What To Wear In Venice: A Perfect Venice Packing List For Any Season

Are you looking for what to wear in Venice and not sure what to include in your Venice packing list? Great, you came to the right place!

Although Venice, Italy is known for its fashion-forward residents, fashion in Venice is never an issue. People tend to be informal toward visitors who put comfort before fashion. While you may see some very well-dressed locals walking around, formal wear is mostly reserved for evening events, such as dining in Michelin Star restaurants, where dress codes are enforced. For these occasions, smart casual attire is usually acceptable.

If you’ll be exploring Venice for a whole day, your main focus should be comfort — but comfort doesn’t mean throwing fashion completely out the window! Much like other people in Italy, Venetians gravitate toward a classic look with a touch of sophistication.

A selection of well-fitting slacks and classic-cut shirts in neutral colors are fine. Jeans are also fine as long as they don’t have rips or obvious signs of wear and tear (though among the younger generations those are very much in fashion in Venice and Italy at the moment). And even though it may be a hot summer day, just leave the beachwear alone until you hit the beach!

If you feel underdressed, you can always don a scarf or tasteful piece of costume jewelry to take your outfit up a notch.

Before I actually go into the details of what to wear in Venice (based on season), let’s see a few things you need to keep in mind when packing for Venice.

what to wear in Venice
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Things To Consider When Planning Your Venice Packing List

Packing for Venice doesn’t need to be complicated. Just take into consideration a few things that will help you take everything you need and leave behind the things you won’t need.


When it comes to packing, there’s no need to buy expensive items just for your trip. Mix and match items you already have and plan outfits. Packing full outfits rather than just throwing single items into the suitcase will save time and space – meaning you can pack lighter.

Packing light also means saving, as you can avoid baggage fees on most airlines. With careful planning, it’s possible to take carry-on only. Of course, if budget isn’t an issue, you may wish to check baggage too.

One more thing to consider is that there’s a lot of walking to be done in Venice, and you’ll hardly find a boat that can take you right to the door of your accommodation. Packing light will help you from the struggle of strolling around town with a heavy suitcase that you may have to carry up and down stairs, bridges and the like.

Make sure to read my post The Art Of Packing Light: 21 Useful Tips To Travel Light.

doge palace venice where to stay in Venice

The Season

Italy has four distinct seasons. I know that’s contradictory to what many people think about the weather in Italy – many in northern Europe or North America seem to believe mine is a country of endless sun, and endless stunning weather.

Sorry to break the news but rain, snow, cold, wind and extreme heat are part of the climate in Italy, depending on what time of year it is. Considering this, you’ll need to pack accordingly.

Venice in summer can be unbearably hot, sunny and humid, and there will be mosquitoes galore (we are talking about a lagoon, after all).

In winter, it gets very cold. Temperatures may appear to be mild, but the humidity coming from the lagoon will work its way to your bones to make sure you shiver.

Spring and fall are unpredictable and can swing either way. Autumn in particular is when Venice gets its world-famous “acqua alta” – seasonal flooding and high tide.

st Mark's Basilica
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Your Luggage

If you’ll be traveling via trains, buses and cabs (or better, vaporetti and boats in Venice), so keep in mind that heavy luggage can be a burden when in transit. Less is better if you’ll be moving around a lot – later on in this post I will give my recommendation on the best luggage for Venice.

Church Dress Codes

If there are places in Venice where it’s necessary to be dressed a certain way, it’s at churches. If you plan to visit churches, make sure you have a conservative outfit or an appropriate cover-up that you can wear over your outfit before entering.

Any type of beachwear, sleepwear, or loungewear isn’t appropriate. Women will need to cover their shoulders, chest and legs (mini-skirts or shorts are a no-no); men must avoid tank tops and shorts too.

Finally, let’s discover what to wear in Venice in any season.

best place to stay in Venice
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What To Wear In Venice

What to Wear in Venice in Spring / Fall

If you’re traveling to Venice in spring or fall, dressing in layers is the way to go as the weather tends to be unpredictable. You may get gorgeous sunny days that are also incredibly warm; but just as well you may get lots of rain and colder days for which you have to bundle up. Here are the items that you should pack.

A Waterproof / Rain Jacket

There’s a high chance of rain during spring and fall, so having a waterproof jacket or rain jacket will come in handy when the skies open up. I am a big fan of Kuhl when it comes to rain and wind proof jackets – I used one during a recent trip to the Falkland Islands, where wind was strong and rain fell on a regular basis, and they kept me nice and dry.

Giudecca where to stay in Venice what to wear in Venice
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Jeans / Comfortable Pants

Jeans are comfortable and versatile, and while I don’t often recommend them as winter or summer wear (they don’t keep you warm in the winter, but in the summer you literally toast in them), they are perfect for the shoulder season.

They can be worn with almost anything and, depending on the jeans, they can be dressed up easily with a nice shirt, blouse, or accessory. I pretty much stopped wearing any other jeans when I discovered Kuhl’s ones – they actually make super comfortable and stylish skinny jeans! Comfortable pants are also versatile if jeans aren’t your thing.



Leggings are comfortable, easy to pack, and can be worn in different ways. They can be worn during the day with a T-shirt or sweater and be easily transformed into a dressier look for evening by pairing them with a nice shirt or long sweater. They can even be worn as pajamas – I’ve had to do it a few times when I forgot mine!

Long-sleeved T-shirts

Long-sleeved T-shirts are the perfect item to pack in spring and fall. They keep you cool on warm days and warm on cool days! They’re also easy to layer with other items. You can wear them under a nice sweater or a cardi, and depending on the t-shirt it can also be quite dressy. Kuhl has a great range of long-sleeved t-shirts that are comfortable, easy to wash and even easier to wear.

Jewish ghetto venice where to stay in Venice what to wear in Venice

Short-sleeved T-shirts

These shirts are great for warmer days and you should pack at least two. They can also be easily layered. Once again, my go-to brand for t-shirts is Kuhl. They have a range of nice, sporty and easy-wear t-shirts and dressier ones that can be paired with a nice skirt for a night out, and won’t crease nearly as much as a shirt.

Light Sweaters

Because the weather in spring and fall isn’t too cold, lighter sweaters are what to wear in Venice to layer up. These sweaters are great over T-shirts. Wear them under a light jacket at night for extra comfort.

tips for visiting Venice

A Warm Sweater

While not common, you may experience a very cold day in fall or spring, so having at least one warm sweater in your luggage is a good idea. My tip is to bring one that is in a neutral color – grey, dark blue, black or brown, or even white or beige – so that you can easily match it with any other outfit you are bringing.

Evening Wear

A nicer evening dress is what to wear in Venice at night. Some places have dresscodes – it can be a nicer restaurant, but also the Teatro La Fenice which actually has a very specific dress code. For men, a nice pair of pants and nice shirt are fine as long as they are well-maintained and properly tailored. For the most formal occasions, men should also bring a nice jacket and a tie.

Venice travel tips

What to Wear in Venice in Summer

In summer, expect very hot temperatures. It’s not just hot, it’s also terribly humid and oftentimes you’ll feel like you are literally breathing under water as the air is almost thick with humidity.

There are no beaches right in Venice city proper, and you certainly can’t swim in the canals as it is not hygienic (some tourists did so last year, and got a hefty fine for that), so you’ll have to travel 20 minutes to reach the coast to get to Lido di Jesolo or even to Lido di Venezia where you can cool off. Keep this in mind and dress accordingly!

So, here’s what to wear in Venice in the summer.

Photo by Desizned @shutterstock

Cotton or Linen Pants

If you don’t wear sunscreen when venturing outdoors, you should wear long pants to protect from sunburn. Light cotton or linen pants are best. They’re light enough to keep you cool while protecting you from the sun, from mosquito bites (yes, that is an issue in Venice in the summer) and they are also perfect if you intend to visit churches where there is a modest-clothing dress code. Kuhl makes a wide range of lovely, stylish pants that are perfect for the summer.

Cotton T-shirts and Tank Tops

Several cotton t-shirts and several tank tops will go a long way. Not only are they comfortable, but they’ll also keep you cool. They’re versatile in that they can be worn with pants, jeans, shorts and even skirts and they’re easily topped with a light cover-up when you’re getting inside a church.

Once again – you guessed it – Kuhl is my go to brand for lovely, comfortable shirts. They make sporty ones that also have sunblock, and nicer one you can easily dress up with the right pair of pants or a skirt.

where to stay in Venice
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Many people assume that shorts are too casual to wear in Italy, but in reality, everyone wears shorts in hot weather and they’re acceptable as long as you don’t wear them when visiting churches. I certainly have been spotted around wearing short once or two-thousand times!

Shorts are comfortable and cool on hot days and are the perfect staple for daytime exploring so make sure to have a couple of pairs!


A maxi-dress is what to wear in Venice on almost any occasion. These long, airy dresses are the perfect staple because they can be worn anywhere and they keep you cool. Pair them with the right accessories and they are perfect for a night out. They are so versatile that they can even be worn inside churches!

Lido di Venezia
Photo by cdrin @shutterstock


A sundress is great for lounging around on hot days. While sundresses are usually considered more casual, they are ok to be worn almost anywhere during the day. Just remember that you will likely need something that covers your knees in case you are visiting a church, where you will also need to cover your shoulders.

Evening Wear

When evening comes, Venetians tend to switch from casual to a more formal look because many restaurants and bars have dress codes in place. For women, a nice dress is fine and for men, nice linen or cotton pants with a nice shirt will do.

You’ll see many local men sporting suits and ties around town in the evening, but unless you are going to a Michelin starred restaurant or attending a show at La Fenice, it’s not necessary!

Dorsoduro what to wear in Venice
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A Light Cardi

Even the hottest days in Venice can turn into cool nights — you’ll be glad you packed a light cardi! The best thing about it is it’s easy to carry and layers nicely over pretty much any outfit. Just make sure to pack one in a neutral color so you don’t have to worry about your outfit.

Rain Jacket

Rain showers can happen in the summer – especially at the end of August or September; so you should pack a light rain jacket that you can easily store in your daypack when it looks like the day may call for rain. It doesn’t have to be something fancy; it just has to keep you dry when you get caught in a sudden downpour!

Venice Lido what to wear in Venice
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Bikinis / Swimsuits

You’re unlikely to be traveling to Venice for its beaches – as a Sardinian, I can tell you they are nothing to write home about. However, it can be fun to hang out among the locals at Venice Lido beach for a few hours.

It’s not that far away (just 20 minutes by vaporetto from the center of Venice), so can travel there easily for a day or just a few hours. Make sure to pack one or two swimsuits or bikinis if you think that’s a nice experience to add to your trip.


On hot days, a sunhat serves many purposes! It shields your eyes from the sun, it protects your head from sunburn and it keeps you cool when there’s no shade. Depending on what you get, a sunhat can also double as a stylish accessory!

what to wear in Venice
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What to Wear in Venice in Winter

You wouldn’t think it based on how hot it gets in the summer, but it actually gets super cold in Venice in the winter – it doesn’t happen often, but the canals freeze over! It also rains a lot and when it’s not raining, it’s still quite humid, which means the cold will get right to your bones and the perceived temperature will be even colder than what it actually is.

With this in mind, here’s what to wear in Venice if you are traveling in the winter.

Winter Jacket

You won’t fare well without a winter jacket! It doesn’t have to be Arctic grade or so thick it hardly fits in your luggage – in fact, chances are you’ll be wearing it as your outer layer on your flight so you hardly need to worry about packing it.

Just wear something warm and preferably waterproof for those days when it’s a mixed bag of cold and rain. I recommend checking out Kuhl’s website as they have a wide selection of winter jackets.

what to wear in Venice
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Thermal Shirts and Pants

You won’t likely need them, but just in case a cold front hits Venice while you are visiting, you will be glad you packed some thermal baselayers. For the coldest days, a couple of thermal shirts and a pair of thermal pants will go a long way.

Most thermal wear is made to be worn under clothes anyways. I normally use Kuhl’s Impulse leggings and Akkomplice Krew to keep warm during unforgiving weather.


Jeans are a staple in almost any season. I am not a real fan during the winter months, because they don’t truly keep you warm, but if you manage to get a nice jacket or use a good base layer, they will be ok. Besides, they match everything! Make sure to pack one pair to wear for casual daytime excursions or to dress them up at night. Once again, I am a massive fan of Kuhl for jeans that come in many colors!

what to wear in Venice
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Pack one or two pairs of comfortable, properly-fitting pants in neutral colors. These are great for more formal outings in winter and are also versatile in that they can be worn with almost anything. In case of doubt, of for blue – it’s a color that you can easily match with almost any other.

Long Sleeve Shirts

In winter, you’ll likely be wearing mostly long-sleeved sdhirts so make sure to pack a couple of them. Keep it simple with neutral colors that match everything. One of these shirts should be flannel for those extra cold days! My favorite are Kuhl’s – I really love their Kamila shirt.

Fashion in Venice
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Thick Sweaters

A few thick sweaters are necessary in winter and the best thing about them is they can be worn alone or easily layered over long-sleeved shirts for extra warmth. Kuhl makes some super-cozy sweaters that are easy to wear, match and just as easy to wash.

The warmest one is the Sienna sweater, which comes in a variety of colors (I have it in Ash). I also have Solace, which is not as thick but it’s nice and warm and a bit more elegant.

A Beanie / Hat, Scarf and Gloves

Your Venice winter wardrobe won’t be much good if you don’t protect your head and hands from the cold! A cute beanie or hat to keep your head and ears warm, a scarf to keep your neck warm, and some gloves to protect your hands from frostbite will ensure that you look chic when you’re bundled up!

travel light

Things to add to Your Venice Packing List in any Season


No matter what season you travel, you’ll be doing a lot of walking, so you’ll need to pack comfortable shoes. In early spring, fall and winter, warm, waterproof boots are your best choice.

Just get something comfortable that allows you to wear thicker socks in case it’s very cold. I have lately discovered the brand Panchic and I love them. They are super comfortable, come in many colors and you can mix and match the laces too.

In summer, a comfortable pair of walking sandals are great for exploring during the day, but you’ll need to take another nicer pair of sandals or espadrillas like Pays for the evening. Ballet slippers are also comfortable, dressy, and easy to pack.

Best Venice luxury hotels
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Day Pack / Purse

During the day when you’re out visiting attractions, you’ll have more to carry than usual so you should pack a larger bag or day pack to carry your phone, wallet, snacks, water, and layers. There are some excellent anti-theft bags for sale on Amazon – that you can easily lock, and where you can place your wallet and documents in an unaccessible pocket. A small purse is perfect for evening outings.

Best Luggage For Venice

Best luggage for shorter trips and budget trips

Cabin Zero is my go-to brand for great carry-on backpacks but any small carry-on will do. I have the whole Cabin Zero line, but for shorter trips of up to a week I recommend the 40 liters one. They’re big enough to hold what you need and small enough to fit in the overhead bins of an airplane. You’ll save money by not checking any bags.

Best luggage for longer trips

If you’ll be traveling for longer than a week, you’re best to go with a good, sturdy suitcase with wheels so you can fit everything you’ll need in it and be able to move around easily. I have lately discovered Level8 suitcases. They come in many sizes, they are easy to pack, lock and carry around and are super stylish too.

Level8 Luggage Review

The benefits of packing cubes

Packing cubes come in various sizes and are truly helpful when packing, even for a shorter trip. They literally allow you to easily organize your personal items. They also work to compress clothes to save on space so you can pack a little more than you usually would.

Photo by Jenny Sturm @shutterstock

Other Things To Include In Your Venice Packing List

Finally, here are some more items you must include in your Venice packing list.

Toiletry Bag

A toiletry bag is great for keeping your personal hygiene items in one place so you can grab it and everything is ready to go without tearing your suitcase apart! I recommend one that has a hook so that you can easily hang it in the bathroom or in the closet.

Water Bottle

It doesn’t matter what time of year it is, you’ll need to stay hydrated! This is easy and cheap to do in Italy because the water is safe to drink and there are fountains everywhere so you can keep refilling your bottle as you go.

My favorite water bottle is Super Sparrow. It comes in many sizes (there even is one that is just 250 mils, which is perfect if you are wandering around with a small purse) and it keeps your water cold for hours. In fact, it also keep it hot for hours (tried and tested with coffee during a trip to Namibia!).

best places to stay in Venice
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Plug Adapter

Be aware that in Italy, the plugs and outlets aren’t the same as in the United Kingdom and the United States. The only way you’ll be able to charge your phone or use any of your electronics is with a plug adapter. These are easy to find on sale at any good ferramenta or travel shop, but just in case, bring one with you.

Power Bank

A power bank is a lifesaver when your phone runs out of juice. All you need to do is charge it before you leave for the day and when your phone is low on battery, you have a backup power supply ready to go!

Best areas to stay in Venice
Photo by kavalenkava @shutterstock


Even in winter, the sun can be strong so be sure to pack a pair of sunglasses to wear during the day.


You won’t need it as much in winter but in summer, sunscreen is by all means what to wear in Venice if you want to avoid getting a painful sunburn. Take a non-greasy, high SPF to ensure the best protection possible without the mess.

Mosquito repellent

Now, the painful bit. Venice is set on a lovely lagoon, and with that come mosquitoes, in hordes. If you are even remotely similar to me, mosquitoes will love you and will bite you at any time of day – there may be one mosquito around, and 10 other people, and you can rest assured she’d rather bite me ten times.

You will need mosquito repellent, and you will need to wear it during the day too, to avoid painful and itchy mosquito bites. Always keep it in your purse to reapply when necessary, and bring along a mosquito bites pen to apply in case you get bitten.

tips for traveling to Venice

Hand sanitizer

By now, we all know the importance of hand sanitizer to avoid germs! When traveling, you’ll be touching all kinds of high-contact items like doorknobs and railings. Having sanitizer on hand ensures you’ll be able to disinfect your hands when needed to prevent any unwanted illness during your trip.

A camera!

Venice provides many photo opportunities, so whether you are a professional photographer, an amateur or simply want to snap some photos to share with your family and friends back home, make sure to pack your camera!

Conclusion On What To Wear In Venice

Fashion in Venice is never an issue. Yes, fashion is at the forefront in Italy, perhaps more so than for people anywhere else, but we Italians are also practical. Everyone isn’t walking around in tailored suits during the day and no one cares what you or anyone else is wearing so no one will judge you if you forgo fashion for comfort on your adventures around Venice – take it from an Italian!

Further Readings

If you are planning your trip to Venice, these other posts will be useful:

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Discover what to wear in Venice - via @clautavani

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