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Top attractions in Padua

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7 Amazing Sightseeing Spots 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.

Scrovegni Chapel

Scrovegni Chapel

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.

Basilica of Saint Anthony of Padua

Basilica of Saint Anthony of Padua

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.

Palazzo della Ragione

Palazzo della Ragione

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€.

Abbey of Santa Giustina

This unassuming abbey hides its treasures indoors, where marble floors, painted ceilings, and grand columns make a big impression on visitors.

Orto Botanico di Padova

Orto Botanico di Padova

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.

Prato della Valle

Prato della Valle

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!

Padua Cathedral

Padua Cathedral

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.

Planning Your Padua Visit

Local history

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.

Padua to Venice

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.

Where to stay?

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.

Good to know

  • Language
  • Currency
    Euro (€)
  • Time Zone
    UTC (+01:00)
  • Country Code
  • 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

Top Attractions in Padua

Cities in Italy

Other Sightseeing Options in Padua

Want to discover all there is to do in Padua? Click here for a full list.

What people are saying about Padua

One of the Best Tours ever - Thanks to Rachel and Mario

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!!!

Enjoyable, very interesting and informative trip in comfort.

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.

A great experience with a personable & knowledgeable guide

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.

Lovely peaceful day drifting gently down the river to Venice.

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.

Padua to Venice Boat Cruise of the Brenta Riviera Reviewed by Christine, 07/07/2019

Very special to visit 3 villas, but trip was too long at 9.5 hours

We especially enjoyed Villa Pisano and would have liked to see more villas. The guide was incredibly knowledgeable, patient and able to communicate well in Italian, English, French and German. She was very impressive. The boat had good air conditioning and sufficient, comfortable seating. To reduce the length of the trip: Could the boat go faster? Could passengers be expected to bring their lunch?