Venice is one of those cities that is overwhelming. It could be the home of the World Hide and Seek Championships as you will discover (to your delight) when you get there. So my wife and I decided to stay in Mestre for four days, get to know Venice a wee bit, save a few pounds and ease ourselves into our visit before we moved in there. Neither of us speak a word of Italian and so we decided to book 4 nights in the Hotel Alla Guistizia because it was simple to find, cheap and everybody on Trip Advisor said it was clean. So, having googled directions from Mestre Station and printed them off; we flew down to Venice from Newcastle; (lovely flight on Jet 2) and sure enough the bus to Mestre was outside Venice Marco Polo. Buy your ticket at the automatic machine in the terminal, through the door, validate it by inserting it in the ticket machine, and away you go. We arrive at the Railway station, which is a railway station and not the hell that some over sensitive types have said, and minding our own business we walked to the hotel which is about a mile through a bit of an industrial estate, no big deal, folk have to work somewhere. If you want get a taxi... it is a short ride...we fancied the walk. So we find the hotel which is located on a roundabout and we go in and we are effortlessly checked in by a lovely young receptionist who spoke excellent English. We go upstairs, nice room, clean and this will do nicely written all over it. We shower, get changed and it is time to go to Venice. The number 7 bus stops across the road (to your left) and after buying a 3 day ticket for bus and vaporetto (venice water buses or water metro if you prefer) - we jump on, validate our ticket and head off to Venice.
Venice is far more out to see than I ever imagined and is connected to the mainland by a road bridge which goes a mile out to sea or lagoon if you prefer. We are dropped in the bus station at Plaza Roma and you are next to a vaporetto terminal. You have a choice to lob on the vaporetto, after validating your ticket, or going for an explore. All I can say about Venice is that you go for a wander, get lost, wander and wander and long story short love every second of it. it is the most amazing city on earth - so would I go to Mestre again? Well the answer is that, as a first time visitor with no Italian on a limited budget without hesitation. Once of the nice things about our trip was that we wandered over to Padua and Verona from Mestre station and did more than Venice. We always feel that the first few uncertain hours in a strange country are worth taking a wee bit of care with, so for folk on a budget this place is seriously OK. I am not sure if we would go there on a 2nd trip because having been to the utter delightful confusion that is Venice we would not be averse to travelling into Plaza Roma and staying at a hotel on one of the delightful islands or the very popular Lido Area. The further you get from the obvious tourist areas, the further your budget will stretch. A Bellini at Harry's Bar may be a tradition but at 16 Euros each, I would rather have a bottle of wine or three! Oh, if you are looking for a laundrette, there are ones close to Plaza Roma and Mestre Railway Station which are splendid. One final tip - never say to yourself "Oh that is nice, we will come back later and buy it". Venice is not a city which lends itself to retracing your steps. Oh... if you are disabled...Venice a seriously disabled unfriendly city. I am not saying you should not go....but if you are in wheelchair who areas who suddenly be closed to you. The further you go from the obvious tourist traps the better and don't whatever you do....forget your camera!
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.