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Free things to do in Venice?

I'm going to be in Venice next month and will be on a pretty tight budget. I'm looking for the best free and inexpensive things to check out! I love the outdoors, art, museums, you name it. Thanks!

7 Answers

answered by
Alex from New York City

Hi, Valerie! This is a good question. As you probably already know, Venice is notoriously expensive. I lived there as a college student and had to learn how to enjoy myself on a budget--not an easy thing to do.

I would recommend taking a free walking tour so you can see all the sights and learn a little bit about the unique history of this amazing spot. 

Torcello Island is one of the best places to visit--it has the oldest church in the Veneto region on the Island, and it's cheap to get to using the vaporetto.

San Marco is also a great place to sit and people-watch, but don't buy anything in this area because the prices are incredibly inflated.

La Giudecca is also a great spot where you can get a more local feel and often pay half the price if you want to spend some money on lunch. Check out the harbor on the other side--it's a great place to take some pictures.

Finally, the best way to see Venice for free is just to wander around and enjoy. Strap on a good pair of walking shoes and take the time to explore some nooks and crannies.

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Torcello Island (island)
  2. San Marco (attraction)
  3. La Giudecca (attraction)

answered by
Lalitha from Cincinnati

It is very enjoyable to listen to the music in the cafes at night on the St. Mark's Square. Can do this for the price of an expensive cup of coffee or stand and listen for free. This was my most enjoyable experience in Venice.

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. St. Mark's Square (attraction)

answered by
Ben from London

Walk down to Squero di San Trovasoone of the last remaining gondola shipyards in Venice.  Amazing to see this ancient craft - and makes a great photo!

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Squero di San Trovaso (attraction)

answered by
nusheen from Houston

Take the vaparetto from San Marco Square around dusk and go up to Rialto Bridge. Its a beautiful sight. Besides that, just wander around and get lost! Its the best part of the experience! 

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. San Marco Square (attraction)
  2. Rialto Bridge (attraction)

answered by
mike from Coral Gables

Get lost. Find a hole in the wall for lunch. If the bianale is there, go.

answered by
Riccardo from Venice

So many beautiful things that can be seen for free in Venice, here are us locals favorites: San Marco Square, Rialto Bridge, Grand Canal using the line n.1 (better that you invest in a 3 days ticket for public boat service), Murano Island, Burano and Torcello Island islands (using the same 3 days ticket).

After seen these very classic places, you have to live the Venetian aperitif time that here is only wine, prosecco and spritz (the venitian light cocktail of wine/sparkling water/Aperol). The best place to spend your aperitif time in close to Rialto Bridge where you can see an amazing view of Grand Canal. There you can have the occasion to meet venetian people that have private boats and so you could arrange a lagoon trip for your outdoor expectations. The lagoon is really amazing and it's the unknown venetian pearl. Only with private boats you'll have the possibility to have lunch by real agritourism.

If you need I can suggest other thinks, but I need to know how long you stay in the city

All the museum are not free entry, but let's invest to see the Peggy Guggenheim Collection and the Palazzo Fortuny

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. San Marco Square (attraction)
  2. Rialto Bridge (attraction)
  3. Grand Canal (attraction)
  4. Murano Island (attraction)
  5. Burano (island)
  6. Torcello Island (island)
  7. Palazzo Fortuny (attraction)

answered first by
Maria from Dublin

Hi Valerie,

The first thing I would recommend is to buy a one day Vaporetto ticket - this can be used for 24 hours and will take you to all of the islands: Murano Island Burano Torcello Island - are the most popular. The ticket will cost you €20 but, as each 60min trip is €7 it will be money well spent. Try to do this in one day, other days walk! Venice is very small and very walkable. Eat off the beaten track and, above all, avoid the "marketing" guys outside the restaurants near San Marco and Rialto Bridge. Find some small, neighbourhood restaurants like La Zucca or Trattoria dai Tosi where the food is really good and you won't be ripped off. Lunch in Al Merca' behind the Rialto where you can stand up with the locals and feast on cicchetti and prosecco for €6. Visit the Rialto market and buy some excellent fruit, cold cuts, cheese and wine for a picnic on Burano. When you visit Piazza San Marco and Caffè Florian drink in the little bar in the back - half the price AND you get the added bonus of talking to the barman! Many museums in Venice have an entry fee, but most are not exorbitant. Basilicas are generally free to enter but there is a charge for tours and audio aids. You should visit: Basilica di San Marco Doge's Palace Peggy Guggenheim Collection and Gallerie dell'Accademia but wander into any church in Venice (there are many) and you will see amazing art for free. I love Venice. It is enchanting and romantic, particularly off the beaten track so walk lots!

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Murano Island (attraction)
  2. Burano (island)
  3. Torcello Island (island)
  4. Venice (city)
  5. San Marco (attraction)
  6. Rialto Bridge (attraction)
  7. La Zucca (restaurant)
  8. Trattoria dai Tosi (restaurant)
  9. Al Merca' (attraction)
  10. Piazza San Marco (attraction)
  11. Caffè Florian (restaurant)
  12. Basilica di San Marco (attraction)
  13. Doge's Palace (attraction)
  14. Peggy Guggenheim Collection (attraction)
  15. Gallerie dell'Accademia (attraction)

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