Venice is a location that everyone should visit once in their life, and you might want to book a trip there soon as the city is actually sinking! Admittedly it’s a quite a slow process with the city only sinking at between 0.3 and 0.4 millimetres per year, but it’s still happening. The beautiful floating city, famous for its gondolas and gorgeous little piazzas will one day be no more. For now, though, it’s still a fantastic place to visit, and it’s a location that’s popular with tourists all over the world. In fact, the city sees 20 million visitors every year, so perhaps we should start by considering the best time to visit Venice and plan a trip there.
Booking Your Trip To Venice
At the beginning of summer, you’ll find that crowds of tourists flock to Venice, making it almost impossible to experience the serene atmosphere that the piazzas should offer. That’s why, rather than booking for beginning of summer or even the middle you should aim to plan your trip somewhere near the end. Many holiday planners suggest that September is actually the best time to visit the floating city of Venice. During this time, you’ll find that the crowds have faded away and there are no longer queues for the gondolas. The canals will also be clearer than they would be in mid-July (though if you have a chance to learn how to row a gondola you should do it!) and when the sun does set over the city, you’ll find silence in the squares.
Of course, September is also the time of the Venice Film Festival, and this will be a big plus for movie buffs. Celebrities regularly attend this festival, so if you are eager to get a glimpse of stars like Woody Allen and Kristen Stewart, this might be the place to be.
You might be wondering why Venice is less popular at this time of year. By September, temperatures are starting to rise in the city, but if you can withstand the heat, you’ll find the reduced numbers in the streets make the hot weather completely worth it.
Traveling To Venice
Planning, your trip, you might be wondering how you get from the airport to Venice. You have various options here. The Marco Polo Venice airport is about twenty minutes from the city via bus, and this is your first option for transportation. A ticket will cost you five euros, but remember, you won’t be able to get dropped off directly at your hotel or where you’re staying. So, once you reach the city, you’ll still find yourself standing, waiting for a water taxi.
An alternative possibility would be to get a Venice water taxi from the airport and get directly to the city itself. You can book it beforehand or you can queue at the water taxis desk within the arrivals hall of Marco Polo airport. It almost feels like starting your vacation early because already you are gliding through aqua green waters. The best part is that the water taxi will take you right into the centre of the city where you’ll easily be able to find your way to your final destination. A round trip on a shared water bus will only cost you around twenty-five euros, and that means that your complete journey is covered and organised.
Many low-cost flights are landing to Treviso airport instead. Treviso airport (aka Canova International airport) is located 40 kilometres away from Venice island. The most comfortable option to get from Treviso airport to Venice is a private transfer (ground from Treviso to Piazzale Roma, water taxi from Piazzale Roma to your hotel)
Lose Yourself In The City
You might think that the best way to get around Venice is the gondolas and well, you’d be right. But before we encourage you to take a trip through the canal systems, it’s important to spend at least one day simply getting lost in the city. Wander through the streets aimless down impossibly narrow alleyways, you’ll find hidden wonders from tiny little cafes with wonderful delicacies to beautiful shops selling vintage souvenirs. Locals will encourage you to forget the map and just lose yourself, let that travel agenda fall away and escape the tourist traps. If you see a crowd of people heading in one direction, head the exact opposite way, and you’ll see a side of the city that they will never experience. You can spend a good few hours in Venice seemingly doing nothing at all and having a wonderful time all the same.
Tour The Canals
If you want to see the Grand Canal through Venice, one of your only options is a water bus. The Grand Canal stretches a massive two miles and is particularly dazzling at night when the moon gives the water an eerie glow. The water bus provides a fun way to see a side of the city that you just won’t get to experience if you spend all your time on your feet. There are also plenty of tours that will let you see various sites with people there, ready to explain what exactly you should be looking at. To the untrained eye, the architecture of the buildings in Venice can blur together, but that doesn’t change the fact that the building designs are actually magnificent.
Of course, if you’d like to explore some areas that you won’t find on the map, you’ll need to hitch a ride on a Venice Gondola. If you’ve never been in a gondola, you are in for a real treat. On some of the gondolas, you can lie back and let the canals drift by as someone steers you through. It can even be quite romantic, so if you’re going with your partner, this is certainly going to need to be on your travel agenda. If you’re lucky, you’ll get a great gondolier who will tell you some of the incredible history surrounding the buildings that you are sure to pass on your tour around Venice.
Cross Over The Grand Canal
A couple centuries in the past, if you needed to Cross the Grand Canal, the Rialto bridge would have been the only option. Now, of course, a few other bridges have been built, but Rialto is still the most popular. It’s beautiful too, built completely of marble and a truly stunning sight to behold. In fact, the bridge is considered a masterpiece of engineering. Arguably the best way to view the bridge is not to cross it, but rather take a gondola ride right underneath it to witness the true splendour of its design.
Other Architectural Beauties
Of course, the Rialto Bridge isn’t the only Architectural beauty spot in Venice. It’s impossible not to mention Doge’s Palace, also known to Italians as Palazzo Ducale. Viewed from the water the palace is an absolutely incredible site, a true word of art. You can find the palace in the always vibrant St. Mark’s Square. It is by far one of the most popular tourist spots in Venice so you’ll definitely want to make sure you get tickets in advance. Some visitors have claimed they had to wait hours to see it! Of course, it’s well worth the wait because inside you’ll be treated to viewings of a number of beautiful pieces of artwork. Many tourists recommend that curious people do opt for a guided tour and this makes a lot of sense. The palace has a rich history, and this means you can spend hours exploring it without ever growing bored.
Take A Trip To The Venetian Market
If you’re interested in exploring the local cuisine of Venice, you must take a trip down to the Venetian market. Here you’ll find everything from meat to fresh fish to live seafood ready for sale. You’ll be able to get true Venetian cuisine here, and if you are renting an apartment during your stay, you’ll be able to cook it all up later. Arguably the crucial dish to try while you’re in Venice is the “Sarde in saor”. You can make it by soaking sardines in vinegar and combining with onions or pick it up at one of the many food shops around the market. The market is arguably one of the hidden secrets of Venice that most tourists never discover and now, you won’t make this mistake.
Explore Ancient History
Venice has various small and large museums, but one that perhaps stands out the most is Correr Civic Museum, commonly referred to as the Museo Correr it is magnificent with displays and pieces that chart Venice’s history. It’s actually close by to the Doge’s Palace, and if you are planning on visiting either one of these attractions, you can get a dual ticket. The museum opens quite early around 10 am, and the atmosphere is absolutely tremendous. People walk around silently in awe from every little detail that catches their eye around each corner inside.
Of course, there are other places to explore to take a trip back through time like the St Mary of the Friars Church. You’ll find it near the Scuola Grande di San Rocco. Many people see this church as a beautiful showcase for the gothic architecture that you can find all around the city, but that’s just the exterior. Inside, you will find artwork and treasures galore. If this isn’t on your travel plan when roaming around Venice, you’ll want to change that right now.
Has this guide made you excited to visit Venice? It’s not too late to book for the winter season and explore the floating city yourself.