Top attractions in Padua
Top sights in Padua
7 Amazing Sightseeing Spots In Padua
Often mentioned in the same breath as Venice, Padua is a tourism destination in its own right. Medieval architecture, including the buildings of one of the world’s oldest universities, inspired even William Shakespeare, who based The Taming of the Shrew here.
1. Scrovegni Chapel
Book ahead to visit this beautiful chapel in Padua, where Giotto's frescoes date back to 1305. In the art world, the work is considered alongside Michelangelo's Sistine Chapel.
2. Basilica of Saint Anthony of Padua
Catch a bus or tram from Padua's Padova station to this impressive cathedral, where self-led tours should take about an hour and admission is free for adults and children.
3. Palazzo della Ragione
This impressive medieval former palace of law was built in 1215. It now offers historic artworks and information alongside a daily market downstairs. Visit inside for 4€.
4. Abbey of Santa Giustina
This unassuming abbey hides its treasures indoors, where marble floors, painted ceilings, and grand columns make a big impression on visitors.
5. Orto Botanico di Padova
Wander through these manicured botanical gardens. They were established in 1545, making them the world's oldest. A beautiful afternoon whether or not you've got a green thumb.
6. Prato della Valle
The largest square in Italy, this is the place for a slice of local life. Socializing and shooting the breeze are some of the more favored pasttimes. Grab an espresso and join in!
7. Padua Cathedral
Known locally as the Duomo di Padova, a visit here is one of the most popular things to do and see in Padua. Not least because Michelango was involved in the building's design.
Planning Your Visit
Padua is best known for the local university, which is the second oldest in Italy, and celebrated throughout Europe. Established in 1222, it is still very prestigious. Visit the university's website for details of tours of the historic buildings, including the theater and halls.
Padua to Venice
The city of Padua is less than an hour's drive from Venice, making it a popular day trip destination. Trains from Venice Mestre leave regularly and can take as little as 14 minutes.
Where to stay?
Padua offers plenty of accommodation options for travellers, including cheap hostels for backpackers, which cost from around 13€ for a dorm bed. There are also many cheaper hotel or B&B options, as well as up-market hotels. The area is generally more affordable than Venice, meaning some travellers choose to stay here and commute to the attractions of Venice.
Good to know
- Euro (€)
- Time Zone
- UTC (+01:00)
- Country Code
- Best time to visit
- Spring is a great time for a visit, because the temperatures are milder, but still warm. The city offers plenty of festivals throughout the year, so may be best to plan your visit around what you want to see the most!
Other Sightseeing Options in Padua
Want to discover all there is to do in Padua? Click here for a full list.
What people are saying about Padua
This wine tour was excellent from start to finish! Our guide, Mario is a sommelier and extremely knowledgeable about the region and it's wines. We visited 2 small, family run vineyards and learned different aspects of the wine making process at each. The wines we tasted were excellent! So good in fact that we ordered a case at each vineyard to be shipped home! The restaurant we were taken to for lunch was also very good with lots of charm and great food. Many locals eating there at our read Saturday - always a good indication. Mario met us at the meeting point right on time and dropped us off a little closer to Venice so we would have a shorter walk. He also took us to a small deli to pick up some of the cheese and meats we had enjoyed during the wine tasting. Overall, this was an exceptional day that we would highly recommend! Mario was early arriving at the
One of the Best Tours ever - Thanks to Rachel and Mario
The tour was well planned and executed. Mario and Rachel were extremely knowledgeable and provided an experience that will last for a life time. The tour of two different wineries was an interesting comparison of same wines but different in nose and taste. The lunch at a local restaurant was superb...their local meats and pasta were outstanding - the dessert was exceptional. We plan to go back for a return visit. I consider them “new friends” in our experiencing the world. The personal services made our trip stress-free. The expense was high, but the experience was worth it!!!
Lovely peaceful day drifting gently down the river to Venice.
The guide was lovely and delivered a lot of very interesting information throughout the trip in several languages. The three villa’s we visited were all worth seeing and with something unique to each so they were not all the same. There are some scarily low bridges on the river that meant it was not safe the be on the upper deck for some parts of the trip but there were no bridges on the last stretch so we sat on the upper deck then and it was a really lovely way to arrive in Venice.
Very special to visit 3 villas, but trip was too long at 9.5 hours
We especially enjoyed Villa Pisano and would have liked to see more villas. The guide was incredibly knowledgeable, patient and able to communicate well in Italian, English, French and German. She was very impressive. The boat had good air conditioning and sufficient, comfortable seating. To reduce the length of the trip: Could the boat go faster? Could passengers be expected to bring their lunch?
Good, but expensive for what was offered, i.e. a guided tour round three villas. The canal trip was not very interesting, as little explanation of its origin, or the wildlife was on offer. We took the option of exiting after the third villa, at Stra, to get back to Venice at a more reasonable hour. This coincided with rush hour, which made the bus late and crowded.