The Italian city of Venice is so breathtaking that, for many people, it’s satisfying enough to simply absorb the surrounding beauty. But Venice isn’t just about aesthetics. There is also plenty to do in one of the most famous cities in the world.

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When creating your Venetian bucket list, keep in mind that it can take a few days to tick off all the unforgettable sights and landmarks. Ranging from the clichéd to the alternative, here are 10 things that you have to do when you visit Venice.

10 Be Serenaded On A Gondola

It might sound extremely clichéd, but you can’t go to Venice and not take a gondola ride. Yes, it’s overpriced. Yes, you might get a jaded gondolier who doesn’t want to be there. But this is a rite of passage for all travelers to Venice. You have to do it, just to say that you have.

A song from your gondolier will cost more but that’s worth it too. Especially if you’re in Venice on a honeymoon or romantic trip. There’s really nothing better than moving slowly through those sleepy canals while you take in the breathtaking scenery surrounding you.

9 Soak Up All The History

Venice is shrouded in history. Often as you walk through the narrow laneways of the city, you’ll feel as if you’ve stepped back in time because the architecture hasn’t changed in centuries. But if you really want to soak up the history, there are several sites to add to your Venetian bucket list.

These include the Doge’s Palace, where you’ll see the very cell that Giacomo Casanova was kept in. There’s also St. Mark’s Basilica, a cathedral that looks like something out of a fairytale, and the infamous Bridge of Sighs.

8 Visit The Amazing Island Of Burano

The island of Burano is famous around the world for two things. Firstly, the lace that’s produced and sold there is one of the most popular souvenirs for those traveling to Venice. Though the tradition has been maintained for years, the lace never seems to go out of style.

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Secondly, the island itself is a feast for the eyes. The fisherman’s village is painted bright colors and could serve as the backdrop of any postcard. If you have time, you can also add the island of Murano to your bucket list, where the world-famous glass comes from.

7 Be Swarmed By Pigeons In St. Mark’s Square

Those who are afraid of birds won’t like this suggestion! St. Mark’s Square is known not only for being a scene of incredible beauty, but for its endless pigeons. If you’ve always wanted to touch a pigeon, St. Mark’s Square is definitely for you. Just don’t be surprised if you’re all pigeon-ed out by the end of it!

A ban has been placed on feeding the pigeons, but they still seem to swarm tourists that stand in the square. Be warned: the birds aren’t afraid to land on your head and shoulders.

6 Eat Some Delicious Local Cuisine

One of the best things about Italian cuisine is that it varies from region to region. Venice is located in Veneto, a northern region specializing in dishes such as squid ink risotto, rice and peas, and the delicious dessert, Tiramisu.

When eating in Venice, it’s worth exploring further than the main tourist areas. Even walking a few blocks away can save you quite a few euros in what is known to be one of the most expensive cities in the world. In some establishments along the Grand Canal, you’ll be looking at 15 euros just to sit down and drink a simple espresso.

5 Go Jewelry Shopping In Style

Another thing that Venice is known for is its jewelry shops. Lining the many alleyways, many of these shops are bursting with travelers who come to Venice purely to buy gold. A lot of things sold in the city are overpriced, but you can get away with certain pieces of silver for around 100 euros.

Although some of the shop owners may seem a bit over all the tourists, they can be super helpful if you remember to be polite. Knowing a little Italian helps too. If you want a piece of jewelry that screams Venice, consider buying some made with Murano glass.

4 Buy Some Expensive Souvenirs

Let’s just face it: Venice is not the city to come to if you’re trying on a tight budget. Of course, you can get away without spending a lot of money, but then you’d be missing out on some of the experiences that make Venice so great. One of the best things to do in Venice is buying classic Venetian souvenirs, such as Murano glass, Burano lace, and Venetian masks.

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The masks date back centuries in Venetian history and are traditionally worn during the Carnival of Venice which takes place every year.

3 Admire The Many Bridges

Looking at bridges might not sound like a fun way to spend your time, but the bridges in Venice are often beautiful enough to catch your eye. There are several famous bridges that are worth seeing in the city, including the Rialto Bridge, which is now one of the most popular places in Venice to sneak a selfie.

There is also the Bridge of Sighs that connects the Doge’s Palace to the New Prison. White-stone and completely covered, the bridge isn’t named after sighs of joy and wanderlust. Actually, when prisoners were marched from the palace to the prison over the bridge, they would sigh in sadness as they looked out at their beautiful city for the last time.

2 Check Out One Of The World’s Most Unique Book Stores

If you’re looking for something off the beaten track to do in Venice, consider checking out one of the most unique book stores in the world. The Libreria Aqua Alta is a sight in itself, whether or not you actually end up buying any books!

There are lots of vintage titles sold at the store, but the décor is what really stands out. Here you’ll find books stored in bathtubs and boats. There are also a couple of resident cats roaming around.

1 Visit The Jewish Ghetto

Many tourists come to Venice without realizing that it actually houses the world’s oldest ghetto. The Venetian Ghetto was established in 1516 after the Jews of the city were forced to live within its constricting boundaries.

Far less congested by tourists than other landmarks in the city, the Jewish Ghetto still maintains an air of sadness. On the grounds is a memorial as well as the Jewish Museum of Venice. The museum also offers a tour of the ghetto and three local synagogues and boasts a kosher café so visitors can experience a part of Jewish culture.

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