One of the most popular tourist destinations in the world is Venice, Italy. With its winding canals, colorful houses, and iconic Rialto Bridge, Venice is a city like no other. If you’re planning your first trip to Venice, this guide will help make sure you see the best of what the city has to offer. Here are my top tips for enjoying Venice like a pro.
How many days should you stay in Venice?
Venice is a fantastic city to explore, but it’s best if you only stay 1 or 2 days. You may get bored if you stay longer.
Venice is a city of canals and gondolas, not cars
Mistake number one we made, was getting off the train and immediately looking for a taxi (car). It’s quite embarrassing, really! There are no cars! I repeat: No Cars! One thing is for sure – getting around Venice can be a bit tricky. The best way to navigate the city is by foot or by water taxi. Be prepared for lots of walking, as many of the streets are quite narrow and winding. Good news is, you never have to worry about getting stuck in traffic.
Bring your favorite pair of walking shoes, because that will be your main form of transportation in this lagoon style city.
Venice Train Station
Here is the most important thing you need to know. Make sure you buy a train ticket to the Venice Santa Lucia train station. This is the last stop and dead end.
Masks are required and enforced on the train. They will not provide a mask, therefore, you must bring your own mask.
Where to stay
The Jewish Ghetto (Cannaregio) is a great place to stay when you’re traveling by train. There are no cars in Venice, so the closer to the train station the less you are having to drag your bags around those bumpy roads. Plus, this area is budget friendly. If you want to stay near the tourist attractions, then San Marco is where it’s at. The closer you get to San Marco’s, the more expensive hotels will be. You can also find some great Airbnb’s in Venice. Airbnb is a fantastic way to save money on your vacation, because many of these rentals are cheaper than hotels and you’ll typically get access to cooking facilities where you could prepare some food yourself!
Taxis are also known as Professional Luggage Carriers
When in Venice, you have to carry your bags through streets that are only wide enough for one person at a time, and then, over really steep steps before getting on an even slower boat ride across the lagoon! It’s not easy being here with luggage – but luckily there are porters (taxis), because nobody wants to do this job themselves. Also, water taxis in Venice are a fun way to get around instead of walking. Remember this is an lagoon.
When you think of Italy, what comes to mind? For many people around the world, it’s likely that their first thoughts will be some form or another involving around food and wine. However, for me it’s the famous Gondolas. We have all grown up seeing romantic gondolas in the movies and on TV. Well, Gondolas happen here in Venice and this is a once-in lifetime experience in the city that invented them. Gondolas are so iconic, they have become an internationally recognized symbol of Venice. The shape and design is instantly recognizable to everyone worldwide, as these elegant boats ply the canals with their skilled gondoliers at work. The cost is 80 euros during the day and 100 at night. Keep in mind, this is per Gondola not per person.
Legend has it that if you kiss your sweetheart under the bridge, while drifting below on a gondola at sunset, then eternal love will be yours.
On a side note, we did witness a marriage proposal right next to us on another gondola. I still can’t believe we were so lucky to witness such an intimate and special moment. It really made our day. Best part is….She said, “Yes!”
Buy a Hand Made Marionette
A handcrafted marionette in Venice Italy is an art form that has been around for centuries; it’s no wonder they’re still popular today. The dolls’ heads spin on their necks and move up to make smiling faces when someone moves nearby. Not only can these beautiful toys be enjoyed by children who will love playing with them, but also adults looking for something different than traditional toys. These can be pricy from $400 up to $1,000 but 100% worth the price tag. The price is negotiable. You will not find these marionettes anywhere else in Italy, at least I never did. I’m still kicking myself for not buying one.
With so many water fountains spread out across Venice, you will never run low on H2O. Get a refillable bottle and enjoy saving money and being environmentally friendly. The ancient Romans have been delivering clean drinkable water to this Italian city for over 2000 years, and they still are. It’s healthy according to national standards as well as international ones. The best part is the water tastes great!
Go with friends
When you travel with friends, even just the trip itself is an adventure.
There’s no better feeling in this world than going on vacation and experiencing something new together! Whether it be exploring a city or taking off for parts unknown- adventures await around every corner.
Where to visit in Venice?
The Doge’s Palace is one of the most famous palaces in all Italy, and it houses an impressive history as well. This castle-like structure was built in 1340 and modified many times since then, making it one of Venice most historic buildings. The Doge’s Palace is an architectural wonder and has some amazing artifacts that would make any history buff drool. You can find the Armory room where there are various types of weapons like: swords, armaments, crossbows, maces, axes, muskets, rifles, pistols, shotguns, slings, saddles, lances, hurdles, tridents, chauffer, hatchets, halberds, battle-axes, sledgehammers, flails, hammock, sun-chains, billhooks, drag braces, vambraces, gloves, protector rings, and etcetera. The adventure doesn’t stop there. There is also a huge, dark dungeon where you can get lost in. This is any man’s paradise.
Visit St. Mark Square
This is where a majority of the tourist attractions are located. Keep in mind, the closer you are to this area the more expensive things tend to be, including hotel and food. The following is located at the square:
*St. Marks Campanile
*Saint Mark’s Basilica
See the views from St Mark’s Campanile
The view from atop the Campanile is among one of Venice’s most iconic images and can be seen for miles around. Just a heads up, there is an elevator located within this tower. No Cross-fit training is required before buying tickets. Hehe!
Saint Mark’s Basilica
This is one of Italy’s most famous churches and it is breathtaking. Please keep in mind, the dress code for this church is very strict, you must have your shoulders and top part of the legs covered. Also, this is the perfect place to buy an elegant, quality rosary. You can find it in the gift shop and it makes for a great souvenir.
I usually love to give food recommendations, but this time I’m going to have to pass in regards to a restaurant suggestion. The good news is you will be eating a lot of fresh seafood. Sadly, the food is … boring with not much flavor. Keep in mind, this opinion is coming from an American girl from Texas who loves her fried food with lots of salt.
However, my husband was a big fan of Pizza 2000. He said that their 5 cheese pizza has been the best he’s ever had. The cheese on the pizza was so fresh and stringy, I could barely bite into it. You have to wait for the cheese to cool down otherwise it will slide right off the pizza. That is exactly what fresh cheese is suppose to do!
Venice is a city that should be experienced by all. If you’re looking for a romantic getaway, an adventure, or just some time to relax and take in the beauty of the world, Venice is the place for you. Thanks for following my guide on how to enjoy Venice like a pro! I hope it helps make your trip unforgettable. Have you been to Venice? What are your favorite things to do there? Let me know in the comments below!
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