Venice, in northern Italy, is notoriously expensive for a vacation. But according to a new survey by travel site Omio, the canal city is already in the works as one of the cheapest European destinations for certain factors.
Venice ranks third in its ranking of 100 most popular European cities thanks to its many free attractions and public drinking fountains. Here’s how you can enjoy the island city on a budget.
What are the free attractions in Venice?
Omio’s survey indicates that many of Venice’s most popular sights are free to visit.
St. Mark’s Square is one of the most amazing places in the city and you can see it without paying a single penny. The wide square is lined with vast Renaissance buildings, a 900-year-old gilded cathedral, and the snow-white Doge’s Palace.
Down the waterfront, you can get one of the most iconic views of Venice. Lines of elegant black gondolas in the foreground while the luminous white façade of the Basilica of San Giorgio Maggiore rises in the rear.
By walking the Riva degli Schiavoni, you reach one of the city’s iconic landmarks. The Bridge of Sighs, which connects the Doge’s Palace with the prisons, has always fascinated visitors.
The bridge got its poetic name from Lord Byron, reflecting the fact that prisoners crossing the structure would get their last glorious glimpse of Venice from the barred windows.
Another iconic bridge that you can see for free is the Rialto. This 16th-century structure is one of only four bridges to cross the Grand Canal. Fine jewelry shops line the interior, while the exterior offers great views of Venice’s most important waterway.
Which churches in Venice have free admission? Several notable churches can also be visited. Basilica della Salute is famous for its large Baroque dome, which has become a distinctive part of the city’s skyline.
The Basilica of San Giorgio Maggiore, designed by the prominent Renaissance architect Palladio, contains paintings by the Venetian master Tintoretto. Both churches have free admission. The best walks of Venice for sightseeing
The best thing about a budget Venice vacation is that one of the city’s most enjoyable activities is completely free. You can spend days wandering and wandering around Cali, the canal city, meandering through the Grand Palazzo, secret gardens, small mask-making workshops and characterful taverns.
The historic Jewish Quarter is a great place to wander through independent art galleries and kosher bakeries whose windows are full of candy.
Continue to the Fondamenta della Misericordia, a wharf along a wide canal lined with colorful Gothic palaces and pretty cafés.
Alternatively, the Fondamenta delle Zattere that runs along the southern edge of town offers stunning views of the Giudecca Canal. Continuing to the end, you reach Punta della Dogana. This triangular point of land overlooks St. Mark’s Square and goes straight to the lake in the other direction.
How to Eat and Drink in Venice on a Budget One thing you can easily save on in Venice is drinking water. There are 186 public water fountains in Venice, according to Omio’s study. Filling your own water bottle is also a great way to help the environment.
For inexpensive and casual food and drink, head to Bacari of Venice. These are small traditional pubs that serve well priced drinks and small snacks or food platters.
You’ll also be able to try some of the local specialties in these bars, such as sardines in photos (sardines in sweet and sour onion sauce) or baccala (creamy cod mousse).