Venice is a city like no other, even if you are visiting Venice in winter! Made up of 118 tiny islands connected by over 400 bridges it’s no wonder that it’s sometimes referred to as ‘the city of canals’.
Venice is a firm fixture on most people’s bucket lists, and quite rightly so! However, most people don’t think to visit in the winter.
There are obvious downsides when visiting Venice in winter, such as the cold weather and the risk of flooding. However, these are things that can easily be combatted with a pair of wellies and a good winter coat – problem solved!
Below we have listed the pros and cons of visiting Venice in the winter. Don’t be too swayed by the ‘cons’, Venice is stunning year-round. And spoiler alert – we think winter is the BEST time to visit this tourist hotspot!
Visiting Venice in winter is essentially visiting during the off-season.
As a result of this, there will be far fewer crowds, less queuing, and fewer tourists lurking in the background of all the stunning photos you will inevitably take when you are there.
A lot of typical Venetian hotspots will also be relatively empty, and you can always find a nice peaceful area to stroll around and feel like a local.
Thankfully as it is less busy. You will be able to walk straight into most restaurants without pre-booking. Everywhere we dined was reasonably empty which was amazing and relaxing – perfect after a busy day of taking photos!
Note: although Venice is undeniably much quieter over winter, it is never actually quiet. Popular tourist spots such as Piazza San Marco will always be slightly crowded.
In order to find a cheap flight, the trick is to constantly be checking Skyscanner! Skyscanner = God
Thankfully, the lack of people opting to visit in winter means cheaper airfares – hallelujah!
We only paid £40 per person for a return flight from Edinburgh.
As bargain hunters by nature, we immediately looked at hostels and Airbnb‘s for bargains. There were many options that were suitable and reasonably priced.
We recommend looking for a hotel in the San Marco area as this is extremely central and the perfect place to base yourself. To stay in this area usually costs a small fortune, however, thanks to being a savvy winter traveler the prices were dramatically reduced.
We found a relatively small double room with an ensuite in San Marcos for £45 total!
£45 is very much on the budget end of the scale, however, you can find plenty of hotels ranging from £20-100 per night. These prices are somewhat typical of the winter season and can be found by scouring a mixture of sites including Trivago, Booking.com, and Hostelworld.
Cheap(er) Food and attractions
Not only is it cheaper getting to Venice, the food and attractions are also cheaper than during peak times. Unfortunately, one of the things that are never reduced is the cost to ride in a gondola.
The food was very reasonably priced, averaging £10-20 for a meal.
As self-proclaimed fussy eaters, we stuck to a strict diet of carbohydrates – pizza and pasta! Good job we’re in Italy, eh? Thanks to our “refined palates” we really never splurged on any decadent food.
Shockingly, one item that was never cheap was Coca-Cola. Coca-cola is like water to us and to go without it isn’t an option. Averaging about £5 per 330ml CAN we were burning through our money quickly!
Most places in Europe will be somewhat chilly! That’s just part of living in the northern hemisphere from October to March.
Unfortunately, Venice is no different with temperatures rarely exceeding 8 degrees. It is also often below 0 degrees, which is very… fresh!
However, what could be more romantic than snuggling for warmth in a gondola?
As Venice is surrounded by water, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that throughout the winter season it is more susceptible to rain and fog! HoweceThis can be problematic when trying to take photos, especially if visibility is reduced.
Thankfully, we were not affected by adverse weather when weather when we visited in December 2019.
One MAJOR downside of visiting Venice in winter is the inevitable flooding. You could find yourself wading through ankle-high water if you are unlucky.
Be prepared and check if there is a risk of flooding before you go so you know whether or not to bring wellies!
If there is flooding when you’re there do not fear. Venice is extremely prepared for these situations and there will be miles of raised walkways in place to deal with the flooding.
As winter sets in, the days become shorter and shorter as the night falls sooner. Sunset can even be as early as 4:20 pm in December.
With that in mind, you really have to make the most of the daylight you have.
This can mean your days are jam-packed, but isn’t that more fun? We certainly like being busy! One way to get the most out of your days is by pre-booking attractions so you don’t waste precious time in queues!
Venice in winter is just as dreamy as in the summer. Whether you are wrapped up cozy and clad in wellies or wearing a skimpy outfit, it does not detract from the beauty of the city!
As someone who loves a bargain and hates crowds, visiting Venice in winter was a no-brainer!
Traditionally, Venice is extremely expensive to visit, due to its small size, limited accommodation, and popularity. However, opting to travel in winter, makes it a lot cheaper – perfect for anyone on a budget.
Our whole trip cost less than £100 per person, based on 2 people sharing a room for 2 nights! (excluding food – we are hungry gals!)
Let me know what you think in the comments below. Would you visit Venice in winter?
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