Yes, that’s right, I mentioned Venice and budget in one sentence. Hard to believe but it is true: you can explore this (way too touristic) city without being broke afterwards! It might not include the fancy hotel right next to Canale Grande and sipping Espressi on St Marks Square, however, you will still experience a lot of this floating city!
1. Don’t sleep on the island!
I know that this is kind of a hard descision to make, but you can save so many bucks by not staying on the island! During my first time in Venice I stayed on the island and got a bunk bed for 35€, this year, when I returned, I stayed on a campground on the main land for 10€! As busses run till midnight it actually doesn’t matter if you stay on the island or not to see the sunset, so staying on the main land is a reasonable way to save some bucks.
This is so easy and will save you loads! Prices for water taxis are crazy and walking around Venice is definitely doable if you’re at least a bit fit and also shows you the best Venice has to offer – cute alleys, bridges and canals.
3. Take food with you
So of course it’s always cheaper to do some grocery shopping instead of dining out and Venice is no exception. However, there are not many supermarkets in the island itself (I found two tiny ones) and you can be sure that if you need a supermarket you won’t find any in the labyrinth of the Venetian alleys. So what worked out best for ma was to take some food from the main land and have a great picknick sitting at one of the canals.
4. Don’t pay for every attraction
Okay, this one depends on you but I’ve been to Venice twice now and never visited any of the basilicas/palaces/other islands whatsoever and I don’t feel like I missed anything. Correct me if I’m wrong (and I’m sure that when I’m not on a strict budget anymore that I’ll pay the fees) but up to now I don’t feel like I missed anything. Everytime I walk around the city I find so many incredible places that this is totally enough for me.
5. Book your gondola ride ahead
I actually never had the desire to go on a gondola ride as it feels too touristy to me, but if you want to do a gondola ride and don’t wanna pay the 100 bucks when booking directly then have a look at the internet – you can book budget gondola rides ahead for half the price on sites like italyonabudgettours.com (I’m sure there are more but this is the site that I found).
6. Don’t pay the extra fee for the airport bus
It still makes me incredibly proud that I only paid 1,50€ for my bus ticket to the airport compared to the 8€ everyone else pays (or the 15€ people pay to get to the airport by boat). The trick is to buy a normal bus ticket and get out the last stop before the airport (Tessera Via Triestina 7/12). Only if the airport is your final destinaion you’ll be charged 8€, otherwise it’s just 1,50€. From this bus stop you only walk about ten more minutes to the airport; just simply follow the road till the roundabout, turn right there and you can already see the airport.
So up to you, is there anything else I can do to save money when I’ll visit Venice for a third time? It’s always good to get some tips for expensive cities!