With its shimmering canals and historic allure, is a city that beckons travellers from every corner of the globe. But navigating this labyrinthine city can be as challenging as it is enchanting. As the founder of Urbs, I've always believed in the power of technology to enhance our travel experiences. Over the years, I've relied on a suite of apps to uncover Venice's hidden gems and navigate its winding pathways. In this piece, I'll share my top 11 apps for visiting Venice that transformed my Venetian adventures, starting with our very own Urbs Travel App. Dive in and discover the digital companions that will make your next trip to La Serenissima truly unforgettable.
Our 11 Best Apps for Venice in 2023
2. Google Maps
3. City Mapper
10. Google Lens
1. Urbs Travel App
Ah, Venice! As the founder of Urbs, every visit to this enchanting city is both a personal journey and an opportunity to experience the magic our app brings to travelers. One of the features I'm particularly proud of is how Urbs allows users to plot routes that encompass all the attractions they wish to see. On my recent trip, I used our app to craft a route that took me through Venice's iconic landmarks, from the majestic Doge's Palace to the serene canals of Cannaregio. And it's not just about plotting a route; it's about immersing oneself in the rich tapestry of Venetian history and culture.
As I meandered through the city, I was accompanied by our audio guides, meticulously written by local experts who truly understand the heart and soul of Venice. These guides, brought to life by professional voice artists, added layers of depth to my exploration, making each attraction more than just a visual treat. It felt as if I had a local Venetian whispering tales and secrets into my ear, making the city's history come alive around me.
Download Urbs' Venice audio tours.
2. Google Maps
Who hasn't heard of Google Maps? But let me tell you, using it in Venice was an entirely different experience. On my second day, I decided to challenge myself to find the most picturesque bridge in Venice. Using Google Maps, I started my journey. However, Venice's winding alleys had other plans for me. At one point, I found myself at a dead-end with a canal in front of me and no bridge in sight. But thanks to Google Maps, I quickly rerouted and found my way to the Ponte dell'Accademia. As I stood there, taking in the breathtaking view, I chuckled thinking about my little misadventure. And while there were a few hiccups along the way (like that time the app thought I was on a boat when I was clearly on foot), it added to the charm of my Venetian adventure. Remember, in Venice, it's not about the destination; it's about the journey... and getting a little lost along the way.
3. City Mapper
Navigating Venice's maze-like streets and waterways can be a tad overwhelming, but City Mapper came to my rescue. On a sunny afternoon, I decided to visit the Peggy Guggenheim Collection. Instead of taking the usual route, City Mapper suggested a scenic path that had me walking alongside canals and crossing charming bridges. However, here's the quirky part: halfway through, I got distracted by a street musician and ended up at the Rialto Bridge instead! I chuckled, pulled out City Mapper, and was back on track in no time. While the app occasionally sends you on unexpected detours, it's all part of the Venetian adventure. A word of advice: always double-check your route, especially if you're on a tight schedule. But if you like me and enjoy spontaneous adventures, let City Mapper guide you.
When in Venice, traveling by vaporetto (water bus) is a must. But with so many lines and stops, it can get a tad confusing. Enter CheBateo? - my trusty sidekick during my Venetian escapades. One evening, I decided to catch the sunset at San Giorgio Maggiore. I pulled out CheBateo? to check the vaporetto timings. The app showed a boat leaving in 10 minutes. Perfect! I hurriedly made my way to the jetty, only to realize I was at the wrong one. Panicking, I quickly searched for the nearest stop on CheBateo? and sprinted there. I made it just in time and was rewarded with a mesmerizing Venetian sunset. A word of caution: always double-check your stops. And while the app occasionally has its quirks (like that time it missed a stop at Treporti), it's all part of the adventure. After all, what's a trip to Venice without a little drama?
5. AVM Venezia Official App
Venice is not just about gondolas and canals; it's also about efficient public transport. The AVM Venezia Official App became my go-to for all things related to public transport in Venice. On one of the days, I had planned a tight itinerary, hopping from the Doge's Palace to the Murano Glass Museum. I needed precise timings for the vaporettos to ensure I didn't waste a minute. The app not only provided me with accurate schedules but also allowed me to purchase and validate tickets on the go. But here's the quirky bit: I once ended up validating a ticket for the wrong route! Thankfully, with the app's "Calculate route" function, I quickly adjusted my plans and was back on track. And for those who drive into Venice, the app even lets you pay for parking spots. It's like having a mini transport concierge right in your pocket!
6. Hi!tide Venice
If there's one thing that's as synonymous with Venice as its gondolas, it's the city's infamous high tides. On my third day in Venice, I woke up to the sound of sirens, signaling an incoming 'acqua alta' or high tide. I quickly grabbed my phone and checked the Hi!tide Venice app. The app predicted a significant tide, enough to flood St. Mark's Square. Armed with this knowledge, I swapped my walking shoes for waterproof boots and set out. As I waded through the flooded streets, I couldn't help but chuckle at tourists caught off-guard, trying to navigate the waters in their sneakers. The app not only provides precise tidal predictions but also covers different parts of the city. It's easy to use, looks great, and is a must-have for any visitor to Venice. Because let's face it, in Venice, it's not just about navigating the streets, but also the tides!
Dining in Venice is an experience in itself, and TheFork became my trusty companion in discovering the city's culinary delights. On one evening, I decided to surprise my partner with a romantic dinner. I had heard about this quaint little restaurant overlooking the Grand Canal but couldn't remember its name. A quick search on TheFork, and voila! I found it, checked its availability, and made a reservation—all within minutes. But here's the quirky twist: when we arrived, the restaurant had our reservation down for a party of 20! After a good laugh with the restaurant staff, they managed to find us a cozy spot by the window. While the app has its occasional hiccups, it's a fantastic tool for discovering and booking some of Venice's best eateries. Just a tip: always confirm your reservation details, especially if you're planning a surprise!
8. The MICHELIN Guide
For those with a refined palate and a penchant for gourmet experiences, The MICHELIN Guide is the ultimate culinary compass. During my stay in Venice, this app became an indispensable tool in my quest for the city's finest dining establishments. With just a few taps, I was able to discover a plethora of Michelin-recognized restaurants, each promising a unique gastronomic journey. One evening, guided by the app, I found myself at a quaint eatery overlooking a serene canal, indulging in dishes that were as much a work of art as they were a treat for the taste buds. The MICHELIN Guide not only offers insights into the culinary caliber of restaurants but also provides detailed reviews and ambiance descriptions, ensuring every dining choice is informed and exceptional. For anyone looking to elevate their dining experience in Venice, this app is a must-have in your digital toolkit.
Ah, the beauty of Venice is not just in its canals and architecture but also in its rich language. On my quest to immerse myself fully in the Venetian experience, I turned to Duolingo to pick up some Italian phrases. The app, with its engaging mini-games, made learning genuinely fun. I remember practicing my newly acquired skills at a local café. I confidently ordered a "caffè e cornetto," expecting a coffee and croissant. To my amusement, I was handed a coffee and an ice cream cone! Turns out, "cornetto" can mean both in Italian! It was a hilarious mix-up, but the locals appreciated my effort. Duolingo's approach to language learning is friendly and interactive, making it easy even for someone like me, who's always struggled with languages. By the end of my trip, I was stringing together basic sentences and earning smiles from the locals. If you're visiting Venice or any other foreign city, Duolingo is a must-have to enhance your travel experience.
10. Google Lens
Venice is a city steeped in history, art, and culture. On my visit, I often found myself intrigued by ancient inscriptions, artworks, and unfamiliar Italian signs. Enter Google Lens, my trusty visual companion. I remember standing in front of an old Venetian building with a plaque that was in Italian. Curiosity piqued, I used Google Lens to scan the text, and within seconds, I had a translated version in English. But the quirkiest use was at a local market. I spotted a peculiar fruit I'd never seen before. A quick scan with Google Lens identified it as a 'fragolina di bosco' or wild strawberry. I bought a handful and enjoyed a delightful new taste experience. While the app is incredibly versatile, from translating texts to identifying objects, it occasionally requires a steady hand for accurate results. But for a traveler in Venice, it's like having a knowledgeable local in your pocket.
Traveling is an exhilarating experience, but falling ill in a foreign city can be daunting. On my trip to Venice, I had a minor health scare. Unsure of where to go and whom to consult, I turned to MedinAction. This app was a lifesaver! It allowed me to arrange a same-day, English-speaking doctor appointment. The best part? The doctor came right to my hotel room, ensuring I didn't have to navigate unfamiliar streets while feeling under the weather. The service was professional, and the doctor was incredibly reassuring. I remember jokingly asking if they could prescribe some gelato for my recovery, and to my surprise, the doctor recommended a local gelateria known for its therapeutic flavors! MedinAction not only provides medical consultations but also offers invaluable peace of mind, especially for travelers who might be apprehensive about seeking medical care abroad. It's a must-have app for anyone visiting Venice or any other city where the service is available.
Download from Apple App Store.
Technology becomes an invaluable companion in Venice's labyrinthine alleys and serene canals. From plotting routes to gourmet dining, the digital age has truly transformed the way we experience La Serenissima. The apps highlighted in this guide are more than just tools; they're gateways to the city's heart, each offering a unique perspective and utility. As you embark on your Venetian journey, armed with the best travel apps for Venice, you're not just a tourist but an informed explorer, ready to uncover the city's secrets and treasures. Here's to unforgettable adventures in the City of Canals!