Goethe famously wrote that Venice can be compared only to itself – and never is this truer than in Winter, when the crowds thin out and Venetians reclaim their piazzas, churches, and restaurants.

Venice becomes uniquely beautiful in winter, when mist rolls in over the islands, lending the city a melancholy romance and quiet serenity. Luxe hotel rooms are available at a fraction of the cost, Saint Mark’s Basilica is nice and quiet, and the city is illuminated by soft, hazy winter light.

Visiting Venice in the winter allows you to enjoy its beautiful charm, vivid romance, and lively ambience without the crowds – and there is still plenty to do. Here are some of our favourite options.

Saint Mark’s Basilica

Saint Mark’s Basilica is the most famous of the city's churches and one of the best-known examples of Italo-Byzantine architecture. It’s a must-see when travelling to Venice – no matter what time of the year you visit. In Winter, however, it’s blissfully quiet and lacking the long queues that you can expect in summer.

Campo San Polo Ice Rink

Every Winter, a popular ice skating rink is set up in Campo San Polo in Venice at the beginning of December, where it remains until the end of Carnival in February. Around the rink, a Christmas market sells local products and crafts.

Gondola Rides

When the weather is icy, a gondola ride might not seem too appealing, but it’s arguably the best time to go. The canals are quiet, with very little boat traffic – and the misty atmosphere and gentle light is incredibly romantic. You might even get a ride for less than the official tariff as well.

Teatro La Fenice

The Teatro La Fenice opera house is one of the most famous and renowned landmarks in the history of Italian theatre – and in the history of opera as a whole. A visit between the stuccos and gold is an absolute must at any time of the year, but it’s the perfect place to escape the Winter chill while enjoying unrivalled Italian opera.

Venice Carnival

The Carnival of Venice is an annual festival that is world-famous for its beautiful, elaborate masks. People fly in from around the world to attend the elaborately costumed, colourful, open-air event. This is the only time during Winter when the watery wonderland isn’t quiet – as the festival attracts an estimated 3-million people. Nevertheless, it is an extraordinary experience that is well worth donning a mask and braving the crowds.

Getting there

Various airlines offer daily flights from London to Venice Marco Polo Airport. The cheapest tickets are available approximately 60 days before departure, with afternoon flights from Stansted offering the best prices on the route.

For a hassle-free trip to Venice, remember to pre-book a water taxi through hoppa to get you to your accommodation. Hoppa is the world’s top specialist in smooth, reliable transportation, comparing 1,000s of transport providers from around the world to get you where you need to go. Whether at home or abroad, with choices of taxis, car hire, and airport transfers, we search and compare the best deals so you arrive happy.

Planning a trip to Venice in Winter, or do you have any suggestions we’ve missed? Let us know in the comments below.


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