venice travel

Venice

City Guide

For a city held above water by wooden sticks, Venice is doing pretty well for itself. A city embellished with monuments of rare splendour that make it a town like no other in the world, this magical corner of Italy provides high fashion, gold-covered basilicas, fine wine, and fine dining. Ride a gondola, drink an Aperol Spritz, get lost in the laneways and soak up the Venetian ambience. Good coffee included.

Things to do in Venice

  • Murano
    Birthplace of the Murano blown glass, this little island, coupled with Burano, provides the perfect island getaway for a day trip from Venice. Pick up some unique glass art, sip a spritz in the sunshine and then hop on the Vaporetto to Burano.
  • Burano
    Venice’s own colour chart. Renowned for its quality lace, the island also sticks out thanks to its brightly coloured houses – it’s like jumping into a candy world (although strictly inedible).
  • Venice Biennale
    The biannual international arts festival was founded in 1895, and is the event to soak up all the art, architecture, film, dance, music and theatre while being in beautiful, romantic surroundings.
  • Sip a spritz
    Visit the Bacareto da Lele for a tiny glass of wine (for 60c) from a tiny little bar where people spill out onto the laneway and sip their drink on the canalside, the Skyline Bar on Giudecca for a panoramic rooftop view, Harry’s Bar - home of the Bellini, and Al Volto which is the oldest wine bar in Venice.
  • Piazza San Marco
    Get three for the price of one - stand in the middle of the square and you'll be able to see iconic sights x3: St Mark’s Basilica, Doge’s Palace and the Torre dell’Orologio clock tower.
  • Eat all the food
    Some of the tastiest gelato can be found in Boutique del Gelato, grab a takeaway pizza from La Foca on Giudecca, or head to buzzing Dal Moro for its fresh pasta to go – let’s face it, wherever you go, the food will be damn good. Hello large waistline, welcome to the party.

The charming neighbourhoods of Venice...

san marco
San Marco
The chaotic heart of Venice, San Marco is overflowing with iconic sights, sounds and tastes. Hop on a gondola for a romantic ride along the canals, grab a coffee at one of the many charming and centuries-old cafes, gaze in awe at St Mark’s Basilica, or get lost in the laneways, taking it all in.
san polo
San Polo
An atmospheric place to have a spritz in the evening before watching the sunset over the Canale Grande, San Polo is famous for the Rialto Bridge, the most visited bridge in Venice. The neighbourhood is full of charming Venetian shops selling local goodies like masks for the Venetian carnival, or visit one of its many food markets – something the area is quite well-known for. Wander winding lanes, explore dilapidated but charismatic architecture and watch local artists paint on the waterfront.
Giudecca
Giudecca
Opposite all the other main neighbourhoods lies a stretch of promenade that’s popular among young travellers, students and locals. A perfect respite from the hustle and bustle of the main square, Giudecca promotes more of the laid-back Italian lifestyle, with people sitting looking out to the lagoon while sampling delicious takeaway pizzas or sipping a drink and having a catch up.
Dorsoduro
Dorsoduro
The beating ‘art’ of Venice, Dorsoduro lies between Giudecca and San Marco and boasts some of Venice’s well-known art academies like the Peggy Guggenheim Collection and some impressive Gothic churches. Travellers and locals are drawn to this neighbourhood as it steers away from the gentrified feel that some other neighbourhoods have, and feels chilled, romantic and full of Italian culture.
venice flights
Venice

Adventure tours

venice carnival
Winter in Italy with Venice Carnival
Peel back the mask and uncover the secrets of Venice during the legendary Carnival. From the marvels of St Mark's Square to the exuberant crowds in full costume, Venice is a feast for the senses. Feel the pull of mystery at the Bridge of Sighs and visit the tiny fishermen's island of Burano, known for its lace-making and painted houses. Explore Byzantine basilicas and the famous traditional glass-blowing studios of Murano. And of course, immerse yourself in the sounds and energy of the crowds on festival night. 
9 days | from £999
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italy tour
Simply Italy
Discover the big cities and some of the less famous destinations in this fabulous country. This is the only Contiki tour to stay in Milan, Italy's fashion capital! You'll also visit the picturesque village of Sirmione at Lake Garda, and re-enact the balcony scene from Romeo and Juliet in fair Verona where the story was set, before exploring the floating city of Venice. Simply Italy, simply perfect!
12 days | from £1,263
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italy travel
Iconic Italy
Connect with some of the world’s greatest cultural highlights on a two-week exploration of Italy. Get in touch with the ancient past alongside an archaeologist amid the ash-preserved ruins of Pompeii, marvel at Renaissance treasures in iconic Venice and enchanting Florence, and stop and smell the lemons in the quaint cliff-side villages of the Amalfi Coast. La dolce vita is sweet indeed.
14 days | From £2,869
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Start planning your adventure

Our favourite Venice hotels and hostels

camping venice
Plus Camping, Jolly
• Set in Marghera, 25 minutes from the centre, if you're looking for a respite from the hustle and bustle
• Easy-going campsite with dorms, bungalows, mobile homes and camping spots
• Enjoy a swim in the outdoor pool, a chill in the hot tub, a drink on the sun terrace & a boogie to one of the nightly DJ's
From £11 per person
Call to book
generator hostel venice
Generator Hostel, Venice
• This glampacker hostel is situated on the laid-back slice of Giudecca, minutes away from the centre
• Housed on the riverside in a 200-year-old Venetian Palazzo!
• Grab a dorm or a private room, then head down to the bar downstairs for a cheap Aperol Spritz!
From £21pp
Call to book
Hotel L'Orologio
Hotel L'Orologio
• Right next to the Grand Canal, a five-minute walk from Rialto Bridge
• A gorgeous mix of contemporary chic and classic Venetian tones.
• Get a single or double/twin room, sip drinks on the terrace and make use of the room service!
From £69pp
Call to book

What's the weather like in Venice?

Venice is a good destination to visit all-year, although if you're looking for more sunshine than chilly nights we'd recommend heading out there between April-June or September-October. Peak summer is June-August, but this is also when tourists tend to hoard the city - so go for the milder, yet still warm, months outside of peak season.

Where is Venice?

Veneto is a region in the northeast of Italy, and Venice is the capital of that region. It's also fairly close to Verona, which makes a perfect day trip, or vice versa - it only takes approx 1.5 hours on the train!

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