Before my Venice trip, I’ve never been to Italy before. And even though I can’t speak for all Italian cities, I feel like my four days in Venice may have been sufficient enough for me to share these tips that seem valuable to me with all of you! Whether you’ve been before or are planning on going soon, these Venice tips will make your next trip better! Don’t need to thank me, but surely it will be appreciated! 🙂
TIP 1: DO YOUR FOOD RESEARCH
It’s not for nothing it’s a golden rule to not go grocery shopping when you’re hungry. Just like from now on it should be a rule to not go looking for food when you’re extremely hungry. At least not in Venice. After traveling by plane, bus and boat, one of the first things we did in Venice was look for a nice restaurant to get some food. But looking back I feel like maybe we should have done more research on where to find the best food for a fair price. The first two days we didn’t have the best luck with our food choices, from poor taste to lacking service and a defective debit card ATM. And with Venice being such a beautiful city our high hopes for at least one tasteful meal were crashing down fast. But luckily on the third day after our gondola ride, we were able to restore that little bit of hope as we found the best place for some club sandwiches and chicken nuggets (we were so over pasta!) near Santa Maria del Giglio called Ristorante al Giglio. Later that night, we also found a different restaurant near San Marco called Ristorante Birreria Pedabena that we enjoyed. I’m sure there are plenty more good restaurants in Venice worth visiting, so the next time I’m planning on going there I’m definitely putting more time into finding them!
TIP 2: GET CASH WHENEVER YOU CAN
Living in the Netherlands, I’m used to paying even the smallest amounts of money with my debit card. And with that mentality I went to Venice. Not the best idea, because on several occasions I found myself having to put away my debit card and fork over some cash: hotel, some restaurants, souvenir shops and so on. It stunned me that during the entire trip, I had such difficulty finding an ATM machine when I needed one. You would think that in such a touristic city you would have one on every single corner. But no, sometimes we had to walk a good ten minutes to find one like we were playing a game of hide-and-seek. So if you happen to visit Venice soon or maybe even a different Italian city, make sure to walk around with enough cash on you.
TIP 3: HUNT FOR CHEAPER SOUVENIRS
If you’re staying in Venice for more than a day, refrain from buying souvenirs at the first stand you see because you can probably find them cheaper somewhere else! Usually the stands at spots near San Marco and Rialto are a bit pricier, because obviously that’s where most of the tourists are. But as true explorers that we were, we found tons of stands in hidden alleys with often the same merchandise but for about an euro cheaper. And I imagine nothing better than feeling like you actually saved money on your vacation, am I right? That’s why we felt so cheated when we decided to buy a souvenir at the glass shop in Murano to commemorate the memory, but later found the exact same glass boat at Burano for yes, five euros cheaper! I’m over it now, but believe me back then I was in awe and pissed!
TIP 4: FORGET ABOUT THE WIFI
I would like to think that one day I’d be able to travel without the constant need of using wifi every second. But honestly, who am I kidding? Before I traveled to Venice, I even went so far as to buying extra wifi onto my VeneziaUnica card. And with a provided map of all the hotspots, I was ready to get my instagramming and snapchatting on.. I thought! Nothing seemed more impossible than getting even a minute of that wifi-connection. Either it didn’t connect or didn’t show up in my networks at all. So frustrating! And what’s even more frustrating is, that I’m still waiting on my €15 refund! Moral of my little rant: don’t expect too much of the Venice wifi 😉
TIP 5: CHOOSE YOUR HOTEL WISELY
I’m thinking maybe this tip should have been number one, because it’s a very important one and will set the tone of your entire trip I feel like. When booking the hotel, the most important criteria for me was the location. I wanted a somewhat cheap hotel that was close to all of the attractions, but still far enough from the crowds. Our bed & breakfast hotel Al Campaniel was just that. With the San Tomá waterbus stop just a minute away, we were able to go back and forth to our room so many times during the day for toilet breaks, charging our phone batteries, wifi stops and hiding from the vibrant sun. The room wasn’t all too spectacular, but it had just what we needed to make our Venice trip fun.
I hope my Venice tips are able to help you plan your next trip as best as possible, because Venice is really such a beautiful city. And it would be a shame if you didn’t enjoy it as much as I did, even with these few minor setbacks! In case you have more Venice tips I didn’t mention, please feel free to leave them in a comment!