20 Best Places to Visit and Things to do in Venice, Italy

Venice is one of the most attractive cities in Italy which exudes peace and calm. It encompasses 118 islands separated by canals and therefore it is also sometimes called the “city of canals” or the “floating city”. These small islands conveniently linked by bridges over canals house some of the most awe-inspiring structures and buildings that draw explorers from around the world.

Venice seems like a place that is straight out of a romantic movie. And thus, exploring Venice with your loved one is something that every couple must experience. From inspiring architectural wonders to amorous activities, from historic landmarks to prominent museums, there is no dearth of places to visit and things to do in Venice, Italy. Are you thinking about what to do in Venice, Italy? Check out some of the best activities and places in Venice which you can indulge in exploring.

St. Mark’s Square (Piazza San Marco)

Being the largest square and the only piazza in Venice, St. Mark’s Square piazza is one of the most prominent spots in Venice city and should definitely be included in your list of things to see in Venice. A

multitude of renowned historic sites, monuments, and museums line this square piazza including St. Mark’s Campanile, St. Mark’s Basilica, and Doge’s Palace.

Apart from this, you can even find an array of restaurants and lounge bars dotted throughout this square piazza where you and your loved one can leisurely “wine and dine”. Along with intricately impressive buildings and scrumptious meal options, the square piazza is always bustling with tourists, pigeons, and souvenir sellers.

St Mark's Square.JPG
By ChrisSampson87, CC BY-SA 4.0, Link

Address: P.za San Marco, 30100 Venice, Italy | Timing: 24/7 | Google map location: https://goo.gl/maps/UZFfpHfRqri52Vt77

St. Mark’s Basilica

This elaborately structured basilica is located in St. Mark’s Square which is a hub for tourists. As soon as you set foot into St. Mark’s Basilica, you would be welcomed by the bronze horses and the visually appealing inclusions of mosaics.

St. Mark’s Basilica was erected as a gesture of love and respect towards the famous evangelist St. Mark. St. Mark’s mortal remains were believed to be stolen from Egypt and hidden away in barrels of cabbage and pork. This church was crafted in an attempt to bring some solace to the departed soul of St. Mark.

Venezia Basilica di San Marco Fassade 2.jpg
By Zairon, CC BY-SA 4.0, Link

Address: P.za San Marco, 328, 30100 Venice, Italy | Timing: 09:00 am to 05:00 pm | Google map location: https://goo.gl/maps/TcrVxhthFh1BDKM4A | Phone number: +390412708311

Rialto Bridge

Earlier, Rialto Bridge served as the sole means for crossing the Grand Canal. Although you can now cross the Grand Canal using four different bridges, the popularity of the Rialto Bridge remains undiminished.

The most astonishing fact about this bridge over the Grand Canal is that it was predicted by plenty of critics that this structure would not hold its form. However, the latest design of this bridge over the Grand Canal proves them wrong by standing strong as an engineering marvel.

Rialto bridge in Venice, Italy

Address: Sestiere San Polo, 30125 Venice, Italy | Timing: 24/7 | Google map location: https://goo.gl/maps/3nko5P7f456eEr5q8

Grand Canal (Canale Grande)

A photographer’s dream and a lover’s paradise, the Grand Canal or Canal Grande is truly a treat to the heart, eyes, and soul. This two-mile-long canal can be enjoyed by hopping aboard any of the public water buses or the Vaporetto. If you wish to have a more private experience, you can book a gondola ride and row across the Grand Canal or Canale Grande.

The public ride would take you through the Grand Canal with stops at the most iconic locations of Venice where you can explore many popular Venice attractions. If you wish to avoid the crowd, you can choose to plan your trip through the Grand Canal or Canale Grande during the evening.

Grand Canal, Venice

Address: 30100 Venice, Italy | Timing: 24/7 | Google map location: https://goo.gl/maps/WevC77odbULemts78

Venice Lido (Lido di Venezia)

If you want to have a rejuvenating time away from the hustle and bustle of Venice city, one of the best places to visit in Venice is Venice Lido island. This is a separated island that stands as a functional barrier between the Adriatic Sea and Venice.

Featuring long miles of beach, Lido island is an ideal place to calm your senses and have a relaxing day with your close ones. This place is inhabited by almost 20,000 residents and plenty of shops, restaurants, and recreational sites can be seen dotting this area.

Lido di Venezia 01.jpg
By Luca Aless, CC BY-SA 4.0, Link

Address: Lido, Venice, Italy | Timing: 24/7 | Google map location: https://goo.gl/maps/qBfp2LAiMeGgCRgW9

Gallerie dell’Accademia

Gallerie dell’Accademia museum was originally an established academy that was later transformed into a glorious museum by the renowned historian, Napoleon. This museum holds a wide variety of impressive Venetian artworks curated by well-known artists from the 14th-18th century.

Eye-pleasing and unique art pieces by talented artists like Tiziano, Canaletto, Tintoretto, Bellini, and Veronese can be seen adorning the interiors of this museum. This museum currently has over 800 paintings and artworks. If you love gazing at Renaissance art, this museum is the perfect place for you.

Gallerie dell'Accademia, Venice

Address: Campo della Carità, 1050, 30123 Venice, Italy | Timing: Monday 08:15 am to 02:00 pm, Tuesday to Sunday 08:15 am to 07:15 pm (Temporarily closed) | Google map location: https://goo.gl/maps/HRkAgy3L45RLcULV9 | Phone number: +390415222247

Bridge of Sighs

The Bridge of Sighs in Venice is the connecting link between the dungeons to the Doge’s Palace. In earlier times, the prisoners were taken through this bridge to their prisons directly from the courthouse.

The detailed architecture and the unique bridge placement motivate several visitors to click plenty of pictures here. This bridge is also popular for the ancient belief of acquiring eternal bliss if a couple kisses while passing under the bridge on a gondola.

Bridge of Sighs, Venice, Italy

Address: P.za San Marco, 1, 30124 Venice, Italy | Timing: 24/7 | Google map location: https://goo.gl/maps/DiWqbU7wvxmgKuoNA | Phone number: +390412715911

Doge’s Palace

Doge’s Palace is an ethereal looking palace in Venice and is best viewed and photographed from the Venetian Lagoon. Not only does the architecture of Doge’s palace seem exquisite, once in the palace, but you would also be intrigued by the history of this palace as well.

Being located in St. Mark’s Square, a lot of foot traffic can be witnessed here in Doge’s Palace throughout the year. Take a guided tour to Doge’s Palace and experience the beauty of this place being trumped by its history.

Photograph of of the Doges Palace in Venice.jpg
By Andrew Balet, CC BY 3.0, Link

Address: P.za San Marco, 1, 30124 Venice, Italy | Timing: Temporarily closed, 1st April to 31st October: Monday to Friday 8:30 am to 9:00 pm, Saturday and Sunday 8:30 am to 11:00 pm, 1st November to 31st March: 8:30 am to 7:00 pm | Google map location: https://goo.gl/maps/JzgYWQYH1A5guuqX7 | Phone number: +390412715911

St. Mark’s Campanile (Campanile di San Marco)

St. Mark’s Campanile or Campanile di San Marco is a bell tower that was built in the 20th century in an attempt to replicate the original 16th-century design. The original structure of Campanile di San Marco offered the ideal settings for Galileo’s telescope presentation.

However, the latest design of the structure is aimed at offering picturesque Venetian views to the visitors. The ideal time to visit this place would be early in the morning or late in the evening.

Campanile di San Marco

Address: P.za San Marco, 30124 Venice, Italy | Timing: 09:45 am to 07:00 pm | Google map location: https://goo.gl/maps/nqg5kJfGfxUpxk9Q7 | Phone number: +390412708311

Board a Vaporetto

The main commuting source in Venice for the public is the Vaporetto. Being an economical and efficient transport option, this water taxi is well-suited for most of the locals and visitors alike. Although you can board a train or even walk-through Venice city, the best way to explore Venice would be to sail in the canal waters on a Vaporetto.

When you visit Venice, consider opting for an extended pass for the Vaporetto so that you do not have to waste time buying tickets every time you travel from one place to another through the city’s canals within Venice city limits.

Venice - Vaporetto 01.jpg
By Nino Barbieri, CC BY 2.5, Link

Address: Isola Nova del Tronchetto 32, 30135 Venice, Italy

Visit the Traditional Glass Making Murano

One of the best things to do in Venice for a unique experience would be to visit Murano. Murano is another pristine island located in the exteriors of Venice and can be easily reached by a water taxi. It is known worldwide for being the home of artisans who are experts at making glass.

The type of glass curated here is specifically referred to as Murano glass. If you want to get some hands-on glass making experience, you can sign up for a glass bowling session at Museo del Vetro. Before heading back, pick up a few authentic Murano glassware here as a souvenir from your trip to Venice, Italy.

Venice, Italy, Murano Glass Store Window

Address: 30141 Venice, Italy | Google map location: https://goo.gl/maps/toni7Evou3KEWqWCA

Church of San Giorgio Maggiore

Located in San Giorgio Maggiore, this church is an exquisite basilica featuring the classical Renaissance style of architecture. Built during the 16th century, the church of San Giorgio Maggiore stands tall gleaming amidst the blue waters. The interior of the church of San Giorgio Maggiore is massive and bright with white-colored walls.

On the walls of this church, you can see some excellent works of art by talented artists like Tintoretto, Domenico, Jacopo Bassano, Leandro, and Sebastiano Ricci, among others.

Basilica di San Giorgio Maggiore (Venice) 2014-09-29-06.jpg
By Hans A. Rosbach/CC-BY-SA 3.0, CC BY-SA 3.0, Link

Address: Isola di S.Giorgio Maggiore, 30133 Venice, Italy | Timing: 07:00 am to 06:00 pm | Google map location: https://goo.gl/maps/1YP4oPLuPnEeZsvA9 | Phone number: +390415227827

Santa Maria Gloriosa dei Frari (Basilica di Santa Maria Gloriosa dei Frari)

Called Frari by the locals, Santa Maria Gloriosa dei Frari is an exquisite gothic-styled church that was brought to completion in the 14th century. The exterior of this church has been deliberately kept minimal on account of it being built mainly to depict the life of poverty-ridden people.

However, once you set foot inside the church you would be welcomed with pleasing adornments in the form of artwork by famous artists like Bellini, Titian, and Vivarini.

Venezia Basilica Santa Maria Gloriosa dei Frari 1.jpg
By Zairon, CC BY-SA 4.0, Link

Address: San Polo, 3072, 30125 Venice, Italy | Timing: Monday-Saturday: 09:00 am to 12:00 pm & 03:30 pm to 07:30 pm, Sunday: 08:30 am to 01:00 pm & 03:30 pm to 07:30 pm | Google map location: https://goo.gl/maps/kuR1vmpyAcDFUH1c6 | Phone number: +390412728611

Take a Gondola Ride

One of the top things to do in Venice, Italy is taking a gondola ride through the city canals. There is no better way to explore the popular canals of Venice city than a romantic gondola ride. The experience of meandering beneath the bridges along quaint canal stretches on a Venetian boat is one of the best Venice indulgences.

Considered as Venice city’s original and most-loved past times, gondola rides through the city’s canals guarantees a one-of-a-kind experience. You can sit back and relax while the guide onboard tells you about all the passing structures along the canal and their relevance in history.

Gondola ride through Venice, Italy

Address: Calle dei Fabbri, 4701, 30124 Venice, Italy | Timing: 24/7 | Google map location: https://g.page/gondola-rides?share | Phone number: +393282923864

Teatro La Fenice: The Most Important Theatre in Italy’s History

The most prominent and historic theatre in Italy, Teatro La Fenice is an intricately designed building with plush interiors. Since being opened in 1792, this theatre had almost approached its demise three times due to a fire break.

You can find plenty of shows, especially ballet, being showcased live at this theatre. Spend an evening in this theatre by being seated in the plush seats and enjoying a visually and auditorily pleasing classic Venetian opera.

Teatro La Fenice, Venice.jpg
By Youflavio, CC BY-SA 4.0, Link

Address: Campo S. Fantin, 1965, 30124 Venice, Italy | Timing: 09:30 am to 06:00 pm (Temporarily closed) | Google map location: https://g.page/teatro-la-fenice-ve?share | Phone number: +39041786654

Have some Seafood at Burano

Burano is one of the smallest islands in the Venetian Lagoon and can be reached within 40 minutes from St. Mark’s Square via water taxi making it perfect for a day trip from the city. It is famous as a fishing village since it is dotted with the perfect fishing spots.

It has its own network of canals where the locals indulge in fishing. The local eateries and stalls here source fresh seafood every day and curate lip-smacking dishes from it. Do try these options if you are a food lover.

Calamari Fritti

Address: 30142 Venice, Italy | Timing: 24/7 | Google map location: https://goo.gl/maps/pXiyVcT9EatvaMaN6

Go Shopping at Strada Nova, Cannaregio

Venice has a long chain of shopping avenues dotted throughout the several islands it comprises. These shopping streets are referred to as Strada Nova. Strada Nova runs from Venice city’s railway station to St. Mark’s Square and Rialto Bridge.

With time, this shopping street has transformed into a typical tourist shopping spot. However, you can still find a few old shops that sell old ladies’ clothes, bedding, window blinds, and other things that are required almost regularly. The best shopping stretch is the lane section between Ca’ d’Oro and Cannaregio canal.

Venice Italy - Creative Commons by gnuckx (4708707872).jpg
By gnuckx, CC BY 2.0, Link

Address: 30100 Venice, Italy | Google map location: https://goo.gl/maps/BYMjneMkzGifyuXP9

Peggy Guggenheim Collection

An American art collector, Peggy Guggenheim spent her life dedicating her interest towards collecting an impressive variety of contemporary art from the 20th century. This entire collection is featured in the former home of Peggy Guggenheim.

Artwork by renowned artists like Picasso, Magritte, Chagall, Pollock, and Dali, can be seen here. This place also features a sculpture garden where Peggy was buried along with her beloved dogs. Gazing at the entire art collection while knowing in-depth about Peggy is something that has impressed one too many visitors.

venice - peggy guggenheim collection

Address: Dorsoduro, 701-704, 30123 Venice, Italy | Timing: Thursday and Friday 10:00 am to 06:00 pm (Temporarily closed) | Google map location: https://goo.gl/maps/kNfh6ypcUTmRQi8z9 | Phone number: +390412405411

Scala Contarini Del Bovolo (Palazzo Contarini del Bovolo)

Scala Contarini Del Bovolo is a unique hidden palazzo located in San Marco. It gets its name from the interior spiral staircase which resembles the shell of a snail. During the 15th century, the spread of Renaissance art was at its peak and the curved stair set housed by this ancient Venice attraction is a living testimony to that.

This building is also very important for the Contarini family as it is their former place of residence, hence the name Scala Contarini Del Bovolo.

Scala Contarini del Bovolo

Address: San Marco Campo Manin, 4303, 30124 Venice, Italy | Timing: 10:00 am to 06:00 pm | Google map location: https://goo.gl/maps/PsCcNLKyceRpofk78 | Phone number: +390413096605

Correr Civic Museum (Museo Civico Correr)

This is one of the largest museums in Italy featuring an array of artwork depicting Venetian history. If you are visiting Doge’s Palace, you can visit this museum with the same ticket. You can buy the St. Mark’s Square Museum tickets and see Correr Civic Museum, Doge’s Palace, Biblioteca Nazionale Marciana, and Museo Archeologico.

A trip to this quaint museum, hidden in an aloof region of Venice city, is one of the best things to do in Venice, Italy. You can even grab a bite and sip some refreshing drinks at the on-site museum cafe later.

Antonio Canova - Monumento funerario a Francesco Pesaro (1799-1802) - Cera e legno -Museo Correr Venezia.jpg
By Didier Descouens, CC BY-SA 4.0, Link

Address: P.za San Marco, 52, 30124 Venice, Italy | Timing: Temporarily closed, November to March 10:00 am to 5:00 pm, April to October 10:00 am to 7:00 pm | Google map location: https://goo.gl/maps/TimB184m53YDt9sT6 | Phone number: +390412405211

Venice is a city that perfectly depicts the historic past of Italy through the various structural monuments, buildings, landmarks, palaces, and other prominent tourist attractions encompassed by it. If you are planning a trip to Italy, do not miss visiting this glorious city. For anyone who is looking for a romantic getaway with their loved one, Venice is the ideal vacation spot. If you ever plan a trip to Venice and wonder about what to do in Venice, this list of Venice attractions will help you out.