Venice is home to a rich cultural history, if you are planning to visit Venice there are numerous things to do in the most famous lagoon in Europe. Venice is a city of special beauty and historical significance, but it is also unique in Italy and not only.
As the capital of the Veneto Region of Northern Italy, Venice actually lies on 118 small islands that are connected by hundreds of bridges and separated by a network of canals. With a population of around 250,000, Venice is not only the largest city in Veneto, but it is also among the most visited tourist destinations in the country.
During the Middle Ages and the Italian Renaissance, Venice was an extremely powerful stronghold and served as a major financial and military center. It was also a place that saw great cultural and artistic development and was renowned worldwide.
Today, Venice remains an important economic center and is one of the most popular cities for tourism in the world – Sights like St. Marks’s Basilica and the Grand Canal draw millions of visitors to this small group of islands on an annual basis.
Here we’ve selected seven unmissable destinations so you can experience what shouldn’t be missed in Venice.
1. Visit St. Mark’s Basilica
St. Mark’s Basilica is the most renowned and famous building in Venice, it is a sublime piece of architecture that has stood the test of time since its creation in 1092 and still remains one of the most important buildings in Northern Italy.
Everything in this church is stunning – From the sculptures, artwork of the front facade, to the beautifully painted frescos and Byzantine works of art on the inside of the domed ceiling. Located in the Piazza San Marco, St. Mark’s Basilica is easily accessible from the grand canal and it is one of the best-known surviving examples of Italian Byzantine architecture.
2. Doges Palace
Doges Palace also sits in St. Mark’s Square but looks out onto the grand canal as one of the most wonderful buildings in Venice aside from the Basilica and Campanile, This ornate palace is more than stunning and its front facade features a beautiful arched design made of white stone with a series of diamond patterns on the walls.
Inside, the palace is just as impressive and there is a series of immensely decorated rooms that all have original details, furniture and artwork. Tours of the palace are available and it is advised to spend some time viewing both the exterior and interior in detail to truly capture a piece of the history of Venice.
3. Walk around St. Mark’s Square
Since we have already mentioned 2 of the most attractive buildings in Venice which stand in St. Mark’s Square, there is no chance for this square not to be as astonishing as it is. St. Mark’s Square is the most famous piazza in Venice and home to amazing monuments.
Located on the grand canal this square holds huge importance in Venice and is a truly spectacular place to visit. A series of ornate buildings with arched walkways surround the Piazza that frames it perfectly.
Furthermore, several important buildings are located on the square including St Mark’s Campanile, St Mark’s Basilica, Doge’s Palace, and Torre dell’ Orologio. This square makes the perfect place if you want to tour around Venice and tick off some of its most impressive sights.
4. Take a Ferry to Murano, Burano, and Torcello
Murano, Burano, and Torcello are the three most famous islands near Venice. Murano is where beautiful and quality glass is made, Burano is famous for its lace, and Torcello for its cathedral. Visitors can take a guided tour of one of the glass-blowing factories and shop for pretty glass products at Murano.
Meanwhile, Burano’s lace was taken to be the most exquisite in the entire continent, and the island is a cute mini-replica of Venice. In Torcello, the cathedral was built in the 7th century and the ruins of its baptistery are a striking example of Byzantine art. Visitors can tour all three in one day or choose to explore one of the islands in depth. You can explore all three Islands in one day with a guided tour and get another taste of Venice.
5. Experience the Grand Canal
Venice has hundreds of canals that connect the islands that make up the city – the largest of which is the Canale Grande. The Grand Canal looks like a river and it passes from one side of Venice to the other and snakes through the center.
Over 170 buildings dating from as early as the 13th century line the banks of the canal and it has served as an important waterway in the city for hundreds of years. Consider walking along sections of the canal, admiring the buildings that line it, and watching the busy water traffic of Venice.
6. Climb the Bell Tower
For a bird’s-eye view of Venice, visitors can ride the elevator to the top of the Campanile (bell tower). Completed in 912, it is the tallest building in all of Venice, and one of the oldest too. In 1902 disaster struck and it collapsed completely, but it was reconstructed trying to stay as true as possible to the original, so visitors today can see pretty much the same tower that Venetians saw over 1000 years ago. The Dolomites mountain range can even be seen in the distance on clear days.
7. Discover Unpopular Places in Venice
You might be attracted by a million things that the majority of tourists haven’t explored yet about Venice. Being such an overcrowded tourist destination, the main roads and attractions are quite busy – You may want to take your time and also visit the unpopular places such as Libreria Acqua Alta or get lost in the narrow streets,
Venice is also home to romantic rides and there couldn’t be something more special than floating the smallest unpopular paths of Venice with your partner on a private tour.
Talking about tours, you might be interested in discovering Venice in a special way. Check out what Venice tours we suggest.
8. Take Photos
Venice is the city of miracles, you will have the kind of experience you wouldn’t want to pass without taking your shots through the streets of Venice, your ride in the waters of the lagoon, the front view of Venetian buildings, the precious monuments, the masterpieces of glass made by locals, and you can capture a lady making lace with her hands! You won’t forget these events for the rest of your life. And if you haven’t explored the entire Venice, come back to the lagoon and miss nothing about it.