7 things to do in Venice, Italy

An Italian city built on more than a hundred small islands. It has no roads ---- just canals. It's in every traveler's bucket list, so here's our list of recommendations in no particular order...

#1 - Gondola Ride

Hop into one of those gondolas, enjoy a romantic serenade of traditional songs while it takes you around the hidden gems of the city. This offers a good intro to the city and is perfect if you're planning a day excursion to Venice.

Tip: Ensure your phones / cameras are fully-charged to get them running from start to finish. Watch out for the Rialto Bridge, Grand Canal and St. Mark's Square. Check with your fellow passengers too if you can swap places (front and back side of the gondola) to make the most of this scenic ride.

Francis and Frances taking the gondola ride along the Venice canals


#2 - Visit St. Mark's Basilica

It's one of Venice's prime attractions and features the great history of the city through its Venetian art blended with Byzantine, Romanesque and Gothic elements. Expect to see glittering golden mosaics, precious stones and jewels.

Facing the St. Mark's Basilica in Venice

Tip: Lines leading up to the entry to St. Mark's Basilica can take hours so get in early or better yet, buy tickets with the 'Skip-the-line' option to save you time. While inside the basilica, pay a visit to the remains of St. Mark and check out the Golden Pall, considered as one of the world's most valuable objects.


#3 - Explore St. Mark's Square

Also referred to as Piazza San Marco, the area is littered with Byzantine art, the Campanile bell, Doge's Palace and  St. Mark’s Basilica. The area also offers high-end shopping and cafe's and restaurants.

Frances at the St Mark's Square

Tip: Try to get in for an early morning walk, enjoy the sunrise and most of all avoid the crowd. You may want to complete your day with an evening walk and be serenaded by a public orchestra. Satisfy your sweet tooth cravings with their gelato -- they are really good.


#4 - Take a Guided Walking Tour

Navigate the backstreets of Venice and explore the city's historic landmarks. it's a leisurely stroll but you'll come out full of knowledge about the city's rich history and culture. You may take with you some photos of the hidden landmarks other than St. Mark's Basilica or Piazza San Marco.

Guided walking tour with the Insight Vacations crew in Venice

Tip: Get yourself some water and comfortable walking shoes as the tour may take an hour or two. Ensure that you stick with your walking tour group as walking through the tiny winding streets may prove to be tricky.


#5 - Hop into a boat to Burano

The island of Burano is widely known for its lace production and the colourful houses of the local people.

Coloured houses in the island of Burano, Venice

Tip: Check out their local lace laboratories and try their local biscuit called Bussola. The island also has their own version of a leaning tower.


#6 - Visit a glass-blowing factory in Murano

Murano is world-famous for its glass production and real and authentic Venetian glass. Live glass-blowing demonstrations by their glass experts are in play when you pay a visit to their factories.

A glass-blowing expert forming the shape of a horse

Tip: Some tour companies offer a combined ticket to visit Murano and Burano so it's worth considering it as an option if you're thinking of visiting both islands.


#7 - Sunset cruise along Venice

Get into a traditional Venetian boat and sail through a panoramic ride around the island coupled with a beautiful sunset. Get to see some towering cathedrals and historic palazzos.

Sunset cruise along Venice

Tip: You may consider doing the cruise in a small group to allow you to move around as you're exploring the waters of Venice -- and of course, for you to get good quality photos while cruising.