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Visiting Venice on a budget

Venice is a very expensive city for tourists. Find out how you can visit this beautiful city on a budget.

venice on a budget

Few cities in the world can boast the history of Venice. It has been a commercial power in Europe and most of the Western world for centuries. Today, things are quite different, but Venice is still an amazing place to visit.

There is one thing where Venice excels even today: the prices. Venice is often considered one of the most expensive tourist cities in the world. I’m pretty sure you heard stories of people who, for some reason, decided to drink a coffee in Saint Mark’s Square and ended up paying a ridiculous amount of money.

But even if you avoid the most expensive places, it is quite obvious that visiting Venice on a budget can be difficult, although not impossible. In this article, I’ll give you some suggestions for saving money on your 2 to 4-day trip to Venice.

Visiting Venice on a budget


One of the most expensive things in Venice is the hotels. So if you want to save money, it’s best to stay outside the city. I stayed in Marghera, a small village near Venice, and I spent half of what I would have spent in Venice. Another option would be staying in Mestre. You can find some great deals on or

When is the best season to visit Venice?

saint mark square in venice in italy

Avoid the high season like August, carnival, or any national holiday if possible. It would also be a good idea to avoid the weekends: you’ll find fewer people and generally, the hotels are cheaper.


Once you have found cheap accommodation in Venice, you’ll have to find a way to get there since all the cheaper options are outside the city. If you rent a car, you can park it in Piazzale Roma (in Venice), but it’s a bit expensive (at least 25€).

The best option would be to leave the car in Mestre at the Gregory parking, just a few meters from the train station. You’ll only spend 12€ for 24 hours (15€ on weekends and holidays). To get to Venice from the parking lot, you can either take a bus or a train.

In any case, it will take you to Venice for a couple of Euros. For more info about transportation in Venice, check the ACTV website.

How to get around Venice on a budget

If your priority is visiting Venice on a budget, you’ll have only one option to get around the town: walking.

Bicycles are not allowed in Venice; as far as I know, this is the only city in the world prohibiting them. But it makes sense: the roads are small and packed with people. Plus there are thousands of steps and small bridges so getting around by bike would be a nightmare for you and all the other people you’ll meet.

Here’s a list of the free walking tours in Italy.

burano venice

Obviously, there aren’t buses either. If you want to get around quickly and visit some minor islands like Burano or Murano, you must take a Vaporetto. You can buy two kinds of tickets: the first is valid for a certain amount of time (60 mins for 7€), and the other is valid for 24 hours.

The 24-hour Vaporetto ticket is quite expensive (20€), but it’s the best option since it will allow you to get around Venice, and you can also use it to get on the bus to get back to Mestre. It will also allow you to see Venice from the Grand Canal, a great experience.

grand canal venice

A Gondola ride

If you want to get on a Gondola, be ready to spend quite a lot of money. You can pay up to 80€ for 40 minutes (100€ after 7:00 pm). One option to help you save some money would be to share the boat with other people (for a maximum of 6 people). However, please avoid the gondoliers that sing “O sole Mio…” which has nothing to do with Venice.

Where to find budget restaurants in Venice

Bring some food with you if you want to save as much as possible. If you want to try local food, avoid the most tourist places. Just walk around until you find a restaurant with decent prices. Another option would be to check for any good deals on Groupon. But please read what’s included and what’s not to avoid bad surprises.

It is possible to save money even when you eat out, but you’ll have to search for good places. I had breakfast (coffee, juice, and two croissants) for just 6€… near Saint Mark Square.

As you can see, you can visit Venice on a budget. The important thing is to plan ahead and be willing to sacrifice some comfort.

venice gondolas in italy

Here are more pictures of Venice, and here are more pictures of Italy. Here are my tips for visiting Rome on a budget, and here is a post about some of the things to see in Verona in 2 days.

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