As we are starting to get ready to travel, I thought it might be nice to share some of our previous travels! First up, Venice. We visited Venice in October a few years ago and although I did take all of my pictures on our big camera, I seem to have lost the originals, so I pulled these off facebook to share with you. Apologies, but facebook does love to compress and lower the quality a touch. You get the general idea. So let’s talk travel! Were we mental going to Venice in October? No, not at all
Accommodation & Food
We went for a long weekend and really enjoyed it. Our hotel was on Sant’Elena and was a Best Western Premier hotel. It was perfect for us, although worth noting that it is a decent walk to get to Piazza San Marco. There are some wonderful local restaurants on Sant’Elena, one of which is Trattoria al Diporto. Simple, tasty seafood dishes without charging a fortune. I would also like to highlight that Prosecco is available by the jug and it is very tasty. We did find lots of other places to eat, I definitely recommend getting away from the beaten track and finding smaller, but busy restaurants to eat. Otherwise you may be charged a small fortune. I also wouldn’t recommend eating on Piazza San Marco as you pay for your food, drink and any entertainment being provided. I was happier strolling around the square and taking in all the sights and sounds instead to be honest, then finding incredibly tasty food in hidden away gems.
Another tip, budget for the tourism tax. Your hotel will charge you an extra fee for visiting. Currently it is about £100, so check before you go. We were caught out by this and it was a bit gutting to be honest, especially when you’re on a budget.
Getting Around the City
The shot below was part of our daily walk into Venice, it was a stunning panoramic view of the city. It even comes free with a random husband pointing at boats!
To get into Venice from the airport we took a water bus, it was quite simple to figure out. There are signs to follow and ticket offices to buy your ticket. Note on the return journey, don’t arrive at the airport too early as there are only a handful of check in desks and they don’t open until absolutely necessary. There’s also not much to keep you occupied in the airport.
We spent most of our time walking around Venice. Fortunately it was dry majority of our stay, so it wasn’t a big deal. Throw in the fact that we were just strolling and in no rush, well it was just a lovely way to spend some time. I definitely recommend it, we did get lost quite a few times, which was no harm at all!
If you fancy getting a gondola, make sure you ask about and find a good price. Haggle a bit, ask for less. If you don’t ask you won’t get. They are pricey but looked great fun. Neither of us were that fussed, but people did seem to love them. Towards the end of our stay we decided to get a few of the water buses. There are numerous stops along the waterfront. You’ll find a ticket office not too far from a lot of the stops, or go to the tourist office – which isn’t far from Piazza San Marco. You can find out more about the tickets there. We had multi-stop tickets and you can get them for a few days, these are definitely budget friendly and perfect for when your legs are exhausted!
Things To Do
We did a few of the well known tourist sites. The Basilica di San Marco was stunning, such beautiful art, so much gold! The architecture in Venice is stunning, this is highlighted in it’s numerous churches. I think the Basilica is one of the most beautiful churches we visited, although there are so many, I couldn’t be sure. It is without doubt the most decadent. I did feel slightly rushed when we were visiting, which is understandable in a way, there’s always a queue of people waiting to get in. It cost about €20.
Speaking of decadent, the Doges’ Palace is unbelievable. So much gold inlay and the artwork, never mind the breath taking architecture. If you’re on a budget, I would prefer a visit to the Doges’ Palace over the Basilica. I could happily spend hours wandering around the Doges’ Palace reading all the information and just taking it all in. It’s beautiful, utterly beautiful. It cost about €25/€30.
Another well known tourist site is the Campanile di San Marco, which is a huge tower you can climb, or rather squeeze into a lift and ride to the top. I would recommend it for the views over Venice. Maybe try and visit on a less grey day than we did. Thankfully it didn’t dampen our enjoyment of it, although we were exceedingly windswept by the time we climbed down! I’m not sure on cost, it seems to be around the €20.
Basilica di San Marco
Campanile di San Marco
As we travelled in October our accommodation and flights were that bit cheaper. So if it’s in your head, I think end of September, early October is still a good time to visit.
If you are on a tight budget there are a huge amount of beautiful buildings to see, you don’t need to visit all of the best know tourist spots, maybe pick one? We spent most of our time just walking the city and seen so many beautiful sights. The city itself is glorious. There are lots of places you can pick up some gelato, maybe a sneaky beverage and just go for a wander. You never know where you might find! We definitely found some glorious architecture and general life, as well as a few interesting dead ends! We even spotted Dawn French having a mini holiday, I just about managed to stop myself from running up and hugging her.
I loved walking the city at night time, Piazza San Marco is beautiful. It was flooded with music from the various restaurants, the light played across the buildings and it just all felt very decadent. If you insist on drinking or eating in the square, do it in the evenings when the atmosphere is at it’s peak.
Visiting in Autumn
OK so it may not necessarily be the best time of year to visit, but we took a notion and just went. I’m glad we did. Most of the time it was sunny, be warned though, when it rains, it really floods. Because so much of the city opens out onto water, the levels are already pretty high, they get even higher in Autumn and Winter, as you might expect. So bring appropriate clothing and apply a bit of common sense.
When it’s sunny, get out and make the most of it, when it rains hide in a restaurant or bar and enjoy the local food and drink. We even found some beautiful hidden buildings because of ducking out of the rain. It can also get pretty chilly, so layer up.
Would I visit Venice again? Yes, Yes, Yes. This city captured my heart with it’s vibrancy and joy, with the outstanding architecture and history, with it’s fantastic food and love of Prosecco – part of the reason I fell in love with the drink and had to have it for our wedding. I would visit it repeatedly and still love it.
Where have you visited that you fell in love with? We’re making new travel plans so I would love to hear all of your suggestions. Tell me your travel stories.