One of the most popular cities in Italy and may I say one of the most confusing to navigate. Venice is beautiful and I am so happy we had the chance to explore this great city. I have to say it is by far my mum’s most favourite city in Italy. She loved it.
I on the other hand just liked it. I love exploring cities but Venice was far too busy with tourists. I don’t feel like I can explore a city properly if I am constantly being pushed around. Plus photos don’t come out nice when there are more than 2 people trying to take them on the same spot. 🙂
Apart from this Venice is a beautiful city, the canals are great to walk around and it is very nice to just lose yourself in the never ending small streets. Since I am not great with maps we actually got lost and ended up outside a halal take away. Every Muslim should visit, i think it’s and there is plenty of halal food in Venice too.
I mean what else would you expect to find in Venice right?!
Saint Mark’s square is gorgeous and I fulfilled by dream of enjoying a coffee on the square. Needless to say it was an expensive coffee. 🙂
We stayed in the Bellini Hotel next to the train station which was very convenient. I used my Expedia coupon for this stay so it was free. I am glad I booked this hotel because I cannot imagine carrying my luggage through the cobbled streets.
Since Venice is on the water and mostly connected via small bridges, there is no straight road to take you to one place. It is mostly like a labyrinth and you have to make your way around. The problem is that this makes it harder to carry your bags around. My best advice will be to travel light if you are coming to Venice. If not there are many porter services offered by the hotels or independently but I am sure they don’t come cheap. It is actually pretty impressive to see people carrying your bags on a small trolley.
With regards to hotel accommodation it really depends how long you are staying for and what your budget is. There are plenty of options on the main Venice islands or in the surrounding areas. Also Airbnb offers some affordable housing options too.
Depending where you are arriving and leaving from there are plenty of transportation choices. We opted for the bus which is just few minutes from the train station. It costs 9 euro per person and it takes you in front of the airport in 20 minutes.
You can also take a water taxi or even a private service. Initially I was thinking of doing this however I was told that the water bus stop in the airport is quite a walk and it takes almost 1 hour and a half to reach. You can find all the information with regards to airport transport here .
Venice is very easy to walk around, all you need is comfortable shoes and you are good to go.
We didn’t take a gondola this time however the experience is worth it especially on the grand canal. It costs approximately 100euros / £80 and it can accommodate up to six people. So if you are a group of friends it is much cheap
Vapporetto transport – Water bus
We took the vapporetto which is their public transport across the city and the canal. The main line to the train station passes through the grand canal offering some great views and seeing many of the attractions from water. It is a highly recommended experience and you can take the vapporetto again on the way back. It is much cheaper than having a private tour as it only costs 10 Euro per person.
Free walking tour
One of my favourite things is a free city walking tour. Unfortunately it didn’t work out well for us on timing. They actually provide a great opportunity to explore the city with a local guide for free.
Many European cities offer this type of tour and it is very easy to join. You just have to turn up at the specified location and the exact time.
Things not to miss
St Marks Square
St Marks Square and Basicilla take approximately 40min to reach with a slow walk from the train station. There are signs to take you there although it is hard to miss it since most of the crowd is moving in the same direction.
The Grand Canal is just at the end of the St Marks square and it offers beautiful views of Venice. You can take the Water bus from there to other parts of Venice as well.
Ponte de Rialto (Rialto Bridge)
Definitely a very popular tourist attraction as it offers great views of the canal. Unfortunately when we went one side of the bridge was closed for restoration so it was very busy. Surrounding th bridge you can find many shops and restaurants to enjoy a short break.
There are Muslims everywhere in the world and venice is no exception. We found plenty of restaurants and take aways offering halal options and there is also a mosque in Venice.
Mosque (update: the mosque has now been closed)
The Islamic Cultural Centre of Venice is located a short distance from the train station and on the way to St. Mark’s square.
Islamic Cultural Centre Venice
Santa Maria della Misericordia, Campo de l’ Abazia
Cannaregio 3548, 30121 Venezia
There are so many halal food options that I don’t even think many of them are available to check online. Usually you can see they have a sign that says Halal as well as a certificate. Always double check to confirm.
We ate in the SKK shop, which we found by mistake while lost on our way back to the hotel. I hadn’t seen the Halal sign on the window when I walked in and when I asked the guy didn’t understand me to I ordered a vegetarian pizza. Still great and very affordable prices.
Below are some of the properties I saw in Venice, all of them are on the main tourist area so you will not have a problem finding them.
- SKK Shock Kebab Italy 4253 Via Daniele Manin, Venezia, Veneto
- Orient Experience Cannaregio | Rio Tera’ Farsetti 1847/b, 30121 Venice, Italy
- Quanto Basta Address: Cannaregio, 148, Venice, Italy