Venice is a city under siege. Tourists flood this city in a way that is much scarier than the water that floods low laying parts of the city at high tide. They are everywhere. Every nook and every cranny, there’s no escape. The romance of Venice is almost suffocating under the weight of sandals, bum bags and DSLR cameras. At least that’s how I felt after arriving, dragging my luggage through the narrow streets and collapsing on a bed in a tiny room.
Oh how wrong I was. How very, very wrong. Venice, the beauty, the majesty of this old world city is still there. Tucked away behind the man with excess sunscreen and the crying children. It’s there and it’s beautiful. After spending some time in Venice I came to see the vision of this city that had danced in my head. The tourists faded and I came to find that there are some amazing tourist traps in Venice that you must visit. If you want to see more, past the gaggles of tourists, you can read our post on non-touristy spots in Venice.
The Cafe’s in St Mark’s Square
Expensive, really really expensive. You’ll pay the foreigners price. Even non-Venetian Italians will pay more than usual. These cafes are well known tourist traps in Venice.
But taking your time and relaxing with un caffe, listening to classical piano while watching the world go by in St Mark’s Square? Just take my wallet, honestly, it is worth it.
The Rialto Bridge
The Rialto Bridge is a well known tourist trap in Venice, it’s pretty much a shopping strip for souvenirs. And it’s those tacky souvenirs, the type that your auntie collects.
But try to find a better view of the Grand Canal? Well, you won’t. This ancient bridge and it’s view of the beautiful, sleek Venetian water taxis moving through the city, this is a must visit list, so you get it.
St Mark’s Basilica
We aimed to get to St Mark’s Basilica early to avoid the lines. It didn’t work. Standing for forty five minutes in line for anything is not my thing. I mean, really, I’ll drive an hour to avoid waiting in line for thirty minutes, that makes sense to me.
But step inside and it was like walking into an Indiana Jones movie. The Basilica with its Gothic art and style is jaw dropping. I’d even recommend paying the extra couple of euro to see the historical collection of art.
By far the biggest surprise of any of the tourist traps in Venice was Doges Palace. We begrudgingly paid our money and walked around the courtyard. We made jokes like ‘is this it?’, ‘really? For that price?’. Then we thought we’d follow the people going upstairs into the palace and see what the rooms had to offer.
I’m not often lost for words but I was very quiet in the Doges Palace. The massive sprawling complex takes in everything from courtyards to a prison, ballrooms to weapons rooms. This place was amazing. The main ballroom almost rivalled some of the Vatican City.
Teatro de Fenice
Sometimes things are so hyped that you become sceptical before even getting there. Teatro de Fenice was a little like that. We had booked tickets a long time before heading over and walked past the theatre the day before the performance of La Traviata. The theatre, from the outside, didn’t look like much.
But the night we stepped inside for the opera it was eye opening. The extravagance and old world charm of this amazing theatre made this a highlight of our trip. The performance was absolutely incredible and the restaurant next to the theatre that we stopped by for wine after was the kind of place you’d propose to your wife a second time just for the fun of it.
Looking for more Italy local travel tips?
Check out our Italian travel blog to read more great tips for traveling in Italy.