Venice – Is it really worth a visit?

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I haven’t encountered a single person who wouldn’t know anything about Venice, Italy. It is one of the world’s most famous cities. Located on more than 100 little islands connected with bridges, picturesque canals, bustling pedestrian streets and featuring amazing architecture and artwork. No wonder Venice is on the top of the bucket list of every romantic and not only. But it is also overrun with tourists – in fact more than 15 million per year. Everything is tourist oriented and prices are skyrocketing. Bathroom breaks will cost you anywhere from €1,50 to €3, seriously.. Only way around it is to buy a something from a local restaurant and use their facilities… The emphasis on buy of course. So is it actually worth to visit Venice?

Our answer is yes, definitely and here are the reasons why.

Grand Canal in Venice near Rialto Bridge, Italy

Even though Venice is very touristy, it is also very diverse. If you are in to art, glass work, music, architecture, culture, movies or cuisine – just pick one and off to explore it, or just simple get lost in this beautiful little maze. There is something for everybody. Venice is one of those places where you simple cannot have enough, you could spend there a day, week, and month and still find new places you haven’t seen. The trick is to go early or late in the evening to see the most popular places like Mark’s square, and explore the less known places during the day to avoid the massive crowds.

The Piazzetta San Marco lies between the Doge's Palace on the east and Jacopo Sansovino's Biblioteca, view from Saint Mark's Basilica

The Piazzetta San Marco lies between the Doge’s Palace on the east and Jacopo Sansovino’s Biblioteca, view from Saint Mark’s Basilica

It was my second and my mum’s first trip to Venice. And knowing her our itinerary consisted with lots architecture and churches. We only had one day to get lost in this beautiful city, and to be honest it was enough for us. As Venice is a major pedestrian city, read a lot of walking involved, so to save our legs and energy we had our itinerary briefly mapped out with our must see places. But we took it slow and got lost a lot. Venice is like a graph paper, made out of little squares and getting lost is sooo easy… We had some frustrating moments too.. Like we kept going around in circles trying to find the Academia bridge connecting San Marco district to Dorsoduro. It didn’t seem to matter which little “Calle” we took we found ourselves back in the same square we started from. Overall we truly enjoyed Venice, it is such a beautiful city.

Check out our one day in Venice itinerary and what we visited – COMING SOON…

One day in Venice itinerary

One day in Venice itinerary

Our top recommended free attractions in Venice

Tips for Venice

Do’s

Ride up the Grand Canal on the No. 1 Vaporetto

If you would like to enjoy views of Grand Canal and a pleasant walk along the waterfront, then catch the No. 1 Vaporetto at the Piazzale Roma and ride toward the Piazza San Marco. Stay on the boat until the San Zaccaria stop, or even a few stops beyond, S. Elena stop is the last stop before the Vaporetto proceeds to Lido. To avoid crowds, do the ride in the evening once the day trippers have gone home.

Do eat lots of gelato 

Italy is the only country in the world, which makes gelato so delicious. If you are looking to taste a delicious gelato, look out for gelato shops where Mango one is bright yellow. Tested and proved to be right more than once.. Yumm…

Once again Mum is munching on delicious Gelato

Once again Mum is munching on delicious Gelato in Venice

Carry a large shawl

Do carry a large shawl or two to cover up your shoulders and knees, when entering churches in Italy. Some churches are stricter than others, but generally tank tops and shorts are not allowed for women, who wishes to enter church.

Pick the right location for stay – Islands or Mainland (Mestre)

Venice are car free and there are no taxis (apart from expensive water taxis), walking is the way around. Consider this when booking accommodation and packing, you will have to carry your own luggage as well while trying to locate your accommodation, sometimes it could be quite tricky.

Mestre have bus and train connections to Venice, journey takes only around 20 – 30 min depending where you depart. You will be arriving in Santa Lucia train station or Piazzale Roma bus station in Venice, both are close by. From there the only way is walking or Vaporetto – water taxi/ bus.

Check out ACTV website for timelines, route maps with all the stops and up to date fares for the buses and waterbuses/ Vaporetto. We found the site very useful and maps are easy to follow and printable.

Passenger terminal for cruise ships also is only a short walking distance away from bus station.

In Venice In Mestre
Bus stop – Piazzale Roma
Piazzale Roma, 30135 Venezia
Main train station – Venezia Mestre
Viale Stazione, 30171 Venezia
Train station – Stazione di Venezia Santa Lucia
Santa Lucia, Venezia
Bus stops across from train station
(check ACTV website for routes and times)
Passenger terminal – Venezia Terminal Passeggeri
Fabbricato 248, Venezia
 International Coach Stop
Viale Stazione, 6, 30171 Venice
Car Parking
on Tronchetto Island
 There are several parking spots in Mestre
One closest by train station is where Viale Stazione meets Via Trento

Be vigilant

Venice is very touristy so be vigilant of pickpockets. Use common sense, be aware of your possessions and surroundings.

Don’ts

Don’t over pack if you are staying in Venice Islands, you will have to carry it on your own

Don’t buy silly, large and fragile souvenirs. I know the lovely Murano glass objects are amazing and those jester’s hats (by the way non-Venetian) are a must for some, but ask yourself how are you going to transport them home? Better choose something durable and easy to pack.

Don’t sit on the bridges or pose, take pictures on crowded streets, pedestrian traffic builds up while you are playing with your camera.

Don’t stop suddenly while walking on crowded narrow streets, you might experience a bump in your back side, walking in Venice is much like driving at home.

Don’t annoy locals, street signs and directions are well posted in Venice.

2016-11-09T15:10:21+00:00 By |Italy, Europe|3 Comments

About the Author:

Kristine are originally from Latvia, in the middle of Baltic States, but currently living just a few steps away from one of the most scenic routes in Southern Ireland – Ring of Kerry part of Wild Atlantic Way. Kristine’s passion undoubtedly is travelling, you would always find her with a travel map and an itinerary of must see sights in hand planning the next Big holiday.

3 Comments

  1. travel4lifeblog 11th September 2016 at 07:00 - Reply

    Hello Kristine and Andris, Great post! If you like Venice you might like Annecy as well. Annecy is in the French Alps and is also called the Venice of the Alps. We recently wrote an article about Annecy on our blog! Feel free to have a look! Keep up the great work Kristine and Andris. Your pictures are awesome too!
    Patrick and Cécile from http://www.travel4lifeblog.com

    • Kristine 25th September 2016 at 14:52 - Reply

      Thank you Patrick & Cécile! I had a look and Annecy looks amazing… Will definitely have to add it to our travel list.. Thank you for recomending Annecy.

  2. Carolyn 23rd February 2017 at 04:59 - Reply

    Really nice content with detailed list of dos and don’ts

    It’s must-read article before planning to visit Venice. Keep up the great work. Thanks for sharing

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