Is Venice expensive for the average traveler?
Let’s be honest, Venice is not exactly the most affordable city in Europe to visit.
You have probably already heard about or have some vague idea of how much a hotel for the night could cost, not to mention eating out and moving around.
Believe it or not, Venice is considered not only the most expensive city to visit in Italy but also one of the 10 most expensive cities in the world!
So let’s ask the question again, is Venice expensive? It certainly is, but I can assure you that you can visit Venice without having to break the bank.
I like to travel on a budget and I visit Venice frequently, so I can guarantee that you can have a great time here without overspending. How? Keep reading to find out.
Is Venice expensive for tourists?
Quick Answer: Yes, Venice can be quite expensive. Most of the money that tourists spend here is on accommodation, eating out and shopping in this order.
As thousands of visitors are just fine with paying an arm and a leg to stay in Venice for a few days, there are just as many that hope to visit on a modest budget.
See these simple tips to help you save money before even arriving in Venice.
Things to know before travelling to Venice
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How much does a trip to Venice cost?
Quick Answer: You can expect to spend around 130-150 euros per person per day in Venice. This includes mid-range accommodation, transport (no water taxi but public transport), lunch with cicchetti (or street food) and dinner at the restaurant.
Cost of Accommodation in Venice
Venice is one of the most visited cities in the world and thanks to an impressive number of hotels, B&Bs, apartments and guest houses scattered throughout the historic centre, it can host millions of tourists every year.
The city is divided into 6 neighbourhoods and each one of them has something unique to see or do and the range of prices considerably change too.
The San Marco district is where you can find the most popular attractions such as:
- St. Mark’s Square
- St. Mark’s Basilica
- Doge’s Palace
San Marco is the most expensive area to stay in the historic centre and usually the closer you get to St. Mark’s Square, the higher the prices are.
If you want to spend your stay in San Marco on a budget, check out the newly refurbished Venetian palace Ca’ dei Fuseri. If you still want to be close to the main attractions, but far from the crowds, stay in the San Polo or Dorsoduro districts.
Unless you’re booking accommodation near the Rialto Bridge or one of the popular canal view hotels, the prices are a bit cheaper than in San Marco.
Budget-friendly hotels, guest houses and hostels are located in the Santa Croce, Cannaregio and Castello neighbourhoods.
Take a look at my where to stay in Venice guide to learn more about every neighbourhood in the city, what it offers and the best places to stay.
This table below shows the average cost per night per person for a hostel, mid-range hotel and luxury hotel in each Venetian district in low season.
|Hostel||Mid-range hotel||Luxury hotel|
|San Marco||50 euros||65 euros||200 euros|
|San Polo||43 euros||63 euros||135 euros|
|Dorsoduro||40 euros||45 euros||116 euros|
|Castello||No hostels available||59 euros||80 euros|
|Cannaregio||39 euros||52 euros||123 euros|
|Santa Croce||30 euros||57 euros||123 euros|
I have recently created a guide that looks at the best hostels in Venice so if you are travelling on shoestring budget then you’ll want to check the prices there too.
Cost of Food in Venice
Almost every tourist will spend a large amount of their budget on eating out in Venice. The restaurants and bars that are only frequented by tourists are generally also the most expensive ones, but that doesn’t mean the food quality is high.
Most of these tourist targeted restaurants are located on the main tourist streets like Strada Nova and near the main attractions and you can recognize them from the classic ‘tourist menu’ which is usually displayed outside on a chalkboard.
Some might look attractive at first as they have competitive set prices for lunch or dinner but the food quality is not good at all! The best places to eat out for good Venetian food (without spending too much) are the bacari and osterie.
By eating at the bacari and osterie you can spend between 1,50 to 3 euros for one cicchetto, and once you have eaten 4 of those you should be fine for lunch.
Alternatively you can try other Venetian street food like the ‘scartosso de pesse frito’ (mixed fried fish) for around 9 euros or have a slice of pizza for 2,20 euros. I like eating one or two tramezzini for lunch on the go and they cost 2,20 euros each.
A draft beer at the bar costs 4 euros, while the most popular aperitivo, the Venetian Spritz, costs 2,50 to 4 euros. You can get a bottle of water for less than 1 euro, a local beer from the supermarket for 1,30 euros and 2 euros for an imported one.
With less than 10 euros you can have a light lunch in Venice! For breakfast you can easily spend less than 5 euros by getting an espresso coffee or cappuccino and a croissant filled with a yummy pistachio cream or other freshly baked pastry.
When eating out, you can pay around 20 euros per person in a cheap restaurant, 35 euros per person in a mid-range restaurant that will usually include ordering a starter and first course, or a main course with a glass of house wine.
Get ready to pay at least 100 euros per person for a tasting menu in a Michelin starred restaurant or other fancy restaurants (there are many in Venice).
To recap here are the main food costs you may incur during your time in Venice:
|Scartosso de pesse frito||9 euros|
|Slice of pizza||2,20 euros|
|Baccalà mantecato with polenta||12 euros|
|Bavette al nero di seppia||13 euros|
|Fegato alla veneziana||14 euros|
Of course, this is just an example of what to eat in Venice in a day, you may have specific dietary requirements or prefer to eat another types of food while here.
These tables are designed to give you an idea of what you could get for your money if you were to eat like a local in Venice for the day.
Here is an idea of the how much the average drinks costs in Venice:
|Bottle of water (1lt)||1 / 2,50 euros|
|Draft beer||4 euros|
|Bottled beer at supermarket (33cl)||1,30-2 euros|
|Aperol Spritz||2,50-4 euros|
|Glass of house wine||1-3 euros|
A fantastic way to explore the food scene in Venice is by joining food tours. I recommend booking a food tour, if you love food and are eager to taste Venetian food, but don’t have a clue about where to go or what’s fresh and local.
Where are the best places to eat Venetian food? Find out with this eat like a local food tour where a local guide will take you around the best foodie areas of the city.
This specific tour is ideal to be able to save time, meet other fellow foodie travellers and learn more about the Venetian cuisine while exploring Venice.
Cost of Transportation in Venice
Venice is a car-free city, so you can explore by foot, by vaporetto (water bus), by water taxi or by gondola. Cars, buses and trams stop in Piazzale Roma and trains arrive at Venice Santa Lucia terminal station.
Bear in mind that the gondola is only for sightseeing and it follows set routes, so it can’t take you to and from specific places of your choice. The best way to move around the city is on foot and it doesn’t cost you anything.
If you want to take a break from walking, or get to other islands in the lagoon, you can hop on a vaporetto, the cheapest mode of transport. A single ticket costs 9,50 euros and it’s valid for vaporetto/bus/tram and People Mover for 75 minutes.
If you buy the ticket online, 30 days before your arrival, you can save 2 euros!
I recommend getting the transport pass instead of the single ticket, if you’re spending more than one day in Venice. You can choose to buy the 1 day/2 days/3 days and 7 days transport pass valid for vaporetto/bus/tram and People Mover.
You can use it as many times as you want and in the end, it’s going to save you a decent amount of money. Public transport tickets and passes are valid to move around Venice, islands and the mainland, but not to or from the airport to Venice.
Again, from the Venezia Unica portal, you can save extra money by purchasing the ticket pass 30 days in advance. This is a saving worth looking in to if you can.
The most affordable way to get to Venice from Marco Polo airport is by bus and it costs 8 euros one way. Another option quite popular among tourists is the Alilaguna water bus. For this transfer a one way ticket costs 15 euros.
As any local will gladly tell you, the water taxi is the most expensive way to travel around Venice’s canals and the rest of the lagoon.
To give you a rough idea, you can expect to pay 110 euros to get from Marco Polo airport to Venice Santa Lucia station (or the other way around), 60 euros to Murano and 115 euros to go to Burano and Torcello from the train station.
Prices are valid for up to 4 people with luggage. You can find more details about costs and how to get a water taxi in Venice in my dedicated transport guide.
As a first time visitor of Venice, you can’t leave the city without riding a gondola first (that would be a shame). Getting around Venice by gondola is not the same as in the past, when it used to stop in different places, now it’s mainly for sightseeing.
A gondola ride during the day costs 80 euros and 100 euros night time for up to 5 people. If you think that a gondola ride is too expensive, there’s the option to ride a gondola traghetto (called traghetto da parada) for only 2 euros!
These gondolas only cross the Grand Canal and usually don’t have all the ornaments of the normal gondolas but are still offer ‘the gondola experience’.
Here’s a table to recap the main transportation costs:
|Any time booking||Book 30 days in advance|
|Public transport ticket 75’||9,50 euros||7,50 euros|
|Public transport daily pass||25 euros||21 euros|
|Public transport 2 days pass||35 euros||30 euros|
|Public transport 7 days pass||65 euros||60 euros|
|Express bus from airport to Piazzale Roma||8 euros (one way)|
|Alilaguna water bus from airport to city centre||15 euros|
When it comes to transport in Venice, pay attention the times especially if you’re on a budget, since there is a day/night price for the gondola and water taxi.
Depending on which service you decide to take, you can save you money if you travel during the day (before 7pm). See the times, locations and prices below.
|Day time (from 9am to 7pm)||Night time (from 7pm to 3am)|
|Gondola||80 euros||100 euros|
|Gondola traghetto (traghetto da parada)||2 euros|
|Water taxi from Marco Polo airport to Venice Santa Lucia station||110 euros|
|Water taxi from Venice Santa Lucia to San Marco||60 euros|
|Water taxi from Venice Santa Lucia to Murano||60 euros|
|Water taxi from Venice Santa Lucia to Burano and Torcello||115 euros|
Cost of Tours & Attractions in Venice
Whilst in Venice, there are going to be different attractions to visit and tours you might want to join to make the most of your time and experience in the Lagoon city.
The top tourist attractions in Venice and their entrance ticket cost are:
*When purchased 30 days in advance, or otherwise the price will cost 30 euros. This ticket also gives you access to the Correr Museum, National Archaeological Museum, Monumental Rooms of the Marciana National Library.
An alternative to the Doge’s Palace and St. Mark’s Square museums only, you can purchase the Venice City Pass that also includes access to Cà Rezzonico, Palazzo Mocenigo, Carlo Goldoni’s House, Ca’ Pesaro, Glass Museum in Murano, Lace Museum in Burano, Natural History Museum, Fortuny Museum and Clock Tower.
Many travellers to Venice decide to visit St. Mark’s Basilica and Doge’s Palace by booking a private tour with a local guide. This 3 hour Doge’s Palace & St. Mark’s Basilica with Terrace Access Tour costs 84 euros per person and is one of the most highly rated and includes skip-the-line entrance.
There are so many activities you can do in Venice and for each one of them you can easily find a guide that can show you the beauty and richness of the city.
You can go on food tours, walking tours or islands tours, just to name a few. If you like the idea of tasting local food, then try the cicchetti during this street food tour with a guide and the tour costs 48 euros per person for a 2 and half hour tour.
Are you interested in discovering some of the lesser-known gems and uncover the hidden side of Venice? Then a walking tour like this Hidden Venice: Unusual Walking Tour is what you’re looking for, and for just 27 euros you can’t miss it.
A large portion of visitors that have more than 1 day in Venice will visit Murano for its glass artwork and go to see the colourful fishing village of Burano.
You can save some money by arranging your own transportation to the islands, or join an island boat tour like this Murano, Burano, Torcello Island & Glass Factory Tour that costs 30 euros per person and have everything included for you.
Venice on a Budget FAQs
Is Venice expensive?
Thanks to the information in this guide you should now have a crystal clear idea of what you can expect to spend on a daily basis during a trip to Venice.
So, again: is Venice expensive? Yes, it can be, is my final answer!
It all depends on how far in advance you decide to book your flights and hotels. The sooner the better, of course. Also, you have to bear in mind that the more activities and attractions you want to visit, the higher the cost of the overall trip will be.
I strongly believe that you can still travel to Venice on a medium budget (and have fun) by following the advice shared in this guide. Be sure to check out this detailed 3 days in Venice itinerary for ideas on how to spend a long weekend in Venice.
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