Thanks to Jim Kennedy (FOB) for the city write ups and help with 'things to do!'
If you have any questions for him, he is more than happy to field travel questions so please fill out the form to the right and he'll get back to you soon!
Traveling by train, you will want to make sure your ticket is to the Venezia Santa Lucia station which is on the grand canal.
There are two main ways of getting around Venice. The first is walking. There are no land taxis, so be prepared to walk. You can’t get too lost, it is an island. However, you will want to pay close attention to where you are since the streets are not clearly marked and there are lots of small bridges and canals that start looking very similar. The second is by water. To be able to get a feel for where the primary sights of Venice are located and to see Venice by water, the water buses (vaporetti) are a great way to go. They travel specific routes and you can get from the train station to most parts of Venice using them. Individual tickets are pricey (€7.50 for a one way trip) and a much better deal is to get vaporetto passes for a specific number of days. See the links below for helpful hints on where to buy vaporetto passes and getting around Venice.
There are also private taxis and of course, gondolas. You will pay dearly for those but you may find them worth it for a special occasion.
TIPS & THINGS TO DO
Most of what you will want to know and want to do in Venice (as well as the rest of Italy) is in Rick Steves Italy 2017 guide. It is full of great tips on what to see and how to get around. Study Rick’s recommendations, decide what you want to see and follow his advice on getting tickets and avoiding long lines. Highly recommended. https://www.amazon.com/Rick-Steves-Italy-2017/dp/1631214438/ref=tmm_pap_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=&sr=
Mornings and evenings are much less crowded so enjoy as much as you can then. Cruise ship crowds come during the day.
Get off the beaten path and wander the backstreets instead.
Ride the length of the grand canal at night in a vaporetto.
Go to St Mark's Square at night. No crowds and lots of music.
If you are interested in a view of Venice that many don’t get to see and an uncrowded and beautiful church, take a vaporetto to the Church of San Giorgio Maggiore. It is a very short 3 minute trip from St. Mark's San Zaccaria vaporetto stop. There is an elevator ride up the bell tower that ends in a unique view of Venice and it is worth the trip.
Multiple stores in Venice offer sfuso, which is wine that is available in bulk. Some stores ask that you bring your own container (empty water bottle or something larger), and some will put it in their own containers for you to take out. It is inexpensive and delizioso.
Venice is a unique and wonderful place to visit. Not too many locals can afford to live there anymore and it is sinking, so get there while you can!