How to have the ultimate experience in Venice
If you ever have the opportunity to sail out of Venice: do it! And make sure you have a few extra days to stick around before or after your cruise!
Our recent visit was the ultimate experience, a mixture of culture, history, architecture, food (yes, and wine!), fun, shopping, lifestyle and friends!
Likely, if you are coming in by plane, you’ll arrive at the Marco Polo Airport.
We strongly recommend you book accommodation in the old, historic part of Venice which includes the districts Cannaregio, Castello, San Marco, San Polo, San Groce, Dorssodura, Isla Guidecca and Isla di Murano. When you think Venice, think water! On these parts, no cars, buses, trains, ambulances, police in vehicles; instead think boat! Water Taxi, Water Bus, Water Ambulance, Water Police, you get the message…. So to get from the Airport to Venice, you’ll take a Water Taxi or Water Bus leaving directly from the airport and in about 40 minutes, you are there!
Where to stay
While there are many beautiful Hotels, we found them to be pretty pricey, mind you, we visited in August, which is high season. However, we found the AirBnB option much more appealing, not only cost wise, but from the aspect of location, uniqueness and experience. We stayed in 3 different AirBnB’s, each one unique and in a fantastic location, modern apartments with kitchen and all you wish for. “The hands that hold Venice” were just outside one of our homes.
AirBnB’s were significantly more affordable. If you want to use an AirBNB. feel free to use our link and receive $45 discount on your first booking! www.airbnb.ca/c/clarissal1037
One word to many locations in Venice: these are unique, old buildings and most have no elevator, so be prepared to haul your luggage up some flights of stair. But the view make it worthwhile…
What to do
Explore…. eat…. shop….visit!
Besides the mandatory and very crowded tourist attraction like the San Marco Square and the Rialto Bridge, there are a few hidden secrets that are well worth to explore!
A Must Do is a visit to the Fish Market (Mercato di Rialto) just a couple of minutes north-west of the Rialto bridge, right on the Canale Grande.
Make sure you arrive early to enjoy the visual feast that you’re going to experience! Fish and Seafood, fresh each morning and beautifully arranged, spices, fruit, vegetables…. and actually just very few touristy items. There are nice cafes, bakeries and restaurants close by that you can savor Italian Specialties like Cannoli or the Real- Deal Tiramisu that is to die for…
Just wondering through the narrow, little streets, over beautiful bridges, along the Canale Grande, having an Apero or Sprizer at the Rialto bridge, visiting one of the many artisan shops, or just letting the surroundings settle, and of course, a Gondola ride make the day go fast and diverse. Gondola rides are 80Euro for a good half hour per gondola and they have room for 2-4.
We’d recommend to visit San Marco Square and Rialto bridge earlier in the morning, as it is much less crowded. For a fee, you can visit the Basilica San Marco, the stunning Cathedral that is the best know example of the Byzantine architecture. There are numerous restaurants and Cafes at San Marco Square, but be prepared that they are a bit more pricey than those that a little off the beaten path.
There is real beautiful Artisan work all over Venice! One great example is Murano glass, that is made into gorgeous Jewellery and decor items. Be aware that there is also a lot of Chiniese fake quality so be sure you locate a “real authentic” store.Or how about a visit in the factory? Purses, bags and other leather ware are fantastic and they are reasonably inexpensive. Clothing is another great item to bring home from Venice. If your budget allows it, there are beautiful items to take home, other than the usual tourist trinkets!
We are absolutely biased as we love Italian food, however, it is fair to say that there is really great food in Venice. As with the shopping, it is good to find out which restaurants are true Italian and have Italian staff and especially cooks, and which are Chines run and operated. Pizza and Pasta, of course, are staples in the Italian cuisine, but they are actually mostly served as appetizer of first course. Leave some room some day to actually try some of the amazing Entrees! And needless to say: leave room for dessert. Tip of the day: eat SLOW! A few drinks to try besides amazing Italian wines are Limoncello, a sweet liquor made from Lemons, and Campari and other bitters as Aperitivo.
To the Cruise Port
You get to the Cruise Port easy enough with the Waterbus, which departs from many locations throughout Venice, but if you like something special, take a private water taxi. It’s an experience in itself, as you get a private, beautiful ride through the city and you will be directly disembarking at the ships terminal, plus your luggage will be taken care off right after you leave the taxi.
We thoroughly enjoyed our stay in Venice and are looking forward to visiting again some time soon!
What made this trip even more enjoyable was the bunch of friends from our Cruise Club from all over the world who joined us on this trip. Obviously also that we traveled for free.
It is so much fun to meet and make such incredible memories with our friends and since we pay so much less then everybody else we can go either more often or can upgrade to a better cabin. It is fun to travel in comfort & style 🙂
Not a member yet? connect with us we would love to tell you more about it and lead you the way how you can cruise for a fraction of the cost or FREE.