Things to do inVenice

Remnants of medieval might are just the tip of the iceberg in this 1600-year-old port city.

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Our most recommended things to do in Venice

Venice: Doge's Palace Reserved Entry Ticket

Venice: Doge's Palace Reserved Entry Ticket

Skip the ticket line to Doge's Palace in Venice, a historic landmark that served as the seat of Venetian political power for centuries, with this reserved entry ticket. Admire its Gothic architecture. Also get entry to the Museo Correr, National Archeological Museum, and Marciana Library. Enter the Doge's Palace to explore the seat of a 1000-year republic and travel back in time to the Middle Ages. Relive the anguish of the prisoners as they crossed the Bridge of Sighs. Admire the palace's impressive structure and ornamentation, from its 14th and 15th-century original foundations to the significant Renaissance and opulent Mannerist adjunctions. Marvel at the rich details of the magnificent gold staircase and spectacular works of art. Also, enjoy entry to the Museo Correr on St. Mark's Square, a building that was originally designed as a residence for Napoleon, and later became the Venetian residence of the King of Italy.

Venice: Grand Canal Gondola Ride with App Commentary

Venice: Grand Canal Gondola Ride with App Commentary

Feel the essence of Venice as you explore hidden and picturesque waterways near the Grand Canal with a gondola ride. Listen to in-app commentary to learn more about the city as you admire the sights. Start your activity by meeting the host, who will explain some curiosities about the history of gondolas and gondoliers. Get free access to an app with commentary of your itinerary on the gondola. As you enjoy the beauties of the Grand Canal, admire the marvelous Palaces such as the Peggy Guggenheim Collection Palace, the Gritti Palace, the Salute Church, the Punta della Dogana. Discover the worldwide-famous La Fenice Theatre and the Mozart House along the romantic and hidden waterways. At the end of your ride, enjoy a breathtaking view of the Saint Mark’s Basin with San Giorgio Island. Lastly, experience a ride in a unique virtual reality as you glide over the Grand Canal's tranquil waters at sunset over the centuries, and then discover the craftsmanship and secrets behind Venice's iconic boat with an up-close look at a sectioned model.

Venice: Waterbus and Mainland Bus Pass

Venice: Waterbus and Mainland Bus Pass

With this transportation pass, bypass the ticket lines and ride on Venice's public transport services. Climb aboard the public ship, known as the vaporetto, and explore the city by waterway. The ticket is valid for nearby areas and for buses in Mestre and Marghera. Begin traveling around Venice with your pass by first pausing at a vaporetto stop. Once you've acquired your ticket, head out with one of the unique water buses to your destinations. Cruise around the city and take in the sights for an hour or up to a full week, depending on your ticket. Make the most out of your ticket by journeying to area destinations, including Venice's surrounding islands. Experience the magic of Lido, Murano, Burano, and Torcello Island with the handy ticket that has you covered at every step of the way. Zip over to Mestre and Marghera with a bus.

Venice: Bus Transfer between Marco Polo Airport and City

Venice: Bus Transfer between Marco Polo Airport and City

Travel seamlessly between Venice City Center and Marco Polo Airport with a convenient and reliable 1-way transfer or return ticket, depending on your book option. Head to and from the airport in a comfortable, air-conditioned bus, avoid the hassle of negotiating public transport and enjoy an efficient airport shuttle service that departs frequently and regularly. Store your luggage, jump on the bus, take a seat, relax, and admire the views of Venice. Go to and from the airport with an express bus that provides a non-stop service to and from Central Venice; the pickup and drop-off service in Venice is from Piazzale Roma. Enjoy comfort on board with the cooling ventilation and high-speed WiFi on board; this is the quickest and cheapest way to travel.

Venice: Burano, Torcello & Murano Boat Tour w/Glassblowing

Venice: Burano, Torcello & Murano Boat Tour w/Glassblowing

Discover some of the most famous islands of the Venetian Lagoon on this full-day boat tour. Travel with your guide through Venice Lagoon on a panoramic vessel and enjoy the islands of Murano, Burano, and Torcello. Start your day of adventure by boarding a comfortable panoramic boat as you set off from St. Mark's. Learn about the islands from your host along the way. Take in the sights of this ancient city for around 30 minutes until you reach your first destination, Murano. Enjoy a glass-blowing demonstration with a glass master accompanied by a historical explanation of the craft. Stop by the souvenir store at the glass factory and enjoy an exclusive 10% discount on your purchases. Your scheduled time in Murano also includes free time to explore on your own. Leave Murano behind as you travel to the nearby island of Burano. Witness the quaint and colorful houses that dot the island and observe the lace makers at work. Become acquainted with their rare skill which is considered some of the finest worldwide. Stop for a bite to eat during your time in Burano and taste some of the local biscotti that are native to the island. Travel to your final stop, Torcello. Enjoy a 1-hour visit to the island and visit historical landmarks such as the Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta, Attila's Throne, the Devil's Bridge, and the Bell Tower. Finish your adventure with a 1-hour trip back to Venice taking in the breathtaking ambiance of the Venetian lagoon.

Venice: Marco Polo Airport Water Taxi Transfer

Venice: Marco Polo Airport Water Taxi Transfer

Enjoy a shared water taxi service between Venice Marco Polo Airport and central Venice hotels. Choose from a 1-way or round-trip service and relax for a scenic ride. Depart straight after you find your luggage and get whisked across the lagoon to your hotel or the nearest accessible point by water taxi. This is the most romantic and direct way to travel to the city. Be picked up or dropped off directly at some hotels located along the Grand Canal, Hilton Stucky. For less-accessible destinations on the inner canals, a designated meeting point will be decided that is within walking distance of your hotel.  For JW Marriott - Isola delle Rose, and San Clemente Island, you will be dropped off in San Marco nearby the Marriott hotel shuttle boat.

Venice: Grand Canal by Gondola with Live Commentary

Venice: Grand Canal by Gondola with Live Commentary

Explore the canals of Venice aboard a gondola. Enjoy live commentary from your guide as your gondolier takes you down narrow ways and along the Grand Canal. Learn about the city's palaces, churches, and attractions. Hear about local stories and the history of the gondola and gondoliers. During your journey, admire the Mozart’s House and pass by the magnificent La Fenice Theatre and the “De le Ostreghe” Canal. Continue to the most important canal in Venice, the Grand Canal. Make your way towards the Salute Church, the Peggy Guggenheim Collection, and some of the stunning Venetian palaces that run alongside the canal, like Ca' Dolfin, Ca' Loredan, Grimani Palace, and many others. You will also see Punta de la Dogana and Saint Mark’s Basin before making your way back to Campo San Moisè.  Lastly, experience a ride in a unique virtual reality as you glide over the Grand Canal's tranquil waters at sunset over the centuries, and then discover the craftsmanship and secrets behind Venice's iconic boat with an up-close look at a sectioned model.

Venice: Murano and Burano Boat Tour with Glass Factory Visit

Venice: Murano and Burano Boat Tour with Glass Factory Visit

Set sail on a boat tour from Venice to the islands of Murano and Burano. Sail there on a comfortable vessel, enjoy some time exploring the islands at your leisure, and witness a glass-blowing demonstration on Murano. Depart from San Marco or the Venice Train Station (depending on the option selected) and head to Murano and Burano. Meet your crew and cruise across the lagoon, enjoying the views from a panoramic terrace along the way. Discover the art of glass-making in Murano and visit a glass factory. Learn more about the traditions and processes behind glass production. Then, admire the colorful houses of Burano and take a stroll through the picturesque streets. In the evening, return to your original meeting point.

Venice: Four Seasons Concert Ticket at Vivaldi Church

Venice: Four Seasons Concert Ticket at Vivaldi Church

Delight your ears with a performance of Vivaldi's Four Seasons by the "I Virtuosi Italiani" ensemble in the church of Santa Maria della Visitazione in Venice. Experience the emotion of listening to Vivaldi's music in the places where it was composed. it's sound, it's musical notes, it's the art of a great Baroque composer, but above all it's the energy of this place, Vivaldi's Church. It was here that Antonio Vivaldi spent forty years of his life and composed his magnificent works.  Enjoy inspired performances of the Four Seasons where in the music you can sense the reaping of the wheat, the grape harvest, the summer storms, the snow falling in winter, the warm fall colors, and the bright blossoming of flowers in springtime. Watch talented musicians play in the church where masters like Francesco Gasparini and Antonio Vivaldi trained the Daughters of the Choro to become virtuoso musicians that were renowned for their art all over Europe.

Treviso Airport to Mestre and Venice by Express Bus

Treviso Airport to Mestre and Venice by Express Bus

Save money on expensive taxis or the hassle of navigating complicated public transport systems on arrival at Antonio Canova Treviso Airport, and enjoy a direct transfer to Venice and Mestre by express bus. Upon landing, make your way to the bus station outside the arrivals hall where the driver will be waiting to take you and your luggage. Sit back and relax in air-conditioned comfort and let your friends and family back home know you have arrived safely with the free Wi-Fi. Also available for departure transfers (or as a round-trip ticket), the journey to the airport from Mestre takes 50 minutes from Corso del Popolo and 55 minutes from Mestre Railway Station, while the journey from Venice takes 70 minutes from Piazzale Roma. Please see the complete bus schedules in the photo section.

Frequently asked questions about Venice

What top attractions are a must-see in Venice?

The must-see attractions in Venice are:

See all must-see sights in Venice

What are the best day trips and excursions from Venice?

The best day trips and excursions from Venice are:

See all day trips and excursions from Venice on GetYourGuide

Insider Tips: Planning a trip to Venice, Italy

Indiana Jo has visited over 60 countries but has a special love of Italy and Venice. Her travel blog focuses on destination guides and planning tips, but she also runs wine tours in Italy's famous Prosecco region, located an hour from Venice.

What should I do on my first trip to Venice?

Head to St Mark’s Square (Piazza San Marco). It’s touristy, but it’s famous for good reason. On the grand square, you'll find St Mark’s Basilica, St Mark’s Campanile, and the Doge's Palace. The famous Bridge of Sighs is nearby too. Of course, cruising along the Grand Canal and crossing the Rialto Bridge should be on your list too.

What are some hidden gems to see in Venice?

Most visitors only stand outside and take a picture of the Bridge of Sighs, but it gets its name from the sigh-worthy views of Venice seen from inside, so book a tour of the Doge's Palace to walk across it yourself. For an even better view of the city, take a boat to San Giorgio Maggiore — the island offers a spectacular vista across the lagoon to St Mark's Square.

How much time should I spend in Venice?

I’d recommend a minimum of two nights, but make it four if you don't want to feel rushed and visit one of the nearby islands like Murano or Burano. And if you have longer, there are some really great day trips from the city or you can catch a train to the Prosecco wine region.

What food is Venice known for?

Italian food is very regional and Venetian food is heavily based on seafood and polenta rather than pizza and pasta. Famous dishes include Sepe al nero (cuttlefish in squid ink), sarde in saor (sardines with onion), and Fegato alla Veneziana (liver and onions with polenta). Venice is not a good place to order this oh-so-Italian food. Why? Proper pizza ovens are largely banned in the city for fear of fire, making it harder to get the high-quality pizza you’d expect in Italy.

What is the best way to get around Venice?

Venice is a car-free island, which can be difficult to understand at first, but fun once you get the hang of it. Walking is a great option for seeing the sights on the way, but crossing the Grand Canal can take you off-route as only four bridges cross its 2-mile length. The most popular way to get around is Vaporetto, the public water bus service which zips around the waterways. If you want to use the Vaporetto throughout your trip, buy a multi-day pass which is far cheaper than single tickets. There are also private water taxis.

What are the best months to visit Venice?

The best time to visit depends on what you want to do in the city and your tolerance for crowds. February is great for Venice Carnival. July and August are the summer peak season with the warmest weather and the most people. It’s manageable if you are happy to move slowly, book everything in advance, and pay more for hotels. Spring and fall are my favorite seasons with nice weather and fewer people. November and December can bring the acqua alta tidal flooding, which can flood parts of Venice. The city copes well if you’re up for the challenge.

What are the best neighborhoods to visit in Venice?

There aren’t very many locals still living in Venice, but those that remain mostly live in the Canareggio neighborhood, which makes it the best neighborhood to experience "real" Venice. The big-hitting sights are replaced with excellent trattorias, local bars, and a warren of truly Venetian streets. Canareggio is also the old Jewish Ghetto, so keep an eye out for signs in Hebrew. The nearest Vaporetto stop is Ca’ d’Oro.

What are the best neighborhoods for food?

Venice can be a bit tricky food-wise. It’s either difficult or expensive (or both) to get good food and a good view in the same place. The best, most authentic food is in Canareggio. Otherwise, lower your expectations around St Mark’s Square and the Grand Canal, and you’ll have a great time. My best tip is to take a local food tour early in your trip. Not only will you visit a host of great restaurants, you’ll get recommendations for the rest of your stay from a foodie in the know.

What are the best neighborhoods for shopping?

Venice isn’t a major shopping city in the same way as Milan or Rome, but there are plenty of opportunities to spend. Le Mercerie offers more affordable Italian brands, and Salizada San Moisè and Calle Larga XXII Marzo are the main streets for designer boutiques. The rest of the city’s shops are scattered throughout Venice. Look out for traditional Venetian mask makers or other artisan craft shops. If you visit the outlying islands, Burano is famous for lace while Murano is the place to buy Venetian glass.

What neighborhood should I stay in when I visit Venice?

My favorite area is Canareggio for small, local hotels and nearby dining options at night. However, if you want to be in the thick of things and don't mind a higher price tag, choosing a hotel in the San Marco area, near St Mark’s Square, will give you a premium location for seeing the sights. San Polo, just across the Grand Canal on the opposite bank from San Marco, is another great option with enough proximity to the major sights.

What's are 4 top tips for someone traveling to Venice?

1) Book at least one guided tour. You’ll see the main attractions, learn about the rich history, and typically get skip-the-line access to some sights.

2) Enjoy aperitivo. This early-evening ritual in Italy involves a small drink (like an Aperol Spritz) and small snacks (cicchetti) before dinner.

3) Buy a Vaporetto pass. Hop on and off the boats and have a great time exploring this unique road-free city.

4) Get lost. Wandering down the small alleys and over the minor bridges will show you a side of Venice you might miss if you’re darting from one big sight to another.

What are your top 5 favorite GetYourGuide experiences in Venice?

1) Doge's Palace & St. Mark's Basilica with Terrace Access Tour

2) Venice: Boat Tour with Grand Canal and San Giorgio Maggiore

3) Venice: Food Tasting Tour with Cicchetti Dishes and Wine

4) Venice: Burano, Torcello & Murano Boat Tour w/Glassblowing

5) Venice: La Fenice Opera House Entry Ticket with Audio Guide

What is one thing that surprised you about Venice?

It’s possible to have bad food in Venice, which is a surprise in a country with some of the world's best food. There is so much excellent food in the city, you just have to look a little harder to find it. Taking a food tour is a good start, as your guide can recommend places to go later in your trip. Check restaurant reviews too.

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