Things to do in Venice and event guide for 2021 | Finder

Things to do in Venice and an event guide for 2021

Plan your itinerary to the Floating City of Venice.

We’re reader-supported and may be paid when you visit links to partner sites. We don’t compare all products in the market, but we’re working on it!

With its gondolas, canals and palaces dripping with gold, Venice is one of the most iconic cities in the world. Itineraries for Venice come in a number of varieties, with food adventures in backstreet bars, tours around Saint Mark's Basilica, glass-blowing classes and nights spent at the opera all ranking as must-see things to experience in the Floating City.


Top things to do in Venice

Gondola ride in Venice

1. Go on a gondola ride

Riding a gondola in Venice is bucket-list stuff. Gondolas go hand-in-hand with Venice like black cabs go with London and yellow cabs go with New York. Like said cabs and taxis, you can simply hail a gondola from an embarkation point. However, if you want to ink in a gondola experience to your itinerary, it's a good idea to pre-book your ride around the Floating City. Choose a simple half-hour float or go for something a little more tailored, such as an experience that includes a morning walking tour or a sunset ride.


St Mark's Basilica

2. Visit Saint Mark's Basilica

Built in the 11th century, Saint Mark's Basilica is one of Italy's most recognisable churches, oozing with Venetian aesthetic. On any given day, the cathedral is swarmed with tourists, but you can get skip-the-line access and be accompanied by a local tour guide to really enhance the experience.


Food tour in Venice

3. Eat the food and drink the wine

A constellation of Michelin stars shine over Venice, but you don't need to fork out the equivalent of your weekly rent to enjoy good food in this city. Venice is dotted with enotecas that serve regional wines and proseccos. Most of these local-filled places also serve cicchetti – Italian appetisers – with their drinks. Dishes range from marinated seafood with polenta to polpette meatballs. If you're not sure where to start on your cicchetti crawl, a guided food tour is a great way to eat your way around the city.


Venice walking tour

4. Take a walking tour

While it can be fun to get lost in the tangle and stumble across half-hidden costume shops and quiet cafes along the way, the easiest way to orientate yourself to Venice is on a walking tour. Local tour guides will give you the lowdown on the history of the city, its most famous characters – like Casanova – and show you the most famous sights like Saint Mark's Square, Rialto Bridge and the Santa Maria Formosa church. Some skip-the-line tours also include entry to attractions like Saint Mark's Basilica.


Top things to do in Venice at night

Venice Opera venue

5. Spend a night at the opera

An opera experience in Venice is likely to be different to what you've experienced before. Forget sitting in stalls and watching from afar, Venetian opera leaves no distance separating the performers from the audience. Experience Italian opera in Palazzo Barbarigo-Minotto, one of the most well-known Venetian-Gothic style palaces in the city. The audience will be moved through three different rooms for each act of the show to enhance interaction between the singers, musicians and audience. If you're more interested in exploring the behind-the-scenes aspect of the opera, you can take a guided tour through La Teatro.


Venice at night

6. Explore a different side of Venice with a ghost tour

Be guided to the hidden nooks and corners of Venice with a ghost tour. Hear compelling stories that have been passed down through generations about the obscure side of Venice where ghost sightings have taken place from your tour guide as you make your way through deserted streets and alleyways.


Cabaret show, Venice

7. Spend a night at the cabaret

Feast your eyes on a dinner and cabaret show for the ultimate after-dark experience in the Floating City. A night out on the town in Venice may look a little different to what you're used to, but you're sure to be charmed by the entertainment and dining experience. Enjoy a welcome drink and a selection of finger food with classical music playing in the background before moving into the Theatre Hall to watch dancers, singers and acrobats perform while you devour a four-course meal.


Unique things to do in Venice

Carnival in Venice

8. Attend the world-famous Carnival

With its singing gondolas and dramatically plush packages, Venice is a theatrical place all year round. In late January and early February, the whole city becomes a stage as Carnival takes place. The origins of the two-week festival can be tracked back to the 16th century when locals had a last hurrah of drinking, dancing and eating before Lent.

The same applies today. Feasts are held all over Venice as masked balls take place, and concerts and parades occur in rapid fire. Some spectacles are free. Others, like opera performances, come at a cost. It may not be cheap, but it's definitely worth it.


9. Catch a glass-blowing demonstration

Murano glass is the glass equivalent to Wedgewood china. It's unique and is made on the island of Murano, a short vaporetto ride from central Venice. Crafted on Murano for centuries, the glass is made to look like it's flowing, despite being completely solid. Visitors to Murano can pop into a glass studio to watch artists make their artworks by a process called glassblowing. Afterwards, you can mooch around the workshops' stores to pick up everything from vases to wine bottle stoppers.


Picture not described

10. Turn your journey around Venice into a game

Explore Venice riddle-by-riddle via a web app on your phone's browser. There are 12 riddles to be solved that will take you from one destination to the next. The app was developed by a local Venetian tour guide, so you can discover parts of the Venice that some locals don't even know about.


Free things to do in Venice

Rialto Bridge, Venice

11. Walk the Rialto Bridge

The Rialto Bridge is a nifty spot to watch the gondolas going up and down the Grand Canal. Built entirely of marble, the Rialto Bridge is perfectly situated close to souvenir shops, arcades and acts as a great backdrop for photos.


Shopping in Venice

12. Indulge in window shopping

Leather, jewellery and antiques are just a few things that Venice is known for. Whether you want to splurge or are happy to window shop, you'll find an array of top-quality stores throughout Venice that are great for browsing. It's an experience in itself.


Jewish Ghetto, Venice

13. Stroll through the Jewish Ghetto

With history dating back to the 16th century, Venice's Jewish Ghetto is not to be missed. As you make your way around, you'll be pointing out all of the historical sights from the Jewish Ghetto's past that makes its presence in modern Venice so characteristic. With some of the tallest buildings in the city and synagogues wedged between houses, it's well worth a visit.



Seasonal events in Venice

Things to do in Venice in summer

  • Festa della Sensa
  • Art Night Venezia
  • Veneto Jazz

Things to do in Venice in winter

  • Epiphany
  • Carnevale
  • New Year's Greeting on Lido Beach

Things to do in Venice in autumn

  • Regata Storica
  • Venice International Film Festival
  • Venice Glass Week

Things to do in Venice in spring

  • Venezia Music Festival
  • Festa di San Marco
  • La Fenice Opera Show


Feeling inspired? Book your flights to the Floating City below:

Venice deals

It looks like we don't have any coupons at the moment. Take a look at our most recent deals

KayakKayak
FLASH SALE

Jetstar flights from $33 each way

Available on select travel dates until December 2021. Destinations include Sydney, Ballina, Brisbane, Townsville, Gold Coast, Perth, Uluru and more. Sample fare is Melbourne-Adelaide. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Deal ends

Virgin AustraliaVirgin Australia

Up to 50% off: Flights from $55 each way

Available on flights from April - September 2021. Destinations include Hobart, Sunshine Coast, Sydney, Gold Coast, Cairns, Adelaide, Canberra, Brisbane, Perth and more. Sample fare is Melbourne-Launceston. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Deal ends

JUCYJUCY

Campervans from $99/day or less

Pick up a campervan in Adelaide, Brisbane, Cairns, Gold Coast, Melbourne, Sydney, Auckland, Christchurch or Queenstown before until 20 September 2021.

Last verified

Deal ends

Cheap FlightsCheap Flights

New Zealand flights from $353 return

Available until December 2021 to Queenstown, Wellington, Christchurch and more with Jetstar, Air New Zealand and Qantas. Sample fare is Melbourne-Auckland. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Deal ends

SkyscannerSkyscanner

Jetstar sale: Australia-wide flights from $32 each way

Available on flights from April - September 2021 to Launceston, Gold Coast, Hobart, Adelaide, Whitsundays, Townsville, Hamilton Island, Darwin, Uluru and more. Sample fare is Melbourne-Adelaide. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Deal ends

KayakKayak

Up to 50% off Australia flights

Available on Qantas flights from April - September 2021. Destinations include Sydney, Gold Coast, Sunshine Coast, Launceston, Hobart, Cairns, Darwin, Broome, Adelaide, Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth and more. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Deal ends

WotifWotif

Up to 53% off Australia-wide getaways

Available on select travel dates in 2021. Destinations include Cairns, Gold Coast, Melbourne, Sunshine Coast, Sydney, Brisbane and more. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Deal ends

DiDiDiDi
Exclusive

Get $20 credit

Get $5 off each of your first four rides in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Gold Coast, Sunshine Coast, Geelong, Perth and Newcastle. Valid on all dates for new users. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

RedBalloonRedBalloon
Exclusive

Get $5 off activities with code

Available on experiences across Australia including Sydney, Brisbane, Cairns, Adelaide, Gold Coast, Melbourne, Perth, Hobart and more. Minimum spend of $250 required. Activities include hot air balloon flights, hop-on hop-off bus tours, whale watching cruises, skydives, high teas, quad biking experiences and more. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

RedBalloonRedBalloon
Exclusive

Get $10 off activities with code

Available on experiences across Australia including Sydney, Brisbane, Cairns, Gold Coast, Melbourne, Perth, Adelaide, Canberra, Hobart and more. Minimum spend of $300 required. Activities include hot air balloon flights, hop-on hop-off bus tours, whale watching cruises, skydives, high teas, quad biking experiences and more. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

KlookKlook
Exclusive

$15 off all Australian activities with code

Available on select travel dates when you spend a minimum of $100. Activities include hot air balloon flights, tandem skydives and attraction passes. Destinations include Sydney, Gold Coast, Cairns, Melbourne, Brisbane, Canberra, Adelaide, Perth, Hobart and more. Exclusive for new members. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Trip.comTrip.com

Australia-wide flights from $64 each way + Extra $30 off with code

Available on flights until 31 December 2021when you spend a minimum of $250. Destinations include Brisbane, Adelaide, Perth, Hobart, Cairns, Darwin, Canberra, Sunshine Coast and more. Sample fare is Sydney-Melbourne with Jetstar. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Coupon code ends

Trip.comTrip.com

Up to 46% off Australia stays + Extra $50 off with code

Available on stays until 31 December 2021. Destinations include Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide, Perth, Hobart, Cairns, Darwin, Canberra and more. Minimum spend of $250 required. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Coupon code ends

HotelsCombinedHotelsCombined

Up to 33% off Sea World Resort and Water Park stays with park entry

Available for stays until 30 April 2021 with packages available to include entry to Warner Bros. Movie World, Sea World, Wet'n'Wild Gold Coast and Paradise Country during your stay.

Last verified

DriveNowDriveNow

Campervan hire from $5/day

Available on select routes, dates and locations in Australia, including Darwin, Alice Springs, Cairns and Brisbane, and New Zealand.

Last verified

Qatar AirwaysQatar Airways

Up to 10% off international flights with code

Available for Mastercard holders on flights from 1 November 2020 - 30 June 2021. Valid on flights departing from Melbourne, Sydney, Perth, Adelaide, and Canberra. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Coupon code ends

Rentalcars.comRentalcars.com

Up to 20% off car hire

Compare car hire prices on Rentalcars.com and save up to 20% compared to booking direct.

Last verified

AgodaAgoda

Melbourne hotels from $12 per night

Available on select travel dates. Includes free cancellation and more. Sample price is for a stay at Base Backpackers in St Kilda.

Last verified

Deal ends

KlookKlook

Get 15% off all Auckland activities with code

Available on select travel dates on attractions, experiences, and tours. Minimum spend of $180 required. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Coupon code ends

AgodaAgoda

Up to 71% off Sydney hotels

Available on select travel dates. Includes free cancellation and more.

Last verified

Skydive AustraliaSkydive Australia

$30 off 15,000ft tandem skydives

Available on weekday jumps until 31 August 2021. Destination includes Cairns and more. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Coupon code ends

Skydive AustraliaSkydive Australia

$60 off tandem skydives with code

Available on weekday jumps until 31 August 2021. Destinations include Byron Bay and Great Ocean Road. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Coupon code ends

Expedia.com.auExpedia.com.au

Up to 38% off last-minute Australia escapes

Available on stays within the next 14 days. Destinations include Sydney, Gold Coast, Byron Bay, Sunshine Coast, Brisbane, Canberra and more. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Expedia.com.auExpedia.com.au

Up to 33% off Australia stays + free cancellations

Available on select travel dates to Broome, Mackay, Launceston, Darwin, Perth, Cairns, Sydney, Gold Coast and more. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Destination InternationalDestination International

6-day Adelaide getaway with flights from $399

Available for travel on select dates from 1 May - 10 September 2021. Package includes return airfare and 5 nights stay at Grosvenor Hotel, BreakFree Directors Studio or Adelaide Paringa Hotel. Sample rate departs from Melbourne. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Deal ends

G AdventuresG Adventures

Up to 15% off Australia adventures

Available on select travel dates until 30 June 2022. Destinations included Sydney, Cairns, Melbourne, Uluru, Brisbane and more. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Deal ends

G AdventuresG Adventures

Up to 15% off New Zealand tours

Available on select travel dates until 30 June 2022. Destinations included Christchurch, Auckland, Wellington, Queenstown and more. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Deal ends

KayakKayak

Jetstar sale: Auckland flights from $165 each way

Available on flights from July - September 2021 departing from Sydney, Melbourne and more. Sample fare departs from Gold Coast.

Last verified

Deal ends

ContikiContiki

Up to 10% off New Zealand tours

Available on select trips from 19 April 2021 onward. Destinations include Wellington, Auckland, Christchurch and more. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Deal ends

KayakKayak

Domestic flights from $55 each way

Available on Rex Airline flights from April - September 2021 to Adelaide, Kangaroo Island, Burnie and more. Sample fare is Sydney-Gold Coast. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Deal ends

G AdventuresG Adventures

Up to 15% off classic tours and My Own Room

Available on select trips until 30 June 2022 to Australia, New Zealand, Bali, Alaska, India, Thailand, Peru, South Africa, Japan, Maldives, Canada and more. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Deal ends

Cheap FlightsCheap Flights

Ayers Rock flights from $188 return

Available on select flight until June 2021. Sample fare departs from Brisbane with Jetstar. Other flights depart from Melbourne, Adelaide, Sydney and more. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Deal ends

AvisAvis

Sixth day free + free upgrade on car hires

Available on 6+ day rentals from 15 July - 15 September 2021. Destinations include Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Gold Coast, Cairns, Perth, Adelaide and Hobart. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Coupon code ends

AvisAvis

Third day free on Australia car rentals

Available on 3+ days rentals, including a Saturday night from 22 April - 21 June 2021. Destinations include Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Gold Coast, Cairns, Perth, Adelaide and Hobart. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Coupon code ends

Cheap FlightsCheap Flights

Australia flights from $64 return

Available on select 2021 flights to Ballina, Gold Coast, Brisbane, Launceston, Sydney and more. Sample fares are Melbourne-Adelaide with Jetstar. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Deal ends

KayakKayak

Flights to New Zealand from $321 return

Available on flights from July - September 2021 to Queenstown, Wellington, Christchurch and more. Sample fare is Melbourne-Auckland with Jetstar. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Deal ends

KayakKayak

Fiji flights from $590 return

Available on flights from June - August 2021. Sample fare departs from Sydney with Fiji Airways. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Deal ends

KayakKayak

Brisbane flights from $55 each way

Available on flights until July 20210 departing from Adelaide, Cairns, Melbourne, Brisbane and more. Sample fare departs from Sydney with Jetstar. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Deal ends

KayakKayak

Melbourne flights from $39 each way

Available on flights until June 20210 departing from Hobart, Gold Coast and more. Sample fare departs from Adelaide with Virgin Australia. Other airlines include Rex, Jetstar and more. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Deal ends

Tick Travel InsuranceTick Travel Insurance
Exclusive

Get 7% off all Tick travel insurance policies

Only on Finder. Use this code to get a 7% discount. T&Cs apply.

Last verified


More guides on Finder

Ask an Expert

You are about to post a question on finder.com.au:

  • Do not enter personal information (eg. surname, phone number, bank details) as your question will be made public
  • finder.com.au is a financial comparison and information service, not a bank or product provider
  • We cannot provide you with personal advice or recommendations
  • Your answer might already be waiting – check previous questions below to see if yours has already been asked

Finder only provides general advice and factual information, so consider your own circumstances, or seek advice before you decide to act on our content. By submitting a question, you're accepting our Terms of Use, Disclaimer & Privacy Policy and Privacy & Cookies Policy.
Go to site