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Top 11 Tourist Mistakes in Venice, Italy (and how to avoid them)

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Prince of Venice in Giudecca Canal

ABOVE: The hydrofoil excursion boat Prince of Venice returns to Izola, Slovenia after six hours in Venice.

Mistake 1: Hit-and-run visits

The manager of a five-star hotel once told us that, on average, people who book rooms in Venice stay for only 2.8 nights.  Below the luxury level, the typical hotel visit may be even shorter: Our analysis of bookings in all star categories shows an average of only 2.1 nights in the city.

What's more, those statistics ignore the day-trippers who represent most of the estimated 16.5 million tourists who come to Venice each year (often for just a quick jaunt from a tour bus or cruise ship to the Piazza San Marco, with a stop at the souvenir stands near the Rialto Bridge).

Visitors from far-flung places like the United States, Canada, Australia, or Japan frequently try to cram too many cities and towns into a one- or two-week vacation. That's a big mistake, for several reasons:

  • It doesn't allow time to get acquainted with each destination;

  • It means wasting time in airports, on trains, or in buses that could be used for relaxed sightseeing;

  • It means spending more on intercity transportation, which leaves less money for museums and other attractions, local transport, hotels, meals, entertainment, and shopping.

Our advice: If you're coming to Venice, try to stay for a week or longer.

At the very least, spend three days in the historic center, and allow an extra day if you want to tour the outlying (and interesting) islands of Murano, Burano, and Torcello. 

Who knows--maybe you'll end up joining the ranks of Venetophiles who can't get enough of Venice and discover new things about the city with every visit.

Next page: Mistake #2: Staying in the wrong location

Top 11 Tourist Mistakes in Venice, Italy:
1. Hit-and-run visits
2. Staying in the wrong location
3. Commuting from the mainland
4. Following the crowd
5. Paying too much for transportation
6. Taking unnecessary tours
7. Overpacking
8. Buying useless souvenirs
9. Being careless with valuables
10. Annoying the locals
11. Not coming back