10 ideas for things to do on New Year’s Eve in Venice


Spending New Year’s Eve in Venice is definitely a great idea. We thought of helping you organize your New Year’s Eve in the city by gathering some suggestions. In this article, you can find a list of 10 things to do that, if you want, will keep you busy from the morning or afternoon of December 31st until the morning of January 1st. There is a range of activities and experiences that could satisfy all budgets and tastes, so we really hope that among these 10 ideas for New Year’s Eve in Venice, you will find one that suits you!

New Year's Eve in Venice
New Year’s Eve in Venice (Image source: Flickr)

First of all, we recommend booking your accommodation well in advance: the closer you get to the fateful date, the fewer availability tends to decrease and prices tend to increase. There are many hotels, hostels, and guesthouses to choose from, wherever you choose to stay. However, we recommend a structure in Venice center. In fact, while it’s true that staying in the peripheral areas (Mestre, Quarto d’Altino, etc.) may save you some money, nothing will repay you for the unique emotion of strolling through the Venetian alleys at night or at the first light of dawn, when the festivities are winding down.

Let’s start with less obvious things. Since you are in the city, why not search for the particular and traditional side of Venice? Forget about the stalls and shops selling souvenirs of Chinese origin and look for the real Venetian artisans, they still exist! From traditional mask makers to lace makers in Burano, from glass masters in Murano to builders and repairers of lagoon boats. In the city, there are alternative tours to discover Venetian craftsmanship, alternatively, you can also book individual visits to the workshops.

A tradition for the end of the year in the city is the New Year’s concert organized by the Teatro La Fenice, the historic theater of the city. From December 29th to January 1st, La Fenice hosts a daily performance of the Concert, which usually consists of two parts: an instrumental and a vocal one. Itz is a breathtaking show that is also an opportunity to admire the magnificent interiors of the theater, reconstructed and renovated after the disastrous fire of 1996.

New Year in La Fenice
Teatro La Fenice in Venice

The timing of the concert varies depending on the days. On December 31st, the concert usually takes place in the mid-afternoon, to give you time to continue with the celebrations during the evening. But on January 1st, the concert takes place in the late morning, to give you time to wake up calmly after the midnight toasts. You can find schedules and details about the New Year’s Concert at La Fenice on the official website.

The classic way to celebrate New Year’s Eve is with a lavish and succulent dinner. In Venice, restaurants are plentiful and many of them offer special fixed-price menus for the last night of the year, ranging from appetizers to desserts passing through first and second courses and culminating with the midnight toast.

If for your New Year’s Eve in Venice you don’t want to spare expenses, the most renowned and luxurious hotels in the city could become the perfect location for your classy dinner. Just to name a few, you could find yourself toasting on the lagoon-view terrace of the Molino Stucky or tasting refined dishes at the Terrazza Danieli Restaurant. It will surely be a New Year’s Eve you won’t forget (and neither will your wallet)!

If, on the other hand, you have a much more limited budget but a great desire to have fun with friends, you could consider an “alternative” dinner, nibbling here and there between one bacaro and another and, as a good omen for the new year, toasting at each stop of your tour. The bacari are typical taverns of Venice, places where you tend to meet at any time of the day (but better if before lunch or before dinner) to drink a glass of wine (shadow) or a spritz at very reasonable prices and perhaps to put some appetizers in your belly.

In any case, we recommend you to verify whether the venues are open or not (not all of them remain open on New Year’s Eve). Finally, know that some places organize respectable New Year’s Eve dinners. If you prefer a complete dinner tour to a tour, seated at a table and sheltered from the cold, you can always opt for a dinner in one of the many bacari in the city.

Another cornerstone of Venetian entertainment has always been the casino, a true institution in a city that for centuries has been the Las Vegas of the lagoon (when Las Vegas was far from being not only founded but also discovered). In the quintessential venue for celebrations and entertainment of all kinds, New Year’s Eve is just another opportunity to stay up late and toast in the company of bubbles, panettoni, and slot machines, hoping for a new year full of luck.

For those who want to spend the entire evening at the casino, at Ca’ Vendramin Calergi there is both the possibility to take part in the dinner (with reservation) or just make a quick visit before or after the toast by paying the classic entrance ticket to the casino.

If you want an alternative way to experience New Year’s Eve in the city, how about celebrating on board a boat? There are various companies that organize evenings on board which include both navigation between the islands of the lagoon, culminating in landing just before midnight in Piazza San Marco to exchange greetings and watch the fireworks, and à la carte or buffet dinner.

Among the most famous companies in the city is the Jolly Roger, a Venetian galleon that is often seen in the lagoon, which for New Year’s Eve offers a cruise with buffet and music. Certainly a different way to toast the new year with your group of friends.

Piazza San Marco has always been the heart of the Venetian New Year’s Eve celebrations where at midnight it is tradition to give a nice kiss under the stars, but above all under the rain of fireworks that are fired from the boats positioned on the water. Whatever way you choose to celebrate New Year’s Eve in the city, try not to miss the midnight show in the square. This is where the city wishes the best for the upcoming year.

San Marco square at night
Piazza San Marco at night

If you are a hardcore partygoer, one of those who believe that “Those who dance on New Year’s Eve, dance all year round” the Fenice concert might not be your idea of fun, so we suggest opting for discos in Jesolo. It is a famous tourist resort located along the coast in the northern lagoon, where you will find the largest concentration of discos in the Veneto.

Obviously, these discos are fully active in summer but usually on New Year’s Eve some of them reopen for the occasion. Even if you are staying in Venice or Lido, you can take the vaporetto that takes you to Punta Sabbioni and from there a taxi or a bus to the discos. Il Muretto or Marina Club is definitely open to celebrate New Year’s Eve to the rhythm of music.

An annual tradition that takes place every year on January 1st is the one that takes place at the Lido where the first swim of the year organized by the Ibernisti Venezia is staged. If you feel like challenging the icy waters of the lagoon by joining them, or if you just want to watch the show wrapped in the warmth of a heavy jacket, scarf, and gloves, the appointment is on the morning of January 1st in front of the Blue Moon.

After a night of celebrations, and possibly a refreshing swim in the icy lagoon waters, the perfect way to conclude your stay in Venice is to take a look at it as a whole from above. Climb up the bell tower of San Giorgio (the island in front of Piazza San Marco) or the bell tower of San Marco and enjoy the view of the city’s rooftops. The most beautiful view? It’s a matter of taste.

We prefer the one from the Campanile of San Marco even though from that of San Giorgio the view can span more over the lagoon. In any case, once up there, make a wish! We wish it comes true but above all that, the upcoming year is happy and peaceful. It certainly can’t be otherwise since it starts in a splendid city like Venice!

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