14 Best Things to Do in Venice
Venice is one of the most beautiful cities in Italy, a perfect destination for couples and families. As Venice is not accessible by car, explore the city through the bridges or travel by water bus. See the must-see sights of Venice, then walk the canals, take a gondola ride and capture all the beauty of Venice with your camera. Fun fact: The city is sinking, so don’t be surprised if the lowest part of Venice, St. Mark’s Square, sometimes floods.
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1. Catch the Sunrise at St. Mark’s Square
Wake up early and start your Venice itinerary with a magical sunrise. From the waterfront of St. Mark’s Square, where the main square meets the sea, you can see one of the most iconic views of Venice in breathtaking colorful lights. You can take beautiful photos with the gondolas and San Giorgio Maggiore Island in the background.
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St. Mark’s Square is located in the center of Venice, easily accessible by foot or water bus.
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2. Discover the Sights of St. Mark’s Square
Piazza San Marco is one of the most visited places in Venice and is incredibly crowded during the day. St. Mark’s Square is surrounded by beautiful architecture, cozy cafes and restaurants, and many souvenir vendors. St. Mark’s Square is home to some of the most famous buildings in Venice, such as St. Mark’s Basilica, St. Mark’s Bell Tower, and Doge’s Palace.
As Piazza San Marco offers fantastic photo opportunities, it was our favorite place in Venice. We explored all the perspectives and then had breakfast at a nearby café.
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If you want photos without people in them, visit early in the morning.
3. See the Bridge of Sighs & Doge’s Palace
The story goes that this bridge connected the interrogation rooms of the Doge’s Palace to the prison. It’s called the Bridge of Sighs because prisoners who crossed the bridge looked out and sighed one last time before they were imprisoned. Although the story of the bridge is not romantic, it is beautiful and one of the best things to do in Venice.
After the Bridge of Sighs, visit the Doge’s Palace. We visited Venice in high season and made the mistake of not buying tickets in advance. You should buy your tickets online in advance.
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The Doge’s palace is beautiful from the outside, but the inside is full of history and art and well worth a visit.
The entrance fee to the Doge’s Palace is €25 for adults and €13 for children (6-14 years old).
The current opening hours of the Doge’s Palace are daily from 10 AM to 6 PM.
4. Go inside St. Mark’s Basilica
The stunning architecture of St. Mark’s Basilica is one of the must-see things in Venice. Parts of the St. Mark’s Cathedral are free to visit, sometimes there is a long queue, but it’s worth waiting. St. Mark’s Basilica has a dress code, so you must cover your shoulders and knees to get in.
You cannot enter with a large backpack or suitcase. There is luggage storage nearby if you need to use it.
St. Mark’s Basilica is open from 9.30 AM (Sundays from 2 PM) until 5.15 PM.
5. Climb St. Mark’s Campanile
At 99 meters high, St. Mark’s Campanile offers the best views of the city and lagoon. To get to the top, you need to buy a ticket for €8 for adults and €4 for children.
The opening hours are different every season. But it is usually open from 9:30 AM to 4:45 PM, and in summer until 9:00 PM. The last entry is 15 minutes before the bell tower closes.
If you don’t have time to wait in the long queue for the view, the St. Mark’s Campanile still offers fantastic photo opportunities.
6. Taste the Best Gelato in Venice
If you’re looking for the best gelato in Venice, then visit Suso Gelatoteca, where the gelato is amazingly delicious, and you can choose from a variety of flavors. Because of its popularity, there can be crazy queues during the day, but it’s worth the long wait.
The Rialto Bridge is only 2 minutes from the Suso Gelatoteca, but hurry as the ice creams melt quickly in the summer heat. Enjoy the amazingly delicious flavors and take a gelato photo in Venice.
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7. Visit Rialto Bridge
The Rialto Bridge is one of the most famous sights in Venice and offers fantastic photo opportunities. Because of its popularity, it is very crowded during the day. There are many restaurants and shops around the Rialto Bridge, making it an ideal place to have a break. But prices are always higher in tourist spots.
Here’s our favorite perspective of the Rialto Bridge.
GPS coordinates: (45.4384474, 12.3359728)
You’ll probably have to wait a few minutes before it’s your turn to take a photo. Most importantly, capture the best Venice moments in your photos.
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8. Gondola Ride in Venice
If you’re looking for a unique perspective, take the gondola ride around the canals for a real bucket list experience. Prices in Venice are official and valid for the whole city.
The gondola price is very high €80 for a 30-minute gondola ride. If you want to go on a gondola tour at sunset, the price is €100.
Many people think that the cost of gondolas is overpriced, but as the price is for the gondola and not for each person, it is acceptable. The gondolas can carry up to 5-6 people at a time.
9. Discover Photo Spots in Venice
Venice is one of the most photogenic places in Italy. We spent two days here, which was enough for us. But if you stay longer in Venice, you’re sure to find more hidden gems.
We found this place while walking around the city, and it is a Vaporetto stop (Giglio). In the background, you can see the beautiful Basilica di Santa Maria Della Salute. If you want to visit the Basilica, you can cross the Ponte dell’Accademia.
10. Visit Free Rooftop Terrace
Fondaco Dei Tedeschi is a lesser-known attraction in Venice, which offers one of the best views of Venice. This fantastic viewpoint is located on top of a luxury shopping center and is free to visit.
The Fondaco Dei Tedeschi is just a 2-minute walk from the Rialto Bridge, and an elevator takes you quickly up to the roof.
Visits last a maximum of 15 minutes and, due to the limited capacity of 40 people, we suggest that you make a reservation at the plaza or online.
The rooftop is open from 10.30 AM to 6.30 PM.
11. Shop at the Best Bookshop in Venice
The Libreria Acqua Alta is located away from the tourist area. It’s a beautiful bookshop with some great photo spots and cats that you can visit for free. There are many new and old books, some of which are in gondolas because water can flood the bookstore at any time. You don’t have to be here as soon as the shop opens.
It’s a popular Instagram spot, but everyone is quick to take photos sitting on the book stairs. After taking enough photographs, buy some charming souvenirs.
12. Enjoy the View from Scala Contarini del Bovolo
The Scala Contarini del Bovolo is a beautiful architectural gem located 10 minutes from St. Mark’s Square. You can take beautiful photos from the outside. But if you want to visit the Scala Contarini del Bovolo inside you have to buy a ticket. A spiral staircase leads up to the top of the building, from where you can enjoy stunning panoramic views of the city.
The Scala is open every day from 9.30 AM to 5.30 PM, with an admission of €7 for adults and €6 for the reduced (12-26 years old).
13. Find the Dock that is Famous on Instagram
This beautiful photo spot is not easy to find as it has no name or address. You will find it behind the Hotel San Moise. This place is less known to tourists, so it’s incredibly atmospheric. Ideal for a romantic break, take a glass of wine and a pizza with you and enjoy the view as the gondolas pass by.
GPS coordinates: (45.4334247, 12.3350462).
14. Get Lost and Stroll along the Canals
The main Venice tourist places can get extremely busy, especially in the high season. So we recommend you explore the quieter parts of the city and see its beauty.
Get lost in the narrow streets, stroll along the canals, cross bridges, take time to sit down, and enjoy your visit to Venice with a delicious Italian meal or a drink of Aperol Spritz. Look in the charming shops, buy souvenirs, and take photos of the beautiful Venetian masks.
Day trip from Venice to Burano Island
Burano is a beautiful fishing village with charming streets and colorful buildings.
The easiest way to get from Venice to Burano is by water bus, the journey takes about 45 minutes, and the one-way ticket costs €7,50.
You need to catch line 12, which departs from F.Te Nove “A”. Burano is one of the most popular day trips from Venice, you should go early in the morning and spend some fantastic hours on the island. If you have time after Burano, take a short visit to Murano, another beautiful island of Venice.
Best Time to Visit Venice
Venice is the perfect destination all year round. The weather is usually fantastic in the summer, but not comfortable for sightseeing and during this period, the hotel prices are the highest.
If you want to avoid the huge tourist crowds, and prefer moderate prices, visit the shoulder season.
We think the best time to visit Venice is from March to May, or between September and November. During these months, the temperatures are pleasant, there are fewer tourists, and you can enjoy lower accommodation prices.
How to Get Around Venice
Walking around Venice is the cheapest and easiest way to get around. Wear comfortable shoes and explore the narrow streets and walk across the bridges. The downside is that you sometimes have to walk around, and it takes a long time to get from one place to another.
The fastest option is to use water buses, Vaporetto. Although they are expensive, a one-way ticket costs €7.50 and is valid for 75 minutes.
If you plan to stay longer or use the Vaporetto a lot, you should buy a day ticket. A 24-hour ticket costs €20, a 48-hour ticket €30, and a 72-hour ticket €40. Always get your ticket validated before boarding! There are several stops in Venice, and Actv water buses run every 5-15 minutes in the whole day.