If you are reading this article is, most likely, because you like traveling, you like to experience new things, get to know people from different countries and all those things that we’ve talked about already. This time, we’re showing you Venice, a beautiful city that challenges our budgets.
Getting there isn’t expensive and for sure you’ll find cheap offers with any of the low coast airlines that fly to Venice, or to Treviso Airport, to be more precise. The plan is to keep it on budget so try to get couchsurfing or really cheap accommodation.
After a small search you can find on Hostelworld that the PLUS Camping Jolly is pretty much the most affordable place – with a discount that gets it at €8/night in an almost impossible fare to find in Venice. It isn’t central, on the info they make it clear it takes around 20 minutes from Venice. The staff gives good indications on how to find it, but they clearly shortened the minutes as it should take around 40min in total. Anyway, it is a really cool place, a kind of camping with really cosy bungalows for 2 to 4 people, but extremely cold during the night. They do have air conditioning, but the construction has different holes that allow all that freezing air inside. Though, in the summer, it must be really awesome with a large swimming pool open!
Getting there you can easily hitchhike or, if you prefer, take the ATVO shuttle for €12, it’s only 40min to Piazzale Roma, the main transportation hub in the island, or the only one if you put boats aside. It is the only place where you’ll see bus, cars or trains. And crossing Ponte della Libertà in the early morning with a clear weather is one of the greatest things you can do in Venice, it just looks like the sky and the sea meet as one!
When arriving go around and get this instantaneous feeling of joy, it is just impressive to see how the city looks so perfect and still untouched, mostly for being spared from attacks during the II World War. Walking around Venice is a totally jaw dropping experience. For the good and the bad.
When you get to cross the small bridges all over and see the amazing architecture, the reflections of light and color, exactly those that inspired so many painters of the Venetian school. And it amazes because there is no modern nothing, it is as it was. And the boats? The vaporettos were too expensive to take, €7.5 per ticket, and going somewhere on a gondola is only for damn rich tourists. But yes, you’ll see how people living there use them as cars, it is just unbelievable when you find a garbage collector boat, an ambulance boat or even a funerary boat! It is obvious they have the same needs of transportation as we have in our cities, but you only realize it when you get there!
If you take a look at the map, Venice seems like 2 big islands and a smaller one, but no, it really isn’t. There are 117 islands divided by 150 canals and, guess what, 409 bridges! But true, the area isn’t that big, so the streets are all as narrow as they can possible get, on what turns the city into a huge labyrinth. After some hours walking around you know you are lost and one can’t even trust street names, simply because most of them have no name and also forget using any maps app, cause you just won’t get internet anywhere, but we’ll come back to that in a while. So to get to know your way you must have really good orientation skills or follow the few arrows pointing to “Piazzale Roma”, “Ferrovia” or “Piazza San Marco”, the main square where you can be really amazed by the Basilica and the buildings surrounding it. But sure that getting lost is also one of the coolest things, discovering by yourself how to get somewhere is always a great traveling experience.
As we said, finding an internet connection is really damn hard! Once there, you will always find the “VeniceConnected” network on your phone, but to access it you have to pay €5 per day to get a login! And if you go to a coffee place or a shopping mall, or even McDonalds, you have to give them your phone number if you are from one of the countries they list, if your phone SIMcard is from some other country they ask you to insert your credit card number! It is just crazy hard to get online. In the end, you’ll just feel the amazing pleasure of not having your social media always beeping and calling for your attention, it might become very relieving if you want to keep away from your daily routine!
When it comes to food prices, they are clearly over our budget, it is almost impossible to find a restaurant where a normal meal would cost less than €20. But you can always find other options as a really good pizza like in “Pizza La Toscano”, the slices are big and the most simple, and original, Margherita costs €1.8! Apart from that you can get a lot of stuff from supermarkets where the prices are totally average when comparing to most european cities. And if you enjoy having some beers, get ready, most places will ask you for €3.5 for 33cl, but next to the pizzeria there is a small place where you can get it for €2.5, or in the supermarket the cheapest will be around €0.7. If you want to try the well known italian coffee, have in mind you’ll pay double price, or almost, for a cappuccino outside, there you do pay for the view!
However the huge number of the “selfie stick kind of tourists”, fancy places and being a sort of open air shopping mall, you can find really strange stuff, starting on the typical venetian carnival masks that range from the beautiful and elegant to the creepy weirdo, or this very central fetish shop with a naked mannequin on the window, all sorts of erotic books and costumes, mirrors and red neons!
So when planning a trip to Venice just remember you’ll see a lot of tourists, you won’t find really cool bars or an artistic city as you might have imagined. Also you won’t have internet connection and the city doesn’t really smell like flowers. But it really is a true architectonic paradise, it is a city to walk all around, discovering new streets and paths, it definitely is a place to go at least once and absorb all that mysterious medieval spirit and enjoy the light and colors mirroring on the endless canals!