Venice - what are the must sees, must dos(16 Posts)
Husband is taking me to Venice for my 'big' birthday. I am so excited.
We will have 2 whole days and a morning.
So what must we see or do?
Venice is my favourite city! It is quite compact with lots of the main attractions clusted together. I would really recommend doing a tour of the Doge's Palace, which will probably take up approximately half a day and going up San Marco Campanile - you can see almos the entire ciy on a clear day. The Peggy Guggenheim Collection is great for filling a few hours, and although gondola rides are expensive, they are well worth the cost.
Love Venice, we also did Ca' Rezzonico which was fascinating
We did the secret itinerary tour of the Doges Palace and the guide then took us into St Marks (bypassing the queues) and on a walking tour pointing out things we wouldn't have found by ourselves. Our hotel booked for it us but if you stand with your back to St Mark's square and turn right and walk to a little park there's a kiosk/meeting place - it was money well spent especially if you're only there for a short time. For a good view of St Marks Square get the ferry to the island of San Giorgio and climb to the top of the church, fantastic photos and less crowded than going up the campanile.
We're back there for new year and always find something we've not seen before.
PM if you want to know anything specific .... I know a little bit about the place !!!!
Agree with ca Rezzonico, Also go to the Scuola Grande San Rocco - next to the Friari church. The Fondamenta Misericordia is great early evening for ciccetti and spritz . Go off the beaten track and don't just stick to Rialto and St Marks. If you want to go out to the islands then allow about 4 hours using public vaporetti. Don't forget to validate your ticket before you get on . Hot Chocolate In San Marco will cost you an arm and a leg but its lovely. GO in the Fondaco dei Turchi near Rialto and maybe DH will be persuaded to buy you another little gift. GO to the top floor offers a great view of the city. .Gondola is €80 for 30 minutes at this time of year its good to go late afternoon before everyone closes the shutters
My list of suggestions is endless .....How are you arriving and departing and where are you staying ?
We have a private transfer booked from the airport to the hotel (car and boat) and are staying at Ai Reali.
Thanks for the suggestions. I will see about them and try to book.
I'd second the Secret Itineraries tour of the Doges Palace - book in advance to skip the lines - well worth the ticket price just for that! You get taken up into the cells and attics of the palace, see the cell where Casanova was imprisoned, pop out of secret doors etc. And you can still wander round the public areas of the palace after.
Have a Spritz at the Banco Giro by the Rialto Market, on the edge of the Grand Canal - bit pricey but well worth it. Then wander the streets in the early evening behind the market, calling into the small bars when you can buy small snacks (ciccehetti) and glasses of wine for about 2 euro a piece.
If you are there on a Saturday lunchtime, at a square near the market, they serve plates of fresh seafood and prosecco for 10 euro, it was packed with locals and tourists, and was lovely.
Just wander, get lost, you'll find so much to see and explore
Get up early and walk through St.Marco's square, and along the waterfront, you'll have it mostly to yourself. If inclined, San Marco's often has an early morning mass. The cafe in the Museo Correr (opposite end of the square to the cathedral) is much more reasonable than those in the square itself, it's in the warm, and has a first floor view over the square. Go up one of the campaniles, personally I preferred San Giorgio's, and take a night the vapretto up or down the Grand Canal. It is worth getting a day pass for the vapretto, if you're planning on using a couple in one day and yes, you MUST validate them before boarding. Comfy shoes too!
Think of going next year for big birthday. When is a good time to go please
Spring is a good time to visit, especially May. Or late September/October, although you may experience the acqua alta (flooding!) in October. We went in late October, and had lovely weather, and although it was a bit chilly in the evening we still managed to sit outside. Also, it did flood in St Marks Square, but they are well set up for it, putting out boards to walk on.
Just got back!
We went last Monday to Thursday. Had a fab time. We loved it!
On Monday we went to St Mark's sq, the Doges Palace and the Basilica. In the afternoon we got the water bus along the Grand Canal then changed to another one and went round the outside edge back to near St Mark's sq. we did so much walking! I never realised there were so many little streets and alleyways. My iPhone health app said we did about 15000 steps each day.
Next day we went by courtesy taxi to Murano to a glass factory. Be warned, they want you to buy, that is the purpose of the trip. It is really expensive.
From there we went to the island of Burano which was so pretty. Back to the mainland and more walking.
Last morning we had our gondola ride, but it was too cold for cornettos!
Would definitely recommend anyone to visit, but at this time of year take a good coat, gloves and hat, it was cold, but bright and sunny.
Perfect birthday trip!
We had a tour with a local the first morning. You pay what you think it is worth at the end. We saw some unusual things eg where they mend the gondolas and at the end got a map with recommended places to eat.
Also if you head for the Zattere Vaperetto stop (can walk to it over the Academicare bridge) then there are some lovely restuarants there on pontoons on the water - very romantic - also a fab gelato place called Nico. It's interesting at night to watch the cruise liners pass by as they leave Venice.
Yes, do take a walking tour.
You get to see so many hidden gems such as a book shop that has made a stair case out of water damaged books from the numerous floods. Climb the staircase holding on to a gondola oar for an amazing view of the Venice canals.
We have been to Venice 5 times. 4 of the times we just wandered, the 5th time we took two very different pay-what-you-think-it's- worth tours- suddenly the city made sense and we saw more on the tours than we did on the other 4 visits put together!
how/where do you find out about the walking tours? Are any of them an hour/suitable for children?
yes the walking tours were in the day time. The one I went on was 2 hours long and had a 10 min break in the middle. Just google free venice walking tours and have a look. I had teenagers with me and they enjoyed the tour particularly a place they recognised from a Indiana Jones which they thought was 'cool'
We did this evening cruise www.jollyroger.it/galleon_dinner_cruise.htm and it was super fun - although make sure you get a centre table rather than the cheaper edge ones as DH got a bit sea sick when we went as that was all that was left.
It seems expensive, but includes a good dinner and as much wine as you can drink, so it isn't really.
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