When it comes to visiting a city for the first time, sometimes it’s best to check out all the stereotypical historic sights and attractions – and with Venice, it is no different. After all, it is these things that make the city so special and a holiday there so memorable.
On your next visit, you can explore places off the beaten track, but for the greatest Venetian experience possible, unleash the tourist in you. Still need to book flights? Click here to do this now. All that’s left to do is plan your adventure – read on to find out more.
1. Go down the Grand Canal by gondola
If there’s one thing that every newcomer to Venice must try, it’s travelling down the city’s maze of canals and waterways in one of the iconic gondolas. It truly is the best way to get about and soak up the Venetian atmosphere – and it is also incredibly romantic if you’re holidaying with a partner.
Gondoliers recognise how in demand their service is amongst tourists, so don’t expect a ride to be cheap, but believe me, it’s more than worth it for the unforgettable experience.
2. Visit Juliet’s balcony
A trip to Venice is the perfect excuse to make the journey to Juliet’s balcony, supposedly where the love scene between two of Shakespeare’s most famous characters took place.
Located in Verona, which is just a 75 to 90-minute train ride away from Venice, the balcony wasn’t actually built until the 1920s, but it has become a popular shrine for tourists looking to celebrate the great playwright and take photographs next to the statue of Juliet sitting in the courtyard of the 13th century palazzo.
3. Walk up the Campanile
If you like the look of Venice at ground level, then wait until you’ve climbed up the city’s tallest building – the Campanile. The views you can expect from the top of the tower are absolutely breathtaking, so don’t forget to pack your camera.
The Campanile was originally built between 888 and 912, before it collapsed nearly 1,000 years later in 1902. It was reconstructed to look exactly the same and continues to loom over Venice at 99-metres tall.
4. Sample the finest local wines
If you can’t kick back with a glass of wine (or ten) on holiday, then what can you do? In Venice, you’re guaranteed to find the wine selection to your liking, with sharp, fresh white varieties such as soave and tocai complemented by fruity reds like cabernet franc and valpolicella.
A trip to the city isn’t complete without immersing yourself in its spectacular wine culture (the polite way to describe getting sozzled). For the most refined house wines, try establishments including La Favorita, Alla Maddalena and Naranzaria.
5. Browse Venetian art
In Venice, there is art everywhere you look. Not just housed in the city’s galleries, artists through the ages have left their mark on all sorts of structures. Titian’s ‘Assumption’ stands above the high altar at church I Frari, while Tintoretto’s masterpiece Crucifixion can be found at Scuola Grande di San Rocco.
Venice also celebrated for its contemporary art scene – one of the city’s main attractions is the Peggy Guggenheim Collection, a series of exhibitions dedicated to early 20th century works of art.