It’s one of the world’s most recognisable cities and one that has captured the imagination of millions of tourists. But with such popularity comes problems, from overcrowding to overcharging. With these Venice secret travel tips, you will surely be able to do Venice like a pro.
Venice Secret Travel Tips You Must Know
A gondola ride on the cheap
If there’s one iconic image that screams Venice, it’s that of a row of gondolas lined up at St Mark’s overlooking the lagoon. But hop aboard and your wallet will be significantly lighter. Though rates are fixed, they’re still high: a 40 minute punt around the canals will set you back 80 euros for a maximum of six people and another 20 euros on top if you want to see the city by night. Instead, take a ride in a traghetto. At seven points across the Grand Canal, you can hop aboard for just 2 euros. It’ll all be over in a matter of minutes but there’ll still be time for that all important selfie.
Beat the queues with a timed ticket
Even in low season, queues to visit the Doges Palace can stretch in seemingly endless lines across St Mark’s Square. If you can, pre-book a Secret Itineraries Tour; as this costs the same as general admission and allows you to skip the line. It runs at certain times, so check the palace website to choose the most convenient time. If you can’t get on a tour; pick a weekday and get there before the cruise ship passengers and groups do when the palace opens at 8.30am. But buy your ticket at nearby Museo Correr and you won’t have to wait with the masses. Definitely keep these Venice secret travel tips in mind to save you a lot of time and to avoid the crowd.
Pick the right view
Climbing up the campanile or bell tower at the edge of St Mark’s Square is a popular attraction, but you won’t be on your own. Instead, hop on a vaporetto across the lagoon; it’s a short hop to the church of San Giorgio Maggiore. It cost just 6 euros to ascend the lift to the top of its tower, a saving of 2 euros over its more famous neighbour, and when you get to the top, you’ll be able to include the Campanile di San Marco in your view. Time your visit carefully to coincide with the bells chiming the hour.
Don’t sit down
If you want to sip an espresso in one of the city’s cafes; stand at the bar to enjoy it at a fraction of the price. When you’re ready to venture out, note that the historic core of Venice is compact enough to walk so unless you need to sit down, you won’t need to worry about hopping on a boat unless you’re off to one of the city’s islands like Murano, Burano or Torcello. But the back alleys can be confusing, so take one of the city’s free walking tours to wander the maze with someone who knows how to avoid the dead ends. Of course, getting lost can be part of the fun, so don’t be put off venturing alone; even at night it’s safe to do so.