Venice in Winter – A Unique, Less Crowded Experience

Luxury retreat between culture and the secret corners of an iconic city:
Venice in winter is a treasure trove of beautiful secrets, especially during these months. It’s often thought of as a summer destination, but when walking through the cosy streets and across the elegant waterways during a crisp Venetian winter evening, the true majesty of the city comes to life.

Why Should you Visit Venice in Winter? 

Afternoon view in Venice during the winter season.

Anyone who has spent time in Venice during winter, will tell you how it exudes thrills, adventure, and romance in equal measure. 

Wintertime in Venice offers many advantages over other destinations such as:

  • A warmer climate than many cities to the North. The cold isn’t just tolerable, it’s enjoyable.
  • More affordable than some winter destinations. In fact, Venice itself is most affordable between December and February.
  • Architecture and artistry that is equal to any other place on Earth.
  • A gateway to Veneto, one of the most scenic and historic parts of Italy. You’re also only a few hours from Rome to the Southwest if you want to visit the ancient capital.
  • Venice also opens-up further exploration of Austria, Slovenia, Croatia and beyond! But we think you’ll be so mesmerised by Venice you’ll want to spend all your time here.
  • When the summer crowds vanish, you’ll have more space to explore the history and grandeur of Venice, and to see the city as its residents live their day to day lives. 

Of course, the main reason to visit Venice in Winter, is to soak up the iconic views of the Grand Canal and Piazza San Marco. In the winter months, the sun sets before 6pm, and so visitors can delight in these world-famous environments, lit up by thousands of warm welcoming lights like a swarm of beautiful fireflies, all reflected in the streets of water below.

What to Do in Venice During Winter?

Tourists enjoy the tour using a gondola near the Rialto Bridge in Venice, Italy.

Venice is jam-packed with fascinating sights and sounds, but during winter there’s more time and space to enjoy them away from the bustling summer tourist trade.

It would be impossible to list everything worth seeing and doing in one article, but here are some suggestions that are sure to tempt you.

A Romantic Gondola Ride

One of the most iconic images of Venice is the gondola ride. These Venetian rowing boats are pushed along and guided by gondoliers with a long oar who stand at the rear of the boat and gently steer passengers across the Venetian lagoon and through its waterways.


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You might think this type of transport would be best enjoyed during the summer, but it is the winter when it is most seductive. The waterways are far less populated, making for a gentler, more scenic voyage. Just bring a blanket and cuddle up beneath the Venetian sky!

The Bridge of Sighs in Venice

Connected to the Doge’s Palace (a 1,000-year-old building that was once the seat of power for the entire region) is the Bridge of Sighs. Entwined with this enclosed bridge is the story of prisoners being led to the darkness of a prison. As they walked over the bridge of sighs, a small window would allow them to view the beauty of Venice one more time. Check with your gondola ride before booking, some will take you directly under this wonderfully sorrowful and romantic location.

Exploring Venice on Foot

While the waterways and Venice’s reputation as a floating city are world-renowned, in winter there is nothing quite like exploring the narrow ancient streets on foot. Venice is interspersed with beauty around each and every corner. 

While each waterway doesn’t have a sidewalk, there are bridges connecting almost every area of the city. One of the great joys of visiting Venice is that it’s a cosy city, and if you are able, it is filled with adventurous sights and sounds easily reachable on foot. Again, with fewer tourist numbers, you can do this during winter at your own leisure and to truly appreciate this wonderfully unique location at your own pace. 

What to Wear in Venice at Winter?

A group of tourists enjoy the tour of the Venice canal during winter with proper clothes.

While Venice is relatively mild during winter compared to many other European cities, you will still need to dress for the climate to enjoy yourself. T-shirts and shorts are not ideal at this time of year!

Try some of the following:

  • Winter Leggings
  • Hats or beanies (though always take them off before entering a building as a mark of respect).
  • A fleece
  • Warm gloves

Of special note is to remember that rain is common in Venice during this time of year. Regardless of whether you’re staying for a day or 10, make sure you include a waterproof jacket and some waterproof boots in your luggage.

Where to Stay in Venice During Winter?

If you are enticed by the promise of a wintertime adventure through the historic waterways and streets of this amazing city, we offer bespoke stays catered to your exact desires and hopes. 

To start planning your secret getaway to one of the most romantic and adventurous places in the world, allow us to help you make unforgettable memories with the winter Venice vacation you deserve.