WHY I THINK VENICE IS OVERRATED

Everybody loves Venice, even people that have never been there before. I can’t blame them, the city is absolutely beautiful and one of the most picturesque cities I’ve ever been to. But this is also one of my least favorite cities I’ve ever been to. I’ve given it a couple chances too, thinking that maybe I would like it more the second and third time around, but that wasn’t the case. Now before anyone gets offended, remember this is just my opinion and my experiences with Venice. This is also a blog for SOLO Females, I believe in being completely transparent with my readers and I want to share my experiences, good or bad. So why do I think the city that everyone is just so obsessed about is overrated?

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Venice

I don't think it's romantic

Venice is the city of romance, it’s supposed to be one of the most romantic cities in the world. Personally, I don’t feel like it is. I felt it’s just as romantic as any other city, nothing about Venice screamed ROMANCE to me. Even the gondola rides that are supposed to be super romantic, are not. The guys don’t even serenade you. Now I might have a different outlook on this if I actually went with a significant other. But I’ve been there alone, traveling with other person and a group of us, and every time I felt the same exact way about it.

Venice 2

It's expensive

Venice is EXPENSIVE… I get it the entire city is surrounded by water and you need to import goods but damn! Venice is just stupid expensive. There is no reason a glass of wine and a bottle of water should cost me €25 in Italy! And let’s not even mention lodging there. The first time I went to Venice I shared an Airbnb with two other people I was traveling with so the price wasn’t ridiculous when divided by the three of us. The most recent time I went alone, my Airbnb was literally a 4”x6” closet (no windows, just a twin bed, and a mirror). The twin bed barely fit in there and it cost me nearly €100 a night. Avoid ridiculous prices and get an $40 off your Airbnb room.

Venice 4

It’s crowded and touristy

I come from a big city that has nearly 10 million people living there and even more tourists a year. I’m used to the big city crowds and the tourist traps all over the cities. But there was just something about Venice that didn’t sit well with me. Multiple times I was deprived of my personal space. On my first trip there I was only in Venice for 2 nights and ended up getting three panic attacks because I couldn’t walk down a narrow street (I get claustrophobic). The daytime population is always overcrowded even during off season.

The food is the worst in all of Italy

Yep…. I never thought I would get bad Italian food in Italy… Well, I did in Venice. Not only was it overpriced, the turnaround time for the food has to be so quick (because there are so many tourists there) that the actual food quality isn't that great. Don’t let this point deceive you and think that the service is good, it’s not. I’ve traveled all over Italy, it’s my favorite country, but only in Venice, I wasn’t able to get a decent slice of pizza. We were joking that Chef Boyardee makes better Italian food than the food in Venice.

Venice 5

There is nothing to do there

Other than walking around and snapping photos in this picturesque city, there really is not much to do here. It's the perfect place for photographers but not if you want to actually see something. There’s only so many bridges you can walk across before it all starts looking the same.

Don’t get me wrong the city is beautiful and unique indeed. It’s on many people's bucket lists and it was on mine for a very long time. I suggest you visit it just once and see for yourself if you like it or not.

Traveling through Europe? Search for train tickets here.

Xoxo Ania Travels 💜

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  • Sorry that you haven’t loved Venice on your visits – its similiar to Paris for many – either a love or hate. I do hope you try again but look to visit the Dorsoduro section of the city which is quiet, local and has university students as well as the Peggy Guggenheim plus NY styled pizza slices that made me stop in my tracks to see single slices of pizza freshly made. I stayed in a small twin B&B there before moving to two other fantastic (and reasonably priced) AirBnB flats that overlooked the canals – one was on the tourist gondola route with singers! I tend to visit in May (last during Vogolonga) and September/October.

    In Venice, I found a secret happy hour for 7 Euro (glass of wine + food), a lovely cafe Vino Vino near Fenice Opera for food and Barolo and learned how to row a boat with the all women non profit Row Venice. I did a private boat tour that felt posh and found one of the oldest gelato shops to indulge. I’ve written about them on PhilaTravelGirl

    For my visits over the past twenty years, I’m saddened by the swarms of people especially cruise ships that pour passengers into the streets, the changes that have driven locals away and yet welcomed the Disney and other stores which make it less the city I first fell in love with and more the city I need to rediscover and dig deeper now. I avoid the touristy areas/bridges and focus on the smaller neighborhoods, wander the empty streets at night and sit along the canals to enjoy the romance of the past and of the way of life now.

    Gondola rides are best IMO when you happen upon a single gondolier on a bridge who takes you to the quieter canals vs. the tourist traps that follow the leader and aren’t private. You can also go to the Ghetto where there is the only non-Italian gondolier (he’s from Poland).

    • Ania Ewelina

      Thank you so much for these tips. By no means was I saying that I HATED Venice. You just can’t love every single city you go to, and this was the first city I actually didn’t fall in love it. I do wish to travel there during total off season (possibly May like you mentioneD) and I might have a different experience. I would definitly give it another shot, your recommendations are great. I’d also love to see the non-italian gondolier (only because I’m Polish myself lol). Thanks again, I’ll keep you posted if I give it another shot 🙂

  • Tonya Wilhelm

    Oh, no! That’s really a shame. I would hate to go so far away with big plans and have such a let down.

  • Eliza Casipagan

    I respect and admire your brave and transparent opinion.. as we know.. a lot of people dreaming and wanting to visit Venice. My main purpose of travelling is relaxation, good experience and to create good memories, If I’ll be having same experience as your’s I’ll definitely agree that its overrated.

  • Divyanka Krsna

    I have never been there but despite reading all these, I still want to visit Venice once. Firstly, I think every place can be romantic if you’re with person you love! But yes, crowded places are seriously not good!

    • Ania Ewelina

      you definitly should go. It’s a very unique and beautiful city, this was just my experience with it 🙂

  • jade

    Great post! Brilliantly written and great use of pictures! It’s clear and informative. Keep up the good work. 🙂 I tried following you but I couldn’t find out to do that on your page?

    • Ania Ewelina

      I felt the same, I found Florence so much more romantic. I’m glad I’m not alone with a bad experience. Thank you 🙂

  • Laura Dove

    Oh I love that this is an honest review! I hear so much about Venice and how amazing it is so this feels like I’m not missing quite as much!

    • Ania Ewelina

      You should still visit, thank you though 🙂

  • Melanie Edjourian

    I haven’t been so can’t give a personal experience but I have also heard it is expensive. I would like to go even just for a few days to see what all the hype is about.

    • Ania Ewelina

      I agree, you should visit. It is beautiful

  • I have never been but to me a crowded place does not signify romance. Plus I am not liking the sound of how pricey it is but I would still like to check it out.

    • Ania Ewelina

      You should, it is indeed beautiful

  • WoodArtsUniverse

    the places are so instagram-worthy. it seem that you really enjoy your trip.

  • David Elliott

    So very interesting. I guess there are places you can get gondola rides outside of Venice. But I have always wanted to visit. I can understand that it’s difficult with all the tourists and that the food might not be as good. I have had friends tell me going to Florence would be so much better.

    • Ania Ewelina

      Florence was one of my favorite cities ever.

  • I haven’t been so can’t give a personal opinion. I don’t like crowded places. However, Venice is still on my bucket list!

    • Ania Ewelina

      You should visit, it definitly is beautiful.

  • Nayna Kanabar

    I have been to Venice once a long time ago and really liked it. Its unfortunate that your experience is not such a great one. I think we all look at different things in a holiday and our expectations are different too. Thanks for writing such an honest review.

    • Ania Ewelina

      Thanks Nayna

  • Leigh Candice Dorkin

    I completely agree with this! Venice was my least favourite part of our Italian trip! But Im hoping to try it again when it’s less busy and less hot.

    • Ania Ewelina

      I’m glad you agree. Italy is my favorite country, but Venice was one of my least favorite cities ever. Hope your next visit is more pleasant 🙂

  • Nida

    Hats off !! for your honest comments !!! As a travel blogger it give me courage to speak what i feel like ! 2nd i am searching this place long and always ended up with a high budget and nothing to do with a toddler !! So somehow i agreed with your opinion !

    • Ania Ewelina

      Thank you Nida. I love being transparent and honest with my readers.

  • Made Adayasa

    Such a beautiful place . Long time ago I use to come to Venice every week when I was a seamen . Didn’t have much time to explore , wish I can get there again

  • Margarette Puno

    Oh loving your honest view about Venice. Reading that it’s a crowded place makes it unpeaceful and not romantic. I prefer a place (even if i go solo) that is far from the real world.

    • Ania Ewelina

      I come from a BIG city so I’m used to a lot of people, but venice is so compact and with that many people it was unpleasant.

  • Thanks for sharing your thoughts! I didn’t fall in love with Venice like many others and agree that it isn’t extremely romantic (I went with my mom) and is way too crowded. We kept busy with bell towers and day trips though so enjoyed the visit either way. I still think it’s someplace everyone should visit at least once!

    • Ania Ewelina

      I agree with that. 🙂

  • Soul Drifters

    WOW! Love how honest you are in this post, wish more bloggers are open bout their trips like you are! I must admit the photos are stunning though. Venice isnt on my bucket list but would stop over for a day or 2 if I was in that part of the world.

    • Ania Ewelina

      Thank you, you’re not going to like every single place you visit. I want to be transparent with my audience 🙂

  • Erin

    I feel the same way! It was beyond crowded when I was there (it wasn’t even summer). Almost everyone was a tourist. Dealing with aggressive vendors while trying to wander around made it pretty uncomfortable, too. I liked Florence a lot more. I’m guessing if I knew someone who lived in Venice that could help me find places away from the crowds, I might like it better, but I’d definitely rather spend my money on traveling to a different part of Italy.

    • Ania Ewelina

      Florence and Verona were two of my favorite cities in Italy. Italy is actually my favorite country, just not so much venice.

  • Shannon Epstein

    That’s definitely a different perspective! I haven’t been to Venice in over 20 years since I was a teen. When I do make it back, I’m going to take all of this into consideration to see if I feel the same way:-) I do remember that come nighttime it got rather boring…

    • Ania Ewelina

      Yes completely deserted at night, and everything closed pretty early too. Come 10pm many things were shut down.

  • I would like to go one day to gather my own opinion. If it’s too crowded, I probably wouldn’t enjoy it. But from all the pictures I see, I want to go!

    • Ania Ewelina

      You should, it is indeed a beautiful city.

  • Lyndsy

    I think Venice is one of those locations that you do it once and check it off of your list. I personally fell in love with Venice because I went with my Italian friends who showed me around and chose the best food, etc. I can see why some may say it is over-rated.

    • Ania Ewelina

      Ahhh local travel is the best. I would love to meet someone there that would show me the insider scoop.

  • Krystal Carty

    Wow I’ve never heard this before! I appreciate how honest you are with your travel reviews rather than romanticizing a location just because others would!

    • Ania Ewelina

      Thank you, I want to be transparent with my audience. You’re not going to like every single city you go to 🙂

  • T-Nicole Johnson

    Thanks for sharing your honest opinion. Especially me being such a foodie. I haven’t been, would still love to visit though.

    • Ania Ewelina

      You should, it is pretty and unique.

  • Ahh it’s so refreshing to read something that isn’t all gushy about a place! The price of Venice has always put me off – I think I’d much rather visit other European cities first. Although, of course, I wouldn’t say no if I was whisked off there!

    • Ania Ewelina

      Check out Florence and Verona in Italy, two of my favorite cities there, then the entire Amalfi Coast is my favorite place on earth.

  • Jhilmil Bhansali

    Admire your honest views, but personally I found venetian islands lot poetic n romantic..though Venice rated less but its islands rated very well for me!

    • Ania Ewelina

      Yes, I enjoyed Murano and Burano, but actual Venice not so much.

  • Chandresh Jain

    You rightly mentioned , everyone has a point of view and right to disagree .. True , in general the city doesn’t offer you anything but views and lanes ..

    • Ania Ewelina

      Agreed, thank you 🙂

  • Thanks so much for an honest and in-depth review. I love post that have pro and cons to trips people have taken. I want to visit Venice, but maybe I will just make a pass through time visit.

    • Ania Ewelina

      If you’re in the area you should still visit for a day or so. It is a pretty unique city.

  • Deepa Malhotra Gandhi

    That’s a honest review which we hardly see these days. Thanks for sharing your Point of view with us.

    • Ania Ewelina

      Thanks

  • I am. Loving this post for its honesty, most people are like go, go go! Utterly ridiculous that a glass of wine and bottle of water should cost that much EVER!

    • Ania Ewelina

      Especially in Italy where the wine comes from!!!!

  • Denice Joyce Diaz

    Love your honesty, Ania. Maybe you will have a different perspective when you travel to Venice with a significant other? Price point paid though for lodging and food is too expensive!

    • Ania Ewelina

      It is possible. I would give it another shot with a significant other, we’ll see 🙂

  • Tyra Skinner

    I need to share with with my mom before she makes the whole family go here. This will probably have her reconsider and make this trip a “Dad & Mom” thing. I agree, it doesn’t sound like a good place to go for solo travelers, like myself, or for those who meet up with others

  • I COMPLETELY agree!!

    -alyssa
    http://www.alyssaallday.com

  • Marek Sidorenko

    Couldn’t agree more with the food and price for it. We’ve lived in Italy for some time, ate it through up and down, but in Venice it finally happened – the worst pizza ever! Super hungry, having passed a million tourists up and down the stairs in the sun, we sat at wherever joint and this “cook” gave us something of a pizza that reminded me supermarket wanna-be-pizza-pie. I waited for him to actually sit down on the pavement and start sobbing for his poor fate, having betrayed Italian culture. Come to thing of it, it might be a great comedy opportunity, since then I’d feed him mercifully with his own pizza to soothe him, but, instead, that bastard grinned at our surprise, while we judged just how much tons of dough and fillers the factory used for the pie. Pizza disappointment in Italy? Outrageous 😉

  • Audria Allred Smith

    I Love that you gave an honest opinion! I have never been there but would love to visit sometime. I will keep this post in mind for if I ever decide to bite the bullet and go.

  • David Elliott

    You do look beautiful and I still think it looks beautiful there. But it is ridiculous if the price for a bottle of wine or glass of water is that much. That is stupid expensive.

    • Ania Ewelina

      The prices were really ridiculous, still a beautiful city and thank you.

  • Razena Schroeder

    I had a completely different experience of Venice and it is one of my favourite cities. I knew when I was researching for my trip that Venice is expensive so it didn’t sting as much when I reached there. My hotel recommended a nice trattoria close by that had excellent service and food, and I ate there most days. I took a food tour in Venice and the guide actually mentioned that the entrance of airbnb into the accommodation market had made it prohibitively expensive for locals to live on the main islands, so many had moved to mainland or outlying islands where the rent was more affordable.

  • Oh you have a totally different opinion of the city. I guess it also affects when you’re travelling solo, I went with my partner and we loved it. I agree on the part that there is nothing much to do except for clicking pictures. But we still loved it. Thanks for this post, I guess it will be helpful for solo travellers as it is coming from one. 🙂

  • Interesting! We visited and absolutely loved it. I agree that its overrun by tourists, good food is hard to find and its expensive. But that just makes it a challenge! We made a point of getting up at 6am every morning, heading out to explore, napping during the midday heat/crowds and then heading out with a picnic on the edge of the grand canal at sunset. Of our whole 4 month trip it was still a solid spot in the top 3! But like you say though – each to their own!

    http://www.theboysabroad.com

  • Annie

    My hubby and I have been to Rome a couple of times and few other places in Italy. Venice ( I don’t think) we’ll ever go there. The place does NOT appeal to us at all. I read comments about the place being smelly and overrated… But you have to read more about Venice to help you decide.

  • Natalie Schneider

    I can totally relate to your opinion. Venice is my least-favorite city in Italy. Really didn’t enjoy it both times I was there. Overrated is the right word here!