If you have been reading my blog since last year you will know that I visited Venice two years ago. I enjoyed it so much that I decided to surprise my boyfriend with a trip there in June 2018. It is such a beautiful, unique place to visit. Hopefully, this gives you some city break inspiration or helps you with your own Venice itinerary.
MONDAY 25TH JUNE
I booked an evening flight to ensure that we got the most out the next few days in Venice. Rather than flying out on Tuesday and only having an afternoon there. We flew from Gatwick South Terminal with British Airways. Once at the airport we had dinner and a drink at Wetherspoons. It wasn’t long after we had finished that we headed to the gate and started boarding. The flight is around two hours, it goes so quickly. I have flown more long-haul flights than I have short haul so it is nice to arrive at your destination within a couple of hours.
Once we got off the plane we had to decide how we were going to get to Venice. You can either get a taxi, water bus or a private speedboat. Last time I got the water bus into Venice and the taxi back to the airport. I had heard that the speedboat is a really great experience and worth paying the extra for, so I decided to just do it. We were not disappointed, it was an amazing experience.
The boat goes really fast from the airport, the moon really nice and bright above us. Then as you approach the canals of Venice the boat slows down and you can stand up and look around. It was a really special, romantic moment that we will both remember forever. If you are interested in doing the same the speedboat cost me around 120 euros. If your hotel has a private dock it will take you straight there, no struggling with your suitcases over bridges. It is also much quicker than the water bus.
TUESDAY 25TH JUNE
We stayed at the Hotel Carlton on the Grand Canal and had breakfast included. Having stayed here on my first visit I knew they do a really good breakfast. They have lots of options from bacon, eggs, toast, croissants yoghurts, fruit etc – you get the idea.
Our first we used to just explore the area and see the main sights in Venice. I would recommend downloading an offline map, we used it most to find places that we had passed and wanted to go back to – for example, restaurants. You will get lost in Venice and that’s all part of the fun. The city is fairly small, you will find where you are meant to be going or somewhere you recognise. It’s nice to know you have your map just in case. Our hotel did give us a paper map but as I said it’s really easy to get directions to specific places on the app.
TIP: There are orange/yellow colour signs that direct you towards big landmarks like the Rialto bridge and San Marco square. They are up high and can be hidden around corners of streets so keep an eye out.
We spent the majority of the day exploring and eating pizza and gelato. Your trip doesn’t have to be expensive – we found a great place that sells huge slices of pizza for 2 euros. What I love about our hotel was they have a rooftop bar, a great way to relax after a day of lots of walking. We were averaging around 20000 steps each day!
WEDNESDAY 26TH JUNE
We got into a routine of waking up and heading down to the hotel for breakfast – you may as well it’s included. Our plan for the day was to get the water bus over to San Giorgio and go up the bell tower. We had heard this was a good place to view Venice from. Last time I went to Campanile di San Marco, the view was beautiful from here but I knew the other could be better as it’s on an island away from Venice.
It was definitely worth going to San Giorgio, the views were absolutely gorgeous. You could see right around the tower and there was a different view from each point. We went straight up into the tower there was no queue. I do not remember queueing that long for Campanile di San Marco. They are both good viewing platforms – it’s all down to your personal choice. If I remember correctly both towers are under 10 euros each.
We headed back to the San Marco area where we had spotted a restaurant earlier in the day. My advice when it comes to restaurants is either plan exactly where you want to go or just take a chance. We found it became so difficult choosing restaurants from the internet – so many people saying it’s really good and also bad reviews. You just have to take a chance.
TIP: Try and eat at places that are not in the main tourist areas. If you want to go to a popular restaurant make sure you reserve a table beforehand.
That evening we were around the Rialto Bridge area and we decided to take a gondola ride. It’s one of those things you have to do in Venice – in my opinion! A gondola costs 80 euros for half an hour in the daytime. 7 pm onwards it costs 100 euros. I absolutely love the sunset and knew if we were going to do it, I wanted it to be at sunset. It was amazing, you can see from the pictures how beautiful it looked.
THURSDAY 26TH JUNE
As you can probably guess we had breakfast at the hotel in the morning. Afterwards, we got our bags ready to check out and left them with the hotel. I always struggle with the last days of holidays. Do you fly home straight away in the morning or spend the day pretty much waiting to leave? It feels like a waste to stay a night to just leave first thing. Let me know what you do in the comments below.
When researching on Trip Advisor before we left I had heard there was a new department store that has a terrace viewing platform. It is called T Fondaco dei Tedeschi. We visited on Wednesday only to be told they were taking bookings only. On the same floor are tablets that you can book a time to visit. So we booked for Thursday, when we got up there, there was pretty much no queue anyway so we went straight in. If you leave this until your last day be sure to make a booking just in case you cant get in. This is probably the best place to view Venice if you don’t like heights.
We spent the rest of the afternoon just wandering around. I tried the We Love Italy – Pasta To Go – I highly recommend it was really good. I have seen a few around, I visited the one near the department store I mentioned above, this was highly rated on trip advisor.
Our flight was at 18.50 so we started heading for the airport in the afternoon. We got the standard water bus back which costs 15 euros each. If you are looking for a cost-effective way to get into Venice, this is the best option. On the plus side, you still get to experience being on the water, rather than travelling by car.
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