5 best ways to explore Venice, discovered during my trip to this ABSOLUTELY GORGEOUS city
First and foremost, don’t get frustrated by overcrowded touristic attractions. Since the Renaissance, Venice has been a magnet for artists searching for inspiration, lovers looking for romantic get away, as well as scientists and tourists from all around the world. Obviously, nothing has changed in this matter since the 14th century. So you just need to find your own comfortable way of discovering the city.
Good to know about Venice:
- Venice lies on the Adriatic Sea.
- There are around 440 bridges in Venice.
- Every 6 hours the natural high and low tides are changing the water in the whole Lagoon.
- Venice divided into 6 Districts (Sestieri):
Dorsoduro – a charming, youthful and artistic part of the city;
Cannaregio – a residential area, less touristy, where the Jewish Ghetto is located;
Santa Croce – a busy and hip area, connects the city to the main land;
San Polo – a small and usually very crowded area, which includes the busy Rialto markets and connects to the San Marco district through the famous Rialto bridge;
San Marco – the most touristy neighborhood, well-know for its square and basilica;
Castello – the largest and the most quiet Venetian sestiere, includes beautiful gardens and the Arsenal.
More GOOD TO KNOWs ABOUT VENICE:
- There is only one Piazza in Venice – it’s Piazza San Marco (St. Mark’s Square), all other squares are called Campi.
- “Acqua alta” (high water) – is a phenomenon which sometimes takes place in Venice, when a combination of high tide, strong south wind (scirocco) and high sea wave causes a large inflow of water into the Venetian Lagoon. If you happened to be in Venice during “Acqua alta”, hold yourself from swimming among the coffee tables on the Piazza San Marco. As much fun as it might have look, remember, that all the sewage also goes into the water! :)
- There are more than 100 islands around Venice. Among them such renowned islands like Giudecca (with a splendid view over the city); Murano Island (famous glass-making centre), Burano Island (well-know by its colorful houses lined among the canals) and Lido (perfect for beach-lovers).
- Mestre is a small town on the mainland, connected to Venice. Staying there may save you some money. The train and bus connection from Mestre to Venice is very convenient. It will take no longer than 15 minutes to get from Mestre to Venice.
Best ways to explore Venice:
1. Visit Venice during a certain event.
The first and the most exciting way to dive into the city life, is visiting one of the special events in Venice. On my first visit, I was there during a well-known Venice Biennale Art Exhibition. It was a wonderful experience discovering the city from the side of this fundamental art exhibition.
You can also find more details and photos from the Venice Biennale Art Exhibition in our article -> La Biennale di Venezia 2017 – Viva Arte Viva.
The city is world-famous for a number of events, like the Carnival of Venice, the art exhibition (La Biennale di Venezia), the film festival (Venice International Film Festival), the theatre (Teatro La Fenice; Biennale Teatro) and music festivals (Biennale Musica).
Choose the one interesting for you and discover your own unique Venice! :)
2. Food Tour
One of the best ways to discover a new city or culture is to go to its food market, likewise, to get yourself a food tour.
I went to a food tour from Viator, called Jewish Ghetto and Cannaregio Food Tour with Dinner in Venice, provided by Happy Travels. It was an amazing introduction into the rich Venetian history, culture and, of course, cuisine. The tour took place in one of the most charismatic neighbourhoods – the Cannaregio district, also known as the former Jewish ghetto. The group was small (just 4 people), that made the tour even more personable. Our knowledgeable guide told us a lot about the lifestyle in Venice, Cannaregio’s and Venetian history, the old and new Jewish Ghetto. Meanwhile, we enjoyed incredible kosher food and wine.
Good to know:
- Jewish Ghetto and Cannaregio Food Tour with Dinner in Venice is a walking food tour.
- Tour lasts around 4 hours. It was a good amount of walking, and breaks on the way were perfectly scheduled.
- Good comfortable walking shoes are essential.
- Good for all group ages.
3. Get lost in the city
Venice is the best city in the world for walking discoveries. Bring your most comfortable, yet trendy (it’s a fashionable and artistic city after all) shoes and enjoy exciting discoveries of Venetian tiny streets. If you get lost and want to find your way to the main street, simply follow a sing Per San Marco. Eventually, You will come to the main square.
Ready for a small adventure? Try to find one of the bridges with NO parapets. Nowadays, there are only two left in the city. One is Ponte de Chiodo in the Cannaregio district, and the second is nearby island of Torcello.
So put your map and smart phone into the pocket and let the city show you its hidden gems! :)
4. Evening walk
Walking in Venice at sunset is one of the most romantic experience. Venice has a very low crime rate, so I felt quite safe wandering around in the evening. Although there is not much of a nightlife in the city, it’s a very special experience walking among the canals at night, listening water splashing to the walls of ancient buildings.
5. Exploring Venice by boat
For most people, gondola ride is a must-have-experience in Venice. The price for the classical gondola ride is 80€ for a 40 minutes ride and up to 6 people can share the boat. Obviously, the city looks very special from the water. Though, I didn’t take the gondola, the ride on a water bus and a water taxi from the Marco Polo airport to the hotel was an exciting experience. The dock is around 10 minutes walk from the arrival hall of the airport.
As for prices, the water bus would be approximately 15 €, one way per adult. You can also get a daily ticket (24 hours, around 30 €) for the water buses in the city. The water taxi would be more expensive (around 100 €), but it’s a very glamorous way of starting your adventures in Venice! :)
well, I hope these hints and tips would be useful for you. You are also welcome to share your experience in the comments below.
Finally, if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact me -> GET IN TOUCH.