Have you ever thought about visiting Venice in Winter? If not then I urge you to re think it and here’s why. Venice was on the cards as I have always wanted to visit, ever since visiting Amsterdam. I feel in love with the canals and bridges, I thought it right to visit the real Venice of Europe. Ideally I would have visited in the spring or summer, but when a opportunity came to visit this unique city I decided that winter could just be an ideal time for a first time visit.
Out of Season?
- Venice is known for being a city of romance, a popular cruise port and one of Italy’s most famous cities. These are the reasons why tourists flood here all year round to see this magical watery city. Meaning that restaurants and museums are pretty much always open so you don’t need to worry about visiting out of season. The city is alive all year round which makes it a great alternative winter city break destination.
- Of course you won’t get the same atmosphere as if you were to visit in spring or summer. I’ve heard that St Mark’s Square is lovely in summer. Everyone gathers and just hangs around eating ice cream and listening to music. Don’t expect this kind of socialisation in the winter! However the square is still there with significantly less people to crowd your photographs.
- The weather is always an important factor in my opinion and the only factor you can do absolutely zero about. In Venice it is cold during the winter months. We had some bitter weather and we were well wrapped up. After a full day exploring we were still feeling the cold so please come well prepared! We spent 3 nights in Venice which I think was a good amount of time due to the weather. You could get tired of being cold if you’re not used to it. We saw a good amount of the city within this time frame.
- On a more positive note the winter months can bring some stunning scenes for a eerie winter’s day photograph. As the mist rolls in most mornings surrounding and suffocating the city. We experienced a lot of mist! I quite liked the atmosphere it added to our days wandering the streets.
- Finally if you do decide to visit Venice in the winter months you will get treated with lower hotel and flight prices, good news, no?
- Venice can be very expensive, especially with eating out every night. Keep your eyes open during the day for somewhere appropriately priced for your evening’s meal. Pit stopping for lunch at one of the many takeaway shops for a slice of pizza or fresh pasta is not only kind on your wallet but also delicious!
- Travelling around Venice by vaporetto can seem quite expensive as each journey costs €7.50 per person. Although you do not need to travel by boat that much! Getting to your hotel with your suitcase is easier on a vaporetto and you may want to visit the islands in the lagoon, Murano and Burano. We decided to get a transport card as we wanted to go to the islands. Plus we purchased a Rolling Venice card and a 72hr transport card (under 29 yrs only). From the transport booth located in Piazza Roma you can buy a Rolling Venice card for €6.00 and then you can buy a discounted 72hr transport card for €22.00 per person. Which makes it worth it when the normal transport cards are: 24hrs = €20.00, 48hrs = €30.00 and 72hrs = €40.00.
- If there is one thing I recommend it would be to go on the free walking tour. My highlight was discovering how the city was originally built and being told quirky little snippets of information. Things you would ordinarily just walk past and never even notice.
- If you have enough time then I would recommend to visit the islands of Murano and Burano. These little islands within the lagoon are little gems on their own. Burano was simply stunning and it would look magnificent in the sunshine! This is also where we had the best tasting pizza and arancino, so that is worth the boat trip alone!
Thoughts so far…
Venice is full of crumbling but utter beautifully designed buildings which line every canal. It has a sense of calmness about it as the buildings almost grow out of the sea. It is also amazing to see how everything within the city operates via water or on foot. The ambulances and police patrolling the grand canal alongside black shiny gondola’s. I will certainly be going back to Venice in the warmer months, to explore and to taste a Spritz!
UPDATE MARCH 2017 – I did venture back to Venice in March and wow what a difference the weather makes. From freezing to sweating all in a few months. As I personally love the sun I preferred the warmer weather to explore the city.
– Flight (Stansted to Treviso) and Hotel (3star hotel) on Expedia: £147.00 per person
– City Tax: €10.50 per person for 3 nights
– Airport Bus from Treviso Airport to Venice Piazza Roma: €20.00 per person for a RTN Ticket (http://www.atvo.it/it-treviso-airport.html)
– Venice Rolling Card 72hrs transport: €28.00 per person (http://www.veneziaunica.it/en/e-commerce/services)
– ‘Venice Free Walking Tour’: We donated €5.00 each to our guide.
Total excluding food: £202.00 per person
– Calzone @ takeaway shop for lunch €4.50
– Pizza at local restaurant €9.00
– Water if you share a bottle €2.00 each
– Pasta dish €14.00 – mine was very small portion!!!
– Cicchetti (the tapas of Italy, except never call it tapas!) for lunch small roll and arancino around €5.00
– Devils Pizza on Burano Island – Arancino €2.00 and slice of pizza €3.50.