Arriving prepared to visit Venice? In my opinion, it is the right way to fully enjoy the city. So here are 5 top tips for visiting Venice
Are you looking for 5 top tips for visiting Venice? I’m your person.
In life, among the other thousand things I do, I welcome guests who arrive in Venice. When I meet them, I study them a little, I start to say something, I ask if it is their first visit or not, but then I let them ask. I would say, I let the dialogue flow.
Venice is one of those “dream trips” to do at least once in a lifetime. This is definitely true. But it is equally true that this desire, this drive, is not always supported by being prepared for the visit.
You realize it from the questions, from the reactions, and sometimes from the amazement of the people. By nature, or by professional deformation (but I think also for a combination of the two things), I always try to leave prepared for a trip. I have already my list of things to see, restaurants where to eat but I also leave ample space for improvisation, to lazy afternoons of reading for example. I seem to me to enjoy the time better.
If you are like me and you want to arrive in Venice prepared, in this post you will find 5 top tips for visiting Venice, to better enjoy the city.
1) Choose carefully the moment of the visit
Visiting the city at this or that time of the year can greatly change the perception you will have of the city itself, of its life, and even the fact that you may like it or not.
December and January are months of relative calm, I would almost say low-season months. Venice is not considered a place to go Christmas shopping although there are very interesting artisans. So if you don’t like crowds, it can be a good time especially if you are interested in the artistic part of the city. Beware of humidity and cold. Some restaurants may have closed for the holidays.
February and March (excluding the two weeks of Carnival) are other moments not so crowded. Here too, pay attention to humidity and cold which are not allies for outdoor visits.
April and May are the months in which the city restarts. The big exhibitions resume, the biennial opens, and there are a lot of school groups around. The days can be wonderful. If you can, don’t come on the weekends which could already be annoying (also due to very noisy and annoying bachelor parties).
June, July, and August are the most beautiful months. If you want to come in this period I recommend June. July and August can be very hot and humid, so hot that you won’t want to leave the house and lose your strength a little. In this case, perhaps alternate visits with a little relaxation on Lido Island, where there are the Venice Beaches.
September is the month when everything happens: festivals, events, exhibitions, and historic regattas. It is an excellent month to visit the city also in terms of climate but be careful of the prices which can be much higher than at other times. If you think about September (and I recommend it) try to book your accommodation much earlier.
October and November close the tourist season in Venice. They are still filled with tons of interesting things to see. Here some problems could be caused by fog and some high water: but even these phenomena have their charm, don’t they? Pay attention to the closure of the Biennale which is usually at the end of November: the city could be quite crowded.
Also read this post with the 5 useful apps to download to live or visit Venice that can be very useful: high water, transportation, and addresses finder (no google map forget it).
2) Read some guidebook or book about Venice
3) Hotel or apartment: the choice is yours (be aware)
Now is the time to book your stay. How to navigate among all the offers? So first of all ask yourself: how close do I want to be to Venice? Am I willing to spend a little less and stay on the mainland or do I prefer to live this experience to the fullest? If you decide to go to the mainland, check the connections even perhaps in the evening when they become less frequent.
If you are interested in learning more about this topic, I leave you an in-depth post dedicated to how to book your stay in Venice.
I don’t want to talk about the fact that the rental apartments by the visitors are actually pushing residents out of Venice. It is a theme that does not only concern the city but many other places in the world. If you’re interested, I suggest you dig deeper into the topic.
Depending on where your accommodation is located, consider whether or not to buy a public transport pass: getting around the city is quite expensive so if you don’t like long walks, I recommend one of the transport passes. You can choose the most convenient one based on your days of stay: if you want to visit the islands on your own, remember that you need at least 3 tickets, so the pass is worthwhile for that day.
4) Search for information about the city
Venice is not New York but I assure you that things happen also here. And when there are big events, you will notice it. It will be even more difficult to book a hotel or find good prices and you may have some difficulty getting around.
The city is not that big and if there are events, getting where you want to go, can become difficult due to detours of the water taxi and so on. Especially when there are shows or events on the water, the routes of the taxi change and you could even miss trains/planes or simply lose appointments for the visits you want to make.
Equally, for events involving the Ponte della Libertà, the bridge that connects Venice with the mainland (one above all the Venice Marathon in October): you could be blocked for hours.
So then, when you’ve decided where to stay, I suggest you have a chat with the concierge or with your host to understand the events in Venice.
5) Book what you don’t want to lose
The busiest months are the central ones of the year but also every weekend from March to October. This is why I advise you: if you have a particular desire, book that museum, tour, restaurant, or experience.
Consider that, for example, as a tour leader I work a lot with annual programming (it is now January for example and I already have calendar dates booked up to December 2023). So if you ask for a tour even a month before, it doesn’t mean that date is available. In museums, booking allows you not to queue and maybe lose hours of visiting (above all, don’t enter already a little tired or annoyed by the wait). In restaurants to eat at the time you want (I hate double shifts, especially when they tell you “there’s only room at 9.30 pm”) and equally for the experiences, choose the times you prefer.
It’s never too early to get organized.
With Welcome to Venice service, you will have the:
- meeting with me and many suggestions on activities to do in Venice
- a glass of wine or a spritz for two people
- city map
- ebook with the events not to be missed in the city.
If you have any questions about your next visit to Venice, I am of course at your disposal: reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Don’t forget to share these 5 top tips for visiting Venice with your friends and family.