Venice in Italy: All You Need To Know

Venice, known as the “city of canals”, captivates visitors with its unique charm and romantic atmosphere. A stroll through the narrow streets and over the many bridges offers an insight into the city’s rich history and architectural wonders.

All you need to know about Venice

Find out everything you need to know before you travel to Venice in this ultimate travel guide.

Where is Venice?

Venice is located in north-eastern Italy and is known for its picturesque canals and rich history. The city is situated in the Venetian Lagoon, a vast marshland on the Adriatic Sea. This unique city is built on a series of 118 small islands connected by canals and bridges. Venice is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a popular destination for tourists from all over the world.

How to get to Venice in Italy?

There are many ways to travel to Venice. Depending on where you want to travel from, we recommend different means of transportation.

By Air: To reach Venice by air, travelers typically fly into Marco Polo Airport, located on the mainland near Mestre. From there, you can take a variety of transportation options to reach the city center, including buses, taxis, or the convenient Venice Airport water taxi service. Another option is Treviso Airport, which is farther away but still accessible to Venice. Both airports offer connections to major cities across Europe and beyond, making Venice easily reachable from various international destinations.

By air to Venice

By Train: If you are already in one of Italy’s larger cities, then you can easily reach Venice by train. For example, it takes just under 2.5 hours from Milan to Venice. You can travel from Rome to Venice in 4 hours.

By Car: Another option is to travel by car. The city is generally easy to reach by road. As Venice itself is car-free, all you need to do is find a parking space. It’s best to do this before your trip, as the usual parking garages can be fully booked. You have two options when choosing a parking garage. You can either drive directly to Venice and park your car in one of the large parking garages on the island. Or you can book a parking garage in Venice Mestre. We chose this option. Here you usually pay significantly less for a parking space and still get to Venice very quickly. Mestre is still on the mainland, but has good and inexpensive train connections. It only takes 11 minutes by train from here to Venice Central Station.

No matter what you choose, be prepared to wheel or carry your luggage to your accommodation. As water taxi are very expensive, it is best to take a water bus from the central station to a stop near your accommodation.

Water bus from Venice to Burano

Do I have to pay an entrance fee in Venice?

Since 25.04.2024 you have to pay an entrance fee of €5 as a day tourist. You have to book the ticket in advance on an online platform. If you are planning to stay in Venice for several days and sleep in a hotel on the island, you do not have to worry about this and do not have to pay the entrance fee.

Where to stay in Venice?

What you need to know is that Venice is divided into 5 districts. These include Dorsoduro, San Marco, Castello, Cannaregio and Giudecca.

Why you should stay in Dorsoduro

Dorsoduro is located in the south of the island. The district allows you to immerse yourself in culture. Dorsoduro is home to renowned art institutions such as the Gallerie dell’Accademia and the Peggy Guggenheim Collection.
It is also an authentic Venetian experience. With its local markets, traditional osterias and intimate squares, Dorsoduro offers an insight into the everyday life of the Venetians, away from the tourist crowds.

Why you should stay in San Marco

San Marco is located in the center of Venice. It is home to the iconic landmarks of Venice. If you stay in San Marco, you can reach the most famous sights of Venice such as St. Mark’s Square, the Doge’s Palace and the Bridge of Sighs on foot, making it easy to explore the historic center of the city.
There is also a lively atmosphere. San Marco is bustling day and night, with an abundance of upscale boutiques, lively cafés and street performers ensuring that there is always something to see and do right on your doorstep.

Basilica di San Marco

Why you should stay in Castello

The eastern part of the island is called Castello. If you want to get to know the hidden gems of Venice, you’ve come to the right place. The labyrinthine alleyways of Castello conceal charming squares, local craft businesses and hidden churches that invite you to take leisurely strolls and discoveries off the beaten track.
Furthermore, it is one of the local hotspots. As one of the largest districts in Venice, Castello offers a more residential atmosphere that allows you to experience daily life in Venice alongside the locals, while still being within easy reach of the city’s main attractions.

Why you should stay in Cannaregio

Cannaregio is located to the north of the city center. In Cannaregio you will find local delicacies. It is dotted with traditional bacari (wine bars) and trattorias serving authentic Venetian cuisine. Here you can enjoy local delicacies such as cicchetti (small snacks) and fresh seafood away from the tourist traps.
The district also impresses with its charm on the water. With its picturesque canals and historic buildings, Cannaregio offers a typically Venetian ambience for accommodation and provides tranquil views and a peaceful atmosphere away from the busy city center.

Why you should stay Giudecca

Guidecca is the elongated island south of Venice. It is a serene retreat. Giudecca offers a peaceful escape from the tourist crowds. The relaxed atmosphere, waterfront promenades and breathtaking views of the Venetian skyline provide a tranquil setting for relaxation.
You will also find plenty of cultural heritage here. Despite its tranquillity, Giudecca is rich in history and culture, with sights such as the Palladian Church of the Redeemer and the historic Molino Stucky, which now houses a luxury hotel and cultural center and offers a unique blend of tradition and modernity.

How many days should you stay in Venice?

We recommend staying in Venice for 3-4 days. Although the city is manageable in size, so you can see the highlights in just one day, you will get a better impression of Venetian culture if you give yourself a little more time. It also gives you the opportunity to get to know the beauty of Venice off the beaten track and visit the colorful surrounding islands.

Best time to visit Venice

The best time to visit Venice is during the shoulder months of April to June and September to October. Here the temperatures are pleasant and the weather is generally stable. During these months, hotels are already more expensive and the number of tourists is higher than in the winter months, but it is still the better choice compared to the summer months of July and August. During these months, the heat in the city is unbearable and you won’t have much fun sightseeing.

How to get around in Venice?

Most things in Venice are within walking distance. If you want to cover a longer distance, it is best to take the water bus. The bus stops are located on both sides of the Grand Canal and around the island. The buses run every few minutes. You can find out the exact departure times via Google Maps. Taking the water bus also allows you to get a view from the water without having to take an expensive round trip. You can also get from A to B by water taxi. However, we advise against this as they are unnecessarily expensive.

Tip: The easiest way is to buy a multi-day ticket at the beginning of your stay. That way, you can hop on at any time, wherever you are.

Canal Grande Venice2

What you need to know about Cash & ATMs in Venice

You can often pay by card in Venice. However, it is always advisable to have enough cash with you. The best place to pick this up is at an ATM in the city.

How safe is Venice?

Venice is generally considered a safe destination for travelers, with a low crime rate compared to other major cities. The city’s layout, characterized by its pedestrian-friendly streets and intricate network of canals, contributes to a secure environment. However, like any tourist destination, visitors should remain vigilant against pickpocketing, especially in crowded areas such as St. Mark’s Square and on vaporettos (water buses). You should also know that when exploring quieter, less frequented areas of Venice at night, you should exercise caution and always keep your belongings safe.

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