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The Ultimate Venice Guide: What to Do in Venice

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Nestled in the heart of the Venetian Lagoon in the Adriatic Sea, Venice is a city full of rich history. Plan your trip to Venice with ease, read through our Ultimate Venice Guide to see what to do, where to stay and what to expect!

Built upon a network of canals, this 5th century city is an architectural marvel with its intricate palaces, vibrant piazzas, and iconic bridges. The city’s unique charm is heightened by its lack of roads, replaced by a web of waterways navigated by gondolas and vaporettos. 

Visit Venice to stroll through narrow alleyways, take in the sights from historic bridges, and wander through St. Mark’s Square as you explore this enchanting city. Our trip to Venice was a dream, and definitely a bucket list destination that we were eager to cross off! Here’s everything you need to know about the Floating City.

Jump To:
Basic Information
What to Do in Venice
What Should I Know Before Visiting Venice?
Where to Stay in Venice
Where to Eat in Venice
How to Spend 1 Day in Venice
Travel Essentials

Basic Information

Currency: Euros, though credit cards were accepted everywhere we went. We only ended up needing euros to pay the local tourism tax that our Airbnb host collected upon arrival.

Languages: Italian & English. We had no issue speaking English all throughout Venice – though, we wish we would’ve picked up some Italian, it sounded so beautiful!

Climate: Humid subtropical climate with influences from the Mediterranean Sea. Summers can be quite warm with the humidity, and in the late fall/winter you can expect cool temperatures, wind and lots of rain. We visited at the very end of October and it was cold, windy, and rainy – not our favorite climate for exploring! Also keep in mind, Venice floods several times each year, usually during fall and winter.

What to Do in Venice

Read: 10 Best Things to Do in Venice For First-Time Visitors

Whether you’re in Venice for a day or for a few, there are 10 absolute must-see spots you should have on your list to experience in the beautiful Floating City. Check out our post  10 Best Things to Do in Venice For First-Time Visitors to help you plan an unforgettable trip to Venice (and ensure you don’t miss a thing)!

What Should I Know Before Visiting Venice?

Read: 9 Mistakes Tourists Always Make Their First Time in Venice

Venice is a city unlike any other, don’t make these common mistakes on your first visit like so many other tourists do! Be prepared and learn the ropes before you go with our 9 Mistakes Tourists Always Make Their First Time in Venice, and learn what to do instead to make your trip as easy and seamless as possible.

Where to Stay in Venice

Because Venice doesn’t have any roads, getting around the city can be a bit difficult. While you can take a water taxi to various stops throughout Venice, we recommend staying close to the train station so you don’t have to drag your bags too far into the city. We stayed at an Airbnb that was very central in Venice, a few feet from the Museo di Storia Naturale and while it made walking all across Venice a breeze, it was a pain in the butt getting our bags to and from it! 

Before realizing we could take a water taxi, my poor husband lugged our two enormous suitcases across 4 bridges, including the enormous one you see when you enter Venice. Even with the water taxi, it required some walking and maneuvering with the suitcases from the taxi stop. It was doable but if we return to Venice, I plan on staying much closer to the train and bus station so we can drop our bags at the rental property and then explore on foot.

One more consideration for where to stay in Venice, if it’s in a part of the city that floods several times per year, I’d recommend you try to stay on the second floor or above. Whether or not there’s flooding when you’re visiting, if you’re sensitive to mildew or any of that, I would imagine you might have some issues with any ground floor units. Just walking around Venice in October, we saw water lines on the buildings in some areas that had previously flooded and it was a good foot or so high!

Where to Eat in Venice

While for the most part, you probably can’t go wrong with where to eat in Venice, we did have a couple of stand out experiences. 

La Corte 1642

While out exploring Cannaregio, we stumbled across La Corte 1642 in a back alleyway. There was a small private party there when we arrived so we couldn’t have dinner, but they let us sit and have wine and appetizers. They didn’t give us a menu, just asked us what we liked and created a giant plate full of cheeses, meats and crackers for us to enjoy with our Tuscan wine. It was absolutely delicious and the workers were so kind, we really enjoyed every minute of being there! It definitely seemed like a place that was really popular with the locals as well.

Grom Gelato

Finding the best gelato in Venice became my personal mission while we were there. Having a big sweet tooth and a love for ice cream, I know great gelato when I taste it! The Grom gelato shop tucked away into the Dorsoduro neighborhood was absolutely delicious and we really enjoyed exploring this area of Venice. It was much less busy and still had lots to see!

Majer

Right up the “road” from where we were staying (near the Museo di Storia Naturale in central Venice) was a great little cafe that we had coffee and pastries in each morning, as well as a lunch time sandwich. It was delicious every time and the sweet ladies working there were so friendly, and were patient with us when we had no idea how to communicate what we were trying to order (lots of pointing was required)! You could even see them rolling the dough for the pastries and making everything fresh in the back.

Al Bagolo

Again, another option near where we were staying, we really enjoyed Al Bagolo. It had great wine, really friendly staff, and absolutely mouth-watering pizza. We got the capricciosa pizza and another with mushrooms, and both were fabulous. 

How to Spend 1 Day in Venice

Read: Venice in 1 Day Itinerary

Criss-crossed by a network of meandering canals and cobblestone pathways, this beautiful city is one on many people’s bucket list! Spend the day wandering through St. Mark’s square, touring Doge’s palace, and exploring all that Venice has to offer! Our 1 day Venice itinerary ensures you see all of the famous Venetian sites, and fun ideas to make your visit even more memorable. Check it out here.

Travel Essentials for Venice

Cell Phone Power Bank

This is a must-have for any trip abroad, and one that we should have had on our trip to Rome! Using maps and apps on our phones all day severely drained the batteries, and we almost ran out of juice trying to find our way back to our Airbnb apartment! We had no idea where we were and we were running through the city trying to get back before our phones completely died! Don’t be like us, pack a power bank for your phone that you can easily tote around the city. We will never make that mistake again!

Pocket WiFi Device

Say goodbye to crazy roaming charges with a portable WiFi device! Stay in touch with loved ones, look up history or information on the fly, and easily share your pictures and travel adventures on social media. It’s also super handy if you need to do any blogging or work while you’re abroad, you don’t want to have to rely on public Wifi.

Slash-Proof Purse

As a woman traveling, I needed to carry a few things – including my collapsible selfie-stick (see next)! With pickpockets and thieves throughout Rome and the rest of your European travel hot-spots, you want to be very careful with the bag you choose to travel with. I chose a slash-proof purse that had zippers that clipped to the bag, making it more secure and less-likely to be pickpocketed.

When in Rome, I felt someone in a crowd grab at my bag, and was very thankful I had the zippers clipped so no one could quickly grab my wallet or other belongings inside. This is the bag I used and it was the perfect size to carry everything I needed – even a small water bottle! I’ll be taking it on all of my future travels.

Collapsible Selfie-Stick/Tri-Pod

We used this selfie-stick everywhere we went on our travels. You can make it as long or as short as you want, it has a remote that attaches to the base of the stick or you can pull off to make snapping pictures a breeze, and it also is able to be set up as a tripod if you want some further away shots!

Say goodbye to asking strangers to take your picture, you can easily do it on your own with this set-up. And it collapses nice and small so it can fit in your bag!