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Best Places to Travel Solo: Venice

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Think Venice is only for couples on romantic vacations? I dare you to think again.

Venice seems to be a hit or a miss with most people. A lot of visitors downplay this infamous city, claiming it’s too touristic, too expensive, or even too fake. I disagree.

In fact,Venice is one of my favourite cities. I fell in love with the city of canals during my first visit in 2013, enough so that I made sure to stop by again in 2014. I loved everything about it, I was never bored, and I was totally comfortable being there solo. Because of this, Venice is actually one of my favourite places to recommend to other solo travellers. Here’s why you should consider solo travel in Venice.

Solo travel in Venice

The Locals are Amazing

The kindness that the locals have always shown me blows me away, especially since Venice is such a touristic city. My first visit I expected to be snubbed; to be seen as just another North American visitor infiltrating their city. I was so wrong.

I got off to a bit of a rocky start when I took the wrong vaporetto  to my B&B, and when we arrived back at Piazale Rome the young man driving noticed that, over an hour later, I was still on board. Not only did he help me figure out where I was going, but he actually walked me to the correct vaporetto, worried I would be confused since things were under construction.

Local vendors were kind as well, posing for my photos, helping me with directions, suggesting places I could find the things I was looking for and circling them on my map.  At restaurants, the wait staff usually felt bad for me, the single girl eating alone, and I would frequently get a little something; a second glass of wine or even a special treat from the kitchen of which they had ‘extra’.

solo travel in Venice

The owners of the hotels I’ve stayed at have been equally incredible too, keeping an eye out for me and always ready to help with any questions. Even checking to make sure I was ok after getting food poisoning in Verona, something I would never have expected a busy hotel to follow up on.  And when it came time to leave, both locations I stayed at sent me off with friendly hugs, and invitations to come back.

In a city full of couples and families, my single status did mean I stuck out a bit, but based on my experience, it did way more good than harm. I’ve spent a total of about a week in Venice in the past two years, and not once was I harassed by the men. Something a girl really learns to appreciate, especially after non-stop harassment in Florence and Rome.

It Can Be Budget Friendly

If you do it right, the most expensive part of Venice will be your accommodations. Yes, there are a couple of hostels, but I chose to stay in a B&B and then a hotel after hearing some bed bug rumours about the hostels around when I was planning to visit. Besides, sometimes you need a room to yourself for a couple nights. I loved La Locanda di Orasaria, which had really friendly staff and a perfect location by the train station; busy and accessible for those who want to travel solo in Venice. If you are looking to stay in a hostel, Generator Hostel Venice is well rated. Be sure to check Airbnb for affordable options as well.

One of the best aspects about Venice is that it’s so walkable. No cars, no busses, it’s 100% pedestrian friendly and the streets and alleys offer perfect opportunities to explore and get lost.  There is a vaporetto (water bus service), but unless you are in a hurry, there’s no need. So save the money for something more exciting, like gelato!

Solo travel in Venice

Food can also be affordable. There are plenty of places where you can have a beer and a pizza or bowl of pasta for an easy 10 euros. They key is to head away from Piazza San Marco and the grand canal, and get into the local areas. Your best bet is to ask where you are staying for some suggestions. One of the best meals I had in Venice was in a spot I never would have found on my own.

As for sight-seeing, well everything around you is amazing. You don’t need to pay to go into specific attractions to be awed, just take a walk. As an Indiana-Jones enthusiast, I was pretty happy to stumble upon this building below. Recognize it?

Solo travel in Venice

Easily Accessible With Lots of Day Trips

Getting into Venice is a breeze. The train station is right in the city, the airport is about a 15-20 minute bus ride away from Piazale Roma, which is where all busses arrive, and it’s also a port city. It really doesn’t get much easier.

With all these options of transportation, it’s easy to get in and out of the city, even just for day trips. Verona is only a couple hours away by train, or if you’re looking to explore a little more of the area, you can hop on a vaporetto out to the islands of Murano and Burano, both of which can be easily visited in a day.

There’s also some fun options within the city as well. I took a mask making class with a local artist that ended up being a lot of fun. (Book your own mask making workshop here)

Solo travel in Venice

So if you are dreaming of windy alleyways, gondolas and canals, pasta and gelato and everything that is fabulous about Venice, go for it. There’s no need to wait to visit with the love of your life. The sunsets will be magical, no matter whom you share it with, even if it’s just the local fishermen.

Solo travel in Venice

Final Tips

  • Italians eat later…so if you want to fit in a little more plan to eat your dinner around 8pm rather than the typical 5:30-7pm common in North America. Keep in mind, you will be charged a sitting fee to eat in any establishment in Italy.
  • Stay in Venice proper. Sure Lido or the mainland may be a little cheaper, however you’ll pay back (in money and time) anything you saved by actually getting into the Venice that you came to see.
  • Vaporettos ARE frequently monitored so please don’t hop on without a ticket. You will be yelled at in front of everyone else, and charged. I’ve seen it happen twice, and it’s scary!
  • Most people visit Venice only for a day, so for the best ‘local’, non-crowded experience, do your exploring in the early morning or evening.
  • Gondola rides are super expensive, especially if you are just one person. But if it is on your bucket list, consider booking online in advance to be part of a group tour. You will save yourself quite a bit of money. Check here for that option. 

 

Must Have Travel Accessories for Solo Travel

I love solo travel, but it does mean I need to take some extra precautions. For any other solo travellers out there, especially my ladies, I highly recommend you pack the following:

*This post was updated January 2018

Solo travel in Venice

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45 thoughts on “Best Places to Travel Solo: Venice

  1. Libbie

    Recently I had the pleasure of spending a day in Venice ALONE! I wandered through two neighborhoods where real Venetians live: Cannareggio and Santa Croce. It was delightful to discover small street markets and to see people going about their daily lives with flags of laundry flying above them. You might enjoy the novel Miss Garnet’s Angel by Salley Vickers, set in the Santa Croce neighborhood of Venice. I did!

  2. Beth

    I finally made it to Venice for the first time this past summer and LOVED it! Like you said, there is so much to do for a solo traveler there. I also enjoyed taking day trips around other islands.

  3. Michela of Rocky Travel Blog

    I know I am biased (grew up in the Venice region) but Venice is my favourite city in Italy. It has the most friendly locals with their distinctive Venetian accent, they are alwasy happy to help with a smile in their face! You can really have a fun-tastic time when travelling alone and eat some excellent food for less money than in any ordinary Italian town. I enjoyed your post and glad you had an amazing experience as a solo traveller in my beloved Venice! 🙂

  4. Stephanie Mayo

    I can’t agree with you more! I’ve been to Venice twice thus far and both times I was with friends but this summer I will descend on Venice solo and am SO excited! Nothing beats roaming its narrow streets, getting lost and finding awesome treasures!

  5. Lauren

    I’m glad to hear you had such an amazing time in Venice! We’ll be there for 3 days (well…one day we may be tired from our flight, so two full days and a sleepy one lol) and can’t wait to walk around and explore. I love that it’s such a walkable place – I love walking around places! And I’m glad to hear that people there are so friendly, that’s very reassuring.

  6. Alli

    I also love Venice 😉 I loved wandering and getting lost in the narrow streets! I am still kicking myself for not getting this beautiful feathered quill pen I was admiring in a store forever . . .;(

  7. Meg Jerrard

    Totally agree! I could spend weeks in venice just exploring and getting lost – I originally had an itinerary of specific sights I wanted to see lol but I’m horrible with navigation so ended up just enjoying the atmosphere and slowly making my way to attractions as I stumbled across them!

  8. Tiffany

    Would you mind sharing your recommendations for staying in Venice? I am spending a week there the last week in October solo and looking for recommendations if you have any to share.

    1. Hannah Logan Post author

      Hey Tiffany,
      I stayed in two separate places, and would recommend both. Ciprea B&B is a bit off the beaten path in a more local area which I really enjoyed, and La Locanda di Orasario (hotel) which is right by the train station.

  9. Heather

    I am planning a trip to Europe next year Sep/Oct I will be in Venice 3 nights. Would love to hear how Karen Tobin trip went ? A big trip for me solo leaving family for 4 weeks .. exciting

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  11. Julie Provis

    Am feeling so inspired by everyone’s stories and advice, I’ll be there alone in May ’17 and working on the Biennale for a week. I’m looking forward to getting lost and not worrying about getting home o time!!

  12. Julie

    I spent 5 days solo in Venice, and I wouldn’t do it any other way. This was my 3rd time in La Serenissima, but my first by myself. Stay in Venice, not Mestere or a cruise ship. Get out early and watch the inner workings of this amazing city. Stroll Piazza San Marco every night and listen to the orchestras and have a gelato. The cicchetti were definitely the way to go for solo dining.

    Alone but never lonely!

    1. Hannah Logan Post author

      I’m glad you enjoyed it to! Absolutely agree that you need to stay IN Venice proper, in the morning and in the evening when the major mass of tourists isn’t around is magic.

  13. Colleen

    Thanks for this post! What recommendations do you have for solo nighttime activities? I was thinking about catching a show somewhere, but would love to hear what there is to do between 9pm and midnight.

    1. Hannah Logan Post author

      To be honest Colleen, I just wandered at night. Dinner in Italy is usually pretty late as well so I’d eat around 8:30 then wander a little because the day tourists left. Made for a better atmosphere and good photos.

  14. Holly Pasiuk

    I spent 2 weeks in Venice in a rented home in Dorsoduro in 2014, it was only 3 days solo since family invited themselves. Guess I can’t say no. So, I am returning in September 2017, this year SOLO for 3 weeks….same rental house! It will be like returning home! Last year I spent over a month, solo, on the Amalfi coast in a small village on the water, Maiori. As result, I prefer to travel Solo! I highly recommend solo travel!

      1. Holly Pasiuk

        Hi again! My 3 weeks in Venice were wonderful except for being sick the entire time. I came down with Shingles! Ouch! As I was alone, it was a challenge on how to deal with things. My tip for travelers: The local pharmacy! I got the medication I needed, no script required, except for pain meds. Pharmacist gave me strong OTC Tylenol.

        I did get out, did my get lost roaming, but barely covered things on my list, SO, in 2 weeks I’m returning to Venice for 2 weeks! I rented an apartment in Santa Croce & looking forward to do what I couldn’t last year! Ciao!

  15. Nick

    This information is just as useful and reassuring for the male solo traveller, believe you me. I’m taking a sabbatical from work to travel the world for the next couple of years and I can’t wait. I’m only fear is, being Kenyan, I’ve been warned that people might have preconceived ideas given the recent migrant crisis and not be as kind and helpful to a solo black man as they are to a North American woman.

  16. Mike J

    I’ve been to Venice twice …. three days in both MAR 2010 and OCT 2012. I’ll be heading back in MAR 2018 and each time has been solo; somehow I always manage to be single when I go. I’ve backpacked through a number of countries alone but for some reason, the charm, the character and beauty of Italy, specifically Venice is beyond my words to describe. Absolute perfection. I’ve wandered aimlessly through all five districts both times I’ve been there and its been incredible. The narrow streets, the friendly faces … everywhere you go is a photo opportunity and I can’t wait to go back in MAR. I can’t recall where I stayed the prior two times but after a year in Afghanistan, going to splurge on the finest hotel.

  17. Celica

    Hi there! Unfortunately, i’ll be arriving in Venice at 930pm and leaving the next day at 10am. Any reco? For that “quick trip” as i read this late and extended my stay to Rome instead for 3 days… (frustrated)

    1. Hannah Logan Post author

      Yikes thats short! You’ll have time to go for a bit of a walk in the evening to see things lit up. If you are close to St Marks square I’d say get up really early and wander there quick for some photos. You’ll get it without the crowds which will be nice and there are usually a bunch of gondolas there are well which make for great pics.

  18. Aysh

    Hi there Hannah!

    Oh gosh I am so happy I found your post! I am heading to Venice solo for 4 days in a few weeks (eeep its creeping up!)
    I sort of made it a goal of mine this year to do solo travelling, its often difficult to arrange holidays with friends & I wanted to see the world. Being single & not having any commitments (other than work of course) I decided to bite the bullet & go for it! Baby steps though, I did Barcelona solo in March & LOVED IT. I was terrified to begin, but once I was there I honestly had the best time & actually preferred the solitude! Its definitely started an itch & now I want to do more & perhaps even venutre further out. So I cannot wait to see what delights Venice will offer & I can guarantee that I will DEFINITELY be getting lost so its good that this is what everyone has suggested doing! 🙂

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