Essential Travel Guide to Venice, Italy [Infographic]

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Venice is just one of those places you have to visit at least once in your life, despite its current state of being overtouristed. It’s an incredibly enchanting city, with so much character that you feel a little like you’ve finally made it to the real Italy you’ve been dreaming about for years.

The views across the Grand Canal are so beautiful, and the narrow alleys can lead you to get lost in a city of charm. Everywhere you turn is another incredible view, a gondola floating by in the distance, or a colorful façade to a building that’s been around for centuries.

Venice waterway at sunset

It’s one of a kind. That being said, it is highly recommended to go there during the low or shoulder season. While Venice really doesn’t have a low season, you don’t want to be there during the summer months, when the tiny alleyways are so packed with people you can’t even walk around.

The best time to go is actually in the winter, when the crowds have thinned out, the weather is much less humid, and the water is cleaner. Use this travel guide to Venice to plan your trip and you’ll have an amazing time.

» Also going to Rome? Check out our shortcut guide for Rome.

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Planning your trip to Venice?

Where to Stay in Venice:

Best Tours and Experiences in Venice:

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What Are the Top Things to Do in Venice?

The top things to do in Venice include walking through St. Mark’s Square, riding a gondola through the romantic, narrow canals, wandering through the Doge’s Palace museum, taking the ferry to Burano, eating at cicchetti bars, taking pictures on Rialto Bridge, and watching the sunset with an Aperol Spritz in hand.

With so many great things to do in Venice, you really need to set up a good itinerary before you leave, to make sure you fit everything in.  

  1. Take a gondola ride: One of the most iconic things to do in Venice is to take a gondola ride through the city’s canals. It’s a great way to see the city from a unique perspective and experience the romance and charm of Venice.
  2. Visit St. Mark’s Square: St. Mark’s Square is the heart of Venice and home to many of the city’s most famous landmarks, including St. Mark’s Basilica and the Doge’s Palace. It’s a great place to wander around and take in the sights and sounds of the city.
  3. Explore the Grand Canal: The Grand Canal is the main waterway in Venice and is lined with beautiful buildings and historic sites. Take a water bus or water taxi to explore the canal and see the city’s architecture from the water.
  4. Visit the Rialto Bridge: The Rialto Bridge is one of the most famous landmarks in Venice and is a great place to take photos and enjoy the views of the city.
  5. Visit the Peggy Guggenheim Collection: The Peggy Guggenheim Collection is a modern art museum located in a beautiful palazzo on the Grand Canal. It features works by some of the most famous artists of the 20th century, including Jackson Pollock, Salvador Dali, and Pablo Picasso.
  6. Try Venetian cuisine: Venice is known for its delicious seafood and traditional Venetian dishes such as risotto and polenta. Be sure to try some of the local cuisine while you’re in the city.
  7. Take a day trip to the nearby islands: Venice is surrounded by a number of small islands that are easy to reach by water bus or ferry. Take a day trip to Murano to see the famous glassblowing factories or to Burano to see the colorful houses and lace-making shops.
Doge's Palace

Video: Top 10 Things to Do in Venice

Check out our YouTube video of the top things to do in Venice. It’s such a lovely city, with its many canals and narrow passages. You can spend your time doing the main tourist activities, or just go out and get lost. Either way, you’ll surely fall in love with Venice.

⇒ Want to get lost? Check out this Venice Off the Beaten Path guide (with video).

Tours to Book

You can pre-book some of the activities listed in our shortcut travel guide to Venice (below), by using the links below from Viator.

(Note: These are affiliate links for which we may receive a small commission.)

Restaurant in St. Mark's Square
Restaurant in St. Mark’s Square

Top Tips for Visiting Venice

Plan ahead: Venice is a popular tourist destination, so it’s important to plan ahead and book accommodations, tours, and activities in advance. This will help you avoid long lines and ensure that you get to see and do everything you want.

Get lost: Venice is a maze of narrow streets and canals, and part of the fun of visiting the city is getting lost and discovering hidden gems. Don’t be afraid to wander off the beaten path and explore the city’s many neighborhoods and hidden corners.

Wear comfortable shoes: Venice is a walking city, and you’ll likely be on your feet for most of the day. Wear comfortable shoes that are suitable for walking on uneven cobblestone streets and bridges.

Take public transportation: Venice is a city of canals, and the best way to get around is by water bus or water taxi. This is also a great way to see the city from a different perspective and avoid the crowds on the streets.

Respect the city: Venice is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and it’s important to respect the city and its historic buildings and landmarks. Don’t litter, don’t swim in the canals, and be mindful of your behavior in public spaces.

Be aware of high water: Venice is prone to high water, especially during the fall and winter months. Be prepared with waterproof shoes or boots, and check the weather and tide levels before you go.

Try local cuisine: Venice is known for its delicious cuisine, including fresh seafood, pasta, and traditional Venetian dishes. Be sure to try some of the local cuisine while you’re in the city.

Overall, Venice is a beautiful and unique city that offers a lot to see and do. With some planning and preparation, you can have a wonderful time exploring this historic city.

Where Is the Best Place to Stay in Venice?

The choices of where to stay in Venice are vast, but we can narrow down where to stay in the city to two areas. When you look up hotels on Booking.com, you’re looking at Venice city center.

We narrow that down to the areas around Rialto Bridge and St. Mark’s Square. You will be going everywhere by foot, so it makes the most sense to be in the center of everything.

ai patrizi
Ai Patrizi

Below are the only two places you need to know. The first is an apartment-style rental and the 2nd is a hotel.

Ai Patrizi di Venezia | Read Reviews or Book a Stay If you’re staying for 3+ nights, I highly recommend this apartment. It’s in the perfect location, is incredibly comfortable and clean, and has a kitchenette. We sometimes prefer an apartment to a hotel so we’re not being bothered by housekeeping. This place is a gem.

Hotel Londra Palace | Read Reviews or Book a Stay If you’d rather stay in a hotel because you like the extra amenities, then Hotel Londra Palace is a great choice. It’s in a very good location, only 5 min walk from St. Mark’s Square, with free wifi and a restaurant. Some rooms have a balcony and an incredible view.

When is the Best Time to Visit Venice?

It’s unfortunate, but very true, that Venice is crowded with tourists pretty much year round. The city receives many large cruise ships that help pack out the narrow streets to a level that makes it almost unwalkable.

If you want to avoid as much of that as possible, the best time to visit Venice is from late November to February. The summer months, from June – August, are arguably the worst time to visit Venice.

The best time to visit Venice depends on your preferences and what you want to do. Here are some things to consider:

  1. Weather: The most popular time to visit Venice is during the summer months of June to August when the weather is warm and sunny. However, this is also the busiest and most crowded time of year, with long lines and high prices. If you prefer cooler weather and fewer crowds, consider visiting in the spring (March to May) or fall (September to November).
  2. Events and Festivals: Venice is known for its many festivals and events throughout the year, such as the Carnival of Venice in February, the Venice Biennale in May, and the Festa del Redentore in July. If you’re interested in attending one of these events, plan your trip accordingly.
  3. Budget: The high season in Venice can be expensive, with higher prices for accommodations, tours, and activities. If you’re on a budget, consider visiting in the shoulder season (April to May or September to October) when prices are lower.

Overall, the best time to visit Venice is during the shoulder season when the weather is mild, crowds are smaller, and prices are lower. However, if you want to experience the city during its most popular events and festivals, be prepared for larger crowds and higher prices.

Must-Try Foods in Venice

bread slices topped with meat, cheese and veggies
All the delicious toppings (photo by Savored Journeys)

Cicchetti is one of the most popular foods to eat in Venice. It’s finger foods that can be found in bars everywhere. In the afternoons to early evening, locals sidle up to the bar for some cicchetti and a glass or wine, beer, or a spritz. You must give it a try at least once while you’re in Venice.

Aperol (or even better, Select) Spritz – Aperol is the bright orange, bitter liqueur that you see in the glasses of everyone you see sitting at a cafe in the early afternoon in Venice.

A spritz is a tradition. Mixed with Prosecco and tonic water, the aperol’s bitterness is masked and the drink is actually quite sweet. Try it with Select instead, which is less bitter, more spicy, and can only be found in Venice.

Spaghetti al Nero di Seppia (Squid Ink Pasta) – This is a specialty in Venice that you absolutely must try. It doesn’t look extremely appetizing on the plate – in fact, it sometimes looks downright gross – but I promise you it isn’t. After one bite, you’ll be sold.

Pizza – Nothing new here – you’ve all had pizza – but that doesn’t make it any less of a must-eat while in Venice. We adore the pizza at Rossopomodoro and highly recommend getting in line to try their signature pizza at the location near St. Mark’s Square.

Sarde in Saor – This is a traditional Venetian dish made with fried sardines marinated in a sweet and sour sauce of onions, vinegar, and raisins. It’s typically served cold as an appetizer.

Bigoli in salsa – This is a classic Venetian pasta dish made with thick spaghetti-like noodles called bigoli and a sauce of onions, anchovies, and butter. It’s a simple but delicious dish that is often served as a first course.

Tiramisu – This is a classic Italian dessert that originated in Venice. It’s made with ladyfingers dipped in coffee and layered with a mixture of mascarpone cheese, eggs, and sugar, and topped with cocoa powder.

800px Venice....
Venice, Italy, is surrounded by waterways, making it an extremely unique and interesting place to visit.

FAQs About Venice

What Are the Top Things to Do in Venice?

The top things to do in Venice include walking through St. Mark’s Square, riding a gondola through the romantic, narrow canals, wandering through the Doge’s Palace museum, taking the ferry to Burano, eating at cicchetti bars, taking pictures on Rialto Bridge, and watching the sunset with an Aperol Spritz in hand.

Where is the Best Place to Stay in Venice?

The choices of where to stay in Venice are vast, but we can narrow down where to stay in the city to two areas. When you look up hotels on Booking.com, you’re looking at Venice city center. We narrow that down to the areas around Rialto Bridge and St. Mark’s Square. You will be going everywhere by foot, so it makes the most sense to be in the center of everything.

When is the Best Time to Visit Venice?

Overtourism is a problem in Venice for sure. If you want to avoid as much of that as possible, the best time to visit Venice is from late November to February. Try to check the cruise ship schedule before you plan, so you can avoid days with too many ships. The summer months, from June – August, are arguably the worst time to visit Venice. It gets really hot and humid in the city, and with all those people, it can be a nightmare.

Essential Travel Guide to Venice

Venice Attractions

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Essential Travel Guide to Venice, Italy [Infographic]

4 thoughts on “Essential Travel Guide to Venice, Italy [Infographic]

  1. Monica Sharma says:

    Nice article, thank you for sharing the travel guide and nice video on things to do in Vince.Worth reading the blog.

  2. Natalie says:

    I have not yet had the opportunity to visit this place, but this year I plan a trip for a few days, I hope it will be great!

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