1. BETTER HOTEL RATES
Venice is a popular destination year-round, but high season peaks at the beginning of summer. If you want to get a better deal on a hotel room, book in November through mid December. When I visited in the summer, I stayed at Splendid Venice, a 4 star contemporary, luxury canal-side hotel right near Piazza San Marco (St Mark’s Square). This trip I stayed at Ca’Sagredo, a 5 star luxury hotel, located on the Grand Canal just down the way from the Rialto Bridge. I loved both hotels but they are very different – Spendid Venice is more modern while Ca’Sabgredo boasts old world luxury, so it is really up to your style preference. You can reach both hotels by water taxi from the Venice airport.
Venice is one of the best walking cities I’ve ever been to. I have spent hours there wandering around in amazement of all the cute shops, restaurants and bars surrounded by winding canals. In the summer the extreme heat slowed me down, forcing me to seek water and shade, but in the winter – all bundled up with a warm coat, boots and a beanie, I happily explored the city for hours on end. My only complaint is that it can be very foggy in the winter, but the fog usually burns off by the afternoon.
3. LESS CROWDED
It is always nice to explore somewhere when it is not very crowded. In the summer Venice is swarming with people. But in the winter, there are far less tourists, making it much more pleasant to walk around, especially around Piazza San Marco. And if you take way too many photos like me, I am sure you will be happy with far less people getting in the way!
4. BACARO JAZZ BAR
Voted 68th best bar outside of the US, Bacaro Jazz Bar is open year-round and is a must visit if you fancy a drink in a lively atmosphere. Stop by Harry’s Bar (Cipriani’s first – that’s right New Yorkers) for a civilized cocktail then head to Bacaro Jazz for some real fun. They have great sangria, a huge selection of crazy shots and 2 for 1 happy hour every day from 4-6pm. WARNING -If you wear a bra you probably won’t be going home with it!
5. GONDOLA RIDES
A romantic gondola ride through the meandering canals of Venice is an experience not to be missed. After visiting in both the summer and winter, I would have to argue that there is something even more idyllic and magical about getting bundled up and snuggling with someone you love on a winter gondola ride.
Have you been to Venice? Please share your experience in the comments section below!