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Go carte blanche in the city with a thousand faces
Artisans, politicians, courtesans and “Casanovas” throughout history have lived, breathed and craved it - and now it’s your turn. Its waterways tell an epic story of a city founded on merchant trade and artistic patronage. Climb aboard a gondola, hold your lover tight and be bewitched by Venice.
The colonnades, the bell tower, the column topped by a winged lion… it doesn’t get much more iconic than St Mark’s Square. This is the heart of Old Venice. Get there early to soak up the magic in total peace – just you and the square’s most famous residents, the pigeons. Then grab a quick macchiato from a nearby café and scale the Campanile bell tower for prime panoramas.Accommodations near St Mark's Square
Every doge has his day. Just ask ordinary Venetians, who were ruled by the Doges of Venice for eleven centuries. This picture-postcard palace is the fruit of Venice’s staggering wealth during the Renaissance. It’s a Venetian Gothic masterpiece stuffed with stunning stonework and handsome halls, leaving visiting dignitaries agog since the 14th century. Not to be missed.Accommodations near Doge’s Palace
Whoever said that Sighs doesn’t matter had clearly never been to Venice. This bridge is one of the city’s most iconic landmarks – a covered passageway wrought in gleaming Istrian limestone, hovering over the canal below. For one of Venice’s top romantic experiences, drift underneath on a gondola. Legend has it that a kiss with your beau at sunset will bring everlasting love.Accommodations near The Bridge of Sighs
You’re guaranteed a gold-standard evening in this extravagant auditorium. All manner of symphonies, dance and opera take place in a space of pure, unadulterated ostentation. As the red curtains part for a matinee performance, watch the light emanating from the gilded chandeliers dims and hear the bustle as the actors taking centre stage. Let the show begin!Accommodations near La Fenice
“Will you marry me?” This legendary bridge has seen its fair share of marriage proposals over the years. It makes sense – once the daytime crowds have dissipated, there aren’t many more romantic spots. The stone steps, slanted colonnade and central portico are dreamily lit up after dark, providing the perfect stage for hearts to flutter and soar. Love is in the air!Accommodations near Rialto Bridge
Dome sweet dome. This soaring basilica stands on Grand Canal’s banks, casting a vast, pearly-white reflection onto the water. It’s a beguiling sight that’s ignited artistic imaginations from Canaletto to Turner. The interior’s not too shabby either– the cavernous cupola brings heaven indoors, with celestial rays streaming down to cast pools of light on the lustrous mosaic floor.Accommodations near Basilica di Santa Maria della Salute
Grand Canal – the clue’s in the name. This grandest of waterways is the prime place to soak up the majesty of Venice. Hop on a gondola and meander past magnificent mansions and lavish loggias that flaunt the city’s erstwhile riches. Keep your eyes peeled for the fabulous façades of Fondaco dei Turchi and Ca’ d’Oro, reflected in the ripples. The ultimate Venice experience.Accommodations near Grand Canal
Art from the heart. This museum houses the prized collection of the prolific Peggy Guggenheim, who was big on the avant-garde art scene last century. She amassed Pollocks, Picassos and much more, and it’s all on display in her own home. And what a home it is. Facing onto the Grand Canal itself, this stunning 18th-century palace’s garden is one of Venice’s loveliest.Accommodations near Peggy Guggenheim Collection
Venice and art. Art and Venice. It’s a match made in Elysium. This museum is home to an embarrassment of artistic riches from the top table of Venetian painters. Bellini, Titian, Tintoretto, Canaletto… It’s all here. Does the Vitruvian Man ring any bells? Da Vinci’s splayed figure of perfect proportions? Yes, that one. Also here. Now that’s some serious star quality!Accommodations near Gallerie dell'Accademia
You little beauty! In a city known for dazzling architecture, Ca’ d’Oro is up there with the prettiest. This 15th-century palace is a Gothic gem, as stunning outside as in. Its stunning façade appears to rise out of the canal – three stacked rows of matchstick-slim columns crowned with ornate crenellations. Inside, its mosaic-tiled halls hold a number of Renaissance artworks.Accommodations near Ca' d'Oro
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The colour of street signs matches the city centre’s interiors – pure gold. Modern-day Medici’s live in luxury in Venice’s most elite district. Before the stream of tourists becomes a river, watch the morning sun strike St. Marco Square – it’s magnificent. Afterwards, slip into Pasticceria Tonolo for a standing espresso and Venice’s best pastries.Accommodations in Venice City Center
Old-school Castello is decidedly laid-back. Neighbours chatter, shirts drip-dry from washing lines strewn above alleys, and mornings start with cappuccinos and newspaper-rustle at the cafes around Giardini Pubblici (the public gardens). It’s also home to the Venetian Arsenal, shipyards that are anchored to the city’s history.Accommodations in Castello
This one-time ghetto is a cache of offbeat treasure. Start the day with breakfast from a café in Campo di Ghetto, then get inspired at Bragorà, a funky handicrafts workshop. On sunny days, you can’t beat Al Timon, a small canalside bar with a moored-up gondola. It’s a tip-top spot to sit and tuck into spritz and “cicchetti” (snack dishes).Accommodations in Cannaregio
The beating heart of Venice. From dawn till dusk, stunning San Marco buzzes with footfall and camera-shutter clicks. Start the day with fresh pastry from Pasticceria Tonolo before getting your fill of selfies at Piazza San Marco and the Bridge of Sighs. Cap it off with a cocktail at Harry’s, the legendary bar loved by Ernest Hemingway. “Salute!”Accommodations in San Marco
Keep it real in Dorsoduro. Away from the tourist swarms, this quiet district is home to bona-fide Venetians. Behind artistic treasure troves like Galleria dell’Accademia, you’ll find a whimsical labyrinth of picturesque squares and canals. Stroll down Zattere promenade to bask in the setting sun, then dine by candlelight at atmospheric La Bifora.Accommodations in Dorsoduro
Far from the madding crowds, where the real Venetians live. Friends have a tête-à-tête over biscotti and cappuccino, children chatter and play, and young couples idly stride across the square hand-in-hand. The humble (yet elegant) buildings contrast with the baroque and byzantine monuments that lord above the canal at every turn.Accommodations in Santa Croce
History is writ large in San Polo. Ditch the map and follow the slender alleyways like Calle dei Botteri, winding past crumbling façades and impossibly small cafés. Head to Calle del Tintoretto, where Scuola Grande di San Rocco boasts a slew of paintings from the great man himself. Sip a riverside spritz in Ancorà, before a fresh fish supper at Muro Frari.Accommodations in San Polo
Most visitors head to the Redentore Church. However, if you only go there you’d be missing half the fun. This humble, car-free district is only accessible by waterbus. It was once the city’s industrial centre, where fabrics were woven and rolled, flour ground and turned into artisanal breads and tourists came in droves; now it’s as quiet as it gets.Accommodations in Giudecca
Chilling out with friends over a good glass of red wine is how Samuele likes to relax.
Overlooking the Giudecca canal, Fondamenta San Giacomo is great spot to enjoy dinner in a lively local atmosphere. During the Redentore festival held on the third weekend in July, it’s a prime spot to watch the glittering fireworks display.Accommodations near Fondamenta San Giacomo
Daria surprisingly loves the Venetian high tide, where up to knee deep water floods the city.
The Basilica di Santa Maria della Salute is a beautiful church, that enjoys a prominent waterfront position. Sit in the sun on the stairs, and watch the world go by with views of the Grand Canal and San Marco.Accommodations near Chiesa Della Salute
Luca is always hungry to uncover foodie hot spots, and is fascinated by the stories of locals.
Once you’ve taken your tourist snaps on the famous Rialto Bridge, enjoy a 10-minute walk to a lesser known spot, the Scala Contarini del Bovolo. This architectural marvel features an external spiral staircase that’s sure to leave you in awe!Accommodations near Scala Contarini del Bovolo
Leo doesn’t go anywhere without his dogs, and believes Venice is most magical at night.
Located in the Cannaregio district, San Geremia is a beautiful church overlooking the Grand Canal. It is home to the grave of Santa Lucia di Siracusa, as well as many artworks. An enchanting place to visit at night.Accommodations near Campo San Geremia
Having lived in the city of canals for 3 years, Alessia loves getting lost in its maze of hidden treasures.
Stroll along the Fondamenta Zattere and stop by El Chioschetto for a refreshing Venetian Spritz. Located in front of Giudecca Island, pull up a chair under an umbrella at this beachy kiosk and soak in the stunning views.Accommodations near El Chioschetto
Whilst hailing from Rome, Sheila has a Venetian background that continues to draw her to the city.
Whether you like shopping or browsing, Bragorà is a fascinating place you must visit! Here, artists and artisans handcraft and exhibit an amazing range of items, from clothes and furniture to trinkets; most are made from recycled material.Accommodations near Bragorà
Elfi’s parents met in the world’s most romantic city during a famous carnival in the 1980s!
Murano, also known as the ‘Glass Island’, is a colourful series of islands famous for producing eye-catching glassware. If you’re visiting, make sure to stop by the Muranero boutique, which puts an African twist on traditional glass creations.Accommodations near Muranero
Giuliana likes immersing herself in the culture of a city, by visiting the non-touristy gems.
Campo Santa Stefano is a sunny square, located in the San Marco district. It’s the perfect spot to relax and watch the life of locals, and it also has street performers to entertain you. Sip espresso at a café, enjoy pizza at a restaurant or simply bask in the sunshine.Accommodations near Campo Santo Stefano
Born in the Veneto Region, Michele is an expert at showing friends the true spirit of Venice.
The Lo Squero di San Trovaso is unique in both design and purpose. The mountain style house stands out in the Venetian landscape, and is one of the last squero (gondola craftsman) structures in the city.Accommodations near Lo Squero di San Trovaso
Whilst the canals are beautiful, Venice’s countryside always stuns Laura.
Escape to the countryside, and take the Vaporetto over to Isola di Sant'Erasmo for the day. This island is a piece of paradise, with lush greenery and even a beach. A lovely day trip, and you can explore on foot or rent a bicycle.Accommodations near Isola di Sant'Erasmo
Having lived in Venice for a year, Chiara is enchanted by the city’s treasures and elaborate masks.
Beautiful handmade masks are a Venetian tradition, and Ca’Macana works to keep it alive! One of the oldest workshops in Venice, every mask here is handmade and uniquely decorated. You can even take a course to learn the art!Accommodations near Ca’Macana
A true Venetian, Ivan was born in Mestre and loves capturing the city’s beauty through photography.
Located on Giudecca Island, the Casa dei Tre Oci was previously the home of photographer Mario de Maria. Today it plays host to archives of host work, as well as art and photography exhibitions. You can also enjoy some great views of San Marco.Accommodations near La Casa dei Tre Oci
Booking.com asked travelers...How can you enjoy the sights in Venice while avoiding the crowds?
Walk as much as possible, most places were accessible within 15 minutes of our hotel. We bought 3 day Water Bus tickets which allowed us to hop and off the public water buses to wherever we wanted to go although the bus route map was a little difficult to follow, it wasn't a problem, we were on holiday!See all 139 answers
Booking.com asked travelers...Some say romance is dead; how does Venice prove them wrong?
Been in Venice 4 times and still can surprise me. Was my husband 1st time , he love it and already booked another one for next year but this time with our kids. It's extremely romantic, with the gondolas , ancient churches and streets and even in such busy city like Venice you can find a quiet spot and listen ...simply like that. Love Venice.See all 59 answers
Booking.com asked travelers...What is it in Venice that makes history come to life?
The city has such beautiful streets once you get off the main tourist area, you can really picture that they have looked this way for a long time. The fact that there are no cars and lots of gondolas also makes this city very special.See all 53 answers
Booking.com asked travelers...What's the best way to make the most of Venice by foot?
Step 1: Forget map at accommodation on purpose. Step 2: Go for a walk. Step 3: Deliberately get lost in the tiny alleyways (you will come across choices, i.e., go left or right or keep going - just pick one) This is the best way to see Venice!! You will eventually find something you recognize, and find your way back to your accommodation. If in doubt, ask a local for help - Venetians are lovely people.See all 36 answers
Booking.com asked travelers...How can you get the most authentic cultural experience in Venice?
We had a great experience by booking a night at the opera. La Traviat? It was in a small palace Palatzo Musica, with great singers.See all 32 answers
Booking.com asked travelers...Why do people say Venice can be seen best by foot?
Only way to access most places is by foot. Vaporettos and water taxis are expensive too. You can easily walk all major suburbs and sights of Venice in one day, distances are very short.See all 30 answers
Booking.com asked travelers...Why is the atmosphere in Venice something people rave about?
Venice has no roads, it is a huge pedestrian precinct. This means there is no traffic noise and things move at walking pace. Venice has no city centre, no business district, no theatre area no shopping centre. Wherever you wander you will find a restaurant, a grocery store, a cafe or a cultural attraction. There is charm and character throughout the city. It is a place where you have to take your time over things and only fools try to rush around. Venice is a place you can keep revisiting because even if you try to visit the same places you saw on your last trip you will end up going down a different alleyway and discovering something new. I like that you get to a corner and the sign says left to Rialto Bridge and next to it is a sign that says right to Rialto Bridge. You can't get lost in Venice, or is it that you will get lost but it really doesn't matter- you'll get there in the end. Go visit.See all 26 answers
Booking.com asked travelers...Which fine art museums should a first-time visitor to Venice start with?
Accademia Main churches including "Corus churches"See all 26 answers
The fastest connection from Venice Marco Polo Airport to the city centre is the ATVO express bus, which will take you to Piazzale Roma in 20 minutes for EUR 8. To arrive in style, a private water taxi takes about 25 minutes and costs around EUR 110 for 4 passengers with luggage. A cheaper option is the Alilaguna Water Bus (vaporetto), which costs EUR 15 one way or EUR 27 return. Services run from 06:00–00:00, with a journey time of 90 minutes.
Venezia Santa Lucia is the city’s main train station, located opposite Piazzale Roma where the buses stop. The station offers train links to most major Italian cities. Trains signs are usually in both Italian and English. You can purchase tickets online, at a ticket office or self-service machines. The station also has a range of cafes, fast food outlets, money exchange and ATM services.
A trip to Venice wouldn’t be complete without a ride on a gondola! These long, narrow vessels are rowed by a standing gondolier dressed in stripes, who may sing or even give you a history of the city. Just keep in mind, gondolas are best used for a scenic cruise around the city, as opposed to an efficient mode of transport. Gondola rides last for about 30 minutes and cost EUR 80 for a day time tour for up to 6 people, and EUR 100 for tours after 19:00.
Buses are a handy way to travel to the city from the airport or nearby destinations. Buses terminate in Piazzale Roma, from here you can catch the water bus or water taxi into the heart of the city. Services run every 10-15 minutes and every 30 minutes at night. Some bus stops have automated screens and others are simple poles. You can purchase tickets from newsstands in the square or at the nearby train station, prices vary depending on your destination.
The vaporetto (water bus) public transport services run along the main waterways of the city; the outer islands, Murano and Lido; and along the lagoon. Whilst the boats can be crowded, they are a cheap way to explore the city. Purchase a single fare (valid for 75 minutes) for EUR 8, or a 24-hour travel card for EUR 20; EUR 10 can be added for each additional day you require. Services run 24/7, with a night route from 00:00–05:00.
There is no driving in Venice, however you can access the Piazzale Roma by car. Parking is quite expensive (up to EUR 30 per day), so it’d be smart to return your rental car upon arrival. The best way to explore Venice’s maze of canals and alleyways is by foot! Getting lost is all part of the romance – however, a map is certainly handy. You’ll want a good pair of walking shoes, and gumboots in the winter months when flooding can occur.
Water taxis are the way to travel Venice in style, although fares can be pricey. Licensed taxis are brown wooden boats with a yellow stripe, and usually have leather interiors and open-air seating. Fares between your hotel and the airport can cost up to EUR 110, and a trip around the city can be EUR 40 –70. However, taxis can hold up to 10 people, so splitting the cost can make it cheaper! Hire a service from a water taxi station or call to pre-book.
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