The Best Things to Do in Venice: Eat, Play and Chill

Helen Hatzis By Helen Hatzis / 22 July 2016

The Best Things to Do in Venice: Eat, Play and Chill

Helen Hatzis By Helen Hatzis

Are you planning your first visit to Venice, Italy? Perhaps you are returning for a second or third time? Whatever it may be, we have outlined some interesting and exciting options for you!

Venice, Italy, also known as: the City of Water, the City of Canals and the Floating City, is one of those destinations that has a reputation that precedes itself. It has been the backdrop of numerous classic Hollywood films such as The Italian Job, Indiana Jones and The Last Crusade, and James Bond’s Casino Royale. Well-established as one of the most romantic cities in the world, Hollywood star George Clooney even relinquished his longstanding bachelor status in this magical city when he married Amal Alamuddin.

Even if you have not been to Venice yet, it is so widely talked about that you may have already subconsciously added it to your bucket list. To help you prepare for your visit to one of the most beautiful cities in the world, we have created a list of The Best Things to do in Venice: Eat, Play, Chill.


There is a huge emphasis on tourism in Venice and as a result, there are over one thousand restaurants to choose from. Finding a great place to nourish your Venetian experience is important, so we have made a few suggestions for you, from local haunts to fine-dining Michelin-rated restaurants. As Venice is built on and around water, a key staple on many menus is seafood.

Fresh pasta in Venice, Italy
Photo credit: Maëlick under CC BY-SA 2.0


Osteria Antico Giardinetto is lovely family-owned restaurant hidden from the main area. It is tucked away behind one of Venice’s alleys but is easy to get to (now that you know about it). This quaint restaurant has a rustic interior and seafood is at the core of its menu.

Cocaeta is a favourite among locals and tourists. This delicious creperia takes great pride in their  creations, and will even make it playful for their young customers by adding whimsical designs.


Da Fiore is a lovely seafood restaurant that offers a top-rated meal in a lovely setting. Note that you will need to take a water taxi to get to it.

Quadri is a stunning 17th century cafe that has a perfect view of St. Mark’s Square because it is situated in the Square. It is a cafe during the day, but in the evening, the top floor offers an incredible fine dining seasonal fare experience. Quadri is a one-star Michelin rated establishment.

La Calandre is a three Michelin Star restaurant. At the helm is Chef Massimiliano Alajmo. He is celebrated as the world’s youngest chef to have achieved the third Michelin star by the age of 28. Dining at Chef Alajmo’s restaurant is truly a decadent dining experience.

Take a Food Tour

Do you want to experience a day in the life of a Venetian? Take a food tour with a local guide and visit some of the unique cafes and restaurants that the locals frequent. Tasting wine and snacks in Venice is a must do experience and a great way to navigate through the plethora of restaurant options.


There are numerous Canals to explore through the picturesque neighbourhoods, as well as enchanting restaurants that line the waterfront, and historic sites that consume the landscape. From romantic gondola rides, adventurous mountain journeys, to must-see attractions such as St. Mark’s Basilica, Doge’s Palace, and the Bridge of Sighs, your days will be consumed with art, history and culture at every turn.

Piazza San-Marco in Venice, Italy
Photo credit: Brando.n under CC BY 2.0

Go on a City Walking Tour

A great  way to get your bearings in this highly pedestrian city is by foot, and there are a number of wonderful walking tours available during the day or in the evening. Whether you are interested in architecture, stunning mosaics and more, there are both private and group tours to accommodate your needs. Indulge in a tour of St. Mark’s Square and Doge’s Palace and then walk over the Bridge of Sighs to the prison where Casanova escaped.

Fishing Tour

Enjoy a beautiful view of the gorgeous landscape of Venice from the lagoon and the Adriatic sea. During this tour, you will learn the ancient traditions and secrets of fishing in the lagoon by expert Venetian fishermen. This is a great option for those who want an authentic Venetian experience.


Take a legendary Gondola Ride for a full City Tour of Venice

When looking for a tour, perhaps take one with your feet up! There are wonderful gondola rides that offer all the must-see attractions of Venice. So kick back and relax and enjoy a round trip boat journey along the Grand Canal. Then end your day collecting memorable trinkets for you and your loved ones followed by a sumptuous dinner.

Gondolas in Venice, Italy
Photo credit: Boss Tweed under CC BY 2.0

Glass Making: An ancient tradition in Venice  

While in Venice, take the time to make your way to Murano Island. The art of glass making has deep roots here…You will see the centuries of experience that have been passed down through the generations, most notably with the Seguso and Pauly families. Barovier & Toso are known to be one of the oldest families that run businesses in the world, having started in 1925. There are many tours that will offer a unique look into this history of Venice, Italy.  Add it to your must-see list!

Glass blowing in Venice, Italy
Photo credit: Ben Snooks under CC BY-SA 2.0

Prep and Pack

You are all set to embark on a culturally rich trip to Venice, it’s time to book your flight!

Cover photo credit: Pedro Szekely under CC BY-SA 2.0

The comments and contributions expressed are assumed only by the author. The recommendations, intentions or opinions expressed are not necessarily those of Transat AT Inc. or its affiliates. See terms of use of the Air Transat website.

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