My first solo abroad trip was to Venice, everyone I spoke to told me it was to expensive over there, food, hotel etc. Unless you go there and see for yourself, don’t always trust what everyone else is saying, heck me included.
Avoid the water taxis, I haven’t been to Venice for a while but when I went one April, the journey to a neighbouring island was the best part of 60 euros, that wasn’t a return trip neither, at this present time I can’t imagine it hasn’t gotten any cheaper. I only had 80 euros a day spending money so you can imagine I wasn’t about to go crazy with it.
Even in April the weather was warmer than expected, the evenings were cold and windy.
I would be up at about 7 each morning, had my breakfast which was mostly cereal and pastries. After taking a bread roll to munch on I walked to the main square. You will hear this many times and I will say it again. Unless you have won the lottery or you have money burning a hole in your pocket, don’t eat or buy anything from the main square, its really not worth it, you will find the same food and purchasable elsewhere for half the price. If you want to go in or around landmarks and churches, either get there really early or prepare to wait a pretty long time, this was during April so imagine what it would be like when the temperature really picks up.
Restaurants especially you will need to go window shopping. You stop by one restaurant, you want a simple cheese and tomato pizza, 15 euros, not bad. You go by another restaurant, same pizza, 10 euros. Window shopping is essential in Venice, unless you want fine dinning all the pasta, pizza etc will taste the same no matter where you eat, as long as it doesn’t come from a garage or somebodies back porch.
No matter how many maps you bring with you, at some point you will get a little lost, well I did anyway. You will find a lot of the streets have the same name but will lead you of to different places. Unless your Italian is good, I`ve always considered best to ask the locals for directions, there is always a chance of being mugged or taken advantage of wherever you go, especially abroad, you read the news but you never think it will happen to you. Hopefully it never will, but you must always be on your guard.
Venice is famous for its glassworks, if you are able to take one of their finest glass hanging lights home, I envy you so much. Be sure to go over to the glass blowing island, you can either take a boat trip or use the water bus service. The water bus service is great once you understand where you are going and the times. Like I said before it’s me, I do struggle with these things.
I do prefer to travel solo, but I understand more than most do not, it can’t seem a little scary at times, you do feel the comfort of being round someone else when it comes to going somewhere new.
Unlike most places, Venice won’t be around forever, on average Venice sinks 1 to 2 mm a year. Its beauty wont last forever like most places. That is why I encourage people to travel there sooner rather than later, cause one day it won’t be there.
One last thing, the gondola boats. Yes they are expensive but they are so worth it, mid afternoon and evenings will be the busiest times, so try to go as early as possible, you can imagine they will get more expensive as the day goes on.