Our Top 10 Highlights for a Venice City Trip

Our Top 10 Highlights in Venice | Editor: Florian Lieke

From the Piazza San Marco to the Rialto Bridge, from the Doge's Palace to the Grand Canal - we reveal our top 10 highlights in Venice!

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Our Venice Highlights at a Glance

1. Piazza San Marco in Venice

Where is the best place to start your trip through Venice? Of course, at the world-famous Piazza San Marco! The Piazza San Marco, also known as St. Mark's Square, is the central hub of the romantic harbour city and the largest square of Venice. It combines several sights, highlights and attractions, and was already dubbed the "most beautiful drawing room in Europe" by Napoleon. It offers the best view of the magnificent St. Mark's Basilica, the St. Mark's Campanile (bell tower) and - thanks to the extension of the "Piazzetta" - also of the sea and the Lido. Especially in the evening, when the lights flicker and romantic music plays from Caffรจ Florian, it is particularly atmospheric here.

View of the Piazzetta at St. Mark's Square

2. St. Mark's Basilica in Venice

Gold, gold and even more gold! The St. Mark's Basilica was the central state sanctuary of the Venetian Republic at the time. The history of the magnificent palace dates back to the 11th century and amazes all visitors. Wherever you look, the shimmering gold mosaic tiles sparkle brightly. Covering an area of around 4,000 square metres, you quickly feel as if you are in a gold rush. The art, however, is not just appealing, but also tells a lot of history. Numerous biblical scenes can be gathered from the decorations and make the St. Mark's Basilica a unique work of art.

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Tip: Especially in high season, there may be long queues in front of St. Mark's Basilica. It's best to book your tickets or tour online before your trip.

View of the Doge's Palace

3. The Doge's Palace in Venice

We leave St. Mark's Basilica and walk along the Piazzetta towards the water. Once there, you will find our next highlight on the left: the Doge's Palace. The name of the palace - of course - derives from the Doges, the heads of state of the Venetian Republic. Since the 9th century, the palace has been the seat of the heads of state, government and justice and is still regarded as a masterpiece of Gothic architecture. In addition, the magnificent building contained courtrooms and prison cells. Today, the palace is home to a museum that tells the story of the Doges and the building. Definitely worth a visit!

4. The Grand Canal in Venice

As for our next highlight, we head back towards the Piazzetta, but instead of turning right towards Piazza San Marco, we continue straight ahead. After a few minutes, we can already see the starting point of our fourth attraction: the Grand Canal. The canal is about four kilometres long, up to 70 metres wide and is Venice's main waterway. If you look at the city from a bird's-eye view, you can see that the Grand Canal has a slight S-shape and runs through the entire lagoon city. So, it makes sense to explore Venice not only on foot, but also from the water. How? That is what we will tell you in our next highlight!

5. A Gondola Ride in Venice

What is the first thing that comes to your mind when you think of Venice? Of course - the many canals, bridges and above all gondolas! So, if you're travelling to Venice, you shouldn't miss out on a discovery tour from the water. However, for a gondola ride, you have to spend a little more. On average, a half-an-hour-trip costs between 100 and 140 euros. In any case, you should negotiate the price in advance!

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Tip: If a gondola ride is too expensive for you, you can also switch to a traghetto. A classic gondola takes you from one end of the canal to the other. The tickets cost two euros, but the trip only takes a few seconds.

View of a gondola in the bay of Venice

6. The Rialto Bridge in Venice

Let's continue! We ride along the Grand Canal and meet our next highlight approximately in the middle of the canal: the Rialto Bridge. It is one of the most important, oldest and also most beautiful bridges in Venice and its origins date back to the 13th century. After several problems with the wooden construction, the Rialto Bridge, as we know it today, was built of stone in the 16th century. Until the 19th century, it was the only bridge that made it possible to cross the Grand Canal. Today, it is home to numerous shops and offers one of the best views of the Grand Canal.

Masked Lady at St. Mark's Basilica

7. Carnival of Venice

You want to explore Venice out of season? Do you prefer cooler temperatures and are you a fan of carnival, costumes and the like? If so, you should definitely visit the lagoon city during the carnival season! Colourful, shrill and pompous - that's probably the best way to describe the Carnival of Venice. Not just many Austrians consider carnival to be their fifth season, but also countless Venetians. From masks and costumes to fireworks - Venice is a true paradise for all carnival lovers and costume fans at this time. However, the costumes in the lagoon city are splendid, mystical and also very elaborate. So, you'd better leave your clown costume at home!

8. The Venice Biennale

The international art exhibition Biennale, which takes place every two years, is an absolute must for all art lovers. The first Venice Biennale took place in 1895 and was the starting point for many other biennials that are now held all over the world. The main venue are the Giardini in the Castello district, where 28 countries are allowed to present their art. However, at this time you can also find numerous other artists and nations who exhibit their works of art throughout the city. A dream come true for all those who enjoy good art and international flair!

9. The Neighbouring Island of Burano

Colourful, multicoloured, Burano! Even though Venice has enough sights and attractions to offer, a day trip to the neighbouring island of Burano is more than recommendable. Especially in high season, when the lagoon city counts numerous tourists, an excursion is a welcome change. It takes just 45 minutes to get to the island by water taxi, the so-called "vaporetto". Once there, colourful house facades await you, making the island a unique sight of its own. With an area of only 21 hectares, you can explore Burano stress-free in one day and simply let yourself drift.

View of colourful house facade in Burano

10. Lido di Venezia

Sightseeing can be quite tiring! So, if you also long for a little relaxation, beach and sea during your city trip, our last highlight is just perfect for you: the Lido di Venezia. The Lido is part of the Venetian Lagoon and has been known as Venice's sophisticated "city beach" since the 19th century. The island is around eleven kilometres long and is home to a beautiful sandy beach, ideal for a few quiet hours and recreation. You can reach the island in a few minutes by vaporetto.

Flights to Venice With Austrian Airlines

Venice is unique, Venice is diverse and Venice is always worth a trip! Fancy a city break? Then book your next flight with Austrian Airlines right here and enjoy the unique flair of the Italian lagoon city soon:

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