If you followed along on my recent trip to Europe, after we left Paris (read my guide here!) we landed in Venice. But, before I get into all the juicy details on our 3-day stay let’s talk about what I talk about best: outfits. How gorgeous is this taupe maxi/midi skirt from Chicwish? I was a little hesitant when I had it sent to me (shorts girls and maxi lengths don’t always mix) but I completely fell in love! I knew right away that this skirt had to come with me to Europe. I even planned in advance what city I was going to where it in and I’m so glad I picked Venice. The entire look contrasted so well with the aged buildings and romantic canals. Plus, the weather was perfect for this outfit. A little hot, but not hot enough that the skirt would stick to me.
I kept the look simple and went with my go-to white cami and threw on some sandals. I definitely think this skirt would look so cute with heels (and they would give me some much needed height), but heels were not going to cut it in a city full of stairs and bridges. To top the look off I wore some dainty gold coin necklaces that I’ve been loving lately.
But enough about my outfit, let’s get into all you need to know if you’re planning to visit Venice!
Warning: this was my first time in Venice, so this guide is also aimed at people who have never been before. If you’ve already been to Venice then this might not be the guide for you.
What You Need to Know Before Arriving
Venice is an island and the airport isn’t on it… So, once you arrive you’re going to have to figure out the best way to get from the airport to the island. And depending on where your hotel is, you might now be going to the main island. Luckily, there are people down by the docks who can help you figure out the best way to travel. The most affordable option is a public water taxi. We did this but be warned: it takes forever. We were on it for over an hour and half (use the bathroom beforehand!). A more convenient/more expensive option is a private water taxi. They move a lot faster but will cost a lot more.
Another thing you need to know: Venice is an expensive city. Comparing the prices in Venice to Florence, we spent a lot more. Just keep that in mind when visiting! The good thing is that it isn’t a very big city so you don’t need to spend a lot of time there. You could definitely do everything in two days.
Where to Stay
Like in Paris, we stayed in a nicer hotel than I would’ve picked if I was traveling without them. We stayed at the JW Marriott which was 1. a beautiful hotel and 2. on its own island! We had to take a ferry each morning into Venice and then at night to get back to our hotel. If you want a luxury experience while visiting Venice this hotel is a must.
Obviously I can’t recommend any other hotels because I’ve only stayed at the one, but there were quite a few in Venice itself and they opened up onto canals which would be so pretty!
Venice is a pretty small city (about 3 miles long), but there are still some sites you need to see:
- St. Mark’s Square (let the pigeons land on your arms. It’s such a weird experience but something I’ll never forget)
- St. Mark’s Basilica
- Doge’s palace
- Rialto Bridge
- Gondola ride (pricey but worth it in my opinion)
- Rooftop view of Venice at the Fondaco dei Tedeschi department store (book in advance, we didn’t know you had to and ended up not doing this)
- Gallerie dell’Accademia (I didn’t actually see this, but I’ve heard it’s a great art museum)
Like I said before, Venice is incredibly small so you definitely have enough time to do some island hopping! When we came in on our morning ferry from the hotel, a man who works for the city council of Venice was handing out free tickets to tour the glass-making factory on Murano. My parents wanted to see the blown glass so we were sold! We took a little shuttle over to Murano and toured the factory and showroom. Aside from that though, there’s not much else to see on this island, but the factory taxied us over to another island, Burano.
Burano is GORGEOUS! As you can see from the pictures above, the entire island is full of colorful little houses along canals. It felt like something out of a movie. And, the island is known for its lace-making. I bought a beautiful white, cotton, lace dress (check it out on Instagram) that I adore. They also make other items like table cloths, and the most adorable baby clothes!
In total, we spent about half a day on both islands and then went back to Venice for an afternoon drink and then dinner.
Where to Eat
In complete transparency, Venice didn’t have the greatest food. But, I still have a few recommendations. Something Venice is known for is cicchetti. Around 6pm Venetians like to start bar-hopping and ordering different cicchetti which are little appetizers. Usually they have their cicchetti with a small glass of white wine. If there’s one place I recommend it’s Do Spade, a bar that’s really close to the Rialto Bridge and has great cicchetti! We started at a different one and ended up here, apparently it’s popular with Venetian locals too. I definitely recommend coming early though if you want a seat!
Another recommendation, solely for the experience, is Caffe Florian. It’s extremely pricey for a breakfast spot, but it’s the most famous coffee spot in Venice. I will say, we ate outside and were charged an extra €6 per person for the music… Maybe we should’ve ate inside?
Otherwise, I would definitely recommend looking for less touristy spots to eat. Not only do I think the food will be better, but you’ll probably be paying a lot less. Oh, and I wanted to try Baci & Pasta for lunch, but we never made. I’ve heard great things and a meal should only cost around €7-10!
So, that’s all I have for my Venice travel guide. If you have any other recommendations, please let me know in the comments below!