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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
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
#2
St. Mark's Basilica (Basilica di San Marco)

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

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The crown jewel of Venice, St. Mark's Basilica (Basilica di San Marco) is an ornate cathedral which blends elements of Gothic, Byzantine, Romanesque, and Renaissance architecture. Topped by soaring domes and replete with astonishing golden mosaics, the church is so opulent it is known as the Chiesa d’Oro, or the Golden Church.More
#3
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
#4
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
#5
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
#6
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
#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
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
#9
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
#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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$44.85
The Real Hidden Venice

The Real Hidden Venice

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$46.03

Recent reviews from experiences in Venice

star-5
Excellent, first thing you should do
Keith_G, Jul 2021
Venice Sightseeing Walking Tour with a Local Guide
On time, good english and you'll get a good picture at the Rialto Bridge.
star-5
Don't miss it
John_P, Jul 2021
Group or Private Venice In a Day: Basilica San Marco, Doges Palace & Gondola
Our tickets got us through the major attractions without waiting in line.
star-5
Great way to immerse yourself in Venetian history
Stefan_P, Jul 2021
Doge's Palace and St. Mark's Basilica Guided Tour
Really showed her love for Venice in perfect English and kept us entertained.
star-5
Interesting and eerie
Wendi_W, Jun 2021
Venice Ghost and Legends Walking Tour
The back alleys and courtyards of Venice are off the beaten path and a delight to see outside the normal tourist experience.
star-5
Fun Tour
Grandma, Jun 2021
Venice Ghost and Legends Walking Tour
Great way to see Venice at night.
star-5
Great views, very nice guide
Pawel, Jun 2021
Sunset Traditional Boat Tour with Prosecco
He even let us walk to see buildings from land, while waiting for us.
star-5
Uncrowned Venice
marilee_h, May 2021
Venice Walking Tour plus Skip the Lines Doge's Palace and St Mark's Basilica Tours
The guide was friendly and knowledgeable with good English language skills.
star-5
Beautiful Performance
M_Caravello, Jul 2021
I Musici Veneziani Concert: Baroque and Opera
My daughter is an orchestra major and she requested to see an opera while in Venice.
star-5
Excellent guided tour of the food and drinks of Venice
Carolyn_B, Jul 2021
The 10 Tastings of Venice With Locals: Private Food Tour
A fantastic way to see Venice for the first time, or as a return visitor!
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
Relaxing ride.
Brian_T, Sep 2020
Private Gondola Ride by Night in Venice
It was pretty to see Venice from the water at night.
star-5
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.
star-5
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
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
Private boot tour
Jane_T, Aug 2020
Group or Private Motorboat Cruise: Grand Canal & Basilica San Giorgio Maggiore
Informative, funny; great to see Venice from the water; incredible views from Saint Giorgio Maggiore.
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.
star-5
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.
star-5
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.

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
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