Venice is a dream destination for any tourist with its enchanting waterways, gondolas and historic buildings, but you have to know where to start when planning your trip to Venezia.
The first thing to be done is booking flight tickets to the magical city of Venice. For the best of flight benefits, try using our Travel Resources page to find the discount airlines within Europe and the aggregator sites with the most competitive rates.
Best time to visit Venice:
It is best to book your flights late Spring or at the end of the summer. Venice during October-March is the time when Venice is at its quietest and best but remember it can be chilly and wet. July and August are the hottest and January –February are the coldest months of the year but usually that’s when Carnival is held. Venice is great to visit during Carnival with its gala parades, street festivities and fireworks. The much-awaited Venice Film Festival in the summer season is also a great time to visit to check out the star-studded premieres.
Acqua Alta which usually occurs from November through February is a time to avoid if you don’t feel like walking though the rising water levels which flood the city, but it is not dangerous and only lasts a few hours since it comes and goes with the tides. Personally, I think that everyone should witness it at least once, because it is quite amazing to see how everything continues as normal. Just be sure not to book a hotel room on a ground floor!
From the Airport to the city:
There are 2 airports where you can land from your cheap flights to Venice: Marco Polo or Treviso Airport depending on the airlines. Both have regular shuttle buses that run about every 30 minutes to Piazzale Roma in historic Venice. There is also the option of taking a scenic ride on a shuttle waterbus (Alilaguna service) which also takes you to various parts of the island and costs around ten dollars more one-way than the land bus.
Getting around Venice:
- Venice is a city with no cars (except in Piazzale Roma where there are parking garages and the bus depot)
- Take the water buses (vaporetti) to go along the Grand Canal and avoid the costlier water taxis.
- ACTV operates all the public transport of Venice including all the waterbus routes to Murano, Lido and Burano.
- Get a Venice Card and choose the facilities you want to use to save on cultural attractions, public transport or restrooms.
Packing for Venice:
Depending upon the season of your visit, pack the clothes accordingly for lots of walking. Sturdy walking shoes (preferably not new ones but ones already broken in), an umbrella, a hat to protect you from the sun or rain and a jacket are preferable for all seasons. For winter, layered clothing is preferable as the humidity and cold can be bitter. Remember to bring your camera since every corner is picture perfect!
Venice City Tips:
- Visit all Museums in Venice using the Museum Pass or the Venice Card mentioned above.
- Shop to your heart’s content with the money you saved from your cheap tickets to Venice at Rialto, Piazza San Marco or Pescheria. Most souvenirs from Venice include glass blown items (preferably Murano glass), hand-made lace (from Burano), masks, and wine from the Veneto region.
- For the full list of savings tips for Venice, check out the Venice for Rookies guidebook.
Do’s and Don’t’s in Venice:
- Never order a Cappuccino after a meal. It is usually drunk in the morning by Italians.
- Espressos are meant to be gulped down in a hurry. So never sit with it on your table cause it also costs more to sit unless you want a break to chat and relax.
- Public restrooms in Venice cost around a euro. So keep some coins handy.
- Tipping is encouraged at 10%.
- It is normal to see a small charge of 1-2 Euros for “coperta” which is the fee for bread. Water is charged separately.
- No snack is complimentary at restaurants. So do not munch on pretzels or nuts at the table unless you choose to pay for them. At bars during happy hour you may find some munchies on the bar, but ask first if it’s free. Venice is known for their “cicchetti’s” which are happy hour bite-size appetizers at around 1-2 Euros each.
Venice’s Civil Courtesies:
- Do not deface or write graffiti on historic buildings
- Do not litter the canals
- Do not parade bare-chested among Venetian streets
- Do not be loud at night as the alleyways echo and many Venetians actually live here and need a good night’s rest.
- Do not walk barefoot during acqua alta.
Venice Safety Tips
- Look out for potholes in alleys and dog litter.
- Avoid bathing or immersing feet in the canal
- You might easily get lost in Venice but Venice is a very safe city. Just keep your purse or book bag nearby and closed at all times since there have been incidences of pickpocketers.
- Do not fall for frauds offering free trips to Murano.
Venice is a wonderful city of phenomenal attractions so plan your trip well to make the most of your Venice holiday!