9 Things You Need to Know Before Visiting Venice, Italy
All across the world, when one begins to count the most beautiful places in the world, Venice is one of those cities that can never go unattended, let alone count. Some of the most beautiful places on earth and spots can be found in the beautiful city of Venice and that can be proved not just by downloading photos from the internet but by actually visiting the sites. This floating city is a cluster of 117 small islands that are linked via bridges and separated by canals. Planning a trip to Venice can be a bit hectic since every single place is worth visiting in the city of Venice but don’t just take my word for it or the photos, visit and you’ll find all about it!
Practically speaking, planning trips is really a hectic work, as stated before, but with the right information and tips, you can easily spend your time in Venice enjoying and absorbing all kinds of majestic and romantic places that there are in Venice.
1. Ferry Ticket Tips and Tricks:
For €6.5, you can avail a Ferry Ticket and will be valid for 1 hour (full 60 minutes) including switches. You can very purchase a ticket onboard for 7.5 Euros but you must inform the staff prior to boarding otherwise you can be heavily fined as much as €60+. If you have purchased your ticket from the ticket machine, you must, by all means, validate it through the machine at the Water Taxi Shop.
It is advised that if you are planning to make a visit to Venice and intend to use the ferries more often, do consider purchasing the all-inclusive transport pass prior to your trip.
2. Book a hotel near the Water Taxi Shop:
Instead of carrying your bags and luggage everywhere, I personally recommend that you stay at least two nights in Venice and do book your place of stay near the Water Taxi Shop. As far as I can tell, I stayed in Hotel Palazzo Vitturi, which is a 5-minute distance if you walk to Rialto or San Marco water taxi shops. The hotel is the perfect place I can suggest because, from this hotel, you can find the most beautiful spots in Venice such as Piazza San Marco, Riva Degli Schiavoni, and Bridge of Sighs.
From your room price so much can be availed in this hotel. The WiFi is great and the staff is really helpful and friendly, not to mention the food they serve is exquisite. My stay in Hotel Palazzo Vitturi cost me only $100 for 1 night only, and that was March, and mind you, prices at that time of the year are sky high.
3. See the outer Islands:
Outer islands capture the most majestic and the most attractive places that are present in the city of Venice. Do not miss a chance to see the small islands of Burano and Murano. I highly recommend you stay in one of these islands for lunch. If you are into seafood, you just have to try Gatto Nero in Burano. If you want to experience the sandy beaches, Lido is your place is to be.
4. Find where the locals go to eat:
For authentic and real food, it is suggested that you find out the places where the locals head to eat. Yelp can be really helpful in finding out the perfect places to eat. Some of the best places that can be found are the 4 restaurants that can be found near the Rialto Bridge.
5. Be prepared to be lost:
You are guaranteed that even the most sophisticated Map apps can lead you astray. You’ll wind up finding yourself in a dead corner if you choose to rely on your cellphone for directions. Instead of getting frustrated, you might want to relax and enjoy being lost and enjoy the beautiful place.
6. Don’t neglect the Top Tourist Sites:
Some of the most beautiful spots in Venice such as Piazza San Marco, Riva Degli Schiavoni, and Bridge of Sighs cannot be afforded to be missed. Do remember to visit Campanile di San Marco for a bird’s eye view of the city. You should go there when the buildings open, leaving you to wait for a very little time unless it’ll be a long time for you to see the scenes.
7. Try going out of the main tourist spots:
This is where you will love to get lost, and if you are a wanderer, you’ll be satisfied like anything! Enjoy wandering and seeing the underrated, out of the tourist spot sights. Some of my favorite neighborhoods include Cannaregio, Santa Croce, and Dorsoduro.
8. Do get up early:
If you don’t wake up early in the morning, you’ll be hustling and bustling in the waves of the crowd that is assembled in every popular place and spot in Venice. I am up before the sunrise when I travel and Venice is certainly not an exception — this is where jet lagging, by the way, comes real handy. If you get up early, every single place is all yours, even the famous Piazza San Marco (St. Mark’s Square) was totally empty. If you visit it in the afternoon, the place is filled with the crowd and you can’t even expect to travel in the summer since it is unbelievably busy there.
9. Where to find the best Gelato
You can’t just visit Italy and not think about Gelato. No matter what your excuse is for the food, the best gelatos that can be found are mostly based on fruits that are unbelievably delicious!
I met with a local in Venice who told me how to spot a good Gelato anywhere in Italy. Because making Gelato is actually expensive as real fruits are involved, instead of essence and extracts, you will have to see the colors of the fruit flavored Gelato. If the banana flavor is quite bright or the berry flavor is light purple in color, the gelato is most probably made with artificial colors than pure fruits. Surprisingly, the best Gelato in Venice is Alaska Gelateria.
What you should consider packing for Venice:
If you are trying to avoid the crowd, spring or the fall time of the year is the best time to visit Venice, and having said that, be prepared for cool temperatures. If you are in Europe, you might want to bring a few things with you such as:
Travel Umbrella: No matter what, it can rain, so do carry it with you no matter where you go.
Mosquito Repellent: I personally didn’t experience mosquitos in March but you could find a few during spring or summer. A travel size mosquito repellent won’t take much space in your luggage.
Ear Plugs: You might need them in case you find yourself in a noisy place.
Clothes: Visiting a beautiful place demands beautiful and attractive apparel so do look your best anytime you visit Venice. For traveling packing tips, do visit our guide on how to look stylish and at your best while traveling to Venice.
Tips for flying to Italy: Open Jaw Tickets and flying into Venice:
For many people, the search terms they put in any search engine are “airfare to Milan” or “airfare to Rome” and they often choose the cheapest deals with no regards to their actual itinerary. So many people travel in and out of Milan every year but never bother about the city. Why even fly into a city which you are not even intending to visit?
As far as I can tell, I choose two preferences that many travelers are very unlikely to consider: Fly into one city and out of another; and then fly to Venice’s airport at all possible costs. Let me explain how it works.
In one city, out the other:
You might think that Open Jaw tickets are a bit expensive: Flying into one city and going back home from another city altogether but it’s not expensive as you might have thought and it is more than just a round-trip ticket. If your itinerary involves starting your trip from Venice and then to Rome, you’ll be spending one whole day to get back to Venice all the way from Rome to Venice. If you begin to value every single day of your vacation, even one hour is not worth spending without sightseeing. You can actually use the time for sightseeing instead of spending 6-7 hours traveling. In simple words, the value of owning one extra day outweighs the cost of the open jaw ticket, as far as I can say.
Start in Venice:
Not that I am trying to push my advice but if you ask my opinion, I always recommend that you start with Venice and then fly back to Venice’s Marco Polo Airport. I suggest this for various reasons. First, nothing is more romantic and breathtaking than to begin your journey through Italy with a boat ride from the airport to the Grand Canal. If you have a better idea or suggestion, I am always open to know. Secondly, airfare to Venice is not any cheaper than Milan or Rome. Quite frankly, the airport in Venice is quite smaller than either in Malpensa or Fiumicino. It’s also easier to pass through customs, baggage claims and so much more!
If you are preferring to stay elsewhere and have got Venice in your itinerary, you could end in Venice and still be able to take advantage for suggesting you the Venice airport. If your itinerary does not include Venice, staying in Marco Polo Airport isn’t of any use. The recommendation does apply to other smaller international airports in Italy, so do be sure to find out about the closest airports that you can find for your starting and arriving points.