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

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22 Responses

  1. We were just there in June and had a good time – but were overwhelmed by the crowds. Thank you for such a complete guide. You have some great information here.

  2. Oana says:

    We recently went to Venice and we love it. We didn’t took the gondola, we thought 80 euro was too expensive for a 30 min ride. For me the best thing to do in Venice was to wander on the streets aimlessly and eat ice cream.

    • fouronaworldtrip@gmail.com says:

      I surprised myself by renting the Gondola.. but I agree, it’s really too expensive.. wandering the streets is really unique in Venice 🙂

  3. James says:

    I didn’t know that Lake Garda was so close to Venice. I’m visiting Venice on my way to Slovenia so I must pass Lake Garda. I keep reading about Lake Garda and it looks beautiful so I’ll put it on my itinerary. I could even take Venice off my list and make it a day trip. I’m sure the hotels will be better value in Lake Garda. I think I would do the same as you as you got off the train in Venice and took lots of pics.

    • fouronaworldtrip@gmail.com says:

      I heard that Padua should be very nice as well and I guess Hotels are everywhere at a better value than in Venice.. everything is quite expensive there. At the Gardalake we paid 1€ for an Espresso and in Venice 3€ .. this might be the normal conversion rate haha

  4. Venice! Such a romantic place! If we have the chance, we would love to visit here. It would really be fun cruising around in those gondolas. 🙂

  1. August 5, 2017

    […] Venice and Verona – both are perfect day trip destinations if you feel like needing a change of air. Verona is basically just around the corner and Venice just a 90min train ride away. […]

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