For us Venice is the ultimate couples destination. You can stroll side by side as you wander down some of the city’s back alleys. Or you can people watch as you sit at one of the many canal side bars whilst sipping Prosecco or cocktails. The city just oozes romance, from the lapping canals to the decadent buildings. Venice is a must see for any couple.
Getting to Venice is easier than ever with a lot of budget airlines flying from the UK and all over Europe to Marco Polo Airport. One of the highlights of our flight was getting a birds eye view as we flew over the alps before coming into land in Venice.
The airport technically is not in Venice, but on the mainland. From the airport you can either get a bus over the Ponte della Liberta, a road that connects Venice to the mainland. Or if you have the money even better, you can arrive in style with a water taxi. Nothing says Venice than riding around in a water taxi with the wind your hair. Unfortunately we were on a budget so the bus it was.
Where to stay
Accommodation in Venice is expensive. Space is at such a premium here so you will find yourself forking out quite a bit of money for a really small room. Ours was so small in fact that the shower was almost over the toilet and every time we washed, the bathroom would be left soaking. Unfortunately this is just how it is in Venice. We recommend having a look on hotels.com for a deal. The best part is if you sign up to their loyalty programme for every 10 nights you get 1 free, which is not to be scoffed at.
Eating and drinking
One of our biggest tips is to avoid the tourist traps when looking for places to eat in Venice. Definitely avoid the flamboyant restaurants around St Marks Square or the Rialto bridge. We fell for one place and the food was so overpriced and mediocre at best. It is times like this that the guide books come in handy and we had our lonely planet to hand which gave us restaurant ideas for a range of budgets.
The good news is, if you like wine then it is really cheap here. Usually at around €3 a glass wine can sometimes be cheaper than water in Venice. We also recommend sitting in one of the many canal side bars and have some cocktails. It’s so nice just watching the world go by.
The best thing to do is to get yourself a Vaporetto or Ferry Ticket. It really is the best way to get around Venice and some evenings we just stayed on riding along the Grand Canal taking in the views.
Things to do in Venice
Our top tip for Venice is to just walk around and explore. It is the kind of place that you visit and it is just so beautiful that you want to explore every nook, cranny and side street. Some of our top suggestions or places to start though are as follows.
San Marco or St Mark’s Square is perfect for people watching. Just try to avoid the tourist trap restaurants. Ordering a drink and sitting in the square can be costly. So much so that we have heard of people being charged an ambience tax alongside their glass of wine in the square.
One of the squares top sights is of course the Basilica di San Marco. The line can be long to get inside but it really is worth it. Just don’t bring bulky backpacks as you will not be allowed inside with them.
This light pink checkered building near St Mark’s Square is not to be missed. The attic housed a prison that Cassanova himself was held in. There is also a secret passages tour here that we unfortunately didn’t get a chance to do, but it is on our list for next time.
The Bridge of Sighs
This small limestone bridge is one of the most popular in Venice. It was built to move prisoners between buildings, and has been romanticised in literature. It has been said that the bridge was the last view of the outside world for criminals being sentenced to their deaths. As they viewed the world for the last time they would take a final sigh. Although much of this is said to be unfounded. There is also folklore that says if you kiss under the bridge your love will last forever. Considering that the only way to do this is by Gondola some might argue this has been started by the Gondoliers to increase business.
Explore some of the Islands in the Veneto
If you have the time we really recommend getting on the Vaporetto and discovering some of the other islands around Venice, such as Murano, Burano and the Lido to name a few. Have a look at our blog post about this for more inspiration and wanderlust.
Be prepared to fork out €80 between you for this one. I know it is pricey and really touristy but this was actually one of the highlights of Venice for us. You can get a Gondola from several locations around Venice. A lot of people tend to depart from around San Marco, but we decided to hop on around the Rialto. If you are worried about the price you could try your hand at bartering as I know some people have gotten it down to €60 with some gentle persuasion.
The oldest and possibly grandest bridge in Venice is the Rialto. You literally have to jostle your way through crowds of tourists to cross over. Once you are at the top of the bridge you get an amazing view of the Grand Canal. Have your cameras ready for that all important bridge selfie.
These are some of the prominent landmarks in Venice, but believe us they are just starting points. Venice is one of those places you need to get lost in to appreciate. It is best visiting without too much of a plan, and just walking around taking it all in.
This post contains affiliate links. Clicking on these links will be no extra cost to you but we will receive a small commission for any products purchased. We only recommend products that we would actually buy ourselves. We hope you will find some value in these links