8 NIGHT CROATIA & GREECE CRUISE ADVENTURE STARTS HERE

Venice , Italy | Dubrovnik , Croatia | Corfu , Greece | Santorini , Greece | Chania (Souda) , Crete | Athens (Piraeus) , Greece | Katakolon , Greece | Venice , Italy

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RHAPSODY OF THE SEAS

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RHAPSODY OF THE SEAS

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Soak up new views from the top of the Rock Climbing Wall. Learn skills from a seasoned chef in a culinary class. Or discover a new favorite red or white at Vintages. All on your most thrilling adventure yet.

DAY 1 - Departure Day

Venice, Italy

DEPARTS:
5:00 PM

PALAZZO-PALOOZA

Sip a cappuccino in a Piazza San Marco coffee bar before setting out on foot. Walk past Palazzo Ducale’s pink marble colonnades, and marvel at I Frari church’s gothic altarpiece. Snap a photo of the Grand Canal’s gondola traffic while walking across the Rialto Bridge. Take the waterbus to Lido island for beachside scenery— or discover the fabulous mosaics atop Loggia dei Cavalli.

Aerial view of the Grand Canal in Venice, Italy
The narrow Rio Marin canal in Venice, Italy
A gondola in a canal in Venice, Italy

Sip a cappuccino in a Piazza San Marco coffee bar before setting out on foot. Walk past Palazzo Ducale’s pink marble colonnades, and marvel at I Frari church’s gothic altarpiece. Snap a photo of the Grand Canal’s gondola traffic while walking across the Rialto Bridge. Take the waterbus to Lido island for beachside scenery— or discover the fabulous mosaics atop Loggia dei Cavalli.

Aerial view of the Grand Canal in Venice, Italy
The narrow Rio Marin canal in Venice, Italy
A gondola in a canal in Venice, Italy
Things To Do

in Venice

The San Marco basilica in Venice, Italy

IN GOOD CAMPANILE

Discover the heart of Venice in Piazza San Marco, home to outdoor cafés and flocks of hungry pigeons. Enter San Marco Basilica to admire its Byzantine architecture and golden mosaics. Then take an elevator to the top of the 320-foot-tall Campanile bell tower for rewarding views of Venice.

A group riding in a gondola in Venice, Italy

PADDLE THROUGH THE AGES

A boat cruise is a must-do when visiting the City of Canals. Relax in a gondola, as you’re rowed along the Grand Canal and under the stone-arch Rialto Bridge. Paddle your own kayak through the Venetian lagoon. Or take the motorized Vaporetto waterbus around neighboring islands.

Glass art in Murano, Italy

SEE HOW IT’S MADE

Travel to the offshore island of Murano to go behind the scenes in a historical glass-blowing factory. Watch local artisans create one-of-a-kind glassworks, using techniques dating from the 13th century. You can even bring home your own masterpiece from one of the island’s glass showrooms.

Tables set up at a waterfront café in Venice, Italy

LOCAL CUISINE

Fresh-off-the-boat seafood from the surrounding lagoon highlights many Venetian menus. Try fritto misto (lightly fried seafood) or risotto frutti di mare (fruit of the sea). Afternoon cicchetti (small plates) come in the form of meatballs and bruschetta, while baicoli (thin oval cookies) and fregolotta (almond cake) satisfy dessert lovers. Enjoy a bellini in Harry’s Bar, birthplace of the Italian cocktail.

Assorted gondlorier's hat souvenirs

SHOPPING

A string of souvenir kiosks borders the Grand Canal, but roam the backstreets to shop artisan studios. Pick up authentic Venetian pearl jewelry, marbled paper travel journals and long-nosed carnival masks. Burano is known for its handmade lace products, while hand-blown Murano glass comes in the form of vases, jewelry and housewares.

INSIDER TIP

The Vaporetto water bus runs regular routes along the Grand Canal and between the city’s islands, offering a low-cost way to travel around town.

DAY 2 - DOCKED

Dubrovnik, Croatia

ARRIVES:
11:00 AM
DEPARTS:
7:00 PM

CROWN OF CROATIA

Thick 16th-century stone walls encase the entire Old Town of Dubrovnik. But you’ll find boundless adventures among its orange-roofed ramparts. Explore the perfectly preserved Rector’s Palace and enter beloved St. Blaise’s Church. Browse Croatian art and history museums— or kayak crystal blue waters, with the ‘Pearl of the Adriatic’ shimmering in the distance.

Adriatic idyllic scenery at coastal town Dubrovnik, Croatia
Famous narrow alley of old town Dubrovnik, Croatia
Scenic view in Dubrovnik, Croatia

Thick 16th-century stone walls encase the entire Old Town of Dubrovnik. But you’ll find boundless adventures among its orange-roofed ramparts. Explore the perfectly preserved Rector’s Palace and enter beloved St. Blaise’s Church. Browse Croatian art and history museums— or kayak crystal blue waters, with the ‘Pearl of the Adriatic’ shimmering in the distance.

Adriatic idyllic scenery at coastal town Dubrovnik, Croatia
Famous narrow alley of old town Dubrovnik, Croatia
Scenic view in Dubrovnik, Croatia
Things To Do

in Dubrovnik

Dubrovnik Cathedral and Dubrovnik Museums in the old town of Dubrovnik , Croatia

WALK WITHIN THE WALLS

Take a stroll through the walled-in Old Town to discover a wealth of well-preserved landmarks. Walk across the Pile Gate’s drawbridge and get lost in the buzz of the limestone-paved Stradun. Then glimpse historic churches, medieval sculptures, impressive forts and St. Luke’s Tower watching over the harbor.

Cable Car from the old town to the top of Mount Srd in Dubrovnik, Croatia

A WORLD AWAY

The summit of Mount Srđ delivers the best views in town. Climb winding footpaths (a 90-minute walk from Old Town) or relish a thrilling three-minute cable car ride to the top. Here you can browse museum exhibits housed in 19th-century Fort Imperial and enjoy lunch overlooking the city.

Early morning at Banje beach in Dubrovnik, Croatia

ACTION PACKED ADRIATIC

Soak up Croatia’s picturesque beaches and aquatic adventures in the deep-blue Adriatic Sea. Relax along the pebbled shoreline of Banje Beach. Go scuba diving around the sunken Taranto merchant ship— or hop on a ferry to nearby Lokrum, a serene offshore island with a monastery, fortress and beaches offering panoramic views of Dubrovnik.

Peka, traditional Croatian dish of baked meat and vegetables, from a restaurant in Dubrovnik, Croatia

LOCAL CUISINE

Old Town is packed with seafood restaurants, while Stradun offers a string of outdoor cafés. For regional Dalmatian dishes try pašticada (beef stew), peka (baked meat and vegetables), or zelena menestra (green stew). Slurp down briny oysters from the Pelješac Peninsula or satisfy your sweet tooth with rožata custard pudding. Then take a strong sip of rakija (fruit brandy) to cap off the night.

Close up of extra virgin olive oil and marmalade at market in Dubrovnik, Croatia

SHOPPING

Stradun satisfies all your souvenir needs. Or you can stop by local artisan shops for handmade linens. The necktie was supposedly invented in Croatia, and the Franciscan Monastery sells hand cream made from ancient recipes. You can also buy olive oil from the island of Brač or jewelry featuring Adriatic coral and pearls.

INSIDER TIP

Watch your step: Streets in Old Town can be quite slippery from centuries of wear.

DAY 3 - DOCKED

Corfu, Greece

ARRIVES:
9:00 AM
DEPARTS:
3:00 PM
IN THE IONIAN

OF THE BEHOLDER

Old Town — which is filled with cafes, shops, restaurants and the Old Fortress — is a must. Close by you'll find the Asian Art Museum, as well as the medieval church Antivouniotissa Basilica. Once you've had your fill of history and culture, take a transfer bus to Paleokastritsa for swimming, pedal boating, kayaking, parasailing and even diving at one of its stunning beaches.

The sun beginning to set on the beach of Palaiokastritsa in Corfu, Greece
Colorful and picturesque street with café and flowers in Corfu, Greece
View of monastery in Palaiokastritsa, a town in Corfu, Greece

Old Town — which is filled with cafes, shops, restaurants and the Old Fortress — is a must. Close by you'll find the Asian Art Museum, as well as the medieval church Antivouniotissa Basilica. Once you've had your fill of history and culture, take a transfer bus to Paleokastritsa for swimming, pedal boating, kayaking, parasailing and even diving at one of its stunning beaches.

The sun beginning to set on the beach of Palaiokastritsa in Corfu, Greece
Colorful and picturesque street with café and flowers in Corfu, Greece
View of monastery in Palaiokastritsa, a town in Corfu, Greece
Things To Do

in Corfu

Statue of general Frederick Adam, in front of the Museum of Asian Art in Corfu, Greece

Palace Paintings

One of the most popular attractions on Corfu, the Asian Art Museum is the only museum in Greece dedicated solely to Asian art. With 15,000 pieces in the collection, you'll be amazed by Japanese antiquities, Buddhist sculpture, Chinese pottery and so much more. The museum itself is a work of art too, and is found in the Palace of Saint Michael and Saint George, a grand structure dating back to the early 1800s.

View of Palaiokastritsa Beach with beautiful flowers and blue sea water on Corfu, Greece

Soothing Sea-nery

Paleokastritsa offers a spectacular combination of beaches, cliffs, orchards, olive groves and even the historic Theotokou Monastery, so you can pack a lot into a visit here. The village lies about 30 minutes from Corfu town and can be reached by bus, bike or taxi. The beaches alone rank among the best in Greece and there are plenty of eateries offering traditional Greek seafood dishes. So if you've never tried octopus, you have to try it during your Corfu cruise vacation.

Statues in front of the pillars of the Achillion Palace in Corfu, Greece

Live Like Gods

Achillion Palace was built in 1890 for a former Austrian Empress, and was later home to Germany's last Emperor, Wilhelm II. Today you'll find evidence of the empress's love for Greek culture, including statues of famous Greek mythological figures such as Zeus, Achilles and Hera. You can also find frescoes and artwork that have been fully restored. Landscaped gardens and sweeping views of the city will take your breath away.

Grilled octopus served with white wine and lemons, on a restaurant in Corfu, Greece

Local Cuisine

Corfu's history — and thus its cuisine — is comprised of many different cultures. One of the greatest influences is Venice, and you won't want to miss Venetian specialties such as sliced veal with vinegar and garlic, various types of fish stew, grilled octopus and plentiful seafood. The fact that you'll be enjoying these dishes while gazing at the sea or strolling in a charming town square makes the dining experience truly magical.

Traditional Greek ceramic pottery with blue floral decorations, on a shop in Corfu, Greece

Shopping

Old Town offers plenty of shopping, including everything from housewares and modern fashion to souvenirs that suit any wallet. If you want something unique to the area, search for ceramic bowls, pitchers, plates and various other items, which are often decorated with designs specific to the island.

INSIDER TIP

Explore one of the many old churches — there are 37 within easy reach — such as the Saint Spyridon Church.

DAY 4 - TENDERED

Santorini, Greece

ARRIVES:
12:00 PM
DEPARTS:
8:00 PM
ERUPTING WITH

BEAUTY

Santorini is one of the world’s most popular islands, where adventure bubbles above the Aegean Sea in breathtaking ways. Take a cable car to see Fira’s old cathedrals and enthralling museums. Swim in deep blue waters that lap black pebbled beaches. And peel back layers of history in excavated Akrotiri— all while relishing the dramatic scenery of this Cyclades isle.

Scenic view of traditional cycladic houses on small street with flowers in foreground, in Santorini, Greece
View of the sea from a beautiful terrace with flowers in Santorini, Greece
Beautiful landscape of two fishing boats anchored in blue water at the old port in Oia, Santorini, Greece

Santorini is one of the world’s most popular islands, where adventure bubbles above the Aegean Sea in breathtaking ways. Take a cable car to see Fira’s old cathedrals and enthralling museums. Swim in deep blue waters that lap black pebbled beaches. And peel back layers of history in excavated Akrotiri— all while relishing the dramatic scenery of this Cyclades isle.

Scenic view of traditional cycladic houses on small street with flowers in foreground, in Santorini, Greece
View of the sea from a beautiful terrace with flowers in Santorini, Greece
Beautiful landscape of two fishing boats anchored in blue water at the old port in Oia, Santorini, Greece
Things To Do

in Santorini

Nea Kameni volcanic island in Santorini, Greece

VOLCANIC WONDERS

Explore the volcanic history and geology of Santorini, site of an immense eruption 3,500 years ago. Trek the rocky landscape of Nea Kameni, an island in the center of the Santorini caldera, to see its smoking craters. Then soak in the soothing hot springs of Palea Kameni.

Early morning in Byzantine Castle Ruins in Oia village, Santorini, Greece

IT TAKES A VILLAGE

Considered the island’s most picturesque village, Oia radiates authentic Cyclades charm. Meander along tiny paths squeezed between stark-white villas. Snap selfies with the blue-domed St. Gerasimos Church, and view Byzantine castle ruins. Or dine on Greek seafood in a waterfront taverna— also the perfect perch for watching Oia’s fabulous sunsets.

Bunch of white grapes in the vineyard in the Wine Museum of Thira, Santorini, Greece

THE GLASS HALF FULL

Indulge your taste buds in a delectable tasting journey among the island’s traditional wine cellars. Vineyards dapple Santorini’s countryside, and many are among some of Europe’s oldest. White Assyrtiko and red Mantilaria are both popular varietals— and be sure to sample Santorini’s beloved dessert wine, Vinsanto.

Alcohol drink Raki with anis on wooden board in Santorini, Greece

LOCAL CUISINE

Thanks to Santorini’s rich volcanic soil, the island has a solid reputation for producing fantastic wines and vegetables— fresh cherry tomatoes, fava beans and white eggplant included. Try egg-based sfougato and fried tomatokeftedes fritters, two Santorini specialties. Pick up melitinia cookies from a local bakery. And for an after-dinner drink, sip unsweetened, anise-flavored raki.

Small white and blue house souvenirs in Santorini, Greece

SHOPPING

Ypapantis Street in Fira is known for its dozens of jewelry stores selling pieces inspired by ancient Greek and Byzantine designs. You’ll find local artwork in the galleries of Oia and books about the Cyclades in Atlantis Books. A bottle of Santorini wine or Canava ouzo makes for a tasty souvenir.

INSIDER TIP

Wear hiking boots or comfortable sneakers and plenty of sunscreen when hiking the caldera.

DAY 5 - DOCKED

Chania (Souda), Crete

ARRIVES:
7:00 AM
DEPARTS:
5:00 PM
DIG INTO

GREEK HERITAGE

Dating back to Mycenaean times, Chania places you in its deep cultural roots and longstanding traditions. The ancient buildings bear marks of many battles fought here throughout the centuries. Today, you'll be hard-pressed to find a more peaceful spot — pick a shaded spot beside the beach and dip your feet into the Greek sun-kissed waters.

Boats docked at a pier in Chania, Crete
A panoramic view of the buildings lining the coast of Chania, Crete
A lighthouse at the entrance to the old port in Chania, Crete

Dating back to Mycenaean times, Chania places you in its deep cultural roots and longstanding traditions. The ancient buildings bear marks of many battles fought here throughout the centuries. Today, you'll be hard-pressed to find a more peaceful spot — pick a shaded spot beside the beach and dip your feet into the Greek sun-kissed waters.

Boats docked at a pier in Chania, Crete
A panoramic view of the buildings lining the coast of Chania, Crete
A lighthouse at the entrance to the old port in Chania, Crete
Things To Do

in Chania

The exterior walls of the ottoman fortress in Crete

Active Archaeology

One of ancient Crete's most important city-states, Aptera sits on a hill just south of the bay, with two seaports at the entrance to Souda Bay. Check out this active archaeological site to learn about new discoveries that shed light on the most powerful city of western Crete during Minoan times.

The ruins of the Katholiko Monastery in Crete

Mountain Monasteries

Stroll the sandy beach at Stavros Bay, where Anthony Quinn danced in 1964's "Zorba the Greek." Explore the three monasteries — Agias Triada, Gouverneto and Katholika — set on this rocky peninsula. Discover Bear Cave on the footpath leading to Katholiko built into the cliff.

View of the Samaria Gorge in Chania, Crete

Hike to the Gorge

At 18 kilometers, Samaria is the longest of the many deep gorges that cut into Crete's mountains. The entrance is 42 kilometers south of Chania, and you can hike independently or with a guide. On the way, you might run into some kri kri, the wild goats found only on Crete. The gorge opens out to the black-sand beach at Ayia Roumeli.

A plate with lobster served with vegetables in Chania, Crete

Local Cuisine

Restaurants with fresh seafood abound at the Chania waterfront. Local signatures of savory lamb, mini cheese pies and fresh vegetables also bring something special to the plate. And don't miss the dacos, a traditional Cretan bread served with tomato, mizithra cheese and rivers of virgin Cretan olive oil.

Traditional ceramic dishes in Crete

Shopping

Chania's Old Town is packed with unique shops selling handmade ceramic kitchenware and decorations with classic geometric designs, one-of-a-kind jewelry made from pearl and coral — and of course, the local extra virgin olive oil, which is typically cold-pressed and retains distinctive flavors of green apple and fresh-cut grass. Take the time to explore the narrow, less-traveled streets to find both bargains and unique items during your Crete cruise.

INSIDER TIP

Known as the "temple of gastronomy," the architecturally distinctive Chania Municipal Market is the place to discover local delicacies.Known as the "temple of gastronomy," the architecturally distinctive Chania Municipal Market is the place to discover local delicacies.

DAY 6 - DOCKED

Athens (Piraeus), Greece

ARRIVES:
6:00 AM
DEPARTS:
6:00 PM

ACROPOLIS NOW

Explore the harbors of Piraeus, which showcase the Golden Age of Greek history. Visit the Hellenic Maritime Museum and the ship sheds — here, you can see how ancient ships were crafted. In the charming Castella district, you'll find some small, quaint shops and cafes amid the elegant neoclassical buildings. Head to Sotiros Street to find brand name stores, alongside smaller local shops.

View of the Parthenon atop the Acropolis in Athens, Greece
View of the Parthenon in Athens, Greece
Herodes Theater in Athens, Greece

Explore the harbors of Piraeus, which showcase the Golden Age of Greek history. Visit the Hellenic Maritime Museum and the ship sheds — here, you can see how ancient ships were crafted. In the charming Castella district, you'll find some small, quaint shops and cafes amid the elegant neoclassical buildings. Head to Sotiros Street to find brand name stores, alongside smaller local shops.

View of the Parthenon atop the Acropolis in Athens, Greece
View of the Parthenon in Athens, Greece
Herodes Theater in Athens, Greece
Things To Do

in Athens (Piraeus)

The Agia Triada church in Greece

Take Me to Church

The Agia Triada is one of the finest examples of Byzantine-style churches in Greece. The Church of St. Nicholas, which overlooks the port, has a magnificent interior filled with orthodox icons, frescoes and sculptures.

Mikrolimano harbour in Greece

Mediterranean Romance

Part of the Castella district, Mikrolimano is the smallest and most picturesque port of Athens, making it perfect for a romantic afternoon. Take a leisurely stroll along the promenade to take in the amazing views, then settle in a cafe or taverna for some fresh seafood or a refreshing drink with your cruise to Athens.

Various decorative Greek vases

Boats and the Bronze Age

The Naval Museum has exhibits that present ship building from ancient times to the present day. You will be fascinated by the Neosoikoi, the archaeological remains of the ship sheds where local craftsmen maintained and repaired the boats. Art lovers will have plenty to see at the Piraeus Archaeological Museum, from Bronze Age sculptures to classical Hellenistic pottery.

Grilled octopus on a white plate with a lemon on the side

Local Cuisine

Try the local dishes prepared with sun-ripened tomatoes, eggplant, bell peppers and fresh seafood like mussels and grilled octopus. Look for trovolia, a typical fresh cheese to savor with marinated olives. Ask for recommendations on local wines — the most common white is lively, floral and aromatic Moschofilero, while the red of choice is Xinomavro, an indigenous grape with a bold, complex flavor.

An assortment of Greek souvenirs such as helmets and sculptures

Shopping

You may want to bring back home some of the typical liquors such as the anise-flavored Ouzo or the strong Tsipouro. Greek olives, spices and capers can be vacuumed-packed, making for convenient souvenirs. Look for locally made leather sandals, pottery and hand-painted ceramics. You'll find most shops in the Psyri district, not far from the Acropolis during your Athens cruise.

INSIDER TIP

The yellow trolley bus (number 20) will take you from the port to Passalimani, going through Castella and ending at the Metro station.

DAY 7 - DOCKED

Katakolon, Greece

ARRIVES:
9:00 AM
DEPARTS:
5:00 PM

GATEWAY TO OLYMPIA

A small fishing village on the Ionian Sea, Katakolon offers visitors a look inside authentic Greek lifestyle. Spend a relaxing afternoon exploring local crafts, sampling fresh-caught seafood and soaking up the idyllic views. Or take the short drive to Olympia to discover the origins of the Olympic games and relive history while strolling through ancient ruins.

The ruins of an ancient building in Greece
Ruins of pillars in Olympia, Greece
The harbor of Katakolon, Greece

A small fishing village on the Ionian Sea, Katakolon offers visitors a look inside authentic Greek lifestyle. Spend a relaxing afternoon exploring local crafts, sampling fresh-caught seafood and soaking up the idyllic views. Or take the short drive to Olympia to discover the origins of the Olympic games and relive history while strolling through ancient ruins.

The ruins of an ancient building in Greece
Ruins of pillars in Olympia, Greece
The harbor of Katakolon, Greece
Things To Do

in Katakolon

An ancient street in Olympia with columns on both sides

Relive History

The train to Olympia takes you through the splendid green hills of the Greek countryside, dotted with olive groves and vineyards. On the remains of the Olympic site, you'll find the Archaeological Museum at Olympia and the Museum of the Olympic Games.

Assorted colorful plates with painted designs hanging on a wall

Find Local Treasures

As you walk through the village, stop and chat with the locals who create ornate traditional goods. Choose from an array of handmade crafts made from olive wood, ceramic and leather at one of the many shops that line Katakolon's main street.

Various different kinds of fish for sale at a fish market

Eat Like an Olympian

Local tavernas offer a wide array of Greek traditional cuisine, served alongside views of the pristine blue water. Jump onboard a Greece cruise to enjoy a glass of the region's crisp white wine with some fresh seafood. If you're feeling adventurous, be sure to try the grilled octopus.

A grilled octopus salad served on a blue plate

Local Cuisine

Katakolon's local cuisine is fresh and simple enough to be healthy but so delicious that you won't even notice. Locally caught seafood is prepared grilled with herbs and a drizzle of olive oil. Flavorful vegetables are served plain or in dishes such as spanakopita, a spinach pie, or moussaka, a delicious combination of vegetables, meat and bechamel sauce.

An assortment of clay pots in Greece,

Shopping

Pottery, olive wood, lace and leather are just a few of the materials used here to create traditional crafts. Local artisans pride themselves in making each piece a one-of-a-kind item. From hand-crocheted center pieces to ceramic bowls that tell a story, each item reflects Katakolon's local traditions and history.

INSIDER TIP

While the main language is Greek, many locals speak some English. Nevertheless, it's a good idea to be prepared with some basic greetings.

DAY 8 - AT SEA

CRUISING

CAN'T MISS FAVORITES

Family Playing Mini Golf on Liberty of the Seas
Girl Climbing the Rock Wall while Parents Watch

Family Playing Mini Golf on Liberty of the Seas
Girl Climbing the Rock Wall while Parents Watch

Things to Do

Family Playing Mini Golf on Liberty of the Seas
Mini Golf

ON PAR FOR ADVENTURE

Hit the links on the high seas! Refine your mini-golf game on a green that overlooks a sea of blue. Included in your fare, no reservation required.

Man Climbing Down the Rock Wall
Rock Climbing Wall

A BOLDER BOULDER

Rise to the occasion and take on the signature Rock Climbing Wall. From beginners to speed climbers, everyone can enjoy an unparalleled view from 40 feet above deck. Included in your fare, no reservation required.

DAY 9 - Arrival Day

Venice, Italy

ARRIVES:
6:45 AM

ACQUOLINA ADVENTURE

Venice’s serene waterscape overflows with adventure. Nibble on cicchetti in a buzzing bacaro bar, then walk it off with a jaunt through verdant Giardini Pubblici. Head to the Peggy Guggenheim Collection to check out some of Italy’s most renowned modern artwork. Grab a bottle of bubbly prosecco for sipping on a classic gondola ride. And top off the day with a seafood-centric meal in a canal-side ristorante.

A gondola near the Rialto Bridge in Venice
A narrow canal in Venice, Italy
Piazza San Marco in Venice, Italy

Venice’s serene waterscape overflows with adventure. Nibble on cicchetti in a buzzing bacaro bar, then walk it off with a jaunt through verdant Giardini Pubblici. Head to the Peggy Guggenheim Collection to check out some of Italy’s most renowned modern artwork. Grab a bottle of bubbly prosecco for sipping on a classic gondola ride. And top off the day with a seafood-centric meal in a canal-side ristorante.

A gondola near the Rialto Bridge in Venice
A narrow canal in Venice, Italy
Piazza San Marco in Venice, Italy
Things To Do

in Venice

The San Marco basilica in Venice, Italy

IN GOOD CAMPANILE

Discover the heart of Venice in Piazza San Marco, home to outdoor cafés and flocks of hungry pigeons. Enter San Marco Basilica to admire its Byzantine architecture and golden mosaics. Then take an elevator to the top of the 320-foot-tall Campanile bell tower for rewarding views of Venice.

A group riding in a gondola in Venice, Italy

PADDLE THROUGH THE AGES

A boat cruise is a must-do when visiting the City of Canals. Relax in a gondola, as you’re rowed along the Grand Canal and under the stone-arch Rialto Bridge. Paddle your own kayak through the Venetian lagoon. Or take the motorized Vaporetto waterbus around neighboring islands.

Glass art in Murano, Italy

SEE HOW IT’S MADE

Travel to the offshore island of Murano to go behind the scenes in a historical glass-blowing factory. Watch local artisans create one-of-a-kind glassworks, using techniques dating from the 13th century. You can even bring home your own masterpiece from one of the island’s glass showrooms.

Tables set up at a waterfront café in Venice, Italy

LOCAL CUISINE

Fresh-off-the-boat seafood from the surrounding lagoon highlights many Venetian menus. Try fritto misto (lightly fried seafood) or risotto frutti di mare (fruit of the sea). Afternoon cicchetti (small plates) come in the form of meatballs and bruschetta, while baicoli (thin oval cookies) and fregolotta (almond cake) satisfy dessert lovers. Enjoy a bellini in Harry’s Bar, birthplace of the Italian cocktail.

Assorted gondlorier's hat souvenirs

SHOPPING

A string of souvenir kiosks borders the Grand Canal, but roam the backstreets to shop artisan studios. Pick up authentic Venetian pearl jewelry, marbled paper travel journals and long-nosed carnival masks. Burano is known for its handmade lace products, while hand-blown Murano glass comes in the form of vases, jewelry and housewares.

INSIDER TIP

Keep an eye out for menus dotted with asterisks, noting their seafood is frozen, not fresh.

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