Thousands dream of a trip to Venice, the City of Bridges, and if you have the opportunity to go, it shouldn’t EVER be missed! On a Budget? No need to discount a trip. There’s plenty of resources and prospects for the budget traveler/student traveler/backpacker/and adventure seeker! Naturally, the well traveled would agree the best trips come out of experiencing the culture, which lucky enough doesn’t require too much!
Choose wisely where you spend your money.
How you book a train can make all the difference.
What aspects of the trip should you focus those euros on? And where should you skip the expense?
Trains are more often than not going to be your best method of transportation so book it wisely! A trip from Rome to Venice for example can go for 80 euros on up one way, but by booking tickets well enough in advance for the departure and return together, you’ll find the guaranteed best deals. A couple weeks to a month will tend to be sufficient time. Waiting too long though can force one to pay well more than bargained for. Don’t make it more costly than it needs to be.
Be sure to book your train to Venezia Santa Lucia, the main station of Venice, which I highly recommend. Instead of clicking “Venezia (all stations)” be sure to specify. The other option is to stop at VeneziaMestre. Often hotels, hostels, or other accommodations will try to draw you into staying on the mainland and not in the floating city. And seemingly low prices will make it very appealing. However, to get to any of these accommodations you will need a cab each and every time you wish to return to your place of stay from the train station and back to. This costly expense will be sure to push the price of a nightly stay well over what can be found directly in the part of Venice, which you really want to see.
Before you book your tickets, make sure you’ve found accommodations if visiting in the high season (late summer) or Carnival (February or early March). While booking, the rooms might even disappear on your screen before your eyes and one certainly doesn’t want to be stuck with train tickets and no place to stay, or having to stay on the mainland.
Where you should book your stay.
The city of Venice is truly one of the most beautiful cities in the world, even in the gloomiest of weather depending on the time of year you go. No doubt you won’t and shouldn’t be spending much time in your accommodations so booking an overpriced hotel will certainly be a waste. Many hotel search engines, including hostelworld.com will find you easy and affordable deals to a wide variety of accommodations.
After evaluating three different types of stay for the budget traveler (all booked through hostelworld.com), Hotel BasileaDependenza, B&B Da Nina Venezia, and Camping Fusina, B&Bs will be the best stay— a rule of thumb I’ve found throughout Italy and heard repeated again and again.
Hotel BasileaDipendenza, a ten-minute walk from the train station will cost about 22 euros a person, after the online fees, 23.50. Not bad for a decent room, working bathroom, included breakfast, and great location. The place attracts many American study abroad students, and will accommodate late arrivals even into the early morning (great for late evening or night train passengers). The place overall may have been a little decrepit, decayed, and not truly in the quality and shape of the photos, but never the less decent for just a night’s stay.
Stepping into B&B Da Nina Venezia though felt like stepping into the perfect stay for 33 euros each, the priciest of our three lodgings. My friends and I even chose to spend this night in to catch up on some sleep, truly enjoy the place, and enhance our instagram accounts well above that of any of our friends. Modern, pristine, comfortable, and restful, they left breakfast in our rooms and accommodated us well. The private bathroom was well beyond any of our expectations and glistened of quality and cleanliness. Well recommended and in an excellent location near the train station while being very quiet.
The last, Camping Fusina, we knew not to expect much of for a mere 12 euros per person per night. Off the islands of Venice, and on the mainland they offered us a free shuttle ride from the Venice Mestre Station to the campground location after many miscommunications and a short train ride from Venice Santa Lucia. Check-in was a hassle and even required us to leave a passport at reception, poor service, and a small trailer to serve as our place of stay. Split into two rooms, A and B, if I was in a party of one or two instead of three it most definitely would have been an awkward night divided by a thin wall in the tiny trailer. The outside walls might have even been thinner for the night we stayed there it snowed and were left with sheets, a blanket, and a “heater” that seemed to have no affect. All of us waking up from the damp cold several times in one night did not leave us well rested nor inspire any liking to the cheap plastic built in furnishings. The place did offer a ferry service. Instead of taking an expensive taxi to the train station, to take a train to the Venetian islands, the ferry departed a few meters from the entrance to the campgrounds and left hourly, 7euros a ticket available at a separate nearby ticket stand. After more than our fair share of rides, cost of tickets got more pricey than we all would have liked and collectively agreed the time wasted too was well worth investing that money into a stay closer to the heart of Venice, a lesson well learned everyone should take heed of.
All of these stays were booked through hostelworld.com, a site I had a good experience with. Their review are certainly helpful, their prices are unbeatable, and they provided all of the information we could ever need about each place of stay in detail (address, map, rates, reviews, photos, who its best for, facilities, policies, and things to note). A 10% deposit had to be paid online with booking, which for the deals they find you really isn’t much though I took comfort in knowing they wouldn’t pay the hotels until after our stay. And as with almost anything in Italy, cash upfront at the places paid for the rest of the bill.
Budget Tips to Take Away
• Book at the right time
• Book your Departure and Return tickets together
• Book train to Venezia Santa Lucia Station
• Stay on one of the islands, in the center of all the action
• Find deals on websites like hostelworld.com or venere.com
• Book your train and hotel at the same time to be sure both are available to you at the same time
• Remember that most of your time will not be spent at your lodgings
• You get what you pay for but a few extra dollars are worth not camping. B&Bs tend to be the best accommodations (33euro), hotel (23.50euros) and camping (12euros).