After three consecutive visits, I think I have a pretty good idea of the best tours in Venice! Whether you’re a first time or returning visitor, there’s always something new to see.
Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. I receive a small commission at no additional cost to you if you book one of these tours. I only recommend tours I have personal experience with.
Best Tours in Venice – Venice by Night Walking Tour
We booked and missed this tour twice due to transportation issues. (This is why the Hotel Danieli was SO perfect for this trip!) Third time is the charm, right?? Hands down, this is one of the best tours in Venice. We were the only people signed up on the tour, and Andrea did an incredible job tailoring the tour to areas we had not explored on previous trips. We learned about Venetian doge history, the origin of casinos, explored the Castello Sestieri (district), and ended near San Marco. Andrea was a fantastic guide, and we really enjoyed exploring an area of Venice that we haven’t spent much time visiting. Everyone needs to spend more time exploring Venice in off-peak hours and this is a great introduction to why its such a magical city at night!
Best Tours in Venice – Venice Walking Tour with Gondola Ride
This was one of the first tours we took on our honeymoon in Venice, and it is one of my favorites. We opted for the early evening tour. It started at the Accademia, wandered through Dorsoduro, and ended with a shared gondola ride during blue hour. A shared gondola ride may not be the most romantic, but this a great way to have the experience on a budget!
My husband and I both love the Dorsoduro Sestieri – it seems very liveable. There’s a large promenade overlooking Guidecca, beautiful canalside walks, and many galleries and museums. Our favorite restaurant, Da Gianni, is also in Dorsoduro, as is my favorite gelato shop, Nico’s. (Try the bacio. I love the bacio.)
Best Tours in Venice – Venetian Island Tour
I visited Murano on my first two trips to Venice (2004, 2010), but I don’t think I “saw” Murano. Individual vaperetto tickets are 7.50 euro each, so a tour including Murano, Burano and Torcello seemed like a great deal! Our tour was delayed by 40 minutes, so our times were a little abbreviated but it was still a great introduction to the Venetian islands!
Murano – 35 minutes
We arrived at Ducale and were ushered in for a glassblowing demonstration. The prices in the showroom didn’t seem too bad, but we wanted to explore the island instead. There are several churches with Byzantine influence on the island, so I would encourage you to skip the glass, too. If you’re going to Murano for glass, another one of our tour guides warned us that the mark up is 20-30% on Murano, so negotiate!
Burano – 40 minutes
As soon as you step off the boats in Burano, you’re greeted by lace shops galore. Again, we skipped the shopping and headed off on a walk through the island to enjoy all the brightly colored houses. We found cheap gelato for 1.50 euro, but it was the worst gelato ever – no flavor, icy, and the cone was of the boxed variety. I didn’t even finish it.
Torcello – 50 minutes
This was my favorite Venetian island! From the boat dock, there’s a 10 minute walk to the more populated area. It’s so serene and completely different from Murano and Burano. The best part, however, is the oldest Byzantine church. There are no photos allowed inside, but it’s 100% worth visiting. Make sure you get the audio guide. It was possible to complete it in the 50 minutes, but I could have easily stayed there longer. It’s incredible.
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