There’s no doubt that Venice is one of the most beautiful and historic cities in the world. With the prediction that the island city will gradually sink and cease to exist, more people are taking the chance to visit. With its iconic canals, amazing architecture, and rich history, there are many things to do in Venice.
Whether you’re a first-time visitor or a repeat traveler, this city is packed full of interesting attractions and activities that will keep you entertained for days. From man-made wonders to beautiful nature, here are some of the best things to do in Venice.
Most Popular Thing to Do In Venice
Marvel At The St Mark’s Basilica
St Mark’s Basilica is one of the most famous churches in the world and a must-see when visiting Venice. The basilica is incredibly ornate, with a beautiful gold Byzantine Gothic exterior and stunning mosaics inside. It was constructed around 828 and since 1807 has served as the episcopal seat of the Patriarch of Venice.
There is no charge to enter the church in general, but you will need to pay to visit some sections such as the museum, and treasury or to climb the bell tower for panoramic views of Venice.
It is advisable to get there early as it can get very crowded, especially during peak season.
Popular Things To Do In Venice
Explore The Doges Palace
Doge’s Palace is a beautiful Venetian Gothic palace that was once the home of the doges of Venice (the rulers of the city). The palace is now one of Venice’s most popular tourist attractions, with its magnificent architecture and art.
Dating back to the 14th century, the iconic palace has played host to many important meetings and events of the republic’s governing councils.
It is highly recommended to get a skip-the-line ticket in advance to avoid the long queues. You can visit the palace on your own or as part of a guided tour that will also give you fast-track entry. This will allow you to really learn more about the history and significance of the place.
Cruise Along The Grand Canal
The Grand Canal is one of Venice’s most iconic landmarks and there is no way you can miss it when visiting the city. The canal is over 3 kilometers long and goes up to 70 meters wide in places, making it one of the largest canals in the world.
This is the waterway where the main hustle and bustle happens. From locals plying their trades to visitors soaking in the impressive surroundings, this is a core part of the city.
You can take a public water bus (Vaporetto) or book a private gondola ride to cruise along and take in the sights. It is a great way to see Venice from a different perspective and get around the city if you don’t want to walk everywhere.
A gondola ride is a touristic activity but for good reason. It is popular because it offers a unique experience that you shouldn’t miss when in Venice.
Local Things To Do In Venice
Shop Local Produces At The Rialto Markets
The Rialto Market is a great place to pick up some souvenirs or local products such as fruit, vegetables, meat, and fish. The market is located next to the Rialto Bridge, one of Venice’s most famous bridges. Situated right next to the river, you can see how this is an important hub for trade even in the old days.
The market is open every day except Sundays when the area around the bridge is closed to traffic. Apart from fresh items, it is also a good spot to try some traditional Italian food. This is not just a tourist spot but also where locals come to grab their daily necessities.
Feel The Local Vibe At Canareggio District
Canareggio is one of the quieter and more local districts in Venice. It is located in the north of the city and is known for its canals and narrow streets.
The district is home to many Venetian families, as well as some restaurants, bars, and cafes. If you are looking to escape the crowds and get a taste of actual Venetian life, then Canareggio is the district for you.
There are plenty of things to do in Canareggio, from exploring the narrow streets and canals to sipping coffee and people watching You can also take a walk or cycle along the seafront promenade.
Canareggio is the perfect place to experience Venetian life away from the tourist crowds.
Indulge In Local Cuisine With Food Tour
Venice is known for its seafood, so it would be a shame to visit and not try some of the local cuisines. There are many great restaurants in Venice, but if you want to try a variety of things, then a food tour is a great option.
You will get to taste various Venetian dishes and learn about the history and culture of the city through food. There are many popular foodie tours in Venice available, so you can choose one that suits your interests and budget.
Get Handy And Craft Your Own Carnival Mask
The Carnival of Venice is a world-famous festival that takes place every year in February. The festival culminates on Shrove Tuesday, also known as Mardi Gras.
One of the most iconic things about the carnival is the masks that people wear. This has thus become sort of a symbol for Venice as well. You can buy a mask from one of the many shops around Venice, or you can get creative and make your own.
There are many workshops that offer mask-making classes, so you can learn how to create your own unique design. This is a great activity for both adults and children even if it is not Carnival season.
Party At Venice Carnival
However, if you happen to visit in February, then you are in for a treat! The Venice Carnival is one of the biggest and most famous carnivals in the world.
The carnival usually lasts around 10 days and there are many different events and activities to enjoy. Of course, one of the highlights is dressing up in costumes and masks and roaming around Venice.
But there are also many other things to do, such as attending concerts, balls, and parties. There is always something going on during carnival, so you will definitely not be bored. That said, prices of accommodation are super high at this time of the year due to its popularity.
Get Nerdy or Photogenic At Libreria Acqua Alta Book Store
Libreria Acqua Alta is one of the most unique bookstores in the world. It is located in Venice and is known for its unusual, quirky layout.
The store is made up of several floors, with bookshelves and stacks of books everywhere. Some of the books are even stored in bathtubs! This is to prevent the books from getting wet when there is a flood. There is even a staircase made out of books.
If you are a book lover, Libreria Acqua Alta is a paradise. Even if you are not, the store has become a famous spot for influencers to take photos due to its uniqueness and quirkiness.
Indoor Things To Do In Venice
Get Curious At The Leonardo Da Vinci Museum
The Leonardo Da Vinci Museum is a small but interesting museum located in the San Polo district. The museum is dedicated to the life and work of the famous Italian inventor, artist, and scientist.
The museum has a number of interactive exhibits, making it a great place to visit with kids. You can also see replicas of some of Leonardo da Vinci’s famous paintings, as well as learn about his work regarding human anatomy. The museum is divided into 4 segments air, water, fire, and earth for easy exploration.
Book a ticket in advance to look into the genius mind of da Vinci.
Appreciate Art At Gallerie dell’Accademia
Gallerie dell’Accademia is one of the most important art museums in Venice. It is home to a collection of Venetian paintings from the 13th to the 18th century. The museum also has a section dedicated to Greek and Roman sculptures.
The highlight of the museum is definitely the paintings by Venetian masters such as Titian, Tintoretto, and Veronese. If you are a fan of Italian art, then this is a must-visit spot. Even if you are not, the museum is still worth a visit to appreciate the works of these great artists.
The museum can be quite crowded, so it is best to visit early in the morning or later in the afternoon.
Check Out The Spiral Stairway At Palazzo Contarini del Bovolo
Palazzo Contarini del Bovolo is a 14th-century palazzo located in Venice. It is known for its beautiful spiral staircase, which leads up to a panoramic viewing platform. The palazzo was once the home of a powerful Venetian family. Today, it is open to the public; just grab a ticket and visit.
If you are looking for things to do in Venice that are a little off the beaten path, check out this beautiful palace that rocks different architectural styles from Renaissance to Gothic and Byzantine. The beautiful spiral staircase and city view at the top are worth the visit.
Check Out Peggy Guggenheim Museum
The Peggy Guggenheim Museum is one of the most popular museums in Venice. It is located on the Grand Canal and is home to a collection of modern art.
The museum was founded by American heiress Peggy Guggenheim and includes works by famous artists such as Pablo Picasso, Salvador Dali, and Jackson Poll
The museum also has a beautiful garden with sculptures by artists such as Henry Moore, Duchamp-Villon, and Giacometti. There are also regular temporary exhibitions that go along the permanent galleries. The Peggy Guggenheim Museum is a must-visit for art lovers. Book a ticket to save time when visiting!
Catch A Show At Teatro La Fenice
Teatro La Fenice is one of the most famous opera houses in the world. It is located in Venice and is known for its excellent acoustics. The theatre was built in the 18th century and has been home to many famous operas such as Verdi’s La Traviata and Rossini’s The Barber of Seville.
There are usually several operas playing at the theatre throughout the year. If you are a fan of opera, then catching a show at Teatro La Fenice is a must. Even if you are not, it is still worth visiting the theatre to see its stunning interior. You can get a ticket to tour the beautiful opera house and learn more about it through an audio guide.
Creep Out At Crypt Of San Zaccaria
The Crypt of San Zaccaria is a small but atmospheric crypt located beneath the church of San Zaccaria. It is one of the most atmospheric and creepy places in Venice, depending on how you see it. Nonetheless, it is a unique place to visit because of the natural flooding element.
Apart from the ancient doges, the crypt was also used as a mass grave for victims of the plague, and it is estimated that around 8,000 people are buried here. The church dates back to the 9th century, and some sections of the crypt have been relatively well preserved despite it being flooded.
If you are interested in history and want to experience a different side of Venice, then the Crypt of San Zaccaria is worth checking out.
Climb The San Marco Campanile
The Campanile di San Marco is the bell tower of St. Mark’s Basilica. It is one of the most prominent landmarks in Venice and offers stunning views of the city.
The tower is 98.6 meters tall and has a base diameter of 15.5 meters. It was first built in the 12th century but was destroyed by an earthquake in the 16th century. It was rebuilt in the early 20th century, and today it is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Venice.
If you are wondering what to do in Venice, consider climbing the Campanile di San Marco. The views from the top are worth it.
Outdoor Things To Do In Venice
Bask In The Sun At Lido Beach (Venice Lido)
Venice Lido is a long, narrow island that separates the Venetian lagoon from the Adriatic Sea. It is a popular spot for locals and tourists alike, as it offers a respite from the hustle and bustle of Venice.
The island is home to several beaches, as well as hotels, restaurants, and bars. If you are looking to escape the crowds and enjoy some time in the sun, then Venice Lido is the perfect place for you.
There are plenty of things to do on the island, from sunbathing and swimming to exploring the restaurants and bars. You can also take a walk or cycle along the seafront promenade.
Venice Lido is the perfect place to relax and soak up the Mediterranean sun. There are also many other beaches near and in Venice.
Visit San Giorgio Maggiore
San Giorgio Maggiore is an island in the Venetian lagoon that you can get to via a boat. The San Giorgio Maggiore church on the island is one of the most iconic churches in Venice.
It was built in the 16th century in the Renaissance style. It is known for its simple exterior and grand interior. The church also features works of famous artists such as Tintoretto and Bassano.
If you are looking for more things to do in Venice, consider visiting San Giorgio Maggiore. The church is open to the public and is worth a visit. However, you do need to pay for entry to the bell tower, and it is just a few euros.
The bell tower offers a more zoom-out view of the whole of Venice because you are seeing the city from an external island.
Free And Cheap Things To Do At Night In Venice
Find The Bridge Of Sighs
The Bridge of Sighs is one of the most significant spots in Venice with an interesting story. It is a bridge that connects two parts of the Doge’s Palace, and it gets its name from the fact that it was where prisoners would take their last sigh before being taken to their cells.
The view from the bridge is beautiful, and it is a popular spot for couples to take photos or rather kiss below the bridge. This was an iconic scene in the movie where a couple kissed on a gondola while passing through the bridge in a touching declaration of love.
Legend has it that a magical kiss under the bridge of sighs will bless the couple with eternal. Therefore, if you want to experience the romance of Venice, then the Bridge of Sighs is a must-visit.
Visit The Basilica di Santa Maria della Salute
The Basilica di Santa Maria della Salute is a Catholic church located in the Punta della Dogana, on the south side of the Grand Canal. The church was built in the 17th century to thank the Virgin Mary for delivering Venice from a plague that killed around 80,000 people.
The basilica is one of the most iconic landmarks in Venice and is worth a visit for the stunning Baroque architecture and views. Best of all, the basilica is also free to enter!
Feel The Hustle At The Rialto Bridge
The Rialto Bridge is one of Venice’s most distinctive landmarks and has been a symbol of the city for centuries. The bridge spans the Grand Canal and is one of the four bridges that cross the canal. It was first built in 1173 but has been rebuilt several times over the years.
Today, the bridge is a popular tourist spot, with many people flocking to it to get a good view of the canal and take photos. It is also a great place to people watch, as you will see a mix of locals and tourists going about their day.
Apart from taking a photo, this is probably one place where the crowd forms part of the whole atmosphere. You can visit it both during peak times and at night to feel a totally different vibe.
Wander Through The Alleyways
Venice is made up of a series of small islands connected by a network of canals and bridges. This means that there are plenty of narrow alleyways (called calle) to explore. Getting lost in the maze of streets is half the fun of visiting Venice.
As you wander through the alleyways, you will chance upon small squares, bridges, and canals. Each turn presents a new discovery, making it a great way to explore the city.
If you do get lost, don’t worry too much about it. Just head in one direction and eventually, you will find your way out. One of the first things to do in Venice after dropping your bags is to simply wander… without looking at a map and just wander… let your feelings lead you to some amazing discoveries.
Things To Do At Night In Venice
Wondering what to do in Venice at night? There are a whole bunch of activities available from sunset to late night to consider.
Catch A Concert At The Church of San Vidal
The Church of San Vidal is a former church in Venice dating back to the 17th century. The Palladian-style church now serves as a concert hall and event venue. It is located in the San Marco district and is known for its acoustics.
The church hosts regular concerts and is a nice place to experience the artistic side of local culture. Imagine the magical feeling of a Veneziani Concert in the intimate setting of a historic church.
The concerts are usually classical music, but there are sometimes other genres as well. This is certainly a great way to spend a relaxing evening in Venice. Book a ticket in advance to guarantee a slot for this immersive experience.
Enjoy An Italian Opera At Palazzo Barbarigo Minotto
The Palazzo Barbarigo Minotto is a historic palazzo located just south of the San Marco district. The 15th-century Venetian palace now hosts regular Italian opera performances in an intimate setting.
If you are a fan of opera, then this is a great place to experience an innovative presentation of the show. You will move across different rooms for each act and there is almost no stage separation between the audience and performers, giving it a unique setting.
There is usually one performance per night, so check the schedule in advance and book your tickets early.
Evening Drinks At Hotel Danieli
Hotel Danieli is one of the most iconic and luxurious hotels in Venice. It is located right on the Grand Canal, opposite St. Mark’s Square, offering great views of both the water and the city.
The hotel has an excellent bar where you can enjoy evening drinks while admiring the stunning view of the canal and St. Mark’s Basilica. The cocktails are expensive but they are worth it for the experience, especially if you are with someone special.
Set in 14th-century grandeur, Hotel Danieli is an excellent place to enjoy a luxurious and romantic evening in Venice.
Soak In The Colors On A Sunset Cruise
Venice is even more beautiful at sunset when the buildings are bathed in a golden light. There are many different sunset cruises available, so you can sit back and relax while taking in the stunning views.
If you are visiting Venice during the summer, then a sunset cruise is an excellent way to escape the heat and enjoy the cool evening breeze. Some of the cruises come with a complementary wine or Aperitif.
You also have the option to do a dinner cruise on the majestic Galleon, enjoying some local specialty dishes while touring the Venetian lagoon.
Bar Hop With A Pub Crawl
Venice is known for its many bars and pubs, and a pub crawl is a great way to experience the nightlife. You will start at one bar and then move on to the next, with each bar getting progressively busier as the night goes on.
Pub crawls are a great way to meet new people and have a lot of fun. There are many different pub crawls available, so you can choose one that suits your interests. If you are staying in a hostel, they might be organizing one as well.
Things To Do Outside Venice
The Venetian Lagoon is a large body of water surrounding Venice. It is home to many small islands, and it is a great place to explore if you are looking for an adventure.
If you want to escape the hustle in Central Venice, consider heading out for some exploration in the Venetian Lagoon. Here are some popular places to visit.
Watch The Art Of Glass Making At Murano
Murano is an island located in the Venetian lagoon. It is known for its glassmaking industry and is home to many factories and workshops.
The art of glassmaking has been practiced in Murano for centuries, and it is still possible to see the artisans at work today. Watching them create beautiful pieces of glass is a fascinating experience.
You can visit one of the factories or workshops. Many of them offer tours and demonstrations. Some even offer hands-on glassmaking workshops if you want to experience the crafty.
You can also buy Murano glass from several shops on the island which make for beautiful souvenirs; just make sure to pack them properly.
Discover The Charm At Burano
Speaking of quaint communities, Burano is an island located in the Venetian lagoon, north of Venice. It is known for its brightly-colored houses and lace making industry.
The island has a charming atmosphere and is a great place to stroll around and take photos. There are also several lace making shops where you can watch the artisans at work and buy beautiful lace products.
Burano is a great place to visit if you are looking for somewhere charming and off the beaten path. It is also relatively easy to get to, as there is a direct boat from Venice. Many people combine a visit to Murano and Burano for a nice day trip out of central Venice.
Take A Trip To Torcello island
Torcello is a small island located in the Venetian Lagoon, northeast of Venice. It is known for being one of the first settlements in the area and is home to the Basilica di Santa Maria Assunta, which was built in 639.
The island is relatively quiet and is a great place to escape the hustle and bustle of Venice. You can take a water taxi from Venice or Murano, or you can even rent your own boat for the day. It is a popular day trip and can be combined with a trip to Murano and Burano.
Where To Stay In Venice
Venice is not the cheapest city to visit, however, you can still find a good amount of accommodation options. From comfy hostels to historic buildings and luxury hotels, here are some of the well-rated accommodations in Venice.
Hostels In Venice
Combo Venezia: Set in a 12th-century monastery, you get to enjoy both the historic architecture and modern interior style at this accommodation. They offer a range of options from dorms to private rooms and even a full apartment. There are many spacious common areas to hang out and meet other travelers.
Generator Venice: Beautifully designed hostel and hotel located on Giudecca Island. Housed in a 19th-century, 3-story building, the hostel has a stylish interior and a huge lobby with a bar and pool table. Dorm rooms are clean and modern for a comfy stay. You can get to San Marco district via a boat in 10 minutes.
Mid Range Accommodations In Venice
Hotel Saturnia & International: Centrally located in San Marco district, this elegant hotel offers convenient access to many attractions. It is run by the Serandrei family since the 1900s and has an on-site restaurant serving local cuisine. The interior decor takes you back in time while having a warm, welcoming vibe.
H10 Palazzo Canova: Beautiful 4-star hotel right on the river with a view of the Rialto bridge, and the rooftop terrace bar takes full advantage of it. The great location makes it easy to get around different areas. The hotel’s interior is simple yet classy and contemporary for a homey feel.
Carnival Palace – Venice Collection: A relatively new hotel featuring modern interiors and furnishings. The Carnival Palace is located in the Jewish district of Venice, which is both convenient and offers quiet surroundings. Rooms are soundproofed for a good night’s sleep and the hotel has both indoor and outdoor areas to relax at.
Luxury Hotels In Venice
Baglioni Hotel Luna: Just a stone’s throw away from St Mark’s square, this 5-star hotel is centrally located, near a water taxi station, and has its own private dock. The interior is decorated with original frescos, antique furnishings, and glass chandeliers. You can also get great views of the canal from the hotel and terrace.
Hotel Danieli, a Luxury Collection Hotel: The iconic award-winning Hotel Danieli is known for its great views of the Venetian lagoon. The terrace and restaurants are key highlights of the hotel. It comprises 3 historic buildings from the 14th to 20th century and features a classy, luxury interior that is hard to match. This is one of the most expensive and luxurious hotels in Venice.
Getting Around Attractions In Venice
If you’re looking for things to do in Venice, Italy, consider getting around by boat. Water taxis are a great way to get from one attraction to another quickly and easily. You can also take a gondola ride, which is a fun experience in itself.
There is also a hop on hop off bus option in Venice that brings you to different highlights around the city.
You can also get the Waterbus and Mainland Bus Pass which will give you unlimited rides for most of the water and bus transports for a select period of time.
Of course, walking is always an option, and it’s a great way to explore Venice at your own pace. Just be sure to wear comfortable shoes, as you’ll be doing a lot of walking on cobblestone streets.
Venice Airport Transfer – How To Get From Venice Airport To City
There are several ways to get from Venice Airport to the city center and vice versa. Here are a few of the most popular options.
Water Taxi: The quickest and most convenient way to get from Venice Airport to the city center is by water taxi. There are many water taxi companies that operate between the airport and various points in the city. You can get a shared water taxi service, or for most convenience and privacy, book a private water taxi service.
Express Bus: There is also a public bus that operates between Venice Airport and the city center. The journey takes about 20 minutes and is a great option if you are looking for a cheaper alternative to a water taxi. You can book your ticket online.
If you are using or near the train station, there are also express bus services running between the Mestre Train Station and both Marco Polo Airport and Treviso Airport.
When Is The Best Time To Visit Venice?
The best time to visit Venice is between April and June, or September and October. These months offer the most pleasant weather, with temperatures ranging from 18-25 degrees Celsius.
July and August are the busiest months in Venice, as well as the hottest, with temperatures often reaching over 30 degrees Celsius. If you want to avoid the crowds but still enjoy good weather, consider visiting in May or early June, or late September/early October.
November to March is the low season in Venice, there is also a chance of acqua alta, which means flooding. You can also expect colder weather and fewer tourists during these months. The exception is the Carnival period in February, which draws visitors from everywhere itching to join in the celebration.
Discovering Things to Do in Venice, Italy
These are just some of the best things to do in Venice. From exploring the canals to watching glass being made and hopping around churches, there are plenty of things to do in Venice.
Whether you want to experience the culture, the nightlife, or the natural beauty, there is something on offer in Venice. Get ready to just simply relax and enjoy the views. You are sure to uncover more hidden gems in the Queen of the Adriatic.