With its picturesque Canals Elegant bridges and breathtaking Architecture, it’s no wonder every year 25 million visitors are drawn to the stunning city of venice However, it’s also notoriously tting people out of pocket So we’ve asked Richard Madeley a frequent visitor here for over 20 years to share his survival tips Just as it can entrace it can overwhelm with its heaving crowds and its bustling waterways and its hefty price tags So here’s my guide to getting the best out of this magical place When you’re choosing a place to stay it can be seriously difficult to find an address here That’s because almost none of the streets have names on them even the postman get confused so it’s a good idea to pick somewhere That’s close to a notable landmark and that way you’ll be reasonably sure of finding your way back home again Idly Remember the time I was here with judy, and I’ve gone out by myself for a while And we were due to meet in a restaurant for lunch Could I find it nope? furious That’s one of the many reasons. Why we always return to this particular hotel, and Thanks to its deceptive location there is absolutely no chance you’ll get lost if you stay here See what I mean Saint Mark’s Square perfect Any trip to venice will inevitably involve a visit here as it’s home to the City’s three most iconic attractions the doge’s palace the Basilica of Saint Mark’s and of Course the Bell Tower the San Marco Campanula Locals call this place triangular Delle, Bermuda the Bermuda triangle And that’s because tourists come are in their masses, but they never leave That means that this is by far the busiest part of the city so expect crowds Now instead of queueing around the block to visit the doges palace you can book what they call a secret Itinerary tur before you get here. They’ll take you anywhere You want to go inside, but crucially the guides leave at allocated times at fixed points? And that means you just turn up and go no waiting the sheer number of people that attracts means the prices are sky high a Regular plate of Pasta in one of the many cafes that surround Saint Mark’s square is going to cost you if you’re lucky 15 euros if you’re not lucky 50 euros even a cup of coffee could be as much as 25 euros So instead take a wander through the back streets. That’s where you’ll find both the true character of the city and the best prices I’d recommend eating at one of the many cecchetti bars to get is like Spanish tapas It’s the best value most authentic venetian cuisine that you’ll find and here’s another tip when it comes to coffee Don’t sit at a table instead. Do what the locals do and drink at the bar that way an Espresso costs, just a euro and speaking of tips 5% here is considered more than enough It’s perfectly ample or you know surround things up to the nearest five or 10 euros and if you bill any bill says self It’s your inclu so nothing to worry about it’s all taken care of gradually for dessert Gelato Artisan ice cream, but be careful some shops charge top back for gelato that is far from authentic So how do you spot a fake well if the ice cream comes to you piled really really high that is a dead giveaway It means it’s been whipped true Italian ice cream has to be churned, and that’s what gives it. It’s unique dense texture Here at La Boutique. Del gelato. It’s the real deal. It’s delicious Getting around venice’s main canals is cheapest by Vaporetto the water bus a pass for two days costs 30 euros But of course no trip here is complete without a ride on a gondola the trouble is prices reflect their popularity The city of Venice sets the official hire rate for gondolas at 80 euros for 30 minutes But not many people know that that same rate 80 euros covers six people in the same boat So if you don’t mind sharing you can split the cost six ways Ahead of us is one of the most photographed sights in the whole of venice the bridge of sighs So called because it was the walkway that condemned men used to leave the City’s courts Nowadays the only thing to sigh about is the amount of time it will take you to queue up to get a look inside Honestly this angle is the only one you need to experience Then as evening draws in then you’re looking for a nightcap. There’s nothing. I’d recommend more highly than a visit to my favorite watering hole Harry’s And it was in this bar nearly 70 years ago that they actually invented the Bellini it’s made up of Peach juice and Prosecco Thank you very much indeed Marchesa, and it’s simple it’s elegant it’s understated But it’s ineffably classy just like this place So there you have it With a few of these tricks up your sleeve you will be in a much better position to tackle this most intriguing of cities And I promise you if you come to venice you will never ever forget the experience and more than that you’ll want to come back