Venice, Italy 2 Day Travel Tips
Transportation: Airport to the heart of Venice
2 options: Airport shuttle bus (ACTV)+ water bus(Vaporetto) or the Alilaguna, the direct water bus. (I did both options. Combo going and Alilaguna back).
Key note: Before entering any public transportation service in Italy (excluding gondolas) you must validate your ticket. There are yellow machines either when you get on or near the bus, which you'll want to stamp your ticket. Once validated it's good for 70 minutes.
From the airport, after you go through customs, there are automated ticket booths where you can purchase your bus ticket. You can also purchase your bus ticket outside of baggage claim from the provided bus companies booths if you prefer to speak with someone. The bus ticket is 7 euros and the bus is located directly outside of the airport. There are different bus companies that provide service, so please be sure to get in the right queue. If purchased from the attendant they'll tell you which queue to stand in. The bus ride is about 35-40 min and it is a direct bus ride where you will get off at Piazzale Roma to catch the water bus. The ticket booth for the water bus is right across from where the bus drops you off. Tickets for the water bus were 7.50 euros and 3 water buses had gone by the time I was able to get on due to the queue. I probably waited 30-40 minutes until I was able to get on the water bus, so patience is the key...or so they say. There was about 4 stops along the canal and if you're not sure which stop you need to get off at for your accommodation please be sure to ask the attendant at the ticket booth or your hotel concierge. Our stop was at the Rialto bridge and from there a 5 minute walk to my accommodation.
Venice back to Airport:
I took the Alilaguna back to the airport and I highly suggest this option. I've heard mixed reviews that this option takes much longer but I left at 0630, so for me it was much quicker and the cost was 15 euros. The reason I didn't take this option getting to Venice was because when I had googled the directions it said it was a 15-20 minute walk to get to the port from the airport. I was thinking I had to walk off some beaten path to get to the port but it was super easy. The airport has a moving walk way connecting you to the port and there wasn't any queue. There are even signs pointing you to the direction of the Alilaguna.
Unlimited water bus pass:
Price: 20 euros (1 day pass)
This is a good option if you plan on hopping on and off the water bus throughout the day and it will take out you to the other islands as well. Otherwise, it's 7 euros each time you take the water bus. You can purchase this ticket at any of the water bust ticket booths throughout Venice.
Yes this exists. If you choose not spend 80 euros on a "true" gondola ride there are gondola taxis that will take you across the canal for a fraction of the price. The cost is anywhere between 2-3 euros.
Accommodation: Hotel Marconi
This hotel was at the prime location. Steps away from the Rialto bridge and the water bus stop was directly across the canal from the hotel. I had purchased my accommodation through Hotels.com for 118 USD. The only down fall I had was with the pillow. It was too big, which made it difficult to sleep. Otherwise, the hotel staff was friendly, the rooms were clean and I would definitely stay here again. Oh, and did I mention they have a fantastic breakfast buffet?
What to see:
Take your time exploring Venice by getting lost. With the winding canals and picturesque architecture there's plenty to look at. To avoid the queue buy your tickets in advance or go in the morning to visit the main attractions.
St. Mark's Basilica
St. Mark's Square
Bridge of Sighs
Libreria Acqua Alta (really cool book store, no that's not the translation)
Food & Drinks
I've been told that Venice is not known for their food and that is right. I found the food to be average at best. However, here are some items you should try...
Cicchetti (Venice's version of Spanish tapas) This tasty snack can be found at any bar and is less than 2 euros.
Aperol Spritz (my new favorite) This can be easily paired with cicchetti and makes a good aperitivo.
Pasta with olive oil, garlic & peperoncino
Food I found to be just average:
Pasta with clams
Pasta with cuttlefish and squid ink
Penne Pasta with pesto