Venice is a city that's definitely best discovered on foot but unless you have some sort of supernatural sense of direction, chances are you'll get lost at least once during your trip. However, this could be the very best thing that could happen to you as we got to discover some absolutely charming streets that way! It also helps to remember that you're on an island and can't get lost very far. However, one thing that did help us not getting lost was the very detailed free city map we received when we checked in at our hotel - it was much better than the one printed in my guide and I'm guessing every hotel in Venice has them. Another thing that was pretty useful were the big yellow signs you find all over the city pointing out directions for the San Marco and Rialto areas. Since these two locations are fairly central, it becomes easy to figure out your way from there. So put on those walking shoes and start exploring this fantastic city!
Venice is divided into six sestieri.
San Marco is the most visited, the train station is in Cannaregio. On the same side of the Grand Canal are San Marco and Castello. Santa Croce is close to the bus stops at Piazzale Roma. San Polo and the Dorsoduro are across the canal from San Marco.
Giudecca and S. Giorgo Maggiore are islands close to the six sestieri.
The Vaperotte is too damn expensive. 6.5 Euro for a trip which almost half a tank of gas that you can drive a couple of weeks back home. So don't fall for these hyped price.... walk. Almost most sites and places that you want to see in Venice is accessible by walk.
Invest in a good map do not fear to consult it when required... many other tourists are lost like you too. Venice is safe even late at night and its perfectly fine to check a map.
Walk its good for your heart and your wallet too. That is what I did.... over 3 days I took one trip on the boat just to experience how it felt to go down the grand canal.
There are no roads for vehicles in Venice, so you have to either travel through the canals by boats, valpretto, gondolas etc or walk along the many charming streets and bridges of Venice.
Venice is quite big and the streets range from big walkways to narrow lanes intercrossing each other like a maze. If you want to walk around Venice, please remember to get a good map and look for the street signages.
Essentially, Venice is divided into 6 major areas as follows, each with their own charms and architecture. For full enjoyment of the various areas of Venice, you should allocate at least 1-2 days for walking (this excludes excursions to other nearby island like Murano, Burano, Lido etc).
- Santa Croce
- San Polo
- San Marco
If you plan to walk in Venice, do take note that some places may flood so do be careful.
If you are fit and able, and don't tire too easily, then just walk! It's a small island, so iot's entirely feasible to get from one tourist spot to the next. And it's in this way that you will discover the hidden canals and piazzas! When I was there I didn't use public transport once, as our hotel was close to the train station.
Venice is so gorgeous, I definitely recommend leisurely strolls. It's also more romantic (I went to Venice with a friend though so there was no romance there.)
Make sure that you have a good map of venice with all of the tiny streets and squares listed on the map. Pocket Pilot is a laminated map that was excellent and very helpful for finding my way around. It also has travel tips, things to do, and a lot of information on sights to see, transportation etc. I would highly recommend buying it. I had only it, no tour book or anything, and it was all that I needed.
Venice is a water city.. so not every where is easily accessible by the water buses.. I really enjoy walking around.. even when i had no choice.. because every bit of venice is so beautiful.. you don't mind your tired feet. :)
Other than the regular vaporetto, walking is the best way to see Venice.. Get lost in their small streets but do not worry - look above and find San Marco, their landmark, and you will find your way back....
Find secret restaurants, bakeries, clothing stores, and hotels...
The best way to see Venice is of course to walk. There are signs to help you find your way and for the most part they are very helpful. It is probably better to try to navigate by landmarks than streets and numbers and if you get lost, good for you. You will probably see something of interest you would have missed otherwise.
Having said that about the signs, the one in the photo left me wondering. I guess in Venicd all roads lead to San Marco!
Best way by far to see Venice is to find yourself a map and walk - St Mark's to the Rialto Bridge is at most a 30 minute walk and you get to know the place so much better on foot - immerse yourself in the city and have fun getting lost - it isn't a huge place so you'll always be able to find your wa back, plus if you do get too lost you can always ask one of the lovely locals!
The best way and cheapest way to explore Venice is on foot!
The joy of getting lost in the narrow alley ways is great!!
You can explore the more untouched areas and meet the locals too.
Venice isnt all that big, I think that had we taken Vaporettos to each place then we would have missed loads!
There are only two types of transportation in Venice - by water, or on your feet. There are no bikes, vespas, nothing... So if you are staying there and need to travel fast you could take a taxi-boat, a vaporetto or simply walk with a healthy rhythm. It's quite easy to get around the city, once you know the names of all the major places. Otherwise you might find yourself in a labyrinth...
Walking. This is probably one of the most underrated ways of getting around Venice. It happened one day that the vaporetto workers went on strike for about two hours. We had made it to the Academia in the morning and were planning on heading up to Rialto Bridge. So instead, we went walking and wandering all over Venice. The different neighborhoods and churches are really neat. You can run into some very neat little piazzalles like this. Although the addresses and such in Venice are confusing at first, if you just start wandering around, you will find that it is difficult to get lost...after all you are on an island!!!
My advice, wear some comfortable shoes and TRY to get lost in Venice!!
The city centre of Venice is small enough to be best explored on foot. But make sure to have a proper map or at least keep an eye on the plenty of signposts directing you to the main spots, like Rialto, San Marco or Ferrovia.
Venice is best explored on foot. If you didn't get lost in one of its little alleys, than you didn't visit Venice! :-) Distances are rather small. And what's even more, if you visit the less touristic areas (like Castello) you actually have the feeling of having Venice all for yourself!
And if you get lost, don't worry, there are enough signs for San Marco or Rialto to get you back on track.