Welcome to Venice

A romantic city famed for its palaces, basilicas, grand squares, and gondolas which glide around its delightful waterways, Venice has a legendary history that is simply unparalleled. A UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the most fascinating cities in the world it is an incredible treasure trove of culture and art, and offers an almost endless number of historical buildings, museums and galleries to enjoy.

When to visit

Whatever the season Venice always enchants; winter mists and fogs make for a magical atmosphere and haunting land and waterscapes. Late February to early March is the time of the Venice Carnival. The warmth and clear light of spring and mearly summer bring crowds hoping to see Venice at its best. On the 3rd Sunday in May, June and July there are the Festa del Redentore fireworks and late summer welcomes the Historical Regatta and Venice Film Festival. Low season is from November to January.

The Santa Maria della Salute, Venice

The Santa Maria della Salute, Venice

Experience Venice

We’re delighted to highlight a few holiday experiences to enhance your visit to Venice. Simply confirm at the time of booking or prior to travelling.
For further details and prices of private excursions and small group escorted tours, to visit some or all of these places of interest, please ask our Personalised Travel Team about pre-bookable experiences and excursions on 0800 008 7288.

We highly recommend…

Eat, drink and be merry

Burano’s Trattoria Al Gatto Negro restaurant has a reputation for exceptional
seafood. Skyline Rooftop Bar marries cocktails with sunset views.
Cicchetti and Wine tours are highly recommended.

Gondola tour (35 minutes)

As you glide through the canals, the city’s artistry and beauty reveals itself. View sights such as the Rialto Bridge, the oldest bridge spanning the Grand Canal, and the sculpture known simply as Support.

From £32 per person

The Golden Basilica (1 hour)

A visit to one of the most majestic cathedrals of the world. Enjoy a comprehensive visit of this masterpiece of byzantine art, with gold mosaics, stunning marble, gems and precious stones: unique of its kind in Italy

 

From £27 per person

Islands tour (2 hours)

Explore the fascinating islands of the Venetian Lagoon with visits to Murano famed for its superb glassware, Burano for laces and its brightly coloured fishermen’s houses, and seafood, and Torcello, the site of the very first cathedral in Venice.

From £21 per person

Panoramic sunset tour (2 hours)

A sunset sailing across the San Marco Basin in the magical and evocative light of sunset. Set sail close to St Mark’s cathedral and see the islands and the Lido. Enjoy chilled white wine paired with a selection of appetizers.

From £29 per person

Grand Canal tour (2 hours)

Travel the most beautiful street in the world by private motor launch, and with a multilingual host. A non-stop succession of palaces and the Rilato Bridge will unfold before your eyes, as will the churches of Redentore and Sant Giorgio Maggiore.

 

From £29 per person

Walking tour and Doge's Palace (3 hours)

An expert guide recounts the history of St Mark’s square, one of the most beautiful squares in the world. Visit, unguided, the interior of the historical residence of the Doge, ancient prison and seat of government.

From £52 per person

Out and about

Comprising 118 islands connected by bridges, the city is unlike any other. The Rialto area, Venice’s oldest district, features the city’s greatest concentration of Byzantine palaces and is famed for its markets as well as the Rialto Bridge with its elegant marble arch. St Mark’s Square is a hectic yet civilised spot and home to stunning works of architecture, including St Mark’s Basilica and the piazza’s Campanile, which at 99 metres boasts breathtaking views over the city. Lesser known attractions include Caffe dei Doge in the Rialto for the best coffee, the Osteria Alla Bifora for people watching, the Sky Bar Molino Stucky for the vista and quirky Libreria Acqua Alta for book browsing.

The banks of the Grand Canal are lined with more than 200 ornate palaces and grand houses including the Natural History Museum, Ca’ Pesaro housing modern and oriental art and the glorious 17th century Ca’ Rezzonico, home to a museum with two paintings by Canaletto. The 18th century Palazzo Grassi is used for international art exhibitions, the Palazzi Barbaro was favoured by Monet and Whistler, and also of note is the listing Palazzo Dario, plagued by five centuries of intrigue.

The lagoon islands are worth a visit: peaceful Guidecca, enchanting Torcello and Murano, known for glass manufacture, and Burano, famous for its lacework. Venice Lido’s sandy beaches offer a relaxing escape.

Good to know

Much of the city can be discovered on foot, but the main form of public transport is the vaporetto, or water bus. A tourist travel card allows unlimited travel on public transport from one to seven days. Private water taxis are a stylish and speedy, if expensive, way of getting around. Gondolas ply their trade from various landing stages; for a more intimate experience board at one of the stops away from the more popular sights. The Venezia Unica City Pass allows you to pre-book and prepay tickets for a variety of museums, churches and exhibitions and you can also add public transport.

Luxury hotels in Venice

Locanda Vivaldi Hotel

Venice

  • Stunning Views
  • Central Location
  • Panoramic Sky Bar

Belmond Hotel Cipriani

Venice

  • Outdoor Pool
  • Romantic Hotel
  • Recommended Spa

Baglioni Hotel Luna

Venice

  • Boutique Hotel
  • Central Location
  • Lavish Interior


Venice Simplon-Orient-Express

Venice

  • A travel experience like no other
  • Vintage 1920s carriages
  • Magnificent scenery
  • Onboard dining and bar service
  • Stewards attend to your every comfort
  • Private cabins

Venice musts

San Marco, Rialto Bridge and the Bridge of Sighs

Venice’s stunning and unique town centre, the oldest bridge across the Grand Canal and a bridge from which convicts saw their last view of Venice   before being imprisoned, are all not to be missed.

Accademia Gallery

Assembled by Napoleon, the Accademia is one of the world’s greatest art treasure houses and includes pieces by world-renowned artists like Bellini, Canaletto, Tintoretto, and Leonardo da Vinci.

Ca' Rezzonico Museum

Once a Baroque palace and family home, now a museum of 18th century Venetian life replete with a fine collection of paintings, Murano glass chandeliers and beautifully carved furniture.

Peggy Guggenheim Collection

A collection of more modern art that is as eclectic as the American heiress was eccentric. Her collection features lesser known artists alongside Kandinsky, Picasso, Man Ray, Rothko and Dali.

St Mark’s Basilica

This extraordinary Byzantine edifice is one of the most famous churches in Italy and is renowned for its extraordinary mosaics. It has been a symbol of the wealth of Venice since the 14th century

Doge's Palace

Originally a Byzantine fortress and the seat of the Republic for nine centuries, this elegant and imposing palazzo boasts Gothic architecture, resplendent state rooms, Casanova’s cell, the Bridge of Sighs and fine paintings.

Twin centre

Ask our travel consultants about combining a stay in Venice with a visit to our other featured Italian cities, or twin with Croatia, Slovenia or Montenegro.
See our dedicated Italy brochure for further details.