Venice is like a famous art gallery. With every turn you make, you are welcomed with a gorgeous sight, and you can’t help but take a picture of everything. It’s just so damn beautiful. And because it is so famous, you are obligated to share it with the rest of the world. Such is this tiny island city of Venice.
Naturally, any form of hospitality on Venice comes with a hefty price, so we stayed on the mainland at Venezia Village Camping, only €22/night for 2 people during the low season when paid in cash. There was a bus stop across the street, and it was only a 10-minute bus ride to the train station in Venice for €3 per person roundtrip. Not only was the campground inexpensive and convenient, the campground included unlimited, amazing, hot showers! YAY!
Anyway, nothing famous nor nothing from art galleries are ever considered cheap, but luckily the highlight of Venice is free: wandering through the canal streets and getting lost. While there is no end to the amount of tourists who absolutely must fulfill their lifelong dream of riding the gondola (Venice’s #1 tourist trap at €80-€100 per half hour), we opted to ride the popular Line 1 on the vaporetto (water bus) along the grand canal for €7.50 per person. Our plan was to take the bus to the train station, hop on the vaporetto and ride it to St. Mark’s Square, and simply wander.
St. Mark’s Square is home to Venice’s clock tower, St. Mark’s Basilica, and Doge’s Palace. Although the basilica is free to enter, its line is typically ridiculous, but you can reserve a time slot online for €1. This enormous square is probably where you’d find the most tourists (and fearless pigeons) in Venice, and rightfully so!
We didn’t pay to enter the Doge’s Palace, but we snapped a photo of its famous Bridge of Sighs. This bridge connected the prison cells to the Doges Palace and provided prisoners a final view of Venice before being transferred to their cells, thus the name of the bridge suggests it was where prisoners relieved their final sighs.
Looking out at the Island of San Giorgio:
The view from Ponte dell’Accademia:
Stumbling across a Leonardo da Vinci exhibit:
Wandering the beautiful canal streets:
Unfortunately at the time of our visit, the Rialto Bridge was under much renovation. The best views we could get of the bridge were crap.
We ended our day in Venice right with delicious, homemade spaghetti at unpretentious Bigoi. For only €5 each, we got a cup of homemade spaghetti with a selection of several yummy sauces. Chris got traditional bolognese, and I got the duck ragu. Both were fantastic.
Thanks to its tiny size and walking-factor, it was incredibly easy to spend a day in Venice on the cheap. We camped outside of the canal city, we rode the vaporetto instead of the gondola (and even that wasn’t necessary), we spent the entire day walking, and we ate phenomenal take-away pizza, gelato, and take-away spaghetti. For accommodation, public transportation, and food, our total cost for a full day in Venice was €62.30. Not bad considering couples spend more than that for a 30-minute gondola ride! 😉