If cold weather is not a problem for you, visiting Venice in winter can be the best choice ever: a magical atmosphere, several exciting events, and fewer tourists than usual are some excellent reasons to start planning your next trip!
Dive into lesser-known Venice winter!
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Table of Contents
Things to Do in Venice in Winter
Venice in November
Weather in Venice in November
The minimum temperature is 8°C and the maximum is 13°C. Heavy rainfall is relatively common as well as fog and “Acqua Alta” (meaning partial flooding of some areas of the city center due to high tide). Fog is very common from November to March (especially after sunset) while the so-called Acqua Alta is typical of the period going from mid-October to Christmas.
Events, celebrations and traditions in Venice in November
- Nov 1st -All Saints: many visitors choose the closest weekend to this celebration to spend a mini-vacation in Venice
- Nov 21st – Feast of Santa Maria della Salute: a special pilgrimage takes place to the homonymous Basilica. You can enter the church from a votive bridge made of boats and especially set-up on this occasion.
Things to do in Venice in November
- Since Venice is never too crowded in early winter (especially around the end of November), you can enjoy a more thorough visit to St. Mark’s Basilica and Palazzo Ducale. You can also skip the line and stay inside as long as you want. Take a skip-the-line guided tour to discover all their secrets!
- Enjoy the view of the city from the lagoon on a foggy day! There are plenty of cruises showing you around. I recommend this sunset tour by traditional Venetian Boat.
- Spend a night at the opera at La Fenice Theater. It’s one of the main Italian opera houses and many famous composers and musicians have been performing there over the years. More info at Teatro La Fenice.
Why visit Venice in November
- Pros: it’s the mildest winter month and there are fewer tourists than usual
- Cons: rainfall and floods are quite common
Venice in December
Weather in Venice in December
The minimum temperature is 6°C and the maximum temperature is 10°C. The weather is generally cold and grey.
Events, celebrations and traditions in Venice in December
- Dec. 8th – Feast of the Immaculate Conception: it marks the beginning of the Holiday Season and the city comes alive with lights and decorations
- Dec. 24th – Christmas Eve: the Midnight Mass in St. Mark’s Basilica is an unmissable event for locals. If you want to attend the mass, go there at least 1h in advance to be able to find a seat.
- Dec 31st–New Year’s Eve: join the party in Piazza San Marco, grab a drink and watch the traditional midnight fireworks.
- Christmas markets: in campo Santo Stefano you can find many original gift ideas and local specialties
- Nativity scene: the most popular one is set up in the Basilica of Santa Maria Gloriosa dei Frari. If you like art pieces, go to the Scalzi Church to see an exhibition of nativity scenes entirely made of Murano glass.
- Sant Claus Boat Race: around mid-December, a folk amateur boat race takes place on Canal Grande.
Things to do in Venice in December
- Fill your eyes with colors and fresh foods at Rialto Market. Around Christmas, it’s full of fabulous foods and locals searching for the perfect ingredients for their festive meals.
- Take some Insta-friendly pictures from the top of St. Mark’s Tower. A foggy sunset on the lagoon is really worth the climb! More info at Basilica San Marco The campanile
- Skate on ice! The skating rink in Campo San Polo is open until the end of February.
Why visit Venice in December
- Pros: you can experience the magic of Christmas in a charming setting
- Cons: busy and expensive
Venice in January
Weather in Venice in January
The minimum temperature is 0°C and the maximum temperature is 7°C. January is the coldest month of the year in Venice and in Northern Italy in general. Keep in mind that the perceived temperature can be considerably lower due to high humidity.
Events, celebrations and traditions in Venice in January
- Jan 1st – the traditional New Year’s Concert is held at La Fenice Theater. You can also watch it live on tv
- Jan 6th – Epiphany: the amateur Befana Boat Race is a funny event gathering both adults and kids along the banks of Canal Grande.
Things to do in Venice in January
- Spend some time at a local cozy bacaro to warm up and taste some local specialties
- Escape the damp chill of Venice by lingering in a museum! The perfect solution to spend a whole day indoors without getting bored is visiting the Gallerie dell’Accademia. More info at Gallerie dell’Accademia di Venezia.
- Enjoy sophistication and elegance at the Scuola Grande di San Rocco! On a grey day, fill your eyes with gold and bright colors admiring the baroque paintings by Tintoretto. More info at Scuola Grande di San Rocco.
Why visit Venice in January
- Pros: fewer tourists and slightly lower prices than usual (Venice is always expensive). It’s the perfect month for art lovers because you’ll spend long hours indoors and Venice offers a wide selection of beautiful art museums, galleries, and exhibitions
- Cons: bad weather
Venice in February
Weather in Venice in February
The minimum temperature is 1°C and the maximum 9°C. It’s always cold and rainy but the weather gets better towards the end of the month.
Events, celebrations and traditions in Venice in February
- Feb. 14th – St. Valentine’s Day: Venice is a popular destination among both Italian and international couples and it’s considered one of the most romantic Italian cities.
- Carnival: everyone has heard of the picturesque Venice Carnival! Richly decorated masks, period costumes, sumptuous balls, folk events, and fun for both adults and kids are the key ingredients of these two weeks. Among the many events which are traditionally part of the Venice Carnival, don’t miss the Flight of the Angel, the Water Parade, and a masked ball in an ancient mansion.
Things to do in Venice in February
- Enjoy a romantic gondola ride on St. Valentine’s Day! It’s a bit of a cliché and many consider it too cheesy, but if you’re in town on February 14th you cannot skip this experience!
- Decorate your own Carnival mask (Venice: Paint your own Venetian Mask Workshop) and enjoy a practical workshop to creatively spend a rainy afternoon.
- Everybody goes downtown for Carnival, so it might be the best time of the year for a visit to the smaller islands of Murano, Burano, and Torcello. Take a boat tour (ex: Venice: Murano, Burano, and Torcello Private Boat Tour) and enjoy the quieter atmosphere of these islands to escape the hustle and bustle of Venice.
Why visit Venice in February
- Pros: you can experience the famous Carnival
- Cons: Venice is packed with tourists coming to town to celebrate both Carnival and St. Valentine’s day
What to pack for a winter trip to Venice
- Fleece jacket
- Wool sweaters
- Scarf, gloves and hat
- Winter waterproof jacket
- Waterproof shoes or boots
- Jeans/long trousers
- Long sleeves t-shirts or shirts
- Backpack (and a small bag for the night)
Remember to dress in layers you can take off in heated indoor spaces!
Where to eat and drink in Venice in winter
- Ristorante alle Corone: perfect for a refined and elegant (and also expensive!) St. Valentine’s dinner Restaurant Alle Corone in Venice
- Cantine del Vino già Schiavi: it’s been a local institution and a meeting place for locals for more than a century Cantinone già Schiavi
- Osteria ai 4 Feri: taste their local fish recipes like sarde in saor or spaghetti with clams Osteria Ai 4 Feri
Cafes and Bakeries
- Torrefazione Cannaregio: if you’re a coffee-lover, that’s the right place for your afternoon break Torrefazione Cannaregio
- Tonolo: an unmissable stop during Carnival! They are famous for their Carnival fritters available in many different flavors Pasticceria Tonolo
- Caffé Florian: a historical café located in Piazza San Marco. It’s more than 300 years old and many famous people were regular clients. A few names? Giacomo Casanova, Carlo Goldoni, Ugo Foscolo and Gabriele D’Annunzio Caffè Florian
Why visit Venice in Winter
- The Christmas lights reflecting on the water make Venice even more beautiful than usual;
- Venice Carnival is really worth it and you can pretend to go back in time and be an 18th-century nobleman or noblewoman;
- Cold weather is perfect to spend a whole day inside a museum or to linger in restaurants and cafés without feeling guilty!
- You can find fewer tourists around in November and January;
- Venetian fog is something you shall see at least once in a lifetime;
- You can experience local “Acqua Alta”;
Plan your trip to Venice with my guides:
How to spend 2 days in Venice
The best day trips in Venice
Interesting facts to know about Venice
How to spend one day in Verona
A 2-week Italy itinerary.
Northern Italy Itinerary.