Venice: Prices and tips to save money
Prices for accommodation in Venice
A hotel room in Venice can be very expensive. Besides the quality of accommodation, the price depends on two things: the location and the season.
Those who stay outside the island of Venice usually do so in order to save money. Hotels in Mestre or accommodations in Marghera are much cheaper than on the main island of Venice. From the mainland districts you can travel by train (1.25 Euro one way) or by tram (1.50 one way) in a few minutes to Venice (see: Transpot in Venice). The rides are very frequent. The trains run irregularly but every few minutes, the tram at least every 10 minutes during the day (15 minutes on Sundays).
You should be careful when choosing a hotel in Mestre that it is not too far from the train station or a tram station (line 1). There are also bus lines to Venice (also only 1.50 euros one way).
Our savings tip Staying overnight in Marghera: Keep in mind that the Mestre train station has a rear exit for pedestrians. It is for Marghera. Booking.com will only show you the hotels in Mestre when you type in Mestre, but not in Marghera. So you should look in addition to Marghera. In Marghera you can often find cheap hotels as in Venice or Mestre. There are also some very fast bus lines from Marghera directly to the historic center of Venice (journey time less than 15 minutes, departures frequent).
Incidentally, our personal favorite (accommodation) is the new hotel and hostel of the German chain A&O. It is just a few minutes walk from Mestre train station. The decor is new and modern. There are single, double, family and dorm beds. The price of accommodation in A&O is, like all hotels in and around Venice, very different depending on the season. But A&O Venice is usually a bit cheaper than other, comparable accommodations. The reviews on the internet are good, the location is perfect. Since the A&O can be a real bargain and is very popular, you should book long ahead (best weeks before your trip to Venice).
You can also save a lot if you do not visit Venice during high season. Especially the hotel prices are very high at these times. The main season is summer Then the city is totally overfilled anyway. In summer it can be also very hot in Venice. Spring and fall are better the visit Venice. Winter is also a possibility. Then in Venice are few tourists, simple rooms cost in winter often under 40 euros. However, it can be quite cold on the northern Adriatic. Also the floods are a problem in winter. From time to time, large parts of the city are under water.
Going to Venice cheap
It is much cheaper to leave the car on the mainland and cross the bridge by train, tram or bus (just 1.25 to 1.50 per person one way from Mestre or Marghera with public transport, as of Spring 2018). Parking in Venice costs 20 to 30 euros per day (more here).
From the airport: The buses from the airport Marco Polo to Venice is a bit expensive. But buses from Venice Airport are much cheaper than the ferries (bus ticket one way 8 euros in 2018). Many airport buses also stop in Mestre on the mainland. From the second, smaller airport Treviso there are also buses to Mestre and Venice.
Eating and drinking inexpensive in Venice
Especially expensive is the area around St. Mark's Square. Here a coffee or beer can cost over 10 euros. This is especially the case if the music costs extra A live band or similar entertains the guests in the cafe, who have to pay a "music surcharge" of about 6 euros. Especially on and around St. Mark's Square there are such "tricks".
In areas away from tourist crowds, Venice is barely more expensive than anywhere else in Italy or England. An espresso rarely costs more than 1.50, sometimes even only 1 euro.
In Venice, high-priced areas include St. Mark's Square (San Marco), Rialto Bridge area and the train station. Everywhere where tourists often come by. Our tip is quiet simple. Go to areas where almost no tourists are. There are many.
Directly in the main tourist streets in Venice for a normal pizza you pay often 15 euros, 2 side streets away a similar pizza costs 8 euros. Mostly, the cheap pizza in the side streets tastes even better. In many typical Italian fast food shops there are offers such as spaghetti in various forms such as bolognese, etc. with coke for 9 euros (also for example lasagna). In great bakeries there are delicious sweet pastries for 1 to 1,50 Euro.
Example: A bar with reasonable prices in a shop window, just 150 meters from the train station Santa Lucia, away from the main tourist streets (summer year 2017).
Water in bottles is much cheaper in
Italy than Coke or other soft drinks. Often the price for
0.5 liters of mineral water in small shops or kiosks is
one euro or less, even larger bottles are not much more
expensive. Again, do not buy anything in the main
Fast food in Venice: An alternative at the train station is food at Burger King: I ate a menu (burgers, fries, cola) at Burger King near Santa Lucia Central Station in early 2017 for € 3.99. Although it was small fries and a medium coke, but for this price, the offer of Burger King Venice is great. You leave the train station at the main entrance, 50 meters on the left, over a large bridge over the Canal Grande and you are almost in front of the entrance of Burger King.
There is also a Mc Donalds in the center of Venice (the typical menus about 8 to 9 euros). This Mc Donalds is very popular and often there are queues.
Of course you can buy drinks and food in a supermarket on the mainland and bring it to Venice in a small backpack. We often did not buy anything on a day trip from Mestre to the old town - except the tram tickets for 3 euros per person return.
However, you can of course only visit the main island on foot. If you want to see some other interesting island like Murano, Burano or Lido, you have to buy a day pass for the public ferries (see red box above). If you stay longer, just buy a week pass. It is 60 euros, 3 times a day pass.