What, exactly, is the right way, or the embark way, you ask? The biggest advice we could give is to leave room in your itinerary for a little getting lost. Venice has quite a few nooks that aren't crawling with tourists and plenty of piazzas that will actually have more locals (Campo Santa Margherita in Dorsoduro and Campo del Ghetto Nuovo, both of which have a wealth of cultural activities), while a chance to explore sestieri (neighborhoods) like Santa Croce and Castello will reveal a more genuine Venice.
No matter what you plan on seeing, you'll be traveling on foot or by water, since cars haven't been allowed on the islands since their inception. Seeing the city from its waterways is essential, whether by gondola, vaporetti (water bus) or water taxi, while ferries to the nearby Lido di Venezia (the beach) or the islands of Murano (glasswork) and Burano (lacework) are possible extensions of your water tour.
So what are the must-see areas of Venice? The neighborhoods of San Marco and San Polo are where the biggest landmarks are. San Marco is where the massive and magnificent Piazza di San Marco is located. This is the one place that everyone visiting Venice will see and its worth being elbow to elbow to explore landmarks like St. Mark's Cathedral, the bell tower of St. Mark's, the grand Doge's Palace, the Correr Museum, and so much more. San Polo, located west across the Grand Canal, is notable for the famous Rialto Bridge and the adjacent produce and fish market of the same name. Lesser known attractions like the Guggenheim collection and the Accademia Museum in Dorsoduro, the shipyards of the Arsenale in Castello, and the Jewish Ghetto in Cannaregio are just as worth a space in your itinerary. As long as you make time to wander a bit, you'll feel like you've gotten to make your own version of Venice.
If you want to visit Venice at its zenith of cultural events, then the Venice Binennale, which occurs every odd year and hosts an incredible number of world-renowned art displays and functions from June to October, is a can't miss. For further information on the activities mentioned herein, take a look through or dedicated pages; otherwise, browse our travel videos, trip planner, and much more if your looking for further inspiration or preparation in regards to the incredible city of Venice.