Venice Travel Guide
The ultimate guide to the best things to do and see in Venice
Perhaps the most iconic Italian city of all, Venice is actually a small island in a swamp that is gradually sinking, which doesn’t make it sound so appealing, but it still draws in the tourists…and for good reason! Start here with my basic Venice travel tips, or jump down below to read my latest Venice travel blogs.
When to Visit
Venice is a city you can easily visit at any time of year, as it never gets too cold and as long as you are prepared to wrap up, you’ll be fine in winter. But there are some important dates to keep in mind when planning a trip to Venice. The Carnival takes over the city for two weeks in February, meaning crowds grow and prices are inflated. In March or April, Easter week is especially busy (though the rest of that period is rather quiet). August can be unbearably hot and the canals are likely to stink at this time of year. It’s also probably the worst for crowds and in September, the film festival takes place, which may mean places are booked up in advance.
Top Things To Do
Float down the Grand Canal – The best way to see Venice is undoubtedly from the water. Take a vaporetto (a public water bus) down the city’s main thoroughfare, which happens to be made of water! As it leads from the main railway station to Piazza San Marco, it’s a great way to get into the city when you arrive and get an introduction to the city!
Eat all the gelato – Reportedly the best gelato in Venice (as voted for by locals too!) is to be found at Boutique del Gelato. Be prepared to wait in line here though, as it’s unsurprisingly very popular. They have all the usual flavors you’d expect plus some seasonally changing and more exotic ones such as fennel, asparagus or ginger.
Get lost – You may have heard what a tourist trap Venice is, but when I stumbled into a small plaza near the Campielo De La Stua, I found Venice to be more-than-relaxing. If you wander around enough and get lost, you’ll find little pockets of stillness on the overcrowded island.
Taking a tour around Venice will save you time and get you in to some areas of the city you might otherwise overlook, so it’s definitely worth you time to consider one. Take a look at this selection of Venice tours.
LGBT – Gay Venice Travel Guide
Venice is a very LGBT friendly city, and doesn’t specifically have defined gay areas, as the its gay life is well integrated into the city in general. It is limited though, so if you’re feeling in need of a night out in a big city, head to nearby Padua on the mainland for more options. These are a few of the best things you should know about visiting gay Venice.
I Due Girasoli – Translating to “the two sunflowers”, this hip restaurant-by-day and bar-by-night is owned by a lesbian couple and becomes a fun place to dance in the later hours of the night with a mixed crowd and plenty of cute Italian boys.
Porto de Mar – One of the few specifically gay bars in Venice, this place gets busy with locals and travelers alike and is a great place to meet Italian men.
La Zucca – This super romantic vegetarian restaurant serves typical (and healthy) Venetian cuisine in a beautiful setting, and is popular among gay visitors to the city.
More gay travel resources here.
Venice Hotel Deals
Venice has plenty of cool and quirky hotels, as well as all the big chains you’d expect. They’ll definitely get full when there’s a conference or special event in town, so definitely consider booking in advance. I’ve found that using Booking.com, Agoda.com or Hotels Combined can be really useful for finding last-minute deals.
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