Best of Venice: Your Personal Travel Guide

Going to paradise is easy. Take a 2h flight from London, and the land of juicy gelatos and creamy tiramisu is welcoming you ashore. Trip to Venice was one of my childhood dreams, and I am happy I could finally make it true. I am sure many people would understand me. Throughout the centuries this city was a splendid personification of beauty and romance.

Before starting my journey, I have tried to collect some advice from friends and collegues, who have already experienced this wonderful adventure. But, of course nothing can be as useful as your own experience. I would be more than happy to present a funny and cheerful narration about my misfortunes to show how I’ve learned from my mistakes. However, strangely enough I haven’t managed to commit any. Call it  luck, or, perhaps, well preparation, but that’s how it is. So, I am here to share a couple of tips with those of you, who are still planning a trip.

Венеция, гондола


1. When to go?

A lot of people prefer visiting this wonderful destination either during the Carnival, or in Summer. However, these times have obvious disadvantages in the face of massive amounts of tourists, crowding the streets with their majestic egos, and spoiling the views with blinding flashes of the cameras. Besides, water in Summer literally stinks, and this is one of the factors that is very likely to spoil the impression. In contrast, Winter could be quite windy, and there is a high possibility of floods. Thus, if you want to keep your feet dry and your nose in the air, I would advice you to go there in mid Spring, when the weather is already warm enough, and the tourists haven’t managed to occupy the territories. I went to Venice in the end of March. The sun was shining, and the temperature was around +20′ C.

Пьяцо Сан Марко, Венеция


2. Where to stay?

The most advisable thing to do regarding the accommodation is to book the hotel on the main land in Mestre. It would be at least 5 times cheaper, and probably even more convenient. I’ve stayed in the Hotel Delfino (4 stars), which had a fantastic location. A bus stop was just across the front entrance, and a journey from there to Venice would take no longer than 15 minutes. It was also in 15 minutes walk from the airport transfer stop and the train station, leading to other cities, not to mention a relatively cheap supermarket in the adjusted building. A double room would cost around 200 Euro for 5 days, including breakfast.

3. Where to eat?

Prices and the quality of food in Venice is generally the same everywhere. I was hoping to find something truly authentic and “Italian”, but sadly enough I’ve discovered that there was no special place for me. Pizza and pasta have the same taste everywhere. In average, a main course would cost you around 10 Euro, unless you go to dine at Piazza San Marco, which boosts the prizes up to ten times higher.

мороженое в Венеции


4. What to do?

Get lost among in the narrow streets of the old city (a navigator might be helpful, though), discover numerous bridges, churches and fantastic views, enjoy the sun, facing the sea shore, and please your mouth with an incredibly tasty ice-cream, which are sold on every corner. Gondola hire costs around 80 Euro, which may seem a bit pricey. However, if you are travelling in a group, you can easily split the costs, as the price is not affected by the number of people in a boat. After visiting Piazza San Marco, you would probably want to travel to distant islands, such as Murano and Burano, which are definitely worth visiting. The best way to handle this is to buy a day travel card at the cost of 15 Euros, which would allow you to travel by bus and vaporetto – a river boat. I have to confess, that the views from it are totally stunning.

Венеция ночью

закат в Венеции

5. What to buy?

The most common souvenir that people are bringing home is of course the masks. You cannot possibly avoid finding them. It seems that masks craft is one of the main occupation of the locals. It presents such a splendid variety of choice, that sometimes you feel yourself inside the museum, and alike the last, in most of them you are not allowed to take pictures. My guess is that they are afraid of the rivals, who may copy their unique style. However, whether to bring one home is up to you. While it could serve as a wonderful decoration in a big maisonette, it might look quite silly in a tiny flat. One of the options is to buy a small magnet in the form of a mask for you or your friends. In most of the shops it costs 3 Euro, but I have managed to find a couple of shops that sell it for 1 Euro. So, don’t be lazy, and walk your legs to save the money.

Венецианские маски

Венецианские маски

Венецианские маски

Finally, don’t stick to the major tourist routes. Try to find something on your own. Discover things, that other people might not notice. Go to see the sunrise on the sea shore. Visit a school or a hospital. Spy on the locals to see where they prefer to eat. Have fun, and enjoy your time as much as you can!

I hope my advise have been useful, and I am looking forward to hearing your impressions. If you’ve been to Venice, and/or are only planning to go, leave your trace of wisdom in the comments. It’s much appreciated.


Text and images Copyright © 2012 Unordinary Customer. All rights reserved.

2 Responses to “Best of Venice: Your Personal Travel Guide”
  1. vilks12 says:

    Hope, you still have the mask that I brought to you from Venice ! 🙂

  2. Она в Риге осталась 😦

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