Blog, Europe, Italy

Venice – awesome guide and tips (part 1)

Venice complete guide must visit places

Venice – must visit city in your life! In part 1 about Venice you will know about hotels and apartments in Venice, in which district of Venice is better to rent apartments. About public transport in Venice – vaporetto. About Grand Canal, San Marco district and gondolas.

Venice – is a city of elegance, aesthetics and love of exquisite beauty and life. The city, which inspired, inspires, and will inspire artists, aesthetes and everyone, who would once see its sophisticated and at the same time gorgeous palaces that grow out of water along the Grand Canal.

And the history of this great city, which was built up on hundreds of small islands, begins from ancient times, during the Roman Empire.

Then the common people were fleeing from the evil fate and they sought shelter away from wars. And so the first settlers began their lives with fishing on the wild Adriatic islands, which led to emergence of trade. And gradually they were building their future kingdom.

Due to the geography of the location, Venice was the center of maritime trade that brought big profits and more and more urged forward to their own independence. Then power increased, so the Venetians began to conquer other areas and completely conquered the Adriatic Sea, calling it the Venetian Lake.

This is how the Venetian Republic emerged. You can see the Venetians’ signature in Slovenian city Piran, or Montenegrin town Perast.

Accommodation in Venice. Where to stay

Accommodation prices in Venice are quite high. Apartments and hotels cost from 70 euros per night. Moreover, they might offer NOT a romantic housing for 70 euros. If you add the price of parking in Piazzale Roma for 25 euros/day (the closest place to park the car is at the entrance to the island near St. Lucia station), then you will have to pay a small fortune for one day in Venice.

For example, this hotel Palazzo La Scala near San Marco square.

However, Venice is not limited to the islands, as the city territory extends to the mainland as well. Mestre is the area, where the highest percentage of the Venetians lives. If you look at the numbers – about 60,000 live on the islands, while 200,000 in the districts and mainland Italy.

venice mestre map web

venice hotel 3

If you choose to stay in Mestre, the price of apartments and hotels will drop by half or even three times (depending on how early you book).

For example, the price of a villa, which can be booked through Airbnb,is 45 €/night, with free parking in our own backyard.

How to get discounts on accommodation via Airbnb (coupons 10 euros)

venice hotel 1

Through booking apartments, for example, Residenze Venezia Apartments from 50 euro.

Or for the same price as in Venice, rent accommodation in a cool  Moro Lin from 70 euro.

How to get to historical Venice from the mainland areas, in our case from Mestre?

The islands of Venice are connected to the mainland with a long bridge for cars, buses, trains and subway. The price of a one-way ticket for bus or subway is 1.5 euros. There are enough options where to find a convenient stop. You can get to the stop in your own car, park there for free and change over to public transport, and come out in Piazzale Roma and the main pedestrian bridge Ponte degli Scalzi in maximum 30 minutes.

venice grand canal-7

The resulting choice where to stay in Venice.

If we count in numbers: on the mainland it is 45 euros per night + 0 euro for parking, but 6 euros for two for a round-trip on public transport to get to the islands, as well as 10-30 minutes in one direction. 51 euros a day altogether.

If you stay on the islands of Venice: the minimum price of an ordinary double room is 70 euros/night + 25 euros for parking away from the hotel, which means that you need to get there with your suitcases on the sea bus – vaporetto for at least 7.5 euros. It makes 95-103 euros a day.

Vaporetto – is a water public transport in Venice

Since Venice – is a set of islands and canals between them, the only means of transport – are all possible water boats, ferries, gondolas, motor boats, etc.

It is believed that prices for water crossings for tourists are unrealistically overpriced – it is really so!

You have to pay 7.5 euros for a one-way ticket to get on the water bus from the main station of Santa Lucia to San Marco Square. Venice residents pay a mere 1.3 euros per trip 🙂

See details on the official site and the map of vaparetto in Venice.

The most popular is vaporetto (motor ship) – that’s a line No.2 (Centrocittà), which passes through the Grand Canal. The trip from Piazzale Roma to Piazza San Marco takes about 25-30 minutes.

We did so on our first day – went on vaporetto to San Marco Square at sunrise. Since it would be long to walk on foot in the dark for the first time. And we needed to manage to take pictures of Piazza San Marco without crowds.

Vaporetto is quite large, with seats inside. But it is more interesting to stand outside and look at everything not through the windows. The main thing – is to hold all the luggage fast so that it did not fall into the water 🙂

The Grand Canal of Venice

The length of the Grand Canal reaches 3.8 km and resembles the letter S or snake if to look from height. Width ranges from 30 to 70 m. Depth of the canal is 5 m.

Apparently, you can find a lot of interesting things at the bottom! We’ve read somewhere that residents can throw away even washing machines into water…

The Grand Canal is the main waterway of Venice. It is busy all the time, even big vessels are swimming, therefore there are only four bridges across it.

Ponte degli Scalzi is the first bridge on the way of everyone, who came to the Piazzale Roma or at the station of Santa Lucia.

Ponte di Rialto – is the most famous, the first and the oldest bridge in Venice. Stores are located inside it. It is used most often when going from San Marco area to San Polo and Dorsoduro areas.

Ponte dell’Accademia – in our version this bridge offers the best views of Venice! It is actually the most popular among tourists because this is a place, where everybody is taking pictures from morning till night. It is convenient to use it to quickly get from Piazza San Marco to Dorsoduro district.

Ponte della Costituzione – the least known bridge, it is located at the start of the Grand Canal near Piazzale Roma.

The Grand Canal once acted as a market, where merchants were selling goods directly on the water. When they became rich, they built luxurious palaces for themselves remaining on place)

Piazza San Marco in Venice

If you wish to look around the Piazza San Marco without crowds and vendors, you should come here from 6:00 to 8:30 am. Only during these few hours you will meet here few tourists who also came here to make pictures without people. Take a walk around luxurious spaces and have a good look at everything.

Chaos starts very noticeably strictly at 9:00 am! Unrealistic queues in the Doge’s Palace and St Mark’s Basilica. Large groups with guides in different parts of the area.

Piazza San Marco is perhaps the most crowded among all Italian squares.

So, it is better to run to other areas of Venice after 9:00 am and enjoy beautiful canals and streets, away from all San Marco district)

Those who want to get up the St Mark’s Campanile (bell tower) will have to wait until 9:00 am and get in line.

Ticket price to the bell tower – is 8 euros. Entrance to the belfry is through the loggia – there once sat the Doge’s palace guard, and now there’s a box office. Timetable is here

Fortunately, there is an elevator, for Campanile height is 100 m. There are high windows covered with coarse grid at the top round the circle, so you can pass a hand with a camera.

Magnificent views of the whole Venice open from the St Mark’s Campanile. You can well see Piazza San Marco and Basilica, the Doge’s Palace. You can also see the other parts of Venice and will have an idea what kind of city it is. It is believed that Venice is small – you can get around it easily and quickly, but as soon as you see it from the tower – you will no longer think so.

St Mark’s Basilica (Basilica di San Marco)

Truly unique, different from all others. The St Mark’s Basilica can be looked at for a very long time from the outside. An incredible amount of details, unusual combinations, interesting shapes. Many details were stolen and brought from other countries, the same as the very relics of St. Mark) Perhaps it made the Basilica so beautiful)

Doge’s Palace (Palazzo Ducale)

Chief executives of the former Republic of Venice used to live in the Doge’s Palace. This is another unique and unusual architecture, which fits Venice so well.

As if turned upside down. After all, no one ever built buildings with “massive tops” on the fragile basis. However, the Venetians, as merchants, having seen other worlds, things, traditions on their own – got a unique and broad experience. Probably that was the reason why their understanding of architecture was so fanciful.

To get to the Doge’s Palace, you have to stand in a long queue and buy a ticket for 19 euros per person.

The Bridge of Sighs connects the Doge’s Palace and the prison. The convicted walked along it for the last time in their lives and looked at the Venice lagoon.
Venice what to see s

There are many shops and restaurants near the St. Mark’s Square. Food prices, of course, are too high and it will be usually tasteless. So we always moved to other districts and there were looking for good places.

However, we still drank coffee for 3 euros once. In other parts of Venice we bought coffee for 1.4 euros.

Gondolas and gondoliers in Venice.

The symbol of Venice is gondolas, which are propelled by handsome tanned gondoliers in shirts in black and white stripes and hats with a red ribbon. Everything is very romantic and beautiful.

In practice – it is expensive, not always beautiful and with large queues and traffic jams on canals. Gondoliers wear their beautiful hats every other time; they can sometimes wear not traditional clothes. On the narrow canals of Venice there might be such heavy traffic, with dozens of gondolas, and sailing boats and water taxis.

The price for swimming on gondola is 80 euros for 40 minutes. A maximum of 6 people can sit in the gondola.

If we divide this amount by 6, then it will be a small sum from every person. If you ride on gondola at night, it will be more expensive – 100 euros for 40 minutes.

All gondoliers must have the same prices, since this cost of riding on gondolas is officially approved. There are plenty of places-stops with gondolas in Venice. The most popular place – is near the Piazza San Marco.

When it is better to take a ride on gondolas?

As early as possible, from the early morning, when there is no such rush, when traffic jams will be caused. Or try a ride by less popular routes. Or just take a distant look of this action 🙂

Wander the streets of Venice.

There is no transport in Venice – neither bicycles, nor segways. You still need some time and efforts to visit the most parts of Venice. You won’t be able to do it in a day. Especially if you choose to sail to the islands of Murano or Burano.

We have wandered the streets a lot – from beautiful and wide to gray and narrow (draft, where hotel and restaurant staff is loading things). If in San Marco district buildings in general have access to water at once, in Dorsoduro or Castello districts there are very nice streets with sidewalks, and then canals between them. These streets are very cozy and romantic.

Below you can see more photos of beautiful San Marco district.

In part №2 about Venice you will know about districts Castello, San Polo, Dorsoduro. Where to eat in Venice, some tasty and atmospheric cafes and bars. About such island of Venice like San Giorgio Maggiore, Murano, San Michele, Burano, Mazzorbo, Torcello and Lido di Venezia.

Pompeii, Vesuvius, Amalfi or our Italian Wedding adventure

Awesome 5 months trip and 12 Balkans countries

With love, RH.

We would love to hear what you have to say. Follow our online Diary in Instagram, you’ll like it !

Did you love this? Sign up to receive exclusive tips like these!