Born from a centuries-old meeting of cultures, Venice’s dream-like atmosphere is spellbinding. Kitted out with crumbling palaces, criss-crossing bridges and stripe-shirted gondoliers, its maze of canals is strikingly cinematic. But there’s much more to this lagoon city than its iconic waterways and Rococo sights: get lost in hidden alleyways, feast on seafood-flecked cicchetti and stay in romantic palazzos cleverly transformed into bijou boutique hotels.

When to go

Late spring and early summer are perfect for exploring before the intense summer heat hits. Rising water levels aren’t unheard of between October and January, but don’t be put off: it’s a rare chance to have the museums all to yourself.

Food & Drink

Fish takes pride of place on Venetian menus. Book early to bag one of the nine tables in intimate Il Ridotto, where you can sample imaginative seafood dishes in a minimalist setting. Elsewhere, Osteria Santa Marina knows how to seduce its guests with immaculately presented dishes in a candlelit garden.

Not to miss

Listen to the songs of the gondoliers as you slink across the Grand Canal.

Nightlife

Evenings in Venice are laid-back. Head to the Lido area for a buzzy vibe and a generous sprinkling of bars. Join locals for a glass (or two) of wine while nibbling on cicchetti, the local tapas. Watch the city light up from the Skyline Rooftop bar; literary buffs will love Caffe Florian, where Lord Byron used to while away his nights.

Where to stay in Venice

Bursting with elegant shops and chic galleries, San Marco is right at the heart of the city. If you’re after a quieter neighbourhood, Campo San Leonardo plays hosts to boho restaurants and hole-in-the-wall drinking dens.

How to get there

Venice Marco Polo Airport serves regular flights from domestic and European destinations, as well as seasonal flights from international hubs. From there, book a water taxi to arrive in style.

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FROM THE BLOG

Lulu Townsend

The best nightlife spots in Venice

After exploring the glorious Venetian canals by day, the perfect way to unwind while enjoying the magical charm of this relaxed city is to spend it like the locals in one of the many cafes, wine bars and restaurants. So before you retreat to the comfort of one of our boutique hotels in Venice, be sure to try out some of these top nightlife spots.
Lulu Townsend

Hidden wonders: 10 of the best-kept secrets in Venice

Despite the city's incredible popularity, however, you should not let the crowds put you off visiting this magical city – there’s still a host of secret spots and unbeaten paths that are well worth visiting if you’re planning a stay in one of our Venice hotels.
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