Venice is such an idyllic dream destination, it hardly screams budget-friendly — especially with kids in tow. With some savvy planning before your trip and creativity during, you can definitely make your way through the incredible city with ease and on a budget.
When to Go
Typically, the off-season for Italian tourism is November through March, with the travelers who don’t mind a bit of rain branching out a bit in April and May. The official tourism season hits high-gear June through September, when prices spike and hotels fill up, which makes May a great time for budget travelers. You’ll get some of the residual discounts from the low-tourism season, including airfare and hotels, as well as far fewer crowds.
Where to Fly In
If you’re able to fly into Venice Airport, it’s the closest to the city; Treviso Airport is your next best bet. Compare prices and depending on whether or not you will rent a car or need a taxi from the airport to your hotel, compare and contrast.
Once you land, check out the public transportation system for a ride into the city. For those traveling from Venice Airport into the city, take the 20-minute ride to the bus terminal Piazzale Roma in Venice. It runs three times an hour and costs €6 one way, per person. Once at the Piazzale Roma, hop on the local public boat, the vaporetto or continue on foot to your destination.
Once you’re in the city and situated, getting around by foot is not only the best way to see the city, but also the cheapest. Water taxis can add up and cost a pretty penny on their own, so make sure your hotel or Airbnb is within walking distance of the shops, restaurants and landmarks you want to see. You can always splurge and get a ride when necessary, but there’s nothing like exploring Venice at your own pace.
Avoiding tourist traps is another important way to save money in Venice. Some servers and hosts may try to lure you to their restaurant, which is admittedly pretty fun, but not always economical. Discuss with your hotel or host and get some insider tips on the best places to eat and drink in the city without dealing with the surprise sticker-shock later.