It is definitely one of the most visited places in the world but also can be a little overpriced. We are here to help you with some tips before you travel to Venice. You can never be too prepared, right?
Tip 1: Visit Venice in Off-season
Venice seems a great idea in summer but there are a thousands who think so too! Hence, try to plan in off season months like October, November and March. The weather is cold with a chance of rains.
If you’re here during carnival, try visiting on a weekday as you can experience the spirit and avoid the crowd at the same time.
Book the ‘skip the line tickets’ for the attractions. The tickets do cost a little more and may seem silly for free attractions like St. Mark’s Basilica, but they are worth it. You'll be avoiding the huge line everywhere!
Tip 2: Stay Overnight
We know that it feels like a day trip would be enough to explore Venice but we would recommend you to stay at least for a night. Look out for some local hotels to stay and enjoy Venice at its best.
We recommend you to get up early and explore before 10 am as that's when the passenger cruises start coming in. You can explore some less crowded areas like Dorsoduro, Cannaregio, and Santa Croce in the afternoon; and stay out a little late to visit the hotspots like Palazzo Ducale.
Tip 3: Get up Early
Tip 4: Accept That You’ll Get Lost in Venice
Even if you have all the resources for your travel, you’re bound to get lost in this charming city! The medieval winding streets, the dead ends, and canals blocking your path are just some of the issues you’ll be facing.
Also, wherever you plan to go, keep some extra time at hand than the time shown on your GPS. Not everyone will agree, but you also may consider taking a guided tour around.
Tip 5: Know That the Gondolas are Expensive
We know that you feel obliged to take a gondola ride around the floating island. But, these rides are actually pretty expensive. Also, walking is the best way to explore as some main piazzas are not even accessible by boat.
If you’re staying longer, you could also check out their pass packages which make a difference in prices. You can also take a boat or a Traghetto/ Vaporetto (ferries in the canal Grande) to save a few bucks.
Tip 6: Always Buy a Ticket
If the boat is checked for tickets and you don’t have one, you’ll be asked to pay a heavy fine. Even if you forget buying, make sure to buy one from the boat personnel immediately.
Also, always remember to validate the ticket by passing through those machines at the entrance, every single time.
Tip 7: Do Your Research About the Restaurants
Venice is a major tourist attraction, the cheap and local places are mostly replaced by mediocre to expensive restaurants with various happy hours and touristy menus.
Do your research before going and have some restaurant names in mind. This will help avoid overspending.
Sitting down in a café with a coffee is priced extra in Italy. Hence, you see people taking a drink in a café or bar standing at the counter. In Venice, you may even be charged three to four times what you’d be paying by standing.
Tip 8: Drink Your Coffee on the Counter
Some restaurants in Venice may even add a surcharge for listening to the band playing at the tables. So, take your coffee at the counter and try avoiding the cafés at the major tourist sites.
Tip 9: Don’t Overpay for Water
You can simply refill your bottle from the local water fountains. The water is cold, refreshing, and safe to drink. The restaurants are going to sell bottled water for a price and you can save those Euros.
Tip 10: Travel Light
Always travel light as you won’t be dropped off with your luggage in a boat directly at the front door! You’ll have to carry your luggage around the streets and across bridges.
Also, be prepared to walk a lot. Wear comfortable shoes as that’s the primary mode of commute here.
Washrooms in Venice cost 1 or 1.50 Euros hence many choose to enter a bar or a café. But please, don’t just leave after using the washroom; it’s considered very rude here.
Tip 11: Be Smart
Instead, you could actually enjoy a pastry or a coffee, which you may get at the same price.
Tip 12: Visit Neighboring Islands
There are many others, other than Venice in the Venetian Lagoon. You may take a day trip to these too. Murana is famous for its glass blowing and Burano for its colorful houses. You can also visit the Lido, Torcello, and San Michelle.
Last but not the least, respect the locals! There are a few rules like no swimming in the canals, no sitting on monuments, no littering, and no feeding the pigeons. Do abide by these, as breaking them may invite a huge fine up to 500 euros.