Things to do in
Venice

Remnants of medieval might are just the tip of the iceberg in this 1600-year-old port city.

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Our most recommended things to do in Venice

Doge's Palace & St. Mark's Basilica with Terrace Access Tour

1. Doge's Palace & St. Mark's Basilica with Terrace Access Tour

Delve deep into Venice’s history with a 3-hour guided tour of St. Mark’s Basilica and the Doge's Palace, either as a private tour or shared group experience. Take in two of the city’s most important landmarks while discovering the history of the one-time mercantile capital of the Mediterranean.  Start by exploring St. Mark's Square with your guide before heading into the cathedral. From the first-floor terrace you’ll be able to admire views across the lagoon and see the famous bronze horses up close. Hear how they traveled all the way to Paris and back in Napoleon’s time. St. Mark's Basilica sometimes closes to visitors without warning. If this happens, visit the Church of San Zaccaria or the Correr Museum instead, depending on availability. Take a tour of the beautifully ornate 15th-century church and its flooded crypt or learn about the art and history of Venice. Next, you’ll use the priority entrance to reach Doge's Palace, formerly the residence of the leader of the Republic of Venice. Enjoy visiting the Chamber of the Great Council and courtrooms among other things. Highlights include frescoes by Tintoretto and the Giants’ Staircase.  After this, cross the infamous Bridge of Sighs that links to the New Prisons. Learn how the bridge got its name and the purpose for its construction in the 17th century as you take in the amazing views of the canals. At the end of your tour, feel free to stay and explore the Doge’s Palace with tips from your guide.

Venice: Doge's Palace Reserved Entry Admission Ticket

2. Venice: Doge's Palace Reserved Entry Admission Ticket

Visit the Doge's Palace, an important historic landmark that served as the seat of Venetian political power for centuries. As you explore the seat of a 1,000-year republic, you’ll travel back in time to the Middle Ages. Marvel at the rich details of the magnificent gold staircase and spectacular works of art. Relive the anguish of the prisoners as they crossed the famous Bridge of Sighs. Your admission ticket also includes entry to the Correr Museum on St. Mark's Square. The building was originally designed as a residence for Napoleon, and later became the Venetian residence of the King of Italy.

Venice: Marco Polo Airport Water Taxi Transfer

3. Venice: Marco Polo Airport Water Taxi Transfer

Enjoy a shared water taxi service between Venice Marco Polo Airport and central Venice hotels. Choose from a 1-way or round-trip service and relax for a scenic ride. Depart straight after you find your luggage and get whisked across the lagoon to your hotel. This is the most romantic and direct way to travel to the city. Be picked up or dropped off directly at some hotels located along the Grand Canal, or hotels such as Hilton Stucky and San Clemente. For less-accessible destinations on the inner canals, a designated meeting point will be decided that is within walking distance of your hotel.  For JW Marriott - Isola delle Rose, you will be dropped off in San Marco nearby the Marriott hotel shuttle boat.

Venice: Grand Canal by Gondola with Commentary

4. Venice: Grand Canal by Gondola with Commentary

Explore the canals in the city of Venice aboard a gondola. Your gondolier will take you down secluded canals, passing under small bridges and along the Grand Canal. Listen to the guide as they explain all about the palaces, churches, and attractions around you. Hear stories known only by Venetians, and about the fascinating history of the gondola and gondoliers. During your journey, admire Desdemona’s House and Mozart’s House. You'll also pass by the magnificent La Fenice Theatre and the “De le Ostreghe” Canal. Continue on to the most important canal in Venice, the Grand Canal. Make your way towards the Salute Church, the Peggy Guggenheim Collection and some of the stunning Venetian palaces that run alongside the canal, like Ca'Dolfin, Ca'Loredan, Grimani Palace and many others. You will also see Punta de la Dogana and Saint Mark’s basin before making your way back to Campo San Moisè. At the end of the tour, you will receive a QR code to download a digital map with 2D images of Venice from the Middle Ages until the 18th century.

Marco Polo Airport: Bus Transfer to/from Venice City Center

5. Marco Polo Airport: Bus Transfer to/from Venice City Center

The airport express bus provides a non-stop service to central Venice and in just 20 minutes you’ll be dropped off at Piazzale Roma. This is the quickest and cheapest way to reach Venice from the airport, without sacrificing comfort. From Piazzale Roma you can continue to your final destination on foot, or by water-bus or water-taxi. If you will eventually be heading back to the Marco Polo Airport you can purchase a round-trip ticket, saving money and time. Buses from Piazzale Roma depart from the same place you were dropped off, at the ATVO bus platforms in the middle of the square. Dedicated staff are at your disposal to provide assistance and information.

Saint Mark's Basilica Skip-the-line Ticket and Audio Guide

6. Saint Mark's Basilica Skip-the-line Ticket and Audio Guide

Save time during your visit to Venice with a skip-the-line ticket to the popular St. Mark’s Basilica. Admire the hundreds of golden mosaics in the Basilica and learn details about the byzantine art inside with your audio guide. Download your audio guide to your mobile device and head to St. Mark’s Basilica to begin your tour. Breeze past the long lines and put in your headphones. Explore the five-domes and an array of artworks. Hear legends and stories surrounding this church which has stood for almost a 1,000 years.  Witness the dazzling effect of the 43,000 square feet of mosaics in the church. Take in the stunning marble inlay work on the floors. Soak up the atmosphere in the building that dominates St. Mark’s Square. 

Boat Trip: Glimpse of Murano, Torcello & Burano Islands

7. Boat Trip: Glimpse of Murano, Torcello & Burano Islands

Spend some time on the most famous Venetian islands, known throughout the world for their picturesque scenery, craft traditions, and unique history. See the glass factory of Murano, lace shop on Burano, as you visit 3 different islands. Depart from near Saint Mark’s Square or Santa Lucia Train Station, and take an enjoyable trip across Saint Mark’s Basin. On the boat, a live guide will illustrate the history of the lagoon and the three islands you will visit.  Your first stop will be the island of Murano. Sometimes referred to as the “Island of the Glass,” you will visit one of its famous glass factories and see the glass being manufactured and blown. Afterward head to Torcello, the most ancient of the inhabited islands. Continue to Burano, admiring the natural environment and the minor islands spread all around you. Enjoy some free time in Burano, a typical fishing island with colorful contrasts and chocolate-box painted houses. Look out, too, for much evidence of its renowned lace making and embroidery industry and try some of Burano’s notable homemade cakes. Please note that once on the ground, this is not a guided tour. The guide will escort you to the glass factory in Murano and the lace shop in Burano. Afterward, you will have time to explore each island on your own.

Treviso Airport to Mestre and Venice by Express Bus

8. Treviso Airport to Mestre and Venice by Express Bus

Save money on expensive taxis or the hassle of navigating complicated public transport systems on arrival at Antonio Canova Treviso Airport, and enjoy a direct transfer to Venice and Mestre by express bus. Upon landing, make your way to the bus station outside the arrivals hall where the driver will be waiting to take you and your luggage. Sit back and relax in air-conditioned comfort and let your friends and family back home know you have arrived safely with the free Wi-Fi. Also available for departure transfers (or as a round-trip ticket), the journey to the airport from Mestre takes 50 minutes from Corso del Popolo and 55 minutes from Mestre Railway Station, while the journey from Venice takes 70 minutes from Piazzale Roma. Please see the complete bus schedules in the photo section.

Venice: Private Gondola Ride along Canal Grande

9. Venice: Private Gondola Ride along Canal Grande

Board an authentic gondola and take a romantic journey along the Canal Grande in Venice. See the historic sights along the shoreline as you glide down the canal. Set off from the departure point and admire marvelous palaces, such as the Peggy Guggenheim Collection and Basilica Santa Maria della Salute. Explore the secret waterways of Venice and soak up the city's atmosphere with your friends or your beloved. Travel by gondola close to St. Mark's Square, Fenice Opera House, Punta della Dogana and many other charming palaces. Pass under a small bridge as you discover the hidden spots reachable only by gondola. Enjoy commentary on your mobile app as you discover the stories and secrets of the city.

Venice: Grand Canal Gondola Ride with App Commentary

10. Venice: Grand Canal Gondola Ride with App Commentary

Feel the essence of Venice as you explore hidden and picturesque waterways near the Grand Canal with a gondola ride. Listen to in-app commentary to learn more about the city as you admire the sights. Start your activity by meeting the host, who will explain some curiosities about the history of gondolas and gondoliers. Get free access to an app with commentary of your itinerary on the gondola. As you enjoy the beauties of the Grand Canal, admire the marvelous Palaces such as the Peggy Guggenheim Collection Palace, the Gritti Palace, the Salute Church, the Punta della Dogana. Discover the worldwide-famous La Fenice Theatre and the Mozart House along the romantic and hidden waterways. At the end of your ride, enjoy a breathtaking view of the Saint Mark’s Basin with San Giorgio Island.

Other Sightseeing Options in Venice

Want to discover all there is to do in Venice? Click here for a full list.

What people are saying about Venice

Overall rating

4.4 / 5

based on 90,917 reviews

Good organization with button in ear and constant audio contact with the guide. Guide Elisabeth was simply great, with in-depth knowledge, wit and charm, we were carried away into the history of Venice in a unique way.

The driver was very prompt, friendly, and extremely helpful! He communicated clearly with us about the meeting point and pickup time!

Federica was an awesome guide! Funny and very knowledgeable about the Basilica and Doge's Palace.

The option to buy a ticket in advance is a great way not to waste time in queues.

The only downside there was 12 of us and I thought it was a maximum of 6