Venice, Venezia, La Serennissima…your city streets are dreamt of, written about, and desired by the hopeless romantics. People come from around the world to witness your beauty and to be swept off our feet by your Italian charm.
You’ve seen the beautiful pictures, heard the stories, and likely have Venice on your list of future visits. Well friends, I need to confess…Venice was one of the most exquisite and challenging stops for us. Below I explain why and hopefully you can learn from our mistake. Caution: the intention of this blog is to give you our personal experiences, good and bad, to guide you in your own decisions. Now before you exit here or mark Venice off the list, hear me out.
Venice is ABSOLUTELY STUNNING, one of a kind, and worth the visit.
That’s the thing, everyone knows that, so everyone visits. Seriously. Everyone. Venice is flooded with tourists from around the world. However, this is nothing new, in fact, it has been that way since the Renaissance. So how do you avoid tourist chaos and enjoy your stay? Below I have written out what to expect and how you can have a successful and enjoyable trip to Venice.
What to Expect
Traveling by boat. At some point, you will take a water taxi and you will feel kind of like a movie star so enjoy.
People. People from different countries, people in a large group, people in a large group with umbrellas, people selling you the same darn thing 4x in the same hour. Have patience young grasshopper!
Depending on the season you choose for your visit, it could be very hot. We visited in June and our skin about melted off.
Awesome, live music. Make sure to tip the performers.
You will get lost. But luckily Venice is not that big and you will find some hidden gems.
Tips for a Successful Trip
Restaurants. I suggest planning them out in advance because you do not want to get hangry and fall to the frustration of the tourist traps. Some of the best places are just outside of the main sites. Check link below
Take the water taxi. We bought a ticket plan at the station when we arrived. You can pay for a ticket package that will cover your stay.
Wander past the main sites, as I mentioned above, you will find better food and enjoy quiet canals.
Pack comfortable shoes and water. I carried a small backpack around.
Ask your hotel their personal tips and favorites around town
Pay for a gondola ride. We did not and that’s something I really regret.
If you have the time, visit surrounding islands. Neighborhood guide link below
We rented bikes on Lido and cruised along the coast with full view of Venice across the water. It was a blast and a great way to explore.
If you get lost, because you will, just look up for signs that lead to Per San Marco or Per Rialto. They are everywhere and if you understand how to get home from those main spots you’ll be golden.
Have gelato. Once a day. Twice a day. We won’t judge.
My hope is that you learn from our mistakes because Venice is amazing and deserves appreciation. Our main goal of the entire Europe trip, and what I have mentioned previously, was to “live like a local.” Therefore, our challenge was with the tourists not Venice. The crowds and tourist culture clashed with those goals.
The Neighborhoods- http://www.mylifelongholiday.com/neighbourhoods-of-venice/
Gelato Guide - https://nomadbiba.com/best-gelato-in-venice/