Activites and tours of Venice

From walking tours to gondola lessons to private guides, sidetrips to outlying islands and tours of the Doge's Palace, here are the best guided microtours in Venice

Even if you're a die-hard solo traveler and scoff at the folks being herded from one sight to another in the big tourist clots of a tour group, you can get a lot of mileage out of sightseeing guides once you're in Venice.

Gondola tours of the city, escorted day trips to outlying islands (Murano, Burano, Torcello) and nearby medieval towns in the Veneto, walking tours around town, guided tours through museums or cathedrals or neighborhoods led by exert docents with degree in art or hisotry—these are all what I call microtours (as opposed to the macrotours of fully escorted bus trips).

They are led by expert local guides who concentrate only on one city or sight, not tour bus escorts who’ve merely memorized a canned spiel for each town, stop, and sight along the way.

By combining do-it-yourself planning and travel with microtours, you can get the best of both worlds. The best microtours are packed with more information (history, background, anecdotes, details, and explanations) than any guidebook has room to print.

Top tours of Venice

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Be a head-of-the-class nerd

On any tour, stick next to the guide.

Walking from stop to stop on the tour, you’ll be able to chat with her, ask questions, and hear her answers and explanations to everyone else’s questions as well. You'll get a lot more out of your tour (and bang for your buck) if you just stick close to the guide.

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