Venice is renowned for its beautiful canals and extravagant sights, but it’s also widely known for its steep prices! This comes as no surprise as it’s one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world. Contrary to popular belief though, there’s actually a ton of things to do in Venice on a budget! Some come at a small fee, while others are completely free! Just follow this guide and you’ll leave Venezia within your budget, without having to sacrifice an action-packed visit. As long as you have about €30 of spending money to spare, you can complete everything on this list! ?
Skip the pricey gondola rides, and cruise the canals on the Vaporetto! (€7.50)
LOOK AWAY from the gondolas!!! I know they’re pretty and probably at the top of many people’s Venice bucket lists, but they’re crazy expensive (anywhere from €80 to €200!?), and you can cruise the canals on the local water taxi for only €7.50! It may not be as romantic, but it’s still a beautiful way to see the city.
Another reputation of Venice is that it has some of the worst food in all of Italy, thanks to its high volume of tourists. Don’t be fooled by high-priced italian menus here- quantity does not equal quality and you’ll end up paying a fortune for overcooked pasta and cold pizza (I have way too many memories of these meals in Venice). The one gem I found was Dal Moro’s takeaway pasta. For under €10, you get freshly-cooked, homemade pasta that’s some of the best in Venice!! After you get your to-go order out of the window, head to one of the surrounding canals to enjoy!!
Another rule of thumb when trying to find budget meals in Venice- the farther away from St. Mark’s Square (or any other popular attraction), the more affordable it will be!
Get lost and explore!
Luckily, just walking around the city and seeing the sights is the best thing to do in Venice and it’s completely free. It’s better to go into your explorations totally unplanned. The entire city is walkable in just one day so ditch your map, and get lost in the weaving alleys and canals of the city! This is bound to be your most unforgettable memory of Venice.
If you really want to experience Venice at its best, wake up early and explore before the crowds, cruise ships, and tour busses get there. At 7AM the city is so peaceful and like nothing you’ll ever see during its peak hours.
Day trip to the neighboring islands (€10-€20)
Day trips from Venice are the city’s best kept secret. Understandingly so, most people stay in Venice for the duration of their visit, but there’s actually SO much more to see just a short boat ride away! There’s the quaint glass-blowing village of Murano (€10), the little beach-town island Lido (€13), and the colorful fisherman’s village Burano (€10). If you want to tackle all 3 in one day, you can buy a €20 all-day pass!
Check out the numerous free sights & attractions Venice has to offer!
Yes, there are actually MANY free things to do and see in Venice! From churches and museums to historic sights, you’re bound to find something that suits your interests. Believe it or not, the most popular attraction in Venice, St. Mark’s Basillica is actually free entry! You may have to wait in the long line, but the view inside is worth it if you have the time.
Here’s some other free sights worth seeing: Santa Maria della Salute Church on the Grand Canal, Orsoni Color Library, Casino Venier, Scala Contarini del Bovolo (famous “snail staircase”), and more!
Do you have any other budget activities to add to the list? Let me know in the comments below!