City breaks in Venice: The floating city
Venice is a great option for a city break holiday and a new best seller this winter and spring now that Aer Lingus fly direct from Dublin right through the season. Flights are every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday giving great options for 2 or 3 night breaks in this truly unique city. There is also a great selection of hotels in Venice to suit all tastes and budgets and package deals including flights, accommodation from as little €220 per person.
Marco Polo airport is just 12km from Venice and you can transfer into the city by motorboat or water taxi, or if you prefer there are also more traditional, land based buses and taxis.
There are some great reasons to visit Venice in the winter and spring. The main reason is that there are far fewer tourists in the city, meaning that all the top attractions and restaurants are less crowded. Temperatures are moderate at around 6 to 7°C during the day in January and February (cooling down to zero at night), rising to 12°C in March, 15°C in April before summer arrives in May with average day time temperatures of around 21°C.
With over 250,000 people living in the city year round it is never quiet, but most tourists visit from April to September so avoiding the peak months makes your experience of Venice much more pleasant.
Venice is simply stunning and is a completely unique city of immense beauty. It was founded more than 1,500 years ago on 117 different islands. The maze of tiny side streets and pedestrianised lane-ways make for a shopping and foodie heaven. It is best experienced on foot and offers a wealth of historic monuments, magical piazzas and some incredible museums.
It’s easy to see how Venice has inspired artists, writers and poets the world over. It’s a city preserved in time where all buildings are supported on slender oak and pine piles (posts) which are driven deep into the ground to create a solid foundation.
The top attractions include the Grand Canal, St. Mark’s Square, the Basilica and Campanile, Palazzo Ducale, the islands of Murano and Burano, Teatro la Fenice and the Rialto Bridge. Also, don’t miss the chance to visit the world renowned Peggy Guggenheim collection.
Venice is a totally walkable and manageable city. When you look at a map of the city it resembles a fish, very apt for a city of islands, canals and bridges. You’ll find some suggested itineraries that take all the must see highlights on www.veniceconnected.com
Getting to Venice city centre from the airport
Marco Polo airport is about 12km from Venice. It is connected to the city by land with bus services from ACTV and ATVO and also by taxi. By water, there are the Alilaguna motorboats and also a good service provided by private water taxis. If you buy your tickets online from Alilaguna (www.alilaguna.it), you can get a return fare from just €25 per person.
Travelling by land from the airport to the historic city centre of Venice, you arrive at Piazzale Roma which is the bus terminal and it’s also the point of arrival for anyone who wants to visit the city by car. It is a sort of last outpost of the mainland. From Piazzale Roma you can only continue by foot or by the ACTV water buses or by water taxi. In Venice, you can’t go by car!
Another useful site with various transfer options from the airport to the city is www.venicelink.com It has private water taxis available from €95 one way. That’s the price for 1 to 4 people so if there are 3 or 4 or more travelling, it is a very affordable option.
When people think about city breaks, Venice may not instantly come to mind but it is truly a unique city. It is very affordable, ideal in the winter or spring and it’s probably one of the cities you haven’t been to before or if you have you may not have slept in the city. To get the real experience you need to stay in the city, sleep in the city and soak in the city… Enjoy
Staying in Venice
To get a feel of the real Venice you need to stay on into the evening, after the day-trippers have left. Hotel options include the great little 3-star Best Western Venice San Marco. As the name suggests, it’s just minutes from St. Mark’s Square. There are plenty more great value 3 and 4 star hotels in Venice available on ClickandGo.com
Carnevale di Venezia
The Venice Carnival (running from January 26th to February 12th in 2013) is the most popular event in Venice. Thirteen days of dressing up, shows, music, games and colour. The city explodes with fun and laughter and huge festive crowds fill the salon of Piazza San Marco and the multitude of other squares in the city. Free shows, period costume parades, concerts, living history, children’s entertainment, all-night dancing, food tasting and other sensory experiences – this is Carnival! A stimulating experience with something for everyone. One word of warning is that accommodation and hotels in Venice tend to be more expensive during the Carnival, so early booking is advised.
More Information about Venice
- Official website for the city of Venice.
- Programme of events for 2013 Venice Carnival.
- Wikipedia’s Venice page.
- Package deals to Venice including accommodation and flights from Dublin.