Whether you’ve been to Venice two or 20 times, there’s always something new to discover. Indeed, even the most seasoned visitors get lost in the city’s labyrinthine network of islands, bridges, pedestrian alleys, and canals. And therein lies the beauty of the destination: afternoons spent wandering from palace to piazza, exploring the small art museums, shopping the stalls that line the streets, and encountering a fresh side of Venice, a fascinating amalgamation of influences—Roman, Byzantine, Ottoman, and Italian—every time you round a corner.
Swoon-worthy beauty is Venice's calling card. Canals and bridges crisscross the Italian city, people gather in 17th-century palazzi, Renaissance masterpieces hang in museums, and not a single car traverses its stone paths. Experience this beloved city in-depth with our Venice travel guide.
Things Not to Miss in Venice
Venice is just as otherworldly as it appears on film. Here, three of the best activities:
• Campamnile di San Marco—Erected in 1912, the bell tower of St. Mark affords spectacular views from the top. It's a Venice travel must.
• Torre dell'Orologio—Take a guided tour of this restored astronomical clock.
• Ca 'Pesaro—This museum houses a serious collection of modern art.
• Basilica di San Marco—When visiting this architectural wonder, keep in mind no large bags or cameras of any kind are allowed inside.
• Galleria dell' Accademia di Venezia—This is one of Italy's best art museums.
When to Visit Venice
Travel to Venice between April—June or September—October for mild temperatures and sparser crowds. High season lasts from July until mid-September and the city is also very busy during Carnival (February—March), which falls during rainy season. August isn't a great time to visit Venice as it's muggy, crowded with tourists, and when many locals take their own vacation.
Seeing a Verdi or Puccini masterwork at the newly restored Teatro La Fenice, the city’s famous 1836 opera house.
Dining on pappardelle with oysters, tuna carpaccio, or fritto misto (fried seafood) at Da Fiore, a favored restaurant among foodies around the globe.
Getting lost among Venice’s romantic, labyrinthine streets and canals.