Welcome to this guide that looks at the best things to do in Venice in August, the weather and ideas on exactly what to carry with you to visit the Lagoon city.
Venice is a popular city destination all year long. In the summer thousands of tourists take over the city’s streets and campi and visit its main attractions.
The main reason why Venice is so crowded during the month of August is because it corresponds with the school summer holidays but also many workers’ holidays in Italy, as this is when many companies and factories close for a week or two.
Summer in Italy reaches its climax during the Ferragosto celebration, and even in Venice, the atmosphere is quite exciting with a rich calendar of events. As temperatures reach their peak you’ll want to learn all the best things to do here.
Venice in August
So, if you’re wondering what visiting Venice in August will be like, along with the weather and what to pack I’m going to cover a few reasons on why it’s worth visiting, as well as some of the best events you can attend. Are you ready? Let’s go!
I have spent a lot of time talking about the best and even the worst time to visit Venice on this website, and even shared tips and valid reasons to visit each month.
Below, I’ll share some practical reasons to visit Venice during the August holidays…
Why Visit Venice in August?
Many will tell you to not visit Venice in August. I also recommend visiting it in the mid seasons, when temperatures are lower, but I can’t deny that there are some very good reasons to be in Venice around this time of the year.
Yes, the sun and the humidity may test your patience a few times along the way but that can be easily mitigated with a gelato or a spritz as you watch the world go by.
Some reasons to visit Venice in August include:
ℹ️ If you need more advice and want to get personalised tips to support your next trip to Venice, you can book a call with me and we can start planning together!
Now you have a better idea of why it’s worth visiting Venice in August (despite the hoards of tourists arriving in the city), what can you expect from the weather?
The weather in Venice in August
Venice in August is very hot and humid and with temperatures that range from 18 °C night time to 28 °C or over during the day. Be mentally prepared for this heat!
The typical humidity of a lagoon city accentuates the perception of the heat (making it extremely muggy) and for many people, this can be difficult to deal with, even more so if you’re visiting from a country where you don’t experience sweltering heat.
I strongly recommend visiting the main attractions in the morning before midday and late afternoon or evening to avoid queuing under the burning sun for hours. In any case, the best thing to do is to get skip-the-line tickets.
Like I always say, it’s better to be safe than sorry! Here in Venice, summer storms can happen and although they are usually short, they can still be rather intense.
To get ready for August in Venice, I recommend that you pack these things:
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Things to do in Venice in August
With no further ado, let’s dive into this guide on the best things to do in Venice in August and find out how to make the most of your time in Venice in late summer.
Visit the Art Biennale
The Biennale (which is an art exhibition held annually in Venice) is one of the most well-known and prestigious cultural institutions that you can attend in the world.
The Biennale takes place from April to November and it’s always a good time to visit its pavilions and exhibitions. If you happen to be in the Castello neighbourhood, one Venice’s least touristic districts, go to the Arsenale and Biennale Gardens and get your ticket to the Art Exhibition or any other Biennale of your interest.
In fact, this institution is not only about promoting contemporary art but also architecture, dance and music. If you are an art, theatre or even dance lover or an artist yourself, you cannot miss this one-of-a-kind event!
You have the chance to learn more about the most avant-garde artists in the world and their incredible artworks surrounded by Venice’s beauty. Go here to get more information about the Biennale and get your early bird ticket (to save money).
Attend the Venice Film Festival in Lido
The Venice Film Festival is the first international film festival in the world that had its first edition on the 6th August 1932 at the Lido of Venice.
Today the Film Festival takes place between the end of August and the beginning of September. It attracts thousands of enthusiasts that are looking to spot the favourite stars and film directors on this prestigious red carpet.
The first edition was held in the magnificent Hotel Excelsior (which opened in 1908) located on the Lido of Venice island that even today still attracts a distinguished clientele that wants to feel like a cinema star from the moment they arrive in Venice.
The Venice Film Festival is currently one of the most culturally profound events in filmmaking, on par with the Academy Awards (Oscars) and Cannes Film Festival.
Finally, you’ll be glad to know that it’s common to spot famous actors and actresses in Venice during the event. If you’re visiting Venice during the Venice Film Festival, book accommodation months in advance as availability is very limited and prices quite high. You can decide where to stay in Venice by reading my dedicated guide.
Spend Ferragosto at the beach
Ferragosto is celebrated on the 15th of August throughout Italy and corresponds to the Day of the Assumption, a deeply felt religious holiday in Venice.
What you’ll see is Venetians leaving the city to head over the beaches in Lido, Jesolo or other beaches near Venice. If you’re feeling in the party mood, you should do the same! Get a vaporetto to Lido and spend the day at the beach till late.
You can enjoy the show of fireworks displayed on the sea and bonfires by the beach lightening up this special summer night. There are usually some music shows and theatre performances that take place throughout this week of August.
Celebrations and parties at the bars and disco pubs continue until late at night. If you stay in Venice historic centre, you can simply blend in with locals at the bacaro, drink some Spritz or wine and eat cicchetti till late and celebrate at the campo!
Go to the sagra like locals love doing!
The ‘sagre’, local neighbourhood festivals, continue for the whole summer. These small festivals are important appointments for Venetians and an opportunity to gather around the city’s squares to share food, wine and good company.
If you’re visiting Venice in August, you can’t miss the opportunity to experience these traditional celebrations.
There are two ‘sagre’ worth attending in August:
Go on a gondola ride at night
A gondola ride through the canals of Venice is one of world’s top tourist attractions! The gondolas are used for sightseeing on the Grand Canal and other minor canals but in the past, were actual means of transport for wealthy Venetian families.
The most expensive gondola rides in Venice are the night gondola tours. A private evening gondola ride costs 110 euros for a 35 minutes ride for up to 5 people. At the same time, there’s nothing more special than riding a gondola at night!
When darkness falls, you can fully experience the romantic vibe of the city, enjoy the view of the glimmering canals and Venetian palaces overlooking them.
This is also when most day trippers leave the city, so you can enjoy your gondola tour in tranquillity, with fewer boats around and less noise. The night rates start from 7pm which in summer is still pretty early and by that time it’s not dark yet.
Remember that if you want to save some money, you can also get a shared gondola ride and split the total cost and share the ride with other people!
Watch a movie at the boat drive-in cinema
Another lesser known but fantastic idea for a night out in Venice in August is to join the cinema under the stars in Campo San Polo or the Cinema Barch-in.
The idea of a boat drive-in cinema was born during the lockdown in 2020, in lockstep with the urgent need of Venetians to get back to their streets and campi, especially during the summer.
The ‘Cinema Barch-in’ is an open-air cinema accessible by boat, the typical Venetian means of transport that most Venetians own (as in the mainland for most people the car!).
After its initial success, the event has turned into a yearly appointment and still takes place at the Arsenale. The good news is that it’s completely free!
You can even order food and drinks delivered directly to your boat. Before sunset, you can also join Aperiporto, the aperitivo on the boat promoted by Campari, with an offer of iconic cocktails like Americano, Negroni and Campari Spritz.
Go to a concert during the Venice Jazz Festival
One of the most popular things to do in Venice in August is to join the important music event: Venice Jazz Festival. The event takes place in the summer, from June to August, with numerous events dedicated to international jazz.
The concerts are scattered all around Venice historic centre in beautiful settings, so if you enjoy listening to jazz music, you better check this event out!
Some of the great locations of the past years have been:
- Sale Apollinee of the Fenice Theatre
- Splendid Hotel overlooking the Grand Canal
- Fondazione Giorgio Cini
Joining one of these jazz concerts it’s therefore not just a high calibre music experience but also a once-in-a-lifetime chance to do it surrounded by the dramatic beauty of the city of Venice and its lagoon.
As soon as the ticket are available, you can go to the official Veneto Jazz Festival website to purchase yours. They can get sold out quite quick so bear that in mind.
Venice in August
I have done my best to make it clear that, to visit Venice in August you will need to be ready for three things: the heat, the crowds and of course, to have a great time!
The good news is that you can escape the first two by planning your time wisely here, which translates to, knowing exactly where and when to go to every place.
While you’re still here, why not download and take some time to read my 1.5 day Venice itinerary guide? Or, if you’re really strapped for time, let’s have a chat.
I am currently offering one-on-one consultation calls with which I help people like yourself who are travelling to Venice and looking for extra help with trip planning.
This mean that, together, we can discuss how to find the perfect mix of popular attractions and hidden gems so you can elevate your Venetian experience!
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