The Highlights of Venice
Venice is one of the world’s most popular tourist destinations and a must-see for anyone seeking the majestic beauty of Italy. The ancient city—dating back over 1200 years—has been a centerpiece in film history thanks to its incredible churches, Gothic architecture, and rich history. You’ll find Venice in gorgeous Northeastern Italy, and it’s home to beautiful canals that served as the gateway to Northern Italy’s economy for centuries.
Likewise, Venice is one of the world’s top destinations for art, music, and culture. The city offers museums, art galleries, and concerts to cater to anyone’s tastes. Of course, Venice can be busy and touristy; therefore, it’s wise to know the city’s highlights and plans.
Here are our top things to do in Venice:
1. Explore The City’s Canals
Venice is famous for one thing more than anything else: its ancient canals. That’s why the world often calls Venice the “City of Canals.” There’s no better way to experience the city’s canals than on an iconic gondola. You can admire the city’s churches, main waterways, and palaces along the canals.
However, riding a gondola can be costly; they have a fixed cost of around 80 Euros for a 30-minute tour. That’s not bad if there’s a group of you, but not ideal if you’re on a budget. Alternatively, it’s free to walk around the canals. You may feel lost sometimes—but that’s all part of Venice’s magic.
2. Walk Around St. Marks Square
St. Mark's Square—often called Piazza San Marco—is one of the world’s most famous and beautiful squares. Surrounding the square, you’ll notice the Doge's Palace, the Bell Tower, the Procuratie Vecchie, and Nuove: these are four of the most iconic landmarks in Venice. Better still, delicious restaurants and cafes serve your favorite Italian treats around the square.
St. Mark's Square is also one of Europe’s best cultural hubs; you’ll find various free events, concerts, and art festivals in the summer months. In addition, be sure to sit at St. Mark's Square and watch the thousands of people walk through from every corner of the world.
Address: P.za San Marco, 30100 Venezia VE, Italy
3. Check Out the Island of Murano
The Island of Murano—famed for its glass blowing that dates back to the 13th century—is a must-see attraction in Venice. It’s particularly a must-visit if you’re interested in art. The island is home to various excellent churches—including the Duomo di Murano Santi Maria e Donato and Chiesa di Santa Maria degli Angeli.
In addition, the island is home to various glass factories. The Glass Museum, situated in the Palazzo Giustinian, offers valuable insight into the glassmaking history of the island; you’ll find antique glass pieces, documentation, and tools.
4. Eat Venetian Food at Alle Testiere
If you’re looking for a cozy, intimate place to eat food in Venice, Alle Testiere is your spot. With a menu including the best seasonal seafood in Italy, the restaurant serves up some of the most flavorful and freshest dishes in Venice. Popular dishes include the classic Venetian seafood risotto, grilled octopus with potatoes, and much more.
You’ll find the restaurant in the gorgeous and historic Santa Croce district. It has a warm and inviting atmosphere, making it an ideal place for a romantic dinner or special celebration. Despite being one of the top places to eat in Venice, the prices remain affordable for most people.
5. Take a Venetian Cooking Class
One of the best things to do when in Venice is taking a cooking class. It’s an excellent way to learn about Venetian cuisine, and a brilliant way to try making the city’s most famous dishes. You’ll learn about the ingredients used in Venetian cooking—including the methods and techniques used to prepare the delicious dishes.
6. Visit The Rialto Bridge
Venice is home to many incredible, world-famous attractions; however, the Rialto Bridge is one of the best. It’s the oldest bridge across Venice’s Grand Canal, dating back to 1591. The bridge offers incredible views of the Grand Canal, and many excellent shops, restaurants, and bars surround the bridge—making it one of Venice’s most vibrant areas.
The bridge connects the two iconic neighborhoods of San Polo and San Marco. A famous architect—Antonio da Ponte—designed the bridge after the old one became too weak for the sheer amount of people using it. The bridge remains one of the symbols of Venetian architecture and engineers, so it’s a superb place to get a photo. However, get there early to avoid the crowds.
7. Marvel at St. Marks Basilica
St Mark’s Basilica offers the best views of Venice. Although there’s a small fee to walk to the top, it’s worth every cent because the views of Venice are sensational. The city built St Mark’s Basilica after St Mark, the patron saint of Venice. Initially built in the 9th century, the building is one of the world’s most sensational examples of Byzantine-inspired architecture.
Furthermore, St Mark’s Basilica is notable for the dominance of golden mosaics—a stunning sight for people looking to understand art. Ensure to check out the stunning interior where you’ll encounter ornate marble flooring and incredible artwork.
Address: P.za San Marco, 328, 30100 Venezia VE, Italy
8. Check Out the Peggy Guggenheim Collection
If you’re interested in art, you can’t complete a trip to Venice without marveling at the stunning Peggy Guggenheim Collection art collection. The art exhibition—described as arguably the world’s most important by many art experts—includes works from Picasso and Max Ernst. There’s also excellent work from the modernist movement, including cubism, surrealism, and futurism.
The collection stands in a beautiful setting on the Grand Canal, offering sensational views of the city. It’s truly a must-visit place in Venice and tickets are around $20—a bargain to see some of the world’s most notable creativity.
Address: Dorsoduro, 701-704, 30123 Venezia VE, Italy
Venice: A Must-Visit City for All Travelers
Venice is hardly a hidden gem; it’s busy, popular, and incredibly vibrant. However, there’s a reason why Venice is one of the world’s most popular city destinations: it’s an incredible concoction of art, heritage, culture, and entertainment.
And even if you don’t visit any of the destinations mentioned in this article, this gorgeous city with its charming alleyways and canals will never disappoint.