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On a budget? Here’s how to do Venice

Despite its history as a playground for Europe’s elite, Venice’s finest moments are supremely affordable. Also don’t forget to see our Venetian food feature, p88.

Venice on a budget

The grand finale to the Grand Canal

Around San Marco

ST MARK’S BASILICA 1

Venice’s most fabled church is free to enter (although extras inside, such as the treasury, cost a few euros each). The basilica is a testament to the riches of the old Venetian Republic, with its golden mosaics and precious stonework (basilicasanmarco.it; Piazza San Marco; 9.45am–5pm, from 2pm Sun). Consider booking to beat queues in spring and summer (£1.60; venetoinside.com)

SAN MARCO BACKSTREETS 2

Behind the ever-thronged Piazza San Marco, the maze-like streets of its namesake district conceal artisan craft shops among the mass-market souvenir stalls. Head west to see the opera house of La Fenice on its small square, before turning towards Campo Manin. On a backstreet two turns south of here is Palazzo Contarini del Bovolo, with its extraordinary snail-shell outer staircase.

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Find the complete article and many more in this issue of Lonely Planet - March 2015
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