The feeling of immense satisfaction one gets having just eaten a superb meal while observing the lights glittering off the surface of Venice’s Grand Canal is utterly unbeatable, although it’s all too often counteracted by the dismay experienced upon receiving the bill. There’s no denying it; with all its gondoliers, rivers and beautiful architecture, Venice is a top contender for the most romantic city on the planet, but certainly not the cheapest.
However, all is not lost and there are one or two tricks you can pull in order to lower the cost of your trip. Save the pennies and put the advice we’ve outlined below into practice.
To start with, one or two rules one should consider when dining on the cheap in Venice. Firstly, even if you do head to a luxurious restaurant, remember that there’s no need to order the finest champagne and a full three-course meal. If you’d be just as happy with a pasta dish as the delicate baked sea bass with jerusalem artichokes (lightly drizzled with white wine and softened over thirty days in the liver of a small burrowing animal) then don’t feel obliged to go with the more expensive option. Similarly, there’s no need to order a three-course meal if you’re not hungry enough.
Secondly, it’s worth knowing that lunchtime meals are almost always cheaper than evening meals in Venice. Consider ordering a full-on main meal during the day before seeking out a reputable but cheap pizza parlour in the evening.
If you’d simply prefer to know of some cheap eating-out venues in this steamy Italian city, remember that its wine bars are often great for an inexpensive snack, largely because they are generally favourites for lunch among the locals. Al Prosecco in Santa Croce is a good option, as is Cantina Do Mori in San Polo. Once you’ve eaten at one of these, you’ll know what to look for in a cheap wine bar.
It’s far easier to find a cheap flight to Venice than it is to find a cheap hotel, but aside from sleeping on the plane on your way over, there’s not much you can do about that. Fortunately, there is a number of budget options on the accommodation front. Residenza de l’Osmarin does rooms for just £55 per night and it’s in an excellent location – just off St Mark’s Square.
The Venice Certosa Hotel is similarly priced but for those looking for the ultimate budget option, there’s always the Venissa – a restored farm building on one of Venice’s outlying islands.
Experience Venice without destroying your budget. Despite the city’s reputation as being somewhat expensive, tourists will find plenty of things to do that don’t come anywhere near to breaking the bank. As well as the popular St Marks Square being completely free to visit – along with its famous basilica and many of the surrounding landmarks – there’s also the Jewish Ghetto, the Rialto Bridge and the Museum of Music to see. Perfect budget options for those who want to keep the costs down.