Last Updated on 16th April 2023 by Sophie Nadeau
Each year, thousands of people flock to the city of Verona, in search of their own version of Romeo and Juliet, or simply to see two millennia worth of history under a glowing sun. Here’s your ultimate guide to the very best things to do in Verona, including top travel tips and things to know before visiting for the first time.
If you’re thinking about seeing a lot of attractions and monuments while in Verona, Consider buying the Verona Card, which includes priority entrance to Verona Arena and some access to public transportation.
To work out whether or not the pass is worth it for you or not, add up the cost of the individual attractions you wish to visit and see if you’ll save money. Find more details here.
Dripping with history and more romantic tales than you could hope to read in twenty lifetimes, the fair city of Verona has become a symbol of love the world over, whether it would like to be or not. If you only have a short time in Verona, then be sure to check out our recommended one day in Verona itinerary.
- Why visit Verona?
- Things to do in Verona
- #1 Arena di Verona (Verona Arena)
- #2 Visit Piazza Bra
- #3 Casa di Giulietta
- #4 Sample local cuisine
- #5 Piazza Delle Erbe (Market Square)
- #6 Go up the Torre dei Lamberti
- #7 Walk across Ponte Pietra
- #8 Wander around old town Verona (Centro Storico)
- #9 Castelvecchio
- #10 See the Arche Scaligere
- #11 Basilica of Saint Anastasia
- #12 Arco dei Gavi
- #13 Take a day trip to Lake Garda
- #14 Enjoy the city of Verona by night
- #15 Discover Verona in winter (and Verona Christmas Markets)
- #16 Take a cooking class
- When is the best time to visit Verona?
- Where to stay in Verona
- Frequently Asked Questions about Verona
Why visit Verona?
If you’ve ever read any Shakespeare, then no doubt you’ll know that this is where the famous English playwright set his work about fated lovers, Romeo and Juliet. Now, millions of those in love flock to the city each year in the hope of experiencing a little of the city’s magic for themselves.
Not only is Verona a magical destination for literary lovers, but it’s also a dream destination for history buffs. After all, the Italian city has been inhabited for millennia and, even today, vestiges of its Roman past can be found dotted across the city.
During Venice’s heyday, Verona was even ruled by Venice as it is part of Veneto! Today, Verona is a popular alternative to larger destinations such as Venice and Florence and is particularly popular among those planning a honeymoon in Italy.
Things to do in Verona
#1 Arena di Verona (Verona Arena)
Of all the things to do in this Verona guide, chasing the ancient Roman history of the Fair City has to be top of the list. One of the main remaining examples of Roman architecture in Verona today is that of the Roman arena.
Situated in Piazza Bra, once upon a time, this Roman amphitheatre would have seated up to 30,000 spectators and was constructed in 30 CE.
In ancient times, the Verona arena would have shown ludi (shows and games) that spectators from all over the Roman Empire would have travelled to go and watch. This included Gladiator fights and wild animal fights.
Today, the amphitheatre has been adapted for modern times and opera concerts and the likes are often held in the space, albeit with a spectator capacity of around 15,000.
Enjoying a concert in the largest open air amphitheatre in the world is a must-have experience in Verona and you can find more details about how to book tickets here.
#2 Visit Piazza Bra
If you’re wondering what to do in Verona, then it’s worth noting that the city has plenty of terraces and cafés which are perfect for people watching. The largest public square in Verona is that of Piazza Bra, which can be found on the fringes of Verona’s historic city centre.
It’s from here where many walking tours depart and it’s also here where you’ll find the Roman amphitheatre. Those who wish to dine in Verona will also find a number of bars, restaurants, and cafés situated on one edge of Piazza Bra.
#3 Casa di Giulietta
The oh so famous Casa di Giulietta has featured in many films (including Letters to Juliet- check for the very best Letters to Juliet filming locations here) and dates back to the 14th-Century.
In the very heart of Verona, wander down the little road of 23 Via Capello and you’ll find it, the Casa di Giulietta. As of 2022, the famous building also features in Netflix film Love in the Villa.
The covered passageway you’ll pass under to reach the medieval house is covered in graffiti, post-it notes, and old school handwritten letters. Indeed, there’s even the real letters to Juliet society where individuals can write for advice about their love woes.
The 14th-Century building, that legend has it was home to the Capulet family. The romantic in you may not want to read this: but the pretty little balcony was actually added to the building in the 1930s in order to keep the Shakespeare tale alive and to attract more tourism to the city.
Still, it makes for a lovely story… Nevertheless, true romantics may well want to book this Romeo and Juliet walking tour to learn even more about the fated lovers and romantic spots in Verona.
#4 Sample local cuisine
Italian food is known around the world for its mouthwatering wines and carb-heavy foodstuffs. Think pizzas, pastas, cannolis, and a whole array of delicious sweets.
A visit to Verona requires indulging in the local delicacies, which in the case of the Veneto region is that of Polenta, risotto, and gnocchi. Artichoke is also a popular ingredient in many savoury dishes when it is in season.
One of the most famous Veneto dishes that comes directly from Verona itself is Pastissada de caval. This historic dish is made with horse meat and is now a delicacy of Veronese cuisine (to the extent that it is only served at special occasions).
The platter contains horse meat, onions, carrots, cloves, and Valpolicella wine. Without a doubt, one of the top places to head to in order to sample this local food is Osteria Da Morandin Verona, an eatery which is still family run to this day.
Otherwise, if you’re looking for a guided food tour where you get to sample a number of different specialities from Verona and the surrounding region, then you may well want to book a well-reviewed food tour like this one.
#5 Piazza Delle Erbe (Market Square)
The city’s main shopping square around which many other locations and attractions in town are focused is that of the main market square (Piazza delle Erbe is quite literally translated into English as Market Square).
As you might imagine, Piazza Delle Eerbe is filled with restaurants and eateries and can be found right in the heart of the historic Verona city centre, not far from the Palazzo Maffei Casa Museo.
While in the square, whether it’s on a walking route or to stop for a typical Italian coffee or even a long lazy lunch, you won’t fail to miss the Torre dei Lamberti, which dates back to the latter half of the 12th-century and is high enough that it can be spied from all across the city of Verona.
#6 Go up the Torre dei Lamberti
For those who love gaining a bird’s eye perspective of any city that they’re planning to visit, paying the small fee to go up the Torre dei Lamberti is an absolute must.
This medieval tower dates all the way back to the 11th-century. There is both elevator access and access via staircase to reach the top of the medieval tower. Purchase your tickets here in advance.
#7 Walk across Ponte Pietra
If you’ve ever spent time looking at photos of Verona, then no doubt you’ll have seen the many photos shot across the Adige River. The Ponte Pietra connects the Teatro Romano with the Castel Verona and the centro storico.
The history of the bridge dates all the way back to the 2nd century CE when the first ever Ponte Pietra was installed on site. The current bridge was actually rebuilt in 1957 using original materials after it was destroyed by retreating German troops during WWII.
#8 Wander around old town Verona (Centro Storico)
The historic city centre of Verona is easily one of the most beautiful places in Italy and is best-explored on foot. As such, one of the best things to do in Verona is to simply allow yourself to get a little lost, wandering around the town, and allowing your feet to take you where they like.
On your stroll, you’ll easily be able to soak up the ambiance and admire plenty of medieval and Renaissance-era architecture at the same time. In fact, so well-preserved is the Centro Storico (historical centre in Italian) that it is now designated a UNESCO world heritage site.
If you’re a fan of historical activities, then one place you absolutely cannot miss in Verona is that of Castelvecchio, which can be found just outside of the medieval city walls. Likely the site of what was once a Roma fort, the word is the Italian word for ‘Old Castle’. Today, the former castle has been turned into a museum and can be visited for a fee.
#10 See the Arche Scaligere
Despite being an internationally renowned city, there are still plenty of activities in Verona and monuments that remain a little off the beaten path. One of the top hidden gems and best-kept secrets of Verona is that of the Arche Scaligere, a group of five funerary monuments.
This gothic architecture, which can be found right next to the often overlooked square of Piazza dei Signori, is a funerary monument for the noble family Della Scala. The Scaliger family ruled Verona in the 13th and 14th-centuries. It costs €1 to see the funerary monuments so be sure to have some spare change on hand.
#11 Basilica of Saint Anastasia
As a town which dates predominantly back to the medieval times, it should come as no surprise that there are plenty of ecclesiastical buildings dotted across Verona.
One of the most beautiful is that of Basilica Saint Anastasia. A Gothic building dating back to the 13th-century and situated close to the Ponte Pietra, of particular note are the beautiful frescoes situated within the interior.
#12 Arco dei Gavi
Of all the places to see in Verona which reveal the Italian city’s history to you, yet another trace of Roman architecture that can be found in Verona is that of the Arco dei Gavi.
Located on the fringes of the historic city centre, the arch was constructed by the noble family, gens Gavia during the 1st century. In medieval times, the arch was used as part of Verona’s city walls.
#13 Take a day trip to Lake Garda
Just forty minutes North from the fairytale town of Verona, you’ll find the dreamy lakes of Italy, many of which happen to be family friendly destinations. Nestled in the foothills of the Alps, these glittering bodies of water are characterised by their sheer beauty, many lakeside towns, and laidback ambiance that’s perfect for escaping from the hustle and bustle of busy every day life.
One of the most famous of the lakes is that of Lake Gardae. One of the most famous highlights of Lake Garda is that of the Rocca Scaligera, a fortified castle on the fringes of the lake and guarding the entrance to the charming town of Sirmione.
There are several ways to take a day trip from Verona to Lake Garda, and the one which you choose will depend entirely on your time flexibility and budget. Perhaps the easiest way to get from Verona to Lake Garda is to take the train.
Two lake towns on Lake Garda have train stations; Desenzano del Garda and Peschiera del Garda. Both enjoy fast train links to Verona’s main train station, Verona Porta Nuova. Alternatively, if you don’t want to deal with the hassle of booking trains and figuring out ticket times, then you can book a guided day trip from Verona to Lake Garda.
#14 Enjoy the city of Verona by night
If you’re wondering what to see in Verona after sunset, then the good news is that the city doesn’t shut down after the sun has gone down. Instead, there is a lively night scene whereby many bars and restaurants in town open up their doors and terraces to feed locals and visitors alike.
If you’re feeling a little more adventurous, then one of my favourite times to get out and explore any major Italian city is to stroll around the old town at night. After all, the city looks completely different when lit up by artificial lights and there are much fewer people around than at other times of the day.
#15 Discover Verona in winter (and Verona Christmas Markets)
While most people opt to visit Italy during the late spring, early autumn, and during the summertime, there is a magical number of things to do in Verona in winter. Hands down, one of the top attractions that Verona has to offer in the winter are the Christmas Markets.
There are actually a few Christmas Markets scattered across the city, which pop up from the middle of November to the end of December on an annual basis.
The courtyard of the Mercato Vecchio (Old Market) and the Piazza dei Signori (also known as Piazza Dante) both host festive markets. Elsewhere in the city, there are some truly beautiful lights and illuminations to enjoy.
#16 Take a cooking class
Around the world, Italy is known for its mouthwatering cuisine. And what better way to delve deeper into the culinary scene of the country than by taking a cooking class? For example, this Verona cooking class will show you cooking tips and techniques to make dishes such as homemade pasta and tiramisu. Check prices and availability here.
When is the best time to visit Verona?
Contrary to what you might think, considering that much of Europe follows the same patterns of shoulder seasons, Verona has a slightly different schedule of events when it comes to the most popular time to visit the city. As such, the best of Verona is seen not necessarily when you most expect it.
You see, since Valentine’s Day falls in mid February, a time at which most of Europe is coming towards the end of low season and the beginning of the shoulder season, business is simply booming in Verona during the early spring as lovers flock to the city to discover all of the romance on offer.
As a result, the low season in Verona is during the winter months while the high season is during February, as well as during the summer months. The sheer popularity of Verona during this time also means that prices are elevated when it comes to accommodation.
As such, I recommend visiting during the early fall if you want to make the most of the good weather coupled with lower prices. September is one of my favourite times to travel Europe and is easily the best time to visit Verona.
If you’re looking for even more inspiration about the boot-shaped country, then be sure to check out our best travel quotes about Italy. And if you need to know more information before heading to the South of Europe, check out our top Italy travel tips.
Where to stay in Verona
Thanks to its status as one of the more popular cities to visit in Italy, there’s no shortage of accommodation in and around Verona to suit almost any budget.
From budget hostels to luxurious hotel stays, here’s our pick of the best places to stay in Verona based on location and web-reviews.
Budget: Those in search of a budget place to stay in Verona should check out this hostel which offers mixed-gender and female-only dorms. Amenities include Wi-Fi, a shared kitchen, and towels and linens. Check prices and availability here.
Mid-range: This bed and breakfast offers cosy laid back rooms in a convenient location just a few minutes walk from the city centre. Check prices and availability here.
Luxury: If you’re looking for a five-star experience while in Verona, then be sure to check out this luxurious hotel which boasts amenities such as a restaurant onsite. Check prices and availability here.
Frequently Asked Questions about Verona
What is the population of Verona?
As of 2021, Verona has a population of around 257,000 residents.
Is Verona Safe?
The tourist areas of Verona are generally as safe as most other destinations in Europe. With this being said, visitors should be wary of various scams that target tourists, as well as pickpockets (pickpockets operate all over Europe). Never leave your valuables lying around or attended. I personally recommend always wearing a crossbody bag like these ones.
What are the best free things to do in Verona?
Those visiting Verona on a budget will be pleased to know that there are a number of low-cost things to do in Verona. Some of the best things to do in Verona include visiting Verona cathedral, admiring Juliet’s balcony and Juliet’s wall (though you’ll have to pay to go onto the balcony itself), and wandering around the old town streets of Verona.
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Sophie Nadeau loves dogs, books, travel, pizza, and history. A fan of all things France related, she runs solosophie.com when she’s not chasing after the next sunset shot or consuming something sweet. She currently splits her time between Paris and London. Subscribe to Sophie’s YouTube Channel.