ITALY SERIES: SAVING MONEY IN VENICE, ITALY
This time I want to write about one of the most famous and unique cities in the world: Venice, Italy. I always dreamed as a little girl on how it would be to actually see this city in real life, but thought I’d probably never actually see it. Funny how life works out – Now is my second time visiting it.
The first time I visited Venice was during my exchange program in Switzerland – back in 2009. I was only 17 years old and my Swiss high school (or Kantonsschule) offered a one week trip as part of an Art class. This time, I am back with one of my best friends from college as part of our Eurotrip! We will be taking buses from Switzerland to different cities in Italy (Venice, Florence and Rome) and then Portugal before making our way back to Switzerland!
Getting there by Bus
If you want to travel through Europe, transportation options are many: flights, train or the bus. It would depend on your personal preference: time vs. price. We decided to travel from Lugano, Switzerland to Venice, Italy. Normally, by train it would take about 5 hours with a price of around €200 Euros. The bus took us from Lugano-Milan and then Milan-Venice for only around €25 Euros but it took approx. 10 hours. So as I said, it depends on whether you prefer a good price or a shorter travel time. (I used a company called FlixBus).
I must admit that our stop in Milan was nothing glamorous! We had a layover in a station that reminded me of the sketchiest parts of my beloved hometown Venezuela… with mosquitoes bitting us all over, homeless peeing and sleeping outside and dirty public bathrooms ‘out of service’. Luckily, the time went by and we were finally on our way to Venice.
We arrived in Venice at around 5 a.m. but unfortunately, were to sleepy to realize we missed our stop and ended up in the main station. We spent around 4 hours walking through the land with our suitcases trying to find the bus/tram that would take us to our AirBnB. When we finally made it, it was already 11 a.m. As you can imagine, we just crashed in our beds and woke up only later.
The first time I visited Venice, I stayed in a very cozy and typical hotel right by the canals. This time, we decided to stay on the land instead. We rented a room with AirBnB in a city called Malcontenta, which was only a 20 min bus ride away from Venice. We loved our stay and would definitely recommend it if you are trying to save money.
Gondola Ride & Serenade
Let’s be honest: if you are visiting Venice, one of the things you’d want to do is riding a Gondola. Unfortunately, this is the most popular and in high-demand tourist attraction there, which makes it extremely expensive. Last time I asked, a gondola ride was about €100 Euros. The best way to make it more affordable would be to share the ride with another couple or a group of people, but it still might be hard.
If you want to book your ride in advance and save any stress, you can do it through this page.
The cheapest way to explore Venice is the water bus, also know as the Vaporetti – it is basically a city bus, only that in this case, the streets are the Adriatic sea . It is about €7 Euros per ride, but if you are staying for longer than 3 days, it might be better to get more tickets for a discounted price.
The tickets can be bought online here or at the ticket office.
What to Eat
My favorite part…. Italian food! My friend and I found the prices extremely good coming from Switzerland, where a single plate might be around €15 Euros compared to the same plate for only €6 Euros in Italy. The drinks have also normal/achievable prices. However, if you really want to save money on top of that, I would recommend to avoid the high touristy places (such as Piazza di San Marco or the ones in your Tourist Map).
Travel will always require expenses, but as you can see there are minor things we can do that help improve the budget incredibly! <3