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Looking For Things To Do In Venice, Italy? Get Yourself Ready!

If you’re heading to Italy, there’s a good chance you are also looking to explore the famous “floating city” – Venice! This massively popular, gorgeous, and historic city is full of sights, sounds, food, and more. The problem actually becomes planning a Venice itinerary – because there is just so much to do and see in Venice!

We have both actually been to Venice before – but it was years ago so our knowledge probably wouldn’t be up-to-date anymore. There are loads of different things to do in Venice – day or at night – and it can be tough to remember everything and even tougher to decide on the best activities to write about.

So, we once again turned to Laura from She Who Wanders. Laura explored Venice recently and so her knowledge (and amazing photos) are super handy to have for Venice trip planning. Whether you are heading to visit Venice this weekend, this summer, or in October, here is our list of popular attractions and lesser-known things to do in Venice!

Oh, and if you’re considering exploring more than just Venice, check out these other posts:

Things to Consider When Travelling to Venice, Italy

Before you head off to explore this popular Italian city, there are a few things you’ll want to plan in advance (or at least have a think about). From how to actually get to the city centre to getting around and where to stay in Venice, here is some important information that you should keep in mind as you plan your trip!

General Information About Venice

blue water with red boat and tower behind things to do in venice italy
An iconic shot of Venice – the Doge’s Palace, St. Mark’s Tower, and more! // Photo: Laura O.

What if I told you there was a place that is only 160 square miles – with virtually no roads, upwards of 200 canals, and some of the narrowest streets in the world? No, I’m not talking about a fictional place from a book – but a real place full of incredible history.

Referred to as the “Floating City” by some, Venice is located in the northern region of Italy and is the capital of the Veneto region. While there are no surviving records that tell historians of the founding of Venice, there are historical facts about the region that have us believe Venice was founded in and around 421 AD.

With the possibility that this is one of the oldest cities in the world, it is no wonder why millions of people flock here every year. Venice – with both a cruise port and a train station – allows people from all corners of the globe to get a taste of history up close and personal. There are those who refer to Venice as a “living museum” and it’s easy enough to see that around every corner.

The physical museums, the canals, the gondolas, the hustle and bustle of life without cars – all of this creates a place right out of the history books that anyone would be lucky to visit at least once in their lifetime.

Best Time to Visit Venice

Venice boasts a moderate climate of wet and cold winters and humid summers that are balanced out by the nearby Adriatic sea. That said, Venice has its good and bad times to visit. While weather doesn’t seem to deter most visitors – as the city is quite busy year round – knowing when the wettest months of the year are will be helpful in planning.

You’ll want to avoid this island during the winter months as this is the time of year the Aqua Alta (high water) begins. At this time, a large volume of rain falls and Venice is notorious for flooding and forcing visitors indoors unless they wish to wade through the waters that come into the city.

Summers are quite hot and humid and most visitors choose this period to visit. So, the months of May (hot but cooler evenings) or September-November (cooler days but still sunny and less rain) would be your best bet.

Travelling To Venice & To The City Centre

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Boats are a critical part of life in Venice… // Photo: Laura O.

If you are arriving into Venice by airplane, be sure to take note of what airport you arrive into as Venice has two: Marco Polo and Treviso. While the airports are technically in Venice, they are NOT on the main island(s) where all the attractions and most of the accommodations are.

From both airports you have the option to take a local coach that will bring you to Piazzale Roma (search this on Google: Venezia P.le Roma), which is the main transport hub in the city centre.

From Piazzale Roma (again, on the main island of Venice), you can hop on a vaporetto (ferry boat) to access the surrounding areas in central Venice. To find maps and prices from this station, you can check out the official ACTV website.

If you are arriving by train into Venice from another Italian city, it is likely you will arrive at Santa Lucia Station (on the main central island). From here, there is a vaporetto dock right outside the main entrance/exit to the station where again you can purchase tickets/passes for the vaporetto to get you to where you need to go.

Another option to the main part of Venice from Marco Polo Airport only is by water taxi (since this airport is right on the coast). A water taxi can take you directly to your hotel or accommodation anywhere on the islands. It’s the most expensive option but by far the most convenient. You can check here if you want to take a water taxi from Marco Polo Airport directly into Venice.

Getting Around Venice Once There

The vaporetto station at Piazzale Roma can be quite overwhelming as it’s where almost everyone will start or end their journey. There are kiosks to buy tickets from actual people but also automated kiosks to purchase tickets from.

You can purchase single tickets for one-way boat ferry rides, but again the most cost-effective option is their multi-day passes. For example, a 3 day pass will cost €40.00/person and can be used as many times as you want in that 3 day period. These tickets are also valid on the boats to go to the neighbouring islands of Murano, Lido & Burano.

Your ticket is a small card which you’ll need to tap to a machine every time you enter and exit the dock station – so don’t lose it! While most routes are straightforward pointing you where you want to go, there’s a real chance you’ll end up on a boat going the wrong way. If this happens, don’t stress! Use it as a chance to take in all the views of Venice from the water, it really is spectacular.

Once on your intended island, you can walk everywhere or again choose to take a water taxi if you’re seeing sights farther away. As we said, if you are staying in Venice for a few days and plan on exploring lots of different areas, you should look into getting an unlimited ACTV public transit ticket for both land and water.

>>  You might want to do a morning walking tour of Venice to get your bearings when you arrive!

Where to Stay in Venice

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Imagine staying right on the Canal with water views… // Photo: Laura O.

Getting to Venice is one thing, finding a place to spend a few nights is a whole other challenge. Luckily, central Venice isn’t huge – and there are loads of places to choose from. Now, when we say “Venice” here, we’re talking about the historic centre of Venice (what most think of as “main Venice”). This main island is actually divided into six “sestieri” or districts.

These neighborhoods all have their own vibes, attractions, and price ranges. Many top attractions are found in San Marco or San Polo so these areas (or close by) make for a good place to find accommodations. If you are looking to visit, you can get started searching for hotels and accommodations in Venice here.

Specifically, we love the look of the Axel Hotel Venezia but Hotel Rialto has an incredible location – right on the Grand Canal at Rialto Bridge! If you’re looking for an elegant stay, Antica Locanda al Gambero is a great option that includes breakfast! In case you want an upscale hotel experience, check out Palazzo Veneziano for amazing views, great style, and excellent breakfast.

Speaking of breakfast, Venice has a modern bed and breakfast at Foresteria Levi. Here’s another bed and breakfast – Ca’ Angeli – with views over the Grand Canal. As for guesthouses, Ca’ Pedrocchi is a simple and authentic stay in the heart of San Marco. There are also hostels  – with the very popular Generator Venice on Giudecca Island!

Things to Do in Venice, Italy

Alright, now that we have covered the groundwork – let’s dive into all the things to do in Venice! Now, obviously, this list isn’t complete because there are just so many things to check out across so many islands. That said, this list brings together the top attractions as well as some of the hidden gems and lesser-known things that Laura got up to!

If there are attractions you know you want to discover while in Venice, it’s usually a good idea to look into entry/line skip tickets in advance since the summer season can be a busy time to visit. Below are some of the best attractions Venice has to offer!

>> Doge’s Palace Priority Admission Ticket – Discover the Doge’s Palace with an Official Ticket!
>> Glimpse of Murano, Torcello & Burano Islands – Take a Great Boat Tour to Amazing Islands!
>> St. Mark’s Bell Tower: Skip-the-Line Ticket – Skip the Line and Climb the Iconic Tower!
>> Doge’s Palace & St Mark’s Basilica Fast-Track Tour – Check Our St. Mark’s + the Doge’s on a Tour!

St. Mark’s Square

couple walking through square with tower and sun behind st marks square things to do in venice italy
Always something to see in the Square… // Photo: Laura O.

Also known as Piazza San Marco if you’re brushing up on your Italian, St. Mark’s Square is the main square in Venice. Because of this, it’s quite possibly one of the busiest places in the city, too!

At any given time you’ll find everything from street performers, school groups, artists, wedding photo shoots, or a million (guesstimate) pigeons calling this part of Venice home. On top of all that, it’s also where you’ll find St. Mark’s Basilica and the Doge’s Palace as well as multiple vaporetto docks headed in all kinds of directions.

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It’s a busy place for people watching and spending money! // Photo: Laura O.

One of the most spectacular parts of the Piazza happens to be the pavement, a gorgeous pattern of tiles covers the entire square in geographical patterns that is better than any regular pavement you’ll ever step foot on. One thing to note about St. Mark’s Square is that is can be a place you’ll spend a lot of money.

All the restaurants, cafes, bars, and shops have significantly increased prices, so while the idea of taking in the day people watching here sounds fantastic, somehow the idea of a 20.00 Euro Aperol Spritz might keep you from doing that. That being said, there is nothing stopping you from grabbing gelato somewhere else and strolling through.

If you want to learn more about the history of the Square – and the incredible buildings in it – you might want to do a tour of St. Mark’s Square that includes line skip tickets for Doge’s Palace!

Location: Piazza San Marco

Saint Mark’s Basilica

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The stunning Basilica on the Square.. // Photo: Laura O.

This cathedral church is one of the Roman Catholic Arch Dioceses of Venice and located right off of Piazza San Marco in the heart of Venice. While the basic structure is dated from earlier than 1100, there have been countless years spent working on it to get it to its current state: an ornate and gorgeous basilica with gold accents and slate gray domes that draw your attention to the heavens.

From April 1 to November 1 the Basilica grants access to visitors on self-guided or led tour starting at 3.00 Euro depending on the day of the week and time of booking. It’s recommended to book in advance so that you can avoid standing in line because the terraces aren’t to be missed! Another option for panoramic views above the city is to book the Bell Tower tour which will grant you spectacular sweeping views (it’s the next one on this list!)

If you want to explore St. Mark’s Basilica, it’s a popular option to do a guided tour of the Basilica and Doge’s Palace (with terrace and line skip entries). You also have the cool option to do the special after hours tour of the Basilica that visitors to Venice absolute rave about!

Address: Piazza San Marco, 328, 30100

St Mark’s Campanile

red clock tower over orange rooftops of venice italy things to do
The views from above – you can go even higher if you climb THAT tower! // Photo: Laura O.

Also known as the bell tower of St. Mark’s Basilica, the Campanile is easily seen from most parts of the city. The tower stands nearly 100 metres in height and is located in the corner of Piazza San Marco for all to see.

While you can book a ticket to go up the bell tower for sweeping views of Venice, if you’re not so keen on heights the view from the ground is gorgeous. This simple square structure with a triangular roof has colours that seem to spark on a sunny day. It’s also a good point of reference if you happen to get lost down one of the many side streets in the city!

Address: Piazza San Marco, 30124 Venezia

Doge’s Palace

Once a palace of residence of the Doge of Venice, this Venetian Gothic style palace is now one of the main attractions in Venice. The art museum and historic site is located in Piazza San Marco and if you want to avoid the insanely long line ups its best to purchase a skip the line ticket in advance. You can even purchase a multi museum ticket which grants you access to The Doge’s Palace, St. Mark’s Basilica, and more!

While the exterior of the palace is incredibly ornate you’ll be surprised at how much more incredible the interior becomes. You’ll see oil paintings from floor to ceiling, ceilings covered in gold leaf depicting scenes, and marble statues standing so tall you’ll feel like you’ve stepped back in time.

Booking onto a tour at the Doge’s Palace also allows you access into and through the Bridge of Sighs – one of the most famous bridges in Venice. You might also want to check out the Doge’s Secret Itineraries Tour where you see rooms not usually included on tour.

Address: Piazza San Marco, 1, 30124 Venezia

Bridge of Sighs

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The Bridge of Sighs makes for a beautiful shot // Photo: Laura O.

While getting into the famous bridge is on many peoples’ lists, it may not give you the best view you could hope for. It should be noted that with hundred of years of weather the windows out of the bridge leave a little to be desired in terms of views.

Constructed in 1600, the bridge passes over the Rio di Palazzo, where it connects the interrogation rooms and New Prison of Doge’s Palace. This would have been the bridge that criminals sentenced to life in prison or death would walk their last walk looking out into Venice for the last time.

To see the enclosed white limestone bridge in all her glory, it’s best to head off early and avoid the crowds. You might also get lucky and catch a gondolier at just the right moment to snap a picture perfect view of the boat under the bridge.

Address: Piazza San Marco, 1, 30100

Admire Rialto Bridge + Grand Canal

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The one, the only – Rialto Bridge over the Grand Canal. // Photo: Laura O.

One of the most famous landmarks in all of Venice is the Rialto Bridge. It is the oldest of the four bridges that actually span the Grand Canal and was built in the 12th century as a pontoon bridge. These days, you’ll have to dodge hundreds if not thousands of people in a day going up and over the bridge. However, it will be more than worth it to look out over the Grand Canal to see the life that exists on these waterways.

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The Grand Canal is alive in Venice! // Photo: Laura O.

Speaking of the Grand Canal, this central waterway provides life to central Venice. You’ll see vaporettos taking tourists and locals around, water taxis taking important people to important places, gondolas full of people trying to get the perfect photo, and loved up couples on a romantic getaway.

If you’re looking for a fantastic lookout towards the bridge itself, you’ll want to head away from the bridge on either side of the bank and then down to the water. From here, chances are you’ll get a postcard-worthy shot as boats come through the arch (seen above).

If you want to experience the Grand Canal in a fun way, hop on a gondola tour with a guide who sings!

Address: Sestiere San Polo, 30125 Venezia

Take a Classic Gondola Ride

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If you need a gondola, go find one – there are plenty! // Photo: Laura O.

Speaking of gondola….if you are in Venice, it might be cliche – but you absolutely have to go on a gondola tour of the Canals. This is a classic activity that has been ingrained in Venetian culture since the 11th century. In fact, there were over 8,000 gondolas in usage in Venice in the 17th and 18th century! 

Today, there are actually only a few hundred gondolas in Venice – and most of them are used for tours! A classic gondola ride isn’t cheap – usually running you about 80 Euro for a private 30-minute ride (and even more at night). That said, it’s worth the money for the once in a lifetime experience. Eric did a gondola ride back in the day and he honestly still remembers it as a highlight of the trip. 

If you want to take a ride, be sure to hire one away from the crowds since prices can be higher and it’s generally more hectic. Because they can be expensive, a shared gondola ride is a very popular option, can be much cheaper, and still offers you the same experience.

In case you have more people in your group than just two, you might then consider a private gondola ride for up to 6 people. This way the price is reduced per person but you don’t end up with loads and loads of strangers in your gondola!

Rialto Market

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The area around Rialto Bridge is full of things to do and see! // Photo: Laura O.

In the district of San Polo at the northwest end of the Rialto Bridge along the Grand Canal, you’ll find a vibrant marketplace also known as Mercati di Rialto! From Monday to Saturday, the market is full of fresh produce while from Tuesday to Saturday you’ll also find fresh fish!

This historical trading section of Venice has been an established market place for decades and is the perfect place to pick up a little something for an authentic Italian dinner if your aim is to cook on holiday. You can also easily grab fresh fruit and/or veggies for a snack during the day! 

If you want to embrace the food scene in Venice, you can do a Rialto Market food tour and wine with a local! If you’re more into the Italian wines, then you can also do a Venice wine tasting tour to embrace the culture!

Location: Campo della Pescaria

Venice’s Jewish Quarter (in Cannaregio)

If diving into Venice’s history is your thing (and how could it not be!), then a visit to the Cannaregio district is in order. Here, in the largest of districts in the main city, you’ll find a peaceful and residential area that many tourists often miss. 

While Cannaregio has many sights like churches and bridges, the area is likely most known for Venice’s Jewish Ghetto. Created back in 1516 for Jewish residents of Venice, the ghetto was created to lock away its residents at night when they were not working. In fact, the English term for “Ghetto” actually took on the meaning we have today because of the Venetian usage.

In any case, the ghetto makes up a small portion of the Cannaregio neighbourhood. A tour of the “Ghetto Nuovo and Ghetto Vecchio” areas consists of museums, synagogues, and more. A key draw to explore the area is to enjoy Venetian Jewish culture through food and drink. You can hop on a Venetian Ghetto food and wine tour to discover the area through your taste buds!

Location: Cannaregio, Venice

Basilica di Santa Maria della Salute

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You usually can’t miss the Basilica if you scan the Venice skies.. // Photo: Laura O.

Most commonly known by Venetians as Salute, this basilica is also called Saint Mary of Health Basilica. Located in the Dorsoduro district, this minor basilica and Roman Catholic church was built on the narrow point of Punta della Dogana. This unique location between the Giudecca Canal and the Grand Canal makes the church visible when entering Piazza San Marco from the lagoon.

Construction began on this Baroque style church in 1631 after the plague tore through Venice as a vow to the Gods to be rid of the pestilence in the city at the time – hence being called “Saint Mary of Health”. The church is free to enter and you can get there using the vaporetto right from Piazza San Marco which gives you a fabulous view as you come up the lagoon.

Address: Dorsoduro, 1, 30123

Tour the Venetian Lagoon (+ Island Trips)

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Check out Burano, anyone? // Photo: Laura O.

Speaking of lagoon, there is more to the floating city of Venice than just the few islands you can see from the historic centre. In fact, this floating city is made up of over 100 islands! It’s important for visitors to appreciate the scale of the city and the waterways that surround it. So, it’s only fitting to check out other islands and do a grand tour of the Venetian lagoon to get a better understanding of the Italian city!

In fact, you can even hop on a guided cruise of the lagoon that includes dinner so that you can enjoy the views from the water while also enjoying Italian cuisine. If you are a couple in Venice looking for a romantic thing to do, then check out a sunset lagoon cruise – you even get Prosecco!

As for other popular islands in the Lagoon, you might have heard of visiting Burano, Murano, Torcello, and Lido. We’ll dive into exploring Burano and Murano below – and discuss some of the other islands further down. Point is, a boat excursion to Burano, Murano, and Torcello is a VERY popular thing to do – and for good reason!

Murano Island Trip

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Murano is colourful and known for glassblowing // Photo: Laura O.

This relatively small island lies less than 2 kilometers north of Venice and takes about 25 minutes to get to from the centre of Venice by vaporetto. Murano is known mostly for incredible glassblowing. You can book glassblowing tours that will take you around to different studios on the island or you can stroll the island at your own pace and pop into open studios to see the gorgeous glass creations come to life.

In addition to the gorgeous glass sculptures on the island, you’ll also find a good amount of coloured houses along the canals which will be sure to make anyone want to forgo their return ticket home and stay a little longer. Murano has a sleepy vibe compared to neighbouring Venice or even Burano. This makes it a great spot to enjoy a coffee al fresco or a glass of wine while you people watch and take in the sights on the water.

You can discover the two popular islands of Murano and Burano on a guided boat tour. This gives you more time to see a glassblowing factory in action!

Location: Island of Murano

Burano Island Trip

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The colourful houses of Burano… // Photo: Laura O.

Known especially for its vibrant rainbow coloured houses, Burano is about 45 minutes away from Venice and I can recommend getting on the first boats over to avoid the cruise ship groups that frequent the island in the mornings.

If you arrive on one of the first boats, you’ll likely see a different world with only locals about: fresh laundry hung to dry, men headed out fishing, children playing in the streets, and people sitting out to coffee in the squares. It all gives a very authentic Italian experience.

The houses were originally painted in such bright colours to help fishermen coming home in the fog to be able to find their houses easier. These day, of course, they are a huge attraction thanks to social media. Rows of magenta, blue, yellow and orange houses cover this island along with fantastic cafes, market stalls, and quite a few stores selling incredibly intricate lace which the island is also known for.

This island is a lot larger than its sister island of Murano but not so big that you’ll need more than half a day to explore. Again, if you want to explore these two popular islands, check out a Murano and Burano guided boat tour from Venice!

Giudecca Island Trip

Giudecca is a more tranquil place to relax in the busy city…  // Photo: Laura O.

As another of the islands in the Venetian lagoon area located just south of San Marco, Giudecca is the perfect place for people wanting to dodge the crowds for a little while. This island can be seen from St. Mark’s Square and is less than a 10 minute vaporetto ride away.

Giudecca was originally an area filled with large palazzos and gardens. Early in the 20th century, it grew into a very industrial area with shipyards, factories, and even a film studio.

After a decline in the industry, Giudecca is now a quiet residential area filled with homes, some hotels/resorts and even a popular hostel. The most iconic building on this island would have to be The Chiesa del Santissimo Redentore (Il Redentore) which was built between 1577-1592 as a plea to God to end the plague at the time.

Location: Island of Giudecca

Peggy Guggenheim Collection

white museum with dock and people waiting Peggy Guggenheim Collection venice
It’s easy to miss one of the most popular museums in Venice! // Photo: Laura O.

This is one of the most famous museums in Venice, located on the Grand Canal and housing modern art for the most part. Peggy Guggenheim once resided in this 18th-century palace for nearly 30 years. It’s also where she housed her private collection.

After her death in 1979, it passed on to a foundation in her family and was opened to the public in 1980 for entry year round. To see these incredible works of art, you can visit the museum daily and purchase Guggenheim entry tickets here.

Address: Dorsoduro, 701-704, 30123 Venezia

Ponte dell’Accademia

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Functional and beautiful – a double win!

This is one of only four bridges to span the Grand Canal and links the San Marco district to Dosoduro. A bridge was originally built in this place in 1854 and later replaced with the skeleton structure that exists now in 1933. Made of iron in a beautiful arch shape, the bridge has been undergoing some restructuring in the last few years to bring it back to her original glory.

It is said to have also been used as a “love lock” bridge like the ones made famous in Paris. However, Venetian authorities are quite on top of any locks left and are quick to remove them to ensure the bridge stays around forever.

Address: 30100 Venice, Metropolitan City of Venice

Venetian Arsenal

brown bridge and tower over water things to do in venice Venetian Arsenal
There is loads of fascinating history here… // Photo: Laura O.

Nearly 900 years after ground was first broken on this shipyard it still stands tall and proud in Venice. The arsenal produced the majority of the city’s maritime trading vessels up until 1797.

These days, the area is used as a naval base, research centre, and historic boat preservation centre. There is a Naval Museum that is open daily except for Sunday and holidays – but the best way to fully explore the rich history of the area is to do a guided tour of the Arsenal and Castello District.

Address: 30122 Venice, Metropolitan City of Venice

Palazzo Contarini del Bovolo

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Round and round and round she goes… // Photo: Laura O.

Known in English as the Bovolo Staircase, the Palazzo it is attached to was built in the 15th century by architect Giovanni Candi. Originally, the building was used as a residence.

Of course, the Palazzo is best known for its stunning spiral staircase which for 7.00 Euro you can climb up to get views of the city. This spot is tucked into a quiet dead end alley which can sometimes be difficult to find but so worth it when you finally laid your eyes upon it. For lovely views of Venice and a magical climb, you can get your Palazzo & Bovolo Staircase ticket in advance here.

Address: Corte Contarina, del Bovolo, 4303, 30124

Teatro La Fenice

If you came to Italy to experience “the arts”, then there may be no better stop in Venice than to the Teatro la Fenice. This grand opera house, located in the heart of the San Marco district, is a stunning place that is filled with history.

Originally built back in 1792, the name “La Fenice” means “The Phoenix” – referencing the opera company’s survival through turbulent times and a literal “rise from the ashes” since the first theatre actually burnt down. 

The current opera house actually burnt down again TWICE (in 1836 and in 1996) and was rebuilt and again reopened in late 2004 as we see it today. See, besides amazing performances, there is a TON of history to be told! That’s why it’s popular to do a guided audio tour of the Teatro la Fenice to see the amazing architecture and design as well as learn about its wild past!

Address: Campo San Fantin, 1965, 30124 

Eat Gelato at Suso

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Craving gelato? Check out Suso! // Photo: Laura O.

When in Italy, the options for gelato are endless. And while all of them are probably fantastic, if you only have time for one dose of gelato, then Suso is where it’s at! This Instagram worthy gelatoteca is located nearby to St. Mark’s Square and can sometimes have a queue of people but don’t let that deter you.

The staff are great when it comes to offering you samples and asking you what you like to make suggestions. This is important because there are dozens of flavours to choose from.

I would definitely suggest the Opera flavour, which I think was Nutella meets Ferrero Rocher,  or the Manet, which is a local favourite of salted pistachio and Gianduia – an Italian biscuit and tastes heavenly. You can check the flavours in advance at their official website!

If you’re in Venice and craving sweet and delicious eats, then you should definitely check out this small group “sweets” tour of Venice with a local!

Address: Calle della Bissa, 5453, 30124 San Marco

Gallerie dell’Accademia

Of course, you cannot think of Italy (and Venice) without thinking about the influence of Venetian art and culture on world history. Luckily, there are places in Venice dedicated to preserving this exact history – a well-known one is Gallerie dell’Accademia. 

Located in the Dorsoduro district, the Gallery houses Venetian paintings from the 13th to 18th centuries. Likely the most famous work inside the gallery is Leonardo Da Vinci’s “Vitruvian Man” – that sketch of a man moving his limbs with a circle around it. You’d know it if you saw it!

If this kind of art history activity interests you, consider a guided tour of the Gallerie dell’Accademia and the surrounding Venice districts.

Address: Campo della Carita, 1050, 30123

Giardini della Biennale

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Take time to relax in the green spaces around Venice… // Photo: Laura O.

I’m not sure if many people realize how many lush green spaces exist in this historic floating city – but there are quite a few. None, however, are more iconic to Venetian history than the Giardini della Biennale. This green space boasts 30 permanent pavilions and hosts the La Biennale di Venezia art festival every year bringing out a ton of artists.

These gardens were created by Napoleon Bonaparte who had the area drained of its marshland to create the public gardens on the narrow banks that divide the gardens from the Doge’s Palace and St. Mark’s Square.

It’s a good spot to escape both the heat in the summer and the crowds, or just to enjoy a good book or people watch in the afternoon. A good thing to note is that the alleys off the park have some of the most colourful houses in Venice too, so those are worth checking out as well.

Address: Calle Giazzo, 30122 Venezia

Fondaco dei Tedeschi Rooftop Terrace

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Perfect views of the city from a great vantage point! // Photo: Laura O.

The Fondaco dei Tedeschi is one of the largest buildings in Venice. Located right beside the famous Rialto Bridge, it’s also a very high-end luxury department store. While shopping may not be for you, the views certainly will be. The rooftop of the department store can be seen from across the Canal at the Rialto Market. All you have to do is enter straight through the main doors to the store.

The rooftop is free to visit by just making a reservation, either online or on the iPads in the department store located at customer service. Visits are set to 15 minutes per group and run at certain time slots which you choose when reserving. From the top, you can see down the Grand Canal and all across the island covered in red rooftops. Definitely worth it as you can see by the views above!

Address: S. Marco, 5541, 30124 Venezia

Lido De Venezia

wooden dock with red house behind on seaside lido venice italy
Lido is like another world compared to central Venice! // Photo: Laura O.

Technically speaking, Lido is one of the many Venetian islands in the Lagoon. That said, it’s a long sand bar that shields the lagoon so it feels different than the smaller islands like Burano and Murano. So, an adventure to Lido gets its own spot on this list!

Home to the Venice Film Festival, 20,000 residents, and one of the only smaller islands that allow cars, Lido is another one of the more quiet areas that are often ignored by visitors. There are several beautiful hotels, casinos, and villas on the Island to see as well as restaurants and shops to explore.

In addition to all of that, and what draws most people is the 700 metre stretch of beach that you can visit. In fact, Lido has some of the only beach spots in all of Venice. Added bonus: It’s a pretty good spot to check out the sunset in the late spring if you hop on a vaporetto from St. Mark’s Square!

Libreria Acqua Alta

Claiming to be the most beautiful bookstore in the world, Libreria Acqua Alta (High Water Library) is filled floor to ceiling (and then some) with books of all kinds. The owners beat the constant flooding (because books and water don’t mix) by housing their books in anything waterproof – from bathtubs to rafts and even old gondolas and canoes.

While the shop itself is not terribly large, the vibe there is cozy, creative, and gives visitors a sense of wonderment. The shop is made even more magical with the stray cats that have made the shop home.

If you head towards the back of the store you’ll find an open door. If you go through, you’ll be gifted to what is likely a fire escape but gives you a nice little view looking down the canals. Keep your eyes peeled for boats going by!

Address: Calle Lunga Santa Maria Formosa, 5176b, 30122

And there you have it – an excellent list of things to do in Venice, Italy! As always, we cannot thank Laura enough for providing her travel experiences and knowledge to Penguin and Pia! You can follow her antics over at She Who Wanders for travels, pretty photos, and more! 

As always, Happy Venice Waddlin’,
– L&E

Booking Your Trip Soon? This Is How We Do It:
  • Compare flights on Skyscanner
  • Check for Hotel Deals or Book A Hostel
  • Get A Rental Car (depending on the destination)
  • Look Into Travel Insurance
  • Research plug types and possibly get a travel adapter
  • Go over our packing list
  • Pin it for later!

    Things to do in Venice

    Author

    Laura is a Canadian content creator who has called Quebec, Alberta, and British Columbia, as well as Australia, New Zealand, and the UK her "home". Her travel experiences have taken her to the volcanoes of Central America, the waterfalls of Hawaii, the castles of England, and much more. In addition to writing for She Who Wanders and Penguin & Pia, her work can be found published on Contiki, Getting Stamped, Women Who Explore, and Buzzfeed.

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