Travelling solo to Venice, located in southern Italy is an experience in itself. Each year thousands of nomads around the world visit Venice and celebrate their passion for wanderlust.
The southern European nation of Italy is brimming with rich cultural history and diversity. As one of the most frequently traveled countries in the world, Italy boasts an array of cities worth a visit.
Italy’s capital city Rome was the birthplace of the all-conquering Roman Empire. Today, Rome is a vibrant fusion of ancient ruins combined with modern cosmopolitan influences. The Northern city of Milan is the fashion capital of the world and central Florence is a vivid artistic paradise in the idyllic Tuscany region.
Although all the aforementioned Italian cities are beautiful and diverse in their own way, it is the coastal city of Venice which is a truly unique destination. Connected by an extensive network of canals, Venice is a breathtaking smorgasbord of spectacular castles, wonderful bridges and lively public squares.
Narrow alleyways connect the various Venetian districts on foot but in order to have a truly Venetian experience, it is essential to travel through the water, whether by vaporetto (water taxi), traghetto (traditional boat) or the renowned picture-perfect gondola.
Essential Information for Individuals Travelling Solo to Venice
|Being an Indian, I boarded my flight from New Delhi.
Cost of flight from New Delhi to Venice via Rome (4.5 hour layover) with Alitalia Airlines is Rs. 47000 (average).
Many other options with a different airline and a different layover location are available.
|Average summer temperature = 26 C
Average winter temperature = 8 C
|Best time to visit|
|March and September|
|Euro (1 EUR = 80 INR)|
|Central European Summer Time (GMT+2.00)
3.5 hours behind Indian Standard Time
What Transport Options to Avail While Travelling Solo to Venice
After landing at Venice Marco Polo Airport, a shuttle transfer service will take you to Venice city centre, dropping you off at bus stop Piazzale Roma in approximately 20 minutes. A one-way ticket costs 8 EUR and a return ticket can be bought for 15 EUR.
It is a good idea to buy an ACTV Public Transport Card. It allows unlimited travel on all vaporettos (water taxis) and buses in Venice. Single-Pass costs 20 EUR for 1 day, 30 EUR for 2 days, and 60 EUR for a week.
If the public transport card seems expensive, fret not! Walking in Venice is arguably the most enjoyable means of transportation. There is something special about getting lost amidst the narrow alleyways and interspersed canals of this city.
Reasonable Accommodations to Avail While Travelling Solo to Venice
|Casa per ferie (Holiday Home) La Pietà
Great budget option in the heart of Castello (old Venice), within walking distance of St. Mark’s Square, and just a 2-minute walk from a vaporetto stop.
A swanky hostel in Giudecca– an island district away from the hustle and bustle of central Venice. St. Mark’s Square is around 20 minutes away on foot but a vaporetto stop is within a 5-minute walk.
Appealing Attractions for First Time Visitors Travelling Solo to Venice
If you’re travelling solo to Venice then your visit will be deemed incomplete without the magnificent Basilica di San Marco or Saint Mark’s Basilica. Located in the central square of Piazza San Marco, the Cathedral is the quintessential Venetian monument, adorned with admirable art scattered across royal interiors.
Constructed in 1092, the main tower with a height of 43 m is designed according to Gothic Italian Byzantine architectural ideals. The incredible attention to detail on the exterior is accentuated by the flamboyant innards of the Basilica.
The cathedral is free to enter but you will be limited to a brief look around the central plaza. Admission into the treasury costs 3 EUR and paying another 5 EUR will grant you access to the upper deck area with a sprawling balcony.
The treasury contains a diverse collection of paintings, relics and statues illustrating the glorious history of the city of Venice. The upper deck is accessed through a winding staircase. The Byzantine horses dotted around the area lay further witness to the splendid beauty of the cathedral. Considering the spellbinding historical significance of the cathedral, I would strongly recommend going for both the extra options.
Keep in mind that photography is strictly prohibited once you enter St. Mark’s Basilica. Disobeying the rule could lead to guards escorting you outside and possibly demanding a fine.
Wear appropriate clothes and deposit all luggage at the front gate before entering the premises.
Be respectful of the fact that this is a religious haven, not a tacky museum.
|Saint Mark’s Basilica is open from Monday to Saturday between 9.30 am and 5.00 pm. On Sunday, the Basilica is open from 2.00 pm to 5.00 pm.|
Based on my experience of travelling solo to Venice in the month of April, I would strongly recommend queuing up around 9 am and possibly even earlier to gain quick entry into the Basilica. This is especially important during the peak season between May and July.
A solitary visit to the Basilica is likely to last around 10 minutes. Spare at least another hour if you wish to explore the treasury and the upper deck.
The Palazzo Ducale or Doge’s Palace is one of the most recognizable monuments of Venice. The title of Doge was given to the highest state-elected representative in the bygone Venetian era. Today, it remains open to the public for a vivid and wondrous gaze upon the wealth of the Republic of Venice. As a hallmark of the opulent Venetian era, the Palace is an awe-inspiring fusion of history, art and culture.
The Palace remains open every day from 8.30 am to 7 pm. A single ticket costs 20 EUR and grants entry to not only the Doge’s Palace but also provides access to the Museo Correr (Correr Museum), the Museo Archeologico Nazionale (National Archaeological Museum) and the Monumental Rooms of the Biblioteca Nazionale Marciana (National Library of St. Mark’s).
6-14-year-old children, 15 to 25-year-old students, and senior citizens over the age of 65 can avail a concessionary price of 13 EUR.
|If you fail to secure a ticket through the official website, companies such as Viator offer guided tours throughout Venice.|
Tickets can sell out months in advance, especially in the peak summer months so it is recommended to plan your trip accordingly.
San Marco Campanile
The San Marco Campanile or Clocktower is located opposite to Saint Mark’s Basilica. A breathtakingly brilliant panoramic view of the entire Venetian island can be captured from the viewpoint on the roof of the tower.
Tickets to the top cost 8 EUR and frankly speaking I would recommend this tremendous attraction without a shadow of a doubt.
Rialto Bridge and Grand Canal
The Grand Canal is the largest canal in the metropolitan city of Venice. The Ponte di Rialto (Rialto Bridge) is the impressive structure that connects the various parts of the Canal. The robust 24-foot arch of the Bridge was built by legendary architect Antonio da Ponte (Anthony of the Bridge) in just three years between 1588 and 1591.
The Rialto Bridge and Grand Canal is located in the vicinity of the Piazzale Roma train station and can be reached fairly easily from the central San Marco district. The Bridge contains a set of stairs which might be challenging to traverse with heavy luggage.
Budget Tours for Visitors Travelling Solo to Venice
|Venice Grand Canal Boat Tour
This 60-minute tour includes a cruise along the city’s more secluded waterways to enjoy the picturesque small bridges and “off the beaten track” sights, to introduce you to a quieter Venice.
|Murano and Burano Island Tour
Enjoy a boat tour that will make you discover the islands of Murano and Burano. Depart from the San Marco area and explore the lagoon with an expert local guide and a comfortable boat.
| Venice Sightseeing Walking Tour with a Local Guide
Explore the most fascinating city in the world with a local guide that knows every corner and secret of it. The tour lasts approximately 2 hours, it is all outdoor and is available private or in a small group.
|Self-Guided Panoramic Tour
Your personal walking tour for discovering the city at your own pace by day or by night without any fixed timetable or rush. An audio guide will bring you in the heart of Venice explaining curiosities and tales about the artistic treasures of the Accademia, Rialto and Saint Mark’s areas.
Food in Venice – Is it Affordable if you’re Travelling Solo to Venice
I would totally recommend discovering fresh places to eat through personal exploration and local word of mouth. The Italians take their food very seriously and there is no better judge of their admirable cuisine than they themselves.
Stay off the beaten path rather than relying on obsolete guidebooks in order to benefit from a truly enriching culinary experience.
Important Points to Consider Before you go Munching in Venice
|Eating out anywhere in the city centre can burn a hole in your pocket. Fancy restaurants in the central Castello and San Marco districts are often a tourist trap, offering pretentious food for exorbitant prices.|
|Small corner stalls and cafes are a lot cheaper while offering delicious Italian cuisine.|
|The average price of a single pasta or pizza portion at a local stall is 5 EUR.|
|When looking for a place to eat, try walking through narrow cobbled streets trying to find local corner eateries. While wandering around Venice, you will be probably be reeled into a hole-in-the-wall restaurant by the enchanting aroma of their fresh Italian ingredients.|
|Some of the finest Italian food can be savoured in small eateries in the Dorsoduro and Cannaregio districts of Venice.|
Although I strongly recommend self-exploration to find an appetizing Italian meal in Venice, I would suggest the following eatery in a flash –
Dal Moro’s Fresh Pasta To Go: A tourist-friendly corner joint offering sumptuously fresh pasta in takeaway boxes for an affordable price of 5-7 EUR.
Safety Suggestions for a Travelling Solo in Venice
Venice is a generally safe city with an unblemished track record. Crime rates are impressively low and violent crimes are rare. However, petty crimes such as mugging and pickpocketing can take place in busy central areas.
In order to be safe, carry minimal cash and securely store your cash in a backpack. Walking late at night should be safe but it is still advisable to stay away from narrow dimly-lit streets. Always stay close to a vaporetto (water taxi) stop so that you have a safe escape route in case you feel like you are being stalked.
A frequent petty crime throughout Italy involves touts trying to sell you counterfeit items. These individuals will initially come across as sweet and charming, offering you a free rose, necklace or a friendship band, for instance.
However, once you take the product, they will immediately turn sour, demanding a ridiculous amount of money from you. They are likely to keep bugging you for a while but it is best to return the product and briskly walk away from them. Due to a strong fear of local police, they will never put their hands on you.
If you wish to buy a Venetian souvenir, it is advisable to shop at local stores rather than buying cheap, sub-standard products from street vendors.
Travelling solo to Venice has helped me connect with the place better. Venice is a watery destination and is also a UNESCO world heritage site. Plan a trip soon.
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