Getting lost in Venice: tips for budget travellers

I just got back from my trip to Italy last Saturday, and it was just what I needed! With the sun on my skin and surrounded by the gorgeous Italian culture, I could recharge my batteries for the final weeks of the academic year. It’s been a couple of years since I traveled to Italy, back in 2012 to Umbria and Rome, but I still had some good memories about it and was longing to experience the country once again. Venice wasn’t quite the same as the other places I’ve already been to in Italy. I was afraid it might be overrated or too busy. It sure was busy in some places, but you have to know where to go. Venice can be perfect for any budget traveler, getting lost along the many canals is just a perfect way to get around. Here are some tips on how you can experience Venice without spending your money on overpriced hotels or pasta.

•••Take a free walking tour•••

In Venice you can choose between a range of free walking tours. And yes, they are FREE, there’s no catch. You get guided around by locals who know their history, and let you see things in a different perspective. At the end of the tour you can decide to give some money, which they totally deserve. How much you give, or even if you give anything at all is up to you.  So far my experience with these kind of tours is more than great. The guides know how to capture your attention and make time go by so easily. You know what you see, and you pay attention to the smaller things as well. In Venice, I did two free tours, both from Venice Free Tours. One about the history of Venice, and one on its construction, both showing different areas and landmarks in the city.

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an iconic view from the Accademia bridge

•••Don’t spend too much money on food •••

Go where the locals go. And where is that? Definitely not on Piazza San Marco, unless you like to pay about 10 euros for your coffee. You need to get away from the crowd to get value for your money. Non-touristic restaurants are often better in quality, and cost way less. My guide told me you should have a look at the price of Prosecco or Spritz, locals don’t pay more than 2,5 euros. Dorsoduro, or the student neighborhood is a great place for a bite/drink. In Campo Santa Margherita you can find many cosy places that are budget friendly. Another option is to move away from the center and go to the mainland. In Marghera you can escape the crowd and enjoy a good pizza or pasta.

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the only food shop  that still sells its veggies on water

•••Spend your nights in Marghera•••

Hotels are quite expensive in Venice, definitely during high-season. That’s why Marghera could be a good alternative. I rented an Airbnb apartment here, which was wonderful and had everything it needed. It was only 50 euros a night for two, which isn’t bad eh. To go from the mainland to Venice, you have different options. Venice Mestre trainstation rides you to Venice Saint Lucia in only 10 minutes, one-way ticket is 1,25 euros. You can also take the bus or tram (20-30 min) , for 1,50 single ride. Boats are also an option, but then it’s best to buy a multiple day pass. A single ride will cost you about 7,5 euros.

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the bridge of sighs

 

•••Just get lost•••

Venice isn’t the most logical city when it comes to navigating yourself. It’s kinda logical considering it wasn’t intended to walk around in in the first place. But getting lost in this city is actually a great thing, you will stumble upon some pretty places you wouldn’t have considered in the first place. Get away from the tourist masses and just find yourself a silent spot to really enjoy the city. An even better way to explore the city is by boat. However this can be quite expensive. A gondola ride during the day costs you about 80 euros. Be aware that you pay for the tour, not per person. A gondola can take about 5-6 persons, so get social and you can catch a ride for a decent price! Another option is to take the public transport boats (7,5 single or with day pass). You can also get your selfie in the gondola for only 2 euros. Since bridges are rare for the Grand Canal, you can cross it for 2 euros by gondola. You will only be on there for less than a minute though.

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65 thoughts on “Getting lost in Venice: tips for budget travellers

  1. I’ll be going to Italy (Rome, mostly) on holiday in about 10 days, and I’m super excited about it! I’ve also been planning to start a travel section of my blog, which I want to ideally kick off with that, so I’m looking for ideas on how to go about that a lot, and this looks very helpful! I’ve only skimmed through so far, but shall come back and read it soon for more ideas on what kind of stuff is good to write. Do you write a lot of travel pieces? And if so, do you have any advice for me?

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Oh nice! Enjoy, Rome is great! (btw if you visit the colosseum and their is a long waiting line, just go across the street to forum romanum, a ticket there allows you to go to the colosseum as well) I write travel pieces mostly, my advice would be to write whatever you like, share your view on things!

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  2. I fell in love with Venice when we went back in 2014. So badly want to go again and want to see other parts of Italy as well! Enjoyed the pictures, and your post, brought back memories.

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  3. I haven’t been to Venice (yet) but it’s on the list! It just looks so magical. Did it smell weird when you were there? Sometimes people tell me it smells weird because of all the water…. I’d love to go for Carnivale!

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  4. Oh yes we would love to return to Venice too.
    Yeah indeed it is just good enough to wander without an itinerary. Small things discovered along the way matter more!

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  5. One of my all-time favorite cities in the world. Thanks for sharing some budget tips and thanks for swinging by the “Ranch” and for the follow. We ❤︎ visitors, especially those that show off beautiful Venice and steal your heart. 🙂

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  6. I want to get lost just finding beautiful places all over the words, u will sure use this as a guy when I get a chance to go to vencie, it’s definitely on the bucket list #thecityoflove

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  7. I’ve recently been looking for my next place of travel for next next year (I’m going to South Africa in October so I think I’m fully booked this year haha) and Venice was a high contender. This is a fantastic post! I’ve struggled with accommodation expenses before and AirBnb has really helped but i wouldn’t have thought about staying in Marghera, so i’ll keep that in mind!
    P.s I just found you blog and i love it! x

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