top of page button
Andreas M/Unsplash

 From its unmatched romantic vibes to its historical heritage to its indisputable beauty, there is no other city like Venice. The "Queen of the Adriatic" is composed of a maze of islands, canals, and bridges, which hide magnificent buildings, historical landmarks of great artistic and cultural importance, as well as charming restaurants and squares. There are no cars in Venice, but you won't need them anyway since "The City of Bridges" is best explored on foot.

currency

1 Euro = 100 cents

phone

Police: 112
Carabinieri Force: 113
Fire Brigade: 115
Emergency Medical Service: 118

newspaper

Il Gazzettino
La Nuova Venezia
La Voce di Venezia
Venezia made in Veneto

hours

Shops in Venice are usually open 9am–1pm and 3–8pm, with some variations depending on the time of year.

population

261,905 (2017)

info

San Marco Tourist Information Office (Azienda di Promozione Turistica)
71/f, San Marco, Venice, Italy
+39 041 242 4
Daily 9am–7pm
info@veneziaunica.it

Venice in Italy viewed from above ventdusud/Shutterstock.com

The City

Historical pieces of evidence suggest that refugees founded Venice. When Germanic tribes ravaged northern Italy in the 5th century, many mainlanders escaped to this difficult-to-access area on the Adriatic Sea.

Over the centuries, the refugee community grew into the most powerful trading port in the Mediterranean. At its peak, Venice counted 3.000 trade ships and 300 navy vessels. After Napoleon's fall, it became part of the Austrian Kingdom of Lombardy-Venetia, but after the uprising in 1848, the city reached its independence once again. Shortly after, in 1866, Venice was annexed to the Kingdom of Italy. 1932 saw the opening of the motor and rail bridge between Venice and the mainland, which led this city to come out on top as a tourist destination.

It is hard to navigate around the city, but don't let that put you off, as this is part of Venice's charm. Leave the other tourists at St Mark's square and the Rialto Bridge and explore the maze-like little neighbourhoods instead. The most interesting areas and islands are Cannaregio, San Polo/Santa Croce, Dorsoduro, San Marco and Castello.

Plan your trip to Venice and discover what this wonderful city has to offer with our in-depth, up-to-date, and free Venice travel guide.

Get tips and advice on top things to do & see, where to stay, how to get around, the best places to eat, drink, party, and much more.

Top 13

Top 13 represents the list of must-see attractions when planning your trip to magnificent Venice. Here you will find not only iconic landmarks and beautiful islands, but also fun and unforgettable experiences like a Carnival mask-making class, a food tasting tour, and the quintessential Venetian experience, a gondola ride.

Without further ado, here's our list of the Top 13 attractions in Venice:

Victor He/Unsplash

Saint Mark's Basilica

trabantos/Shutterstock.com

St. Mark's Square

Daniele Barison/Unsplash

Doge’s Palace

Anna Omelchenko/Shutterstock.com

Gondola Ride

StevanZZ/Shutterstock.com

Burano Island

Stefan Malloch/Shutterstock.com

Murano Island

Dan Hadar/Unsplash

Glassmaking Workshop

ANGELO CASTO/Unsplash

Venice Carnival Mask-Making Class

Kelsey Knight/Unsplash

Food Tasting Walking Tour

Efired/Shutterstock.com

Bridge of Sighs

canadastock/Shutterstock.com

Rialto Bridge

Boule/Shutterstock.com

Basilica di Santa Maria Gloriosa dei Frari

NitakPhoto/Shutterstock.com

Venice Lido

Romantic young beautiful couple sailing in venetian canal in gondola. Italy, Europe. Maridav/Shutterstock.com

Do & See

Venice is the only city of its type in the world, a UNESCO World Heritage site representing a cultural absolute, demanding preservation and transmission to future generations. The whole city is a unique sight in itself, and to enjoy its exceptional beauty, the best way to explore it is on foot.

To help you make the most out of your visit to the city, our travel experts have created a list of the top-rated tourist attractions and fun activities you simply cannot miss in Venice, Italy:

Victor He/Unsplash

Saint Mark's Basilica

trabantos/Shutterstock.com

St. Mark's Square

Daniele Barison/Unsplash

Doge’s Palace

Anna Omelchenko/Shutterstock.com

Gondola Ride

StevanZZ/Shutterstock.com

Burano Island

Stefan Malloch/Shutterstock.com

Murano Island

Dan Hadar/Unsplash

Glassmaking Workshop

ANGELO CASTO/Unsplash

Venice Carnival Mask-Making Class

Kelsey Knight/Unsplash

Food Tasting Walking Tour

Efired/Shutterstock.com

Bridge of Sighs

canadastock/Shutterstock.com

Rialto Bridge

Ilia Baksheev/Shutterstock.com

Rialto Market

Daniel Ely/Flickr

Torcello Island

givaga/Shutterstock.com

Canal Grande

Kiev.Victor/Shutterstock.com

Teatro La Fenice

Uta Scholl/Shutterstock.com

Peggy Guggenheim Collection

Renata Sedmakova/Shutterstock.com

Scuola Grande di San Rocco

Larisa Birta/Unsplash

Interpreti Veneziani

mountainpix/Shutterstock.com

Ca’ Rezzonico

Boule/Shutterstock.com

Basilica di Santa Maria Gloriosa dei Frari

Bill Rand/Flickr

Ca’ Pesaro

Kotin/Shutterstock.com

Musica a Palazzo (Palace Music)

S.Borisov/Shutterstock.com

San Giorgio Maggiore

NitakPhoto/Shutterstock.com

Venice Lido

Jolanta Wojcicka/Shutterstock.com

National Library of St Mark's

Adrian Zenz/Shutterstock.com

Church of Santa Maria dei Miracoli

VeniceWiki/Flickr

Museum of Natural History

Pasta with seafood Paul Burdett/Shutterstock.com

Dining

Venice has a large variety of restaurants, and as usual with Italian cities, the best dining experience can be enjoyed at a simple neighbourhood trattoria off the tourist rabble.

The city boasts many culinary specialities, like bigoli in anchovy sauce or castraure — tiny artichokes with Parmesan shavings and olive oil.

Make sure to always look at the bottom of the menu to see if a service fee is added to your bill. "Service included" or "12% added/charged" means that another 12% of the total cost will be added to your bill. "Non-cover" means no service fee will be included in the price and there will be no additional charge.

Here's a list of the best places to eat in Venice, Italy:

Minerva Studio/Shutterstock.com

Ristorante Vini Da Pinto

Liubov Ilchuk/Unsplash

Ristorante Ca' Dolfin

Mark Longair/Flickr

Cantinone Gia Schiavi

Daxiao Productions/Shutterstock.com

Al Nono Risorto

Bogdan Wankowicz/Shutterstock.com

La Zucca

Oleg Mikhaylov/Shutterstock.com

Algiubagio Restaurant

Kzenon/Shutterstock.com

Riviera

marco mayer/Shutterstock.com

Osteria Antico Giardinetto

Shebeko/Shutterstock.com

Locanda Cipriani

Shebeko/Shutterstock.com

Ristorante a Beccafico Arte

J. Balla Photography/Unsplash

Hostaria Bacanera

Street open cafe with view at the canal, Venice, Italy. Tables and seats are empty. Flowers decorate cafe. Cozy romantic evening place. iryna1/Shutterstock.com

Cafes

Coffee is as important as pasta for the Italians. And as the place where it all began–coffee was introduced to Europe through the port of Venice–it is no surprise the city is full of cafes.

If you want to act like a local, there are some unwritten rules you should keep in mind when ordering your coffee.

- Cappuccino or any other kind of coffee based on milk should only be drunk in the morning.
- When ordering an espresso, do not use the word espresso, which is actually just a technical phrase. Ask the barista for simply "un caffè".
- And last but not least, when ordering "un caffè", you do not usually sit down, you simply stand at the bar and enjoy your cup of coffee.

With that being said, here's a list of the best cafes in Venice, Italy:

Ivan Torres/Unsplash

Caffè del Doge

TracyElaine/Flickr

Caffé Florian

Brent Gorwin/Unsplash

Torrefazione Cannaregio

MNStudio/Shutterstock.com

La Mela Verde

Roberto Binetti/Shutterstock.com

Rosa Salva

Mark Cruz/Unsplash

Gelato Fantasy

Coffee Lover/Shutterstock.com

Majer - Piazzale Roma

Mirelle/Shutterstock.com

Gran Caffè Quadri

Piyato/Shutterstock.com

Pasticceria Rizzardini

Tsuguliev/Shutterstock.com

Pasticceria Tonolo

Grand Canal at nigh in Venice, Italy doma/Shutterstock.com

Bars & Nightlife

Bacaro (plural bacari) is the term Venetians use for bars. Traditional establishments featuring simple furniture and serving ombre (small glasses of wine) along with ciccheti (small appetizers).

Venice has many good bars, primarily in the Dorsoduro district, but it is not a party scene city. Youngsters and party-seekers often hop over to Venice's modern sister city, Mestre, on the mainland. In summer, they prefer to travel to the seaside town of Jesolo, where they can enjoy tanning and swimming.

Below is a list of the best bars in Venice, Italy:

Michael Discenza/Unsplash

Skyline Rooftop Bar

franzconde/Flickr

Harry’s Bar

Africa Studio/Shutterstock.com

Osteria Ai Pugni

Aleisha Kalina/Unsplash

Vineria all'Amarone

astarot/Shutterstock.com

Piccolo Mondo Disco

Lasse Ansaharju/Shutterstock.com

Venice Jazz Club

g-stockstudio/Shutterstock.com

The Irish Pub Venezia

Joshua Resnick/Shutterstock.com

Devil's Forest Pub

Tsuguliev/Shutterstock.com

Chet Bar

Ian McKellar/Flickr

Bacaro Jazz

Rawpixel.com/Shutterstock.com

Aurora Beach Club

petereleven/Shutterstock.com

Bar Dandolo

zeljkodan/Shutterstock.com

Margaret DuChamp

Minerva Studio/Shutterstock.com

LondraBar

Africa Studio/Shutterstock.com

AquAlta

Pressmaster/Shutterstock.com

Molocinque

serenarossi/Shutterstock.com

El Refolo

RossHelen/Shutterstock.com

Osteria Al Squero

Various venetian masks on sale VOJTa Herout/Shutterstock.com

Shopping

Walking through the labyrinth of streets in Venice, you will come across many interesting shops that are certainly worth a visit. From traditional markets selling local specialities like prosciutto and a variety of Italian cheeses to shops selling Venetian treasures like gondolier's hats and colourful glass items made on the island of Murano.

If you are after high fashion shops, they are located at Via XXII Marzo and neighbouring streets. Via XXII Marzo stretches from St. Mark's Square towards Academia, and it's one of the main streets for luxury shopping in Venice, where you will find renowned brands like Prada, Valentino, Etro, Chanel, and Gucci. There is also a designer outlet located about 40km from Venice.

Here's a list of the best places for shopping in Venice, Italy:

Natalia Van Doninck/Shutterstock.com

Drogheria Màscari

patpitchaya/Shutterstock.com

Banco Lotto n.10

Marit & Toomas Hinnosaar/Flickr

Libreria Acqua Alta

Steve Cukrov/Shutterstock.com

Giuliana Longo - Modisteria a Venezia

RG-vc/Shutterstock.com

Ottica Vascellari

wrangler/Shutterstock.com

Arnoldo][Battois

jps/Shutterstock.com

Marina e Susanna Sent

HLPhoto/Shutterstock.com

Prosciutto e Parmigiano

Jan Faukner/Shutterstock.com

Cipolato Sigfrido

Antônia Felipe/Unsplash

Gilberto Penzo

nenetus/Shutterstock.com

Designer Outlet Noventa di Piave

Venice, Italy Lledo/Shutterstock.com

Tourist Information

Best Time to Visit

The best time to visit Venice and enjoy sightseeing is mid-spring, particularly the first half of May when the cold winter gives way to sunny days and comfortably warm temperatures. With less boat traffic on the canals and calm waters, this season is best for relaxing on a Gondola ride.

If you want to avoid the stress of the high tourist season, December through February may do the trick with quiet and peaceful local areas. Low season also provides for discounted accommodation rates. Moreover, the famous Venetian Carnival takes place annually in February, which gives visitors the chance to join in on the festivities and try on a traditional ornate mask.

Address:

Email:

Phone:

Website:

More Information:

Frequently Asked Questions About Venice (FAQs)

Does Venice smell?

Unlike what you might have read or heard, Venice does not smell. If anything, what you will smell in the city is the saltwater from the canals, just like you would at any seaside destination. However, what can happen on the hottest days of summer is that the low water levels in smaller canals allow for the contact of algae from the lagoon with the atmosphere and its consequent deterioration. But other than that, Venice is not smelly at all.

Is Venice safe for tourists?

Despite being one of the most visited cities in the world, Venice is a fairly safe city for travellers. However, as with most major tourist destinations, pickpocketing is the biggest concern here. So be careful with your belongings around the city's main attractions, such as Piazza San Marco and the Rialto bridge.

Is Venice sinking?

Yes, Venice is progressively sinking. A combination of factors is causing the city to continuously drop in elevation. From the city's inadequate foundations–the ground beneath Venice has slowly compacted over time–to the subduction of the Adriatic tectonic plate beneath the Apennine mountains to the rising sea level caused by global warming. Studies suggest that Venice could be underwater by the year 2100.

In addition, studies have also shown that Venice is gradually tilting slightly to the east.

Address:

Email:

Phone:

Website:

More Information:

Venice Marco Polo International Airport

Venice Marco Polo International Airport is situated 7 km north of the city. There is a wide selection of transports from the airport to the city. Choose between buses, taxicabs, and boats.

If you choose a boat, be prepared for a short walk first. The water bus is operated by Alilaguna and the journey takes about 1 hour and 20 minutes. There are also motorboats and the price varies from company to company.

A land route to Venice is offered too. The two transport companies ACTV and ATVO have direct buses between the city and the airport. The journey takes approx. 20-25 minutes. Taxis are waiting outside the terminal, and the prices start at €40.

Address: Viale Galileo Galilei, 30, Venice

Email:

Phone: +39 041 260 9260

Website: www.veneziaairport.it/en/

More Information:

Treviso Airport

Treviso Airport, sometimes referred to as Venice’s package tour airport, is located 30 km north of Venice. ATVO and Barzi buses depart from/to Venice and the journey takes about 40 minutes. There is a ticket office located at the arrivals hall.

A taxi from the airport to Piazzale Roma in Venice starts at €65.

Address: Treviso Airport

Email:

Phone: +39 042 231 511 1

Website: www.trevisoairport.it/en/

More Information: www.atvo.it / www.barziservice.com

Passport / Visa

Italy can be visited visa-free for up to 90 days by citizens from Australia, New Zealand, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Malaysia, Israel, UAE and most countries in America. If you are not sure whether or not you need to apply for a visa, we recommend you to contact the embassy or consulate in your country. In order to enter the Schengen zone, international (non-Schengen) travelers need a passport that is valid for at least 3 months after the end of their intended trip. Citizens from Schengen countries can travel without a passport, but they must bring with them a valid ID during their stay.

Address:

Email:

Phone:

Website:

More Information:

Public Transport

The ACTV operates the ordinary buses together with the bus boats, the so-called vaporettos. Tickets can be purchased at the stations, from newsstands or on board the boats. There are also several travel cards to choose from, but remember that you need to swipe them before boarding.

If you need to cross the Grand Canal you can catch a traghetto, a large gondola leaving from different places between the bridges.

Address:

Email:

Phone: +39 041 242 4

Website: actv.avmspa.it/en

More Information:

Taxi

The taxis in Venice are mainly boats of different sorts. Travelling by gondola is rather expensive and it is better used for sightseeing or special excursions. The boat taxis are slightly cheaper. One of the premier boat taxi operators in Venice is Consorzio Motoscafi Venezia.

Address:

Email:

Phone: +39 041 240 671 1

Website: www.motoscafivenezia.it/en/

More Information:

Post

Stamps can be purchased from tobacconists that carry either the blue and white "Tabacchi" sign or that are simply marked with a "T". There are a couple of post offices across the city and you find one of them at:

Address: Barbaria de le Tole 6674, Venice

Email:

Phone: +39 041 528 624 3

Website: www.poste.it

More Information:

Pharmacy

Pharmacies have alternating opening hours during weekends and nights. Addresses of pharmacies on duty at night are posted at every pharmacy. You find one of the local pharmacies called Farmacia Santa Margherita at:

Address: Sestiere Dorsoduro, Venice

Email:

Phone: +39 041 522 387 2

Website:

More Information:

Telephone

Country code: +39

Area code: 041 (also dialled in Venice) If you call to Italy from abroad, you must always dial zero in the area code (do not omit it as is the general practice when making international telephone calls), e.g. +39 041 + the number.

Address:

Email:

Phone:

Website:

More Information:

Electricity

240 V, 50 Hz

Address:

Email:

Phone:

Website:

More Information: