Verona is a historic city in Northeastern Italy with a population of over 250,000 people. The city is famous for being the setting of Shakespeare’s play Romeo and Juliet. It is also known for its well-preserved Roman ruins, medieval architecture, and beautiful countryside. Although often overshadowed by more famous Italian cities, Verona is certainly worth visiting! Be sure to check out some of these best things to do in Verona when exploring this charming Italian city.
Verona City Pass
When planning your trip to Verona, it is important to note that there is a Verona City Card that offers discounts and free entry on many of the city’s attractions as well as bus riders. It even includes priority entrance to some key sites such as the popular Verona Arena. The card is valid for either 24 or 48 hours depending on what you plan to do. This can optimize your time and budget, make sure to check it and see if it fits your itinerary.
Tip: Here are some tourist and city passes available in popular European cities. These can be great time and cost savers so always check out if there are worthwhile city passes for what you want to do when visiting Europe.
Most Popular Thing to Do In Verona
Catch A Show At The Opera Verona Arena
The Opera Verona Arena is one of the largest open-air amphitheaters in Italy and also one of the best things to do in Verona. The arena was built around 30 AD and could originally seat up to 30,000 spectators. It’s now a huge tourist attraction that regularly hosts operas, ballets, concerts, and other shows.
If you’re visiting Verona between late June and early September, make sure to catch an opera at the arena. It is a real bargain considering the quality of the performances. However, tickets sell out very fast, so make sure you book in advance.
If you can’t get tickets for an opera, there are other shows on offer throughout the season, try to get what you can. The main experience is just catching a show in this ancient, historic amphitheater.
Similar to the Rome Colosseum, the atmosphere here feels different during the day and night. If you are able to visit at both times, definitely do that. The performances are usually in the evening so you can do an exploration tour during the day, and catch a show at night.
Popular Things To Do In Verona
Travel Back In Time At Castle Vecchio
Castel vecchio is a medieval castle located in the heart of Verona. The castle was built in the 14th century and was the seat of the powerful Della Scala family who ruled over Verona for centuries.
The castle now houses a museum with a large collection of art and artifacts from Verona’s history. The museum is definitely worth a visit, even if you’re not that into history. There is quite a bit to see here so factor in a few hours if you want to explore the castle in depth.
There is also an impressive bridge (Scaliger Bridge) that spans the Adige River, which was designed by architect Guglielmo Bevilacqua. The castle and the bridge are some of the most iconic landmarks in Verona.
Climb Up To Juliet’s Balcony
No visit to Verona is complete without a trip to Juliet’s balcony. Yes, it’s touristy, but it’s still one of the best things to do in Verona. And yes, we are talking about Juliet from Romeo and Juliet, the famous work of William Shakespeare.
The balcony is located on the second floor of a building on Via Capello. The building itself is called Casa di Giulietta, or Juliet’s House. While the balcony might not be the original one (it was added in the 20th century), it’s still a cool place to visit.
Couples like to come here and scribble love messages on the wall, as well as rub the statue of Juliet which is believed to bring good luck.
As you can imagine, the balcony is always crowded with people, so be prepared to queue. Once you get to the front, you’ll be able to step out onto the balcony and take some photos.
Inside the house, there’s a small museum about the history of Juliet and her balcony. It’s not particularly interesting, but it’s worth checking out if you have time.
This romantic love story is a hallmark of Verona, so it comes as no surprise that there are tours surrounding this theme, some even include priority tickets to the balcony.
Catch The Views At Lamberti Tower
Lamberti Tower is the tallest tower in Verona, standing at 84 meters (276 feet). The tower was built in the 12th century and used as a belfry for the nearby St. Peter’s Cathedral.
These days, you can grab a ticket and take an elevator to the top of the tower for 360 panoramic views of the city. On a clear day, you can see far into the surrounding natural landscapes from the top of the tower.
Local Things To Do In Verona
Hone Your Skills With A Cooking Class
If you want to learn how to cook some authentic Italian food, sign up for a cooking class. This is one of the best things to do in Verona if you love food. In the cooking class, you’ll learn how to make some of Verona’s most famous dishes like bigoli (a type of spaghetti), gnocchi, gelato, and tiramisu.
Italian food is one of the most internationally known cuisines and there are multiple options to choose from. Cooking classes usually take place in a local home and the class size is normally small so you’ll get plenty of individual attention. At the end of the class, you’ll sit down and enjoy the meal you cooked with your fellow classmates. This is a great way to meet new people and learn about the city’s food culture.
Indulge In A Food and Wine Tasting Tour
If you love food and wine (and who doesn’t?), then this is the activity for you. There are many tours available that cater to different foodies. You will find the classic food tours that bring you around the city, sampling some of the best dishes and places in town.
There are also food and wine tours that pair food, cheese, and wine to enjoy the best of Italy’s gastronomic experience. Some of them even take you around to different wineries in the area, where you can learn about the production process and taste the wines. These are great if you want to get out of the city for a day and explore the surrounding countryside like the Amarone wine trail.
People Watch At Piazza delle Erbe
Piazza delle Erbe is the main square in the city and one of the most popular things to do in Verona. The square is lined with ancient buildings, including the 12th-century Palazzo della Ragione, and has a picturesque fountain at its center.
Surrounding the square, there are many charming cafes and restaurants where you can sit and people-watch. This is a great spot to relax, have a coffee or lunch, and simply take in the lively atmosphere of the city.
Piazza delle Erbe is also a great place to do some shopping, as there are many stores and markets in the area selling a variety of goods. You’ll also find the House of Juliet, which is one of Verona’s most popular tourist attractions.
Indoor Things To Do In Verona
Learn About Marine Life In SEA LIFE Aquarium (Gardaland Park)
SEA LIFE Aquarium is one of the most fun things to do in Verona for families with kids. The aquarium has a wide range of freshwater and saltwater fish, sharks, penguins, rays, and more.
There are daily shows and feedings that are popular among visitors. The hands-on rockpool experience lets you touch some of the smaller creatures in the aquarium.
The aquarium has a 4D Cinema where you can learn more about the ocean through an immersive experience. The cinema screens short films with special effects like wind, bubbles, and water sprays.
If you’re visiting Verona with kids, this is both entertaining and educational. The aquarium is also large enough that you can easily spend half a day here. Even if you don’t have kids, it is still going to be a fun and relaxing experience, particularly for marine life lovers.
Check Out The Basilica Of Santa Anastasia
The Basilica of Santa Anastasia is the largest church in Verona. It’s also one of the oldest, having been built in the 13th century. The church has undergone many changes and additions over the centuries, which is why it has a mix of different architectural styles.
Even if you’re not religious, the basilica is well worth a visit. The interior is very ornate, with detailed frescoes and paintings covering the walls and ceilings. Make sure to go up to the roof for some great views of the city.
The basilica is located in Verona’s historic center, just a short walk from the Arena. It’s open daily and admission is cheap.
Visit The Basilica Di San Zeno Maggiore
Despite being slightly outside the main tourist zone, the Cathedral of San Zeno is one of the most important churches in Verona. The church is located in the historic center of town, just a short walk from Piazza delle Erbe.
The church was built in 967 in Romanesque style, with some Gothic additions. The interior is very simple but beautiful, with high ceilings and stained glass windows.
Make sure to check out the Triptych “A. Mantegna”, cloister, and crypt during your visit, but note that tourist visits are not permitted when there is a religious service.
Discover the Scaliger Tombs
The Scaliger Tombs are some of the most important historical monuments in Verona. They are the tombs of the Scaliger family, who ruled Verona in the 13th and 14th centuries.
There are 5 tombs in total and are located in the courtyard of the church of Santa Maria Antica. These exquisite monumental tombstones are considered some of the finest examples of Gothic funerary art in Italy.
They are definitely worth a visit, especially if you’re interested in history and architecture. To learn more about the Scaliger family and their rule of Verona, make sure to visit the Scaligeri Castle in nearby Sirmione.
Outdoor Things To Do In Verona
Visit The Palazzo Giusti And Giardino Giusti
The Giardino Giusti is a Renaissance garden that was created in the 1500s. It’s one of the most beautiful gardens in Italy and definitely worth a visit. The garden is laid out in typical Renaissance style with geometric patterns, fountains, and sculptures. It is nice to stroll around and just enjoy the well-crafted greenery while taking a break from the city hustle.
The Palazzo Giusti is a beautiful Renaissance mansion that’s connected to the garden. It’s now a private hotel where you can visit one part of the interior. However, you can explore the exterior grounds and gardens.
If you’re interested in Italian Renaissance architecture, this is one of the best things to do in Verona. Visit both the Palazzo Giusti and Giardino Giusti for a complete experience.
Have Fun At Gardaland Park
Gardaland is one of the most popular amusement parks in Italy, and it’s only about half an hour’s drive from Verona. The park has a good mix of rides for both young and old, as well as a water park if you’re visiting during summer.
If you’re traveling with young kids, Gardaland is definitely the place for a day of family fun. They even have a “mini club” where kids can enjoy age-appropriate activities while the adults take a break.
Gardaland is open all year round, but the operating hours vary depending on the season so be sure to double-check. This is a popular attraction for both locals and travelers. Get an open date ticket with skip-the-line entry in advance for flexibility and time savings.
Cheap and Free Things To Do In Verona
Marvel At The Verona Cathedral
The Duomo di Verona is the city’s main cathedral, located in the Piazza del Duomo in the historic center of Verona. The exterior of the building is a mix of Romanesque and Gothic styles, and the interior underwent a complete renovation in the 15th century. It’s one of the most important buildings in Verona, and definitely worth a visit.
The cathedral is open daily; from 11:00 am to 5:30 pm on weekdays and shorter hours on weekends. Similar to many churches in Verona, admission is free for prayer, while there is a small fee for tourist visitation.
Admire The Arco Dei Gavi
The Arco dei Gavi is one of the most impressive Roman ruins in Verona. It’s a triumphal arch that was built in the 1st century to honor the Gavia, a prominent family during the time of the Roman Empire.
What’s so special about this arch is its unique design – it’s 12.69 meters high and has a gate on all four sides. The main arch features a pair of Corinthian pillars with a three-band archivolt sitting on top. The Arco dei Gavi is located in the center of Verona, near Piazza Bra and the Arena. It’s easy to find and makes for a great photo opportunity. Definitely stop by for a quick break and admire the architectural structure.
Stroll Around Piazza Bra
Piazza Bra is the largest piazza (square) in Verona. It’s a beautiful, pedestrian-only square surrounded by historic buildings and important landmarks. There is also a simple but nice fountain and a patch of greenery in the square.
At the center of the square is the Verona Arena, an ancient amphitheater that’s still used for operas and concerts. Other notable landmarks around the square include the Palazzo Barbieri (Verona’s city hall) and the nearby Gran Guardia Palace.
Piazza Bra is also a great place to people-watch and do some shopping. There are plenty of cafes and restaurants around the square where you can take a break and relax.
Things To Do At Night In Verona
Enjoy The Sunset At Piazzale Castel San Pietro
Piazzale Castel San Pietro is a large terrace located atop a hill in southwestern Verona. The spot offers one of the most beautiful views of the city. You can see the entire city layout below, with all its red rooftops, domed churches, and ancient towers.
The best time to visit Piazzale Castel San Pietro is around sunset. That’s when the sky turns a beautiful red, orange, and yellow, providing a stunning backdrop for photos.
The terrace is also a popular spot for locals to enjoy an evening walk or run. If you’re feeling energetic, you can walk up the hill to the terrace. It’s about a 20-minute walk from the city center.
If you don’t feel like walking, you can take the elevator up near Ponte Pietra, a bridge across the Adige River. The views from the bridge are also worth checking out.
Watch Performances At Teatro Romano
Teatro Romano is another great historical theatre in Verona, built even earlier than the Opera Arena. This is one of the things to do in Verona if you want to get a sense of how life was like during the Roman empire.
The theatre could seat over 20,000 people and was used for many different purposes, including plays, fights, and gladiator school sessions. Nowadays, it is one of the main tourist attractions in Verona and regularly hosts operas, ballets, concerts, and other shows, albeit on a smaller scale.
Like the Opera Arena, if you’re visiting Verona between late June and early September, make sure to check if there are any shows and performances going on. If not, it is still a nice place to check out the ancient structure.
Things To Do Outside Verona
Cruise On Lake Garda
Lake Garda is the largest lake in Italy and one of the most popular tourist destinations in the country. It’s located just a short drive from Verona, making it the perfect day trip.
One of the best things to do on Lake Garda is to take a cruise. There are many different companies offering cruises, so you can choose the itinerary and duration that suit you best. You can also opt for a private tour if you want a more personalized experience. Whichever option you choose, make sure to enjoy the stunning scenery as you cruise along the lake.
Lake Garda is in the same region as Monte Baldo, so it is possible to do it as a full day trip. That said, other activities here include checking out the wineries on a wine tour or the surrounding nature by taking a cable car up to Monte Baldo if you don’t want to hike.
Hike And Taste Wine At the Monte Baldo
If you’re looking for things to do outside of Verona, a great option is to take a day trip to the nearby Monte Baldo. This mountain range offers stunning views of Lake Garda and the surrounding area. It’s also a great place for hiking and wine tasting.
There are many different trails you can take, ranging from easy to difficult. If you’re not an experienced hiker, don’t worry – there are plenty of options for all levels.
Once you’ve worked up an appetite, head to one of the many vineyards in the area for a wine tasting. You can also enjoy lunch or dinner with a view at one of the restaurants.
Soak Up The Sun At A Beach Club
If you are looking for a place to lounge and relax by the pool with a drink in hand, then beach clubs are the way to go. Although Verona is not directly by the coast, there are a few beach clubs located around Lake Garda which make for a perfect day trip.
There are many different beach clubs along Lake Garda, each with their own atmosphere and vibe. Most of these beach clubs will have a restaurant attached as well, serving up some delicious food to go along with a relaxing day.
Some of the well rated beach clubs are Beach 03 Risto Bar Beach and Lido Blu. Both of them are located in Bardolino, a small town on the southeastern shore of Lake Garda. To get there, you can take a direct bus from Verona or rent a car.
You can also visit some of the best beaches in the Verona region here, if you want a piece of coastal nature but don’t want to travel too far.
Getting Around Attractions In Verona
Walking is a good way to get around Verona as most of the attractions are located in the city center. Not only is it a great way to explore the city, but you’ll also get to appreciate the architecture and atmosphere more.
The hop-on-hop-off tourist bus is a convenient and relaxing way to get around the major highlights. You get unlimited rides for a 1-2 day period to check out the city. Sit at the open-air top deck to take in all the sights or relax in the cooling lower deck.
That said, some of the things to do in Verona are located outside of the city center. In this case, you can take a bus or taxi, or rent a car if you want more flexibility. Bike Tours are a very popular option to check out both the city and the countryside on classic bicycles and e-bikes.
Discovering Things to Do In Verona, Italy
Verona is a beautiful city that offers plenty of things to do for tourists. Whether you’re looking to explore the city center, take in the stunning views from Monte Baldo, or relax by the pool at a beach club, there’s a diverse range of activities on offer.
For foodies and wine lovers, make sure to check out some of the local cuisine and wineries while you’re in town! These are just some of the best things to do in Verona and you can spend days here indulging in the Northern Italian culture.