AD – This is a collaboration with Jet2.com
Venice. Venezia. Home of the Gondola, gelato and Land of
We were sent away for the weekend by Jet2CityBreaks who offer package holidays as well as city breaks. It was an easy way to make sure our flights and hotels were both sorted in one go!
So, here’s the ultimate itinerary for exploring Venice in three-ish days.
Venice’s nearest airport is Marco Polo, located on the mainland, about 15km away from the island. We flew with Jet2 from Birmingham which is one of my favourite airports to fly from. We had a quick trip through security (though guess who forgot to take aerosols out of her hand luggage…) and then had a compulsory pre-city break alcoholic beverage at Wetherspoons. Our flight set off promptly at
To get from Marco Polo Airport to Venice, you have several options: a local bus, a coach, taxi, Alilaguna or Water Taxi. We got the ATVO coach which cost €15 for a return trip and took 20 minutes to get to Venice. All car and bus transportation stops at Piazza Roma so from there you will have to walk or get a water taxi to your hotel. Our hotel was about a
The coach was the quickest and most cost-effective option for us; A taxi was more pricey, at around €50 one way. The Alilaguna is a water bus and was around €15, but takes about an hour to reach Venice. Water Taxis start at €100 depending on where you need dropping off so this is a better option if you are in a group, rather than a couple and have lots of luggage to transport.
Where To Stay
Venice is very small and it’s easy to reach everything on foot or boat so wherever you stay, you will be well placed. Jet2 have a whole range of hotels they offer as part of their city break packages. We stayed at the Hotel Palazzo Giovanelli which you can book through Jet2Holidays. This was a comfortable 4* hotel which was tucked away in a less touristy area, backing onto the Grand Canal. The hotel offered a continental buffet breakfast, serving food from
When To Visit
March turned out to be the best time to visit Venice. The summer months are hot and busy, but spring time still brings blue skies with a cool breeze, without the addition of several thousand tourists. We were able to roam the city in coats and jeans, but still had a few moments of warmth in the sun where we were able to enjoy a coffee with no coat. The weather couldn’t have been more perfect. In the spring, there is a beautiful haze that descends over the island in the morning and evening. If you wake up early enough, I’m sure you could get some incredible photos.
Our visit coincided with the final weekend of Carnival celebrations which made for an entertaining weekend! Carnival is an annual festival which runs for about two weeks and there are hundreds of events across the city. We saw hundreds of people dressed in full on 16th Century Venetian costume, masks and other crazy outfits. In February and March, San Marco’s square and Rialto turn into a party venue so if you want to immerse yourself in this experience, I’d definitely recommend going for Carnival – it’s probably the one time of year you can wear a Venetian Mask without getting a funny look! Next year (2020), Carnival runs from the 15th – 25th February.
Day 1: Arrival & First Taste of Venice
If you travel with Jet2, you’ll arrive at your hotel around
Day 2: Rialto, Burano, Cannaregio & Cicetti
Get up early and head to the Rialto Fish Market and Fresh Produce Market. Fish is at the heart of Venetian cuisine, as the Lagoon is a rich source of seafood. Rialto Fish Market starts at 7:30am showcasing the harvest from the Lagoon. Local restaurant owners head here to get their catch of the day and buy their fresh ingredients. You’ll find many of the vegetables on the menus of the surrounding restaurants. Warning: The scent of Rialto Fish Market lingers long after the market has closed so if you’d rather not have the smell of fish with your dinner, avoid the bars surrounding the Market square!
Once you’ve wandered
Battle the crowds through San Marco if you dare and grab some street food for lunch. We stopped at Del Moro’s Fresh Pasta, which was the only disappointment of the trip (I didn’t realise it was a global chain, doh!),but it was cheap and served a purpose. I did spot a few local pasta-to-go places, which were a bit more off the beaten track.
Escape the Saturday mayhem and head over the Rialto bridge and get a Traghetto (a €2 gondola) across to Cannaregio. There are plenty of wine bars to sit outside and watch the world go by. We stopped a little off the beaten track at Osteria Enoteca Do Colonne for a glass of red and to see some crazy Carnival costumes!
Head back to your hotel to freshen up for the evening: Its time for pre-dinner
For dinner, book a late table at Cantina Do Spade. It’s a bustling cicetti bar and restaurant that is very popular with locals. The Gnochhi Ragu is incredible and if the swordfish steaks are on the menu, you have to try it.
Day 3: Peggy Guggenheim, Ponte Dell Accademmia & Vino!
You can’t skip a visit to the Peggy Guggenheim gallery. Modern art might not be your thing, but the gallery itself is just stunning: it backs onto the Grand Canal and has some incredible sculptures in the garden. It’s one of
Make sure you head to the Ponte Dell
The famous bridges over the Grand Canal such as Rialto and Ponte Dell Accademmia get very busy. If you want to see the view and get good photos without having to battle through the crowds, get there early in the morning or late at night.
Grab some lunch somewhere fancy – you’re going to be eating cheap for the rest of the afternoon! If fine dining is your thing, you have to try Il Ridotto, a Michelin Star Venetian restaurant near San Marco. For €35 per head, you can get the lunch menu which includes three tapas dishes and a meat or fish dish. Try the Barolo if you like red wine – it will be the most expensive glass of wine you drink all weekend but it’s worth it!
Dedicate your Sunday afternoon to visit as many wine and
For food and gelato, head to Campo San Giacomo dell’Orio. Stop off at the Majer Venezia Wine Bar for a €15 meat platter and a glass of wine – you must try the Chianti Classico for €4 – it was the best wine we had all weekend! Finish off your evening at Gelato Di Natura for the best gelato in Venice and sink into a food coma.
Day 4: San Marco & Palazzo Ducale
Jet2Holidays flights from Venice take off at 6:15pm which means you still get a whole day of exploring the city. On your final day, get up early and brave the crowds of San Marco. Pre-book a place on the
Spend some time basking in the incredible architecture of San Marco’s Basilica and the Campanile Bell Tower. If the queues aren’t too bad, make sure you head inside the Basilica. We never got to go inside in the end because the queue was monstrous, even at
Pick your last stop for lunch wisely: Dai Zemei is a great option for funky, cheap
Safe to say we crammed a LOT into our three and a bit days in Venice. It was so easy to see everything we wanted to as it’s a very petite place. It surpassed all my expectations and I’m so glad I got the chance to experience it at it’s most beautiful, in the spring during Carnival!
I feel like Venice gets a bad rep for being touristy, expensive and smelly but it really is such a beautiful city. We ate cheap (more on that later!), we got lost in quiet spots and sat on secluded bridges and there was only a delicate fragrance of salt water. I’m sure in the summer it feels like a different place, but visiting in the spring or autumn would be the best time to make sure you can make the most of the city and see it as its best. As always I’ve popped a Google Maps below so you can save all of the places we visited
If you’re looking for travel inspiration this year, make sure you check out Jet2CityBreaks. They have some great destinations on offer this year including Prague, Krakow and even New York!
Have you ever been to Venice? What were your highlights?
Here’s a map with all the places we visited in Venice, from sights to eats and useful stuff like hotels and ferry terminals. You can save this map to your places and use it as a basis for your own maps.
I’ve colour coded it for ease: Red is for transport and accommodation; Green for food; Yellow for things to see.
To use the map, open Google Maps on your browser, open the tab on the left-hand side and click on ‘My Places’. Save to your maps to edit. You can download it before your trip for easy access when you’re on your trip.
DISCLAIMER – This trip was in collaboration with Jet2.com. They provided flights, hotel and some of the cost of the trip in return for blog content. This is an unpaid collaboration and all content includes my own thoughts, opinions and recommendations.