Discovering Venice – a guide to beautiful architecture, winding canals and the city’s best kept secrets

As the world begins to open up again for travel but with destination restrictions changing regularly, it’s never been more important to partner with trusted travel experts when booking your next holiday.

Whether it’s support in finding the right package for you, understanding the requirements of airports, airlines and your chosen destination or having peace of mind that your holiday is ATOL protected, our team is here to help.

While our Harrogate-based experts find total joy in helping you find, plan and book your dream holiday, we also share a not-so-secret passion of travelling the world ourselves. Having visited almost 90 countries between us, we’re diving into our travel journals and photo albums to bring you our top tips and insider recommendations for our favourite destinations across the globe.

First up, we’re exploring the ‘floating city’. We speak to two of our travel consultants, Jane Catchpole and Sue Pye to find out what makes picturesque Venice so special.

Venice Traveltalk

What to do

Architecture from history’s most beautiful eras, intricately designed bridges and of course, stunning waterways weaving through the city make for a memorable trip to Venice.

Touring the city by canal is a must and we’d highly recommend a private tour so you can fully embrace all that Venice has to offer with your loved ones, without the hassle of group tours.

Alternatively, hop on the vaporetto (water bus) to stop off around the city and embrace getting lost down winding streets.

Sue adds:

“As soon as you land at Marco Polo Airport, you’re thrust into Venetian life with options to travel to your hotel including by road, on the vaporetto or – my favourite – a private water taxi (the airport pier is just a five minute walk away from the airport entrance); no matter the time of day, it’s such an atmospheric journey and the view coming into Venice is stunning. Most hotels will have their own platforms so you can get dropped off easily.”

Venice - gondola - Traveltalk

Whether you’re planning on sauntering through the quaint streets of the city, enjoying a gondola ride for two or joining a walking tour, no visit to Venice is complete without exploring some of its most popular attractions, Doge’s Palace and St Mark’s Basilica.

Once the seat of the Venetian government, Doge’s Palace is a magnificent call-back to the city’s gothic era. Take in the intricate detail of the building by visiting the galleries or through tours – there are even private options available.

Doge's Palace

Afterwards, you can step straight into St Mark’s Square (Piazzo San Marco) to enjoy a coffee, watch the world go by and either embrace the view of the Grand Canal or head to St Mark’s Basilica; the city’s impressive cathedral.

Venice St Mark's Square Traveltalk

Where to stay

Between the team, we’ve stayed at and visited some of Venice’s very best hotels – we’ll be revealing more exclusively via our newsletter, so make sure you’re signed up here.

  • The Sina Centurion Palace 5*

For those opting for a quieter visit, this is a perfect choice as it’s next door to Basilica di Santa Maria della Salute along the Grand Canal, but away from the hustle and bustle of St Mark’s Square.

The beautiful gothic exterior is in contrast to the hotel’s contemporary Venetian décor featuring jewel tones, plush furniture and gold leaf details.  Guests are treated to views of either the vast Grand Canal or the serene private gardens of the hotel. Luxury has no limits at this Conde Nast Johansens Award for Excellence winner in 2020.

  • L’Orologio Hotel 4*

Situated on the Grand Canal, this boutique hotel is a stone’s throw away from the Rialto Bridge (the oldest of four bridges on the canal) and St Mark’s Square. Featuring quirky artwork created using collectible watches, the hotel perfectly marries style and substance with its use of leather, wood and marble alongside intricate details.

Jane says: “Whether you book a room, suite or apartment, you can opt for a stunning canal-view before heading down to the L’Or bar to enjoy a delicious buffet breakfast, lunchtime sandwiches or authentic Venetian cuisine and cocktails in the evening.”

  • Hotel Metropole 5*

Overlooking the lagoon and less than a 10 minute walk from St Mark’s Square, this is a favourite hotel of Sue’s.

“I love that it has its own garden where you can catch a moment’s peace in this vibrant city. It’s also beautifully decorated, with antiques and works of art in the hotel corridors and luxe rooms, it’s a true representation of beautiful Venice.

“The Met, the hotel’s Michelin star restaurant is also a must-visit and we’re eagerly anticipating it’s re-opening!”

Where to eat

We have plenty to tell you about here – including some of Venice’s best kept secrets and favourites of the locals. Make sure you’re following us on Instagram and Facebook as we’ll be revealing more there.

For now, we’ll whet your appetite with Osteria Sora al Ponte. Situated in the Rialto area, just a three-minute walk from the Grand Canal and Palazzo Santa Sofia, one of the oldest palaces in the city, this traditional Venetian restaurant is renowned for its fresh seafood.

Begin with peppered mussel with soave wine, before enjoying fresh sea bass or grilled meat dishes; embrace the evening with Italian wine and a stroll along the twinkling canal.



Jane says:
“I would highly recommend visiting the beautiful and colourful island of Burano while you’re in Venice. Either a vaporetto, ferry or water taxi ride away, Burano is home to colourful fishermen’s houses, restaurants and cafes serving fresh seafood straight from the lagoon and a rich history in lace making; it’s certainly worth the trip!”

Venice Burano Traveltalk

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