Travel to Venice: Tips that Every Traveller Should Know

Going to Venice? 8 Tips that Every Traveller Should Know

Here are some things you should know before setting foot on the extremely touristy and extremely stunning Venice.

Venice is one those cities that everyone knows about. It’s easily one of the most beautiful cities in the world—if not simply the single most beautiful. There seriously aren’t too many cities that can rival Venice when it comes to sheer architectural splendour.

Because of Venice’s extraordinary fame, there are plenty of places—online and offline—where you can find detailed information about how to get there, how to get around; about things to see; and about reasons why visiting Venice is worth it.

This post goes beyond all that basic information and focuses on very specific tips that will make your visit to Venice even more memorable, more convenient or more special, or any combination of those.

Venice Grand Canal

Image credit: Maëlick

1. Wake up ridiculously early

Venice gets ridiculously crowded from late morning through the late afternoon, so I strongly recommended waking up ridiculously early. Get out of bed even before sunrise and head to one of Venice’s major landmarks. Watching the sunrise from one of the banks of the Grand Canal, from the Rialto Bridge or at St. Mark’s Square is a truly memorable experience. This is also the quietest time of the day—it’s glorious, really.

2. Get a proper map

Purchasing a detailed map is essential when exploring Venice. However, even with a good map, getting lost is unavoidable. Venice’s layout resembles an intricate maze of small alleyways, bridges and narrow canals—there are numerous dead-ends and streets are winding and their names not always clearly marked. Luckily, getting lost in Venice is actually pretty amazing. No matter where you’re headed, you are bound to stumble upon a pretty sight. The use of a proper map lies in the fact that, whenever you get to a recognizable landmark, you can quickly get your bearings again.

Grand Venice

Image credit: Howard Ignatius

3. Use public transportation

Obviously, there are no buses in Venice, save the convenient ones that commute between the island and the mainland. That being said; the network of public transportation is quite dense in Venice—public transport happens solely with boats. There are water taxis and ferries that travel the entire length of the Grand Canal, that travel around the island, or that combine both routes. Those boats are fast ways to get from A to B in Venice, much faster than trying to find your way yourself. They’re also very welcome after a long day of walking around.

4. Expect to pay more

Venice is without question the most expensive city in Italy, and among the most expensive in all Europe. There’s nothing you can do about it, so you better accept it and pay whatever you have to pay to do whatever you want to do. Restaurants are all overpriced and have a cover charge. There’s no use in complaining about it—it is the way it is. Accommodation is expensive as well, but it’s worth it. You’ll stay in the world’s most beautiful city.

Rialto Bridge, Venice

Image credit: Raging Wire

5. Sleep on the island

This elaborates on the previous point. Even though accommodation on the mainland is much, much cheaper than on the island of Venice, it is absolutely worth it to pay more to stay on the island. That way, you are able to be in the heart of the city in the early morning and in the evening, when the hordes of day-trippers haven’t arrived yet or are long gone. These two times are the most beautiful and quiet.

6. Watch your bags

Watching your belongings is a given wherever you travel, but Venice is a particularly notorious city for pickpockets. Especially in midday, with all the crowds, you should always keep your bags close and keep an eye on them at all times. As the saying goes, it is better to be safe than sorry.


Image credit: Oliver Clarke

7. Wear comfy shoes

The only way to really see Venice is on foot. So, expect to walk a lot. And I mean a lot. As mentioned above, you will get lost at some point, requiring you to cover a few extra kilometres. Wearing comfortable shoes is essential when visiting Venice. If you’re a woman, don’t even think about wearing heels! There are way too many cobbled streets and bridges to comfortably get around in heels. Sneakers or other comfy shoes are recommended.

8. Visit other islands

The Venetian lagoon is dotted with other beautiful islands. To avoid the enormous midday crowds, it is suggested to hop on a ferry and head to one or more of the nearby islands. Murano, for example, is renowned for its glass and lies a quick boat ride from Venice. Another absolutely recommended island is Burano. This island is one of the world’s most colourful places, each of its houses painted in a different colour. With its canals, it’s like a colourful miniature Venice. Burano is also famous for its lace-making. The ferry to Burano stops in Murano on its way from and to Venice, making it possible to combine both islands in one trip.

If you keep all these in check, you’re bound to have a great trip! To get a feel for what it’s like to actually travel in Venice, here’s a travel story to give you that much need inspiration for your next flight out!

About Author

Bram Reusen

Bram is a freelance writer, translator and travel photographer. He was born and grew up in a small town in Belgium and currently lives in a small town in Vermont, USA. He likes to try different travel styles and he has backpacked across Australia, cycled from Belgium to the North Cape and back, spent three months immersing himself in the Irish culture, hiked across England, climbed numerous mountains in New England, and visited many a handful of European cities. Besides writing and traveling, Bram spends his days reading, working out and trying to live a healthy life.


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