How to Get Around Venice on the Cheap
Venice, Italy is well known for its art, its canals and its beauty, but not for its affordability. You can easily spend a small fortune in Italy's romantic city, but you do not have to. You can see Venice cheaply with enough planning and by seeing the city the way locals do. Getting around Venice can be cheap too, especially since it is impossible to spend money on rental cars, taxis or bus service. Surrounded by water, you can only get around Venice on foot or by water. Get around Venice on the cheap by staying in economy hotels, enjoying free and inexpensive sights, eating small, simple meals and taking advantage of water buses and leisurely strolls.
Walk as much as you can.Venice is a walking city, with streets that are built for pedestrians only. All you need is a good map, or a willingness to get lost as you wander.
- Take advantage of a walking tour if you want to see historic sites with the help of a guide. The twisting, narrow streets of Venice might be frustrating and overwhelming if you have never been there before.
Take advantage of water buses.The vaporetto is the ferry that takes residents and visitors from bus stop to bus stop on the water.
- Take a look at the schedules and times, which are posted all over the city. To get from one end of the Grand Canal (the train station) to the other end (San Marco), it will take 20 to 30 minutes. You can get on and off at different stops on the Grand Canal.
- Consider what you get for the ticket price. A single trip costs 7 euros (around .70), but you will see beautiful sights along the canal such as St. Mark's basilica, Gothic palaces and restored Renaissance homes.
Invest in a vaporetto pass if you plan to be in Venice for several days and you want to travel by water bus frequently.You can get reduced prices depending on the number of trips you plan to take.
- Buy passes at the train station, or any ticketing kiosk where you buy a regular one way vaporetto ticket.
Use traghetti to cross the Grand Canal.If you do not want to travel the length of the Grand Canal or search for a bridge, but you do want to get from one side to the other, take a traghetto. It takes about 1 minute and costs about 1 dollar.
Stay in budget accommodations.Most hotels, even economy hotels, have rooms that face a canal of some sort, even if it is not the Grand Canal. The further the hotel is from San Marco, the cheaper the price will likely be.
- Consider staying in a hostel. Venice has several hostels that provide dormitory-style housing for travelers on a budget.
- If you are staying in Venice for a longer period of time, consider looking for accommodation in the outlying suburbs, such as Mestre or Marghera. Rent is usually cheaper there, and you can easily reach Venice by train or by bus (the train ride from "Venezia-Mestre" to Venice proper takes about 10 minutes).
Eat small, simple meals and avoid restaurants that cater to tourists.Unlike other parts of Italy, Venice is not known for its food. Therefore, you should not spend a lot of money on eating while getting around Venice.
- Try cicchetti, which is Italian-style tapas. You can order several small plates as snacks or meals. Include a glass of wine and you will still pay less than you would at a restaurant catering to tourists.
- Look for pizza and paninis. These can often be purchased from a bar or a cafe for less than you would pay in a restaurant.
- When looking for a restaurant or cafè, make sure it's not too close to the main tourist attractions. Food and drink prices are usually much higher around St Mark's Square and along the Strada Nova, that is, the main tourist route that connects the strain station to St Mark's Square.
- Refill your water bottle at any of the 122 public fountains scattered throughout the city. The water from these fountains is safe to drink and completely free.
Take advantage of free or inexpensive sights.For example, St. Mark's basilica is free to enter and you can also enjoy the energy of the piazza or take a stroll for no money.
- Purchase a Venice museum pass. For 18 euros (about ), you can visit 9 museums in Venice, including the Doge's Palace and the Glass Museum on the island of Murano.
QuestionWhat would be the best way to get a 90-year-old woman with poor mobility from the center of Venice to Saint Mark's square, we have a wedding on the Isole di Rose in September?Top AnswererUse public transport and provide a wheelchair.Thanks!
- Read travel review sites, blogs and books. People who travel to Venice are always posting information on their trip on sites such as TripAdvisor. You can also check out travel guides from Frommer's, Lonely Planet and Rick Steves for some budget-friendly travel tips.
- Avoid water taxis and gondolas. While convenient, these are expensive ways to get around Venice. The gondola is especially pricey, costing almost 0 for a trip down the canal.
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