The 23 Best Places to Go in 2023

By CNT Editors

23 Best Places to Travel in 2023 According to Cond Nast Traveler

This is part of our global guide to the Best Places to Go in 2023—find more travel inspiration here .

In any given year, the exercise of assembling a definitive list of the best places to travel is both exciting and daunting. After all, we’re never short on inspiring places and experiences we hope to cross off. And so, every fall, when we convene to start the process of creating this list, we do so with great care, enlisting our extensively traveled network of writers from around the world—and for the first time this year, editors from other  Condé Nast Traveler markets—to pitch, endorse, defend, and eventually align on the places we believe that you, as our readers, will most want to travel to over the next 12 months.

Our 23 best places to travel in 2023 is a mix of old favorites worth visiting anew, and lesser-trammeled, even once-forbidden, regions ready to welcome travelers—yet they are all unified by highly anticipated new offerings and evolutions. There’s something here for every kind of traveler, whether you seek extraordinary excursions through ancient rainforests, a blossoming terroir-driven culinary scene, or dazzling cultural calendars packed with world-class music and rare art exhibits. We also believe that there’s more that binds than separates these places: an opportunity for richer engagement with local communities, slower travel, and more meaningful—and joyful—human connection. What could better speak to what we hope for in the year ahead?

Here are the 23 destinations—vetted by  Condé Nast Traveler editors from the U.S. U.K. , Spain , and India —to plan your 2023 travels around. Let them guide your next adventure. —Arati Menon and Megan Spurrell

All listings featured in this story are independently selected by our editors. However, when you book something through our retail links, we may earn an affiliate commission.

The Best Places to Go in 2023

Auckland, new zealand.

Go for: Cultural and sporting events, new hotels, improved flight connectivity

Image may contain Building Architecture Tower Landmark Sky Tower  Auckland Construction Crane and Construction

Auckland will be one of nine cities to host the FIFA Women's World Cup in 2023. 

Image may contain Water Coast Outdoors Beach Nature Shoreline Sea Walking Person Promontory and Photography

In June 2023, Qantas will begin running non-stop flights from New York City to Auckland. 

Widely praised for its containment of COVID-19, New Zealand held out until September of this year to finally eliminate travel restrictions introduced during the pandemic. Needless to say, the island nation is mightily gearing up for the throngs of foreign visitors anticipated in the coming year, especially in the city of Auckland .

Air connectivity with the U.S. has never been stronger. Nonstop flights are currently running from six American cities; the world’s fourth-longest leg, Air New Zealand’s nearly-17-hour flagship from New York City, debuted in September. Australian carrier Qantas has also announced its own direct flight to New York City, coming in June 2023.

Meanwhile, Auckland’s jam-packed events calendar seems to be making up for lost time. After a three-year hiatus, the popular Lantern Festival will be held in February 2023 to celebrate Chinese New Year. Pasifika , the largest Pacific Island cultural festival in the world, is returning in March 2023 after a two-year pause. And, in July, the quadrennial FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023 will swing down under to nine host cities across New Zealand and Australia, with Auckland’s games held in Eden Park.

Aside from Auckland’s newest attractions that outsiders have yet to experience—like the $350M eco-sensitive Te Wānanga waterfront development on Quay Street—three years’ worth of flashy hotel openings also await. There’s the Park Hyatt , QT Auckland , the charming Hotel Fitzroy , and Hotel Britomart , New Zealand’s only 5-Green-Star certified hotel. Stays in the city pair perfectly with newcomers in Auckland’s rural periphery, like the Scandi-inspired Parohe Island Retreat and golf-centric Te Arai . Should you journey further into Aotearoa, new multi-day tours by luxury rail operator Great Journeys depart from Auckland Rail Station. From the looks of it, 2023 will—finally—give Auckland its time to shine. —Paul Jebara

British Columbia, Canada

Go for: New Indigenous-led experiences and wilderness lodges

The newly opened Klahoose Wilderness Resort invites guests to learn about Klahoose First Nation Culture—and experience...

The newly opened Klahoose Wilderness Resort invites guests to learn about Klahoose First Nation Culture—and experience fantastic wildlife viewing—in British Columbia's remote Desolation Sound. 

The province of British Columbia is renowned for its pristine natural beauty, from the Rockies to the storm-battered islands of Haida Gwaii , and new Indigenous-led experiences are connecting travelers to the cultures most closely tied to the land. At Haida-owned and -operated Haida House —which launched its new longhouse-style oceanfront cabins in May 2022—guests will explore Haida Gwaii while learning about the Haida worldview of Yah’guudang, meaning “respect for all living things and the interdependence that binds us.” Haida House guests will visit the islands’ ancestral village sites—including The Village of Queen Charlotte, which was recently restored to its Indigenous name of Daajing Giids, in an unprecedented move.

Further east, in the interior Chilcotin region of B.C., Indigenous-owned and -operated Nemiah Valley Lodge will open for its first full season next June. The lodge marks the first tourism venture on Tsilhqot’in title lands after a landmark ruling awarded the First Nation rights to their traditional territory. In 2023, they’re adding a sweat lodge experience and kayaking on Chilko Lake—Canada’s highest-elevation freshwater lake—led by Tsilhqot’in cultural ambassadors from the local Xeni Gwet’in community.

Back on the coast, Klahoose Wilderness Resort is also new on the scene, with a focus on Klahoose First Nation culture and wildlife viewing in remote Desolation Sound. There’s also Tofino Wilderness Resort  in Quait Bay on Vancouver Island , which will open under Ahousaht First Nation ownership in 2023. But Indigenous culture will also make its mark in the bustling heart of British Columbia: Salmon n’ Bannock , Vancouver’s only Indigenous restaurant, is opening Salmon n’ Bannock on the Fly at the Vancouver airport, the first Indigenous restaurant in a Canadian airport—and a welcome way to bookend a trip to the region. —Chloe Berge

Central California Coast, U.S.A.

Go for: New wine country stays, standout tasting rooms and restaurants

New accommodations like The Inn at Mattei's Tavern Auberge Resorts Collection are making the central California coast...

New accommodations like The Inn at Mattei's Tavern, Auberge Resorts Collection, are making the central California coast one of the state's hippest food-and-wine-focused getaways—and there's even more to come in 2023. 

A patchwork of laid-back beach towns , trail-laced redwood forests, and vineyards producing standout Syrah, Pinot Noir, and Chardonnay, the Central Coast has been on our radar for a while now. Yet, all at once, it seems the region’s lesser-known destinations are taking on cooler second lives. In the Santa Ynez Valley , cowboy towns like Los Alamos and Los Olivos float on the same intriguing whispers that Joshua Tree did a decade ago (known, but not too known). The valley has emerged as the hippest new getaway for Angelinos, with its mix of funky tasting rooms like disco ball-decorated Future Perfect Wines , casually chic restaurants such as seafood tavern Bar Le Côte , and new accommodations, most notably the Inn at Mattei’s Tavern . Auberge Resorts Collection recently resurrected the latter, a beloved 19 th century landmark with a cabana-lined pool, a spa curated by New York City’s cult outfit The Well , and four restaurants, including a smokehouse that juxtaposes open-fire cooking and Shanghainese flavors. One hour north, Paso Robles , has finally shed its serious oenophiles-only image. Tin City , an approachable collection of wineries and breweries set within an industrial market, feels reminiscent of Santa Barbara’s Funk Zone , and boasts San Luis Obispo County’s only Michelin-decorated restaurant, Six Test Kitchen . Next year, the revival whizzes at Nomada Group will reopen two historic hotels—Farmhouse Motel, a 1940s spot downtown, and River Lodge, set at the entrance of Route 46 minutes from top wineries. They’ve even made the unassuming frontier town of Pozo, 30 minutes from downtown, Insta-cool by recently reviving the Saloon , where Willie Nelson once played, and adding airstreams and glamping tents as crash pads. —Jen Murphy

Go for: One-of-a-kind archaeological museums, waterfront resorts, cruises

The much-delayed Grand Egyptian Museum in Giza, pegged to be the world's largest archaeological museum, is set to finally open in 2023 with all objects excavated from Tutankhamun’s tomb.

A far more hopeful period is afoot in Egypt after a decade of upheaval catalyzed by the Arab Spring. This year marked the centennial of the discovery of Tutankhamun’s tomb—and in November 2022, Egypt hosted the United Nations Climate Summit, COP 27.

Long-laid plans will finally come to fruition in the year ahead, with many high-profile projects, including the much-delayed Grand Egyptian Museum in Giza, set to open at last. Pegged to be the world’s largest archaeological museum, the space—slated for a 2023 opening—will contain priceless items, including all objects excavated from Tutankhamun’s tomb. Further touristic draws, Egyptology-wise, stem from the exciting return of certain artifacts from the Metropolitan Museum of Art , as well as the relocation of the nation’s vast collection of royal mummies to the National Museum of Egyptian Civilization in Cairo .

Grander transformations are afoot, with new infrastructure—and a new capital—rapidly taking shape. A development not without its controversies, Egypt’s New Administrative Capital, to the east of Cairo, will replace the current one as the country's governmental center, boasting Africa’s tallest tower and the 22-mile-long Green River Park, designed to look like the Nile River . On that note: Viking River Cruises have expanded their fleet yet again, with the Viking Aton due to launch in August 2023, sailing their popular  Pharaohs & Pyramids  itinerary. Meanwhile, the opening of eco-resort The Chedi El Gouna on the Red Sea is penciled in for December 2022—yet another reason for a multi-stop journey through Egypt. —Gilly Hopper

Galilee, Israel

Go for: Charming boutique hotels, vineyards, improved connectivity

Pereh Mountain Resort is one of several new boutique hotels to have recently opened in this part of Israel drawing...

Pereh Mountain Resort is one of several new boutique hotels to have recently opened in this part of Israel, drawing international tourists to the rural food and wine destination. 

Perched atop a hill and surrounded by olive groves and orchards the Pereh Mountain Resort underscores why Galilee has...

Perched atop a hill and surrounded by olive groves and orchards, the Pereh Mountain Resort underscores why Galilee has earned its nickname as the Tuscany of Israel. 

For decades, food and wine aficionados from Tel Aviv have been making the windy drive north to Israel’s Galilee region, where the landscape unfolds into lush green hills and valleys. For locals, this fertile corner filled with fruit farms, organic dairies, and family-run wineries, has long been revered as Israel’s own Tuscany.

And now, international tourists are discovering the region’s bounty as well: A flurry of new boutique hotels have opened over the past year, including the Pereh Mountain Resort , perched atop a hill and surrounded by olive groves and orchards; and the Galei Kinneret , reborn with a kitchen led by celebrity chef Assaf Granit. At The Farmhouse , which also opened in 2021, guests sleep among vineyards, and after Watsu pool therapy and jeep tours, are invited to pair local wines with artisanal cheeses and local produce. Tiberias, the Galilee’s largest city, is also set for a facelift with a new promenade along the same shores where Jesus is said to have walked on water—and new direct flights to Israel from Atlanta (Delta; starting in May) and Miami (American; beginning in October) will make access in 2023 easier than ever. —Debra Kamin

Go for: City hotspots, island getaways, and dazzling safari lodges

Take advantage of new openings in Nairobi and the Lamu archipelago, then check in to Angama Amboseli, a new lodge in Amboseli National Park opening in November 2023. 

​​ Kenya has long been a big draw for safari travelers, but there’s much more to see beyond the Masai Mara—and there are compelling new reasons to crisscross the country. While Nairobi was often relegated to one-night layovers en route to the bush, innovative new hotel concepts like The Social House Nairobi , which opened just before the pandemic, are beckoning visitors to linger awhile. The 83 sleek rooms are brimming with local products, like Kenyan coffee and toiletries, and the four restaurants and café are hot spots for Nairobi’s creative set to converge. Nairobi’s restaurant scene is also thriving, with creative kitchens like the farm-to-table Cultiva , the brainchild of Ecuadorian chef Ariel Moscardi, who fell in love with Nairobi during a short visit; he’s now at work on an experimental chef’s-table offshoot called Aya set to open next year. Plus, on the heels of opening her home to guests as the art-filled Eden Nairobi in 2021, designer Anna Trzebinski has now set her sights on the coast. She’s taken over three apartments in the beguiling island archipelago of Lamu , filled them with furniture and decor she designed, and will unveil them as Jannah Shela in 2023. With gorgeous indoor-outdoor spaces and a rooftop bar with the best views in Lamu, this is a chic hideaway for a new wave of travelers—both Kenyan and international. For those who can’t get enough of Angama Mara ’s dazzling details, the November 2023 opening of Angama Amboseli brings its contemporary African design to Amboseli National Park further south, where 10 tented suites come with sweeping views of Mount Kilimanjaro . — Sarah Khan

Loire Valley, France

Go for: New hotels and restaurants in historic châteaux, luxury train journeys

Gatronomic getaways like Fleur de Loire opened last July are proving that the Loire Valley has more to offer than...

Gatronomic getaways like Fleur de Loire, opened last July, are proving that the Loire Valley has more to offer than historical châteaux (though there are plenty of those). 

Fleur de Loire from Michelinstar chef Christophe Hay has two restaurants a pastry shop and a 2.5acre garden from which...

Fleur de Loire from Michelin-star chef Christophe Hay has two restaurants, a pastry shop, and a 2.5-acre garden from which his ingredients are sourced. 

The Loire Valley has always banked on its abundance of royal châteaux and lush landscapes to draw in travelers. But it wasn’t until very recently, thanks to the initiative of hoteliers, creatives, and chefs, that the region sought to go beyond its picturesque historical marvels to establish new reasons to visit.

That effort began in 2020, with the gastronomic and nature-inspired getaways offered at Loire Valley Lodges and Les Sources de Cheverny , and has shown no signs of stopping. Raising the bar in a big way has been Fleur de Loire , double Michelin-star chef Christophe Hay’s fine-dining-led hotel in Blois, overlooking the Loire River, which opened last July. Hay restored a former 17th-century hospice to set up two restaurants, a pastry shop, a Sisley spa, 44 elegantly appointed rooms, and a 2.5-acre garden which supplies all of the produce for his cooking.

Yet there is also novelty for those who can’t shake the urge to sleep within the majestic confines of a castle. The Château Louise de La Vallière is a new 5-star Relais & Châteaux offering in forestland tucked between Tours and Amboise, open as of October 2022. Occupying a 16th-century château set within a 47-acre park that served as the first holiday residence of Louise de la Vallière, the first official mistress of Louis XIV, the 20-room property has been restored and redesigned by Jacques Garcia to its centuries-old glory: it approximates the style and customs of the era, down to the period dress sported by staff, in addition to original paintings, tapestries, decorative pieces, and even mealtime rituals.

It makes for a suitable home base to visit the Royal Château of Amboise in 2023 when the Saint-Hubert chapel, the resting place of Leonardo De Vinci, reopens after nearly two years of renovations. The Château will also host a new, year-long exhibition dedicated to Louis XI on the 600th anniversary of his birth.

But the newest way to make a stopover arrives next summer with the inaugural Le Grand Tour experience from Puy du Fou. The six-day luxury train journey spans a more than 2,000-mile tour of France in a Belle Epoque carriage, bringing guests to Chenonceau for a night, with private visits to the namesake château. —Lindsey Tramuta

Marrakech, Morocco

Go for: New riads in the city, desert stays, art and design exhibits

In addition to buzzy new hotel openings in central Marrakech the Burning Maninspired Habitas Agafay has just begun...

In addition to buzzy new hotel openings in central Marrakech, the Burning Man–inspired Habitas Agafay has just begun welcoming visitors to the Agafay Desert, a mere 45-minute drive from the city's medina. 

Marrakech has a dizzying energy that pulls you in, spins you around, and leaves you wanting more. All good reasons to make sure you have a soothing home for the night—and you will, thanks to a handful of exciting openings. Dreamy riad El Fenn has just added ten new rooms in the hotel’s signature style, mixing intricate artisanal details, bold colors, and striking contemporary art. On the other side of the medina, two new spots are coming this spring. Firstly, Rosemary , a bijou new riad with a calming courtyard and sunny rooftop, from Laurence Leenaert, the designer behind the LRNCE brand of ceramics and textiles. In the leafy Hivernage neighborhood, home to some of the city’s best nightlife, a new Nobu hotel will breathe new life into the former Pearl Hotel. Out in the Agafay Desert, a 45-minute drive from the medina, Habitas has just opened the Burning Man–inspired Caravan Agafay . Don’t go expecting rolling Sahara-style dunes—the stone desert here looks more lunar than sandy—but do expect boho tents, swimming pools, moon gazing, and plenty more. 

Marrakech itself continues to be a magnet for artists and designers: The new Monde des Arts de la Parure showcases 3,000 pieces of jewelry, ornaments, and textiles from more than 50 countries in a three-story wood-and-brick space lit by a dramatic octagonal skylight. At the Museum of African Contemporary Art Al Maaden (MACAAL), Malagasy artist Joël Andrianomearisoa’s “Our Land Just Like A Dream” explores traditional Moroccan creative knowledge, filling the museum’s spaces with works made exclusively in Marrakech through July 2023. —Nicola Chilton

Melides, Portugal

Go for: Lesser-known beaches, design-forward stays

The Manuel Aires Mateusdesigned Pa.te.os has just opened in Melides with four discreet houses that blend into 80 acres...

The Manuel Aires Mateus-designed Pa.te.os has just opened in Melides, with four discreet houses that blend into 80 acres of Mediterranean landscape. 

Comporta’s lesser-known sister has been quietly simmering for some time now, but 2023 is set to become the year Melides emerges as the Portuguese beach spot to know. Its alluring landscape of white-sand beaches, pine forests, and rice fields will soon welcome exciting new properties, including Christian Louboutin’s much-awaited Vermelho this coming spring. The designer discovered the charm of Melides early—he’s been visiting for 10 years to design his winter collections, even naming one of his shoe lines Melides—and the boutique property will celebrate Portuguese artisanship and design traditions.

And there are others: Spatia —the Comporta resort frequented by travelers looking for minimalist design and quiet respite—will open a second hotel in Melides in 2023, while Umay’s otherworldly villas, inspired by the geometry of seashells, will follow in 2024. Also new to the area is the recently opened Pa. te .os , consisting of four discreet houses on 80 hectares of land, designed by famed Portuguese architect Manuel Aires Mateus to blend into the Mediterranean landscape.

Hotels aside, other 2022 openings like the Melides Pottery Museum, which celebrates Portugal’s rich ceramic history, and beach-front restaurants like À Toa on Praia de Melides , add to the excitement around this buzzy destination. —Abigail Malbon

Memphis, Tennessee

Go for: New public spaces, restaurants and hotels that highlight the city's heritage

The Memphian Hotel is an eyecatching marker of the city's hotel boom—it's just one of eight new properties opened in 2022.

The Memphian Hotel is an eye-catching marker of the city's hotel boom—it's just one of eight new properties opened in 2022. 

The Memphian Hotel shines a light on the city's heritage through design and cuisine much like the city's coolest new...

The Memphian Hotel shines a light on the city's heritage through design and cuisine, much like the city's coolest new restaurants.

Nashville claims a lot of national buzz, but the city of Memphis has been quietly reshaping itself to be the hottest destination in Tennessee. Over the past decade, its downtown has invested billions in revitalization projects—and now, visitors can begin reaping the benefits.

An upgraded Tom Lee Park will open downtown in 2023, and in time for Memphis in May , a month-long festival celebrating the city’s culture with the famed Beale Street Music Festival and the World Championship Barbecue Cooking Contest. The $60 million transformation will add new pavilions, meditative paths, riverfront seating, sound gardens, and the Canopy Walk connecting the park to downtown—all a fitting tribute to the park’s heroic namesake, a Black Memphian who, nearly a century ago, rescued passengers from a sinking steamboat on the Mississippi River. Next up: The Walk on Union , said to be the largest new mixed-use development in the Southeast, will play host to retail businesses, green spaces, and two new Hilton hotels as it opens in phases over the next few years.

Memphis is experiencing a hotel boom, with eight new properties in 2022 and more on the way. Recently opened are the funky  The Memphian and Hyatt's first  Caption concept, both of which shine a light on the city’s heritage through design and cuisine, much like the latest crop of Memphis restaurants. Barbecue still reigns, but the city’s trendiest spots are lightening things up: Raw Girls now has two brick-and-mortar smoothie and juice bars, Food Network star chef Tamra Patterson will open a new vegetarian spot in 2023, and craft cocktail bar Cameo , opened this year, serves up sophisticated mocktails. —Kelsey Ogletree

Mendoza, Argentina

Go for: Women-led food experiences, new lodges on iconic vineyards

At the foot of the majestic Andes a crop of stylish new restaurants and hotels—many spearheaded by women—are giving...

At the foot of the majestic Andes, a crop of stylish new restaurants and hotels—many spearheaded by women—are giving travelers a new reason to raise a glass in Argentina's wine capital. 

Toasting with Malbec in front of the majestic Andes is how people celebrate in Mendoza , and a slew of stylish restaurant and hotel openings—many of which are spearheaded by women—provides ever more reason to raise a glass in Argentina’s Great Wine Capital (it is just 90 minutes by plane from Buenos Aires , after all).

Mendoza’s new bodega wining and dining experiences are many. There’s chef Patricia Courtois’s 5 Suelos at Durigutti Family Winemakers (opened April 2022), sommelier Camila Cerezo Pawlak’s Ruda restaurant in Tupungato Winelands (January 2022), and Catena Zapata’s opulent Angélica named for the family matriarch (November 2022).

Zonda at Bodega Lagarde—an organic, B-Corp certified winery that marks its 125th anniversary in 2023—stands out, however, for showcasing the best of Mendoza, from fantastic vintages down to its hard-carved teaspoons. Owner Sofia Pescarmona shares her family’s terroir with guests, who gather herbs and veggies and get a little messy making empanadas during Zonda’s immersive garden-to-table experience. Efforts are rewarded with a nine-course regional tasting menu paired with Lagarde wines, including the refreshing Proyecto Hermanas White Blend that Sofia makes with sister Lucila.

Plus, the latest venture of Susana Balbo—Argentina’s trailblazing female oenologist who helms her namesake winery—saw her lovingly refurbish a mansion with daughter Ana Lovaglio, unveiling it as the seven-suite SB Winemaker’s Lodge & Spa in April 2022; chef Flavia Amad Di Leo runs both the bodega and the hotel’s restaurants. Invigorated by in-room massages and asado by the pool, adventurous guests can then hire the lodge’s VisionAir seaplane, Argentina’s only such aircraft, and explore hidden corners of the world’s eighth-largest country. —Sorrel Moseley-Williams

Mustang, Nepal

Go for: Luxury mountain retreats, rare experiences in a remote destination

From design virtuoso Bill Bensley, the all-inclusive Shinta Mani, set in the remote, once-forbidden region of Mustang, is arguably Asia's most anticipated hotel opening of 2023. 

For decades, Nepal has been the Himalayan destination of choice for backpackers and trekkers drawn to its deep-rooted spirituality, endless adventure offerings, and those sky-piercing peaks. This hasn’t been the case for many luxury-minded travelers, though, who often chose neighboring Bhutan for its superior clutch of upscale mountain lodges. That will change in 2023 as Nepal unveils a wave of first-rate boutique accommodations and experiences.

Much of this shift is courtesy the recent update of Mountain Lodges of Nepal , a family-owned collection of deluxe accommodations scattered around the ultra-scenic Annapurna and Everest regions. By the end of 2023, they will introduce 15 premium, intimate lodges—a mixture of refurbished sites and new builds combining tradition (stone walls and colorful cultural motifs) with modernity (like dramatic floor-to-ceiling glass windows)—while offering multi-day treks, wild honey hunting, and helicopter rides to a Mount Everest-facing Champagne breakfast.

Come 2023, the 29-suite Shinta Mani Mustang, a Bensley Collection , arguably Asia’s most anticipated hotel opening, will open in the remote, once-forbidden ancient kingdom region of Mustang. Spearheaded by design virtuoso Bill Bensley, the all-inclusive mountain retreat brings together Tibetan design (incorporating upcycled materials), traditional wellness programs, unique experiences—like guided explorations of the mysterious, ancient “sky caves”—and unparalleled access to one of the Himalaya’s last frontiers. —Travis Levius

Ollantaytambo, Peru

Go for: Old-meets-new food and drink experiences, eco-stays

Ancestral earthen oven cooking known as pachamanca is offered to guests at El Albergue Ollantaytambo part of the...

Ancestral earthen oven cooking known as pachamanca is offered to guests at El Albergue Ollantaytambo, part of the region's growing effort to showcase Andean food and drink traditions to a wider audience. 

The 100yearold El Albergue Ollantaytambo also functions as a quintessential home base for travelers in the Sacred Valley...

The 100-year-old El Albergue Ollantaytambo also functions as a quintessential home base for travelers in the Sacred Valley, proving the village of Ollantaytambo is more than a pit stop en route to Machu Picchu.

Ollantaytambo is best known for its archeological site, a hillside Incan fortress that draws travelers off the train to Machu Picchu. But of late, the village has also become a terroir-driven culinary epicenter in the Sacred Valley, with local entrepreneurs placing a new era of the Andean food and drink traditions on the world stage. Taste herbaceous high-elevation rums, or infuse your own, at Destilería Andina ; sip Andean coffee, or roast souvenir beans, at Cafe Mayu ; and sample craft beer flavored with local fruit at Cerveceria del Valle Sagrado . Old and new continue to meet, through farm-to-table fare paired with creative cocktails at Chuncho ; meanwhile, tradition takes precedence with ancestral earthen oven pachamanca cooking in El Albergue Ollantaytambo ’s farm tour meals. And look for Destilería Andina’s new location with a full-service bar, opening in mid-2023, near Cerveceria del Valle Sagrado.

Don’t make the mistake of hopping on the train after a meal, either—unique hotels further the case for staying the night. The 100-year-old El Albergue Ollantaytambo is a classic home base, but you can also pamper yourself at the Qolqas Eco Lodge (spa included), or sleep perched in a mountainside capsule with valley views at Skylodge Adventure Suites . The latter opened in 2013, but the brand’s new Starlodge Adventure Suites and onsen are 2022 additions.

Plan your trip around cultural moments for the full experience: The Señor de Choquekillka festival, 50 days after Easter, honors the village’s patron saint with food, music, and dance; locals celebrate the winter solstice in June; and the entire village revels during Ollantaytambo’s anniversary every October. —Nico Vera

Queensland, Australia

Go for: Indigenous-led experiences, swanky new hotels

Image may contain Outdoors Nature Sea Water Coast Shoreline Animal Sea Life Shark Fish and Aerial View

Queensland has returned thousands of acres to Indigenous groups over the last two years, a shift that has yielded special new experiences for travelers. 

Image may contain Animal Bird Parrot and Beak

New Indigenous-owned and -run experiences include moonlit spearfishing in Daintree National Park, alongside Eastern Kuku Yalanji guides, and Torres Strait Islander-led day trips from Cairns.

Australia is making an effort to return land to its native people, and Queensland has been leading the way, with thousands of acres going back to Indigenous groups over the last two years. For travelers, this shift is yielding new experiences guided by the insight of the original stewards of the land.

The ancient rainforest of the UNESCO World Heritage–listed Daintree National Park was part of a parcel returned in 2021, and now the Eastern Kuku Yalanji people are managing the national park alongside the state government. At the newly opened Mossman Gorge Cultural Centre , an ecotourism hub operated by mostly Indigenous staff, visitors walk the land with traditional custodians as guides; Kuku Yalanji Cultural Habitat Tours include night walking, crabbing, and spearfishing under the moon; and on Walkabout Cultural Adventures , Indigenous plants and medicines are highlighted on guided rainforest excursions.

Further north, lands near the Torres Strait Islands—there are at least 274 in the strait between Australia and New Guinea—were returned to Torres Strait Islanders of Aboriginal, Melanesian, and Australian background last year. Now, local Indigenous entrepreneurs have launched companies like Strait Experience , which offers a first-of-its-kind day trip to the islands from Cairns, making the destination more accessible than ever.

Bookend your adventures with a night in any of the chic hotels and resorts set to call Queensland home in 2023, including the Mondrian Gold Coast and the Ritz-Carlton Brisbane, part of the Queens’ Wharf project that is transforming the river’s edge. These join a new luxury hotel faction including The Langham Gold Coast and Dorsett Gold Coast , both of which opened last summer.

Lastly, don’t skip a visit to Queensland’s capital: Brisbane’s Suncorp Stadium will host eight games in July and August for the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup, co-hosted by Australia and New Zealand. Good thing getting to Queensland is easier than ever, thanks to three weekly nonstop flights between San Francisco and Brisbane, added by United Airlines in October 2022. —Devorah Lev-Tov

Sharjah, United Arab Emirates

Go for: Landmark art and architecture events, atmospheric new hotels

The Sharjah Biennial opens in February to celebrate its 30th anniversary with works from more than 150 artists from 70...

The Sharjah Biennial opens in February to celebrate its 30th anniversary, with works from more than 150 artists from 70 countries (above, an installation at the 2017 event, by Joe Namy).

While it might seem like Dubai continues to monopolize much of the U.A.E.’s glitz and buzz, neighboring Sharjah has been quietly asserting itself as the cultural capital of the Emirates. On the heels of striking new galleries from the Sharjah Arts Foundation and architectural marvels like the Foster + Partners–designed House of Wisdom library, the Sharjah Biennial opens in February, on its 30th anniversary, with works from more than 150 artists from 70 countries. Also on deck is the Sharjah Architecture Triennial, curated by Nigerian architect Tosin Oshinowo in collaboration with visionaries like India’s Rahul Mehrotra and Brazil’s Paulo Tavares. The most atmospheric place to stay in Sharjah is the Chedi Al Bait , a tangle of 53 rooms and eight suites spread across a series of ocher courtyards in the historic district. This year, it gets a refresh with the addition of a 12-room boutique wing built in a 100-year-old family home. There are plush new ways to explore the less-explored emirate’s natural splendors as well. Lux Resorts and Hotels, known for its swanky digs in Mauritius , the Maldives , and China , is making its Middle Eastern debut with two new retreats in Sharjah coming in 2023: Lux Al Jabal is a beach escape overlooking an untouched stretch of the Gulf of Oman, while Lux Al Bridi will be a safari camp brimming with wildlife in the sprawling Al Bridi Nature Reserve. —Sarah Khan

Srinagar, India

Go for: New infrastructure for easier road tripping, elevated nature retreats

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Srinagar, an alluring and once hard-to-visit destination in the Kashmir Valley, is opening up to travelers in a big way in 2023, with new roadways making it easier than ever to get in and around. 

In the heart of the Kashmir Valley, the gem of Srinagar—with its winding waterways and colorful houseboats—is equally alluring and challenging to plan a visit to. Yet the destination seems to be shifting gears, with the government greenlighting development projects that will benefit travelers.

Srinagar has some vibrant new openings:  Karan Mahal , a swanky, intimate stay in the historic residence of Kashmir’s former rulers and amid nearly 60 acres of orchards and woods, launched last year, while  Qayaam Gah , a stylish, Sufi-inspired nature retreat in the Zabarwan Hills, with unfettered bird’s-eye views of Dal Lake, opened this summer. Additionally, Indian Hotels Company Limited (also behind the Taj Hotels) will bring its affordable brand, Ginger Hotels , to Srinagar in the first half of 2023.

The capital is also about to get a boost in accessibility, with a spate of highways and tunnels planned to open in 2023 that will, among other connections, make it easier to drive from Kashmir—across breathtaking landscapes—to neighboring Ladakh, even in winter. Other side trips that will be easier to reach, thanks to the new infrastructure: Sonamarg (which translates to “golden meadow”), a stunning hill station that is poised for substantial tourism development in the years to come, and Pahalgam, an idyllic getaway that has long drawn travelers to its pastoral charms. The latter will see, in early 2023, the opening of  Shepherd’s Barn , a cottage stay by Ramneek Kaur (whose family owns the Bollywood-favorite  Pahalgam Hotel ), which will add rooms to an existing program of craft tours and local activities under the auspices of the Shepherd Crafts Cultural Centre. With so much change underfoot, there is no better time to experience the area— and before everyone else starts to do the same. —Saumya Ancheri

Go for: The performing arts center, two years' worth of hotel and restaurant openings

After a decade of construction the Taipei Performing Arts Center has finally opened—just as the country has begun...

After a decade of construction, the Taipei Performing Arts Center has finally opened—just as the country has begun welcoming international visitors again. 

Elegant towering teahouses, otherworldly landscapes, and culinary excellence have long tempted travelers to Taiwan . Now, after more than two years, the island nation has reopened its borders to international visitors—and there’s quite a bit to catch up on.

One decade of construction later, the Taipei Performing Arts Center is finally open, with three performance spaces housed within sleek geometric buildings. A few kilometers south, the stylish Hotel Resonance Taipei recently unbolted its doors with 175 fresh guest rooms, offering sweeping city views and sleek modern interiors. Just before borders closed, the Taipei location of The Place hotel—equal parts polished and relaxing, with a teahouse in its lobby—opened in Nangang, and a design-forward branch of the Kimpton set down roots in the Da’An District. There’s even more to come, with the Sotetsu Grand Fresa Taipei Ximen slated to open in 2023 in the bustling Ximending, which was just named one of the “51 Coolest Neighborhoods In The World” by Time Out. Plan your meals around any of the five restaurants that earned Michelin stars in 2022: Shin Yeh Taiwanese Signature, Holt, Yu Kapo, Paris 1930 de Hideki Takayama, and Sushiyoshi.

Meanwhile, Taiwan’s oldest city, Tainan, has been attracting travelers who hop on the high-speed rail, headed for one of the 44 restaurants that earned Tainan its addition to the 2022 Michelin Guide . Also making it worth the trip: Anping Tree House, an abandoned warehouse that has been swallowed by banyan trees; the colorful and artsy Shennong Street; and when you’re ready for a nap, Mao House , a chic bed and breakfast that stands in stark contrast to its architecturally staid neighbors. —Ella Quittner

Turks and Caicos

Go for: Easier access to remote islands, cruise upgrades, sleek resorts

Bigdeal infrastructure enhancements are making it easier to reach Turks and Caicos less frequented outer islands...

Big-deal infrastructure enhancements are making it easier to reach Turks and Caicos’ less frequented outer islands, changing what it means to have an exclusive experience in the archipelago.

The exquisite white sands and blue waters of Grace Bay Beach have long been the coveted endgame for visitors to Turks and Caicos . Lately, though, a wave of new hotels and developments in more remote parts of the island chain are changing what it means to have an exclusive experience here. 

Leading the way, the 46-unit Rock House opened this past May, with its sleek Mediterranean style (a departure from the archipelago’s traditional colonial aesthetic), private plunge pools, and sustainability efforts that preserve native foliage and limestone. But Rock House’s real magic is undeniably in its location: a clifftop perch above a secluded beach on Grace Bay’s north shore, where you can while away your days snorkeling in a protected marine sanctuary. More properties slated to come in 2023 include the 31-acre South Bank Turks & Caicos , a residential resort and marina, opening in March, at the top of Long Bay Beach with 18 waterfront villas and a five-acre swimming lagoon. The Strand Turks & Caicos will follow later in 2023, 20 minutes south of Grace Bay, with oceanfront residences and what feels like its own peninsula on Cooper Jack Bay.

Big-deal infrastructure enhancements are also making it easier to reach Turks and Caicos’ less frequented outer islands. On Grand Turks, a $25 million dock extension is set to welcome larger cruise ships in 2023. And on tiny South Caicos, a significant upgrade to the single-runway South Caicos Airport is scheduled for completion in June, meaning improved access to the least populated of the islands—like the uber-luxe Sailrock Resort , a favorite of celebs like Justin Bieber and Regina King. —Nina Kokotas Hahn

Go for: A revived cultural calendar, dazzling new hotels

In 2023, Vienna will welcome the return of the Viennese ball season after a two-year hiatus. 

Vienna has long been a European capital of groundbreaking art and music, and in 2023 the city has several landmark anniversaries on its cultural calendar.

After a two-year hiatus, the 2023 Viennese ball season promises lush nights of live orchestral music and dancing in black-tie. Two of the year’s sparkliest, the Vienna Opera Ball and the Vienna Philharmonic Ball, are also marking their 65th and 80th anniversaries, respectively. The latter is returning  on January 19 with performances by the legendary orchestra. Meanwhile, the Opera Ball, to be held  on February 16 , will host dancing “Under the Sign of Solidarity”—the night’s theme—in collaboration with  Österreich hilft Österreich (Austria Helps Austria) to fundraise for those most impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Belvedere, home to Gustav Klimt’s famous  The Kiss , is celebrating 300 years since its completion with a year-long exhibition, “ The Belvedere: 300 Years a Place of Art ,” paying homage to the museum’s impact on Viennese art history. Also not to be missed in 2023: “ Klimt. Inspired by Van Gogh, Rodin, Matisse… ,” a collaborative exhibit by the Belvedere and the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam, showcasing the prominent artists who influenced the master of Viennese Modernism.

Kick your feet up at Vienna’s chic new hotels. The  Rosewood Vienna , which opened in 2022, will welcome its first full year of guests with the new Asaya Spa. Then, in late 2023, The Hoxton is set to open a 196-room hotel featuring an events auditorium (a first for the hotel brand) honoring Vienna’s legacy as a hub for live entertainment and culture. —Matt Ortile

Go for: Locavore food experiences, forest hotels and saunas

In lush Wales a foodie renaissance is taking place—drawing travelers to terroirdriven restaurants distilleries and...

In lush Wales, a foodie renaissance is taking place—drawing travelers to terroir-driven restaurants, distilleries, and revived pubs in untrammeled areas. 

A Welsh foodie renaissance has, admittedly, taken a while to arrive. But a new generation of chefs are digging into their terroir and emerging with handfuls of truffles, scallops, and cheeses, from James Sommerin’s Home restaurant in Penarth, to SY23 in seaside Aberystwyth, headed by Great British Menu finalist Nathan Davies. There’s also been the rise of hard-to-reach destination restaurants determinedly doing their own thing, such as Annwn in deepest Pembrokeshire, where Matt Powell forages most of his ingredients from the shoreline (the project is currently on hold as it relocates), and Gareth Ward’s Ynyshir in the Dyfi Valley , which was just awarded a second Michelin star. Ward’s empire will grow in 2023 with the opening of eight-seat Gwen—named after his mother—with sourdough pizzas on the menu. Paternoster Farm , meanwhile, set in a former Pembroke cowshed, is doing wondrous things with Porthilly oysters, Welsh Mountain lamb, and sea beet—with its Five Mile Feasts, a special menu, gathering up all sorts of local treasures. 

In Cardigan, the Albion Aberteifi —certainly the coolest hotel to arrive in Wales in years—is set to open a Scandi-Japanese restaurant on the river bank in 2023, along with a woodland onsen and spa. Wales seems to be turning into a hub for the UK’s thriving outdoor sauna scene: Snowdonia-based Heartwood Saunas is launching a new forest project this December, where groups of up to 10 can use a wood-fired sauna before jumping in the pools of the River Dulas (or head to the yoga deck), all while surrounded by old oak trees and natural pools. In Carmarthenshire, the seven-mile stretch of Pendine Sands is enjoying a revival. Caban hotel is opening in the spring alongside the Museum of Speed , which celebrates the many land-speed records made on the beach—including one by actor Idris Elba in a Bentley Continental GT. Reducing the speed a notch, a new slow-travel route of roads and walking paths, The Wild Drovers’ Way , unfurls over 180 miles from the foothills of the Cambrians into the Brecon Beacons—a lovely way to appreciate some of Wales’ rural highlights.

If you need somewhere to toast all this, you could head to Swansea, where Penderyn will open its new whisky-distillery experience in March, while in Cardiff, the St Fagans Museum of National History has been rebuilding the iconic Vulcan pub (beloved of Manic Street Preachers) on its grounds, set to open in 2024. Lechyd da! —Rick Jordan

Western Japan

Go for: Expedition cruises in the Seto Inland Sea, new onsen experiences

Luxury small ship company Ponant will launch a first-ever expedition cruise from Osaka in 2023, exploring old feudal towns and traditional fishing villages on Japan's oldest sea route. 

New luxury openings and a world’s-first expedition cruise are among a plethora of reasons to head for western Japan in 2023. In the Seto Inland Sea, which separates Japan’s main island of Honshu from the islands of Shikoku and Kyushu, luxury small-ship company Ponant has announced a first-ever expedition cruise from Osaka in 2023, which will sail along Japan’s oldest sea route. Exploring old feudal towns and traditional fishing villages on the coast of Honshu, as well as Inland Sea islands such as Inujima—once a copper mining hub and now one of the famous contemporary “Art Islands”—the 264-guest Le Soléal will chart a seven-night course towards the Sea of Japan, starting in May 2023. Also in the Seto Inland Sea, in a forest on Awaji Island, wellness retreat Zenbo Seinei just opened its doors. Designed by Pritzker Prize–winning architect Shigeru Ban, it features a 21-meter-long gallery for zazen meditation and a restaurant celebrating Japan’s culture of fermented foods.

On Kyushu island , the new Nishi Kyushu Shinkansen now conveniently connects cosmopolitan Nagasaki to Japan’s vast bullet train network. Good thing, as there’s a new Ritz-Carlton coming in the summer of 2023 to the vibrant, gateway city of Fukuoka ; and in the hot-spring town of Yufuin, Kengo Kuma—the architect behind the Japan National Stadium for the Tokyo 2020 games—has completed a new gallery at Comico Art Museum to house works by Yayoi Kusama, Takashi Murakami, and Hiroshi Sugimoto, among others, as well as two exclusive-use “Art Houses” with private onsen baths. Nearby, Kuma has also created the gorgeous KAI Yufuin , a contemporary onsen ryokan with views of Mount Yufu and enveloped in rice terraces whose beauty changes with the seasons. —Kate Crockett

Yucatán Peninsula, Mexico

Go for: Design-forward boutique hotels amid the region's jungle and waterways

Mexican tacos of Cochinita Pibil  Mayan cuisine from Yucatan Mexico

The Yucatán Peninsula is already an easy-to-love destination—its food heritage just one of the reasons to visit—but a boom of design-forward stays are upping the ante. 

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Just outside of Mérida, above, travelers will find the new Galopina, a five-bedroom, family-run guesthouse from Mexican owners Elisa Navarrete and Guillaume Galopin.

With a boom of design-forward stays opening their doors—in an already easy-to-love destination marked by verdant jungle and brilliant waterways—the Yucatán Peninsula in Mexico’s southeastern bounds is poised to be one of the most enticing areas to visit this year.

The 22-bungalow Boca de Agua is set to open in April in Bacalar , with suites designed by architect Frida Escobedo, who was recently tapped for the forthcoming contemporary art wing at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City . North of Bacalar, tucked within the Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve is Casa Chablé , which will open in December 2022 with 10 rooms and bungalows. Guests take a 40-minute boat ride through lush mangrove forests, to arrive at the resort’s 12 acres of tropical jungle fronted by white-sand beaches. Plus, situated in the tranquil Xpu-ha cove, between the two bustling towns of Tulum and Playa del Carmen, the ultra-luxurious boutique property Hotel Esencia opened in November as one of the most refined offerings in Riviera Maya: the Esencia Mansion, a four-bedroom private hideaway with its own speakeasy, cinema, and rooftop infinity pool. And just outside of Mérida is the new Galopina , a five-bedroom, family-run guesthouse from Mexican owners Elisa Navarrete and Guillaume Galopin. After a stint in Paris , they returned to their home country and created their dream homestead in the jungle with miles of trails, organic gardens, and guest rooms offering meditative terraces. In May 2023, Maroma, A Belmond Hotel , will reopen on the Riviera Maya with 10 new waterfront suites, a culinary program overseen by chef Daniel Camacho, and a new look that will showcase Mayan culture and design with work by local artisans. —Michaela Trimble

Zamora, Spain

Go for: Romanesque architecture, dazzling lakes, and improved access from Madrid

Aceaas de Olivares next to Zamora city Spain. An evocative scenario of a rurality still very close to us...

Zamora, which is known for having the most Romanesque architecture in Europe, is becoming a European World Heritage Site in 2023—perfect timing, as a new high-speed train from Madrid makes it easier to reach than ever. 

Few know—even in Spain —that Zamora is the city with the most Romanesque architecture in Europe, but it was reason enough for UNESCO to make Zamora a European World Heritage Site for 2023. Additionally, its proximity to Madrid —an hour away thanks to a new high-speed AVE train, inaugurated just a year ago—put this underrated town high on our must-visit list.

But there is more to Zamora, such as its enormous modernist legacy and its Lagunas de Villafáfila, a collection of lakes that are home to thousands of migratory birds each season. There’s even more to see, scattered throughout the province: Lake Sanabria is the largest glacial lake in the Iberian Peninsula, and just a few miles away, Puebla de Sanabria is considered one of the most beautiful villages in Spain. Towards the east you will find Toro, the epicenter of bold red wines—and home to critically acclaimed winery Numanthia that’s credited with putting the wine region on the map. Not far away, in the heart of Tierra de Campos, snag a table at Lera , which got its Michelin star in 2022, and is a favorite among wild game enthusiasts.

Finally, to the south, Arribes del Duero shows that Zamora province has it all—even fjords. Beautiful crags and cliffs mark the border with Portugal in a natural park that has become a center for viticulture and attracts reputed international winemakers. Olive, citrus, and other fruit trees, artisanal ceramics, and stunning natural beauty turn this secluded corner into a Mediterranean paradise. Consider the luxurious Hacienda Zorita Natural Reserve , and the Castillo de Buen Amor (refurbished in 2021) in Salamanca, just a 30-minute drive away, the perfect setting for your quaint Zamora escape. —David Moralejo

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These are the top 10 trending travel destinations for 2024—only 1 U.S. city made the list


In November, American Express Travel published its 2024 Trending Destinations list of the top 10 must-visit vacation spots based on global card member travel bookings and recommendations from a team of 6,000 travel consultants.

"People are looking for new experiences and to immerse themselves in the local culture when they travel," Audrey Hendley, President of American Express Travel, said in a press release shared with CNBC Make It.

According to the report, the trending locations are seeing particular interest from Gen-Z and Millennial travelers . The booking data shows Japan saw an increase of over 1300% in bookings from 2019 to 2023.

During that same period, San Miguel de Allende saw an increase of over 400%, while Australia saw an almost 800% increase among Gen-Z and Millennials.

Top 10 trending travel destinations 2024

  • Adelaide Hills, Australia 
  • Bodrum, Turkey
  • Cervo, Italy 
  • St. Kitts & Nevis 
  • Niseko, Japan
  • San Miguel De Allende, Mexico
  • Santa Fe, New Mexico, U.S. 
  • The Seychelles 
  • Udaipur, India
  • Zermatt, Switzerland 

The only U.S. city to make the list is Santa Fe, New Mexico.

As the oldest capital city in America, Santa Fe is known for its celebrated Spanish, Mexican and Native American art and traditions. In 2005, Santa Fe became the first city designated as a UNESCO Creative City in the U.S.

According to UNESCO , one in 10 jobs in Santa Fe is tied to arts and cultural industries and the city is home to more than 250 galleries. In 2020, the Western States Arts Federation named it America's most creative small city.

Another trending vacation destination featured on the list is Niseko, Japan. It is home to the best skiing in Japan and some of the best snow conditions in the world, according to Condé Nast Traveler . Over the last ten years, Niseko has averaged over 35 feet of fresh snow per season.

Located on Japan's northernmost island, Hokkaido, Niseko is famous for its world-class skiing and natural hot springs.

Japan opened its borders in June, but only to tourists on chaperoned package tours and visas were required. In October 2022, the country lifted those rules and saw a massive spike in visitors, so it's no wonder that Japan was the fastest-growing global travel destination for Gen-Z and Millennials, according to the American Express Travel report.

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11 best venice tours: st. mark's basilica & more.

Explore one of the world's most beautiful cities on these top tours.

The Best Venice Tours

The venetian lagoon

You can see the scenic city of Venice by water (on a kayak, boat or gondola) or on foot (via a walking tour or food tour). (Getty Images)

Known for its canals, waterways, bridges and other historic attractions, Venice, Italy , offers travelers everything from centuries-old history to unparalleled beauty. Some of the best Venice tours take you to the quietest areas of the city – away from the crowds – to discover Venice's cuisine, wine and culture, while others showcase the city from the water by gondola or kayak. Consulting both traveler opinion and expert input, U.S. News identified the tours below as the best Venice has to offer.

Avventure Bellissime – Venice in 1 Day Tour

Price: Adults from 109 euros (about $120); kids from 95 euros (about $104) Duration: 3 hours

If you're short on time, consider this three-hour tour that hits multiple of Venice's top attractions . You'll enjoy skip-the-line access to St. Mark's Basilica , as well as a two-hour walking tour (capped at 20 participants) passing sights like Doge's Palace , St. Mark's Square, the Bridge of Sighs , the Rialto Bridge and more. The final leg of your tour is reserved for exploring Venice's world-famous waterways on a one-hour boat ride down the Grand Canal . This is a great way to see much of Venice in just one day, according to tourgoers. Travelers also say it's a great value.

Tickets start at 109 euros (about $120) for adults and 95 euros (about $104) for children 7 to 12; kids 6 and younger can join the tour for free. Complimentary headphones are included. Tours run Monday to Saturday around 11 a.m., though you can break the tour into sections and complete it over two days if you prefer. Note: Your shoulders and knees must be covered to enter St. Mark's Basilica; large bags are prohibited inside as well. Know, too, that St. Mark's Basilica only offers skip-the-line tickets from April to October.

View & Book Tickets: Viator | GetYourGuide 

Venice Free Walking Tour – Campo SS Apostoli Venice Through the Centuries: North

Price: Free Duration: 2.5 hours

This 2.5-hour tour could be a great way to start your visit to Venice. According to reviewers, valuable information is shared on the walk, including locals' recommendations of the best restaurants and places to visit, which could serve you well during the rest of your trip. Though each guide takes travelers along a slightly different route, you'll likely see some of the city's top attractions, learn about its centuries-old history and see much of its incredible architecture. Tours depart daily at 11 a.m. from Campo Santi Apostoli in front of the well and travel to the eastern part of the Cannaregio district and the western part of the Castello district.

Trips are free, but the company asks you to consider donating what you think the tour is worth at its conclusion. Additionally, you must reserve a spot online in advance (there is a booking fee of 3 euros, or about $3, per participant). The company offers a couple of other sightseeing tours throughout Venice, as well.

View & Book Tickets: Venice Free Walking Tour

Venice Kids Tours – A Thrilling Secret Journey Into the Doge's Palace

Price: From 85 euros (about $93) per hour, per party Duration: 2 hours

Ideal for families with kids ages 7 to 18, this approximately two-hour tour explores Doge's Palace. Guides lead families through some of the hidden corridors and secret passages not open to the general public as they share stories about the building's history. Also on the agenda is the attic prison, the former torture chamber and the armory, among other spots. Reviewers say their kids love the tour and recommend it to other families.

Prices for the private outing start at about 85 euros (about $93) per hour, per party (up to groups of five) but vary based on the length of the tour and number of participants, which is limited to five people. Kids must be at least 6 years old to tour; the company does not recommend the tour for pregnant women, or for those who have mobility problems or are claustrophobic. Trips depart in the morning only. Venice Kids Tours offers other family-focused activities, such as scavenger hunts, walking tours and boat tours.

View & Book Tickets: Venice Kids Tours

Beautiful and delicious italian gelato in waffle cone in front of streets and bridges of Venice. Ice cream in girls hands on background of water canal and historic buildings of Italy. Travel Europe.

(Getty Images)

Food Tours of Venice – Jewish Ghetto & Cannaregio Food Tour

Price: From 105 euros (about $115) Duration: 4 hours

Explore all there is to both see and eat in Venice's Jewish Ghetto along this four-hour tour. This foodie excursion stops at more than six eateries for samplings of pasta, gelato, wine, baked goods and more. The route also takes travelers past historic synagogues, over the oldest bridge in Venice and through the city for spectacular evening views. Tour-takers say the food was plentiful and delicious, and they highly recommend the tour.

Tickets cost about 105 euros (about $115) per person, regardless of age. Tours run Saturday to Thursday at 4 p.m. Food Tours of Venice also offers a Rialto Food Tour, among others.

View & Book Tickets:  Viator

City Wonders – Murano & Burano Small Group Tour with Private Boat

Price: Adults from $43 Duration: 5 hours

Explore two of Venice's most beautiful islands on this half-day tour. You'll first journey to Murano by boat to see a glassmaking demonstration followed by time to shop and explore on your own. You'll then cruise to Burano, where you'll observe Italian women crafting lace by hand, visit a lace museum and stroll around the island. Travelers say the tour is educational and are pleased with the informative guides. Others wish they were given more time to explore the islands.

Tickets start around $43 for adults with discounts available for children ages 2 to 14. Infants 1 and younger can join the tour for free. The five-hour tours run daily at a variety of times between 9 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. (and vary by season). City Wonders also operates tours of the Doge's Palace and St. Mark's Basilica, among other Venetian hot spots.

View & Book Tickets: Viator | GetYourGuide

Best Venice Tours

(Courtesy of Walks of Italy)

Walks of Italy – Exclusive Alone in St. Mark's Basilica After Hours

Price: Adults from $102; kids from $98 Duration: 1.5 hours

This special 90-minute tour treats you to an inside look at St. Mark's Basilica after it closes its doors to the general public. Guides lead no more than 25 tourgoers inside the basilica, sharing stories of its history as you explore. In addition, you'll visit the crypt, which is not open to the public during normal visiting hours. The crypt is said to house St. Mark's remains, as well as the Pala d'Oro altarpiece, which is adorned with nearly 2,000 gems. Tour-takers say after-hours is a wonderful time to see the cathedral and that guides are passionate and informed.

Ticket costs vary by day but start around $102 for adults, $98 for children ages 2 to 14 and are free for kids younger than 2. Tour times depend on the day, but generally depart between 7 and 9:45 p.m. several times a week. The company also offers a secret passages tour of the Doge's Palace, gondola rides and food tours, among other options.

Raphael Tours & Events – Rialto Food Tour in Venice

Price: From $98 Duration: 4 hours

On this four-hour tour, you'll explore Rialto by way of your taste buds as your guide takes you to pastry shops, wine bars, restaurants and markets. Along the way, you'll sample meats, cheeses, wines (including sparkling), polenta, olives and more. Travelers say the tour is wonderful and offers plenty to eat. They also appreciate the stories guides share during the adventure. Others warn, however, that the company may cancel the tour last minute if not enough bookings are made.

The tour operates daily, and start times are customizable. Tickets start around $98 per person. Raphael Tours also operates a walking tour of Venice.

Intrepid Urban Adventures – Cicchetti & Wine Tour of Venice

Price: From $109 Duration: 2.5 hours

Support the local economy on this foodie trip that takes you to locally owned and operated businesses to sample Venetian cuisine. During the 2.5-hour tour, you'll eat four cicchetti dishes (think: polenta, seafood and vegetables), drink five glasses of wine and indulge in one dessert. Though you may pass by some big sights like St. Mark's Square , you'll mostly visit less-touristy spots in the Cannaregio and Rialto areas of the city. Plus, you'll get to ride in a gondola. Travelers praise the tour guides and compliment the food and wine chosen.

Tickets cost approximately $109 per person for both children and adults. Children must be at least 6 years old to join the tour. Tours are typically offered Monday through Saturday at 11 a.m. and 5 p.m.

Aerial view of the lagoon of Venice and San Giorgio Maggiore at Sunset. Heavy ship traffic, turistic boats and beautiful blue sky with fantastic cloudscape over the island. Venice, Italy.

Venice Kayak – Lagoon Natural Tour

Price: Adults from 110 euros (about $121); kids from 80 euros (around $88) Duration: 2 hours

Kayak your way through the Venetian lagoon on this two-hour tour. You'll leave the city behind and immerse yourself in nature while your guide leads you through wild marsh. The company rates this excursion as a "beginner" tour, which makes it ideal for those new to kayaking. Tourgoers say this is a wonderful way to see the wildlife and islands surrounding Venice and describe it as a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

Tickets cost approximately 110 euros (about $121) for adults and 80 euros (around $88) for children 14 and younger. Tickets include the use of all equipment, water, lockers and shower facilities after your tour. Trips run Tuesday to Sunday at 9 a.m. and depart from Certosa island. Venice Kayak offers canal kayaking tours as well.

View & Book Tickets: Viator

Friend in Venice Private Tours – Venice by Venetians

Price: From 120 euros (about $132) Duration: 2 hours to full day

This is a fully customizable tour that takes travelers to the lesser-known areas of Venice away from the busy city center. Along the way, your guide will teach you about Venice's history and answer all your questions about their city. Children are welcome on the tour, though the company asks that you advise them ahead, so they can tailor the tour to keep the kids' interest. Tourgoers say guides are friendly, engaging and intelligent.

Tours run for two hours, a half day or a full day; prices are tiered based on the length of your tour and start at 120 euros (about $132) for up to six people. Friend in Venice Private Tours offers a number of other themed Venice tours, such as an exploration of Marco Polo's Venice and the city's cuisine.

Gray Line/Park View Viaggi – Inside Venice: Doge's Palace and St. Mark's Basilica

Price: Adults from 95 euros (about $104); children from 80 euros (about $88) Duration: 2 hours

Breeze past the crowds of tourists waiting to see both the Doge's Palace and St. Mark's Basilica with this skip-the-line tour. During your roughly two-hour sightseeing journey, you'll see important works of art and prisons inside the Doge's Palace and learn about the history of Venice inside St. Mark's Basilica. For many reviewers, the promise to skip the line at these crowded attractions proved worth the ticket price. The knowledgeable guides also earn praise from tourgoers.

Tickets cost approximately 95 euros (about $104) for participants 15 and older and 80 euros (about $88) for children 6 to 14. Children 5 and younger can tour for free. Tours start at 10:45 a.m. and 2:45 p.m. daily and are offered in English, French, Spanish and German. Gray Line also offers wine tours, boat tours and island tours in Venice.

You may also be interested in:

  • The Best Venice Hotels
  • The Best Hotels in Italy
  • The Best Places to Visit in Italy
  • The Best Beaches in Italy
  • The Best International Travel Insurance

Tags: Tours , Travel , Vacations , Europe Vacations

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Tuscany Road Trip: The Perfect Itinerary Through Italy’s Stunning Countryside

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It’s imperative to feel comfortable and safe while traveling. Medjet provides premier air medical transport and travel protection, providing peace of mind for an affordable price.

There are many good road trips out there, but driving through Tuscany is on a whole other level. Tuscany is a very manageable region, size-wise, roughly the size of New Jersey, and has a good and easy to maneuver road system. The countryside is picture-book perfect, with green hills dotted with slender cypress trees standing in line, vineyards, and sunflower fields at every corner, and pretty much every single town and village worth stopping off at.

It is gorgeous in summer, but it gets extremely hot in the narrow medieval town centers — too hot to sightsee, really. In spring you can get a fair bit of rain, explaining the lush green countryside, but early fall is quite perfect. If you can aim for early or mid-September, then you get the best of everything.

And, while you should obviously choose a car in accordance with your budget and level of driving comfort, can I suggest that this is the time to get a small-ish convertible? Small enough to maneuver through the narrow village lanes and the cities, but with a nice retractable roof to allow you to not only see Tuscany but to feel the Tuscan sun on your face and the Tuscan breeze in your hair. Cliche? Too right, but so worth it.

As for the itinerary detailed here — I have driven around Tuscany a few times, and these are the places I keep revisiting every time. They do not encompass every beautiful village and hilltop Tuscany has to offer, but this itinerary gives you a good overview, especially if this is your first time in the region.

Buon viaggio!

Panorama of Florence, Italy.

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We start in Florence, as it is the capital of Tuscany and most likely the airport you will fly into. Florence is a gorgeous city with much to see, so I suggest that you spend a night or two at either end of the road trip here. Get over the jetlag, find your feet, rent a car , study the map, and then, when you’re ready to leave Florence (will you ever be?), set off.

Pro Tip: When I first came to Florence, I glimpsed a lovely hotel in a side street in the city center, but at the time could not afford it. I vowed that one day I would stay there, and I did. And it was worth the wait. The Hotel Monna Lisa is not just stunning in itself, but it has the loveliest hidden garden and one room covered in paintings of the Mona Lisa, all very different and quite funny.

Vinci, Italy, skyline. Region of Tuscany.

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Head out of Florence on the main autoroute toward Pisa, turning off after Empoli toward the little town of Vinci, some 27 miles, or roughly a 45-minute drive, away. This is your first stop on your road trip, and it is a stunner. This is the gorgeous town of Vinci, named after Leonardo da Vinci, who was born here. Head straight to the hilltop and the Leonardo da Vinci Museum and be prepared to spend at least two or three hours there, as it is packed full with models of his inventions, sketches, details and so much information that your head will burst after taking it all in. What an amazing man.

Afterward, walk around the castle, enjoying the views across the countryside; meander along the steep lanes, and stop for lunch before heading on.

Pro Tip: Have a bruschetta at Antica Cantina bi Bacco , just down from the museum. It’s a simple place, cheap and cheerful, and great for a lunch in the sunshine.

Torre Guinigi, Lucca, Italy. Tuscany town.

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Back on the main road to Pisa, turn off to Lucca after roughly 30 miles. Here you will stop for the night, allowing you to spend the afternoon and morning exploring Lucca. Walking around Lucca is a little like stepping back in time, a sentiment which is quite true for a lot of the towns around Tuscany, but Lucca’s towers and cobbled streets, especially if you catch them early in the morning without people, have changed little over the centuries. Look out for my favorite of all the towers, Torre Guinigi, with trees growing on the top of it, and marvel at the church of Chiesa di San Michele in Foro, which is eerily like the Cathedral of Pisa, which you will see tomorrow.

In the afternoon, or morning, walk along the city’s walls, designed by none other than Leonardo da Vinci from Vinci.

Pro Tip: Stay the night in a 16th-century city-palace-turned-hotel and have a wood-fired pizza in Pizzeria da Felice , where they have been preparing pizzas for more than 100 years.

Aerial view, Pisa, Italy. Tuscany.

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Pisa is one of those stops along a Tuscan road trip, which is usually just that: a brief stop for coffee, a glimpse at the tower, and off you go again. This itinerary allows you to stay the night. So this is a relaxing day, as Pisa is only a 20-minute drive from Lucca. Arrive around lunchtime and start looking around. Take your time, explore along the river, linger until the last minute before the Place of Miracles closes for the day, to get it to yourself once the coaches have left. And after spending last night in a city palace, consider spending tonight in the Grand Duke of Tuscany’s former summer palace , a lovely building with a spa that takes advantage of the local hot springs. Make sure you book yourself in for a treatment before having dinner in the candle-lit courtyard.

Pro Tip: In the morning, for a taste of home, why not breakfast on Italian coffee and American-style bagels at the Filter Coffee Lab ? This will set you up for the day’s driving ahead.

Montepulciano in Italian region of Tuscany.

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This is the longest driving day of the trip, basically taking all day, as you will drive down the E80 along the coast down toward Follonico, stopping off to explore the coast whenever you want to. Then you will turn inland, where the roads get smaller and you will meander through the typical Tuscan countryside, through small villages, past vineyards and sunflower fields. Do not follow the advice of the GPS, as that will send you round via Florence — faster, yes, but you will miss all the fun. Stay on or near the E80 instead. Check in at Fattoria San Martino , a converted rustic farmhouse, eco-friendly and cute, set in beautiful grounds for the night. Then walk into Montepulciano for some sightseeing, and simply enjoy another gorgeous Tuscan town.

Sit in the fabulous Piazza Grande and sip a refreshing spritz, or try a glass of the local Vino Nobile, which many say is the best of the region’s, and even the country’s, many wines.

Pro Tip: And talking about wine, if you happen to be in Montepulciano in August, on the last Sunday the festival of Bravio delle Botti takes place. People dress in medieval costumes and participants roll wooden wine barrels through the steep lanes trying to win a cloth banner, a trophy that has been fought over since the 14th century.

Siena, Italy. Piazza del Campo.

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Thirty-eight miles up the SS715 will take you to Siena . Siena is simply amazing. The tall, medieval brick buildings make for shady lanes, opening into the large fan-shaped Piazza del Campo, which dazzles you with light and is the site of the famous horse race, the Palio de Siena . The duomo is spectacular, the various towers and ancient city walls are just as they were when they were built centuries ago, and the various streets (which fill up very quickly in summer) offer many cafes and good shopping down Via di Citta. Stop for some superb pasta at Il Bargello off the main square.

I always get lost in Siena, but it does not matter, as you will eventually find yourself back in the main square. Take your time getting lost, and look out for the small details on the architecture, such as the 17 animals and symbols representing the different districts of Siena in the Palio. Can you spot the dragon or the tortoise?

Pro Tip: Go to your hotel, such as the Hotel Palazzo Ravizza , where you can spend the afternoon on their terrace overlooking the hills. A cool drink and a book will entertain you while the crowds of day-trippers are slowly thinning out, and you can venture out for a stroll and dinner in the evening. For even more recommendations, consider my take on How To Spend A Beautiful Long Weekend In Siena .

San Gimignano skyline in Italy.

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San Gimignano

After a slow start, maybe taking breakfast and an espresso on the piazza, head to San Gimignano , some 30 miles away. This is one of my favorite places in Tuscany — is it quite simply enchanting. This small community is famous for its tall towers, which you will see on the horizon as you approach. Built between the 11th and 13th centuries, they were a symbol of wealth and power, with the rich families competing over who would build the taller tower. Today only 13 remain, but they still make for quite a skyline.

Pro Tip: The town is great to explore at night, and the countryside around San Gimignano is just lovely, so you might want to stay another night before heading back. Try the simple Casa de Potenti , right in the center of San Gimignano, surrounded by towers.

Florence, Italy. Ponte Vecchio lit up.

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Back To Florence

An hour’s drive, and you are back in Florence for hopefully some more sightseeing and art and culture.

Pro Tip: Please note that this itinerary only lists the main stops on your road trip, but on this road trip, it is not so much the destination, even though each and every stop is superb, but it is about the journey in between. The small villages, the fields full of sunflowers, the stops by the side of the road to take pictures of the hills studded with cypress trees and beautiful villas. Take your time, breathe deep, and enjoy.

Image of Ulrike Lemmin-Woolfrey

A travel writer and guidebook author for the last 20 years, Ulrike's work has been seen in National Geographic , BBC , The Independent , Australian Women's Weekly , The Telegraph , The Australian , Fodor's , France Today , CNN Travel , Lonely Planet , Travel + Leisure , CNTraveler , numerous inflight magazines, and many others.

She has written three books for Moon Travel Guides: 'Living Abroad in Australia' (3rd edition), 'Sydney & the Great Barrier Reef', and the shorter version 'Spotlight Sydney' and are all available in print and as e-books.

Having lived in seven countries (Germany, UK, Qatar, Oman, UAE, Australia, and France) to date and traveled to more than 100, she specializes in writing about travel, art and architecture, expat living, and life and style.

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24 Top-Rated Tourist Attractions in Venice

Written by Barbara Radcliffe Rogers Updated Oct 6, 2023 We may earn a commission from affiliate links ( )

In a city as filled with tourist attractions as Venice, it's hard to know where to begin. Perhaps the best way is to simply get lost for a few hours wandering through its enchanting little streets and passageways, strolling beside its canals, and finding its secret corners.

At every turn, you'll see something worth remembering with a photo. No matter where this exploration takes you, it's easy to find your way back to Piazza San Marco and the Grand Canal. Most of the best sights you'll want to visit lie around these two landmarks.

Venice is divided into six sestieri, neighborhoods that have distinctly different characters. San Marco is the central one, surrounded on three sides by a great loop in the Grand Canal. Across Rialto Bridge is the artisans' neighborhood of San Polo, and across the Grand Canal to the south is stylish Dorsoduro, with its prestigious art museums and lively squares.

At the outer edges are Santa Croce, Castello, and Cannaregio, home of the original Ghetto. Beyond the six sestieri – neighborhoods – of the city itself, you'll want to hop aboard a vaporetto to its islands: Lido, Murano, Burano, and Torcello. A fourth island, San Giorgio Maggiore, is worth visiting for the beautiful views of San Marco and Venice from the tower of its church.

To plan your stay so you won't miss any of the best places to visit, use this list of the top attractions and things to do in Venice.

1. St. Mark's Basilica

2. piazza san marco (st. mark's square), 3. palazzo ducale (doge's palace) and bridge of sighs, 4. canale grande (grand canal), 5. ponte di rialto (rialto bridge) and san polo, 6. torre dell'orologio (clock tower), 7. campanile, 8. santa maria della salute, 9. scuola grande di san rocco, 10. teatro la fenice, 11. ca' d'oro, 12. murano and burano, 13. peggy guggenheim collection, 14. explore the ghetto and museo ebraico di venezia, 15. santa maria gloriosa dei frari, 16. gallerie dell'accademia (fine arts museum), 17. santa maria dei miracoli, 18. palazzo rezzonico, 19. torcello island, 21. hear classical music in a church, 22. contarini del bovolo palace, 23. ca' pesaro and galleria d'arte moderna, 24. the arsenal and the museum of naval history, tips and tours: how to make the most of your visit to venice, venice, italy - climate chart, more things to see and do.

St. Mark's Basilica

Certainly Venice's best-known church, and one of the most easily recognized in the world, St. Mark's Basilica (Basilica di San Marco) was originally the Doge's private chapel, decorated with Byzantine art treasures that are part of the booty brought back by Venetian ships after the fall of Constantinople.

The gold-backed mosaic pictures above the doorways on the façade only hint at the mosaic artistry inside, where 4,240 square meters of gold mosaics cover the domes and walls. These set a distinctly Byzantine tone to its soaring interior, but you'll find treasures from other periods, including later mosaics designed by Titian and Tintoretto - names you'll encounter all over the city.

The magnificent golden altarpiece, the Pala d'Oro , one of the finest in Europe, was begun by early 12th-century artists, and centuries later, adorned with nearly 2,000 gems and precious stones. If you can tear your eyes from this, the mosaic domes, and the multitude of richly decorated altars, glance down at the floor, a masterpiece of marble inlay. And take time to see the gold reliquaries and icons in the Treasury.

  • Read More: Exploring St. Mark's Basilica in Venice: A Visitor's Guide

St. Mark's Square

The vast expanse of Venice's largest square is brought together and made to seem almost intimate by the elegant uniformity of its architecture on three sides. But more than its architectural grace, St. Mark's Square (Piazza San Marco) is loved as Venice's living room, the place everybody gathers, strolls, drinks coffee, stops to chat, meets friends and tour guides, or just passes through on the way to work or play.

Three sides are framed in arcades, beneath which are fashionable shops and even more fashionable cafés. The open end is bookmarked by the erratic, exotic curves, swirls, mosaics, and lacy stone filigree of St. Mark's Basilica .

Above it towers the brick shaft of the campanile. For overviews of this busy piazza, you can go to its top or to the top of the Torre dell'Orologio , where a pair of "Moors" strikes the hour.

Author's Tip: Don't be tempted to sit on the steps around the piazza to eat a take-away sandwich. Or throw the crumbs to the pigeons. Both are illegal.

  • Read More: St. Mark's Square, Venice: 12 Top Attractions, Tours & Nearby Hotels

Palazzo Ducale (Doge's Palace) and Bridge of Sighs

Visitors arriving in Venice once stepped ashore under the façade of this extraordinary palace. They couldn't have failed to be impressed, both by its size and the finesse of its architecture.

If they were received inside by the Doges, the impression would only strengthen as they entered through the Porta della Carta, a perfect example of Venetian Gothic at its height, and ascended the monumental Scala dei Giganti and the gold-vaulted Scala d'Oro to be received in what many consider to be the palace's most beautiful chamber, Sala del Collegio.

Even jaded 21st-century travelers gasp in awe at the palace's grandeur and lavish decoration. You'll see works by all the Venetian greats, including Tintoretto, whose Paradise is the largest oil painting in the world.

Not open on public tours but included on private tours is a walk across the Bridge of Sighs to the dark cells of the Prigioni - the prisons from which Casanova made his famous escape. The best view - and the postcard classic - of the Bridge of Sighs is from the Ponte della Paglia , on the Riva degli Schiavoni behind the Doge's Palace.

Lines for admission to the Doge's Palace are often long, but you can avoid these, and see sections of the palace not open to general visitors, with a Skip the Line: Doge's Palace Ticket and Tour . A local guide will take you past the lines and explain the history and art in each of the dazzling rooms before leading you across the Bridge of Sighs and into the notorious prison.

  • Read More: Exploring the Doge's Palace in Venice: A Visitor's Guide

Canale Grande (Grand Canal)

Sweeping through the heart of Venice in a giant reverse S curve, the Grand Canal is the principal boulevard through the city, connecting Piazza San Marco , Rialto Bridge, and the arrival points of the rail station and bridge from the mainland.

Only four bridges cross its 3.8-kilometer length, but stripped-down gondolas called traghetti shuttle back and forth at several points between bridges. The Grand Canal was the address of choice for anyone who claimed any influence in Venice. Palaces of all the leading families open onto the canal, their showy Venetian Gothic and Early Renaissance facades facing the water, by which visitors arrived.

These grand palaces – or at least their facades – are well preserved today, and a trip along the canal by vaporetto, Venice's floating public transport system, is the best way to see them. Or you can see the palaces at a more leisurely speed on a Venice Grand Canal Small Group 1-Hour Boat Tour , which also includes some of the smaller canals. And, of course, a ride along the Grand Canal in a gondola is one of the most romantic things to do in Venice at night.

  • Read More: Exploring the Grand Canal in Venice: Top Attractions

Rialto Bridge

Once the only bridge across the Grand Canal , Rialto Bridge marks the spot of the island's first settlement, called Rivus Altus (high bank). Built in 1588, some 150 years after the collapse of a previous wooden bridge, this stone arch supports two busy streets and a double set of shops.

Along with serving as a busy crossing point midway along the canal, it is a favorite vantage point for tourists taking - or posing for - photos, and for watching the assortment of boats always passing under it.

The church of San Bartolomeo , close to the San Marco end of the bridge, was the church of the German merchants who lived and worked in the Fondaco dei Tedeschi (German Commodity Exchange) bordering the canal here. It has an excellent altarpiece, The Martyrdom of St. Bartholomew , by Palma the Younger. The former exchange is now a popular place to go shopping.

On the other side of Rialto Bridge is the busy food market, where Venetians and chefs shop for fresh produce and seafood. In the narrow streets of San Polo, beyond the market, are artisans' shops and mask-making studios, one of the best places for shopping in Venice . You'll also find places to eat that are not so filled with tourists as those nearer San Marco.

Author's tip: If you're visiting Venice with children , look for the carnival mask and costume studios in San Polo. Masks are inexpensive souvenirs of their trip to Venice.

Torre dell'Orologio (Clock Tower)

To one side of the basilica, facing onto Piazza San Marco, is one of Venice's most familiar icons, a clock tower surmounted by a pair of bronze Moors that strike the large bell each hour. The face of the clock shows phases of the moon and the zodiac in gilt on a blue background, and above the clock is a small balcony and a statue of the Virgin.

Above that, the winged Lion of St. Mark and a mosaic of gold stars against a blue background were added in 1755 by Giorgio Massari. The tower itself is from the 15 th century and typical of Venetian Renaissance architecture. Through an arched gateway at its base runs one of Venice's busiest streets, the narrow Calle Mercerei.

If you're in Venice during Ascension Week or at Epiphany, as the Moors strike each hour, you can see the Three Kings led past the Madonna by an angel. You can climb the tower for a closer look at the clockwork.

The Campanile on St. Mark's Square

Standing like a giant exclamation point above the expanse of Piazza San Marco, the Campanile is not the first to stand here. The original one, erected as a lighthouse in 1153, collapsed dramatically into the piazza in 1902, and was rebuilt on a firmer footing. Also rebuilt was the Loggetta at its base, a small marble loggia completed in 1540, where members of the Great Council assembled before meeting in the sessions.

In the loggia at the base, you can see Sansovino's four bronze masterpieces between the columns, all of which were rescued from the rubble after the collapse. The Campanile has a grimmer side to its history: in the Middle Ages, prisoners, including renegade priests, were hoisted halfway up the outside in cages, where they hung suspended for weeks.

Today, the Campanile is a popular attraction for the views from the platform on top, which extends across the city and lagoon to the Adriatic (try to go early or late in the day, as lines for the lift can be very long).

Santa Maria della Salute

One of the most photographed churches in Venice, Santa Maria della Salute has a postcard setting, rising at the tip of a peninsula across from the Doge's Palace.

The monumental Baroque church was built as thanks for the end of the plague of 1630. But the fragile land wouldn't support its tremendous weight, so its architect, Baldassare Longhena, had more than a million timbers driven into the floor of the lagoon before he could erect the church.

The vaporetto landing is right in front of the church, and the highlight of its interior – apart from the magnificent dome – is the Sacristy, where you'll find paintings that include Tintoretto's Marriage at Cana .

Scuola Grande di San Rocco

This impressive white marble Scuola Grande di San Rocco was built between 1515 and 1560 to house a charitable society dedicated to San Rocco. Soon after its completion, the great 16th-century Venetian artist Tintoretto won the competition to paint a central panel for the ceiling of the Sala dell'Albergo by entering the building and putting his painting in its intended place before the judging, much to the irritation of his rival artists.

He later decorated its walls and ceilings with a complete cycle of paintings, which are considered to be the artist's masterpiece. The earliest works, in the Sala dell'Albergo, date to 1564 and 1576 and include The Glorification of St. Roch, Christ before Pilate, the Ecce Homo, and the most powerful of all, The Crucifixion . Those in the upper hall depict New Testament scenes, painted between 1575 and 1581.

The lighting is not good, and the paintings themselves are dark, but you can still appreciate Tintoretto's innovations in the use of light and color. You can see the ceilings more easily with one of the mirrors that are provided. More works by Tintoretto are in the chancel of the adjacent church of San Rocco.

Address: Campo San Rocco, San Polo, Venice

Teatro La Fenice

The name La Fenice (The Phoenix), chosen at the constriction in 1792, proved prophetic, as like the mythical phoenix, it has risen from the ashes. The theater has been destroyed by fire three times, the last one, in 1996, leaving only the outer walls standing. Each time, it has been rebuilt, and continues to be one of the world's great opera houses.

Throughout its history, but particularly in the 19th century, La Fenice saw the premiers of many of the most famous Italian operas, including those of Rossini, Donizetti, and Verdi, and today schedules performances of opera, ballet, and musical concerts.

Even after its reopening in 2003 with somewhat expanded seating, La Fenice is still a comparatively small opera house, so tickets are very hard to get, especially for major performances. You can take a tour of the spectacular Rococo interior, however, using an audio guide; these self-guided tours last about 45 minutes and include the public areas of the theater.

Ca' d'Oro

The delicate marble filigree by Bartolomeo Bon seems too lace-like to be carved of stone, and you can only imagine the impression this façade must have made covered in its original paint and gold. Along with the Porta della Carta in the Palazzo Ducale , also created by Bartolomeo Bon, The Ca' d'Oro is considered the most perfect example of Venetian Gothic.

You can admire the interior, too, as this palazzo is now an art museum, restored to provide both a setting for the art works and a look at the way wealthy Venetians lived in the 15th and 16th centuries. The connoisseur responsible for saving the palace, Baron Giorgio Franchetti, gave his art collection to the state in 1922, with works by Titian, Mantegna, Van Dyck, Tullio Lombardo, and Bernini.

Glassblowing in Murano

A trip to Venice wouldn't be complete without hopping aboard a vaporetto for the ride across the lagoon to Murano, home of Venice's fabled glass workers. They were sent here in the 13th century in hope of decreasing the risk of fire from one of the glass furnaces sweeping through Venice's tightly compacted center.

Or so they claimed. Just as likely, it was to keep the secrets of glassblowing a Venetian monopoly. This was no small matter to the Venetians, whose Council of Ten decreed in 1454: "If a glassblower takes his skill to another country to the detriment of the Republic he shall be ordered to return; should be refuse, his nearest relatives shall be thrown into prison so that his sense of family duty may induce him to return; should he persist in his disobedience secret measures shall be taken to eliminate him wherever he may be." It was a lot easier to keep track of them if they were confined to an island.

The canal sides today are lined by glass showrooms and studios, showing everything from cheap imported trinkets to exquisite works of art. Inside the 17th-century Palazzo Giustinian is the Glass Museum , with one of the largest and most important collections of Venetian glass from the time of the Romans to the 20th century.

But it's not all glass: The church of Santi Maria e Donato combines Veneto-Byzantine and Early Romanesque features, a result of its various stages of building between the seventh and 12th centuries. Notice especially the columns of Greek marble with Veneto-Byzantine capitals, the 12th-century mosaic floor with animal figures, and the St. Donato above the first altar on the left. Dated 1310, it is the earliest example of Venetian painting.

The 14th-century San Pietro Martire contains several splendid Venetian paintings: Bellini's Madonna in Majesty with St. Mark and the Doge Agostino Barbarigo and his Assumption of the Virgin , along with St. Jerome in the Wilderness and St. Agatha in Prison by Paolo Veronese.

It's a quick hop to the next island, Burano, a fishing village of brilliantly painted houses, known historically for its lace making. The Scuola dei Merletti (lace school) and its small museum will help you distinguish the real thing from the cheap imports you'll find in most shops.

The slender campanile of the 16 th -century church of San Martino leans at an alarming angle, made all the more dramatic by its height.

Peggy Guggenheim Collection

The personal art collections of heiress Peggy Guggenheim are housed in her former home alongside the Grand Canal, Palazzo Venier dei Leoni. Although most of Italy's great art museums are filled with masters of the Middle Ages and Renaissance, the Peggy Guggenheim concentrates on American and European art from the first half of the 20th century.

The low building, with its spare, white interior, is a fitting venue for these bold and often dramatic works, which represent Cubist, Futurist, Abstract Expressionist, Surrealist, and avant-garde schools of painting and sculpture.

The permanent collection includes works by Picasso, Dali, Braque , Léger , Mondrian , Kandinsky , Klee, Ernst , Magritte , and Pollock , and frequent exhibitions bring in works from other major artists. In the museum's sculpture gardens are works by Calder , Holzer , Caro , Judd , and Hepworth .

Address: 704 Dorsoduro, Venice

Jewish Ghetto in Venice

The Venetians called the foundry here geto , and in 1516 it was decreed that all Jews in the city would live on this islet, the origin of the word "ghetto." Residents could only leave in the daytime, and the gates were locked and guarded at night.

This part of the Cannaregio sestiere still has distinct Jewish presence, with synagogues and the Museo Ebraico di Venezia (Jewish Museum) with artifacts of Jewish life here from the 17 th and later centuries. Facing the Ghetto Nuovo Square, a touching memorial of bronze panels, created in 1980 by artist Arbit Blatas, remembers the victims of the deportation during the Nazi occupation of the city in 1943.

Address: Museo Ebraico di Venezia, Campo del Ghetto Nuovo, Cannaregio

Santa Maria Gloriosa dei Frari

This Gothic church was begun by the Franciscans about 1340 and finished with the completion of the facade, interior, and two chapels in the middle of the 15th century. Its impressive 14th-century campanile is the second highest in the city.

Although the interior is in keeping with the simple unadorned style of Franciscan churches, it contains a wealth of artistic treasures. In the right transept is an important wood statue of St. John the Baptist by Florentine sculptor Donatello, done in 1451 (first chapel to the right of the sanctuary).

In the sacristy is a triptych Madonna and Child Enthroned with Four Saints by Giovanni Bellini. In the left transept, the statue of St. John the Baptist on the stoup of the Cappella Cornaro was created by the sculptor and master-builder Jacopo Sansovino

The Monks' Choir is an outstanding example of the wood-carving of Marco Cozzi, with reliefs of saints and Venetian scenes. And the sanctuary contains the tomb of two Doges by Antonio Rizzo, and over the high altar is Titian's Assunta , painted between 1516 and 1518. The Mausoleum of Titian in the south aisle was a gift from Ferdinand I of Austria, when he was King of Lombardy Veneto.

You can't help noticing the pyramidal mausoleum made by the students of the sculptor Antonio Canova in the north aisle, and opposite, the large monument to Titian, also by students of Canova. Beside the Cappella Emiliani, which has a fine mid-15th-century polyptych with marble figures, is Madonna di Ca' Pesaro , completed in 1526 and one of Titian's most important works.

Address: Campo dei Frari, I-30100 Venice

Venice - Santa Maria Gloriosa dei Frari - Floor plan map

Called " The Accademia " for short, this museum on the Grand Canal has the most important and comprehensive collection of 15th-18th-century Venetian painting in existence. Much of the collection was assembled from monasteries and churches that were closed and from the clearing of palaces of noble families, now displayed in the former Monastery of Santa Maria della Carità.

Some of the galleries, such as the first one, which contains Venetian Gothic Painting, have richly carved and gilded 15th-century ceilings. Works are arranged chronologically, so you can not only trace the evolution of styles, but can compare the works of contemporaries.

Highlights of the 15th- and 16th-century paintings are St. George by Andrea Mantegna, St Jerome and a Donor by Piero della Francesca, Madonna and Saints by Giovanni Bellini, Portrait of Christ by Vittore Carpaccio, and Madonna under the Orange Tree by Cima da Conegliano.

St. John the Baptist and a magnificent Pietà by Titian, Tintoretto's Cain and Abel and The Miracle of St. Mark, Paolo Veronese's Marriage of St. Catherine and Supper in the House of Levi , St. Ursula by Vittore Carpaccio, and several works by Giambattista Tiepolo are also worth special notice.

Venice - Galleria dell'Accademia - Floor plan map

After the vast grandeur of St. Mark's and the soaring expanse of Frari, little Santa Maria dei Miracoli is like a fresh breeze, a masterpiece of Early Renaissance architecture by Pietro Lombardo. This jewel box of pastel inlaid marble was built from 1481 to 1489 to enshrine a miraculous picture of the Virgin.

Unlike Venice's other churches, whose facades are embellished with architectural flourishes and statues, Lombardo used painstakingly matched colored marble to create delicate patterns of rosettes, circles, octagons, and crosses on the facade. The method continues inside, which heightens the effect of the golden domed ceiling rising above gray and coral marble walls.

The nave is separated from the chancel by an exquisite Early Renaissance balustrade decorated with figures. It's no wonder that this is Venetians' favorite place to be married, as its interior is one of the most beautiful in the city.

Address: Campo dei Miracoli, Venice

Palazzo Rezzonico

Just as Ca' d'Oro lets you glimpse into the life of the late Middle Ages, Palazzo Rezzonico gives a vivid picture of life here in the Baroque and Rococo periods, in the 18th century. Designed and begun by Venice's master of Baroque architecture, Baldassare Longhena, the palace was completed nearly 100 years later in 1750 by Giorgio Massari.

The furnishings and collections complete the picture painted by the building, including its interior decoration of silk wall coverings, elegant finish details, and Flemish tapestries. The costume collection highlights the importance of silk production in Venice from the late Middle Ages through the 18th century, when it was a major competitor with Lyon, France.

Rigid technical regulations were enforced, resulting in some of the most beautiful silk fabrics ever made. So important was silk that even in times of war with the Turks, battle lines parted for the silk-laden ships to pass through.

The museum details the importance of luxury goods, particularly clothing and fashion, for the Venetian economy in the 18th century, when brocades embellished with gold and silver thread produced here were treasured throughout Europe and the New World.

Torcello Island

Venice began on this outer island of Torcello, founded here as early as the seventh century, and by the 12th century, it was a flourishing commercial town. Of its palaces, churches, shipyards, and docks, only two churches and a handful of houses remain, dotted over the large island.

You can get some idea of the importance of Torcello from its cathedral, dedicated in 639 to Santa Maria Assunta . It is considered the best remaining example of Venetian-Byzantine architecture. It was reconstructed in 834 and 1008, and the portico and two lateral apses were added in the ninth century; much of the building dates from the 11th century. The mosaics lining the interior are outstanding.

The oldest of these are in the chapel to the right of the high altar, where 11th-century angels carrying a medallion with the Lamb of God show a strong Byzantine influence. The Fathers of the Church ; Gregory, Martin, Ambrose, and Augustine; were added later, along with Christ in Majesty between two Archangels .

The 12th-century mosaics in the main apse and the Virgin and Child above a frieze of the Twelve Apostles surrounded by flowers are all on a gold background. The west wall is covered in tiers of a Byzantine mosaic of the Last Judgment from the late 12th or early 13th century.

Along with the exquisitely detailed marble carvings on the rood screen, notice the 11th-century mosaic floor and the pulpit, which was assembled in the 13th century from earlier fragments.

Adjoining the cathedral is the little 11th-century church of Santa Fosca , on a pure Byzantine central plan with a portico. Your admission ticket includes the interesting little historical museum with artifacts from antiquity to the 16th century.

Alberoni Beach, Lido, Venice

The long (12-kilometer) strip of sand that separates the Venetian lagoon from the Adriatic Sea was Europe's first real beach resort, and in its heyday, at the turn of the 20th century, was Europe's most fashionable watering hole for royalty and the day's celebs. Today, the grand hotels where they reposed still welcome guests and still own the beautiful fine-sand beaches, although for a price you can share them with hotel guests.

Public beaches are at the north end of the island, near the church of San Nicolo, where relics of St. Nicholas are revered. After considerable controversy between Venice and Bari, which also claims the saint's relics, it has been established by an anatomical expert that both have an equal claim; about half the skeleton, including the skull, is in Bari and the other half in Lido. The cloisters are lovely, and in the church are paintings by both Palma the Elder and Younger.

You can tour Lido on foot or a bicycle rented near the landing stage where the 10-minute Motonave or longer vaporetto ride from St. Mark's deposits you. The island is filled with Art Nouveau villas and hotels; to see the villas, wander along some of the side streets. In August and September, the Lido is the venue for the International Film Festival, held in the Palazzo del Cinema.

Lido Di Venezia map - Tourist attractions

Two churches in Venice are venues for concerts of classical music , both featuring the works of Venetian composer and virtuoso violinist, Antonio Vivaldi. One of these churches, Santa Maria della Pietà , was Vivaldi's own, where he taught and composed the music for major church feasts. Near Saint Mark's Square, it is a beautiful mid-18 th -century church.

The other church where you can hear concerts is San Vidal church, in Campo Santo Stefano, not far from the Academia bridge. Along with the concerts, the church is notable for its magnificent main altarpiece, San Vidal on Horseback with Eight Saints, painted in 1514 by Vittore Carpaccio. Concerts in both these venues feature "The Four Seasons" and other works by Vivaldi. 123

Contarini del Bovolo Palace

During the 15 th -century renovations of an earlier Gothic building near Campo Manin, a unique spiraling staircase was added to the outside, creating one of the city's most unusual places to visit. The staircase spirals upward, encased by a balustrade and a series of graceful arches that give it an almost delicate air. The building became known as the Contarini del Bovolo Palace , referring to the Venetian word for snail.

Alongside the round tower, a series of 5 layered loggias decreasing in height with each level provides access to the building's five stories. You can see the exterior from the courtyard, or climb the tower for views from the roofed terrace at the top.

Address: San Marco, Campo Manin

Galleria d'Arte Moderno and Museo d'Arte Orientale inside the Ca' Pesaro

The impressive façade of Ca' Pesaro overlooking the Grand Canal, was inspired by the Sansovino Library that stands across from the Doge's Palace, built a century earlier. The lavish Venetian Late Baroque interior contrasts sharply with the art displayed there, for the palazzo now houses the Galleria d'Arte Moderna.

One of Italy's finest collections of modern art, it contains works by important 19th- and 20th-century painters and sculptors including Gustav Klimt, Marc Chagall, and Auguste Rodin. Highlights include decorative arts of the 20 th century such as works in glass made by Carlo Scarpa in the 1930s and 1940s and rare furniture pieces by the cabinetmaker Carlo Bugatti.

The Museo d'Arte Orientale occupies the third floor of the palace, with collections of fine and applied arts from Asia. Highlights are the Chinese vases and Japanese enamels, porcelains, and armor of the Edo period.

Ca'Pesaro is reached by Vaparetto from the San Stae stop, at the church of Sant'Eustachio, more commonly known as San Stae. Step inside the church to see paintings by early 18th-century artists, including Tiepolo and Pellegrini.

Address: Santa Croce, Venice

The Arsenal and the Museum of Naval History

The Arsenal, the shipyard of the Venetian Republic, was the largest and busiest in the world until the end of the 17th century. From its founding in 1104, it was continuously expanded, until in its heyday, it employed as many as 16,000 workers.

Closely guarded to preserve the secret production methods that enabled it to build a fully sea-ready ship in a single day, the Arsenal was accessible by one land and one sea approach only. So tight was its security that the Republic managed to keep its art of shipbuilding secret until about 1550.

At its imposing land entrance is a Renaissance-style triumphal arch guarded by lions brought from Greece as booty after the reconquest of the Peloponnese in the 17th century. Of the two lions on the left, the larger one stood guard over the port of Piraeus, while its fellow stood on the road from Athens to Eleusis.

Adjacent to the shipyard is the Museum of Naval History , displaying impressive booty brought back from the numerous maritime wars of the Republic, along with fascinating collections that include votive paintings made on wood panels in thanks for rescues at sea. These charming pictures are interesting for their depiction of sea life, not so much for their artistic finesse.

Models and artifacts relate to shipbuilding, the types of vessels afloat in the period that Venice was a sea power, and the Republic's strongholds throughout the Adriatic. A large model of the legendary ship of state Bucintoro , the Doge's sumptuous official galley, is especially interesting.

Address: Riva degli Schiavoni, Castello, Venice

Exploring the Islands:

  • A highlight for most travelers is a visit to the islands of Murano and Burano. The easiest way to explore these islands is on a five-hour guided Murano Glass and Burano Lace Tour from Venice , which includes motorboat transport to the islands, with visits to a glassblowing factory on Murano and lace makers on Burano.

Sightseeing and Gondola Rides :

  • Venice is a little bit of a maze, and if you have limited time, taking a guided tour is a good idea. The Venice Walking Tour and Gondola Ride includes the best of both worlds, with an opportunity to learn the history of the sites as you wander the city and then relax and enjoy the scenery on a gondola ride.
  • Alternatively, to just soak up some of the ambience, skip the walking piece and see the sites from the water on a 35-minute shared gondola ride while being serenaded on the Venice Gondola Ride and Serenade .
  • A third option, the Venice Super Saver: Skip-the Line Doge's Palace and St. Mark's Basilica Tours, Venice Walking Tour and Grand Canal Cruise offers priority admission to the two must-see sights with the longest lines, a guided walking tour that takes you to some of Venice's secret sights, and a water-taxi cruise along the Grand Canal.

Good to Know

  • Beginning in 2025, day visitors will be charged an access tax of between €6 and €10, depending on the season and expected tourist numbers. Visitors staying overnight in Venice already pay a lodging tax of €1 to €5 per person per night for the first 5 nights.
  • If you plan to use the Vaporetto, either on the Grand Canal or to visit the islands of Murano, Burano, Lido and Torcello, ACTV transit passes are a good value. Single fares are €9.50, and a full-day pass is €25, less than the cost of three single rides. Multiple day passes save even more: 2 days for €25, 3 days for €45 and €65 for an entire week.
  • While Venetians are quite tolerant of the masses of tourists that pour in every day, the city has some rules for visitor behavior. While these are not uniformly enforced, recent violations have resulted in steep fines. Some that you should be aware of include prohibitions on picnicking in a public place, buying from street vendors, lying down on a public bench, putting padlocks on bridges, and leaning against store fronts.


Where to Go near Venice : After you've visited the city's top tourist attractions, you may want to explore some of the beautiful nearby towns. Only 20 kilometers away is pretty Treviso , enclosed by walls and with its own waterside villas. Padua , with its famous shrine of St. Anthony, is easy to reach by train or by a cruise along the historic Brenta Canal. Stop along the way at Villa Pisani, one of the most beautiful gardens in Italy .


Places to Visit from Venice: North of Treviso are the soaring Dolomites, with some of the top ski resorts in Italy but with plenty of things to do in all seasons. Along the Adriatic to the east is Trieste , where Italian blends with Hapsburg architecture reminiscent of Vienna. Following the Adriatic coast south, you'll reach Ravenna , with its magnificent Byzantine mosaics.

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Home » Travel Guides » Italy » 15 Best Venice Tours

15 Best Venice Tours

Venice is composed of 118 small islands, all separated by beautiful canals and connected to one another by more than 400 bridges. Located in the Veneto region of northeastern Italy, Venice is especially known for its architecture and art.

For a very long time, Venice has been the center of attraction for a lot of visitors to Italy. From its rich history to its labyrinth of canals, everything about Venice is captivating. When in Venice, forget the roads and walk down the bridges or take a gondola ride, as you explore the rich culture and history of the floating city.

Here are the 15 best Venice tours to make sure that you get to see the best of this magical city.

1. Boat Trip To Murano, Torcello & Burano


Visit three of the most famous Islands of the City of Canals on a boat trip that will take you cruising through parts of the Venetian Lagoon.

This 4-and-a-half-hour boat tour will allow you to explore the rich history, culture, and scenery of the three Islands, with a 45-minute stop on each one. Witness skilled glassblowers at work in Murano, the unique chocolate box painted houses in Burano and the picturesque landscapes in Torcello.

The multilingual guide accompanying you on the boat will ensure that you learn all about the three famous islands, while you have the freedom to explore the three islands at your own pace.

2. Doge’s Palace Priority Admission Ticket

Doge’s Palace

Visit the palace that was once the residence of the Doge of Venice, without the hassle of waiting in long lines for hours. Head straight into the site that was once the head of Venice and explore its quintessential architecture and art.

Spend time in the palace to discover the magnificent works of art exhibited here, and explore the iconic gold staircase and the Bridge of Sighs leading to the prison.

The palace itself is a great representation of the city’s rich history and culture, and its tour will take you back in time.

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3. Grand Canal Gondola ride

Venice Gondola

This gondola ride will take you down the 3800-meter Grand Canal, which is the most important waterway of Venice.

The 30-minute gondola ride takes you through the secluded waters and under small bridges. During the ride, you can witness the City of Canals in its essence.

Grab the map with descriptions of the places that you will ride by and listen to the audio commentary on the mobile app as you take the gondola ride down the Grand Canal.

4. Doge’s Palace & St. Mark’s Basilica Tour

St. Mark's Square, Venice

Discover two important landmarks of Venice on a walking tour that will pass through all the sights of St. Mark’s Square that you need to see.

The 2-hour walking tour won’t just show you the highlights of St. Mark’s square, but it will also grant skip-the-line entrance into St. Mark’s Basilica and Doge’s Palace. Witness the epitome of Italo-Byzantine architecture at St. Mark’s Basilica, and discover more about the history of Venice at the Doge’s Palace.

The guided tour will ensure you get the gist of all the important historic, cultural and architectural facts about the sites that you visit.

5. Gems Of The Venetian Lagoon

San Giorgio Maggiore

This boat tour will take you from the waterfront of St. Mark and around the island of San Giorgio Maggiore and Lido, exploring the real gems of the Venetian lagoon.

This tour is a 4-hour boat ride through the waters of the Venetian lagoon, riding by the island of San Giorgio Maggiore and Lido and also taking you to see the vibrant colored houses in Burano and classic glass blowing industry of Murano.

Enjoy the scenic beauty of the islands and the surrounding water, as a live multilingual guide shares with you knowledge about all the sights you pass by.

6. Murano and Burano Islands Tour

Burano, Italy

This tour takes you to the islands of Murano and Burano by boat, where you can stop to admire the brightly colored houses and the tranquil and refreshing atmosphere, and learn more about glass blowing from the masters at the glass factory.

Spending 4 hours on the boat ride and the two islands will prove to be an experience as enjoyable as it is educational. A multilingual guide will accompany you throughout the ride, so you get the best of the tour.

7. The Mysterious Venice Walking Tour

Mysterious Venice

This is a tour that will take you on a walk to the mysterious side of Venice. Explore the heart of Venice with an experienced guide who will tell you about the unusual secrets of the City of Masks.

Take a 75-minute walk through the lesser-known areas of Venice, where the true essence of the city lies. Discover secret and secluded areas of the city, with their rich history and unique markets. Visit the city’s oldest church, The Church of San Giacometto, located in Rialto Area, which was once a trading hub.

Walk down the maze of streets and squares and witness a different side of Venice with its iconic architectural wonders and rich history.

8. Grand Canal Gondola Serenade

Gondola Serenade

A grand experience on the Grand Canal, experiencing the pleasures of a serenade with famous Italian songs as you take a gondola ride.

The 30-minute shared gondola ride is a beautiful experience with a professional singer singing authentic Italian songs and breathtaking scenery around you.

Connect to the mobile app for the audio commentary as you ride through the lesser-populated waterways in a peaceful environment.

9. Leonardo Da Vinci Museum Skip-The-Line Ticket

Leonardo Da Vinci Museum, Venice

Get a peek inside a genius mind at the Leonardo Da Vinci museum, with exclusive entry and no waiting in line.

Spend your time exploring Leonardo Da Vinci’s work and learn more about his life in a museum that is based on the four elements, earth, water, fire, and air.

It’s a family-friendly tour that will intrigue adults as well as children with its unique exhibition.

10. Venice Carnival Grand Ball Gala Dinner & Show

Venice Carnival 4-Hour Grand Ball Gala Dinner And Show

Rejoice the Venice Carnival with a gala dinner, experiencing a historic tradition that features elaborate costumes and rich party aura.

Spend 4 hours at an exclusive grand ball, complete with music and dance and shows by magicians and contortionists. Enjoy drinks and a scrumptious dinner while being serenaded by pianists and entertained by various performances.

A perfect evening in a lavish ball with a meal, free parking and cloakroom service that will leave you with the best memories of the city.

11. Carnival Mask Workshop

Carnival Mask Workshop

Enjoy this unique class in the City of Masks, where you can learn about traditional techniques for creating masks and create your own.

It’s an hour-long workshop that will polish up your skills and teach you traditional techniques of making masks from papier-mâché.

All the supplies you need are provided for you to let your imagination run wild, with extra knowledge and tips throughout the process of making your mask.

12. Venice Walking Tour & Gondola Ride

Venice Tourists

Learn more about the city of water and bridges with a walk through the streets of Venice and a gondola ride through the canals.

This 2-hour tour allows you to explore the major hotspots of the city on foot, uncovering its history, and then a gondola ride that will give you an entirely different yet beautiful view of the city.

Allow the experienced guide to tell you all about the city as you walk through the major highlights, uncovering its beauty and culture.

13. Rialto Market Lunchtime Tour

Rialto Market, Venice

Indulge yourself in the unique market of Venice in a walking and tasting tour that will give you a deeper insight into the city’s food and culture.

The 4-hour tour will take you to see not only the city’s major sights but also some of its secluded areas, which are no less, enchanting than the rest of the city. On this tour, you get to meet local artisans and producers who will tell you more about life in the city.

Enjoy the stops at 7 different eateries, all of which offer traditional and high-quality Italian food, as well as an 18th-century osteria known for its snacks that are unique to Venice.

14. Legends & Ghosts of Cannaregio Tour

Legends And Ghosts Of Cannaregio Tour

Explore the secluded and darker corners of the city in this one of a kind tour that will give a different experience of the city.

Spend 4 hours discovering the dark streets and secluded areas of Cannaregio as the night falls, while listening to the guide telling you stories about the ghosts and legends of Venice.

The professional tour guide can be heard on headphones too, in German, English, and French for the best experience of the tour.

15. Hop-on Hop-off City Sightseeing Boat Tour

Hop-on Hop-off City Sightseeing Boat Tour

Enjoy the experience of sightseeing in the beautiful city of Venice with all of its bridges and networks of canals, on a hop-on-hop-off tour that allows you to get off at any stop you wish.

The full tour is 2 hours long, but you can choose which stop to get off on and explore the city, discovering its outstanding architecture, history, culture and all of its beauty. Visit all the major spots of the city that you wish to see and enjoy the trip at your own pace.

Choose from two different lines that will take you to almost all of the city’s major sights and enjoy the free Wi-Fi onboard.

15 Best Venice Tours:

  • Boat Trip To Murano, Torcello & Burano
  • Doge’s Palace Priority Admission Ticket
  • Grand Canal Gondola ride
  • Doge’s Palace & St. Mark’s Basilica Tour
  • Gems Of The Venetian Lagoon
  • Murano and Burano Islands Tour
  • The Mysterious Venice Walking Tour
  • Grand Canal Gondola Serenade
  • Leonardo Da Vinci Museum Skip-The-Line Ticket
  • Venice Carnival Grand Ball Gala Dinner & Show
  • Carnival Mask Workshop
  • Venice Walking Tour & Gondola Ride
  • Rialto Market Lunchtime Tour
  • Legends & Ghosts of Cannaregio Tour
  • Hop-on Hop-off City Sightseeing Boat Tour

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Florida island with sugar-white sand beaches makes world’s top 50 Best Places to Travel in 2024

Posted: November 18, 2023 | Last updated: November 18, 2023

The sound of rolling waves nestles softly onto the sugar-white sand beaches. The water is turquoise and a consistent 80 degrees. A flock of pelicans fly by, low to the beach in V formation.


This is not some faraway island in the South Pacific. It’s Anna Maria Island in Manatee County, Florida, about a four-hour drive from Jacksonville.

The island at the entrance to Tampa Bay was voted one of 50 top locations to visit by Travel + Leisure. More than 20 staffers created a list of where travelers should pack their bags and venture to in 2024.

According to the travel magazine for Best Beach Vibes, “Anna Maria Island is a place where most people tool around by gold cart or beach cruiser, and almost all the sherbet-hued clapboard homes are vacation rentals.”

You won’t find high-rise condos or hotels at this beachside paradise. There are no corporate restaurants or outlet malls. This is a destination defined by mom-and-pop storefronts and funky to elegant eateries.

Outdoor activities including fishing, boat tours, water sport rentals, and horseback riding can all be booked prior to arriving.

Visit Florida has listed the island as home to three cities: Anna Maria on the north end. Holmes Beach toward the middle, and Bradenton Beach to the south, which all offer unique places to shop, eat, and stay.

If you’re looking for a mellow, laid-back, secluded destination out of the way from the hustle and bustle Anna Maria Island should be on your immediate vacation list.

Below pictures and video from Anna Maria Island Chamber of Commerce .

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Take a long walk over the ocean on this Anna Maria Beach pier. Fishing welcomed of course.

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Travel Better, Cheaper, Longer

Venice Travel Guide

Last Updated: August 23, 2023

Panoramic views showing the charming, historic canals winding through Venice, Italy.

With its iconic canals, picturesque gondolas, and winding streets, it’s no surprise that Venice is considered one of the most romantic cities in the world. But while the city is popular with honeymooners, it’s also a huge destination for cruisers and backpackers too.

It should be obvious as to why.

Venice is beautiful, fun, and full of narrow streets and alleys to get lost in. It’s a magical place unlike any other. There are museums, palaces, historic town squares to explore, and endless gelato to eat.

Unfortunately, the city is also expensive and overtourism has become a real problem. No matter what time of the year, you’re going to encounter crowds. In fact, if you come in the summer, it’s going to be unbearable (and if you come when a cruise ship is docked, it’s even more unbearable!)

But that doesn’t mean you should skip a visit!

You can avoid the crowds if you skirt around the center of the city and head to some of the outer islands like Burano and Morano. Tourists tend to cluster in a few places and are easy to escape.

This travel guide to Venice can help you beat the crowds, save money, and make the most of your time in this famous Italian city!

Table of Contents

  • Things to See and Do
  • Typical Costs
  • Suggested Budget
  • Money-Saving Tips
  • Where to Stay
  • How to Get Around
  • How to Stay Safe
  • Best Places to Book Your Trip
  • Related Blogs on Venice

Top 5 Things to See and Do in Venice

View of the historic Rialto bridge with a man steering a gondola in front, in Venice, Italy.

1. Visit the Basilica San Marco

St. Mark’s Basilica is dedicated to the patron saint of the city and is located in the Piazza San Marco. While there has been a place of worship on this site since 820 CE, the current basilica was built in 1063. It’s filled with amazing 11th-century mosaics, marble-covered walls, statues, and five, gold-covered Byzantine domes. The High Altar also supposedly contains some of St. Mark’s remains. It’s 3 EUR to visit the basilica (or 6 EUR for a skip-the-line ticket). There are also a variety of combined entrance tickets depending on which attractions in the complex you want to visit. The Complete Basilica Ticket, which includes the Basilica, Pala d’Oro (golden altar), Museum, and Loggia Cavalli (terrace with views and other exhibits), costs 20 EUR, which includes skip-the-line entry. You can also do a guided tour after hours when the crowds have left with Walks of Italy for around 100 EUR.

2. Walk across Rialto Bridge

While it’s now one of four bridges that cross the Grand Canal, for centuries, the Rialto Bridge was the only way to get from one side to the other. Originally built as a floating bridge in the 12th century, it was first constructed for easier access to the Rialto Market (hence the bridge’s name). The current iteration of the bridge, completed in 1591, was created by Antonio da Ponte, who beat out Michelangelo for the job. The entire bridge is made of Istrian stone and crosses the Grand Canal at its narrowest point, connecting the San Polo and San Marco districts. To beat the crowds, come at sunrise.

3. Tour the Doge’s Palace

Located in St. Mark’s Square, Doge’s Palace is one of Venice’s main landmarks and was the home of the duke who ruled Venice. The massive building was originally built in the 14th century in the Venetian Gothic style, though it has been renovated, extended, and modified over the centuries. The interior is filled with artwork, gilded ceilings, and an armory. You can also descend into the prisons and cross the famous Bridge of Sighs. Admission is 26 EUR as part of the Combined Museums of San Marco ticket, which includes entrance to the Correr Civic Museum, the National Archaeological Museum, and the monumental rooms of the Marciana National Library.

4. Attend Carnival

Carnival is ten days of masquerade madness every February leading up to Mardi Gras, the day before the start of Lent on Ash Wednesday. The tradition goes back centuries, starting in the 12th century and reaching the height of popularity in the 18th century. The festival was on pause for nearly two centuries, starting in 1798 when the city was under Austrian rule (when masks were banned). It wasn’t until 1979 when Carnival was revived. Today, it is one of the biggest festivals in Italy , with millions of people attending every year. The iconic and diverse masks are a central part of the festivities and every year there is a contest for the most beautiful mask. If you have the funds, you can even pay to attend a traditional masquerade ball! (Book your accommodation early as the city fills up months in advance).

5. Day trip to Burano

Other things to see and do in venice, 1. take a walking tour.

The first thing I do when I arrive in a new city is take a free walking tour. It’s the best way to see the main sights on a budget while connecting with a local guide who can share their insider tips and advice. Venice Free Walking Tour runs regular free tours that cover all the highlights. Just be sure to tip your guide at the end!

If you want to invest in your experience and take a more detailed walking tour, my favorite company is Take Walks . They have amazing walking tours and boat tours all around the city. They use expert local guides so you’ll not only have fun but you’ll learn a lot too!

2. Wander the Piazza San Marco

This is the most famous and largest piazza (city square) in Venice. The grand square has long been a popular meeting spot for Venetians and is home to many important city highlights, including the basilica, its bell tower, the Doges Palace, and the National Archaeological Museum. (You can visit all of these sights on a combined Piazza San Marco ticket, which costs 26 EUR). The Piazza is most impressive when approached from the water as you get a full sense of the scale and history of these antiquated buildings.

3. Head to the island of Lido

If you want to escape the city, Lido is a nearby island where people go to relax on the beach. There are lots of picturesque canals here, as well as restaurants, cafes, and bars. Every August, the world of cinema descends on Lido for the Venice Film Festival, the oldest and one of the most prestigious film festivals in the world. Lido is only a 20-minute vaporetto ride (water bus) from Venice. A round-trip ticket costs 10 EUR, or for 13 EUR you can get a round-trip ticket that can be used for the buses on Lido too.

4. Visit Murano Island

Close to Venice, this island is the home of the famous Murano glassblowers, who have been creating intricate glassworks here since 1291. Although Murano is filled with expensive souvenirs (avoid buying anything on the island if you’re on a budget!), you can still have an educational and fun afternoon learning and watching how the glass is blown. The Murano Glass Factory only costs 5 EUR, which includes the glass blowing demonstration and guided tour of the factory. To get to Murano, you can take the ferry for 8 EUR.

5. Wander the Rialto Market

The Rialto Market is Venice’s main market and it has been around for the past 700 years. It’s a huge food market with all kinds of meat, produce, and fish. Come in the morning before the market is flooded with tourists to watch all the hustle and bustle. You’ll find the market northwest of the Rialto Bridge in the district of San Polo.

6. Tour the Peggy Guggenheim Collection

This is the personal art collection of art collector Peggy Guggenheim, located in her former mansion along the banks of the Grand Canal. It is a massive, avant-garde collection of art with works from more than 200 artists. While modern art is not my favorite kind of art, there are countless pieces by surrealists, abstract expressionists, and Italian futurists that make this worth a visit. There’s also an outdoor sculpture garden. Admission is 16 EUR.

7. Climb the Campanile di San Marco

Built in 1912, this tower in Piazza San Marco is a replica of the original Bell Tower of St. Mark (which was built in the 16th century and collapsed in 1902). It said that every last detail of the structure is a match. Standing at almost 100 meters (328 feet) tall, it’s the tallest structure in Venice. The tower was originally constructed for defensive purposes so that watchmen could see ships coming in and out of the city. For 10 EUR, you can climb up through the inner workings and get a panoramic view of the city.

8. Watch the Vogalonga

The Vogalonga is a non-competitive 20-mile marathon rowing event held annually in May. This tradition originated in 1974 as a protest against the increasing amount of powerboats taking over Venice’s waters. Thousands of people from all over the world take part every year, in all different kinds of boats, including gondolas, kayaks, canoes, dragon boats, stand-up paddleboards, and more (some people even swim!). It’s incredible to watch and one of the biggest events of the year.

9. Visit the National Archaeological Museum

This museum was created in 1523 by Italian nobleman and cardinal, Domenico Grimani. Although it’s a small museum, the National Archaeological Museum’s collection of Greek sculptures, Roman busts, funerary stelae, and other relics date back as far as the 1st century BCE. Tickets are 26 EUR as part of the Combined Museums of Piazza San Marco (which includes entrance to the Doge’s Palace, the National Archaeological Museum, and the monumental rooms of the Marciana National Library).

10. Check out the Correr Civic Museum

The Correr Civic Museum includes an expansive collection of art and artifacts showcasing the city’s history, as well as works from the homes of former royals (including Napoleon Bonaparte). You can spend hours here viewing the frescoes, ancient maps, statues, religious paintings, and more. Tickets are 26 EUR as part of the Combined Museums of Piazza San Marco (which includes entrance to the Doge’s Palace, the National Archaeological Museum, and the monumental rooms of the Marciana National Library).

11. Peruse the art at the Galleria dell’Accademia

The Galleria dell’Accademia was established by Napoleon Bonaparte and is home to numerous artistic works from the 14th-18th centuries, including masterpieces from Bellini and Tintoretto. Its most famous piece, however, is Leonardo da Vinci’s small ink drawing titled Vitruvian Man (however, it’s rarely on display due to the fragile and light-sensitive nature of the work). Tickets are 12 EUR.

12. Explore the Jewish Ghetto

The Jewish Ghetto is a neighborhood located in the north-western part of Venice. It’s considered to be the world’s first ghetto, established in 1516 when everyone in the city’s Jewish community was forced to relocate here. They were only allowed out during the day and then were locked up and heavily guarded in the evening. Despite its troubling history, the Jewish Ghetto is now full of restaurants, shops, museums, and synagogues. It’s a lively place to explore but is often overlooked by tourists.

13. Take a food tour

To learn more about the history and culture behind Venice’s cuisine, take a food tour. It’s the best way to eat your way around the city sampling the best eats Venice has to offer while learning what makes the cuisine unique. Devour Tours runs in-depth food tours led by expert local guides that will introduce you to the food culture and its history. If you’re a foodie like me who wants to learn more about the history and culture behind each dish, these tours are for you! Tours start at 89 EUR.

  For more information on other cities in Italy, check out these guides:

  • Cinque Terre Travel Guide
  • Florence Travel Guide
  • Milan Travel Guide
  • Naples Travel Guide
  • Pisa Travel Guide
  • Rome Travel Guide
  • Sorrento Travel Guide

Venice Travel Costs

Closeup on colorful, historic homes lining a canal in Venice, Italy.

Hostel prices – A dorm bed in a hostel usually costs 27-45 EUR per night for a 4-6-bed dorm in peak season and 22-30 EUR per night off-peak. Private rooms cost between 75-150 EUR per night in peak season and 60-85 EUR in the off-season. Free Wi-Fi is standard and several hostels have kitchens or a bar/cafe on the premises. None of the hostels in Venice currently offer free breakfast.

For those traveling with a tent, camping outside the city costs 15-30 EUR per night for a basic pitch without electricity. There are also small lodges and cabins for 30-50 EUR.

Budget hotel prices – A room in a two-star budget hotel in Venice costs 75-125 EUR per night in peak season and 50-65 in the off-season. Free Wi-Fi is included and some also include free breakfast.

On the main island, Airbnb has private rooms starting from 60-80 EUR per night. Entire apartments go for closer to 125-150 EUR per night. Expect to pay double that price if you don’t book early.

Average cost of food – Italian cuisine is beloved around the world, though every region in Italy offers its own distinct flavor. Tomatoes, pasta, olives, and olive oil form the backbone of most meals, with meat and fish and various cheeses rounding out the menu.

In Venice, seafood is an important staple, with popular traditional dishes being bigoli in salsa (pasta in anchovy sauce), risotto al nero di seppia (risotto with cuttlefish ink), and fried sardines.

Overall, eating in Venice is really expensive. It’s hard to get a cheap meal in the city. If you do want to eat out, it’s better to go out for lunch rather than dinner since lunch menus are often around 15-20 EUR.

If you want to splash out, a mid-range meal with drinks and an appetizer costs 35-50 EUR. A set, 4-course meal is 65-70+ EUR.

Fast food (think McDonald’s) costs around 8.50 EUR for a combo meal. Sandwiches are usually just 3-7 EUR, while pizza is 5-8 EUR for a small and 12-15 EUR for a large.

Beer is 4-5 EUR, a glass of wine is 3-4 EUR, and cocktails start at 7-9 EUR. A latte/cappuccino is closer to 2 EUR while bottled water is 1 EUR.

If you plan on cooking your own food, a week’s worth of groceries costs around 50-60 EUR. This gets you basic staples like rice, pasta, produce, and some meat or seafood.

Backpacking Venice Suggested Budgets

On a backpacking budget of 60 EUR per day, you can stay in a hostel dorm, cook all of your meals, limit your drinking, take public transportation to get around, and do mostly free activities like taking free tours and wandering the markets. If you plan on drinking, add 5-10 EUR to your daily budget.

On a mid-range budget of 145 EUR per day, you can stay in a private Airbnb or private hostel room, eat out for most meals, enjoy a few drinks, take the occasional water taxi to get around, and do more paid activities like day-tripping to the nearby islands and touring the museums and galleries.

On a “luxury” budget of 265 EUR or more per day, you can stay in a hotel, eat out for all your meals, drink as much as you want, take more taxis, and do whatever tours and activities you want. This is just the ground floor for luxury though. The sky is the limit!

You can use the chart below to get an idea of how much you need per day. Keep in mind these are daily averages – some days you’ll spend more, some days you’ll spend less (you might spend less every day, who knows!). We just want to give you a general idea of how to budget your money. Prices are in EUR.

Venice Travel Guide: Money-Saving Tips

It doesn’t matter what time of year you visit, Venice is going to be expensive. That said, here some ways to you can lower your expenses when you visit Venice:

  • Don’t eat at Piazza San Marco – This is the area with the most tourists, making it much more expensive. Avoid eating here at all costs, no matter how tempting the cafe patios might be.
  • Cook your food – Food is one of the biggest costs in the city so if you’re on a budget it’s a good idea to cook your own meals. It’s not fancy but you’ll save a ton!
  • Walk around and get lost – Venice is so beautiful that it’s a thrill just strolling through the city seeing the old building, churches, artists, and, best of all, get a bit of people-watching in.
  • Use discount vaporetto tickets – Get a day pass (or multi-day pass) for the water bus if you plan on traveling around the city a lot. It can save you money after just a few trips.
  • Get a combined museum pass – There are a couple of main options for combined museum passes: St. Mark’s Square Museum Pass (which costs 26 EUR for admission to all the attractions in St. Marks Square) or the Venice Museum Pass (which costs 36 EUR for admission to the St. Marks’ Square museums as well as 9 other museums, including the Murano Glass Museum).
  • Get the Venezia Unica Pass – If you are going to do lots of sightseeing, this pass gives you discounts to the top museums, tours, and attractions. It is priced to save you money when compared to buying separate tickets. You go online and pick out what you want to see ahead of time. The price varies depending on what you want to see but you’ll save a lot.
  • Buy your own booze – You can buy a great bottle of wine for under 10 EUR at the store. Getting your own bottle is a much more economical way to drink. Sit in one of the squares, have a glass of wine, and watch the world go by.
  • Stay with a local – Accommodation is very expensive in Venice. Try using Couchsurfing to stay with locals for free and make a new friend to show you around this amazing city.
  • Go on a free walking tour – This is the best way to learn about the city on a budget. Just be sure to tip your guide at the end!
  • Bring a water bottle – The tap water here is safe to drink so bring a reusable water bottle to save money and reduce your plastic use. LifeStraw is my go-to brand as their bottles have built-in filters to ensure your water is always clean and safe.

Where to Stay in Venice

Finding an affordable place to stay in Venice is challenging, but not impossible. My recommended places to stay in Venice are:

  • Generator Venice
  • Anda Venice (10% off, a free welcome drink, and free city map if you’re a member of HostelPass )
  • Ostello S. Fosca – CPU Venice Hostels
  • Camping Serenissima

How to Get Around Venice

Man steering a gondola through a canal in Venice, Italy

Venice is a pedestrian city. Unless you’re taking water taxis or floating buses, you’ll be walking everywhere.

Vaporetto – A vaporetto is a floating “bus” that can get you just about everywhere you need to go. They’re not cheap, with one-way tickets costing 7.50 EUR. Tickets are valid for 75 minutes. You can get a 24-hour pass for 20 EUR, a 48-hour pass for 30 EUR, a 72-hour pass for 40 EUR, or a 7-day pass for 60 EUR.

If you’re traveling to Murano, Torcello, or Lido, you’ll be on the same vaporetto system but on a larger boat known as motonave . The prices are the same.

When to Go to Venice

Venice is at its peak busyness in the summer. Prices skyrocket and the crowds are intense. Temperatures hover around 18-28°C (66-83°F) from June through August. If possible, I’d avoid visiting during this time as the city is bursting with cruisers and the crowds are massive.

Spring is a beautiful time to visit since temperatures are more manageable, usually between 17-22°C (63-72°F), and the city is not overly crowded.

Tourism also eases off in the fall and winter, and temperatures are cooler, ranging from 4-12°C (44-55°F). However, this is also known as the acqua alta (“high water”) period, where flooding in the streets can occur.

In February, Carnevale takes over the city. It’s a great time, but expect chaos and inflated prices.

Overall, you’re going to face crowds whenever you go, but if you can avoid peak summer you’ll find the city pleasant to visit.

How to Stay Safe in Venice

Venice is a very safe place to backpack and travel. As with most of Italy’s cities, Venice’s biggest safety risk is petty theft and pickpocketing. This is especially true in crowded tourist areas and on public transportation, so keep a close eye on your belongings and never flash your valuables when out and about.

Scams here are rare, but if you’re worried about getting ripped off, you can read about common travel scams to avoid here.

Solo female travelers should generally feel safe here, however, the standard precautions apply (never leave your drink unattended at the bar, never walk home alone intoxicated, etc.)

If you come during autumn or the winter, you may be at risk for acqua alta (“high water”). Flooding is a common occurrence due to rising ocean levels. Choose accommodations closer to the upper part of town, near Piazzale Roma or the rail station.

If you experience an emergency, dial 113 for assistance.

Always trust your gut instinct. Make copies of your personal documents, including your passport and ID. Forward your itinerary along to loved ones so they’ll know where you are.

The most important piece of advice I can offer is to purchase good travel insurance. Travel insurance will protect you against illness, injury, theft, and cancellations. It’s comprehensive protection in case anything goes wrong. I never go on a trip without it as I’ve had to use it many times in the past. You can use the widget below to find the policy right for you:

Venice Travel Guide: The Best Booking Resources

These are my favorite companies to use when I travel. They consistently have the best deals, offer world-class customer service and great value, and overall, are better than their competitors. They are the companies I use the most and are always the starting point in my search for travel deals.

  • Skyscanner – Skyscanner is my favorite flight search engine. They search small websites and budget airlines that larger search sites tend to miss. They are hands down the number one place to start.
  • Hostelworld – This is the best hostel accommodation site out there with the largest inventory, best search interface, and widest availability.
  • – The best all around booking site that constantly provides the cheapest and lowest rates. They have the widest selection of budget accommodation. In all my tests, they’ve always had the cheapest rates out of all the booking websites.
  • HostelPass – This new card gives you up to 20% off hostels throughout Europe. It’s a great way to save money. They’re constantly adding new hostels too. I’ve always wanted something like this and glad it finallt exists.
  • Get Your Guide – Get Your Guide is a huge online marketplace for tours and excursions. They have tons of tour options available in cities all around the world, including everything from cooking classes, walking tours, street art lessons, and more!
  • The Man in Seat 61 – This website is the ultimate guide to train travel anywhere in the world. They have the most comprehensive information on routes, times, prices, and train conditions. If you are planning a long train journey or some epic train trip, consult this site.
  • Rome2Rio – This website allows you to see how to get from point A to point B the best and cheapest way possible. It will give you all the bus, train, plane, or boat routes that can get you there as well as how much they cost.
  • FlixBus – Flixbus has routes between 20 European countries with prices starting as low 5 EUR! Their buses include WiFi, electrical outlets, a free checked bag.
  • SafetyWing – Safety Wing offers convenient and affordable plans tailored to digital nomads and long-term travelers. They have cheap monthly plans, great customer service, and an easy-to-use claims process that makes it perfect for those on the road.
  • LifeStraw – My go-to company for reusable water bottles with built-in filters so you can ensure your drinking water is always clean and safe.
  • Unbound Merino – They make lightweight, durable, easy-to-clean travel clothing.
  • Top Travel Credit Cards – Points are the best way to cut down travel expenses. Here’s my favorite point earning credit cards so you can get free travel!
  • Walks of Italy – This walking tour company provides inside access to attractions and places you can’t get elsewhere. Their guides rock and they have some of the best and most insightful tours in all of Italy.
  • BlaBlaCar – BlaBlaCar is a ridesharing website that lets you share rides with vetted local drivers by pitching in for gas. You simply request a seat, they approve, and off you go! It’s a cheaper and more interesting way to travel than by bus or train!

Venice Travel Guide: Related Articles

Want more info? Check out all the articles I’ve written on backpacking/traveling Italy and continue planning your trip:

The Best Walking Tours in Venice

The Best Walking Tours in Venice

The 4 Best Hostels in Florence Worth Staying At

The 4 Best Hostels in Florence Worth Staying At

Food Tour  Review: My Experience Eating in Bologna

Food Tour Review: My Experience Eating in Bologna

The 24 Best Things to Do in Rome

The 24 Best Things to Do in Rome

The 5 Best Hostels in Venice

The 5 Best Hostels in Venice

The Best Walking Tours in Rome

The Best Walking Tours in Rome

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  • Where To Stay
  • Transportation
  • Booking Resources
  • Related Blogs

Champion Traveler

The Best Time to Visit Vinci, Italy for Weather, Safety, & Tourism

The best times to visit Vinci for ideal weather are

April 16th to July 1st

based on average temperature and humidity from NOAA (the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration). Read below for more weather and travel details.

Vinci Travel Guide


  • Perceived Temperature
  • Rain and snow
  • Humidity and wind
  • The busiest and least popular months
  • Overall travel experience by time of year

Other Vinci Travel Info

Weather in vinci.

Average temperatures in Vinci vary greatly. Considering humidity, temperatures feel nice most of the year, excluding some cold weeks in the winter, with a fair chance of precipitation about half of the year. The area is less temperate than some — in the 33rd percentile for pleasant weather — compared to tourist destinations worldwide. Weeks with ideal weather are listed above . If you’re looking for the very warmest time to visit Vinci, the hottest months are July, August, and then June. See average monthly temperatures below. The warmest time of year is generally mid July where highs are regularly around 91.8°F (33.2°C) with temperatures rarely dropping below 65.1°F (18.4°C) at night.

Vinci Temperatures (Fahrenheit)

Vinci temperatures (celsius), “feels-like” temperatures.

The way we experience weather isn’t all about temperature. Higher temperatures affect us much more at higher humidity, and colder temperatures feel piercing with high winds. Our perceived temperatures factor in humidity and wind chill to better represent how hot or cold the day feels to a person.

Vinci Perceived Temperature (F)

Vinci perceived temperature (c), average vinci temperatures by month.

Daily highs (averaged for the month) usually give the best indication of the weather. A significantly lower mean and low generally just means it gets colder at night.

Show Fahrenheit

Show celsius, precipitation (rain or snow).

If dry weather is what you’re after, the months with the lowest chance of significant precipitation in Vinci are July, August, and then September. Note that we define “significant precipitation” as .1 inches or more in this section. The lowest chance of rain or snow occurs around early July. For example, on the week of July 2nd there are no days of precipitation on average. By contrast, it’s most likely to rain or snow in late November to early December with an average of 2 days of significant precipitation the week of November 26th.

Chance of Precipitation

The graph below shows the % chance of rainy and snowy days in Vinci.

Snow on the Ground

The graph below shows the average snow on the ground in Vinci (in).

Average Rain and Snow by Month

Show inches, show centimeters, humidity and wind.

Vinci has some very humid months, with other moderately humid months on the other side of the year. The least humid month is July (45.3% relative humidity), and the most humid month is December (75%).

Wind in Vinci is usually calm . The windiest month is March, followed by July and June. March’s average wind speed of around 4.9 knots (5.6 MPH or 9 KPH) is considered “a light breeze.” Maximum sustained winds (the highest speed for the day lasting more than a few moments) are at their highest in early March where average top sustained speeds reach 14.1 knots, which is considered a moderate breeze.

Relative Humidity (%)

The graph below shows the average % humidity by month in Vinci.

The graph below shows wind speed (max and average) in knots.

Average Wind Speeds

Show wind speeds.

All wind speeds are in knots. 1 knot = 1.15 MPH or 1.85 KPH.

Show Relative Humidity by Month

Is it safe to travel to vinci.

Our best data indicates this area is generally safe. As of Oct 07, 2019 there are no travel advisories or warnings for Italy; exercise normal security precautions. Check this page for any recent changes or regions to avoid: Travel Advice and Advisories . This advisory was last updated on Aug 22, 2019.

The Busiest and Least Crowded Months

The busiest month for tourism in Vinci, Italy is March, followed by January and February. Prices for hotels and flights will be most expensive during these months, though you can save if you purchase well in advance. Tourists are unlikely to visit Vinci in November. Those willing to visit at these times will likely find it the least expensive month.

Estimated Tourism by Month

Most popular months to visit, overall vinci travel experience by season, spring (march through may).

Humidity and temperatures combine to make this season feel moderate. Highs range from 80.4°F (26.9°C) and 56.9°F (13.8°C) with warmer temperatures in the later months. Rain is somewhat common with 5 to 7 days of significant precipitation per month. Spring is the busiest for tourism, which makes it a good time for those looking for things to do.

Summer (June through August)

The middle-year months have very comfortable weather with high temperatures that are quite warm. These months see the least precipitation with 2 to 5 days of precipitation per month. June – August is fairly slow season for tourism in Vinci, so lodging and other accommodations may cost slightly less.

Fall (September through November)

Fall daily highs range from 85.2°F (29.6°C) and 56.7°F (13.7°C), which will feel comfortable given the humidity and wind. It rains or snows a significant amount: 5 to 8 days per month. Tourism is the slowest during these months due to the weather, so hotels may be affordably priced.

Winter (December through February)

Weather is too cold this time of year in Vinci to be enjoyable for warm weather travelers. The average high during this season is between 58.4°F (14.7°C) and 50°F (10°C). On average, it rains or snows a fair amount: 7 to 8 times per month. These times of year are the second busiest with tourists.

Best Times to Travel › Italy › Vinci, Italy

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This Is the Worst Time to Travel for Thanksgiving 2023

We'll also tell you the worst time to shop Black Friday deals in stores.


For many families, traveling to a relative's house for Thanksgiving is a tradition. So is worrying about when to leave. Not knowing the best time to hit the road can cause unnecessary stress and make the holidays less enjoyable. But there's good news -- you can learn when is a good time to travel, and what time frame to avoid, depending on the day you decide to head out.

Also, if you plan on shopping Black Friday deals in stores rather than online, there are a few hours during the day that you'll want to stay home to avoid the busy crowd. 

Google this week shared a prediction of what the traffic will be like in the week leading up to Thanksgiving and Black Friday. We'll tell you the best times to make your travel plans, as well as shopping plans. For more, here are some Google Maps tips you should use for your holiday travel .

The best and worst time to travel for Thanksgiving

If you're going out of town to have your Thanksgiving meal at a friend or family member's house, you'll probably want to travel when you'll experience the fewest delays. According to Google, the best time to hit the road is the Monday or Tuesday before Thanksgiving at around 8 p.m.

You should avoid traveling on Tuesday and Wednesday between the hours of 4 p.m. and 5 p.m. when Thanksgiving traffic is at its peak. Not to mention, that's typically when the rush hour traffic happens from those leaving work.

If you can't leave until Thanksgiving Day, you'll want to make sure you leave before noon or after 4 p.m. Google says you should stay off the road between 1 p.m. and 4 p.m.

Also, if you're flying on a Saturday, add some extra time to your schedule if you need to be there around 11 a.m. -- that's typically when airports are busiest.

The best time to head home after Thanksgiving

If you're staying a night or two at a friend or family member's house while traveling, there's a better time to leave to avoid getting stuck in traffic. If you're leaving Saturday or Sunday, don't even think about setting out between 3 p.m. and 4 p.m. unless you don't mind the congestion. Instead, try to leave at around 7 p.m. or later.


You may be better off shopping online Black Friday deals.

Here's the worst time to shop Black Friday sales in store

If you're shopping Black Friday deals, you can avoid the crowd altogether by shopping online. Many companies put some of their best sales online so you can shop from the comfort of your home. However, if it's a tradition to go Black Friday shopping in stores, there's a time frame you should steer clear of the roads. Peak traffic hits between 3 p.m. and 4 p.m., so you may not make it in time to get those AirPods on sale if you head to the store around then. 

Instead, Google says you should head to the stores before noon or after 7 p.m. 

Don't go to the grocery store at this time

Still haven't bought all the ingredients you need to make that special Thanksgiving dessert? You're running out of time, but you can still make it. However, if you're planning to go immediately after work on Friday, don't. Grocery stores in the US are generally busiest at 4 p.m. on Fridays. If you can, wait until late Monday night at around 8 p.m. 

For more tips, check out this Thanksgiving cheat sheet for home and kitchen hacks. Also, here's how to watch the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade .

Best travel days around Thanksgiving? Tips to avoid holiday traffic mayhem

top travel vinci

Thanksgiving is just around the corner, and millions of Americans are packing their bags.

This year’s holiday is forecast to be the third busiest since 2000, according to AAA, with over 55 million travelers forecasted to travel.  

“For many Americans, Thanksgiving and travel go hand in hand, and this holiday, we expect more people on the roads, skies, and seas compared to 2022,” said Paula Twidale, Senior Vice President of AAA Travel. “Travel demand has been strong all year, and AAA’s Thanksgiving forecast reflects that continued desire to get away and spend time with loved ones.”

The primary mode of transportation this Thanksgiving will be by car, which is good news since gas prices are predicted to be lower than last year. 

Here’s everything you need to know about traveling this Thanksgiving.

Learn more: Best travel insurance

More: Book your holiday travel now or maybe skip it this year: What you need to know

What are the busiest days to fly during Thanksgiving weekend?

Not only are the Tuesday, Nov. 21, and Wednesday, Nov. 22, before Thanksgiving the most expensive to fly, but those will also be the busiest, according to AAA. 

After the holiday, most people will travel home on Sunday, Nov. 26, or Monday, Nov. 27, so expect large crowds at the airport.

What are the busiest airports likely going to be for Thanksgiving?

The most popular domestic destinations are New York, Las Vegas, Orlando and Miami, so you can expect major airports like Los Angeles International Airport and John F. Kennedy International Airport to be packed, Laura Lindsay, a Global Travel Trends expert at Skyscanner, told USA TODAY. Airports that see many connections such as Dallas Fort Worth International Airport and Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport will also be congested, she added. 

If you do have to fly on the busy days of the holiday weekend, book an early flight, Lindsay recommended. “Flights back up throughout the day (so there’s) higher probability of disruption during the day,” she said.

If you have flexibility, look into traveling to a smaller, nearby airport such as to Long Beach Airport instead of Los Angeles International Airport, Lindsay suggested. “It could be cheaper and more convenient,” she said. 

What are the best and worst times for driving?

“The day before Thanksgiving is notoriously one of the most congested days on our roadways,” said Bob Pishue, transportation analyst at INRIX, in a statement. 

The roads are forecasted to be most crowded between 2 and 6 p.m. on this day, according to INRIX data. Consider leaving before 11 a.m. instead. 

Roads will be busiest on Thanksgiving day between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. Opt to travel before 10 a.m. or after 5 p.m. 

On Friday, avoid the road between noon and 4 p.m. Travel before 11 a.m. or after 7 p.m. instead. 

Many people will hit the road on Saturday and Sunday between 3 and 5 p.m. Early birds who travel before noon will avoid the traffic. 

Worst travel times in major US cities

“Travelers should be prepared for long delays, especially in and around major metros,” Pishue said. 

◾ Worst route: Birmingham to Atlanta via Interstate 20 East.

◾ Worst day: Friday.

◾ Worst time: 5 p.m. 

◾ Estimated travel time: 4 hours, 2 minutes.

◾ Worst route: Boston to Hyannis via Pilgrim Highway South.

◾ Worst day: Thursday.

◾ Worst time: 3:30 p.m. 

◾ Estimated travel time: 1 hour, 58 minutes.

Los Angeles

◾ Worst route: Los Angeles to Bakersfield via Interstate 5 North.

◾ Worst day: Wednesday.

◾ Worst time: 4:30 p.m. 

◾ Estimated travel time: 2 hours, 59 minutes.

◾ Worst route: Jersey Shore to New York vis Garden State Parkway North.

◾ Worst day: Sunday.

◾ Worst time: 11:15 a.m.

◾ Estimated travel time: 1 hour, 51 minutes.

San Francisco

◾ Worst route: Monterey to San Francisco via Santa Cruz Highway North.

◾ Worst time: 7 p.m.

◾ Estimated travel time: 3 hours, 10 minutes.

◾ Worst route: Washington to Baltimore via Baltimore/Washington Parkway North.

◾ Worst day: Wednesday. 

◾ Worst time: 2 p.m.

◾ Estimated travel time: 1 hour, 13 minutes.

Kathleen Wong is a travel reporter for USA TODAY based in Hawaii. You can reach her at kwong@ .com .


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