piazza san marco

The Best Time to Visit Venice: The Ultimate All-Season Guide

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To truly appreciate Venice’s romantic allure, it’s crucial to plan your visit carefully. I live very close to Venice and spend time there frequently meaning that I have been there in every season.

What’s the best time to visit Venice? My favorite times to go there are in April and May and then again in September and October.

However, the best time to visit Venice can vary greatly depending on your preferences. Some prefer the bustling energy of the peak season, while others seek the tranquility of fewer crowds. Factors such as weather, hotel rates, and key events also play a significant role in determining the ideal time for your visit.

In this comprehensive guide, I’ll delve into the nuances of Venice’s seasons, discuss the city’s weather patterns, highlight key events and attractions, and provide practical tips to help you plan your visit.

Want to know the worst time to visit Venice? Click here for my full article!


Understanding Venice’s Seasons

Venice, like much of Italy, experiences four distinct seasons, each with its unique characteristics and charm. Understanding these seasons and their implications for travel can greatly enhance your visit to this enchanting city.

Peak Season

The peak season in Venice typically falls in the summer months, from June to August. During this time, the city is teeming with tourists from around the world, drawn by the warm weather and the vibrant atmosphere.

The city is in full swing, with all attractions open and tons of events taking place. However, be prepared for large crowds, long lines, and packed vaporetti, especially in popular spots like Piazza San Marco and the Grand Canal. Also, hotel rates tend to be at their highest during this period and some people complain that it’s smelly in the summer.

You’re not too far from some gorgeous beaches, though, so if you have some extra time to spend in Venice then it’s worth it to come during this season.

Off Season

The off-season in Venice is generally during the colder months, from November to February, excluding the festive Christmas period and the famous Carnevale in February. Aside from during those times, the city sees fewer tourists, resulting in smaller crowds and shorter lines at attractions.

The weather can be quite cold, and some attractions may have shorter hours or be closed entirely. However, hotel rates are generally cheaper, and you can experience a quieter, more authentic Venice.

There is still plenty of events and things to do in the off season. For instance, in January you can take in the Epiphany celebrations.

Shoulder Season

The shoulder season in Venice occurs in the spring (April to June) and fall (September and October). These periods offer a balance between the bustling energy of the peak season and the tranquility of the off season. The weather is generally pleasant, and while there are still tourists, the crowds are less overwhelming.

Hotel rates are also more moderate compared to the peak season. The shoulder season can be an excellent time to visit Venice if you’re looking for a balance between good weather, manageable crowds, and reasonable prices.

Read my guide on the most romantic hotels once you’ve started planning your trip!

Peak Visitor Numbers and Tourist Seasons in Venice

summer crowds in venice

Venice, the city of canals, is a popular tourist destination that attracts millions of visitors each year. Understanding the peak visitor numbers and tourist seasons in Venice can help you plan your trip more effectively, ensuring you get the most out of your visit.

Venice experiences its highest tourist influx during the summer months, particularly in July and August. This is considered the “peak season” when the city is bustling with tourists from around the world. The weather is warm, and all attractions are open, making it an ideal time for sightseeing. However, it’s also when Venice is most crowded, and hotel rates are at their highest.

On the other hand, the “off season” typically falls in the colder months, from late fall to early spring. During this time, the number of tourists drops significantly. While some attractions may have shorter hours, you’ll enjoy fewer crowds, and accommodations are generally cheaper.

The “shoulder season” falls in the transitional periods between the peak and off seasons, usually in late spring (April to June) and early fall (September and October). During these months, the weather is still pleasant, and the tourist crowds are less overwhelming than in the peak season.

However, it’s important to note that these are general trends and can vary from year to year.

Weather in Venice

Venice, the city of canals, is a marvel to behold in any season. However, the weather can significantly impact your visit, so it’s essential to know what to expect.

Average Temperatures

Venice experiences a humid subtropical climate, with cool winters and very warm summers. The average annual temperature is 18℃. The warmest month of the year is July, with an average temperature of 28℃. On the other hand, January is usually the coldest month, with an average temperature of 7℃.

Here’s a month-by-month breakdown of the average temperatures:

  • January: 7℃
  • February: 9℃
  • March: 13℃
  • April: 17℃
  • May: 22℃
  • June: 26℃
  • July: 28℃
  • August: 28℃
  • September: 24℃
  • October: 19℃
  • November: 13℃
  • December: 9℃


Venice also sees a fair amount of rainfall throughout the year. The months with the largest precipitation are October, November, and May, with October seeing the highest average precipitation of 88mm.

Here’s a month-by-month breakdown of the average precipitation:

  • January: 49mm
  • February: 51mm
  • March: 61mm
  • April: 73mm
  • May: 75mm
  • June: 74mm
  • July: 60mm
  • August: 62mm
  • September: 68mm
  • October: 88mm
  • November: 84mm
  • December: 62mm

Visiting Venice in Different Seasons

Each season in Venice offers a unique experience, with its own set of pros and cons. Here’s a breakdown of what you can expect when visiting Venice in different seasons:

Summer (June – August)


  • Long, sunny days perfect for sightseeing
  • Numerous events and festivals, such as the Festa del Redentore in July
  • Gondola rides and alfresco dining are particularly enjoyable in the warm weather


  • High tourist season, resulting in large crowds and long lines at attractions
  • High temperatures and occasional summer thunderstorms can be uncomfortable
  • Hotel rates are at their peak

Fall (September – November)


  • Fewer tourists, resulting in a more relaxed atmosphere
  • The weather is generally pleasant, with temperatures dropping from the summer highs
  • The occurrence of “acqua alta” can be an interesting experience (though it’s best to come prepared with rain boots)


  • Some attractions may have shorter hours
  • The weather can be unpredictable, with a higher chance of rain and acqua alta

Winter (December – February)


  • The least crowded time to visit Venice
  • Lower hotel rates
  • Unique events like the Venice Carnival in February


  • Cold winters, with temperatures often dropping below freezing
  • Shorter days mean less daylight for sightseeing
  • Some businesses may be closed or have reduced hours

Spring (March – May)


  • Beautiful blooming flowers and pleasant weather
  • Fewer crowds compared to the summer months
  • The Venice Biennale starts in late May, a major contemporary art exhibition


  • Spring showers are common, so it’s a good idea to carry an umbrella
  • Some popular sites can start to get crowded, especially during the Easter holidays

Remember, the best time to visit Venice depends on your personal preferences and what you want to get out of your trip.

Key Events and Holidays in Venice

Venice is a city that’s rich in culture and tradition, and this is reflected in the numerous events and holidays that take place throughout the year. These events can significantly impact your visit, affecting everything from hotel rates to tourist crowds.

National Holidays in Italy

Italy celebrates several national holidays, many of which are also celebrated in Venice. These include New Year’s Day (January 1), Easter Monday (date varies), Labor Day (May 1), and Christmas Day (December 25). During these holidays, many businesses and attractions may be closed, but the city often comes alive with special events and celebrations.

Specific Events

One of the most significant events that impact the city’s crowd levels is the Carnevale di Venezia, or the Carnival of Venice. This annual festival is world-renowned and attracts visitors from all corners of the globe. The Carnevale typically takes place in February, leading up to Lent. The exact dates vary each year, but in 2023, for example, many of the Carnival events were scheduled from the 11th to the 21st of February, according to the official Venice Carnival website.

If you’re planning to visit during the Carnevale, it’s recommended to book your accommodation and tickets for events well in advance. Some of the most popular events, like the ‘Il Ballo del Doge’ or the Doge’s Ball, can sell out quickly.

Another significant event is the Festa del Redentore in July, a grand festival with fireworks and a regatta to celebrate the end of the plague in 1576.

Holy Week, leading up to Easter, is also a special time in Venice, with religious processions and services taking place throughout the city.

Christmas in Venice is a magical time, with festive decorations, special church services, and Christmas markets. The markets start popping up around the end of November and often last until into the second week of January.

vogalonga regatta in may

Another notable event is the Vogalonga Regatta, a non-competitive rowing event that takes place in May. It’s a spectacular sight, with hundreds of boats from around the world participating.

Impact on Hotel Rates and Tourist Crowds

During these events and holidays, Venice can become particularly crowded, and hotel rates often increase due to the high demand. It’s advisable to book your accommodations well in advance if you plan to visit during these times.

For events like the Vogalonga, transportation and even the routes the gondolas can take are impacted. The Grand Canal is closed to public transportation during the Vogalonga for most of the day, for example.

Practical Tips for Visiting Venice

Visiting Venice can be an unforgettable experience, but it requires some planning and preparation. Here are some practical tips to help you make the most of your trip:

Weather Preparedness

be prepared for rainy weather in venice

Venice’s weather can be quite variable, so it’s important to plan for good weather and prepare for the possibility of bad weather. Check the average temperatures and rainfall for the time of your visit and pack accordingly. Remember, even in the summer, thunderstorms can occur, and in the winter, the city can experience cold temperatures and high water levels (acqua alta). Always have a plan B for outdoor activities in case of unexpected weather changes.


Venice can be an expensive city, especially during the peak tourist season. If you’re on a tight budget, consider visiting in the off-season when hotel rates are generally cheaper. Also, keep in mind that many attractions charge admission fees, so factor these into your budget as well.

Buying one of the many passes available for things like transportation, museums, and other attractions can save you money and time. I highly recommend one and you can see the ones that should help you on your trip by clicking here.

Check out my guide on the most popular Venice Passes so you can find one that suits your needs best!

Packing Appropriately

Packing appropriately for your trip to Venice is crucial. In addition to clothing suitable for the weather, consider packing items like rain boots and a waterproof jacket, especially if you’re visiting during the acqua alta season. If you are caught by surprise by aqua alta and didn’t pack appropriately, don’t worry as many souvenir shops sell boots.

Comfortable walking shoes are a must as you’ll likely spend a lot of time on your feet exploring the city.

Check out my packing list guide for what to wear in Venice!

Day Trips and Special Events

Venice’s location in northern Italy makes it a great base for day trips to other cities and regions such as the Prosecco hills for a wine tour. Consider adding a day trip to your itinerary to explore more of Italy. Also, if you’re visiting over New Year’s Eve, you’re in for a treat. Venice hosts a spectacular fireworks display over the lagoon to ring in the new year, a truly magical experience.

highest quality prosecco in prosecco hills

Check out my article on the best day trips from Venice to help you plan your ideal trip!


Venice, with its unique charm and rich history, is a city that captivates every visitor. Whether you’re navigating the bustling streets during the peak tourist season, experiencing the festive atmosphere of the Carnevale, or enjoying the quieter charm of the off-season, Venice promises an unforgettable experience.

Remember, the best time to visit Venice is the time that suits you best. So, plan your trip, pack your bags, and get ready to fall in love with La Serenissima, the most serene city.

Sal Presti

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