January most definitely brings smaller crowds to Venice than any other month. That means that there are less tourists, cheaper hotel rooms and more affordable air fares. You can benefit from all of this if you are willing to travel during the coldest month of the year. In this blogpost we zoom in on January. We also have a month to month overview for Venice which you can find here: Best time to visit Venice in 2020.
At Avoid Crowds we collect tourism data to predict when destinations like Venice are (too) crowded. For Venice we track cruise ship movements, local events, school vacations in Italy, public holidays across the globe and much more. We combine all this data in our crowd predictions model. Our crowd prediction model gives a day to day prediction on how Venice can get. You can access our daily crowd predictions for Venice here.
Crowds are small in January
With only limited school vacations or public holidays in Europe, January is the slowest travel month of the year in Italy and most other parts of the continent. There is hardly any cruise ship movement, hotels will be half empty and the number of day trippers will be limited as well. January is a quiet month in most of Southern Europe.
The start of the month is not so quiet. The month of January starts with two public holidays in Italy: New Year’s Day (January 1) and Epiphany (January 6). On these days it can be relatively crowded with day trippers or vacationers on short trips. In most European countries, including Italy, schools will reopen on January 7. If you are traveling during this first week of 2020, you should expect significantly larger crowds than during the rest of the month.
January weather in Venice is not great
Although January is one of the least crowded months in Venice, there is a factor that makes the experience less enjoyable: the weather. The average temperature in Venice in January, measured over the last 30 years, is 3 degrees Celsius (37 Fahrenheit). Temperatures fluctuate between the minimum average temperature of 0 degrees Celsius (32 Fahrenheit) and an average maximum temperature of 6 degrees Celsius (43 Fahrenheit). Cold air adds an unpleasant wind chill into the mix making Venice feel cold from time to time. You can find the full weather forecast for January on Holiday-Weather.com.
Although there are 8 days with Precipitation, snow is very unlikely in Venice with average temperatures just above freezing point. Daylight is short with the shortest day (January 1) only lasting 8 hours and 46 minutes. Overall, it is not the most pleasant month of the year. Please be aware that in January there is a risk of flooding in Venice. Keep your eye out on weather forecasts. If you are traveling to Venice during a flood, please follow instructions from local authorities. Having said that, if you are lucky with the weather, January might not be such a bad month to travel to Venice.
How to prepare for a January trip to Venice
If you decide to travel to Venice in January, there are a few things you can prepare. First of all, make sure that you pack warm clothes to battle the cold temperatures and wind chill. We recommend to cloth yourself using layers. With layers you can regulate comfort by taking layers on and off when the weather or your activity changes, Rei.com explains. You can read more tips about layering basics here. In addition to layers, you should think about protecting yourself and your belongings against rain. Due to the wind an umbrella might not do the trick. Therefore, we recommend taking raincoats and other waterproof clothing with you.
Hotels are relatively cheap in January. The longer you book ahead, the better deals you can get. To avoid a daily commute, and to fully experience Venice, we would advise you to stay in a hotel on the island(s). Airbnb’s and other form of short-rental have been under fire lately as they allegedly steer up housing prices forcing locals out of the neighborhoods.
With possibly adverse weather conditions, we recommend that you keep a flexible program. A flexible program will allow you to experience outdoor activities when the weather is good while you can enjoy indoor activities, such as a museum, when it rains. You can purchase flexible tickets to most of Venice museums here.