Venice, Italy – a romantic city surrounded by canals, beautiful architecture and beautifully crafted gondolas. Venice is one of the well-known cities in Italy for its grandeur and rich history that dates back to centuries ago. I hope this travel guide to Venice will help you.
Check out some of the cool and cheap tours you could do in Venice.
This city is possibly one of the costly places you can visit but do not fret because if there’s a way there’s a will when it comes to us budgeted travellers and even its expensive gelatos will not stop you from having a fantastic time in this wonderful city. In this DIY travel guide to Venice I’ll walk you through this beautiful city without hurting your budget and as well get to keep the opportunity to explore the city at it’s finest.
In Venice it is all about walking and as long as you can go miles on your feet like the Flash you’ll almost never have to pay for any transport fees except for waterbuses that takes you from and to the airport or the train station.
I was in Venice with my sister and spent a good long weekend (3 days and 3 nights) with an intention to tire our feet and eat good food with a view! Related Article: Travel Tips for Italy and France
How to get there:
Venice, Italy is part of the EU and as well the Schengen group of countries therefore a visa is required to visit this beautiful city for some citizens. If you belong to the group that needs visa then you’ll most probably need to apply for Schengen Visa (read: How to Apply for Schengen Visa) before you enter the country. Otherwise be sure to check all requirements and application before you book anything.
Best time to visit:
A lot of Europeans visit Venice during summertime (May – August) but the weather at around this time could be extreme to some due to the heat. I personally came to Venice around July and the weather was really at its peak and the heat wave was really strong however during this time of the year is possibly the most exciting due to several festivals and happenings. If you’re not interested on big crowds and long lines to enter the landmarks then I suggest going around spring (March – May) or autumn (August – October) when the weather is a bit subtler and the number of tourists slightly goes down.
Main Attractions in Venice:
Venice is well known for its canals and architecture so expect to see a lot of water and beautiful buildings!
- St. Mark’s Basilica – well known for its extravagant design, which symbolized the Venetian wealth and power. Its interior is in gold to express its status with beautiful mosaic designs that resembles the Venetian’s love for beauty.
- Rialto Bridge – one of the oldest bridges that connects some of the beautiful streets in Venice and as well one of the four bridges you’ll see when you travel along the Grand Canal.
- Gondola ride – if you’re up for a romantic trip with your partner then this one is for you. What is greater than looking at this beautiful city and share a wonderful memory with your love one? The only sad side about this is that it is expensive but you can negotiate. I was with my sister in Venice and truly, we both wished we were with our partners! The gondola ride was too expensive for us that we called pass but promised to be back with our significant other and try it.
- Murano – an island along Venice and as well a beautiful place to see some of the world-class glassmakers in action.
- Burano – a fisherman village in an island along Venice where people paint their houses in beautiful bright colors.
- Torcello – an old island by Venice where you’ll find beautiful buildings dating back from centuries ago still intact.
Venice is relatively small in comparison to other Italian cities and since it is easily accessible around by feet the accommodation doesn’t necessarily need to depend on location and you could easily book anywhere you wish and still be close to the attractions. We personally decided on renting an AirBnB apartment for ourselves, which came in really handy and as well gave us the freedom to cook for ourselves on some nights. However this is a very personal preference since I am an advocate towards my privacy, home cooking, buying and cooking local produce plus I’m a clutter when it comes to my stuff and having a stranger look at those can be embarrassing. You’ll find tons of choices when it comes to accommodation! Hostels in Venice are quite a lot and as well hotels. There are luxury hotels for a romantic getaway or budget hostels with bunkers for budget backpackers. There are plenty of hotels around the city that offers great deals. However the prices during peak season could vary in price and might be more expensive than other seasons therefore be wary when would be the best time for you to visit.
Venice Public Transport Cost:
The transport cost is quite expensive so if you’re on a tight budget it is possible to avoid it besides Venice is very doable on foot and the experience is more exciting.
ACTV is the main public transport company and is mainly running all waterbuses around the city. You can buy tickets online or from their ACTV machines, which you can find in every main station.
- One-way ticket (valid for an hour) – 5€
- Whole day ticket – 20€
- 3-days ticket – 40€
- 7-days ticket – 60€
Allilaguna is another transport company that goes around Venice but their destinations are quite limited. We personally used Allilaguna and bought a round ticket from and to the airport (15€/person). We also purchased our tour from this company to visit all three islands of Murano, Burano and Torcello for 20€ per person and the tour lasted 4 ½ hours.
Be aware as well of the heat because since you’ll be walking a lot, it is smart to simply ready yourself to look for a shade therefore a hat, sun glasses, comfy shoes, water bottle and a fan would be very handy to carry with you. I also find having little hydrating snacks come in very good to carry such as light fruits like grapes and cherry tomatoes and it saves you a lot of money and slightly fills you up when hunger starts to stir in.
Travel Guide to Venice Tip #1:
It helps a bit to plan ahead during peak seasons or if you’re only visiting for a short amount of time. Venice could get terribly crowded during summertime and even late-spring or early autumn. As much as you can please spend a lot of time walking around and avoid the expensive transportation fees! Venice is easily accessible through walking and you get to explore the city much better. Get lost even and you’ll find beautiful alleys with little café’s or restaurants or even stumble upon beautiful churches. If you’re staying in Venice longer than three days and prefer to use their waterbus (main mode of transportation) then I suggest you avail their tourist travel card that costs a hefty 20€ for a day but it is unlimited therefore you can use public transportation as much as you feel but believe me when I say that during our stay we only used the public transport when we were traveling from and to the airport so 20€ for a day is quite obscene.
Travel Guide to Venice Tip #2:
Since you’d be walking a lot it is safe to say that wearing comfy shoes and clothing would be best. If you’re planning to visit churches be aware also of the dress code and make sure you are not wearing anything too revealing (woman) and descent clothing with no obscure graphics/messages on your shirts (man/woman). If you decide to visit during summer then be aware of the temperature because it could get seriously hot during the day!
When you start your walking extravaganza it is best to carry these around with you:
- Hat and sunglasses – it is hot and the sun is strong.
- Water bottle – there’s tons of fountains scattered around Venice where you can get water for free and is drinkable. Saves mother nature and keeps your wallet hydrated!
- A fan – It gets really hot and I promise you that this thing is going to be your best friend during your visit!
- Light and hydrating snacks – like fruits or raw sliced vegetables; I even brought along with us some few other snacks like nuts and some sandwiches just to relinquish our hunger amidst all the walking and as well it comes really cheap rather than splurging money on restaurants.
- Good vibes! – The heat will eventually creep into you so better bring a handful of smiles and lifted spirits. You don’t want to miss all the beautiful things this city can offer you when the heat starts to wear you down.
Our DIY travel guide to Venice itinerary:
-We arrived around noon at our apartment and decided to walk around our apartment’s neighborhood and catch a sip at the nearby pub.
-We also tried Cicchetti (Venetian tapas) for snacks and just relaxed for a bit till the heat mellows down.
-Wandered around and simply got lost (unintentionally but it was fun).
-Real Venetian dinner! On our first night we decided that it would be grand to have a proper fancy pansy dinner to kick start our long weekend in this marvelous city. (Italian cuisine is relatively delicious in general, you’ll amost never go wrong!)
This day was all about visiting the famous landmarks of the city and as well we tirelessly walked around the city and just simply got lost along the way and found lots of beautiful hidden gems around.
-Campanille Di San Marco
-St. Mark’s Basilica
Murano, Burano and Tocello tour – this takes half a day and we know we would be walking a lot so we reserved most of our energy on this and by evening we were so exhausted that we just simply walked around and had an awesome dinner by the pier with Capri Spritz and just simply had a rather chilled night.
Our flight leaves in the afternoon so we spent the whole morning packing and as well walked around and had a wonderful lunch where we had the chance to taste, as they say, a very Venetian meal – Pasta Sepia (pasta with ink squid).
When you visit Venice you will for surely fall in love to its beauty and the idea of romance fills it’s surrounding. I hope you’ll find our tip to this wonderful Italian City helpful and incase you visit, let us know what you think and share your story on a comment below!
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About the Author:
Evan Kristine is the blogger behind Pretty Wild World – A Visual Travel Blog. A curious young soul who enjoys documenting all possible sorts of happenings and mishaps that comes her way. A life enthusiast who loves adventure stories with thrills and twists, a chef by trade and an over all lover of pretty things.