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It’s been three years since I’ve been to Venice and the experience still shines brightly in my heart. Before I went to Venice I had dreams of romantic walks, quaint alleyways filled with coffee shops and authentic Italian restaurants and lots of gelatos. I got everything and more. In a bid to reminisce and encourage me to organize my return soon. I’ve put together a guide on how to visit Venice on a budget with the top things to do, see and eat in the wonderful city on water.
No cars, no roads, just boats, and canals, which adds to the tranquillity and beauty that is the city of Venice. Renowned for its romance and charm, it's a city full of charisma and style that has something to suit everyone.
Honestly, a 3-night trip is good, but you could do it in 2 nights. I stayed one week, but I took my time and I also took a trip to Verona (a must-see destination for romantic lovers) on the train. If you want to really immerse yourself in the Venice charm then just spend a few extra days to wander the back streets and discover more museums you didn’t know existed! Your budget will determine how long you stay in Venice. The "in-city" accommodation is not good for Venice on a budget, but if you stay just outside, you can afford to stay longer.
Thanks to websites like Booking.com and Airbnb, it’s never been easier to find cheaper accommodation in Venice. Of course, the closer you are to Venice and if you stay within the city, then you will be paying more. I stayed a ten-minute bus ride outside of Venice is a charming Airbnb. It’s was well-priced, luxurious (nice than any hotel I could find within my budget) and it included breakfast (and the best coffee ever!). But, it all depends on what you are looking for, you can go for a 1-star budget hotel in the centre of Venice, or a 5-star luxury hotel suited in St Marks Square. If you are going to Venice for a romantic break or a celebration- splash out. I imagine staying within actual Venice will add to its charm and beauty.
There really is SO much to do, and I don’t think you should leave anything out, however, if you are on a time constraint, then this is a list of things that you should make a priority. Also, you'd be surprised that there is lots to do is Venice that won't stretch your budget too far.
This is arguably the most famous bridge in Venice and it will be surrounded by hundreds of tourists taking pictures and shopping at this beautiful spot. There is no shortage of souvenir shops, delicious (slightly overpriced) Italian restaurants, and food markets to find delicious snacks. This is the typical spot to catch a photo, but it’s so worth it. Take my advice and head in the evening when it’s a little quieter. You’ll get to experience the true sense of romance on this bridge.
The million dollar question every tourist asks...are they worth the money? And the answer depends on what you want from your time in Venice. Romantic trip for two with a little extra to spend? Then I would highly recommend a trip, it's a wonderful way to explore Venice, and if you want to save some cash, buddy up with other couples to get a cheaper rate. If you don't want to splash out on the Gondola, never fear, water taxis will still give you a Venice waterway experience, and the great thing about Venice is everything is walking distance, and the narrow streets and hundreds of them, mean you discover something new on every corner which makes it a unique adventure! Check out below the average Gondola Prices!
The city of Venice sets official rates for gondola rides, which started at €80 for 40 minutes.Additional 20-minute increments are €40. After 7 p.m., the base rate climbs to €100, with €50 for an additional 20 minutes. Up to six people can share a gondola.
Please note, these prices could have changed.
San Marco is known for luxury, and luxury is what you receive. This one isn't suitable if you are visiting Venice on a budget.
It may cost you up to 22 Euros for two cappuccinos, but with the impeccable service and live music, not to mention a wonderful atmosphere you can be sure it's worth it that one time! If however, splashing out on coffee isn't your thing, just walk around, take pictures and experience the buzz, then when you are done, visit the Basilica. You don't have to be religious to experience how amazing this building is, the architecture is breath-taking and it's well worth a visit. There is a small entrance fee of 4 euro if you want to take a look inside (it is worth it!)
Located on the Grand Canal, the Museum holds a collection of Europe's most famous and respected modern art. It includes works of Cubism, Futurism, Metaphysical Painting, Surrealism, among many more and I guarantee you will not be disappointed. It is a unique experience, and the outside porch is fantastic for some wonderful photos. There is an entrance fee and last time I checked it was €15 for adults, but if you have a student card, it’s €9. You can use a student card until you are 26 too!
Abstract, unique, and wonderfully bright, these two islands are famous for their glass making and it's easy to see why when you visit the many shops and view the many statues and artifacts that are made out of this wonderful unique glass. You can easily visit these islands via frequent water taxi from Venice; it's approximately 13 euro return, and perfect for a day trip! There are plenty of places to eat on the island, but bring loose change for the toilets- there is a charge to use them (but they are super clean).
Venice is filled with museums worth a view. To narrow your search, these are the ones I suggest.
This is one of the most recognised symbols of Venice and it's located in St Marks Square. It offers absolutely amazing views of Venice and is the perfect spot to grab some shots of the city from above. It costs 8 euro and it's totally worth it. It's a lovely spot to spend a romantic moment with a loved one.
People always assume eating out anywhere in Italy is expensive, but I managed to eat out in Rome on a budget and the same thing can be said for Venice.
£: Any of the Pizza shops located on every corner of Venice. From 2 euro for a massive slice and a can of drink for 1 euro, it's the perfect quick lunch or snack when sightseeing! I would recommend Antico Forno if you're passing by Rialto Bridge. (Fresh, Cheap and the locals love it!) Not into pizza? Paninis, Sandwiches, Wraps, all for 2-5 euro! Who says Venice is expensive?
££: Don’t get sucked in by ‘tourist’ menus. Search the streets. Venice is filled with unique hideaway restaurants that are authentic Italian and will leave you feeling satisfied! Impronta Cafe serves authentic Italian food, and in the afternoon you can get a main dish and glass of wine for 12 euros!
£££: This one is cliche...but the Hard Rock Cafe Venice, does not fail to disappoint. Typical American food, but with some of the best service, and fantastic atmosphere and location (beside Prada, Gucci...ect, so perfect for a spot of food after hitting the designer stores)
££££: If you really want a fine dining experience, then Venice has plenty to offer. Dining al fresco is wonderful in the summer, and the service in Venice is hard to fault. Head on over to San Marco for some amazing food. My suggestion is Quadri, the menu starts at 220 euro, but with its Michelin star rating and its charming atmosphere means it will definitely be worth the money.
Don’t bother with dessert. Venice is packed with delicious gelato shops, so take a stroll and grab some. Venice is just perfect to wander in the evening- it’s safe, tranquil and oozes romance.
If you like to enjoy alcohol, there is no shortage of bars in Venice. Remember it’s also got a university, so if you like to party, you’ll probably find somewhere. Due to its student status, there are discounts on drinks, food, and museums everywhere so if you are under 26 with a student card, it’s worth using it. Also be aware that if you want cheaper wine, go for house wine- it’s Italy, so it’s always going to taste good!
Have you been to Venice? Add your recommendations or insider tips to the comments section below!
Happy traveling x