Welcome to my post on visiting Venice in December. I believe Venice is one of the world’s most beautiful and popular touristic destinations.
You’ll always see tourists walking around its ‘calli’ and ‘campielli’, curious to discover architectural and artistic beauties that can be found on every corner.
It’s also a great foodie destination where you can taste the traditional flavours of the lagoon in small trattorie and ‘bacari’.
Venice in December
In this post, I will suggest a few things you can do in Venice in December and also tell you exactly why it is worth visiting the city during this seasonal period.
Is December a good time to visit Venice?
I can’t deny that there is no one best time to visit Venice however, Venice in December has its own charm and has something to offer that other months can’t.
In December, you can explore the usual top attractions of the city, but also be able to enjoy activities that do not take place at other times of the year.
If you decide to travel to Venice in December, you will find a city changed by the beauty of winter.
Its small piazzas, streets and shops are filled with a Christmas atmosphere from the first days of the month making Venice at Christmas a magical place to visit.
On the other side, visiting Venice during this month means finding a city with fewer tourists, and a lot more peaceful vibe.
Instead of the hot summer sun, you may run into a few days of fog that wrap the city in a magical, almost fairy atmosphere.
Stay at the Ca’ Manzoni Apartment with Terrace to be only a few meters away from the Christmas Markets taking place in Campo Santo Stefano.
Can you ride a gondola in Venice in December?
Yes, riding a gondola in Venice in December is possible! You can ride one all year round but, of course, in December there are less tourists.
Even around the most touristic spots such as St. Mark’s Square and the Rialto Bridge, you can ride one without waiting in queues for too long.
A gondola ride costs:
- 80 euro during daytime
- 100 euro in the evening (from 7pm to 8am)
Usually, a gondola ride is for up to 5 people, which means you can split the ride fare with others you’re travelling with or that you might find at the gondola stop.
They might be happy to share the ride to save some money!
If you want to book in advance your gondola ride, why not consider joining this Grand Canal Gondola Ride (with App Commentary)?
Is Venice cold in December?
Yes, Venice is cold in December. Winter is from December to February. During these months it’s cold, wet and normal to see grey skies for days.
The coldest months are December and January. Light frosts occur quite often at night and fog is quite frequent, until March.
For these reasons, I recommend wearing warm clothes made of wool or any other warm fabric. Carry with you a small umbrella, a warm hat and gloves.
You can check if the high tide is expected for the days you’re travelling to Venice, by looking at the website Centro Previsioni e Segnalazioni Maree. If there’s a high chance of high tide, you’ll need to wear rubber boots.
Is Venice open during Christmas?
Of course, Venice is a city like any other and it’s open all year round, especially during Christmas.
The city is filled with a festive atmosphere: canals, bridges and calli!
All three have Christmas decorations and every neighbourhood in Venice has festive lights hanging from one side of the street to the other.
Shops and museums might change their opening times, particularly the Christmas Eve, Christmas day and the 26th of December.
The rest of the time, all businesses should be open as usual.
Restaurants and some bars are likely to be open during these three days, as it’s common to see Venetian families going out for a Christmas’s meal.
I suggest doing the same if you’re in Venice and order from the Christmas set menu.
Things do in Venice in December
There are many things to do in Venice during the month of December.
Venice changes its face during this exciting time of the year and there are a couple of reasons why you should visit the city during this winter month:
Reasons to visit Venice in Winter
- You’ll find fewer tourists compared to the summer months.
- There’s less waiting time to visit the top attractions.
I have recommend months outside of December (winter) for a visit because for many travelers it is the worst time to visit Venice if you want warm weather, but let’s take a look at the main things you can do when traveling to Venice in December.
Let’s start with a big event happening at the beginning of the month: the Immaculate Conception long weekend.
This is a Christian Catholic festivity celebrated the 8th of December.
You can watch the water processions in the Grand Canal: parades of typical Venetian boats with art pieces and installations representing the Nativity.
The processions start from Piazzale Roma and Ca ‘Giustiniani, and they both end at the Rialto fish market.
One event you can’t afford to miss is the ‘Christmas of Glass’ event in Murano, during which the works of glass masters get are exhibited around the island’s markets.
Venice Christmas markets
Christmas time is also the time of winter markets populating the public piazzas. These market stalls attract locals and tourists with their cheerful colours and their lights.
Even in Venice, you can find some around its historical city centre. The most important one is the ‘Christmas in the Lagoon‘ event that takes place in Campo Santo Stefano until the 24th of December.
Even in Mestre there are some Christmas markets, more specifically the ones based in via Piave starting from the Immaculate weekend until the Christmas Eve day. Visiting the Christmas markets is a great opportunity to buy some gifts and souvenirs to take at home with you.
Ice skating in Campo San Polo
Every year during the Christmas holidays, an ice skating rink is set up in campo San Polo (one of the largest piazzas in Venice).
The rink remains open from December to March, and it’s a fun experience to live in Venice in December, especially for families with children.
The non-residents of Venice price to go ice skating (that include the skate rental) is 12 euro for adults and children aged under 12 is 10 euro. Each ice skating session lasts 1 hour and 30 minutes.
Are you a lover of classic music?
If the answer is yes, the lyric Venice Christmas season is one to not miss. In many Venetian churches, there are Christmas concerts going on in the evenings and events dedicated to art.
The options to get into the Christmas spirit in the lagoon city are plenty: from the traditional Christmas carols to more modern songs performed by international singers, here there is something for every musical’s taste.
One of the best places to join festive concerts and events is La Fenice Theatre, one of the most renowned lyric theatres in Italy.
New Year’s Eve celebrations
The Venetian New Year is one event the most people are more looking forward to.
This event attracts the largest number of tourists from all over the world that get to the city of water to celebrate the arrival of the new year.
Spending the last of the year in Venice does not only mean celebrating it with friend and family, but enjoying a magic experience in this city that for many can only happen once in life.
If you’re travelling around the New Year’s Eve, don’t forget to go to St. Mark’s Square, where singers and artists perform.
The entertainment last for the whole night and thousands of people gather, hours before midnight waiting for the fireworks to celebrate and to make a toast to the new year in one of the most beautiful squares in the world.
If you prefer a quieter evening and enjoy a Christmas Eve’s classic concerts, then book your ticket for La Fenice Theatre ‘Concerto di Capodanno‘.
The weather in Venice in December
The weather in Venice in December is cold and humid. The average minimum temperature is 1 °C and the average highest is 8 °C in December.
During winter time you can expect more rains and foggy days. Sometimes when the bora blows, the feeling of cold is intensified. In one of the coldest days, the temperature can drop below -5 °C.
Let’s not forget that November and December are the months during which the phenomenon of high water is more frequent.
It occurs in bad weather conditions, and it’s caused by the scirocco wind that hinders the flow of the lagoon water towards the sea and the tide that raises the sea level.
When high tide is expected, the city installs elevated walkaways to allow residents and tourists to keep walking without getting wet.
You’ll find them in the lowest parts of Venice, such as St. Mark’s Square and Rialto. In November 2020, the Mose, the system of mobile dams that is protecting the city from the highest tides, came into operation.
Venice in December FAQ Guide
Here are some questions people ask when it comes visiting Venice in winter.
Venice in December
Venice in December has definitely a lot to offer to the visitors, although temperatures are quite cold with few sunny days, there are plenty of things to see and do with Christmas and New Year coming up.
Considering that most of the tourists travel during spring and summer, winter is good time to visit important landmarks and attractions without queuing for too long.
If you’re wondering how to spend a couple of days in Venice, why not check out my 3 days in Venice itinerary and this site for more inspiration?
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