I spent recently four wonderful days in sunny Venice. This is a step-by-step guide to budget Venice.
For people landing at Treviso airport, my recommendation is to take public transportATVO. It costs just 7 euro and offers perfect connection to departing and arriving flights.
When traveling in Venice, I recommend the 24 hours or other pass for Valporetto – the public water transport. It will allow you unlimited travel, so you can see all the islands. Of course, traveling by foot is possible – just keep a map at all times. Venice is practically a maze with only the smartest mice making it to their destination.
The best choice has to be the old town. That way you will not need to take a boat every morning and to hurry to go home at the evening. There are less hotels in comparison to the other islands and the main land. Still it’s worth it to find your place on the main island. The hotels are expensive and most of them do not offer expected service and accommodation facilities. My recommendation is to search for apartment or studio for hire there. I found good offers on the Trivago page.
Once you have booked your stay in Venice, you have to check its location. If you are sure that the boat will stop in front of your hotel / apartment, you do not have to worry about the bags. If this is not the exact case, take a backpack instead. Rolling a trolley bag through the bridges with steep stone-cut steps on the both sides is annoying.
Buy a small travel guide, otherwise, you will be lost. It is a tough job to visit all places of interest. There are the must-see places where I recommend taking the guided or audio tour (whenever possible). It is almost impossible to walk and read from a big paper guide. If the churches are your passion – buy a chorus pass – 10 euro for 16 churches is a good deal.
Internet and maps
You will see a lot of tourist puzzling on the maps. If you have an iPod/iPhone, you can use it instead. We used Venice Connect services. Of course, it is payed. You can lose the connection through the many narrow streets, but you get coverage on every bridge.
We have rented a studio without breakfast and enjoyed coffee with croisants and sandwiches every morning. There are a lot of small shops offering snacks and beverges. If you prefer to sit down, visit one of the famous cafes. There are all kinds of cafes: from luxury ones to cheap ones. The same is true for restaurants: the cheapest are the many pizza places.
Remember you can always check the prices on the card menu in order to find the place with the right price for you. The beer seemed to be expensive throughout Venice – 6-12 euros for a pint. The good choice is as glass of Sprit (low-alcoholic cocktail) for about 4 euro. Bread is served as though it is a compliment but you will find it in the bill. Most of the restaurants worked with 8% service charge and are accepting the most popular credit cards, i.e. avoid Diner’s Club and AmEx.
If you are low-budget traveler, enjoy the breakfast in a cafe in front of one of less popular churches. For lunch, take a sandwich for to go, buy drinks from a shop, take a cake for to go. For the dinner – choose a small restaurant with pizza and spaghetti and a glass of Sprit.
Keep in mind that the restaurants close at 10 p.m. The bars are opened till 11p.m. After midnight, Venice looks like a ghost town.
You can find in most of the shops small magnets and other souvenirs. Take a tour and check the prices of Venice masks and Morano glass, do not rush to buy – the prices vary dramatically.
Do not forget fo buy different kind of spaghetti and inform in the shop for the best sause for every one of them. Avoid buying spaghetti from shopping streets and markets – there they are offered at a double price. At the end you can pamper yourself with something quite expensive but very delicious – cantoccini.
Have fun and feel the magic of Venice and do not forget to share with me more tips and tricks you found on your journey.