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Nothing screams romance more than Venice’s charming canals, bridges and waterways. It is one of the world’s most picturesque and recognizable cities. So, it’s no surprise it is a popular destination for honeymooners. Or, if you haven’t popped the question yet, maybe this could be the perfect place.
Here are some incredibly romantic things to do in Venice at night—just in case you’re in the mood.
Take a romantic gondola ride
It would be unconventional to travel to Venice and not experience a famous gondola ride. Some would say it’s the most romantic thing to do in the city. You will see gondolas everywhere, from the famous Grand Canal to the incredible Rialto Bridge and under the Bridge of Sighs. Supposedly, couples that kiss under the Bridge of Sighs stay together forever and experience eternal happiness.
To elevate the romance, have your gondolier serenade you with Italian melodies.
While you can do this during the day, there is something peaceful about cruising the canals in the evening when the day crowds have lessened. The best time is the blue hour, the hour just after sunset.
Prices should be standardized, so be wary of people upselling! Expect to pay €80 ($81) for a private 25-30 minute tour during the day and €120 ($122) in the evening.
Grab a pizza and sit on the edge of the Grand Canal
Yes, Venice has some incredible restaurants to choose from. However, for a special private date night, pick up a takeaway pizza and sit along the Grand Canal to enjoy million-dollar views. A few beers or takeaway Aperol spritzes would be the icing on the cake.
Watch as travelers cruise down the canals in gondolas, take in the singing from the gondoliers and admire the city in all its beauty. It has to be one of the best things to do in Venice at night.
Pro tip: Right outside Hotel San Moise is an epic spot to enjoy views of the canal.
See an opera or ballet at the Teatro La Fenice
With stunning interiors, the Teatro La Fenice is one of the most iconic opera houses in the world. While it has burnt down three times, today, it stands as an architectural masterpiece.
Complete with 24-carat gold leaf details, this magical evening will blow your mind. Even if opera or ballet isn’t your thing, the theater alone will make this a romantic evening with your loved one.
Once you arrive at the Teatro with your pre-booked seats, you will be ushered into the main theater. Don’t worry if you can’t speak Italian. English subtitles are available for all the operas.
Besides the season’s opening night and premiere evenings when a tuxedo and formal dress are expected, guests can wear button-down shirts and jeans.
Indulge in delicious Italian food on an evening tour
Want to get away from the tourist trap restaurants? If so, take a food tour, and eat where the locals eat. Without a doubt, it’ll be a fun-filled night in Venice. It’s the perfect way to discover world-famous Venetian cuisine and wine.
Whether you choose a private or group tour, expect to indulge in cicchetti which are small bites served alongside your aperitivo drink. Think crostini topped with fish, meat, or vegetables and polpette (meatballs).
What comes next? Taste testing some other local dishes, including the famous nero di seppia, which is squid ink pasta. Don’t worry, the night will end with some Italian gelato!
Pro tip: Do this at the beginning of your time in Venice because your guide will give you local foodie recommendations for the rest of your trip.
Visit some of the main sites under the moonlight
There is something so lovely about walking at night in Venice. Just imagine, as the evening lights begin to glow, strolling hand in hand around all the top sites.
Check out the area around Piazza San Marco (the tourist heart of Venice). Start at Palazzo Ducale (Doge’s Palace) and then visit St. Mark’s Basilica, the Palazzo Barbarigo Minotto and the Bridge of Sighs. The area just oozes romance.
Afterward, make your way towards Ponte di Rialto (Rialto Bridge), stopping at Fondaco dei Tedeschi, especially if you enjoy high-end luxury shopping. Regardless, the building itself is impressive and worth taking a glimpse at. The rooftop has incredible views!
Pro tip: The best way to get around Venice is by foot or by a vaporetto, known as a waterbus.
Book a table for two at Ristorante ai Barbacani
This special restaurant has a romantic table for two overlooking the Santa Maria Formosa canal—you’ll probably get your feet wet! There is only one table on the canal, so be sure to book ahead of time. It’s a six-minute walk from St Mark’s Square making it a convenient option for dinner.
Besides the setting itself, you’ll indulge in traditional Veneto fish and meat dishes as well as homemade pasta. Oh, and you can’t forget about dessert with tiramisu and panna cotta available.
It will be your most romantic evening in Venice. Perhaps, the perfect place to propose.
Visit Libreria Acqua Alta—The most beautiful bookstore in the Venice
If you are still wondering what to do in Venice at night, here’s another romantic idea.
Saunter through Libreria Acqua Alta, in the Castello district of Venice. You will find antique books, second-hand books, pictures, prints and souvenirs to admire.
Keep an eye out for books stored in gondolas and bathtubs. Even books ruined due to high waters have a place in this unique bookstore.
Where to Go After Venice
The Floating City is easy to access from several popular locations within Italy. From Verona to Venice it will take 1 hour 25 minutes by standard bus or private car. From Florence to Venice it will take 3 hours 15 minutes by bus.
Croatia is within easy reach from Venice if you travel by ferry. From Venice to Pula it will take you 3 hours 30 minutes. Alternatively, Venice to Rovinj will take you 5 hours. Both locations are stunning seaside towns on the Istrian Peninsula. Expect days wandering through the Old Towns and beach hopping.
Slovenia is also an easy hop from Venice. And it’s such an underrated country. There are many places to visit, including Lake Bled and Triglav National Park. It will take only 2 hours and 30 minutes from Venice to Piran.
For a few days between October and March, it is not uncommon for the water levels to rise and parts of the city to flood. However, don’t let that stop you from traveling during these months—it doesn’t last long.
Since Venice is such a popular tourist destination, locals working in the tourist trade speak some English.
Hands down, the summer months of June, July and August are crazy busy. As are the weeks during Carnival in February and around Christmas and Easter.