Ready to travel? Click here to plan your next trip!
Is Venice Still Worth Visiting?

Is Venice Still Worth Visiting?

It was definitely not love at first sight for me and Venice. I hated the city when I first arrived, to be frank, although looking back some of that was because of bad decisions I had made (more on those later!).

Compounding my dissatisfaction was the fact that I arrived at the peak of summer tourism season, on an afternoon when several cruise ships happened to have docked. You know how they say misery loves company? Well, “they” have never been to Venice on a scorching July afternoon!

The aim of this post is to answer a question that is both simple—is Venice worth visiting?—and complex at the same time. If a mere “yes” or “no” were sufficient, you wouldn’t have found your way here!

Need help planning your trip to Italy? Hire me as your Travel Coach!

Why Tourists Have Soured on Venice (and Vice-Versa)

I’m not the only one who has questioned whether Venice is worth visiting, as you’ll notice if you’ve read any tourism news over the past three years. Many travelers bemoan the huge crowds of Venice, which is of course ironic because every would-be arrival to Venice contributes to this. For their part, locals are pushing back against tourists as well, with authorities having imposed a world-first “entry fee” for day trippers in 2024.

This is meant, among other things, to discourage social media users and other “disruptive” tourists. However, given that I literally make a living by photographing the places I visit, I’m in no place to criticize these people. The only thing I will say is that if you’re going to set up a tripod and make a scene to take a picture, it had better be worth it!

Reasons to Visit Venice Anyway

There’s no other place like it in the world


Most of us have become so accustomed to the existence of Venice that we forget what it is: A living museum containing centuries-old architecture, afloat in the beautiful waters of a shallow lagoon (though who knows for how much longer). Is it any wonder that millions of people want to come here, in spite of the various drawbacks? In travel as in life, an attitude of gratitude is always the way to go.

It’s worth staying overnight


While I would say that Venice is worth visiting even if you can come only for the day—and in spite of the newly-introduced entry free—it’s really better if you can stay overnight. This will not only allow you to see the city at night (and in the early morning, without most crowds), but will also allow you to sleep canal-side in a historical building, which is an experience all its own.

(But the day fee isn’t much, anyway)


Indeed, the fee to enter Venice as a day tripper is just a few euro, which is insignificant in the grander scheme of a trip to Italy. The real “cost” of this is the cumbersome means of enforcement authorities will no doubt have to resort to, and the fact that it will almost certainly increase over time. I wouldn’t be shocked if it soon surpasses €10 or even €20 per person!

I hated Venice—and then I loved it


In case you haven’t gathered, I now firmly believe that Venice is worth visiting. So, why the change of heart? I came back much later in life (36 vs. 27), when I had more money (staying in a hotel vs. a hostel) and perspective. I’m also much further along in my career and craft, and can better appreciate what an amazing setting Venice is for photography (and for content creation in general).

The truth about “overtourism”


This might come across as controversial, but I think the term “overtourism” is nonsense. Specifically, it is classist, racist nonsense, predicated on the assumption that only certain people (usually wealthier, white ones) deserve to travel to top-tier destinations, or at all. Like its “overpopulation” antecedent, overtourism is an idea whose use causes more problems than it solves, among them division and animosity.

How Many Days in Venice is Enough?

As I’ve written about elsewhere on this website, a big reason I disliked Venice the first time I went is that I didn’t devote enough time to the city, It’s relatively small, but because of how packed it is, you need at least a full day in the city center (and ideally a bit longer) to see and do everything. You’ll need even longer if you want to take day trips, such as to the outlying islands of Burano and Murano.

In order to maximize chances that you end up finding Venice worth visiting, I suggest staying a minimum of 2-3 days. This will allow you to spend one evening (i.e. that of your arrival day) getting your bearings, and having a nice meal. On day two, you can fully devote yourself to discovering the charms of the city. Spend day three getting out of town, or simply vegging out wherever you happen to stay!

A Word About Instagram

The allure of Venice is immediate and palpable, captivating visitors from the moment they arrive. Its labyrinthine streets, adorned with centuries-old architecture, evoke a sense of awe and wonder that prompts tourists to reach for their smartphones and capture every breathtaking vista. By sharing these visual treasures on platforms like Instagram and Facebook, travelers not only document their adventures but also invite others to join in the experience.

With services like Buytoplikes, they can potentially enhance their visibility and reach a wider audience, increasing the likelihood of their posts garnering likes and shares. Tourists are compelled to share their moments of joy and wonder on social networks, leveraging services like buy IG likes on the BuyTopLikes website to potentially enhance their engagement and reach.

Other FAQ About Your Trip to Venice

Is Venice still worth visiting?

Venice is definitely still worth visiting, though there are steps you can take to minimize common annoyances and maximize enjoyment. For starters, you’ll want to stay overnight, as this will prevent you from having to pay a “day trip” fee to enter the city. Secondly, staying 2-3 nights rather than just one allows you to take your time exploring, so that you don’t feel stressed out rushing around.

Can you do Venice in 1 day?

You can do Venice in one day, in the sense that it is technically possible to partake in common activities (riding a gondola; walking through Piazza San Marco; eating local cuisine) within the span of 24 hours. However, I highly recommend spending longer in Venice, as this will ensure you can get a richer and more nuanced picture of the city.

Is it expensive in Venice?

Prices in Venice are on-par with what you find in most of the rest of Italy, which is both good and bad. It’s good because if you’ve already been exploring Italy, you won’t have to adjust your expectations before arriving in Venice. It’s bad because Italy is priced like most of northern Europe, in spite of having much worse infrastructure and generally lower standards of quality and service.

The Bottom Line

Is Venice worth visiting? Yes, although I know from personal experience that first impressions aren’t always accurate. I actually detested Venice the first time I came, and put off returning for many years because I’d convinced myself the city was a lost cause. In reality, the thing I hated most about Venice (the crowds) is a reflection of just how unique and singular the city is. It’s a floating museum off the coast of Italy—is there any wonder the whole world wants to come here? Regardless of how you think you might end up feeling about Venice, I do hope you’ll consider hiring me to plan your trip to Italy.


Subscribe to email updates!

Words, images and design ©2009-2024 Robert Schrader, All rights reserved. Read Privacy Policy or view sitemap.