A few months ago, they proposed the following challenge: organise a travel from three days to two people with a budget of € 750, including flights, hotel and two excursions. We quickly got down to work and, without getting out of that amount, we planned a trip to a great Italian city that we still had pending: Venice.
San Marcos Square from the Dorsoduro
We had always wanted to go to the city of the canals, so we organized a very special and romantic three-day trip. But let's go in parts. First: the hotel. We decided on him Best Western Sant'Elena, which is in the Isola de Santa Elena, at the eastern end of Venice and just 20 minutes walk from San Marco square. An advice: book at least two or three months in advance, because Venice is very touristy and the best hotels fill up very fast.
Best Western Sant'Elena hotel room
Then we hired two activities: «Visit to the Venetian Islands » (€ 20) and «Discover Venice and Gondola Ride » (€ 49). With the first visit in one morning the islands of Murano, Burano and Torcello. With the second we took a walk through the sestiere or San Marcos neighborhood accompanied by a guide and then we took a gondola ride along with four more people. As we were not sure if we wanted to do the gondola ride alone, we chose to do it with the excursion because it is cheaper.
How to get from Marco Polo airport to Venice
The water taxi is the fastest way. It can accommodate up to four people and leaves you at the door of the hotel. It currently has a flat rate to the center of € 110.
Another cheaper option is the 5-Aerobus line to piazzale Rome and then from there on vaporetto or walk to the hotel. The bus takes 20 minutes and costs € 6 (€ 11 i / v). You can also buy a combined bus ticket and vaporetto for € 12, valid for 90 minutes. Bus tickets can be purchased at the vending machines at the airport or at the terminal box office.
Anyway, it is always advisable to consult the hotel for advice on the best transport option. In our case, we were advised to take the Alilaguna water bus, which was the most direct to reach the hotel. Alilaguna has two lines of water buses that leave every hour, so it is important to check the schedules. The single ticket costs € 15 and the round trip € 27.
Vaporetto stop and closed ticket office
How to get around Venice
The best way to get around Venice is on foot, but if you have to move from end to end you can use the vaporettos, which are the water buses of Venice. They are expensive, because the single ticket costs € 7 get off wherever you get off. There are also 24-hour tourist tickets (€ 20), 48 hours (€ 30), 72 hours (€ 40) and one week (€ 60). The banknotes of vaporetto they can be bought at the kiosks, at the ticket offices of the stops (that they have) or at the same vaporetto. There is service vaporetto night, although the frequency of passage is much lower and not always stop at all stations.
Is It is advisable that you get a good map of the city, since it is usually quite labyrinthine. A good application for the phone or tablet is CityMaps2Go (available at iTunes and Google Play). Before going on a trip you can download the map of the city you are going to visit. It does not require an Internet connection and has a very convenient street search engine. It is much better than a conventional map, since Venice is full of alleyways and on paper maps it is almost impossible to locate.
What to see and do in Venice
If it's the first time and you're a few days, I recommend just walking around the city to discover it little by little. The museums are interesting, but better for later. Even so, below I have made a brief list of the essential visits in Venice that we made.
Doge's Palace and St. Mark's Basilica Venice
San Marcos square
It is the most emblematic place in Venice and an obvious one on this list. After taking the pictures and enjoying the atmosphere, it's a good idea. climb to the top of Campanile (€ 8 from 9am to 9pm) to contemplate the views. You can also enjoy the square having coffee and listen to live music on the terrace of Café Florian. The cappuccino costs € 12, but not only do you pay for coffee, but also for enjoying the music, art and beauty of the square.
St. Mark's Basilica
One of the most impressive and beautiful cathedrals I've seen. Decorated in the Byzantine style, which we had already discovered in the Palermo Palatine Capella. The visit is free, so there are always big lines. One way to avoid the queue is to enter with one of the organized visits or at the Venice tourist office. Another way to avoid queues and without paying is going to mass. We went by chance to the Eucharist that was celebrated on Sunday afternoon and we were almost alone enjoying the decoration of the main nave. There is only one catch and it is that, obviously, during the Mass you have to be respectful and you cannot freely tour the entire basilica.
Interior of the basilica of San Marcos
The Rialto Bridge
It is one of the most famous bridges in Venice and for a long time the only point where the Grand Canal could be crossed on foot. As the Florence bridge VecchioIt has stores and is almost always crowded with people.
Tour the Grand Canal from end to end in vaporetto
From the island of Santa Helena we get on the vaporetto number 1, which stops at all stations, and we travel the Grand Canal in an hour-long journey. He vaporetto It happens very often, so it is worth waiting for a pass that has seats in the front. It is the best way to enjoy the Grand Canal.
Vaporetto on the Grand Canal
Enjoy the art of Venice Biennale
Art, cinema, dance, music, architecture ... Venice is more alive than ever thanks to The Biennale. This art exhibition is held every two years, except for the cinema, which is annual. It is usually concentrated in the gardens of the Biennale, but there are also many exhibitions scattered throughout the city. If you travel to Venice during La Biennale I recommend that you visit their website to inform you about what activities are scheduled on those dates.
Venice Biennale Exhibition
Get lost literally in the neighborhoods of Castello, Cannaregio, Santa Croce, San Polo and Dorsoduro.
Especially for the most remote areas, which are usually the least visited. Thus, you may even find yourself alone in some places. Don't look for anything in Venice, save the map, perdeos wandering its streets and canals, and Venice will find you.