Venice is a beautiful historical city in Northern Italy.  Between the year 697 and 1797, the city was the capital of the Republic of Venice which was a major global and financial hub. Though it could never ever claim that title again, the historical significance of this city makes it a relevant city throughout the world. The small city receives over 20 million visitors a year which is super impressive for a city of fewer than 300,000 people. Here’s our list of the top things you can do when you visit Venice.

Visit the St, Marks Basilica

This is the most renowned building in Venice, and it would be unthinkable to visit this enchanting city and not set foot inside. The building is located in the Piazza St. Marco and easily accessible via the Grand Canal. Trust us, you won’t have much trouble accessing it. It is Italy’s best surviving remnant of the Byzantine architecture.

Ride a Gondola at the Canale Grande

The Grand Canal is Venice’s main street. It is the largest and longest canal in Venice. It snakes through the middle of Venice in an S-like bend. Riding a gondola through the canal will let you view most of the interesting areas of Venice in the serene floating environment of the boat while taking photos. Some of the gondolas also serve champagne. You also have a more costly yet more luxurious option of hiring your own water taxi.

Eat at the Caffe Florian

At the perfect Venice location of the St. Mark’s square is the centuries-old Caffe Florian that has been serving drinks since 1720.  Here you could also enjoy some live orchestra while you eat.

Visit Castello

To the East of St, Mark’s is Castello, the more preserved, more traditional neighborhood of Venice. Here you’ll experience how Venice once was before too much outside influence. It offers Venice’s historic buildings, cheap and extravagant hotels, traditional narrow streets and all of Venice’s lost glory. It’s a good place for quaint evening outs and perhaps the only place in Venice where locals outnumber guests.

Visit Burano Island

Burano Island is known for its colorful painted houses.  You can combine the visit with a stop at Murano – the village that gave the famous Nissan crossover model its name. It is a fishing village worth your visit.

Ride a bicycle in Lido

Venice is a pretty crowded city, and you might not get the space to ride your bicycle. This is until you visit Lido where they have lanes for pedestrians and bicycles. You can rent a bike for a day here and enjoy a good exercise while still getting nice views of this ancient city.

Visit Chiesa di Santa Maria Assunta

The Church of Santa Maria Assunta is located in the Cannaregio region of Venice. With its fine stone columns and ornate sculptures of religious figures, you won’t regret a thing once you step through the big bronze door of this church. The church was constructed in 1794, and by Venice standards, it is still pretty new!