What to do in Venice in 2024 will be revealed in this article: discover all our tips and recommendations.

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As soon as you arrive here, the excitement is so great that you wish time would stretch indefinitely so that you could do for good all the unmissable things Venice has to offer.

Although small, in fact, this extraordinary city, suspended between the sea and the lagoon, offers a treasure of wonderful experiences and activities that you cannot do anywhere but here.

To make it easier for you to choose, we have listed here the most unique and interesting activities that will undoubtedly enrich your stay with incredible and exciting nuances.

Remember to buy the Venice Pass to move around the lagoon with ease and to get entrance tickets to the most visited attractions. Discover with us what to do in Venice!

Discover Venice with the Venice Pass

What to do in Venice: our guide

What to do in Venice: our guide

When you arrive in this beautiful place, the feeling is that time is always too short to experience it fully. Palaces, museums, monuments of extraordinary elegance, but also colorful festivals and events that set the lagoon ablaze with merriment and fireworks.

In other words, the things to do and experience in Venice are almost endless. In every corner, this incredible place has something to offer, even to those who are returning after countless trips, or those who have lived there all their lives. Indeed, there is nothing more exciting than being a tourist in your own city.

Find out what what to do in Venice in 2024!

Explore Venice with a storytelling Gondolier!

What to Do in Venice: Some Historical Insights

What to Do in Venice: Some Historical Insights

Before reviewing our favourite itineraries and discovering what to do in Venice in 2024, we want to step back a few centuries and briefly recall the history of La Serenissima.

According to lore, the city was born on a specific date: March 25, 421 AD.

The first stable settlements arose during barbarian invasions in the Western Roman Empire. The safety of the lagoon islands attracted people from nearby areas, leading to the formation of a town.

It was the beginning of an extraordinary journey that culminated in the 7th century with the birth of the Republic of Venice, which thrived for over a thousand years.

Venice's significance soared through its flourishing trade and maritime industry. However, it was more than just a bustling commerce hub. 

Under the rule of the Doges, it emerged as one of the most elegant and progressive cities in Europe, a cultural and artistic reference point attracting the brightest names in painting, theatre, and music. 

Tiepolo, Canova, Vivaldi, Goldoni, and many others contributed to forge an immense cultural legacy.

The end of the Venetian Republic in 1797 marked a turning point in its history, with the city adapting to totally new political and economic realities.

Today, its value is recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage site celebrated each year by millions of tourists. 

What to do in Venice in 2 days

What to do in Venice in 2 days

If your holiday is just a brief break and you are still trying to figure out where to go or what to do in Venice, we can help with our 2-day Venetian itinerary.

Though 48 hours barely scratch the (splendid) surface of the city, our suggestions will ensure you have a fantastic time, whether it's rain or shine.

Thanks to the insider tips and advice from Visit Italy, you can join the crowd in St. Mark's Square with the confidence that you've seen and done much more than the average tourist.

Explore the artisanal shops and kosher restaurants of the Jewish Ghetto, uncovering a significant part of local history; dive into one of the most beloved and frequented neighbourhoods by Venetians; experience local life among bacari (traditional wine bars); and shop at an ancient market.

Want to stay an extra day?

What to do in Venice in 3 days

What to do in Venice in 3 days

If yes is the answer, check out our 3-day lagoon guide, our perfect weekend itinerary through the calli, and our romantic suggestions for couples.

Our schedule will help you discover the main sights of Venice in just a few days without any stress.

Of course, we've included must-see destinations like St. Mark's Basilica, the Doge's Palace, and the Bridge of Sighs, but there's more.

You'll also visit La Biennale and Palazzo Venier dei Leoni to admire the Peggy Guggenheim Collection, explore some less-travelled streets, delve into the Jewish Ghetto, and sail to Murano.

What to do in Venice in 5 days

What to do in Venice in 5 days

Check out our 5-day guide to Venice and discover how to organize your trip to ensure you get all the best the city offers.

For those who can stay a bit longer, our tailored itinerary is a great planning ally. It covers everything from daytime explorations of the most unique and picturesque neighbourhoods to Venice's lively nightlife.

This journey through Venice's must-see attractions includes legendary sites you must visit at least once, the most interesting art galleries, and nearby excursions.

Once you've chosen your destination and planned an itinerary, all that's left is deciding where to stay. Consult our article on the best district to book your hotel or B&B to find the perfect accommodation for every need.

What to do in Venice: how to get around

What to do in Venice: how to get around

Venice is well connected to the mainland and easily accessible.

For those travelling by plane, the fastest (and most scenic) way to reach the lagoon is with Alilaguna, the water transfer service that connects Marco Polo Airport to the city centre, Lido, Murano, and Rialto.

Once in the city, how do you get around Venice? In the historic centre, it's either on foot or via water vehicles. You have several options for moving between the canals.

ACTV vaporettos stop near the main points of interest and are the simplest and most convenient way to travel between the islands for those who want to avoid constantly navigating bridges or need to reach more distant attractions.

Gondolas, a true symbol of the city, are not just a mode of transport but a romantic and characteristic experience unique to Venice. While hiring an expert gondolier can be a bit pricey, it's an adventure that's worth every penny.

A more affordable option for crossing the Grand Canal is by gondola ferry, a larger boat operated by two gondoliers. Just head to the designated stop, the "stazio," and hop on board to reach the other bank.

When time is of the essence, water taxis are your best bet. The motorboat service is fast and efficient and available at the main access points in the lagoon.

Book transfer from Venice airport

10. Climb the most famous Campanile

What to do in Venice. Climb the most famous Campanile

The St. Mark's Campanile towers, with all its grandeur, in the heart of the city.

Such its importance is that it is affectionately addressed by locals as the Paron de Casa which could be translatable as "the Landlord''.

At 98.6 meters (321 ft) high, it not only represents the highest point in the entire historic center, but is also one of the tallest bell towers in Italy!

Its simple shape, topped by a spire with a statue of the archangel Gabriel, has been the inspiration for other buildings, such as the Sather Tower in Berkeley, California, and the Metropolitan Life Insurance Company Tower in New York.

Let's not forget that the base of the tower is also quite unique, with the famous loggia designed by Jacopo Sansovino.

Can you imagine the excitement of climbing up here, with your gaze being able to sweep over the entire downtown and the lagoon?

Book your experience on the top of the St Mark's Bell!

Not everyone knows that the famous St. Mark's Basilica has not always been the most important sacred place in the lagoon. Before, in fact, the cathedral was the church of San Pietro di Castello. The change to a cathedral came only in the 19th century, after the fall of the Serenissima Republic.

Beyond the history, it is the sumptuous beauty of the so-called Church of Gold that will leave you breathless.

Already from the outside, when you admire the mosaics and statues and Gothic elements that enrich the façade, you will understand that entering here is certainly one of the best things to do in Venice.

On the other hand, it is inside where the real magic happens, when you can let your eyes wander in a triumph of gold and light.

Don't miss the chance to also see the famous Pala d'Oro, completely covered in gold, silver, precious stones and enamels: a timeless masterpiece created by Venetian goldsmith Giovanni Paolo Boninsegna in the 14th century.

Finally, not everyone knows that the Basilica complex also includes a museum and the splendid loggias, from which you can enjoy an exceptional view of the square in front of it.

Just remember to book your tickets in advance and choose the skip-the-line ticket!

Discover the attractions in Venice

8. Glide the waters with a great storytelling Gondolier

What to do in Venice.Glide the waters with a great storytelling Gondolier

One of the best things to do in Venice, and certainly not to be missed, is a gondola ride. The lagoon, the canals and the splendor of the elegant palaces reflected on the water: isn't it the most classically Venetian picture?

Not so many people, however, know that this experience can be customized as you wish. What if we told you, for example, that you could sail through the placid waters of the lagoon with a gondolier telling you about the wonders of the place where he has lived all his life? Even more than that, would not it be great to blend together the beauty of the historic center with the real tale of customs, traditions but also everyday life?

You can discover from the water some of the most famous places and at the same time learn about their history, secrets and mysteries. If you wish, the gondola tour can also be organized in a totally private form: just you, the gondolier and your traveling companions!

Book your gondola ride with live commentary!

7. Climb the most famous spiral staircase in Venice

What to do in Venice. Climb the most famous spiral staircase in Venice

One of the best things to do in Venice is located in one of the most hidden spots in the Sestiere di San Marco. Yet the famous Church of Gold mentioned earlier is just a few hundred meters away.

This extraordinary place is part of the Palazzo Contarini del Bovolo and is undoubtedly the most famous spiral staircase in the lagoon. In fact, "Bovolo," in Venetian dialect, actually means "spiral".

It is an external staircase, made inside a stair tower. What is breathtaking is not so much the uniqueness of this construction, because several were made at that time, but the size of the tower. It is, in fact, as high as 26 meters (85 ft) and provides access to the four floors of the palace.

Climbing this famous staircase not only allows you to appreciate the extraordinary care and abundance of detail with which it was built, but also to admire one of the most panoramic views of the city's rooftops.

Book your tickets for the most famous Venetian spiral staircase!

6. Discover the Museum dedicated to Leonardo da Vinci

The Museum of Leonardo da Vinci, in Campo San Rocco, is an exceptional place.

Here, in fact, you can trace the history of the Florentine genius through a collection of machines designed by Leonardo da Vinci.

In the 6 rooms of the museum, in fact, you will see how, following Leonardo's drawings, scholars have managed to reproduce as faithfully as possible the different devices devised by the visionary genius.

Some of these works, you will be amazed to discover, are the basis of some of the machines we still use today, such as the helicopter or the flywheel.

To fully enjoy your visit, we suggest that you purchase a skip-the-line ticket!

Book your entrance to the Da Vinci Museum!

5. Visit the first Jewish Ghetto

best things to do venice

The term "ghetto" was invented right here and probably originates from the foundries that were located nearby and were, in fact, called "getto" in Venetian dialect.

This area of the city, just a few hundred meters from today's train station, became the place of residence for Jews as early as the 16th century, making it the first Jewish ghetto in history.

Today, walking through the narrow streets of the Ghetto will allow you not only to discover museums and synagogues, but also Jewish traditions and gastronomy. Indeed, if you head to the heart of the neighborhood, you will also be able to taste the typical cookies of the Jewish culinary tradition while admiring a truly impressive view.

Get your self-guided tour of Venice's Jewish Ghetto

4. Attend the Four Seasons Concert at an exceptional venue

What to do in Vencie. Attend the Four Seasons Concert

One of the best-known artists who has always linked his name with that of our city is undoubtedly Antonio Vivaldi. He, in fact, was not only born here in the second half of the 18th century, but also worked here for most of his life.

The church of S. Maria della Pietà or the Visitazione, along Riva degli Schiavoni, is in fact known to all Venetians as Vivaldi's church.

Not only will a visit to the church, and the adjoining hospital, allow you to learn more about the history of the Serenissima: here you can attend the Four Seasons Concert, in the very church where the masterpiece was composed!

Performing the concert is none other than I Virtuosi Italiani, one of Italy's best-known orchestras.

Get your tickets to the concert now!

3. Explore one of the most impressive collections at Palazzo Venier dei Leoni

The Peggy Guggenheim Collection is much more than just a museum.

It houses within it one of the richest collections of 20th-century art and, more importantly, it is a museum in constant evolution, thanks to numerous donations.

It is located inside the Palazzo Venier dei Leoni, a whitewashed and curious-looking building, perhaps because of its unfinishedness, overlooking the Grand Canal. It was the last residence of the famous American collector Peggy Guggenheim.

You can admire here works by Magritte, Dali, De Chirico, Picasso and countless other artists who forever marked the course of 20th-century art. There are many events that are organized by the museum-a way to bring visitors of all ages and interests closer to art.

Definitely one of the unmissable things to do in Venice!

Get your fast access to the Guggenheim!

2. Discover the masterpiece of Venetian gothic architecture

best thing to do in venice italy

While using this periphrasis, a masterpiece of Venetian Gothic architecture, we all know what we are talking about.

Indeed, the Doge's Palace is one of the most iconic symbols of Serenissima. Not only was this building the seat of power of the Doges, but it is also a triumph of Gothic art. Its exterior architectural elements, from windows to colonnades, are like elegant embroideries carved on stone.

If you decide to visit its interiors as well, you will discover state rooms and private apartments, as well as works of art and extraordinary frescoes. You will finally be able to enter the heart of history, seeing the halls where justice was administered, but also in those where politics were discussed. Finally, you will be able to explore the darker face of the Law of the Republic: the Leads and the terrible Wells, as well as the Hall of Torture and the Hall of the Inquisition.

As this is one of the most visited places in the historic center, we suggest you book your tickets with fast-track access!

Buy your priority tickets to the Doge's Palace here!

1. Step into the heart of one of the world's most famous opera houses

What to see in Venice. Step into the heart of one of the world's most famous opera houses

It was not easy to choose who to place at number 1 on our list of the best things to do in Venice.

We finally chose him, the Gran Teatro La Fenice. Not only is it one of the most famous opera houses in the world, but it is also a symbol of rebirth for the city itself.

Destroyed, burned and demolished more than once, in fact, this venue is known for the sublime quality of its concerts and ballets. In addition, the famous New Year's Concert, one of the most anticipated events on the entire Venetian calendar, is staged here every year.

Visiting the theater, with a great audio guide explaining every detail of its troubled history, is a truly intense thrill.

Reserve here your tour of the Venetian opera house!

What to do in Venice like a local

What to do in Venice like a local

When you want to know how to spend your evening, where to shop for quality goods without breaking the bank, which must-try experiences to have before you leave, or which restaurant to stop at (or avoid) to eat well without spending a fortune, ask the locals: they have the best answers to these kinds of questions.

Show your best smile and start a conversation: you'll gain access to a wealth of information you won't find in any tourist guide (and you might make some new friends, too).

If you're feeling shy or language is a barrier, rely on our insider tips for the can't-miss things to do in Venice that you hadn't even considered. 

3 Things Not to Do in Venice

3 Things Not to Do in Venice

As our journey through Venice's neighbourhoods, attractions, and monuments comes to an end, we want to leave you with a few final tips.

Here's what you absolutely shouldn't do in Venice.

 Explore Venice without a guide. The intricate network of Venetian alleys is a labyrinth that will lead you to incredible hidden corners. Getting lost can be wonderful, but having a reference is always better. A tour guide, Google Maps, or even an old-fashioned map will help you get back on track if you're short on time and don't want to miss the main sights in Venice.

— Dive into the canals. It seems unnecessary to say, but occasionally someone tries it. Swimming in the canals is dangerous and illegal. When you feel like taking a dip, check out our selection of the best beaches near Venice

— Follow our itineraries to the letter. We've designed our guides to help you navigate the must-see sights in Venice, and we're sure you'll have a great time using them. That said, we encourage you to leave some room for improvisation. Follow your instincts, step through that doorway, order that dish, enter that shop, and explore that alley that catches your eye. You might discover the best gelato of your life hidden in a forgotten alley!

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