“Venice is expensive, there’s no getting away from that,” says Anne Hanley in The Telegraph. But if you know “where to look and how to book” there are places you can stay and eat “at extremely competitive prices.” TripSavvy offers plenty of good tips on when and how to travel if you’re on a budget, and Venetian Michela Scibilia’s Italian-only guide Low Cost Venice is stuffed with excellent recommendations for budget accommodation, restaurants and experiences.
Ok, so let’s get specific. Here are several tips and tricks for exploiting Venice without needing to call in the pawnbroker:
Stay in a family run B&B or a short-term apartment: “Skip the large hotels and opt for a family owned bed & breakfast for a cozy and budget friendly stay.” (Walks of Italy)
Eat informally: “If you're happy to swap a sit-down meal in a restaurant for a stand-up snack, you can save a fortune – as well as getting a chance to rub shoulders with the locals. A proper Italian breakfast is cheap and fast – coffee and a pastry knocked back standing at the counter of a pasticceria.” (The Guardian)
Save money on admission fees: “Over-65s and under 18s will find state museums are free to enter, while there are reductions for the under-25s. Other museums generally offer some kind of discount to first two categories. Carry your passport as proof of your age. There are a range of tourist discount cards, including the Rolling Venice card which is good value for anyone under 30, and there are various combined tickets for museums and churches.” (Italy Heaven)
Take the 'bus': “To appreciate the impossible dreamlike beauty of Venice, you have to get out on the water. Private water taxis cost over €100 but the more affordable vaporetti (waterbuses) can take you all over the lagoon. Line 2 travels the Grand Canal, making fewer stops than Line 1, so is usually less crowded; it then loops round to Giudecca, giving you a scenic tour for around €6. Even better value is buying a travel card (€25 for three days) which takes you on ferries to all of the islands.” (The Guardian)
Visit in the off season. “Peak season in Venice means large crowds, expensive hotel rooms and restaurants hiking up their prices. For a great deal, plan on visiting Venice during the months of September and October for mild weather and lower prices.” (Walks of Italy)
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