When is the Best Time to Visit Venice?

Written by Rem Malloy, since 1995 Rem has been guiding and designing trips to Italy and all of Western Europe and is considered an expert in his field for over 30 years.

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Venice attracts countless visitors every year with its unique architecture and fascinating historical legacy. It’s one of the best places to see in Italy, with so many wonderful things to do and mesmerizing experiences at your fingertips. However, deciding when to visit this Mediterranean gem can be quite challenging. 

All travelers have different preferences, so what one might consider the best time to visit Venice would be the worst time for someone else. To help you decide, we’ve created a comprehensive guide for the best time to visit Venice. We provide details about each season, with an overview of the different months, as well as the weather and events that you can expect while visiting. 

So if you’re planning a trip to Venice and can’t decide when to go, read on to discover what the different seasons of Venice can offer.

The Best Time to Visit Venice

Before we dive into the different traveling seasons of Venice, we thought it would be helpful to start this guide with the overall best time to visit. Spring and late summer are largely considered the best times to visit Venice. This is due to the pleasant weather and reduced number of tourists, which makes the city much more enjoyable. 

If you want to have the best time in Venice, then the months of March to May and September to October are when you should visit. You can enjoy the highlights of the city in uninterrupted bliss and you’ll still have plenty of sun. 

If you would like a more detailed review of the best time of year to visit Venice, you can find a helpful breakdown of each season below.

The Shoulder Season in Venice

The shoulder season in Venice takes place from March to May and is widely regarded as one of the best times to visit the astounding city. Spring is in full swing, with flowers bursting into bloom and the city awakens from its wintry slumber. This is one of the best times to visit Venice for a more relaxed trip where you can avoid the crowds and have many of the top attractions all to yourself.  

Venice in March

March brings the first signs of spring in Venice, the weather is much milder and many establishments begin to prepare for the busy summer season. With fewer crowds, this is one of the best times to visit the museums in Venice like the Peggy Guggenheim Collection and the Gallerie dell’Accademia. There are fewer visitors in March, meaning you can explore the top attractions in Venice at a more leisurely pace.  

Venice in April

Much like March, April in Venice is still relatively quiet. However, it’s one of the best times to visit Venice for a relaxed vacation. Parks and gardens in Venice like Giardini Papadopoli are in full bloom, with aromatic flowers adding a splash of color to the city. 

Venice in May

Late spring is one of the best times to visit Venice if you want to avoid the peak summer season. The weather is much more comfortable in May, allowing you to enjoy the lush Mediterranean climate. Plus, with Venetian summer just around the corner, the streets and canals will feel much more lively than in previous months.  

The Weather in Venice in the Shoulder Season

The weather in Venice during the shoulder season is quite mild but gradually warms up by late May. Average highs in Venice during this season range from 55°F to 72°F, making it a good time to venture outdoors and see the sights. Venice does experience some rain in spring, approximately 5-8 days depending on when you visit, so be sure to pack an umbrella or rain jacket. 
The milder weather makes the shoulder season in Venice a great time for walking tours of the city. The days are also longer than in winter, giving you ample time to enjoy the sunshine and wander along the crisp canals.

Events in Venice in the Shoulder Season

The shoulder season brings some of the best events and festivals to Venice, making it a dynamic time of year to visit the City of Canals. With Easter celebrations and a fabulous cultural exhibition, it’s a great time to visit Venice to experience local traditions and culture. 

Easter 

Easter in Venice is characterized by religious traditions and cultural celebrations. You will see various religious processions complete with traditional attire in neighborhoods across Venice, giving the city a unique spiritual charm. You can also attend vibrant Easter markets as well as special Easter Mass services, like the one held in St. Mark’s Basilica

Venice Biennale 

Another spectacular event in Venice is the Venice Biennale, one of the most important international cultural exhibitions in the world. The exhibition has an extensive history and alternates between art and architecture, with the art exhibition taking place in even-numbered years and the architecture exhibition taking place in odd-numbered ones. It typically starts in May and runs till November, with a packed schedule of events and talks that will inspire any creatives who attend. 

The Peak Season in Venice

While it may not be for everyone, summer in Venice is a great time to visit for an Italian vacation. The city truly comes to life, with a variety of things to do and events to attend. That said, it is also the most popular time to visit Venice and temperatures can get scorching hot, so be prepared for big crowds and sweltering sunshine. 

Venice in June

Summer in Venice kicks off in June and the city begins to swell with tourists. However, this adds to the atmosphere of the canal city, with many annual events and festivals taking place. Venice in June is a great time to visit if you want to experience the peak summer ambiance without as many crowds. 

Venice in July

July is the busiest time of year in Venice and is the peak tourist season. You can expect the main attractions in Venice to be very crowded but there will be a spirited sense of excitement in the air. The warm weather also makes it one of the best times to visit Venice for outdoor activities, like visiting the stunning islands of Venice

Venice in August

Similar to July, August in Venice is the high tourist season, with thronging crowds and soaring temperatures. Popular attractions in Venice, especially in and around St. Mark’s Square, can be crowded but with nearly 14 hours of daylight, you’ll have plenty of time for sightseeing. The streets of Venice feel very vibrant in August, with cultural and musical performances taking place across the city and bringing a sense of joy to the floating city. 

The Weather in Venice in the Peak Season

The weather in Venice in summer is perfect for those looking to enjoy warm Adriatic temperatures. Average highs in Venice range from 79°F to 84°F, with warmer temperatures expected in late July and August. The long days are filled with sunshine and the vibrant energy of summer makes the tourist crowds much more bearable. 

Summer is the perfect time to tour the Venetian Islands of Burano and Murano. These islands are famous for their charming architecture which encompasses all colors of the rainbow. It’s also a great way to get out of the bustling city and experience the unique artisanal traditions of the islands. 

Events in Venice in the Peak Season

There aren’t as many summer events in Venice compared to other Italian destinations, but there is one that stands out. The Festa del Redentore is a highly anticipated event with deep historical roots in Venice.  It allows visitors to experience local traditions and heritage all while enjoying the delightful weather and exciting atmosphere of summer in Venice. 

Festa del Redentore

One of the most significant events in Venice, the Festa del Redentore celebrates the end of the plague that ravaged Venice in the 16th century. It takes place on the third Sunday of July and is marked by a fabulous fireworks display. There is also a procession of colorful boats and a pontoon bridge is erected across the Giudecca Canal

The entire city bursts into life during the festivities, with religious processions and colorful decorations adorning the historic buildings. If you plan on attending this miraculous event, be sure to arrive at the canal early to secure a good viewing spot. You may also want to book your accommodation well in advance as the event is very popular and draws in countless visitors.

The Off-Peak Season in Venice

Often considered the second shoulder season in Venice, Autumn is the off-peak season. The summer rush winds down and cobbled streets are less busy. However, there is still great weather and excellent opportunities which makes it one of the best times to visit for those looking for a more laid-back vacation. 

Venice in September

As Summer ends, September sees the tourist crowds thinning out but the delightful weather of previous months remains. With this in mind, September is the best time of year to visit Venice if you want to avoid large crowds but still have high temperatures. It’s the perfect time to enjoy a gondola ride through Venice’s waterways and immerse yourself in the city’s innate beauty. 

Venice in October

October is the perfect time to visit Venice if you want to experience a different side of the city. As the leaves begin to fade to rusty shades of red and orange, the streets become enchanting and reminiscent of a fairytale. With far fewer tourists than the peak summer months, this is a great time to visit Venice on a romantic Italian break where you can spend quality time with your loved one. 

Venice in November

November brings an end to the Off-Peak season in Venice, with hardly any tourists and many establishments starting to close for the low season. There is also a much higher chance of rain and flooding which can make November in Venice quite dreary. However, if you don’t mind wet weather this is one of the most serene times of the year to visit Venice as you will have most of the major sights all to yourself. 

The Weather in Venice in the Off-Peak Season

The Off-Peak season in Venice is much cooler than the scorching summer months. Average daily highs can range from 66°F to 77°F, meaning you still have lovely weather for your vacation. It’s a much more peaceful time and great for travelers looking for a slow-paced escape. 

Venice experiences some rain in the Off-Peak season, around 5 – 6 days depending on which month you visit. However, you can still enjoy the very best of Venice’s cultural offerings. You can explore the top historical sights without any crowds and delight in seasonal delicacies like pumpkin risotto and fresh seafood.

Events in Venice in the Off-Peak Season

While the Off-Peak Season in Venice is quieter, there are some fantastic events you can attend which will make your trip truly memorable. From thrilling boat races to feast celebrations, the Fall months are the perfect time to visit Venice to experience local customs and festivals. 

Regata Storica

This historic boat race is held in September and is one of the most important events in the Venice calendar. The Regata Storica is believed to date back to the 13th century and is held on the first Sunday of September. The event opens with a colorful boat parade and a pageant of themed boats before the races begin, showcasing the different boats and styles of Venetian rowing. 

Festa della Salute 

Like the Festa del Redonte, the Festa della Salute commemorates the plague which devastated Venice in the 16th century. The day is dedicated to giving thanks and includes a spirited procession to the Church of Santa Maria della Salute. It is held annually on November 21st and includes prayers and a mass as well as the lighting of votive candles.

The Low Season in Venice 

Winter is the low season in Venice, with hardly any crowds and much colder weather. This might not appeal to everyone but this is also when you can find some of the cheapest flights and accommodation for a Venice trip. So if you’re looking to enjoy this Italian gem on a budget, the low season is a great time to go to Venice. 

Venice in December

December is the beginning of winter in Venice as well as the start of the low season. There will be fewer tourists during this period, but the city will still feel festive despite the chill in the air. The streets are adorned with charming decorations and dazzling lights, which create an enchanting atmosphere.  

Venice in January

With the festivities of Christmas coming to a close, January is a very quiet month in Venice. While it is one of the coldest months of the year, you can still visit many of the city’s main attractions like Rialto Bridge and St. Mark’s Basilica which are open year-round. Venice will feel less vibrant in January, but it’s a great place to visit in Italy if you’re looking to escape from the winter blues. 

Venice in February

While February is still part of the low season, it brings a unique charm to Venice. Carnival festivities take place across the month, with locals dressing in elaborate costumes and intricate masks. If you want to visit Venice at its most fantastical, then February is the best time to go. 

The Weather in Venice in the Low Season

This is the coldest time of year and the rainy season in Venice. Temperatures drop to average highs of 46°F to 48°F and lows of 34°F are common, so you’ll want to pack plenty of layers and a warm coat. There is a chance of frost in January and the month experiences an average of 1.2 days of snowfall. 

The Low Season is also when you are likely to experience Acqua Alta, the Venice Floods. For a few days in the year, the water level of the Venice canals rises and parts of the city become partially flooded. It is a completely natural phenomenon but it could impact your visit, so be sure to plan some indoor activities for your trip.

Events in Venice in the Low Season

While there aren’t many tourists in Venice in winter, there are some major events which bring in visitors and locals. These events paint the city in a festive light and can make the somber winter days much more exciting. So while it may not be the most popular time to visit Venice, you won’t be short of festivals to attend. 

Christmas

Of course, we couldn’t talk about winter in Venice and not mention Christmas. Venice is a great place to spend the festive season, with spirited Christmas markets and a joyous atmosphere. Piazza San Marco is decorated with elaborate lights and you can take refuge from the cold in a cozy cafe where you can take in the charming winter ambiance.  

Carnival 

One of the biggest events in Venice takes place in February, the Venice Carnival. Famous for its elaborate historical costumes and detailed masks, the festivities last for weeks and include balls, parties and parades. You can hire a costume and take part in the celebrations which will make you feel like you have stepped into the past as you enjoy the colorful traditions of Venice.

Summary

Overall, Venice promises to please you no matter what time of year you choose to visit. The Shoulder and Off-Peak seasons offer some of the best weather whilst having fewer crowds, which is perfect for travelers who want to enjoy Venice at its best. However, the summer brings radiant temperatures to Venice, ideal for those seeking fun in the sun. 

You can also visit in the low season, where cheaper prices and fewer tourists make it an ideal winter escape. Plus with events like the Venice Carnival, you are certain to have the adventure of a lifetime. 

So whether you want to visit during the mild March evenings or spend a sunny summer sojourn in Venice, there is a ‘best time to visit’ for every traveler. 

Thinking about visiting Venice sometime soon? Get in touch with Italy4Real to start planning your vibrant Venice vacation and create a custom tour of this Mediterranean marvel.

About the Author

Rem Malloy started Italy4real back in 1995 with his mother, Deborah de Maio.

He specialises in Italian tours as well as customised tours to France, England, Ireland, Germany, Switzerland, Greece and Spain. He was also featured in the Travel Channel show Mysteries at The Museum in 2016.

Rem has family in Italy and his mothers home town is Cava di Terrani, near the Amalfi Coast. The family has a street named after them in Sorrento, Via Luigi de Maio; a relative who was mayor of Sorrento.

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