Planning doesn’t always have to be boring, especially when you’re venturing off on an exciting European escape. Staying a head of the game and preparing for your short break wherever it may be can save you time and in many cases, money.
Venice is a great example of where a little bit of pre-departure planning can help make your Italian getaway go off without a hitch. With this simple travel checklist you can make sure you’re 100% ready for your short break to the city of Venice.
Venice City Pass ✓
When you’re paying a short visit to somewhere new, a city pass can do wonders to help those precious few days run as smoothly as possible. The Venezia Unica City Pass is designed with short-term visitors in mind offering free entrance to museums and churches, use of the city’s water buses, plus various other handy discounts to help you save those pennies.
Being the proud owner of a Venice Card means you can visit many of the city’s iconic sights without a fuss and without queuing in some cases! See and explore Doge’s Palace, 16 beautiful Chorus Churches and 10 Civic Museums, as well as reaping the benefits of reduced admission to various other places of interest – good eh?! You can even purchase this card before you go and be super organised!
Airport Transfers ✓
This might seem like an obvious thing to sort out when travelling anywhere by plane, but with Venice a little extra thought is essential. Let me run through the options with you…
The water bus – or as the locals call it, the vaporetto – works (as expected) exactly the same as a regular bus but instead of a road there’s water. Probably the most unique way to get from the airport to your hotel, the water bus runs directly from the airport dock to the city’s main islands stopping at San Marco, Rialto, Fondamenta Nuove and Le Guglie. Tickets can easily be picked up on arrival from the ticket office at the dock and let’s face it… the water bus starts your short break off the Venetian way.
If you’re on a budget, then a wheeled bus might be the better option for you. With both public and private bus transportation available from the airport, you can be in Venice in no less than 25mins and for a very affordable price. Again, tickets are easily available at the airport from self-service ticket machines – simple!
If however money is no object, why not opt for a water taxi (the same principles apply as the water bus just in case you were wondering). It’s very pricey compared to other modes of transport but boy don’t you feel glamorous in your very own boat. One huge positive about the water taxi is that it will take you exactly to where you need to be – you’ll have none of this dragging luggage around malarkey.
Rail is another cheap option for visitors making their way to Venice from the airport, however it’s the fussiest of them all. To get to Venice Marco Polo Airport’s nearest mainland railway station, Venezia Mestre you need to take a 20 minute bus journey. From there a 10 minute train journey will finally take you to the main Venezia Santa Lucia station – I told you it was fussy! Nevertheless it can be done.
Correct Attire ✓
Now I don’t want to tell you how to dress, but a few helpful tips can’t hurt. Summer in Venice is incredibly hot and humid so make sure you stick to light and breathable clothing. Women should also carry a lightweight cover-up for visiting churches where exposed shoulders are a big no-no.
During autumn and winter, Venice is a whole different ball game. Prone to rain and flooding, visitors should come prepared with weather wearing shoes. Of course, like anywhere in Europe the temperatures do drop so bringing along a jumper or two is a sensible idea.
Know your stuff ✓
Knowing a few simple facts about your destination can help you prepare for any unwanted culture shocks while you’re away. Here’s some essential need-to-know facts about Venice to help you enjoy your adventure to the floating city.
• More than 15 million people visit Venice each year and you could be one of them!
• Venice is made up of an impressive 118 islands ready to be explored.
• This iconic Italian city is sinking at a rate of 1-2mm every year meaning you should probably visit sooner rather than later.
A true icon in Venice, the Rialto Bridge is one of the city’s most famous bridges.
A gothic architectural masterpiece and a must-see when visiting Venice!
Piazza San Marco
This is city’s main square full of brilliant photo opportunities and a great place to appreciate Venice’s buzzing atmosphere.
It may not come as a surprise that Venetians love their fish dishes, so if you love seafood you’re onto a winner! Being surrounded by all that sea means you’ll have plenty of opportunities to sample fresh Italian seafood such as frutti di mare (spaghetti with fresh seafood) and sarde in soar (marinated sardines).
You’ll also find Venetians have a bit of a sweet tooth too. Venice is home to many local bakeries and patisseries serving delicious pastries, croissants, strudels, doughnuts, biscuits and cakes!
When to visit
To avoid scorching hot temperatures and the peak tourist season of July and August, planning your visit in April, May, June, September or October is a brilliant idea.
Flooding in winter is very common, but visitors do begin to arrive in the city as early as January and February, so if you really can’t handle the crowds this is the optimum time to go – you could even visit on Valentine’s weekend for an incredibly romantic break for two!
You now know the essential basics for booking a weekend trip to Venice, but if you want to know anything else, whether it’s the best Venetian hotels for a short break or tips for making the most of your time in the city, let us know using the comments box below.