Visiting Venice is like stepping into a fairytale. With its winding canals, stunning architecture, and Venetian glass, it’s no wonder this city is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world. And while there’s no shortage of things to do in Venice, Italy, we’ve compiled a list of our top 25 favorites. From taking a gondola ride to getting lost in the backstreets, there’s something for everyone in this magical city. So what are you waiting for? Start planning your trip to Venice today!
1. Visit the Venetian Ghetto
Venice, Italy is a unique and beautiful city, and one of its most interesting attractions is the Venetian Ghetto. For centuries, the ghetto was the only place where Jews were allowed to live in Venice.
Today, the ghetto is home to a small but thriving Jewish community, and visitors can explore its fascinating history and culture. The ghetto is located in the north-eastern part of Venice, and it is accessible by foot or by boat. The best way to experience the ghetto is to take a guided tour, which will provide insights into the ghetto’s rich history and culture.
2. Stroll the Rialto Bridge
The Rialto Bridge is one of the most iconic landmarks in Venice, Italy. Spanning the width of the Grand Canal, it offers stunning views of the city’s canals and architecture. The bridge is also a popular spot for locals and tourists alike, with its many shops and cafes.
If you’re looking for a unique shopping experience, be sure to check out the Rialto Bridge. From souvenirs to clothing and jewelry, you’ll find everything you need to remember your trip to Venice.
3. Take a Gondola Ride
A gondola ride is one of the most romantic experiences you can have in Venice, Italy. As you glide through the city’s canals, you’ll get a unique perspective of this historic place. You’ll also get to enjoy the views of the beautiful architecture and centuries-old buildings that line the canals.
The best time to take a gondola ride is at sunset when the sky is a beautiful hue of orange and red. There’s nothing quite like cruising through Venice as the sun sets! If you’re looking for an unforgettable experience, be sure to add a gondola ride to your Venice itinerary.
4. Shop at the Rialto Market
Nestled between the canals of Venice, the Rialto Market is a bustling marketplace brimming with fresh seafood, fruits, and vegetables. But it’s more than just a place to do your grocery shopping – it’s also a centuries-old tradition and a vibrant community.
Every morning, fishermen unload their catch at the market, haggling with customers over the price of eel, squid, and other delicacies. Meanwhile, fruit sellers compete for attention with their displays of fragrant oranges and juicy tomatoes.
5. Get Lost in the backstreets
Venice is an endlessly fascinating city, and its backstreets are a particular delight. Many visitors stick to the well-trodden paths around the canals, but those who venture into the labyrinth of narrow alleys and bridges will be rewarded with a unique experience.
Every turn brings a new discovery, whether it’s a hidden cafe, quaint shops, or simply a breathtaking view. Getting lost in Venice is half the fun, and it’s the best way to really get to know this one-of-a-kind city. So next time you’re in Venice, step off the beaten path and explore the backstreets. You’ll be glad you did.
6. Admire the Grand Canal
The Grand Canal winds through the city of Venice like a great jeweled necklace. Lined with magnificent palaces and churches, the canal is a truly awe-inspiring sight.
No visit to Venice is complete without a ride on a gondola through the canal, where you can admire the stunning architecture up close. As you glide along the water, you’ll pass under bridges, through tunnels, and past countless quaint cafes and shops.
It’s easy to see why the Grand Canal is one of Venice’s most beloved landmarks. So take your time and enjoy the ride – it’s an experience you’ll never forget.
7. Climb to the Top of St Mark’s Basilica
St Mark’s Basilica is one of the most iconic churches in the world, and its soaring bell tower is a major landmark in Venice, Italy. Climb to the top of the tower and you’ll be rewarded with stunning views of the city’s canals and rooftops.
The basilica itself is worth a visit too – its magnificent interior is decorated with glittering mosaics, marble pillars, and stained glass windows. And if you’re lucky, you might even catch a glimpse of the famous bronze horses that adorn the church’s facade.
8. A Boat Ride to the islands of Murano and Burano
A boat ride to the islands of Murano and Burano is a must-do activity when visiting Venice, Italy. Murano is well-known for its glassmaking, and a visit to one of the factories is a fascinating way to see how these beautiful pieces are made.
Burano is known for its colorful houses, and a walk through the streets is like stepping into a painting. The best way to get to these islands is by boat, and there are many different companies offering tours. Once you’re on the water, sit back and enjoy the views of Venice as you make your way to these two special places.
9. Sample some Venetian Cuisine
Venice is a city unlike any other, and its cuisine is just as unique. While you can find plenty of familiar Italian dishes in Venice, there are also many Venetian specialties that are worth trying.
One of the most iconic Venetian dishes is spaghetti alle vongole, a simple yet flavor-packed dish featuring fresh clams and spaghetti tossed in garlic-infused olive oil. Another must-try is sarde in saor, a marinated Sardinian dish consisting of fried sardines served with sweet, tangy onions.
And of course, no visit to Venice would be complete without indulging in freshly made gelato. With so many delicious options to choose from, you’ll be spoilt for choice when it comes to sampling the best of Venetian cuisine.
10. Visit Doge’s Palace
Doge’s Palace is one of the most iconic landmarks in Venice, Italy. Built-in the 14th century, the palace was the home of the Doge, the supreme leader of the Venetian Republic. Today, the palace is open to the public, and visitors can explore its lavish interiors, including the grandiose State Apartments and the beautiful Pala d’Oro altarpiece.
In addition, the palace houses an important art collection, featuring works by Titian, Tintoretto, and Veronese. With its rich history and art treasures, Doge’s Palace is a must-see for anyone visiting Venice.
11. Marvel at the Pala d’Oro in St Mark’s Basilica
The Pala d’Oro is a stunning golden altarpiece in St Mark’s Basilica, Venice Italy. Inlaid with precious stones and enamels, it is a magnificent example of Byzantine craftsmanship.
Marvel at the intricate details and dazzling colors of the Pala d’Oro as you learn about its history and how it came to be one of the most treasured objects in Venice. Discover why this altarpiece is so important to the people of Venice and how it has shaped the city’s identity over the centuries.
12. Climb the Campanile
The Campanile di San Marco is one of Venice’s most iconic landmarks, and it’s well worth climbing to the top for the stunning views across the city. The Campanile is located next to St Mark’s Basilica, and it’s easy to spot thanks to its distinctive Gothic design.
Visitors can take an elevator to the top, or they can tackle the 414 steps for a workout. Once you reach the top, you’ll be rewarded with panoramic views of Venice, from the Grand Canal to the lagoon. On a clear day, you might even be able to spot some of the other islands in the Venetian archipelago.
13. Visit the Academy Gallery
The Academy Gallery in Venice, Italy is home to some of the most renowned works of art in the world. Visitors can view paintings by masters such as Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, and Raphael, as well as a wealth of other artists.
The gallery is also home to a collection of sculptures, including many by Canova. In addition to the artwork on display, the Academy Gallery offers a number of other attractions for visitors. There are often temporary exhibitions featuring works by contemporary artists, and the gallery also has a library and research center.
14. See La Fenice Opera House
La Fenice Opera House in Venice, Italy is one of the most beautiful and unique theatres in the world. The theatre was built in 1792 and has been home to some of the most famous operas and ballet performances ever since.
The interior of the theatre is decorated with intricate paintings and sculptures, and the seats are designed to give every audience member a perfect view of the stage. Seeing a performance at La Fenice is an unforgettable experience and one that I would recommend to anyone who loves opera or ballet.
15. Shop for Murano Glass
When it comes to glassware, there is nothing quite like Murano glass. Made on the island of Murano in the Venetian lagoon, Murano glass has been prized for centuries for its beauty and craftsmanship.
Today, Murano glass is still highly sought-after, and there are few better places to shop for it than in Venice, Italy. There are numerous studios and shops throughout the city where you can watch artisans create beautiful works of art from molten glass.
And of course, there is no shortage of stunning pieces to choose from, ranging from simple vases and bowls to elaborate chandeliers and sculptures. Shopping for Murano glass in Venice is an unforgettable experience, and it is the perfect way to bring a piece of Italy home with you.
16. Take a Walking Tour
Venice is a beautiful city unlike any other in the world. The best way to experience Venice is by foot, so a walking tour is a perfect way to explore.
You’ll get to see the canals up close, listen to the sound of gondolas gently passing by, and soak up the unique atmosphere of this historic city. Walking is also the best way to really get a feel for Venice’s layout. The city is made up of over 100 small islands, connected by a maze of bridges and canals. With no cars or buses, the only way to get around is on foot or by boat.
This can make Venice feel like a labyrinth at times, but if you take your time and enjoy getting lost in its narrow alleyways and hidden courtyards, you’ll soon fall in love with this one-of-a-kind destination.
17. Ride the Vaporetto
cruise the canals of Venice on a Vaporetto, you’ll feel like you’ve stepped back in time. The Vaporettos are the city’s water buses, and they’ve been ferrying locals and visitors around Venice for centuries.
Today, they’re still an essential part of life in Venice, and riding one is a must-do experience. You can purchase a single-trip ticket or a day pass, which entitles you to unlimited rides. The best way to see Venice is by hopping on and off the Vaporetto at various stops, and exploring the different neighborhoods and sights.
You’ll get an up-close look at Venice’s iconic canals and architecture, and you might even stumble upon a hidden gem or two. So make sure to add a ride on the Vaporetto to your Venice itinerary – it’s an essential part of the Venetian experience.
18. Attend a Carnival Celebration
One of the most exciting events in Venice, Italy is the Carnival celebration. This centuries-old festival is held every year in the weeks leading up to Lent, and it features a wide variety of colorful traditions.
Visitors can enjoy everything from masquerade balls and grand parades to live music and delicious food. The carnival is also a great opportunity to get a taste of Venetian culture, as many of the city’s residents dress up in elaborate costumes and masks.
19. Visit the Jewish Museum
The Jewish Museum in Venice, Italy is a must-see for anyone interested in the history of the Jewish people. The museum tells the story of the Jews in Venice from the Middle Ages to the present day.
Visitors can see artifacts from all aspects of Jewish life, including religious objects, everyday items, and works of art. The museum also offers a variety of educational programs and events throughout the year. Whether you’re a history buff or just looking to learn more about another culture, the Jewish Museum in Venice is sure to give you a new perspective on the world.
20. View the Venetian Lagoon from St Mark’s Campanile
The Venetian Lagoon is one of the most unique and beautiful places on earth. Stretching across almost 350 square miles, it is home to a multitude of islands, canals, and bridges.
Its remarkable history and architecture have been shaped by centuries of trade and commerce, making it a truly fascinating place to explore. From the grandiose buildings of Venice to the tranquil villages of the rural islands, there is something for everyone in the Venetian Lagoon.
And, of course, no visit would be complete without taking in the stunning views from atop St Mark’s Campanile. Situated within the Piazza San Marco, this bell tower offers panoramic views of Venice and its lagoon.
21. Take a Day Trip to Verona
If you find yourself in Venice, Italy, be sure to take a day trip to Verona! This picturesque city is home to beautiful architecture, world-famous art, and delicious food. Start your day by exploring the Verona Arena, a Roman amphitheater that is now used for operas and other performances.
Then, wander through the historic center of town and see sights like the Palazzo della Ragione, the Castelvecchio Museum, and Juliet’s House. Be sure to taste some of the local wine and cuisine – you won’t be disappointed! A day trip to Verona is the perfect way to experience all that this amazing city has to offer.
22. Explore the Dorsoduro District
The Dorsoduro district of Venice is a vibrant and colorful area that is full of life. The streets are lined with cafes and restaurants, and the Canal Grande is always busy with boats.
The district is also home to many museums and art galleries, as well as the famous Accademia Bridge. Visitors to the Dorsoduro district will find plenty to see and do, and they will also get a taste of the real Venice away from the crowded tourist areas.
23. Visit the Lido Beach
The Venice Lido, or Beach, is a long, thin island that sits just off the shore of Venice, Italy. Visitors can take a short ferry ride from Venice to reach the Lido, which is home to several hotels, beaches, and restaurants.
The island’s main beach is lively and crowded during the summer months, but there are also quieter areas where visitors can relax and soak up the sun. In addition to its beaches, the Lido is also home to a variety of shops and restaurants.
Visitors can find everything from souvenirs to traditional Italian dishes on the Lido. Whether you’re looking for a day of relaxation or a night in the town, the Venice Lido has something to offer everyone.
24. Shop at the Mercerie
Visitors to Venice, Italy, will find a unique shopping experience at the Mercerie. This historic street is lined with a variety of shops, from high-end designers to local artisans. The Mercerie is also home to some of Venice’s most famous landmarks, including the Palazzo Ducale and the Rialto Bridge.
In addition to the many shops, the Mercerie is also a great place to people-watch. locals and tourists alike can be found strolling down the street, enjoying the sights and sounds of this vibrant city. Whether you’re looking for a unique souvenir or simply want to soak up the atmosphere, a visit to the Mercerie is a must-do while in Venice.
25. See the Bridge of Sighs
The Bridge of Sighs is one of Venice’s most iconic landmarks. Built-in the early 17th century, the bridge spans the Rio dei Palazzi and connects the old city center to the new prison.
The bridge gets its name from the tradition that prisoners would sigh as they caught their last glimpse of Venice before being incarcerated. Today, the Bridge of Sighs is a popular tourist destination, and visitors can enjoy views of the canal and the surrounding buildings from its windowed walkway.
Whether you’re looking to explore Venice’s historic landmarks or simply relax on the beach, there’s no shortage of things to do in this amazing city. From strolling through the Mercerie to visiting the Bridge of Sighs, be sure to add these 25 must-do activities to your list when planning your trip to Venice, Italy.