Venice in Italy is almost something similar to Paris, the capital of France. Even though these two cities don’t really have a lot more to offer than other cities in Italy and France, people generally tend to like them more! (Blaming you darn Hollywood!!) But let’s be a little professional, Venice is extremely beautiful and totally worth it if you educate yourself a little bit before booking your flight to Venice!
If you’re planning to visit Venice, or you’re already there and want to have a plan of things to do in Venice, keep reading as in this post, we’ll talk about 15 essential things to know before visiting Venice.
1- You won’t get lost
Everyone talks about how often you’ll get lost while visiting Venice which is in fact not true at all! With all the technologies we have in our smartphones like GPS, why should we get lost anywhere in the world? Even if you don’t have internet access, a lot of online map applications like Google Maps offer offline maps as well.
2- Visit Murano, Burano, and Torcello Islands
If you got enough time, don’t get stuck in Venice. The islands of Murano, Burano, and Torcello are totally worth visiting. From Venice, It takes about 17 minutes to get to Murano, 45 minutes to Burano, and 50 minutes to Torcello islands. These islands are far emptier than Venice, and are just as beautiful (If not better!)
3- Visit local areas
It’s better to visit local areas in Venice than the tourist areas. The local neighborhoods are just as beautiful, with fewer tourists around, better food quality, and cheaper prices. Then why not, right?
4- Don’t take the gondola ride
If being on a gondola in Venice has always been on your bucket list, then you should go for it without a doubt, otherwise, it’s not worth it to get charged €80 (““““`~ $100) for a private 25-30 minutes tour during the day. The fun fact is that at nights, taking a private gondola tour for 25-30 minutes would cost €120 (““““`~ $140).
No need to burn a hole in your pocket if taking a gondola tour is not your fantasy! Just walk around on your foot! You’ll see even more details for free!
5- Start your day early in the morning
Venice is always packed with tourists, but you’d have a much better chance for sightseeing and getting around if you start exploring the city early in the morning when fewer tourists are around. You can feel the difference in easily commuting in the morning versus going back to your hotel/Airbnb in Venice in the afternoon!
6- You’ll walk like no tomorrow
Venice’s bridges are so cute but eventually, they make you tired since almost all of them got stairs instead of a ramp which is not easy when you’re walking with a suitcase! Then get ready for it.
7- Pack waterproof shoes
Venice gets a lot of rain during the year, sometimes as much as a flood. You want to have your waterproof shoes with you while visiting Venice, otherwise, you’ll end up with wet feet all day long which means no fun!
8- Be careful with street performers
OK! You are sitting outside of a restaurant, enjoying your expensive meal (In case no one has told you how expensive Venice is) that some street performers show up and insist on getting money from you! Most people give up within a minute and give them some money. Not here to say don’t do it, but just know that you don’t have to! It’s optional!
9- A lot of streets and Canals are truly narrow
Since Venice is an old city, a lot of streets are narrow, so are the canals. It’s not an issue for the canals being narrow since you’re on a boat (which needs a professional boat rider to pass thru) but because there are many many many tourists in the streets, the narrow ones would giggle your nerves!
10- Not everywhere in Venice is expensive
It’s a fact that touristic neighborhoods in all cities are expensive, but the difference between local neighborhoods and the touristic ones in Venice is very obvious. For example, a glass of wine for €2.5 in a local restaurant gets served for €9 in a touristic restaurant! Plus, the quality and service in a local restaurant are much better.
11- Tourist Tax
Each tourist has to pay €2 per day for being in Venice. If you booked an Airbnb in Venice, remember to have some cash at the time of checkout as most hosts ask you to pay for tourist tax by cash.
12- Skip The Line ticket
During high season (April – November) the ticket lines behind attractions like “St Mark’s Basilica” and “Doge’s Palace” could be considerably long that forces you to wait for approximately 45 minutes – 1 hour to get in. You can easily go online and purchase a Skip The Line ticket. For only €3-5 per person, it’s worth going straight in! If you’re visiting “Doge’s Palace”, the fee includes both entry (€20) and skip the line (€3).
From morning till noon, skip the line could have a line too, as most group tours get in using Skip the Line during that period. Book your Skip the Line ticket for 1 pm to get to the front right on time.
13- Learn a few Italian words
Learning a few Italian words would make your trip much more pleasant. You don’t need to know more than Gracie (Thank you), Per favour (Please), Buongiorno! (Hello and Good morning).
14- Don’t attempt to see all sites
Venice has countless attractions to visit which is a lot if you’re not there for more than 2-3 days. Then in case you’re visiting Venice for a short time, relax and only visit a few sites instead of stressing yourself out, passing the crowd, running thru your next stop!
15- Best plan is not having one
Generally speaking, in Italy not everything goes according to the schedule. Then don’t have a strict plan for your day or you’ll end up sleeping angry and frustrated at night. Just try being relaxed and enjoy the view. After all you’re in Venice, where most people around the world dream to visit!