Eight travel alternatives to Venice where you won’t have to pay an entry fee to visit

From 16 January future year, working day readers to the historic centre and islands of Venice will only be permitted to enter the town centre when they’ve registered and compensated a price of up to €10 (£8.50). Ticket selling prices will get started at €3 and rise throughout peak durations this sort of as Easter, summer season and festivals.

Although there will be no cap on working day visitor figures, the transfer aims to combat the overcrowding experienced by this fragile, historic island town. Overnight guests will not be charged, but currently pay a levy on lodge space costs of amongst 1 and 5 per cent for every evening. And since past August, cruise ships weighing additional than 25,000 tonnes or extra than 180m lengthy have been barred from the lagoon, in response to the danger of Venice remaining place on Unesco’s endangered listing. Because April, big cruise vessels have been in a position to dock at the industrial port of Marghera, with smaller boats transferring travellers on excursions to the historic centre of Venice.

Because the Seventies, non-income conservation charity, the Venice in Peril Fund, has been boosting cash to aid at-danger monuments, functions of art and structures in the town, which seasoned its worst flooding in extra than 50 % a century in 2019. A few quarters of Venice was impacted and industry experts say that local weather improve is creating floods a lot more recurrent and powerful.

If you really don’t fancy signing up for the queue for tickets, or joining the crowds in Venice – which peaked at 4.8 m arrivals in 2019 – these are some possibilities that justify attention.

The Venice of the north

Birmingham brags that it has a lot more miles of canals (35) than Venice, but their industrial outlook are no match for La Serenissima’s Venetian Gothic splendour.

Nevertheless, for picturesque waterways the Belgian metropolis of Bruges is a shut contender. The city thrived in the course of medieval periods, when it was linked to the North Sea by the river Zwin. Right after retailers flocked to Bruges, the world’s to start with stock exchange was launched on Oude Beursplein. Canals have been the lifeblood of the city, connecting it to other strategically crucial centres.

On Groenerei canal, Rozenhoedkaai (Rosary Quay) is a well-liked place for images, though more out, Gouden-Handrei is a quieter waterway that was once element of the initially city walls. Van Eyck lived and worked close by. Augustijnenrei is traversed by one of the oldest bridges in the city. Below, Hotel Augustyn has canal views and double rooms from €124.

Making bridges

Venice’s stone-arched Rialto is a star attraction, as the oldest of the 4 bridges that span the Grand Canal. However, Florence has its personal muscular alternate options, in the type of the more time Ponte Vecchio and Santa Trinita, at 95m and 100m respectively (in comparison to Rialto’s 48m).

Sunset in Florence with a see of the Ponte Vecchio (Picture: Getty)

The “Old Bridge” was the only way to cross the river Arno right up until the 13th century, and has withstood war and floods above the hundreds of years, web hosting stores throughout, from fishmongers to jewellers. On the other hand, the banks close by collapsed in 2016, sending parked cars and trucks into a 200m gap.

The Renaissance-era Ponte Santa Trinita is the oldest elliptic arch bridge in the entire world, comprising 3 flattened ellipses. And of system, Florence is not short of cultural powerhouses, from the Uffizi to the Da Vinci and Galileo museums and Michelangeo’s David at the Galleria Dell’Accademia.

Overlooking the River Arno and 50m from the Ponte Vecchio, Ponte Vecchio Suites and Spa has doubles from £205.

Port Grimaud’s waterways (Photograph: Getty)

Venice in miniature

There are lots of spots that give a glimpse of Venice by means of photogenic waterways and properties that brace on their own against the h2o, from Little Venice in West London – in which the Grand Union and Regent’s canals fulfill, lined with houseboats that snake toward London Zoo and the Georgian mansions of Regent’s Park Villas – to Colmar, exactly where France meets Germany. Below, pastel-hued half-timbered homes line the cobblestone streets and tranquil canal. On the French Riviera, Port Grimaud rose from swampland under the vision of architect, François Spoerry in the 1960s and is now recognized as the Venice of Provence, in which the sophisticated fishermen’s houses are painted in shiny colors and each individual has its individual mooring.

You can get a style of the excellent everyday living by leasing a waterside Port Grimaud studio for €890 for every 7 days, or a modern barge-tel on Paddington Basin in London at The Boathouse, which sleeps up to four guests from £360 for each night time.

Lake Annecy, France (Picture: Federica Gentile/Getty)

In the Haute-Savoie region of south-western France, Annecy is a picturesque mosaic of canals, flower-daubed properties and pedestrian bridges that bestow the city with the nickname of “Venice of the Alps”. The cobbled streets of the previous town are split by Canals du Vassé and St Dominique, which spill out into huge Lake Annecy.

Medieval Château d’Annecy was after property to the Counts of Geneva and close by, Les Loges is a superior base for soaking up the record and watery sights. Studios sleeping two from €329 B&B.

A window into Mexico’s previous

All over 10 miles south-east of Mexico City, Xochimilco is a neighbourhood dominated by its pretty canals and floating gardens that are a remnant of a broad drinking water transportation method created by the Aztecs.

Trajineras boats moored in a canal in Xochimilco Gardens (Photo: Getty)

Vibrant wooden boats identified as trajineras ply the waterways, transporting site visitors on tranquil guided excursions – a Mexican alternative to Venice’s gondolas.

The location of Cuemanco is one of the more scenic possibilities for boat journeys, having in flower gardens and wetlands, usually with espresso and treats served on board. A popular selection is to pair up a trajinera journey with a visit to the Frida Kahlo museum. Excursions value from all over £20pp relying on duration.