Categories
Europe

24 Hours in Venice

Y’all, this was one of the most hectic 24h we have ever had. We planned and planned for this trip but somehow nothing really seemed to go right. While we did enjoy our time in the floating city, if we went back there are definitely some things we’d plan a bit better. 24h is definitely enough time in Venice, as long as you plan accordingly. 

TRAVEL INTO THE CITY:

There are several ways to get to Venice. You can take a train, a bus, or a plane. We chose to ride the train in and fly out. The first train out of Rome is at about 530am (I know, really early), since we only had 24h we chose this time to make the most of our day. The train ride was about 3h45min so we rolled into the station just after 9am. This was amazing because we had literally the entire day to explore the city, but the downside was that our airbnb wouldn’t allow us to check in to the apartment until after 3pm. They let us leave our bags at 11am, but still that was a decent amount of time to traipse luggage around a city that you can mostly only walk. 
Two tips I wish I had known: 1. Book a hotel if you are going to stay less than 2 days because a hotel will allow you to drop your baggage off no matter the check in time. This makes things way more convenient. 2. For the LOVE OF GOD, get some four wheeled luggage. Seriously, even if it’s a slight investment, you won’t regret it. We recently purchased Away Luggage because we just couldn’t handle the two wheel luggage anymore. It just does not roll well, especially on cobblestone. 

TRAVEL AROUND THE CITY:

If you didn’t know this, cars are banned in Venice which means you have three options: walk, water boat or water taxi.  While the water taxis are cute and seem to be an amazing option, they are hella expensive. Our budget wouldn’t allow it. So we got our cheap asses on a water boat, and we rode all around the city. Actually, instead of doing a gondola ride, we decided to try out a couple different routes on the water boats. From what we read in reviews on gondola rides, they just aren’t worth the money. You have to pay extra to have a private ride, you aren’t guaranteed to sit next to your travel partner (people are sat according to weight) and the gondolier does not actually speak unless you pay extra for a narrated tour. Taking the water buses gives you almost the same experience for way way less. 

WHAT WE DID: 

Being that we did not have a lot of time in the city, we really didn’t have too much planned. Mostly we wanted to go, just to see the city and say we’d been there (I know, stupid reason, right?). So we walked the canals, checked out the cute little boutique shops, saw San Marco’s Square, the Rialto Bridge, Bridge of Sighs, and the Basilica di Santa Maria. When we could finally check into our Airbnb, we got in showered and took a nap. Well it ended up being a short nap because I had realized that we wouldn’t be able to stay overnight on the island. Turns out that public transportation stops between the hours of 11pm and 5am. We had a 6am flight the next morning and waiting for 5am transportation was not going to cut it. We also did not have the money to pay $115 for a private water taxi at 3am. Scene: A night in the airport. 

SPENDING A NIGHT IN THE AIRPORT:

Okay, so no one plans to have to spend the night in the airport while on their honeymoon. It was honestly our worst nightmare. But we had 4 days left of our trip in Amsterdam and just could not afford to spend the money on a water taxi. It was our only option to not miss our flight. So we finished our nap, had a little meal, and packed up all our stuff. 
Side Note: This ended up working well for the airbnb, the hosts that we chose to go with actually booked an apartment in the building that was being renovated, when the family got there they had literally no where to stay… lucky for them we weren’t going to be staying the night. 
We found out that the last water taxi leaves for the airport at 11pm. You are supposed to book tickets and pay ahead of time, but we didn’t know that until later. Luckily we had exactly 20 euro left and that was all we needed to get on the airport transfer. It ended up being rather nice, it was just us on the boat (as a female couple you can imagine we were a little sketched out about being alone on a boat with a random man – we kept a close eye on him). The stars were amazing, and the boat ride ended up being a highlight of the trip… until of course we got to the airport. Well, the Marco Polo Airport is tiny to say the least. It also closes – and by closes I mean all shops, terminals, and restaurants close at 12am. We had no food, no access to food, nothing to drink, and limited wall space to plug in our electronics. It was freezing, the chairs were extremely uncomfortable, and the wifi was abysmal. We spent 5 1/2 hours in the airport before we were able to go through security and get a little breakfast. Fortunately we had each other, not sure what we would have done had we been solo travelers. 

WHAT WE’VE LEARNED: 

More than anything, that whole honeymoon really showed us that it is important to check the scheduling of public transportation. As Americans, and more importantly Texans/Michiganders we don’t really have access to public transportation and therefore don’t even think about how it runs or it’s hours etc. Be mindful of things like that when planning trips because poor planning on that end can really make your trip take a nose dive. The real moral of the story is, don’t book the first flight/train out unless you have a full plan and understanding of how you will make it work! 

Please feel free to comment with any horror stories of your own or to ask any questions that you might have. We would love to make sure you don’t make the same mistakes we have!