Venice, Italy is like no other place on earth, beautiful in its own unique way. It’s built on more than 100 small islands in the Adriatic sea. There are no roads, only small canals that come off the famous Grand Canal. Everywhere you turn, you will be in awe of the beauty that is in front of you.
Although Venice is extremely overcrowded with tourists, it is a beautiful place to visit. You can easily get lost for the day in the little streets. Although, do be aware that when you are trying to get to a certain place, it probably won’t go to plan as you may hit a dead end or the grand canal with nowhere else to go but back and to navigate a different route around the streets and alleys again. It’s honestly like a maze.
Here is my essential guide to Venice, Italy.
How to get there
Venice has two airports. Treviso is about 30 minutes by train and costs no more that 4€. But of the two Marco Polo is the most convenient airport, which is about 20 minutes by bus to Piazzale Roma. From here you can also opt for a water bus to and from Marco Polo airport into the heart of Venice for about 15 euros for a more unique way of transport.
How to get around
Venice can be quite expensive so for getting around, I would recommend purchasing a Public Transport Ticket (city pass), which will give you access to the buses and water buses. For 1 day it is 20€, 2 days is 30€, 3 days is 40€ and for a week it is 70€
What to see & do
Piazza San Marco
This grand square is surrounded by buildings that tell a 1000 tales, boutique cafes with live orchestras playing outside that will cost you an arm and a leg for a drink. The beauty of the famous square attracts all the tourists, so it is crowded with people and just about the same amount of pigeons. This is without the doubt the liveliest square of the city.
Saint Marks Basilica
Undoubtedly, Venice’s most famous church. Standing with pride as on the main sights in Piazza San Marco. There are always queues to get in but if you want to skip the line then you can buy a guided tour for about 25€.
Torre dell’ Orologio (St. Marks Clock Tower)
This tower holds important symbolism in Venice. The clock itself shows the time swell as the current zodiac and moon phrase which makes it even more special and unique.
You can only visit the clocktower as part of a guided tour, which you can reserve online here for 12€.
Ponte de Rialto.
Probably the most famous bridge in all of Venice. It is the oldest bridge that crosses over the Grand Canal in the very heart of the city. It is definitely one of the main tourist attractions and the views from there a very special and you would surely recognise them in a heartbeat.
Take a ride on a Gondola
Although, I decided to pass on this, as 80€ was quite steep for 40 minutes. It is considered to be one of the main things to do. If this is your thing then, by all means, go for it, but it is a bit of a overprices tourist trap.
The Bridge of Sighs
This enclosed bridge connects Prigioni (the prisons) to Doge’s palace. Legends say that prisoners who crossed the bridge would either be on their way to prison or to their execution and they would sigh as they caught their last glimpse of Venice’s beauty. Hence the name; the bridge of sighs.
A true masterpiece of Gothic architecture which dates back as far as the 14th century. Doge’s palace is always on everyone’s itineraries when they visit Venice. You can reserve tickets here for 20€.
Take a day trip to the islands of Murano & Burano
Murano and Burano are two beautiful islands that are perfect for any day trip away from the hustle and bustle of the main city. Wander the canals and streets of Murano and discover the history of glass making. Then catch the boat from there to Burano and wander streets of this brightly coloured islands. Probably one of the most colourful and bright places in Europe. You will be amazed at everything. Check out my post on Murano and Burano here.
*Although there are many things to discover in Venice the list above is some of the main attractions.
Where to stay
Staying right in the centre of Venice can be quite expensive and nearly always full up because of how popular it is. A lot of people are now staying just outside of the main island on the mainland, in an area called Mestre. This part is still part of Venice, just a bit more metropolitan.
There are frequent buses or trains from Venice Mestre train station to Santa Lucia train station or buses to Piazzale Roma.
The buses can be used as part of your travel card but the trains can’t be used with the card.
There are plenty of cheaper accommodation options in this area.
They have two huge hostels in Mestre which are right next to each other and about a 5-minute walk from the train/bus station. They offer private rooms and dorm rooms for a fantastic price. If you are a large group you could also book a dorm room for you all, it would work out cheaper and they sleep up to 6 people. The rooms are very clean with private bathrooms and TV. You do have to purchase they sheets for 3€ upon check in though.
For such a huge place, WIFI is great. The amenities are fantastic too; kitchen laundry room, lockers, bike rental, bar and breakfast for an extra cost. There is a large communal area in reception where you can relax, do work, plan trips and socialise.
The no.43 bus into Venice stops right outside the hostel making it very convenient.
Where to eat
Farini- For breakfast head to this popular place and choose from one of their many sweet or savoury treats. Why not have a piece of pizza for breakfast which was freshly made that morning (yes, when in Italy it is totally acceptable to have pizza for breakfast, right?) or try one their delicate flaky croissants. The Jam croissant one is amazing.
Osteria Santa Giustina – Located in a quiet square just off the grand canal, more locals than tourists are here. This great little find serves tapas-style snacks and great local dishes from pasta to risotto. The drinks are at a great price too at 3.50€ for an Aperol Spritz.
Have you been to Venice? What’s your favourite thing about the city?
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