If you are traveling from outside of Italy, Venice has its own airport (VCE).
This is a great day trip from Florence. The fast train from Santa Maria Novella station in Florence to Venice takes 2 hours and operates typically under Trenitalia. The main train station in Venice is Santa Lucia. The trip costs 70 euro round trip, but make sure to buy tickets in advance as trips do sell out. To maximize your time in Venice, take the earliest train departing from Florence and the last train back to Florence. The first train tends to be around 8:30 and the last around 17:30.
Different than many other cities, in Venice you will depend on boats. The city is built around canals and can only access certain areas by water taxi or small boat. Purchase a water taxi pass for the day if you are planning on visiting more than one of the islands. A day pass costs about 20 euros. Otherwise, while just exploring Venice, plan to walk most places if not crossing the water.
Staying in the San Marco area will put you within close proximity to many of the main areas in Venice. Other neighborhoods to consider as options include Cannaregio, Santa Croce, San Polo, Dorsoduro, and Castello.
Located a boat ride away from the center of Venice, this is a group of islands that is known for excellent glass making. The islands are linked by bridges and Murano has a completely different vibe and atmosphere than the tourist filled areas in Venice like St. Mark’s Square. The shops in Murano are beautiful with extensive glass products. You will find you do not need too much time here, but provides a lovely change of pace. If you want to spend longer on this Venetian island, there is a factory you can go in to see how some of the glassware is made. You can also watch some glass blowing.
Burano is another island that is part of Venice and most commonly known for the colorful houses that spread across the island. Similar to Murano, it is much less touristy than the mainland area of Venice. Getting to Burano takes more commitment, and therefore draws less tourist crowds as it takes about 40 minutes by water taxi. Consider visiting Burano and Murano together on the same day. First make a stop in Murano, then head over to Burano and when you wrap up visiting both areas, head back to San Marco to explore for the rest of the day. The seafood is very good as well.
Main area of Venice
Main public square in Venice where St. Mark’s Basilica can be found
Modern bridge found in Venice and often controversial
White limestone bridge located behind St. Mark’s basilica
Take a gondola ride through the canals with up to 6 people. The average price is around 80 euros for 30 minutes, but provides a unique Venice experience
Stroll around the little streets of Venice to find a local Italian restaurant. Avoid the restaurants where the employees try to call you into the restaurant and the places with large pictures of the food outside or on the menu. The best spots are the mom and pop restaurants, often family owned, and will not need to summon you in to dine.
Venice is a small city that can be visited in a day or you can easily spend a weekend here. If you like to take your time and want to be able to take advantage of all Venice has to offer, consider visiting for a few nights. Alternatively, if you prefer a faster pace of travel or only need to see some of the highlights in Venice, one-night or a day-trip is feasible.
Like many other destinations, tourists flock to visit Venice in the warm summer months. Although this may be a great time to enjoy the city, if you have flexibility and prefer to avoid crowds, consider going between the months of September and November. The weather will still be nice and the city will be less crowded. Due to its small size, the city can quickly feel overpowered by tourists and can take away from the experience.
Transportation and Accommodations
Things to do and see
Transportation and Accommodations