The 20 Best Things to Do in Venice

Gondola ride Venice

Venice, the city of canals, is a must-visit destination for anyone traveling to Italy. With its charming architecture, fascinating history, and breathtaking scenery, it’s no wonder why Venice is considered one of the most romantic and enchanting cities in the world. Here are the 10 best things to do in Venice, based on my own traveler experience:

1. Take a Gondola Ride: No trip to Venice is complete without a gondola ride through its picturesque canals. It’s a romantic and peaceful experience, and it allows you to see the city from a unique perspective. I highly recommend taking a gondola ride at sunset for a truly unforgettable experience.

Gondola ride Venice

Photo Credit: Alan Cunningham

2. Visit St. Mark’s Square: St. Mark’s Square is the heart of Venice and is home to some of the city’s most iconic landmarks, including St. Mark’s Basilica and the Doge’s Palace. The square is always bustling with activity and is a great place to people-watch.

3. Explore the Venetian Lagoon: The Venetian Lagoon is a beautiful natural wonder that surrounds Venice. Take a boat tour to explore its stunning islands, including Murano, Burano, and Torcello. Each island has its own unique charm, and they are all worth visiting.

4. Admire Architecture: Venice is home to some of the most beautiful and unique architecture in the world. From the Gothic-style Doge’s Palace to the Renaissance-style Basilica di Santa Maria della Salute, there is no shortage of stunning buildings to admire.

5. Try the Local Cuisine: Venice is known for its delicious cuisine, and you won’t be disappointed with the food here. Try local specialties like seafood risotto, squid ink pasta, and cicchetti (Venetian tapas). And of course, don’t forget to indulge in some gelato!

6. Visit the Rialto Market: The Rialto Market is a bustling food market that has been around for centuries. Here you can find all sorts of fresh seafood, fruits, and vegetables, as well as local wines and cheeses. It’s a great place to pick up some ingredients for a picnic or to try some local delicacies.

7. Take a Walking Tour: Venice is a city best explored on foot, and there are plenty of walking tours available. Join a guided tour to learn about the city’s history, architecture, and culture, and to discover hidden gems that you might otherwise miss.

8. Attend a Performance at La Fenice: La Fenice is Venice’s famous opera house and is one of the most prestigious in the world. Catch a performance here to experience the magic of opera in one of the world’s most beautiful theaters.

9. Visit the Peggy Guggenheim Collection: The Peggy Guggenheim Collection is a museum of modern art located in the Palazzo Venier dei Leoni on the Grand Canal. It houses a large collection of 20th-century art and is a must-visit for art lovers.

10. Enjoy a Spritz: A spritz is a popular Venetian cocktail made with prosecco, Aperol, and soda water. It’s the perfect drink to enjoy on a sunny afternoon while taking in the sights and sounds of the city.

11. Visit the Bridge of Sighs: The Bridge of Sighs is an iconic bridge located near St. Mark’s Square. It’s named after the sighs of prisoners who walked across it on their way to the prison. Take a gondola ride to get a great view of the bridge and learn about its history.

12. Climb the Campanile di San Marco: The Campanile di San Marco is the bell tower of St. Mark’s Basilica and offers incredible views of the city. Climb the tower to get a bird’s eye view of Venice and its surrounding islands.

13. Attend the Carnival of Venice: The Carnival of Venice is an annual festival that takes place in February. It’s a time when the city comes alive with parades, masquerade balls, and street performances. Dress up in a traditional Venetian mask and join in on the fun.

14. Take a Day Trip to the Dolomites: The Dolomites are a stunning mountain range located near Venice. Take a day trip to the Dolomites to go hiking, skiing, or to simply take in the breathtaking scenery.

15. Visit the Scuola Grande di San Rocco: The Scuola Grande di San Rocco is a 16th-century building located in the San Polo neighborhood of Venice. It’s home to some of the finest works of art in the city, including a series of paintings by Tintoretto.

16. Take a Water Taxi: Venice is a city of canals, and taking a water taxi is a fun and unique way to get around. Hire a water taxi to take you to a specific destination or simply cruise around the city and take in the sights.

17. Explore the Castello District: The Castello District is one of the largest neighborhoods in Venice and is home to some of the city’s most beautiful churches and museums. Take a walking tour to explore this fascinating area and learn about its rich history.

18. Visit the Basilica di Santa Maria Gloriosa dei Frari: The Basilica di Santa Maria Gloriosa dei Frari is a beautiful Gothic church located in the San Polo neighborhood of Venice. It’s home to some of the finest works of art in the city, including sculptures by Donatello and a painting by Titian.

19. Attend a Concert at the Teatro La Fenice: The Teatro La Fenice is Venice’s famous opera house and is also a venue for concerts and other performances. Catch a concert here to experience the beauty of this historic theater.

20. Explore the Jewish Ghetto: The Jewish Ghetto is a historic neighborhood in Venice that was established in the 16th century. Today, it’s a vibrant area filled with kosher restaurants, shops, and synagogues. Take a walking tour to learn about the history of this fascinating neighborhood.

In conclusion, Venice is a city that truly has something for everyone. Whether you’re interested in history, culture, or food, or just want to soak up the atmosphere, you’ll find plenty to do here. So pack your bags and get ready to experience the magic of Venice!