Venice on a budget is possible! All of the tourist spots are quite expensive but here are some tips to stay in a certain budget without giving up on all the great things. If you are planning to visit Venice on a budget, get there early in the morning and spend only one night there. Even though, the hostels in Venice are quite expensive, expierencing the change of Venice at dusk and dawn is magical.
Viewing platform for free
You can get on the rooftop of the huge shopping mall fondaco dei tedeschi for free. Once you made a free booking online you can use the viewing plattform to take pictures for 15 minutes.
Public boat instead of a gondola
The price for a private gondola is around 120 € for half an hour. Quite expensive. Instead, you can use the public boat transport, which is called Vaporetto and rides on the Grand Canal. Get a ticket (7,50€ / 75 mins. – 20€ / day ticket). You´ll get the ticket once you arrive in Venice but cannot buy it on the boat directly.
Coffee shop and breakfast
Drinks and food are quite expensive at the tourist area. I recommend going for a walk and getting lost in the small side streets to get away from the crowds. There you find cheap coffee places with tasty sandwiches. I really enjoyed Bacareto Da Lele, a wine bar close to Papadopoli garden (giardini Papadopoli). They offera variety of small sandwiches around 1(1-1.5€ each). Although they no tables outside, but you are going to find a great place to rest at the steps by the river or the neighbouring curch. The locals are heading there for breakfast around 1oam, it is pretty empty before but fun to watch them as well.
Getting a drink at the canal
When you aim for a drink I recommend Cannaregio district ( ital: Sestiere). Far less tourists, calm and cozy streets. If you order a drink but sit on the canal directly instead of taking one of the tables, you are going to pay less. Spritz is the typical summer drink in Venice and you get a tasty one for 3€ at Bacaro dai Morosi in Sestiere Cannaregio. In Venice, you pay more for “outside drinks” than for “inside drinks” but get the cheaper price that way as well without abstain from the great view.
You can get to Lido by using the public boat and are going to find an amazing beach there. A great place to chill and get some teint. Drinks at the beach are pricey, so better bring some if you travel on a budget and go for a self-made picnic at the beach.
Saint Mark´s Basilica
No entry fee unless you want to visit the museum. You can go inside the Basilica and observe the beautiful architecture and drawings. If you can manage, attend to the mass on sundasy at 6.45pm as it is really nice and gives you once more an idea about the locals life style. Do not miss out on the square around the Basilica. It can get crowded around noon and is less full in the evening.