just take a turn into a little street to escape the business and see a more quiet Venice
Italy

Venice – a day trip from Lake Garda

When thinking about Lake Garda in the very north of Italy, you might imagine hiking in the foothills of the Alps, drinking some Bardolino Classico or practice your surfing skills. But did you actually know that Venice is just a short 90 min train ride away from the lakes south shores?

Even though there is enough to see and do around Lake Garda to spent a month there, it’s worth a thousand times to hop on that train! Venice, baby! Venice is amazing and overwhelming and more important: it looks exactly like you think it would. It’s the imperishable venetian cityshape that appears today as it did 40 years ago in those famous italian movies, An everlasting film set.

classic postcard Venice, the Rialto Bridge, La Canale Grande and an handsome Gondolier. A perfect destination to take a daytrip from Lake Garda
classic postcard Venice, the Rialto Bridge, La Canale Grande and an handsome Gondolier. A perfect destination to take a daytrip from Lake Garda

Fun Fact: Venice got it’s first female Gondolier in 2010

Well… unfortunately Venice is not that unfading after all. It’s sinking a couple of millimeters per year and gets frequently flooded. Hence the lagoon is founding slowly but surely. You can witness the decay actually already on every other house. The front door and presumably as well the ground floor are inhabitable as they sea level rose already above their base.

One of the houses in Venice with a flooded ground floor.
One of the houses in Venice with a flooded ground floor.

Fun Fact: The water that runs down the channels of Venice looks muddy and opaque due to the sandy grounds and not because it’s necessarily dirty

When leaving the train station you will find yourself as much in Venice as you can be. This immersion comes as a little shock. I could simply not refrain from letting the one or other “oh” and “ah” slip my mouth. (and from taking like a trillion pictures within the first 3 minutes fearing I would not see more bridges in the hours to come, poor thing that I am)

Are you curious if Venice is worth visiting in November? Find it out here! 

In a nutshell: After arriving, we slowly strolled – with plenty of detours – direction Piazza San Marco. We took more pictures, had a coffee, crossed the Rialto Bridge, walked a little more, suffered from the unbelievable heat (July, 36°C) and arrived at the Piazza just to realise that it’s even hotter there and that it basically sucks. (gross story: there are folks posing for pictures with pigeons on their head! I’d rather use a public toilet…)

just take a turn into a little street to escape the business and see a more quiet Venice
just take a turn into a little street to escape the business and see a more quiet Venice

Yes, that’s true. The touristic hotspots in Venice are really nothing of much interest. But this should absolutely not put you off! The very great thing about this city is that you just have to take a turn into the next street and you’ll find yourself almost in solitude. Between bridges, channels, beautiful Palazzi, and people that are minding their own businesses. As if the jumble of tourists, merchants, sellers and guides wouldn’t exist. We had lunch in a little snack bar in a not too busy street. When leaving we realised that Piazza San Marco was just around the next corner. (What explained the surprising price of the lunch after all)

Related Read: if you’re planning your trip for February or March, read here to know more about the Carneval of Venice

Venice is really an exceptional city and if you have the chance to go there, go! I am not entirely sure if it’s worth to spent more than a day or 2 there. Unless you are heavily interested in art .. or culture. If you’re philistine like me, a day trip is fair. Otherwise check here to learn more about the top things to do in Venice!

How to make the most out of your day trip to Venice with kids (or without)?

Get there early. As early as you possibly can. We arrived at 8:30 am and it was captivating to see the city waking up in it’s morning mood.

Have a ride in a Gondola I know, I know… it’s cheesy and expensive. I don’t even know anymore where the urge came from to actually do it but it was THE BEST thing, really. The best 80€ and the best 30min.

having a ride in a Gondola was probably the nicest thing to do in Venice. It was absolutely worth it
having a ride in a Gondola was probably the nicest thing to do in Venice. It was absolutely worth it

Spend some play and relax time in Biennale de Venezia Parc. It’s a bit far out but you’re kids will be grateful for NOT having to walk back through the afternoon busyness of Venice and having a bit of playtime instead.

Take a Vaporetto (waterbus). Very convenient:  the boat stops  just in front of the Biennale de Venezia Parc and ships you comfy back to the train station. Just consider for your planning, that a ride might take up to 45min. (one way ticket comes 7,50€, kids under 6 travel free).

For more kid friendly activities in Venice, don’t miss this post 10 awesome things to do in Venice with kids

How to get to Venice from Lake Garda

Your best option is taking a train. The train station of Venice, Santa Lucia is basically IN Venice, a perfect starting point to explore the Lagoon. Direct trains from south Lake Garda are running at least hourly starting from 11€/one way (kids are paying about half). If you decide to go there by car, you obviously can’t get on the island due to the lack of streets. You need to park your car on a parking (20-30€) and take a Vaporetto into town (7,50€ p/P). Check out Katelyn’s post about driving in Italy if you need some advise.

Oh, and we are on youtube now!

p class=”p4″>Venice is just a short train ride away from Lake Garda and makes a perfect destination for a day trip - with kids or without

p class=”p4″>Venice is just a short train ride away from Lake Garda and makes a perfect destination for a day trip - with kids or without

p class=”p4″>Venice is just a short train ride away from Lake Garda and makes a perfect destination for a day trip - with kids or without

22 Comments

  • My Vacation Pants

    We just went to Venice and the next day we drove to Lake Garda to get lunch and we couldn’t find a parking space. It was so crowded. The lake looked so beautiful too. I wish we would have taken a train, so we could have enjoyed the area. Great tips.

  • Rishabh & Nirali

    One of the funnest account of this beautiful city we’ve encountered. You’ve summed up the experience just perfectly. There’s not much by the way of tourist attractions but the beautiful city does offer enough beauty, experience (and solitude for those who cherish it) to justify it being one of the best loved cities by tourists today.

  • Danik

    Venice is a great place to visit but its just a shame its an all year round destination where thousands of the tourists visit and it cant cope with it. However Lake Garda, amazing place to visit. I would go back there in a hurry 🙂

    • fouronaworldtrip@gmail.com

      I agree.. beautiful but just very full; luckily there are all those little streets most people are not going to; that was pretty astonishing 🙂

  • Marvi

    We went to Macau and they had the Gondola ride at the Venetian – I know its not the same with Venice, but it was pretty close. I was pregnant at that time and my husband didn’t want to risk it. Too bad, though. Would’ve loved to try the Gondola ride too!

    • fouronaworldtrip@gmail.com

      oh I saw a TV show the other day about the Venice in Macau! Indeed, it is pretty close 🙂 Hope your pregnancy went well

  • Tom @ Abroad American

    I’ve actually specifically avoided Venice because it is sooooo touristy. I do have to go, of course, it’s popular for a reason! However, the absolute best way I could think to visit it would be a day trip – and from such an awesome home base as Lake Garda? Awesome. I reckon getting there early was also a great idea, and one I’ll definitely steal 🙂 Thanks for sharing, of the numerous Venice guides out there – yours was very easy to read, and included all the important things, so thanks!

    • fouronaworldtrip@gmail.com

      I think it’s too touristy for me as well to stay longer than a day.. but I heard that it’s pretty great in the evening; all the day tourists are gone and you have basically the city for yourself 🙂
      Thank you for your so nice feedback about my article, much appreciated!

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