Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

Forums Other Destination advice Venice – help please!

Venice – help please!

Reply
  • NorthernLass

    Morning all! Last year OH and I were supposed to go to Vienna but had to cancel and then easyJet pulled the route so I rebooked to Venice which was the only place I fancied which fitted our new travel dates. However, we only have 2 1/2 days there so need some tips on maximising the time.

    Hotels – I have the Indigo provisionally booked but should possibly change to somewhere more central or one with its own water transport like the JW Marriott or Hilton Stucky. Both of these have rather mixed reviews though (including Rob’s!)

    What’s the most efficient way of getting to/from the airport? OH would probably like the Bond factor of one of those wooden motor boats lol.

    Any recommendations for guided tours of San Marco/Doge’s palace/other? We like history, architecture, art, music and food. Would also appreciate pointers to reasonably priced eateries.

    It will be November so hopefully relatively quiet and possibly wet!

    TIA

    QwertyKnowsBest

    Water taxi to/from airport, not quite James Bond but much cheaper.

    Murano is pleasant as is the water taxi to reach it,to pass an hour or two.

    Personally wandering around away from the busiest tourist areas found me decent not outrageously priced eats and interesting places.

    Enjoy.

    Rob
    HfP Staff

    The JW, if even open in November, could get unpleasant in bad weather – woukd be a choppy tramsfer. It is a very smart hotel though – you just lose the convenience of walking out of the door and being in the middle of the action.

    Murano is worth a visit. Glass factory tours can be interesting. Probably a bit cold for a Lido beach club.

    Strongly recommend the Peggy Guggenheim museum. The new LVMH department store is worth a visit just for the architecture and its roof terrace.

    If there is anything on at the opera house it also makes for a different sort of night out. Not as formal as Covent Garden, luckily, so no need to pack formal clothes.

    Go to the Gritti Palace hotel for lunch on the terrace.

    Rob
    HfP Staff

    Water taxi – play it by ear depending on the weather. It is cool though.

    Ladyshopper

    We stayed in a hotel on Murano. Had it’s own (free) speedboat transfer to and from the airport, which was cool, and also did free transfers over to the main island (although the public boats were plentiful and very cheap).

    Can’t remember the name off the top of my head (helpful I know), but it was on Secret Escapes a lot back when we went.

    Tracy

    I have stayed at both Hilton and Indigo, I much preferred the location of the Indigo as its on the main island and there was no waiting on the Hilton water taxi. The indigo is a good 20 minute walk to the main attractions but I really enjoy the walk but if you want to walk out of your hotel and be in St Marks square its probably not for you…

    NorthernLass

    Thanks!


    @Ladyshopper
    , was it the Hyatt Centric? That’s looking extremely good value on our dates and a speedboat transfer sounds ideal.

    pbcold

    I love this place and would say that the speedboat from the airport is absolutely mandatory if your route will take you down the Grand Canal. It is utterly breath taking. The opera house is also magnificent. Other things to consider:

    Ca` Peraro

    Fontego dei Tor

    Ca` Rezzonica

    San Giorgio Maggiore

    Book shop hidden away near St Marks called Alta Aqua Liberia

    Bascilla di Santa Maria Gloriosa

    Peggy Guggenheim Collection

    Richie

    If you’re looking for a non-fancy lunch or dinner, there are places in the Cannaregio district and Jewish quarter which can be very good, thorough research is the key to find them.

    NigelHamilton

    You can read my HFP reader review of the top class Hotel Heureka here (link below). It can’t be described as central, but the area around it is authentically Venetian and is much closer than staying on one of the islands. You will have a superb time if they have space!

    https://www.headforpoints.com/2020/05/16/review-hotel-heureka-venice/

    NorthernLass

    @pbcold – you’ve convinced me! I’ve booked the private speedboat transfer, £169 for 2 of us which seemed relatively reasonable – like you say it’s an iconic experience, and fully refundable up to the day before.

    @Nigel – thanks, I’ll have a look.

    slidey

    I stayed at the indigo a couple of weeks ago, I thought the location was fine. Its a couple of mins walk from the hotel to the vaporetto, which then takes about 10 mins to get to san marco (zaccaria stop). It takes like 45 mins to get from indigo to rialto on the vaporetto but its way easier to just exit the boat at zaccaria and walk from san marco to rialto as there is a direct path from the middle of san marco square, it takes <10 mins to walk. The vaporettos from the grand canal can also get busy. Can also walk from indigo to san marco, supposedly takes about 25 mins 🙂

    Richie

    BTW Angela Hartnett mentioned two places to eat in a BBC 2 programme, both looked very interesting, might be worth an iPlayer check.

    Ladyshopper

    Thanks!



    @Ladyshopper
    , was it the Hyatt Centric? That’s looking extremely good value on our dates and a speedboat transfer sounds ideal.

    I honestly can’t remember, but will try and find old emails etc to see if I can find the name!

    Ladyshopper

    Thanks!



    @Ladyshopper
    , was it the Hyatt Centric? That’s looking extremely good value on our dates and a speedboat transfer sounds ideal.

    I’ve found my booking from 2018! Yes, it was that hotel, although it was under a different brand back then. We really rated it, and loved the airport transfer service, felt very glamourous!

    davefl

    I stayed at the indigo a couple of weeks ago, I thought the location was fine. Its a couple of mins walk from the hotel to the vaporetto, which then takes about 10 mins to get to san marco (zaccaria stop). It takes like 45 mins to get from indigo to rialto on the vaporetto but its way easier to just exit the boat at zaccaria and walk from san marco to rialto as there is a direct path from the middle of san marco square, it takes <10 mins to walk. The vaporettos from the grand canal can also get busy. Can also walk from indigo to san marco, supposedly takes about 25 mins 🙂

    I walked those paths along the canal and also down the middle many times during my 5 days in Venice. The Indigo is lovely if a little quirky having to walk through the restaurant out into the garden if you have a room in the garden. Breakfast was excellent during the middle of the pandemic. (sept 2020)

    The path takes about 15-20 mins to St. Marks depending how quickly you walk. It’s very tranquil.

    NorthernLass

    Thanks for looking, @Ladyshopper, I appreciate that. It does look a great option – rooms start at just 137 euros on our dates for Hyatt members.

    pbcold

    @pbcold – you’ve convinced me! I’ve booked the private speedboat transfer, £169 for 2 of us which seemed relatively reasonable – like you say it’s an iconic experience, and fully refundable up to the day before.

    @Nigel – thanks, I’ll have a look.

    You will not regret this, I promise!

    jj

    Water taxi from the airport is essential, especially if your hotel has its own quay. £169 sounds expensive, though; I recently paid €150 to the Kempinsky San Clemente which is further than the Indigo, and we had to pay a baggage surcharge because we were travelling with bike boxes. Maybe you booked through the hotel concierge? They tend to add a mark-up.

    After the totally-mandatory visit to the Guggenheim, I would wander around the artsy local jewellery and homeware boutiques, then lunch on the waterfront at Antinoo’s, directly across the canal from the Gritti; but be warned that it faces North so could be chilly in November. The food is the best I’ve eaten in Venice, and the Bellinis are extraordinary.

    If you make the trip to super-pretty Burano (that’s a different place from Murano), the vineyard on the adjoining island of Mazzorbo is another splendid place for lunch. It has a choice of eateries, one of which is Michelin starred, and the wine is excellent.

    Definitely go to a concert. Even if La Fenice is closed, there are always multiple alternatives. For some reason, music always sounds better in Venice.

    And keep some money back for a couple of spontaneous water taxis. If you’ve enjoyed a fine meal and exquisite wine, you really don’t want to have to slum it home on a vaporetti.

    Apart from taxis, book everything in advance. Good restaurants, museums and concerts fill up alarmingly quickly.

    Enjoy. There is nowhere else on the planet quite like Venice.

    jj

    To avoid dashed expectations, I should also warn you that most water taxis are disappointingly made of white fibreglass these days rather than varnished teak. You should get some polished wood inside, though.

    NorthernLass

    @jj, thanks, it’s a private motorboat transfer where they meet you in arrivals – I think the water taxi option is shared and you have to find it yourself? Food options and Bellinis sound good. There aren’t many music options at all while we’re there – the only thing that tempted me was a performance of La Traviata in a stately home where they move from room to room, it sounds rather gorgeous but I think it would be too much for my OH! The one performance at La Fenice doesn’t appeal. I don’t have much luck with concerts on holiday – I was all set to see Carmen in Prague when we all came down with Covid and has to cancel that as well!

    The Savage Squirrel

    If you’re looking for a non-fancy lunch or dinner, there are places in the Cannaregio district and Jewish quarter which can be very good, thorough research is the key to find them.

    100% this. The best food I’ve had in Venice has been from modest-looking Osterias in the area. The quality is massively better (despite significantly lower prices) than the central and south eastern parts. Lovely areas to walk round too away from the crowds.

    jj

    @NorthernLass, water taxis aren’t shared and, unless you have mobility issues, there’s no need to be met in arrivals as there’s a clearly signposted indoor walkway (follow the signs for speedboat and/or taxi) with travelators between arrivals and the taxi quay.

    Ignore the taxi office on the way as you don’t need it. Just get to the quay and it works in very much the same way as a normal taxi rank in every other airport. Although there’s another office where you can pay at the window, I’ve always been greeted by a man with a clipboard who’s told me which boat to jump into. I’ve never needed to wait more than a couple of minutes so pre-booking isn’t necessary, although it does usually save a few €. Once you’re on the boat, it’s cash only although there are cash machines next to the quay if you’re caught short. All taxis are the same shape and size so don’t worry that you’re getting a dodgy boat, and I think the fares are regulated – at least, I’ve never been surprised by a taxi bill. New taxis tend to be fibreglass while older ones are wooden, but all give the same experience of a small central lounge behind the driver with leather seats, and a rear bench with a retractable roof where you can stand up, don your sunglasses and put on your very best impression of a pouting, windswept film star.

    As others have said, many of the restaurants around San Marco are mediocre and expensive, but I’ve had exceptional food even in that quarter and it is conveniently in the centre of many of the city’s attractions. If you need to eat there, don’t be discouraged: try Osteria Enoteca San Marco or Ai Mercanti and you won’t be disappointed, but you must book some time in advance unless you luck out with a cancellation.

    Tracy

    On my first time in Venice I did the usual sights and just a lot of oohing and aahing…second time round I had time for the other things I wanted to see. I love me a viewpoint so I enjoyed the clock tower (we booked in advance), campanile san gorgiori maggiore (paid on the day), bovolo staircase (we booked in advance), fondaco dei Tedeschi rooftop (we booked in advance). We visited the lido and Murano, didn’t rate either but YMMV. We went in September when the film festival and the historical regatta was on the river, quite the sight!! The yachts docked there for the film festival were something else…probably why I enjoyed the walk from the Indigo as we walked past them each time lol.

    masaccio

    Another water taxi recommendation from me. Last time we went we persuaded some other tourists to share the taxi which made it loads cheaper. A number of the glass museums also did free transfers by water taxi to Murano. Watch a glass blowing demo, walk through the shop and ignore the hard sell and you are done.

    Whether this is still possible I have no idea – was 10+ years ago. Tried to go again recently but Orient Express messed us about and we did something else.

  • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.

The UK's biggest frequent flyer website uses cookies, which you can block via your browser settings. Continuing implies your consent to this policy. Our privacy policy is here.