Honeymoons, weekend breaks, Euro-trip stopover, Venice is the perfect holiday spot no matter what kind of trip you’re looking for. Like every other bucketlist city, Venice can be a little tricky to plan for. We’ve sourced several insider tips to Venice so you can get most from your experience in the sinking city!
7. Save sightseeing until the evening
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It’s best to check out the stunning Doge’s Palace, discover Venice’s our treasure trove of art at Gallerie dell’Accademia and the grand St.Mark’s Cathedral during the day. Venice is beautiful at all times of day, but dusk has to be our favourite.
The soft hues of pink and blue as the sun sets beneath the Venetian sea is a memory which will last a lifetime. We recommend grabbing picnic ingredients at a supermarket and heading down to the St.Mark’s Square, hang out by the docks and watch the sun disappear.
6. Nightlife in Venice does exist
You just have to go looking for it! Come midnight in Venice everywhere seems to shut down, waiters pull in the tables from the winding alleys, gondolas are tied up until the next morning and the entire island appears to go to sleep. But that doesn’t mean you should.
Dive into the Venitian neighbourhood of Cannaregio for a good time without breaking the bank. Check out local wines spots such as El Sbarlefo, since opening in 2010 this fine establishment has gone on to receive a reputation for maintaining a balance between good wine and good prices, a glass of the house wine is just €1.50.
If you’re looking for somewhere a little more upbeat, dive into Il Santo Bevitore, also known as Venice’s best pub. Here you won’t find much wine or spritzers but bubbling Italian craft beers, a bustling atmosphere, and great service.
5. Make time to visit the islands of Murano and Burano
Wandering the mystical streets of Venice is one thing, but checking out its sibling islands is a whole other experience. Ensuring you make time to visit at least one of these islands can be tricky, but with the right planning, it’s possible and completely worth it.
If Murano is your island of choice with its beautiful glass sculptures, be wary of two things: boats may offer “free” tours of the island, however, they have agreements with certain glassware shops and you may feel inclined to buy something very expensive.
Instead, opt for the public transport boat to take you out, enjoy the island in own time, at your own pace. Secondly, each piece of authentic Murano glassware will have the “Vetro Murano Artistico” trademark on it, so get familiar before buying!
If you find the colourful island of Burano calling your name, answer the call. As one of Europe’s most colourful destinations, this multi-coloured island isn’t just famous for its luminous appearance but sensational lace too. However, like the glass-making island of Murano, there are counterfeit pieces here, we recommend being careful when picking some up. Don’t be surprised if the lace is inexpensive, Burano lace may feel like heaven on Earth, but it’s financially accessible by visitors!
4. Asking before buying is the best way to stick to your budget
Venice can suck you dry if you’re not careful, but it’s entirely possible to not overspend while visiting. At restaurants, for example, you will have to pay for table service, the price of that depends on where you sit, the better the view, the more you pay.
Also, if the waiter offers you anything from a glass of water to extras with your meal, always ask how much it is to prevent a nasty bill at the end of your meal.
3. When to take a Gondola ride
A gondola ride through the whimsical canals of Venice is a must on most visitors itinerary, which means throughout the day the canals can get packed. To get the full experience hop on a gondola either first thing in the morning and slowly watch Venice come to live, or catch one of the last gondolas in the day and have the canals (almost) to yourself.
However you will have to fork out a little extra cash after 7 pm when the price rises from €80 to €100 for 40 minutes, and always make sure you agree on the ride duration before setting off!
2. Book transport in advance
Venice has an array of money-saving welcome tickets, package tickets and deals when it comes to transport, the main service being the public water bus (Vaporetto) but it can be tricky to get your head around.
On the spot, an adult one-way tickets cost €7.50, but you can find one day/two days etc. tickets deal, and by booking in advance you can save a few euros on your transport!
1. You will get lost, and you will love it
Venice is a labyrinth, even if you have a bird-like sense of direction you will still get lost. But trust us, getting lost in the twining, narrow streets of Venice is an experience like no other. When you visit Venice you have to keep in mind that it will take time to get from A to B, but you won’t mind it as it is charismatically derelict.
The beauty of rustic buildings aligning the winding canals joined together by bridges sends you into a trance of awe. It is simply of the most beautiful places in the world, so embrace getting lost and let its charm take over.