10 Things to Do in Venice in September

Traveling to Venice in September? Even though you're already at the beginning of the low season, there's plenty to do. I show you everything!

Carmen Navarro

Carmen Navarro

9 min read

10 Things to Do in Venice in September

Sunset in Venice | ©Clay Banks

Venice is a city whose charm deserves to be discovered little by little, lingering in every street, every canal and every corner. The good weather and pleasant temperatures help a lot to do so. That is why the high season in Venice coincides with the summer. However, from September onwards, the low season begins and, with it, the decline of visitors.

However, September offers us the opportunity to get to know Venice from a different perspective. With less crowds and less hustle and bustle. In addition, the city also offers charms that can only be enjoyed in that month of the year. I discover them all for you.

1. Enjoy the Venice International Film Festival

At the Film Festival| ©Igor Filippov
At the Film Festival| ©Igor Filippov

If you are a film buff, I don't need to remind you that the Venice International Film Festival is one of the most renowned in the world. Every director wants to be consecrated by receiving the famous Golden Lion, a proof of the prestige that this film festival has achieved over the decades since it was founded in 1932.

The event usually takes place in the first half of September, although I advise you to check the Venice Film Festival website for any changes. It is located on the Lido, which you can reach by vaporetto in the following ways:

  • From Venice Central Station and the Bus Station.
  • From St. Mark's Square.
  • From Rialto.
  • From Punta Sabbioni.

The journey time is between 15 and 30 minutes. In any case, the best thing to do is to get information on how to move around Venice. It will be very useful not only to get to the Festival but also to enjoy everything there is to see and do in Venice. Tickets are available from 5 €, although the cost also depends on the room and the type of competition.

2. Visit monuments and museums without queues

Accademia Gallery| ©Didier Descouens
Accademia Gallery| ©Didier Descouens

The best thing about the Venetian low season is that you will not find queues and crowds, so annoying often when visiting monuments and museums. Of course, it will be clearer in the second half of September, since the first half of September is when Venice is at the height of its International Film Festival. I recommend you to visit especially the Doge's Palace, one of the Gothic wonders of the city.

It is also a good opportunity to visit its best museums, the first two focused on Baroque and Renaissance art and the second on contemporary art:

Buy tickets for the Doge's Palace

3. Don't miss the Burano Regatta

The Burano Regatta| ©Gary Houston
The Burano Regatta| ©Gary Houston

This regatta takes place after the famous Regata Storica. It takes place on the third Sunday of September, although I advise you to confirm the dates on the City of Venice website.

The approach is very similar to the Regata Storica, but with a more local touch. You will see men's competitions aboard gondolas and women in other types of boats, called mascarone.

Definitely a golden opportunity to visit Burano and, while you're at it, the nearby Murano. For more details, check here how to get to Burano and Murano or my favorite option is to book an excursion to Murano, Burano and Torcello from Venice, an ideal way to get to know these three places in depth. And if you want to spend more time in these two places, then nothing better than knowing what to see and do in Burano and what to see and do in Murano.

Book a tour to Murano and Burano

4.- Attend the Venice Biennale

Entrance to the Venice Biennale| ©Naturpuur
Entrance to the Venice Biennale| ©Naturpuur

The Biennale is the popular name for the Venice International Art Exhibition. Its nickname also tells us an important fact: it is held every two years. So you only have to check the Venice Biennale website to find out if it will coincide with your visit to the city. Artists from all over the world participate in this event and compete for an award in the following disciplines:

  • Architecture.
  • Dance.
  • Music.
  • Theater.

The Arsenal of Venice and the Giardini della Bienale

There are two places to see the works of art up close: the Arsenal and the Giardini. To get to the Arsenal you will have to take a vaporetto. Here you can find out how to get around Venice by vaporetto. To get to the Giardini della Biennale you can also go by vaporetto. It is located at the southern end of the same island as the more historic Venice and St. Mark's Square.

The Biennale usually takes place between April and November every two years. However, September is the ideal month, since specific festivals such as contemporary music or theater usually take place. In fact, September is an ideal time to attend a concert by I Musici Veneziani, where you can listen to acclaimed works such as Antonio Vivaldi's Four Seasons, performed by musicians and vocalists carefully dressed for the occasion in traditional Venetian costumes.

Buy tickets for the concert of I Musici Veneziani

5. Experience the Triumph of the Cross Festival

Scuola Grande| ©G.dallorto
Scuola Grande| ©G.dallorto

Whether you are religious or not, attending the Triumph of the Cross Festival on September 14 is most interesting for the opportunity to learn about Venetian traditions. It consists of a processional celebration in the surroundings of the Scuola Grande, located in the northern part of the main island of Venice. You can get there by taking the vaporetto and getting off at the Santo Tomà stop.

If you attend, I recommend that you book a ticket for the Scuola Grande dei Carmini in Venice and visit the interior. It houses priceless works of art, including interventions by Pietro Lombardo, the Grand Staircase by Mauro Codussi and the Oratory of the Cross. You can visit between 9:30 am and 5:00 pm. Tickets can be purchased from 5 €. If you are interested in this historical side, here are some other must-see monuments in Venice.

Book a ticket for the Scuola Grande dei Carmini in Venice

6. Experience Venice at a slower pace

Sunset on the Grand Canal, Venice| ©Marco Secchi
Sunset on the Grand Canal, Venice| ©Marco Secchi

The best thing about the off-season in Venice is that the city becomes more visitable. Fewer crowds, fewer lines and a more relaxed atmosphere define the city during this time of year. Therefore, it is a good incentive to visit in September. Here are the factors that will allow you to enjoy Venice at a different pace.

Enhancing your gondola experience

If you dream of sailing the canals in a gondola, but do not want to be burdened by long waits, doing it in September is a good option. Again, keep in mind that the first half of the month will be more crowded because of the Venice International Festival.

I suggest that to avoid waiting as much as possible you hire a gondola ride. There are many of them and they are cheaper than they seem. Besides, you will avoid "pirate" gondoliers.

Much more comfortable transportation

It may seem a little strange, but yes: in high season the overcrowding is so high that, very often, we can only move by vaporetto standing. A fact that, if we are in good shape and of age, does not have to be a nuisance. But it can make it difficult for older people to have a good experience. Not to mention the hassle it can be if you are traveling with children. In fact, if you go with the little ones, read this article on what to see in Venice with kids.

In addition, in low season the vaporettos are still operating, so if you travel in September you can travel by vaporetto seated. Note that the Venice transport card includes this means of transport. Again, though, pay close attention to the time of the month. If you travel in the first fortnight, your stay will coincide with the Venice International Film Festival. Something that will be reflected in a perceptible influx of visitors.

However, everything has a solution. If you book a gondola ride, you'll be able to cruise in greater comfort.

Book a gondola ride

7. Get to know the Regata Storica

The Historic Regatta| ©Dimitris Kamaras
The Historic Regatta| ©Dimitris Kamaras

Italy is a very seafaring country and especially Venice, which achieved its prosperity thanks to the maritime trade with the Eastern Mediterranean. And, as the saying goes, he who had, retained. It is for this reason that on the first Sunday of September the famous Regata Storica takes place. An event in which boatmen from Venice, Pisa, Amalfi and Genoa participate. It takes place in the vicinity of the Grand Canal and is composed of the following events:

  • Parade in period costumes.
  • Youth Regatta.
  • Women's Regatta.
  • Men's Regatta.

It is a spectacle to see the waters of the Grand Canal fill with colorful multicolored boats. If you want to see it in all its splendor I advise you to go to the Rialto Bridge.

8. Taste the best gastronomy in Sagra del Pesce

At the Sagra del Pesce| ©Carlo M
At the Sagra del Pesce| ©Carlo M

On the third Sunday of September, parallel to the Burano Regatta, the Sagra del Pesce takes place in the same place. A gastronomic event that will give you the opportunity to taste fried fish with other specialties such as white wine. Undoubtedly, a way to approach Venetian gastronomy from a different and more colorful point of view than usual.

If you want to continue exploring Venice through gastronomy, I suggest you also go to some of the best restaurants in Venice to eat at a good price.

9. Escape to Florence: Rificolona Festival

Rificolona Festival| ©Tuttosesto.net
Rificolona Festival| ©Tuttosesto.net

It might be a good idea to take advantage of Venice's proximity to other major cities for a getaway. Florence, the capital of the Renaissance, is a 3-hour drive away. In addition, on September 7, the eve of the Nativity of the Virgin Mary, Florence hosts one of its most significant annual events: the Feast of the Rificolona. A day when children take to the streets with colorful lanterns.

In short, a good way to approach Florence from a very cultural and colorful perspective. If you want more ideas to make the most of your visit, I recommend you to check out the best excursions to Florence from Venice.

10. Get to know Bologna

Visiting Bologna.| ©Szs
Visiting Bologna.| ©Szs

If you feel like another original getaway, you are in luck, because in the first week of September the Bologna Urban Dance Festival takes place in Bologna. An event that brings together international artists who show their talent in the streets and squares of this beautiful city. The shows you can enjoy are:

  • Shows.
  • Audiovisual productions.
  • Masterclasses in the streets and squares.

As you can see, a very lively and festive event. In addition, Bologna is located 1 hour and 30 minutes from Venice, so it will not be much hassle to realize this interesting plan.

Temperature and weather in September in Venice

Gondolas in Venice| ©whatleydude
Gondolas in Venice| ©whatleydude

The weather in Venice in September is generally good. Temperatures average between 16 and 24 degrees Celsius. A weather, in general, very pleasant. Although there is always an extra element that influences a lot: the humidity of the canals. This may cause the wind chill to be a little lower, but nothing that can not be avoided by traveling with some extra warm clothes in your luggage.

Book a tour of St. Mark's Square

Venice crowds in September

By Murano, Venice| ©Vanessa Lee
By Murano, Venice| ©Vanessa Lee

September is considered a low season month in Venice. Therefore, you won't run into large crowds. However, be aware of two factors:

  • The Venice International Film Festival: usually held in the first two weeks of the month.
  • The Venice Biennale: takes place throughout the month until November every two years.

These two events of international relevance can lead to more people. Especially if you visit Venice in a year when the Biennale takes place. However, it does not reach saturation levels comparable to those found in Venice in summer.

Book a gastronomic tour

Venice prices in September

Money in euros| ©cottonbro
Money in euros| ©cottonbro

Venice prices in September, despite the city being in low season, do not drop noticeably. This is especially contributed to by the International Film Festival, which, in a way, extends a little the high season inertia. Therefore, at least in the first half of the month, you can expect accommodation and hospitality prices very similar to those you will find in high season.

Book a guided tour of Venice