Beardy Husband is not the most thoughtful gift giver. Last year for Christmas, I got an Apple TV. A useful gift, for sure, but not one I’d been the least bit interested in. Beardy Husband, of course, had been eyeing it up for months – so obviously an ideal gift. So when Beardy Husband decided to plan an ideal weekend away, he chose Venice. Of course. Beardy Husband is a civil engineer fascinated with the infastructure of cities – Venice was a natural choice. I was a bit more skeptical, having heard that it could be fairly touristy. But Italy is beautiful, the food is delicious, and so I was excited to see Venice. I know I can find the whole process of finding information online a bit confusing – TripAdvisor only goes so far – so I thought I’d pass on my best tips for visiting Venice.
- Don’t pay for a gondola trip – take a waterbus or a short gondola river crossing
Probably the most famous activity in Venice is a gondola trip through the canals. But even though the average gondola trip is about 30 minutes, princes can be up to 200 euros. I don’t know about you, but Beardy Husband and I are really not up for paying more than our airfare for one short activity. So what to do if you still want a great view of Venice by water? I’d suggest a water bus – while you won’t be alone on the water, you can go from Piazza San Marco to the Piazza Roma, seeing the length of the Grand Canal.
2. Stay in the Jewish Quarter
Venice is absolutely packed between the hours of 11 and 7 – the streets are incredibly crowded, the queues are massive, the shops are bustling. But one place we found that was quiet and peaceful (despite being fairly central!) was the Jewish Quarter. Walking over the bridge into this section of Venice was like entering an oasis of beautiful calm midday – would definitely recommend staying here, where it’s a bit more chilled out!
3. Snack constantly
I found the sit down meals within the town limits to be incredibly overpriced. We much preferred instead to be constantly snacking at the various stalls available for pastries, pizza and gelato (lots of gelato.) Does it mean eating a lot of carbs? Absolutely. But if you’re walking as much as we were (about 15km a day through the city), that should be no big deal!
4. Divide the day into early morning and evening
Remember how crowded I said Venice gets? The only way we found to avoid unbelievable crowds was to sightsee early in the day, then go back out again in the evening, taking the middle of the day to sleep and relax – thus avoiding most of the tourists.