The Lido de Venezia is a fantastic base for a holiday to Italy. With a great beach, great restaurants and only a 7 minute water taxi ride from San Marco, it is perfect for both couples and families.
Where is Venice Lido?
The Lido de Venezia (Venice Lido) is a small island just across the water from the main tourist areas of Venice. It is approximately 8 miles long and 1 mile wide and in its hey day was the playground of the rich and famous.
How to Get to Venice Lido
We flew to Marco Polo airport from the UK and then caught the airport water bus to the Island. You can also reach Venice Lido by car using the car ferry from the mainland.
Venice Film Festival
It still draws the rich and famous at least once per year as they descend for the Venice Film Festival which takes place at the end of August.
Why stay on Venice Lido
As a family, we are not ones to be found spending all day on the beach. We do love the beach but after two to three hours of playing games, swimming in the sea and sunbathing, we are all ready to go off sightseeing. I think this is why we have been to Barcelona for 5 years running.
I first visited Venice two years ago and fell in love. It was October and I really wanted to come back during the Summer months. However, I also knew that we really wanted a beach too. That’s how I came across Venice Lido. Accommodation is slightly cheaper on the Lido and there is really easy access to the main tourist parts of Venice, as well as the other Islands of Murano and Burano (and more).
Beaches on Venice Lido
As in most of Italy, many of the beaches are privately owned and you have to pay for entry. There are public beaches and the Lido has three in total, although we only visited one. Having never been to a public beach in Italy before, I was a little nervous as to what it would be like. However, I was pleasantly surprised. It was clean and had great facilities (toilets, showers, restaurant, beach shop) – and although you needed to pay for the toilets and showers it was €1.
We never looked in to how much the private beaches were as the public beach was great. The gradient of the beach is shallow making it the perfect beach for children. We even bought a dinghy for the boys as I felt that it was safe enough for them.
The only downside, and this is from two football mad boys, was that you weren’t allowed to play ball games on the beach but to be fair, they spent so long in the sea I don’t think they really missed it.
Accommodation on Venice Lido
There are many types of accommodation available on the Lido with prices to suit any budget. As mentioned, it is cheaper to stay here than in the main part of Venice. We chose a family run two star bed & breakfast which had a family room with en-suite bathroom and the all important wifi.
The location of the hotel was around a 30 minute walk from the main street and beach of the Lido. If I was to visit again, I would definitely choose a hotel much closer.
The Lido has two main roads which allow vehicles. There are taxis and buses available to take you around the island. We didn’t get a chance to explore as we were only there for 7 days, but it would have been great to have visited other parts and to see what the other two public beaches were like.
Transport off the Lido is excellent, if a little pricey. The water buses run every few minutes delivering passengers to Venice or other Islands around the Lagoon.
We purchased a 48 hour water bus ticket at a price of €60 per person and planned our time to ensure we made the most of it. On the first day we caught the water bus from the Lido to Burano, then from Burano to Murano and from Murano to Venice. By the time we reached Venice it was early evening and we decided to go for dinner.
The following day, we travelled over to Venice to take in the atmosphere. We didn’t need to head to the main tourist sights, as we had done all those when we had visited a few years ago, so this time we decided to catch the water bus up to the Port and take a walk along the Grand Canal all the way down to San Marco. It was here that we found the Magnum store and there was no way we could walk by. We were able to design our own Magnum's!
We then made our way back to Lido and to the hotel, showered, changed and headed out for dinner. Whilst sitting in a restaurant overlooking the Lagoon, eldest asked how long the water bus tickets were valid for. I told him they were valid 10 am the next morning. Let’s use them again he said. So we finished eating and caught the water bus back over to Venice (it was around 9.30 pm by this time). We had a quick wander around and then caught the water bus from Academia. This bus followed a circular route and would eventually take us all the way back to Lido, but first it went all the way down the Grand Canal. It took an hour and a half in total but it was great to see everything lit up. We finally got back to the hotel just after midnight.
Food on the Lido was brilliant. As a family, we all love pizza and pasta, so were in our element. It was good value too – a main course and a drink usually came to around €40 for the four of us. We very rarely had dessert, choosing instead to grab a delicious Italian ice cream from the many ice cream parlours along the main street. The variety of flavours was amazing!
There were plenty of options for snacks too with a number of sandwich shops selling freshly made sandwiches and wraps.
All the restaurants, bars and sandwich shops had covered seating outside too.
There aren’t many shops on the Lido, so if you needed something specific you would probably need to head in to Venice. There was one department store which sold food on the ground floor and clothing on the upper floors.
Down near the Water Bus station and up towards the beach there are plenty of stalls selling beach goods too. So even if you are heading to Venice and haven’t packed for the beach, there is no reason why you couldn’t pop over to the Lido.
More from the Lido
The Lido is not just a great place to holiday it is a great place to base yourself too. The below are just a few options and all are extremely easy to get to from the Lido.
Water Buses run from the Lido to Venice every couple of minutes. The journey takes just 7 minutes one way from Lido to San Marco.
Here you will find San Marco (St Mark’s Square), the Grand Canal, Gondolas, the Rialto Bridge to name a few.
This was the island I really wanted to visit, after seeing the beautiful images in my travel guide. I had even shown my eldest an image I found on Google and he thought it was fake, that it looked to perfect. I can confirm that it is not fake at all and Burano is one of the most beautiful places I have been. The multi-coloured houses are just gorgeous.
Slightly larger than Burano, Murano is famous for Murano Glass. You can wander around shops filled with the most beautifully coloured and designed glass objects, anything from a small glass to a large chandelier.
Lido de Jesolo
Not knowing what the beach would be like on Lido de Venezia, I had also planned a trip to Lido de Jesolo . Lido de Jesolo is on the mainland of Italy and is a popular beach resort. The beach on the Lido de Venezia was great, so we never travelled there.
However, it is really easy to get to. You catch the water bus from the Lido de Venezia just one stop across the Lagoon and it drops you off at a bus station where there are many buses waiting to take you to the resort of Lido de Jesolo.
This is definitely one we will keep for any future visits we plan.
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