Venice

Venice

Imagine the audacity of building a city of marble palaces on a lagoon – and that was only the start. Never was a thoroughfare so aptly named as the Grand Canal, reflecting the glories of Venetian architecture lining its banks. At the end of Venice’s signature waterway, the Palazzo Ducale and Basilica di San Marco add double exclamation points. But wait until you see what’s hiding in the narrow backstreets: neighbourhood churches lined with Veroneses and priceless marbles, Tiepolo’s glimpses of heaven on homeless-shelter ceilings, and a single Titian painting that mysteriously lights up an entire basilica.
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    Garden islands and lagoon aquaculture yield speciality produce and seafood you won’t find elsewhere – all highlighted in inventive Venetian cuisine, with tantalising traces of ancient spice routes. The city knows how to put on a royal spread, as France’s King Henry III once found out when faced with 1200 dishes and 200 bonbons. Today such feasts are available in miniature at happy hour, when bars mount lavish spreads of cicheti (Venetian tapas). Save room and time for a proper sit-down Venetian meal, with lagoon seafood to match views at canalside bistros and toasts with Veneto’s signature bubbly, prosecco.

    Pity the day trippers dropped off at San Marco with a mere three hours to take in Venice. That’s about enough time for one long gasp at the show-stopper that is Piazza San Marco, but not nearly enough time to see what else Venice is hiding. Stay longer in this fairy-tale city and you’ll discover the pleasures of la bea vita (the beautiful life) that only locals know: the wake-up call of gondoliers calling ‘Ooooeeeee!’, a morning spritz in a sunny campi (square), lunch in a crowded bacaro (bar) with friends and fuschia-pink sunsets that have sent centuries of artists mad.

    Top sights in Venice

    Venetian Lagoon

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    Doge's Palace

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    Grand Canal

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    Saint Mark's Basilica

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    Lido di Venezia

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    Mestre

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    Piazza San Marco

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    Torcello

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    Top things to do in Venice

    Few cities offer such a wealth of beauty, charm and history as Venice. With so many incredible sights on offer, choosing can be a daunting task. Let us help: here are 6 essential stops that belong on the itinerary of every visit to The Floating City.

    Grand Canal
    The Grand Canal is Venice’s main boulevard – made of water! Hop on a waterbus, taxi-boat or an iconic gondola and float past the gorgeous historic buildings lining the canal banks.

    Doge’s Palace
    The wow-factor of the Doge’s Palace’s majestic marble exterior is only exceeded by the treasures held within – history buffs and aficionados of classical art will never want to leave.

    Saint Mark’s Basilica
    The opulent Saint Mark’s Basilica is arguably the jewel in Venice’s crown. With its multi-leveled domes, intricate facades and stunning mosaics, it’s a marvel of Italo-Byzantine architecture.

    Bridge of Sighs
    When riding a Gondola with your loved one, make sure to pass the Bridge of Sighs – Venetian lore vows that a kiss under the bridge will grant couples eternal love and happiness.

    Piazza San Marco
    This gigantic public square is the centerpiece of Venice. Napoleon was so taken by the beauty of the architecture, he called Piazza San Marco “the drawing room of Europe.”

    Rialto Bridge
    The Rialto Bridge is the oldest and most ravishing bridge across Grand Canal. Get up early to beat the crowds and enjoy the spectacular views at your leisure, you won’t regret it.

    Lido di Venezia
    Take a breather from the touristic bustle and visit the charming Lido di Venezia. A short boat ride from the center, it’s where some of Venice’s best (and cheapest!) restaurants are hidden.

    Torcello
    Quiet and picturesque, the island of Torcello is perfect for a relaxing day trip. Make sure to visit the charming basilica and admire the amazing views from its bell tower.

    Planning Your Venice Visit

    Save money on transport

    The way the city is built, you’ll find yourself using the waterbuses (“vaporetti”) a lot more than expected. These trips can eat into your savings if you’re not careful. Bundle tickets are a great way of avoiding nasty surprises. The price of a 12-hour ticket is roughly equivalent to 3 singles and the relative cost keeps dropping for longer periods (tickets are available for up to a week).

    Counters are your friends

    Eating and drinking can be very expensive in Venice. Bars and restaurants generally charge more for sitting at a table, so a great way of cutting costs is opting for the counter instead. Surcharges vary with some restaurants charging up to 500% in the busiest tourist areas!

    Enjoy the view

    The view of the entire city from atop the bell tower on Piazza San Marco, which costs 8 EUR, is one of Venice’s most popular attractions. An insider tip is heading over to San Giorgio Maggiore – the view is arguably better and the privilege only costs 3 EUR.

    Good to know

    Language

    Italian

    Currency

    Euro (€)

    Country Code

    +39

    Time Zone

    UTC (+01:00)

    Best time to visit

    From September to November the city is most pleasant.

    What people are saying about Venice

    ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Great Easy, Efficient path from Marco Polo to Venice!
    Considered all the options to get from Marco Polo airport to Venice. While shared water taxis seemed to be an option for a spectacular arrival, I felt from the pictures that they would sit too low in the water, be crowded, really not give a good return for cost! The choice for us was the Express Bus! Got our tickets on line and printed them. Stepped out the ground transportation area and there were the buses! The clerks were efficient, understood English, helped with the validation process! The bus was clean. The ride was quick, safe, a really great option to get a feel for the location of Piazzale Roma in Venice. Upon arrival, it is easy to transfer to water taxi (vaporetto) service to the entire city. The vaporetto runs like a metro system with many stops along the canal. Stops often have more than one boarding area, coordinating to the direction and other stops it makes. Look, read and ASK before boarding. The system is cheap and works! You can also walk from P Roma via bridge

    Express Bus: Marco Polo Airport to Venice City Center reviewed by Mary

    ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ A good museum with excellent audio guide
    The museum is very clear that you will only see replicas of Da Vinci’s work, and it does that job brilliantly. Explaining clearly his artistic importance and engineering genius, there is also a brief history and numerous copies of pages of the codices which are fascinating. The museum would be fabulous for younger visitors. But after a while I pined to see an original creation. My problem – not the museums.

    Venice: Leonardo Da Vinci Museum Skip-The-Line Ticket reviewed by Tim

    ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Our guide, Anna, was delightful, exuberant and knowledgeable!
    We were late to come pickup point, because of crowds, but text and phone call from Sabrina with first restaurant address allowed us to get to it before our group got there! Another guide and group invited us to sit and have wine with them and their guide called Anna for us! Very helpful!! When our group arrived, all were very gracious and Fun!!Anna reviewed what we’d missed!! Wonderful day!!

    Rialto Market Food and Wine Lunchtime Tour of Venice reviewed by Kathleen

    ⭐⭐⭐⭐ Absolutely the best thing we did while in Venice
    We just loved this tour our guide was fabulous with lots of detail about buildings and information about all the history and buildings and architecture of Venice Will do this tour again when we come back to Venice , a must do for anyone visiting this magic city

    Venice: Grand Canal Boat Tour reviewed by serge

    The City Maps

    ⭐⭐⭐ Best Hotels in Venice

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    Airport Transfer

    Book taxi transfers from the airports and hotels

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    At the right time, the driver will be waiting for you on-site. They will walk you to the car and take you to the hotel.

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