Of all the places to see in Italy, Venice is the crème de la crème for many keen tourists. The beauty and uniqueness of this city are simply too hard to pass up and the magical waterways this city is built around are largely what draws in the big crowds.
It is a city that is designed to not only be explored but to get lost in too.
Back in the day, the city of Venice was established as a small and quaint little fishing village in the 6th Century. But over the centuries it grow to be a strong republic and is now lined with thousands of gondolas, has a puzzle of alleyways and stunning bridges that provide the perfect backdrop to any photo.
Venice is so popular too because it is so conveniently located. You can easily take the train from Florence and make a day trip out of it. Or you can spend a few days really ticking off all the must-do’s. From palazzos to museums and art galleries, there simply is not enough time to do it all.
But there are certainly some quintessential stops you should be making time for at the very least.
However, before we get into that and list off all the places you need to visit, lets first start with talking about luggage. The streets of Venice are lined with cobblestone streets that are anything but luggage friendly. So you will want to make sure you do your research in advance and book luggage storage in Venice so you can easily pay a visit to Venice.
There is nothing worse than wasting time and energy trying to drag around bags in cramped alleyways amongst seas of other visitors!
So once you drop off your luggage, these are the top places that you need to see.
1. The Grand Canal
No visit to Venice is complete without riding along the Grand anal at least once. It is not just a way to get around, it is an experience that lets you fully live out the magic that Venice offers to visitors. And it is also just a really fun way to get around!
You can pretty much hop on from anywhere, with the most conveniently located to the train station being St. Mark’s Square. Once you snag yourself a gondola, sit back, soak in the sights and enjoy being serenaded by the gondoliers. They are all talented singers who will make the experience even better!
2. Piazza San Marco
Of course, another absolute must when it comes to visiting Venice is checking out Piazza San Marco. In fact, it is the only Piazza in all of Venice. Any other square is actually called a Campos.
With its popularity will come the big crowds too. However, that is all part of the fun! The best time of day to experience Piazza San Marco is in the morning, as much of the city will still just be waking up. It is a great time to sip on an espresso and admire the sparkling waterways as the sun rises. The atmosphere here will change greatly by mid-day when hoards of people will be here.
3. The Doge’s Palace
Another great historical place to see that is conveniently located near Piazza San Marco is The Doges’ Palace. It is an extremely historical place that used to be the home of 100 Doges who once were the rulers of the Venetian Republic for over 1,000 years!
The palace is full of stunning art collections and offers a great look at what life used to be like in Venice centuries ago. You can even sign up to do a secret itinerary tour, which will take you to places that the general public won’t get access to. There’s even a prison within and a dungeon!
4. The Campanile
If you are wanting to get a great ariel view of Venice, then making your way to The Campanile, which is the iconic bell tower in Venice, is an absolute must. A fact that many people do not realize is that it actually collapsed in 1902 as the result of an earthquake. But after a decade of rebuilding, it is now standing proudly (and securely) at over 300 feet and is officially the tallest building in all of Venice.
5. The Rialto Markets
You can not come to Venice and not enjoy the food! One of the best places to get a taste of local cuisine is at the Rialto Markets. Located along a beautiful Renaissance bridge, it is also a photographer’s dream here. You can get yourself fresh fish from the market and be shopping alongside chefs who are collecting their ingredients for the day. There are some nearby coffee bars that you should absolutely fuel up at while here too!
There is never enough time to do everything in Venice. But these five are a great place to start!