Venice is such a beautiful Island and there is so much to see. Whether you’re visiting just for a few days or making a week or two of it, you are sure to be blown away by its beauty and grace!
Here are the best things to do in Venice…
Boat Tour of the Islands
Finding a boat tour for us was a bit of a ‘hope for the best’ kind of situation as we didn’t have time to do our research before. We found a 5.5 hour boat tour of 3 islands for 20 euro each at one of the huts down by the harbour. This tour included Burano, Murano and Torcello! Although it was 5 hours and included a quick tour of the glass factory in Murano, we actually only got around 45 minutes on each island which was just about enough to walk around and head back to boat before it departs again. We also booked the English tour but the tour guide spoke all 3 languages and was difficult to differentiate if he was speaking english or not.
We found the boat tour to be a good quick insight into the different islands but if we were to go again, we would simply get the water buses to each island as they are easy to catch just outside the train station and stop at every destination!
P31 Sky Bar
This is located in a hotel just opposite the main Gondola port. The actual bar area is quite small, but the view is incredible and fully worth the 11 euro Aperol. It is quite chilly up there and they don’t provide blankets so I would suggest taking a jacket, but over all the experience is a must see and the view is breathtaking!
Giudecca island Skyline Rooftop Bar
You can get to the Skyline bar via water taxi by the station or harbour of Venice. Although slightly pricier than some places, the view is even more amazing that P31 Sky Bar and the perfect place to drink and eat for the evening.
Watch Live Orchestra @ Vivaldi’s Church
We paid 25 euros each for our tickets that we bought on the door last minute. We were skeptical at first, as we’re not avid orchestra fans but we thought when in Venice…why not! We took our seats in the church and watched in awe as the small orchestra played and blew everyone away. They played famous songs, some of which even I knew, so I was really glad we went and it was the perfect way to get into the Venetian spirit.
Tip: We sat on the benches but they actually REALLY hurt your back, so if you can, grab one of the chairs or an extra cushion!
Burano is home of traditional lace making and multi coloured houses. Although we didn’t have long here, from what we did see, it is the perfect place for lunch, aimlessly strolling around and shopping. You can pop into one of the traditional lace making shops and watch lace being made in its most traditional form and even pick up a little souvenir to suit your style.
It’s also very residential, so it’s the perfect place to get lost in multicoloured Italian heaven, whilst chewing on a traditional Italian pastry.
Visiting the glass factory was part of our tour in Murano. We got a quick demonstration and were then rushed into the factory gift shop. Although there were lots of beautiful things to buy, we did feel like we were just a part of the big tourist money-making scheme. When we left to explore ourselves, we found lots of other little glass making factories and shops that we leisurely walked round at our pace. It’s also big enough to explore for a couple of hours and there’s lots of little cafès and restaurants to take your pick from. I would say pencil in at least 2-3 hours here, or if you can – the whole day!
Cathedral @ Torcello
The cathedral is around a 10 minute walk from the harbour where the water bus drops you, but the walk is very pleasant and refreshing. With live music on the walk way and little bridges, cafès and a lovely canal on the way, the 10 minutes fly by!
Most famous for it’s Byzantine mosaics in the seventh-century Cathedral of Santa Maria Dell’Assunta, it’s the perfect destination for a peaceful morning away from the hustle and bustle of Venice.
Tip: Entry into the Cathedral is around 4 euros each
Island Hop via Water Bus
On our boat tour, we passed so many water bus stops in quant towns with little restaurants and shops on the water front. Some with only a couple of people, which makes it the perfect idea for a romantic day or a spontaneous trip to somewhere completely new!
Tip: You can get your tickets from opposite the train station and you could ask locals on the bus where they recommend to get the real Venetian experience!
Explore Traditional Venetian Fashion
There is so much to see when you walk around Venice, from the Venetian masks to the traditional fancy dress shops! It’s so easy to get lost in the cobble streets and feel like you are transported into the olden times. It’s amazing that even with so many tourists each day, Venice has not lots its authenticity and culture.
Tip: Some shops may not look like much from the outside, but if you give them a chance and go in, sometimes they can be the most beautiful. We found one mask shop had a stall set up at the back where the shop owner sits and paints them all day, and a traditional shoe shop with all the original equipment!
Drinks in St Mark’s Square
It’s no surprise that St Mark’s Square will be top of your list when visiting Venice, and for good reason! It’s got such a buzz and with the live music and beautiful setting, it’s the perfect place to wind down after a long day of exploring. Although it is beautiful, it is also very expensive so be prepared to spend money!
It’s around 18 euros for a beer/wine and 16 euros for a croissant…
There is still SO much more you can do in Venice, not including the inevitable Gondola ride through the beautiful canals and streets. It really is such a beautiful place with so much to offer.
P.S. Venice’s rainy season is around October – we visited late September and had a 2 full days of rain…so book earlier on in the year if you can!
Happy Travels everyone!
And don’t forget to subscribe to my emails for more travel tips x