Venice – Explore the Magical City of Canals


Venice is one of the most visited cities in Europe. People come from all over the world to see the historic canals and iconic St. Mark’s Basilica. The city can get really crowded with tourists, so I recommend going in the off-peak season (December – February). Another tip to experience the true charm of Venice is to get lost. Wander away from the main streets and shops to explore the narrow streets in places where you are not swarmed by crowds. I got most of my recommendations from a friend of a friend who has lived in Venice.

Need to Know:

Currency: Euro

Language: Italian


Venice (2) – VCE and TSF

Verona – VRN

Electrical Outlets: 230V supply voltage and 50Hz, plug type C

Planning Your Trip

Accommodation – I have actually never stayed in Venice, so I am not the best person to recommend accommodations. Check out this blog to explain the neighborhoods of Venice and where you might want to find a hotel.

Food – There are so many amazing food options to explore in Venice. Here are a few recommendations to guide you on your visit!

For breakfast: 
-Tonolo: This is the best pasticceria in Venice. It’s by Campo S Margarita and closed on  Mondays.
For Lunch: 
– Da Lele: A good, simple, and cheap lunch is Lele. It’s super iconic with 1€ sandwiches and 0,6-1,2€ Ombre di Vino. It’s very small so you eat outside, but do not eat at the botti because the birds will poop on you. You will want to eat at the church steps, but be careful of the seagulls here because they attack there for the sandwiches.
– Osteria alla Vedova: Good spot, close to Strada Nuova.
– Al Nono Risorto: A great stop with a huge garden and good pizzas.
– La Campana: Another good lunch option. Get there around 1:30 PM because the rush is at 12:30 PM.
For drinks: 
– Campo S. Margherita: Multiple good options, my friend recommends the red bar or bar orange
– Osteria Al Squero: They let you drink on the canal and you can see the gondolas being built, but be careful of birds here.

Getting Around – I took the train from Verona to Venice, getting off at Stazione di Venezia Santa Lucia, the main station in Venice.

Venice is extremely walkable, so lace up your walking shoes and get wandering. If you are using google maps to get around, make sure you go into your settings and selected “avoid ferries,” unless you want to take ferries.

Other Tips – There are tons of public bathrooms, but they cost 1,50€ and often don’t make change. Make sure to bring some coins with you.

Be sure to check the weather before your visit and bring an umbrella if it is going to rain. If it has rained a lot in the past couple days, there is a good chance there will be flooding and you should bring bags to tie around your shoes or wear waterproof shoes.

Venice Train Station
Pasta with local clams
Venice Water taxis

Things to See and Do in Venice

Piazza San Marco: The iconic center plaza of Venice, make sure you see Piazza San Marco and the beautiful Basilica di San Marco. You can go inside the basilica from 9:30 am to 5:15 pm for €3. The line to enter is usually pretty long so try to go early, or just be prepared to wait. 

  Chiesa di San Pantalon: Close to Campo Santa Margherita, this church is  free to enter and famous for its frescos. Try to go around midday so the natural light beautifully shows the art. 

Fondaco Dei Tedeschi: Check out this luxury shopping mall by Rialto. The main thing to do is to go on top of the terrace to see a great view of canale grande. You have to book your visit in advance though so make sure you do that here.

  Mercato Di Rialto: In the morning you will find a traditional local market of farmers selling produce and all kinds of other goods. This is usually wrapped up by noon so stop by early.


Piazza de San Marco venice
Venice canal
Rialto Mercado Venice

Santa Maria di Salute:  This is a  beautiful church by the Punto di Dogana designed by Palladio. There is no entry fee, but be careful because someone might try to scam you to pay. The tip is also a nice viewing point of the city and Piazza San Marco. 

Ghetto: This is the first jewish ghetto in the world. The neighborhood is the historic center and home to the highest buildings you can find in the city. I loved wandering the narrow streets and exploring the main square of the ghetto with three synagogues. I don’t recommend getting a coffee or a spritz in here because they tend to be super expensive. 

ZattereThis is a great spot for a waterfront walk with a nice breeze. It’s also a good spot to sit down and grab a spritz. 

Santa Maria de Salute
Andrea Abroad Venice
Jewish Ghetto Venice

If you have more time in northern Italy, also check out my guide to Verona.

Gelato venice
Venice Canals
Gondola Venice
Grab a Gelato There are tons of great gelato places around every corner in Venice. I recommend getting a little ways away from St. Mark's plaza because everything is overpriced there. I enjoyed Gelato Fantasy because they have gluten-free cones and non-fruit vegan gelato options! I enjoyed a pistachio and hazelnut vegan gelato.
Walk to the Arsenale On the far end of Venice, lace up your walking shoes to see this unique former shipyard. This is good place to get away from the crowds of tourists and see Venice from a different perspective.
Take a Vaporetto Meaning ``little boat train,`` you can take a Vaporetto back to the train station from the boat stops on San Marco. From San Marco with the square behind you, walk out to the water, and then go right and follow along the edge of the coast. You will see Vaporetto stops eventually on your left, where you can ask for a ticket to go to La Stazione.
Gondola Ride This would be on the top of many people's list for Venice, but they are so expensive that most locals have never been on one! Gondola's are no longer a real means of transportation in Venice, so do not expect a gondola to drop you off somewhere different from where you got on. Because of this, gondola rides are just about the experience and seeing Venice from the water. Make sure you board a gondola in an area you want to explore and ask the gondolier about their route. I recommend finding a gondola by the Rialto Bridge. Gondolas are regulated by the city of Venice, so don't try to negotiate the price. It will cost you €80 for a daytime ride and €100 for rides after 7 pm. Many gondoliers only accept cash so make sure to have some bills on you. If you want to experience a gondola ride without paying the outrageous fees, take the traghetto which takes you across the Grand Canal for 2€. It’s a shortcut for many people in the city because there’s only four bridges that cross the canal.
Buy Murano Glass or a Carnival Mask When in Venice, make sure you check out the famous Murano Glass, actually produced on the neighboring island of Murano. You will find beautiful glasses, plates, and art. If you want to purchase glass, buy from an art shop or a store that only sells Murano glass because it is more likely that your money is going directly to the artist, rather than to a reseller at a trinket shop.

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