Europe has some of the most expensive and cheapest cities in the World, but where does Venice sit on the scale of expense? In excess of 15 million people visit Venice each year, due to it being the main docking spot for cruise ships, to see the many canals and incredible architecture, but only around 55,000 people actually live.
According to the European backpacker index, on Price of Travel, Venice is the second most expensive city in Europe after Zurich, Switzerland. This in part is most likely because of the volume of tourists it captures, and the many shops, restaurants and hotels taking advantage of this. Although it is an expensive city, it is still possible to visit it on a budget and here is how it can be done.
Generally speaking the price of flights are more expensive when you book last minute or really far in advance. According to research by Sky Scanner, the best time to purchase a flight to Venice is 9 weeks prior to the departure date. A return flight from London to Venice (Outbound: Friday evening. Return: Sunday evening) can cost £140 (equivalent 166€), around the 9-week time frame (when this post was published).
Hotels in central Venice are expensive! They range from €140 – €500 for one double room on a Saturday night. Instead stay in a hostel, and share a room with up to 5 other people, just outside of the city centre, they start from as little as €40 per night per person. Venice has affordable public transport so no matter where you are you will not have any difficulty reaching the amazing sites that Venice has to offer.
Many restaurants and bars target tourists and increase the prices dramatically. Instead visit the places where locals eat and drink. A good tip on finding these places is checking the menu. If the menu is only in Italian then it is marketing to locals, as tourist restaurants will have multiple translated menus.
(credit to Numbeo https://www.numbeo.com/cost-of-living/in/Venice?displayCurrency=GBP )
When you think of Venice a gondola ride is probably your first thought. Gondola Rides are not cheap, to hire a “private” ride the cost is €70 and lasts 30 minutes. But this may not be as private as you may have hoped. As you pass under the many bridges you will be stared at and photographed by many other tourists. An alternative option is to take a one hour boat tour along the Grand Canal for around €48. To save even more money get a group of people to ride the gondola with you so that the price is shared out. They can hold up to 6 people, quite comfortably, at any one time, so could be as little as €12.
St. Mark’s Basilica
Entry into the church, which was completed in the 13th Century, is free. Start queueing at least 30 minutes before opening hours to avoid wasting your day in line. After seeing the beautiful mosaics inside, which cover every inch of wall, walk around St Mark’s Square, outside, it’s free and beautiful.
Maybe the most famous of the Venice’s bridges, you can walk across it, have a photoshoot there and enjoy its magnificence at no charge. Whilst there visit the nearby Rialto market also free, if you can restrain from buying anything, which will be hard.
Of course if you are on a tight budget the best thing to do to experience Venice is to simply walk around the city and absorb it yourself.
Hotel prices and flights can be much more expensive, almost double in price, during peak times such as February when the world famous Carnival takes place, Easter and in July for the Festa del Redentore. If you wish to visit Venice, during the Carnival season, attendance to a grand ball will cost between 130€ to 800€ per person, depending on how luxurious you want your experience to be.
Below are the expected prices if you go to Venice during the low season:
Return flights 166€
Two night hostel accommodation 80€
4 meals, with drinks 100€
Shared Gondola Ride 12€
Rialto Market (Buy a Venetian Mask) 40€
TOTAL 398€, per person (approximately £335)
Interested in visiting Venice?
In February, Curious Kats Adventure Club will be going to Italy to celebrate the Carnival in Venice Adventure. This trip will include 2 nights’ accommodation, with breakfast and airport water taxi transfers. You will also attend a presentation on the history of masks in Venetian culture during a special 2.5-hour mask decorating workshop, prior to attending an exclusive Venice Carnival Cruise Party. There will also be a delicious dinner buffet to get to know your fellow curious adventurers. If this sounds like your next adventure and you want to receive massive savings, click here.