Things to do in Venice, Italy

Advisor - Annie Decker
Curated By

Annie Decker

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  • Venice

  • Arts & Culture

  • Couples Travel

  • Food & Wine

  • Italy

  • Sightseeing

  • History

  • Romantic

Venice river.
Curator’s statement

Venice, Italy, is a place where art, history and romance intertwine to create an unforgettable travel experience. Whether you're exploring its iconic landmarks, savoring its culinary delights or simply getting lost in its mesmerizing streets, this city will leave an indelible mark on your heart. As you journey through the "Floating City," here are some must-see attractions and experiences to make your visit unforgettable.

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Where to stay in Venice, Italy

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Baglioni Hotel Luna

Refined hotel with elegant, marble-floored rooms and two restaurants serving traditional Venetian cuisine.

Fora Perks
  • $100 food / beverage credit.

  • Breakfast daily.

  • Upgrade & extended check-in/out whenever possible.

Hotel Ai Reali di Venezia

Elegant canal-side property in a former palace from the 17th-century with lavish rooms and suites.

Fora Perks
  • $50-100 spa credit.

  • Daily breakfast.

  • Upgrade & extended check-in/out whenever possible.

Splendid Venice - Starhotels Collezione

A luxury hotel in Venice near St. Mark’s Square and the Doge’s Palace with a breathtaking rooftop and well-appointed suites overlooking the canal.

Fora Perks
  • Breakfast daily.

  • Upgrade & extended check-in/out whenever possible.

  • $100 hotel / resort credit.

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Things to do in Venice, Italy

City canal with boats during daytime.

Explore the Grand Canal by Gondola

No visit to Venice is complete without a romantic gondola ride through the iconic Grand Canal. Drift along the picturesque waterways, passing under charming bridges and admiring the stunning architecture that lines the canals. The gondoliers share the history of the city with you, and may even serenade you as you soak up the city's beauty.

Marvel at St. Mark's Square and Basilica

Head to St. Mark's Square, the heart of Venice, and behold the magnificent St. Mark's Basilica. This stunning Byzantine masterpiece boasts ornate mosaics, marble columns and intricate designs that will leave you in awe. Climb the Campanile (the iconic bell tower) for breathtaking panoramic views of the city and its surrounding islands. Take a leisurely stroll around the square and enjoy coffee at one of the many cafés, including Caffè Florian, Italy’s oldest coffeehouse.

Visit the Doge's Palace and Bridge of Sighs

Step back in time with a visit to the Doge's Palace, a symbol of Venice's opulence and power. Marvel at the grandeur of the palace's architectural details and immerse yourself in its rich history. Don't miss the iconic Bridge of Sighs, which connects the palace to the prisons and offers a captivating glimpse into Venice's past.

Discover the Art of the Accademia Gallery

Delve into Venice's rich artistic heritage at the Gallerie dell'Accademia, which houses an impressive collection of Venetian art from the 14th to the 18th century. Admire masterpieces by renowned artists such as Bellini, Titian, and Veronese. Lose yourself in the beauty of the paintings, sculptures, and intricate works displayed throughout the gallery.

Taste Venetian Cuisine

Experience the vibrant culinary scene of Venice at the Rialto Market. This bustling market offers a feast for the senses, with colorful displays of fresh produce, seafood and local delicacies. Try cicchetti (Venetian tapas) at local bacari (wine bars), savor fresh seafood and don't forget to sample the iconic dish, risotto al nero di seppia (black squid ink risotto).

Venetian Aperitivo

Enjoy the quintessential Venetian tradition of aperitivo. Sip on a spritz or a Bellini at a canal-side bar while watching the sunset.

Explore the Islands of Murano & Burano

Just a short boat ride away from the heart of Venice, you'll find the enchanting islands of Burano and Murano. These hidden gems of the Venetian Lagoon offer a delightful contrast to the bustling canals of Venice itself. Witness skilled artisans craft intricate glassware using age-old techniques passed down through generations on the island of Murano. Visit the glass factories and galleries to marvel at the beautiful creations and bring home a unique Venetian glass souvenir. Then pop over to the island of Burano, known for its vibrant and cheerful houses painted in every color of the rainbow. Explore the charming, narrow streets, and be sure to visit the lace shops, where you can witness the intricate craftsmanship of Burano lace—a tradition dating back centuries. Savor a delicious seafood meal at a local trattoria and don't forget to try the famous bussolai cookies.

Get Lost on the Backstreets of Venice

One of the best ways to discover the true essence of Venice is by getting lost in its narrow alleyways and hidden squares. Wander away from the crowds and stumble upon charming cafes, artisan shops and picturesque spots that are off the beaten path. Allow yourself to be captivated by the serenity and beauty that lies amid the intricate labyrinth.

Experience the Venetian Carnival

If you're fortunate to visit Venice during February, don't miss the world-famous Venetian Carnival. Immerse yourself in the magic of this centuries-old tradition, where locals and tourists alike don magnificent masks and elaborate costumes. Attend the colorful parades, join in the masquerade balls and indulge in the festive atmosphere that permeates the city.

Need to Know

Looking for more travel inspiration? Check out my guide, Experiencing the Magic of Scotland in 7 Days.

Advisor - Annie Decker

Travel Advisor

Annie Decker

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This guide is part of our ongoing series on travel to Venice.