While fall has arrived in Germany, I keep on day dreaming about Venice – one of the most romantic, picturesque and magical cities. On every corner you turn, you stumble upon another enchanting canal, small bridges and colorful buildings. The city of canals should be on every traveller’s bucket list! With that being said, here are the things that you need to do, when visiting Venice:
1.Go to Piazza San Marco
Piazza San Marco is without a doubt the most iconic spot in Venice. This popular place boosts with attractions like the famous Saint Mark’s Basilica, the Doge’s Palace and the San Marco campanile. If you want to experience Piazza San Marco without the crowds (which is quite impossible), then the best time to visit this place would be early in the morning or late in the evening.
2. Have Cicchetti for lunch
If you want to eat like a local in Venice, then you need to have Cicchetti for lunch. Cicchetti is the Venetian version of tapas. They are being offered as a fried version or with fresh meat, fish or cheese. These bit-sized nibbles are being served in Italian wine bars that are spread all over Venice. They go along well with a glass of local chilled white wine or an Aperol spritz. Enjoy!
3. Have a Boat Tour
It is a no-brainer that Venice is best explored on water. Instead of riding the typical gondola that Venice is known for, I decided to join a boat tour. The 2-hour long tour started at Piazza San Marco. Our small group and our tour guide took off in a luxurious speedboat, cruised down the Grand Canal and explored smaller canals and hidden spots. At the end of the boat tour, we went on top of the bell tower on San Giorgio Maggiore Island. The tower boosts with a beautiful panoramic view over Venice. The tour is not only great a way to escape the crowds, but you will also enjoy hearing the little anecdotes that are being told by a local. I can recommend the tour to anyone, who looks for an authentic way to see and experience Venice from the water.
4. Make a day trip to Burano
One of my favorite memories from my Venice travels, is my day trip to Burano. Burano is a little island that is known for its colorful houses. It takes about 40 minutes from Venice to arrive in Burano. If you have spend enough time in the city of canals, then you need to visit this happy place. Besides Burano, you can also visit Torcello and Murano, which is known for glass-blowing. You can reach all these islands by vaporetto.
5. Drink a Bellini
The Bellini cocktail that has its origin in Venice, is a mixture of sparkling white wine and pureed white peaches. The drink is best enjoyed when sipping it along a canal and watching the gondolas passing by. Cheers!
6. Cross the Rialto Bridge
The Ponte di Rialto, as it is called in Italian, is probably the most famous bridge in Venice. It is situated in the heart of the city and spans over the Grand Canal. The Grand Canal is the biggest canal and the most important waterway. For beautiful (and quite romantic) views, cross the Rialto Bridge during sunrise (the most peaceful time in Venice) or sunset.
7. San Giorgio Maggiore
Head over to one of the least visited islands, to San Giorgio Maggiore. The small island is located across the lagoon of Piazza San Marco. Climb atop of the impressive bell tower and gaze upon this lively city. PS: There is an elevator inside the bell tower, so you don’t have to worry about climbing stairs.
8. Watch the sunset
There is only one thing that makes Venice even more magical: a colorful sunset. While most tourists are leaving the city in the early evening, sunset time is the most magical hour in Venice. The setting sun is glowing, the city seems peaceful and tranquil and resembles a true fairytale. Although there a many locations to watch the setting sun, I found that the Hilton Skyline Bar was probably the best to watch the city being bathed in gentle light. On another note, it does also serve the most delicious cocktails.
9. Visit quiet districts
I don’t know about you, but I find it pretty exhausting to be in a place that is constantly crowded. That made me escape to the lesser known districts, hence the quiet places in Venice. Wandering the neighborhoods of San Polo, the student district Dorsoduro, the Jewish Ghetto or Castello will make you appreciate Venice even more. And things that you definitely won’t find there are big hordes of tourists and overpriced restaurants and shops. If you want to escape the crowds in Venice, then read this!
10. Get lost
Last, but not least: get wonderfully lost in Venice! It is simply impossible to get not lost, because Venice is a maze of endless narrow alleyways and canals. However, getting lost will lead you to quiet canals, local spots and hidden gems. So, don’t bother yourself trying to find the right path, it probably won’t happen (trust me) and there is nothing wrong with that!
Tell me, what did you do in Venice? What are the things that you would add?
Thank you to Walks of Italy for the Venice Boat Tour. The opinions on the blog are as always my own.