Things to do in Padua

About Padua

Padova's must-see attractions include the breathtaking frescoes in the Scrovegni Chapel, the historic Basilica of Saint Anthony, and the architecturally renowned Palazzo della Ragione. Explorers should not miss the chance to wander through Prato della Valle, one of Europe's largest public squares, and visit the oldest academic botanical garden in the world, Orto Botanico.
For a family-friendly adventure, visit the Astronomical Observatory 'La Specola' for a stellar learning experience, enjoy the interactive displays at the MUSME – Museum of History of Medicine, and take a refreshing walk around the lush Botanical Garden, which offers educational activities for children.
Outdoor enthusiasts should indulge in the vibrant atmosphere of Prato della Valle, take leisurely strolls or bike rides along the winding paths of the Euganean Hills, or enjoy the historic and scenic walkways along the city's rivers and canals.
Indoor activities abound in Padova, with the mesmerizing Scrovegni Chapel frescoes, the fascinating exhibits at the Museum of the History of Physics, and the unique visual storytelling at Eremitani Town Museums being top options for culturally rich indoor exploration.
The best tours in Padova cater to diverse interests, from in-depth visits to the Scrovegni Chapel and the historic University of Padova, including its Anatomical Theater, to the insightful walking tours through Padova's charming neighborhoods, and cruises along the river Bacchiglione.
Popular museums in Padova include the MUSME – Museum of History of Medicine, the Eremitani Town Museums showcasing art and archaeological finds, and the Glass Museum dedicated to the art of glassmaking, housed in Palazzo da Monte Cà Bernardo.
For rainy days, the art-filled Eremitani Town Museums, the engrossing Museum of History of Medicine, and the impressive Palazzo della Ragione provide sheltered tours rich in cultural discovery.
Shorter tours in Padova can be enjoyed at the Scrovegni Chapel, offering a concise yet profound artistic experience, or through the city's historic streets on a guided walk that unveils the essence of Padova's heritage within an hour.

Best Things to Do In Padova

Discover the rich tapestry of history and culture with our immersive audio guides detailing the must-see spots in Padova.

Padova: The Scrovegni Chapel

What is it?
A renowned chapel housing a cycle of Giotto frescoes, masterpieces of the early Renaissance.
Why you should go?
The Scrovegni Chapel holds a position as one of the most significant things to see in Padova. Its walls, coated with Giotto's frescoes, tell a biblical narrative in vibrant hues and profound emotion, representing a leap forward in the evolution of art. Perfect for those embarking on Padova tours, the audio guide provides context to the life and works of Giotto, enhancing the experience of viewing the beautifully preserved scenes. This attraction is an unmissable part of any cultural vacation, offering a window into medieval spirituality and creativity.

Padova: Orto Botanico di Padova

What is it?
The world's oldest academic botanical garden and a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Why you should go?
Set within the picturesque landscape of Padova, Orto Botanico di Padova is not only a site of natural beauty but also of scientific heritage. Visitors seeking the best Padova activities will find this serene sanctuary, where thousands of plant species flourish, both educational and restorative. The garden's commitment to biodiversity and conservation is explained through the narrative of the audio guide, making it one of the best things to do in Padova for those with a passion for nature and history.

Padova: The Jewish Ghetto

What is it?
A historic quarter that was once the area of residence for Padova's Jewish community.
Why you should go?
Padova's Jewish Ghetto is an evocative district brimming with history. As you wander through its narrow alleys, the audio guide recounts tales of the past and the rich cultural tapestry woven by the Jewish community. Today, the area's atmospheric streets and unique charm make it one of the more introspective things to do in Padova. Its small shops, restaurants, and synagogues offer cultural insight, making it a meaningful addition to any Padova excursions.

Padova: Specola Observatory Tower

What is it?
An astronomical observatory where Galileo advanced his studies of the heavens.
Why you should go?
Gazing upwards from the Specola Observatory Tower, one is transported back to the time of Galileo's groundbreaking astronomical observations. This is a pinnacle point for tours in Padova, especially those geared towards what to do in Padova for science enthusiasts. The tower's storied history and its role in the scientific revolution come alive through an encompassing audio guide. It stands today not only as a monument to scientific discovery but also as one of the most enlightening Padova activities available.

Padova: Piazza dei Signori

What is it?
A historic and vibrant square that is the beating heart of Padova's social life.
Why you should go?
Piazza dei Signori offers an experience rich with the hustle and bustle of city life. Among the fun things to do in Padova, the square invites visitors to bask in the lively atmosphere, surrounded by exquisite architecture and frequent markets. The audio tour presents stories of the piazza's past, from trade to politics, making it clear why this space is pivotal in understanding Padova. Whether it's day or night, Piazza dei Signori's energy makes it one of the best Padova tours for soaking up the local culture.

Padova: Basilica of Saint Anthony

What is it?
An illustrious and historic basilica that holds the relics of Saint Anthony.
Why you should go?
The Basilica of Saint Anthony is a revered jewel in Padova, attracting pilgrims from all over the globe. As one of the city's principal places to visit in Padova, this stunning example of religious architecture showcases a mixture of styles, from Romanesque to Byzantine, encapsulating the city's multifaceted historical narrative. Its chapels are adorned with sublime art, and the serene cloisters offer a moment of reflection. Visitors are not only immersed in its divine ambiance but also the rich cultural heritage that defines Padova.

Padova: Prato della Valle

What is it?
A sprawling public square known for its elliptical island surrounded by statues.
Why you should go?
A centerpiece among the fun things to do in Padova, Prato della Valle is reputedly one of Europe's largest squares. A dynamic fusion of history and community life, its vibrant atmosphere is perfect for those wondering what to do in Padova. The surrounding statues of historical figures gaze upon locals and tourists enjoying the market stalls, events, and relaxed picnics. A visual and social spectacle, its grandeur and liveliness encapsulate the spirit of Padova, making it a must-visit on your self-guided tour.

Padova: Palazzo della Ragione

What is it?
An imposing medieval town hall that towers over the markets, known for its vast hall and intricate frescoes.
Why you should go?
For those seeking the best things to do in Padova, Palazzo della Ragione cannot be overlooked. This monumental edifice symbolizes the former power and wealth of Padova with its large-scale frescoes depicting astrological themes. Visitors on Padova activities will find themselves captivated by the blend of architecture, art, and history that permeates the grand hall. Its location, sandwiched between bustling markets, offers ample opportunity to sample local cuisine and culture after marveling at the beauty inside.

Padova: Padova University's Historic Buildings

What is it?
The ancient educational stronghold that is among the oldest universities in the world.
Why you should go?
Unearth the intellect and innovation of Padova at its university's historic buildings. A milestone for Padova tours, especially for those fascinated by history and education, the university is where Galileo Galilei once lectured. Rich with scholarly tradition, its ancient lecture halls and ornate Aula Magna speak volumes of the city's storied past. The guided audio adds depth to the visit, making it an enlightening experience and highlighting why it's ranked as one of the essential things to see in Padova.

Padova: Caffè Pedrocchi

What is it?
The legendary coffee house known for its historical significance and unique architecture.
Why you should go?
Caffè Pedrocchi is a storied establishment, fusing culinary delight with historical allure, making it an exceptional place for those pondering what to see in Padova. Since the 19th century, this cafe has been a meeting place for intellectuals, students, and tourists. The elegant rooms are themed in different historical styles, which, together with its signature mint coffee, offer a multisensory journey through time. Engaging storytelling from the audio guide enhances the experience, substantiating Caffè Pedrocchi's status as a top destination among Padova excursions.

TOP-5 tours in Padova for first time visitors

  • Explore the historic heart of Padova with a tour that guides you through its medieval market squares and serene piazzas, revealing the soul of the city.
  • Uncover the wonders of the Scrovegni Chapel, where the vibrant frescoes by Giotto offer a vivid insight into the artistry of the 14th century.
  • Stroll through the Botanical Garden, a UNESCO heritage site, as the audio guide narrates the fascinating history of the world's oldest academic garden.
  • Delve into the bustling local life with a tour around the vibrant markets and the ancient university, where young energy meets historical grandeur.
  • Conclude your Padova excursions following the footsteps of Galileo with insights into his life and the scientific heritage he left in the city.

Fun things to do in Padova with kids

Padova is a treasure trove of captivating attractions ideal for visitors of all ages. Families traveling with children can engage with the city's vibrant history at the Astronomical Observatory 'La Specola.' Here, youngsters can embark on an astronomical adventure, following in the footsteps of the great Galileo Galilei., Among the things to do in Padova, The PadovaBotanical Garden invites families to connect with nature. It's an opportunity for kids to marvel at the diversity of plants and participate in interactive learning experiences. Another highlight includes the Palazzo Zuckermann, which houses both the Museum of Applied Arts and the Bottle Caps Museum. Kite festivities and hands-on workshops often fill the museum's calendar, providing educational entertainment. These attractions are not only the best things to do in Padova but are also child-friendly gateways to creating lasting family memories in this Italian gem of a city.

Things to do in Padova with family

When it comes to crafting an enriching family itinerary, Padova is a city that offers an array of experiences teeming with education and enjoyment. At the PadovaBotanical Garden, the delights of the natural world unfold in an ancient setting, allowing families to learn about diverse flora while meandering through beautiful landscapes. It's a tranquil retreat from the city buzz and an eye-opener for budding nature enthusiasts. Another favorite among Padova activities for families is the Pedrocchi Café, where parents can sip on the legendary 'caffè senza porta' while the kids revel in pastries amidst historic splendor. Lastly, no family visit to Padova would be complete without stepping into the vibrant energy of Prato della Valle. With its spacious area and surrounding statues, it offers a perfect spot for a family picnic and kite-flying, grounding the breathtaking Padova excursions with moments of simple delight and togetherness.

Free things to do in Padova

Padova offers a plethora of experiences that delight the senses without costing a euro, appealing to travelers on a budget. Engage with history and architecture by visiting the bustling Piazza dei Signori. A focal point of local life, this square offers a glimpse into the city's vibrant social scene against a backdrop of historic buildings. Art lovers can revel in the exquisite exterior views of the Scrovegni Chapel, admiring the architectural craftsmanship even if a visit inside is not on the agenda. For a serene escape, the Prato della Valle awaits, inviting visitors to stroll around Italy's largest square with its picturesque island at the center, ringed by a moat and statues of notable figures. These locales are not just spots to visit; they are experiences, enveloping visitors in the authentic atmosphere of Padova and showcasing why it's a city treasured by all who wander its charming streets.

Cheap things to do in Padova

Travelers on a budget need not worry as Padova offers numerous attractions that are big on experience yet light on the wallet. Roam the ancient streets of Padova's historic center where you can witness a myriad of architectural marvels, including the bustling local markets – a feast for the senses and free to explore. Indulge in the cultural richness at the Padova University's Botanical Garden; the entrance fee is minimal, and it's a green sanctuary where science meets beauty, an affordable and educational delight for all ages. For a nominal cost, you can also visit the enchanting Scrovegni Chapel to gaze upon the pre-Renaissance frescoes by Giotto, a priceless experience that's accessible for just a few euros. Each of these attractions encapsulates the essence of Padova, melding together history, nature, and art for an economical exploration of this storied Italian city.

Things to do in Padova for couples

Padova, with its romantic aura and cultural depth, is the quintessential destination for couples seeking an intimate escape. Begin the journey hand in hand through the Scrovegni Chapel, where Giotto's frescoes provide a colorful backdrop for love to bloom. This masterpiece of art history creates an enchanting atmosphere ideal for those seeking inspiration and connection. Follow the cobblestoned paths to the Prato della Valle – it's the perfect place for a loving stroll around the idyllic island park, surrounded by historical statues and serene waterways. As the sun sets, Padova activities for couples can culminate in a leisurely evening at Caffè Pedrocchi. This legendary café offers an intimate setting to share a traditional espresso or the famed 'caffè Pedrocchi,' while the audio guide softly narrates the cultural significance of this historical meeting spot, making every moment spent together in Padova all the more memorable.

Things to do in Padova at night

As dusk settles on Padova, the city unveils nocturnal charms that are both inviting and vibrant, creating a perfect setting for night owls and culture enthusiasts. One of the top places to visit in Padova at night is Piazza delle Erbe, where the local nightlife throbs with energy. Here, visitors can mingle with the locals, grab a drink, and enjoy the buzzing outdoor market scene transformed by evening festivities. Another enticing option is the Padova University's historic Anatomical Theatre, which occasionally opens for nighttime tours, offering a unique and intriguing experience under the cloak of darkness. For a more tranquil pursuit, a twilight walk along the ancient walls and illuminated paths of the Botanical Garden presents an opportunity to behold the stellar combination of history and nature. Each of these experiences capture the eclectic spirit of Padova activities after the sun has set, ensuring memorable nights in this culturally rich Italian city.