takeaway Food

This was something I regret not trying when I was in Venice (but hey I’ll just have to go back!) Takeaway food looks incredible in Venice. You’ll pass food outlets on most street corners serving pasta in cardboard cartons or the biggest singular slices of pizza you’ve ever seen. This is a cheap alternative to dining in and of course you don’t get stung with the sitting down charge. Plus it’s quick – more time for sightseeing and exploring!

Cook at Home

Obviously cooking at home in Venice is only an option if your accommodation has some facilities. That’s why I’m such a big fan of Airbnb. There are Co-ops dotted all over Venice and the cost of food is about the same as here in the UK. If you’re in Venice for a few nights then you might not want to eat out every night, you might be craving the simplicity of your own cooking – and it’s good for the wallet too!

Try a Cicchetti Bar

Cicchetti is the Venetian equivalent of the Spanish’s tapas, usually served with wine. These small plates or ‘finger food’ are cheap and delicious. Each dish usually costs between €1 and €3 so great for eating and drinking in Venice on a budget. Though I guess that slightly depends on how many you order!

Things to do in Venice: Eating out

Free Activities

As with any tourist destination there are entry fees for all the major attractions and some of the not-so-spectacular attractions too! The one that seems to get the biggest backlash is the price of the Gondola rides. Gondolas are priced per boat and yes, €80 is a lot but if you’re not a group of six there’s nothing to stop you splitting that with some friendly strangers to make up the numbers and save yourself some money. Gondola rides are an experience but you can also discover the canals on foot. Aand arguably see a heck of a lot more!

Explore the Canals

The best way to see Venice is simply to start walking and get lost roaming the endless streets. You’ll stumble upon places the average tourist doesn’t see, cute backstreets and quirky stone steps. And if you’re looking to see Venice on a budget then what’s cheaper than walking!

Free Rooftop Experiences

Many great views of Venice will cost you a pretty penny. St Mark’s Campanile and San Giorgio Maggiore Campanile are great but there are some rooftops you can access for free. The best one is the Fondaco Dei Tedeschi. (I talk about this in more detail in my post ‘Hidden Gems in Venice’.) This is effectively the rooftop of a department store but it’ll give you a stunning view of Venice, particularly if you’re lucky enough to manage to book a sunset slot!

The second isn’t exactly free but another spectacular view is from the Skyline Rooftop Bar on the eighth floor of the hotel Hilton Molino Stucky. Non residents are welcome but make sure to check their opening hours as they vary depending on the season.

April – October: 12pm-1am
November -March: 4pm-12am

Hidden Gems in Venice: fondaco dei tedeschi at sunset

Cheap Transportation

Once you land at Venice airport most people head for the docks and get on a water bus. However, there is a bridge into Venice which means you can get a regular bus. The one to look out for is the ATVO express bus which will take you direct to the city centre. Of course the road bus will only get you so far as there’s no motorised traffic on Venice. You will have to walk the remainder of the journey to your accommodation so check where you’re staying! It can be difficult to get a scale of the size of Venice before you arrive so check out your route on Google Maps for an estimated travel time walking. You don’t want to find yourself walking for an hour up and down steps and over bridges with a wheelie suitcase!

Venice on the Cheap

It’s possible to do any getaway on a budget, even the great ‘Floating City’. Be savvy with your budget and save some cash for the absolute must-see attractions.

Have you got any tips for exploring Venice on a budget? Let me know!

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Venice on a Budget