Ah, Venice! The romance, the mystery, the sexy allure, Venice has it all. You have to be careful though, or all of that mysterious romance will break the bank!
Venice is one of those cities that you will fall completely in love with, hence the reason that we have several of our Venice experiences on our couples bucket list. It’s can be hard to visit Italy on a budget, but don’t worry, we’re here to help! That’s why we compiled a list of 50 things to do in Venice on a budget!
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Where to Stay in Venice on a Budget
Choosing to stay with a local is the best way to go and Airbnb is a great way to do just that. Choosing to book with Airbnb allows you use the choice of booking a room, or an entire home. Having access to a kitchen can help save on food expenses, not to mention that you are getting a true “local experience”.
Of course, hostels are always another cheap option and honestly, the best hostels in Venice are surprisingly cheap!
Things to do in Venice on a Budget
- Get lost– Seriously, just wander the streets of Venice and get lost. Everywhere you look there are picturesque moments and areas just to chill, shop or try some great Italian drinks and Italian cocktails.
2. St. Mark’s Basilica- It’s free to go into the church itself. You will pay a small fee if you want to see the museums though.
3. St. Mark’s Square-The square outside of St. Mark’s Basilica is packed with pigeons and people. While this is a great place to people watch, beware of sitting at the tables in the square, they definitely aren’t cheap!
4. St. Mark’s Campanile- For 8 euros, you can go to the top of the campanile and have gorgeous views of the city.
5. Rialto Bridge- Meander across this beautiful bridge stopping along the way for great views of The Grand Canal.
6. Rialto Market- Visit this outdoor market that has been one of the city’s staples since the 11th century. Get yourself some amazingly fresh picnic supplies while watching the locals shop and exchange stories.
7. San Giorgio Maggiore- The church is free, but I recommend paying the small fee to go to the top of the church for a beautiful view of the city.
8. Campo Santa Marherita- Home to a fish market in the morning, this piazza is usually much less crowded than St. Mark’s Square, but still, a great place to people watch.
9. San Zaccharia- Visit this church that started in the 9th century and today houses beautiful artwork.
10. Vaporetto Tour- Taking a Vaporetto, a water taxi, is a great way to orient yourself with Venice, but at 7 euros per trip, you are much better off to buy a day or multi-day pass and then treat the Vaporetto as a “hop on, hop off”. The Vaporetto #1 and #2 are a great tour of the city.
11. Take a traghetto- For a couple of euros, you can board a gondola with the locals to cross The Grand Canal.
12. Lido- Spend a day on the beach in Venice. Your Vaporetto pass will get you there for free.
13. San Vidal- It’s free to visit this church during the day. While you are there, be sure to check out the gorgeous painting above the altar.
14. I Gesuiti- A grand baroque church that doesn’t charge admission is waiting for you. Dating back to 1715, I Gesuiti is home to an impressive collection of paintings and sculptures.
15. Tour Burano– Use your Vaporetto pass for transportation to the colorful island of Burano. Spend the day looking at the colorful houses, tasting the local shortbread cookies, and admiring the lace.
16. Burano’s Lace Museum- plan your visit on the first Sunday of the month, and you can visit Burano’s lace museum for free.
17. Tour Murano- Like Burano, your vaporetto pass will allow you to travel to Murano where you can see amazing glass blowing demonstrations and visit glass art studios.
18. Murano’s Glass Museum- The glass museum is also free the first Sunday of every month.
19. Visit the Island of Torcello- Torcello was once a powerhouse of influence among the Venetian islands. Today, Torcello is home to a couple of 11th-century churches and a few dozen people.
20. Go to San Michele- San Michele is a peaceful escape, but rightfully so, since it’s the cemetery island. The huge cypress trees and elegant chapels make it worth a visit.
21. Il Redentore- Il Redentore is a beautiful church that was built by Venetians who survived the plague.
22. Santa Maria del Miracoli- A couple of euros gets you access to this 15th-century church that has been lovingly restored.
23. Santi Giovanni e Paolo- Venice’s second largest church that contains the tombs of many doges as well as some impressive artwork
24. Photo safari or photo scavenger hunt- Everywhere is Venice seems photo worthy to me. Pick a theme and go around taking pictures based on your theme, or have a contest between you and your travel companion to see who can capture photos of all the items on your list first.
25. Find The Bridge of Sighs- Probably one of the most photographed spots in Venice, you have to take a selfie here.
26. Museo della Musica- Free music museum that focuses on the music and instrument makers of Venice.
27. Shop for Carnival attire- Whether it’s Carnival season or not, you can find handmade masks and amazing costumes year-round in Venice. It doesn’t cost a thing to window shop! We even spent time with a true Venetian mask maker during our 3 days in Venice.
28. Visit Venchi Chocolate Shop- Since 1878, this chocolate shop has been in existence. Come here to taste some wonderful chocolates and gelatos.
29. Eat Gelato!- Gelato is one of my favorite things about Italy, well and wine of course. We enjoyed Suso Gelatoteca, where they create authentic Italian gelato with only natural ingredients. My favorites were pineapple and peach. YUM!
30. Grab a spritz or wine- Treat yourself to a delicious local drink, a spritz. The spritz is made with prosecco, Aperol, and soda. I thought they were delicious, but if it’s not your thing, grab a glass of wine instead. We found that often, the wine was cheaper than the water, so might as well get the wine.
31. Enjoy cicchetti- Cicchetti are small snacks (usually bite sized) that are served all over Venice in the local bars. It’s fun to grab a few and join the locals.
32. St. Mary of the Friars Church- Awe at the beautiful gothic architecture of this historic church.
33. Pasticceria Tonolo- Grab a traditional meringue or any of the other wonderful treats at this historic pastry shop dating back to 1886.
34. Ca’ d’Oro- Ca’ d’Oro, also called “the golden house”, on the Grand Canal, can be visited for 1 euro. You can not only tour the house, which is currently a museum, but you can also access their balconies and enjoy amazing views of the Grand Canal.
35. Pala d’Oro- Located in St. Mark’s Basilica,you can pay 2 euros to see the bejeweled casket of St. Mark.
36. Visit Commercial Art Galleries- Commercial art galleries are free to visit and are a great way to amazing works of art.
37. Palazzo Franchetti- Often hosts free art exhibitions
38. Palazzo Grimani- This historic 16th-century home is now owned by the state and turned into a museum. You can visit for free the first Sunday of every month.
39. Visit the World’s First Jewish Ghetto– Located in the Cannaregio region of Venice, the Jewish ghetto area houses synagogues and kosher food stores.
40. Take a walking tour- Venice Free Walking Tour are a great orientation to the city.
41. Libreria Acqua Alta- This unique library features books that have been turned into furniture. You will also find the books set on special shelves including gondolas, boats, and canoes.
42. Casino Venier- Casino Venier is an amazing piece of Venetian history dating back to the days of Casanova. Casino Venier dates back to 1750, and still today details true Venetian opulence.
43. Scala Contarini- Not far from the Rialto, but well hidden among the Venetian streets, the Snail Staircase as the locals call it, was added to the attached palace back in 1499.
44. Santa Maria della Salute- This church was built by plague survivors to thank the Virgin Mary for saving them.
45. Orsoni Color Library- The only working glass furnace still in existence in Venice. If you want to visit, be sure to call in advance to make a reservation.
46. Giardini Pubblici- Located on the east side of the island, this public park is a nice green space to visit while on the island.
47. Tour the Fenice Opera House- The tour of the opera house will cost you 10 euros, but it’s definitely cheaper than a ticket to an opera performance. On the tour, you’re invited to take your time to soak up this gorgeous gem.
48. Have Coffee in Correr Cafe- Arrive early to the Correr Museum, and head into the cafe. Grab a cappuccino and a biscotti and head for one of the window seats for great views of St. Mark’s Square. It’s definitely cheaper than the 16 euros you would pay to sit and have a cup of coffee in the restaurants located on the square.
49. Spend an evening in a campo with the locals- Find a campo, grab a glass of wine, and watch the locals gather to socialize.
50. Visit Doge’s Palace- This is the only item on our list more than 10 euros, but at 19 euros, it is so worth it. Doge’s Palace is a piece of Venetian history that can’t be missed.
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About the Author
Michelle Snell is a travel writer, history buff, wine lover, and enthusiast of different cultures. While she is a professional educator by day, her passion for travel has her jet-setting all over the world during her free time.
Michelle enjoys bringing places to life through her informative writing style on her blog, That Texas Couple. Her practical tips and suggestions help make travel dreams a reality while immersing her readers in the history, culture, and food of a region. She is happiest sipping wine in Italy or chilling on a beach with her husband, Marty.