Welcome to Venice
A city synonomous with romance and steeped in history and culture, it's no surprise that Venice Cruise & Stay is one of our best-selling holidays. As one of the Mediterranean's most popular cruise ports, you'll be spilt for choice with all of the deals we have sailing from the Floating City. All of our Venice Smart Packages feature stays in one of our hand-picked hotels in Mestre (which is situated just off the main island and a perfect base to start exploring) or Venice Island itself.
With our Venice Cruise & Stay packages, your flights will always be included. We also offer flights from a number of regional airports throughout the UK giving you much greater flexibility and making your holiday experience as smooth as possible.
Steeped in history, culture and religion, Venice is home to some of the most incredible points of interest found not just in Italy but in the whole of Europe and you can discover three of these sites in one square – the Piazzo San Marco. Here in this bustling square you’ll find St Mark’s Basilica, the Doge’s Palace and Torre dell’Orologico, which are some of the city’s main attractions.
Have a Venetian feast by taking a gastro or wine tour of the city and sample cicheti (Venetian tapas) and exquisite fine wines. Discover the contemporary arts scene of Venice with a visit to the Peggy Gugenheim Collection or Punta della Dogana and follow in James Bond’s footsteps at the Palazzo Pisani which featured in Casino Royale.
Venture by water taxi to the island of Murano, also known as Glass Island thanks to its world-famous glass workshops which produce art-like glassware. On the island you can watch skilled glass artisans create their works of art using techniques like glassblowing.
Weather in The Mediterranean
Venice is a city which is grand and mysterious and anyone who visits should stop and take a moment to appreciate it and the best way to do just that is to grab a gelato and take a water-side bar break in the authentic Taverna del Campiello Remer which is just a stone throw from the banks of the Grand Canal.
A trip by gondola down the Grand Canal is not to be missed, particularly for a chance to see Rialto Bridge close up. Rialto Bridge is another of Venice’s most iconic sights; it marks the dividing line between the districts of San Marco and San Polo and it’s also the oldest bridge that crosses the canal. Another bridge you may hope to see on your gondola ride is the Bridge of Sighs. Connecting the prison with the interrogation rooms at the Doge’s Palace it’s not a landmark you’d imagine to be associated with romance. However local legend states that couples will be granted eternal love and happiness should they kiss on a gondola at sunset under the Bridge of Sighs as the bells of St Mark’s Campanile toll.
Things to do in Venice
Unlock the secrets of Venice as you glide along the labyrinth of narrow canals.…
To visit Venice and not take a Gondola ride is like visiting New York and not seeing Times Square – it’s an absolute must. Make sure to book in advance to ensure you get the best price possible.
St Mark's Basilica
St Markâ€™s Basilica is the cityâ€™s most famous church and itâ€™s an excellent example of Italo-Byzantine architecture.…
St Mark's Basilica
St Mark’s Basilica is the city’s most famous church and it’s an excellent example of Italo-Byzantine architecture. The first St. Mark’s was ordered in 828 and completed in 832. The present Basilica however, dates back to 1063 when its construction began. The level of detail in the design of the building and the golden mosaics that adorn the ceilings will leave you in awe.
The Dogeâ€™s Palace was where doges (dukes) were once elected from their aristocratic peers to then serve the state.…
The Doge’s Palace was where doges (dukes) were once elected from their aristocratic peers to then serve the state. Make sure to book a tour of the Palace which takes in the attic prison cells from which the legendary lover-boy Giacomo Casanova once famously escaped.
Murano Island Glass Blowing Tour
See the incredible glass-blowing furnaci of Murano.…
Murano Island Glass Blowing Tour
In 1291 the Doge of Venice ordered all glass factories to move their furnaces to the island of Murano as a precaution against fires and it didn’t take long for Murano to become known for having the most coveted and highest quality glass in the world. Today there are several workshops where you can see glass blowing artists at work and pick up an authentic souvenir to take home.
Restaurants in Venice
The Morera de Pablo i Esther is set in a quiet area of Venice, away from the main promenade. Offering an excellent fine-dining experience, this restaurant is a popular place for the locals of Venice and often gets booked up weeks in advance. The focus of the menu is on flavour and presentation and each dish is a treat for the senses.
Located on the rural island of Torcello is Locanda Cipriani. The restaurant was founded in the 1930’s by Giuseppe Cipriani (also founder of Harry’s Bar) and over the years it has been frequented by many famous names including Ernest Hemmingway and the British Royal family. It’s the perfect place for an alfresco lunch as you can enjoy your meal on the leafy veranda which is dappled with sunlight. Dishes include risotto all primavera and prawn-filled courgette flowers.
This incredible cafe was founded in 1720 and the decor inside should not be missed. The history of the cafe is as rich as the decor too as during the Austrian occupation, Venetian patriots liked to plot their revolution in Caffè Florian over cakes and coffee.
Il Refolo is a lovely, upmarket pizzeria located in a busy little square attached to Campo San Giacomo dell’Orio. The pizza is made with fresh ingredients purchased from the market that same day. The pizza is a little more expensive than in other restaurants you might find, but when you realise the quality and the fact the restaurant is owned by the family behind the Michelin-starred Da Fiore restaurant, you can easily appreciate why.
Enjoy fresh Venetian seafood at Corte Sconta which boasts a pretty vine-covered courtyard so that you can dine alfresco. If you’re not sure what to try, opt for the antipasti tasting menu where you’ll be brought dishes such as schie (small grey shrimps) and polenta, spider crab and mantis prawns.
Ok, so this might not be a restaurant, but you can’t visit Venice and not indulge in some gelato. Gelato Fantasy makes the gelato of your dreams from ooey gooey chocolate options to those which are sprinkled with fresh fruits. There are a whole host of inventive flavours and it might take you some time to decide which you want to try most! Whilst here you’ll want to take the obligatory shot of the display counter with the colourful gelato flavours piled high.
Barcareto Da Lele
This little bar is something of a Venetian institution. Locals from all walks of life, from students to builders and boatmen, all stop here on their way home for a small glass of wine. You’ll often find people standing outside eating and drinking as no more than 8 people can fit inside the bar!
This is the oldest wine bar in Venice and it serves a collection of 1,000 Italian and foreign wines – although they are not all on offer at the same time, they are regularly rotated so when you visit there is sure to be something new and exciting to try.
Osteria al Squero
Although this bar is also quite compact, what you’ll love about it is that it’s opposite a squeri (gondola workshop), so that when you head outside with your glass of wine in hand you can watch the craftsmen at work on the gondolas – a very unique experience.
Perhaps the most famous bar in Venice, Harry’s Bar is known around the world as the birthplace of the famous Bellini drink which was created by Arrigo Cipriani and consists of fresh peach juice mixed with sparkling wine.
Skyline Rooftop Bar
Hosted in what used to be a grain mill, enjoying a drink at the Skyline Bar is an experience in itself as the view over the city is incredible. The drinks can be a little pricey but think of it as a premium for the spectacular view. Try to go in time to catch the sunset which is simply breathtaking.
Events in Venice
Carnevale is the world’s biggest and most famous masked ball. It’s held in the Piazza San Marco and takes place over the 10 days prior to Shrove Tuesday. Head to the local tourist information centre for a full programme of events for the festival.
Su e Zo per i Ponti
Held on a Sunday, typically in March or April this event is something of a bar crawl covered up as an orienteering exercise. The name literally means ‘Up and Down the Bridges’ and at the start of the event you’re given a map with a list of check points to tick off as you explore the city.
Festa Del Redentore
Held on the 3rd weekend in July, Festa Del Redentore celebrates the build of the Redentore (Redeemer) church which was commissioned to be built in 1576 at the end of the plague epidemic. Festa Del Redentore is the oldest and continuously celebrated date in Venice. During the festival, a pont is built so that pilgrims can cross the canal to reach the church. What makes the festival extra special is the celebrations on the Saturday when boats of all shapes and sizes gather on the lagoon. The passengers on each boat celebrate with food and drink ready to watch the epic firework show at the end of the night.