Visiting Venice in Winter
I’ve been wanting to visit Venice for literally YEARS and never seemed to find the time. This year that changed. When I arrived home from travelling solo in Greece I decided I wanted one last trip before the year ended. (Surely I could sneak in one little city break, right?) I started browsing Skyscanner for cheap flights and two places came up top – Venice and Milan. Although I really want to go to Milan as well I just couldn’t say no to wonderful Venezia. So before I knew it I was booking to go to Venice in November. Then a thought occurred to me…
Is November a Good Time to Visit Venice?
Obviously Venice in November would be great for avoiding mass crowds of tourists but would it be cold and wet and miserable? Would some of the major tourist attractions be closed? Then I found something else. Would it be FLOODING?
Venice and the Acqua Alta
I won’t go into too much detail here because I’m planning a separate post all about what to do if you experience the Acqua Alta. But flooding is a problem in Venice. The city is sinking and sea levels are rising. The worst months of the year for flooding are typically October through to January. If you book a trip to Venice between these months you will of course run the risk of arriving in Venice whilst it’s flooding. After doing my research I decided this was a risk I was willing to take.
And Then It Flooded…
Two weeks before my trip Venice was flooded by the highest tides in 50 years. Needless to say I wasn’t the only one on the plane with my wellies. But Venice floods regularly throughout these months, especially in November and December, and they are more than geared up for it. If you hadn’t seen the news you wouldn’t have even known St Mark’s Square was a meter under water the week before. The Acqua Alta did not affect my trip in the slightest, but had I arrived 2 weeks earlier that would be a different story. And now that we’ve got the negative out of the way…
Benefits of Travelling to Venice in November
November is Quiet
Benefit number one has got to be the complete lack of people. Obviously I’ve never visited Venice in peak season but I have been to other major tourist attractions like the Acropolis of Athens during prime time and it is madness.
Venice in November was completely different. It was oh so quiet. You could take photographs without any other people in very easily. You could find seats in cafes and restaurants. And I didn’t queue for anything. Whereas I’ve read online that these ‘jump the queue tickets’ are a lifesaver in the summer months. Seeing Venice this way meant I saw it unspoiled. I think it would break my heart slightly to go back in the summer and see it packed full of tourists waving their selfie sticks around.
November is Cheaper
I expected Venice to be really expensive. I was wrong, but that’s because it was Venice in November.
If you don’t already know I’m a big fan of Airbnb. If you’ve not used Airbnb before then have a read of my post ‘How Does Airbnb Work‘. Airbnb is always so much cheaper than a hotel, and there aren’t many hostels in Venice, so this seemed like an obvious budget travel choice. However, that doesn’t mean we compromised on luxury because our Airbnb was fab! It was so close to St Mark’s Square, had a traditional Venetian interior with Venetian furniture and even had a canal view! But it was cheap. I think we paid about €70 a night for a two bed, whereas hotels in the area are well over €150 per room for somewhere that central.
I’m pretty sure that some of the restaurants drop their prices off season too as even the restaurants in St Mark’s Square didn’t seem crazy expensive. And we managed to haggle the price on gondola rides too. In summer, when the demand is high, I’m sure this wouldn’t be the case.
Is Venice in November Worth A Visit?
Simple answer, yes!
Providing you can avoid the flooding, or don’t mind coping with it if it does flood, then Venice in November is magical. Be prepared to wrap up warm with scarves, hats and gloves as the temperature on the canals is lower than anywhere mainland but we didn’t have any rain. It was cheaper that I’d expected and great if you’re into travel photography with some gorgeous sunsets and misty mornings. Spending November in Venice is simply beautiful. It felt almost like we had the city to ourselves.
If you enjoyed this post ‘Venice in November’ why not pin it for later?