Visiting Venice, Italy on a Budget


Venice, Italy Canal
Venice, Italy Canal

Venice–what a beautiful and romantic city!  The winding streets filled with trattorias, as well as the extensive canals filled with gondolas, make this city very unique and memorable.  And you can have an unforgettable experience visiting this city on a budget. We recommend spending at least one or two days in Venice. Here is our quick guide on Venice, Italy. 

Note: This guide is written on a trip taken in early July


What to do in Venice on a Budget


Go to Gondola Rowing School

Gondola School, Venice, Italy
Gondola School, Venice, Italy

We were looking to have a gondola experience in Venice different from the cliche. Participating in gondola rowing school, you not only ride in a gondola but you also learn how to row a gondola.  Rowing a gondola is a lot harder than you may expect and makes for a really unique experience. 

Budget Bonus: The price for a 90 minute lesson and ride at Row Venice is similar to what a 30 minute simple gondola ride would cost.  

Book far in advance. We were VERY lucky to book last minute while we were there.  We’d recommend trying to book at least 2 weeks in advance. 

Row Venice


Take a day trip to Murano and Burano 

Burano, Italy
Burano, Italy

Murano is an island famous for beautiful glass blowing while Burano is an island known for its colorful fisherman homes.  Both were highlights of our time in Venice. 

Colorful fisherman houes in Burano, Italy
Colorful fisherman houes in Burano, Italy

You can book a boat tour to these locations when you get to Venice. There are several different tours you can book right on the main drag along the water. 


Get lost Exploring the Iconic Sites 

San Marco Square at Night
San Marco Square at Night

Make sure you walk to the tourist highlights around San Marco square, across Rialto Bridge and to St. Mark’s Basilica while in Venice.  The architecture all around Venice is stunning and unique.  Even just walking around the winding streets affords hours of entertainment.  

Waterfront in Venice
Waterfront in Venice

With the winding nature of these streets, we got lost while exploring Venice and ended up on the residential side of the island.  Venice is not easy to navigate and you are bound to get lost at some point–embrace it as this is part of experiencing the city.  When we got lost, we got a taste of typical Venetian life we may not have otherwise gotten. Fortunately, we ran into a local who was kind to reorient us.

Venice, Italy
Venice, Italy

Where to Eat in Venice 


Trattoria da Bepi

A small trattoria (casual Italian restaurant) specializing in traditional Venetian food

There are lots of dining options but this was our favorite. It is located near but off of the main drag with a few outdoor and indoor tables. We enjoyed eating outside at this quaint Trattoria.  We had fresh seafood for dinner followed by some delicious tiramisu.

Trattoria Da Bepi 


Where to Stay in Venice on a Budget


Hotel Bernardi 

Canal near Hotel Bernardi
A canal near hotel Bernardi in Venice

We would recommend staying close to but a bit off of the main tourist drag.  We stayed at the Hotel Bernardi in Venice and highly recommend it.  This budget hotel is located just off of Venice’s main streets and has typical Venetian decor. This hotel is very close to Trattoria Da Bepi too!


We hope this guide helps you plan what to do on your trip to Venice on a Budget. Make sure to visit Rome (see Visiting Rome, Italy on a Budget) and Cinque Terre (Visiting Cinque Terre, Italy on a Budget) while in Italy as well.  Anything you’d add to our guide on visiting Venice, Italy on a Budget? We’d love to hear your feedback and questions.  Please leave us a comment!

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Planning a multi-city trip to Europe? See our How to Plan Your First Europe Trip on a Budget guide for more tips on how to do this.