Where to Visit After Venice

Venice conjures up the most romantic images – from late-night rendezvous hand-in-hand atop arched bridges to the enchanting rhythm of the canals as they push through to the Adriatic, helped along by the city’s most recognisable denizens – the Gondoliers. Therefore it’s understandable that people want more, and while there’s only one Venice (or is there… looking at you Choggia) here are 4 cities that feel just a little bit like Venice.

Annecy, France

Annecy is one of those pretty little market villages snuggled into the Alps. The focal point of the town can be split evenly across two beautiful features: the old town whose veins are its emerald canals, and second the vast pool of translucent turquoise that is Lake Annecy, one of France’s cleanest and most beautiful lakes, at the foot of a jagged collection of mountains.

See the cover image above for the main canal in Annecy and the image below which shows the outer courtyard wall of the Palais de l’Isle and one of the canals.

Utrecht, The Netherlands

Like a little quiet version of Amsterdam, Utrecht, offers a beguiling warren of canals at its. The canals are lined with restaurants and bars, making them convivial in the evenings, and streets are quaint and sober, coloured by baskets of flowers, green vines dangling amongst assorted floral palettes comparison to Venice or its brother Amsterdam. The town’s double docks are unique to Utrecht too, with one dock level with the water forming a terrace now put to good use for restaurants and bars, and the upper level, still populated with the old warehouses and thin roads, the result of 12th-century cellars dug out towards the water.

the busy canal side in Utrecht lined with restaurants and people.

Little Venice in Paddington, London, UK

Paddington in North London is by far one of the capital’s most scenic neighbourhoods, but few make it as far as Little Venice. There is little actual resemblance to Venice here save for the canal which leads to Camden (take a canal boat between the two), but the charm of the place is deserving of the name and new restaurant and bar openings make it a good all-round London destination.

Little Venice is a wonderful place to spend a Sunday afternoon strolling next to the water, admiring the canal boats and quaffing a pint or two in one of the local pubs. Incidentally, the name was taken on after Margery Allingham called a house overlooking the canal ‘Little Venice’ in her 1934 detective novel Death of a Ghost. The name caught on with estate agents who used the name to raise the profile of the area. It worked too as everyone from Bjork to Steven Fry owned homes here.

Colmar, France

La Petite Venise in Colmar is a unique little village adorned throughout with fairytale-like architecture, but the small area of canals that are crisscrossed with iron-railed bridges is simply stunning.

Colmar’s centre is its most beautiful aspect. It influenced Disney when creating Beauty and the Beast, and Hayao Miyazaki when he created the stunning city featured in Ghibli’s reimagining of Diana Wynne Jones’s Howl’s Moving Castle.