Is Venice Worth Visiting? 7 Reasons To Visit in 2024

Venice is one of those places that needs to be visited in order to appreciate just how magical it is in real life. The city built on and around canals is a flurry of activity during the day as tourists descend upon the breathtaking city. But with this huge influx of mass tourism and recent news of a visitors tax being added to each visit, is Venice worth visiting in 2023?

Venice is one of the most iconic cities in the world. Located in northeast Italy, it is known for its winding canals, stunning architecture, and rich history. The city is a must-visit destination for anyone looking to explore a unique and vibrant city.

There are plenty of reasons why Venice is worth visiting, from its unique experiences to its delicious cuisine. Venice is renowned for its romantic atmosphere, making it a popular spot for couples. Its canals are lined with gondolas, and the city is filled with hidden gems such as quaint cafes and picturesque squares.

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Venice is also renowned for its art and architecture with its grand palaces, churches, and museums. From the Doge’s Palace to St. Mark’s Basilica, there are plenty of monuments to explore.

Is Venice Worth Visiting? 7 Reasons to Visit

1. The First Glimpse of Venice by Waterbus

Most people arrive in the city of Venice by Vaporetto, a traditional small ferry boat that has numerous stops throughout the city. These boats are how Venetians move around the city and to the mainland and can be considered the equivalent of a bus.

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Arriving by Vaporetto to Venice is one of those ‘pinch-me’ moments. Everything that you’ve seen in the movies or on the small screen is suddenly very real and in front of you. It’s simply breathtaking. And for those first glimpses of the city, Venice is worth visiting for that alone. It’s unforgettable.

Traveling around Venice by Vaporetto is one of the best ways of getting to the mainland and to the popular towns of nearby Murano and Burano. Ticket prices for a single trip start at $12/€12. If you are planning on spending a couple of days in Venice it’s worth getting a 2-day or 3-day pass for traveling back and forth between places.

2. A Sinking City

It boggles the mind how Venice manages to stay afloat. And the further you get within Venice, the more bewildering it gets. From an architectural point of view, Venice is a marvel (and in 2023 a sad tragedy), in how it was created on a series of lagoons.

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And with sea levels rising, the reality is that Venice as we know it is sinking quicker than previously imagined. If sea levels continue to rise, by 2100, the city of Venice will be underwater. The Italian government and the locals of Venice are in a crisis of preventing their homes and businesses from literally going under, to ensuring that the city of Venice can continue as it has for the previous hundreds of years amazing people with its splendor.

Is Venice worth visiting in its current state? One hundred percent, because who knows what may happen to this incredible city a decade or two from now. I sincerely hope that with the limiting of Cruise ships (and a proposed visitor lottery system) that Venice can continue to prosper and allow visitors to experience it in person.

3. The Canals & Bridges

As you navigate the canal system of Venice and inevitably get lost, you’ll find yourself becoming more endeared by this place than you thought imaginable. With 177 Canals and 391 Bridges, exploring Venice by foot is one way of getting away from the crowds and exploring the city on your own.

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Venice is home to some of the most famous bridges in the world, namely the Rialto Bridge and the oh-so-romantic, Bridge of Sighs. The Rialto Bridge is one of the oldest bridges in Venice and on hot summer days, you’ll find crowds of tourists queuing to cross over it and take pictures from it. The views from Rialto Bridge are pretty impressive, but best visited early in the morning or as the crowds depart for the day.

The Bridge of Sighs connects the Doge’s Palace with a former prison. So-called the Bridge of Sighs as prisoners would have one last long look at beautiful Venice before their sentencing as they crossed the bridge. Nowadays it’s more of a romantic sight that is best seen from a Gondola.

Of course, another image of Venice and its canals is traveling by Gondola. Whether it’s friends or your partner, is your visit to Venice complete if you didn’t partake in a Gondola ride? Is it a gimmick? I’ll let you decide that.

4. The Sights

The Peggy Guggenheim Museum in Venice is a must-see destination for art lovers. The museum is located in the beautiful Palazzo Venier dei Leoni and houses an impressive collection of modern and contemporary art, including works by Picasso, Pollock, Kandinsky and Brancusi. The museum also offers a variety of educational activities, from guided tours to lectures and workshops. As an added bonus, the Peggy Guggenheim Museum offers stunning views of the Grand Canal.

The Doge’s Palace, Palazzo Ducale, in Venice is the former residence of the Doge of Venice, the head of the Republic of Venice. Today, the palace houses the Correr Museum, which contains a large collection of art, artifacts and documents related to the history of Venice. Visitors can also explore the palace’s various courtyards, arcades and grand stairways. Additionally, the Doge’s Palace in Venice contains the State Rooms, a series of lavishly decorated rooms that were used for important events and ceremonies.

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St Marks Square is one of the largest open spaces in Venice. Famous for the very expensive cafes and restaurants that line its perimeter, it’s also a place where people like to feed thousands of pigeons and pose with them. It’s always something that has struck me as remarkably odd, seeing as most people deplore pigeons in other cities.

St Mark’s Basilica is a Byzantine-style church located in the heart of Venice, Italy. St Mark’s Basilica is one of the most iconic landmarks in the city and a symbol of Venetian culture and history. Once inside, visitors can explore the Basilica’s many masterpieces, including the Pala d’Oro and the gilded mosaics.

To visit St Mark’s Basilica, visitors should purchase a ticket in advance, especially in the summer months, as the lines get rather long.

5. The Food

Outside of the comforts of traditional Italian staples of Pizza and Pasta, when in Venice you should try some of the local specialties. Some of the best dishes to try when in Venice include Cicchetti, spaghetti alle vongole, risotto al nero di seppia, fegato alla veneziana, and bacala.

  • Cicchetti are small Venetian snacks that can be found in almost any bar or restaurant in the city. These bar snacks are the Venetian equivalent of Spanish tapas and range from small pieces of bread with cured meats or fish to a bowl of olives.
  • Spaghetti alle vongole is a classic dish of spaghetti with clams in a white wine sauce.
  • Risotto al nero di seppia is a dish of black squid ink risotto.
  • Fegato alla veneziana is a dish of pork liver and onions.
  • Finally, bacala is a traditional dish of salted cod.

One of my favorite things to do in any new city is to do a food tour or cooking class. Not only do you get an immersive experience, but you’re with a local who knows the city inside out. You’ll learn little nuggets of history and daily life that you won’t come across on any tour bus.

And what could be better than exploring Venice by taking part in a food tour with a local guide? You’ll discover the famous Rialto Market, eat Cicchetti, and learn about the incredible history of Venice.

6. Murano & Burano

Murano is an island located in the Venetian Lagoon and is famous for its glass-making industry. There are many attractions to see in Murano, such as the Glass Museum, where you can learn about the history and techniques of glass-making. You can also explore the many glass factories and see demonstrations of glass-blowing.

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Additionally, Murano is home to a number of churches, including the Church of San Donato, which is known for its beautiful stained glass windows. Murano also has a number of small shops and restaurants where you can purchase handmade glass items.

Burano is another neighboring island, also located within the Venetian Lagoon, famous for its brightly colored houses and lace-making industry. Known for its unique architecture, the buildings of Burano are painted in pastel shades of pink, blue, green, and yellow.

Burano is also home to the world-renowned Burano Lace Museum, where visitors can learn about the history of lace-making and view examples of lace from the 16th century onwards. Additionally, there are a number of small stores in Burano where you can purchase handmade lace.

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It’s worth visiting Venice to get the opportunity to visit the nearby islands of Murano and Burano for their incredible craftworks and settings. The colorful homes and stores of these islands are Instagram-worthy and achingly pretty.

The easiest way to visit the islands of Murano and Burano is to take a tour that includes stops in the all the towns and provides you with ample time to explore.

7. Venice Carnival

Carnival in Venice is an annual event that takes place in the city every year. During Carnival, the streets of Venice are filled with costumed revelers, parades, and music. Dates for the Venice Carnival 2023 culminate in a week-long celebration from the 11th of February to the 21st of February.

The highlight of Carnival is the elaborate masquerade balls, which take place throughout the city. At the culmination of Carnival, there is a grand firework display over the Venetian lagoon.

The best stores to purchase a mask for Carnival in Venice are the traditional mask shops. These shops are located throughout the city and sell a variety of masks, from the classic Venetian-style masks to more modern designs. Some of the more well-known shops include Ca’ Macana, and La Bottega dei Mascareri. Additionally, there are many street vendors who sell masks during Carnival in Venice.

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The history of Carnival in Venice dates back to the Middle Ages. The event was first celebrated in the 13th century and was originally used as a way for people to let loose and enjoy themselves before the start of Lent.

During Carnival, people would wear masks to disguise their identities and partake in a variety of festivities, from parades to dances and feasts. One of the most famous Carnival masks is a white mask with an elongated nose which was used initially during the Plague. This type of mask was used by doctors during that period and was associated with disease. Nowadays it’s one of the most popular types of masks during Carnival.

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Over time, the festivities evolved and became increasingly extravagant and elaborate. Today, Carnival in Venice is one of the most popular events in the city and attracts people from all over the world and worth visiting Venice to experience this incredible festival.

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suggested itinerary for visiting Venice

Day 1: 

• Explore St. Mark’s Square and the Doge’s Palace 

• Take a gondola ride through the canals 

• Enjoy a romantic dinner 

Day 2: 

• Visit the Rialto Bridge and the Grand Canal 

• Explore the churches and monuments of Venice 

• Enjoy Venice after dark 

Day 3: 

• Visit the Peggy Guggenheim Collection 

• Explore Venice’s Rialto Market with a guided food tour.

• Enjoy a delicious Venetian lunch 

Day 4: 

• Visit the island of Murano and explore its glass-blowing factories 

• Visit the island of Burano and explore its colorful houses 

• Enjoy the beach and the views at Lido di Venezia 

Day 5: 

• Visit the historic churches and monuments of the city 

• Explore the hidden gems of Venice 

• Enjoy a traditional Venetian dinner

Overall, Venice is an incredible city that is worth visiting. From its unique experiences to its stunning architecture and delicious cuisine, there are plenty of reasons why Venice is worth visiting. With the right accommodation and itinerary, you can make the most of your trip and have an unforgettable experience.

Planning your dream vacation to Italy? Make sure to check out my packing list for Italy, as well as how to spend 4 dreamy days in Rome. Not convinced on Italy – here are 9 Reasons to Visit Italy in 2023.

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