36 Hours in Venice | Things to do and places to eat

by - February 21, 2020


I’m pretty sure Venice is on most people’s bucket list. If it isn’t, it definitely should be a place you visit before you die. It’s a phenomenal city built on stilts over the Adriatic Sea in northern Italy. There are more than 100 small islands that make up Venice and they are all connected by bridges. There is almost like a one-way system as you often have to go around other islands. Through the middle of Venice is the Grand Canal which is what the river Thames is to London. There are only three bridges that cross the canal so be sure to plan your journey when navigating the islands. It's not as simple as crossing the road.

Venice is a beautiful city and is absolutely stunning during the day and night. There is something calming about being surrounded by water and watching the current bob. The Venice film festival was on so we took the boat out to Lido where it is held. Timothée Chalamet was there for his screening of The King. Unfortunately, we didn't get to see him.

Where to stay in Venice…

Venice can be really expensive, but it can also be done affordably. Mestre is located on the mainland and is at the end of the road that’ll take you to the Venice islands. It is often cheaper to stay here and travel into Venice will cost you no more than €3 on the bus or train. My friend and I stayed in a small one bed AirBnB not far from Mestre station.


Travelling in Venice…

Travelling around and between the islands can get quite expensive. I'd recommend buying a three-day pass at the train station. It came to €30 each. The pass allows unlimited travel around Venice and access to all the museums. You can ride the Vaporettos (water buses) and have a mini-tour of the main islands and surrounding islands.

What to do…

There are lots to do in Venice. Expect lots of walking around, exploring and getting lost. When you first arrive, take your time getting to explore what’s around you. There are lots of narrow passageways but they all have signs pointing you in the direction of the Rialto Bridge and St Mark’s Square.

Doge’s Palace is stunning not only from the outside but inside too. The palace dates back to 1340 and was residence to the supreme authority of the former Venetian Republic (Doge). It can get really busy during the day but the crowds lighten in the evening. We went in the evening and it felt like we were the only ones there. You can get in free under the travel pass I mentioned above or pay for entry.

During your stay, I’d recommend visiting the Murano and Burano islands. They are about 20 minutes from Venice and are definitely worth the trip. Burano is the furthest island so I’d suggest going there first. You’ll probably recognise it from all the pictures of multi-coloured houses. I read that the houses are in different colours so the fishing men could locate their houses better. Burano has a rich history of lace and there are plenty of shops where you can pick up some lace. Murano is famous for its glass and is something you’ll see all over Venice. When I went, we visited the glass museum. Just a warning if you’re not sure whether to go or not- it mostly contained numerous cabinets of glass. 

If you're looking to escape and the crowds and want to relax on the beach, take a Vaporetto to Lido. It has a long strip of soft sand and looks out into the Adriatic sea.



Where to eat…

We indulged ourselves in dairy-free ice cream and stuffed our faces with pizza. A lot of restaurants around the Venice islands are accommodating to different dietary requirements. We were quite fortunate in being able to buy dairy-free ice cream and also eat a gluten-free pizza and pasta. Just look out for ‘senza glutine’ on the signs. On most days, we would share a pizza for lunch and head back to the flat to make dinner.

Katie Bucknell wrote a post called Gluten-Free Venice and it was really helpful in finding restaurants we could eat at. Restaurants in Venice can be quite expensive but there are tons listed in the post including ones tucked in little alleyways. 

Enjoy your holiday and I hope this post has helped

Love, Aoife xo

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