With its iconic, winding canals and picturesque architecture, it is no surprise that Venice is a favourite of many around the world. An art hub of its time, Venice’s lavish past is still reflected in its narrow, cobbled-stone streets and marbled churches. However, it is also the elaborate Venetian cuisine that brings several together from across the globe for a taste of its tantalising spread. The fairy-tale city that floats above the ground has many admirers for its poignant history and artistic roots, however, it is the festive season that truly lights up Venice. Here's what you should expect from Venice in December:
What makes Venice in December Special?
While Venice in December can be intimidating to consider, it can make up for a relaxing holiday with little to no crowd during the festive season. With the luxury hotels lowering their bar to accommodate the low-season crowd, a trip to Venice in December becomes a budgeted affair for those looking to travel comfortably. This month of the year is an ideal time for those looking to spend some tranquil, romantic time by the canals. However, despite the cold, locals in Venice enjoy ice-skating at one of its biggest rinks at Campo San Polo — the city’s largest square. December also makes for a great time to enjoy a hot cup of cocoa at one of the city’s numerous outdoor cafes. With places like Caffè Florian serving up its signature piping hot chocolate, there's plenty to do to make the most of the chilly season in the city of canals.
Venice in December : Weather
Venice in December is one of the coldest months, however although it has only snowed twice since 2017, it tends to rain erratically during this time of the year. The temperature can go as low as 1° during the night, and can go as high as 8° otherwise, throughout the day.
Must-Dos in December : Venice
With a poignant past, Doge’s Palace of Prisoners was built between the 10th and 11th centuries, and is considered to be one of the biggest Venetian masterpieces ever made. Today, the palace offers a museum with special tours of the various artefacts that are housed within its premises.
Sundays to Thursdays 8.30 AM – 9 PM
Fridays and Saturdays 8.30 AM – 11 PM
Piazza San Marco, 1, 30124 Venezia VE,
Getting There ›
St. Mark’s Basilica
One of the most notable churches of Venice, St. Mark’s Basilica had a difficult past and was rebuilt in 1063 after being burned down during an uprising. Its ornate exteriors draw crowds from around the world. Basilica San Marco also houses the relics of the apostle Saint Mark, and the Pala d'Oro, a golden altarpiece decorated with jewels.
Monday to Saturdays 9:30 am to 5:00 pm
Sunday and holidays: 2.00 PM – 5.00 PM (Last entry at 4:15 PM)
St. Mark’s Museum: Every day: 9:35 AM – 5:00 PM
Merceria Orologio, 30124 Venezia VE,
Getting There ›
A unique museum dedicated solely to the Jewish community, this museum is located in the first ghetto of Europe. The museum houses valuable artefacts, sacred furnishings, silverware of several types and also wedding contracts, apart from regular Jewish ritual objects. The museum is dedicated to the history and culture of Jews in Venice.
10 AM to 8:00 PM.
Campo di Ghetto Nuovo, 2902/b, 30121 Venezia,
Getting There ›
Teatro La Fenice
Built in 1792, La Fenice is best known for staging various famous operas throughout the year. Today, it is not just considered as an iconic landmark, but is also remembered for its dark past where it was burned down in 1996. The theatre is named after ‘Phoenix’, after rising from the ashes.
Daily, 9:30 AM – 11:00 PM
Check up-to-date timings here.
Piazza San Marco, 1965
30124 Venezia VE
Getting There ›
Gondola tour is perhaps the most sought-after experience in Venice. A romantic ride across the canals has been a bucket-list experience for many tourists from around the world. A regular gondola ride which costs anywhere between €80 to €100 is also the best way to get around the city.
9:00 am to 9:00 pm
30100 Venice, Metropolitan City of Venice,
Getting There ›
Leonardo da Vinci Museum
Dedicated to the artistic genius, Leonardo da Vinci Museum allows visitors to experience some of his greatest artworks up close. The museum has six exhibition rooms and four sections, including — earth, wind, fire, water — that will acquaint you with some of his greatest engineering projects.
Daily, 10:00 AM – 7:00 PM
Scoletta – Complesso Monumentale, Campo San Rocco, 3052, 30125 Venezia VE,
Getting There ›
Hard Rock Cafe & Optional Boat Tour
A combo that allows you to skip the exhausting queues, seat yourself at the iconic Hard Rock Cafe located in the heart of the city. Move on to a romantic boat tour that you can choose to take after your day has ended. Enjoy a romantic night sky during your boat tour across the canals.
Daily, 11:00 AM – 11:30 PM
Bacino Orseolo, 30100 Venice,
Getting There ›
Venice Craftsmenship Tour
Apart from its canals, Venice is also known for its intricate craftsmanship — some of which includes the making of jewellery, carnival masks and glass, amongst others. Take an elaborate look into this side of Venice and avail yourself a chance to see how its rich culture is created.
Daily, 11 AM
Venice Tours Office, San Marco 1130 , Venezia
Getting There ›
Venice in December : Events to Look Out For
Dec 1-2, 2019
Christmas celebrations in Venice bring out its pop-up markets and decorated gondolas. One of the biggest markets being held in Strada nova in Sestiere Cannaregio, between Campo San Felice and Campo dei Santi Apostoli, has a lot to offer including traditional Christmas delicacies and handmade items as well as souvenirs.
New Year’s Day on Lido Beach
Dec 31, 2019
Join a spectacular New Year's Eve celebration at the Lido Beach in Venice. With onlookers from around the world gathered for a night of great fun by the icy waters, this celebration is an experience to remember with sumptuous wine and dine along with some Viennese waltz.
PS4 Game Box Night - Torneo PS4 in Venice
Dec 9, 2019
A unique PS4 tournament taking place in Anda Venice hotel is a day-long event inviting gamers to showcase their skills. With various games on their list — including Fifa19, Formula1, Rally, Tennis, NBA and Tekken, the Game Box night allows you to try their luck at the tournament — with a cold beer!
Collegium Ducale Orchestral Concert at Doge’s Prisons Palace
Dec 16 - 30, 2019
An ensemble featuring some of the best musicians, Collegium Ducale Orchestra has made its mark in Venice since 1993. Spend time enjoying the talented troupe in a graceful setup at the incredible Doge’s Palace of Prisons — which not only acquaints you to its a stirring past, but also makes sure you have a captivating evening.
Venice in December : 3-day Itinerary
Venice in December : What to Eat?
A favourite of many, Sarde in Saor is made using fried sardine fillets that are marinated with vinegar, pine nuts, raisins as well as onions. This delectable sweet and sour dish is paired well with white wine and is commonly available across the city. Make sure you grab a bite at Trattoria da Gigio.
The risotto is a classic, and there’s no reason why you should miss out on trying the creamy, rice preparation which is a staple in the city. What makes the Venetian risotto special is its versatility and that it could be paired with vegetables, meat or cheese. Head to Vini Da Gigio to satiate your hunger pangs for this sumptuous dish.
Being a port city, Venice has access to some of the most delicious seafood in the world. One such seasonal delicacy is Mołéche small, green crabs, that are served with fried dishes or salads. These soft-shelled crabs are dipped in beaten egg and fried golden brown before they are enjoyed with a squeeze of lemon. Try them at Corte Sconta!
Baicoli’s history takes us back to the time when sailors used to carry it as long-lasting, ship-food during their voyage. Today, it is enjoyed not only as a tea-time snack, but also with dessert wines and cream by the side. Although available in almost any cafe, get one for yourself at Impronta Restaurant Cafe..
A walk around the city during the carnevale, you’re bound to come across fritole, a small pastry fritter made using flour, eggs, milk, pine nuts and butter. Traditionally prepared to be eaten as a part of the festivities before Lent, these balls are deep fried and dusted with sugar. Sweet lovers can grab some frijole at Terr Razza Danieli.
Venice in December : Essentials
Venice Weather in December
Being one of the coldest months of the year, weather in Venice during December can range anywhere between – 2° to 8°. While it doesn’t always snow in Venice, expect rainfall almost regularly — accompanied with a thick fog as well. It is also a common phenomenon to witness occasional flooding during this period.
Venice Accommodation In December
Venice offers plenty of choices when it comes to accommodation. Here are our picks for accommodation catering to different budgets:
Venice in December : What to Pack?
Venice in December can be chilly, but one can also expect rainfall at the same time. Therefore, make sure to pack at least two to three heavy clothes apart from your regular ones. Double it up with a warm hat, scarves, or woollen socks to keep yourself warm. Carrying an umbrella or rainy boots is also a good idea. It is recommended to carry footwear that is not easily damaged by water, as Venice has to battle with wet streets in December.
Venice in December : Getting Around
- Vaporetto: A vaporetto, or waterbus, runs throughout the day in Venice. The waterbus can be expected every ten minutes, and the services are extended upto the islands of Murano, Burano, and Lido. The price for a single ticket is 7,50€.
- Water taxi: While using a water taxi can be an expensive affair, it is an effective mode of transport for those tourists who are looking for a more recluse environment during their travel. Priced between 100€ to 130€, the taxi can accommodate four people aboard its luxury boats.
- Gondola: Gondola tours across the city are available at all time. These rides last for 30 minutes and cost 80€ per boat. Choosing a gondola is the best way to go about admiring the beautiful cityscape of Venice.
Tips for Visiting Venice in December
- It is a good idea to book your air-tickets in advance to avail cheaper fares during the low season.
- Keep in mind that Venice goes through Acqua Alta (high tide) at every possible hour, make sure you carry water-resilient footwear.
- It is recommended to move around using a vaporetto (Water bus) instead of a taxi, as Venice has an excellent and economic public transport system otherwise.
- Locals in Venice follow the rules (such as walking on the right side), so make sure you respect the same as well.
- Do not swim/wade in the canals, as the water can be unsafe to ingest.
Month-By-Month Guide To Visiting Venice
Planning to Visit Venice in December?
Here are a few detailed guides on essentials in Venice that will help you plan your trip better.