How to Explore Venice like an Italian | Non-Touristy Solo Travel
Venice, a city of lagoons popularly known as the floating city, is a dream place to travel to that has long caught the attention of solo travellers. The city of dreams, as I call it, is separated by 118 canals and connected through more than 400 bridges. With that, let’s get right to the tips I have gathered for you on the dreamful places to travel like a local in Venice to relax your tension as a solo female traveller.
Places to solo travel in Venice
First things first, Venice is a completely safe place to travel solo. Even at night, you can roam through their alleys without sensing the threat. Although general threats, such as pickpocketing and bag snatching, are common. That certifies Venice as a travel-friendly place for solo travellers. So, the places to visit on your solo travel to Venice are,
- Basilica di Santa Maria della salute
- San Marco Piazza
- The Doge Palace
- Jewish Ghetto
- Casa del Tintoretto
- Fortuny Palace
- Fenice Theatre
- Grassi Palace
All attractive details of these places you must solo travel to in Venice are here.
Must-have experiences in Venice, Italy
Gondola ride in Venice
A must-have experience in Venice is the gondola ride. The gondola ride is the pride and everlasting beauty in Venice. So, reach out to a gondola ride offering places on your solo travel in Venice. The popular gondola ride stations in the circumference of historical centres are San Marco station, San Moisè church station, Grand canal, Piazzale Roma, Santa Sofia station, and San Toma station. Unless you have a keen sense of exploring the historical places of Venice on a gondola, you can go for less crowded routes in the back canals. One such example is the Jewish ghetto.
Drinking water from a public fountain
Drinking from the public fountain places on your solo travel in Venice is a must-have experience. Don’t you simply like the idea of having a fountain here and there in the streets to drink water from? See, Venice is a dreamy place. And these fountains look like vintage pieces chiselled with artful faces. More importantly, the water from these fountains is 100% pure and healthy. You can drink it directly from the fountain for free.
A must-have experience in Venice is eating Cicchetti in the alley, watching over the canals. Tasting Cicchetti in local places on your solo travel is a holy thing to do in Venice. Cicchetti refers to all delectable and fresh finger snacks served in Venice. It is served With Ombre in traditional taverns called bacari. Ombre is nothing but red or white wine or any aperitivo.
Cicchetti is small, inexpensive, and eaten standing up with your hands. Meatballs, fried zucchini, fried squid, baby octopuses, boiled eggs with sardines, slices of bread with baccalà (creamed cod), fried mozzarella, and hundreds of other classic and unique flavours are all possible fillings of Cicchetti, but they all be in small size.
Drone view of Venice
Solo travel to places that gives the stunning drone view of Venice for a memorable experience. Don’t you want to see the live map of Venice? How are the canals finding their way into the buildings? The places to have the panoramic view of Venice are Campanile di San Marco, San Giorgio Maggiore, T Fondaco dei Tedeschi rooftop terrace, Rialto bridge, Bridge of Accademia and Palazzo Contarini del Bovolo. Check out these places on your solo travel for the best views in Venice.
Taking part in Venetian festival
Taking part in the Carnival of Venice is a must-have experience in Venice. For that, you have to visit Venice in the month of Easter. The carnival starts 30 days before Easter and ends before Ash Wednesday. What appears to the tourist like a festival with masks has a huge significance. The masks hide not only the face of the people but also conceal their social status. Thus, it is a festival to enjoy as one, as a Venetian without any social barriers.
However, there are two basic types of masks used in the carnival. They are traditional masks and Commedia dell’Arte characters masks. The traditional masks are of three types—Bauta, Volto, and Moretto. Bauta masks are worn by men, while Moretto maks are worn by women. You know what, Moretto masks don’t have ropes to support them. Instead, you have to directly fix them upon your face. Because of that, women cannot speak as the mask will come down. It’s interesting to consider the double standards in Venetian society!
Going for a glassblowing class
Prepare to get your hands full with glassblowing. Murano, one of Venice’s seven floating islands, is known for its glassmaking. Hence, put Murano on the place to solo travel in Venice. And, when you’re in Murano, make a point of visiting their glass manufacturers. You can book an appointment or just walk in unannounced to see the glass variations, shapes, and the art of manufacture.
Believe me, when I say that. Even when they may appear to be uninteresting, they are a fascinating and entertaining activity to do in Venice. But, what I found inelegant about the glassblowing class is they pressurize you to buy glass items from them!
How to make the best of your solo trip to Venice
Since you have the list of places to solo travel in Venice, now shall we look at how to explore Venice like a local? Well! I have seven useful tips to make the best of your travel in Venice.
For the best experience, leave those fancy shoes behind
This tip is not about the best place to solo travel in Venice rather about how to travel to places in Venice. Did you know? There aren’t any vehicles in Venice other than the boats. People walk, walk and walk—30 minutes walking is normal to the natives! They prefer Vaporetto for a long ride only.
That said, to travel places like a local in Venice, you need to leave those fancy shoes behind and walk along with them. In the end, you will love it—the beautiful sidewalks with the view of the bridges and canal, who wouldn’t love it?
Also, if the water level rises in the canal, it enters the alleys. This phenomenon is called acqua alta. I found them fascinating and a unique experience as well.
Best places to stay in Venice
The best places to stay in Venice on your solo travel
- The San Marco district
- San Polo district
The San Marco district, which stretches from Saint Mark’s Square to the Accademia bridge, is the best place to stay in Venice. This way, you’ll be right in the heart of Venice’s historic district. Castello is a place where you can find various luxury hotels, nice clubs, and restaurants. San Polo, situated near the Rialto Bridge neighbourhood, is a place where you can find shops and restaurants that sell the famous Cicchetti.
If you want to be near the train station and the Jewish ghetto while staying in a fashionable neighbourhood, then Dorsoduro is the place for you. I stayed in Dorsoduro. I found the neighbourhood calm and uncontaminated by the crowd.
There is an option for you to stay on the mainland. Though it is cheaper, you will have to take a train and come to Venice daily. The average price for a hotel in Venice is $115, but you can get accommodation for less as well.
Hop on a boat to see Venice from the water!
This goes without saying one of the best places that give the experience of local solo travel in Venice is a boat ride that includes gondolas. Moving through the waters is the sole attraction of Venice. There are two types of boat rides available for tourist transport in Venice. They are Gondola and Vaporetto.
The gondola ride is specifically for travellers to experience a spark of the Venetian tradition. A gondola ride in Venice costs 80 euros for 30-40 minutes, but they are worth it! While gondola is a one-time thing in Venice, Vaporetto serves your time-to-time navigation in Venice. Vaporetto, public transportation is much cheaper than a gondola. It cost only 8 euros for a ride.
And, if you take a travel pass, it would become even more affordable.
Getting to the point, be it gondola or Vaporetto, just hop into one and witness the rich and vintage hallucinations Venice has to offer you!
Find and enjoy the best local bars, restaurants, and shops
Okay. This is a serious issue that needs the attention of travellers. We, travellers, prefer going to renowned restaurants and shops. If not, we end up in a place close to the tourist location.
Your next place to solo travel in Venice is overlooked shops and restaurants. Yes, if you try to find a local shop located a few marches from your comfort, maybe you will have an unexpected likeable experience. I am saying this as a person who has experienced those on my solo travel.
If you want to explore Italy like a local, then without any doubt, venture into their alleys and grab a seat at a less crowded restaurant or barge into overlooked shops. Make sure you share your experience in the comments. Let others know how tremendous it is to find joy in underrated local shops and restaurants. Maybe we can make them shine out their place.
Always make sure your guide is a local
Sometimes to travel places as a solo traveller is tiring in Venice. You may look for a guided tour to make things not risky. I won’t say guided tours are a waste. Of course, they lighten up our work, but it is not for a person travelling on a budget. Anyways, confirm that your guide is local. So that it would be of added advantage doubling your experience as a local. Discover Venice with a local. It is the best way to see Venice, Italy!
Get rid of the fear of not finding a bathroom
Haha. A place you will visit without anyone saying on your solo travel is the bathroom. If you have any fear that you wouldn’t find a restroom outside, don’t worry. You can find restrooms in the tourist location. While some are at no cost for guests, like those toilets in the Venice museums, others demand a euro or 1.50 euro to use the toilet. 1.50 euro is pricey, right? But who cares about one euro when they need to relieve the uneasiness. So, don’t complain. Pay and use the Italian restroom.
Authentic local food in Venice, even on a budget!
As said, on your solo travel to Venice, look for places hidden from the busy streets. Local shops distanced from the main corners are cheaper, tastier, and lovelier. After stealing a glance of one such hidden restaurant, have authentic Venetian local foods such as Cicchetti, Ombre, Baccalà Mantecato, and Sarde in Saor. Cicchetti is a widely popular snack in Venice.
It won’t suffice to simply mention Cicchetti because there are many different flavours and toppings to choose from. There is also a plethora of seafood snacks to choose from. Cicchetti, Aperitivo, Gelato, and Pasta were among my favourite foods in Venice. San Marco’s pasta is out of this world. It’s worth a shot!
Best apps to explore Venice like a local
Ten best applications to use in Venice on your solo travel to navigate to places easier are,
- WiFi Finder
- Ulmon: Venice Guide
- AVM Venezia
- App Taxi
- Il Meteo
- Google maps
- Hi!tide Venezia
- Google maps
- Wc Venice
Wi-Fi Finder app helps you find Wi-Fi availabilities near your place on your solo travel in Venice. Ulmon: Venice Guide is an offline city map of Venice. It provides in-depth travel content and guidance on popular tourist destinations in Venice.
Google Maps is a damsel in distress. Using this app, you can navigate Venice without any help. Needless, it does not work well when strolling through the deeper alleys, but you will know where you are at least. Also, Google Maps allows you to save your map, which is a terrific alternative. Surprisingly, you can find travellers using paper maps in Venice since they don’t want to use their mobile data.
AVM Venezia is a fantastic official app for public transportation information, including a trip planner and timetables. Use the Hi!tide app to check the timings and heights of water in Venice, in the case of Acqua Alta. Il Meteo is a weather app available in English. KiShare app connects you with travellers who want to share gondolas, lagoon excursions, and water taxis through an app taxi. WC Venice assists you in locating public restrooms in Venice.
An extra tip
An extra tip to act like a local in places travellers tend to break away on your solo travel in Venice. Apparently, st. Mark square is filled with pigeon population. That said, you can go to the extent of admiring them, but don’t feed them anything. It is illegal in Venice to feed pigeons in public areas. Likewise, eating near and on the canal is illegal, and you will be fined/warned for the same.
Venice can be explored in as little as one day and as many as three days. My single trip itinerary included one day to see the major tourist attractions and another day to visit surrounding islands, Murano, Cemetry, Burano, and Torcello. You may plan your own, but it should not take more than three days. Have a wonderful trip!
An introverted blogger who is looking to make unforgettable solo travel memories with one short life.