Venice in December: weather and travel tips

written by Joanne Owen

updated 2.08.2023

Considering visiting Venice for an unforgettable winter break? You’re in the right place to kick start your research! With info on everything from the weather in Venice in December, to what events you might get to enjoy, our guide will help you plan your trip. If that wasn’t enough, we also share some inspirational itinerary suggestions to further fuel your Venice travel plans in this most festive of months.  

Is December a good time to visit Venice?

In short — yes! In our experience, December is a good time to visit Venice. While it goes without saying that you won’t experience the bright sun and dazzling blue skies of the summer months, you will get to enjoy this special city in special ways. 

First up, being outside the peak summer, there’ll be fewer crowds to cramp your style as you explore Venice’s labyrinthine streets, canals, galleries and museums. You’ll also stand a better chance of booking a room in your preferred hotel or guest house. 

Arguably best of all, though, is the fact that visiting Venice in December means you’ll see the city in a more mysterious, enchanting light. We’re talking morning mists swirling over the canals, and lights twinkling through fog. Add to that Christmas markets, festivals and events, and visiting Veneto's capital in December amounts to a uniquely magical experience. 

Thinking of visiting Venice? Browse our inspirational Italy itineraries to start turning your dreams to reality.

Souvenirs and carnival masks on street trading in Venice, Italy © Lukasz Janyst/Shutterstock

Visit Venice in December to shop for unique souvenirs © Lukasz Janyst/Shutterstock

Air and sea temperatures in Venice in December 

Wondering about how warm in Venice in December? The average minimum temperature is 1°C, and the average high is 8°C, but note that It can drop as low as -5 °C. 

As for Venice’s sea temperature in December, this averages around 13°C. For comparison, July’s average is 25°C. It’s also worth being aware that high tides in the winter months can bring flooding.  

St Mark's Square from the Grand canal. Venice, Italy © volkova natalia/Shutterstock

St Mark's Square from the Grand canal. Venice, Italy © volkova natalia/Shutterstock

What to wear in Venice in December

While Venice is pretty chilly in December, it’s not so cold that you’ll feel the need to confine yourself to your room. Simply wrap up warm in a coat, scarf, hat and gloves and put your best foot forward to strut the city in style. An umbrella will also come in handy,

For more info, read up on the weather in Italy in December and when to go to Italy.

Gondolas in Venice © Shutterstock

Wrap up warm and you can still enjoy a glorious gondola ride in Venice in December Shutterstock

What about the crowds and costs?  

While it can’t be denied that Venice is never empty — it attracts tourists around the year — December is one of the city’s least crowded months. Even at the very height of Christmas and New Year, you won’t see a significant rise in visitor numbers, or costs.  

All that considered, if you love winter wonderland magic, and want to treat yourself to staying in one of Venice’s swankier hotels, December — including Christmas — might be your ideal time to visit.  

Set on taking a trip in December? Discover more of the best places to visit in December.

Venice landmark, Burano island canal, colorful houses and boats, Italy © StevanZZ/Shutterstock

Visit Venice in Italy to stroll with fewer crowds © StevanZZ/Shutterstock

Unforgettable, fully customisable Venice itineraries  

To inject further sparkle to your December break, bear in mind that a number of our immersive Italy itineraries put magical Venice centre stage. With a local Italy travel expert on hand to take the hassle out of planning and booking, like all Rough Guides trips, they can be 100% tailored to your needs. 

  • Romantic Venice: if you’re longing to enjoy a December break that delivers big when it comes to seasonal magic, our Romantic Venice trip might just make all your Christmas wishes come true! Including a snuggly gondola ride, and an immersive walking tour that lays bare Venice’s history, art and architecture, you’ll also have free time to feast and shop.
  • Treasures of Italy: to experience some of Italy’s top attractions in around a week, you might want to consider our Treasures of Italy trip. Taking in Venice, Florence and Rome, you’ll get to enjoy a diversity of cultural and culinary experiences on a break that can be entirely tailored to satisfy your interests. 
  • Grand Tour of Northern Italy: if you have a longer trip in mind (lucky you!), our Grand Tour of Northern Italy itinerary takes in a tonne of top Italian attractions and experiences in around two weeks. From Venice’s canals and islands, to Milan’s modern verve and medieval grandeur, to Florence’s Renaissance charms, this delivers a bunch of fulfilling experiences for foodies and history buffs.
bridge-naviglio-canal-milan-italy-shutterstock_215803660

Rough Guides tailor-made trips can combine a host of Italian treasures. Milan © Shutterstock

What to do in Venice in December 

It’s fair to say you won’t be short of special things to do in Venice in December. Here is an overview of some top seasonal suggestions. 

Christmas of Glass 

From early December, Murano island devotes the entire month to showcasing its celebrated master glass workers. lled Natale di Vetro (Christmas of Glass) officially opens on 5th December. This is St. Nicholas’ Day, who happens to be the patron saint of glass blowers.

A mass is held at Chiesa di San Pietro Martire, with glass-related events and displays held through the month. The highlight of these is the incredible Tunnel of Lights show, which takes place in the portico of the San Pietro cloister.

Festa dell'Immacolata

Celebrated around Italy on the 8th of December, the Festa dell'Immacolata is actually a weekend affair. In Venice it involves a spectacular water procession along the Grand Canal — expect to see boats adorned with art and Nativity scenes. On the same day, the Christmas tree in St Mark’s Square is lit.

Grand Canal, Venice, Italy © Apple Kullathida/Shutterstock

Grand Canal, Venice, Italy © Apple Kullathida/Shutterstock

Christmas markets 

Come December, many of Venice’s public piazzas are given seasonal livery as they’re turned into twinkling Christmas markets – move over Munich. Notable highlights are "Christmas in the Lagoon”, which operates in Campo Santo Stefano until the 24th of December.

Ice skating in Campo San Polo

From December to March, Campo San Polo, one of Venice’s largest piazzas, is transformed into an ice-skating rink. The atmosphere is just magical.

Christmas concerts

If you love classical music, December is a great time to visit Venice for countless carol services in church.  

New Year’s Eve 

If you’re around for New Year’s Eve, the main action takes place in St. Mark’s Square. Here thousands gather long before the midnight countdown and fireworks to enjoy an evening of live performances that merry-making that spills into the small hours.

Night view of Christmas tree in front of Palazzo Ducale, San Marco square, Venice, Italy © Shutterstock

Night view of Christmas tree in front of Palazzo Ducale, San Marco square, Venice, Italy © Shutterstock

Ready to take a trip to Venice? Read The Rough Guide to Venice and the Veneto. Or, if you'd prefer to forgoe the hassle of planinng and booking, contact our local Italy travel experts to create your dream trip.

Joanne Owen

written by Joanne Owen

updated 2.08.2023

Joanne is a Pembrokeshire-born writer with a passion for the nature, cultures and histories of the Caribbean region, especially Dominica. Also passionate about inspiring a love of adventure in young people, she’s the author of several books for children and young adults, hosts international writing workshops, and has written articles on the Caribbean and inspirational community initiatives for Rough Guides. Follow her @JoanneOwen on Twitter and @joanneowenwrites on Instagram.

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