When is the worst time to visit Venice?
Venice is a city that attracts visitors all year round. The charm of the Venetian lagoon, the many attractions, and romantic palazzos overlooking the Grand Canal.
And what about the canals crossed by gondolas instead of cars like in any other city in the world? This is what makes Venice special, but of course, there’s more.
Since Venice is one of the cities in the world that is suffering from over tourism, it’s important to understand when is best to travel to avoid most of the crowds.
On top of that, doing trip planning before arriving is advisable to understand when the worst time to visit Venice is for the weather, and to avoid getting ripped off.
Knowing the perfect time to visit Venice is not straightforward, but with this guide, I wish to help you understand exactly when to try to avoid travelling to the city.
The worst time to visit Venice 2023?
There’s no easy answer to when is the worst time to travel to Venice. The Lagoon city beauty shines bright all year round and in every season it is worth visiting for a host of different reasons. But below I will happily give you my quick answer.
Quick Answer: It’s better to avoid summer, especially July and August. These are the hottest and most humid months and the number of tourists also increases.
I also recommend avoiding Venice in December and January when it’s very cold, humid and some days foggy (especially if its your first time visiting Venice).
Is Venice worth visiting?
Venice is a city worth visiting 100%. There are not many other cities in the world that have been built on tens of small islands connected to one another by bridges.
The fact that instead of cars, buses and motorbikes you see gondolas, vaporetti and water taxis navigating the canals, is incredibly unique too. Did you know that Venice is the city with the highest density of masterpieces per square kilometre?
From the most famous square in Venice, St. Mark’s Square, to the Doge’s Palace and Rialto bridge, the things to see and do in Venice are literally endless.
Bustling with small businesses of all sorts peeking out of the narrow streets, the most authentic side of the city can be found when you visit an old masks workshop, when you buy Murano glass souvenirs, and by visiting local art galleries.
If you like shopping, you can easily spend a lifetime buying the best Venetian crafts! Also, the food and drink scene in this city is extremely exciting too.
Far from the main tourist streets and locations, don’t be afraid to explore the back streets where you’ll find the best Venetian food restaurants and bacari, where you can try amazing cicchetti and iconic aperitivo drinks like the Venetian Spritz.
Is Venice always crowded?
Yes, at certain times of the year, Venice is very crowded. Of course, it’s nice to take part in the city’s celebrations and many travel to attend a specific event.
But if you are the kind of person that doesn’t like the idea of getting stuck in the middle of a narrow street with thousands of people surrounding you, then these popular events can turn out to be the worst time to visit Venice.
Here’s a list of the most popular events:
- Carnival, depending on the year, February or March
- Summer, especially in July and August
- New Year’s Eve
There are also a couple more events attracting large crowds like the Biennale (from May to November), Mostra del Cinema (end of August, beginning of September) and Festa del Redentore (3rd Sunday of July).
What time of year does Venice flood?
Venice is subject to flooding between October and January, but you can expect to see the ‘acqua alta’ even before and after the start of these months.
There are different factors that come into play and cause high tide in Venice. It has gotten worse over the last couple of years, as the rise in sea levels affects many places on the planet.
There are some touristic parts of the city that are particularly hit by the flooding, such as St. Mark’s Square and some areas near Rialto.
If you want to keep updated and see if high tide is expected during your time in the city, visit the official website Centro Previsioni e Segnalazioni Maree for info.
Thanks to the recent installation of the Mose at the Lido of Venice, Malamocco and Chioggia, it’s now possible to block the temporary entry of seawater into the Venetian lagoon. The mobile barriers come into action and rise every time there’s an intense phenomenon of high tide.
Thanks to this innovative system, you can now travel to Venice with confidence knowing that when a very high tide is expected, the Mose will protect the city from flooding. I still recommend that you carry some boot covers during this time.
The worst time to visit Venice 2023?
In Venice, the high season runs all year long and you are bound to always see hundreds of tourists swarming around the city’s main attractions.
Despite this, there are some months when the tourist influx is much lower that, believe it or not, can be considered as an off-peak season.
I believe the worst time to visit Venice is during peak tourist season because the amount of tourists in the streets is not sustainable from an environmental and social perspective and ultimately, can negatively influence your experience of the city.
Peak Tourist Season in Venice
The peak tourist season in Venice is summer. It is common knowledge that this the season when most of the tourists book their holidays.
As you plan your visit to Venice in advance, you should know that most of the Italian tourists travelling within the country usually have their holidays from work in August, so Venice in August is the month when there’s a peak of arrivals in the city.
In general, the worst time to visit Venice is between July and August. Beware that during summer, flights and accommodation prices increase considerably as availability decreases extremely fast. Not to mention, the humidity is unbearable.
Your best chance to find accommodation in Venice at a reasonable price is to months in advance (definitely more than 4 months before your trip if you ask me!).
What’s more is that summer in the north-east Italy is hot and humid, with temperatures exceeding 30 °C. I suggest you carry a sunscreen like this one with you. Also, since Venice is located in the middle of a lagoon, it’s more humid and during certain times of the day, mosquitos arrive and they can be quite annoying.
Off-Peak Season in Venice
The off-peak season in Venice is from November to May. Excluding some popular events such as Christmas and Carnival, if you want to avoid the big crowds I recommend visiting the city during these months.
January and February are the coldest months of the year, temperatures fluctuate between 0°C and 7°C, but you’ll hardly ever see snow in Venice. Once you put on your warm and comfortable clothes to walk around the streets in, there’s really nothing that can stop you from exploring Venice, even on its coldest days.
Winter in Venice can be particularly humid too, and some days it can rain, and others, expect to see fog. I recommend that you carry a compact umbrella with you.
If you’re planning to do some day trips from Venice, I don’t recommend visiting other islands in the lagoon on a foggy day, instead hop on a train and visit some of other towns in the Veneto region and that way you’ll make the most of your time here.
During the off-peak season, prices of flights and accommodation are much lower than in the summer, so you can find good deals and much pay less to stay in some of the best canal view hotels in Venice if that is something that interests you?
With that said, the best time to visit Venice are the shoulder seasons. During these periods, tourist influx starts increasing but it’s still not excessive, temperatures are more pleasant and prices of flights and accommodation are reasonable.
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The worst time to visit Venice FAQs
Here are questions people ask when it comes to visiting Venice.
Worst time to visit Venice
With this guide, I hope I helped you learn the worst time to visit Venice. My advice is to travel in spring and autumn and completely avoid July and August.
Winters are cold in northern Italy and quite humid in the Venetian lagoon, but are great if you’re looking to save money on flights and accommodation.
Remember to plan your trip well in advance so you can find some good deals.
Finally, if you are currently planning a trip to Venice, be sure to read my Venice’s insider tips to help you with preparing for your trip to the famous Lagoon city.
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