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Things to do in Venice

Things to do in  Venice

Welcome to Venice

Built on more than 100 islands and devoid of cars, Venice is a walker’s paradise. Even when crowds reach their maximum, a stroll down the Floating City’s winding passageways reveals the city’s abundant charm. The architectural splendor of Doge’s Palace and St. Mark’s Basilica in Piazza San Marco reign supreme, while the Grand Canal splits the city in two like a lightning bolt. Glide beneath Rialto Bridge during a sunset gondola ride, admire brightly colored buildings on the water’s edge, plan a visit to the glassblowing factories on the island of Murano, and flock to the craggy peaks of the UNESCO-listed Dolomites on a day trip.

Top 10 attractions in Venice

#1
St. Mark's Basilica (Basilica di San Marco)

St. Mark's Basilica (Basilica di San Marco)

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St. Mark's Basilica (Basilica di San Marco) is the crown jewel of Venice, one of the most sumptuous cities in the western world. This ornate cathedral blends elements of Gothic, Byzantine, Romanesque, and Renaissance architecture—testimony to the city’s political and economic dominance that spanned centuries. Topped by soaring domes and with an interior of astonishing golden mosaics, the church is so opulent it is known as the Chiesa d’Oro, or the Golden Church. Construction began in 828, when the body of St. Mark was smuggled back to Venice from Alexandria; the church has been rebuilt, expanded, and delicately restored over the centuries.More
#2
Doge's Palace (Palazzo Ducale)

Doge's Palace (Palazzo Ducale)

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The powerful Doges ruled the Venetian Empire from the Gothic fantasy palace that is Doge's Palace (Palazzo Ducale) until 1797. The site was one of the first things those arriving in Venice saw as their ships sailed through the lagoon and landed at St Mark's Square, and the doges ruled with an iron fist—justice was often meted out here. Today, the site is one of the most well-known attractions in Italy.More
#3
St. Mark's Square (Piazza San Marco)

St. Mark's Square (Piazza San Marco)

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St. Mark’s Square (Piazza San Marco), often referred to as “the drawing room of Europe,” is one of the most famous squares in Italy. The geographic and cultural heart of Venice—with St. Mark’s Basilica and Doge’s Palace at one end, the campanile in the center, and the colonnaded arcade topped by the Procuratie palaces lining three sides—this elegant piazza is also steeped in history. Settle in at one of the many coveted café tables and watch tourists (and pigeons) pose for photos while you sip a Bellini and soak in the square’s Renaissance splendor.More
#4
Grand Canal

Grand Canal

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Venice is a city built on water, and the Grand Canal (Canale Grande) is its bustling main street. Lined with sumptuous Venetian palaces and crowded with gondolas, water taxis, and vaporetti (public ferries), this thoroughfare is a feast for the senses. The Grand Canal winds its way through the central neighborhoods of Venice from the Santa Lucia train station to St. Mark’s Square (Piazza San Marco), passing under the iconic Rialto Bridge along the way, and functions as the scenic main artery for transporting both people and goods around the City of Canals.More
#5
Venice Islands

Venice Islands

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Venice is made up of over 100 small islands, but generally “the Venice islands” refers to the three most famous outlying islands in the Venetian lagoon: Murano, Burano, and Torcello. Murano, just north of Venice proper, has been the center of Venice’s famous glass-making industry since 1291, and the island’s expert glassblowers still handcraft stunning pieces of Murano glass today. Farther north, Burano has quiet canals lined with brightly painted fishermen’s houses and is home to Venice’s traditional lace artisans. Its neighboring island of Torcello, first settled in 452, is believed to be the first populated island in the Venetian lagoon.More
#6
Murano

Murano

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Of Venice’s 100-plus outlying islands, the group that forms Murano is the most famous. This tight cluster of small islands has been the center of the Floating City’s historic glassmaking industry since 1291, when the city center’s glass factories were forcibly moved across the lagoon—just north of Venice proper—after a number of devastating fires. Today, travelers visit Murano to see how expertly trained artisans blow glass into exquisite stemware, chandeliers, vases, and sculptures. Those particularly interested in the history of glassmaking should stop by the Museo del Vetro, which traces the art back to ancient Egypt.More
#7
Rialto Bridge (Ponte di Rialto)

Rialto Bridge (Ponte di Rialto)

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The Rialto Bridge (Ponte di Rialto) was the first to span Venice’s Grand Canal (Canal Grande) between its two highest points above sea level. The original 12th-century wooden bridge was replaced in 1592 by a stone structure resting on wooden pilings—a bold design by Antonio da Ponte featuring a single central arch over the water that allow ships to pass. Today, the bridge is among Italy’s most famous, carrying an endless stream of tourists and locals across the canal while countless gondolas and vaporetto water buses pass beneath.More
#8
Bridge of Sighs

Bridge of Sighs

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As poignant as it is beautiful, Venice’s 17th-century, white-limestone Bridge of Sighs (Ponte dei Sospiri) spans the narrow Rio di Palazzo canal between the interrogation rooms in the Doge’s Palace (Palazzo Ducale) and the New Prisons just opposite. It’s one of the most famous bridges in the Floating City.More
#9
Burano

Burano

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Venice is made up of a group of islands that is crowded with opulent churches and sumptuous palaces. The humble island of Burano, though, in the outer reaches of the Venetian lagoon, shows a completely different side of the city, with its jumble of technicolor fishers’ houses and a long tradition of lace-making.More
#10
Marco Polo's Home (Casa di Marco Polo)

Marco Polo's Home (Casa di Marco Polo)

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In a quiet corner of Venice ,the Venetian palace (palazzo) believed to be explorer Marco Polo’s former residence is easy to miss. Stop by Corte Seconda del Milion, a square named for Marco Polo's travel memoirs, Il Milione, to honor Italy's most famous adventurer while visiting the Floating City.More

Trip ideas

Sightseeing on a Budget in Venice

Sightseeing on a Budget in Venice

Top Parks and Gardens in Venice

Top Parks and Gardens in Venice

How to Experience Venice Carnival

How to Experience Venice Carnival

Top activities in Venice

Venice Gondola Ride and Serenade

Venice Gondola Ride and Serenade

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From
US$45.86
Venice Walking Tour and Gondola Ride

Venice Walking Tour and Gondola Ride

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2793
From
US$54.31

Recent reviews from experiences in Venice

star-5
A fun evening tour
Guy_K, Nov 2020
Eat, drink and repeat: Wine tasting tour in Venice
Defs very thorough and nice to see a little selection the smaller, rustic places in Venice
star-4
Fun experience
peter_w, Sep 2020
Venice Ghost and Legends Walking Tour
good chance to see and learn about Venice of the beaten track a fun tour involving some ghost and macabre stories good way to spend the evening for believers and non believers .
star-4
Relaxing ride.
Brian_T, Sep 2020
Private Gondola Ride by Night in Venice
It was pretty to see Venice from the water at night.
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Venice at night
Brian_C, Sep 2020
Private Tour: Venice Grand Canal Evening Boat Tour
We would recommend this for anyone who would like to see Venice during the sunset.
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Walking Tour
Sally, Sep 2020
Venice Sightseeing Walking Tour with a Local Guide
Gave us great recommendations for various things to see and do.
star-5
Well worth the time and money
SHARON_C, Dec 2020
Private Three Hours Venice Photo Walk :
We chose to go at 7AM and had the unusual and wonderful experience of being able to see the sights with very few other people around.
star-5
Great introduction to Venice for first time visitors.
MariPasu, Oct 2020
Best of Venice Tour with St Mark’s Basilica and Grand Canal Boat tour
The tour gave us a great introduction to the city on our first day in Venice and it helped us choose what to visit in the following days.
star-5
Like a real fairytale
Elke, Oct 2020
The Real Hidden Venice
We will definitely come back to visit Luca's uncle in Murano where he is producing very beautiful chandeliers.
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Highly reommended!
Petra_E, Sep 2020
Venice Sunset Cruise by Typical Venetian Boat
If you want to see Venice from outside the beaten tracks and have a really great time get onboard.
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Great Virtual Guided Tour of Venice
Joseph_F, Aug 2020
Withlocals Venetian Curiosities Room Virtual Experience
We hope to be able to visit one day.
star-5
Highlight of our stay
KatieandTim, Aug 2020
Real Venetian Kayak - Venice Tour
You MUST take this tour whilst in Venice as it’s by far the best way to see the city - far more interesting and much better value for money than the gondolas.
star-5
Fabulous!
Louise_C, Aug 2020
Murano, Burano and Torcello Half-Day Sightseeing Tour
Definitely worth doing as you get to see a snippet of the three islands.
star-5
Excellent - worth every penny
Louise_D, Aug 2020
Rialto Market Food and Wine Lunchtime Tour of Venice
Very relaxed, small groups and you get some history off the beaten track and get to see what the locals experience.
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The islands of Venice - Murano & Burano
Tommy, Aug 2020
Murano & Burano Islands Half Day Guided Tour by Private Boat
A fabulous way to see the islands surrounding Venice.
star-5
Worth the $
Diana_M, Aug 2020
Murano & Burano Islands Half Day Guided Tour by Private Boat
It was an appetizer to two small towns I would love to visit again.
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Amazing experience
Michael_T, Feb 2020
Private gondola ride off the beaten path in Venice
The trip was really nice and there weren't many other gondolas in our path as well which was surprising considering it was summer.
star-4
Interesting trip
Tom, Feb 2020
Murano, Burano and Torcello Half-Day Sightseeing Tour
Pleasant sailing with some commentary from English speaking guide and spending around 45 minutes in each island.
star-4
The whole thing was great - there were no highs or lows.
Howard_M, Feb 2020
Legendary Venice St. Mark's Basilica and Doge's Palace Group or Private Tour
These are the two essential locations to visit in Venice.
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Best Way to Know Venice
Sunflower216, Feb 2020
Venice Super-Saver: Doge’s Palace, Walking Tour & Grand Canal Boat Tour
He made us fall in love with Venice even more.
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Reasonably priced
paigegillott1, Feb 2020
Shared gondola ride from San Marco
Me and my partner were not seated next to each other therefore no real opportunity for a photo together but we enjoyed our ride down some back streets in Venice gave us the opportunity to see things we never would have by foot.

All about Venice

When to visit

Winter in Venice sees crowds thin, the mercury drop, and “acqua alta” (high water) potentially flood the canals—but it’s also a prime time to snag a deal. Summer is when the sun's at its hottest and the crowds most dense, while spring offers moderate temperatures with a chance of rain. To experience the city at its most atmospheric, coincide your trip with November's Arte Biennale or March's Carnevale.

Frequently Asked Questions