This is a city full of mystery and epic amounts of seafood. We stayed here just before Christmas, when the days were cool and bright and the nights were cold and twinkly. Here are our top ten things to do in Venice…
Arrive like James Bond… book a private water taxi from the airport to your hotel. It’s expensive, at approximately 150 euros, but it’s the best way to enter Venice, soaking up the atmosphere and sights all the way. It’s also a good way to get your bearings.
Watch the sunset from above the city… take the lift to the top of the 99m tall Campanile, previously a lighthouse and belltower, to get the most amazing view of the city bathed in orange light. Oddly enough you can’t see a single canal from up there!
Eat cake and people watch at Florian… This is Venice’s most famous café and it’s prime location on St Mark’s Square makes it perfect for people watching. It’s pricey but the views, both inside and outside, are amazing! (Don’t forget to try the delicious hot chocolate!)
Wonder round the Rialto Pescheria (fish market)… it’s a bit smelly, but an absolute feast for the eyes. Open Monday to Sunday from 8am to 1pm, it’s where the locals go to do their shopping, so you get a real taste of Venetian life. It’s not just fish here either, there are fruit and vegetable stalls, cheese kiosks and bars. Watch you step though, it can get a bit slippery!
Munch at a Michelin starred restaurant… Located in the Central Castello is a hidden gem, Il Ridotto (we walked past it twice trying to find it!) that serves beautiful and delicious food. The best value for money are the lunch set menus at 30 euros or five-course evening tasting menu at 85 euros. They also use Murano glass tumblers for the water which are works of art!
Be a Tourist… find an excuse to visit the Hotel Daneili. This hotel is where the movie ‘The Tourist’ was filmed and for good reason. It is so gorgeous! We had our wedding breakfast in the Terrazza Restaurant with a view overlooking the Basilica di San Marco, but would go back just to have a drink and marvel over the ornate staircase.
Harry’s Bar Bellini… This iconic gourmet restaurant which hasn’t changed much since the 1930s when it opened, (check out the quirky toilet design). Crazy prices everywhere but you can’t go to Venice without having a Bellini! Try and go upstairs if you can, the views are worth the expensive bill!
Get up close and personal at the opera… This is a moving opera that you follow round different rooms in an old venetian palace! Very personal! It has a rather strange booking and entry system; just go with the flow and take cash.
Venetian street-food… for a cheap and light lunch served in a paper cup visit Acqua & Mais. Try the stuff you’ve never seen before, especially the seafood, it’s what the Venetians do best!
Tie the knot… we got married here just before Christmas and had the most wonderful time in the city which was full of magic and twinkling lights. Check out the full adventure here: Venetian elopement