Things to do in Venice

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

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. Skip the ticket line with to 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: Doge Palace and St. Mark's Basilica Skip The Line Tour with Terrace Access

4. Venice: Doge Palace and St. Mark's Basilica Skip The Line Tour with Terrace Access

Discover two of Venice’s most iconic buildings on a guided tour with skip-the-line access to the Doge’s Palace and St. Mark’s Basilica. See impressive artworks and magnificent interiors and admire panoramic views of Venice from the basilica’s terrace. Meet your expert guide and enjoy priority access to Doge’s Palace, the seat of Venetian political power for centuries. Immerse yourself in the European Middle Ages and see masterpieces of art adorning the walls of the palace. Relive the anguish of the prisoners that crossed the Bridge of Sighs at the palace and experience the inside of the prison cell that once hosted Giacomo Casanova. Step inside St. Mark's Basilica, a unique cathedral displaying some of the finest examples of Byzantine art in the world. Uncover the biblical symbolism behind the artworks. Witness beautiful golden mosaics and marble floor inlays. Listen as your guide tells you the history and the special features of this architectural wonder. Lastly, go up to the basilica’s terrace and take in stunning panoramic views of the lively St. Mark’s Square and its surrounding monuments.

Venice: St. Mark's Basilica Fast-Track Entry and Audio Guide

5. Venice: St. Mark's Basilica Fast-Track Entry 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. 

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

6. 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.

Venice: Grand Canal Gondola Ride with App Commentary

7. 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.

Venice: Murano, Burano, Torcello Island & Glass Factory Tour

8. Venice: Murano, Burano, Torcello Island & Glass Factory Tour

Sail across the emerald waters of the Venice lagoon on this full day trip to the islands of Burano, Murano and Torcello. Choose from an option with a shuttle transfer from S. Lucia Train Station to the departure point in San Marco or pick a tour option that meets in San Marco.  Hop aboard a comfortable water taxi in the morning and glide through the Lagoon of Venice. Admire views from the boat's panoramic terrace and listen to commentary from your guide.  Upon arrival at your first stop, Murano, find out why the island is renowned for its glassworks with a visit to a local glass factory. Watch a skilled artisan during a glass processing demonstration. Afterward, have approximately an hour on the island for shopping in one of the many glass shops. Next, head for Burano, which is known for its lacework and brightly colored houses. Follow your guide to the heart of the town and have 2 hours of free time to purchase a nice lunch, typical Venetian aperitifs, or get an ice cream at one of the many cafes.  Venture from Burano to Torcello, the first center of civilization in the estuary. Spend an hour of free time where you can go to see the Venetian-Byzantine mosaics at the Basilica di Santa Maria Assunta. Return to San Marco in the early evening. 

Venice: Four Seasons Concert Ticket at Vivaldi Church

9. Venice: Four Seasons Concert Ticket at Vivaldi Church

Delight your ears with a performance of Vivaldi's Four Seasons by the "I Virtuosi Italiani" ensemble in the church of Santa Maria della Visitazione in Venice. It was here that Antonio Vivaldi spent forty years of his life and composed his magnificent works.  Enjoy inspired performances of the Four Seasons where in the music you can sense the reaping of the wheat, the grape harvest, the summer storms, the snow falling in winter, the warm fall colors, and the bright blossoming of flowers in springtime. Watch talented musicians play in the church where masters like Francesco Gasparini and Antonio Vivaldi trained the Daughters of the Choro to become virtuoso musicians that were renowned for their art all over Europe.

Venice: Burano and Murano Boat Tour with Glass Factory Visit

10. Venice: Burano and Murano Boat Tour with Glass Factory Visit

Set sail on a boat tour from Venice to the islands of Burano and Murano. Sail there on a comfortable vessel, enjoy some time at your leisure on the islands, and witness a glass-blowing demonstration. Depart from Venezia San Marco to the beautiful islands of Murano and Burano. Feel at ease as you cruise the seas and enjoy quality service and a panoramic terrace. Take an hour exploring the colorful houses of Burano and learn about the tradition of glass-making in Murano. Meet your crew and get the 5-star treatment as you ride by boat to the islands of Murano and Burano. Explore the colored buildings that line the small canals and step back in time for a while. Take your time and walk on your own. Next, find yourself on the island of Murano and discover the tradition of glass-making as you stroll the vibrant streets. In the evening you will return to San Marco. 

Frequently asked questions about Venice

What top attractions are a must-see in Venice?

What are the best day trips and excursions from Venice?

The best day trips and excursions from Venice are:

Burano

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

To be up front, I was not all into a ‘street food’ tour of Venice, thinking we always look for the hole in the wall restaurants down alleys in most of our vaca’s but my wife booked so I was in. And so thankful I was! Anna gave so much back history of the foods of Venice, the 'why' to order, drinks and the 5 tastings were so varied, plus a tour of the Rialto Market. Was intimate as well, only 6 couples. Highly recommend this, 10 stars easy.

Excellent half-day out, English speaking hosts and very clear instructions during the trip to both islands. The only thing that we had to watch out for was the meeting point - there was no-one there at the specified time, but it was only 100 yards from the boat and easy to spot. There is an hour on each island, plenty of time to see around the area and pick up some souvenirs. Would definitely recommend.

Well arranged Except for no marking for start Some one with flag of tour present would help Every one was lost trying to find the right queue

Excellent concert! Highly recommend listening to Vivaldi's Four Seasons in his place of birth.

The tour was interesting and very informative, Alexandra was wonderful.