|Destination Airport IATA Code||VCE|
|Destination City Name||Venice|
Think of Venice and you probably picture the magnificent Piazza San Marco, the gondolas and the Doge’s Palace. A sightseeing tour through Venice’s waterways will no doubt make great memories to take home.
Summer is the peak season in Venice. Temperatures are moderate, with highs of 82F, but hotels get booked up and it is very crowded. The weather between April and June is ideal for sightseeing, but room rates are higher. In the winter season – November to March – be aware that many of the top sights close as early as 5pm. Visit Venice off-season, however, and you’ll find room rates drop by 25-50 percent, except during the famous Venice Carnival in February.
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There are few direct flights to Venice, even from the biggest cities in the U.S.A., so be prepared to book a flight to Venice with one stop or two stops.
Venice Marco Polo International Airport (VCE)
Venice Marco Polo International Airport is located on the Italian mainland, about eight miles away. Venice can be reached by bus or boat at varying costs.
Who could fail to be charmed by the romance and faded grandeur of Venice? Affectionately known as both the “city of canals” and “the queen of the Adriatic”, it is famous for its culture – art movements and opera – and its waterways. This is a city best explored on foot, plus you’ll need to use water taxis to island-hop. Forget hiring a car – you won’t be able to park it and few streets are wide enough anyway.
Two bus services run Venice Marco Polo International Airport and Piazzale Roma. The journey time is around 25 minutes. The ATVO express bus departs every 30 minutes for a non-stop service. The ACTV bus departs every 15 minutes. Alternatively, take the Alilaguna water bus across the lagoon, which departs hourly and takes an hour and 15 minutes. There are three lines and they stop at more stops than the buses, one of which could be near your hotel. The private water taxi is the most expensive option from the airport and costs typically €100 to €150.
The Piazza San Marco (St Mark’s Square) is where you’ll find the opulent Basilica di San Marco, a marvel of Italo-Byzantine architecture and the former chapel of the Doge. Known as the Chiesa d'Oro (church of gold) because of its opulence – such as the gold mosaics – it is a fine symbol of Venice’s former wealth and power. Also on the square is the Doge’s Palace (Palazzo Ducale), a Gothic-style palace that was once home to Venice’s rulers. Booking tickets in advance is highly recommended. For the best view of the city from above, climb the 323-feet Campanile tower on Piazza San Marco, which was built in 1173 as a lighthouse.
Head to San Polo, Venice’s original commercial quarter, to cross the fabled Rialto Bridge, a wonderful spot for watching the constant activity of boats on the canal below. Take a gondola ride from Rialto to San Marco, or a Grand Canal sightseeing tour on a vaporetto. For souvenirs, take the water bus to the island of Murano, a 30-minute ride across the lagoon. It is famed for its hand-blown glass, which you can buy in the stores or admire in the Murano Glass Museum.
Venice is expensive. It’s a great city for people-watching, but coffee on the Piazza San Marco will come with an eye-watering bill. You have to do it once, naturally, but consider taking your refreshment breaks away from the crowds. Unfortunately, some unscrupulous restaurants deliberately overcharge travelers, so make sure you get a menu with the prices written clearly on it and check your bill carefully.
It’s easy to get lost in Venice, so get a walking map. Don’t rely on your smartphone as GPS in Venice is poor and you risk running your battery down as you try and get a signal in the tiny alleyways. Allow yourself at least an hour to walk anywhere from A to B.
Don’t take a backpack to churches and art galleries – you won’t be allowed in with it.
The Venezia Unica Citypass is excellent value for money – you can use it to buy discounted combined entry museum and church tickets, public transport passes and even Wi-Fi.
Italy is in the Central European Time zone (CET). U.S. citizens can enter Italy for up to 90 days without a visa. Your passport must be valid for at least six months beyond your departure date.
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