We have some fabulous news – Venice doesn’t have to be pricey! On our recent #cococouples trip to Venice, we discovered a few top tips that not only kept costs low but also helped us discover the magic of Venice outside of the busier areas. Of course, there are still add-on prices like the city tax, which is unavoidable, but considering there are over 20 million tourists visiting the city per year it is a small fee to pay. We wanted to share some tips from our time in Venice in the below guide on where to stay, how to eat and how to navigate this unique city.
CHEAP FLIGHTS TO VENICE ARE COMMON
Airlines like Ryanair make it really easy to travel to Venice on a budget. We flew out in May for 4 days as we just couldn’t resist a £50 return flight each. Make sure to check the airport you’re flying to is Marco Polo as there is another one a lot further afield called Treviso airport, too. You can get very well-priced flights if you avoid peak holiday periods. From our experience, Venice weather in May was perfect for getting the most out of the city! It was really sunny and bright, whilst not being overly crowded or too hot. We also missed the rain season which is really lucky, as flooding in Venice is no joke- they even have to put benches out in St Marks Square to walk on!
AIRBNB OVER HOTELS IN VENICE
It was no contest for us between a hotel or an Airbnb when deciding on where to stay in Venice. Our Airbnb was by far one of the best we’ve booked on any trip before in terms of the amazing location and its affordability. We were right next to some hidden gems in Venice that we may have accidentally overlooked otherwise! The neighbourhood of Cannaregio is known as the northmost Jewish district and for the shopping street of Strata Nova. The flat was just off of Fondamenta Dei Ormensini– a strip of exceptional local bars and restaurants like Al Timon and very well-priced bacari (the word for Italian wine bars that serve small snacks). There is also a couple of supermarkets very nearby if you accidentally forgot to pack something (I always do).
EAT LIKE A LOCAL
When in Venice, Cichetti is what to eat. With some coming up at €1.00 per piece, you’ll find these Venetian tapas-style bites in almost every bar in Venice. Pair these with an Aperol in the afternoon sun for the perfect lunchtime snack. We also advise making the most of those exceptionally large slices of pizza for €2.00 because they make a fabulous lunch whilst on the go! We adored Pizza 2000 in San Polo and our local Pizzeria da Zorma in Cannaregio. In the evening you’ll likely see many three-course set menu deals that you can take advantage of, but if you prefer a local restaurant, we opted for places like Trattoria Da Bepi to ensure we were getting the best quality food for a local price. We highly recommend the seafood pasta, and the owner is lovely and friendly too.
STEER CLEAR OF THE MAIN TOURISTY AREAS
If you have been to Venice before, you’ll know that it’s pretty easy to be swept away with the crowds of tourists in busy areas. But I guarantee you that walking in the opposite direction is just as rewarding. The real beauty of Venice is a short stroll away from the rammed streets of San Marco. As the streets get quieter and quieter, the lanes begin to break out into spacious squares and more residential streets. This also means locally priced coffees and gelatos (try Gelateria il Doge in Dorsoduro). In fact- highlights of our #cococouple trip to Venice were the times we sat contently scoffing our gelato in one of the sleepier squares of Venice. So, before you pause at the bottom of the Rialto bridge looking frantically through the swarms of people, take our advice- keep walking.
TOP TIP ROUND-UP
With the tips above it was really easy to enjoy Venice and keep costs relatively low. Remember that Venice is an exceptionally popular tourist destination, where tourists outnumber locals 20:1! Visiting off-peak is not only better for your experience of Venice and your budget, but also for the city itself! Staying in airbnb’s can give you an affordable insight into hidden gem neighbourhoods like Canareggio that are overflowing with character, as well as locally-priced bars and restaurants. Don’t forget to visit one of the many bacari for a drink and some cichetti before heading out to explore some of the other neighbourhoods for yourselves!