11 special things to do while in Venice

by Raya on a flying carpet
Photo by Gerhard Bögner on Pixabay

Walking around in the narrow stones streets, hearing the gondola driver sing under the small bridges, admiring the houses on the water, makes me feel like I’m in some kind of a dream. Venice doesn’t feel real. Im thinking about how a place can be so beautiful and perfect even though every city has its imperfections. I can’t see imperfections, because in one way or another everything fits together and gives a visitor a beautiful artistic view.

While walking around in Venice imagine the movie The Tourist starring Johnny Depp and Angelina Jolie or the movie Casanova with Heath Ledger and visit all the beautiful sights.

1. Piazza San Macro

If you visit Venice then you will definitely visit this square. It is the heart of the city full of restaurants, cafes, and tourists. There are many sights around this place, like the Basilica di San Marco and the beautiful Clock tower in the colors blue and gold, that might catch your eye. The archway beneath the clock will lead you to the shopping area of the city (see Le Mercerie down below).

Photo by Claestarrasericsson on Pixabay

2. Basilica di San Marco  

The Basilica will catch your eye with all the details and art from the outside. But don’t forget to visit it from the inside while you are at the Piazza San Marco. It is a true beauty with its golden decorations. The Basilica is the biggest church in Venice and it symbolizes the power that Venice once had in the past. You can visit the church for free, but you should check their website when visiting. On some days tourists are not allowed.

Basilica San Marco
Photo by Peter Morth on Pixabay

3. Scala del Bovolo

A less crowded sight to visit is the Scala del Bovolo with its spiral staircase. This building looks really pretty from the outside. Most importantly, you will have an impressive view of the city on the top of the building.

4. Santa Maria della Salute

Venice was ravaged by the plague in the 17th century. The Republic of Venice promised to build a church to the Virgin Mary after they have overcome the pandemic. The Santa Maria della Salute is a beautiful church across the Grand Canal and the Piazza San Marco. If you visit Venice by boat then you will definitely see the dome in baroque style from far away. You can take a Vaporetto (waterbus) and visit the church.

Santa Maria della Salute
Photo by Ky H on Pixabay

5. Burano island

A bit outside of Venice there is this picturesque island called Burano. It is well known for its colored houses on the water. It is nice to walk around on this island and admire the views. Burano is known for its fish dishes, so don’t forget to eat at a local restaurant and taste their culinary art. You can visit Burano by a Vaporetto (waterbus).

Burano Island
Photo by Ewa Pniewska on Pixabay

6. Gondola ride

If you think of Venice, you will probably think of gondolas. When you look at the postcards of Venice, you will see gondolas. If you search online for pictures of Venice, you will find gondolas. They are literally everywhere in the city. It is an expensive, but beautiful experience. You can check the official rates before your trip to Venice. Tip: share a gondola with other people so you can split the costs.

Photo by Ingeborg Gärtner-Grein on Pixabay 

7. Rialto market

If you want to know the Venetian culture better than the Rialto market is the place to be. It is the biggest fruit, vegetables and fish market in the city. You can enjoy the Venetian specialties and buy some of their fresh products. If you are at the Piazza San Marco, walk through Le Mercerie street towards the market.

Market in Venice
Photo by Susanne Pälmer on Pixabay

8. Rialto Bridge & Le Mercerie

Le Mercerie street is the shopping area of the city with lots of stores. Don’t forget to visit the side streets for more shoe, jewelry and clothing stores. While walking, you will pass through the famous Rialto Bridge. It is the oldest bridge that passes over the Grand Canal. The whole street and also the bridge are filled with merchant stalls. Maybe you will find something beautiful for your home or as a present for your family or friends. Even if you are not a fan of shopping, just walking around and exploring will be an experience on its own.

Rialto Bridge
Photo by Ruth Archer on Pixabay

9. Beautiful view on top of T Fondaco dei Tedeschi

If you can’t get enough of the shopping and you are searching for brands than you should go to T Fondaco dei Tedeschi. This is a mall where you can find different brands as, Adidas, Bvlgari, Chanel, and many more. Even if you don’t want to go shopping I will recommend you to go to this place. They have a beautiful rooftop terrace where you can see the city from above. You can visit it for free, but you have to book in advance because of the maximum capacity and limited time.

10. Libreria Alta Acqua

This bookstore is one of a kind. At first sight, you might see it as a messy store, but only the interior is worth a look. They use gondolas as a bookcase in the middle of the store. They also have a unique book staircase on the outside square where you can have a nice look at the canal.

Bookstore Venice
Photo by Dimitris Kamaras on Flickr

11. Cannaregio and Castello

These two authentic neighborhoods are less of an attraction for tourists and even better to visit. Far away from the crowd, you can learn more about Venice from the locals. You can escape the busy touristic places and enjoy the culture while eating at a restaurant, which is also cheaper than elsewhere.

Some extra tips:

– Travel outside the high season, for fewer tourists and more options for accommodation.

– Book in the areas around Venice and come by boat. It is less expensive. There are lots of campings in the neighborhood.

– Try to eat at restaurants outside the busy and touristic places. You will have real Italian food and it is cheaper.

– Venice is a city not made for cars. If you are visiting Venice by car then you can park outside the city at Piazzale Roma. There are three options: the Autorimessa Comunale, the Garage San Marco and the Sant’Andrea. On the website of Azienda Veneziana della Mobilità (AVM), you can find more information and options for parking.

Have you ever traveled to Venice or is it still on your bucket list? Let me know in the comments below.

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