Beautiful view of traditional Gondolas on famous Canal Grande with historic Basilica di Santa Maria della Salute in the background in romantic golden evening light at sunset in Venice, Italy
Beautiful view of traditional Gondolas on famous Canal Grande with historic Basilica di Santa Maria della Salute in the background in romantic golden evening light at sunset in Venice, Italy

Michael's tips for getting around Venice

Venice – Tips for getting around 

In March of 2022, our very own Commercial Executive Michael took a trip to Venice to visit a few of our hotel partners and delve deeper into this famous Italian city.

Venice is famous for being a city of canals. In fact, there are no roads at all past Piazzale Roma, meaning you never have to worry about driving or traffic. Instead, all public transport is in the form of waterbuses called ‘vaporetto.’ A single ticket costs €7.50*, whilst a day pass costs €20*, going up by €10* each subsequent day, so if you plan to use the vaporetto more than a couple of times a day, it is well worth buying a 1, 2- or 3-day pass. Significantly more costly, but offering a direct route, are  the water taxis, which are readily available in the key tourist hotspots.

An iconic vaporetto to catch is Line 1. Departing from Piazzale Roma at the entrance to Venice, meandering down the Grand Canal, and if you stay onboard taking you down Venice Lagoon all the way to Lido di Venezia. This trip gives you a great introductory feel for the city and some signature views of some of Venice’s most scenic tourist spots: Chiesa di San Simeon Piccolo, Rialto Bridge, Palazzo Grassi, Ponte dell'Accademia Bridge, Basilica di Santa Maria della Salute, and Palazzo Ducale to name a few.

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Do not worry if you have weak sea legs as it is more than possible to explore the whole of Venice by foot, utilising the thatched maze of walkways, narrow alleyways, and many bridges to navigate wherever you need to go. A walk from the train station Stazione di Venezia Santa Lucia to Piazza San Marco at the other side of the city can be completed in 30 minutes, although you will want to stop along the way to take in the sights and sounds and take some holiday snaps.

When you think of Venice, the first thought that may pop into your head are the famous gondolas, serenely gliding around the endless canals, highlighting a secret side to the city that is not immediately obvious from the footpaths. Gondoliers can be found all around the city, eager and ready to take you on a ride. The route you take and the sights that you see, will entirely depend on where you embark on your journey, so if you have got something specific in mind, just ask the gondoliers who will be happy to help and guide you to the relevant starting location. 

Gondola rides are price-fixed through the city, with a 30–40-minute ride costing a flat €80* per gondola during the day, so be sure not to pay above the current standard. Alternatively, you can buy an excursion which will group you with other visitors, sharing the cost and making the ride cheaper.
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If you are not so keen on taking a full gondola ride, and just want to sample to experience, there is a little-known gondola you can take, one of the last remaining public gondola rides in the city. For just a couple of euros each ride, you can take the short hop across the Grand Canal from the San Marco sestiere (district) to the Dorsoduro sestiere, saving a 20-minute walk or a vaporetto ride.

Dorsoduro is the city’s university district, and the contrast with the rest of the city is stark, as you will tend to find less crowds, more reasonable dining prices, and a lot more of a local flavour and feel in this area. As you wonder around the streets, you can stumble upon the Squero di San Trovaso, where new gondolas are constructed, and damaged ones are repaired.

Eager to start exploring Venice, look at some of our recommended hotels or tours to make the most of your trip. Ready to book or have any questions?

* Prices are correct as of March2022

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