Venice on a Budget

It’s true that Venice can be costly. But, you don’t have to spend a fortune to enjoy this magical city. It is easy to fall into tourist traps, especially near the main attractions such as the Grand Canal. Our insider tips will help you plan your trip, save money, and avoid sacrificing great experiences.

1. Avoid peak season. High prices for hotels and restaurants in Venice mean large crowds. You can get a great deal by visiting Venice in September or October. The milder weather and lower prices make it a great time to visit. Carnival, which is held between March and April every year, is a wonderful time to visit but can result in higher hotel prices. Although winter months are much cheaper than summer, there is still the possibility of flooding from acqua alta (high-water) ( ).

2. Stay in a family owned B&B, or rent a temporary apartment through rental sites like a href=”” rel=”noopener noreferrer” target=”_blank”>AirBnb. We recommend 3749 Ponte Chiodo, or renting an apartment via rental sites such as AirBnb. You need help choosing the right neighborhood? Our can help you decide which neighborhood to stay in.

Vaporetto stop (flickr: Jay Galvin)

3. Gondola rides along Venice’s famous canals are an unforgettable experience. Although the experience is unique, it comes at a high price of more than EUR50 per hour. To avoid surprises, it is best to agree on the price prior to the ride. Also, check out our Welcome Venice Tour and Gondola Ride. This local-led walking tour gives you a complete view of Venice and includes a 30 minute gondola ride. It costs EUR69 for an adult.

You can either have it already or you are looking for an economical way to visit Venice by water. The vaporetto (public-water bus) stops at major attractions and offers convenient deals. For 7.50EUR, a one-way ticket is available. However, if you are planning to travel multiple times, we recommend a 24-hour ticket that costs EUR20 or multi-day tickets such as a 3-day ticket for EUR40. Get more information about pricing here.

San Polo is one the most romantic and authentic sestieri of Venice

4. Discover the real Venice…on foot! There are no cars on the island so it is ideal to walk around the city. While you save money on bus and water taxis, you can still enjoy the local culture. Don’t worry about getting lost in Venice. It happens to everyone. Just ask for directions back towards St. Mark’s Square.

5. You might consider purchasing a Venice Card. The Venezia Unica City Pass allows you to use public transport, access to tourist attractions, and participate in cultural events in the city. You can purchase the pass online. For more information, visit the Official Venice Tourist and Travel Information Website.

Cicchetti at a bacaro in Venice

6. Try Ciccheti. For delicious snacks at a low price, visit one of Venice’s hidden wine bars (locally known as a bacaro). There are a variety of fried appetizers, fish and meats available, as well as cheeses. Prices range from EUR1-EUR3. This makes it a true Venetian meal. See more information and a complete list of our top spots

7. Avoid the touristy piazzas for great food. Stay away from the main attractions for authentic cuisine. Near the city’s main attractions, such as the Grand Canal or Rialto Bridge, most restaurants are expensive and offer low-quality food.

Avoid multilingual menus with many pictures. Instead, we recommend going to a trattoria (medium-low priced restaurants that serve local cuisine) and staying clear of any with too many photos. Many restaurants will try to rip tourists off by asking for tips. However, if there is a “coperto”, a cover fee on your bill, it is not necessary to leave extra gratuity.

You can make your main meal at lunch, even if you have a limited budget. There are many great options for mid-day meals (and several courses!) There are many specials in the city. Our favorites spots include Tattoria Ca’ d’Oro alla Vedova and Al Nono Risorto.

You want to see the Murano glassblowers in action? Be careful how you get there.

8. Look for Local Souvenirs

Do you want to bring home unforgettable souvenirs for your loved ones and yourself? For a better deal and guaranteed quality, avoid the big-box shops and stands on the main squares. Instead, look for smaller shops and artisanal shops. It’s possible to get goods made in other countries that are passed off as “Made In Italy”. This is why it’s so important to locate a certified product, such as Murano-made blown glass. Insider tip Avoid free tours to Murano and Burano when visiting Venice. They usually have hidden costs such as increased transportation fees or higher prices.

Do you have any tips for Venice to avoid being overcharged? Please share them in the comments

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