Built on more than 100 pint-sized islands, Venice is a fairy tale city. Enchanting canals wind their way through the city and create an utterly magical atmosphere. The impressive Grand Canal slices through the heart of Venice, lined with magnificent Renaissance and Gothic palaces. Spend your days visiting historic attractions, people watching in plazas, and getting lost in a labyrinth of alleys, squares and bridges. Wash it all down with pizza, pasta and wine at a canalside restaurant.
Things to Do
Venice is dotted with historic sights and stunning architecture. You can start in Piazza San Marco, the city’s main square. Afterwards, gaze up at Saint Mark's Basilica and stroll under the arches of Doge's Palace. For sweeping views of the city, climb the San Marco Campanile bell tower.
Spanning over the Grand Canal, you can stroll across the Rialto Bridge, as it is considered a Venetian rite of passage. For a dose of culture, the Gallerie dell'Accademia showcases pre-19th-century masterpieces, while the waterfront Peggy Guggenheim Collection spotlights modern art.
From Murano glass to sparkling masks, Venice is a great place to shop for unique treasures. You can find everything from cheap trinket stores to upscale boutiques along the zigzagging Mercerie shopping strip.
Of course, no trip to Venice is complete without a canal cruise. Splurge on a private gondola ride, or stay thrifty with public traghetto gondolas. If you want to tour the Grand Canal, vaporetto water buses are a great alternative to pricey tours.
Despite not having any roads, Venice is served by a central train station. There’s also an airport, though it’s located on the mainland. When you arrive, one of the absolute best ways to soak up the magic of Venice is on foot. If you want to move a little faster, try the local traghetto gondolas and vaporetti water buses.