Best Venice, Italy excursions
Shuttle Boat from Venice Port to City Centre or Lido SME
Ride the canals on an enchanting journey from the Venice Port through the alluring waterways of the...
Venice, Italy expert cruise advice
Not sure where to go for great gelato, ice cream, and frozen treats? We scoured the Western Mediterranean ports to find fantastic choices for your next cruise.
This small restaurant in the Centro Storico district is where, after many visits to the Eternal City, we fell in love with Rome for the first time.
Venice floats in the Adriatic like a painting come to life. Here's our list of the best things to do in Venice including must-see sites and restaurants.
Many cruisers head off to see Pompeii, Capri, or the Amalfi Coast. These are good choices, but you can also spend a memorable day in Naples itself.
Where can you get Turkey’s iconic desserts when you’re in Istanbul? Surprise! One of the city’s oldest and best pastry shops is right near the ship terminal.
Map of Venice, Italy
My favorite city of all time. If you want to do a Gondola Ride, DON’T spend 100 or 150 euros per person on a cruise excursion. You can find your own throughout the city for 80 euros TOTAL for both of you!!!! They are everywhere. Easy to find and their prices are listed. 80 euros before 7 pm. 100 euros after 7 pm.
Venice is fantastic. If you stay in Venice itself and want to be near things but far enough away that you aren’t bothered, stay at the Aqua Palace. Double windowed rooms that are HUGE with great bathrooms and amenities. We had a room overlooking the canal, and the gondolas parked right outside but we never heard a sound unless we opened both windows. Don’t take a water taxi - just take the vaparetto as it’s much less expensive and has many stops. It’s not a hassle with luggage either from the airport - they help you with those things. We found that traveling that way got us in with the locals as well, which we always like to do. We found everyone to be very nice and had no bad or rude interactions as others have posted. When traveling outside your own country, especially in a crowded space, you have to realize that you’re a visitor there and that it disrupts their daily lives for you to be there. Yes tourist dollars are immense, but it’s not all fun for the locals. Go to: San Marco, Doge’s Palace, Murano for a few hours, eat at an out of the way back street cafe, take the gondola ride (€80 and worth it), and La Fenice. There are tons of churches and such and all are beautiful. Just explore and enjoy!!
~ Venice (pre-cruise) – We arrived in Venice the day before the cruise around 9:00 a.m. After taking our luggage to our hotel, we purchased a 24-hour ACTV (public transportation) pass for 20 euro. This was good for all buses, local trains, and vaporettos (public water taxis), and was really easy to use. I recommend downloading the MyPass Venezia app before you go, and then just purchasing from there. (You can also purchase the cruise port People Mover ticket from there for 1.50 euro.) We just showed it to the driver on the bus, and then when we got to the water taxi stop, we had to go to the machine, hold it up to a scanner, and have it print us a paper ticket to use for the rest of the day. We didn’t spend time on actual Venice that day; we used the pass to boat-hop to Murano (famous for glass-blowing), Burano (famous for lace-making), and Torcello (first place Venetians settled in the 5th century, and has a church dating back to the 600’s, plus a 12th-century bell tower that you can climb for 5 euro). We loved all of them, but especially Burano and Torcello, because they weren’t very crowded. Highly recommend visiting these places if you have time, and it was a good way to stay awake after traveling all night. You can also take a more formal tour to all 3 islands for around 20 euro, but you’ll have to pay to get to wherever that leaves from, and our passes included that transportation, plus gave us more flexibility on time. We used Google Maps to figure out where to go, and it told us exactly which boats and buses to take. ~ Venice (post-cruise) – We had saved St. Mark’s Square and the Grand Canal for the end of the trip, so after we left our luggage at our hotel, we took the hotel transportation back into Venice and bought vaporetto tickets (7.5 euro each way) for the Grand Canal. Those are crowded (as is the whole St. Mark’s area), but a nice inexpensive way to see a lot in a short time. At St. Mark’s Square we first went to Hard Rock Café for lunch, and then went to St. Mark’s Basilica, which is free if you don’t mind standing in line (it looked long but moved quickly so we only waited about 20 minutes), and then the campanile (bell tower), which has an elevator and cost 8 euro to go up. It was well worth that for the amazing views, and there was no line when we were there. After that we went to the Rialto Bridge, and on the other side was more tourist shopping. Then the others wanted to sit and have a beer, so I walked on my own to the Jewish Ghetto, which I’d been wanting to see. This was the area of Venice in which Jewish people were forced to live by the government of the Venetian Republic starting in 1516. (The English word ghetto is derived from the Jewish ghetto in Venice.) It starts at the Ponte delle Guglie (bridge), and actually had locked gates back then. In 1797 the Venetian Republic was dissolved by the French army of Italy, ending the ghetto's separation from the city. Today, the ghetto is still a culturally active center of Jewish life in Venice, although only a few members live in the ghetto. It was really interesting to see, and nice to get away from the crowded tourist areas, but sad to think about the history. If I’d had time, a tour would have been helpful to get even more out of it, but it was still interesting to see the buildings, people, and stores with Menorahs and related artwork. It should have been about a 20-minute walk, but I stopped to take quite a few photos, so it was longer, but I enjoyed getting out of the crowds and seeing a different area of Venice. On my way to the Ghetto, I’d seen a really cute restaurant with red checkered tablecloths both inside and out called “Al56zerootto,” so we all decided to eat dinner there. It was very good, with lots of culinary options and great service, and seemed “authentic.” The address is 30131 Venezia – Cannaregio 5608 Campiello Riccardo Selvatico, in case anybody is interested in trying it.
Visited: Aug 18, 2019
It'sVenice... need i say more. A city like no other.
Visited: Mar 27, 2017
We came to Venice a day early and it was just amazing. We wish we had more time here.
Visited: Oct 12, 2019
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