Venice receives 50,000 tourists every day and has 122 islands and 150 canals. It is a paradise, despite the crowds coming from the entire world, hotels where prices can triple from one day to the next (it is the contrast between "high season" and "low season" prices, depending more on the calendar than the demand) and the changeable climate, with heat like that of Naples, floods like in the Po delta and fog as can be seen around Turin.
  • San Giorgio Maggiore island is situated opposite St. Mark's Square and is home to the basilica of the same name
    © Masino Tips RF / age fotostock
    San Giorgio Maggiore island.

    San Giorgio Maggiore island is situated opposite St. Mark's Square and is home to the basilica of the same name

Amy Adejokun
Amy Adejokun Expert destination Italy

In order not to miss a visit to this city that is unique in the world, you absolutely must reserve your accommodation before you arrive. With transport by a tour operator, to get a luxury palace (for about £555 per person for a weekend of two nights). With a hotel located in Mestre or in Lido to save money (the average price for the weekend is about £160). For the least expensive hotels you can expect to pay around £55 per night for a double room in a 2 star hotel.

Once in Venice, try to avoid the tourists traps that empty your wallet, for instance do not have coffee on a terrace, it costs £3, even next to the station. Standing up at the counter, an expresso is about £1. Get a vaporetto pass for a day (even though you are staying for the weekend) and use it to visit the islands (Murano, Burano) and go down the Grand Canal. Otherwise, walk as all of Venice is accessible on foot, and can crossed within an hour or two. To eat, a really good restaurant has prices of around £16 a dish. However, Venice also has supermarkets (campo Santa Margherita) and caterers (Rialto market) where you can buy anything for a delicious picnic, preferably to be enjoyed along the della Giudecca canal. Venice is quiet and superbly beautiful; a place of dreams when the weather is good.
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Venice: what to do?

There are at least 2 possible itineraries. The one that goes across the Castello is for civil and religious architecture lovers. This is where you will see the polychrome frontage (as beautiful as the one of Saint-Marc Basilica) of the Scuola Grande di San Marco (a hospital today), the beautiful cloister of San Francesco della Vigna monastery, a copy of an ancient lion from Délos at the entrance of the Arsenal, a frescoe restored in an old fashioned way on a bourgeoise house, campo Bandiera and Moro. The other itinerary is for people who like to stroll around and discover the city in their own time: walk from the Grand Canal, on the side of Santa Croce, to the Dorsoduro docks, then Zattere.

Saint-Marc Basilica and Doges palace are two marvellous, works by goldsmiths that you can appreciate even if you are not a Venetian art specialist. Too many people? Cast a glance away from here. On the exit side of the basilica, where the book stands are. Pretend to be a customer (as though you wanted to buy a postcard), come in and look up, there are gold and painted mosaic on each cupola, which are simply beautiful! The Doges palace must be visited several times. The inside during open hours and the outside at sunrise. After this, the masses of tourists start to arriveand disturb the peace. On an evening, calm is restored, but the facade is not lit-up enough to distinguish all of the details.

  • A magical city no matter the weather (sun, rain or fog).
  • An almost unlimited cultural wealth.
  • Still some non-tourist areas.
  • Long queues in front Saint Marc basilica and the Doges palace.
  • The short opening times of the museums.
  • The outrageous price of the vaporetti.

Venice: what to visit?



The museums close their doors at 7:00 pm (on Monday at 2pm), which goes the same for the Doges palace (7pm in the summer, 5pm in winter) and the Scuola Grande di San Rocco (superb frescoes from Tintoret not open after 5:30 pm in summer and 4pm in winter). The same for the Guggenheim collection (closing at 6:00 pm), the palazzo Grassi exhibitions (closing at 7pm), one of the museum closing the earliest is the Ca' d'Oro museum (closing at 1pm every day). As tickets are expensive (at least £4.50), buy an orange Venice Card, which is a vaporetto pass that also includes tips and discounts for many museums.

To avoid

You will see the following posters everywhere: Grand Canal in gondola from £35. Do not do this as you will be taken on an excursion with 6 people in a boat painted in black, to see boats just like yours, rather than going to admire the peaceful palaces along deserted canals. Instead take a traditional gondola tour (fixed price: £70 for 50 min by day, £95 by night - price per gondola and not per person.) It is extraordinary when it's neither too hot nor too cold, when darkness starts to fall on the city and when the gondolier, silently, takes you along the quiet canals.

Venice: what to eat?

True Venetian cuisine such as soft crabs, eel and veal liver with onions is not appreciated by everyone. However go to the Corte Sconta restaurant, on the calle del Pestrin, in the Castello area, these dishes are delightful. If you are not very experimental with food, try the risotto with peas or the seafood tagliatelle. Outside the palace's gastronomic restaurants (25 pounds a dish), places to eat well are rare in Venice. Two other good restaurants are the Ai Quattro Ferri, on the calle lunga San Barnaba, in Dorsoduro and Al Covo, on campiello della Pescaria, in Castello (£15 a dish).

Venice: what to buy?

Real Murano glass is expensive. To find objects (small plates, beakers, decorative statues) at a reasonable price, to go to stores in the shopping areas between Saint-Marc plaza and Rialto bridge Otherwise you can buy some the glasswork shops, as well as the exhibition of the big names of glass (Venini being the most famous) located on the island of Murano (access by vaporetto from Venise). To buy a designer article, go to Certosa Island (also accessed by vaporetto), creators and student of the European Design Institute show off their creations here (clothes and decorative objects).

Venice Reviewedhotels
  • 8.75 /10
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    Hotel Hotel 5 Etoile(s)

    mong the Bauer group of hotels, choose the Palazzo. Stay here ...

  • 8.75 /10
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     Grand Hotel dei Dogi, The Dedica Anthology, Autograph Collection
    Hotel Hotel 5 Etoile(s)

    The Boscolo Venezia is a quiet luxury hotel set in a very pleasant ...

  • 8.7 /10
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    Dei Dogi
    Venise - Italy
    Hotel Hotel 5 Etoile(s)

    A gorgeous hotel, a palace... With two entrances, Venice style. ...

  • 8.7 /10
    Rated by Easyvoyage
    Venise - Italy
    Hotel Hotel 5 Etoile(s)

    This luxury addess offers a privileged location in Giudecca Island, ...

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