Tips For A Great Holiday In Venice, Italy september 22, 2021 – Posted in: Italy, Travel – Tags: Holiday, Italy, Vacations, Venice, Weekend Breaks
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A travel guide to the beautiful city of Venice
In the years before the Corona outbreak, Venice was visited by 30 million tourists every year – that is about 80,000 a day in a city that has around 50,000 permanent residents. In 2020, the number dropped drastically and the Venetians were enjoying having the city to themselves. In 2021, tourists started returning again and we agreed that if we ever wanted to experience Venice, then this was probably the best time ever.
We have always wanted to visit the city, but the rumors about the big tourist crowds had so far held us back. But in September 2021 we went on holiday in the romantic lagoon city in the Adriatic Sea. However, the stories of a scenic town with too many tourists and really bad restaurants still lingered. We do love Italy, but would it at all be possible to get a glimpse of the real Venice?
Those were some of the thoughts we had before talke off. We usually travel in the opposite direction of the large tourist crowds and we were honestly in doubt as to whether it would be a great holiday. But oh, luckily we were surprised! Let us paint you a picture on what to expect…
A tuesday morning in Venice
A little boy comes down the street, with his school bag on wheels trailing after him. He runs the last stretch to the vaporetto that has just docked. Out, the locals who are on their way to work comes, all in sneakers, as a preparation for the many stone bridges to be forced on their way through the maze of canals. A couple of early tourists staggers on board the harbor bus, a little overwhelmed by this new way of getting around.
Out on the Canal Grande, the sun casts its warm rays on the lively traffic. The beer man’s boat sails past, on its way with soda and kegs to the many bars. Immediately afterwards follows the mail boat. The garbage boat docks and empties the trash cans for yesterday’s waste before it winds its way out into the canal again.
Down by the Rialto market, the fish shops are open. Today’s catch came in many hours ago, and now freshly caught seafood from the lagoon is to be distributed in the many restaurants. From the Rialto Bridge, the walk continues into the narrow alleys with the souvenir shops selling carnival masks and Italian leather goods. Suddenly you step out on St. Mark’s Square, which is already full of people.
When the Doge’s Palace and the Bridge of Sighs are also ticked off the list, you can either do like many of the other tourists and embark on a gondola – or go exploring, getting a little lost in the maze of water. Or do both! Venice is one of the most beautiful cities in the world, and if you take the time to slowly see it, really see it, then it will again and again take your breath away with its beauty.
How to get the best holiday in Venice
A fantastic holiday in Venice requires plenty of time. The city can’t be seen in just a day, it deserves to be experienced slowly. Unfortunately, most tourists don’t get to see much other than the Rialto Bridge and St. Mark’s Square, and that’s a shame.
Take your time to head down to the Dorsaduro neighborhood with the cozy squares and cafes, up to the old Jewish ghetto in Cannaregio and also out to a wonderful dinner at one of the many restaurants on the brinks of the canals. And of course also go for a boat trip out to one of the other 117 islands in the Venetian lagoon.
Also: Don’t be THAT tourist!
And just one last tip to get the best experiences in Venice. Along the Canal Grande you’ll see plenty of banners with the text “Free Marco”. We wondered about who this Marco was, until we came down to St. Mark’s Square, Piazza San Marco. In recent years, the debate has arisen among the permanent residents who want a more sustainable tourism industry. They are tired of the giant cruise ships, of the masses invading Venice like cockroaches, of not being able to live in their own city.
Before getting offended, put yourself in their place: What would you if you had tourists parading up and down your own street, looking in through your windows, pushing you and taking your seat on the bus, having a picnic right in front of your front door and generally perceived your city as a backdrop for Instagram selfies? No thanks, right?
So do not be THAT tourist, not anywhere else and especially not in Venice. We all want the Venetians to want us as guests in the future as well. So behave properly: let the Italian Mama enter the vaporetto first and take off your backpack so everyone can get in. And don’t eat you lunch squatting at St. Mark’s Square. It’s illegal and just one of the rules that apply to tourists in Venice. Read more about the rules for tourists in Venice here: How to behave in Venice – 10 rules.
Use some money in the city, book a few nights instead of being a day tourist, order more dishes at the restaurants and do not complain about the coperto, the serving fee at the restaurants. And very important: stay to the right on the small canal streets. In general: be one of those tourists that Venice would like to welcome back.
More tips for your holiday in Venice
Where to stay in Venice?
There are many wonderful hotels in Venice, but where is the best place to stay? On Booking.com you can see the large selection of hotels in Venice, and in the article Where to stay in Venice you can read more about where in Venice you should book your holiday. There are several romantic hotels for couples on the list, and you also get a really good tip if you are on holiday in Venice with kids.
You can also do your own search on Booking.com for a good hotel in Venice right here:
A recommendation: Hotel Al Ponte Mocenigo
Hotel Al Ponte Mocenigo is a perfect setting for a romantic holiday in Venice. The hotel is located right in the heart of Venice, away from the tourist crowds and with a vaporetto station (San Stae) down the street. Otherwise, the Rialto Bridge is only a seven minute walk away and St. Mark’s Square a quarter of an hour.
The small boutique hotel has just 10 beautiful rooms, all decorated in Venetian 18th-century style with exposed ceiling beams, damask curtains, large chandeliers and soft beds. In the morning, the hotel offers a wonderful breakfast in the small courtyard, serving eggs and bacon, crispy croissants and most importantly: great coffee!
See more good hotels here: Where to stay in Venice
How do you get to Venice?
Venice has two airports: Marco Polo Airport, 10 km from the city center, and Treviso Airport, 40 km north of Venice. If you land in Treviso, there are airport buses to Venice all day, which cost 12 euros (2021) for a single ticket. Read more here: Treviso Airport Shuttle Bus.