Venice is a gorgeous city. No question.
But, when you visit, you'll find that there's plenty of other tourists blocking your view. 🙄 The nerve.
Honestly, there's really nothing you can do about that.
However, I have some tricks that we used during our visit that will help you avoid the tourists and get those perfect views and photos (tourist free).
Keep reading because I've got four tips to share!
Get Up Early
Likely the most unpopular tip on this list is getting up early.
Italians aren't known for rising early. Neither are vacationers.
So, getting up early is a great way to see some of the most popular sites in Venice.
Places such as the Rialto Bridge, Bridge of Sighs, and Basilica di San Marco are nearly empty.
You will hardly see a soul around. Except for some other crazy tourists, bloggers, and wedding/engagement photoshoots.
We got up and out by 7 am one morning for an engagement shoot. It was incredibly difficult because we were feeling so jet lagged.
So, I know it won't be easy for you either. Being able to enjoy this quiet time will allow you to not only get some awesome pictures that won't include 1,000+ other people, but it's an incredible experience to be able to see these beautiful and historic landmarks without the hoards of people. You'll make wonderful memories during that time.
Afterwards you see everything you'd like, you can find a cafe that's open and grab an espresso and maybe even a chocolate croissant. Just saying!
Or, you could always go back to your room and take a quick nap.
If you're looking for a hotel close to all of these historic sites that doesn't break the bank, check out this one.
This is where we stayed and it took one minute to walk to the Piazza di San Marco. This made it super easy to get up early and see all of those sites because we were just a few minutes away from them.
Explore Less Popular Neighborhoods
Everyone loves getting off the beaten path but few rarely do, which is great for you!
There are certain neighborhoods in Venices that are not nearly as busy as San Marco.
In fact, while we were wandering around in the middle of the day, we walked through a couple of neighborhoods where we passed very few people.
It was incredibly different from the vibe that you get while in San Marco and San Polo.
We walked through Guidecca, Castello, and through a little bit of Cannaregio and there were very few people.
There are some hotels located in these spots, so if you'd rather stay out of the way, you can definitely look into that. However, I caution you to staying in Guidecca simply because you'd have to take the water bus every time you wanted to explore other parts of Venice. While a short water bus ride might not be much of an inconvenience, it's certainly an added cost.
Tips for Exploring
We just walked around these neighborhoods and explored. But, if you want a more guided experience, there are FREE guided tours through some of the quieter neighborhoods.
We didn't take one of these tours, so I personally can't speak to how good they are. However, while researching things to do in Venice before I went, I saw many people that had enjoyed their tour.
The nice thing about taking a guided tour is that you get the history of the neighborhoods.
You need to make sure that you reserve your space online.
The busiest neighborhoods in Venice are San Marco and San Polo. Portions of Dorsodoro can be busy, too. However, you'll find that, for the most part, the other neighborhoods can be relatively quiet.
For a more in-depth neighborhood guide, check out my full guide to Venice Italy.
Explore When It Rains
Don't let a little rain ruin your parade. In fact, you should take advantage of it.
Walking around in the rain in actually how we met some really nice people who were willing to take our picture in front of some of the famous sites, such as the Bridge of Sighs and the Basilica di San Marco.
There were very few people out and about because of the rain, which was a blessing, since we had just arrived and were excited to explore.
Plus, we had looked at the forecast and arrived prepared. I had my raincoat and waterproof boots. Needless to say, the rain didn't really bother us.
Don't Visit During Peak Season
Do not visit Venice during peak season.
We visited in the Spring, which is not peak season, and I couldn't believe how busy it was.
The things that boggles my mind is that it gets busier! Like, really? How?!
The summer months are peak season for Venice, just like many destinations.
We visited in Spring, and it was still really busy. But, it's nice knowing that it was less busy than in the Summer.
If you're not sure when to visit, you can check out Venice's crowd predictor.
While often times, it will be less busy in the Winter, you should know that the Piazza di San Marco floods during that time.
They do put out some platforms that you can walk on so that you can still see the sites, but if you plan on visiting in Winter, you'll also want to waterproof boots.
Additionally, February can be an incredibly busy month due to Venice's annual Carnival.
I'm sure it's quite the experience and well worth seeing, but if you're trying to avoid crowds, this is definitely not the best time to visit.
Despite the fact that Venice is an incredibly popular vacation destination, you can still manage to avoid the tourists and get the views you came to see.
Let's do a quick recap just so you don't forget a thing, and if you just skipped to the bottom, you'll still get the juicy stuff, too!
- Get Up Early
- Explore Less Popular Neighborhoods
- Walk Around When It Rains
- Don't Go During Peak Season
I wish that there was a magic formula for completely avoiding the tourists in Venice (I bet the locals feel similarly...), but unfortunately, there's not.
So, the best I can do is provide you with top notch tips to help you get the most out of your Venice vacation while seeing the fewest tourists.
I hope you found these tips helpful! If you did, please share it with your friends. It would be wrong to keep these juicy tips to yourself. 😉