19/07/2019

Venice tourist traps: how to avoid getting caught

Venice is one of the world’s most beautiful cities, so it’s little wonder that tourists flock there in their droves to experience it for themselves. But what are the biggest tourist traps in Venice, and how can you avoid getting caught in them? We’ve already told you about what not to do in Venice, but here are some other things to be aware of…

Fake masks

Venetian masks

A colourful carnival mask makes the perfect souvenir to take home from Venice, but not all masks are created equal. The cheaper ones – 20 Euros or less – are more than likely made in China, not Venice. They won’t necessarily comply with EU safety regulations, which means that the substances they’re made of could be harmful if you wear them next to your skin. They’re meant to be labelled as ‘for decorative use only’, but many won’t be. Just remember: you get what you pay for.

Murano glass

Another popular Venetian souvenir is Murano glass, made across the lagoon on Murano Island. To make sure you’re getting the real deal, buy Murano glass souvenirs on Murano Island itself – it’s cheaper, more likely to be genuine, and it’s a great opportunity to visit another part of the lagoon.

Tourist menusdetail of a sea salad

Tempting though it may seem to choose a restaurant where there are photographs of the food and there’s a friendly face outside trying to entice you in, these kinds of restaurants are best avoided. Steer well clear of restaurants that advertise ‘tourist menus’, as these are classic Venice tourist traps and you’ll almost certainly receive poor quality (even frozen) food at sky high prices.

Street vendors

As with many European cities, Venice has its fair share of illegal street vendors selling fake designer goods, such as handbags and sunglasses. Whatever you do, don’t fall for these; quite apart from the poor quality of these goods, you could land yourself a substantial fine if you’re caught buying them.

Gondola ridesGondolier and tourist on a gondola

A gondola ride is one of the most romantic things to do in Venice, but it’s easy to fall prey to extortionate pricing. Rather than getting into the first gondola you see, why not arrange a gondola ride using our trusted partner? Before you go, don’t forget to brush up on some fascinating facts about gondolas to share with your fellow travellers!

Whether you’re visiting for a week or you’re just on a Venice day trip, another way you can avoid the tourist and budget traps is by heading to a quieter part of the city. If you want to escape the crowds, why not head to the lesser-known Cannaregio district? Here’s what to do in Cannaregio to get your itinerary started!

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