This complete guide covers the most romantic things to do in Venice (including how to get a gondola ride, the best sunset spots and the most unique places to stay).
Venice is considered to be one of the most romantic cities in Europe. It is cliche, but it is so true. Built on more than 100 islands, all surrounded by water, this city is made for romance. It’s no wonder why Casanova, the legendary lover, lived here.
Venice is the perfect destination for a romantic weekend or a honeymoon. Tiny alleys to get lost, beautiful old buildings, night reflections on the canals, pink sunsets. The city has that unique atmosphere that makes you fall in love with your partner all over again. You simply can’t ask for more! Venice will steal your heart for good.
To help you plan a truly special holiday, I made this list of the most romantic things to do in Venice. Adding any of these activities to your itinerary will definitely add to the romance.
Most romantic hotels in Venice
Choosing a good hotel is essential for every romantic getaway. This is especially true if you’re celebrating an anniversary or honeymoon.
Venice is the place, where you can find truly unique and romantic accommodation. Old Italian palaces, turned into boutique hotels, offer amazing views of the canals. And if you choose a hotel right on the canals, you can arrive directly by water-taxi from the airport.
For more information, check out my guide to the best places to stay in Venice, Italy.
The hotel offers Venetian elegance at its finest. Splendid Venezia is set in a historic 16th-century building next to Piazza San Marco. The location is very central, yet quiet. The hotel also features a water entrance and private mooring for boats, as well as a fine dining restaurant.
Location: 180m from Piazza San Marco Facilities: rooftop terrace, gourmet restaurant Guests love: boutique rooms, canal views
The hotel occupies an ancient aristocratic Venetian palace. The location is fantastic, on a quiet canal near Piazza San Marco. Plus, the hotel has its own pier, so you can arrive directly by water taxi. In addition, you’ll find an excellent wellness centre and a superb restaurant.
Location: 300m from Piazza San Marco Facilities: wellness centre, garden Guests love: highly professional staff, superb restaurant
Baglioni Danieli is one of the most romantic places to stay in Venice. If you look for truly unique accommodation, this is the one. The hotel occupies three historic palaces, connected with each other by covered bridges. Terrazza Danieli, one of the most famous restaurants in Venice, is situated on the top floor of the hotel.
Location: 150m from Piazza San Marco Facilities: panoramic rooftop restaurant Guests love: brilliant location, professional staff
If you want to feel like staying in an old Italian palace, this is the place. The rooms feature Murano glass chandeliers, original frescoes, marble bathrooms and antique furniture. And from your own balcony, you can enjoy a spectacular panoramic view over the Venetian Lagoon.
Location: 50m from Piazza San Marco Facilities: Venetian restaurant, private dock Guests love: excellent service and location
Most romantic things to do in Venice, Italy
Venice is a super popular tourist destination, visited by thousands of people every year. So you may wonder, is it Venice a romantic city after all?
If you want a romantic holiday, there is one thing you should do – step away from the main tourist sights (at least during busy hours). You’ll be rewarded with plenty of picturesque piazzas and nice little restaurants offering great food and wine.
The most romantic things to do in Venice
- Take a romantic gondola ride for two
- Cruise along the Grand Canal of Venice
- Get lost in the city’s old alleys
- Watch the sunset over the Venetian lagoon
- Enjoy an opera at Teatro La Fenice
- Taste some Venetian wines
- Take a candlelit dinner cruise through the Venetian Lagoon
- Dine with spectacular views at Terrazza Danieli
- Shop glass artworks at Murano
- See the colourful houses at Burano
- Take a Prosecco wine tasting tour
Take a gondola ride for two
Taking a gondola ride is a must-do for couples. Nothing is more romantic than exploring the city on a gondola while cuddling with your loved one. Discover the beautiful Venetian palaces as you sail slowly down picturesque waterways. Hold hands and enjoy precious time together.
In the past, gondolas were used as everyday transport. Nowadays, they are a great way to easily see the main sights.
How much is a gondola ride in Venice?
The price is €80 for 30min and €120 for 45min. Prices are usually the same everywhere, so it doesn’t matter from where you’ll pick up the gondola. Yet, it can be more pricey during the evenings.
How to take a gondola ride in Venice?
You’ll find gondola piers everywhere. Most popular spots are along the Grand Canal at Rialto, Accademia Bridges and many more. There are a lot of piers along the secondary canals, too.
You just have to decide in advance what kind of experience you want. Do you prefer to see the beautiful Italian palaces along the Grand Canal or opt for a more intimate experience in quieter little canals.
Choose in advance the most appealing area for you, as you won’t be able to travel all around the city only for 30-40min. Then just pick up a gondola from the nearest place.
Another thing to consider is the time of the day. Decide if an evening trip (especially during the sunset time) won’t be a better option than a day trip.
Cruise along the Grand Canal
This is a less expensive alternative of the gondola ride! It’s also less romantic, but the views are just as beautiful.
You can take a water bus anywhere along the Grand Canal and cruise to St. Mark’s Square. It’s a great way to see the gorgeous Venetian palaces along the Grand Canal.
Water buses (called vaporetto) are the main public transport in Venice. Take water bus line 1 or 2, both run frequently between St. Mark’s Square and the train station. In this way, you’ll be able to explore the full length of the Grand Canal.
You can buy a single-ride ticket (valid for 75min). Yet, I’d recommend buying the 1-Day Ticket, which is equal to the price of 2 single tickets. Plus, you can use this ticket on all water buses in Venice, Lido, Murano, Burano and Torcello Islands. You can find all the tickets options here.
Don’t forget to validate your ticket before entering the water bus. There are validation machines right before boarding areas.
Get lost in the old city’s alleys
The absence of cars makes Venice a perfect place to wander hand-in-hand with your partner. To avoid the hordes of tourists, head for the small canals and the little back alleys. You’ll discover charming piazzas, gorgeous little churches and cosy cafés on your way.
Don’t be afraid to get lost, it’s inevitable. After all, this is the charm of Venice.
Opt for a romantic walk in the evening around sunset time or early in the morning, when the city still sleeps.
Watch the sunset over the Venetian lagoon
Watching the sun sets over the Venetian lagoon is one of the most romantic things to do in Venice. Just imagine, you and the one you love, sitting next to each other with two glasses of red wine and watching the unbelievably beautiful pink skies. And all this, under the calming sound of the sea waves crashing onto the shore.
The best sunset spots are St. Mark’s Square, Accademia Bridge and San Giorgio Maggiore. Yet, keep in mind, that St. Mark’s Square and Accademia Bridge are very popular spots among the tourists.
For a more romantic experience watch the sunset from San Giorgio Maggiore. From there you’ll enjoy splendid views over the lagoon towards St. Mark’s Square and the Doge’s Palace. To get there take vaporetto line 2 from St. Mark’s Square.
Enjoy an opera at Teatro La Fenice
Teatro La Fenice is one of the most famous opera houses in Europe. Watching a romantic ballet or opera with your partner is a great way to end a perfect love day. You can book tickets to the Teatro La Fenice here.
Make sure also to take a tour of the opera’s grand interior with golden balconies and learn about its history. You can book skip-the-line tickets here.
Romantic dinner in Venice
There is only one thing to complete a perfect day – a romantic dinner with your loved one. So here is a list of romantic places in Venice where to end your day properly.
Taste some Venetian wines with cicchetti
To taste some quality Venetian wines, take this wine tasting tour. You’ll discover the city’s history through its most famous wine bars and delicious food.
Candlelit dinner cruise through the Venetian Lagoon
For a truly romantic dinner with sunset views, take a candlelit dinner cruise through the Venetian Lagoon. You’ll enjoy original meals on board while admiring the scenic views of San Marco Square. It’s the perfect way to celebrate a wedding anniversary.
Dine with spectacular views at Terrazza Danieli
If you look for a place to celebrate a special occasion, Terrazza Danieli is the place to go. This fine-dining restaurant features the most spectacular views of Venice. Located on the last floor of the Danieli Excelsior Palace, this is the best rooftop place to dine in the city.
Address: Riva degli Schiavoni, 4196, 30122 Venezia VE, Italy
Club del Doge – Grand Canal views
For a fine-dining experience with fantastic views of the Grand Canal, book a table at Club del Doge. Set right on the canal, this restaurant features an authentic Venetian gourmet cuisine with seasonal ingredients.
Club del Doge Restaurant
Address: Campo Santa Maria del Giglio, 2467, 30124 Venezia VE, Italy
Algiubagio Restaurant – Murano island views
For a romantic dinner away from the city’s hustle and bustle, visit Algiubagio. Located in Cannaregio district, the restaurant features a charming summer terrace overlooking Murano island.
Address: Fondamente Nove, 5039, 30121 Venezia VE, Italy
Romantic day trips from Venice
Although Venice is not short of romantic places, I’ll recommend you to leave it for a day. Hop on a boat and take a day trip to Murano and Burano. Not only that you’ll enjoy a romantic ride on a boat, but both islands themselves look like living postcards.
Shop glass artworks at Murano
Murano is a beautiful island, famous for its glass making. Less touristy than Venice, it’s perfect for a romantic stroll or picnic along the canals.
Murano is the place if you want to buy a unique souvenir to take home from your romantic holiday. You can find all kinds of beautiful glass artworks in the countless glass factories and shops. A lot of the factories offer glass demonstrations, where you can see for yourself how these pieces of art are created.
How to get to Murano
Take vaporetto line 12 from F.te Nove “B” to Murano (10min journey).
See the colourful houses at Burano
Burano is widely known for its lace and bright colourful houses.
It’s the most picturesque island in the Venetian Lagoon. So, if you have time to explore only one island besides Venice, I recommend visiting this one. Plus, the colourful houses are a perfect background for some romantic photos.
How to get to Burano
Take vaporetto line 12 from F.te Nove “A” to Burano (45min journey).
Take a Prosecco wine tasting tour
Prosecco is one of the most famous Italian wines. So, don’t skip this opportunity to visit the wine-growing area of the Veneto region.
This Prosecco wine tasting tour includes a visit to a traditional winery, where you’ll learn all the secrets of prosecco production. Plus, there is a guided wine tasting at the end.
Doge’s Palace – it’s the most popular attraction, so book tickets for the palace even if you’re visiting off-season. The ticket includes the Doge’s Palace, Correr Museum, National Archeological Museum and Biblioteca Marciana.
Saint Mark’s Basilica – the entry to the basilica is free. Nevertheless, I recommend you to book a time slot entrance that will allow you to skip the lines (which are hours longs). This costs €3, but it will save you a lot of time. You can book your reserved access to St. Mark’s Basilica here.
St. Mark’s Bell Tower – another popular attraction with long queues at St Mark’s Square. To see Venice from above, reserve your entrance to the Bell Tower in advance.