We’ve just spent a lovely few days in Venice and had a lovely time. Here are some tips from me written quickly while overlooking Barcelona from their Olympic swimming pool which now has a tourist cafe.
We stayed in this super little hotel, a former monastery, away from the hustle and bustle of the tourists, with a private courtyard providing an oasis in the chaos that is Venice:
Get a pass for the water buses – the vaporetto run by ACTV – unless you don’t mind walking miles and miles. We had a three day pass with airport bus transfer. Note the airport bus included is a local bus so can be a squeeze if you have big cases. In fact big cases are a pain anyway unless you’re staying very close to a vaporetto stop. Cobbled streets are no fun on suitcase wheels. Transfer to airport from the bus station took 30 minutes. There are quicker transfer coaches but those are not included in the ACTV tickets.
We purchased vaporetto passes from here: https://www.veneziaunica.it
There’s useful info on use of the vaporettos here: https://europeforvisitors.com/venice/mobile/articles/venice-vaporetto-fares.htm
Single vaporetto tickets are expensive compared to the passes.
Here’s a PDF of the vaporetto routes by the operator ACTV (read the key at the bottom to understand how you know if lines stop at each stop):
The bus station is at “P.le Roma” vaporetto stop.
Private water taxis are expensive €18 to flag one down then €1.80 per minute!
We took a trip to Murano and had some lunch and a beer and a wander round the shops.
We enjoyed pizza and ham and melon (retro!) at Ostaria al Vecio Pozzo, (recommended by Emma from El Borracho), round the corner from there you can get an Aperol spritz before dinner at a bar (it’s one minute from the restaurant) Pizzeria Calle Sechera https://goo.gl/maps/F3q99NTnjwy
Pizza at Al Vecio Pozzo:
Google directions do not seem to work in Venice but you can use it as a map at least.
We loved having beers and cicchetti (Venetian tapas) outside Al Parlamento. Many bars will have cicchetti at a euro or two a piece.
View from Al Paramento:
Go up the campanile tower in St Mark’s square but purchase queue jump (skip the line) tickets from here, making sure you get to the side door and knock precisely at the time on the ticket. https://www.venetoinside.com/attraction-tickets-in-veneto/tickets/st-marks-bell-tower-skip-the-line-entry/
Many places on and near St Mark’s square are hysterically expensive (think €24+ for two espressos). Behind St Mark’s square we had coffee and beer reasonably priced at Osteria Calle 21 https://goo.gl/maps/GrqM5Npq55M2
Behind St Mark’s, go past left of it and hug the side of it to get to the cafe:
The view from Osteria Calle 21:
Gondolas are terrifying and they’ll cost €80 for thirty minutes. I suggest getting one from Santa Sofia gondola station between the Rialto bridge and “Ca’ d’Oro” vaporetto stop. It was suggested to us by our concierge who was lovely. It’s not too busy and takes you past Marco Polo’s house and also the Rialto bridge for a great selfie. If you go for a gondola by St Mark’s the water can be very choppy.
If you want to tip at bars and restaurants just round up a couple of euros. Service is typically Italian so try not to be in a rush anywhere!