There are so many incredible things to do in Venice, one of the best cities in Europe, but there are certain ones that you must check out during your visit.
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A visit to St Mark’s Square (Piazza San Marco) Venice #1
Why? Because it is the central hub of Venice and home to the St Marks Basilica, the Doges Palace, the Bridge of Sighs, the Campanile and the Clock Tower.
- People watch from one of the bars around the square.
- Watch the water flood the square at high tide and have a paddle.
- Be mesmerised by St Mark’s Basilica and the Doges Palace.
- Enter the square at the promenade of Piazetta and Libreria Sansoviniana for a breathtaking arrival from the Grand Canal.
Climb the Campanile (St Mark’s Bell Tower) #2
Why? Because the view from the top is the best in Venice.
- Rebuilt in 1912 after collapsing, this is an engineering masterpiece.
- Put your walking shoes on to climb the 323 feet to the top for incredible views.
A night tour of St Mark’s Basilica and the Doges Palace #3
Why? Because you will avoid the thousands of tourists that pack into them during the day.
- Be in a group of only 15 with a local tour guide who will take you around both sites.
- They guaranteed only three other groups inside with you.
- Enter the Basilica and feel as if you have it to yourself.
- See the Basilica lit up from the dark in front of your eyes.
- Be taken to the catacombs where St Mark’s body was laid to rest.
- Learn about the Doges of Venice and their role in society.
- Marvel at the interior of the palace.
Join a free walking tour of Venice #4
Why? Because although you will end up tipping the guide so it won’t be “free,” you will be shown the less touristy parts of Venice.
I booked through the Free Venice Walking Tour.
- There is no obligation to pay, but you are encouraged to tip if you feel that you have enjoyed the tour.
- You are taken away from the central tourist hub and shown parts of Venice that you may not have known existed.
- The tour will orientate you to the city and its history within a couple of hours.
Head for the rooftop at the T fondaco Dei Tedeschi store in Venice #5
Why? Because from here you will get a 360-degree view of Venice.
- It is free to enter. Book online for a complimentary 15-minute slot.
- Take in the panoramic views from the rooftop.
- Get your retail therapy fill in this historic department store.
- The store is steps away from the famous Rialto Bridge.
Jump on the Number 1 Vaporetto from Piazzale Roma, Venice #6
Why? Because it will take you along the Grand Canal.
- Hop aboard the number one Vaporetto at Piazzale Roma (where the buses arrive) and end up in Lido.
- Costing only €7.50 this is a great way to take a tour of the Grand Canal.
- Cross beneath the Rialto Bridge and the Academia Bridge.
- See the sights and sounds of the most famous canal in the world.
Eat Cicchetti like a local in Venice #7
Why? Because it’s tasty, cheap and traditional.
- enjoy small pieces of bread with different toppings on them and priced at €1.50 each. This is a great way of eating like a local Venetian.
- Wash it down with wine for €2 a glass.
- Stand with friends by the bar or take your snack outside and sit on a wall to eat it.
Wander around Dorsoduro, the quieter side of Venice #8
Why? Because it is a quieter and quainter area of Venice with a bohemian vibe.
- Lose yourself in the winding alleyways.
- Stop at a bar and enjoy an Aperol spritz, the famous orange-coloured Italian aperitivo.
- Find Squero di San Trovaso, and you will see the gondola workshop.
- Pop into Cà Macana, a famous Venetian mask shop, and buy yourself one to take home.
- Visit one of the many museums and churches in the Dorsoduro.
Take a trip to Burano, Venice #9
Why? Because it is a complete contrast to the architecture in Venice.
- Jump on a number 12 Vaporetto and head to Burano.
- Wander its tiny streets and marvel at the rainbow-coloured buildings.
- Check out the church and its leaning bell tower.
- Visit the lace shops along the main street and buy a souvenir.
- Enjoy a freshly caught fish supper in this fisherman’s village.
Go for a gondola ride in Venice #10
Why? Because you are in Venice, so why not!
- Expect to pay €80 for a 40-minute daytime ride but less if you share with others.
- Meander along the canals of Venice and soak up the atmosphere.
- See parts of Venice only accessible by gondola.