Life as a digital nomad has been awesome so far. It allowed me to spend a month beachside in Portugal, and now it has led me to a month-long country getaway in the Tuscan countryside! The first city I visited solo was to Venice and it was the city where I met the most people!
Where to stay:
When traveling solo the best thing to do is to stay in hostels. Yes, hostels! They are not all bad and it is where I usually meet most of my friends when I am traveling. The hostel I stayed at you had to take a boat taxi to get to. This cost about $7.50 one way which was ridiculous, but I also spent $40 for a weekend in an 8-bed room. Obviously, water taxis are one of the main sources of transportation while in Venice, so yes, the $40 48-hour pass is worth it.
I got on Booking.com and found a last minute deal (like 12 hours before my trip last minute) and scored the Generator Venice Hostel. This hostel was probably the nicest hostels I have stayed in! But, the downside is with this hostel they have a bar and restaurant inside which is VERY expensive and they do not allow outside food and drinks. The rooms and bed were nice and comfortable and the people were friendly. I met SO MANY new friends here and actually spent the weekend with all of them.
What to do in Venice, Italy:
1. GET LOST
You know the saying, “Get lost in Venice”, well I did. The first thing I did when exiting my train in Venice was get lost. I even had my Google Maps in hand trying to get to St. Marks Square! But getting lost in Venice wasn’t that bad LOL.
2. St. Marks Square
I hope someone seeing Venice for the first time gets the same reaction I did after walking up and seeing St. Marks Square for the first time. The square is huge and filled with lots of tourists, but it is amazingly beautiful at the same time! Take a peek inside Saint Mark’s Basilica for free while you’re there!
3. Grab a gelato and shop the market at St. Mark’s Square
While at St. Marks Square, walk towards the water where you will walk right into the water taxi’s, but you will also see an awesome market and cool restaurants. Sit back and relax with your gelato and shop around!
4. Buy a Venetian carnival mask
One thing you will notice while walking the little alleys of Venice is the number of shops that sell Venetian carnival masks. Venetian masks are a centuries-old tradition and are typically worn during the Carnival of Venice. They have also been used on many other occasions in the past like for hiding the wearer’s identity and social status.
5. Take a gondola ride
This will be one of the expensive things to do, but you can split the cost if you go with a group. I mean, when in Venice, right?!
6. Visit the colorful island of Burano
Burano is known for its colorful homes on an island about 30 minutes from Venice. You have to take water taxis to get there, and it can be a bit tricky but there are people there to help you understand which taxi to take. The island is very small but cute and quaint! Burano is known for their lace and there is lots of it! Grab a gelato at a local shop, and walk around to enjoy the colorful homes!
7. Visit Murano
Murano is also 30 minutes from Venice and you have to take a water taxi to get there. Murano is known for their glass which has specialized in glassware for centuries. TIP: There is only 1 store in Venice that sells authentic Murano glass. To make sure you get authentic glass go to Murano and visit the museum and watch how they make it!
8. Go find the Support sculpture on the Grand Canal
This sculpture is very cool and it is where two giant hands come out of the Grand Canal while holding the side of the Ca’ Sagredo Hotel. This piece is a visual statement of the impact of climate change and rising sea levels on the historic city.
It is very easy to see Venice in 2 days and spending a weekend is just the right amount of time. I easily did everything listed above and even worked in 2 days.
Price of eating out:
Venice is a very expensive city! Eating at restaurants will cost on average $15+ and if you just get pizza it is a little cheaper at some restaurants with it costing about $6.00. We went to a local grocery store by our hostel and snuck in food through our backpacks because the costs of eating out were getting expensive.
I arrived in Venice by train via Florance. Now, my trip to Venice was very last minute and my train ticket with Italo was about $100. So buy your train tickets in advance!