Venice was our first taste of Italy, and it ticked all of the boxes for us in terms of food, culture, atmosphere, and gorgeous sights. Here is a little guide & recommendations to this gorgeous city that can apply for those on a bit of a budget this summer, and those also who aren’t!
Where to stay:
With a lot of the accommodation directly inside of Venice being rather expensive, we decided to stay just outside of Venice at a highly rated hostel called Camping Jolly Venice. Our accommodation was a large canvas style tent with dorm beds, but we loved all of the facilities in this complex, especially the pool which was perfect to come home to after a long and hot day of exploring Venice! Camping Jolly also had an on-site supermarket, bar, and and kitchen with a range of delicious and well priced meals - we had a great time and would totally stay here again!
Although we were outside of Venice, it was a really easy 20 minute bus ride into the main hustle and bustle - buses would come every 15 minutes, so you were never waiting long to get back home or into the city.
Otherwise, if you have a few more pennies to spend, check out Air BnB for a range of wonderfully placed apartments within Venice, most offering incredible views of the streets and canals below!
Where to eat:
With so many choices, your options for dining out in Venice are endless - we wouldn’t necessarily recommend one place over the other, but make sure you compare menu’s, prices, food serving sizes (we always love eye-balling other people’s meals before sitting down!), and whether the cafe has a nice view of your surroundings!
Our favourite was even just buying the street food (generally pizza’s, focaccia’s, and gelato!) and then sitting along one of the canals watching the world go by.
Bacareto Da Lele - this little hole-in-the-wall bar was our go-to for having a wine or quick little bite to eat on the go! With wines starting at 60cents, and little sandwiches and cheese platters from around 1.50 euro, this place is a must! Right nearby the canals, this place is always full of locals crowding around outside and sitting on the nearby steps enjoying their afternoon wine & snacks.
What to see:
You can spend a full day and then some just wandering through all of the streets in Venice, this was the best way that we came across quieter areas, cute bridges, and gorgeous canal streets.
Along the way you are sure to come by lots of little bars and cafe’s with endless choices to stop for lunch or dinner at. Our best advice to you would just be to allow yourself to get lost in the town and you are sure to have a wonderful time!
Another must-see is the Saint Mark’s Basilica - this is located in Sant Mark’s square and not to be missed! The intricate detail in this place is just amazing, and you can also enter the bottom area for free, however if you want to go up the top there is an extra fee to be paid (and no photographs inside are allowed).
As we had a few days in Venice, we took a few day-trips to the nearby islands, two of our favourites were Lido Island, and Burano.
Lido Island - only 30 minutes by ferry, we went to Lido as it is known for having one of the only beaches in the Venice area where you are able to go swimming. We also were lucky enough to participate in a highly recommended cooking class in Lido with Acqualino! To read more about this and see photographs from our time, check out our seperate blog post link here - Cooking class on Lido Island, Venezia .
The Lido beach was a perfect spot to spend a sunny afternoon, with both public and private beach areas, as well as self-serve pizzeria nearby.
Burano: Burano had been a day-trip recommendation from many, and we understand why! It was close to one of our favourite days spent in the Venice area, and it was easily accessible via ferry which comes quite regularly every 15 minutes or so, (you will need to take a ferry from Venice to Murano, and then ferry from Murano to Burano). The total ferry time from Venice to Burano will take you around 45 minutes, and as soon as the water bus approaches the town you will be able to see the beautiful bright coloured homes and buildings! For us, Burano was like a mini-Venice, there are still lots of canal’s, bridges, markets, restaurants, pizzeria’s, gelateria’s, and shops - but just without all of crowds! We loved how colourful this place was, and spent ages wandering around the streets taking photographs, as was everybody else! You probably only need a few hours here, but we still recommend as a well-worth trip!
Getting around to the different nearby islands was great fun, but can be expensive with each trip costing 7 euro each way! If you plan on making more than 2 stops in one day, it is worth your while to purchase a 1 day travel card for 20 euro which includes all buses and water buses
As like many spots in Europe in summer, streets are busy and crowded, if you’re looking to escape this, then get up EARLY and bring your camera! As soon as it hits around 10am the place is completely packed and will stay this way until late!