Vondelpark : Amsterdam

Not that there’s anything specific to see in the Vondelpark, just the peaceful and happy atmosphere radiating off all the locals and tourists sitting peacefully and chatting makes this place a must do. If you fancy a bike ride you can always take the path that leads all the way around the park. Though if you decide to walk be aware of the amount of bikes since they share the same path unlike the bike lines on most streets where they have their own lane. Something you will also notice is the amount of parakeets in the trees, something I’m not used to back home. You’ll definitely hear them before you see them. Theres so much room in the park you could bring some sports equipment and play football for example.

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Venice

If you’ve been keeping up with my previous posts you’ll have seen that I recently travelled to Venice for a week. Heres a break down of what I got up to every day with links to some earlier blog posts that include a little bit more information about each activity.

Day One: Parco San Giuliano, boat ride

After spending the evening before travelling and getting settled in my hotel, I decided to take the first day easy and headed on over to San Giuliano Park where I had lunch and sat by the waters edge looking over at Venice. I then took a short boat ride with my friend and one of the locals and explored the bay area a little while.

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Day Two: St Marks Square + Parco delle Rimembranze

Since it was my first time in Venice, I thought it’d be good to see the most popular spot, St Marks Basilica. The square was bustling with tourists and since it was a hot day, it seemed as though everyone was out for the day. I wandered around the area for a little bit admiring the architecture and design of the variety of buildings around the square. After sauntering around I then headed on up to Parco delle Rimembranze which faces the island of Lido and just sat in the sun for a couple hours.

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Day Three: Rialto Bridge + Bridge of Sighs

We spent most of the day just wandering around nearby St Marks Square but first headed over to the Bridge of Sighs. Whilst you wouldn’t spend longer than 5-10 minutes here, it’s definitely a must see. Another hotspot in Venice is Rialto Bridge which attracts lots of people looking for a picture perfect backdrop. Since it was so busy I couldn’t get a picture of myself on the bridge so I headed on down the canal to get the bridge in the background which I think in retrospect was a great idea since you can actually see the bridge in the image now! The best time to see the bridge in my opinion is at sunset since the buildings look as though they’re glowing in the background.

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Rialto Bridge
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Bridge of Sighs

Day Four: Wandering

I spent the day just wandering aimlessly around the main areas in Venice such as the bridges and St Marks Square. I also spent a lot of the day going around the different shops they have, one of the main ones being masks. Mask making is something Venice is famous for and there is also an annual festival whereby locals put on masks and ‘dress up’.

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Grand Canal

Day Five: Santa Maria Della Salute

A short walk from Piazzale Roma, the Salute sits on the waters edge and is a great place to just sit in peace and enjoy Venice from the other side of the canal. You can also see St Marks Square on the other side and a few of the other islands surrounding Venice.

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Day Six: Murano + Sunset

For my last day I headed on over to Murano, a nearby island, and spent a few hours wandering around the colourful streets and exploring the glass making shops. I headed back on over to Venice about an hour before sunset and spent a while capturing a few shots of the Salute in the sunset.

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Bridge of Sighs : Venice

‘Bridge of Sighs’ comes from the sighs that prisoners would let out on their way to be executed or jailed. The bridge itself is a quick visit is you intend on just going to view it and it sits just of the Doge’s Palace. You can also walk across it if you go through Doge’s Palace. Casanova was the only prisoner to escape the prisons and fled through the roof so if you’re interested in learning a little more about the prisons, definitely have a nosey into his escape. The bridge itself isn’t anything too impressive though it does have minimal detailing such as the heads around the bottom of the bridge.

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Rialto Bridge + Grand Canal : Venice

The most famous bridge in Venice, Rialto Bridge is a popular tourist hotspot with an insane view of the Grand Canal. Because of this, it’s difficult to get a good shot of yourself on the bridge so I recommend walking down the canal a little bit and having the bridge in the background. The bridge itself is beautiful and fits in perfectly with the architecture around it with large archway styled windows and lots of detailing throughout. According to sites online, the bridge has been rebuilt a few times however it still retains its original design.

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St Marks Square & Basilica : Venice

Possibly the busiest spot in Venice, St Marks Square is a vast open space that connects the Basilica, Campanile and Doge’s Palace. The square also sits on the waters edge so you have an incredible view across the water. If you fancied a Gondola ride, there are plenty of people offering rides next to the square and is one of the busiest spots for them. The Basilica is the main point of focus when visiting the square and has the most incredible exterior and interior. With thousands of sq meters of mosaics, the cathedral is a collection of domes, marble walls and greek architecture.  As a symbol of wealth and power, the building has a myriad of details and meanings throughout.

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Underneath Doge’s Palace

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Parco San Giuliano : Venice

Situated next to the bridge that leads in to Venice, Parco San Giuliano has lots of open space. It’s the perfect place to have a picnic and relax in the summer and can become  quite busy on warmer days. From the waters edge within the park, you have a great view of Venice and the distant skyline. The park is quite large so you could definitely spend a few hours here. You could also take a boat ride around the edge of the park to get a different perspective of the park. The park is also very easily accessible from pretty much every bus that heads into or out of Venice.

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Murano : Venice

Full of brightly painted buildings, Murano is an island just off Venice, famous for its glass making. Compared to the bustling streets of Venice, Murano has a calm and relaxed environment. Places to visit includes the glass museum, the Basilica di Santa Maria e San Donato, the various glass shops and random various street art. If you take your time checking out the various glass shops, canals and colourful buildings, you can definitely make a day out the island even though it only takes a short while to walk from one end to the other. To get to Murano I would best recommend taking the ACTV Water bus which will cost you 15 euros for a return. You can also get a water taxi but it’ll cost you over 100 euros. The best stop to get on at is the San Zaccaria stop next to St Marks Square.

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