Venice: How to avoid the tourist trap

Venice sospiri bridge

The City on the Lagoon doesn’t have to be an expensive date.

Venice is one of the world’s most popular tourist spots. But it’s also one of the most expensive.

We recently read a story in the Guardian about a group of tourists in Venice being charged an exorbitant amount of money for their meal. Unfortunately, it’s something that happens often. And the likelihood that it will happen only increases when it comes to tourists that don’t speak Italian.

In fact, even Italians are treated poorly by some restaurants. It’s a complicated problem!

Venice exists for and by tourism. But it’s also a working, functioning city, with a university and many important businesses (above and beyond the tourist industry).

Venetians often resent the way their city is overrun by visitors every year. And sometimes this leads to unscrupulous business factors. Or at least it can compound it.

Here are some tips about not breaking the bank when you visit.

1) Stay on the mainland where hotels cost a lot less. It’s easy to commute to the city by train. Literally a five-minute trip in some cases.

2) Avoid the restaurants around St. Mark’s Square. It’s all about location when you live on an island. There are a lot of more reasonably priced restaurants in the city’s residential neighborhoods.

3) Venetians typically eat at wine bars, known as a bacaro or cicchetteria. It’s a great way to eat inexpensively and eat exactly the way the locals do!

4) When you do plan to eat in one of the city’s more expensive restaurants, be sure to look up the menu online before you reserve. Know what you’re getting yourself into. The city isn’t really known for its fine dining scene although there are some really great restaurants there as well. For frugal travelers, it’s must better to avoid that splurge meal. A splurge meal there is like three splurge meals anywhere else!

Image via Sackton’s Flickr (Creative Commons).

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