Venice is a wonderful city - I loved the Art Biennale, that Venice is a good walking city (Tip 9) and leisurely. There is are plenty of spaces to enjoy a cafe, snack, and just people watch. Often this is a great time to recalibrate as to where you really are because you're lost. (Tip 10). I like to window shop - there's plenty of small shops to be had for clothes, leathers, murano glass, etc. I'm already thinking towards 2017 when the biennale is hosted again. I would love to return!
1. You can pay what you want via private water taxi (estimated 120 to 125 euro) or you can take the public transportation for 15 euro one way or 27 euro/RT per person. I'd rather spend money on food and beverages than transportation!
2. Pack lightly. Remember that you are going to have to walk to the transport with your luggage, then once you arrive at Venezia, you have to transport your luggage to your hotel. Everything you bring has to roll or be carried. Don't overpack! Before you leave home - look at your Venice hotel website to determine the closest transport stop. If there are walking instructions once you arrive in Venezia, bring those too.
3. Select your hotel wisely! Logistics are important because you're going to fly in with all your luggage, then walk to the transport (See Tip 2), and then have to transport your luggage to the hotel. Any walking in Venice includes cobblestones and bridges and even with directions, there's a likelihood that you will get lost. We saw people late at night arriving with luggage and I thought good luck. Make it easy on yourself to select a hotel near a transport stop.
4. In the corner of the Piazza (opposite the San Marco Basilica there is a Tourist Information Center + a public restroom (WC). Pick up a brochure for the Art Biennale here that details the map and exhibits. You'll need coins for the for the public restroom - 1.50 euro. There is an attendant who can make change.
5. Eat gelato every day. Why? It's gelato. Because you're in Venice. And it's gelato.
6. Think leisure when it comes to eating. There's no other time like the present so just relax. My #1 rule for travel planning - have a few things you want to see with sufficient padding to sit, enjoy a meal, drink vino, and just be present. These sorts of moments cannot be rushed - they're to be savored. Venice is a city that calls for enjoying a cafe, people watching, and soaking in the beautiful sights.
7. If you have any notion of 'dieting' in Venice, then just stay home. That's a dumb idea to plan on denying yourself an integral part of the travel experience - enjoying the food - pasta, bread, cannoli's, pizza on the street, gelato, cafe, vino - you have to try it all.
8. Art Biennale - We purchased our tickets the day that we were visiting a venue, there was a short line wait. If waiting in line drives you crazy then purchase tickets in advance.
9. Venice is a walking city. Public transportation includes water taxis - otherwise, you're walking. Wear comfortable shoes! There are many bridges, cobblestone streets, and what you think is a short walk or distance is really 2+ hours because the route in indirect or you get lost (Tip 10).
10. You will get lost, turned around, disoriented, think you're one place only to realize you're somewhere else.This is Venice. Relax - soon you'll find a cafe, piazza, or some landmark that you'll see on a map and can get reoriented. If all else fails, look for signs for Rialto Bridge or San Marco - they'll show up eventually.