Average costs in Venice
Stay – If you take some time, hotels or accommodation in Venice can be very affordable. Of course, a lot depends on where you’ll spend the night.
For a youth hostel in the center you pay between €25 and €30 per person. For just a few euros more you already have a small single room. If you don’t mind taking the bus to Venice, you can also stay in the immediate vicinity. There are a few small hotels and campsites that can help you sleep from €15 a night.
Would you like some more luxury? For five stars you pay between €250 and €350 per night, but of course you get a lot in return. One star less can already be booked for €80 per night, but on average a 4-star hotel costs around €150. Three-star hotels in Venice start at €50, and accommodations with two stars sometimes already begin at €30 (the same price as many youth hostels!).
Compare prices and availability in Venice on Agoda and Booking.
Eat – Prices of restaurants differ greatly in Venice. The closer you go to dining at well-known attractions, the more expensive it usually becomes. If you like delicious pasta, but don’t want to spend a fortune there are plenty of take-away options. For a well-filled stomach you pay around €10 at these places. Would you rather sit down in a restaurant? Then you should expect to pay between €10 and €20 for your food, and between €3 and €5 for a soft drink. A beer costs even more! Don’t forget that many restaurants ask for a ‘coperto’. A sort of mandatory tip. Per person that adds another €3 to €6.
Are you looking for nice restaurants in Venice? Then make sure to read my experiences with some (not so expensive) restaurants.
Transport – Venice is quite large, and I therefore recommend using public transportation if you want to see a lot. There’s not a bridge everywhere, so you can’t cross everywhere, and sometimes you have to make a big detour as a result. If you want to use all public transport (the vaporetto boats within Venice and the buses outside of Venice) then you can buy an ACTV card. For one day you pay €20, two days €30, three days €40 and seven days €60. A single ticket is only valid for 75 minutes and costs €7.5… Soit’s better to buy a day ticket right away.
Anyone between 6 and 29 years old can receive a special rate. Instead of buying an ordinary ACTV card, you should ask for a ‘Rolling Venice’ card. This card is valid for three days on all public transport and gives you a lot of discounts in the city. For a Rolling Venice pass you pay €29.
Excursions – There is a lot to see in Venice. Because of the many tourists it can sometimes take very long until you can enter some attractions. Fortunately, you can often purchase tickets in advance. Think of a visit to the Doge’s Palace, but also transport from the airport. For €8 you can arrange a shuttle bus from Marco Polo Airport (or with the water taxi for €32!), or €12 from Treviso. For more tours and excursions, check out the deals of Getyourguide and Viator.
Saving money in Venice
Buy day tickets for public transport – It’s likely that you are coming to Venice for a few days. Instead of buying single tickets for the vaporetto (boat used as public transport), you’d better buy a day ticket, or perhaps even a ticket for a few days. A single-use ticket costs €7.50 and a one-day ticket costs €20. The more days you take, the cheaper the ticket gets.
Different rates for gondolas – If you really can’t resist the gondolas, you should know that you have to pay a lot for a seat in this romantic boat. For 30 to 40 minutes you pay €80 for a gondola ride. A maximum of six people are allowed in the boat. The price remains the same regardless of the number of passengers. Do you want a romantic cruise at sunset? After 7 PM a gondola ride of 40 minutes will cost you one hundred euros. Do you travel alone or with two and don’t want to pay the full price? For € 30 you can get in a boat with a few other tourists. Be sure to read this article to know what you can expect, what you pay and some cheaper alternatives.
Never eat around the tourist attractions – Avoid the area around St. Mark’s Square when you go to a restaurant. The prices of restaurants are soaring here by the minute, it seems, and the food here is often much less tasty than elsewhere in Venice. Sometimes the prices seem okay, but then you suddenly get a ridiculous ‘coperto’ (mandatory tip) added to the bill…
Avoid the busiest seasons – In the summer and in school holidays it gets even busier than usual in Venice. This means that hotels are more often fully booked and also much more expensive. Even restaurants seem to adjust their prices. Venice is also beautiful in the winter months! September and October also have a lot of sunny and warm days.
Drink your coffee while standing – If you just need a little boost, it’s a good idea to order an Italian espresso. Drink it while standing at the bar and you pay much less than when you sit down!
Things to do in Venice
There are so many things to do in Venice. For a complete overview with photos, you should also read this article.
The canals – Venice was built on water. It’s therefore not surprising that there are so many waterways running between the streets. The water ripples softly against the houses and at the busiest junctions you see dozens of boats crossing each other at any time of the day. It’s quite an experience to see these channels with your own eyes. Be sure to stand on the Rialto Bridge to watch the busiest point. Of course you also need to sit in a boat to explore the Venetian lagoon yourself.
Burano – Venice consists of many more islands than just the center! I think Burano is the most beautiful island in the Venetian lagoon. The whole island is filled with brightly colored homes. There are also a lot of canals running through the city here, but this time they’re surrounded by flashy colored houses. Without a doubt, this is one of the most beautiful things to do in Venice!
Murano – If you want to discover a more quiet part of Venice, you should take the vaporetto towards Murano. This island is known for its glassblowers and the beautiful Venetian glass, but also the streets and the center are a feast for the eyes. It’s much quieter here than in Venice itself and at least as beautiful!
The Doge’s Palace – Venice has always been a rich city. That’s made very clear by the Doge’s Palace! This building is already impressive from the outside, but wait until you see the inside as well. Golden ceilings, priceless works of art and a lot of stories of power and intrigue. The queues in front of the Doge’s Palace can sometimes make you wait for hours, so I advise you to purchase your tickets in advance.
T Fondaco dei Tedeschi – Seeing a city from the air is always fun. From the top floor of the T Fondaco dei Tedeschi you get a panoramic view of the mighty Venice. The red roofs are interspersed with blue channels with hundreds of gondolas serenading tourists. The T Fondaco dei Tedeschi is a gigantic shopping center, but don’t be afraid: you don’t have to buy anything to walk until the top floor!
St. Mark’s Square – You can not leave Venice without having visited St. Mark’s Square. This is without a doubt the most important point of Venice. It’s often very busy here. That’s not only because of the people, but because there are always some hundreds of pigeons here as well! Here you can also see many attractions such as the San Marc basilica and the Doge’s palace. From this square you get a nice view over the Basilica of Santa Maria della Salute on the other side of the canal.
See the different bridges – To cross all those canals, there must of course be many bridges. I don’t think there is any bridge that is ugly or just looks bland in Venice! Try to walk on the Rialto Bridge and discover the story behind the Bridge of Sighs. Both are beautiful!
Libreria Acqua Alta – A bookstore may not seem like a great activity to do in Venice, but nothing is less true. This unique book store seems to have exploded! Thousands of books are scattered criss-cross all over the place. In the middle of this all, you’ll see a couple of boats (yes, a gondola as well!). Be sure to go outside as well. There you’ll find a ladder made of books. If you step on this you get a nice view over one of the canals that runs next to the Libreria.
Things to avoid in Venice
Feeding the birds – The pigeons on St. Mark’s Square are an attraction in themselves, but since a few years it’s forbidden to feed the birds. If you are caught, you can even get fines!
Don’t eat or drink on St. Mark’s Square – And this for two reasons. Firs of all: it’s much too expensive and the quality isn’t that great,and secondly: you can get a fine if you walk around with food here. Settle yourself down on one of the benches or on the stairs and eat your snack there quietly to not get in trouble. Or, you can of course go somewhere else to eat! There are many better places to enjoy your meal in Venice.
Be annoyed by other tourists – Venice is one of the busiest places in the world! As a result, there are many tourists at any time of the year. If you don’t like that, I recommend to avoid crowded places such as St. Mark’s Square. Venice is big enough to enjoy quiet places!