VENICE.

Venice – the city on water – is the stuff of legend. Who hasn’t dreamed of travelling to the almost mythical and mysterious Venice, when he was a kid? Indeed, a city break to Venice is a magical experience. The grandeur of Venice is unmatched all over Europe, with the Grand Canal being one of the most captivating and awe-inspiring sights in the world. And yet, Venice never fails to surprise, outdoing itself time after time. From Palazzo Ducale and Basilica di San Marco to Gallerie dell’Accademia and Basilica di Santa Maria della Salute, Venice is literally filled with unforgettable sights, which enhance the charming atmosphere. And then, there are the gondolas – the trademark of Venice. It is once you set your foot aboard a gondola that you’ll understand just how amazing of an experience a city break to Venice is. There is only one thing you can do to make it even more thrilling – visit Venice in time for the Venice Carnival, and you will never forget it!

Money Saving Tips

Money Saving Tips

Best Period to Visit Venice

Best Period to Visit Venice

Accomodation Tips for Venice

Accomodation Tips

Getting Around Venice

Getting Around Venice

Top 10 Things to See and Do in Venice

Top 10 Things to See and Do in Venice

Other Things to See and Do

Other Things to See and Do

Money Saving Tips

Visit the neighbouring cities

When you are on your vacation in Venice, make sure to find time to travel to the cities next to it as well. Cities such as Trieste, Padua, and Verona are a short distance away and can be gotten to easily by a cheap train. You might also want to search for accommodation and food in there, as it is bound to be cheaper.

Use the city as a cruise hub

Venice is well-known for being a famous cruise stop with many ships ending or beginning their cruise here. If you’re on a trip to Venice, it is a good idea to combine it with a tour of other parts of Italy, or to even take a ship through the Adriatic to Croatia, Greece or Turkey, which can be combined for a better value.

Stay out of tourist areas for meals

If you are planning on dining out, make sure to do it outside of the more touristy areas of the city. Places such as Saint Mark’s Square often offer exorbitant prices for what they provide so you will be far better off finding a cheaper replacement. Try the Dorsoduro section of the city for the best prices and lower crowds.

Haggle for a gondola

It wouldn't be a truthful visit to Venice without a gondola cruise, but you can at least ensure the best possible price while at it. Many gondoliers try to gouge the tourists by offering very high prices, so do not be afraid to walk away and find someone else, as there are plenty of fair gondoliers who even lower their prices if you negotiate.

Be careful with free trips

Many hotels and accommodations in Venice provide free tours to the island of Murano, which produces the world-famous Murano glass. Be aware though, as these free tours often end in a shop where you are urged to buy some of Murano glass products, and you will be told that this is your last chance to find such products. It is obviously not true.

Use Vaporetto

Walking around the city on foot can be tiring after a while, and you might start to search for a better alternative. Try using vaporettos – the waterbuses of Venice. Nineteen scheduled lines travel between crucial points of Venice and its neighbouring islands, and you are sure to take some good photos on the way.

Don’t buy individual tickets

While Venice is one of the most pedestrian-friendly cities in Italy, you will surely find yourself travelling by water sooner or later. Make sure to buy passes instead of individual tickets, as these are generally far more cost-efficient and allow you to travel as much as you want in a certain period of time, mostly 24 or 48 hours.

Get a Venice Card

The Venice Card is an exclusive pass for tourists which allows you to save some money on things you would buy separately anyway. The Card includes a 72-hour long vaporetto pass, access to public wi-fi networks, free admission to four different attractions and discounts for plenty of other activities around the city.

Make a reservation before you travel

You might be surprised at how many people arrive in Venice without any previous reservations regarding accommodation. Such travellers often find themselves with no place to go, as every place possible is already fully booked, and the only options left are to sleep at the railroad station or to get a room in a very expensive hotel.

Try to visit in winter

Venice is not a tropical city, and as such the temperatures during the winter fall down quite a bit, even if it’s still warmer than up north. Don’t be scared off by the weather though, as the prices fall down even more than the temperatures do and you are bound to find many more good value deals during this time of year.

Best Period to Visit Venice

Tourism

From September to November is when tourists leave the city, so if you’d prefer a less-crowded experience, this is your time to visit Venice. On the other hand, those of you who can’t imagine your vacations without the wild crowds and parties should visit Venice during the summer, which is peak season.

Weather

Anyone who has already been to Venice knows that weather greatly affects the experience. Winter, which lasts from November to February, brings around 8°C highs and 0°C lows. During summer, which lasts between June and early September, you can expect 28°C highs and 18°C lows. Acqua alta (high water) can happen anytime between September and April, but it’s most likely to happen in December and November.

Money

Winter offers the highest discounts on food and accommodation. Summer, being the peak season, means the highest prices for all sorts of entertainment and attractions, as well as hotel rates.

Events

Venice Carnival (February-March)
Vogalonga (May)
La Biennale di Venezia (May-November)
Venice International Film Festival (August-September)
Regata Storica (September)
Venice Marathon (October)
Festa della Madonna della Salute (November)

Accomodation Tips

Apartments

Wondering what kind of accommodation to book in Venice? Try serviced apartments! Not only do they provide a higher degree of privacy and comfort, but they can also prove to be a cheaper alternative to hotels, especially in case of large families or groups of friends.

Budget (1-2 star) hotels

Especially students and lone travellers will be interested in cheap hotels in Venice. Nightly rates for such hotels in Venice start as low as €15. Budget hotels in Venice might not offer the highest degree of service, but they are comfortable enough and allow you to save a lot of money.

Standard (3-4 star) hotels

Those who are looking for a bit more than just the roof above their heads at night will certainly come to like the hotels in Venice. Those in the middle price range, between 3 and 4 stars, offer very convenient location together with a satisfying quality of service. Prices for standard hotels in Venice start around €40 per night.

Luxury hotels in Venice

The most demanding guests, who will not settle for nothing but perfection, will be delighted by the luxury hotels in Venice. The combination of the best location, flawless service and diverse facilities are the trademark of the finest hotels in Venice. Prices per night start around €150 per night but can reach much higher in the case of the most impressive hotels.

Getting Around Venice

Gondola

Being the most obvious method of transportation in the city of Venice, a gondola ride offers a great view of the city from an otherwise inaccessible perspective. The official daytime rates for gondola cruises are €80 for 40 minutes, but it rises to a €100 during the night.
Make sure to negotiate the price, as most gondoliers try to scam the tourists by offering much higher prices than regular. Some, who are friendly to the visitors, are willing to bring down their prices by quite a bit by haggling.Remind the gondolier that you do not want a serenade, as many of them don’t even ask you before they start singing, which might cost you an additional €100.
There are plenty of Gondola stops, named stazi, around the main monuments and tourist attraction of Venice, but there are also services which provide personal gondolas which pick you up from a specific spot.

Vaporetto

If you're looking for affordable water transport in Venice, make sure to use Vaporetto. These waterbuses allow you to easily get from island to island in the vicinity of Venice, all in the price of regular public transport.
The vaporettos start from the train station or the Piazzale Roma and take off in every possible direction on the Grand Canal.
Most of the lines run every ten two twenty minutes apart, but take notice that night services can have a delay of one hour or even more, depending on the line. Many of the lines end their service around 9 p.m.
A one-way ticket for Vaporetto costs €7,50, which is quite expensive, but you can always get a travel card for a selected amount of days which grants you unlimited access to the public transport – all you have to do is swipe a card whenever you enter the Vaporetto.
If you own a Rolling Venice card and are from the age of 14 to 29, you can get a three-day ticket for only €20 at tourist offices.

Cars and bicycles

The majority of the centre of Venice is forbidden for both car and bicycle trips, but the islands of Lido and Pellestrina allow both. Such means of transportation are also a good way to travel around the outskirts of Venice and the small towns and villages which are in the nearest neighbourhood.

On foot

Probably the best and easiest way of getting around Venice is to simply walk. There are plenty of picturesque bridges which connect the islands, and crossing them on foot is the best way to admire them fully.
There are also plenty of small alleys and narrow streets which are not connected otherwise and need to be walked through to get to your destination.
Make sure to keep a watchful eye on your belongings, as there are plenty of pickpockets among the crowd in Venice, waiting for an unsuspecting tourist.

Top 10 Things to See and Do in Venice

Legendary Venice St Mark’s Basilica and Doge’s Palace

Ensure your entry to some of the most crowded tourist attractions in the city of Venice with this exclusive trip which saves you hours of time waiting in lines with a skip-the-line service. Moreover, you will be granted special VIP access to the first-floor terrace of Saint Mark's Basilica, which is forbidden for most tourists.

Grand Day Tour of Venice with Skip-the-line Doge’s Palace and Saint Mark’s Basilica

A day tour which will take you around the city of Venice with a knowledgeable guide who will show you the most prominent spots in the city. The skip-the-line access to two of the attractions will allow you to save hours of time, and regarding the length of the walking tour you can choose between two different options to meet your needs.

Dolomite Mountains and Cortina Small Group Day Trip from Venice

With hassle-free access to the most iconic places in the Dolomites, this trip takes a whole day and starts the journey in Venice. The trip includes transportation with a comfortable van, which has air conditioning, as well as a guide who will pay a lot of attention to everyone, as only small groups are taken aboard.

Venice Grand Canal Small Group Boat Tour

With a surprising amount of content fitted in a one-hour slot, this boat tour of Venice showcases most of the cityscape in a small window of time. You can take photos from a comfy zippy motorboat while looking at the most popular landmarks of the city from the water, allowing you to get a unique look on them.

Venice Gondola Ride and Serenade

Being the ultimate romantic experience, this tour is the perfect choice for couples of all ages. Take your beloved one on a lovely cruise across the famous canals of Venice on a shared gondola. You will even be provided with an onboard singer who will add to the atmosphere and sing just for the two of you alone.

Murano Glass Experience

Murano glass is a world-renowned material which comes from the island of the same name, and this five-hour tour showcases both that and the Burano Island. You will be taken on a comprehensive lesson on how the Murano glass is made by a professional guide, along with a glass-blowing demonstration to see for yourself.

Venice Food Tour: Cicchetti and Wine

Combining both sightseeing and eating, this tour will take you along five famous bars in Venice which are favoured by locals, and you will be provided with further recommendations if you want. Foods and drinks are included in the price of the tour, and in some places, you might even get tips on how to prepare the food yourself.

Eat Like a Local Food Tasting Tour

This unique tour will take three hours, during which you will be taken through at least eight different stops where you will be served thirteen or more regional specialties. A maximum of eight people is allowed on this tour, which enables the guide to pay more attention to everyone and answer their questions.

Jewish Ghetto and Cannaregio Food Tour

Taste the unique cuisine of the Jewish part of Venice during this four-hour-long walking trip across the Jewish Ghetto and Cannaregio. You will be taken through six different restaurants and bakeries, where you can taste the authentic dishes of the city, all the while learning about the history of the two neighbourhoods.

Valpolicella Day Trip from Venice

Take a trip to the world-famous region of Valpolicella, known for its exquisite wineries. Learn about the history of the region from a local driver-guide, all the while visiting different wineries and churches. As you explore the different wineries, you will be provided with free tasting of a selection of local red wines.

Other Things to See and Do

Arsenale

The Arsenale is the Serene Republic’s shipyard which occupies a large portion of east Venice. It was founded in 1104 and is a huge district of dry and wet docks, workshops and warehouses. During the 16th century, it employed over sixteen thousand people who were together able to construct about one ship each day.

Burano

The island of Burano is surely a place worth visiting with an appearance that resembles a child’s drawing. The island is filled with buildings painted over with vibrant shades of colourful paints and holds a bunch of local events which are free to attend. Make sure to also visit its museums and beautiful churches.

Giardini Pubblici

Venice isn’t exactly known for its lush greenery, as there are few spaces apart from private gardens and rare spots where plants can be seen. Visit this spot, placed on the eastern end of Venice, which has a park planned into its district layout. The park has a couple of spots for kids to play, as well as gorgeous plant life.

Ghetto Ebraico

The Jewish community of Venice lives on one of the islands of the city, which was once used for smelting iron. Nowadays, the Ghetto is filled with small craftsman shops where you can buy products from the local artisans, and there are plenty of ancient synagogues which are worth seeing and taking a photo of.

Isola di San Giorgio Maggiore

The Island-monastery of San Giorgio Maggiore is a sight worth seeing with its Palladian church built in 1565. Inside of the church rest two famous canvases by Tintoretto, and you can visit the bell tower of the church for a magnificent view of the landscape, and a better sight of the watery side of the city.

Lido

Take a trip to the seaside strip of Venice, which is a living suburb for more wealthy inhabitants of the city. There are also plenty of family resorts, as well as long beaches which are generally free of tourists, making it a great place if you’re looking for a secluded spot to sunbathe and swim in the sea.

Murano

Globally renowned for its beautiful glass products, the island of Murano often presents its products to the public in means of shop exhibitions. There are also plenty of spots where you can observe the demonstrations of artisans at work, and a couple of museums showcasing the best of their work.

Rialto

Being the city's commercial heart, the island of Rialto is the highest and driest isle of Venice. The main market of the city is located on this island, and it is definitely a place to go for the best fruit, vegetables, fish, and meat. After dusk, the island buzzes with nightlife, as numerous pubs and clubs open up to the public.

Santa Maria Della Salute

Being one of the most marvellous masterpieces of Venetian Baroque, this church is located on the final stretch of the Grand Canal, just before San Marco. The church was built between 1631 and 1681 and presents a grand dome which resembles an air balloon, designed in homage to the crown of the twelve stars.

San Zaccaria

Make sure not to miss this gorgeous church, dedicated as a place of worship to the father of John the Baptist, whose body supposedly lies underneath one of the altars. The church’s construction began during the 1440s and lasted about fifty years, and the interior is fitted with gorgeous works of art by Bellini.

Saint Mark’s Basilica

Located on the eastern side of Piazza San Marco, the basilica actually looks like a grand palace more than a church. It has four, gigantic domes and over a one and a half square miles of picturesque mosaics on the interior. If you want to see the basilica without crowds, come during the mass at 7 a.m. or 8 a.m.

Saint Mark’s Square

Named the drawing room of Europe by Napoleon himself, this colonnaded square is lined with cafés, jewelry, glass shops, and more. The only stationary building on the square is a huge bell tower, which reaches ninety-nine meters high and provides one of the most gorgeous views of the city and its vicinity.

Torcello

Torcello was once the most populated island in the Venice lagoon but was dominated by the island of Rialto. Today, it is a rural island filled with remnants of its olden days: a few churches, the ancient basilica of Santa Maria Assunta, and Santa Fosca – a Greek-cross church built in the 11th century.

Rialto Bridge

If you’re on your way to the Rialto Island, make sure to cross the Rialto Bridge which is a sight to see in itself. It has been the main bridge crossing in Venice since 1591, and is covered with arches and shops, creating a lively food market with a wide arrangement of little stalls operated by the local population.

San Giorgio dei Greci

Being the oldest church of the Greek Orthodox, the Cathedral of Saint George is also one of the most important ones. It is considered to be one of the most prominent Orthodox temples in the world and was constructed by Greeks in the 16th century, in the Castello district, filled with iconography and gold mosaics.

Museum of Music

Located in the vicinity of the Renaissance Scuola Grande di San Rocco art museum, this free to visit museum presents a wide display of different instruments, used by the local population throughout the years. The museum also provides a lesson on music history, with information on the most prominent composers of Venice.

Galleria dell’Accademia

Filled with an array of gorgeous Venetian art from the 14th to the 18th century, the gallery is sure to provide a fascinating visit to any tourist who appreciates art. The wide collection of Renaissance paintings includes some masterpieces of such artists as Titian, Bellini, Veronese, and can be visited for free on the first Sunday of each month.

Window Shopping

While actual shopping surely does take some money, you can always window shop along the streets of Venice. While the shops are pricey and expensive, most have marvellous display windows that are worthy of your attention. Gaze at the wonderful carnival masks, Murano glassware, local jewellery, and replicas of antiques.

Casino Venier

Being a remnant of the times of Giacomo Casanova, this Casino is one of the many in Venice built during that time. It was a place of social gatherings of the aristocracy of Venice and was the main gambling assembly of the city. It dates back to 1750 and nowadays presents a display of beautiful architecture.

Scala Contarini del Bovolo

The snail-staircase, as it is called by the locals, is a well-hidden sight in Venice, but still worth tracking down and visiting. It is placed not far from Rialto and is hidden in a maze of small and narrow streets. The staircase is created with swirling arches, leading to an old palace of the Contarini family, built in the 14th century.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What are the best hotels for Venice city break?

    Our list of the best hotels in Venice are: Albergo Cavalletto & Doge Orseolo, Carnival Palace Hotel, Savoia & Jolanda, H10 Palazzo Canova and Splendid Venice - Starhotels Collezione. Discover the full list of best hotels in Venice.

  • What are the luxury hotels in Venice?

    The finest examples of luxury hotels in Venice include San Clemente Palace Kempinski Hotel Venice, Hotel Rialto Venice, Hotel Danieli a Luxury Collection Hotel, Hotel Principe Venice, Hilton Molino Stucky Venice, Hotel Bonvecchiati and Hotel Colombina. Discover the full list of luxury hotels in Venice.

  • What are the cheap hotels in Venice?

    Those trying to visit Venice on a tight budget will find everything they need in hotels such as Antico Panada, Hotel Antiche Figure, Hotel Universo & Nord, Hotel Ala, Hotel Olimpia Venice BW Signature Collection, Hotel Belle Arti and Hotel Casanova Venice. Discover the full list of Cheap hotels in Venice.

  • What is the best period to visit Venice for a city break?

    Taking factors such as weather, crowds and prices, the best months to visit Venice for a city break are May, June, July and August.

  • What are top 5 things to see and do in Venice?

    Venice offers plenty of exciting attractions and things to do. Must-sees in Venice include: Legendary Venice St Mark’s Basilica and Doge’s Palace, Grand Day Tour of Venice with Skip-the-line Doge’s Palace and Saint Mark’s Basilica, Dolomite Mountains and Cortina Small Group Day Trip from Venice, Venice Grand Canal Small Group Boat Tour and Venice Gondola Ride and Serenade.

  • How much does an Venice city pass cost?

    A city pass in Venice costs around €84.

  • How much does public transport in Venice cost?

    24-hour ticket for public transport in Venice costs around €20.

  • What are the best night clubs in Venice?

    The best night clubs in Venice include: Piccolo Mondo, Venice Jazz Club, Harry’s Bar, Bar Longhi and Skyline Rooftop Bar.

  • What are the best bars in Venice?

    Judging on the reviews and customer opinions, the best bars in Venice are: Wine Bar 5000, Harry’s Bar, Bar Longhi, Osteria All'Alba and Il Mercante.

  • What are the best places to eat in Venice?

    Your choice of the best restaurants in Venice may vary depending on your taste, however, Osteria Alle Testiere, Locanda Cipriani, All'Arco and La Zucca are some of the most popular choices.

  • What are the top 5 best restaurants in Venice?

    Top 5 restaurants in Venice include: La Zucca, Ristorante Riviera, Antiche Carampane, L'Alcova Restaurant and Ristorante Alle Corone.