Venice in January: weather and travel tips

written by Joanne Owen

updated 2.02.2024

Thinking of visiting Venice for a winter pick-me-up? Read on for a run-down of everything you need to know about visiting Venice in January. It covers the weather in Venice in January, and what events you might get to enjoy during your trip, plus inspirational itinerary suggestions that’ll have you grabbing for your passport and suitcase.

Is January a good time to visit Venice?

In short — yes! In all honesty, the weather in Venice in January is cold, but there’s not really a bad time to visit this charming city. But, perhaps, you should not go to Venice in August if you’re not at all keen on huge crowds.

It’s all a question of what you most want to do. For example, while sun-drenched strolls and extended al fresco dinners are out in January, you will benefit from there being fewer fellow tourists. Firstly, you’ll have more choice when it comes to accommodation, and the cost will be easier on your pocket.

Of course, fewer visitors is also better when it comes to checking out the city’s top attractions, galleries and museums. In addition, visiting Venice in January means you get to see the city in a different light — the fog and mists give the city an eerie allure.

Thinking of visiting Venice? Browse our inspirational Italy itineraries to start planning your dream trip.

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

Visit Venice in January to shop with fewer fellow tourists getting in your way! © Lukasz Janyst/Shutterstock

Air and sea temperatures in Venice in January

Wondering about the weather in Venice in January? The average daily high is around 6°C, but note that it drops to an average of 0°C at night. Oh, and it can dip below freezing.

Swimming is out in January — the water is far too cold at 11°C, with wind speeds of up to 7mph adding to the chill.

Is it cold in Venice in January?

Having read our rundown of what temperatures to expect, you’ll have spotted that it is, indeed, cold in Venice in January! In addition to the low temperatures, a biting wind can make feel it feel even colder.

But don’t let that deter you. Simply wrap up snugly, smug in the knowledge that you’ve saved yourself a pretty packet by visiting Veneto's capital in January, free from the frustrations of over-crowding.

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

Can it snow in Venice in January?

In general, while it does sometimes snow in Venice, even a sprinkling of flakes is a rare occurrence. That said, while there’s only a teeny chance of seeing snow in Venice in December, it’s a little more likely in January, which sees an average of 1.2 days of snowfall throughout the month.

Set on taking a trip at the beginning of the year? Discover more of the best places to visit in January.

Venice in snow with gondolas on St. Mark square, snowing in Venice © Shutterstock

Venice in snow with gondolas on St. Mark square, snowing in Venice © Shutterstock

Unforgettable, fully customisable Venice itineraries

To shirk off post-Christmas blues and start the new year in style, browse our immersive Italy itineraries, some of which have Venice at their heart.

With a local Italy travel expert on hand to take the hassle out of planning and booking, like all Rough Guides trips, the following itineraries can be totally tailored to your needs.

  • Romantic Venice: looking for a loved-up break? Our Romantic Venice trip might just hit your sweet spot! Including a gondola ride (blankets provided, but wrap up warm!), and an immersive walking tour, 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, take a look at our Treasures of Italy trip. Encompassing Venice, Florence and Rome, you’ll enjoy a rewarding range of cultural and culinary experiences on a break that can be entirely tailored to your needs.
  • 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.
santa-maria-del-fiore-duomo-florence-italy-shutterstock_1340862311

Rough Guides' trips can be tailored to cover a variety of Italian treasures. Florence © Shutterstock

What to do in Venice in January

While the cold and fog could curtail some of your sun-vibed Venetian dreams, be assured that there’s plenty things to do in Venice in January.

Experience the Epiphany Regatta

Held on 6th January, Venice’s Epiphany Regatta is quite something to behold. Signifying the end of the holiday season, Epiphany is a national holiday in Italy, with festivals, fairs, firework displays and markets held around the country.

In Venice, the day is marked by a regatta that sees thousands of athletes from the city’s oldest rowing club take to the water dressed at witches. They’re actually dressed as the Befana figure from Italian folklore. In a mash-up of Father Christmas and the Magi who brought gifts for Christ, this broom-toting character is said to fly down chimneys between the 5th and 6th January.

Since the Befana stuffs toys and sweets into stockings, the regatta’s finish line at the Rialto Bridge features a giant stocking.

Epiphany Regatta in Venice © Shutterstock

Epiphany Regatta in Venice © Shutterstock

Visit Venice’s galleries and musuems

While you can obviously do this at any time of the year, visiting Venice’s top cultural attractions can be all the better in January. Think shorter (or non-existent) queues and more space to see what you came to see.

Go ice-skating

The Christmas markets might have been packed away but, if you visit Venice in January you can extend that festive feeling for a little longer! And the reason? From December to March, Campo San Polo, one of Venice’s largest piazzas, is transformed into an ice-skating rink. What a way to inject a spot of magic into what can be a bleak month.

Venice carnival © Calin Stan/Shutterstock

© Calin Stan/Shutterstock

Joanne Owen

written by Joanne Owen

updated 2.02.2024

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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