Your Dream Trip to Venice Italy | Practical Travel Guide

by | Jan 6, 2023 | ITALY, Europe

Venice, Italy, is unlike any other city. It is built on a chain of 117 tiny islands divided by canals and linked by bridges in the northeastern area of Italy. The city is a beautiful work of architecture, with flowing canals and beautiful buildings that add to its appeal.

So let’s begin to plan your trip to Venice Italy.

Venice, Italy

Brief History

Venice was founded in the 5th century and rapidly became an important trading city. It was a maritime republic that did well because it was near the Adriatic Sea. It had a strong navy and commercial fleet controlling trade in the Mediterranean.

The riches and power of the city developed, and it became an important cultural and artistic center.

Venice is a Floating City – Photo: Kit Suman

Informational Facts

  • Venice has around 60,000 permanent residents, yet it attracts millions of tourists annually.
  • The city is famous for its canals, which are traversed by gondolas. The term “electronic commerce” refers to the sale of electronic goods.
  • Three of Venice’s famous cultural icons are St. Mark’s Basilica, the Doge’s Palace, and the Rialto Bridge.
  • The Venice Biennale, a significant international exhibition of contemporary art, is also held in the city.
  • Venice’s cuisine is a fusion of Italian and Mediterranean flavors focused on seafood.

The Best Time to Go

The best time to visit Venice depends on your interests and what you want to accomplish during your vacation.

May through September are ideal for experiencing the city’s mild weather and sunny days. These are the busiest and most costly months, so expect crowds and increased costs.

The April and October shoulder seasons are ideal if you like milder temperatures and fewer tourists. These months provide comfortable weather and fewer crowds but remember that specific sites and restaurants may have reduced hours or be closed.

Venice – Photo: Dana Andreea Gheorghe

Ways to Get There

There are several options for getting to Venice from other regions of Italy or Europe. The easiest way to get to the city is to fly into Marco Polo Airport, on the mainland, about 6 miles from the city. You may then take a cab, bus, or water taxi to your Venice lodgings.

If you’re taking the train, the Santa Lucia train station is in the heart of Venice and easily accessible from other regions of Italy.

Map of Venice

Things to Do

Piazza San Marco

The city’s main public square will likely be your first stop when sightseeing in Venice.

It’s home to many famous landmarks and major attractions, such as St. Mark’s Basilica and the Doge’s Palace.

There are also statues and fountains in the square, including the famous Lion of Venice statue in the middle.

Piazza San Marco is the de facto city center and a popular place to relax, enjoy the city’s lively atmosphere, and see famous buildings and sights.

The square is surrounded by a number of cafes and restaurants that serve a wide range of food and drinks and have plenty of places to sit and watch people.

Venice – Piazza San Marco – Photo: Alessandro De Marco

Visit St. Mark’s Basilica

Anyone visiting Venice should see this magnificent monument. The city’s patron saint, San Marco, gave the basilica its name. It is known for its beautiful Byzantine architecture and interior, covered with gold mosaics and intricate marble work. It also has some important works of art, like the Pala d’Oro, which is a gold altarpiece with precious stones set into it.

Venice – St. Mark´s Basilica – Photo: Maximilian Zahn

Explore the Palazzo Ducale

The doge’s house, which used to be in the Venice city center, is a stunning example of architecture, known for its beautiful carvings, frescoes, and other decorations in the styles of Gothic and Renaissance.

Venice – Palazzo Ducale – Photo: Daniele Barison

The palace is now a museum where tourists may explore its lovely chambers and learn about the city’s history.

Venice – Palazzo Ducale – Photo: Anastasia Klimovskaya

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The Grand Canal

A long canal that runs through the center of Venice, Italy. It is the city’s most famous and iconic waterway and a popular tourist destination.

The Grand Canal is lined with a number of beautiful palaces and churches, including the Doge’s Palace, the Basilica of Santa Maria della Salute, and the Peggy Guggenheim Collection, a museum of modern art.

The canal is also home to several charming bridges, including the Rialto Bridge, one of the city’s most famous landmarks.

In addition to its beautiful architecture and landmarks, the Grand Canal is a popular place to take a boat ride, either by gondola or public water bus. It offers a unique and breathtaking perspective on the city’s beautiful buildings and waterways

Venice – Grand Canal – Photo: Christian Holzinger

Take a Gondola Ride

A quintessential Venice experience is a gondola ride across the canals; everyone visiting must do it.

The gondolas, led by professional gondoliers, are a unique way to explore the city’s winding waterways and see its beautiful architecture from a different angle.

Whether short or long, gondola rides over the canals are a beautiful and romantic way to explore Venice.

Venice – Gondola – Photo: Aiva Apsite

Basilica di Santa Maria della Salute

A beautiful church is known for its beautiful Baroque architecture and interior, with gold mosaics and intricate marble work. The church also has a number of important works of art, including paintings by Titian and Tintoretto.

Santa Maria della Salute is at the end of the Dorsoduro neighborhood, and its dome-shaped roof and tall bell tower make it easy to find. In the 17th century, the church was built to remember the end of a terrible plague that had destroyed the city. It is now a popular place for tourists to visit when they are in Venice.

People can look at the beautiful frescoes and decorations inside the church, as well as the stunning altar and organ. There are also a number of chapels inside the church; each has its own design and art.

Venice – Santa Maria della Salute – Photo: Claudio Schwarz

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Visit the Peggy Guggenheim Museum

A modern art museum housed in a stunning palace on the Grand Canal. For art aficionados visiting Venice, the Peggy Guggenheim Collection is a must-see.

The museum is in a beautiful palazzo from the 18th century and has an amazing collection of modern art, including works by Picasso, Kandinsky, and Jackson Pollock.

Venice – Peggy Guggenheim Museum – Photo: Nathan Hughes via Creative Commons

Take a Stroll through the Dorsoduro District

Dorsoduro is a lovely area in Venice, with tiny alleys and small squares dotted with charming buildings and stores. The district is home to various significant sites, including the Guggenheim Museum and the Basilica of Santa Maria Della Salute. It’s a terrific spot to roam and get a sense of the city’s local culture.

Venice – Dorsoduro – Photo: Kulmalukko via Creative Commons

Explore the Rialto

The Rialto is a district in the heart of San Polo Sestiere in Venice, Italy. It has been the city’s financial and commercial center for many centuries, and it continues to be that today.

Rialto Market

For foodies visiting Venice, this market is key. It is a busy, colorful place with booths selling fresh vegetables, seafood, and other local goods. It’s a terrific spot to try some of the city’s amazing cuisine and understand its distinct nuances.

It’s also a very good spot to do some souvenir shopping to bring back home.

Venice – Rialto Market – Photo: John Weiss via Creative Commons

Rialto Bridge

It’s one of the oldest bridges in the city. It is made of stone and was built in the 1600s. It is known for its unique design, with two arched spans held up by columns and pillars. There are also shops and stands on the bridge that sell a wide range of souvenirs, gifts, and local goods.

In addition to being an important landmark and having beautiful architecture, the iconic bridge is a great place to watch gondolas and water buses go by in the canal below.

Venice – Rialto Bridge – Photo: Vincenzo Landino

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Basilica dei Santi Giovanni e Paolo

A beautiful cathedral is also known as San Zanipolo. It is one of the biggest and most important churches in the city.

The Basilica is known for its beautiful Gothic architecture, which includes a spectacular facade with pointed arches and ornate decorations. The church is also beautiful inside, with a high ceiling and beautiful frescoes and decorations.

The church is home to a number of important works of art, such as paintings by Giovanni Bellini and Giovanni da Modena.

In addition to its beautiful architecture and art, the Basilica dei Santi Giovanni e Paolo is an important historical site because it is where many of the city’s most famous people are buried, including several doges and other important historical figures.

Venice – Basilica dei Santi Giovanni e Paolo – Photo: Archaeodontosaurus via Creative Commons

Visit the Jewish Ghetto

A historic district where Venice’s Jewish community formerly resided. The Jewish Ghetto is an interesting historic neighborhood in Venice that dates back to the 16th century and has a rich cultural history. It’s an excellent spot to learn about the city’s Jewish past and see a lesser-known portion of Venice.

Venice – Jewish Ghetto – Photo: Steven Zucker via Creative Commons

Explore the Lido

A long, narrow island with stunning beaches and a quaint town center. The Lido is a popular site for beach lovers visiting Venice.

The island is near the city and has many beautiful beaches and a small town center with shops, restaurants, and other services. Relax and enjoy the sun, or take some time off from the rush and bustle of the city.

Venice – Lido – Photo: Chris73 via Creative Commons

Murano and Burano Islands

These islands are noted for their colorful buildings, glass-blowing, and lace-making traditions.


Murano Island is famous for its glassblowing heritage, and tourists may see demonstrations of this old technique at one of the island’s many glass factories.

Murano Glass – Photo: Dan Hadar


Burano is famed for its colorful buildings and lace-making traditions, and it’s a lovely area to stroll about and take in the sights. Both islands are easy to get to by boat from Venice, and a day trip is a great way to spend a day away from the city.

Venice – Murano and Burano – Photo: Trey Ratcliff via Creative Commons

Visit the Ca’ d’Oro

This beautiful palace used to be the home of a wealthy merchant, but now it is a museum with a collection of art and old things. Visitors may tour the palace’s exquisite chambers and learn about its history or take in the views of the canal from its balconies.

Venice – Ca’ d’Oro – Photo: David Nicholls via Creative Commons

Basilica di Santa Maria Gloriosa dei Frari

A magnificent Gothic church with a lovely interior. The Basilica di Santa Maria Gloriosa dei Frari, located in the center of Venice, is a beautiful gothic church. The Virgin Mary Church is recognized for its gorgeous interior, elaborate carvings, frescoes, and ornaments.

Visitors may explore the church’s nave, supported by gigantic pillars, and enjoy its exquisite altar, decked with gold and precious stones. The Basilica of Santa Maria Gloriosa dei Frari also houses numerous significant pieces of art, including six Titian paintings.

Venice – Santa Maria Gloriosa dei Frari – Photo: Joe Shlabotnik via Creative Commons

Explore the Palazzo Grassi

Modern art museum in a stunning 18th-century mansion. For art enthusiasts visiting Venice, the Palazzo Grassi is a mandatory visit.

It is in a beautiful 18th-century castle with a great collection of modern art, including pieces by Jeff Koons, David Hockney, and Takashi Murakami, among others.

Venice – Palazzo Grassi – Photo: Jean-Pierre Dalbéra via Creative Commons

Visit the Galleria dell’Accademia

The Galleria dell’Accademia museum is in the middle of the city and has a great collection of paintings and sculptures from the 13th to the 18th centuries. Artists like Titian, Veronese, and Tintoretto have pieces.

It’s a great place to learn about the city’s art history and see some of its most famous pieces.

Venice – Galleria dell’Academia – Photo: Kotomi via Creative Commons

Walk around the Giardini

The Giardini is a magnificent park with a lake and walkways twisting among the trees. The park is a terrific spot to relax and escape the multitude and has stunning views of the city skyline. The Giardini also houses other significant structures, including the Biennale Art Pavilion and the Palazzo delle Esposizioni, which feature exhibitions and activities all year.

Santa Croce

Santa Croce is a neighborhood in the same-named district. It is on the city’s eastern side and is famous for its beautiful churches and landmarks.

The Basilica di Santa Croce, a beautiful Gothic-style church with a number of important works of art, including the tomb of the famous Venetian composer Antonio Vivaldi, is one of the most popular places to visit in Santa Croce. People who visit Venice often visit the church, which is known for its beautiful architecture and long history.

In addition to the Basilica di Santa Croce, the area is also home to a number of other exciting landmarks and attractions. The Ponte dei Tre Archi (Three Arches Bridge) is popular with tourists and locals alike. It has beautiful views of the city’s waterways.

Another popular place to visit is the Scuola di San Giovanni Evangelista, which has a number of important works of art and historical artifacts.

Santa Croce also has a lot of shops, restaurants, and cafes, so it’s a great place to look around and get a feel for how people in Venice live.

Water Taxis in Santa Croce – Photo: Florin Gorgan

Scuola Grande di San Rocco

The Scuola Grande di San Rocco is a lovely Renaissance structure in the center of Venice famous for its gorgeous, frescoed interior. The structure, formerly a school for the city’s affluent businessmen, is now a museum with an art and antique collection. Visitors may tour the building’s lovely chambers and appreciate the murals depicting scenes from Saint Roch’s life.

Venice – Scuola Grande di San Rocco – Photo: Zairon via Creative Commons

Places to Stay

In Venice, there are several possibilities for lodging, ranging from luxury hotels to budget-friendly guesthouses.

If you want to stay in style, book a room at one of the city’s five-star hotels, such as the Hotel Danieli or the Belmond Hotel Cipriani. These hotels provide breathtaking vistas, first-rate amenities, and exceptional service.

Hotel Danieli

The Hotel Danieli is one of the top hotels in Venice and is near the Basilica di San Marco. The hotel includes elegant rooms and suites with antique furnishings, many of which have views of the canal. The hotel’s amenities include a rooftop pool deck, a spa, and gourmet restaurants.

Venice – Hotel Danieli – Photo: TravelingOtter via Creative Commons

Belmond Hotel Cipriani

The Belmond Hotel Cipriani is a five-star luxury hotel in Giudecca, a short boat trip from the city center. The hotel has spacious rooms and suites with trendy designs, many with private balconies with city views. Amenities at the hotel include a pool, a spa, and many restaurants providing Italian and foreign cuisine.

Gritti Palace

The Hotel Gritti Palace is a five-star luxury hotel on the Grand Canal. The hotel has exquisite rooms and suites with vintage furniture, many of which offer canal views. The hotel has a rooftop patio, bar, spa, and gourmet restaurant.

Hotel Ca’ Vendramin Calergi

The Hotel Ca’ Vendramin Calergi is a beautiful four-star Venice hotel near the Rialto Bridge. The hotel has elegant rooms and suites with modern furniture, many of which offer canal views. The hotel’s amenities include a rooftop terrace with a bar, a spa, and an Italian restaurant.

Bauer Il Palazzo

The Hotel Bauer Il Palazzo is a five-star luxury hotel in Venice city center. The hotel has large rooms and suites with trendy designs, many of which feature canal views. Amenities at the hotel include a rooftop terrace with a bar and pool, a spa, and a gourmet restaurant.

Palazzo Vitturi

The Hotel Palazzo Vitturi is a five-star luxury hotel in the Dorsoduro area, close to the Guggenheim Museum and the Accademia Gallery. The hotel has exquisite rooms and suites with high ceilings and antique furnishings, as well as a rooftop patio with views of the city. The hotel has a spa, a bar, and a restaurant featuring Venetian cuisine.

Venice – Hotel Palazzo Vitturi – Photo: PalazzoVitturi

Hotel Ca’ Sagredo

The Hotel Ca’ Sagredo is a five-star luxury hotel with exquisite rooms and suites with high ceilings and antique furnishings, as well as a rooftop patio with views of the city. The hotel features a spa, a bar, and a gourmet restaurant.

You might also consider staying in an apartment if you’re traveling with a group or want more solitude and space.

What to Eat and Where to Eat

Venice is well-known for its seafood, and several restaurants serve fresh fish and other seafood dishes around the city.

Some popular choices include Osteria al Portego, which is known for its seafood-focused menu and cozy atmosphere, Ristorante Al Covo, which serves a mix of seafood and traditional Venetian dishes in an old building with a view of the Grand Canal, and Ristorante Da Fiore, which is known for its creative seafood dishes and elegant atmosphere.

If you don’t like shellfish, other forms of Italian food, such as pasta and pizza, are available in Venice.

Trattoria da Fiore, which provides generous amounts of classic Venetian meals in a friendly, family-run atmosphere, and Ristorante Giorgione, which offers a variety of pasta and pizza dishes as well as a selection of meat and fish dishes, are two popular places for these foods.

When it comes to where to eat, there are numerous alternatives to select from. Restaurants can be found all over the city, from the bustling Rialto Market, where you can sample local produce and seafood, to the quieter streets of the Dorsoduro neighborhood, which has a variety of restaurants serving everything from traditional Venetian cuisine to more modern, international fare.

Some restaurants also have outdoor seating, which is a nice choice throughout the summer.

For a truly authentic dining experience, you might want to go to a cicchetti bar, which serves small plates of typical Venetian appetizers, or a bacaro, which serves drinks and small bites in a more casual setting.

Venice – Food – Photo: Jorge Zapata

Some Additional Travel Suggestions

Here are a few pointers to make the most of your visit to Venice:

  • Wear comfortable shoes, since you’ll be doing a lot of walking throughout the city.
  • Prepare for crowds during peak tourist season (May to September).
  • Consider getting a Venice City Pass, which provides admission to significant sites and public transit.
  • Stay hydrated and rest in the shade or at a café to avoid overheating during the warmer months.
  • The wording is a little different, but it’s the same idea.

Venice – Photo: Federico Beccari

Final Thoughts

As we approach the end of our visit to Venice, it’s difficult not to be enchanted by the city’s charm and splendor. I already want to go back!

There is so much to adore about this one-of-a-kind place, from the winding canals and elegant architecture to the rich cultural traditions and delectable food.

So, use this guide to plan your trip. Pack your luggage and prepare to be enchanted by this one-of-a-kind place. We’re convinced you’ll fall in love with Venice and everything it offers, whether you stay in a magnificent hotel or a quaint guesthouse, see world-renowned sites, or discover the city’s secret corners.


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