top of page

How to Plan a Trip to Venice for the First Time

Updated: Dec 30, 2023


Everything You Need to Know Before Visiting Venice

Are you looking for all the tips and info you need to know to visit Venice? You found the right Venice travel guide. Your super-organized travel blogger will give you all the tips and tricks to have a wonderful Venice city break or a longer holiday in Venice.


I have been lucky enough to grow up in a city only a couple of hours from the amazing city of Venice (if you are curious about it, check out Trieste).

So I have been there many times and in every season (as you will surely see in all the pictures on my travel guide of Venice).


Venice is an unmissable city to visit, honestly. Yes, it is very famous and therefore can be crazily crowded during the high season, but if you will listen to all my tips & info, you will plan the best Venice travel you could ever imagine to have.


Everything You Need to Know Before Visiting Venice

Here down below you will find a guide on how to plan your trip, for more detailed information, check out "The Most Complete Guide of Venice" and all the articles I wrote about it, from when to visit, where to stay for every budget, where and what to eat and much more.


Tips: As soon as you book your next adventure, make sure to buy good travel insurance in case you need to “unfortunately” delay, extend or cancel your trip. I recommend SafetyWing. A great insurance company to cover everything about your travel.


Table of Contents:


Everything You Need to Know Before Visiting Venice

*Disclosure: This article contains a few affiliate links, which means I may receive a small commission, at no extra cost to you I guarantee, if you purchase through my links. See it as a way to thank me and support my travel blog for all the information I provide.


If you will like this article, feel free to leave a comment below and share it with your friends, maybe someone you know is planning to visit Venice.

*All links in every article open on a new page so you won’t lose this page while looking around!


Everything You Need to Know Before Visiting Venice, time zone venice

Time Zone

Italy is in the Central European Time Zone, which is 1 hour ahead of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT +1).

During summer, Italy observes daylight-saving, where the time is moved forward by 1 hour, so it becomes 2 hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT +2). In winter the time in Italy is moved back by 1 hour to Central European Time.

These changes always happen on the last Saturday of March and the last Saturday of October.



Planning a trip to Venice?

Don't forget about the tourist tax! My tourist tax guide will help you understand what it is and how to pay it.


Everything You Need to Know Before Visiting Venice, currency venice

Currency

The official currency of Italy is the euro, even though the country is still somewhat a cash-based economy. You won't be paying cash all of the time, as there are shops and merchants in Italy that are well equipped to accept card payments – Visa and Mastercard are more common than American Express. Check here the actual currency change


Everything You Need to Know Before Visiting Venice, vaccinations require to visit Venice

Vaccinations

You should ask your family doctor before travelling to Italy and ensure that you receive all of the appropriate vaccinations. Just make sure you’re up to date on recommended vaccinations for your home country and have a look at The Travel Vaccines and Advice here.


Everything You Need to Know Before Visiting Venice, electricity and plugs venice

Voltage and Adaptors

The standard voltage is 220-240 volts. Most of the sockets are European plugs of the two round-pin varieties. I recommend you buy a universal travel adaptor. You will need a voltage converter and plug adaptor to use other appliances.


Do you want to know more about Venice?

Check out all my articles in the "Most Complete Guide of Venice" and get all the information you need to make your next travel a success.


Everything You Need to Know Before Visiting Venice, how to go from venice airport to venice city centre

Going from Venice Airport to your accommodation

I think it is always wise to check how to go from the airport to your accommodation.

There are many ways to get to Venice from Venice Marco Polo Airport.

There are two passengers airports in Venice:


  • The Marco Polo Airport in Venice (Tessera) Airport code: VCE

  • The Antonio Canova Airport in Treviso is also called Treviso Airport. Airport code: TSF.


The Marco Polo airport is the most famous, bigger and closest to Venice. It has 57 airlines companies that fly there. It is distant 6km by boat and 13 km by car from Venice.


The Treviso Airport (outside the city of Treviso) is smaller and more distant and has 5 airlines companies that fly there. It is distant 26 km by bus/car.


Everything You Need to Know Before Visiting Venice, go by bus from venice airport to venice city centre

By Bus

VENICE MARCO POLO AIRPORT (VCE): From there you can take the bus n. 5 operated by Actv. You can buy the tickets at the automatic machines placed at the airport or at the Alilaguna water transport office located at Venice Airport Arrivals.

Bus n. 5 to Venice costs 8€ one-way from Venice Marco Polo Airport. When buying a return journey, the ticket price is 15€. Bus n.5 leaves from the bus terminal located just outside Arrivals Hall between Exits 1 and 2. You will see the bus to Venice as you exit the airport terminal.

The bus goes straight to the Piazzale Roma terminal (the only area of Venice you can reach by car) in the city centre of Venice. Buses leave the airport every 15 minutes Monday to Saturday and every 20 minutes on Sundays. The journey duration is 25 minutes.


Tip: Make sure to board the bus direction Venezia Piazzale Roma and not Venezia Mestre.


To continue your trip to the rest of the Lagoon, you need to take the ferry (Vaporetto) or a water taxi.


The ferry fare is 7.50€, and the private taxi fare depends on where you are going.

You can board the water taxi at the cruise terminal next to Piazzale Roma.


TREVISO AIRPORT (TSF): From there, you can reach Venice Piazzale Roma by bus in around 1 hour. You can purchase tickets at the ticket office in the arrival hall (the ticket office is on your right end side after the coffee shop). The bus stop is outside the airport, right on the main road.


By Shuttle Bus


From the VENICE MARCO POLO AIRPORT, there is also the shuttle bus line.

The line operates 24/7 during the high season, and from 5.20 am to 12.50 am during the low season.


The shuttle bus leaves every 20 minutes, and the journey duration to Piazzale Roma in the centre of Venice is 20 minutes under normal traffic conditions. A single shuttle bus ticket costs 8€ and a return journey is 15€.


From TREVISO AIRPORT you can also catch the shuttle bus to reach Venezia Piazzale Roma. The bus stop is right outside the airport.

Everything You Need to Know Before Visiting Venice, public ferry from venice airport to venice city centre

By Public Ferry


Available ONLY FROM VENEZIA MARCO POLO AIRPORT:

For a more scenic entrance to Venice, there is the public ferry line blue or orange.

Tickets from the airport of Venice to the city centre using the public ferry are 15€ per person for a single journey, and the duration is 40 minutes.


Ferries leave the airport dock every 30 minutes during the day and every 60 minutes after 10 pm. At the airport follow the sign Water Transport.


Everything You Need to Know Before Visiting Venice, private water taxi from venice airport

By Private Water Taxi


Available ONLY FROM VENEZIA MARCO POLO AIRPORT:

There is this luxury option to get to your Hotel. The price from the Airport to Piazzale Roma is 160 Euro for up to 6 people.


The maximum capacity for a water taxi is ten people. For groups over ten people, it is necessary to book one or more additional motorboats.


By Private Car or Minivan


You can reach Venice from both airports by private taxi.

Please have a look at my favourite private transfer website HolidayTaxis and KiwiTaxi to find the best deal for your transfer.


Everything You Need to Know Before Visiting Venice, how to move around Venice

How to Move around Venice

There are many ways to visit Venice and explore this beautiful city.

I recommend checking my article on "The Best Hotels in Venice with a Canal View" and booking a room in the city centre so you won't need to catch a bus or a train to get to the main island every day.


Tip: A good option to explore Venice is by using Google Maps or my favourite CityMapper (the most brilliant navigation app for cities). Use the voice instruction to explore. In this way, you will keep your phone inside your pocket and only need to follow the voice to move around.

Everything You Need to Know Before Visiting Venice, walking around venice

By Walking


Venice is easy to explore, and bridges connect all the islands that form the city centre.

But in case you need to go from one side to another (it may take a 1-hour walk) down below I wrote the options available.


Everything You Need to Know Before Visiting Venice, move around venice by ferry


By Ferry


There are many Ferry Lines available to help you move around without walking kilometres and save some time.

Remember to validate your ticket by passing it in front of the appropriate electronic ticket printers.

Purchase the right travel ticket for the Vaporetto.

A single Vaporetto ride costs € 7.50 and gives access to the service for a total of 75 minutes. It is good to know that there are alternatives for those who think they will often use the public transport service during their stay in the city.

With 20 Euro, you are entitled to take the Vaporetto for 24 hours from the moment of endorsement;

30 Euro for 48 hours and for 72 hours € 40. For a whole week, the cost is 60 Euro.

These tickets are an optimal solution and allow you to move easily in the city reaching all the islands of the lagoon up to Chioggia.

In addition to the trip, the ticket allows you to board with your luggage.

Each person can bring the following things on board: two bags or packages of dimensions not exceeding cm. 120 as the sum of the three dimensions.

If you wish to save some money I advise you to purchase your ticket in advance here.

Everything You Need to Know Before Visiting Venice, move around venice by water taxi

By Water Taxi


The water taxi is a great way to move in style in Venice and feel like a celebrity. More expensive than a ferry for sure but your pictures will look stunning. You will see many Water taxis along the Grand Canal, so just choose one and ask for the price.


Rent a Car


If you like driving like me and want to explore what is OUTSIDE Venice (you cannot drive inside Venice unless you own a little boat), you can always rent a car.

I always have a look at my favourite rental car websites and I see where I find the best deals.

Have a look at them here:

DiscoverCars: Discover is basically a Skyscanner, but for rental cars. And since you're comparing lots of different companies, you also get to choose from lots of different cars.

Rentalcars: Rentalcars.com is an international car rental booking service that is present all over the world.


Is drinking tap water safe in venice?

Is tap water and food safe in Italy?

It’s safe to drink water in Italy from taps and also from drinking fountains that you will find, especially in the major cities and parks.


I always carry with me a reusable bottle so I can fill them up anytime I have the chance.

If you are not sure, it’s always safe to ask locals or, in doubt, just drink bottled water.


Everything You Need to Know Before Visiting Venice, eating in venice
Fettuccine del Doge (with prawns and asparagus) at Trattoria Trefanti, Venice

About food, honestly, Italy has so much to offer that the only problem you will have is that your stomach is not big enough to eat everything you wish.


That's why I always carry with me some Natures Aid DigestEeze Milk Thistle, just in case I overeat because, as my mom always says "I eat with my eyes and not with my mouth".

Unfortunately, bad luck happens everywhere. Sometimes is not the food but just our stomach that needs to get used to the new cuisine (and let's be honest, we all eat and drink more than usual when on holiday). So take some of these natural remedies below with you in case you will have stomach upset or food poisoning.

natural remedies to carry with you when you travel

My favourite Natural remedies for stomach upset or food poisoning:

  • Milk Thistle: is a traditional herbal medicinal product used to relieve the symptoms associated with occasional over-indulgence in food and drink, such as indigestion and upset stomach. Milk Thistle is a great natural remedy to always have with you when you travel.

  • Charcoal capsules: recent studies prove that charcoal can be a good help in case you eat something that was not good and it can prevent you from having diarrhoea.

  • Probiotics: These are a wonderful help while having food poisoning. Take as soon as you start to have symptoms and also after, for a couple of days at least. My doctor advises me to start taking them some days before my travel, as a prevention, in case I am going to visit a country where water and food can be easily contaminated.


eating and drinking out in venice

Eating and Drinking Out

In Venice, you will find a wide variety of food, from meat to fish. You won't find only the typical Italian cuisine because every city and region has different dishes to try and love.

Check out my article "15 Delicious Food and Drinks to Try in Venice". In there you will find everything you need to know about the delicious Venetian cuisine. And also the very useful "5 Best Local Restaurants in Venice" where I listed some of the best typical restaurants you can find in Venice.


If you are looking for cheap places where to have lunch or an aperitivo and try the best Bacari (local wine bars where to try the famous Cicchetti (slice of bread with local toppings, absolutely delicious), check out "The Most Complete Guide of Where to Have Lunch in Venice".


For those looking for a special place where not only enjoy the delicious local food but also have a stunning view, I wrote "5 Alfresco Restaurants with an Amazing View in Venice".

eating and drinking out in venice

Prices may vary from bar to Restaurant but these are the approximate prices for the most common foods and drinks in Venice:

In Supermarket

Bottle 1.5 L water: around 0.40-0.50 Euro

Imported Beer 0.33 L: approximately 1.50 Euro

Bottle of Wine: 5-10 Euro

At a Bar:

Coffee-latte: 1.50 Euro

A glass of 0.5 L Beer: around 1.50-2.00 Euro

A bottle of wine: 12-20 Euro

Coke in a Can: Around 2.00-2.50 Euro

A glass of Wine: Around 3.50-6.00 Euro


At a Restaurant:

Restaurant on a budget per person: Around 15 Euro

Restaurant medium-range per person: Around 30-40 Euro

Fine dining Restaurant per person: From 80 Euro


Everything You Need to Know Before Visiting Venice, tipping guide venice

Tipping Guide

In Italian restaurants, a gratuity of 10-20% is often added to the bill, so check that you're not already paying the tip before you add more to your payment.

If it's not, a tip of 10-15% is encouraged mostly in tourist places.


The tip should reflect the customer service that you received so it is really up to you to decide how much to give.


cost of travelling venice

Cost of Travelling

Venice is one of the most famous cities globally, so if you are looking to save some money. I advise you to avoid it from June to September when it can be very hot, crowded and more expensive.

Flights can be very cheap from November to April (Once I went from London to Venice in February and a one-way ticket cost me 50 Euro) so have a look at the flight to Venice here.


Everything You Need to Know Before Visiting Venice

Keep in mind that Venice has two airports:


Venezia Marco Polo Airport is the official Venice airport, locate not too far from the city and you can the city by bus, shuttle bus, car and ferry. It is an international airport.


Treviso Airport is located in North Venice and connects Venice to cities all around Europe. It is very well connected to Venice city centre by a bus you can catch outside the airport (you can purchase tickets in the ticket office inside the airport).


Usually, flights to Treviso Airport are cheaper than Venice Marco Polo so check out both airports.


Tip: I explain how to reach Venice from both airports in the section above How to reach Venice from the Airports.


Everything You Need to Know Before Visiting Venice

Be careful to plan where to eat in Venice.

You can find quite cheap places with delicious food a bit further from St. Mark's Square.

Just have a look at my article "5 Best Typical restaurants in Venice" where I listed the best restaurants where you won't be overcharged because you are a tourist.

If you are looking for a romantic lunch or dinner with a stunning view, here is my list of "5 Alfresco restaurants with an Amazing view in Venice".

Everything You Need to Know Before Visiting Venice

Hotels are the same, you can choose some pensions or more expensive Hotels, it all depends on your budget.

If you are looking for a hotel, my favourite accommodation search websites are Expedia and Agoda, where I always find amazing deals.

As I wrote previously, flights can be very cheap from October to April, just have a look at Jetradar, a travel search engine that allows users to compare airline prices and offers, specializing in low-cost airfare.

Everything You Need to Know Before Visiting Venice, buy souvenirs venice

Shopping and Souvenirs

The options are limitless in Italy, from clothes like leather jackets, shoes, high street brands clothes are all there waiting for you to take them home and create your next season outfits.

Venice offers many choices of food to buy as souvenirs, from olive oil, liquors like limoncello, cheese, cured meat, cookies, dried pasta or spices to recreate the dishes you ate on holiday, at home for your loved ones.

Everything You Need to Know Before Visiting Venice, buy souvenirs venice

Also handmade ceramic, Murano glass, Traditional Venetian Masks, Gondolier's Hats, Burano lace, Marbled paper and paintings are great souvenir ideas.

Check my article about "Unmissable Souvenirs You Should Buy in Venice" to have a better idea about the typical things that are worth buying.


Everything You Need to Know Before Visiting Venice, is venice safe for a solo woman traveller?

Is Venice safe for a solo woman traveler?

Venice is pretty safe. During the day with tourists and locals around the streets, the only thing you will have to worry about are pickpockets that unfortunately can be present in every tourist city.

So I advise having with you an antitheft purse or an antitheft backpack. Prudence is never enough when you are far from home even in the safest place in the world.​

Everything You Need to Know Before Visiting Venice

Overnight I advise a solo woman traveller to keep your eyes open wherever you are because bad things can happen anywhere, anytime to anybody so please safety first. Venice gets completely empty at night with some tourists visiting it only for a day and not so many people actually living inside the city, so be careful if walking alone at night.

During my solo travels, I always contacted locals through travel Facebook groups and I have been lucky to meet people that took me around and show me their city so I was feeling pretty safe being out late in the evening because I wasn't alone.


Do you want to know more about Venice?

Check out all my articles in the "Most Complete Guide of Venice" and get all the information you need to make your next travel a success.


Everything You Need to Know Before Visiting Venice, duty free venice

Duty-Free Allowance from Italy

If you are travelling from an EU country, there are no limits on the amount or value of goods you want to take home with you if your goods are for personal consumption.

Goods imported for commercial purposes are subject to duty and the following guideline amounts are in place to determine whether this is the case:

  • 800 cigarettes or 1kg of tobacco

  • 10L of spirits over 22% volume, 20L of alcoholic beverages less than 22% volume, 90L of wine (no more than 60L of sparkling wine) and 110L of beer

If you are arriving from a non-EU country, the following goods may be imported into Italy by travellers over 18 years of age without incurring customs duty:

  • 200 cigarettes or 100 cigarillos or 50 cigars or 250g of tobacco

  • 4L of wine (excluding sparkling wine) and 16L of beer and 1L of spirits over 22% volume or 2L of alcoholic beverages less than 22% volume

  • Other goods up to the value of €430 for air and sea travellers and €300 for other travellers

You are not allowed to import meat or dairy products into Italy from outside the EU.


book trains, buses to visit venice

Where to book a train and a bus ticket or rent a car

When I plan a trip, I always make sure to have a well-planned trip.

I am not talking about planning where to be at what time of the day because when travelling it is nice to be also spontaneous but not too much if you know what I mean.


I like to book everything a lot in advance like accommodation, flight, airport shuttle, bus and train tickets because I have learned during my travels that the sooner, the better in these cases.

I saved a lot of money and time because I booked things in advance.

Everything You Need to Know Before Visiting Venice

So in case you wish to explore what is outside Venice, here below are some links that will help you to plan at least the essentials:

Buses


Buses are cheaper than trains for sure but not so fast. It all depends on how much time you have and what is your budget. Sometimes if there is not a train, there is a bus so in case you are looking to buy some tickets, I advise you to do it on Omio, where you can also buy train tickets.

Everything You Need to Know Before Visiting Venice

Trains


Two good websites to buy train tickets in Italy are Rail Europe and Omio where you can check all the trains available and book your tickets in advance, I always use them when travelling in Italy and it is a great website.


Tip: if you are not sure which transport book, check out Omio, where you will find all the possible transport, from buses, trains and flights.



Rent a Car


If you like driving like me, you can always rent a car to travel outside Venice and explore the region of Veneto. Have a look at my favourite rental car websites, and I see where I find the best deals. Have a look at them here:

Discover is basically a Skyscanner, but for rental cars. And since you're comparing lots of different companies, you also get to choose from lots of different cars.

Rentalcars.com is an international car rental booking service that is present all over the world.


There is also another way to travel that not everybody thing about it and it is by Renting a Scooter or a Bicycle. If the weather is nice wh