TRAVEL GUIDE: VENICE, ITALY
This post is sponsored by Expedia Group! Thank you for supporting my partnerships.
As you can see from my recent travels, Italy is one of my favorite places to go and I’m so excited to share about one of my new favorite places, Venice! This magical city on the canals really blew me away about how much I loved it.
When we decided on going to Venice, the first step was tracking prices on the Expedia app! This has been my go-to travel tool on getting the best prices for my flights. I also love being able to bundle and book both my flight and hotel or VRBO together, plus earning OneKeyCash on all my bookings! Nothing better than getting multiple rewards from credit card points to OneKeyCash when traveling!
Now sharing all of the tips, tricks and places you can’t miss during your next visit to Venice!
HOW TO GET TO VENICE
We flew from New York to Milan and then took the train straight to Venice. A long travel day but pretty seamless once you make the train!
Once you arrive to Venice, it’s boats and walking only! We took the public ferry when we first arrived, which was very easy to grab and only took a few minutes to get to our stop. For our return back to the train station, we scheduled a water taxi to pick us up. While this was the more luxe way to get around, it was also the most expensive at 100 Euros for about a five minute ride so definitely recommend only using a water taxi when you really need!
Venice is of course famous for their gondola rides as well. This is such a fun way to get a small tour of Venice and can be found all along the canals. We found ourselves walking the most and definitely recommend mapping before so you can route your walks via the larger bridges to get around. Definitely a tricky place to get around so get ready to get your steps in and prepare in advance!
WHEN IS THE BEST TIME TO VENICE?
While most travelers visit during warm weather, it also can be an extremely crowded time to visit. I’ve shared before tha September (like when I went to Taormina this past year!) and later is my favorite time and I was pleasantly surprised how much I loved visiting here in the winter. Expect less crowds, mild temperatures (we dined outside many times!) and cozy nights with a big bowl of pasta! Highly recommend the off season for this magical and tiny city.
WHERE TO STAY IN VENICE
Whether you decide to go the VRBO route (we stayed in the San Polo area) or hotels, Venice has lots of amazing options! Some favorite hotels that were recommended below!
We dined at this super chic boutique hotel (more details below!) and would love to come back and stay in one of the modern and colorful rooms.
Another favorite hotel we stopped in for a drink, The Gritti Palace is ultra luxe and would be such a special place to stay on a honeymoon or anniversary trip.
Unfortunately this hotel was closed during our visit for the off season but I’ve heard amazing things about it, especially their spa which is worth a day trip visit!
BEST THINGS TO DO IN VENICE
Shop For Venetian Glass
I always try to buy a souvenir that is local to that city and Venice is known for their stunning Venetian glass. While you can go to Murano, one of the islands in Venice where all the glass is made, you can also purchase some beautiful pieces on the main island.
I ended up getting a carafe from Laguna B., which makes such unique and colorful glassware. I wanted to take it all home with me! Other local favorites? Velvet slippers, stationery, risotto and more!
Take A Gondola Ride
A must when in Venice! Take a sunset ride along the canals and make sure to have cash on hand when looking for one along the water.
Visit The Peggy Guggenheim Museum
A gorgeous and modern art museum located right on the water and filled with pieces from Picasso, Warhol and more.
Venice is full of history and breathtaking architecture so one of our favorite parts was just walking around and exploring! We loved absorbing the city and all it’s magical streets and spots.
WHERE TO EAT AND DRINK IN VENICE
Our favorite meal of Venice has to go to Da Ivo. This charming restaurant had everything you want when dining in Italy. Old school feel, incredible staff and of course, delicious menu. We ordered almost all of their specials and a few favorites off the menu and everything was impeccable. Next time, we’re coming via gondola to their waterside entrance!
The design of this chic hotel is what drew me to have lunch at this new hotel but the food and drinks were so worth the visit. This was the perfect place to relax after a long morning of walking and enjoy a negroni or two and a warm bowl of linguine alle vongole.
It’s a must to start all mornings in Italy with a pastry and cappuccino. We came back to this tiny pastry shop (one of the oldest in Venice) twice because of its dreamy pastries and life-changing cappuccinos, all eaten standing up around the counter!
Our first dinner of the trip was at this cozy seafood spot and was the perfect place to kick off our trip. Venice’s cuisine is definitely seafood forward so get ready for lots of fresh and delicious options during your visit.
The iconic Harry’s Bar is where the bellini was invented and is a must visit while in Venice. A tiny and discreet spot, come here for a pre dinner drink in the cozy leather booths.
I love a hotel bar, especially in Europe, and this luxurious spot was the perfect place to grab a pre dinner drink. During warmer weather or daytime, sit along the water on their gorgeous deck or come inside to the ornate bar for an extra strong martini.
Another winner for dinner, this spot felt like you were in someone’s home, a favorite feeling when in Italy. Everything was incredible but the winners were the stuffed zucchini blossoms and the lasagna that I’m still dreaming about.
It’s all about wine lunches with cicchetti in Venice, which is their version of tapas. This counter only wine bar was the ideal place to spend the afternoon by drinking and eating outside along the water with a glass of natural wine in hand.
Another adorable wine bar, this was our first spot of the trip where we recharged with negronis and a charcuterie board.
This modern-style cocktail bar located inside an 1850’s historical Venetian cafe was a gorgeous spot to grab a late night drink, which can be tricky to find in Venice!