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Venice for a budget traveller
Jul 05, 2004 04:20 PM 7834 Views
(Updated Jul 05, 2004 04:23 PM)


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The Queen of the Seas is one of the strangest places in this world. A place which exists only in your dreams. Keep your first step in Venice and you are transported to the magical world, the memories of which last a lifetime atleast.

But as they say, dreams can quite costly at times. Venice indeed can be quite heavy on your pocket, and it even takes pride in being so. And then if I say I managed 2 days and one night for 45Euros (of course minus the travel to venice), you would be very interested to listen!

So here we go; I booked a very nice hostel bang in the centre( 5 minutes of walk from San Marco Square!) for just 16 Euros. It was if not the best, one amongst the best hostels in europe. Very quite, clean and a self catering kitchen - which saved a lot of money and hassles for me ( And a decent enough curfew of 00:30 left me enough time to discover venice even at night.

Venice card( in blue and orange flavours) -, saves you a lot of money too. The orange card costs 18 Euros(junior) and gave me access to all the museums and transport for one whole day. I took one as soon as I arrived in Venice.

I divided my trip in 2 days, the first day for the islands and museums, the second day for getting a feel of the best in venice.

Day 1

My first stop after checking in was the Murano Island, famous for the Murano Glass. You can watch the ''masters'' displaying their magnificent skills in creating amazing figures from a blob of hot glass within minutes.

The next up was Burano, famous for its lacework and the coloured houses. It was like a dreamworld made of toys. Burano is an explosion of colours. Not only the houses, the flowers, the gardens and even the clothes that people wear are all bright and exquisite. Burano still retains its old world charm, friendly people ever ready to welcome the ever intruding tourists.

The other two, Torcello and Lido were good but not exceptional.

Back on the main island(and the pass still valid), I explored the most famous of the museums/churches followed by a quite evening by the canal in the hostel.

Day 2

The day of walking, Venice perhaps can be best experienced on foot(The gondolas are better but too expensive). I started from the tip of the fish and walked till the mouth, exploring everything that came in between. The easy venice guide(sold at the tourist points for 2.5E) is very helpful as it keeps telling you of the places of interest based on the region you are in.

And perhaps a better way to find your way to the best places is to ask the locals ( they older ones, immaculately dressed in their suits, are very good at this). No one loves venice more than these locals do and its a heatbreak for them if a tourist misses a place of interest. Expect them to very graphic in the description of the way to anything you ask them(irrespective of the language), they just hate you missing anything in venice.

The weather was by my side and I simply loved the narrow bylanes, the gondolas passing under you on the arched bridges, the busy grand canal and the amazing atmosphere which has over the years made so many people fall in love. As Mary McCarthey famously said, you just cannot be original in saying anything about Venice. Whatever you feel and said has been repeated many times.

To end the day I took a ride up the Bell tower on San Marco square. I had the best of the world in that. I went up at 7:30 p.m. and stayed up till beyond the closing time, 9:15 p.m. That meant I saw venice in varying shades of light leading to sunset and eventually it was dark enough to see the lights. The cost was 6 Euros, but had I known what I was about to experience, I would have paid even 60. It just cannot not be missed!

A few money saving tips

  • Though its a pity that you have to eat in McDonalds in Venice, they offer the cheapest and good quality meals. I would rather try italian cuisine in any other place but venice. The supermarket also gives you an option to but cheap readymade food.

  • If you wanna experience the Gondola and dont have money for it, got for the Traghettos. Its the same as the gondolas, minus the singers and the royal seats. Traghettos are used to cross the grand canal at multiple points. And they cost just 40 cents!!. I used it thrice.

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