Italy’s crown jewel is a multi-faceted city and there are so many places to visit in Venice that it’s tough to strike them all off your list. Buildings with Renaissance and Gothic architecture, a canal aptly named the Grand Canal, a carnival that’s set the bar for carnivals across the world, and mouth-watering traditional cuisine that will keep you coming back for more – Venice is romantic, charming and unforgettable.
The floating city is the birthplace of Vivaldi. Its art scene during the Renaissance and Baroque periods gave rise to renowned names like Titian and Tintoretto whose works, incidentally, can be admired at Scuola Grande di San Rocco. Grand structures with distinctive architectural elements seem to dominate the skyline, each more striking than the next. Basilica di San Marco and Doge’s Palace are a couple among many and you’ll be swept away by their beauty.
It’s not all history and past glory, however; Venice also has a contemporary scene to delight the modern traveller. Shopping streets are lined with upmarket boutiques and cafes while kayaking on the Grand Canal has become a popular way to explore the city. This meeting of old and new lends an incredible depth of character that’s hard to find anywhere else. Find out exactly what we mean by planning a trip to Venice! Here are 50 of the best places to visit.
1. Grand Canal- Start your adventure with a visit to the iconic Grand Canal, one of Venice’s most beautiful waterways. The almost 4-km long canal is lined with grand old buildings dating from the 13th to 18th centuries.
2. Piazza San Marco- Piazza San Marco is one of those perfect hangout places. The 11th-century square is a gorgeous testament to architectural styles such as Baroque, Gothic and Classical. Take time to admire the buildings including St Mark’s Basilica.
3. Rialto Bridge- When exploring the Grand Canal, look out for the 16th century Rialto Bridge, which is the oldest bridge that spans it. It’s built on over 10,000 pilings that still stand today.
4. Doge's Palace- Doge’s Palace boasts jaw-dropping beauty with its Venetian Gothic architecture, sculptures, reliefs and numerous paintings. Go on a tour of this iconic landmark and see the Doge’s Apartments, Armory and Prisons.
5. Bridge of Sighs- The Bridge of Sighs connects Doge’s Palace with the New Prisons on the other side of the canal. It arches gracefully and features windows with ornate stone bars. One theory for the bridge’s name is the prisoners’ sighs as they would be led to prison.
6. Peggy Guggenheim Collection- Witness the best of modern art at Peggy Guggenheim Collection located in the Grand Canal. It features a permanent collection of works done in the style of Surrealism and Cubism among several others.
7. Basilica di San Marco- Basilica di San Marco or St Mark’s Basilica is an unforgettable work of art. It was also once the chapel of the Doge. The bright gold ground mosaics on the upper walls and the ceilings, three golden domes and numerous sculptures exude opulence.
8. Teatro La Fenice- Teatro La Fenice is one of the best places to visit in Venice. The theatre has hosted numerous operas including those of Bellini and Verdi. Today, it has a 98-member orchestra and stages over 100 performances a year.
9. Ca’ Rezzonico Museum- What was Venice like in the 18th century? Find out at Ca’ Rezzonico Museum that showcases work by artists like Bonifazio Veronese, 18th-century furnishings and even a pharmacy.
10.Scuola Grande di San Rocco- Once a lay confraternity comprised of wealthy Venetians, Scuola Grande di San Rocco is known for the numerous paintings of Tintoretto. It also houses works by other artists like Titian and Tiepolo. Today, the confraternity is still active and continues to perform charitable duties.
11.Santa Maria Della Salute- Santa Maria Della Salute was built as a votive offering to set the city free from the plague that ravaged it in the 17th century. When the plague ended, the church was constructed in the Baroque style with Marian symbolism.
12.Murano Island- The Venetian Lagoon is home to Murano, a series of islands that’s known for exquisite glassworks. At one time, Murano’s glassmakers were the only ones in Europe who knew the craft of mirror-making. Explore shops, galleries and museums to see the full scale of glassworks.
13.St Mark’s Square
14.Climb the tower in St Mark’s Campanile to see red tiled splendour- Head to the top of St Mark’s Campanile and see Venice below. The buildings, architectural icons, ferries, gondolas and tourists create a scene that’s full of life and energy.
15.Accademia Bridge- Number 15 on our list of places to visit in Venice is Ponte dell'Accademia, one of four bridges spanning the Grand Canal. Both sides offer terrific views of the waterway. The handrails contain love locks, no doubt placed there by couples.
16.The bridge of sighs
17.Teatro la Fenice
18.The tiny island of Burano- The Venetian Lagoon is home to Burano, an island lit up with colourful houses. It’s also home to Burano lace that’s famous for its beauty and fineness. It’s made by elderly women who craft it with incredible ease and confidence.
19.Shop from St Mark Square’s luxury shops- Piazza San Marco or St Mark’s Square has a selection of luxury shops to satiate the shopper in you. Designer goods, antiques, collectables, lace, Murano glassworks – you can find them all here.
20.Carnival of Venice- Gorgeous and mysterious Venetian masks, plumes of colourful feathers and elaborate costumes steal the show at the Carnival of Venice. It’s held each year and ends with Lent. This year, it began on January 27th and culminated on February 13th.
21. Hotel Aman Canal Grande- This 5-star luxury hotel is possibly one of the best places to stay at in Venice. Rooms overlook the Grand Canal and beautiful private gardens. They also feature protected frescoes and reliefs. Dine on sumptuous Italian cuisine and relax at the 3-suite Venice Spa.
22. Take a water taxi to San Marco to Porto Roma- Travel to San Marco and Porto Roma by water taxi. It’s a great way to see the canal up close and appreciate the architecture around you. It’s also a fast and convenient way to travel!
23. Casino de Venezia- This is no modern casino. It’s a 17th-century establishment that still retains its former elegance. It offers electronic and table games, two restaurants and special events to keep things exciting.
24. Celebrate love in the most romantic hotel of Venice - Hotel Danieli is a lavish luxury hotel just meters from the Bridge of Sighs. The rooftop restaurant boasts stunning views of the Grand Canal, creating a very romantic ambience. Choose from a range of suites and rooms and the ultimate sensory delights at the hotel’s three bars.
25. Lido Resort Island for beach relaxation- Soak in the Venetian sun at Lido Resort Island where hotels like the Grand Hotel Excelsior make their home. There are a public beach and private hotel beaches that offer nightclubs and restaurants.
26. Hot chocolate at Cioccogelateria café- This is one of the best places to visit in Venice if you have a sweet tooth. It’s been open since 1878 and has been spoiling customers with sinful hot chocolate and other chocolatey delights over the years.
27. Harry’s Bar Bellini- Ever wondered where a Bellini was first created? At Harry’s Bar, a 1930s establishment that has to remain unchanged over the years. The comfortable interiors and old world charm complement a classic Italian menu.
28. SuSo Ice Cream Parlor at San Marco- San Marco isn’t just gorgeous buildings and luxury shopping centres; it also has SuSo Ice Cream Parlor that serves up some of the most delicious gelatos you’ll ever eat. It has vegan and gluten-free options too.
29. Cantina Do Spade- Cantina Do Spade is one of the top places to visit in Venice and one of the oldest stories. Food and wine score top marks and the homely atmosphere add to the experience.
30. Trattoria Dalla Marisa (authentic Italian meal)- Italian food is renowned all over the world, and Trattoria Dalla Marisa is the perfect place to enjoy it. Simple food at great prices, wine, and a friendly ambience make this a favourite among locals.
31. Al Timon bar famous for boat drinking- Al Timon is where everyone flocks to savour good food and wine. It’s a great place to socialize and chill out. The best part? You can do it sitting on a boat!
32. I Rusteghi (780 different types of wine)- I Rusteghi has a long list of wines you’ll want to try. Gaja and Sassicaia are just a couple of brands. It also offers delicious paninis including spicy smoked bacon and smoked trout fillet.
33. Osteria Alla Staffa- Osteria Alla Staffa tempts with traditional Italian fare and a modern twist. Try the prosciutto, caprese and beef lasagne. Finish with a dessert like a tiramisu.
34. Pradiso Perduto- Another eaterie serving traditional Italian fare, Paradiso Perduto adds an extra element of interest with live music. Fresh produce is whipped up to create tasty dishes like creamed salted cod, lasagne with artichokes and grilled fish.
35. Al Muro- To really enjoy Al Muro’s specialities, head to the Rialto fish market as the action winds down. You’ll see a queue of locals at a stall waiting for the restaurant’s chef to serve the dish of the day. For an affordable price, you get to savour authentic Venetian cuisine and a glass of wine.
36. Alla Madonna- Alla Madonna has effortlessly preserved the style and ambience of the establishment since it opened in 1954. Traditional dishes are the stars here with delights such as spider crab, prawns, seafood risotto and spaghetti with cuttlefish.
37. Le Mercerie- Le Mercerie is a shopper’s haven with stores and boutiques selling popular Italian and international fashion items. It’s the best place to pick up Venetian masks and souvenirs as well as jewellery and knickknacks.
38. Salizada San Moisè- Luxury Italian brands await at Salizada San Moisè. Prada, Fendi and Versace are just some of the names you’ll find. The upscale shopping street draws a large number of eager shoppers including locals and tourists.
39. Calle Larga XXII Marzo- If you still haven’t had your fill of luxury shopping, head to Calle Larga XXII Marzo, a street dotted with upmarket boutiques. Clothing, footwear, accessories – you’ll find the best of Italian fashion here. And, if you don’t want to spend bucks on shopping, there are hawkers who offer copies. It’s illegal to buy from them but that doesn’t seem to really stop anyone!
40. Vladì- Vladì is a shoe company with a difference. Instead of the usual designs so commonly seen everywhere, it produces unique and sometimes quirky designs that instantly stand out. Get yourself a pair or two of colourful heels, flats and boots to show off back home.
41. Momylia- Momylia sources all its glass from Murano and produces beautiful jewellery. What’s more interesting is that you can watch the process and see glassworkers create delicate beads and rings.
42. Buy lace from Merletti d'Arte Martina- Find the best Burano lace at Merletti d'Arte Martina. The exquisite craftsmanship is something else entirely and although expensive, it’s worth every buck. Lingerie, dresses, skirts, fabrics – they’re all here.
43. Get lost in the streets of Venice- Venice has numerous alleys and paths, each as charming as the next. The best way to explore them is to walk. Stop for refreshments at a cafe, buy souvenirs, window shop at luxury boutiques and watch people go about their lives. It’s a great way to spend the day!
44. Explore the streets in true Venetian style by gondola- You can’t leave Venice without hopping into a gondola and experiencing the city’s canals. Book a ride alone or share it with others to split the cost. It’s about a 40-minute duration and traverses the Grand Canal or the quieter back canals.
45. Kayak along Venice’s canals- If you’d rather be the one in control, kayaking Venice’s canals is the best way to see the city. There are guided tours you can book including full-day tours that take in the centre of the city, the Grand Canal and other areas that you may otherwise miss.
46. Decorate your own Venetian masks at Carnival of Venice- If you’re in the city in time for the famous carnival, join the horde of revellers by decorating your own Venetian mask and taking part in the festivities. Masquerade balls require invitations but street parties are free.
47. Discover the attractive canal side at Cannaregio- Cannaregio is one of six sestieri in Venice and like many parts of the city, it boasts magnificent architecture, historic buildings and charming corners. Take in the sights of the canal side like Parco di Villa Groggia and the Church of Madonna dell’Orto.
48. Libreria Acqua Alta- Stop at Libreria Acqua Alta, a bookstore unlike any other. Forget shelves and bookcases; the store even displays its books in boats and bathtubs! Keep an eye out for the ‘fire escape’ that leads to a canal.
49. Fighting bridge in Venice - the Ponte dei Pugni is one of the most famous fighting bridges in Venice. In the past, rival clans would have fist fights and attempt to toss their opponents into the canal.
50. Museo Della Musica Museum- We’re rounding up our list of places to visit in Venice with the Museo Della Musica. See centuries-old musical instruments on display, learn about the schools of Italian musical instruments and the evolution of music.
Newly Added Venice Tour Packages
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Ca’ Rezzonico Chiesa Della Madonna Dell’Orto Santa Maria Gloriosa Dei Frari Jewish Museum Scuola Grande Di San Rocco Santa Maria Della Salute Peggy Guggenheim Collection Murano Venetian Arsenal Santi Giovanni E Paolo Venetian Ghetto Lido Di Venezia Rialto Market Ponte Dell’Accademia Bridge of Sighs San Giorgio Maggiore Torcello Island Burano