Where: Venice, Italy
Who: Mr & Mrs Wanderlust
When: April 2019
What: EU Trip Series Part 3: Venice Italy
Welcome to the third part of Mr & Mrs Wanderlust's Euro Trip in Venice. If you want to back read, you can start with Part 1 in Rome or Part 2 in Florence which are all part of Italy as you would see in the map below.
The floating city of Venice, one of the most extraodrinary and world-famous for its canals which was built on 118 islets formed by about 150 canals in a shallow lagoon. We went there on Spring~ish time April so it is a bit cooler than usual 6C in the morning and goes up to 15C at afternoon and as someone from a very hot tropical country, it is perfect for us to go around and get moving. There are always espresso coffeeshops or gelato in the corner stores so you can always refuel if tired.
How To Get There
Getting to Venice from Florence is pretty straightforward by Italy's regional train for about 3 hours of very relaxed train ride, you get to Venezia S.Lucia station, make sure because there is another Venezia station but it is outside of the island.
Getting Around is also pretty easy because you just buy tickets at the station for the Shuttle boat, and figure out which station you have to alight which is the nearest to your hotel/accommodation, and just stay aware about things you need to do like validating the ticket you bought because we remember one of the passengers didn't validate their ticket and was penalized 40Euros. A mistake that couldve easily been avoided.
For the people in the hurry or just have the extra cash to spare, you can rent out a Taxi Boat which runs 80Euros but you get to ride privately, and feel stylish much like a James Bond agent boarding your boat to the side canal entrance of your hotel.
Upon alighting the train and walking a few steps outside the station, excited to see Venice you will immediately be in awe at your view just outside the train station of Venice:
Where To Stay
Once again, it was nice to search a good hotel in the middle of Venice for us to be able to spend the night in this lovely little island without having to break the bank just for a night's stay.
(a 2 star hotel)
Mr & Mrs Wanderlust's rating
+ Walking distance to Boat station
+ Smooth Check-in and friendly staff (didn't forget to greet on hubby's bday)
+ Nice facilities, and really Venetian style interior and exterior and feels.
+ Room was a bit smaller, but felt cozy, and has window that can be opened for air.
+ Nice view of alleyways below outside the window
+ Bathroom was small but complete with toilet, warm water shower and no leaks
+ Wifi was good but sometimes gets slow
+ Breakfast has more choices than others we stayed on but still few, but we are satisfied
+ Smoking area outside on hotels courtyard/side entrance but not out on the streets
+ Excellent location, nearby are many food place, restaurant, shops for anything you need.
- No Elevator, 3rd floor, have to carry 2x 30Kilo luggages, good thing we are still youthful ;) (See, so travel while you are young!)
- Bed not too comfy
- TV remote volume button not working so stuck with a loud volume, and wife cant sleep
- Wooden chair is almost broken so afraid of sitting down on it & break it.
Price: €€ 6,000PHP 8,000PHP / night for 2pax w/ breakfast (€103 - €140 as of April 2019)
Service: 3 star - Service & staff were all very helpful and friendly
Facilities & Amenities: 3 star - classic designed rooms, but no elevator
Restaurant (foods): 4 star -Not much choices but still satisfied
Bar: N/A - No bar
Overall: 3.33 /5
What To Do:
Venice is a small city but has lots of things to do, However like in most packaged tours, they only do a whole day tour to Venice for the gondola ride, Murano-Burano tours to see colorful houses and glass blowing factories which produces world class glass sculptures, however having a limited time and much places to roam around, we decided to skip those part as we would just prefer intimate time with this lovely city.
1. Experience Riding a Gondola
Since it is our first time here as a couple, we might as well do the most famous tourist attraction of Venice, which is riding a gondola.
2. Walk Around San Marco Square
The main public square of Venice where it is known just as La Piazza. This is where all the locals and tourists alike meet up. Among the shops around the square, there are also a lot of souvenir vendors around the square. At night, they disappear and another vibe is felt because the retail shops closes while restaurants with classical music live playing are present around the square. And whats nice about it is the next door restaurant's live mini orchestra respects the others playing from a different restaurant, so the sounds don't overlap each other. And it is a lot more authentic than neighboring shops with both cheap speakers blasting loud and ugly songs just contributing to the noise pollution, totally different here, and can feel the respect for each other.
3. Walk Around the Small and Lovely City and its Passageways
It is a great idea to get lost in Venice, with their small passageways leading to a dead end, a canal or another alley. One corner you may find a local shop that sells local products, and on other corner may be a dark alleyway with a small place to drink at the end, it will really surprise you, plus it maybe dark and scary at night but it seems peaceful and less dangerous compared to where we are from, so just go ahead and get lost, just make sure you have an offline maps on your mobile phone to learn your way to get back.
4. Check out the Shopping Scene in Venice
Don't let the small city vibe fool you into thinking there is not much shopping here, because right now, we tell you that they have many luxury designer brand retail stores scattered around this city, but mostly around San Marco square and its corners are packed with retail shops from souvenir, to any quirky finds, and of course some special products of its locals.
Venice truly captivated our hearts with its small city charm, and its unique water road systems as well as its historic buildings and people. Given the chance we'd definitely go back and book more than a night there, because staying just 2 days 1 night would never be enough and will regret it a bit, but no worries, we can always go back for you, Venezia.. Grazie e Arrivaderci!
Next on our list, and excited to see, feel and experience the vibe of the old and still prominent fashion cities in the world; Milano
* $100 USD = €89 EUROS (as of April 2019)
Accommodation - High End - € 500+++
Accommodation - Mid - €100 - €200
Accommodation -Budget - Less €100 but may be lower depending on haw far area from center
Transport - Water Taxi - €80 standard rate from station to San Marco
Transport - Metro Train - €1.50 1hr / €12.50 for 72hr ticket
Transport - Regional Rail tickets, €15/per person up to €60 depending on time, and trip etc.
Transport - Sightseeing Tour - €50 - €200 tour with private guide car and driver etc.
Transport - Gondola 15min - €80
Food - Snacks - €5 - €10
Food - Restaurant (set meal for 2) - €20 - €30 per head
Food - Fastfood Meal - €8 - €12 per head
Drinks - Hotel Beer €5 - €12
Drinks - Bottled Water - €1 - €3
Drinks - Espresso Coffee - €.90 - €2 (really depending on the place if touristy more expensive)
Drinks - Coffee Cappuccino - €1 - €3
Misc. - Legal Light Canna from Tabaccheria - €12 - €16/g
Others - Toilet Use / WC - €1
Souvenir - T-Shirt - €12 €15
Souvenir - Magnets / Keychain = 3 for €5
Souvenir - Premium items, Chocolates etc, - €20 - €50
Souvenir Football Jersey - €15 - €20 (Reproduction/Copy) €50 - €70 (Authentic)
*Note: Different rates for Seniors, and also for toddler
**Protip: book earlier online thru their websites, or thru official booking apps to avoid queue at ticket counter and sometimes even get discounts & better prices just show the barcode/qrcode on your phone, paperless!
**Protip: Have your local home currency exchanged to Euros through your local banks, and also fill your ATM, and ready your credit cards. We got used to having US Dollar as main currency that when we tried to exchange it to Foreign exchange shops, the commissions/fees are outrageous that USD $200 becomes around €120 - €140 instead of becoming €177 (which is the rate today April 2019)
Tips are generally not required however if you have truly enjoyed the service you are always welcome to share a tip to your server, cook, helper, guides, etc.
NEXT: EU Trip Series Part 4: Milan, Italy
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