The Floating City
Whether you’re visiting this famously romantic city in the hot and busy summer or the foggy and slightly quieter winter, you’re bound to be one of many tourists! Being such a popular destination has earned the city a reputation of being quite pricey. RentTheSun has created this guide to visiting Venice on a budget to help you get the most out of your trip without breaking the bank!
Things to do
There are several things to do in Venice which are completely free! Surprisingly one of the main attractions of Venice is actually free to enter, the magnificent Basilica di San Marco’s main part (where you can see the mosaics and marble floors) has no admission fee. However there are additional parts of this attraction that have a small cost if you wish to visit them, such as St Mark’s Museum and the Treasury or the Pala d’Oro.
If you think you’d like to visit a few of Venice’s beautiful churches, there is a ‘Chorus pass’ which allows entrance to 18 churches which costs only 12€ and students can buy it for 8€!
It’s easy to forget that Venice has several neighbouring islands, many of which are similar to the main island – but with far fewer tourists. Murano Island is where the famous Murano Glass is made. Whilst Burano Island is famous for its lace and brightly coloured houses that make it a photographer’s paradise. These islands are the perfect place to wander around and admire the less touristy side to Venice without having to spend money on admission fees etc!
Libreria Acqua Alta bookstore, can be found on the edge of a canal and is self proclaimed as ‘the most beautiful bookstore in the world’. With a name literally translating to ‘library of high water’, it’s no surprise that you’ll find the books being contained in bath tubs, boats and gondolas! This is a unique experience and will definitely give you a real taste of Venice!
A great way to learn more about Venice whilst also getting your bearings of the islands is with a free walking tour! The guides will encourage you to tip what you think they deserve at the end of the tour, but this is still a cheap and fun way to explore Venice! Some of the tours will also take you off the beaten track, allowing you to discover things you may not have noticed without a guide.
The best and cheapest way to travel around Venice is, of course, by foot! It is not a large city meaning you could probably visit everything you’d like to without taking any form of transport. That being said many people go to Venice with romantic plans to travel everywhere by Gondola although unfortunately these gondola rides are severely over-priced. It would be a shame not to admire Venice from the water at some point during your trip so why not hop on a ‘vaporetto’, a waterbus that is much cheaper than a gondola ride whilst still letting you enjoy Venice from the water!
Line 2 travels the Grand Canal, making fewer stops than Line 1, so is usually less crowded; it then goes around to Giudecca which gives you a scenic tour for around €6. For an even better deal, buy a travel card which allows you to take unlimited ferry trips to all of the islands (you can buy 1, 2, 3 or 7 day travel cards).
Eating out in Venice is notoriously expensive however there are ways to get around paying more than you need to for food on your trip! Here are some tips on how to eat well without spending too much!
Eat like the locals do and nibble on a delicious Venetian delicacy at a ‘cicchetti bar’ or a bacaro! They can be found all over Venice and they are small bars that serve Venetian style tapas, which can cost as little as €1-€3. ‘Ca’ d’Oro/Alla Vedova‘ is a good place to try cicchetti as it’s a favourite among locals as well as being one of the cheapest cicchetti bars with most things costing only €1. ‘La Cantina‘ on the other hand features more creative dishes, sourcing fresh ingredients such as beef tongue or fresh ricotta.
There is a self service canteen inside the landmark, Palazzo Franchetti, that not many tourists know about! It’s a beautiful place to eat as it is overlooking a lush garden and the building’s ornate chandeliers hang above you. Every lunchtime 20 different freshly-prepared dishes are served on a buffet table, including pasta, rice salad, grilled vegetables, rucola and radicchio, roast beef and chicken. For €15 you can eat all you want so this is definitely a bargain!
With a selection of 46 different delicious pizzas you are sure to find your perfect pizza at ‘Pizzeria All’Anfora’ and with prices starting at 5.50€ for a generously sized pizza it’s also good value! There is even a big garden at the back of the pizzeria for you to enjoy your meal in the sun.
Why not check out our lovely properties in Venice and start planning your trip to the beautiful floating city!