Main Index Hotels, Rentals

Arrow Have Venice & Italy reopened?

Planning Your Trip to Venice (2020)

Venice gondolier

ABOVE: A gondolier and his dog pose by the Basilica di Santa Maria della Salute.

When to come

Traghetto on Grand CanalVenice, Italy draws legions of tourists during the peak travel months of May through early October. The 11-day Carnevale di Venezia in February is another time when hotel space and elbow room are in short supply.

To our way of thinking, the best time for a trip to Venice is from late October into April (excluding Carnival, unless you crave crowds and high prices).

Acqua alta in Piazza San MarcoYou may encounter fog, rain, acqua alta flooding, or (rarely) snow from late October through March or April, but mild and sunny days are also common.

Air fares and hotel prices are lowest in winter--which means you can allocate your travel budget over a longer period and give Venice the time it deserves. See our Venice in Winter article for more advice and photos.

How long to visit

Venetophiles may consider this next piece of advice to be sacrilege, but here it is:

Punta della DoganaIf you're pressed for time, you can grasp the essence of Venice in a single day. A vaporetto ride up the Grand Canal, an hour in the Piazza San Marco and St. Mark's Basilica, and an afternoon spent exploring the city's campi and calli are better than skipping Venice altogether.

Still, it's much nicer to spend a few days in Venice--or, preferably, a week or longer.

For one thing, opening times (especially out of season) can make it difficult to visit more than a sampling of museums and churches in a day or two.

Beagle on a vaporettoThere's also a lot to see beyond the usual tourist attractions: e.g., the islands of the lagoon, the ancient Jewish Ghetto, and the bridges, canals, back streets, and shops of neighborhoods that hurried and harried tourists never see. Many sights won't cost you a penny (See our Top 11 Free Sights article for suggestions).

ACTV water bus to ChioggiaFinally, Venice is a convenient hub for day trips to cities and towns throughout the Veneto region, such as Chioggia, Vicenza, Treviso, Padua, and Verona.

Where to stay

Alloggi MarinellaVenice has hundreds of hotels, B&BS, hostels, and vacation rentals. However, most are relatively small by mainland standards, and it can be difficult to find a room during high season or on holiday weekends, so it pays to book early.

For advice on accommodations, see our Venice Hotel Guide and our Number 1 Warning!

How to arrive

Don't drive to Venice unless you have to. Parking is expensive, and finding a spot in a garage or outdoor lot can be a nuisance in high season.

Calatrava BridgeTrain service to Venice is frequent. Just be sure that you're booked to Venice's Santa Lucia station, not the mainland station of Venezia-Mestre (unless you're intending to stay in Mestre and commute by train to the city center.)

Teddy bear on Alilaguna airport boatMajor airlines connect London, Amsterdam, Frankfurt, and other European gateways to Venice's Marco Polo Airport. (Ryanair and several other budget airlilnes fly to Treviso.) The aerial view of the lagoon and nearby Dolomites is spectacular on a clear day, and the Alilaguna airport boat ride into the city is a great way to approach Venice for the first time.

For getting around town after you've arrived, see our Venice Transportation Index and our Walking in Venice article.

Planning resources

Venice laundromatIf you're planning your first trip to the city, start with Introducing Venice: an orientation for first-time visitors. Also see our Top 11 Tourist Mistakes in Venice (and how to avoid them). Don't miss Venice in Winter if you want to save money and escape crowds.

If you have time, browse through our Venice Travel Blog, which has advice, news items, photos, and videos on everything from "A warning about water taxis" to "Johnny Depp's palazzo in Venice."

Finally, if you're a pet aficionado, take a moment to look at our dog blog, "Maggie in Venice: The adventures of a Bearded Collie in Italy."

Home About Us

Plan your Venice trip:
arrow Introducing Venice
arrow Hotels, B&B, Apartments
arrow Transportation
arrow Sightseeing
arrow Venice Q&A
arrow Top 11 Tourist Mistakes
arrow Top 11 Free Sights
arrow Venice Cruise Port