Venice is a remarkable city, beautiful and bustling and with so much to see and do that it is difficult to fit it all in. From world-class art, culture and stunning architecture to gourmet restaurants and a brilliant aperitivo scene.
Venice holidays offer culture stretching back through the ages, from a thriving contemporary art scene to Renaissance masterpieces and a world-renowned opera house. You’ll find handcrafted jewellery and gifts in the city’s boutiques, or head to Murano for spectacular hand-blown glass. The food scene has developed over hundreds of years, so expect different cuisines from all over the region. Superb fresh seafood alongside sparkling Prosecco is the perfect way to start an evening.
Shopping in Venice
Venice is renowned for its designer cobblers – discover some of the finest handcrafted footwear in Castello or San Marco. Purchase exquisite loom-woven brocades from San Marco’s Bevilacqua Fabrics. Or treat yourself to some stunning jewellery from San Polo’s artisan boutiques. For those looking for homewares and art, journey to Murano where you’ll find exquisite glassware and handcrafted glass sculptures.
Sightseeing in Venice
Discover a wealth of architectural wonders around the city’s hub of San Marco, including stunning St Mark’s Basilica and the Doge’s Palace, or visit the renowned Rialto Bridge and the Bridge of Sighs. If you are a fan of Renaissance art, then a trip to the Gallerie dell’Accademia is a must – you will see Venetian masterpieces revered the world over. For more contemporary pieces, head to the Peggy Guggenheim Collection in Dorsoduro to see their important collection of European and American art.
Dining in Venice
Venetian food is mostly traditional Italian fare, but also has culinary ties elsewhere. Venice has a long and diverse history, with influences from as far afield as India and China due to its connections with the Silk Road. Choose meats and cheese from northern Italy, Prosecco wine from Trieste and seafood from the Veneto coastline. Often, the best places to eat are found in the less visited areas, so search in Dorsoduro and Castello for a trattoria bursting with local flavour.
Whilst Venice isn’t well-known for its nightlife, you will find some excellent bars if you know where to look. People seem to go out earlier in Venice, straight after work and before dinner. Head to the student-friendly area around Campo Santa Margherita in Dorsoduro. Alternatively, venture to the northern banks of Cannaregio, to the Fondamenta Della Misericordia. But during the summer, head to the Lido, when the beach comes alive with parties and people drink spritz by the gallon.
Events in Venice
From the world’s most famous, and largest, masquerade ball to the wonderful Vogalonga rowing event in May – Venice has its share of great festivals and events that take place throughout the year. Visit in February before the start of Lent to celebrate Carnevale, where Venice comes alive with fireworks, masks and a two week-long party. Visit the Lido in the summer (on even years) to see La Biennale di Venezia – Venice’s world-famous film festival and to spot some big name celebrities.
Top things to do in Venice
See the very best of Venice with these unforgettable experiences.