Venice’s charming canals, which wind through Italy, are a great example of historical charm.
It’s no surprise that Venice is one of the most romantic cities on the planet, with its picturesque canals and winding streets. The city is a popular destination for honeymooners but it’s also a great place to visit with cruisers and backpackers.
It should be clear why.
Venice is fun and beautiful. There are many narrow streets and alleyways to wander through. It is a magical and unique place. You can explore museums, palaces, historical town squares and enjoy endless gelato.
The city is expensive, and it has been a problem for overtourism. You will encounter people at any time of year. It’s so unbearable that you can’t even go in summer (and it gets worse if you’re there when a cruise ship docks).
However, that doesn’t mean you have to skip a visit.
If you avoid the crowds, you can skirt around the city’s center and travel to the outer islands such as Burano or Morano. Tourists tend to be concentrated in a few areas and it is easy to escape.
This Venice travel guide will help you beat the crowds and save money while making the most of your time in the famous Italian city.
1. Enjoy a walking tour
When I first arrive in a new place, the first thing I do is to take a walking tour. This is a great way to get a sense of the city and connect with local guides who can offer their tips and advice. Venice Free Walking Tour offers regular tours for free that include all the main attractions. Make sure you tip your guide at each stop!
Take Walks is my favorite company if you are looking to enhance your experience and go on a more thorough walking tour. Take Walks offers amazing boat and walking tours throughout the city. You’ll have fun with local experts and learn a lot.
2. Take a stroll on the Piazza San Marco
This is Venice’s most well-known and largest square (or piazza) This is a favorite spot for Venetians to meet and has many highlights such as the Basilica, its bell tower, Doges Palace and the National Archaeological Museum. The most striking aspect of this building is seen from the water, which gives you a complete sense of its scale and history.
3. Take a trip to Lido
Lido, a nearby island that allows you to unwind on the shores of the city is the perfect place to escape. You will find many picturesque canals and plenty of restaurants, cafes, bars, and other amenities. From Venice, it’s only 20 minutes by vaporetto (waterbus) ride. You can purchase a round trip ticket for 10 EUR or 13 EUR for a ticket that can also be used on the buses on Lido.
4. Visit Murano Island
This island is close to Venice and home to the Murano glassblowers. Even though Murano is full of expensive souvenirs, you should avoid buying anything on the island if your budget allows. You’ll still enjoy an educational and entertaining afternoon watching glass blowing. You can take the ferry to Murano for only 8 EUR.
5. Take a stroll through the Rialto market
Venice’s main market, the Rialto Market, has been in existence for 700 years. This huge market offers all types of meat, fish, and produce. You can see all the bustle and hustle if you arrive early in the morning.
6. Visit the Peggy Guggenheim Collection
This collection includes works by more than 200 artists. Modern art is not my favourite type of art but there are many pieces by abstract expressionists and Italian futurists that make it worth a visit. The admission fee is 16.50 EUR.
7. Climb the Campanile di San Marco
This tower, located in Piazza San Marco, was constructed in 1912. It is a copy of the original Bell Tower of St. Mark. (which was constructed in 16th century but fell in 1902). It stands almost 100m high and is said to be a perfect match. You can climb through the inner workings to get a 360-degree view of the city for only 10 EUR
8. The Vogalonga is on the screen
Voga Longa, a 20-mile marathon rowing race that is not competitive, takes place every May. This tradition was started in protest against the growing number of powerboats that are taking over Venice’s waterways. Every year thousands of people participate in this event, some even swimming! It is an amazing event and one of the most important events of the year.
9. Visit the National Archaeological Museum
Although the museum is small, the National Archaeological Museum has a large collection of Greek sculptures and Roman busts. It also contains funerary stelae and other relics. The cost of tickets is 25 EUR, which includes entry to the Doge’s Palace and Correr Civic Museum as well as the monumental rooms at the Marciana National Library.
10. Visit the Correr Civic Museum
The Correr Civic Museum houses an extensive collection of art and other artifacts that reflects the city’s past, as well works from former royals (including Napoleon Bonaparte). The museum’s frescoes and ancient maps, statues, religious artworks, and other treasures can be enjoyed for hours. Tickets cost 25 EUR and include entry to the Doge’s Palace and the National Archaeological Museum.
11. The Galleria dell’Accademia has a wide selection of art to browse.
Napoleon Bonaparte established the Galleria dell’Accademia. It houses many artistic works dating back to the 14th-18th century, including masterpieces by Bellini and Tintoretto. The most well-known piece is Leonardo da Vinci’s tiny ink drawing, titled Vitruvian Man. Tickets cost 12 EUR.
12. Explore the Jewish Ghetto
The Jewish Ghetto can be found in Venice’s north-western region. It is the first ghetto in the world, and was established in 1516 after the city’s Jews were forced from their home. Only the Jews were allowed to leave during the day, and they were kept locked up in the evening. Despite its troubled history, the Jewish Ghetto has many restaurants, shops and museums. Tourists often overlook this lively area.
13. Enjoy a culinary tour
Take a food tour to learn more about Venice’s history and culture. This is the best way to explore Venice and sample the finest food while learning about the uniqueness of the cuisine. Devour Tours offers in-depth food tours that are led by local experts who will help you understand the history and culture of food. This tour is perfect for foodies like me, who want to know more about the history and culture of each dish.