The final stop on our Italian vacation was Venice… and I have never seen a city like this! I mean, I have definitely been to cities that have lots of water and rivers or even oceanfront property, but for some reason I did not realize that Venice is literally floating on water. When we arrived at the airport to drop off the rental car, I was totally convinced we’d be able to catch a cab to Venice. Uh, nope. Turns out we needed to either take the water bus or rent a water taxi! We splurged on the latter and chalked it up to a once-in-a-lifetime experience. During the entire powerboat ride to Venice, my mouth was basically hanging wide open. I had just never witnessed a city like this before! Without further ado, here is my Venice Travel Guide:
Venice Travel Guide
When we told people we wanted to go to Venice, there were a few naysayers who encouraged us to go elsewhere because the city can be stinky and expensive. We ultimately decided to go anyways just so we could experience it and form our own opinion… and we were happy we did! I am actually quite sensitive to smells, but didn’t notice much of a stink as long as we were further away from the more touristy areas. We still strolled through some of the must-see monuments and historical landmarks, but for the most part our time in Venice was spent wandering and getting lost and discovering amazing hidden treasures. And eating… lots of eating!
Things to Do in Venice
There is just so much to do in Venice, but the issue is that it can be incredibly touristy. While we were in St. Mark’s Square, I joked to Sean that we were just hanging out with a few thousand of our closest friends… and it wasn’t untrue! The more well-known spots are gorgeous, but prepare yourself to be annoyed by the number of people and pigeons.
A few things to check out:
- Definitely take a boat ride of some sort. We did a water taxi and had water bus (aka vaporetto) passes. I also sort of regret not going for a gondola ride even though it’s so cliché.
- Basilica di San Marco
- Piazza San Marco
- Campanile di San Marco
- Rialto Bridge (warning: it was insanely crowded)
- the Cannaregio district — I highly recommend eating most of your meals here, too. There are soooo many good ones.
- Canal Grande — I didn’t realize how big it was!
- Murano and Burano — use your water bus pass to go to these islands to wander around. Murano is known for it’s beautiful brightly colored glass, while Burano is know for the houses in rich, saturated colors.
Also, for an incredible view of most of Venice, I have a very surprising tip: go to the top of T Fondaco Dei Tedeschi for a free pass to the roof top area. This is actually a luxury mall, but they have the most incredible view of the city! Click here to book your visit to the Rooftop Terrace. And maybe splurge on some designer goods on your way back down like I did…
Where to Stay in Venice
For this leg of the trip, we booked an Airbnb again. I actually would not recommend the one we stayed in because I wasn’t really happy with it. I’d still use Airbnb in Venice if we go back again, but just not this one. I’d recommend making sure that the apartment or home you rent is owned by an actual individual instead of a management company. We ended up with the latter and were frustrated by some of the policies they sprung on us at the last minute. I did like where it was located, however, because we were close to the water bus line that seemed to go everywhere we wanted! While booking a place to stay in Venice, be sure to pay attention to that because it will make your life so much easier.
Best Restaurants in Venice
Oh, the food… this was the last stop for our trip to Italy, so we reallllllly indulged. Pasta, fish, Aperol spritzes… we pretty much had one of everything. It’s a wonder we fit into our plane seats to go home. Some of the restaurants we loved:
We didn’t make it to Burano, but was told to check out Riva Rosa as a great place to eat, too!
If you’re local to Venice or have been before, what’s missing from this list? I’d love to know what some of your favorites are! And in case you missed them, here are the travel guides for our entire Italian vacation:
- Travel Guide for Pisa
- Travel Guide for Tuscany & Annette Joseph Styling Workshop
- Travel Guide: Florence
- Travel Guide: Lake Como
- Travel Guide: Venice
Stay tuned for more travel guides to Lake Como and Venice.
Photography by Jojotastic.