The top 12 romantic things to do in Venice

Whether it’s your first trip together or a special anniversary, these 12 romantic things to do in Venice are perfect for you.

If you're looking for the perfect romantic getaway, it's hard to beat Venice. From summer days cuddling up in a gondola to night strolls beside the fairytale canals, La Serenissima is packed with superb date or anniversary ideas. Admire world-famous monuments and get stuck into Venetian cuisine. There are so many date ideas waiting for you.

You'll find plenty of great romantic things to do in Venice. Enjoy classic couples activities like a gondola ride or a night at the opera. For something more modern, admire the lagoon from the deck of a catamaran or indulge in a special prosecco-tasting session. Whatever you choose, there are sure to be romantic activities to suit you.

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1. Enjoy a gondola ride along the canals

This has to be top of any list of romantic activities in Venice. It's what so many people dream of: cruising along the canals, drifting under the Rialto Bridge, admiring the gorgeous views, and all with your partner by your side. You can even upgrade your private gondola rid under the Rialto Bridge to include a singer and accordionist, for that full Venetian dream date.

Best time to go:

Gondola rides are popular at any time of year. In winter, you'll need to wrap up warmly; in summer, slap on the sunscreen.

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2. Spend an evening at a classic Venetian ball

Enjoy the most traditional Venetian evening you could imagine. Start your night by nibbling on cicchetti, the local version of tapas, then take in a classical concert. The serving staff dress in 16th-century costumes to enhance the special atmosphere of your perfect date.

Best time to go:

This is an indoor activity, so it's great at any time of year. Try it from fall to spring to avoid the crowds.

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3. Admire the sunset over the lagoon

Hop on board a catamaran cruise at sunset for a great romantic evening. Snuggle up together in a corner of the deck with your glasses of prosecco as you watch the sky turn golden above the Venetian Lagoon. There's live jazz music to make your evening even more special.

Best time to go:

This activity is fine at any time of year. It's best on days with a clear sky, as you'll enjoy a more spectacular sunset.

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4. Enjoy a night at the opera

Venice is all about culture, so why not take in an opera while you're here? This traveling opera performance in a historic palace is an exciting take on the traditional art form, with guests and performers moving from room to room as the show progresses. It makes for an unusual, unforgettable date.

Best time to go:

You'll be indoors, so you can go at any time of year. You'll find fewer crowds outside the peak summer months.

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5. Kayak down the canals for a fresh perspective on the floating city

Who needs a gondola? Take a romantic kayak tour at sunset instead. You'll enjoy a workout while you get the best views in town. At the end of your tour, a spectacular sunset is sure to put a smile on your face.

Best time to go:

This is the perfect summer activity. It's a great way to cool off at the end of a long, hot day.

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6. Star in your own romantic photoshoot

Enjoy a very special 3-hour session with a photographer. You'll get some professional-quality photos in Venice's most romantic locations. Upload them to Instagram to show off, or keep them for your private memories.

Best time to go:

You can do this at any time of year, but in the summer months, you'll be dodging crowds, so you may prefer spring or fall.

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7. Renew your vows while you glide down the canals

Want a first-rate anniversary idea? Renew your wedding vows on a Venetian gondola. A celebrant will join you on the canal for your special ceremony.

Best time to go:

You can do this at any time of year, but you might get chilly in winter. It's probably better from spring to fall.

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8. Sample the finest prosecco at picturesque vineyards

Get out of the city and spend a day on a wine tasting tour. You'll visit two traditional wineries in the region and enjoy the spectacular scenery. Wine experts will teach you about food pairings and wine appreciation.

Best time to go:

This is a great activity for summer. You can escape the heat and the crowds and enjoy a day in the countryside.

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9. Have a special meal aboard a traditional galleon

Enjoy a truly phenomenal date in unique surroundings with dinner aboard a Venetian galleon. A chef will prepare a gourmet meal for you as you cruise across the lagoon and revel in the beautiful views and flavors.

Best time to go:

Try this activity from fall to spring. This way, you and your partner will have more space, and there will be fewer crowds around.

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10. Get hands-on in the kitchen with a pasta-making class

Get messy together at a pasta and tiramisu-making class. You'll learn how to prepare Italian classics, including fresh pasta and delicious tiramisu. Go home with recipes that will always remind you of your dream vacation.

Best time to go:

This is a fun activity at any time of year. Just make sure you've got an appetite.

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11. See the lights on the canals at night

By night, Venice transforms into a fairytale city. With street lights twinkling on the canals, a nighttime walking tour is a blissfully romantic experience. Wander hand in hand through this incredibly beautiful city seeing its most impressive places after dark.

Best time to go:

This is a good idea in summer. It's a wonderful way to see the city, especially if you're too hot by day.

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12. Take in a show at Vivaldi's church

Enjoy the spine-tingling pleasures of a Vivaldi’s Four Seasons concert in the exact location where the composer wrote his masterpieces. Sit back together and enjoy the astonishing atmosphere of the Chiesa di Santa Maria della Visitazione as the musicians play.

Best time to go:

You'll be indoors, so this is a great activity at any time of year. It's a great way to have fun on winter evenings.

FAQs

What are the most romantic activities to do in Venice?

Most of the traditional romantic activities in Venice focus on the canals or the lagoon. A gondola ride is a classic choice, but you can also take a catamaran trip or go for a ride on a traditional Venetian vessel.

What are some offbeat romantic things to do in Venice?

Try seeing the canals in a different way, by kayaking or stand-up paddleboarding. You can also enjoy unusual classes. Learn to make pasta together or attend a glassmaking class to learn an ancient Venetian art form.

What are the most romantic spots to watch the sunset in Venice?

The best place to watch the sunset in Venice is from the water. There several sunset cruises you can take or, if you want to try something a little different, go kayaking at sunset and watch the water lit up with dazzling colors. If you'd rather stay on dry land, you'll find that Murano Island and Giudecca Island are both ideal for sunsets. The famous St Mark's Square faces east, so it's better for watching sunrises if you're an early riser. The sunset views from the Rialto Bridge are famous, but be warned: it's extremely popular, particularly in the summer, so you may not find the intimate atmosphere you hoped for. Luckily, there are dozens of quieter corners of Venice where the sunset is just as spectacular.

What are some romantic day trips from Venice?

One of the best options for a romantic day trip from Venice is going into prosecco country. Visit wineries and try different pairings. You can also head to the Dolomite Mountains. They're a little further away, but this is the perfect place for a special date if you enjoy hiking or peaceful mountain landscapes. You can also head to Verona, immortalized as the setting of William Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet. Visit Juliet's balcony together for an incredibly romantic experience.

What are the best places to take romantic photos in Venice?

There are plenty of famous places for romantic photos, like St Mark's Square and the Rialto Bridge. The wooden Accademia Bridge is another popular choice. Burano Island is also ideal as a backdrop for your photos. With its bright, colorful houses, it has a unique, magical charm.