Carnival in Venice can be crowded, very crowded. With hundreds of thousands of nicely dressed people coming into the Italian city to celebrate the century old tradition, the city gets full. Mix in thousands of regular tourists on day trips, you can expect Venice to be absolutely packed. Venice will be so full that during its Carnival season, Venetian police will put crowd control in place to prevent things from getting out of control. They will for example limit the number of people allowed onto San Marco square.
During the Carnival season many European countries will have school holidays. That means that many families, whom are normally not able to travel because their kids are in school, can travel during Carnival. That puts extra pressure on cities like Venice which are considered perfect long weekend getaways. During the 2019 Carnival season some of Europe’s largest countries will see school vacations including France and England as well as travel savvy nations like the Netherlands and he Nordics.
Here are some of our tips to survive Carnival season in Venice.
Police will start blocking alleys and streets leading into San Marco square before any event starts. That means that in the morning of a day with a big event, such as one of the big parades, police will close many streets. They do so by blocking all the alleys and narrow streets leading into the famous square. This results in only a few entry points to the square. With limited and controlled entry points in place, police can manage the inflow of carnival revelers. Arriving early is the way to go. If you arrive early, lines will be smaller and chances of actually getting on the square are big. If you arrive really early, there might not even be crowd control in place. If you arrive late, you will most likely have to stand in line for a long time or you might not make it on the square at all
Many of the parties you might want to attend sell tickets. Do you want to go to a Venice Carnival Gala Dinner and Party? The chances of buying these tickets while in Venice are small. Not only do these beloved tickets sell out fast, the actual point of sale might not be so easy to find. We advise to plan ahead and buy tickets for the events you want to go to before you travel to Venice.
You can find the official Carnival program here: http://www.carnevale.venezia.it/en/The website includes useful calendar and list of events as well as tips to get around the city. It is also wise to follow and regularly check official social media channels of local authorities. One of those accounts is the Instagram, Twitteror Facebook account of Venezia Unica. Venezia Unica is the official city of Venice Tourist and Travel information. You can also visit their website: www.veneziaunica.it.
If you are fully dressed up as a 18th century princess, you will become an attraction by yourself. Lots of tourist will take your picture whether you like it or not. To be fair this is what you should expect. You are dressed up as a pirate, princess or centuries old Venetian, that will attract some attention. If you spend hundreds of euros to dress up for the Carnival season in Venice, you probably don’t mind getting a bit of attention, but it is always good to be prepared.
As the city of Venice is struggling with mass tourism it has launched an awareness campaign. You can find more information on the campaign here. According to the city of Venice, the campaign is “designed to direct visitors towards the adoption of responsible and respectful behavior towards the environment, landscape, artistic beauties and identity of Venice and its inhabitants. The objective is to raise awareness of tourist impact, with the belief that responsible travelling can contribute to sustainable development”.
Our crowd predictor for Venice will exactly show you what days in Venice are crowded and which ones are less crowded. To give you this information we track cruise ship movements as well as school vacations and public holidays across the globe. We provide you all this data and information for free. You can access our crowd predictor here.