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One Day in Venice Itinerary

If you travel in Italy then no doubt you will spend time in Venice. To make the most of your time use our One Day in Venice itinerary.

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Venice is one of Italy’s most popular stops for tourists, not to mention European cities, with tourists arriving by the thousands everyday. Narrow streets open up in to beautiful Piazzas and gondolas are paddled sleepily through the picturesque canals that wind between beautiful historic buildings.

One day in Venice itinerary

One Day in Venice

With so many people sometimes it can feel like you are trapped in an overcrowded outdoor museum. However, the city itself is relatively small and if you are pressed for time you could easily do just one day in Venice.

What to see in Venice

While Venice is popular with tourists it actually wasn’t all that interesting for us. Maybe it’s because we didn’t bother to take one of the famous Venice tours that people like so much, who knows? However we have highlighted all the top things to see and do below for your one day Venice itinerary.

Early on your will realise there are a lot of bridges in Venice. In fact there are over 400 which Cole seemed intent on finding! We actually found that the best ones were the smaller bridges that crisscross their way over the many canals between narrow alleyways. While the most popular ones, such as Ponte di Rialto, cross over the Grand Canal and can be beautiful in the sunset if there aren’t any tourists (unlikely).

Ponte di Rialto Bridge Venice

Nearby to Ponte di Rialto bridge you will also find the local Rialto markets with fruit, fish and hand-made goods available. Most close around 1 – 2pm though so get here early for the best food. Brilliant for a budget lunch option.

Many of the streets in Venice spill onto Piazza’s (squares) with churches, restaurants and bars along the edges. The most popular, and largest, is Piazza San Marco and it really is the heart of Venice.

Buildings tower above the crowds and outdoor restaurants line the sides of the square with musicians entertaining the patrons with their melodies. Piazza San Marco is always teaming with people during the day getting photos with the pigeons.

Not sure why considering they are basically flying rats and you would never do this in any other city in the world!

Basilica di San Marco is located in Piazza San Marco and the bonus is that it is free. The church is equally beautiful from the outside as the inside. Shimmering gold seems to reach even the darkest corners captivating every pair of eyes turned upwards at the ceiling. Unfortunately they don’t allow photos inside.

As your day comes to an end head to one of the cicchetti bars, pronounced chi-keh-tee. Here you can join the locals for a glass of wine and indulge in the Venetian version of tapas. Tourists frequent the ones near Rialto bridge although we found a brilliant local cicchetti bar, Osteria da Codroma, popular with students located at Centro Storico fondamenta Briati No. 2540.

Honestly the above will take up your one day in Venice but if you have time to kill you can catch a ferry to one of the nearby islands like Murano, Burano and Torcello.

Getting around Venice

The best part of Venice is the walking around. Even if you don’t do any of the above options it is easily the simplest option for seeing Venice as it gives you a chance to really explore the city. We highly recommend putting away your map and losing yourself in the maze of narrow streets. It’s not like you can get seriously lost either with water surrounding you on every side.

 

You will also find that once you get off the main tourist routes you have the streets to yourself as other tourists seem to flock towards the major attractions or ferries.

The ferries run along the Grand Canal stopping at various points. If you are going to take this option I would recommend buying an all day ticket as you can hop on and off as many times as you like and it can also get you out to the surrounding islands.

We didn’t even consider a gondola as they seemed like an waste of money for what you get. But if you do insist on taking one then make sure you agree on a price before setting off and go with one of the reputable companies found around the city.

All in all a great place to visit if you have one or two days to spare. Even though there seem to be more tourists than locals!

Where to stay in Venice – Hotel Villa Serena

We stayed at Hotel Villa Serena when we spent our weekend in Venice and found it ideal for exploring the city.

You can find other Holiday apartments in Venice or try and find a local provider when you arrive. Though it’s better to pre-book due to the popularity in summer.

Location

Hotel Villa Serena is actually located on the mainland near Venice in Marghera . Buses run outside to Venice every 10 minutes and only takes 8 minutes. This works out cheaper than staying in Venice itself.

The Rooms

Our room was a small private room in a bright shade of pink that hurt the eyes after a while. However, it was clean and provided a haven away from the craziness of Venice.

Other Amenities

There is a restaurant onsite although we ate in Venice for all our meals. The breakfast did look great and convenient if you want to get an early start to your day. Free WiFi is available throughout the hotel as well.

Staff

The staff were very helpful providing travel tips, a free Venice map and advice on where to go and what to see.

Social Atmosphere

As Venice is on your doorstep why would you want a social atmosphere? And considering it is a hotel there was none available anyway.

Cost

Per Person: $35 Euro for a private room with a private bathroom. There are also 3 and 4 bed rooms starting at $25 Euro each. Definitely recommend it over the extortionate hotel prices in Venice.

Overall

Hotel Villa Serena is a great option if you are a couple travelling on a budget compared to staying in Venice itself. The bus is cheap and easy to catch every day while the rooms are clean and provide a place to chill out after the bustle of Venice. Recommend it for backpacking couples but not solo travellers who want to meet lots of other travellers.

Disclaimer: We were guests of HostelWorld but as always our thoughts are always our own.

Adela is one half of the New Zealand Adventure Couple who have been travelling since 2009. She loves the outdoors and has a real passion for Snowboarding, Mountain Biking and Surfing (apart from being scared of sharks). She loves food and writes all our food posts. Consider following us via RSS Feed, Twitter, Facebook and subscribe to our Newsletter.

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16 Comments

16 Comments

  1. Bethaney - Flashpacker Family

    July 27, 2012 at 9:30 AM

    Oh I am SO on board with the whole “pigeons are flying rats” school of thought. It was my least favourite part of Venice by far.

    I just loved the city for walking around and getting lost in though it was mighty cold when I was there in March. The misty atmosphere more than made up for the temperature though!

  2. Laurence

    July 27, 2012 at 12:48 PM

    The best bit of any trip to Venice, is, as you say, throwing away the map and exploring the back streets. It’s the only way to beat the crowds (of which there are many) and just discovering the city for the gem that it is 🙂

  3. Bret@ Green Global Travel

    July 28, 2012 at 2:29 AM

    Glad to hear I wasn’t the only one who didn’t think Venice was all that. The canals are certainly cool, and the gondolier I had was hilarious. But it was smelly, touristy, and in my 12-year-old eyes lacked some o the rustic charm of Italy’s smaller towns. But I DID like the pigeons.

  4. Angela

    July 28, 2012 at 10:27 PM

    Lovely pictures, very Venice. Shame on me I’m Italian and I’ve never been to Venice!

  5. Jess | GlobetrotterGirls

    July 29, 2012 at 10:48 AM

    It is hard for me to believe that I have never been to Venice…especially considering it is one of Dani’s favorite places in the world! We almost made it last year, but housesat in Tuscany instead. Can’t wait to get there – your pics make it look so fun!

  6. Christy @ Technosyncratic

    July 29, 2012 at 5:19 PM

    Haha, I’m amused that people would deliberately take photos with pigeons! They’re evil little birds with beady eyes and sinister intentions. Obviously.

  7. Ali

    July 30, 2012 at 3:33 PM

    Venice is a cool city because of the canals, but not I’m not a fan of the crowds. Of course, I’ve only ever been there in the summer and during Carnivale, so maybe I should give it another chance when it’s not high season or a festival! And yes, the gondolas are too expensive, glad I did it when I was younger.

  8. Jeremy Branham

    July 30, 2012 at 3:50 PM

    I love the walking in Venice. With that said, I don’t like the city very much. It’s very expensive and touristy and not a very authentic representation of the culture in Italy. It’s all commercialized for tourists. With that said, I did wander the canals, got lost, and wandered upon a local school with kids playing. That really was the highlight for me as I get a chance to experience a real piece of Venice.

  9. Suzy

    August 15, 2012 at 11:37 PM

    Great tips! The markets (well, and the food) were my absolute favorite part of Venice. I agree with you about the pigeons. That’s definitely something that I could go the rest of my life without seeing and not miss it. I”d recommend traveling there in the off season so that the crowds are at least a little more manageable. It’s such a stunning place. I really need to go again!

    • Cole Burmester

      August 16, 2012 at 3:36 PM

      We really hit a few places in Europe this summer at the wrong time with too many tourists. Unfortunately you can’t always pick your holidays!

      • Suzy

        August 17, 2012 at 10:34 PM

        Ain’t that the truth, Cole! But still, better to get away and do things than sit at home avoiding the crowds 🙂

        • Cole Burmester

          August 19, 2012 at 9:53 AM

          That’s very true! Would have been complaining if we were not travelling 🙂

  10. Turtle

    August 20, 2012 at 12:56 PM

    I think Venice is one of those places everyone should go to, just to say you’ve seen it. But then there seems to be a divided opinion on whether it was actually enjoyable or not. I went there years ago as a teenager and thought it was fantastic. but I’m curious to go back at some point and see how I’d react these days.

    • Cole Burmester

      August 21, 2012 at 10:09 AM

      I think you would be able to come up with something a lot more insightful with your writing ability than we did, that’s for sure. We enjoyed it, just not the crowds. I think if we get the chance ever again then I would head there way in the off season.

  11. Ken

    April 2, 2013 at 11:58 AM

    Thanks for providing one day trips for Venice. I think you are right as we must do a lot of walking at Venice.

    • Cole Burmester

      April 2, 2013 at 12:52 PM

      No problem Ken! You either have to walk it or go in a boat 😉

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Adventure Travel

Top of Cappadocia day trek – with Middle Earth Travel

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Trekking through the valleys of Cappadocia’s fairy chimneys with Middle Earth Travel feels more like the set of a Star Wars movie than a historical region once carved out and lived in by humans. Churches, homes and pigeon houses are scattered throughout the valleys, all waiting to be explored. The best part is, Middle Earth Travel know all the hidden secrets.

Standing at the top of Cappadocia

Top of Cappadocia day trek – with Middle Earth Travel

On the 26th of July (which just so happens to be my birthday!) Middle Earth Travel took us on their private and guided Top of Cappadocia day trek. From Pasabag, along the top of Cappadocia and down through the Gulludere Rose Valley to Goreme, we trekked 15kms in one day! (We recommend getting your bearings with this map)

Upon arrival to the Middle Earth Offices, we were warmly greeted by our new friend Atil whom we had met a few days earlier while mountain biking through the Kizilcukur Red Valley. We were then introduced to our guide and given a briefing regarding the day. Normally, the Top of Cappadocia tour would start from Çavuşin, however, since we had already explored Çavuşin Castle, they adapted our tour to compensate ensuring we would explore new terrain!

With charged cameras, plenty of water and our running shoes on, we were driven to our starting point of Pasabag. We wandered through the fairy chimneys, coming across camels and markets – then the true hike began.

Pasabag in Cappadocia

The police station in Pasabag, Cappadocia

Camel in Pasabag, Cappadocia

Camel in Pasabag, Cappadocia

It was a slow and gentle incline. With no trees to provide shade, I quickly realised why our tour guide had chosen to wear fully covered clothing! As the sweat quickly set in (a waterfall in Moss’s case) we snapped away with our cameras and enjoyed the entertaining shapes of Imagine Valley and the amazing view. We also passed a lot of rock piles, which according to our guide mean ‘father’ and are built to help lead the way.

Animal shaped formations in Imagine Valley

Animal shaped formations in Imagine Valley

Middle Earth Travel, Cappadocia

Making our way to the top of Cappadocia

Father leading the way (rock pile)

Father leading the way (rock pile)

The higher we trekked, the more breath taking the views became! As we walked along the summit of Bozdag mountain (the Top of Cappadocia) we could see EVERTHING – Pasabag, Çavuşin Castle, Kizilcukur Red Valley, Gulludere Rose Valley and Goreme. We were on the Father of Valleys! After a quick nod of agreement to the guide, we pushed ourselves the extra distance and made our way to the flag, as this HAD to be the highest point and was definitely worth a photo and a selfie or two!

View from the top of Cappadocia

View from the top of Cappadocia

Flag at top of Cappadocia

From the flag we looked down upon Aktepe Hill which is known as a popular destination for watching the sun set and could spot Kizilvadi Restaurant, our destination for lunch! Kizilvadi Restaurant is an attraction of its own. With its own historic winery and Grape church, plus some Middle Earth Travel treks even stay there for the night! After having a massive feed of soup, salad and pasta plus a surprise birthday cake, we made our way down into Gulludere Rose Valley.

Kizilvadi Restaurant

Kizilvadi Restaurant

The scenery is amazing, with strong colours visible in perfect layers on the chimneys, you would wonder what an artist was thinking, had it been a painting. Also, hidden to the side of the track we walked across a little bridge and not expecting anything to be there we were wowed by the massive church carved. It was absolutely huge and hard to believe that its most recent use has been as a pigeon house!

Coloured chimneys in Cappadocia

Coloured chimneys in Cappadocia

Pigeon houses in Cappadocia

Pigeon houses in Cappadocia

Church in Gulludere Rose Valley

Hard to believe this Church is carved inside a fairy chimney!

Middle Earth Travel Review

  • The team at Middle Earth Travel were extremely knowledgeable and certainly know Cappadocia’s hidden secrets. They have friendships with local tea garden owners which is also of benefit as it gained us entry to locked churches and hidden rooms that we would not have otherwise seen.
  • We covered a lot of ground, however we did not feel rushed. The whole day focused on showing us the region, therefore we had as much time as we needed to explore each church and to take ‘just one more photo’.
  • It wasn’t all about trekking. With a whole day and 15kms to cover, there were a few silly poses (especially in Imagine Valley), and we learnt a lot about the myths, legends and way of life in Cappadocia.
  • In conclusion I highly recommend Middle Earth Travel if you wish to go trekking or mountain biking in Cappadocia.
  • Cost: Day treks with Middle Earth Travel range from 50-90 euro, depending on the number of people taking part. This includes lunch, guide, vehicle transfers and entrance fees to historical sites, but excludes alcoholic and soft drinks.
  • Middle Earth Travel are outdoor enthusiasts and offer multi-day over night treks, mountain biking, abseiling, or custom made itineraries, in multiple regions throughout Turkey.
  • www.middleearthtravel.com

Disclaimer: We were provided with a discount for the trek with Middle Earth Travel, however, as always our thoughts on our adventure travel blog our own.

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Europe

Amsterdam Food Guide

If you think of Amsterdam you don’t think of food. However if you try the food here in our Amsterdam food guide you might get lucky.

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Amsterdam Food Waffles

We are total foodies and our travelling has allowed our passion for food to grow considerably (not to mention our waist lines)!  We love trying new food when we visit foreign countries and always make a huge effort to eat the local cuisine. Check out some of the food we ate below in our cheap and delicious Amsterdam Food Guide.

Amsterdam Food Waffles

We had heard from a number of people that the Amsterdam food was nothing to rave about. To be honest food was not really our main interest in visiting but then again neither was an Amsterdam Peep show and we ended up enjoying that!

However we were pleasantly surprised. I think the people whom we had talked to had it wrong. Sure Holland doesn’t really have a local cuisine but once we got over this fact we realised there is still some damn good food to be had from the various Amsterdam Restaurants.

Amsterdam Food

The best meal we had was actually next door to the Red Light district in Chinatown. Crossing the canal to the east away from the neon lights your nostrils are attacked and your mouth begins salivating from the delicious smells wafting along the narrow cobbled streets.

As we walked into Bird Thai restaurant the enticing aroma hit us instantly leaving us drooling in anticipation. It was definitely up there with some of the best Thai food we have had. We went for the classic Green curry, fried rice and duck combo.

The Green curry was so flavoursome with the richness of the coconut milk blending perfectly with the traditional spices.  The duck was cooked to perfection and for the first few minutes of the meal all you could hear was the crunching of the crispy outside layer as we devoured the duck in minutes. Needless to say the fried rice was a taste explosion too!

Cheap and delicious Amsterdam food is easy to come by. With hangovers and munchies affecting your hunger it is no surprise that there are an abundance of Fast Food chains and takeaways in Amsterdam. In fact it was actually more the way that the fast food was served that surprised us as you could buy it out of massive vending machines at Febo!

Amsterdam Food Febo

Hidden workers stand behind the vending machines churning out burgers, fries and sausage rolls so all you has to do is insert a Euro and “hey presto” you have a hot meal in your hungry hands.

Then there were the frites stores which seemed to be on every corner. The first thing you noticed about these was the tantalising smell. There is nothing like the smell of chips straight out of the fryer and covered in salt to get you tummy rumbling. Served in a triangle cardboard carton and covered in mayo which meant that that you couldn’t reach the chips at the bottom without covering your greedy fingers in sauce. Just a tad annoying!

But there is nothing like hot chips to warm you up on a cold day.

Finally, while hot chocolates are not typically food I feel they still deserve a mention especially because the usually come paired with waffles! Ahhhh the perfect breakfast.

Amsterdam Hot Chocolate

We loved nipping into a cafe or bar like Cafe Bar Eddy in Amsterdam to warm ourselves up with a hot chocolate. It literally tasted like they had melted chocolate down and added cream. Heaven in a cup. And the choice of waffles was daunting as you could have whatever you wanted. Fruit, chocolate, syrups, cream or all of the above!

If you are heading here then don’t expect to find an array of traditional Amsterdam food. Instead treat yourself to a hot chocolate and waffle for breakfast, grab a quick bite from a vending machine and sample some of the different cuisines found near the Red Light District.

If you stick to this Amsterdam food guide then your taste buds will have a great holiday too!

If you have visited before then what did you think of Amsterdam food?

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Europe

How to smoke weed in Amsterdam

Check out our guide for the first timer in Amsterdam visiting a coffeeshop.

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How to smoke weed in Amsterdam

Before getting started I just want to clarify that we are not drug users. We don’t condone using illegal drugs. And we are not telling you to go and smoke weed in Amsterdam. BUT, our goal of this travel blog is to help advise, educate and provide travel tips for ALL situations. So if you are headed to Amsterdam then we hope our guide to smoking weed in Amsterdam will help you out.

And check out this smoker friendly accommodation for your next trip.

How to smoke weed in Amsterdam Coffeeshop

When you tell people that you are visiting Amsterdam then they immediately think of one thing and one thing only. Weed. Dope. Herb. Buds. Spliff. Whacky Tobbacky. Pot. Marijuana. Cannabis. 

Call it what you will but just know that the biggest name for it is “ILLEGAL”.

Yes it is actually illegal to smoke weed in Amsterdam. But for now the Netherlands government do tolerate smoking in designated “coffeeshops”. This is slowly changing as the Government tries to moderate the tourism drug trade and in 2013 there will be new laws which we won’t go in to now as they are continuously changing.

In the meantime if you obey the rules, are not a moron and use our guide to smoking weed in Amsterdam then you are going to be fine.

Smoke weed in Amsterdam

How to smoke weed in Amsterdam

Don’t smoke weed in Amsterdam in public such as on the streets. There are over 300 designated coffee shops where you are tolerated to smoke weed. These places are regulated and everything is done in the open.

Don’t get confused and try to smoke in a koffiehuis (coffee house) which sells coffee and light meals or a café that is a casual restaurant and/or bar.

The coffeeshops are super easy to spot with marijuana leaves in the windows and Bob Marley paintings on the doors. Not to mention the smell wafting through the cold breeze. There will also be the usual tourists that have stupidly over-indulged and are glassy eyed.

We visited one of the five Bulldog coffeeshops when we were in Amsterdam and had no complaints. We even enjoyed a delicious hot chocolate while we were there!

Bulldog Coffeeshop in Amsterdam

Buying weed in Amsterdam

As long as you are over 18 then you will be allowed to buy up to 5 grams of weed in the regulated coffeeshops. Plus you have the added security knowing that your marijuana is not going to be laced with anything else if you are attempting to buy it off someone on the street. And who knows, they might be setting you up to get busted.

We were (and are) total amateurs and had no idea what to do once we actually stepped foot in the coffeeshop. But quickly sussed it out. There will generally be a “dealer bar” with full menu’s and everything for you to choose. So if you are an expert you will probably know what to order! Prices will of course vary by quantity (grams, bags, individual joints) and quality.

For a beginner ask lots of questions. Don’t be shy like we were. Ask the staff what they recommend and what effects each type has. They will know then that you are a newbie and will guide you. Just know that they are very accustomed to tourists who don’t know exactly how to go about the whole process.

What we found out is that it is actually perfectly fine for you to visit other coffeeshops and smoke weed that you have already purchased somewhere else. However, it is considered rude not to at least buy a hot chocolate or coffee if you do this. Coffeeshops do also have some of the best coffee in Amsterdam.

How to smoke weed in Amsterdam

Don’t be an idiot

Number 1 rule: Don’t smoke too much weed in Amsterdam! Even if you are a pot loving hippie from a commune you are probably going to find the marijuana really strong in Amsterdam. Just take it slow.

If you are enjoying a drink as well then again take it easy with the booze. All the coffeshops won’t sell you beer as well as cannabis.

EAT! Don’t go drinking and smoking on an empty stomach as cannabis lowers your blood sugar level and this can turn a fun day into a disaster if you haven’t eaten recently. Check out our Amsterdam Food Guide for some quick eating tips here.

A final word of warning, please watch out for the spacecake! Eating cannabis will knock you on your ass and is much stronger than when smoked.

Finally, enjoy yourselves and for goodness sake obey the rules, laws and customs while you are smoking weed in Amsterdam.

If you have an addiction to drugs then reach out and seek some help.

Check out these Weed Products for your next travel adventure.

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Meet Cole and Adela

Cole and AdelaWe have been wearing out our jandals (Kiwi for flip-flops) on our travel adventures around the world since 2009. We think our blog is thought provoking and a little witty. But we have been proven wrong before. Find out more about us here...

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