Venice you have to visit for sure at least once in your life. It’s a unique city with a dash of magic. Every view you see in Venice is like from a postcard and worth taking a picture. It is not my favorite city, because sometimes it is a bit too much and experience looks a bit fake, but definitely, it’s special in its own way. If you are coming to Venice by plain the easiest way to go to the city center is with a special shuttle bus, you can buy tickets here. If you don’t have a plane ticket yet, then you can find the cheapest prices on Kiwi.
Things to do in Venice, Italy
Venice canals, gondola tour
I know that it is not a unique activity in Venice, but for sure it is special. I loved seeing the whole city from the water, how they manage to have the same services, but on the,e water as a taxi, ambulance, post services and so on. If you travel during Summer then it’s a nice activity to cool down and admire those beautiful Italian houses. It can sound a bit pricey to pay 60 – 80 euro for the gondola, but it is the price for the whole gondola which you can share with about 6 people.
Check the gondola tour here.
Carnival of Venice and masks shops
The most popular event in Venice is the annual Venetian carnival. It is said that the carnival started from a victory against the Patriarch of Aquileia, Ulrico di Treven in 1162. Venetian people just started dancing and gather in San Mark’s Square, which is the biggest and only place where to gather in Venice. This festival became official in the Renaissance period. In the baroque, the carnival was a way to show the prestigious image of Venice in the world. Masks at first were used by Venetian gamblers and prostitutes who were seeking anonymity, although by the 18th century it was banned outside carnival time. An interesting fact which I found out about Venetian carnival is that the Great Council made it a crime for people who are wearing masks to throw scented eggs. Scented eggs? What? Sounds kinda disguising, but it’s not. Venetian carnival has always been a way of flirting and getting a guy and a girl together. These ovi odoriferi were eggshells that were filled with rose water perfume, and by young men tossed at young women they had their eye on. So don’t miss the carnival masks shops, you will be surprised how original those masks can get.
Rialto bridge and market
As I always say to experience Italy you have to experience the food and what is the better experience of food than a market with fresh fish, meat, pasta, vegetables, fruits. It’s impossible to keep your phone in your pocket while wandering around because of the view there is worth taking a picture. Also, the market has a wonderful bridge which you just have to admire for a moment.
Visit Casanova in jail and Doge’s Palace
Do you remember Casanova? His seduction was the ultimate expression of Venetian flirt. Unfortunately, he ended up in the Doge’s Palace jail which you can visit and see his cell on a palace tour. Also, Doge’s Palace is a huge deal in Venice, if you have at least one extra day then visit it for sure. It has a rich history and in some time in history, it took an important part in political life and public administration.
Remember that Venice is a touristic city so better buy tickets in advance, you can check the tickets here.
Address: Piazza San Marco, 1, Venezia
St. Marco Square
This is the most popular and the only gathering place in Venice, which is almost the first thing you see when you reach Venice and mostly the reaction of the people who see it for the first time is “Wow it’s so beautiful!!!”. This square is really something special and the buildings which surround it looks gigantic.
Basilica of San Marco
This is the Basilica which is in the San Marco square, the biggest and the most beautiful. The queues usually are really long to get inside, although you shouldn’t skip it. The church’s exotic shapes and gold mosaics make it a symbol of Venice’s wealth and power.
Libreria Acqua Alta Bookstore
Why this bookstore is unique? Well, as you probably heard sometimes during especially spring, the water level rises in Venice, so some streets are flooded and this bookstore is no exception. As you all know water for the paper means complete destruction. Although this bookstore is perfectly prepared for the water and they keep their books in the furniture which protects from the water like gondola, rowboats, waterproof bins or even bathtubs. Also, they have a staircase made of books! Definitively, check it out. Read more about it in Justin + Lauren blog.
Try something new
Venice is popular for its goldsmith because they had to prepare richer people to be unique during the Venice carnival. Try this old craft and enjoy the ancient experience, check this activity here.
Burano island and Murano island
These colorful islands is a must to see if you are in Venice, please don’t skip it and enjoy wandering in the small streets or take a half day tour with a guide who will definitively tell you the colorful history of these houses.
When you are in Italy it’s impossible not to talk about food, here every city and every region has its own type of bread, pasta, meat and so on so make sure to taste everything you can. My tip would be when you’ll search for a place to have lunch or dinner to walk at least 10 minutes in any direction from the main monuments. It would be best if you’ll find a restaurant where nobody speaks English and all the clients are Italians, but always ask the prices of your meals before ordering. Also, check my blog post: things to expect in Italy, there are great tips on how to spend better time in Italy.