Venice Holidays

Charm laden canals, golden squares, waterside palaces – it’s little wonder that Venice is billed as the most romantic city on earth.

A city for the curious, getting lost in Venice is half the fun. Time-worn streets lead you past tiny pizzerias and shops hung with Venetian masks. Gondoliers glide down waterways navigated by their ancestors, while vaporetti speed down the Grand Canal to St Mark’s Square and the Rialto Bridge. Islands gather in the surrounding Venetian Lagoon – and each have their own specialty. Nip over to Murano to see the masterful glass blowers or to Burano to wander the canals framed by rainbow-coloured houses.

 

  • from£845pp
  • 99 rooms
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Hotel Monaco and Grand Canal has a great location right on the waterfront and around the corner from St. Mark's Square. There's a traditional Venetian feel throughout but the modern touches makes this a great place to come back to after a day exploring. A highlight is the terrace that overlooks the Grand Canal.

  • from£535pp
  • 36 rooms
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This little gem of a hotel is just a few metres from Venice's Grand Canal and the vaporetti that'll whizz you around the city. There's a warm atmosphere here with friendly staff that'll be more than happy to share their tips on things to see and do.

  • from£991pp
  • 50 rooms
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A former Palazzo of the Genovese family, the SINA Centurion Palace is the epitome of Venetian luxury. The friendly staff provide an amazing service in this five-star property whilst the central location means you'll have easy access to all of the city’s landmarks.

  • from£669pp
  • 48 rooms
Hotel Montecarlo Lounge Bar

Stay right in the centre of Venice at Hotel Montecarlo just steps from St Mark's Square. This typical Venetian hotel is the perfect choice for your next city break. 

  • from£909pp
  • 26 rooms
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With a private pier and a great location close to both the Rialto Bridge and St. Mark’s Square, the SINA Palazzo Sant’Angelo is an exceptional base for exploring Venice.

  • 30 rooms
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A true hidden gem in the very heart of Venice, the Venice Times Hotel is the epitome of modernity and elegance in this ancient city. Just steps from the Santa Lucia station and famed Casino, this property offers one of the best locations for sight seeing Venezia has to offer. 

Excursions

Pre-book your excursions online or give us a call

Walking Tour of Venice from £25 per person (1 hour 30)

Nothing beats a walking tour to get your bearings and a real feel for a city. The same goes in Venice - There’s lots to take in from the treasures of Piazza San Marco to the unique landmarks of Campo San Giovanni e Paolo, so get ready to explore.

Departs: Daily from 01 Apr – 31 Oct - hotel pickup and drop off is not included

Doges Palace from £50 per person (1 hour 15)

Explore the former home of the doge of Venice and one of the most Iconic buildings in Venice. Your expert guide will give you an insight into how it became the centre of the Venetian Empire and the seat of the Government, while you visit the magnificent chambers and stuccoed halls filled with artworks by the Venetian masters like Titian and Bellini.

Departs: Daily from 01 Apr – 31 Oct - hotel pickup and drop off is not included

Ducal Venice from £72 per person (2 hours 30)

Combine two tours, the ‘Walking Tour of Venice’ and the ‘Doge’s Palace’. Take a guided walk through the streets of Venice – your guide will tell you the tales of the city and point out the sights. After, take a guided tour of Palazzo Ducale. Skip the line tickets mean you’ll have more time to explore the chambers and grand halls of the building that the Venetian Empire once centred around.

Departs: Daily form 01 Apr – 31 Oct - hotel pick up and drop off is not included

Golden Basilica from £30 per person (1 hour)

St Marks Basilica has to be one of the world’s most majestic Cathedrals. With this skip the line ticket you’ll have the opportunity to explore the unique building and see its beautiful golden mosaics – they cover an astonishing 43 thousand square feet! Your expert guide will teach you the history of how this incredible structure came to be and show you the works of art by the Venetian masters.

Departs: Mon – Sat from 01 Apr – 31 Oct - hotel pick up and drop off is not included.

Byzantine Venice from £53 per person (2 hours 30)

The Republic of Venice had long-standing trade connections with the Byzantine Empire. These influences still show today in the cities architecture. The best example of this has to be the mosaic laden, jewel encrusted Golden Basilica in St Mark’s Square, so we’ve included skip the line tickets for you to see for yourself. Our local guide will lead you on a walking tour to give you an insight into the city’s history and the role it played linking the east and the west.

Departs: Monday to Saturday from 01 Apr – 31 Oct - hotel pick up and drop off is not included. Appropriate clothing (shoulders covered) is required to enter the Basilica.

Inside Venice from £74 per person (2 hours)

Explore the Venice of the Doges and its eastern influences. Take a guided tour of the Doge’s Palace, visiting the halls of power where masterpieces hang on the walls. Next, your guide will take you to see the golden mosaics of the Basilica di San Marco, once the private chapel of the Doges of Venice and the only one of its kind in Italy.

Departs: Monday – Saturday from 01 Apr – 31 Oct - hotel pick up and drop off is not included. Appropriate clothing (shoulders covered) is required to enter the Basilica.

Absolute Venice from £93 per person (3 hours 30)

Combine a walking tour of Venice with, skip the line tickets and guided visits to the Doge’s Palace and the Golden Basilica. Start by learning about the city’s most iconic sights on a guided walking tour, before exploring the building that the Venetian Empire centred on, the Doge’s Palace. Finally, end with a visit to the magnificent Byzantine Cathedral, the Basillica di San Marco.

Departs: Monday – Saturday from 01 Apr – 31 Oct - hotel pick up and drop off is not included. Appropriate clothing (shoulders covered) is required to enter the Basilica.

Venetian Waterways & Grand Canal by Gondola from £31 per person (1 hour)

Take a gondola ride along the canals of this magical city. Meander along the quiet secluded waterways, beneath small bridges and along the Grand Canal. Admire Mozart's House (Palazzo Molin del Cuoridoro) and pass the famous La Fenice Theatre as you float along the Rio Canal. Soak up breath-taking views of the Doges Palace and St. Marks’ Bell tower from this unique vantage point on the water. Enjoy commentary on your gondola tour by downloading the mobile App.

Departs: Daily from 01 Apr – 31 Oct - hotel pick up and drop off is not included

Gondola Serenade from £39 per person (30 minutes)

Enjoy a “promenade” by gondola – it’s by far the most elegant way to cross the Grand Canal. Listen as musicians and singers serenade you with beautiful Italian music, while you float along the small waterways of Venice.

Departs: Daily from 01 Apr – 31 Oct - hotel pick up and drop off is not included. Maximum five people per gondola.

Art & Food Tasting: Venice Walking Tour from £65 per person (2 hour 30)

Start the day right with an Italian breakfast before heading out to discover the best of the Venetian food, wine and art scene on a walking tour of the city with our local guide. We’ve included stops along the way where you’ll get to try some traditional local snacks too!

Departs: Daily from 01 Apr – 31 Oct - hotel pick up and drop off is not included

Tour to the Islands: Murano, Burano & Torcello from £18 per person (4 hours 30)

Discover the Venetian lagoons on this panoramic boat excursion to Murano, Burano and Torcello. Your guide will explain the history and traditions of the Islands as you sail through the lagoon. In Murano visit an historic glassblowing factory, in Burano see the colourful houses and hand-made laces and in Torcello discover the first settlements of the inhabitants of Venice. 

Departs: Daily from 01 May – 31 Oct - hotel pick up and drop off is not included

Please note that our Venice excursions are not suitable for guests with walking difficulties. The excursions do not operate in the case of exceptionally hide tides. Please wear appropriate clothing (shoulders covered) when visiting religious sites.

We act at all times as a selling agent for the suppliers. All excursions require minimum numbers to run and are subject to change. Some excursions may not be available to pre-book in low season but may be available to book locally subject to numbers. Prices will be confirmed at the time of booking. Please see our terms & conditions.

Resort Combination

Venice is close to some of Northern Italy’s most picturesque scenes. Lake Garda is a short drive away and its neighbours, Como and Maggiore, are worth adding onto the end of your city break to turn it into an unforgettable Italy escape.

Combine a trip to Venice with a stay in Florence and Rome for the ultimate city break, or start or end your holiday with a trip on the iconic Venice Simplon-Orient-Express for a truly luxurious and romantic experience.

Call us to help create your perfect multi-centre itinerary.

Things To Do

Piazza San Marco

Home to the Basilica di San Marco, the Torre dell’Orologio and the Doge’s Palace, Saint Marks Square marks the heart of Venice and you’re bound to be drawn to it in no time. The square has a great energy about it always buzzing with people and plenty to see and do.

Basilica di San Marco

It’s one of the most visited sights in the city for good reason! The Basilica is a beautiful example of Byzantine architecture with its five teardrop domes. Its lavish decoration and intricate gilt mosaics have lead it to be nicknamed the Basilica d’Oro or Golden Basilica. It originated as the chapel of the Doge and became the resting place of Saint Mark in 829. The ornate decorations are in part thanks to a law passed by the Doge in 1075, which required all ships returning to Venice to bring back something precious to decorate the basilica. Spot the spot the “modern” mosaic designs by the likes of Titian and Tintoretto, as you explore this architectural masterpiece. These designs replaced some of the originals between 1500 and 1750.

Harry’s Bar

Harry’s bar has been a popular watering hole for artists, writers and aristocrats since 1929. The home of the original Bellini, Harry’s bar is where Giuseppe Cipriani invented the delicious combination of prosecco and pureed white peaches in 1948 and named it after the 15th century artist Giovanni Bellini.

Murano

Learn about the elite pursuit of the glassmaking artisans of the Venetian Republic with a trip to the island of Murano in the Venetian Lagoon. You’ll find glass-lined streets, factories and shops selling the famous colourful glass. Weekday mornings are the best time to catch the glass blowers in action.

The Venetian Ghetto

This was the Jewish quarter of Venice from the 16th to 19th centuries. Originally, a getto (foundry) it became the living quarters of the Venetian Jewish community. The law restricted them to this district at night and during Christian Holidays. With growing numbers of people and limited space, the buildings grew taller, housing synagogues and publishing houses. It wasn't until Venice joined with Italy in 1866 that full emancipation was gained for the Jewish people of Venice. However, this was short lived with many fleeing before the Nazi occupation. Today, the Jewish Museum brings to life the tumultuous history of Venetian Jews by sharing their stories. The Jewish quarter is a vibrant site of Jewish history, with a distinct Jewish population still living here. Wander through the streets lined with synagogues, restaurants and bakeries.

Venice Lido

The Venice Lido is a small island in the Venetian lagoon which has lovely beaches and great views of the city. Take a break from city life and find a spot on the 11 kilometre coastline. There’s a public beach to the north (come early to get a good spot) or you can choose from one of the paid private beaches.

The Bridge of Sighs

Known as the Ponte dei Sospiri in Italian, the covered bridge passes over the Rio di Palazzo and links the Doges Palace to the Prigioni, the prisons built across the canal in the 16th century. Hence the name, the bridge of sighs, it’s the last thing the prisoners would see before being incarcerated. As you pass beneath, spot the ten faces that decorate its baroque exterior, only one is smiling. If you visit the Doges Palace you can actually cross the bridge, but the best views are from the water.

Peggy Guggenheim Collection

If you’ve had your share of Renaissance and are looking for something more contemporary, the Peggy Guggenheim Collection is the place to go. It offers a more modern roster of works by mostly European artists from Picasso to Matisse, curated by the eccentric American heiress in the mid-20th century. Think cubism, futurism and surrealism. The gallery's artsy café is a great spot for a tea or coffee break.

Local food & drink to try

Bigoli is the city’s signature pasta. This fat spaghetti is made with buckwheat and duck eggs and served with anchovies and onion.

Spaghetti in nero di sepia is a striking pasta dish is made up of slow cooked squid coated in a tomato sauce, infused with squid ink, giving it a rich black colour.

Fritto Misto are tasty tangles crispy battered fish, calamari and shrimp. It’s usually served up in a paper cone.

Cicchetti is Venice’s centuries old answer to Tapas. Head to a traditional bàcari (bar) for a selection of tasty snacks.

Baccala mantecato is a classic cicchetti dish of slow cooked creamy cod with olive oil pm fresh crispy bread. Best served up with a cool glass of prosecco.

Sarde in saor is a sweet-sour dish with fried sardine fillets marinated in vinegar, onions raisins and pine nuts. The dish dates back to the Middle ages when the fishermen would use this method to preserve the fish. Today you’ll see it on menus as antipasto or as an appetiser.

Spritz ask for a 'spritz con Aperol e Campari' or a 'Spritz Misto' as it's known in some parts of Italy. This is a typical drink of the region. It's a slightly stronger and more bitter version of an Aperol Spritz - the Campari gives it a richer, more sophisticated flavour. Traditionally this should be served with a green olive in it. It's really delicious and definitely worth a try!

Festivals

Carnivale (19 Feb – 1 Mar 2022)

This spectacular celebration turns the whole city into an array of colour with people in ornate, baroque costumes and masks. Book ahead to attend a masquerade ball or simply enjoy the chaotic and unique atmosphere of the piazzas.

Regatta (5 Sep 2021)

The Historical Regatta is a spectacular flotilla of colourful boats on the Grand Canal with the golden Bucintoro, representing the Serenissima at its head.

Festa del Redentore (late July)

One of the most important traditions on the Venetian calendar, Festa del Redentore combines religious events with family parties and a huge fireworks display.

Venice Film Festival (early September)

This annual event is part of Biennale and is one of the oldest film festivals in the world, attended by numerous directors and world-famous actors.

Experience More

Hidden Venice

With a city as popular as Venice, it can be hard to find its authenticity. But Cannaregio, Venice’s most northern sestiere, has it in droves. Duck into side streets and you’ll find little bakeries, market stalls and locals going about their everyday life. Head to the oldest Jewish Quarter in the world to see a glimpse into a fascinating history. Evenings are lively with families and friends enjoying drawn-out dinners in Fondamenta della Misericordia.

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See Italy's big three cities in one holiday on this popular multi-centre itinerary. Start with a few days exploring the canals in Venice, hop on a high-speed train to the sip wine in Florence before ending in Rome where you can discover the country's rich history.

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Spend a few days exploring the canals and piazzas of Venice before heading to Italy's largest lake. Spend your days walking along the lakefront, sipping wine in the vineyards and heading up the mountain trails of Lake Garda.

Good to know

  • Buy a Venezia Unica City Pass for reduced admission Venice's attractions, cultural events & transport
  • In the summer months enjoy the museums of the Marciana Area by moonlight, when some stay open until 11pm
  • The Canals of Venice have an impressive 400 bridges connecting the city’s 118 Islands
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