A labyrinthine city of canals, brides, and cobblestone alleys, it’s no surprise that Venice is always at the top of everyone's travel bucket list. If you’re planning a trip to this Italian city, here are the five things you have to do.
Venice is known for its canals, and no Venetian experience would be complete without spending a day navigating the city’s byways. You can take the vaporetto, or water taxi, from your hotel (consider bedding down at the J.W. Marriott Resort & Spa, Venice) up and down the Grand Canal (believe us, you won’t miss Uber), or go for the quintessential gondola experience. Budget travelers can opt for the public, repurposed traghetto gondolas that crisscross the canal at designated points.
What to do in Venice to keep yourself going after a long day on the canals? Join in the coffee culture. Venice is rumored to be the home to the world’s oldest coffee house, Caffè Florian—though it’s the hot chocolate, with a recipe dating back to 1720, that you’ll want to order. Make it a meal with raisin-filled donuts, or fritelle, from shops like Didovich.
The best views of Piazza San Marco, a waterfront square dubbed "Europe’s drawing room” by Napoleon, can be admired from the viewing platform on top of the campanile. Equally Instagrammable vistas can be achieved from the top of the clock tower, too.
Venice’s history and culture is abundant, and one of the most fun things to do is visit the Chorus collection churches (a single ticket will grant you access to all 16 churches, containing works by Tintoretto, Veronese, and Titian), including the Santa Maria Della Salute. Frequent, free organ concerts can be enjoyed here, too.
Before you take your leave of Venice, head to the Lido. Here, beyond the Giardini, is a seven-mile-long sandbar and the only part of the city where vehicles are permitted. This area is easily recognizable for its Art Noveau architecture.
Mingle with locals to learn about other Venice attractions. Just join them at Schiavi wine bar, the Rialto market, or Trattoria Ca’ d’Oro alla Vedova for cicchetti, or bar snacks.