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Mistake 3: Commuting from the mainland

From: Top 11 Tourist Mistakes

Ponte della Liberta

ABOVE: A brick-and-stone causeway links the historic center of Venice to the distant Italian mainland.

During the past year, about 15 per cent of the readers who reserved hotels through our discount booking partner, Booking.com, stayed at hotels in the mainland district of Mestre, between Marco Polo Airport and the cluster of 100 small offshore islands that form Venice's historic center.

Train on Venice railroad bridgeTo reach the city, they had to take a train, bus, or taxi across the causeway that runs 4 km (2.5 miles) from the Italian mainland. (See Google's satellite photo of the Lagoon for a quick geography lesson.)

Why did so many readers choose to stay in outside of Venice when they could have slept in one of the world's most beautiful cities?

In some cases, they might have been trying to save money on a hotel room, but we're guessing that most of those travelers chose the mainland simply because they were arriving in Venice by car. We can understand their reasoning, but in their quest for free or cheap parking, they were missing out on a unique travel experience. Here's why:

If you do choose to stay on the mainland, be sure to pick a hotel that allows quick commuting to Venice and isn't on an isolated stretch of highway on the edge of town. On our Mestre hotels page, we describe several hotels that are right across the street from the Mestre Railroad Station, where frequent trains from Mestre to Venice reach the city center in only 10 to 12 minutes.

Commuting from other locations

Three locations near the historic center are worth considering (especially for leisurely visits during the hot and crowded summer months) as long as you understand that you'll need to reach the sights by boat:

Next page: Mistake #4: Following the crowd


Top 11 Tourist Mistakes: Introduction
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