Venice Holidays & City Breaks

Venice holidays will have any old-world romantic swooning over its moonlit gondola rides, Lady and the Tramp style spaghetti-filled hotspots and fairytale-like palaces. That’s when its UNESCO World Heritage Site backdrop made up of 400 timeless bridges and 16th-century Baroque churches aren’t capturing the hearts of history hunters. And that’s before we mention its alluring art scene! Think Picasso, Dali and Miro creations decorating the walls of the Palazzo Venier dei Leoni. 

With our Venice city breaks, you’ll witness dreamy sunsets over the Grand Canal, sip macchiatos on rooftop terraces and lose yourself among winding cobbles adorned with cosy cocktail hideaways and chic boutiques. Sounds enchanting, right?

6 reasons to visit Venice 

  • Captivating culture: From Italian Renaissance art to Byzantine-influenced architecture and 100 history-stuffed museums, Venice is packed with over 1,200 years of rich heritage.
  • World-renowned cuisine: Heavily influenced by the lagoon’s bounty, expect calamari rings, scallops and shrimp dipped in batter and crisped to perfection! That’s when you’re not chowing down on bolognese or creamy risotto. 
  • Never a bad time to visit: Venice city breaks are year-round with hot summers and cool winters, but the best time to visit is during spring and autumn. 
  • Iconic hotspots: Rialto Bridge at sunset, Peggy Guggenheim Collection for iconic art, All’Arco for a true Venetian Breakfast and Doge’s Palace for your history fix. 
  • Laid-back lifestyle: Immerse yourself in the Venetian way of life - relaxed, care-free, and somewhat otherworldly.
  • Wine for days: Dotted with wine bars, including the popular Vino Vero, Al Merca and Estro, it won’t be hard to find a glass of prosecco rosé or a bottle of fruity Valpolicella (a medium-bodied red).
     

Things to do

Combine museum-hopping in the Dorsoduro District with market browsing at Rialto and orchestral sounds at Piazza San Marco with our Venice city breaks. For panoramic views check out the 360-degree vistas at St. Mark’s Campanile. Or maybe you’re a foodie searching for the best Cicchetti (an Italian tapas dish) in one of the city’s waterfront bacaros AKA wine bars. Either way, there are endless big-name attractions in Italy’s Floating City. After all, it wasn’t dubbed the centre of European art and architecture for no reason

Explore its beautiful backdrop   

The real star of any holiday to Venice has to be the city’s mesmerising setting. Located in northeast Italy along the country’s Adriatic coast and built on almost 120 small islands, it’s unlike any other destination in the world. And the best way to see it? Well, it can only be by gondola or waterbus (vaporetti), of course! 

Ride the Grand Canal and wind through idyllic alleyways passing must-visit sites such as the Rialto Bridge, Ca D’oro and the Peggy Guggenheim Museum along the way. Get off at St. Mark’s Square, one of the most famous piazzas across the globe, for a bite to eat at Osteria Ae Sconte. This delicious hotspot is open until 11pm and has gained quite the reputation for its seafood risotto! 

But there’s more to this Italian gem than cityscapes, and Lido di Venezia is it. Best known for its toe-sinking sands and proudly the home of Venice Film Festival, this blissful beach resort is perfect for sun-seeking couples.

Get lost among world-famous architecture

No trip to Venice is complete without admiring its most historic structures. You only have to take one look at 900-year-old St Mark’s Basilica to see what all the fuss is about. We’re talking 500 Byzantine columns, 85,000 square feet of mosaics made out of real gold and an altar constructed of pearls, sapphires and rubies!

Doge’s Palace should also be on your radar. As the former home of 120 Dukes and a prison of the Venetian public. With over 1,000 years of influences from the Byzantine, Gothic and Renaissance eras, you can explore everything from works of art by Veronese, Titian and Tintoretto that depict the city’s history to weapons and cells deep down in the dungeons. 

For examples of old meets new, the Punta della Dogana is a former 16th-century Venetian Republic Customs House that splits the Grand Canal from the Giudecca Canal with its triangular form. It’s now used as a contemporary art space housing collections from François Pinault after undergoing a striking reinvention by Japanese architect Tadao Ando in 2009.

Discover one of Europe’s most romantic destinations

Looking to reignite an old spark? Or maybe you’re thinking about the ultimate proposal spot. With a Venice Holiday, you’ll fall head-over-heels not only for each other but your surroundings. Every night is date night in the Floating City, and nothing will captivate you more than a love story showcased through ballet and opera at Theatre La Fenice. And is there anything more romantic than snuggling up under the moonlit sky on a gondola as you coast the Grand Canal? Ask to float by the Bridge of Sighs, the rumour has it, if you kiss while passing under the 1,600-year-old structure you’ll find happiness and eternal love. 

Drift over to Torcello and follow in the footsteps of the great writer Ernest Hemingway. Escape the crowds and opt for a cosy lunch at the Michelin-starred Locanda Cipriani, also a renowned wedding hotspot. Before checking out the Byzantine mosaics in the 7th-century Cathedral of Santa Maria Dell ‘Assunta. Or follow one of the many walking paths through the nature preserve that makes up most of the island. 

More Travel Guides

We also have travel guides available for more Italian destinations, including: Amalfi | Ischia Porto | Florence | Lake Garda | Limone | Malcesine | Rome | Sant'Agnello | Sardinia | Sicily | Sorrento | Venetian Riviera

Map of Venice

world_map
29 ℃

Best time to visit: April to June and September to October for warm comfortable temperatures.

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2 - 2.5 hours

Venice Marco Polo Airport (VCE) is located 12km from the city.

Venice is best for...

Romance: Fall in love all over again as you’re serenaded on a gondola ride through the Grand Canal. Or how about a candle-lit meal at Cantina Do Spade? It’s rumoured that Casanova himself dined at this 600-year-old trattoria. 

Festival-goers: Take your pick from a rich programme of art and cultural events throughout the year from Venice International Film Festival to Veneto Jazz. And if you time your holiday just right (February), Venice Carnival is an unforgettable display of regatta boat races, fairs and live performances!

Art enthusiasts: From ancient churches displaying gold-plated mosaics to grand palaces decked in Renaissance art, you won’t be short of creations from world-renowned artists in Venice. Bellini's San Zaccaria altarpiece, Tintoretto's Crucifixion and Gustav Klimt's Judith II are just some of the highlights.

Fast facts for Venice

Language: The language spoken in Venice is Italian. But you’ll find English is widely spoken in tourist areas.

Currency: The currency used in Venice is the Euro (€).

Local time: Venice is one hour ahead of GMT/UK time.

Fly to: Venice Marco Polo Airport (VCE) is located 12km from the city.

Flight time from the UK: 2 - 2.5 hours.

Tourist information: Further Venice tourist information can be found at the official website for tourism in Venice.

Holiday destinations related to Venice:

Getting around Venice

By foot: The best way to truly experience the heart and soul of Venice is to take on its narrow alleys and numerous bridges on foot. Due to its small size, it’s easy to get from A to B quickly. For example, strolling from the Santa Lucia railway station to Saint Mark’s Square will take around 30 minutes.

By waterbus: Where normal cities have buses, Venice uses Vaporettos (a waterbus) to navigate the city’s vast network of canals. Main routes which stop at destination highlights such as St. Mark’s Square run between 5am and midnight. But you will also find nighttime routes running from 11:30pm until 5am when you fancy a night on the town. And if you’re travelling with tots in tow, those under 6 are free! 

By water taxi: Local water taxis are one of the most expensive ways of getting around Venice, but they are by far one of the fastest and most convenient modes of transportation in the city. Want to cut the cost down? These boats hold up to 10 people, so if you can share you’ll save a few euros. And don’t worry about flagging one down, you’ll spot them sprinkled across the waterways.

By gondola: Not only a symbol of history and tradition but one of the most alluring ways to see the city.
Gondola fares are standard and set officially. Rates are currently €80 for a daytime ride and €100 for rides after 7pm. This is usually for 30 minutes on the water. If you want to extend your experience, you'll pay €40 for each additional 20 minutes aboard, or €50 after 7pm.

Events in Venice

Party in the streets: The Venice Carnival sees thousands of masked locals take to its cobbles in 17th-century Venetian clothing for music, fireworks, fun fairs and theatrical performances. Celebrations usually begin in early February and end around Shrove Tuesday.

Contemporary art exhibitions: Experience the very best in Italian contemporary art at La Biennale di Venezia in May. This world-famous art exhibition is held every odd-numbered year, in various venues throughout the city.

Film Extravaganza: Be in the presence of filmmakers, world-famous directors and movie stars at the Venice International Film Festival, one of the biggest events in the cinema calendar, in August. Held at the Palazzo del Cinema, keep your eyes peeled for tickets to the latest screenings.

Venice weather

Temperature: Average highs of 29 (°C) in summer and 5 (°C) in winter.

Best time to visit: During the spring or autumn for warm and comfortable temperatures.

Venice experiences a humid, subtropical climate with hot summers, cool winters and an even amount of rainfall throughout the year. Venice city breaks can be enjoyed year-round, but the best time to visit is from March to June and September to October for mild temperatures perfect for exploring. You can expect average highs of 15 to 20°C during these months. If you’re not afraid to pack your winter coat, you can still soak up the sights between November and February.

Best hotels in Venice

Similar destinations

FAQs
FAQs
How do you get to and from Venice airport?

Venice Marco Polo Airport is located 4.3 miles to the north of the city. The ATVO bus connects you straight to the city centre (Piazzale Roma) in around 20 to 30 minutes, and runs every 20 minutes at the price of €15 return or €8 a single trip. You’ll also find Alilaguna water buses dotted around the airport and they’ll drop you at St. Mark’s Square for as little as €15. Travelling as a large group? Fitting up to 10 people, a water taxi is great for big families but does cost approx €100.
*Prices are correct at the time of writing.

When is the best time to visit Venice?

With mild temperatures and fewer crowds, September to October is arguably one of the best times to visit Venice enjoying comfortable highs of 20°C. However, if you want to experience Venice Carnival, we recommend you head here in February or around Easter for other fun-filled fiestas. Mid-spring is also a great choice if you want to avoid any downpours while you’re checking out the sights from the top of St Mark's Campanile.

What are the top 5 hidden gems in Venice?

There’s so much more to Venice holidays than gondola rides and canals. From secret tours to Neoclassical churches, here are our top 5 hidden gems.

1. Gelatoteca Suso: If the name hasn’t already given it away, it’s one of Venice’s tucked-away gelato spots a short walk from Rialto Bridge. Trust us, the chocolate mixed with orange sorbet is an ice cream you never knew you needed! 

2. San Giorgio Maggiore: Art fanatics this one’s for you! This little island is home to one of the most photographed basilicas in Venice, storing three floors of paintings by Tintoretto. 

3. Ca’ Macana: Venice is widely recognised for its 800-year-old mask-wearing tradition, often showcased at Venice Carnival. But did you know down the street of Dorsoduro, you’ll find the shop famous for having created the masks for the Stanley Kubrick film Eyes Wide Shut? Theatres such as the Vienna Opera House also use their masks regularly.

4. Doge’s Palace Secret Tour: Gain entry into Doge’s most exclusive rooms with this one-of-a-kind tour! Here you’ll discover the Chamber of the Secret Chancellery, where cabinets contain top-secret documents. Feel like a VIP as you wander through the Chamber of the Three Head Magistrates, which has a secret passageway leading to the Chamber of the Council of Ten.

5.  Campo San Maurizio - This picturesque square is dominated by the Neoclassical church of Museo della Musica, focusing on Baroque music. And five times a year, an antique market is also held here with stalls housing everything from pocket watches to old postcards. 

What are the dos and don’ts in Venice?

Are you a first-timer looking for some tips? Well, look no further! Here are some of our handy Venice do’s and don’ts to save you money, time and more value.

  • DO…visit the local fisherman market by the Rialto bridge, and do it well before 12pm! This is the only spot in town to buy anything that comes from the sea.
  • DON’T…walk in the centre of the narrow streets, it may seem obvious not to take up the whole alleyway, but it’s basic etiquette to keep to the left.
  • DOhire your own gondola and see the city at your own pace!
  • DON'T… be fooled by the fake Murano glass. Real purchases can be found in the Original Murano Glass OMG® Factory & Showroom and MuranoVitrum
  • DO…check out the beautiful rainbow-coloured fisherman's island of Burano! It's roughly 37 minutes by ferry from Venice, but totally charming and worth it.
  • DON'T… grab a drink or snack at St. Mark’s Square unless you want to pay above the odds. Instead, get lost among the cobbles to discover more affordable and often tastier places to eat. 
Should I tip in bars and restaurants in Venice?

If a service charge is included in the bill, there’s no need to tip. But by all means, feel free to leave an extra 5 to 10% if you’ve had exceptional service. If you notice there’s no service charge, leaving around a 12% tip is always a kind gesture, but isn’t expected nor mandatory.

Does Uber operate in Venice?

There is no Uber service in or around Venice. The quickest way of transportation is either by water taxi or waterbus. See our section on getting around Venice for more information.

What are the best day trips from Venice?

Venice is a great base to explore Italy’s Northern attractions including the nearby islands of Murano and Burano which are a short 37-minute boat ride away. These mini city-like towns are famed for their waterways, bridges and traditional Venetian art. Murano, in particular, is also home to Venice’s glassblowing industry. The awe-inspiring city of Verona can also be reached within just over an hour by train. Here you’ll find one of the finest Roman arenas in existence, lavish churches and a castle repurposed as an art museum! 

For natural wonders, the Dolomite Mountains are a two-hour car journey. And trust us, it’s worth it! Listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the top ski resorts in Italy, you’re surrounded by snow-dusted peaks, tiny Alpine villages and shimmering lakes.

How do you dine like an Italian?

If you want an authentic Italian experience, here are a few steps to take on your trip to Venice.

1. Breakfast is minimal: Great news if you’re not a fan of a stodgy Full English! The locals like to start their day with a sweet coffee and pastry at a cafe. 

2. Another coffee break: At around 10:30am, you’ll want another pick-me-up (especially if you’re exploring), so an espresso or macchiato stop is exactly how the locals keep energised. If you want a cappuccino, we’d suggest doing so now, as you won’t find an Italian ordering one after noon. 

3. Hearty lunch: Restaurants tend to serve lunch between 1pm until 2:30pm whipping up the likes of tagliatelle to start and meat dishes for mains. More authentic eateries will shut for a few hours before reopening again for dinner. 

4. Gelato time: Around 4pm Italians like a snack, and what better light bite than a soft scoop of your favourite ice cream?

5. Pre-drinks (aperitivo): Cocktail hours start between 6:30 and end at 8:30pm before having dinner.

6. Late dinner: Kick back with a glass of wine after 8:30pm and devour several small courses of local cuisine including antipasti starters, freshly caught fish with sauteed potatoes as your main and tiramisu for dessert.