Venice weekends & short breaks 2019 / 2020
Brimming with breathtaking sights, mouth-watering meals, and unique places to explore, Venice holidays and city breaks transport holidaymakers to a different world. Expect plenty of hideaway restaurants boasting stunning views of the canals, unique boutiques selling colourful Murano glass jewellery and plenty of ice-cream parlours to enjoy Italian treats at their best and quite a few remarkable cultural and historical sites.
Possibly the most romantic city in the world, this gem of Italy is perfect for city breaks for couples, but with its rich history, culture and scenic sights, this city charms all manner of holidaymakers. The relentless picturesque quality of Venice will keep visitors captivated throughout their stay, from the snaking canals and pretty bridges, to the grand squares and splendid churches – Venice is a truly special part of the world. Spanning over 100 tiny islands and surrounded by a sparkling blue lagoon that filters its way through to a labyrinth of city canals, there are plenty of places to explore while visiting the city.
City breaks to Venice are a popular choice regardless of the seasons - while many flock here during the summer months for its pleasantly warm weather, others are enchanted by the misty ambience that settles over city during the winter. Enjoy the atmosphere in St. Mark’s Square before wandering through the narrow winding streets to cosy bed and breakfasts in the heart of the city, or elegant 5-star hotels with views over canals amid some of the most romantic and iconic architecture Europe has to offer. With a booming café and restaurant culture, Venice city breaks are perfect for those who want to experience a lot but get away from it all and relax at the same time.
Things to do in Venice
Venice, which is essentially 118 islands joined together by over 400 bridges, is one of Europe’s most popular travel destinations. There are many things to do and so many sights to see during a Venice weekend break, all enclosed in a relatively small area but concentrated on the centre of the city.
- St. Mark's Square - The centre of Venice is dominated by St. Mark’s Square, or the piazza as it is known locally.
- St. Mark's Basilica - On the square you can find St. Mark’s Basilica, dating originally from the 9th century, and it is the perfect spot to start simply walking around Venice, admiring the amazing architecture. The views across the lagoon to the mainland and the magnificent bridges is an activity in itself.
- The Rialto & The Bridge of Sighs - These are the most well regarded bridges, both of which attract hundreds of thousands of visitors each year as two of the top Venice attractions.
- St. Mark’s Cathedral - Perhaps the most beautiful Venetian icon, it's the most popular and most visited attraction in Venice.
- The Basilica of Santa Maria Assunta - On the island of Torcello, this is also worth a trip, as apart from its amazing architecture, it is also known for its unique collection of mosaics.
Beaches near Venice
Although Venice is known for canals, if you head out of the main island you will find plenty of beaches to satisfy your craving.
- Alberoni - An excellent beach to head to in order to avoid the main crowds and stuffiness of the city streets. The beach is in a nature reserve and is popular with water sports enthusiasts or families wanting to enjoy the sun and sea.
- Bibione - Recommended for its cleanliness which makes it great for swimming or renting a sun bed and umbrella for the day. The beach is surrounded by pine trees to create a perfect balance of sun and shade. To get to Bibione beach you can take the train to Portogruaro and then a bus or it is an easy drive from Venice.
- Albarella - If you want to stay for a night or two outside of Venice, a trip to Albarella is definitely worth it. You can only access the beach if you are a guest at the resort but you will be rewarded with beaches set in nature reserve and surrounded by trees.
An evening meal can easily turn into a few drinks before heading out into the night of Venice or alternatively, a quiet apperitif with snacks could turn into a night out to remember. There is much less distinction between going out at night and going for a meal or a few drinks in Italy and Venice is no exception. There are all kinds of bars in Venice from lively student type places to up-market winebars and establishments which will be open until the early hours.
- Venice Jazz Club - Venice is an excellent place to see live jazz, head to Venice Jazz Club which has live performances, the cover charge is €20 and you get a free first drink and a table, the concerts start at 9 and you can order dinner before then.
- Molocinque - Fancy a club? Head to Molocinque for house music.
- Jazz Club: 900 - More jazz, along with some pizza and drinks of course.
- Venice Casino - If you'd like a bit of a thrill during your Venice nights, head to the casino and try your luck (responsibly!).
Venice for Couples
Venice is a perfect destination for a romantic city break, with so many beautiful sights and many wonderful places to eat and drink in an exceptional setting. There are many things to do in Venice for couples
- Gondola rides - Take a gondola or water taxi to explore the sights from the water
- Strolling - Explore around the narrow connecting streets and discover hidden parts of this amazing place. Or the enchanting gardens of Villa Pisani.
- Sunset boat trip - Sail out to one of the surrounding islands
- Cycling - Try a cycling excursion to some of the sights just outside of Venice.
When to go
Weather-wise, the best time to head out on a Venice weekend break is during the summer. Temperatures soar, but so do the touristic crowds. If you’d rather avoid the huge amounts of people visiting the city, visit Venice during September to November. During this time the temperatures are lower too, so make sure you pack some rain boots to prepare for any rainfall.
Average high and low temperatures (°C):
- January: 7° / 0°
- February: 9° / 1°
- March: 13° / 4°
- April: 17° / 8°
- May: 22° / 13°
- June: 26° / 17°
- July: 28° / 19°
- August: 28° / 18°
- September: 24° / 15°
- October: 18° / 10°
- November: 12° / 5°
- December: 8° / 1°
Places to eat
Venice houses many top-quality restaurants and other eateries, many serving up everything from traditional southern Italian pizza to plenty of dishes local to Venice. A local favourite is fresh cuttlefish and is used in numerous dishes, the ink often being used as part of the exquisite sauce. Don’t miss out on risotto dishes with fresh fish – as Venice is surrounded by water - or the cod and polenta meal. Take an afternoon espresso for a pick-me-up or satiate your sweet tooth with a bite or four of tiramisu to end the perfect culinary day. One things for sure, you won't finish your Venice holiday dissatisfied.
Top places to eat in Venice include:
- La Zucca - Quaint and affordable restaurant which has fantastic options for vegetarians.
- Antiche Carampane - Seafood specialty restaurant.
- Antico Martini - Wonderful restaurant providing meat-based and fishbsaed dishes.
- Ristorante Riviera - Pasta lover? Enjoy tasty cocktails with lovely pasta dishes.
Venice for Families
Italy is a favourite with families as Italians love children and will treat you kindly everywhere you go. So why not enjoy a Venice holiday with your loved ones?
- Duomo - One of the top attractions in Venice is the square’s Duomo, a magnificent church marked with beautiful floor-to-ceiling mosaics. Even children will be interested and amazed by this and will enjoy climbing the bell tower and looking out over the city.
- Gelato - Afterwards, sit in one of the many cafés that line the square or tuck into one of the country’s delicious gelatos.
- Gondola rides - Another popular thing activity for families is to take a ride in a Gondola; gondoliers put on a good show for children and it will be an experience they will never forget, watching the city float past.
- St. Mark's Square - Venice is filled with treasures just waiting to be discovered. Sightseeing during city breaks in Venice is an infinite affair, but at the top of the list has to be a visit to St. Mark’s Square. Traditionally a meeting place for Venetians, this famous square is always bustling with activity from flower stalls to cafés.
Venice holidays have so much in store when it comes to culture. From amazing cultural events and festivals to an abundance of museums which allow you to learn even more about this fascinating city.
- The Venice Carnevale - Runs for the 10 days leading up to Shrove Tuesday, and is the world’s most famous masked ball.
- La Biennale di Venezia - Runs on alternate years and features amazing Art and Architecture exhibitions, though the scope of these are quite wide and also include the acclaimed Venice International Film Festival.
- The Veneto Jazz Festival - Takes place at various times throughout the year and attracts some big names from this genre.
- The Correr Museum - Features an exhibition of Roman artefacts and a picture gallery.
- The Glass Museum - On the island of Murano, it has a fine collection of typical glasswork from the area.