Discover Venice for a steal! – Part 1

Venice is one of the most famous cities of this planet, although it is tiny compared with many metropolitans all over the world which are equally famous. The fame is based on the special character of this city, which is built into the Mediterranean Sea and kind of an open air museum itself…

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The capital of romance and love is – with no doubt – Venice in Italy. You will have this feeling of visiting & living in a big open air museum nowhere else and the special character of the water streets is unique as well, at least in Europe and within a city that has an age, historic charme and dimensions like Venice. There are many copies of this city, mostly in the US e.g. with Venice of Los Angeles – and in themeparks all over the worlds.

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I want to say bye for the next days, won't have time, will have to do a lot. That's why you get this entry here, recent and from my favorite time of each day, the night – somewhere in Venice, Italy… TAG a friend for your chance on a feature! | https://benicoma.com/be-featured ☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆ Many thanks to the following hubs for the latest features, I highly appreciate this honor and want to say thank you with this entry! ◆ @twenty20app ◆ @igworldtrip ◆ @ig_caribbean_sea ☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆ #ig_worldclub #ig_clubaward #igworldclub #ig_europe #ig_europa #ig_italia #ig_italy #ig_venice #dream_image #dream_spots #superhubs #special_shots #worlderlust #ig_today #ig_cosmopolitan #jaw_dropping_shots #beautifuldestinations #igs_world #theworldshotz #worldbestshot #instafameshots #travel_magazine #tv_travel #allshots_ #secretplaces @theseldomseen #GreatestTravels #ig_masterpiece #AOV #igs_group_02 #ig_worldclub_013

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I don’t want to focus on facts and figures with this entry, for all of that you have the linked Wiki above and probably good traveler guides anyways. What I want to deliver here are some impressions and since I traveled there already two times (and certainly not the last time), insider knowledge for your convenience, how you can make it there and live there, even with a very small budget – in the historic center, on the island of Venezia and not on the mainland.

  • Your Trip: Plan your trip in advance and don’t haste through this city. Plan at least three to four days, directly on the island. Don’t consider a stay on the mainland, it’s not even cheaper, if you book the hotel about a month in advance.

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While you visit Venezia, which one could easily say is a museum as a whole city, to get around you have the options to either walk, take a public transportation ferry called Vaporetto, or the depicted gondolas. If you travel low budget, which is quite easy and which I'll report on my blog soon, you better don't, if you don't need to… A single ride costs 100,- € (125,- $) for two people. Can be cheaper although the experience is most likely stunning if you go through the small channels. | Read the story on http://benicoma.com ◇◇◇◇◇◇◇◇◇◇◇◇◇◇◇◇◇◇◇◇◇◇◇◇◇◇◇◇◇◇◇◇◇◇◇◇◇◇ ◆ TAG a user with whom you'd like to discover this place & WIN an introduction of yourself on my website! ◆ To participate: TAG a user who will enjoy this picture → I have a look in your gallery. ◆ Of all igers who TAG someone I pick a weekly winner who gets a shoutout. All four picks will be presented in a 4-grid to the followers monthly and they can vote the WINNER. ◆ The WINNER is featured on https://benicoma.com/be-featured with three picks of their gallery and an optional interview. ◆ Have fun & Good luck! ◇◇◇◇◇◇◇◇◇◇◇◇◇◇◇◇◇◇◇◇◇◇◇◇◇◇◇◇◇◇◇◇◇◇◇◇◇◇ #ig_today #ig_cosmopolitan #igworldtrip #worlderlust #special_shots #igs_europe #ig_eurasia #elite_shotz #hot_shotz #ig_italy #ponyfony #bestnatureshot #travel_magazine #tv_travel #zamanidurdur #exklusive_shot #postcardsfromtheworld #allshots_ #ig_masterpiece @ig_masterpiece #Europe_Gallery #ig_iceland #igshotz_power @igshotz_power #livetravelchannel @travelchannel #beautifuldestinations @beautifuldestinations #instagramersoftheyear_europa #instagramersoftheyear

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  • When to go: Summer is fine of course, but Venice is overrun by tourists and in between July and September is main vacation time in Italy and the city is even more frequented. Summer can be nasty in Venice, since the city sometimes stinks when it is warm and you will not be able to enjoy your stay, when you have to fight for space on all main sights. I prefer to go in late Autumn and Winter. End of October to mid of January is a good time, although it is not really warm. So far the weather was always appreciable. Rain can occur, but you will have sun as well. I have never visited Venice for the Carnival, but if you plan to do that, book about one year in advance!
  • Getting there: If you arrive by ferry or train, everything is good – you can’t take a motorized vehicle onto the island! If you have a rental car within Italy, make it a one-way and return it in Venezia. If you have an own car or a rental you plan to use after your stay as well, park it on the mainland! The pricing differs drastically and it’s possible that you pay up to 30 EUR a day for public parking if you choose to park directly at the entrance of the historic city. This is very convenient and if you can afford it, you should do it. The options on the mainland are by far cheaper and if you choose the right hub, it costs about 5 – 10 EUR a day! Before you get off your vehicle make sure you have your Vaporetto pass ready to take the bus into the historic city, directly from the parking site. It is by far the most convenient way. You can buy the ticket until 7:00 PM (weekdays) in Mestre in Via Giuseppe Verdi 14, (List of ticket offices) upon your arrival and if you are under 27 the pass costs less – show your ID to prove the age!

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Venezia is a Wonderland for your daily dose of photography. This shot shows a Vaporetto coming through at an exposure of 20 seconds. The water loses its structure and seems to be totally plane to deliver awesome reflections. Venezia at night is even more beautiful, when all the tourists sleep and just some locals are in the streets. | Read the story soon on http://benicoma.com ◇◇◇◇◇◇◇◇◇◇◇◇◇◇◇◇◇◇◇◇◇◇◇◇◇◇◇◇◇◇◇◇◇◇◇◇◇◇ ◆ TAG a user with whom you'd like to discover this place & WIN an introduction of yourself on my website! ◆ To participate: TAG a user who will enjoy this picture → I have a look in your gallery. ◆ Of all igers who TAG someone I pick a weekly winner who gets a shoutout. All four picks will be presented in a 4-grid to the followers monthly and they can vote the WINNER. ◆ The WINNER is featured on https://benicoma.com/be-featured with three picks of their gallery and an optional interview. ◆ Have fun & Good luck! ◇◇◇◇◇◇◇◇◇◇◇◇◇◇◇◇◇◇◇◇◇◇◇◇◇◇◇◇◇◇◇◇◇◇◇◇◇◇ #beautifuldestinations #igs_world #igs_europe #superhubs #mobilemag #princely_shotz #special_shots #exklusive_shot #elite_shotz #master_shots #greatshotz #hot_shotz @instagram @nikontop #ig_today #ig_cosmopolitan #igworldtrip #worlderlust #ig_today #ig_pro #Europe_Gallery #travel_magazine #tv_travel #tv_longexposure #zamanidurdur #secretplaces @theseldomseen #allshots_ #inspiring_photography_admired #artofvisuals @artofvisuals #ig_iceland117 #ig_iceland

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  • Staying in Venice: You certainly have plentiful options via AirBNB but they are not necessarily cheaper than your average B&B which you can find offered at all common websites like Booking or tripadvisor. It’s up to you what you choose. Expect daily costs to be around 20 EUR per person in winter with the option to cook your food at home. I stayed once in Mestre, the first time I visited Venice and I would never do that again! Last time we stayed in the B&B Venice Hazel and I can recommend it for the price, cleanliness and proximity to all main sights.
  • Getting around in Venice: Many ‘Piazzas’ are touristic, some aren’t. As recommended get the Vaporetto pass – a single ride costs you at least 6 EUR. A Vaporetto is the big water bus, for up to 100 people. It’s not as romantic as the little gondola, but a ride with the gondola costs you 80 – 100 EUR for one hour and for two people. Something you’d do when you want to propose or you have sufficient funds – nothing for the traveler on a budget. The Vaporetto helps you to return to your area of choice – and to get away from there I recommend to walk the city and discover it.

 

  • Eating out-house & Groceries: The less tourists you see, the better is the food. The price range is from up to 5 EUR for a coffee (Piazza San Marco) to 0,90 EUR everywhere in the places where the locals go. Same is for Pizza which can cost you 5 EUR in the area of the University – or triple the price in the touristic areas while mostly worse in comparison. Get a feeling for yourself while you discover it. I prefer the food of Tuscany and Blogna by far, when it comes up to Italy but you can find really good food in Venice as well, you just have to have a closer look. For aperitivos I can highly recommend the area close to Ponte di Rialto, around the Rialto market place – which is lively at daytime and where you can buy great ingredients for your home cooking. The other groceries can be bought much cheaper at one of the few Coop supermarkets.

In Part 2 I will tell you a bit about the sights and options you have in regard to the sightseeing and about the tickets – because sightseeing is expensive as hell if you don’t do it properly, as is going to the toilet. I never do the average sightseeing when I am there, although it would probably be worth it. I choose to just enjoy the city itself as a great museum. On the other hand, there are plentiful options one should discover… With those first infos you will get there and around and you can easily stay a week for not more than 500 – 600 EUR for two persons if you do it right, most of the food included. Stay tuned. I will bring up the next entry for Venice in about two weeks and it will include many more impressions of the city. One last advice: Make sure you don’t act like a touristic bum while you are there, the Venezians hate it and if you see the masses of tourists you know why!

Innsbruck – About my home – Part 2

Innsbruck has plenty of great sites, summer as winter. It’s up to you to decide what you would like to experience. Outdoor is a great plus but the museums of the city draft in thousands of tourists as well. Have a look into this entry to find your personal and suitable experience.

Innsbruck from Nordkette
Innsbruck from Nordkette (click to buy)

I want to start this entry with a little story about the people living here in most beautiful Tyrol, Austrias highland. The Tyroleans are a very special kind of people. If you approach them too open minded and loud, before they can flee, you can be prepared for a reply which can be harsh sometimes, or at least sarcastic. Foreigners, especially the ones living permanently in Tyrol, like Germans, are not always welcome to them – Germans in particular are a matter of a longterm love hate relationship. The term for Germans in Austria is “Piefke” which goes back to a story of two officers on the Prussian miltitary squad of the old times, before the Nazis took over Europe. They were so in shape, that they defined this term as typical German (towards the Austrian mentality). It might be due to the success of Germany in football, olympics, industry etc. while speaking the same language, it might be due to the size of Germany and amount of Germans, or because of the lively, self-confident (overexaggerating sometimes) appearance much more Germans have compared to Austrians, who are almost ever much more relaxed and laid back – even if they are equally qualified for what they do. I started to love this kind of attitude, it’s “just being relaxed” vs. being permanently stressed out and hasty in your everyday life… So this is by any means critics on the Austrian mentality. If you befriend with those guys and they go to the mountain with you, be sure you have found friends which understand this meaning from the heart.

This is the Tyrolean “National Anthem” if it comes up to the Tyroleans in Tyrol, East Tyrol and South Tyrol (Alto Adige), it should be still a united country, without Alto Adige belonging to Italy.

Sights of Innsbruck

But this entry is to bring the sights of Innsbruck to you, who are probably not living here, who are planing to do an unforgettable vacation in the Alps. Innsbruck is a tremendous base for your endeavours because you have lots of great restaurants and entertainment on the one hand and top notch skiing resorts or hiking on the other within an hour in your car or by public transportation

Rank 10: Plenty of Chinese and Japanese visitors rush in every day and it’s a main sight of the city, the Swarovski flagship store with its crystal exhibition in the center of the old-city. The company is actually a Tyrolean family owned company and does precision glassware for analytics and optics besides the jewelry. The main facility is in Wattens, just a 30 min. busride away the Swarovski Kristallwelten in Wattens. As I mentioned in my last entry about Innsbruck, this is nothing we would attend to, but I know there is big interest in these exhibitions, so it’s worth to mention them here. 

Innsbruck's colorful houses at night
Innsbruck’s colorful houses at night (click to buy)

Rank 9: The inner city of Innsbruck itself is a sight. You will have this panoramic view nowhere else while you go shopping. It includes the old-city itself, with the well known Goldenes Dachl, which I grant the Rank 5 in this listing. It includes the colorful houses along the Inn, the Dom (the main church), the Stadt-schloss, Landestheater, Hofgarten and everything related. The city shines in its beauty and this is based on the fact that it was not destroyed during WWII.

Schloss Ambras
Schloss Ambras

Rank 8Schloß Ambras and the Ferdinandeum, the lovely Tyrolean museum for history are going places when you are into history and old stuff, which is exhibited there. The castle is lovely and the garden beautiful. The Ferdinandeum is quite modern but the exhibition still has its charme.

Rank 7: Another main sight of the city is the Bergisel Schanze where the olympic wintergames took place. It’s annually used as venue in the tournament of the Vierschanzentournee, as I reported in my last entry. Another curiosity is the Wok WM, which was hosted by the German host Stefan Raab during the last years. A crazy tournament for crazy people, who enjoy a race down the bob-trail on a heated wok (yes the cooking device).

Rank 6: The zoo of Innsbruck, better known as Alpenzoo, is a nice place for families and animal enthusiasts. The inhabitants are all living in the Alps, so get a good overview which kind of animals can be found here, when you wander off the beaten tracks. Capricorn and eagle are the most prominent inhabitants, but bears, wolves and bobcats can be found there as well, and of course the otters, which have been my personal favorite! Another great sight is the botanical garden of the University of Innsbruck – small but well organized and the entry fees just apply for the tropical houses, visiting the garden with the flora of the Alps is totally free of charge!

Goldenes Dachl
Goldenes Dachl (click to buy)

Rank 5: The main sight depicted on all the postcards from Innsbruck is the Goldenes Dachl (golden roof). There is not much to say about it, it’s simply beautiful and you should stop there and take your touristic photo souvenir, when you pass it. It gets a separate rank, because it is the symbol of the city.

Obernberger See
Obernberger See (click to buy)

Rank 4: Compared to Salzburg or Kärnten there are just few lakes where you can go to dip on hot summer days. But some of them are most beautiful and I want to mention them here as one “sight” because most of them are in close range and easy to reach. The most beautiful lake around the area is Lake Obernberg, it is not allowed to swim in there, but we were never punished when we took a fast dip after we hiked the surrounding mountains. Another great lake is the Achensee, which you reach by car going via Jenbach, turning northwards up into the mountains. 

Reintalersee
Reintalersee (click to buy)

You can even sail on this lake and (kite)surf in summer, in winter you find a school for snow-kiting. The two most beautiful swimming lakes in the surrounding of Innsbruck are the Reintalersee in Kramsach and the Piburger See in the Ötztal. In the Ötztal you find the Area 47, a water themepark for your amusement and plenty of opportunity to do rafting and canyoning.

Rank 3: The endless amounts of skiing resorts in the region are a major sight for your activity and your exploration. I will just recommend the best of the best to you and not give you info on the smaller ones. Leave those to the locals and the guys who tend to be alone when they do their sports. If you are interested in touring skiing you can ask me for those via the comment section, albeit from that, stick to the ones, which offer your daily dose of convenience, apres ski and awesome. For the following list, I do not have a special ranking. Ischgl, Arlberg, Zillertal, and Serfaus are huge, the rest is smaller and some are closer to Innsbruck.

Rank 2: The Höttinger Alm is an easy to hike hut, which you should visit when you are in good shape during the summer month. You can reach it in a two hour hike via easy routes and the food is fantastic! You have a great view on Innsbruck and it is my personal favorite, when it comes up to traditional huts and the mountain flair.

Rank 1: The Nordkettenbahnen are the main sight in my opinion and they bring you up to 2300 m of elevation to the Hafelekar right over the roofs of Innsbruck. This experience is so unique, no matter if it summer or winter, it has to receive rank 1. You can jump in there, like into a metro and right from the old-city of Innsbruck, go up to Hungerburg, from there by cable car to Seegrube, and from there up to Hafelekar with just another cable car. It opens a playground for adventurers, skiing experts (yes, experts!) in winter, and mountainbike freaks (yes freaks!) in summer. You find an awesome climbing trail and plenty of opportunity to live your personal experience of wanderlust. If you are not into those sports regulary and very experienced leave this place out and just go up to enjoy the view – you can do that every Friday in summer til 11:30 p.m. and in winter til 1:30 a.m.! It’s in your own interest to not overestimate yourself because otherwise you just hurt yourself and are brought down to the valley in a helicopter. I mean it like I write it, please don’t overestimate your skills here. I have to mention the Patscher Kofel as well here – just for completeness and without taking rank 1. It’s by far not as impressive as the Nordkette, but the views on Innsbruck, the Nordkette and the Innvalley are more than beautiful as well. If you have few time, do just the Nordkette, if you have plenty do Patscher Kofel as well and hike the Zirbenweg.