Went to Venice for 6 nights in September 2015. Here are a few tips:

- When getting to a city first like to go to the highest point to get your bearings. The clocktower by the Basillica is the place to go. After that, go on a guided walking tour where you will hear about the history of the place so you get to know it before exploring the place.

 - Get lost - one of the best advices on TripAdvisor is to get lost in Venice - try it for a few hours, just walk randomly without looking at the map or directions and walk away from the crowds. It impossible to get lost. There is no traffic so it is a freeing feeling. 

 - Time to visit: September or April are great times to visit, less crowded, warn but not hot and it smells less

- Gelaterias: SuSo close to Rialto (absolute favoruite - for chocolate lovers try a scoop of Opera and Murro di Venezia, together they are really amazing), Il Doge, Nico's and Grom (a chain but tastes good) 

 - DO Carry cash - many places do not accept cards or do not accept it for a sum of less than 20 euros, either way have cash on hand

-  San Marco Basillica can be visited for free. You can even book a time online and jump the queue. 

- Do not take a back pack to Doge's Palace or the Basillica - they will ask you to deposit the backpack offsite which is annoying so if you do not need a backpack don't carry it when you know you're gonna be entering buildings

- Buy online - you can buy your vaporetto (water taxi) ticket up from online and save yourself some money. Also, you can buy a city wide WiFi pass or toilet entrances, however quite a few public toilets were closed past 9. http://www.actv.it/en/movinginvenice/...

 - Gondola: A gondola is a waste of money. They do not take you on a thrill joy ride. Instead they all make the same circle (different circle in different places) so you end up going after other gondolas for 30 minutes. However, it is a must do activity in Venice so if you're loaded get at least an hour of it at dusk or sunrise with a serenade, but if you do not want to waste of a lot of money there are group tours where 6 people go on the Gondola together, costing around 30 euros each. - Tip - be the first in the queue for a group gondola because that way you get to sit at the best seats.

 - Avoid Rialto Dining - restaurant by Rialto on the river all have terrible reviews. Avoid them. 

- Murano/Burano - make sure you visit these two islands. Burano is a lot further away but it is worth more than Murano in - personal opinion. Get off at the first stop of Burano (not the main) and walk around - there is nothing to see but people countryside type houses which is why it is so great - seeing how people live there on an island in a lagoon.

- Lido di Venezia - Lido has a beach. It is pretty empty at this time of year but worth a stroll if you have time. If you are not in Venice for long, do not bother.  

 - Maps - download an offline map and mark as favourites the places you want to visit. That way you can easily use your phone as a map.

- Accomodation - do not expect anything amazing. Italy is known for being more of a boutique style hotel place, so a 4 star hotel would be mora of a high end 3 star hotel. Be prepared, do not expect too much, high expecations lead to disappointments.