Top attractions in Venice

Top 10 things to do in Venice

Few cities offer such a wealth of beauty, charm and history as Venice. With so many incredible sights on offer, choosing can be a daunting task. Let us help: here are 10 essential stops that belong on the itinerary of every visit to The Floating City.

1. Grand Canal

The Grand Canal is Venice’s main boulevard – made of water! Hop on a waterbus, taxi-boat or an iconic gondola and float past the gorgeous historic buildings lining the canal banks.

3. Saint Mark’s Basilica

The opulent Saint Mark’s Basilica is arguably the jewel in Venice’s crown. With its multi-leveled domes, intricate facades and stunning mosaics, it’s a marvel of Italo-Byzantine architecture.

2. Doge’s Palace

The wow-factor of the Doge’s Palace's majestic marble exterior is only exceeded by the treasures held within – history buffs and aficionados of classical art will never want to leave.

4. Bridge of Sighs

When riding a Gondola with your loved one, make sure to pass the Bridge of Sighs– Venetian lore vows that a kiss under the bridge will grant couples eternal love and happiness.

5. Piazza San Marco

This gigantic public square is the centerpiece of Venice. Napoleon was so taken by the beauty of the architecture, he called Piazza San Marco “the drawing room of Europe.”

6. Rialto Bridge

The Rialto Bridge is the oldest and most ravishing bridge across Grand Canal. Get up early to beat the crowds and enjoy the spectacular views at your leisure, you won’t regret it.

7. Lido di Venezia

Take a breather from the touristic bustle and visit the charming Lido di Venezia. A short boat ride from the center, it’s where some of Venice’s best (and cheapest!) restaurants are hidden.

8. Torcello

Quiet and picturesque, the island of Torcello is perfect for a relaxing day trip. Make sure to visit the charming basilica and admire the amazing views from its bell tower.

9. Teatro La Fenice

You don’t need to be an opera enthusiast to be blown away by the sumptuous Teatro La Fenice, one of the most important and renowned venues in the history of the art.

10. Gallerie dell’Accademia

The Gallerie dell’Accademia contains some of the most illustrious examples of Venetian art. The mere size of the paintings is awe-inspiring – be warned, you may leave with a crick in your neck.

Planning Your Venice Visit

Save money on transport

The way the city is built, you’ll find yourself using the waterbuses (“vaporetti”) a lot more than expected. These trips can eat into your savings if you’re not careful. Bundle tickets are a great way of avoiding nasty surprises. The price of a 12-hour ticket is roughly equivalent to 3 singles and the relative cost keeps dropping for longer periods (tickets are available for up to a week).

Counters are your friends

Eating and drinking can be very expensive in Venice. Bars and restaurants generally charge more for sitting at a table, so a great way of cutting costs is opting for the counter instead. Surcharges vary with some restaurants charging up to 500% in the busiest tourist areas!

Enjoy the view

The view of the entire city from atop the bell tower on Piazza San Marco, which costs 8 EUR, is one of Venice’s most popular attractions. An insider tip is heading over to San Giorgio Maggiore – the view is arguably better and the privilege only costs 3 EUR.

What people are saying about Venice

★★★★★ Perfect introduction to Venice! Highly recommend anyone to do this

Loris was great, he showed us areas in Venice that we would never have considered or stumbled across on our own. We did the tour with him right at the beginning of our stay, which was such a blessing, as he gave us tips and recommendations that were invaluable. He showed us areas of Venice that were further away from the hordes of tourists, which is exactly what we wanted. We will now consider doing this sort of thing at the beginning of every city break we do, as it gives you a brilliant insight and quick familiarisation of the city.

★★★★★ Everything about this tour was wonderful!

Claire was very knowledgeable and did a great job! Food was delicious and enjoyed all the wine pairings. I’d highly recommend this tour.

★★★★★ Great walking your with a super friendly local

I believe it's a great way to start exploring the city - to discover it with a knowledgeable local. Matteo is a great guide, who's doing his best to accommodate all the wishes. We had a great 2-hour walking tour during which we found out lots of stuff that you don't find in the guides. Highly recommended!

★★★★★ Great service, helpful crew, easy to use.

The waterbuses were a great way to get around as well as a lovely way to see the city - at a pleasant, leisurely pace for us on our holiday. The 'touch-in' system was so easy to use. The staff on land and on the buses were helpful and friendly, as well as being vigilant for people's safety as they boarded and disembarked. The two-day pass we used was good value for public transport in such a special location. A must for every visitor to Venice.

Other Sightseeing Options in Venice

Want to discover all there is to do in Venice? Click here for a full list.

Top Hotels in Venice