Venice is one of the world's most romantic cities and a great choice for a honeymoon. With direct flights from the East Coast of the United States, you can get away even just for a long weekend. You will probably need to plan your trip at least two weeks before you go if you want to find the lowest rates on airfare. The city offers a large selection of hotel rooms and finding accommodations is not difficult, except during certain parts of the year. If you plan to attend the Carnival in February or the Film Festival in early September, then you should book your hotel early. If you only have a day in the city, read our 1-day in Venice itinerary.
Hotel Danieli is a romantic getaway in Venice, offering scenic ocean views, gourmet dining and luxurious accommodations. The property is located just steps from St Mark's Square, outdoor cafes, museums and shopping. The property consists of three separate historic buildings. Inside you will find hand-made Murano glass chandeliers, precious rugs, hand-carved marble columns, and many original antique pieces. Immerse yourself in the rich Venetian culture by staying in one of the Dandolo Palace Suites named after Doge Enrico Dandolo. Dine at Restaurant Terrazza Danieli on the top floor of the hotel, with magnificent views of the water, offering a perfect setting for a honeymoon. Room ratesstart at 400 Euro per night (+39 041 522 6480, website).
Centurion Palace is a charming getaway located right next to the famous Santa Maria della Salute in Venice, Italy. The property has a historic exterior and contemporary interiors, a modern gym, fine restaurant, private dock and a garden. You will be close to many famous attractions, including the Peggy Guggenheim and the Grand Canal. Dine with a view of the water and immerse yourself in the romantic ambiance of the city. Ask for a suite with a view of the Grand Canal where you'll be able to watch Venetian gondolas and boats float right past you.
There are 50 individually decorated guest rooms and suites which have bleached hardwood floors and canopy beds. Most have a balcony facing the garden or the water. Inside, you will find contemporary paintings, large mirrors, shapes and lamps inspired by the Guggenheim museum. Antinoo's Lounge & Restaurant offers a seasonally changing menu and spectacular views. Have a romantic candlelight dinner right on the water, sampling local and international dishes. Guests can dine in the privacy of their own suite while enjoying romantic views. The elegant bar serves wines and other beverages from around the world. The ambiance is cozy and chic, making the bar a great place for a relaxing drink after a busy day of sightseeing. There is a fully equipped fitness center and personal trainers who can help you design the most efficient work-out program. Afterwards, relax in a sauna and book a massage. Room rates start at 252 Euro per night (+39 041 34281, website).
PalazzinaG is a contemporary Venetian hotel with scenic views of the Grand Canal. If you are planning a quick trip to Venice, book the JD Suite which was the residence of Johnny Depp for three months. The two-level suite is spacious and luxurious, with two bedrooms, two living rooms and two bathrooms. The Grand Canal Suite overlooks a Venetian palace and is decorated with custom made furniture, mirrors and wooden floors. PG's Restaurant has an exhibition kitchen and serves innovative dishes personalized to each guest. The open-air Krug Terrace serves light meals and offers a selection of whiskies and cognacs. VacationIdea.com Tip: Look for mid-week specials if your travel plans are flexible. Rates start at Euro 315 (041 528 4644, website).
»The Gritti Palace
The newly renovated Gritti Palace is a landmark Venetian hotel with spectacular views of the Grand Canal, gourmet dining and classical decor. The property is just a short stroll from St Mark's Square and other famous sights. In the morning, have coffee with a view from the scenic cafe. Famous museums and galleries are within walking distance. There are 91 beautifully decorated guest rooms with Murano Glass chandeliers and original gold-trimmed ceilings. There is a selection of unique signature suites, such as the Hemingway Presidential Suite named after Ernest Hemingway, who considered this hotel his home in Venice during the late 1940's and early 1950's.
The restaurants offer views of the canal and the city (+39 041 794611, website).
»Luna Hotel Baglioni
One of the oldest hotels in Venice, Luna Hotel Baglioni enjoys a central location near St. Mark's Square. High ceilings, original frescoes and antiques decorate the hotel. Some of the suites have terraces with the most spectacular views of the water and famous in Venetian landmarks. There are 109 rooms, including 12 suites, some with spacious terraces and views. You'll be within walking distance of the Grand Canal, the main square and other attractions. The best view of the bridges is from the water from a gondola. Canova restaurant serves traditional dishes from the Veneto region as well as some international dishes. Doubles start at € 284 during the low season; from € 462 during high season (+39-041-528-9840, website).
»Il Palazzo at the Bauer
Il Palazzo is a historic hotel featuring beautiful views of the lagoon and a convenient location near St Mark's. The hotel has a private boat dock on the Grand Canal as well as a separate street entrance. If you are planning to go on a romantic gondola ride, the private dock is very convenient. There are 35 guest rooms and 40 suites housed in the 18th century palace. Many guest accommodations have balconies with views of the city, the Grand Canal and the Basin of San Marco. The Bauer Hotel, located in the 1940s wing, offers 115 guest accommodations. Guest rooms and suites at Il Palazzo are individually decorated in antique Venetian or modern European style. Each has an Italian marble bathroom, walk-in closet and original Murano glass chandeliers. The suites have a separate sitting area and some feature an open fireplace.
The hotel has a private fitness club and spa with an outdoor Jacuzzi, sauna and steam room. The spa offers a variety of treatments. De Pisis, an indoor and outdoor gourmet restaurant, offers spectacular views of the Grand Canal. The restaurant, open for lunch and dinner, serves local and Mediterranean food. Settimo Cielo is an elegant lounge offering panoramic views. Rates start from Euro 280 per night (+39-041-520-70-22, website).
Hotel Cipriani is a romantic getaway known for its personal service with one staff member per guest, superb food, unique location on 3.5 acres of beautifully landscaped gardens at the tip of the Island of Giudecca, and the only swimming pool in Venice. The property is popular with honeymooners looking for a five star hotel in a secluded spot. Couples can relax at the Olympic-size swimming pool, play tennis or enjoy a round of golf at the Alberoni golf course, 15 minutes by boat. The property offers a private Italian garden with a jacuzzi set within a fountain, a gym, sauna and massage services. A deluxe motor boat is available for lagoon and sea outings. The historic center of the town can be reached in 4 minutes using the complimentary boat service which runs continuously between the property and St. Mark's. You can stay in the main building or at Palazzo Vendramin. The rooms and suites afford superb views of the lagoon to the south.
A variety of formal and casual dining options are available to the guests. Year-round, the city lets you enjoy numerous museums, art exhibits, shopping and great food. Spring and Fall are usually less crowded with temperatures in the 50s (degrees Farenheit). Major airlines provide service to Marco Polo Airport. The airport is 30 minutes away by boat and the railway station or parking facilities are 15 minutes away. Guests are met at the airport or at the railroad station by the staff. Doubles from Euro 625. The hotel also offers packages, painting and cooking classes (011-39-41-520-7744, website).
Some of the rooms and suites at Concordia overlook St. Mark's Square. At night, you can hear music from open-air orchestras playing in the square. In the morning, wake up to the toll of the bell tower. You can take a water taxi from the airport since there is a small dock close to the entrance to the hotel. Rooms are decorated in a romantic Venetian style. The hotel serves an elegant breakfast buffet, including a choice of fruit and pastries.
Situated along Riva degli Schiavoni, Londra Palace has rooms overlooking the island of San Giorgio Maggiore.
»Ca' Pisani in the Dorsoduro Area
Located in the Dorsoduro area of Venice, Hotel Ca' Pisani is a contemporary getaway housed in a 16th century palazzo. The property is located near the Grand Canal, the Accademia Bridge, the Accademia galleries and the Peggy Guggenheim collection. The lobby is Futurist in style, with marble, Mondrian-esque paintings, and light shades of mustard yellow, terra cotta, lobster pink, beige and grey. In the guest rooms, the designers used silver and deep red hues, small leather armchairs and specially designed cabinets and wardrobes. The Futurist wooden inlays on the doors were specially created by designer-architect Luigi Pescolderung.
There are 29 guest rooms and suites furnished with original furniture from the 30s and 40s. Each room is unique and decorated with collectors' items, Futurist patterns and contemporary details. Guest bathrooms have a starlight, a deep tub with hydro massage and polished marble touches. Dine at La Rivista, the hotel's restaurant-bar, or ask the concierge to recommend some other restaurants. La Rivista serves refined local dishes prepared with seasonal ingredients. The menu changes almost every month and includes fish, meat, homemade pasta and vegetarian dishes. The best time to explore Venice is early in the morning and in the late afternoon. During those times you will avoid crowds and be able to experience the unique ambiance of this fascinating city (+39 041 2401411, website).
»The Charming House
The Charming House which offers several distinct locations, including DD724, DD694 and I Qs. I Qs is centrally located behind St Mark's Square and offers canal views. DD724 is near the imposing Santa Maria della Salute, the Accademia Bridge, and the Peggy Guggenheim collection. You'll be just steps away from the Grand Canal. DD724 has four rooms, two junior suites, one suite and one apartment. Since the hotel does not have its own restaurant, ask the hotel concierge to recommend one of the eateries in the area. Room rates start at 200 € per night during the low season and from 250 € per night during the high season (+39 041 2770262, website).
»Palazzo Sant' Angelo
getaway has just 14 charming accommodations, situated in a palazzo with three floors. Inside the Venetian palace, you will find one-of-a-kind antiques, bold colored drapes, red bed covers and plush bathrooms where you can soak in jacuzzi tubs. The hotel has a charming sitting room with original Palladian floor, stone fireplace, and three large windows. In the evening, enjoy a sunset over the Grand Canal and drinks in the hotel bar. Doubles start at Euro 240 per night (+39-041-241-1452, website).
»Ca Maria Adele
Ca Maria Adele is a quiet boutique hotel located across the main canal from St. Mark's. The property has a small breakfast area and a terrace, and with just 14 guest accommodations it's never crowded. The hotel has five themed rooms which have all been designed to reflect a different historical Venetian theme. Leave the hotel and enjoy a gondola ride, have a romantic dinner, or take a stroll along the Riva degli Schiavoni. The bright red brocade that covers the walls of the Dodge's room make it the perfect space for a romantic escape. If red is not your color, try the Fireside which is decorated in white marble, or La Sala Noir with its rich hues of pepper, cocoa, clover.
The property is located in the Dorsoduro section of town, right next to the church of Santa Maria della Salute. There are 14 accommodations: 5 "concept" rooms and 9 deluxe. The five themed accommodations include the Dodge's, the Fireside room, the Moores room, the oriental and La Sala Noir. While the themed rooms are lavishly decorated in colors reminiscent of the city's past, the deluxe accommodations are more neutral in tone and design. The hotel serves breakfast in the Breakfast area or on the terrace. The church is right next door and is very beautiful during both the sunset and sunrise. The hotel is a short walk from the Salute boat stop. A water taxi is the fastest way to get you there. Rates start at € 210 per night (+39-041-520-3078, website).
Things to See & Do in Venice
Venice offers a huge selection of hotels, inns and bed and breakfasts for such a small city. Many former palaces have been converted into accommodations. The closer you get to St Mark's Square, the higher the prices, but the location is worth it, especially if you are planning an anniversary trip or a honeymoon trip. Don't forget to enjoy views of the water. You can watch gondolas and vaporetti arriving and departing from landing stages near Piazzetta San Marco. Or stroll along Riva Degli Schiavoni to see the Bridge of Sighs, Ponte della Paglia and the island of San Giorgio Maggiore. During the day, major squares are filled with tourists, vendors and gondolieri trying to sell their services. If you want a more peaceful experience, get up at sunrise and take a walk along the water's edge. Soft morning light is the best time to take scenic pictures of gondolas, bridges and the water. If you choose one of the hotels with rooms overlooking the Grand Canal, you'll be able to watch gondolas, water taxis and vaporetti go right by your window. If you are only planning a day trip to Venice, read our artice 1 Day Vacation in Venice.
Ca' Pesaro International Gallery of Modern Art
This baroque palace houses a collection of 19th and 20th century art, including paintings and sculptures by Klimt and Matisse. You can get there by vaporetti Number 1 or Number 82. Get off at the San Stae stop. The museum is closed on Mondays and certain holidays. Tickets cost 5,50 Euro and provide admission to the Internazional Gallery of Modern Art and the Oriental Art Museum. You can find current opening times online at www.museiciviciveneziani.it.
Just as often as you'll see signs pointing in the direction of St. Mark's Square, you will also notice those pointing to Rialto. The area around the Rialto Bridge is one of the busiest. Take a romantic walk or a gondola ride. If you go early in the morning, visit the Rialto Markets where you can purchase local produce. During the day, the best way take in the scene around the bridge is to sit down for a drink at one of the cafes.
Housed in a beautiful Baroque palace build in the 18th century, Ca' Rezzonico museum overlooks the Grand Canal. The museum houses a collection of paintings, sculptures, frescoed ceilings and 18-century furnishings. Among the famous artists whose works are exhibited at Ca' Rezzonico are Jacopo Tintoretto, Bonifacio de’ Pitati, Giorgio Massari, Canaletto, Pietro Longhi and Giandomenico Tieopolo. You can get there by taxi, on foot or by vaporetto Number 1. Get off at the landing stage that has a sign. The museum is closed on Tuesdays and during major holidays. Tickets cost 6.50 euro. Before you go, confirm opening times and prices at www.museiciviciveneziani.it. If you are interested in art and Venetian history, the Doge's Palace and Museo Correr are two other great museums to see on your trip.
Venice Film Festival
Venice Film Festival is an annual event that promotes the awareness of international film. The 71st Venice International Film Festival will take place between 27th August and 6th September 2014. This is a competitive event with several awards presented to the winning films, including the Golden Lion for best film. Films presented range from small independent films to big production movies. Many celebrities attend the event every year. Film screenings can be attended by the public in several theaters in Lido. Visitors can purchase individual tickets or combination passes with access to all the screenings that take place in a particular theater. For ticket information and a schedule of events, visit labiennale.org. Throughout the year, you will find various events, so be sure to check before you visit. There are workshops for kids, dance events and more.
The Golden Lion is the Emblem of the City
The winged lion is the emblem of the city and one can find it everywhere. The top of the church features a gilded lion that glitters in the sun. The Column of San Marco is topped with a huge bronze lion with wings. The entrance and the balcony of the Doge's Palace feature a winged lion. Examples are everywhere you look in the city.
Tour the Grand Canal
The best way to see the Grand Canal is by boat. While you can hire a water taxi or a gondola, the slower and cheaper vaporetto Number 1 is a good choice - grab a seat and enjoy the view. The canal is over 2 miles long and features three bridges. The section between the train station and the Rialto offers scenic views of century-old palaces. Museums in this area include the Natural History Museum, International Gallery of Modern Art and the Giorgio Franchetti collection. From Rialto to Accademia, you will travel past the lively Rialto area, Riva del Vin, Ca' Rezzonico and the Accademia galleries. The last section, from Accademia to San Marco, is quite dramatic where Santa Maria della Salute towers above the mouth of the canal with its white Baroque facade.
From the train station to Rialto
On your way down, from the train station to Rialto, you will travel under the Scalzi bridge and pass several churches as well as numerous palaces facing the water. Among the palaces open to the public are the following: Palazzo Labia houses frescoes by Tiepolo; Fondaco dei Turchi is home to the Natural History Museum; the church of San Stae features works by Piazzetta and Tiepolo; International Gallery of Modern Art and the Oriental Art Museum are located in the Ca' Pesaro palace; the local fish market is located in the Pescheria; and Ca' d'Oro houses the Giorgio Franchetti collection.
Accademia to San Marco
Once you pass under the wooden Accademia bridge, you will begin to see the huge dome on top of Santa Maria della Salute. On your way to San Marco, you will travel past the palace that houses the Peggy Guggenheim collection. Santa Maria della Salute features an imposing white facade and a huge dome. Across from the church lie two of the city's best luxury hotels: Gritti Palace and Hotel Europa and Regina.
Rialto to Accademia
The Rialto area is one of the busiest parts of the city. The locals shop at the fish market while tourists sit on the banks. While traveling down this area, keep your eyes on the the colorful facades of various palaces, gondolas passing by, and the architectural details. Shortly after, the canal bends sharply until you reach Ca' Rezzonico. Just before the wooden Accademia, you can see the Accademia galleries which house the largest collection of Venetian paintings in the world. Read our 1 Day Vacation in Venice.
How Do I get Around in Venice?
Once you arrive at the airport in Venice, you can take a complimentary bus to the dock with water taxis and a public boat that will take you to Venice. Hiring the water taxi is the fastest way to get to town. The trip takes about 25 minutes, but plan on spending around $100 to get to St. Mark's Square. It is a good idea to try to can split the fare with other visitors. If you decide on public transport, the boat makes stops along the way and takes considerably longer to reach your destination than the water taxi.
You have two options - get around on foot or by boat. To get to your hotel from the airport or from the train station you will have to take a water taxi, or public transport. If you are staying in the San Marco district, once you get to your hotel you will be able to reach most of the the major attractions on foot. Walking is fun and an essential part of the Venetian experience. You will cross numerous bridges, boutique shops selling glass souvenirs, and squares with outdoor restaurants and cafes. While it's easy to get lost in the narrow streets, you can always find your way back to the square and Rialto by following frequent signs attached to buildings.
After you've settled into your room, you can begin exploring the town on foot or take a gondola ride to get a feel for the city. St. Mark's Square is a good place to start. It's the central point of the city and one of the most famous landmarks in the world. From there, you can walk towards the Rialto bridge and the Grand Canal. Venice is divided into six administrative districts. St. Mark's district which lies in the heart of the city is the most visited of the six. Attractions include famous square, the Doge's Palace and the basilica. The best way to get around is on foot. You can walk across small bridges and narrow streets from the basilica to Rialto in about 30 minutes. Along the way, streets are lined with boutique shops selling glass items, clothing and books. Few things are better than finding a scenic spot, ordering a drink and enjoying the view. As long as you know where to go, the city offers a great selection of outdoor cafes overlooking a square or the water.
Riva degli Schiavoni
Riva degli Schiavoni faces the water and is the most popular promenade in town. Close to the main attractions, the shoreline is filled with people and souvenir vendors. It is fun to watch the water, packed with gondolas, water taxis and vaporetti. Many hotels line the street, offering rooms with views of the water. For best views, go out early in the morning and enjoy a sunrise over the promenade.
Along the Grand Canal, Riva del Vin next to the Rialto bridge is the best place to sit down and watch boats of all shapes travel past you. To reach another good spot, walk past the Royal Gardens and sit at a table facing the mouth of the canal. During the day, the water is filled with gondolas, vaporetti and water taxis. >In the main square, Caffe Florian and Caffe Quadri both feature open-air orchestras and outdoor tables. The best time to go is at night when the crowds disappear and the pigeons go to sleep.
The Royal Gardens
Giardinetti Reali (the Royal Gardens) are located between St. Mark's Square and the water. The gardens are open to the public and there is no admission. The park has benches where you can rest your feet.From the royal gardens, you can see the top of the bell tower in St. Mark's Square. Just outside the gardens, one can enjoy scenic views of Santa Maria della Salute.
Pigeons in St. Mark's Square
While pigeons are considered a pest in most cities around the world, in Venice they provide a popular entertainment for tourists. In St. Mark's Square, visitors can purchase corn from vendors in the square and feed the birds. Almost everybody goes home with a picture of pigeons with St. Mark's Church in the background.
Visit the Island of San Giorgio Maggiore
The island of San Giorgio Maggiore is located across the water from the Piazzetta San Marco in Venice. It features a church, a monastery and a tall bell tower from which visitors can admire spectacular views of Venice on a clear day. Plan a romantic trip if you have enough time on your romantic getaway to Venice. San Giorgio Maggiore is an active cultural center with an open-air theater. It hosts numerous international events and exhibits. Inside the church, you will find paintings by Tintoretto and his son Domenico.
Venice Honeymoon Vacation Packages
Venice is one of the top romantic cities in the world. Get away with one of these great deals.
- Luxury and Romance: The beautifully restored Gritti Palace has been featured in many movies. It is offering the "Luxury and Romance" package which includes: Two glasses of champagne and a bouquet of flowers will be awaiting in your room and a Complimentary breakfast in bed for two each morning. A minimum stay of 2 nights is required. Rates start from Euro 490 per deluxe room per night.
- Private boat tour: Concordia Hotel, located right on the famous St. Mark's square, is offering a special which includes: Superior double room with side view on St. Mark's Basilica, Generous buffet breakfast, Welcome drink, Private boat tour along the hidden canals and the Grand Canal, A bottle of Champagne and fresh fruit in the room and a Flower bouquet. 2-night rates start at 820 Euro.
- Junior suites with a jacuzzi from 126 Euro: Rooms at Il Nido di Giulietta & Romeo are among the cheapest you will find in Venice, starting at just 80 Euro. Junior suites with a jacuzzi start at 126 Euro per night.
Stunning High Resolution Aerial Tour of Venice
Many first time visitors don't realize that getting around town involves a lot of walking and boat rides. The stunning 360 degree panorama by AirPano gives you a hands-on perspective. Download it to your iPhone or iPad and impress your traveling partner with this beautiful tour before you land. Intuitive controls let you zoom around the city, following the Grand Canal all the way to the famous St. Mark's Square. Plan your gondola ride using this unique high-tech tool. Watch cruise ships dock in the outskirts, pedestrians walking past the Dodge's Palace, and along the famous Rialto Bridge. Be sure to check out our quick and handy guide 1 Day in Venice. See the major sites in just a day or check into one of the unique hotels in the city. This cool interactive aerial tour can help you plan your visit so that you can get the most out of your trip.
What's Venice Like in the Morning?
Early in the morning you can catch a glimpse of a different Venice. The narrow city streets are empty, except for an occasional local hurrying to work. From Riva degli Schiavoni, watch rows of gondolas in the calm waters of the lagoon. First thing in the morning, St. Mark's Square is cleaned and prepared for the daily visitors while the pigeons begin to stir and take test flights to the roof above the square.
Venice at Night
The best time for romance in Venice is at night. As you walk along the narrow streets and squares you can listen to the songs of the gondolieri and the sounds coming from open-air restaurants and cafes. After dinner, walk to St. Mark's Square. Two cafes in the piazza feature live open-air orchestras that play popular pieces while visitors sip their drinks. Late in the afternoon, you will notice a change in the pace of the city. As the one-day tourists leave, the city becomes calmer and more romantic. The best time for a gondola ride is late in the afternoon, after delivery boats leave the narrow canals.
Venice by Day
During the day, Venice is a busy city. Its canals are filled with water taxis and delivery boats, while the narrow streets are full of shoppers and sightseers. St. Mark's Square features live outdoor music, eager pigeons that want to be fed, and a line of tourists in front of St. Mark's Church. You can sit at one of the open-air cafes in the square and watch everyone rush past you. Venice is most busy between 10am and 4pm. Many tourists come to the city on a day trip and leave in the afternoon. You will notice the change of pace as the days draws to an end. The best time for a romantic gondola ride is late in the afternoon, after delivery boats leave the narrow canals.