A Venice walking tour

Did you ever think about doing a Venice walking tour. Which means a walking around in a land that is better known for it’s waterways and gondolas? If not, you got to read about our Venice walking tour for sure. Or, if you are planning to do it, then our experience will definitely help you plan your own walking tour.

Venice walking tour

During our 6 days in Italy, we arrived in Venice after spending 2 days each in Rome and Florence. It was a great transition with respect to the landscape as we left the green and enchanting Tuscany countryside and entered into the world of lagoons that is Venice. Luckily our accommodation, Hotel Continental, was located at walking distance from the train station. Thus, we walked to our hotel and checked in by noon. There after we took some rest. And embarked on our most favorite activity. That being a self planned walking tour to explore Venice.

Unlike the previous walking tours that we took in Florence around the river Arno, and one across the center of Florence covering the Duomo and other areas, this one was not planned. Rather, we thought to randomly explore the areas around. And Venice didn’t disappoint us at all. We didn’t cover any specific famous spots of Venice as a part of this trip. Rather, we decided to do that on a hop on hop off trip the next day. Therefore, this walking tour was just about randomly walking So, here goes our Venice walking tour details..step by step…

The Grand Canal

Venice walking tour

Our Venice walking tour began with a visit to the banks of the Grand Canal. Since our hotel is located just on the banks of the Grand Canal. As we stepped out to start our Venice walking tour, we first went to the banks of the Grand Canal. Benches are present here to sit by the side. And we did sit there for a while. Some of our enthusiastic friends even went to the steps on the bank where the gondolas stopped. We could see the gondolas coming and going. While the chilling evening breeze teased us, causing our noses to go numb 🙂 . Since it was really chilly the day we arrived in Venice. And temperature was likely to further dip. So, we decided to embark further on our Venice walking tour in some time.

The markets of Venice

As we stepped on the main road that lead from the train station to our hotel, we saw markets abuzz on both sides. There were cafes and restaurants, in full swing with their preparations for the evening. Then, there were lots of souvenir shops. These included shops that displayed intrinsic glass work from Murano, magnets and masks that are signature of Venice, wood ships, miniature ships inside bottles etc. Walking at a slow pace, we crossed these shops.

Venice walking tour
Venice fruit market

Next we arrived at the open fruit and vegetable markets of Venice. There were stalls setup in the center of the road by fruit vendors. And their carts were loaded with fruits, both exotic and general ones. We bought some bananas for our little one from one shop and moved further on our Venice walking tour. Most of these carts belonged to vendors from Asian origin – those who have come from far and wide to make their dreams come true in the magical land of Venice. We talked to some vendors who had come from Sri Lanka and Bangladesh.

The beautiful canals and bridges

Venice is a beautiful archipelago, like none other in the world. You walk 5 minutes and you are bound to arrive across yet another canal. With yet another beautiful bridge built on top of it. So did we. The beauty is that, many of these bridges are exclusive to pedestrians. As we advanced on our Venice walking tour, soon the walkway turned into a cobbled pathway and thereafter followed the bridge. We decided to cross the bridge and explore further on the other side. As we stood atop the bridge overlooking the canal, we were greeted by the beautiful views that Venice is much known for. The evening sky was showing the beautiful colors amidst the clouds. And the site of the gondolas in the canal below this sky seemed just picture perfect.

An endeavor with the pigeons at the square

We stood for quiet some time on the bridge and then crossed over to the other side. The street was still pedestrian only. As we started to further explore around it. We finally arrived at a small square. Again, it was dominated by a lot of pigeons. Our daughter immediately started chasing them. And in the meanwhile, we went inside a small grocery shop to buy some milk for her. While we came to the square from the side of the bridge, there were two narrow streets at both the other ends of it. Each one leading to a different direction.

Venice walking tour

However, as we arrived here, it started to rain. And that brought our Venice walking tour to a halt. We ran for shade and then started waiting there for the rain to stop. It rained for almost half an hour after which it stopped. However, we thought to stop our Venice walking tour here and trace our steps back to the hotel. Since the temperature had dipped after the rain. And it was getting colder as the night was approaching.

The evening lights

Thus, we started tracing our steps back to the hotel. As we walked back on our Venice walking tour towards the hotel, it started getting darker. And slowly the evening lights started coming up all over. The road side cafes and restaurants had outdoor sitting. As the evening got darker, candle lights slowly started adoring each of the tables in front of these restaurants. So did the street lights and those on the bridges across the canals. The reflection of these lights in the canal were way too beautiful. Mesmerized by the beautiful views around, we slowly walked further on our venice walking tour to reach back to the hotel.

Venice walking tour

As we reached our room and opened the window, we were greeted by a beautiful view of the grand canal. And the lights of the buildings on the edge of the canal, with a beautiful reflection into the canal itself.


After relaxing for a while in our room, we headed out once again. This time for dinner. There were many options for dinner just in front of our hotel. We had been wanting to try some delicious pasta ever since we arrived in Italy. However, we didn’t get chance to have it in Rome or Florence. So, finally we decided today will be the day when we have Italian Pasta. We went into a pizzeria just near our hotel and inquired about takeaway pasta. Although, they had only non vegetarian options on the menu. Yet, they were happy to prepare a veg version of the same for us. Happily, after getting our pasta packed, we headed back to the warmth of our hotel room to finish our dinner.

Tips on taking a Venice walking tour

  1. If you are walking in the evening, around the month of April or May, it might still be chilly. And as you embark on your Venice walking tour, it might get more and more chilly as the night arrives. So, wear cloths accordingly. A winter jacket was a must on the evening when we went on our Venice walking tour.
  2. As always, when walking in Europe, keep a bottle of refill drinking water with you.
  3. Wear comfortable walking shoes or boots.
  4. Keep an umbrella with you. Since, it can rain at this time of the year. We didn’t have one. So, we had to halt our Venice walking tour as it started raining.
  5. Try the slices of pizza or portions of pasta and other delicacies from the road side cafes. These are economical as well as tasty.

Free Walking Tour | Venice | Italy | Europe | Explore Venice via a self designed self guided walking tour | Getting lost into the streets of Venice

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85 Responses

  1. […] the river Arno and yet another one exploring the heart of the renaissance capital. Then there was a walking tour that we took in Venice. And now, we are ready to take you with us on yet another beautiful walking tour – a free […]

  2. We had 2 days walking around and exploring Venice. I thought it was a perfect amount of time although I would have liked to visit some of the nearby islands. Thank you for bringing back some great travel memories.

    • Great to know that Dean. Hope you had enjoyed your roaming around in Venice as much as we did ours

  3. […] We arrived in Venice by noon. Here, our hotel, Hotel Continental, was located just 300 meters from the train station. So, we just grabbed our luggage and walked to our hotel. And after checking into the hotel, we soon headed our for lunch. We bought some slices of Pizza from the nearby pizzeria and settled near the Grand Canal, just in the backyard of our hotel, for lunch. And our little one shared her lunch with the pigeons here. She was super excited chasing them and trying to make friends with them. Thereafter, we embarked on yet another of our signature self designed walking tours, to explore Venice. […]

  4. Did you find it enough to spend two days in each city? How about Venice, are there still authentic vibes or did it become too touristic?

    • It’s difficult to define what is too touristy for anyone, isn’t it? Some love absolutely un crowded destinations. For others, a little crowd is ok. We found Venice enchanting and one of a kind place for sure. The main island is definitely populated with tourists all the time. But I felt that makes it more happening than touristy. And once you hop to other islands like Murano and Lido, it’s almost like not at all touristy. 2 days were definitely not enough but we tried to make the most of it.

  5. You know i live two hours drive from venice and i have never been there. Shame on me!

    • You should. It happens actually. Even we have not been to some really awesome places right near our hometown 🙂

  6. I would love to experience Venice on foot! This would be my perfect kind of travel!

  7. Brings back wonderful memories! Love your photos. Definitely agree on wearing comfortable shoes especially on those cobblestones

  8. I used to be so against walking tours, but now I try to do them in every city I visit. It really is the best way to get to know the ins and outs of a city from a local. I haven’t visited Venice in 11 years but I will certainly be taking a walking tour next time I do. I also agree that the canals are absolutely amazing!

    • You are right Colby. Walking tours are the best way to get introduced to the cities. Although you can’t do them everywhere. The destination has to be pedestrian friendly. Luckily most of the places in Europe are like that. So, it’s really a pleasure to walk around and explore.

  9. I was in Venice in the end of April and did my own self guided sightseeing tour. It was interesting to compare it with yours. Thanks for yourinsights and great tips!

    • Great to know that Anita. Actually we were there in Venice at the same time then 🙂

  10. A walking tour is always a good experience to do especially in cities like Venice. But it’s chilly tho? So something that could warm us up here is also a life saver. The vegetable market looks vibrant with its fruits and vegetables. How much do they cost? For example the banana that you bought knowing that they’re imported from Asia? Interesting to sell tropical fruits in a lovely place like Venice.

    • Hi Cathy. The bananas were around 2-3 euros for a KG as per what I remember. Do not remember the cost of other fruits. But they were definitely good at the pocket compared to any other food. And my daughter is used to having bananas back home. So we bought them regularly there. And indeed it was a relief to have found them in the first place 🙂

  11. Ah, Venice! One of the most popular and beautiful cities in the world. We would love riding on the Gondola on a romantic afternoon. Walking along the local market would be fun too; we usually do that whenever we visit a place.

    • The local markets introduce us to the local stuff, and people too. It’s not important to buy something. But we love to just explore the local markets just like you

  12. I love Italy and I love walking tours so this seems like the best option for me! Venice is one of only a few Italian cities I’ve not yet visited, you’ve made me want to book a trip!

  13. This place is one of my dream destination. Thank you so much for sharing your experience and some tips!

    • That was our pleasure. We had a wonderful time here. And we would love to share our experience to help others out

  14. Love Venice! One of our fav cities in Italy! Have you visited Rome and Florence as well?

    • Yes and we do have posts written about them 🙂 As a matter of fact, there are links in this post for them

  15. Globejamun

    Venice is so gorgeous and ur pics are stunning

  16. Good info for walkers. I do remember we also a walking tour on our own in Venice. You are spot on about roadside pizzas being delicious.

  17. You are right. When we talk of Venice, hardly any one mentions that it is pedestrian friendly. You have inspired me to see a different Venice. I believe we absorb more when we see a place on foot.

  18. Think that I live to close to Venice like one hour and half! If you love the Italian lifestyle we can stay in touch!

    • That’s great to know!! Definitely will love to keep in touch. We loved Italy when we visited here. And we will definitely like to plan another trip here soon

  19. I hope someday I can visit that place , experience just what you’d experienced and explore, too. What a journey!!! Thanks for sharing.

  20. Thanks for sharing the information and the tips, I’m sure they will prove most valuable. I love doing walking tours, you get to see and enjoy so much more.

    • Thanks Matt. Definitely, the walking tours are lovely way to explore the place, particularly when in Europe

  21. This sounds so lovely! Was always wondering what it would be like to go to Venice and just walk around. It would probably take a lot more time, but I see that you’ve had one nice adventure! Will do that next time. 😉

    • Depends on where you want to walk. If you just want to explore the surroundings and the local culture like we did then a random walking tour can be taken. And that doesn’t require walking too long or too much to reach places 🙂

  22. Venice looks so magical.

  23. The information you shared in this blog is the most efficiently reliable one. We hope to read more number of reliable blogs…….

  24. A lovely cultural experience indeed. Did you manage to go to the Doge’s palace along the grand canal and walk on the Bridge of sighs? I suppose maybe this was not a part of the walking tour?

    • Not a part of walking tour but we did it the next day Ami, when we took a hop-on-hop-off tour across Venice

  25. Wow. Sounds like tiring but fun. I also like walking tours but yeah they’re def more fun when the weather is good. Hope to do this soon in Venice too!

    • It was not tiring Darlene. Actually, it was just a couple of hours walking tour. And we did at a very slow pace. That is why we didn’t rush to any sites as such, rather enjoyed the vibrant streets of Venice

  26. It was practical and good that your hotel has a great location. It did save you a lot of time and money in exploring the city. I like the fruit market a lot. Everything look fresh and delightful to eat. I think every part of Venice is fascinating like the evening lights. It was nice that the restaurant prepared you a vegetarian meal. I would also like to do a walking tour in Venice someday.

    • You are right Iza. It was really wonderful to feel the warmth and hospitality that we did feel here

  27. swatisinha09

    This is a great way to understand the culture and experience a city like a local. I too love visiting local market and try seasonal fruits when visiting a city. Nice post, am glad you enjoyed Venice

  28. I know when I first arrive in a new city, I look up the free walking tours. It’s the perfect way to get to know everything. Then you can decide what you want to go back and see more of.

  29. Venice is one of the most bucket listed destination by almost everyone. And oh, your tip #3, is a BIG YES! People would always go walking while on high heels just to be looking good, not aware that there are implications if they walk with heels all day long.

    • I can’t imagine walking with a heel in Venice at all..I can see myself falling definitely in that crowded cobbled street … lol

  30. All the attractions sound great, but I’d take a walking tour just to discover some Murano glass!! Actually, make that ‘BUY’ some Murano glass! Oh, and have dinner, of course!!!

    • I also totally fell in love with the Murano glass. But I was not confident enough that I will be able to carry some souvenirs back home safely through several train and plane journey that I took. So, didn’t buy any 🙂

  31. chikonahoka

    Oh, I did take a short tour in Venice! It was pretty good. The guide pointed out interesting bits of historical architecture, like particular window arch types etc. A random wander is good too – there was a square with artists. I got an oil painting from one of them that’s hanging in my living rom.

    • I love random wanders and doing my own research , self guided you can say

  32. I am surprised to know the fruit vendors in Venice are settlers from Sri Lanka and Bangladesh! The evening lights in Venice look so gorgeous! No doubt it is one of the most beautiful city on Earth!

    • There are lots of Asians there Tania. And yes, the evening Venice is altogether a different world.

  33. gokulr27

    My friend is here right now. Love seeing the place through her Instagram pics. It is really a quiet and charming place. But it is a bit touristy I guess.

    • Maybe it’s touristy .. in the sense it is always abuzz with tourists but I found it so beautiful, romantic and just perfect! I don’t mind 🙂

  34. Thanks for your tips about walking around venice. This is more economical way to tour around the area. Your photos are great. 🙂

  35. Venice is a place for walking. We loved getting lost in the intricate lanes and by-lanes of Venice. But we did find the canals and the gondola experience overrated. Also the main areas are so crowded that one finds it a little difficult to enjoy the place, One needs to head out to the areas which is less choc-a-bloc with tourists.

    • Right..the main areas are crowded. An early morning or a late evening walk on these streets would be great. Like one of our friends did, she wandered with her camera early in the morning and later in the evening and got some great shots

  36. Venice looks amazing, can’t wait to visit!

  37. I was reminded of my walking tour there and coincidentally it rained then too and we paused. Did you try their gelato? I miss those the most.
    Good to know you had your pasta finally in Venice. 🙂

    • We did try our gelatos. And now that you reminded me of it..feeling like having one 🙂 They were just so tasty and perfectly melting in the mouth

  38. Thing which i love about your writing is you never let reader go off the hook…as a reader i wanted to keep reading.
    kudos to you.
    brilliantly written.

  39. Venice looks so magical with all the images you captured. I really need to visit, and have to make this a bucket list must travel and to go.

  40. saraiaab

    We did a free walking tour in Venice – but with a guide – and it was amazing. We learnt so much about Venice and its treasures.

  41. I missed Venice when I was in Italy! With the time & budget I had, I could either go to Milan or to Venice and since I was on a solo trip I chose Milan (u know, Venice is a romantic place! Lolz)!!! Its always awesome to take an unplanned walk and when it turns out perfect, nothing better than that! The evening lights are perfect!!!

    • hmmm…I did roam around in Venice with my girlfriends because hubby and baby were too tired towards the evening and wanted to rest.. lol…we didn’t do Milan this time. How did you find it?

  42. Venice is a special place and I recommend you to watch an Italian movie with an unspoiled view of Venice, called “Bread and Tulips” directed by Silvio Soldini.

    • We will watch the movie Edoardo..thanks for the recommendation!! Love movies with great landscape and views

  43. I wouldn’t have figured to do a walking tour in Venice but it seems like a great way to see the city! SO high on my bucket list but I worry that it’s overrun with tourists.

    • There are times when it’s not so crowded..you got to choose the perfect slot

  44. Like yourselves, all of our explorations of Venice were made by walking. The Gondola’s, whilst iconic are overpriced and really aimed at tourists.

    Walking allowed us (like I’m sure it did yourselves) to get lost in the warren-like streets, and see and do things at our own pace!

    My tip for winter (when we visited) would be to take waterproof boots, as many of the canals had flooded the streets!!

    • Great to know that Chris. Hope you enjoyed your explorations across the streets of Venice as much as we did ours

  45. I love looking at venice at night. It’s an inspiration to go back there. When I went, it was years ago in teenage years, so this is such a motivation. THX

    • Venice is magical during the night. Almost every cafe and restaurant is water side, with candlelights. All the buildings are by the side of the water. The bridges are lit with lampposts. And every single one of these casts a reflection in the water. You can imagine the beauty this way!

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