Are you looking for a guide to New Year’s Eve in Venice? Then I got you covered!
For me, there is no more romantic and beautiful place in the world than Venice. The charming and mystical city on the canals is not only a great spot to visit for summer but also an amazing choice for New Years’ Eve. Spending New Year’s Eve in Venice does not only guarantee you spectacular fireworks, but also a really special place to explore the days before and after.
From gala dinners to fireworks to a New Years’ dive – there is something to do for everyone looking to spend New Year’s Eve in Venice. Obviously, the sheer endless options of things to do in Venice on New Year’s eve make it hard to choose.
Luckily, I have spent my first New Years Eve together with my husband in Venice, and we have found the most amazing spot to see the fireworks from – totally in private and away from the masses!
Let’s get to it!
Table of Contents
- How to Get Around Venice
- Where to Stay in Venice for New Years’ Eve
- What to Do in Venice for New Years Eve
- Other Things to Do in Venice
- Is Venice Safe on New Year’s Eve?
- Is Venice Expensive for New Years Eve?
- Weather in Venice in Winter
- What to Pack for Venice on New Years Eve
- Conclusion: Venice New Years Eve
- FAQ: New Years Eve Venice
How to Get Around Venice
Planning how to get to Venice is probably the trickiest part of your journey.
Since the entire city is basically built on water, there are not that many streets to drive on. Outside of the inner city there are some parking garages, but they are extremely costly.
Unless you are planning on staying at the Lido di Venezia (can be reached with a car ferry), I do not recommend arriving by car.
Venice can be nicely reached by train, which takes you directly to the Santa Lucia train station in the heart of Venice.
Your other option is to go by plane, via the airport Venice Marco Polo.
You will most likely have to take a water taxi or a Vaporetto (water ferry) to your final destination. Water ferries are a cheap and easy way to go places. You can find water bus stations on all the canals in Venice (see picture below)
If your accommodation is far off the beaten track, I recommend the water taxi, since it can be hard to reach it with suitcases otherwise.
Where to Stay in Venice for New Years’ Eve
Hotel Villa Laguna
- 4 **** Hotel
- Charming Rooms & Suites
- Delicious Breakfast
- Stunning View over Lagoon & Fireworks
Year-round, I would probably prefer to stay somewhere in the inner city of Venice. This way so you can explore it easily without being bound to the water taxis.
Especially during New Years Eve, staying on the Lido di Venezia is your best option. You can avavoid crowds and have a better experience, so I would wholeheartedly recommend that.
The Lido is a small island a couple of minutes with public transport away from the main island. You can reach it with water ferries and water taxis.
Pro Tip: Booking a hotel on the side of the Lido, which is facing the city, will give you the most amazing view of the firework on the San Marco square.
And you can see it all from your balcony or bed. Order a bottle of champagne and enjoy the experience without any of the crowds!
As for the perfect hotel to stay in, I have the most amazing recommendation that is very near and dear to my heart. My husband booked this hotel as a surprise for me on our first-ever vacation together. It was absolutely perfect for a magical New Years Eve in Venice.
The Hotel Villa Laguna on the Lido is an exclusive 4-star hotel, with only 19 suites overlooking the lagoon of Venice. The suites are charming and the decor of the hotel is cozy yet stylish.
They offer an amazing breakfast buffet in a nice room overlooking the lagoon. Plus, they had all kinds of sweet Christmas decoration up, which made the place even more charming!
What to Do in Venice for New Years Eve
1. Have a Gala Dinner on New Year’s Eve
Before dancing the night away on the St. Mark’s Square, you will want to enjoy a traditional Venetian gala dinner with live music on the last evening of the year.
A great idea is to have a fancy dinner combined with a show or concert.
Keep in mind that you need to make reservations way early, otherwise everything will be fully booked. Most places are either booked out or closed, as we found out (since we had no reservation).
Many of the nicer restaurants offer amazing gala dinners on New Years Eve, which makes for a really special experience. Check their website or ask at your hotel for details.
2. Party the Night Away on Piazza San Marco
At 12:00 o’clock on New Year’s Eve, stunning fireworks are set up on the San Marco Square.
Before the impressive fireworks, there is a big party going on all around the stunning square. Everyone is in a festive mood, and a big stage hosts different singers and artists. The party starts around 10:30 pm.
A great place to watch is the Riva Degli Schiavoni.
At midnight, you have to kiss your love and watch the fireworks! Make sure to listed to the bells on the Campanile ring. Of course you need to have a midnight toast with a glass of Champagne.
Both of these traditions are supposed to bring you good luck for the next year. The fireworks are incredibly stunning, I think the most beautiful I have seen so far.
This display is almost as iconic as New Year’s Eve in New York when the ball drops on Times Square.
3. Watch the Fireworks from Your Hotel Balcony
Instead of the party, we opted for watching the fireworks from our cozy suite at the Lido di Venezia. If you have a hotel with a view over the lagoon, this is a great option instead of standing in the cold.
We had an amazing view of the lagoon and the fireworks and we shared a bottle of fine champagne together in quiet.
Since it can also be pretty cold outside – I can wholeheartedly recommend this option.
We shared such a special moment away from the crowds, and that made the experience even better.
The Lido the Venezia is definitely the best spot to see the fireworks without any crowds! The 5-star-Hotel Palazzetto Pisani also offers great views.
4. Take a Midnight Gondola Ride
Another fun New Year’s Eve tradition in Venice is a midnight gondola ride.
Any vacation in Venice would not be complete without a gondola ride. You can tour the city at night after the fireworks on a romantic gondola, just the two of you!
Make sure to dress warmly, as it can get pretty cold at night in January.
5. Go to a New Year’s Even Concert at La Fenice
In the heart of Venice you can find the renowned La Fenice Theater.
This hidden gem of a venue is the place to be for theater enthusiasts in Venice. And on New Year’s Eve it is an amazing spot to see a performance in a historical setting.
The theater’s name, “La Fenice,” translates to “The Phoenix” in English, a symbol of resilience and rebirth. And just like its namesake, this theater has risen from the ashes not once, but twice, following fires in 1836 and 1996.
This world renowned opera house hosts the “Concerto di Capodanno” each year a few days before New Year’s Eve until January of the next year.
Tickets are pretty expensive, as this is the highlight of the Venetian high society calendar.
An alternative is seeing a theater at the Scuola Grande di San Teodoro.
Other Things to Do in Venice
Visit Murano and Burano
On the last day of the old year, we decided to have a look at the other two small islands close by Venice: Murano and Burano.
Murano is a cute little island with colorful houses that is famous for it’s glass blowing production. You surely have heard of the beautiful famous Murano glass before!
Burano is a little smaller then Murano but equally picturesque. On the small island you can witness its historical lace production as well as its colorful houses!
Take a ferry or a book a day trip to see both islands in one day. You can have a nice stroll around the calm places and enjoy the last day of the old year!
We absolutely loved the experience! New Years Eve in Venice would not be complete without seeing the colorful little islands.
I definitely recommend booking a guided tour in this case. The tours are super cheap and more comfortable.
We took the ferry since we like to move on our own schedule. However, the ferries were so busy in the evening that it took us hours to get home (we almost missed our New Year’s Eve Dinner)
Go Sightseeing in the Historical City Center & Explore Hidden Alleys
We spent the first day of the new year lazily strolling around the city and exploring cute small alleys. A scenic walk is a great way to enjoy the city and all the sights.
We strolled towards the Rialto bridge, passed the Doge’s Palace and walked over the Bridge of Sighs.
Venice is a relatively small city, so you can definitely explore all the important sights by foot. It also does not matter so much where you go, it will always be beautiful and there is always so much to explore.
You can find art and culture at every corner in the city of Venice. There are amazing museums, such as the Peggy Guggenheim collection or the Doge’s Palace to explore.
Make sure to book your tickets for any tourist attraction in advance, since this is a very busy time of the year.
If you need some guidance, I can recommend the following Venice Walking Tours:
- Venice Sightseeing Walking Tour With a Local
- Unusual Venice Walking Tour
- Morning Walking Tour of Venice with Mini Cruise
St. Mark’s Basilica and Piazza
Begin your Venetian New Year’s day in the iconic St. Mark’s Square.
You can marvel at the beautiful architecture of St. Mark’s Basilica. It is a stunning example of Byzantine art.
The piazza itself is a bustling hub. It is surrounded by cafes and shops, and offers a unique blend of history and people-watching.
You can busy souvenirs there or have a drink in the most famous cafe in Venice: Caffé Florian.
Try Venetian Cicchetti
Indulge in an authentic Venetian experience to start off the new year.
You have to try sampling cicchetti – small, flavorful snacks – in local bacari (wine bars).
Pair them with a glass of regional wine for a true taste of Venice – my favorite is the Valpolicella.
They offer great to Cichetti tours around the city that will leave no one wanting for more:
Climb Up The Campanile di San Giorgio Maggiore
If you love amazing views as much as I do – this activity is a must on your Venice trip.
Enjoy breathtaking views of Venice from the Campanile (bell tower) of San Giorgio Maggiore.
The panorama view includes the city’s rooftops, canals, and the shimmering waters – all things that make Venice so famous.
Take a Cooking Class
I always try to start the New Year with some good resolutions. One of them is usually food related.
For this reason, I love taking cooking classes on my trips. So what better way to start the New Year by taking a class to learn how to prepare authentic Italian food?
Here are my favorite cooking classes in Venice:
- Small group Pasta & Tiramisu Class
- Market Tour & Cooking Class (with a local)
- Rialto Market Tour, Wine Tasting & Cooking Class
Is Venice Safe on New Year’s Eve?
Yes, Venice is definitely a safe place to travel to!
I have been multiple times and I have never felt unsafe, not even at night. Crime rates are very low and the biggest danger is probably falling in the water!
Keep in mind that there is a lot more drinking on New Year’s Eve, so people might be a bit rowdy. But Venetian police is usually doing a good job of keeping everyone safe.
Do I need Travel Insurance for Venice? Yes, it is very helpful to have travel insurance in Venice. EKTA offers great insurance packages that work worldwide, without hassle and at no hidden cost.
Is Venice Expensive for New Years Eve?
Yes, Venice is also quite expensive around New Year’s Eve.
However, the experience is absolutely beautiful and in my opinion worth it! Flights, accommodations and food will probably be your biggest expenses.
If you do follow my advice of staying on the Lido, you can cut some costs there.
Also skipping out on the Gala Dinner might save you some bucks.
The fireworks are for free, and so is most of the exploring around town.
Weather in Venice in Winter
The average high temperatures during winter range from around 6 to 8°C (42 to 46°F). The average lows are usually between 0 to 3°C (32 to 37°F).
Sometimes temperatures drop below freezing, especially during cold spells. Make sure to check the weather forecast before packing.
Winter is the wettest season in Venice. You can expect a big amount of rainfall.
There are frequent rain showers and many cloudy days. But don’t let your spirit be dampened by it – the rainfall and the clouds add to the city’s gloomy charm.
Bring you umbrella and you will be more than fine.
Fog and Acqua Alta
Venice is famous for its fog during the winter months. While the fog can be a bit annoying, it definitely adds to Venice’s charm.
Venice is also known for its occasional “acqua alta” events. It basically means that parts of the city are flooded. These are pretty common during the winter months.
Especially St. Mark’s Square and other low-lying areas are particularly vulnerable to flooding.
But Venice is handling these events with ease, building catwalks to protect people from the floods. You might want to buy pair of cute pink Wellington boots. At least I thought it was fun.
What to Pack for Venice on New Years Eve
Here are some of my essentials that you absolutely need to bring to Venice for New Year’s Eve:
- Warm Clothing: Venice can be chilly during winter. Pack plenty of warm clothing like sweaters, jackets, and thick coats.
- Waterproof Jacket or Coat: Venice gets quite some rain in winter. A waterproof jacket will keep you dry and comfortable.
- Comfortable Shoes: Since Venice is a city of narrow streets and bridges, comfortable walking shoes are a must. Cobblestone alleys are the enemy of fancy high heels.
- Festive Attire: It’s New Year’s Eve, so consider packing some festive outfits for any celebrations or parties you plan to attend. Many Gala Dinners require formal attire, so keep that in mind.
- Accessories: Bring scarves, gloves, and a warm hat to stay cozy while exploring the city.
- Power Adapter and Converter: Make sure to have the right power adapter and voltage converter if your devices have different plug types or voltage requirements.
- Portable Charger: Keep your devices charged while you’re out and about, capturing memories and staying connected.
- Camera: Venice is incredibly picturesque, especially during the holiday season. Don’t forget your camera to capture the beauty of the canals and architecture.
- Umbrella: It rains a lot, so this can come in so handy.
- Pocket Warmers: Pack some pocket warmers, you fingers will thank you for it.
Conclusion: Venice New Years Eve
To sum it all up, Venice is an amazing choice for New Years Eve.
The fancy hotels and restaurants in the city offer gala dinners, shows and private festivities for the last day of the year.
You can ring in the new year in style, with a glass of Champagne on the San Marco Piazzo under the fireworks, followed by a midnight gondola ride.
Venice is definitely worth it for New Years Eve. And if you are longer in the area, why not make it a whole Northern Italy Road Trip?
If you are craving a warmer NYE, check out the best Caribbean islands to visit in December.
Check out all Destinations for more.
FAQ: New Years Eve Venice
For a memorable New Year’s Eve in Venice, head to St. Mark’s Square. Join the festive atmosphere, watch the fireworks over the lagoon, and enjoy live music. Remember to book in advance if you plan to dine at a local restaurant for a delightful culinary experience.
Venice is simply magical on New Years Eve. The fireworks light up the charming city and the impressive canals. The city gets an amazingly festive atmosphere, with live music and cheerful crowds.
Celebrate New Year’s Eve in Venice by enjoying a magical gondola ride along the canals, followed by a stroll through St. Mark’s Square to witness the countdown and fireworks. Indulge in a special dinner at a local restaurant and enjoy yourself in the city’s enchanting atmosphere.
To catch New Year’s Eve fireworks in Venice, head to St. Mark’s Square or the Riva degli Schiavoni waterfront. Both spots offer fantastic views of the dazzling fireworks display over the Venetian lagoon, creating a memorable way to ring in the new year.
In December, Venice experiences slightly reduced tourist activity, so while most attractions and services remain open, some shops, restaurants, and smaller businesses might have adjusted hours or closures. Major tourist sites usually operate, but it’s recommended to check in advance and plan accordingly, as the holiday season can bring variations in schedules.