What to do in Venice? Here our top 10 Things To Do in the city of Doges


Home to a wealth of rich cultural history, there are numerous things to do in Venice. Here we’ve selected ten unmissable destinations our readers should visit

Visit the Bridge of Sighs

Perhaps Venice’s most famous architectural jewel, the Bridge of Sighs is situated in the city center near the Piazza San Marco. Its name derives from the fact that it was part of the Doge’s Palace prison complex, and convicts had to cross it to go from the Doge’s interrogation rooms to the New Prison once they received their sentence. It was the last thing they saw before their incarceration, so many sighs could be heard as they walked through the bridge, resigning themselves to their imminent fate. Today, the bridge has much happier connotations, with millions flocking each year to witness its beautiful design.

Go to the Venetian Ghetto

Visiting the Jewish District is one of the top things for visitors to do in Venice. It was the world’s first ghetto (in fact the word ghetto itself comes from Italian), established in 1516, when the Venetian Republic restricted Jews to this area of the city. Today there remains a distinct Jewish population in the area, with numerous synagogues, Jewish restaurants, delicious bakeries and a museum, making the area a fascinating source of culture and history.

Piazza San Marco

Three of Venice’s major sites are located in this square: the Basilica di San Marco, a Byzantine marvel, the Torre dell’Orologio, and the Doge’s Palace – a Gothic palace that was also the seat of the government under the Venetian Republic. The piazza itself is majestic, and visitors who go to Florence in the autumn or winter months might even see it flooded, with wooden platforms set up to enable people move around and the locals wading through the water in thigh-high rain boots. There are numerous cafés and restaurants dotted around the edge, making it the perfect place to relax and take in the local culture.

Go For an Aperitivo

Do as the Venetians and go for an aperitivo in the evening. Tourists and locals alike go to bars to order a drink and eat some ciccheti (snacks), a quick and authentic Italian way of having dinner. The traditional aperitivo drinks are made with bitter alcohol, such as Campari and Aperol, and there are three main options: Negroni, Spritz and Americano. Try one of Venice’s rooftop bars – Skyline Bar has a great panorama – or go for a more informal setting at Osteria All’Arco, which is frequented by locals and known in Venice for its delicious bar snacks.

Climb the Campanile

For a bird’s-eye view of Venice, visitors can ride the elevator to the top of the Campanile (bell tower). Completed in 912, it is the tallest building in all of Venice, and one of the oldest too. In 1902 disaster struck and it collapsed completely, but it was reconstructed trying to stay as true as possible to the original, so visitors today can see pretty much the same tower that Venetians saw over 1000 years ago. The Dolomites mountain range can even be seen in the distance on clear days.

Take a Ferry to Murano, Burano and Torcello