City Break - Venice

So I have recently turned the ripe old age of 32! And for my birthday my wonderful fiance whisked me off to Venice, Italy, somewhere I have never been before, in fact, I have never been to Italy before and it was just as beautiful as I had imagined.

I've included below some 'first timers' tips on visiting the city, and hopefully they will be of some use to one of you lovely lot in the future, I also got some pretty pictures to share with you too.

"Venice, the capital of northern Italy’s Veneto region, is built on more than 100 small islands in a lagoon in the Adriatic Sea. It has no roads, just canals – including the Grand Canal thoroughfare – lined with Renaissance and Gothic palaces. The central square, Piazza San Marco, contains St. Mark’s Basilica, which is tiled with Byzantine mosaics, and the Campanile bell tower offering views of the city’s red roofs."

Flights - We flew from Manchester airport to Treviso airport which is the closest airport to Venice but isn't the main airport (this is Marco Polo). 

Prices vary depending on where you fly from and to, and when you fly. We paid just over £100 for a return flight and the flight only took 2 hours from Manchester.

Transfers - Private transfers are pricey. I am usually alllllll about the private transfers, but they have a regular coach from right outside of the airport using a company called ATVO. The ATVO desk in easily found in the arrivals lounge and a return ticket costs €20 per person. It takes 30 minutes (traffic depending) and is stress free and simple.

The coach drops you off at Piazzale Roma which is the furthest any vehicle can go into Venice as, you might have guessed it, the only form of transport is by boat or your trusty feet!

Boats/Gondolas - Oh my goodness, the price of going on a gondola is high! I know Venice is known for it's iconic gondola rides but it will set you back around €80 for a short journey, we definitely decided to skip this and wonder around the city on foot.

If you are just looking to get onto the canals to see some of the sites without walking for miles then ATVO also do boats around the city, just like a bus service on the water. Ticket prices vary from €7.50 for 75 minutes or you can buy day passes so you can jump on and off at your leisure.

Food - Oh the food, pizza, pasta, pizza and more pasta followed by endless amounts of seafood and every drink comes with some form of snack, think olives, crisps and cheeses, all washed down with an Aperol spritz - bliss.

There are so many cafes and bars, you will be surrounded with choice of Italian snacks. A slice of pizza as big as your head only costs around €2/3. A great way to grab a bite to eat on a budget and on the go.

Some restaurants can be pricey for main meals so I would recommend wondering down the endless back streets to find the best places to eat, as they say with most places - eat where the locals eat, not in the main tourist areas such as San Marco.

Always check the prices of alcohol before sitting down, some places are reasonable and others are very expensive. We paid almost €10 for a single whiskey in one bar and €13 for 2 pints in another!!!

The glasses of wine below were €3 each and then a side of calamari and prawn skewers for €1 each, this was definitely my type of pub crawl!

Aperol Spritz is readily available everywhere for €5/6 so that was me sorted.

Walking - You will walk until you will want to walk no more. My feet were killing me after three days!

TOP TOP TIP!!! Make sure you have a Google map downloaded for offline use, you will be 100% lost without this and if you don't download it, you will have zero battery on your phone. We walked 30 miles in three days and Venice isn't even that big!

What to see - We didn't make any firm plans at all. We wondered around the streets and alleyways and went into lots of beautiful buildings that were free, or a small fee, to get into.

You will never be far from some magnificent architecture. The breathtaking San Marco Square is iconic, and on the waterfront. You can go to the top of St. Mark’s Basilica for €5 and it's worth it!

Hotels - They are everywhere! And wherever you stay you will more than likely walk the whole of Venice so location isn't too important. We stayed right next to San Marco square at Casa del Nobile and to be honest we wouldn't recommend it due to a few issues (customer service was mostly non existent) however the location was brilliant, a few minutes walk to San Marco.

Overall we had an amazing time in Venice and it is a city to tick off our bucket list.

Would I go back? Yes. However I do feel like I feel I have seen it all. As beautiful of a city it is, I would love to explore more of what Italy has to offer......

Have you ever been to Venice?



  1. Happy belated birthday, it looks like you had an amazing time! I would so love to visit Venice. It's been on my travel bucket list for such a long time now x


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