Venice, Italy, another city famous for its romantic atmosphere as well as it’s over the top prices. It may be somewhere you have always wanted to go but can’t afford, or somewhere you have been before and were unable to make the most of it because you weren’t aware of how expensive it actually is and how much money you would actually need. That was me. Aware it would be an expensive European city to visit but not that expensive! But I managed to make the most of Venice and actually found that the fact I was on a budget made my trip even better in some cases. Here’s how…
Firstly I took to Venice about 200 Euros and just about managed on that. However if you’re doing Venice on a budget, you should bare in mind that Gondola rides cost 80 Euro’s for half an hour and 100 Euros for a full hour and cost the same all over the city. I
didn’t get a Gondola because I couldn’t afford one, or rather couldn’t justify spending that much on a boat ride. Instead we got the city sightseeing waterbus which can be located all over the city but we bought out tickets from St Marks Square by the water. I would suggest going here to book/buy tickets. This city sightseeing waterbus took us all around Venice and also to other islands such as Lido Island and Murano Island. It is a hop on hop off system and they arrive at each place every hour. I would strongly suggest getting this bus and visiting Murano Island. It is a beautiful small island with lots of unique shops, cafes and colourful buildings. This only costs 20 Euros each and is a great way of seeing the islands and getting beautiful pictures.
If you would rather see the island on foot or can’t afford this then you can do this too. We did both. On our first day we explored the island on foot and walked around with no clue where we were going. There are so many small beautiful alleyways and streets to walk down you would be lucky not to get lost. We did. But we managed to find our way back easily enough in the end. Venice is very well sign posted. Personally I preferred exploring Venice on foot as I got to see more of it. The island is not as big as you might think and we managed to walk around most of the island in just two or three hours one day.
One way in which being on a budget made Venice nicer for me was eating food from street stalls rather than the expensive cafes. After the first morning when we ate breakfast in a cafe and it came to 20 Euros for a plate of fruit and a glass of orange juice,
we decided to get food from street stalls after that for both breakfast and lunch. We bought some delicious chocolate croissants from a little bakery for just 2 Euros one morning and a very large smoothie for 4 Euros another morning. There are also many many pizza stalls with amazing pizza slices that you can buy from around 2 Euros to 4 Euros which we ate on a lunch time. This all made our trip much cheaper yes, but it also made our experience better. We sat down on steps by the water with our food and watched boats and people pass us by. This felt much more peaceful than sitting in a square buzzing with people worrying about how much it was all going to cost. When it is sunny, like it was when we visited, this was an especially nice, calm and photogenic experience.
In regards to where we stayed, ate and drank I would strongly suggest the budget hotel we stayed in, that is, Hotel Al Vagon in the Cannaregio part of Venice. This hotel was in a great location, by the water, by a square filled with ice cream stalls and by lots of restaurants. However if you’re wanting to go clubbing then I don’t recommend staying here as the clubs are on the other side of the island.
On the first night we visited a bar called ‘Devil’s forest pub’, which was very lively, and filled with tourists. There was also a webcam in there which ended up being lots of fun after getting our friends at home to visit the website and watch us wave at them in pub. However this led to other people in the pub who were not aware of the webcam into thinking we were waving at them, which is a whole other story. Here wine was very cheap at 2.50 Euros which I thoroughly enjoyed, however my friend only discovered after ordering her gin and tonic that spirits were 7-9 Euros on their own. So depending on what you drink this could be a very fun, and cheap night out.
Our favourite place to eat in Venice was a restaurant called Osteria Dei Sapori. Not only was it very cheap, but it had a lovely atmosphere, great wine and great food. Their staff were also great and so was their little dog that came to sit on my knee for a while.
Another restaurant we loved which came highly recommended online was Al Paradiso Perduto. Their food was amazing, and we both had the highly recommended seafood spaghetti. It was amazing. They also have live music on quite often too which is another bonus of this place. However the staff – which I read about online before visiting – were a little moody and rude towards us (tourists) and also ignored us for while. Despite this I would go again because the food was worth dealing with the moody staff.
Best and Worst parts of Venice:
- Even more beautiful that the pictures;
- Doesn’t actually smell bad, like people say;
- Everywhere is walking distance;
- Great food;
- Smells of yummy food everywhere, which makes you very hungry;
- Nicest croissants ever;
- Great nightlife.
- Very expensive;
- Gondola’s cost a lot!;
- Went to a restaurant on the main street (very touristy) and it was very bad;
- You want to jump in the water everywhere you go when its sunny, but nobody else is swimming in it;
- They have seating charges in most restaurants (not a tip).
Is Venice on your bucket list? Do you have any questions about an upcoming visit to Venice? Please comment below.
Also my 6 week trip through India starts Monday, so follow my blog and my social media sites to keep up to date on my trip! Thanks.