A magical city of romance built on a lagoon with more than 100 venetian islands in the Mediterranean. This charming picturesque city of canals and small passageways with cobblestones leading to gothic palaces as well as renaissance. The views of the cities red roofs from above next to the water is stunning. Every corner of this city is beautiful architecture, historical buildings and delicious food.
How to get there
Once you fly into Venice Marco Polo Airport which is the closest one outside the city on water you are about 25 minutes outside of the city. There are several options to get into the city center from the airport. Some of the hotels or accommodations offer airport and taxi boat transfers at no cost or additional minimal rates compared to seeking them out on your own so definitely check with your accommodations first before booking expensive water taxis. If you have only a day or two in the city you probably want to splurge to get a water taxi and have all the time you can in the city. If you have more time choose a budget option and save some money getting into the city. Budget in travel is all about choices, priorities and timelines for your trip.
Getting from the Airport to the city center
There is an express airport bus that goes to and from the airport daily on a 20 minute ride for 8 Euros. This is the most budget and convenient way. They have air conditioning and great luggage storage room. They come pretty frequently and it is not too long of a wait in between busses. This only gets you so far before you need to pay to take a boat as well so some opt for the prviate taxi boat in the first place because you need to transfer to a boat after the bus anyways.
Private Taxi Boat
The most luxurious and fast way that is a bit more spendy is private boat taxis. These also deliver you to different parts inside the water city whereas the airport bus takes you to the city center where you must tread the cobblestones potentially pretty far again with your luggage. A private water taxi is best with a lot of luggage and accommodations that are not directly city center. Especially if your luggage is not backpacks it is really hard to make your way through narrow and jagged cobblestones. I learned this the hard way in Venice! A one-way trip into Venice lasting about 20 minutes costs between 110-125 euros. There’s a kiosk inside the arrivals hall at the airport where you can book a water taxi, then it’s just a short walk down to the dock. Water taxi transport can be pre-booked on the internet. If you want to be taken directly to your accommodations, this is the only way possible. All the other choices require either a transfer to another boat or walking the remaining distance from where you are dropped off.
Alilaguna public boat
This is a boat line that is public from the airport into the city daily so it is a more budget boat trip than the private Taxis. The boat costs 15 Euros per person one way or 17 Euros roundtrip. This boat makes many stops along the way dropping people off and so this is definitely not a timely choice. The price you pay for the private taxi is speed and efficiency. For the budget price you have a lengthier trip with this public transport on this boat. The time can take up to 1.5 hours. This is the most budget choice but not the quickest by any means. The ticket desk is in the arrivals hall of the airport.
Airport Transfer (Private Car Service)
This is a fast and convenient way to have help with navigating the city and getting exactly to your lodging in a fast and affordable way. This is a bit more budget often than the private water taxis. The driver will be waiting in the arrival hall with your name on a sign. The driver will know your accomodations and take you straight there with no wait. One of the best services I know about is called, Sixt. They are comparable to an Uber for the Middle East and Europe. Their prices and information can be found here.
There is a regular taxi stand as you come out of the arrivals hall in the airport. The taxi stand is in front by the main door as you come out. The cost of a taxi into the city is 35-40 euros and takes about 25 minutes. This is a convenient, budget and quick option. You get taken to the Piazzale Roma and from there you must walk or get different transportation to your lodging.
Top Things To Do
Gondola Ride through the canals
This is probably one of the most classic, coolest experiences and most touristy cliches all wrapped into one amazing package. This truly is one of the best ways to see the picturesque city on the water and really the only way to truly explore through all the canals and nooks and crannies seeing the ins and outs of the city. Also the gondola rides at sunset are beautiful on the water! Also many of the Gondola men are amazing singers and will serenade you on the water. They are a more expensive tourist attraction, yet they are one of the best experiences and ways to explore the city. The men’s boats are tied up all over the canals in different parts of the city waiting to take you.
They say that a 40-minute gondola ride should cost around 80 euros for up to 6 people. For each additional 20 minutes it will cost 40 euros on top of that. Evening gondola rides after 7pm cost 100 euros for 40 minutes and 50 euros for every additional 20 minutes.
Saint Marc’s Basilica & belltower
This is a beautiful mosaic tiled cathedral that is gilded in gold and is an ornate beauty of architecture to visit in this city. The basilica has a great viewpoint from the balcony at the top to overlook the piazza del marco out to the water. You can find more information and booking here.
October 29 – April 15:
Basilica: 9.30 a.m. – 5.00 p.m. (entrance free – last admission 4.45 p.m.) – Sunday and holidays: 2.00 p.m. – 4.30 p.m. (entrance free – last admission 4.15 p.m.; last admission “skip the line” 4.00 p.m.)
St. Mark’s Museum: 9.45 a.m. – 4.45 p.m. (entrance: ticket 5 €, reduced children between 6 and 18 years of age 2,50 €, reduced over 19 years of age 4 € only for groups with more than 25 people)
April 16 – October 28:
Basilica: 9.30 a.m. – 5.00 p.m. (entrance free – last admission 4.45 p.m.) – Sunday and holidays: 2.00 p.m. – 5.00 p.m. (entrance free – last admission 4.45 p.m; last admission “skip the line” 4.30 p.m.)
St. Mark’s Museum: 9.35 a.m. – 5.00 p.m. (entrance: ticket 5 €, reduced children between 6 and 18 years of age 2,50 €, reduced over 19 years of age 4 € only for groups with more than 25 people)
- clothing especially for women must be appropriate (shoulders covered and legs covered) The best for women is to pack or buy a light scarf you can wrap around your shoulders and one like a sarong over your shorts, tanktops and dresses especially for summertime in Italy
- It is so hot bring water! I no joke fainted during a mass we attended and it was one of the most embarrassing moments of my life!
- no luggage allowed or big bags or backpcks
- no photos or filming is allowed
- loud talking or noises is not allowed
The belltower is accessed as well through St. Mark’s Basilica. Also this belltower is one of my top favorite secret views in Venice. The panorama of the city and red tiled rooftops of the venetian houses is incredible. This is a photographers spot and a dream place to overlook the city. The belltower is the best viewpoint of the city and worth the climb and the money. The belltower does close in bad weather and fog. Also the belltower is the coolest view from the top of the basilica as well from above.
October 1 – October 27: 9.30 a.m. – 6.00 p.m. (last admission 5.45 p.m.) (entrance: ticket 8 € , reduced children between 6 and 18 years of age 4 €, reduced over 19 years of age 6 € only for groups with more than 25 people)
October 28 – March 31: 9.30 a.m. – 4.45 p.m. (last admission 4.30 p.m.) (entrance: ticket 8 € , reduced children between 6 and 18 years of age 4 €, reduced over 19 years of age 6 € only for groups with more than 25 people)
January 7 – 23: closure for manintenance work
April 1 – April 15: 9.00 a.m. – 5.30 p.m. (last admission 4.45 p.m.) (entrance: ticket 8 € , reduced children between 6 and 18 years of age 4 €, reduced over 19 years of age 6 € only for groups with more than 25 people)
April 16 – September 30: 8.30 a.m. – 9.00 p.m. (last admission 8.45 p.m.) (entrance: ticket 8 € , reduced children between 6 and 18 years of age 4 €, reduced over 19 years of age 6 € only for groups with more than 25 people)
St Marks Clocktower
This is a cool reniassance tower from 1499 that has a mechanical clock with symbolic decorations that comes out, moves and makes noise on the hour. This is a fun stop when you are already in the square exploring the various historical sites to grab on the hour for a short show. This is a free thing to do as you stand in the square!
Piazza San Marco
This is the main plaza in the city center overlooking the canal. This is the square with the bell tower, St. Mark’s Basilica and Doge’s Palace. This is the place where all of the pigeons live and hang out. This is where there is shopping, restaurants, bars and cafes overlooking the square. There is live music every night with the lampposts lit on the canal and the whole place is magical at night. Eating dinner here is the heart of the city to experience the people and city. This is another great free city square to explore, eat and hangout.
Feed the Pigeons in San Marco Square
There are always so many pigeons everywhere flying around. They want to be fed and are very friendly. You can buy and bring them food and they will land in your hand and on your body for amazing photo opps with the Basilica and the belltower in the backgrond.
Go to a concert in the Church of San Vidal Concert Hall
There are amazing musicians and you can see a concert while you are here. On most canal tours they will take you past the house that Mozart stayed at in his time in Venice. Venice is one of the most important centers of music in the world in the 1700s. This is a great way to see the art, history, music and part of the culture of Venizzia.
Cost: tickets are 30 euros per person and you can book a ticket here.
Walk across this famous 16th century foot bridge in Venice which crosses the Grand Canal. There are shops and restaurants all along the bridge for a great stop the enjoy the architecture over lunch or a cappachino. The best hopping shopping and market area of the city is right here near the bridge. This is where you can buy the best souvenirs and get their local cute scarves.
The Rialto Market and shopping area by the Rialto bridge is where the city is hopping. There is a fresh goods and seafood market as well as countless jewelry, scarf and clothing boutiques, and shops all along the city corridor.
This is an ornate gothic building that is has a gorgeous interior and architecture to take a tour of the inside. The whole palace is amazing and one of the tours worth paying for in the city.
from 1 April to 31 October from Sunday to Thursday 8.30 – 21.00 (admission allowed until 20.00) Friday and Saturday 8.30 – 23.00 (admission allowed until 22.00) from 1 November to 31 March 8.30 – 17.30 (admission allowed until 4.30 pm)
It is often more cost effective in Europe and especially Italy with all of the museums, art and historical sites to buy package entrance fees to multiple places at once. They normally are passes that last from 3-6 months that offer unlimited entry as well for even your whole trip stay. All of the ticket passes and prices can be found here if you want to see something besides the two main options below.
TICKET “THE MUSEUMS OF PIAZZA SAN MARCO”
This covers all of the 10 museums in Venice as well as the palace and is valid for 6 months. The cost for one person is 24.50 euros. A student, senior or family discount price is 18 euros. You can find details and book here.
THE MUSEUMS OF PIAZZA SAN MARCO: Palazzo Ducale, Museo Correr, National Archaeological Museum and Marciana Library
This ticket is valid for 3 months and covers all of the cost for one person is 24.50 euros. The discount price for students, elders and families is 13 euros. You can find information and book here.
Explore the Jewish Quarter (Jewish Ghetto)
This is a historical landmark that is the world’s oldest Jewish Ghetto. that is a whole different section of the city that many people don’t go to. This is far outside the central tourist hub of downtown Venice. There is so much culture and history alive here with porticoes, hebrew inscriptions on walls and buildings and many synagogues. There is a museum and a cemetary. The museum is where you can buy tickets for the walking tours. Their whole site with information for kosher food, hotels, synagogue locations, hebrew festivals and shabaat information when you are visiting can be found here.
June to August: Sunday-Thursday 10:30am until 7:30pm
Every hour on the half. Friday 10:30am until an hour before Shabbos.
Rest of the year:Monday-Friday 10:30am until 3:30pm
Every hour on the half. Sunday 10:30am until 4:30pm every hour on the half.
Eat in a plaza along the canal
The open air restaurants in the plazas of Italy are magic. The restaurants along the canal overlooking the city and buildings are a great place to pause from wandering the city streets and take it all in with delicious local food. You can watch the boats pass and cool off in the canal as you wait for your food to be ready. There are some great restaurant options reviewed below.
Visit one of the Beautiful islands
There are four main islands 30 minutes to one hour off the coast of Venice mainland to the islands in the Venetian lagoon. There are cute old villages to explore on the islands, an artisan glass village and a colorful island town that is picturesque! The islands are great for a few hour half day or day trip.
Where to eat
Baci & Pasta
One word people: Gnocci. Obsessed. This place is a homemade local pasta street food freshly prepared. This is a local cozy place with bar stools at a bar to eat. They are definitely most known for their Gnocci but are top rated on Trip Advisor and have many delicious dishes. They have great limonatas as well. Sparkling lemon is a must try drink in Italy that is delicious.
Price: $7 – $9
Hours: 12pm-8pm daily, closed Sundays
We Love Italy, Fresh Pasta to Go
This is a great fresh homemade pasta, pizza and much more homemade and great place for takeout. They have a selection of wines as well. This is rated as number one on quick bites in Venice! The exposed brick walls and wood of their restaurant is a warm and cozy asthetic place. They have noodles hanging as decoration all over the restaurant and it is a creative atmosphere with the biggest noddle selection!
Price: 5-6 euros or $5 – $10
Hours: 12pm-8pm daily
Adagio Caffe & wine bar
This is a bit nicer sit down place than the other two smaller local budget places that are the most for your money. This is a great lunch or cheaper dinner spot. This is actually the number one rated bar in Venice with Trip Advisor and as the number 1 restaurant overall to eat at in Venice. They have nice charcutterie boards with wine pairings. This is a smaller cozy place still with some seating indoor and outdoor. The restaurant is wamr lighting, brick, and beautiful patterned tiled floors. You can get two cappuchinos and brioche for 4 euros.
Price: $6 – $17
Hours: 8am-11pm daily
This is the ultimate crepe place in the city! This happens to be the number two rated restaurant in Venice. There are sweet and savory crepes with all kinds of toppings like berries, chocolate and much more. Their thicker savory crepe sandhwiches with meat and cheese are great for lunch too!
Price: $3 – $14
Hours: 1-3:30pm, 7-10pm Friday-Tuesday, Wednesday 1-3:30 pm, closed Thursdays
They are known for their thick killer homemade sandwiches as well as their large wine selection. They have delicious meat and cheese boards as well. This is called by the locals a hidden gem. This is still such a budget placed location for great food and wine.
Price: $14 – $28
Hours: 10am-10:30pm daily
Where to Stay
This is one of the only more budget hostel stays in Venice. The hostel is inside of an old granary on Venice’s Giudecca island. It is a quick vaporetto from the main downtown. The hostel is a 1.3km stop from St. Mark’s Basilica and square so it is very centrally located. The water bus takes 10 minutes from the hostel to the square. This is the most swank, modern and rustic decorated hostel with exposed brick, leather, dark furniture and modern accents. There are dorms and also private rooms top rated by couples. There is air conditioning and free wifi! There is a bar and restaurant as well as pool tables and a swimming pool outdoors by the canal.
Dorm 7-8 mixed 800-900 baht
Dorm 14-16 people mixed or female 720 baht
Private room (2) 3900-4600 baht
Backpackers House Venice
This is a cozy budget hostel that is an unpretentious stay near a canal. This stay is a 20 minute walk from San Marco square and St Mark’s basilica, and a 20 minute walk from Doge’s palace. The location is near public transportation and lots of restaurants and bars. I believe this is the cheapest stay in all of Venice. So you get what you pay for in your low budget of nothing super fancy. This is a clean and simple stay that is perfect if you are on a tighter budget. Ca’ Rezzonico Vaporetto Waterbus Stop is a 6-minute walk away, while Santa Lucia Train Station is 1 km from Backpackers House. There are private and shared bathrooms depending on the rooom you choose.
private double room (2) 2000-2200 baht
dorm (4 people) 1000 baht per person
Hotel Olimpia Venice
This hotel is in premium real estate sitting on the canal 2 km from the Rialto bridge and Piazza San Marco. This hotel has elegant Venetian style rooms 18th century style. There is complimentary breakfast served in an open balcony overlooking the canal. There is also a cokctail lounge and private garden.
Hilton Molino Stucky Venice
This gorgeous hotel is in a restored red brick flour mill that is on Giudecca island. It is sitting on the canal with a rooftop pool overlooking the city of Venice and the canal. There is a huge dining terrace on their roof with amazing views of the city and canal as well as an in house spa. There is a bar and 4 restaurants to choose from on the grounds. The hotel is a 6-minute walk from the nearest vaporetto stop, a 12-minute walk from the Peggy Guggenheim Collection and 2.5 km from Rialto Bridge. Breakfast is included. There is also a shuttle boat for transportation for guests. This is a more private restful option from the race of the packed downtown with tourists. This is still a close convenient location to see the main sights and city but also have a more restful and less crowded stay.
This is one of several top luxary hotels located in Venice on the canals. The hotel is in a historical beautiful venitian building that is waterfront and a 5 minute walk from san Marco square. There is rooftop dining over the canal and the hotel is as elegant as a palace inside.
View this post on Instagram
No wonders that Hotel Danieli continues to be chosen by directors from all over the world as movie set. Moonraker (1979), Only you (1994), Casino Royale (2006), The Tourist (2010), just to name a few! 🎬 #HotelDanieli #TheLuxuryCollection Ph: @pilotmadeleine #danieliglam #venice #venezia #venise #venedig #veneziaunica #veneziadavivere #igvenezia #veneziaautentica #igersvenezia #igersveneto #veneziacityitaly #besthotel #luxuryhotel #luxurytraveller #luxurylifestyle #roomwithaview #hotellife #hotelroom #luxuryhotels #besthotels #hotelliving #luxuryholiday #hotelstay #luxurytravel #luxuryvacation
The Gritti Palace
This is the most luxurious grand hotel that is a 15th century palazzo sitting on the grand canal. It is a 3-minute walk from the Giglio vaporetto stop, an 8-minute walk from Piazza San Marco and a 10-minute walk from the Bridge of Sighs. The rooms all have balconies over the canal. There is a restaurant with terrace overlooking the canal and several other bar and lounge options. There are roof hottub and pools overlooking St. Michaels Basilica with gorgeous views of the city.