Think Venice is only for couples on romantic vacations? I dare you to think again.
Venice seems to be a hit or a miss with most people. A lot of visitors downplay this infamous city, claiming it’s too touristic, too expensive, or even too fake. I disagree completely.
Venice is one of my favourite cities. I immediately fell in love with the city of canals during my first visit in 2013 and have been back multiple times since, each time finding something new to see and do. I never get bored and I always feel safe. In fact, when it comes to solo female travel in Italy, Venice is actually one of my favourite places to recommend. So, here’s why you should consider solo travel in Venice.
The Locals are Friendly and Helpful
The kindness that the locals have always shown me blows me away, especially since Venice is such a touristic city. My first visit I expected to be snubbed; to be seen as just another North American visitor infiltrating their city. I was so wrong.
During my first visit, I got off to a bit of a rocky start when I took the wrong vaporetto to my B&B, and when we arrived back at Piazale Roma the young man driving noticed that, over an hour later, I was still on board. Not only did he help me figure out where I was going, but he actually walked me to the correct vaporetto, worried I would be confused since things were under construction.
Local vendors have always been kind as well in terms of helping me with directions and even suggesting places I might enjoy. At restaurants, I often get a little extra attention as the solo woman. Sometimes it comes with a glass of wine or dessert on the house. Oftentimes it comes with some fun conversations that once included an invitation for a night out.
The owners of the hotels I’ve stayed at have been equally incredible too, keeping an eye out for me and always ready to help with any questions. Even checking to make sure I was ok after getting food poisoning in Verona, something I would never have expected a busy hotel to follow up on.
In a city full of couples and families, my solo status does mean I stick out a bit, but based on my experience, it did way more good than harm.
Venice is Safe for Solo Female Travellers
I’ll preface this by saying that obviously anything can happen anywhere and as a solo female traveller you always need to be a little more aware of your surroundings. That being said, I’ve been to Venice three times now, most recently I spent an entire week in the city and I have never felt unsafe or been harassed. Which, compared to my experiences in other Italian cities (looking at you Florence and Rome!) says a lot.
During my most recent visit I took a food tour with a local and he made a joke about the safety of Venice. He said most people walk down alleyways and around dark corners in cities and worry they will be assaulted or robbed. In Venice, you’ll probably just find a young couple making out or a few teenagers smoking weed.
Venice Can Be Budget Friendly
If you do it right, the most expensive part of Venice will be your accommodations. Yes, there are a couple of hostels ( Generator Hostel Venice is well-rated if you are looking). But personally I prefer to stay in budget hotels or B&B type spots so I have my own space which is a bit costlier.
However, when it comes to exploring Venice that can be done on the cheap. There are no cars so you will have to walk. The Vaporettos (water bus) can be handy if you need to get somewhere fast but honestly, part of the charm of Venice is getting lost in the streets.
There are plenty of options when it comes to food and drink. As is expected, restaurants further away from San Marco and the Grand Canal will be more budget friendly. There are places where you can get a plate of pasta for about 10 euros. You can also always pick up a sandwich or slice of pizza to go from a bakery if you are really budget conscious and/or don’t love eating alone. If you are looking to meet people, head to the cicchetti (Venetian Tapas) bars and grab an aperol and some of this little snacks. It’s a very local thing to do and you might meet some new friends.
As for sight-seeing, well everything around you is amazing. You don’t need to pay to go into specific attractions to be awed, just take a walk. As an Indiana-Jones enthusiast, I was pretty happy to stumble upon this building below. Do you recognize it?
For ideas of what to see and do in Venice, be sure to check out my full Venice itinerary.
Easily Accessible With Lots of Day Trips
Getting into Venice is a breeze. The train station is right in the city, the airport is about a 15-20 minute bus ride away from Piazale Roma, which is where all busses arrive, and it’s also a port city. It really doesn’t get much easier.
With all these options of transportation, it’s easy to get in and out of the city, even just for day trips. Verona is only a couple hours away by train, or if you’re looking to explore a little more of the area, you can hop on a vaporetto out to the islands of Murano and Burano, both of which can be easily visited in a day.
There’s also some fun options within the city as well. I took a mask making class with a local artist that ended up being a lot of fun. (Book your own mask making workshop here)
So if you are dreaming of windy alleyways, gondolas and canals, pasta and gelato and everything that is fabulous about Venice, go for it. There’s no need to wait to visit with the love of your life. The sunsets will be magical, no matter whom you share it with, even if it’s just the local fishermen.
Final Tips For Solo Travel in Venice
- Italians eat late. So if you want to fit in a little more plan to eat your dinner around 8pm rather than the typical 5:30-7pm that is common in North America. Keep in mind, you will be charged a sitting fee to eat in any establishment in Italy.
- Stay in Venice proper. Sure Lido or the mainland may be a little cheaper, however you’ll pay back (in money and time) anything you saved by actually getting into the Venice that you came to see.
- Vaporettos ARE frequently monitored so please don’t hop on without a ticket. You will be yelled at in front of everyone else, and charged. I’ve seen it happen twice, and it’s kind of scary!
- Most people visit Venice only for a day, so for the best ‘local’, non-crowded experience, do your exploring in the early morning or evening.
- Gondola rides are super expensive, especially if you are just one person. But if it is on your bucket list, consider booking online in advance to be part of a group tour. You will save yourself quite a bit of money. Check here for that option.
A Note on Travel Insurance in Italy
Please, do NOT travel without travel insurance! I’ve had to rely on mine multiple times. While the cost may seem annoying and better spent elsewhere, trust me when I say you’ll be sorry if you don’t have it. For just a couple bucks a day, you can save yourself a whole lot of stress and money. I like to recommend SafetyWing for travel medical insurance as they are one of the most affordable options I’ve found, plus, they are who I use and I have had great experiences with them. Learn more about the importance of travel insurance here.