10 Best Things to do in Venice in 2024

best things to do in venice

Venice, a city of dreams. I will never forget the first time I entered this city. I took a tram from Mestre to Venice, across the bridge that connected the two cities. I tried to steal a glance or a few through the dusty tram windows, and there I could see it: a magical city with canals and magnificent domes that has kept itself distinct from all the other cities in the world. From faraway I could sense the fairytale energy of the city.

I thought about that moment when I was taking the bus to the airport, 7 days later, hoping to see that magnificent view one more time and reminiscing about all the amazing things I did during my trip. In this article, I will share, based on my experience, the best things to do in Venice.

Walk the city without Google Maps

walking things to do in venice

Do this as the first thing after reaching Venice. It might seem overwhelming, but trust me, this is the best way to explore this magical city. Do not search for where to go, and do not make any plans; just get off and start walking. Walk wherever your instinct nudges you and wherever the roads lead you. It is a small city, and from any given point in Venice, you can walk back to the main station within 30 minutes. Mornings are better as the crowd is relatively low then.

So, let yourself be free and explore. If you find anything interesting, take a picture. If you like some place, spend some time there. Just do not Google. Exploring a place without expectations makes travel a whole lot more fun, and Venice is a lovely city to do that.

The Grand Canal

Well, this is why you booked your trip to Venice. You can take in the mesmerizing views of the Grand Canal by just walking along. Along the canal, there are more than 170 buildings, most of which date back to the 13th to the 18th century. 

Enjoy the view, the architecture, and the surroundings; you’ll truly feel you’re in a different world altogether. Good views are from the Rialto Bridge, the Accademia Bridge, and the recently built bridge near the Venice main station.

Explore and take pictures of the Santa Maria della Salute

santa maria della salute things to do in venice

The Basilica of Santa Maria della Salute is one of the most important religious buildings in Venice. Its beautiful dome contributes to the aesthetic appeal of the city. It was constructed in 1631 to celebrate the end of a plague that had killed many Venetians.

You are likely to see people hanging out with friends on the opposite side of the Basilica, enjoying the majestic view.

Walk the Rialto Bridge

Visit the famous Rialto Bridge to enjoy the spectacular view of the Grand Canal. It is the oldest bridge spanning the city’s Grand Canal. The bridge represents a significant architectural achievement and is one of the iconic landmarks of the city.

This is easily the busiest and most crowded place in the city. If you want some good photos and wish to enjoy the place with fewer people, visit early in the morning. During the daytime, it can be a chore to even walk through the bridge without being interrupted.

Take a Gondola ride, maybe

Well, I’m not sure about it. A 30 minute Gondola ride costs you 80 Euros, which is way expensive for the experience you get. If you’re a couple, or a group of friends, then go for it. If you’re traveling solo, then it is rather ideal to find other travelers like you and split the price between you. A Gondola can take a maximum of 5 people.

Regardless, the ride is surreal. The small canals, the raw and colorful houses, it is a great experience. Again, choose a time in the morning when the crowd is less and you’re less likely to be intervened by other Gondolas during the ride.

Hang out at the St. Mark’s Basilica & Square

piazza san marco things to do in venice

St. Mark’s Basilica is an iconic Venetian masterpiece. It is designed with a mix of Byzantine, Gothic, and Romanesque styles, which adds to its uniqueness. I don’t understand the architectural styles, but I know that it was beautiful to look at.

St. Mark’s Square, or Piazza San Marco, is often considered the heart of Venice. You will find many beautiful shops and restaurants, lots of people feeding pigeons, or simply enjoying the grandeur of the surroundings. The oldest-existing cafe, Caffè Florian, is located here, where Casanova, the famous Italian adventurer and author, is said to have regularly visited.

This place is also frequently used for art exhibitions. During my visit, I attended a spectacular art exhibition about Azerbaijan.

Hang out in this beautiful square for as long as you like, with no rush. Take a coffee, have a seat and retrospect if you may, as if it’s the backyard of your own neighborhood.

Explore the Murano and Burano Island

Murano Island is famous for glass blowing. You can visit many original Murano glass shops on the island. You can also watch demonstrations of how the glass is made. Make sure to buy some Murano glass souvenirs. The island is also pretty, inheriting the signature Venetian style, with canals and bridges.

Burano Island is famous for its houses with unique and vibrant colors. Legends say that sometimes farmers would be unable to identify their houses because of misty mornings and fog, so they painted the exteriors with unique and identifiable colors. It is recommended to visit during the afternoon to see the best color dynamics.

Getting there: Take a day ticket (21 euros per person) to explore Murano and Burano. It takes 25 minutes to reach Murano from the Venice main station by Vaporetto. From Murano Island, it takes 40 minutes to reach Burano. While returning, you can take the Vaporetto from Burano Island back to Venice. There will likely be unimaginable queues, so start your journey early in the morning to ensure your trip goes smoothly.

Visit the open art exhibitions

My friend from Venice said to me that Venice is an open museum. I strongly agree. 

In almost every corner, you can find beautiful art exhibitions that are open to the public. Keep an eye out for exhibition notices or posters. You can simply inquire whether it is free and get in. Some exhibitions will really relate to you. During my trip, my favorite was the Azerbaijan art exhibition, which taught me a great deal about Azerbaijani culture, history, and carpets.

Visit the bars of Campo San Margherita and drink lots of Aperol Spritz

Since it is a popular spot for university students, this square has a buzzing vibe. The area boasts a variety of restaurants and bars.

Visit the bars and enjoy Italian beers, wines, and Aperol Spritz. You could say that Aperol Spritz is a popular Venetian drink. You can find it in most bars for 3 to 5 euros, with 3 being the base price (as of May 2022 ; )).

The Bridge Of Sighs

The Bridge of Sighs in Venice is truly something special. It’s a cozy little bridge made of white limestone, stretching over the Rio di Palazzo. It’s a beautiful place to take photos.

Back in historic days, it is said that this bridge was the path to a famous prison in Venice. The last thing prisoners saw before they were locked away (and sometimes executed) was a gorgeous view of Venice through the stone “bars” of the bridge. So, as they crossed, they would let out a sigh.

More important things to know while visiting Venice:

  • Walk from Piazzale Roma to Rialto Bridge to Arsenale. This walking tour will give you the entire vibe and tour of Venice. You will go through the Grand Canal, the hustling streets and some quiet narrow alleys. The walk will take around 45 minutes, and it can be longer depending on your exploring style.
  • Try Suso Gelato, a famous ice cream shop near the Rialto Bridge.My friend recommended me to try the salty ones (menta) though I never got a chance to do it.
  • Try out the popular chocolate place named Nino.
  • A single ticket for Vaporetto costs 7.50 euros. A 24-hour unlimited ticket costs 20 euros, 48-hours for 30 euros, and 72-hours for 40 euros. You can buy it from the main station or from the avm Venezia transport app.
  • There are various restaurants that offer “Tourist menu”. You can find them while walking around. They usually offer two courses, the first course is mostly spaghetti (with different varieties to choose from) and bread, and the second course can be pork, baked chicken leg or something similar, along with a side dish (fries or salad). These kinds of menus are comparatively cheaper and can fill you up properly.

There’s this pressure when we visit a place like Venice, a place we’ve so long dreamt of, we want to do it right. Like, hit the perfect note. But I want to tell you that you shouldn’t go chasing after your idealized version of the trip. During my Venice trip, I was sick for four days and explored the city on medication. Regardless, this is my memory now and surely beats all the versions I had in my mind. Because, it’s real! 

So, please go ahead and make your dream of visiting Venice a reality. : )


I love traveling and I love writing about it. It's my sincere hope that through my content, you will find some helpful information and inspiration for your own travels. :)

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