Top Five Low-Key Venice Must Do’s
Lucky enough to visit the City of Canals, but not sure what to do and what to avoid. Here are a my top five must do’s whilst in The Floating City.
Ditch The Map
Getting lost in Venice is a must. Provided like me you are already a directionless mishap, keep a map handy in case, however the most fun to be had in the city of water is when you realise you’re actually on the majestic Grand Canal. Every turn and canal will look the same but guaranteed you’ll end up in another district within a 20 minute walk.
€2 Gondola Ride?
Want to experience a Gondola but can’t afford to pay €80 for 30 minutes? Well fear not, there are several hotspots on the Grand Canal that can offer a 5 minute ride for only €2 per person to get you across to the other side of the Canal. Located at two main spots: Ferry Santa Maria del Giglio (Dorsoduro district) or San Toma Ferry (San Marco District) everyday till 7pm in the evening. This is your chance to grab as many photos along the canal but you do ride with another six – eight people so don’t expect anything overly romantic but rather a quick and very rocky boat ride.
Gardens in Venice?
The canals are great to get lost in but eventually if you’re like me you’ll begin to miss the greenery. Heading to I Giardini della Biennale for a day of sunbathing was much needed after exploring what felt like every single canal and alleyway. The gardens also offer jaw dropping views of Venice from a different perspective and a chance to get away from tourist central. It’s suggested to get the Vaporetto (Water bus) from any station along to the Grand Canal along Line 2. The ride will be about roughly 45 minutes. During the boat ride you get to ride under the majestic Rialto Bridge and along the majority of the Grand Canal for roughy €6.50 (single). Small tip: take some snacks if you’re planning to spend the day there as food shops are limited in the area.
Tours are for the Elderly
You’ll get a fair few travel guides that do not recommend tours, however I’m not one of them. Walking tours are probably my go to for any holiday, especially city breaks. There are a variety of free walking tours however I suggest the Venice through the Centuries tour hosted by Venice Free Walking Tour. They offer a variety of tours depending on the area you want to explore. I took the opportunity to explore the area of Dorsoduro in which we had hired an Airbnb. As with all free walking tours, expect a 2.5 hour tour and then your choice as to how much you deem your tour was worth. With this particular tour you get some insta worthy views of St Marks Square from across the Grand Canal.
”Gelato + Wine = Heaven”
What’s that saying? When in Rome, do as the Romans would…Well when you’re in Venice do as the Venetians would: drink wine and eat every scoop of gelato you can get your hands on. With ice cream fairly evenly priced throughout most of Venice central, expect to end up indulging in freshly made gelato in nearly every meal. And if like me you’re a less than adequate wine connoisseur, make sure to get a glass of white to accompany it. Most restaurants/bars offer either house red or white glasses for about €3,50/ €4. Make sure to try the local venetian prosecco, a particular favourite for the locals. Sometimes you’ll even get free nibbles along with it such as crisps, crackers and olives.
All in all I give Venice an 8/10 in terms of popularity, things to do and cost efficiency. With enough canals to get lost in to gorgeous sunset views, Venice is ideal for hopeless romantics or solo travellers.