Venice is an amazing city. Year-after-year Venice pops up as the number one dream vacation destination for travelers from all over the world. Venice is unique in so many ways; streets of water, alleys so small two people can’t walk next to each other, a bewildering address numbering scheme, bridges everywhere and of course there are there is St. Mark’s Cathedral, the city’s Duomo.
All the beauty of Venice comes with a price.
Hotels are outrageously expensive, especially during the peak season. And it is not only the accommodations that will break the bank, the food as good as it is, can be extremely expensive. I went to Venice with a friend who used her honors points to pay for the hotel, it never occurred to us that breakfast at the hotel would cost $70 per person! We stuffed our pockets with fruit, rolls and cheese since that was our meal budget for the day
There are two options to consider to lower your Venice Expenses:
1. Rent an Apartment
When I went to Venice several years ago there were three of us traveling together. Three is a difficult number to accommodate when it comes to hotels. It turned out to be much cheaper to rent an apartment for 4 nights than a hotel.
Not only was the nightly fee less but we ate breakfast at the apartment every morning and kept a number of snacks there as well. We did not deny ourselves cappuccino, we just went to a café after breakfast and planned our day over a delicious coffee concoction.
This suggestion comes with one warning. If you run into a problem there is no front desk to call for a quick fix. We rented through a rental company that had good reviews on several different websites and were generally pleased with them.
There were people there to help during business hours but they closed up shop at the end of the day and you were on your own after that. We were so excited that our apartment had a washer and dryer that we managed to blow a fuse within an hour of our arrival and had to spend a long evening in the dark.
We looked everywhere for the fuse box which was well hidden under the stairs of the apartment building. When we found it we realized we had no idea what we were looking for or at.
So we embraced our situation and had the very Italian experience of hanging our wet clothes out on a line to dry. In the morning someone from the rental company changed out the fuse and we spent the rest of the week enjoying our apartment and limited our use of all the appliances.
If you choose this option be sure to do your research and pick a rental company with good reviews. Make a list of questions to ask before you commit.
- Do you have an elevator?
- What floor is the apartment on?
- How far are you from the boat taxi stop?
- How will I get the keys?
- How many keys will I get?
- Who do I call if there is a problem?
- Where is the apartment?
- What is it near?
We emailed the rental company several times before leaving for Venice so they knew when we planned to arrive and we knew where they were going to meet us. We called them from the train when we were on our way.
2. Stay in Padua
Padua is a beautiful and small city about 30 minutes from Venice depending on the type of train you choose. Padua is home to one of the largest and oldest universities in Italy.
The University of Padua is where Galileo taught and where Dante was a student. It is home to the Scrovegni Chapel, one of the most beautiful in Europe and has a large and impressive Duomo.
There are so many good restaurants in Padua that it is impossible to get a bad meal.
From Padua you can take a day trips to Venice and Verona for that matter.
You miss the experience of staying in Venice but your pocketbook will thank you.
When I visit Padua I stay at the Hotel Belludi 37.
The Hotel Belludi 37 is a small hotel, there are only 2 floors of rooms, with the friendliest staff I have ever encountered.
The breakfast is large and will hold you over for a morning of walking and sightseeing. If you stay there ask for one of the higher floors or a room off the main street which can be noisy with street traffic at night.