Venice Travel: Earn Your Water Wings

Venice-Canal

Reading Time: 4 mins - Pop some dopamine and get your sightseeing snorkel ready, ‘cos we’re hitting the Venice highways and byways and it’s gonna be wild, baby! Actually truth be told, getting around Venice is a slow and steady affair, and odds are while cruising you’ll never speed up above snail’s pace. However, to the uninitiated, navigating Venice can be a bit stressful – so here’s some useful advice to get you on your way.



Vaporettos and water taxis

If you’re doing Venice, Generator-style, you’ll have to make your way to the hostel on Giudecca Island waterfront via boat. So, you’ll become firmly familiar with the Vaporettos and with the water taxis in no time. Just remember, whenever you arrive in Venice proper from the hostel, you’re going to mostly walk from place to place – but you’re going to always have to accommodate for the journey to and from Giudecca.

Vaporettos are the big water buses that follow a particular route and are a dependable and relatively affordable way of getting from place to place. To use them you’ll either need a single-fare ticket or a city pass, either of which will can be bought from an ACTV ticket outlet. Take note however, that mathematically it might only be worth getting a pass if you’re in town for over a week. Be sure to validate your ticket before using the Vaporettos or you’ll risk getting a fine – just swipe the electronic card reader on the walkways before boarding.

Water taxis are the sexy little boats your inner 007 always pictured yourself in. For only a small fortune you can find yourself reclining on leather seats while wearing your best threads, hair blowing behind you in the wind, finally living the luxe life you’ve always deserved. If you’re traveling with a light purse you might find water taxis to be out of your budget, however, they’re most definitely worth doing once for the true Venice experience.



Gondolas

If you’re in Venice, you’ll undoubtedly want to ride in a gondola, despite the fact that it ranks up there as the most touristy activities in the world, alongside pretending to push the Tower of Pisa, and getting engaged at Machu Pichu. Basically, if you’re doing it, there’s no way you’re a local.
 
Gondolas can be expensive, but there’s no reason to book it in advance unless you’re happy to pay a premium. Haggle for duration and price but recognise that the gondolier will be in a position of power when negotiating, especially as the baseline price is set by the city. Remember that a standard gondola can fit up to six people, so if you’re traveling alone or in a couple, why not ask around at the Generator hostel bar to see if any other new friends might want to join you.



Venice Tours

Here’s the unsaid secret when it comes to Venice – for better or for worse, this wonderous floating city is a tourist trap. Venice has a quarter of a million residents (at a push), and near to all of them live in the mainland. In comparison, over 20 million tourists come visit every year, so when you look around, recognise that you and everyone around you have entered a pretty unique ecosystem developed over time to suit the tourist.
 
So, don’t feel too proud to book yourself on an official tour. Whether it’s a water tour of the canals, or a photography tour by foot, or a rowing tour by small wooden boat – you’re bound to learn about the city’s history, culture and narrative best if accompanied by a professional guide. You might also make friends with some elderly tourists asking you to take a photo for them. Quite cringe, but worth it – and as always, never hesitate to ask at the hostel desk for advice or assistance. We’re here to help, always.

Need a place to crash after exploring?

Come back to us, grab a drink and chill by the fire place. We've got plenty of rooms for you to rest you head.