5 tips for anyone planning a short trip to the magical city of Venice, Italy:
Mainland vs Historical Centre
- If travelling during peak season, accommodation prices can be crazy. Check prices on the mainland as you can save a packet by staying just outside the historic centre of Venice.
- I stayed in the Hilton Garden Inn in Mestre, which is a 7-minute bus journey from the hotel to the islands (bus stop across the road from the hotel). Prices were €50-100 per night cheaper than Venice hotel rates. Bus fare is €1.50
If staying in the centre of Venice…
- Make sure you choose a hotel close to a water taxi stop. Carrying your luggage any distance through Venice’s narrow cobbled pavements & bridges is torture. You’ll see the stress on the faces of plenty of tourists carrying their 20kg+ of luggage over Constitution Bridge.
Visit the main sites early
- The main sites like St Marks Square get congested very quickly so try and visit either earlier or later in the day, before it becomes mobbed with tourists trying to get a picture with St Mark’s One of my most memorable parts of the trip was spending an hour sitting in the square after dark, when the crowds were much lighter.
- The best way to immerse yourself in Venice is to walk around and get lost. In fact, it’s almost impossible not to but if you’re the type who likes to plan everything down to the exact route you’re going to take… ditch the plan and just experience Venice’s endless maze of narrow streets, canals and bridges. No matter where you walk to, you’ll eventually end up back at the Grand Canal anyways
Wear comfortable shoes
- You’ll walk lots and lots so be sure you’ve good shoes up to the task. I walked an average of 15km each of the three days there (bonus tip – I use Moves for iOS to track my daily activity. It gives a really clean and simple visualization of the distance walked, ran or cycled in any given day).