Venice in Winter

In this article

There are many beautiful countries you can visit during winter. Italy is one of them. Among the best places to visit in Italy in winter, Venice is a must-see. It is the capital of the Veneto region, located in northeastern Italy. Venice is built on 118 Islands and linked with over 400 bridges. This beautiful Italian city has been ranked one of the most beautiful cities. This is why the city is always swamped with tourists from all over the world. Every year, over 20 million tourists visit Venice. According to Forbes, Venice is currently the second most visited country in the world.
People travel from everywhere to see Venice in winter. Your tourism starts the moment you arrive at the Venice Marco Polo airport. If you also want to travel to this colorful city during winter, you are on track; keep reading!

Should You Visit Venice in Winter?

Winter in Venice in winter starts in late December and ends in early March. You should expect that the weather during this period is usually cold and humid; however, it is also magical, romantic, and beautiful. That is why this unique city is considered one of the Italian gems. During this period, the people of Venice are preparing for Christmas, and you will see buildings, monuments, and streets draped in Christmas lights. This adds more beauty, color and bubble to the already colorful Venice. Visiting Venice during winter, you see the already colorful city in a more beautiful state.
Many tourists always run away from visiting Venice in winter due to the cold. As a result of this, the city is usually less crowded. With less crowd, you can move around quickly. There will be fewer queues, and tourist centers will be less swamped. That way, you can get better views of the city. The city is also quieter during this period. Places like the Piazza San Marco are never quiet. However, it is less noisy than the other times of the year.
Also, visiting Venice during winter is cheaper than visiting during summer or spring. As mentioned earlier, there are fewer visitors during this time; as a result, the demand for accommodation and transportation is not high, making the prices reasonable.
Now, you should be convinced that Venice in winter is an incredibly thrilling idea. What do you need to know to have your best trip yet?

Venice Weather During the Winter

Before you take that exciting trip to Venice, you should first be aware that the probability of rain is very high, and so is the aqua Alta phenomenon. In some cases, flooding can occur in some regions of the city. You can, however, be sure that the flooding will not take the fun out of your holiday. The city is naturally susceptible to flooding, so the city is well prepared for these instances with high walkways.
You should also expect the atmosphere to be very foggy during this time. This fog is usually very thick in waking hours. While this can be disturbing for some tourists, you should know that the fog can add an experience to your tourism. You'd find it magical and stunning if you stepped out to catch a glimpse. Christmas lights blinking behind a blanket of fog; it's almost like stepping into a fairytale movie.

Venice Winter Temperatures: The Overview

Venice's winter temperature is cold and humid. The weather rarely exceeds 8 degrees and commonly below 0 degrees. In summary, this table presents the temperatures you can expect in Venice during winter.
Month Average Temperature rainy days (avg.) Daylight (avg.)
December: 7.4C/45F – 0.6C/33F, 6, 8h, 47min
January: 6.6C/44F – -0.1C/32F, 6, 9h, 11min
February: 8.6C/47.5F – 0.8C/33.4F, 5, 10h, 25min
March: 14C/57F – 4C/39F, 5, 11h and 56min

What You need to know about Acqua Alta (High Water) in Venice

The acqua alta or high water is a peculiar weather phenomenon tourists in Venice should know about. It is the effect of high tides, a strong wind from the south and the movement of sea waters. The Acqua Alta is one of the things that happen when there are extremely high tides, and the water flows onto the streets of Venice. Because of the city's position as an Island connected by canals, the Acqua Alta is almost inevitable during Winter. While this might seem strange to you, it is not strange to the city of Venice, and there is a way the city prepares itself for situations like this.
The regular Acqua Alta, when the water rises to about 110 cm and covers 14% of the city, only happens about four times a year. The stronger high water, when the water reaches 140 cm, only happens once in four years. Interestingly, high water lasts for only a few hours, although it can sometimes take longer, depending on the neighborhood.
Usually, when there's to be high water, it is forecasted so that the city and its inhabitants can plan accordingly. The city has passarelle, which are elevated walkways. They keep you out of the worst part of the flooding. The country also has Mose, which consists of rows of mobile gates to cut off the Venetian lagoon from the Adriatic during high tides. Mose does not work all the time in cases where the weather forecasts are wrong. However, it does a lot in preventing the Acqua Alta.
Should you worry about the Acqua Alta? No. Usually, you can get boots by the roadsides when this happens, and they are also sometimes boats for easier transportation.

Top 10 Things to Do in Venice in the Winter

Are you ready to create your bucket list? Venice has many activities for tourists. We have highlighted the top ten here to help you have the best trip. Let's dive right in.

Go on a Picturesque Gondola Ride

The Gondolas plying the very busy Grand Canal and the smaller waterways should definitely squeeze their way up on your lists. This activity is one of the best ways to see the whole of Venice in its glory. A gondola ride has always been the dream of many tourists who come to Venice. Touring in a gondola is very rich in culture and history. A gondola is a flat-bottomed, wooden boat that is usually specially handmade in workshops.
In the time past, there used to be about two thousand gondolas in Venice. Now, there are less than five hundred. A gondola is a luxury ride and can take 6 people at once. At an extra cost, you can book a gondola for yourself and your companions alone, if you do not wish to share your space. However, from this boat ride, you can get your best pictures of Venice and enter the heart of the city.

Load up On Cicchetti at a Traditional Bacaro

A Bacaro is a simple restaurant or wine bar typical of Venice. Dear traveler, it will almost be a sin to travel to Venice without trying the Venetian Happy Hour — Cicchetti, in the local bácaro. To have the best foodie experience, you can try this Cicchetti menu: Baccalà Mantecato, Sarde in saor, Crostini, Tramezzini and Polpette or Croquette fritte.
Finding the right Bacaro to have your Cicchetti is a form of tourism on its own and can be especially fun if you are with friends. If you are solo travelling, don't worry. A Bacaro is a very good spot to meet people and make friends.
There are many Bacaros at the Rialto Fish Market. You will find many at the northwest corner of the Rialto Bridge along the Grand Canal in the San Polo. You can also find them at Dorsoduro and Canareggio amongst others.

Explore the Interior of St. Mark’s Basilica

Basilica di San Marco (St. Mark's Basilica) was originally the chapel of the Doge. It is a famous historical site and is filled with many objects such as rare marble, porphyry, alabaster, and jasper. St. Mark's Basilica is known for its richly detailed architecture, Sculptures and mosaics, its golden altar, beautiful chapels, and treasury. It is no surprise this place is one of Venice's most beloved tourist attraction centers.
It is also close to other prominent places like Doge's palace and Piazzetta dei Leoncini amongst others. While at St. Mark's square, you can treat yourself to hot chocolate at the historic cafe Florian. You can also go to the Campanile di San Marco to have a very unique view of the city. From here, you can see the piazza and Venice Museo Correr.

Visit Glassblowing Workshops on Murano

Venice can offer you the best glass-making demonstration experience. In Murano, you can see masters of glass factories and create wonders out of Murano Glass. Murano Glass Blowing is a process that originated from Roman glass-blowing and has evolved over the centuries in the Venetian Republic and in modern-day Italy into art. There are many glass-making in factories in Murano, most of them, family-owned.
Usually, maestros work with basic tools to heat the glass, cut it, shape it, and make a very unique and artistic glass piece out of it. It is always very mesmerizing to watch them play around with a blob of glass and make something beautiful out of it. Many tourists rush to Murano to grab their one experience of glassblowing. You should try it too!

Soak up the Holiday Spirit

Because of Venice's bubbly nature, the city is always high on the holiday spirit. At this time, Venetians are also taking their breaks from the year-round work, and finding time to rewind. Everyone is relaxed and haunting for fun and excitement, and trust me when I say Venice has plenty of that to offer. Venetians do not joke with Christmas.
They pay extra attention to their Christmas decorations, forcefully dragging every grumpy soul into the Christmas spirit. Venice's holiday spirit is just the extra spice you need to add to your tourism.

Don't Miss the Famous Venice Carnival

Christmas is not the only bubbly winter excitement in Venice. The carnival of Venice is one of the most famous in the world. This carnival is centuries old and people travel from all over to witness it. It is characterized by people wearing costumes and Venetian masks. It comes with public shows and enchanting exhibitions.
During this time, you will find musicians, dancers, acrobats, and jugglers almost everywhere in the city. Some theatres, bars, and fun centers also organize special events to celebrate this day. This carnival makes Venice more colorful and puts Venetians in high spirits.

Get Lost in Venetian Museums and See Italian Masterpieces

There is so much more to Venice than magnificent architecture and carnivals. Venice has so many museums where you can feed your eyes and get educated. Here you will be exposed to great artworks, and cultural and historical monuments done by many great artists. Here you will find century-old treasures, rare artifacts, and many Italian masterpieces.
Some of the best museums are Ca' Pesaro International Gallery of Modern Art, Doge's palace, Gallerie dell'Accademia, and Museo Storico Navale di Venezia amongst others. Remember, it is winter, so these museums are less crowded and you don't have to wait in long queues to admire your favorite artists' work.

Check Out the Christmas Village in Campo Santo Stefano

Campo Santo Stefano is a very popular Christmas market in Venice. It gets transformed into a real Christmas village during Christmas and is there a better time to see it than during winter? Here, you will a lot of Christmas ornaments, Murano Glass, and many handcrafted objects and furniture just enough awe to admire Venetian craftsmanship. The Campo Santo Stefano square is tucked away in one of the quiet parts of Venice and has a very lovely atmosphere.

Watch a Show at Teatro la Fenice

This theatre is multipurpose and good for tourism and entertainment. The interior of the theatre is a work of art. It's an embodiment of cultural architecture and classical music. This theatre is one of the most beautiful in the whole of Italy. It is interesting to know that this theatre was once destroyed by fire and then rebuilt. An incredible architecture was reborn from the fire and it now stands gallantly.

Go Ice Skating in Campo San Polo

Campo san polo is a very popular spot for ice skating in Venice, the largest campo in Italy. It has a very festive feel with an ice skating rink which opens in early December. There are many treats and delicacies here. It is also a spot where you can mix with the locals and just enjoy the winter weather. There is no better way to enjoy winter in Venice than to Ice Skate in Campo San Polo.

Events and Holidays in Venice During the Winter

There are many events and holidays to keep you occupied for your winter in Venice. Some prominent ones that will interest you have been mentioned below.
  • 21st of November– Feast of Santa Maria Della Salute
  • 8th of December– Feast of the Immaculate Conception (Festa Della Concezione Immacolata)
  • 24th of December – Christmas Eve (La Vigilia di Natale)
  • 25th of December– Christmas Day (Natale)
  • 26th of December– St. Stephen’s Day (Il Giorno di Santo Stefano)
  • 31st of December – New Year’s Eve (La Vigilia di Capodanno / La Notte di San Silvestro)
  • 1st of January– New Year’s Day (Capodanno)
  • 6th of January – La Befana
  • 14th of February – Valentine’s Day (San Valentino)

Packing Checklist for a Winter Trip to Venice

To enjoy your Winter in Venice, you must be well prepared for the weather by packing the necessary clothes. To make that easy for you, we've compiled a list of some of the essential items of clothing you will need.
  • Wooden Cardigan/sweaters
  • sturdy water-resistant shoes like boots.
  • thick scarfs
  • Beanie or head warmer
  • Hand gloves
  • warm knee-length coats
  • long sleeve tops, Jeans/pants
  • Umbrella
  • Warm nightwears

What Are the Visa Requirements for Italy?

Italy is part of the Schengen zone, so you need a Schengen Visa to enter Italy. However, EU / EEA nationals will only need to present identification documents to enter the city. If you are a national of a country that has not reached a visa liberalization agreement with the Schengen states, you will need a visa to enter Italy.
To apply for this visa, you will need a valid passport, proof of financial means for your travel, an Italian Visa application form, proof of accommodation, two recent passport photographs and other documents. The type of visa you will be granted depends on the purpose of your visit.
For non-EU countries with a visa liberalization agreement with the Schengen states, you will need to apply through ETIAS. European Travel Information and Authorisation System (ETIAS) is an application made only to be allowed to enter Italy without a visa. The application is completed online, and a response is received within a very short period.
It is easier to apply from ETIAS than the traditional visa if you are a qualified applicant. The purpose of ETIAS falls between business and tourism. It is valid for three years or lesser if your passport expires before then. You can use it for a maximum travel duration of 90 days. However, only citizens of countries that have reached a visa waiver agreement with Italy will be allowed to apply for ETIAS. It will become fully operational after 2022.
Written by: Fikayomi Abisola
Abisola is an ETIAS Travel and Immigration writer with several years of writing experience in the industry. Abisola has a unique enthusiasm for travels, tours, and tourism and loves to educate travellers about the criteria involved in international travelling.

Venice in the Winter FAQs

  • 1. Is it worth going to Venice in winter?

    Yes, visiting Venice in winter is worth it. At this time, you get to enjoy the city in a personalized way. You are not limited by long queues, crowded public spaces, and exorbitant prices caused by too many tourists and high demands. Here, you get to feel the city up close.
  • 2. What's Venice like in winter?

    While Venice is cold and humid during Winter, it does not take the fun out of the city. During this period, you get to experience some fascinating experiences exclusive to winter months, such as Ice Skating, experiencing the magical feeling that comes with touring the Christmas market, and attending the world-famous Venice Carnival.
  • 3. How cold does Venice get in winter?

    During winter in Venice, the average temperature is below 50°F (10°C). It is also rainy, and on some days, it snows. January is the coldest month of the year in Venice.
  • 4. Can you ride a gondola in Venice in winter?

    Riding a gondola is not limited to any time of the year. Although winter is cold and chilly, it does not stop you from viewing the city from the comfort of a warm cozy gondola. Here you will be able to admire piazzas draped in twinkly lights.

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