While it is one of the most beautiful, romantic cities in the world, Venice’s huge crowds and high prices can sometimes make visiting a little less special. What’s going on in the city and its weather also has a massive impact on people’s experience exploring La Serenissima.
As it is a must-see destination for many, Venice is often inundated with visitors – just like its streets and squares in winter when they often flood. While the canals, bridges, churches and palaces always look incredible, there are, of course, quieter, calmer times to visit. Summer now is almost too full with its scorching heat also making walking around uncomfortable.
To help you plan your trip, let’s take a look month-by-month at what to expect in the Queen of the Adriatic in terms of its climate, crowds and cultural events.
In this post, we'll cover:
What’s the Weather Like in Venice?
Lying in Northeastern Italy in the Veneto region, Venice is built atop 118 islands in a lagoon, adjoining the Adriatic Sea. As it is surrounded by water, it is not uncommon for everywhere to flood for a few hours at high tide during the winter months. This is known as acqua alta.
Apart from this phenomenon, the city sees regular rainfall throughout the year, each month averaging between 9 and 13 days. While its winters are cold, grey and foggy, summers are hot and humid. Temperatures in July and August average around 27 to 28°C (80 to 82°F) with their highs often being unbearable.
With ample sunshine, lots of hours of daylight and warm temperatures, spring and autumn are perhaps more comfortable weatherwise. They are not as good though for sunbathing or swimming at the Lido.
Best months to visit Venice
Although July and August are the most popular months to visit due to the summer holidays, the high heat, humidity and crowds can make exploring the city unpleasant. Its main sights, squares and museums are all packed with hotel rates and airfares being more expensive.
As they are a bit calmer and cheaper but the weather is still good, both spring and autumn are great times to visit. There is still a very vibrant feel about town with numerous festivals also taking place.
Other high points of the year include both Christmastime and carnival. Around these hugely important events, thousands of people pour in, come to celebrate and partake in all the fun festivities.
Venice in January
As it lies in between Christmas and carnival and is cold, foggy and grey, January is the least popular month to visit Venice. If you don’t mind the weather, exploring the almost deserted city can be very atmospheric in the gloom. At times, you may have to make your way about raised walkways if the acqua alta floods its lower areas.
Besides benefiting from the cheaper hotel prices, there are no crowds in the alleys or at any of its attractions. Some may have reduced opening hours, however. Aside from a couple of Christmas markets that are still around the first week, there is the Feast of the Epiphany to attend. Bonfires and concerts are held while a rowing regatta races along the Grand Canal.
Venice in February
February in Venice is all about one thing: its world-famous carnival. For two weeks, colourful costume-clad partygoers wearing masks amble about the city with opulent balls, boat parades and street fairs all taking place. Prices shoot up around this time as millions of people come to enjoy the unforgettable event.
As temperatures hover around 9°C (48°F), you’ll have to wrap up warm when exploring the Floating City. While it is the driest month, the bora winds create quite a chill, coming off the cold canals. At Campo San Polo, you can even ice skate if you like! Apart from carnival, February is the off-season so there are fewer crowds and prices are cheaper.
Venice in March
As the weather starts to improve, tourists slowly start to trickle back to Venice. March is the last quiet, more affordable month before the city is overrun at Easter and in summer. With a bit more sunshine and warmth to its days, spring can be a wonderful time to visit. You’ll still need to layer up though with many sights also still closing earlier.
Other than making the most of the shorter lines and relaxed atmosphere, it’s not a bad idea to take trips to popular places like Lake Garda and Verona before they get too busy. You can also hop on a vaporetto to Murano or Burano and enjoy gondola rides about its canals. After this, the region’s boats, trains and city centers are much more crowded.
Venice in April
Once the Easter holidays arrive, the peak season starts with the number of tourists in Venice only subsiding in November. Hotel prices and airfares are much higher with queues forming outside its main attractions and museums. While there is an excited buzz about the city, its narrow alleys do start to feel a bit crowded.
Coupled with its longer, sunnier days, averages of 17°C (62°F) are great for strolling about its stunning streets and squares. Parades and concerts take place for the Feast of San Marco while its prestigious Art Biennale also begins, carrying on til the end of November. Although it is a bit wetter than the winter months, its 12 days of rain shouldn’t put much of a damper on your trip.
Venice in May
Along with April, May is one of the best months weatherwise to visit Venice. Temperatures of around 21°C (70°F) are perfect for wandering about the city before the summer heat kicks in. This is also a good time to explore some other islands and cities in Veneto before they’re completely overwhelmed.
While many museums, shops and restaurants shut for Labour Day, there are some exciting regattas to watch later on in the month. These are for both the Vogalonga – a long-running competition – and the Feast of the Ascension. Although there are loads of crowds around, prices are still more affordable than in summer.
Venice in June
With average temperatures rising to 25°C (77°F), Venice starts to feel a bit hot and stuffy, especially with the hordes of tourists thronging about its streets. The weather is finally good enough though to sunbathe and swim at the Lido. Other than all its Art Biennale exhibitions, June is the last month to catch an opera at La Fenice Theatre before the summer break.
As each day has around 16 hours of light, there is ample time in which to sightsee or sit and sip a spritz at its outdoor cafes. June is one of the rainiest months though, along with August and November. While prices are more expensive, concerts, dances and exhibitions also take place for the Feast of St. John in Bragora and Feast of San Pietro de Castro.
Venice in July
July and August are the absolute peak season in Venice when everywhere is packed and all its shops, restaurants and bars are at their busiest. You’ll have to queue at many of its main attractions and museums with the vaporetti to Murano and Burano also being full. To avoid the astronomical accommodation prices, it’s worth having a look for hotels in nearby Mestre.
The hottest and sunniest month of the year, July’s high averages of 28°C (82°F) are actually rather unpleasant. While wandering about is a hot and sticky affair, it’s the perfect weather to lounge on the beach at either the Lido or Jesolo. The city has a lovely, lively atmosphere about it with regattas and firework displays also being held for the Feast of the Redeemer.
Venice in August
While many Italians take their holidays in August, business continues as usual in Venice with most shops and restaurants remaining open. The Rialto Bridge and streets near Piazza San Marco are absolutely rammed. To escape the crowds, consider heading to less popular areas like Dorsoduro and Cannaregio.
The sweltering weather and slow-moving throngs of tourists can make sightseeing tiring and a bit frustrating. You can always cool off though at the beach or in one of its countless quiet churches. Besides the Festival of Santo Stefano’s sports competitions and dance shows, the world-renowned Venice International Film Festival starts, continuing into September.
Venice in September
Once the school holidays are over, things are finally a bit quieter, calmer and cheaper in the city – that’s not saying much though! Prices remain high and massive groups of tourists still mill about its streets. As it is a few degrees cooler, ambling around is more comfortable with the days being dry and sunny.
Aside from the International Film Festival at the Lido, there is the fascinating Regata Storica and all its historic boats to watch along the Grand Canal. The opera season also opens again at La Fenice Theatre. As the weather is still warm, you can always sunbathe and swim at its beaches. Most nearby day trip destinations will still be quite busy though.
Venice in October
As October has fewer big events going on, accommodation is finally a bit more affordable with the city being much quieter the further you stray from Piazza San Marco. For the most part, the weather is quite warm and dry, though the days are shorter. Its 5 hours of sunshine and averages of 18°C (64°F) are still lovely for sightseeing but a bit too cool for the beach.
Before things turn cold, wet and grey in November, it’s worth taking trips to historical cities like Padua, Vicenza and Verona. You also no longer have to fight for space on its vaporetti to Murano and Burano. At the end of October, thousands visit for its marathon which passes by its scenic canals over little old bridges.
Venice in November
With just 3 hours of sunshine, much more rain and temperatures of 12°C (53°F), November is well and truly the off-season in Venice. Blissfully crowd-free, its reduced hotel prices and airfares can make a trip tempting. You’ll have to pack an umbrella though and listen out for sirens signalling acqua alta’s impending arrival!
While many of its attractions have reduced opening hours and there are fewer daylight hours in which to explore, Venice looks incredible at any time of year. Traditional events such as its Feast of St. Martin and Feast of Our Lady of Health also take place. At these, you can watch religious parades and sample local delicacies. Its Art Biennale also finally comes to a close in November for the winter.
Venice in December
A bit drier and colder than November, Venice has a wonderful, relaxed feel to it in December with the Christmas holidays also bringing some festive cheer. While the chance of fog, wind and acqua alta is higher, exploring its deserted alleys is still magical if you wrap up warm.
Still very quiet in comparison with the spring, summer and autumn months, it sees a spike in visitors around Christmastime. Hotel prices of course rise around the holidays. Other than perusing its cozy markets, you can shoot about the ice rink at Campo San Polo. To welcome in the New Year, you can enjoy concerts and firework displays in Piazza San Marco or attend a special performance at La Fenice Theatre.