Venice, Italy : 10 Things You Must Know about this Island
Updated: Oct 7, 2020
Venice is probably the most picturesque city in the world. It is one of the most favorite filming spots for Bollywood movies. Since my childhood (when I knew nothing about traveling), I remember telling my dad that I want to visit this place one day. And I sure did. Let me tell you a little about my journey to Venice. Venice was on my bucket list since forever. But when I first arrived in the city by train (from Switzerland), I got a cultural shock! Yes, I have visited many countries before, but this was something I had never felt before. For a moment, I felt like I m in some different world. The place was jam-packed, filled with tourists everywhere. I looked around for a taxi, and it was nowhere to be found. Soon, I realized the only mode of transportation available here was water taxis and boats. It took me a few minutes to realize that I m in the middle of an island. The sooner I accept it, the better it is. I remember feeling exhausted carrying my huge luggage, but somehow I manage to get to the hotel with my husband (then Boyfriend). Unlike other cities, if Venice is the one on your bucket list, make sure you are well prepared. I m not saying this to scare you, but Venice is an island built on canals. There are no roads here, just canals. As far as you can see, you will only find canals, boats, and water—something you may have never seen before. I have listed a few travel tips to help you prepare for your trip to Venice.
#1 Do your research before you book your hotel. I would recommend any location nearby the island so that you can easily walk around and visit some famous landmarks and museums. If you prefer to choose a location outside the city center, you might have to add an extra cost of traveling to your budget. Some mainland locations can easily be as far as 45 mins to an hour from the island. I would highly recommend you do some research and compare hotel rates on sites like Booking.com, Tripadvisor.com, Trivago, and choose your location wisely.
#2 Plan your itinerary wisely. If you plan to take a flight to Venice, make sure to land at the nearest airport VCE Marco Polo. If you are coming from the train, nothing to worry about as Santa Lucia station is just right on the island.
#3 Wear some comfortable shoes and be ready for some walk. You may find it strange, but some water taxis or boats do not go along narrow canals.
#4 You may be shocked to see some four and five-star hotel buildings on the canals. Hotels in Venice are small, keeping its traditional charm and history. Do not expect or compare Venice to some modern four or five-star hotels. Keep it real.
#5 You may find it challenging to reach your hotel as properties here are numbered based on districts, not streets. Do not fully trust Google either. Call your hotel and ask them to explain the directions for you. Or do not hesitate to ask locals.
#6 Are you a fan of Gondola ride? Make sure you have extra cash in your pocket (no credit cards); it can easily cost you 100 Euros and up for a 30 mins Gandola Ride.
#7 If you are not a big fan of crowds, make sure to plan your trip during the low season. Venice is very crowded during the summers, and the price of hotels are high as well.
#8 You may come across some locals selling bird's feed at the St. Mark's Square, but let me warn you it's illegal to feed birds here. Venice has officially banned people from feeding pigeons at St. Mark's Square to prevent further damage to the historic buildings and architecture. In very simple words. Do not feed birds.
#9 Make sure to hop on some local water taxis and take a tour along the Grand Canal. Don't forget to grab your camera for some beautiful shots of unique bridges along the way.
#10 Don't forget to visit some of the most famous places like San Marco Basilica, the Doge's Palace, and the Bridge of Sighs. The best time to visit these places is probably in the morning to avoid any long wait-time for your entrance to the buildings.
If you are well prepared for your trip, you will have a fantastic time in Venice. It is the most romantic touristic place in the world for a reason. The city is known for its unique architecture that reminds you of the renaissance period, traditional style, narrow canals, alleyways, and beautiful churches. Visiting Venice will be a lifetime experience for you.