Venice Travel Guide
Venice Travel Guide – plan your trip to Venice with our travel guide including how to get around, things to see and do, what and where to eat and many more.
Venice, also known as the “City of Canals,” is a stunning city located in northeastern Italy. Founded over 1,500 years ago on 118 small islands, Venice is famous for its intricate system of canals, stunning Gothic architecture, and rich history. This city is a true masterpiece of human achievement and is recognized as one of the most beautiful cities in the world.
Travel to Venice
One of the most iconic attractions in Venice is St. Mark’s Square, a large open space that has been the city’s center for centuries. The square is surrounded by beautiful historic buildings, including the iconic St. Mark’s Basilica, Doge’s Palace, and the Campanile bell tower. Visitors can enjoy a cup of coffee in one of the many cafes in the square while admiring the stunning architecture and listening to live music.
Another must-see attraction in Venice is the Grand Canal, the city’s main waterway. The canal stretches for over two miles and is lined with beautiful Gothic and Renaissance buildings. Visitors can take a gondola ride along the canal and admire the stunning architecture and breathtaking views. There are also several bridges that cross the canal, including the famous Rialto Bridge, which is a great spot for photos and shopping at local markets.
The best time to go to Venice – The 4 seasons in Venice
The city has a mild, humid subtropical climate, which means it experiences four distinct seasons throughout the year.
Summer, from June to August, is the peak tourist season in Venice, and it can be quite crowded and hot. However, it’s a great time to enjoy outdoor activities, such as exploring the canals or visiting the beach.
Fall, from September to November, is a great time to visit Venice for those who want to avoid the crowds and enjoy the city’s cultural events, such as the Venice International Film Festival or the Biennale d’Arte.
Winter, from December to February, is the low season in Venice, and the city can be foggy and chilly. However, it’s a great time to experience the city’s magical atmosphere, attend the famous Carnival of Venice, and enjoy traditional winter dishes.
Spring, from March to May, is a great time to visit Venice for those who want to enjoy the city’s mild weather, blooming flowers, and outdoor activities, such as strolling through the parks and gardens or enjoying a boat ride along the canals.
Entry and Visa requirements to Venice
If you are an American citizen planning to visit Venice or any other part of Italy for tourism or business purposes, you do not need a visa for stays of up to 90 days within a 180-day period. However, if you plan to stay longer or engage in activities other than tourism or business, you may need to apply for a visa.
If you are a citizen of a European Union (EU) country, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland, or Liechtenstein, you do not need a visa to visit Venice or any other part of Italy. You can stay for an unlimited period of time, as long as you have a valid passport or national ID card.
If you are a citizen of another nationality, you may need a visa to visit Venice or any other part of Italy, depending on your country of origin and the purpose of your visit. You can check the visa requirements for your country on the website of the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs or by contacting the Italian embassy or consulate in your country.
From Venice airport to the city centre
There are several ways to get from Venice airport to the city center, depending on your budget and preferences.
Water Taxi: The most expensive but also the most convenient and picturesque option is to take a water taxi. You can find them just outside the airport terminal building, and they will take you directly to your hotel or a specific location in the city center. The cost of a water taxi ride can range from around 100 to 150 euros, depending on the distance and the number of passengers.
Alilaguna Water Bus: Another water-based option is to take the Alilaguna water bus, which is a public transport service that connects the airport to several locations in Venice, including St. Mark’s Square and the Rialto Bridge. The cost of a one-way ticket is around 15 euros, and the journey takes about an hour and a half.
Bus: A cheaper option is to take the ATVO bus, which runs from the airport to Piazzale Roma, the bus terminal located on the edge of Venice’s historic center. From there, you can easily reach your hotel or any other location in the city center by foot, water taxi, or vaporetto (public water bus). The cost of a one-way ticket is around 8 euros, and the journey takes about 20 minutes.
Private transfer: If you prefer a more comfortable and direct option, you can also arrange a private transfer from the airport to your hotel. The cost can vary depending on the type of vehicle and the distance, but it typically ranges from around 50 to 100 euros.
The best ways to get around Venice
Venice is a unique city with no cars or motorized vehicles, and the primary mode of transportation is by foot or boat. Here are the best ways to get around Venice:
Walking: The best way to explore Venice is on foot. The city is relatively small and compact, and walking is the best way to experience its unique architecture, hidden alleyways, and charming canals. Be prepared to do a lot of walking as there are many bridges and steps to climb, but it’s a great way to stay active and see the sights.
Water Bus (Vaporetto): The public water bus system, known as vaporetto, is an efficient and affordable way to get around Venice. The vaporetto covers several routes and stops at key locations throughout the city, including St. Mark’s Square, Rialto Bridge, and the islands of Murano and Burano. You can purchase tickets at vaporetto stations or on board, and they typically cost around 7.50 euros for a single ride.
Water Taxi: If you prefer a more comfortable and direct option, you can also take a water taxi. Water taxis are more expensive than vaporetti, but they offer a more private and personalized experience. You can hail a water taxi at designated stands throughout the city or book one in advance through your hotel or a local company.
Gondola: Taking a gondola ride is one of the most iconic and romantic ways to experience Venice. Although it’s not the most practical way to get around, it’s a great way to see the city from a unique perspective and learn about its history and culture. Gondola rides typically cost around 80 euros for a 30-minute ride, but prices can vary depending on the time of day and the route.
Explore Venice’s neighbourhoods
Venice is divided into six main neighborhoods, or sestieri, each with its unique character and attractions. Here is a brief overview of each neighborhood, including its top points of interest:
San Marco: The San Marco neighborhood is the heart of Venice and the location of its most iconic landmarks, including St. Mark’s Basilica, Doge’s Palace, and St. Mark’s Square. The neighborhood is also home to high-end shops and restaurants, the historic Rialto Bridge, and the Bridge of Sighs.
Castello: The Castello neighborhood is the largest in Venice and has a more residential feel. Its top attractions include the Arsenale, a former naval shipyard that now houses exhibitions and events, the Biennale gardens, and the Church of San Zaccaria. Castello is also home to several local markets, such as the Rialto Market and the Via Garibaldi Market.
Cannaregio: The Cannaregio neighborhood is known for its picturesque canals and historic Jewish Ghetto, the oldest in the world. Its top attractions include the Church of the Madonna dell’Orto, the Fondamenta della Misericordia, and the Ca’ d’Oro, a beautiful Gothic palace that houses an art museum.
Dorsoduro: The Dorsoduro neighborhood is a bohemian area that is home to several important art galleries and museums, such as the Peggy Guggenheim Collection and the Gallerie dell’Accademia. Other top attractions in the neighborhood include the Basilica di Santa Maria della Salute, the Zattere waterfront promenade, and the San Trovaso Squero, a historic boatyard.
San Polo: The San Polo neighborhood is located in the historic center of Venice and is known for its lively atmosphere and local markets, such as the Rialto Market and the Erbaria Market. Its top attractions include the Basilica dei Frari, the Scuola Grande di San Rocco, and the Campo San Polo, one of the largest squares in Venice.
Santa Croce: The Santa Croce neighborhood is the smallest in Venice and is located near the Piazzale Roma transportation hub. Its top attractions include the Church of San Giacomo dell’Orio, the Scuola Grande di San Giovanni Evangelista, and the Ca’ Pesaro, a Baroque palace that houses a modern art museum.
Attractions and things to do in Venice
Venice is a city with a rich history and culture, and there are many attractions to see and explore. Here is a detailed presentation of some of the top attractions in Venice, including the cost:
St. Mark’s Basilica: The most famous church in Venice, St. Mark’s Basilica is a stunning example of Byzantine architecture. The church is free to enter, but there is a small fee to access some of the side chapels and the museum. The cost is around 3 euros.
Doge’s Palace: The Doge’s Palace is a beautiful Gothic palace located in St. Mark’s Square. The palace was the home of the Venetian rulers and is now a museum. The cost of admission is around 25 euros, but there are discounts for seniors, students, and children.
Rialto Bridge: The Rialto Bridge is one of the most famous landmarks in Venice and spans the Grand Canal. The bridge is free to walk across and offers stunning views of the city and the water.
Gallerie dell’Accademia: The Gallerie dell’Accademia is a museum that houses a vast collection of Venetian art from the 14th to the 18th century. The cost of admission is around 15 euros, but there are discounts for seniors, students, and children.
Peggy Guggenheim Collection: The Peggy Guggenheim Collection is a modern art museum located in the Dorsoduro neighborhood. The museum features works by some of the most famous artists of the 20th century, such as Jackson Pollock and Salvador Dali. The cost of admission is around 18 euros, but there are discounts for seniors, students, and children.
Grand Canal: The Grand Canal is the main waterway in Venice and is lined with beautiful Gothic and Renaissance buildings. The best way to experience the Grand Canal is by taking a vaporetto ride, which costs around 7.50 euros for a single ride.
Burano Island: Burano is a small island located in the Venetian lagoon and is famous for its brightly colored houses and lace-making tradition. The island is accessible by vaporetto, and the cost of the ride is included in the vaporetto ticket.
La Fenice Opera House: La Fenice Opera House is one of the most famous theaters in Italy and has a rich history of hosting some of the world’s most famous operas. The cost of admission for a guided tour is around 13 euros.
Top experiences to live in Venice
Take a gondola ride: Taking a gondola ride is one of the most iconic and romantic things to do in Venice. The cost of a gondola ride is around 80 euros for a 30-minute ride.
Visit St. Mark’s Square: St. Mark’s Square is the heart of Venice and is a great place to people-watch, listen to live music, and enjoy a coffee or gelato.
Explore the canals: Venice is famous for its intricate system of canals, and exploring them by foot or boat is a great way to experience the city’s unique atmosphere.
Visit Doge’s Palace: Doge’s Palace is a beautiful Gothic palace located in St. Mark’s Square and is a must-see attraction in Venice. The cost of admission is around 25 euros.
Take a vaporetto ride: Taking a vaporetto ride along the Grand Canal is a great way to see the city’s stunning architecture and historic landmarks. The cost of a single ride is around 7.50 euros.
Visit the Peggy Guggenheim Collection: The Peggy Guggenheim Collection is a modern art museum located in the Dorsoduro neighborhood and features works by some of the most famous artists of the 20th century. The cost of admission is around 18 euros.
Explore the Rialto Market: The Rialto Market is a local market where you can find fresh seafood, fruits, vegetables, and other local products. It’s a great place to experience the local culture and cuisine.
Visit the islands of Murano and Burano: Murano is famous for its glass-making tradition, while Burano is known for its brightly colored houses and lace-making tradition. Both islands are accessible by vaporetto.
Take a tour of the La Fenice Opera House: La Fenice Opera House is one of the most famous theaters in Italy and has a rich history of hosting some of the world’s most famous operas. The cost of admission for a guided tour is around 13 euros.
Visit the Ca’ d’Oro: The Ca’ d’Oro is a beautiful Gothic palace located on the Grand Canal and is now a museum that houses a collection of Renaissance art. The cost of admission is around 15 euros.
Visit the Libreria Acqua Alta: The Libreria Acqua Alta is a unique bookstore that features books stored in bathtubs, gondolas, and other unusual places.
Visit the Gallerie dell’Accademia: The Gallerie dell’Accademia is a museum that houses a vast collection of Venetian art from the 14th to the 18th century. The cost of admission is around 15 euros.
Attend the Carnival of Venice: The Carnival of Venice is an annual event held in February that features masked balls, parades, and other festivities.
Visit the San Giorgio Maggiore Island: The San Giorgio Maggiore Island is located across the Grand Canal from St. Mark’s Square and features a beautiful church and a stunning view of the city.
Try traditional Venetian cuisine: Venice is known for its seafood dishes, such as risotto al nero di seppia (black squid ink risotto) and sarde in saor (sweet and sour sardines). Trying the local cuisine is a great way to experience the city’s culture and cuisine.
Things to do with kids and teens in Venice
Fun things to do with kids in Venice
Take a gondola ride: Taking a gondola ride is a fun and exciting way to explore the city’s canals and see its beautiful architecture.
Visit the Peggy Guggenheim Collection: The Peggy Guggenheim Collection features modern art that is sure to captivate kids’ imaginations. The museum also offers workshops and activities for children.
Visit the San Zaccaria playground: The San Zaccaria playground is a great place for kids to play and have fun while parents can enjoy the beautiful views of the San Giorgio Maggiore island.
Explore the San Polo district: The San Polo district is a great place to explore with kids, with its many bridges, alleyways, and local markets.
Visit the Natural History Museum: The Natural History Museum is a great place for kids to learn about the natural world, with exhibits on everything from fossils to marine life.
Fun things to do with teens in Venice
Take a food tour: Venice is known for its delicious cuisine, and taking a food tour is a great way to sample local specialties and learn about the city’s culinary history.
Attend a Venetian mask-making workshop: Teens can learn about the history and traditions of Venetian mask-making while creating their own masks to take home as souvenirs.
Visit the Biennale Art Exhibition: The Biennale Art Exhibition is a prestigious art event that takes place every two years in Venice, featuring works by contemporary artists from around the world.
Take a ghost tour: Venice is full of dark and mysterious history, and taking a ghost tour is a fun and spooky way to explore the city at night.
Go on a photography tour: Venice is a beautiful city with many unique and photogenic sights, and going on a photography tour is a great way for teens to learn about photography while capturing their own unique perspectives of the city.
Experience Venice like a local
Venice is a city known for its beauty, history, and culture. Living in Venice can feel like living in a world of art and history. The locals in Venice enjoy a variety of activities in their free time, ranging from exploring the city’s many cultural sites to enjoying the local cuisine.
One of the most popular activities among locals is taking a stroll along the city’s canals. Venice is a city built on water, and the locals take full advantage of this fact. They love to take a leisurely walk along the canal, admiring the beautiful architecture and enjoying the fresh air. Many locals also enjoy taking a boat ride along the canal, which provides a unique perspective of the city.
Another popular activity among the locals is visiting the city’s many museums and art galleries. Venice has a rich cultural heritage, and the locals take great pride in it. They love to visit the city’s museums and art galleries to learn more about their history and appreciate the many works of art that the city has to offer.
For those who enjoy the outdoors, there are many parks and gardens in Venice where locals can relax and enjoy the sunshine. The city is also home to a variety of sports clubs, including football, basketball, and volleyball teams. Locals love to watch and participate in sports events, and these clubs offer a great opportunity to do so.
Finally, no visit to Venice would be complete without trying the local cuisine. The locals in Venice are proud of their traditional dishes, which include seafood, pasta, and polenta. They also enjoy a glass of wine or a Spritz, a traditional Venetian cocktail made with Aperol, soda water, and prosecco.
Living in Venice can be a unique and rewarding experience. The city’s rich history and culture make it an exciting place to explore, and the locals are friendly and welcoming. However, the city can also be challenging to live in due to the high cost of living and the crowds of tourists. Despite this, many locals would not want to live anywhere else, and they take great pride in their beautiful city.
Where to stay in Venice – luxury and iconic hotels in Venice
Aman Venice: Located in a 16th-century palazzo on the Grand Canal, this luxurious hotel offers elegant rooms and suites decorated with period furnishings, as well as a private garden and spa.
The Gritti Palace: Another stunning 16th-century palazzo, the Gritti Palace is located on the Grand Canal and features opulent rooms and suites, a rooftop terrace with panoramic views, and a Michelin-starred restaurant.
Hotel Danieli: This 14th-century palace is located just steps from St. Mark’s Square and offers luxurious rooms and suites with views of the lagoon, as well as a rooftop terrace and two restaurants.
Ca’ Sagredo Hotel: Housed in a 15th-century palazzo on the Grand Canal, this elegant hotel offers spacious rooms and suites with original artwork and antiques, as well as a rooftop terrace and a fine-dining restaurant.
Palazzina Grassi: Designed by renowned architect Philippe Starck, this boutique hotel features avant-garde rooms and suites with bold colors and unique design elements, as well as a private dock and a bar with canal views.
Hotel Metropole: Located near the Rialto Bridge, this charming hotel features antique furnishings and Venetian-style décor, as well as a garden courtyard, a rooftop terrace, and a Michelin-starred restaurant.
Sina Centurion Palace: Situated in a 19th-century palazzo overlooking the Grand Canal, this stylish hotel offers luxurious rooms and suites with modern amenities, as well as a canal-side terrace and a gourmet restaurant.
Hotel Londra Palace: This elegant hotel is located near St. Mark’s Square and features rooms and suites with traditional Venetian décor, as well as a rooftop terrace with views of the city and a Michelin-starred restaurant.
Hotel Ai Reali: Set in a historic building near the Rialto Bridge, this refined hotel offers spacious rooms and suites with contemporary furnishings and Murano glass accents, as well as a rooftop terrace and a wellness center.
Al Ponte Antico Hotel: This charming bed and breakfast is located on the Grand Canal and features cozy rooms with antique furnishings and canal views, as well as a breakfast room with a terrace overlooking the water.
Food and drinks
Traditional dishes of Venice to try
Venice has a rich culinary tradition, and there are many delicious dishes that you should try when visiting the city. Here are some of the traditional dishes of Venice and where to get them:
Sarde in Saor: This dish of marinated sardines is a Venetian classic. The sardines are fried and then marinated in a sweet and sour sauce made with onions, vinegar, raisins, and pine nuts. You can try this dish at Osteria alle Testiere, a small and cozy restaurant that is renowned for its seafood dishes.
Fegato alla Veneziana: Another Venetian specialty, this dish is made with calf liver that is sautéed with onions and seasoned with parsley and white wine. It’s often served with creamy polenta. You can try it at Trattoria da Fiore, a charming restaurant that serves traditional Venetian cuisine.
Risotto al Nero di Seppia: This black risotto is made with squid ink, which gives it its distinctive color and rich flavor. It’s often served with fresh seafood, such as squid or shrimp. You can try it at Osteria di Santa Marina, a Michelin-starred restaurant that specializes in seafood dishes.
Bigoli in Salsa: This pasta dish is made with thick spaghetti-like noodles called bigoli, which are served with a sauce made from onions, anchovies, and sardines. You can try it at Ristorante Quadri, a stylish restaurant with a stunning view of St. Mark’s Square.
Baccalà Mantecato: This dish is made with salt cod that is soaked in water and then whipped with olive oil, garlic, and parsley until it has a creamy texture. It’s often served on crostini as an appetizer. You can try it at Al Timon, a casual wine bar that serves traditional Venetian cicchetti (small snacks).
Tiramisu: This dessert is a classic Italian favorite, and the version from Venice is said to be the original. It’s made with layers of coffee-soaked ladyfingers, mascarpone cheese, and cocoa powder. You can try it at Pompi, a popular café that specializes in tiramisu.
Best and iconic restaurants in Venice
Whether you’re a local or a tourist, Venice offers a variety of dining experiences. Here are the top 10 iconic restaurants in Venice, Italy, each with its own unique specialty and located at different parts of the city:
Osteria alle Testiere: Located near the Rialto Bridge, this cozy restaurant is renowned for its seafood dishes. Chef Bruno Gavagnin creates simple yet delicious dishes using the freshest ingredients, such as raw fish crudo, linguine with clams, and fried seafood platters.
Ristorante Quadri: Situated in St. Mark’s Square, this Michelin-starred restaurant offers stunning views of the square and the basilica. Chef Massimiliano Alajmo creates contemporary Italian cuisine using innovative techniques and the finest ingredients, such as black truffle risotto and lobster with passion fruit.
Antico Martini: Founded in 1720, this elegant restaurant is a Venetian institution. It’s located near St. Mark’s Square and offers classic Venetian dishes, such as fegato alla veneziana (calf liver with onions), risotto with Amarone wine, and tiramisu for dessert.
Da Fiore: This family-run restaurant has been serving traditional Venetian cuisine for over 30 years. It’s located near the Rialto Bridge and offers dishes such as cuttlefish with polenta, grilled sea bass, and frittura mista (a mix of fried seafood).
Al Covo: This intimate restaurant is located in the Castello district and is known for its creative seafood dishes. Chef Cesare Benelli uses local ingredients to create dishes such as spaghetti with sea urchin, turbot with black garlic, and mackerel with pine nuts and raisins.
La Zucca: This vegetarian restaurant is located in the Santa Croce district and offers creative dishes using local and seasonal produce. Specialties include pumpkin flan, gnocchi with gorgonzola and walnuts, and tiramisu with orange and ginger.
Osteria di Santa Marina: This Michelin-starred restaurant is located in a 16th-century building in the Castello district and offers a modern take on traditional Venetian cuisine. Chef Maurizio Martin creates dishes such as squid ink risotto, scallops with leeks and hazelnuts, and millefoglie with mascarpone cream.
Osteria Bancogiro: This contemporary restaurant is located near the Rialto Bridge and offers views of the Grand Canal. Chef Federico Belluco creates dishes such as beef carpaccio with truffle oil, tagliolini with crab and cherry tomatoes, and roasted lamb with rosemary and potatoes.
La Colombina: This charming restaurant is located in the Dorsoduro district and offers traditional Venetian dishes. Specialties include sarde in saor (marinated sardines), spaghetti with clams, and salt cod with polenta.
Trattoria da Romano: This family-run restaurant is located in the fishing village of Burano and is known for its seafood dishes. Specialties include risotto with squid ink and cuttlefish, grilled sea bass, and spaghetti with clams.
Taverna San Trovaso – Located in Calle Contarini Corfù, this historic restaurant offers traditional Venetian fare, such as bigoli in salsa and sarde in saor. Chef Marco Lui prepares these dishes with fresh, local ingredients, and the restaurant’s cozy interior is perfect for a romantic dinner.
Alle Corone – Situated in Hotel Ai Reali on Calle Seconda de la Fava, this Michelin-starred restaurant offers a mix of traditional Venetian and contemporary Italian cuisine. Chef Matteo Tagliapietra’s signature dish is risotto with licorice and mullet roe.
Ristorante Wistèria – This elegant restaurant in San Polo is known for its seafood dishes, such as spaghetti with clams and lobster. Chef Gianni Bonaccorsi sources the freshest seafood daily and creates beautiful dishes that are almost too beautiful to eat.
Trattoria dalla Marisa – Located in Castello, this cozy restaurant offers traditional Venetian dishes, including polenta, meatballs, and brasato (braised beef). Chef Enrico Mazzaroni uses only the freshest ingredients and creates dishes that reflect the rich flavors of Venice.
Da Pinto – This trattoria in Cannaregio is a hidden gem, frequented by locals but often overlooked by tourists. Chef Giuseppe Serra creates classic Venetian dishes, such as cicheti (small bites) and risotto with cuttlefish and ink.
Vini da Gigio – This historic restaurant in Cannaregio has been serving traditional Venetian cuisine since 1957. Chef Matteo Tagliapietra uses local ingredients to create classic dishes, like fegato alla veneziana (Venetian-style liver).
Trattoria da Ignazio – This family-run trattoria in Dorsoduro has a cozy atmosphere, perfect for a casual dinner. They are known for their fresh seafood dishes, including grilled cuttlefish, and pasta with seafood.
Best rooftops and terraces in Venice
Venice is a city of charm, beauty, and romance, and there is no better way to experience it than with a drink in hand and a magnificent view. Here are some of the best rooftop bars and restaurants that Venice has to offer.
Skyline Rooftop Bar: One of the most popular rooftop bars in Venice is the Skyline Rooftop Bar, located on the 8th floor of the Hilton Molino Stucky Venice. It offers a stunning panoramic view of the city and is the perfect spot to watch the sunset while sipping a cocktail.
Terrazza Danieli: Another great option for rooftop bars is the Terrazza Danieli, located on the 5th floor of the San Zaccaria. This rooftop bar offers top-notch food, incredible wines and cocktails, and a breathtaking view of the city.
Settimo Cielo Rooftop Bar: Located on the 7th floor of Bauer Palazzo hotel, the Settimo Cielo Rooftop bar is a must-visit for anyone looking for a unique dining experience. The rooftop bar provides guests with a stunning panoramic view of Venice and offers a menu of delicious cocktails and mouth-watering dishes.
Top of the Carlton: The Top of the Carlton rooftop restaurant is located in the Hotel Carlton on the Grand Canal. It’s the perfect spot to enjoy a romantic candlelit dinner or a glass of wine while taking in the magnificent view of the canal.
Sagra Rooftop Restaurant and Bar: Finally, the Sagra Rooftop Restaurant and Bar is located in the JW Marriott Venice Resort and Spa. It offers guests a more serene and relaxed atmosphere while still providing a stunning view of the city. The food here is top-notch, and the wine selection is extensive.
Cool bars in Venice
Looking for the coolest bars in Venice? You’ve come to the right place! Here are some of the top options in the city:
Wine Bar 5000: Located in the heart of Venice, this trendy bar is a great spot to enjoy a glass of wine and some delicious food.
Harry’s Bar: A classic Venetian establishment, Harry’s Bar is famous for its Bellini cocktails and historic atmosphere.
Il Mercante: Known for its inventive cocktails and stunning location along Grand Canal, Il Mercante is one of the best cocktail bars in Venice.
Bar Longhi: Situated inside The Gritti Palace, Bar Longhi offers unbeatable views of the water and a chic, upscale atmosphere.
The Dorsey Cocktail Bar: Located at The Venetian Resort Las Vegas, this stylish cocktail bar is the perfect place to unwind after a day exploring the city.
What not to do in Venice, things to avoid
While Venice is a beautiful and unique city to visit, there are certain things that visitors should avoid doing to ensure they have a safe and enjoyable experience. Here are some things to avoid in Venice:
Don’t feed the pigeons: While feeding the pigeons in St. Mark’s Square may seem like a charming activity, it’s actually discouraged as it can lead to a large and aggressive population of birds that can damage the historic buildings and monuments.
Don’t swim or dive in the canals: While the canals may look tempting on a hot day, it’s important to avoid swimming or diving in them as they are not clean and can be dangerous due to the strong currents and boat traffic.
Don’t touch the art: Venice is home to many historic buildings and artworks, and it’s important to respect these treasures by not touching them or damaging them in any way.
Don’t ignore the city’s rules and regulations: Venice has certain rules and regulations in place to protect the city and its inhabitants. For example, it’s important to respect the no-smoking signs and to avoid littering in the streets.
Don’t fall for scams: Like any popular tourist destination, Venice has its fair share of scams and pickpockets. It’s important to be aware of your surroundings and to avoid giving money to people who approach you on the street or in tourist areas.
Don’t overpack: Venice is a city of canals and bridges, and it can be difficult to navigate with heavy suitcases or backpacks. It’s important to pack light and bring only the essentials to make your trip more enjoyable.
Shopping, taxes and tipping in Venice
In Venice, like the rest of Italy, there are certain taxes and service charges that are added to the cost of goods and services. When shopping in Venice, you can expect to pay a value-added tax (VAT) of 22% on most goods. However, some goods, such as books and medicine, have a reduced VAT rate of 4%. Be aware that some stores may offer a tax-free shopping service for non-EU residents, where you can get a refund of the VAT when you leave the country.
When it comes to dining out in Venice, there is usually a service charge included in the bill, which is typically around 12-15% of the total cost. This charge is intended to cover the cost of the server’s wages and is not the same as a tip. However, it’s customary to leave a small tip in addition to the service charge, usually rounding up to the nearest euro or leaving 5-10% of the total bill.
It’s important to note that in some restaurants in Venice, particularly those that cater to tourists, an additional cover charge may be added to the bill. This charge is meant to cover the cost of bread and table service and is typically a few euros per person. Be sure to check the menu or ask your server about any additional charges before ordering.
When paying for goods or services in Venice, it’s common to use cash or credit cards. However, some smaller shops and restaurants may not accept credit cards, so it’s a good idea to carry some cash with you. Additionally, it’s important to be aware of potential scams when using credit cards, such as skimming devices or unauthorized charges. Be sure to keep an eye on your card at all times and only use reputable merchants.
Safety and security in Venice
Venice is generally a safe and secure city to visit, but like any major tourist destination, visitors should take precautions to ensure their safety. Here are some tips for staying safe in Venice:
Beware of pickpockets: Pickpocketing is a common crime in Venice, especially in crowded tourist areas such as St. Mark’s Square and the Rialto Bridge. Be aware of your surroundings and keep an eye on your belongings, especially in busy areas or on public transportation.
Stay in well-lit areas: While Venice is generally a safe city, it’s always a good idea to stick to well-lit and populated areas, especially at night. Avoid dark alleys or quiet streets, and stick to the main tourist areas.
Keep your valuables secure: Avoid carrying large amounts of cash or wearing expensive jewelry, and keep your valuables secure in a locked hotel safe or in a hidden pocket or pouch. When using an ATM, be aware of your surroundings and shield your PIN number.
Be cautious around water: Venice is a city of canals, and it’s important to be cautious around the water. Avoid swimming or diving in the canals, and be aware of the strong currents and boat traffic. If you’re taking a gondola ride, make sure the operator is licensed and the boat is in good condition.
Be aware of potential scams: Like any tourist destination, Venice has its fair share of scams and tourist traps. Be cautious of people offering unsolicited services or products, such as street vendors or unlicensed tour guides. Stick to reputable companies and services, and be aware of your surroundings at all times.
Final advice for travellers
Electricity: In Venice, the standard voltage is 230 volts, and the frequency is 50 Hz. If you’re traveling from a country with a different voltage, you may need an adapter or transformer to charge your electronic devices.
Payment: Most shops and restaurants in Venice accept credit cards, but it’s always a good idea to carry some cash with you, especially for small purchases or at local markets. ATMs are widely available throughout the city.
Cost of Living: Venice can be an expensive city to visit, especially during peak tourist season. However, there are ways to save money, such as staying in budget accommodations, eating at local trattorias and osterias, and avoiding tourist traps.
Emergency Numbers: In case of an emergency in Venice, dial 112 for all emergencies. This number will connect you to the emergency services, such as police, fire, and medical services.
Language: Italian is the official language in Venice, but English is widely spoken in tourist areas. However, it’s always a good idea to learn some basic Italian phrases to help you get around and communicate with locals.
Transportation: Venice is a pedestrian-friendly city, and walking is the best way to explore the city’s narrow streets and canals. However, there are also water buses (vaporetti) and water taxis available for transportation around the city.
Dress Code: Venice is a historic and cultural city, and visitors should dress appropriately when visiting churches and other religious sites. Avoid wearing shorts, tank tops, or revealing clothing, and bring a scarf or shawl to cover your shoulders if necessary.
Tipping: Tipping is not required in Italy, as a service charge is typically included in the bill. However, it’s customary to leave a small tip (5-10%) for good service or rounding up to the nearest euro.
Venice in movies
Venice is a stunning and iconic city that has served as the backdrop for many movies over the years. Here are some notable movies that were filmed in Venice, along with a brief synopsis and some of the actors involved:
The Tourist (2010) – This romantic thriller stars Johnny Depp and Angelina Jolie as two strangers who meet on a train and become embroiled in a dangerous game of espionage and intrigue. The film features several iconic landmarks in Venice, including St. Mark’s Square and the Grand Canal.
Don’t Look Now (1973) – This psychological horror film stars Donald Sutherland and Julie Christie as a couple who travel to Venice after the death of their daughter. The film is known for its eerie atmosphere and suspenseful plot, which unfolds against the backdrop of Venice’s winding canals and narrow streets.
Casino Royale (2006) – This James Bond film stars Daniel Craig as the suave and sophisticated secret agent, who travels to Venice to track down a terrorist financier. The film features a thrilling chase scene through the canals of Venice, as well as the iconic sinking of a palazzo in the Grand Canal.
The Talented Mr. Ripley (1999) – This psychological thriller stars Matt Damon as a charming and cunning con artist who travels to Venice to retrieve a wealthy heir. The film features several iconic locations in Venice, including the Piazza San Marco and the Gritti Palace hotel.
Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989) – This action-adventure film stars Harrison Ford as Indiana Jones, who travels to Venice in search of his missing father and the Holy Grail. The film features several exciting action sequences set in Venice, including a boat chase through the city’s canals and a daring leap from a crumbling Venetian building.
Death in Venice (1971) – This drama film is based on the novel by Thomas Mann and stars Dirk Bogarde as an aging composer who travels to Venice in search of inspiration. The film explores themes of beauty, obsession, and mortality, and features several stunning locations in Venice, including the Lido beach and the Piazza San Marco.
Venice in books
Venice has served as the setting for many classic works of literature, from travelogues to mystery novels to historical fiction. Here are some notable books that are set in Venice, along with a brief synopsis:
The Merchant of Venice by William Shakespeare – This classic play tells the story of a merchant named Antonio who borrows money from a Jewish moneylender named Shylock. The play is set against the backdrop of Venice’s bustling markets and canals, and explores themes of prejudice, justice, and mercy.
The City of Falling Angels by John Berendt – This non-fiction book tells the story of the aftermath of the fire that destroyed the historic Fenice Opera House in Venice in 1996. The book explores the history and culture of Venice, as well as the personalities and politics of the city’s inhabitants.
The Wings of the Dove by Henry James – This novel tells the story of a young woman named Kate Croy who is torn between her love for a poor journalist named Merton Densher and her desire for the wealth and status of a wealthy American named Milly Theale. The novel is set against the backdrop of Venice’s opulent palaces and canals, and explores themes of love, betrayal, and morality.
Death in Venice by Thomas Mann – This novella tells the story of a writer named Gustav von Aschenbach who travels to Venice in search of inspiration, but becomes obsessed with a young boy named Tadzio. The book explores themes of beauty, desire, and decay, and is set against the backdrop of Venice’s winding canals and narrow streets.
The Thief Lord by Cornelia Funke – This young adult novel tells the story of two orphaned brothers who run away to Venice and become involved with a group of street children led by a mysterious boy known as the Thief Lord. The book explores themes of family, loyalty, and friendship, and is set against the backdrop of Venice’s magical and mysterious streets.
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