Venice Italy – the most essential travel tips
Do you dream of traveling to Venice, Italy? You’d like to see its most important attractions. Get lost in the labyrinth of cobblestone streets and charming bridges thrown over numerous canals.
Sip a delicious Italian coffee and taste an authentic Margherita pizza. Or, take your loved one there with you, take a cruise with them on a colorful gondola and end your tour of Venice with a romantic walk. Nothing is more straightforward than that!
I will give you a hint of what to do and where to stay in Venice, Italy. After reading this post, you should no longer have any problems organizing your tour of this city.
Read also: Best things to do in Venice Italy in one day
Venice Italy map
Venice may appear to be a large city, but this is not the case. Of course, it is not a small town, but the strict center area allows you to explore the city on foot.
Before you start making a sightseeing plan, it’s a good idea to figure out how the city is divided into sections and how attractions are distributed.
Venice is divided into six districts (sestieri), three on either side of the Canal Grande. Each community has a distinct personality, though these differences are difficult to discern at first glance. The canals serve as the boundaries of the districts. Look below at the Venice, Italy map.
Ponte di Rialto
The Rialto Bridge is the most beautiful and impressive of the Canal Grande bridges, but it is also one of the most crowded places in Venice, even during the off-season. It’s not surprising given that it provides one of the city’s best views and has several souvenir shops and boutiques on the bridge itself.
Visit the famous market, Mercato di Rialto, near the bridge. If you arrive as early as possible, even at six a.m., you’ll see locals unloading fresh vegetables and fish. Then, order a morning cappuccino or espresso at a table in the Sotoportego de l’Erbaria square.
The Fondaco Dei Tedeschi viewing terrace
Located at the very top of the luxury shopping center in the Fondaco dei Tedeschi building, offers one of the best views of Venice. Admission is free, and the stay on the terrace is limited to 15 minutes. Unfortunately, it can only accommodate 40 people at a time, so reservations are required. This is one of the best places to watch the sunset, but the views are spectacular at any time of day.
Piazza San Marco
The most important square in Venice is Piazza San Marco, also known as St. Mark’s Square. It is strategically located among Venice’s most famous structures, including St. Mark’s Basilica, the Campanile (bell tower), and the Palazzo Ducale. The square’s origins date back to the 9th century, but it did not reach its current size until the 13th century.
Despite the high prices, I highly recommend Caffe Florian (check reviews here) because it’s not about the money but the unique atmosphere and communing with more than three hundred years of history. There are also plenty of upscale boutiques on the square. The best view of Piazza San Marco is available in the morning or at sunrise on a clear day.
From the Doge’s Palace, it is suggested to go to the Molo– a crowded waterfront, where you will see the main symbol of Venice – colorful gondolas swinging on the water. From there, you will also spot the glistening domes of the church of San Giorgio Maggiore, located on the same name island.
Ponte dei Sospiri
Continue walking until you reach the Ponte della Paglia, which overlooks the Bridge of Sighs. It linked the Doge’s Palace to the prison structure. Legend has it that the name of the bridge derives from the groans of the prisoners led over it for torture and execution.
However, it is possible to walk across it, just as the prisoners did 400 years ago. Visitors to the Doge’s Palace can cross the Ponte dei Sospiri. Locals believe that if lovers take a gondola ride at sunset and kiss just under the Bridge of Sighs, their love will last forever.
Every year, approximately 8 million people pass through it! It leads to another Venetian cultural and artistic symbol, the Academy Gallery, which houses the most extensive collection of Venetian paintings. There are also many Italian restaurants in the area, and the prices are slightly lower than in St. Mark’s Square.
The Ponte dell’Accademia also leads to the Basilica of Santa Maria Della Salute. The church was built as a thank you for saving Venice from the plague. More than a million wooden logs driven into the seabed at the mouth of the Canale Grande into the lagoon support the massive Baroque edifice. The view of St. Mark’s Square and the other side of the basilica from beneath the basilica is spectacular.
Cannaregio, located in the northern part of the city, is considered by locals to be the most densely populated neighborhood in Venice, where mass tourism does not reach, excluding the Strada Nuova route from the train station to the Rialto Bridge.
Outside of this tract, excluding the southern edge bordering San Marco just off the Rialto Bridge, Cannaregio is a poorer neighborhood with the most affordable lodging and housing prices. It’s also the best place to see residents going about their daily lives, such as drying laundry, which is unthinkable near St. Mark’s Square.
The Venetian ghetto on the island is one of Cannaregio’s most popular attractions. Marco Polo, the famous traveler, was born in the Cannaregio district in the mid-13th century.
Sestiere Santa Croce
Santa Croce is a modest neighborhood full of backstreets, narrow streets, and simple buildings. One can stroll for hours without having a particular destination. Between the labyrinth of streets and Piazzale Roma – the central hub of the historic part of the city – are quite sizable gardens called Giardini Papadopoli.
At the end of your visit to Venice, I suggest you take a ride on the Vaporetto – a water cruise on the Canal Grande. From the Salute stop right next to the Basilica of Santa Maria Della Salute, board cruise No. 1 going toward Piazzale Roma (parking lot).
If you have the opportunity, take a seat at the front, on the left side. You will have the best view of it! A Vaporetto cruise is an exciting experience. From it, you will observe life along the most beautiful view in the world.
What will probably be the first thing to catch your attention is the seemingly chaotic movement of gondolas and barges moving in all directions along the Canal Grande. The extraordinary skill of the gondoliers will surprise you more than once.
Take a gondola cruise for 100, 80 or 2 EUR!
If you plan a unique and romantic way to visit Venice, Italy, cruise the canals by gondola.
Gondola cruise for 80 EUR
The gondola can take six people. The cruise lasts 30 minutes and costs 80 EUR. This price is valid throughout Venice daily, from 8:00 am to 7:00 pm.
When passing by a gondolier, I often heard him offer me a special price for the cruise, valid only here and now.
By gondola for 100 EUR
Night cruises (from 19:00) last 35 minutes and cost €100.
Cruise by gondola for 2 EUR
If your budget doesn’t allow for such a cruise, another option is not as sophisticated.
Venetians rely on gondola ferries to commute daily across the Canal Grande!
You can take a gondola ferry (traghetto gondola) to the other side of the Canal Grande. These are larger gondolas, devoid of ornamentation, in which two gondoliers continuously operate. They accommodate up to 14 people. You can travel seated or standing, as Venetians usually sail. The price for such pleasure is €2. Yes, you read that right.
There are five stops on the traghetto gondola, or stazi, and they are:
- Punta della Dogana (open 9 am – 6 pm),
- Santa Maria del Giglio (9 a.m. – 6 p.m.),
- San Tomà (operates 8:30 am – 7 pm Monday through Friday and 9 am – 6:30 pm Saturday, Sunday, and holidays),
- Riva del Vin, Riva del Carbon (9 am – 12 pm Monday through Friday, does not operate on Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays),
- Santa Sofia (8:30 am – 7 pm Monday through Friday and 9 am – 6 pm Saturday, Sunday, and holidays).
When to go to Venice?
The best time to visit Venice is early spring or late autumn, when temperatures are more relaxed, but during peak season, prices skyrocket.
How to get to Venice?
By plane- not far from Venice (20 km) is Treviso airport, serving low-cost airlines such as Ryanair. Book your flights here. And if you use this promo code, you can get 10% off your tickets.
How to get from Treviso airport to Venice?
- By bus. You can get from Treviso airport to Venice (at Venezia Piazzale Roma) by bus from ATVO or Barzi Servizi. Buses leave from the bus stop on Via Noalese near the arrivals hall. The price of a one-way ticket is about 12 euros (return 22 euros). Luggage is included in the ticket price.
- By train. From, the bus stop near the departures hall, city bus line 6 will take you to the Treviso train station. Once you reach the train station, you can take the train to Venice.
- When going to Venice by car, you need to know that you do not drive into the city. Venice is entirely off limits to automobile traffic.
You must leave your car on the mainland or in one of the two available parking lots on the island. With more passengers, it is better to leave the car in the parking lot in the “old” part.
The first is Venezia Tronchetto Parking on the islet of Tronchetto (the price per day is about 21 euros), and the second is Piazzale Roma Parking closer to the center (which costs about 24 euros/day).
You will get to St. Mark’s Square in Venice from both parking lots by water streetcar 1 or 2 (single ticket 7,50 Euro). From the Tronchetto parking lot, an alternative is a high-speed commuter train, the so-called People Mover, which will take you to Venezia Piazzale Roma in 2 minutes – a one-time fare of about €1.50/person.
How to get from Marco Polo Airport to the center of Venice?
Right next to the Marco Polo airport is the Allilaguna boat harbor. The blue, red, and orange lines depart from the marina. The most popular is the blue line, which sails to St. Mark’s Square, among other places. You can buy a ticket from vending machines at the airport or the marina—a ticket about 15 euros one way or 27 euros round trip.
An alternative to the ship is the bus – line 5 of the Venetian carrier ACTV runs between the airport and Piazzale Roma in Venice. This bus stops at many stops along the way. You can also choose the faster bus line 35 (Venice Marco Polo Airport – Venice Piazzale Roma – express service), which reaches Venice in 32 minutes. The ticket is 8 euros one way or 15 euros round trip. Buses leave directly in front of the terminal.
How to get around in Venice?
Venice is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is entirely off limits to motorized traffic! The best way to get around the city is on foot or take the water taxi or gondola.
This is the best way to explore the city. Nothing can better replace your legs when exploring Venice. The town is not large, but it is easy to get lost in the maze of streets, bridges, and canals. However, wandering around Venice has an incredible charm, as you can unplanned discover the city’s secluded canals and charming corners.
By water streetcar (Vaporetto)
The streetcars go around the main island and to other islands within the lagoon. The most famous line No. 1 runs from Piazza di Roma via Canale Grande, St. Mark’s Canal to the Lido. You can find the hours of each line and schedules at each stop. A ride on the water streetcar (valid for 75 minutes) is about 7.50 euros/per person. A day ticket is an expense of about 20 euros/person.
Is an indispensable part of the Venetian landscape. Local regulations strictly determine the color and the wood from which the gondolas are made. Also, not everyone can practice the profession of a gondolier!
Only residents of Venice (men) who successfully pass the exam can be among the elite group of more than 400 licensed gondoliers. The cost of a gondola cruise on the Venetian canals is not among the cheapest. You must expect to spend more than 60 euros for a half-hour cruise. Don’t get ripped off and agree on the price before getting on the gondola!
By water taxi
These, elegant motorboats take up to four passengers on board. They are equipped with taximeters, and carriers are required to post a price list of fares. Water cab stops are located at critical points in the city.
Visit the city’s official website for more information on transportation around the city, the water streetcar schedule, and current prices.
Where to stay in Venice, Italy
Unfortunately, hotels in Venice are expensive! The most modest hotel in the old part of the city is close in price to a 3-star hotel in other Italian cities. The price is higher primarily because of the city’s unique location and environmental protection.
On booking.com, you’ll find a detailed listing of accommodations in various price ranges. Keep in mind that you should book accommodations in advance!
If you prefer apartments/apartments for rent, I can recommend you the Airbnb portal.
Venice Italy hotels
If you want to stay in the center of the city but hideaway on a quiet street, these hotels are perfect:
Closer to the train station, there are many hotels and great apartments. I recommend:
Accomodation on the islands and around Venice
If you’re on a tight budget, staying outside Venice, such as in Mestre or Maghera is the best option. Here I recommend:
Jolly Camping In Town in Marghera. Jolly Camping in Town is a campground with Dutch cottages 10 km from Venice, just a 10-minute drive. There is a swimming pool, Wi-Fi, restaurant, store, and laundry on-site. The bus stop where you can get to Venice is only 1 km from the campground.
If you want to save some money you can compare deals for hotels and accommodations on Trivago.
To eat deliciously and inexpensively in Venice, where should you go?
It is not true that everything costs a fortune in Venice. But, of course, you can find excellent food at several places for a modest price. In addition to the addresses of great restaurants, you will also find directions to other establishments, including ice cream shops, cafes, pastry shops, or cheap pizza sold by the slice.
When Venetians want something to eat, they go to bacari, an establishment that combines a wine bar, bistro and restaurant. You can sometimes snack on a more substantial dish, such as risotto, pasta, a charcuterie, and cheese board, or even fried zucchini flowers.
But what reigns supreme in almost all bacari are cicchetti, sipped with a glass of ombra. The word ombra – literally translated as “shadow” – probably comes from the shadow in St. Mark’s Square, where liquor barrels were stored. For ombra is the Venetian term for a glass of white or red wine or spritz.
In bacari, such drinks usually cost 3 euros, sometimes a little more, but sometimes a little less. A popular custom is andare per bacari or giro dei bacari, a trip from bacaro to bacaro, during which one eats cicchetti and drinks ombra at each place. Such culinary walks are popular with locals and initiated tourists looking to experience authentic Venice.
You can arrange such a tour with a guide, but you can also organize it on your own. In summary, you already know that the basic answer to the question “where to eat in Venice?” is: in bacari.
One day in Venice fees
Venice in one day – who will have to pay and how much? The cost of admission to Venice will vary between 3 and 10 euros per person. Depending on the date, day of the week, and interest. The most expensive will be in the summer and probably on weekends.
Anyone who arrives in Venice without a purchased overnight stay will have to pay the fee. Tourists staying overnight in the city will be exempt from the payment, as they already bear the cost of the city tax added to the price of the overnight stay. Residents of the Veneto region will also not pay, although they will have to register their desire to come and fit into a pool for the day. Children are to be exempt from the fee, probably up to six.
What are the one-day admission fees to Venice supposed to change?
First and foremost, they are supposed to ease the burden on the city, making life easier for locals and tourists, who, in the peak season, instead of enjoying the charm of Venice, mostly shuffle through the crowds. It is also supposed to be a way to force day-trippers to contribute at least a little to the city’s maintenance costs, which are very high due to frequent flooding. So now, no more than 40-50 thousand visitors will be allowed in Venice daily.
Venice has decided to postpone the introduction of fees until January 2023.
Venice has been built on a structure resting on wooden stilts driven into a marshy lagoon. Unfortunately, it is increasingly rumored that Venice is in danger of sinking. The first discussions on a global scale emerged after the worst flood in the city’s history in 1966, severely damaging the facades and floors of ancient buildings.
However, the water level is rising yearly, and the marshy ground on which Venice is built is subsiding. Water damage has also begun to increase with the advent of motorboats, causing high waves and causing many problems for gondoliers.
Despite constant efforts, Venice is flooded dozens of times a year, as all it takes is for the water level to rise by less than a meter, and one is standing up to one’s ankles in water in the bays and the main square. The old buildings are waterlogged with every high tide or rain and require constant renovations. The city is implementing the MOSE system, which involves the deployment of 78 large hydraulic dams and water sluices to dam high tides and protect Venice from flooding.
Venice, Italy is not just an awe-inspiring city—it’s also a breeze to navigate. There are many ways to get there, each offering a unique perspective on the city.
The magic of Venice is hard to explain in words. It has incredible energy and a sense of timelessness that speaks to the soul.
And unlike any other place you’ve probably seen before. It’s an experience you can’t get anywhere else. Although one of the most visited cities in the world, there are still parts of Venice that you can experience without being overwhelmed by crowds. It’s not too late to plan a trip to Venice.
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