As soon as we step foot off the train and outside the station, the true beauty and amazement filled our eyes. Venice, Italy is beyond incredible to see in person, it has this sort of excitement like when a kid arrives and sees Walt Disney World for the first time. The charming bridges, old world buildings, and the canals were a dream, I couldn't believe we finally arrived.
Venice is really something and probably the prettiest city in all of Italy. Not going to lie, the downside was the swarm of a million tourists crowding every street... but once you get past that, it's really an incredible place.
Now, how can you spend two days in Venice? It's really simple and definitely doable if you want a quick trip, or only have a specific period of time to enjoy.
1. Hotel and accommodations
Venice is a super expensive place to stay, and when my friend Alex and I were searching a couple weeks before our departure, we had a difficult time finding a good deal. Instead of staying on the beautiful island, we decided to get a hotel/hostel world stay on Mestre, right beside the train station. This was really smart because we only had to walk down the street and hop on the train that took less than 10 mins to arrive in the center. I cannot recommend our hotel Albergo Vienna, because the bathroom was not very nice (moldy and the shower area was too open, and the door was broken) but the continental breakfast was fantastic! If you want to check it out, it did have a great location once again and the price was decent. I am sure you could find better (Best Western).
The transportation in Venice is very simple. You can take a train outside of the island Santa Lucia, and arrive for example in Mestre for 1-2 euros for one ticket. If you get stuck on the island and the train station closes (around 12am) you can easily walk to the nearest bus terminal. It is located on the far right side of the train station, if you are facing the canals, just over the bridge. Otherwise, people on the island get around by water taxi, gondolas and of course, walking. You are bound to get lost, they say "if you haven't gotten lost in Venice, you haven't visited Venice". When we visited, we got lost so many times and our google map definitely didn't help. Just warning you if you have a meeting somewhere, it's best to arrive two hours early (or if you're a pro and know where you're going) it should be fine.
3. What to Eat & Drink?
So when in Italy, you must try all the essentials. This will include pizza, pasta and of course Italian vino. My favorites include any wine from Sardinia, Tuscany, Chardonnay, Pinot Griggio, and of course Frascati. But if you want to try something a little more "fruity" the Bellini originated in Venice, and also Spritz is recommended to try.
4. Important Places You Must See
So in Venice, you're bound to get lost for sure. But, if you get lost, there are some important places you might come across on your journey.
First, St Marks Square. This is a magical place, and so beautiful to experience. Take a look at the architecture, musicians playing in the street, and live entertainment. The St Marks Church behind is absolutely stunning to see!
Second, the Cannaregio neighbourhood has some lovely restaurants and is a great place to walk along the canals.
Third, you must visit the Venice Waterfront or "Lagoon", it's absolutely beautiful for photos or just taking off your shoes and resting near the docks. The views are stunning and the best time is to wait and watch the sunset over the buildings in the distance. Also its located right near St Marks Square.
After taking a nice tour around the St Marks neighbourhood, I would recommend checking out a live performance orcestra. We saw a very low-key performance that was absolutly spectacular and well worth 20 euros. They played for a couple of hours in the evening, and shows ran almost everynight usually starting at 8pm.
We saw our performance on a Saturday at Chiesa Della Pieta'o Di Vivaldi (Vivald's Church) right at the waterfront close to St Marks Square. Another option if you don't want to spend the euros on music, but food. I noticed a lot of people sat down in St. Marks with live performances well eating their meals. The sounds were very good, but not the same inside a massive auditorium with the best quality of sound.
Finally, take time and enjoy amazing shopping in Venice. It is definitely a fashion city. You are bound to find the trendiest brands and some high-end luxury designers. Also many souvenir and unique boutique shops.
- The Piazza San Marco
- In the Mercerie
- In the side streets to Rialto
- In the Calle Larga 22 Marzo
Don't stress about doing everything especially in two days, I think it's important to take it easy and do what's on the top of your list and what will add value to your trip. Don't snap a million photos of every little thing, make sure to look up and take everything in. Just take a nice drink somewhere or, go for a nice walk along the waterfront and make the most out of Venice and appreciate the true beauty the city has to offer.
Don't worry you will definitely be back, cause I know I will.
~xx Lauren Martin
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