Although Venice has a reputation for crowds, it's an Italian city not to be missed. With over 100 islands, you can enjoy the top sites and still find hidden corners and authentic cultural elements, like tasting Cicchetti and drinking an Apertivo. You can't miss Venice's primary landmarks, including the sprawling Piazza San Marco and its dominating church, San Marco Basilica, nor the Grand Canal and the ornate Doge's Palace. But Venice allows you to go further, exploring its island network and venturing into the nearby Prosecco Hills.

Getting Oriented

Take a gondola ride around the Venetian canal network.

You'll find Venice tucked away in northeastern Italy along the Adriatic Sea. You may already know it as a popular tourist destination, typically attracting over 35 million visitors a year. With such a unique city center that appears to be floating with a network of romantic canals, plus an endless variety of art, architecture, history, and mystery, it's no surprise the city is worth a visit. Besides Venice's historic core, you can also explore the islands of the Venetian Lagoon, famous for the colorful pastel-hued houses and tranquil canals. 

Don't miss touring the city's most popular sites, the Doge's Palace and St. Mark's Basilica on Piazza San Marco. Venice was one of the maritime republics of the Middle Ages, known as La Serenissima (The Most Serene), so the city is brimming with enchanting political history. Enjoy a nighttime walking tour, eat traditional Cicchetti at bàcari bars, and explore the bustling markets that still offer authenticity. Learn more about what Venice has to offer as the floating city of art and culture.

Historical Venice

Venice's history spans centuries and the best way to get in deep is to visit the infamous Doge's Palace and the picturesque St. Mark's Basilica. 

Doge's Palace & St. Mark's Basilica Secret Passages Tour

The ornate interior of Doge's Palace.

Enjoy a full tour of the Doge's Palace and St. Mark's Basilica, including its secret passages, torture chambers, and the prison cell that once housed Casanova (yes, the Casanova!). Regular tours don't allow access to these special places, so with an expert guide, you'll learn about every nook and cranny in this impressive mansion, known as the hidden world of political Venice. Discover secret government archives and top-echelon offices, plus the palace's waiting rooms, council halls, and ornate ballrooms. Then enjoy a complete look inside the Basilica, including its stunning gold mosaics and the famous altarpiece, the Pala D'oro. Read More

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Cultural Venice

Venice is a tourist hotspot, but you can easily leave the crowds behind and reveal the authentic culture that makes this city so special. Visit one of its many islands and join the locals in the traditional neighborhoods for an Aperitivo ritual.

Full Day Tour to Murano, Burano, Torcello, & San Francesco

Colorful Streets of Burano and Murano.

Escape the crowds of Venice and enjoy a tranquil excursion into the Venetian Lagoon, visiting islands like Burano, Murano, Torcello, and San Francesco. Enjoy the brightly colored streets and quiet canals, explore monasteries and gardens, sip local wines, visit Venice's oldest church, and discover the glass-blowing heritage of Murano. You'll have plenty of time to wander each island, absorbing the unique culture and beautiful scenery. Enjoy cruising through the lagoon by boat, catching glimpses of stunning Venice in the distance. Read More

Bike Tour on Lido Island

Tempio Votivo War Memorial on Lido.

One of the best ways to experience the long stretch of Venice Lido is by bike. A guide will lead you around the island, passing important sites like a 14th-century Jewish cemetery, San Nicolò Church (where a thousand-year-old maritime ceremony takes place), and the protected San Nicolò Natural Reserve. Enjoy views along the coastline, observing some of the island's distinctive architecture, such as Grand Hotel des Bains and Hotel Excelsior. Relax on Alberoni Beach, visit the colorful fishing village of Malamocco, and peruse the Lido Market for a perfect afternoon Aperitivo. Read More

Venice Night Walking Tour

Get behind the scenes and explore Venice at night.

Experience Venice at night and enjoy a different and unique perspective of the city. Meander the mysterious and dark side streets known as calles in the districts of San Marco, Rialto Market, and Dorsoduro. Venice is even more beautiful at night when everyone settles into a restaurant for dinner and the street lights mirror on the canals, illuminating the city’s monuments and hidden corners. Highlights include passing by the Church of Santa Maria Assunta, the Basilica dei Santi Giovanni e Paolo, the Casa di Marco Polo, and the Basilica della Salute Church, plus the world-famous Rialto Market, all at night. Read More

Tastes of Venice

There's a lot of delicious recipes and products to try in Venice, but the two culinary staples include prosecco and Cicchetti. Peruse the markets, enjoy a night of bar-hopping, and visit the vineyards producing Italy's popular bubbly. 

Market & Cicchetti Food Tour

Locals chatting and shopping at the market.

Join the locals and eat like a true Venetian by perusing the famous Rialto Market, snacking at traditional Cicchetti bars, and savoring an authentic lunch. Start in the oldest part of Venice, at the Rialto Fish Market, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Watch the local fishmongers do their thing and learn a bit about the city's seafood heritage. Then enjoy the beloved Cicchetti culture of Venice, a daily ritual involving tapas-like appetizers (typically starring slices of bread topped with an assortment of flavors) and a drink (commonly a chilled glass of prosecco) at traditional bàcari bars. Stop at two bars to enjoy the delicious finger foods, then take a gondolino to an authentic Venetian restaurant for lunch. Read More

Prosecco Wine Tour from Venice

Peruse local wine and prosecco shops.

Discover the history of prosecco, the most famous Italian sparkling wine in the regional hills near Venice. Although prosecco is a popular wine, only a few artisans truly know how to produce it properly. The prosecco-producing region has DOCG status, and the route runs from Treviso to Valdobbiadene. On this tour, you'll dive deep into the luxuriant Valdobbiadene and Conegliano prosecco areas, both UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Visit two local wineries and end the tour with a guided wine tasting and light lunch. Read More

How Does Venice Fit into an Italy Itinerary?

Gondolas along the canal of Doge's Palace.

Venice is an excellent stand-alone Italian destination, but the city and surrounding regions also pair well with other major hubs, including Milan & the Lakes Region; Florence, Tuscany, & Cinque Terre; or Rome & Naples. For Venice, you need at least 2-3 days to truly absorb the city's history and culture, but add more if you'd like to explore outside the center with a visit to the islands or a nearby winery.

You can learn more about how to allocate your time in Venice, but if you're in a crunch, you can also explore Venice in 24 hours while still getting an authentic experience.

Past kimkim travelers have enjoyed the following trips that include Venice: