Venice has been a popular entry in several travel bucket lists, and for good reasons. Canals and gondolas, palaces and churches, events and festivals — all these contribute to making this city one of the world’s most-visited destinations. As a downside, Venice is undeniably a pricey city. But that’s no reason to miss it! Here are a few surprising free and almost-free things to do in Venice, without compromising the fun and frolics.
Visiting the Historic Churches
A trip to Venice is surely incomplete without admiring the gilded beauty of the city’s historic churches. With its richly decorated interiors, Basilica San Marco is one of the most famous attractions of Venice. Entry to the church is totally free unless you want to access its famous treasure, and there’s likely no queue during off-seasons. Located alongside the Lagoon, there are other important architectures to wander around freely, like the Basilica of Santa Maria della Salute, or the very ancient Chiesa di San Zaccaria.
Heading to the Outdoor Markets
Venice houses an abundance of bustling and beautiful outdoor markets, and wandering through them is a fun freebie activity. The unique Rialto Market offers a quintessentially Venetian experience. The same area turns into a winter wonderland during holidays with tons of cute little shops and Christmas stalls. There’s also Fondaco dei Tedeschi, a warehouse-converted-sleek mall. The fresh foods from the outdoor markets are perfect for a delicious low-cost lunch or an impromptu picnic in a beautiful city garden.
Watching a Regatta
In a city having canals for streets, regattas are everywhere, making for quite a sight! The most famous in Venice is the Regata Storica, which takes place on the Grand Canal on the first Sunday of September each year. Venice is also the host city of the Regata delle Antiche Repubbliche Marinare, along with Amalfi, Pisa, and Genoa. Each city takes its turn to host the event once every four years. Then there’s Vogalonga every May.
Finding Hidden Gems
The unique city of Venice stores some equally unique hidden spots across the city. For instance, the Liberia Acqua Alta houses gondolas and bathtubs stashed with stacks of books. The place also features a fun staircase made of books, leading to an elevated vantage point, offering a scenic view over the canals. Located at the city’s narrowest street Calle Varisco, there’s Ponte del Chiodo, the last testament of the architecture of bridges from ancient Venice. Visiting these quirky spots will surely make a memorable day for no added cost.
Joining in the Major Events and Festivals
Undoubtedly, Venice is synonymous with the Carnevale, a breathtaking yearly event filling the city with colors, designer masks, and extravagant costumes. You’ll be able to enjoy the spectacle of the festival just by wandering the city streets. Another great free-to-enjoy Venetian Celebration is the Festa del Redentore, with spectacular fireworks lighting up the canals. The Biennale is a huge attraction, especially for contemporary art fans. Plan ahead to coincide your trip to Venice with your choice of event and soak up the festive atmosphere.