"If anything can rival Venice in its beauty, it must be its reflection at sunset in the Grand Canal."
Peggy Guggenheim

With its stunning architecture, hidden paths and alluring canals, Venice is unlike any other city.
This historic Italian city situated across a group of small islands is overflowing with beautiful views and incredible buildings. If there’s one place you should go at least once in your life, Venezia is it.

Whether you plan on staying a couple of days or a few months, your time there is sure to be an unforgettable one. To help you make the most of your trip, I will be sharing with you my itinerary. I spent 5 days and 4 nights in Venezia, a dream come true, but of course everything that I have listed can be done over a shorter or longer period of time. Hopefully this will help make your trip even more memorable.

Day 1:

Our plane landed in Venice Marco Polo Airport at around 3PM. From the airport to Venice Island, you can take a vaporetto (water bus) which costs about 14 one-way or 25 for a return ticket per person. We however preferred taking the bus (ATVO "Venezia Express") straight to Piazzale Roma for only 8 per person. It is a blue bus. If you prefer taking a round-trip ticket, it is only €15. Once we got to Piazzale Roma, we only had to walk about 5 minutes to our hotel located on Santa Croce. The hotel is called Hotel Canal. It offers decent bedrooms for a reasonable price. We only stayed here one night however as we were meant to be staying  in an AirBnB with my aunt and her husband who also came along to Venice. We had a lovely view on the Canal itself and on the Ponte della Constituzione.

The rest of the day was spent strolling around the Canareggio area just over the Scalzi bridge. Here you will find plenty of shops and touristy restaurants although I recommend that you opt for a local one. I say this from experience (Spaghetti Meatballs at €16 with only 4 meatballs). My aunt and her husband ate instead at a nearby local restaurant called Trattoria Dalla Marisa situated on Fondamenta San Giobbe. It is a cosy trattoria serving nice home-cooked meals for good value. The menu is limited but a lot more satisfying than the expensive tourist hot-spots. 

Day 2:

We started our day with breakfast at the hotel. Nothing fantastic but we were still glad to have it. We were to check-into the AirBnB at around 3PM. Having plenty of times on our hand, we spent the morning visiting some of Venice's most famous sights. We visited everything on foot, saving quite a lot in water bus fares. For some of the most beautiful views you should definitely check out:

The Ponte Rialto:

This 16th century footbridge with shops and restaurants crossing the Grand Canal is a must see!

The T Fondaco Dei Tedeschi:

The T Fondaco is actually a retail chain offering duty-free goods but it also has an amazing terrace with a stunning view. 

The Ponte Dell'Accademia:

The Ponte Dell'Accademia is a large bridge crossing the Grand Canal towards its lower, southern end  and linking the San Marco district to the Accademia gallery. This was by far my favourite view of Venice!

All this took us about 3 hours to visit (I took lots of photos) and of course, we did get lost on the way and back to the hotel which is the best way to discover all of Venice's mysterious passageways.
We later checked-into our AirBnB located in the Guglie area on Fondamenta San Giobbe. It was the perfect location, close to all the amenities and attractions and ideal for a large family.
We still had a good few hours before nightfall and decided to fit in one last attraction.

The Libreria Acqua Alta:

A stop at the Libreria Acqua Alta is a must for book-lovers. Because of the constant floods during winter, books are kept in bathtubs, boats and gondolas. Take a photo climbing up the stairs made of books and watch out for all the cute cats!

Day 3:

Day number three was spent at Piazza San Marco, Venice's main public square usually just called La Piazza. Once again, check out some of the amazing views at these locations and take in all the breathtaking architecture:

The Basilica di San Marco:

The entry to the basilica is free however to visit the museum and see the view from the terrace, the price was €5 per person. The inside of the basilica was unlike anything I had ever seen before.

The Campanile:

The Campanile offers one of the most beautiful views of Venice. For only €8 per person, see every angle of the city at a height of 50 meters (160 ft). Don't worry, there is a lift.

We later did one of the most touristy thing you could possibly do which is of course taking a gondola. For just 30 minutes you pay €80. When you think of Venice, you think canals and gondolas. Yes it is romantic and makes for a cute Instagram photo but is it worth it? No. You are better off taking a vaporetto.

After that, we made our way to the other side of the Ponte dell'Accademia to get a closer look at the beautiful Basilica Di Santa Maria Della Salute.

After experiencing an outbreak of the plague in 1630, the Republic of Venice built a church dedicated to "Our Lady of the Health". The humble interior bears references to the Black Death. Santa Maria Della Salute has become an important addition the Venice's skyline. 

Day 4:

Day 4 was unfortunately cut short for us after my aunt got her purse stolen whilst buying gelati for everyone. We did however manage to buy some souvenirs on that day. I bought myself a gondola snow globe. In the evening, we had dinner at a lovely Italian restaurant called Al Brindisi. Our waiter was extremely kind and made our night all the more pleasurable. The food was good for a decent price. We ordered about 4 starters for 13 people which was very filling and then we each had a main course and a dessert. The plates are quite large so be warned. 

This is the address: Cannaregio, 1307, 30121 Venezia VE

Yum! Gelato!

Day 5:

We made the most of our last day since our flight was only at 11:55 PM. We decided to take the vaporetto to San Marco (€7.50 per person one-way) and we were fortunate to have nice weather. I had the chance to take quite a few pictures on the way.

We then made our way to the Palazzo Ducale (Doge's Palace), one of the main landmarks of the city of Venice built in a Venetian Gothic Style. The interior is unlike anything you will ever see! My photos do not do it justice.

Inside the Palazzo, you have to possibility of walking through the famous Ponte Dei Sospiri (The Bridge of Sighs) which connects the New Prison to the interrogation rooms in Doge's Palace. The view from the bridge which you get to see was the last view the prisoners saw before being imprisoned. The name given to the bridge is believe to come from the suggestion that the prisoners would sigh at their final view of the city before being taken to their cell. You can view the bridge from outside but I think it is even better being able to walk through it.

What a view!

And to finish our trip, we sat down in the oldest cafe in the world, the one and only Cafe Florian born in Venice in 1720. It is a bit pricey (an espresso costs €6.50) but completely worth it. Just be warned that if you decide to sit outside on the Piazza San Marco you will be charged extra to listen to the orchestra playing.

The Mint Hot Chocolate was delicious!

Final note: Try not using your Iphone for GPS or a map. Just let yourself wander and maybe even get lost. It is the best way to discover a city especially Venice. Here are a few more photos from my trip to Venice:

If you have been to Venice, let me know what your must-have experiences are, if not, I hope you found this guide helpful in planning your next trip to the city of Venezia!

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