Italy is one of my favourite places – the sun, the culture, the food and the history all add to it’s mystique. Last summer, I finally got the chance to travel to Venice. It is one of the most beautiful cities I’ve ever seen. The epitome of romance, it is brilliantly preserved and is more like an open air museum.
Venice does have a reputation for being particularly expensive for tourists but there are lots of ways you can enjoy the city on a budget. Food or accommodation near San Marco Square is always going to be more expensive so avoiding this area for both will save you money.
I would highly recommend just walking – it is the best way to get a true feel for the place. The sound of the gondoliers singing, the aquamarine colour of the water and the tight narrow alleyways and canals create a truly surreal feeling.
It’s likely you will get lost at points but don’t worry, most places have signs leading to San Marco or the Rialto Bridge so you can always find your bearings. In the evenings, the atmosphere in San Marco Square is magical – all the main cafes have live bands and you usually see crowds gathering and walking around. Just soak up the atmosphere and enjoy!
(Keep scrolling down for some top tips)
Dal Moro’s – the best pasta in Venice and at an incredibly affordable price. This is an absolute must visit and a tourist hotspot.
Sights and tips:
Top sights include the Rialto Bridge, Piazza San Marco, St Mark’s Basilica (remember to wear clothes that cover your knees and shoulders) and the Campanile (bell tower). The views from the tower are breathtaking but avoid going on the hour – the sound of the bells ringing is actually deafening!
Take the no.1 waterbus – it’s the best way to see Venice and goes all the way down the Grand Canal. Try getting a seat at the back or front of the water bus and get your cameras ready!
If you’re an art enthusiast, I would recommend The Guggenheim which has a great modern art collection.
To get an idea of what life was like as a Venetian aristocrat, don’t miss visiting Ca’Rezzonico which is a palace on the Grand Canal. Other sights worth seeing are the Doge’s Palace – I took the ‘secret itineraries’ tour and found it really interesting. It includes a tour of the prison cells where Casanova was kept as well as the torture chamber.
Finally, if you are aged under 30, you can purchase the Venice Rolling card (you can get this at the airport) – it is great value for money and includes free access to public transport and discounts at most of the top sights. I walked most places but it was great to be able to hop on a water bus whenever I was tired. Without a travel card, an individual journey costs over €7 one way!
Hope you enjoyed this post – please leave any questions or comments below 🙂