First day in Venice


If you are visiting Venice for the first time, taking a guided walking tour is recommended before exploring this maze-like city. This will help you become acquainted with this fascinating locale and ensure you make the most of your stay here.

Venice has very favorable car rental prices, which can be booked right at the airport -, and of course romantic gondola excursions that will light a fire in your hearts! -

Photo of First day in Venice by TinaGeller

Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice is one of the most captivating plays in his canon, exploring morality and justice. It also features several memorable characters like Shylock and Portia.

1. Walk the Doge’s Palace

One of Venice's most beloved buildings, the Doge's Palace is an architectural marvel composed of three large blocks with intricate details and ornamentation.

Photo of First day in Venice by TinaGeller

On our tour of the Doge's Palace, we learned about its remarkable history as not only the official residence of the Doge but also a seat of government councils and law courts. We explored its magnificent courtrooms and council halls, as well as admiring some stunning paintings that depicted Venetian politics and its rulers.

After visiting the palace, we took a boat tour to view Murano glass workshop and marvel at views of Venice from above - it truly was an incredible experience!

Photo of First day in Venice by TinaGeller

2. Explore the Basilica of San Marco

The Basilica of San Marco is one of Venice's most significant and iconic churches. It showcases Byzantine-era architecture with five cupolas.

The church was originally constructed to house the remains of Saint Mark. It's an exquisite example of Byzantine art that has been meticulously renovated and decorated over time.

Photo of First day in Venice by TinaGeller

It can be quite overwhelming to take in all that the Basilica has to offer, so take your time and appreciate all of the artwork on display!

The Basilica is an invaluable educational resource about Venice's past. It serves as a comprehensive repository of its political and religious achievements.

Photo of First day in Venice by TinaGeller

3. Take a Gondola Ride

One of the most captivating ways to experience Venice is by taking a gondola ride. Not only is this an unforgettable way to see the city, but it's also an excellent opportunity for relaxation and taking in all that this amazing destination has to offer.

Photo of First day in Venice by TinaGeller

Gondoliers typically hail from families of gondoliers and are proud cultural icons in their hometown. To row a gondola, gondoliers must obtain a license which takes about 400 hours of training.

Venetian gondolas number around 450 today and are mostly used by tourists. You'll notice they are asymmetrical, with the left side weighing more than the right. This asymmetry serves to balance out the weight of the gondolier and protect it from collisions with other water-borne vehicles.

Photo of First day in Venice by TinaGeller

4. Have a Gondola Dinner

Experience a romantic gondola dinner in Venice - this centuries-old tradition is one of the city's most beloved activities.

As night falls in Venice, its bustling crowds thin out and its canals open for romantic strolls. It's an experience that will truly leave you with lasting memories.

Photo of First day in Venice by TinaGeller

At the restaurant, guests can enjoy comfortable gondolas all year round. Plus, they feature air conditioning and heat for year-round enjoyment. Furthermore, there's music system and lighting control so you can customize the experience to your preference.

Ocean House has been offering guests an in-gondola dining experience for over a year now, and this year they have expanded their menu to include breakfast, lunch and early evening crepes.

Photo of First day in Venice by TinaGeller

5. Visit Murano

Murano boasts some of the finest glass factories in the world. Its signature product, blown glass, is created by blowing molten paste into an intricate shape and then layering colors for stunning artwork.

Visitors to the island of Murano should not miss this must-do for any Venice vacation, as you'll witness how skilled glass masters transform molten paste into beautiful vessels, sculptures, goblets and other works of art. Plus you'll have a chance to shop for exquisite jewelry made on the island that has been handcrafted for centuries.

Photo of First day in Venice by TinaGeller

Murano's history dates back over 1500 years, when Venetian traders brought glassmaking technology from their homelands in the Middle East and Byzantine Empire. Over time, Murano's artists perfected these techniques until they could produce products unique to this region of Italy.