Venice – The city of love, romance and one of the most peaceful cities in Europe will appeal to you right from the first sight by beautiful islands, gentle canals, ancient bridges and statues from Renaissance. Venice Island is the destination of love, romantic trips. It has ancient and poetic architectures such as St. Marco’s square and cathedral, Dodge’s Palace, the legendary Rialto bridge … One of the most memorable experiences in Venice is to sail on blue canals by Gondola boat. You will also learn about sophisticated art at glass factories in Murano island. So, is Venice worth visiting? Let’s discover one of the most romantic destinations in the world through our Venice travel blog (Venice blog) with the fullest Venice travel guide blog (Venice city guide, Venice visitors guide) for a wonderful trip to Venice on a budget for the first time from how to get there, where to stay, best places to visit and what to do… in Venice below to find out the answer! So, if you are planning to visit Venice, don’t miss this useful Venice travel guide.
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Venice is a city located in northeastern Italy, consisting of more than 100 small islands separated by canals and again connected by countless bridges across. Venice in Latin means love, so it is dubbed the “city of love”. Not only that, Venice is also a large commercial and artistic center, attracting millions of tourists each year.
With both dreamy and mysterious beauty, Venice is known as the most romantic city in the world. Venice in the Renaissance was the center of art, the bustling commercial exchange of Europe. The buildings in Venice are attractive because of the haughty, gorgeous but also dreamy looks.
Venice visitor guide: When is the best time to visit?
Tourists will flock to Venice at the end of May and early October, along with 11 days of Carnival Venice Festival (Carnevale di Venezia) in February also making the place overcrowded with people and pushing up the price of services very high. To avoid these days you should go to Venice around the end of October or the end of April. At these times in Venice it was sunny despite a bit cold (luck of the draw may still have some murky days, fog but not much), the temperature is quite pleasant if standing in the light of the sun. If coming at the end of March or early April, it is very easy to get rain, fog and very cold weather, especially is the flood scene, see the San Macro Square in flood days will be nothing interesting.
In winter the prices in Venice as well as the cost of airfares is much cheaper than the peak season, you might consider going on this occasion to reduce trip costs and possibly stay longer in Venice. Venice is a gentle and peaceful city, you can take a quick tour with only a day trip, or vice versa, stay from 1 week to 1 month, it’s all OK. But if Venice only is a destination in your European itinerary, you should spend from 3 to 4 days is enough. In general, the cost of living or trip costs in Venice is very expensive, much more expensive than the common cost in Italy as well as the whole of Europe (for example, rent a normal hostel in Paris or Barcelona is only EUR15-20/night, but in Venice, you maybe spend up to EUR30/night, but in the suburbs, the center will much higher). Because of its very famous, Venice was always crowded with people, only walking on the street but sometimes you have to jostle.
Venice travel blog: Getting around Venice
Venice has two main areas: Mestre – mainland city and Venezia (Venice) – main island
The city center is a collection of small islands connecting with mainland by an artificial bridge across the sea, wanting to go from mainland to here, you must take a train or a car. However, do not travel from other places to Venice by car because the parking fees are very high and it is very difficult to find parking lot in peak season.
From Venezia Tronchetto Terminal to Piazzale Roma Station Venice
First, you should know Piazzale Roma is the main transit station in Venice for bus, boat … So, if you stay at the hotel or airbnb in Mestre – mainland city of Venice, you also need to take a bus from Piazzale Roma to Mestre and vice versa.
From Tronchetto to Venice there are 2 options: Going by People Mover (€1.50) or Vaporetto (€7.50) line 2. People Mover is a kind of overhead train. Vaporetto is Water bus, the main means of transportation in Venice.
If you getting to Venice by plane at Marco Polo airport, you go to the ground floor to take the 15 or 4L bus to Mestre, 4L bus to Piazzale Roma. Or the water bus on the first floor of the airport to Venice.
Note: Well, take a bus here, they didn’t announce any stops. You should download google map offline to mark the location of the hotel or Airbnb to know where to get off. Before you want to get off, you need to press the notification button first.
To travel around the city, the easiest way is to walk, and there is also a very popular means is sailing on the sea and through canals: ACTV Water bus, also known as Vaporetto, works like a system of buses on land. You can visit here to see the boat schedule and routes of the day. Using the Water bus is really necessary in some cases such as if you are stay on some islands outside the city, or want to go to some separate islands like Murano or Burano (will be discussed below) or simply is to getting around this beautiful city by boat and watch it from afar.
The normal ticket price for a boat trip is 8 Euros and valid within 75 minutes (too expensive), round-trip tickets to Lido Island (with beach) is €13 with line 14. The traveling in Venice by Waterbus is very familiar to people in this region, you just need to step out of Santa Lucia Station will see the pier immediately with lots of waterbus available.
A signature means of transport that you definitely to try when traveling in Venice is Gondola, a type of traditional boat with boatmen who are good-looking Italians who can both sailed and sang in many literary works and movies. However, not every boatman can sing so you need to consider before hire. Traveling by Gondola is really romantic for any couple, but the price is also extremely expensive, ranging from 80-100 euros/hour. You can experience it at a cheaper cost by pairing with one or several other couples, or ask the hotel to help find travelers who also want to experience Gondola.
Buy Citypass for travel in Venice
At Piazzale Roma, you will find a place to sell train tickets, water bus, and commuter buses in Venice. We advised you to be 28 or younger should buy the card VENEZIA UNICA Citypass 3 days unlimited + Rolling card for €28 when traveling to Venice.
Normally VENEZIA UNICA Citypass 3 days card costs €40. However, if you are under 28 and buy along with Rolling Venice card, you only pay €28 for combo including Citypass 3 days + Rolling card. This promotion is not applicable for Citypass 1 day, 2 days and 7 days. So, although stay in Venice for only 2 days but we still buy Citypass 3 days to apply the promotion combo.
You can buy online here for €29 or buy at the ticket counter at Piazzale Roma for €28 as us. You need to give your passport so they can check your name and age.
We advise you to buy a Citypass for cheap traveling in Venice. Because every time you take the bus is €1.50, but traveling by Water bus is quite expensive at €7.50 per trip. And getting around Venice, the Water bus is mainly, although Venice is quite small and can walk, but it will take a lot of time and health. With a citypass card and then whenever you are tired or want to go somewhere far, just get on the Water bus to get there and be healthy! Or for example, to getting to the island of Burano and Murano also does not need to buy tickets, you can use the Citypass card.
Venice blog: Where to stay?
The room rates in the city center is extremely expensive, even if you rent a room in the suburban area, it is also higher than most other Italian cities, but still a good choice about price more than in the center. The cost of accommodation in the center high partly because all the essential goods provided to the hotel you stay in such as bread, towels, coffee, food … are transported by boat or small car. Wastewater is temporarily stored and removed by barges later.
Hotels, hostels or guesthouses will charge additional tax called “Tourist tax” for every first 5 days you stay here. This tax is high or low depending on the location, type of hotel and some other factors, its nature is the extra tax for every night you sleep in Venice and not included in the room rate as VAT. Tourist tax is generally quite similar to Green Tax when you travel to Maldives.
For backpackers to reduce costs for a great trip to Venice on a budget, it is best to choose a hostel in the town of Mestre (Agoda.com or Booking.com), in the morning, catch an early train to the center about 5 minutes at very cheap price (only more 1 euro) or you also can take the bus: From Mestre you can take the 4L bus to Venice in just 10-15 minutes and vice versa. There are many good hostels, guesthouses in the area around Venezia-Mestre Station, which usually takes only 10-15 minutes to walk, remember to book as soon as possible and do not book rooms too far from the train station. If you fly to Venice at times such as evening or have an early flight on the next day, you should consider sleeping at Marco Polo Airport to reduce your room costs. You can refer to Hostel Nuova Locanda Belvedere near the Mestre station with room rates from 20 euros/night, clean, quiet, the room is not grafted with too many guests, only one minus point is there is no kitchen to cook for backpackers. (You can check rates and reviews on Agoda.com or Booking.com).
If you have good financial conditions and want to have a romantic and unforgettable vacation, you can not ignore the Hotel Danieli (Agoda.com or Booking.com), super romantic and luxurious hotel, which is chosen to be the setting for the film The Tourist by two famous actors who played Angela Jolie and Johnny Depp. Or the Hotel Baglioni Hotel Luna (Agoda.com or Booking.com) – The Leading Hotels of the World, the heart of Venice, here you will enjoy the most luxurious services, dinner, watching dawn, sunset and full view the majestic scenery of this romantic city.
Airbnb in Mestre that we rented is very wide and clean. Newly built house, so very new interior, located in residential area so it is very quiet and safe. However, you must walk a short distance from the bus stop (about 800m). Check rates and reviews here.
Below we recommend some best cheap, budget, mid-range and upscale hotels with good ratings and reviews from $65/night you can refer to.
Arlecchino Hotel (Address: Fondamenta Burchielle, 390, 30135 Venezia VE, Italy / Phone: +39 041 710723), a best seller 3-star hotel with room rates from $137/night. (You can check rates and reviews on Agoda.com or Booking.com).
Hotel Rialto (Address: Riva del Ferro, 5149, 30124 Venezia VE, Italy / Phone: +39 041 520 9166), a 4-star top rated hotel with room rates from $99/night. (You can check rates and reviews on Agoda.com or Booking.com).
Hotel Savoia & Jolanda (Address: Riva degli Schiavoni, 4187, 30122 Venezia VE, Italy / Phone: +39 041 520 6644), a top rated 4-star hotel with room rates from $139/night. (You can check rates and reviews on Agoda.com or Booking.com).
Hotel Montecarlo (Address: Calle Specchieri S. Marco, 463, 30124 San Marco, Venezia VE, Italy / Phone: +39 041 520 7144), a top rated 3-star hotel with room rates from $129/night. (You can check rates and reviews on Agoda.com or Booking.com).
Hotel Tiziano (Address: Calle Rielo Dorsoduro, 1873, 30123 Venezia VE, Italy / Phone: +39 041 275 0071), a top rated 3-star hotel with room rates from $75/night. (You can check rates and reviews on Agoda.com or Booking.com).
Starhotels Splendid Venice (Address: San Marco Mercerie, 760, 30124 Venezia VE, Italy / Phone: +39 041 520 0755), a top rated 4-star hotel with room rates from $218/night. (You can check rates and reviews on Agoda.com or Booking.com).
HOTEL OLIMPIA Venice (Address: Fondamenta Burchielle, 395, 30135 Santa Croce VE, Italy / Phone: +39 041 711041), a top rated 3-star hotel with room rates from $182/night. (You can check rates and reviews on Agoda.com or Booking.com).
Hotel Ca’ Dogaressa (Address: Fondamenta Cannaregio, 1018, 30121 Venezia VE, Italy / Phone: +39 041 275 9441), a top rated 3-star hotel with room rates from $78/night. (You can check rates and reviews on Agoda.com or Booking.com).
Hotel Ai Cavalieri di Venezia (Address: Calle de Borgoloco, 6108, 30122 Venezia VE, Italy / Phone: +39 041 241 1064), a top rated 3-star hotel with room rates from $236/night. (You can check rates and reviews on Agoda.com or Booking.com).
Venice travel blog: How to save money when eating out in Venice?
Venice is famous for its typical traditional cuisine of Italy, very diverse and rich, however, the price for a meal in a restaurant in the city center is extremely expensive. The traditional dishes in this city are mainly seafood, fish, vegetables, and Italian rice, but if you want to save the maximum cost for eating, you can go to supermarkets to buy ready food as well as buy fresh food bring to the hostel to cook. At the supermarket you can choose everything from Sandwich to Pizza, eat it right away, but of course it can’t be as good as enjoying hot food at restaurants.
There are many eateries, restaurants everywhere, every corner as well as on big streets in central Venice. The price of a small piece of Pizza (you can buy a piece of pizza as small as 1/8, 1/6 of the Pizza) is not too expensive, about 3-8 euros at a small shop, but also very delicious. Nothing is more romantic and wonderful by taking a small piece of pizza, walking while chatting with friends, or stopping to enjoy a glass of Italian wine, very interesting. Some best restaurants in Venice such as: La Zucca, Ristorante Riviera, Antiche Carampane, L’Alcova Restaurant, Ristorante Alle Corone, Osteria alle Testiere, Antico Martini, Osteria All’Arco, Locanda Cipriani.
Food Tour: In addition, you can register for a short culinary tour like Cicchetti food tour of Venice, guides will take you around Cannaregio and San Polo area, visiting places where locals usually eat and order food and explain about the specialties at each stop, and take you to places where you can’t know without a guide.
If money is not a problem for you or at least want to enjoy some signature dishes in Venice, you can dine at some luxurious restaurants. However, you need to be extremely cautious because it is easy to fall into the “food trap” spread all over this city, there will be a lot of great advertising restaurants, high prices but bad food.
Venice city guide: Best places to visit and top things to do in Venice
Information about admission fees for some attractions, museums in Venice and other free attractions for tourists below:
- Museums in St. Mark’s Square (Piazza San Marco) (including Doge’s Palace, Museo Correr, Museo Archeologico Nazionale, and Monumental Rooms of the Biblioteca Nzionale Marciana): €20, with discounts for people over 65 and under 26 (with student ID card).
- Basilica dei Frari: €3
- Peggy Guggenheim Collection: €15
- Church of Santa Maria: Free
- Venice Natural History Museum: €8
- Gondola boating: €80/person (day), €100/person (around sunset).
Piazza San Marco
Piazza San Marco, also known as St. Mark’s Square, is one of the famous squares in the world including a complex with churches, bell towers and a large square area that accommodates thousands of people. In the peak tourist season this area is always crowded with visitors. In the evening, in this area, there are many luxurious restaurants open, especially in the square, you can both dining and listening to live music that organize by these restaurants. But according to us, you should not eat here because it is expensive and food is not good, unless you have a lot of money and want a romantic dinner.
Places of interest gathered around St. Mark’s Square:
Saint Mark’s Basilica
Here you can also visit Saint Mark’s Basilica or the Basilica di San Marco to admire the many wonderful paintings and architecture. The statues are sculpted and mosaic paintings on the ornate façade, the whole church is designed according to the magnificent Byzantine architectural style that combines both Eastern and Western architecture. If you buy tickets online to avoid queuing, it will cost you €2 extra, buy here.