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Visiting Venice: Hints and Tips

Spending time in Venice is essential to a good life. Period. End of story.

It’s the most magical city on the planet, but it’s also a major tourist trap that many people have mixed or negative feelings about.

So here is my best bit of advice for visiting Venice, Italy.

REALIZE IT DOESN’T HAVE TO BE EXPENSIVE. The best way to experience Venice is by not spending much money. Which means you walk. You talk public water buses instead of gondolas. You don’t eat with a view, but instead with locals. Honestly, every single person I’ve sent to Venice with this advice comes back and thanks me. It shapes the trip.

How do you do Venice on a budget? Here you go.

  1. Take the public bus from the airport to the city. You just saved 40 Euro over a taxi, or 120 Euro over a private boat. That being said, when we took my mom to Venice in 2009 (she had never been), we took a private boat into the city because it is magical indeed.
  2. Eat like local: wander Chicetti bars in the evening for dinner. Don’t ever eat where there is a view such as on the Grand Canal. Find little places off the beaten path. Avoid menus in English!
  3. Visit St. Marks during the day, because you need to see it of course. Don’t eat anywhere near St. Marks. A coffee on the square will set you back $15 … for real!
  4. Rent an apartment instead of staying at a hotel. Try to live like a local in a neighborhood. Follow the locals to see where they shop and what they buy.
  5. DO NOT just day trip to Venice. Waking up in Venice, going for an early walk to the Rialto Fish Market, then going through the day followed by an evening stroll, is part of the experience. You miss it all if you day trip.
  6. Know that Venice is an island so you can’t get too lost.
  7. Use the water buses for transport … buy a pass for all your days in Venice, and use that as a way to sightsee. If you plan where and when to hop on the boat, if the weather is nice, you can sit in front and have a perfect tour of Venice for two Euro.

Some videos to get you excited

This is a great video, but at 36:14 is when it feels more like “real” Venice.