Main tourist attractions are full of traps, of course. You can’t really blame people for trying to make some good money out of living in a tourist hotspot. Venice is no exception from this rule, of course, as it’s always very crowded. We gathered a series of Venice tips that we read about or found out while visiting the Venetian Lagoon.
If you’re looking for THE Italian experience, then you should know that the original restaurants here have a special timetable. They are closed during daytime and open only for lunch and afterwards for dinner (starting around 18:30 – 19 or 6:30 PM – 7 PM if you are reading this from across the pond). This is a good way to recognize a good restaurant. However, there can be exceptions too.
Also, the good restaurants are always full, so if you look up a good one, always book in advance.
The main areas are always the most expensive ones and the most crowded ones. If you want to have a good price for what you eat and drink, then you should consider an area that is not located in the city centre.
For instance, San Polo is a perfect area for a good meal at a restaurant.
Prices for the same souvenirs are different depending on the area you’re in, so try to scout the prices and then decide on where to get them – it will probably save you a good meal’s worth of cash. You can always try to bargain if you’re up for it.
The carnival masks from Venice are very popular. The most common souvenir from Venice is a mask. However, if you want an original one, you should know that those have a certificate of quality. The other ones are made of plastic and are cheaper, but are not the original ones. There are people who make the masks and let you choose the colours for the paint and they do the paintwork on the spot.
Alternative to gondolas
You see gondolas everywhere you look in Venice. Even if the cost of a ride is a little bit pricey (around 100 euros), you still see a lot of people choosing this experience. It’s the Venice way.
However, if you don’t want to spend your 100 euros on it, but still want to get a little glimpse of this perspective, then you should know that there is an alternative. It’s called traghetto. Traghetto is similar to the gondola, but it is rowed by two men and it is used as a means of crossing the Grand Canal. The cost is 2 euros, one trip and the trip lasts for one-two minutes, the exact time needs to take a selfie and to enjoy the experience.
If you’re a photographer
Venice is a place that craves being photographed. Besides the beautiful bridges and houses that are visible while walking around, Venice offers a different perspective if you are on the water. So as a photographer, you might want to take amazing shots while in a gondola. However, we know how hard it is sometimes to get the perfect shot, so maybe renting a gondola is not the best of investments since you end up paying by the minute. However, there are people who own a boat and will sail with you for 2 hours through the canals of Venice for 100 euros. You can ask at the reception of your hotel or ask sailors directly when you see them.
There are also water taxis that might do the same trick, but these are more expensive, of course.
Getting away from the noise
Seeing Venice in the morning is a must. It makes all the difference in the way you perceive it. If you get out on the street early enough you can just see how the city easily awakens. It is during the mornings that you can see the difference between tourists and the locals. The locals are walking in a hurry. It is also very nice to see how people greet each other or how they open their cafes and shops.
Rain, rain, go away
During your stay in Venice, you might experience rainy situations. However, don’t run away from the rain. Just grab your umbrella or, even better, your raincoat and start wandering through the streets of Venice. Everybody else is just hiding away from the rain and the streets are empty.
It’s the perfect occasion to see a peaceful Venice without too many people around.
As mentioned before, the central areas are crowded and expensive. If you are looking for a good way of spending the evenings and nights, Santa Margarita is a good place for this. Our local guide tour recommended this area for nightlife.