Top attractions in Padua
Often mentioned in the same breath as Venice, Padua is a tourism destination in its own right. Medieval architecture, including the buildings of one of the world’s oldest universities, inspired even William Shakespeare, who based The Taming of the Shrew here.
Book ahead to visit this beautiful chapel in Padua, where Giotto's frescoes date back to 1305. In the art world, the work is considered alongside Michelangelo's Sistine Chapel.
Catch a bus or tram from Padua's Padova station to this impressive cathedral, where self-led tours should take about an hour and admission is free for adults and children.
This impressive medieval former palace of law was built in 1215. It now offers historic artworks and information alongside a daily market downstairs. Visit inside for 4€.
This unassuming abbey hides its treasures indoors, where marble floors, painted ceilings, and grand columns make a big impression on visitors.
Wander through these manicured botanical gardens. They were established in 1545, making them the world's oldest. A beautiful afternoon whether or not you've got a green thumb.
The largest square in Italy, this is the place for a slice of local life. Socializing and shooting the breeze are some of the more favored pasttimes. Grab an espresso and join in!
Known locally as the Duomo di Padova, a visit here is one of the most popular things to do and see in Padua. Not least because Michelango was involved in the building's design.
Padua is best known for the local university, which is the second oldest in Italy, and celebrated throughout Europe. Established in 1222, it is still very prestigious. Visit the university's website for details of tours of the historic buildings, including the theater and halls.
The city of Padua is less than an hour's drive from Venice, making it a popular day trip destination. Trains from Venice Mestre leave regularly and can take as little as 14 minutes.
Padua offers plenty of accommodation options for travellers, including cheap hostels for backpackers, which cost from around 13€ for a dorm bed. There are also many cheaper hotel or B&B options, as well as up-market hotels. The area is generally more affordable than Venice, meaning some travellers choose to stay here and commute to the attractions of Venice.
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- Best time to visit
- Spring is a great time for a visit, because the temperatures are milder, but still warm. The city offers plenty of festivals throughout the year, so may be best to plan your visit around what you want to see the most!
Things to Do in Padua
Cities in Italy
Other Sightseeing Options in Padua
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What people are saying about Padua
We wanted a cruise or tour of some kind to introduce us to this area of Italy. Neither of us like big crowds so this seemed perfect, small, intimate, low-pressure and low stress. We both were very sick the day before our original booking, I emailed and the company switched us immediately to another date, no problems and no fuss. The tour guide herself was thoroughly delightful and even asked how we were feeling, she knew. She just oozed information and stories. The pace was perfect along the canal. The visits to the palazzas was great fun and enlightening, a look into a very different time and life-style. Once we got to Venice, we were not abandoned, the guide (Francesca? I'm sorry I didn't write her name down but so very sweet and informative) made sure we all knew where to go next and how to get there. Also, a very good value for the cost.
The tour was well planned and executed. Mario and Rachel were extremely knowledgeable and provided an experience that will last for a life time. The tour of two different wineries was an interesting comparison of same wines but different in nose and taste. The lunch at a local restaurant was superb...their local meats and pasta were outstanding - the dessert was exceptional. We plan to go back for a return visit. I consider them “new friends” in our experiencing the world. The personal services made our trip stress-free. The expense was high, but the experience was worth it!!!
An excellent day from beginning to end, with an extremely knowledgeable guide, fluent in a number of languages, who was clearly passionate about the history and architecture of the region. The organisation was superb, even accounting for the fact that the waterway was un-navigable in part, due to the damage caused by the recent tornado. The vessel itself afforded a high level of comfort, with a sun-deck and air-conditioned lower deck where there was a small bar with coffee, alcoholic beverages and snacks available and friendly and attentive staff.
From start to finish, a memorable day of wine tasting with a wonderful lunch in the middle. The wine was superb, and Mario added a down-to-earth explanation, cutting through the complexities. The winemakers' enthusiasm for their wines was so apparent, adding to the day that was delightful as well as informative, even for is who are from California and regularly visit Napa & Sonoma. A walk through the vineyards at harvest and actually seeing the juice fermenting were added treats. We recommend it highly.
The guide was lovely and delivered a lot of very interesting information throughout the trip in several languages. The three villa’s we visited were all worth seeing and with something unique to each so they were not all the same. There are some scarily low bridges on the river that meant it was not safe the be on the upper deck for some parts of the trip but there were no bridges on the last stretch so we sat on the upper deck then and it was a really lovely way to arrive in Venice.