Venice Travel Guide

Venice Travel Guide

Getty Images

For a place so visibly tethered to its past, Venice is having a mini renaissance. Few places can lay claim to such a spectacular natural setting, unt... Read More

For a place so visibly tethered to its past, Venice is having a mini renaissance. Few places can lay claim to such a spectacular natural setting, untainted architectural heritage, or jaw-dropping main drag in the Grand Canal. Venice’s museums are world class; its 141 churches are galleries in themselves. Other incredible sights include the Gothic Doge’s Palace, perched defiantly on the edge of the encroaching lagoon; and the Basilica of San Marco, which glows with Byzantine gold mosaics. 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—around every corner.

Although the buildings in Venice have changed little over the centuries, La Serenissima is quickly changing. This has always been a city of artisans, but there’s a new breed of entrepreneurs turning Murano glass into fiercely modern jewelry, updating traditional bacari (taverns) as slick wine bars, and forming cooperatives to make everything from clothing to organic skincare. Experience this beloved city in-depth with our Venice travel guide.

Read Less

Visit Venice

Best Time To Go

Peak summer is hot and humid and can be famously smelly, so it’s best avoided from late June through August. Spring (April to early June) and fall (September to October) are ideal times to visit, with mild temperatures and fewer tourists. While winter can be freezing, wet, and at risk of acqua alta (flooding), December and January are the perfect months to see the city at its quietest—barring Christmas and New Year, visitors are at a minimum, and while many restaurants and shops are closed, you’ll have the canals to yourselves. The city is also very busy during Carnival (several weeks in February or March), which falls during rainy season. August is perhaps the worst time to visit Venice as it's muggy and crowded with tourists, as well as the time when many locals take their own vacations.

Transportation

Venice has a decent network of water-based public transport: from vaporetti (water buses), which ply the Grand Canal, loop around the main city, and shuttle out to the islands, to traghetti, public gondolas that cross the Grand Canal at regular points. Single vaporetto tickets cost $8.60, so consider a travel card, from $23 for 24 hours. A single traghetto crossing costs $2.30 and is paid in cash to the gondolier. Water taxis are very expensive, starting at around $60 for a ride of even a few minutes. A waterbus from the airport costs $15.50.

Weather

January is the coldest month, with average temperatures of 37°F (3°C). July and August are the hottest, with an average temperature of 73° F (23°C), but because of the humidity, it usually feels much hotter.

Know Before You Go

With public transport routes limited to the main waterways, and footbridges everywhere that require climbing stairs, Venice can be difficult to get around if you have heavy luggage or limited mobility, so plan your routes carefully. Most museums and galleries close on Mondays, and many restaurants and shops close in January when visitor numbers are at their lowest.

Language

Italian

Electric

Type C or Type F (two-prong plug)

Currency

Euro (€)