How to spend a day in Venice. The beloved city and tourist hotspot.
THE ICONIC CITY OF VENICE
My best advice when it comes to Venice is get off of the busy streets and get lost. It is easy to do, I’ve even known locals to get lost when showing me around! Maybe that was part of their strategy.
I have a love / frustration with Venice. It is beautiful, unique and charming but it is also one of the most busy tourism spots in the world. I can not shake the feeling of wanting to escape from the crowds and duck back behind alleys and find some peace and quiet.
MY VENICE EXPERIENCES
I have visited a number of times now, but always stayed out of the city and day tripped in. Therefore I can not tell you anything about Venice accommodation or the city by night. For that, I will send you on to TripAdvisor!
I recall my parents telling me how much better Venice was at night when the crowds had left. They had a lot of fun walking through the flooded main square shin deep in water. Can you imagine the reflections of the lights dancing around? That Venice sounds every bit as magical as one would imagine.
Come to think of it, not generally being so keen on the usual tourist traps, I haven’t taken a gondola either.
Perhaps I am doing it all wrong.
HOW TO SPEND THE DAY IN VENICE
As with my general European travel tips Venice is no different. Walking around, exploring the art galleries, getting off of the beaten track, wandering into buildings and down alleys toward the water, is where the fun begins. It is a city to wander so wear comfortable shoes, bring sunscreen and sunglasses. Then order a nice Spritz and people watch outside. You can grab a pizza slice or fresh fruit cup and eat it as you walk.
Get in early and beat the crowds as best you can to the main square and when checking out the bridges. Walk through the fish markets and produce markets to see the glorious food. Stop in for a coffee and a Venetian cookie. They are good!!
WHAT NOT TO DO
On our most recent trip we ate at an entirely terrible restaurant out of hunger. Knowing we were across town from any of the good places, I was desperate and regretted it immensely. Bad Venetian food is just over priced, under cooked Fasta Pasta.
Make the effort to suss out the good places and plan your day accordingly! Ask a local, do some research first and make it a mission. The food is usually good, if you avoid the tourist places and pick something local. The key is to step away from the main tourist squares but local knowledge helps.
Okay, next time I will stay in Venice and do it for real! Haha, I mean, I will get up early, walk around, take a midday nap and stay out late after a big squid ink pasta meal. I will go to Burano and check out the colourful buildings. A gondola ride is worth the money?! Okay, I will take a gondola ride and you guys can hold me to it! I promise you a touristy ‘on a gondola’ photo! Deal?
TELL ME YOUR SECRETS!
Have you been to Venice? How did you find it? Have any tricks for us? Is there a way to just ignore the tourist groups and not feel smothered? Tell me your secrets!! Haha.
Honestly though, I clearly have mixed feelings about Venice. I would really love to hear some of your stories. Have a hotel recommendation for us? Or even a restaurant? Did you get sucked into a tourist trap? Spend HOURS in a line to get into a Cathedral? Was it worth it? Did you feed the pigeons? Drop anything in the water? Find yourself completely lost? Eat an incredible dish? Buy a mask and carry it all the way home? Sit on the steps and watch the people go by?
I want to know it all!