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Grab a Gondola Ride (And 5 More Things to Do When You Visit Venice)

Even though it’s a small city, Venice offers so many delightful experiences that you wouldn’t want to miss. Discover some of the most memorable things to do in Venice.

Many people agree that Italy is one of the most beautiful countries in the world. And it would take either a few months or several visits just to see all of its attractions. But if you’re not sure where to go to, Venice is a fantastic starting point.

Everything in Venice – from the architecture to the overall vibe – is out of this world. If you’re a fan of historic, romantic, and just overall charming places, there are very few cities that are as appealing as this Italian gem.

When exploring Venice, you’ll have a long list of things to see and do. So here are some highlights that you don’t want to miss:

1. Grab a Gondola Ride

Yes, it’s a cliché, but for a good reason. A gondola ride is a unique experience that will show you this beautiful city from an entirely new perspective. You can ride through the canals and under the bridges, to see views uninterrupted by the hustling crowds.

And if you’re visiting Venice with your significant other, you can ask the gondolier to serenade you. This will make your experience truly magical.

But even without this, the views alone are more than worth it. There are various tours available, but make sure to negotiate a good price to avoid getting ripped off.

2. Visit the San Marco Square

San Marco Square is undoubtedly one of the main tourist attractions in Venice. It’s a spacious piazza surrounded by astonishing buildings like the San Marco Basilica.

This is usually where tourists start their exploration of Venice. Be sure to climb the San Marco Campanile where you’ll get a mesmerizing view of the city. The Campanile is Venice’s tallest structure, so the scenery from the top is truly breathtaking.

The only way to get to the top is by taking an elevator, and you’ll probably have to wait in line to do so. But the panoramic view is more than worth the wait.

Now, if you’re wondering where to eat in Venice, you’ll want to move away from the San Marco Square, unless you’re willing to pay a lot for a meal. Though Venice generally isn’t cheap, there are many local restaurants where you can get an inexpensive but delicious meal.

3. Ride a Vaporetto

If a gondola ride isn’t your cup of tea, a Vaporetto might be. This waterbus is much cheaper, and it’s the main form of transport in the city. While you might not be able to sail through the tiny canals, the views from a Vaporetto are still nothing short of impressive.

Plus, a Vaporetto can take you to the charming tiny islands of Murano and Burano. Colorful buildings, delightful coffee shops, and fun souvenirs are among the things that await you there.

It’s best to take an extended Vaporetto pass, as there’s a chance that you’ll use it multiple times. While you can have a lot of the sights on foot, a Vaporetto ride is much quicker and more enjoyable if you want to avoid the crowds.

4. Go to the Lido

If at any point you get tired of exploring Venice, the Lido can be an excellent getaway. This tiny island is a perfect place for relaxation and spending some time away from the crowd.

The Lido sits between the Adriatic Sea and Venice and has a long, beautiful beach to stroll through. Close to 20,000 people live there and there are many hotels, restaurants, and cafes to choose from if you want to grab a meal or even spend the night here.

Considering how busy the center of Venice can be, it doesn’t surprise anybody that many tourists decide to escape to the Lido at some point. If you do the same, you’re likely to appreciate the peace and quiet.

5. Visit the Doge’s Palace

If you like the Venetian Gothic architecture, you’ll love the Doge’s Palace. Originally, it was the residence of the Doge and a palace of justice. But now, it’s an exciting museum with so many interesting artifacts to see.

Plus, the view of Venice from the Doge’s Palace is another thing that you don’t want to miss. It offers a unique perspective for taking stunning photos.

Of course, tourists know this, which is why the line to the Doge’s Palace can be quite long. But if you’re patient, it will pay off once you get in.

6. Explore the Local Neighborhoods

There’s no shortage of things to do when you visit Venice’s main tourist parts. Still, bear in mind that the city is very compact and that you can visit all the highlights pretty quickly. 

If you have the time, you should look further than the tourist hotspots. Cheaper restaurants, friendly locals, and amazing homemade wine in a calm and quiet environment are all within reach.

If you decide to lose yourself in Venice’s small streets, you’ll likely reach neighborhoods like Cannaregio and Castello. You’ll know that you’re not in the tourist zone by the absence of crowds and souvenir shops. But you’ll still be around beautiful buildings and charming places, though.

But before you start exploring the parts of Venice that most tourists don’t see, make sure to grab a free guide to Venice somewhere. It will contain a map that you’ll need if you want to avoid getting truly lost. Plus, it will save you the trouble of having to go back and forth to find the right bridge to come back to already familiar spots.

A City Like No Other

Those who come back from Venice can agree that the city is magnificent. So if you’re going on a relaxed trip and need a beautiful destination, you won’t get disappointed by this city.

If there is any downside to a trip here, it would have to be the generally high prices. But this doesn’t make Venice unaffordable. There are many places where you can wine and dine for cheap, especially in the less touristy spots. But no matter how much you spend, the experience of visiting this magnificent city will be worth it.

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