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12 best things to do in Venice on your next trip

12 of The Best Things to Do in Venice on Your Next Vacation

Venice, with its mesmerizing canals, enchanting atmosphere, and captivating scenery, is a destination that should be on everyone’s travel bucket list. Whether you’re a first-time visitor or a seasoned traveler, exploring Venice’s unique experiences and hidden gems is essential for truly immersing yourself in the magic of this city. In this article, we’ll take a look at the 12 best things to do in Venice, from traditional gondola rides to indulging in local culinary delights. So grab your map and let’s dive into the wonders of Venice!

1. Daydream on a Gondola

It may sound cliché, but no visit to Venice is complete without taking a traditional gondola ride. Picture yourself reclining on plush velvet cushions as your gondolier navigates the intricate canals, expertly maneuvering through narrow passageways and past historic houses with their own water entrances. Embrace the aristocratic ambiance of old Venice and allow yourself to be transported to a bygone era.

2. Eat at a Renaissance Restaurant

Experience a culinary journey back in time at Osteria Antico Dolo, one of Italy’s oldest restaurants. This 15th-century establishment, once a brothel, has transformed into a typical Venetian tavern. Located in the Rialto Bridge market area, Osteria Antico Dolo offers delicious and iconic recipes, such as tripe with various offals. Indulge in the energy-rich cuisine that once revived weary clients after their intimate encounters.

3. Take the Ferry Boat to Burano

Escape the bustling crowds and take a 40-minute ferry boat ride to the captivating island of Burano. Known for its vibrant, low-cut fishermen’s houses that create a kaleidoscope of colors reflecting in the water, Burano offers a tranquil and picturesque setting. Explore the charming streets, enjoy evening strolls, and savor aperitifs while basking in the peaceful ambiance. The locals’ warm greetings will make you feel right at home.

4. Admire the ‘Aristocratic’ Grand Canal

Venice is a city built on water, and its most iconic waterway is the Grand Canal. Stretching like a majestic snake from the heart of the city to the open lagoon, the Grand Canal showcases elegant mansions, museums, aristocratic buildings, and majestic hotels. While it can get crowded during peak hours, the canal becomes much quieter in the afternoon, allowing you to marvel at the regal palaces’ frescoed ceilings and crystal chandeliers. For a touch of luxury, consider a private taxi boat ride complete with Champagne and finger foods.

5. Buy Fresh Produce at the Ponte di Rialto Market

Ponte di Rialto, an architectural gem standing above the Grand Canal, is not only a sight to behold but also a humble market where locals and chefs flock to buy fresh produce. Among the artisan boutiques built onto the bridge, you’ll find jewelers and silk shops offering handmade creations. Embrace the opportunity to purchase locally sourced vegetables and fruits, ensuring a taste of Venetian freshness in every bite.

6. Get the Goosebumps at Ponte dei Sospiri

For a glimpse into Venice’s dark history, visit Ponte dei Sospiri, also known as the ‘Bridge of Sighs.’ This creamy-white stone bridge, adorned with intricate decorations, connects the Doge’s Palace to the ancient dungeons. The bridge earned its name from the sighs of condemned prisoners as they crossed over to their cells. Explore the haunting passageway by entering the Doge’s Palace or simply enjoy a stroll along the lagoon seafront, where the bridge reveals its captivating allure.

7. Get Lost in the Maze of Calle

Venice is a labyrinth of canals, bridges, and calle, traditional alleyways where Venetians gather and socialize. The best way to discover the city’s essence is by wandering through its winding streets, crossing the ponticelli (small bridges), and immersing yourself in the vibrant Venetian atmosphere. Explore hidden piazzas, small gardens, cafes, and boutiques offering exquisite handmade leather and silk garments. Lose yourself in this enchanting maze and let the true spirit of Venice unfold before your eyes.

8. Learn about Murano’s Glass Blowers

Discover the centuries-old art of glassblowing at the glass museum on the neighboring island of Murano. Marvel at the unique techniques and craftsmanship behind the stunning glass creations that resemble true masterpieces. Visit the local glass factory, where skilled artisans continue the tradition, and witness the magical process firsthand. From rainbow-colored lamps to exquisite earrings, the handmade glass products are a testament to the island’s artistic heritage.

9. Go Underground

Beneath Venice’s splendid buildings and mystical churches lies a hidden world waiting to be explored. Descend into the depths of San Zaccaria Church and St. Mark’s Cathedral to discover underground crypts adorned with skulls, skeletons, and intriguing religious frescoes. These crypts, steeped in history and local legends, add a touch of mystery to your Venetian experience. Don’t be surprised if you feel a shiver down your spine as you navigate these eerie underground chambers.

10. Let It All Out During Carnival

If you visit Venice in February, you’re in for a treat. The annual Carnival, steeped in tradition and history, transforms the city into a vibrant and lively celebration. Join millions of revelers from around the world as they don elaborate masquerade costumes and take to the streets in a whirlwind of excitement. Witness the confetti-filled spectacle while seated at one of the historical cafes lining St. Mark’s Square. Immerse yourself in the Carnival atmosphere without getting lost in the crowds.

11. Nibble Like a Local

Experience Venetian happy hour by indulging in cicchetti appetizers paired with iconic drinks at the city’s historical bacari, traditional eateries serving finger foods and shots. Sip on a refreshing Spritz, a Prosecco and soda water cocktail, or sample local wines known as ombre while savoring grilled bread stuffed with delicacies like baccalà stockfish, fruits, cheeses, and Venetian calf liver mixed with onions. Al Timon, where you can enjoy your nibbles inside a small boat, and Cantina do Mori, with its dangling copper pots, are two popular venues to embrace this local tradition.

12. Cruise the Lagoon

To fully appreciate the splendor of Venice, embark on a private cruise and explore the entire lagoon and its hidden gems. Hop aboard Eolo, an old wooden sailing boat once used for fishing in shallow waters and now transformed into a floating restaurant. Delight in local delicacies like sweet and sour sardines while sailing through the lagoon’s tranquil waters. Tailored tours, lasting up to six days, offer personal guides, exclusive accommodations, and fascinating insights into the remarkable history of this extraordinary corner of Italy.


Venice is a city that captivates with its timeless beauty and unique charm. By experiencing these 12 best things to do in Venice, you’ll create memories that will last a lifetime. From gliding along the canals in a gondola to savoring traditional cuisine and delving into the city’s rich history, each activity offers a glimpse into the soul of this remarkable destination. Embrace the dreamy vibe, lose yourself in the maze of calle, and let Venice weave its magic upon you. Whether it’s your first visit or a return trip, these experiences will ensure that your time in Venice is truly unforgettable.

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