9 tips, How you can have a lot of experience
for a little money in Venice

Sometimes, our travel trips may cost us more than we would like.

Maybe you know these situations.

You go for a coffee and then walk a bit further only to discover that there is coffee bar that sells better coffee at a better price.

Or you buy a packed sandwich at the first booth you meet and just when you have finished it you come across a shop where you can buy it at half the price.

As tourists, we sometimes spend too much unnecessary money on our travels. It is simply because we do not know the place. As for Venice, I will now tell you about 9 tips that will save you €155.

Would you like to hear about them?

Let’s look at the first one.

1. Coffee

You will surely agree with me that true Italian espresso is a must-have when visiting Venice (and Italy in general). Forget about a coffee for €5 that is offered in every restaurant. I will give you two options to enjoy a coffee for just €1:

  • If you drink coffee purely for the pleasure of caffeine and enjoy having a good cup of coffee ‘al banco’ (i.e. standing at the bar), look for coffee bars and roasteries where you will get a coffee straight away. There are no tables or cakes in these roasteries, but you will get coffee of excellent quality. Order your coffee right at the bar, pay for it (usually €1), drink it and you can go.

(By the way, this is the way locals drink coffee, so you may meet some at the bar.)

  • On the other hand, if you prefer to sit down for, for example, a cup of cappuccino and a piece of tiramisu, go to one of the local ‘restaurants’ called Farini, which is a café, bakery and cake shop all in one. They sell a cup of espresso for €1, a cup of cappuccino for €1.5 and delicious cakes.

Savings – €12
(3 days in Venice, a coffee a day)

Local café, bakery and cake shop all in one 🙂
Local café, bakery and cake shop all in one 🙂

2. Water

It may not seem so at first glance, but have you ever noticed how much money you spend on all the bottled waters? In Venice, you will need just one bottle. Only few people know that all water is drinkable here, i.e. water from fountains, taps, etc. You just need to have a bottle and refill it any time you need. 

Savings - €13.5
(3 days in Venice, 4 plastic bottles – 0.5 l/day; 1 plastic bottle bought every day)

Fountain with drinkable water

3. COOP

If you need to buy a bottled water or some cosmetics, I can recommend the COOP supermarket to you.  In Venice, there are about 10 such supermarkets, where you can find everything you need at a good price. It is definitely far better than what you would pay at a street booth.

Savings –  €3
(3 days in Venice, 1 plastic bottle – 0.5 l/day)

COOP supermarket in Venice

4. Restaurants on the “Main Street”

In this case, my recommendation is clear: avoid the restaurants along the Grand Canal. (And, of course, the ones in St Mark’s Square.) Their meals are twice as expensive and worse than in any remote trattoria a few streets away.

There are a few exceptions, i.e. restaurants where you can have a good meal while enjoying the view and the hustle and bustle of the Grand Canal. But these are really rare.

Savings – €30
(3 days in Venice, 3 dinners, 2 people)

Restaurants along the Grand Canal

5. Tips

There is another thing related to restaurants – tips. In Venice, restaurants charge for table service, which is actually a regular fee for sitting at the table. The fee is usually between €1 and €1.5 per person. For this reason, waiters usually do not expect any further tips. Therefore, it is not like in most countries in Europe, where leaving a minimum tip is considered almost obligatory.

Savings – €9
(3 days in Venice, 3 dinners)

6. Public Transport Pass

If you are planning to move around Venice by vaporetto, you should consider buying a public transport pass called Venezia Unica Card. With this card, you can use a discounted multi-day pass for all means of transport that operate in Venice. This includes vaporettoes, buses from and to the airport and trams connecting Venice with Mestre, the nearest town on the mainland.

It is not only about transport. With this card, you can enjoy many other benefits, such as discounted admission tickets to historical monuments and discounts to various restaurants and bars.

Savings – €27.5
(3 days in Venice, 75 min ticket three times a day vs 3x 24 hour pass)

Venezia Unica Card

7. Venice from Above

Most often people go to St Mark’s Campanile to enjoy the view of Venice. However, my recommendation is to visit another place – it is not so crowded, costs less and offers even a more beautiful view. On the island of San Giorgio Maggiore, there is the Church of San Giorgio Maggiore (Basilica di San Giorgio Maggiore) with a tower that offers an amazing view of Venice, including St Mark’s Campanile (the bell tower in St Mark’s Square). In addition, you will save €2 and your legs since the entrance fee to St Mark’s Campanile is €8 and here you will pay only €6 and you will not have to wait in a long queue. You will use the lift to go up the tower (as you also would in St Mark’s Campanile).

Savings – €2
(3 days in Venice, 1 visit)

The island of San Giorgio Maggiore

8. Museums

I understand that if you have already bought your plane tickets, there is nothing much you can do. However, it is still good to know that all Italian state museums are open free of charge to the public on first Sunday of every month.

9. Gondola

It is no surprise that a gondola ride is an expensive diversion. 🙂
For example, a romantic 30-minute gondola ride for two will cost you €80.This applies during the day. In the evening, the price is around €100 …

If you do not mind the presence of other travellers or you are in Venice with your family or friends, you can share a gondola ride together. Not many people know that a gondola carries up to 6 people and that €80 is for the whole gondola. Therefore, such a ride will cost you €13/person. That’s much better, isn’t it? 🙂

Savings – €54
(3 days in Venice, 1 gondola ride, 2 people)

Gondola station near the Rialto Bridge

As you can see, you can save €150 in Venice while not limiting yourself.
You can use these money for your next trip in Europe ... 🙂

In my Guide to Venice, there are many more such tips and tricks, so your savings can be much higher. Especially regarding food, since it is usually the most expensive item on our travels. 

You know how it goes – a snack, a coffee, lunch, a glass of wine ... 🙂

In my Guide to Venice, I will give you reliable tips on how to enjoy a good meal at a great price.
You will thus avoid overpriced tourist menus without the need of going to the outskirts of Venice. 🙂


Would you like to experience a carefree trip to Venice? 

To see more than an ordinary tourist?

To learn all the practical information about transport in Venice?

And to enjoy a great meal at a good price?
... which is not easy in Venice 🙂

Check out my Guide to Venice that will make your stay
more enjoyable, easier and cheaper


Lucie Strnadova

 Author of the unique Guide to Venice >>

"I have always loved travelling. A 'comfortable' sort of travelling. 🙂 Lately, I have enjoyed travelling in Europe and if I should name a city where I spend most of my time (except for Prague where I live :), it is Venice. I have fallen in love with this city. I visit Venice regularly and always look for new interesting places, restaurants, cafés, osterie and various cultural and gastronomic events."
Click here to learn more about me >>