Venice is known as one of the most romantic cities on Earth, and with good reason. With pastel palazzi, azure blue water, cosy restaurants and intimate bars around every corner, Venice often feels like it could have been tailor-made for loved-up couples looking for an unforgettable trip together. But, as romantic as Venice is, it’s also one of the most touristy cities around. For every sunset vista or must-see sight like the Rialto Bridge, there are a few million tourists waiting to spoil the fun. We can help out though! Read on for everything you need to see or do to have a really romantic holiday in Venice.
When it comes to planning your romantic sojourn in Venice, you’re spoilt for choice when it comes to romantic hotels in the floating city. In the interests of being as loved-up as is humanly possible, we think that the intimacy of a boutique hotel is best. Tucked away in the village-esque Dorsoduro part of town, with plush fittings and striking, themed rooms, Ca’ Maria Adele is perfect for a romantic getaway.
Alternatively, make a statement when you arrive by boat through the porta d’acqua at Aman Venice, before heading up a grand staircase into the hotel itself. With gilt mirrors, Murano chandeliers and canal views, this boutique hotel exudes opulence at every turn (with a price tag to match.)
Sunset might be the most romantic time of day but allow us to make an alternative proposal: sunrise in St. Mark’s. Get up early, head to one of Venice’s most popular tourist hotspots … and get there before everybody else does. There’ll be no one in the square except for you, your loved one and – hopefully – a jaw-dropping sunrise. Follow it up with a trip inside St. Mark’s basilica without the crowds, or grab a cappuccino at the cute, cosy Caffe Florian nearby.
If you’re not early risers and still want to experience a magical side of St Mark’s without the crowds, come at night! At the very least, it could be one to tell the grandkids – about how you once went on a date to a flooded (it happens) square in Venice in the dark (but trust us, it’s super romantic.)
This one’s an obvious one, but it’s obvious for a reason. Take a ride under the Bridge of Sighs and put an urban legend to the test – if you kiss when passing under it as the St. Mark’s bells ring, you’ll allegedly stay together forever. Alternatively, take a super-chic water taxi from the airport to central Venice, and start your trip with a bang.
Few things get the heart racing like a night at the opera, and fortunately for you and your partner, Venice has one of the most magnificent opera houses in the world. With its attention-grabbing painted blue ceiling and golden balconies, Teatro la Fenice is beautiful from the inside out. But it’s not the only starry-eyed setting for opera in the city. Musica a Palazzo is an operatic supper club of sorts, with intimate – audience size is around 100 people tops – candlelit performances taking place in different rooms of the fascinating Palazzo Barbarigo Minotto. What could be more romantic than that?
Some of the most romantic things to do in Venice aren’t really in Venice at all. Get out of the city and you’ll find a world of charming, unspoilt islands. Head to beautiful Burano for instagrammable pastel houses and village vibes. If you enjoy long walks on the beach, then you can’t go wrong with a trip to the Venice Lido. Quiet Alberoni, with its sand dunes, is a Must-visit.
Cipriani is a legendary Venetian restaurant, but rather than eat there, we recommend you gaze longingly into each other’s eyes over cocktails at Harry’s Bar. One of the most famous bars in Venice, this 1930s throwback was popular with Hemingway (of course it was), Orson Welles and Charlie Chaplin back in the day. What to drink? Bellini, of course. It was invented here, after all.
Sunset is a particularly magical time of day, and there are a number of places you can go to soak up the last of the sun. If you’re looking for dinner with a view, look no further than Terrazza Danieli, where you’ll be able to tuck into food every bit as stunning as this romantic Venice restaurants’ view of the Grand Canal, Punta della Dogana and San Giorgio Maggiore.
If you’re not that fussed for sunset, but still want to impress your loved one with a super-romantic dinner, impossibly intimate dinner Alle Testiere is the place to go. Book ahead and book a late slot so you can enjoy dessert without distractions as the restaurant begins to empty out.
The Zattere part of town is another sunset hotspot. Head here for a waterfront stroll as the sun goes down on the lagoon and watch as the changing colours dance on the Giudecca Canal.