Venice Travel Guide
The ‘Floating City’ is one of Europe’s must-visit cities and a trip to Venice can feel like a journey to a different, magical world. The city is made up of 118 little islands and has canals round every corner, making for a truly spectacular sight. Just over 250’000 people live there permanently and you’re perhaps just as likely to meet a tourist in the street as a local. Venice is a fascinating city with architecture, artwork and more and is considered one of the world’s most romantic cities.
What to See and Do
Saint Mark’s Square is the center point of Venice and is always packed full of tourists. The Campanile of the square stretches high into the sky, making it easy to spot from the surrounding areas. The current one was built in 1912 after the previous Campanile collapsed in 1902 and the views from the top of the 50 meter structure are some of the best you’ll find of Venice.
Saint Mark’s Basilica is very much a part of the square with its western walls literally part of it. This great example of Byzantine architecture has over 4,000 square meters of ruby, emerald, diamond and gold covered mosaics and was built both as a tribute to Saint Mark’s body, as well as a way to demonstrate the great wealth and power of 11th century Venice.
The other must-do activity in Venice is to take a trip on a gondola. These traditional Venetian boats cruise along the city’s canals every day and a ride at sunset can be a very romantic way to spend an evening in Venice, especially if you pass under the Bridge of Sighs where legend promises eternal love with a kiss.
Venice Tips and Advice
The first piece of advice for visiting Venice is to find a good map. And then buy a better one! The narrow and winding streets make the city of Venice a real-life labyrinth and you will almost certainly get lost at some point on your trip. The great thing is, however, that an afternoon lost in Venice is better than most afternoons anywhere else! You’ll find little passageways and sights that you’d never have found in the guidebook, making getting lost a lot of fun. Just make sure you have that good map, though, if you do want to ever find your back.
The city of Venice can be quite expensive, but it doesn’t have to be! Don’t go for a meal near Saint Mark’s Square unless you’re happy to be a fortune for your food. Restaurants further from the center re generally cheaper which will make you and your wallet happy. You can also save money on accommodation by looking for a self-catering apartment instead of a hotel. GoWithOh.com is one site with apartments in Venice and worth checking out if you fancy that option.
If you ever find yourself needing the toilet in Venice, know that cafés are obliged to let you use theirs for free. It’s always polite to stay for a drink if you do use their toilet, but a good piece of advice to know if you simply can’t wait!
Hope you’ve enjoyed our quick Venice travel guide, and if you have any other special tips or cool things to see in Venice, please comment below!
Guide Provided by Euan McTear