Venice has some attractions and sights to offer. If you ask or look, you will only find the usual things that are part of the tourist traps, ok, some may be there, but it is rather unusual and fun!
The first few may be more traditional, but you shouldn’t miss them, especially if your trip is short. Do them first and consider doing them as part of the activities that involve skip-the-line entrance to save time. You’ll skip long lines and have more time to explore!
1. The Bell Tower in Saint Mark’s Square
You can get the best view of Venice and the Basin of San Marco from the top of the Bell Tower in Saint Mark’s Square. The Dolomites are visible on days with clear skies.
There are long waits and tickets are € 10.00 each (only available on site). There is a big line at the top of the bell tower in San Marco Square, but if you’re willing to wait you’ll be rewarded with one of the best views of Venice, the lagoon, and the square itself. Watch the clip below. Price of admission: €3.00
2. Get Lost in Venice’s Alleyways
Just head out of the San Marco district into the smaller side streets and let your curiosity lead the way. What you need is probably simply a pocket-sized map right about now… You don’t want to get too lost, and if you ask a Venetian for directions, all you’ll hear is, “Keep going straight….”
3. Reach the top of the Fondaco dei Tedeschi-Rooftop
The rooftop of Fondaco dei Tedeschi The former Central Post Office in Venice is now a huge, high-end shopping centre, the palace has been rebuilt, and the terrace overlooking the Grand Canal and the Rialto Bridge is the piece de resistance.
4. Go shopping
The Rialto markets sell Venice’s freshest produce daily to local restaurants. Venetian cuisine relies on seafood, hence fishmongers are crucial for tourists.
The vegetable stalls have fresher, more varied vegetables than supermarkets. Italian staples like leather (particularly shoes and purses) and cashmere may be found at numerous shops in Venice. For Venice carnival fans, specialty shops sell full outfits and Venetian masks.
5. See The Most Unique Bookstore On Earth: Libreria Acqua Alta
Water-based cities often flood. Therefore Venetian institutions have developed unique solutions. Libreria Acqua Alta sold books and magazines in bathtubs, watertight containers, and a full-sized gondola!
It creates a magical atmosphere. With unusual “backdrops” for photographs, this Venice bookstore is an Instagram favourite. Beware of adopted stray cats roaming the stores.
6. The Bridge Of Sighs
Venice’s most famous attraction is the Bridge of Sighs. The Bridge of Sighs viewing bridge is always crowded! The Bridge of Sighs can be walked through, but few people realize this. The two-way bridge links the Doge’s Palace to the prison across the canal.
The Doge’s Palace, a magnificent museum and gallery, leads to the bridge. The tiny bridge windows offer views of San Giorgio Maggiore Island on the way back from the prison. Crossing the Bridge of Sighs is one of Venice’s best-hidden gems!
7. Take A Day Trip To Burano
Burano is a small Venetian Lagoon island. It’s a 40-minute water taxi from St. Mark’s Square.
Pink, blue, yellow, and greenhouses distinguish this modest fishing community. It’s a rainbow with canals.
Traditional lace-making in Burano is rare due to its complexity and time-consuming nature. The main area has pubs and outdoor eateries, so order fresh fish risotto for lunch! Burano is a fantastic half-day journey from Venice to see something different.
8. Zaccaria Crypt
San Zaccaria is a central Venetian Gothic-Renaissance church. Its flooded crypt makes the church famous. The water has actually improved the site, making it ideal for Venice’s first Doges (religious and political leaders).
Stone columns, cavernous ceilings, and standing water create a spooky tomb. A must-see in Venice!
9. Hotel Danieli and grab an evening drink at Bar Dandolo
Visit Hotel Danieli and Bar Dandolo to observe how the other half handles Venice. Charles Dickens, Harrison Ford, and Peggy Guggenheim visited this 5-star hotel.
The foyer has a red-and-gold grand staircase. The bar has antiques, Murano glass chandeliers, and more gold. Casino Royale (2006), From Russia with Love (1963), and Moonraker (1971) featured the lobby bar (1979). Worth a martini!
10. Escape to Torcello Island
Famous Murano glass and Burano architecture. Torcello Island holds Venetian treasure. Burano is worth the hour-long drive from Venice. Few live on the tranquil island. Its museum and Santa Maria Assunta Church are notable. Cathedral art is Byzantine.
The sophisticated gold-glass Last Judgement mosaic and semi-complete Madonna mosaic on the apse show it. Torcello Museum exhibits Mycenaean to modern island history. A 14th-century home faces the church.
11. Sign up for a Mysteries of Venice tour
Venice is known for its canals and rivers, but its history is full of mysteries and hauntings. Join a walking tour through Venice’s lesser-known streets to hear the city’s most thrilling, frightening, and legendary tales. Go around empty San Marco Square and hear ghost stories in the spooky twilight.
Search for ghosts in narrow passageways and up the spiralling Bovolo Staircase!
12. Enjoy a dinner cruise on a Galleon
Besides gondolas, Venice has other boats.
Yes, you may travel on a magnificent, antique Galleon ship and enjoy a candlelit gourmet dinner and spectacular vistas. The Carnival Party cruise is more vibrant. Meet other social travellers!
13. Join an underground ghost tour (if you dare)
The Venetian subterranean has many bizarre and spooky tales from floods, plagues, conflict, and quarantine. Join a walking tour for a fun, interactive approach to learn! A candlelit tour of an abandoned crypt will give you chills, so leave the kids at the hotel.
14. Check out the costumes at Palazzo Mocenigo
The Palazzo Mocenigo is one of the more unique museums in the area. It has a great collection of rare textiles and costumes, many of which are decorated with intricate lace patterns and embroidery. It also has a collection of valuable artworks from the 18th century.
Play with Arts & Culture is a new hands-on exhibition at the museum that was made in partnership with Google.
15. Go shopping at T Fondaco dei Tedeschi
This famous building is right on the Grand Canal near the Rialto Bridge. It’s a great place to go shopping, and it’s easy to add to your afternoon plans.
As you walk around the 7,000 square meters of high-quality clothes, jewelry, cosmetics, food, wine, and more, you’ll see both Italian and international brands. When you’re done shopping, don’t forget to go to the rooftop terrace, where you can see all of Venice.
16. Feel on top of the world (literally) with the best rooftop bars
After a great day of exploring, go to one of the city’s rooftop bars to enjoy the view! At the Skyline Rooftop Bar, you can swirl a mixed drink and listen to live music while you look out over the city and canal.
Or, have a few drinks at Blind Spot, where the elegant decor and unique drinks match the view.
17. Catch a cabaret dinner show
The cabaret show is always a great choice for visitors. It is an unforgettable dinner show with dance, magic, contortionists, and a little bit of adult humour.
But putting on a show is only half the fun! In addition to great entertainment, you’ll get a delicious multi-course meal, a glass (or three) of Italian wine, and lots of coffee and sweets.
18. Let loose on a Venetian-style pub crawl!
Let’s stop talking about history, food, and love for a minute and have some fun! In Venice, you’ll dress up in traditional clothes and hop from bar to bar, trying spritz, wine, and other drinks.
A few glasses of Prosecco are always a great way for solo travellers or people who want to meet new people to break the ice.
19. Learn to Row a Gondola
Everyone who visits Venice will ride a gondola. Not visiting the watery city would be heresy. A moonlit gondola ride around the city’s waterways with a serenading gondolier is lovely.
For a change, take the oar yourself. Many establishments in Venice provide hour-long rowing classes. It’s difficult and one of Venice’s most peculiar activities!
20. Visit Lazzaretto Nuovo – Quarantine Island
Europe was plagued, including Venice. The city’s close quarters made residents more susceptible to the sickness.
The city established two quarantines. Lazzaretto Nuovo (new quarantine) was one. The island initially screened imported ship workers for the black death.
But, the outbreak became so serious that people were quarantined. Many never left, and mass graves have been found recently. Little museums on the island’s peculiar history are open to the public.
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