I created this list to help you get around Venice, visit some of the famous sites but also some lesser known attractions. I hope that this list will help you to make the most of your trip.
List includes links to some of the most interesting posts about Venice.
Choosing best blog posts about Venice can be overwhelming. Scrolling through all those mouthwatering photos would take eons. That’s why I’ve highlighted some of the most helpful, beautiful, and next-level sources out there.
The blogs below contain some of the best photos and most inetersting stories about Venice.
ST. MARK’S SQUARE
Main public square of Venice, Napoleon called it “the drawing-room of Europe”. St Mark’s square is dominated by St Mark’s Basilica and Doges palace. Although it is often crowded with tourists,St Mark’s square is an amazing place. If you want to see it without the usual tourist crowds wait for the night. Empty square is one of the most romantic places you will find.
Jessica Pei has great photos of St. Mark’s Square.
WONDERMENTARY: Standing on History in Piazza San Marco
You can find great photos of St. Mark’s square on Off the leash blog by Ken Dowell.
OFF THE LEASH: Venice Photo Blog – San Marco
You can also check great photo gallery at Bucket List Bums. These are some of the best phots of Venice I have seen so far. Unfortunately it also reminds me how much I need to improve my photography skills. Seriously these photos will inspire you to start packing right away.
BUCKET LIST BUMS: Venice Italy
ST. MARK’S BASILICA
Unique example of Italo-Byzantine architecture. One of the most known symbols of the city. You will recognize this famous church by its round-arched portals and many domes. Basilica dates back to 9th century ( although the original church was burned in rebellion in 976). It is named after Mark the Evangelist. If you are visiting Venice this is a must see. Interior of the church is covered in mosaics which cover an area of 8000 square meters!
SEE THE HORSES OF ST. MARK
Bronze statue of 4 horses, currently you can see the replica of the statue on the loggia of St Mark’s Basilica. The original horses are inside the basilica. History of this statue is fascinating. The horses were originally part of a quadriga ( 4 horse chariot). The statue is often attributed to Greek sculptor Lysippos ( 4th century BC). The horses were displayed at the Constanitople Hypodrome until they were looted by Venetians during the 4th Crusade. The horses were displayed on the loggia of St Mark’s Basilica since 1254. In 1797 Napoleon sent horses to Paris ( they were part of Arc de Triomphe du Carrousel). Horses were returned to Venice in 1815. You can read more here.
If you want to know more details about the Horses of St. Mark read this post by Jen Brown.
JAUNTING JEN: The Horses of St. Mark
CLIMB THE CAMPANILE
This is the best place from which you can see and admire Venice. The Campanile is 98.6 meters tall and this means that you can catch some spectacular views of Venice from the top. Brick tower is one of most widely recognized symbols of Venice. The campanile dates back to 9th century ( current form dates back to 16th century). In July of 1902 the tower completely collapsed and it was rebuilt in 1912. Campanile is open from 9:00 am until 7:00 pm. tickets cost 8 Eur and the tower has lift. Pay attention, there are usually queues to ascend the tower.
Check Amy’s blog to discover Venice from above.
TEN PENNY DREAMS: Things to do in Venice: Climbing the Campanile
While you are there also read this fascinating post about the most beautiful book shop in the world.
TEN PENNY DREAMS: Libraria Acqua Alta: The Most Beautiful Book Shop in The World
This renaissance building contains one of the oldest astrological clocks in Europe. You will recognize St. Mark’s Clocktower by 2 bronze figures striking the bell on a terrace at the top of the tower. You will also recognize the winged lion of St Mark’s on a blue background filled with stars. If you want to visit the clock tower you have to take guided tour. For more details read this post: St Mark’s Clocktower, Torre dell’Orologio
Famous library named after St. Mark and located just across the Doges palace in Piazzeta San Marco. Marciana is home to some of the most important classical texts in the world. The building was designed by Jacopo Sansovino in 16th century. You can visit Marciana from 9:00 am. You can get the ticket here and avoid the long queue at the entrance!
Learn more about history of Marciana on Alice Grasso blog.
ALICE GRASSO: Venice in Details – Biblioteca Marciana
In my opinion this is the most important museum in Venice. Museo Correr is located at the end of Piazza San Marco. Teodoro Correr donated his collection to city of Venice in 1830. He was a passionate collector coming from an old Venetian family. Why is this museum so important for Venice? Teodoro Correr started his collection during one of the worst periods in Venice history. In 1797 Napoleon conquered Venice and destroyed the 1000 year old republic. Best part of the museum is first floor dedicated to the life and culture of the Venetian Republic. You can visit the official website here.
Probably the main landmark of Venice. The Doge was the leader of the city of Venice for more than 1000 years. The palace is built in Venetian Gothic style ( another interesting example of this style is famous Ca Doro). You will also recognize the palace by its unique white and rose-coloured facade. The most impressive view of the palace you can see from Canal Grande. The palace is built on a site of 10th century wooden fort. You can read how this great building developed trough ages on this link. Doge’s Palace is part of the Fondazione Musei Civici di Venezia (MUVE).
Victoria Brewood has a great overview of Secret tour with Walks of Italy.
POMMIETRAVELS: Doge’s Palace Secret Tour with Walks of Italy
Alison Chino has some of the best photos of Doge’s Palace.
ALISON CHINO: Doge’s Palace, Venice, Italy
RIDE A VAPORETTO
Canal Grande is the main water-traffic route in Venice. When you look at the map of Venice, Canal Grande forms large S shape. The banks of Canal are home to some of the most famous Ventian palazzos Ca’ Rezzonico, Palazzo Dario, Ca’ Foscari, Palazzo Barbarigo, Palazzi Barbaro,Ca’ d’Oro, One of the cheapest and most fun attractions in Venice is to ride a vaporetto down the Canal Grande. Vaporetto is a water bus, vaporettos form a backbone of public transport system in Venice.
OFFICIAL WEBSITE: ACTV
This is my favorite point on this list. This is the best way to experience the Grand Canal ( much better that overpriced Gondola and private water taxi).
You can find great gallery on Malaysian Meanders blog.
MALAYSIAN MEANDERS BLOG: Explore Venice by Boat
THE BRIDGE OF SIGHS
The Bridge of Sighs connects the Doges palace with New Prison ( prigioni Nuove). It was designed by Antonio Contino in 1600. The bridge is only 11 meters long and is made of white Istrian limestone.Legend says that if a couple kisses in gondola under the bridge in sunset they will enjoy eternal love ( probably not that easy to organize). You can visit the bridge as a part of Palazzo Ducale Itenerary segreti tour. This tour will take you trough some of the secret rooms and chambers of the Doges Palace. This tour includes specialized guide ( you need minimum 2 people).
Did you know that final scene in From Russia with Love was filmed under the Bridge of Sighs? You can read more on James Bond Locations.
JAMES BOND LOCATIONS: Bridge of Sighs – Venice
There are only 4 bridges crossing Grand Canal and Rialto Bridge ( Ponte Rialto ) is the oldest and most famous. Current bridge was designed by Antonio da Ponte and finished in 1591. Current bridge replaces old wooden bridge. Several architects offered plans for this bridge ( including Michelangelo). If you are curious about old wooden bridge check this post. You will recognize Rialto Bridge by stone arches and small shops ( selling jewelry and tourist trinkets).
Joey Ong has great photos of Rialto Bridge. I really like night photos of the bridge.
If you want to see probably the most fun photo gallery of a sunny day in Venice check Where is Fatboy blog.
WHERE IS FAT BOY: Venice : Rialto Bridge & Mercato del Pesce
TEATRO LA FENICE
Famous opera house built in 1792 ( after the San Benedetto Theatre burned to the ground). La Fenice is one of the most famous theaters in Italy. The theatre is named after the Phoenix, Interestingly it burned to the ground 2 times. Last time in 1996 during renovation it reopened on 14 December 2003.
OFFICIAL WEBSITE: Teatro La Fenice
You can see amazing interior of La Fenice on Felipe’s great photo blog.
VISIT TRADITIONAL OSTERIA
Osteria is a type of traditional Italian restaurant serving simple local food and local vine. This is ideal place to eat if you are searching for simple cheap food and traditional local atmosphere. In Venice you can visit La Zucca in Santa Croce sestiere.
Paulette has great review of La Zucca. Paulette’s blog is a great resource for Italian food inspiration.
CHEF PAULETTE: Osteria La Zucca in Venice Italy
MURANO AND GLASS BLOWING MUSEUM
If you get tired of Venice you can always visit some other islands in the lagoon. Murano is one of the islands you should definitely visit if you have time. Murano is actually a series of islands connected by bridges. It is famous for its artisan glass making. Murano is very close to Venice ( only 2 km) and you can get there by public transportation ( vaporetto). Murano is home to many artisan shops where you can get glass beads, earings, rings necklaces etc. You can also visit Murano Glass Museum.
RELATED POST: How to get to Murano and Burano
Read more about Murano and Murano Glass Factory on Mandy’s blog.
KITCHEN JOY: Tour of Murano and Burano ( life in Italy)
TAKE A GONDOLA RIDE
I know, I know it is a terrible overpriced cliché and a tourist trap. However if you can afford it you should definitely take a gondola ride. Average ride lasts 40-50 minutes and it will cost you more than 80 Euro, ( you can split this cost on 6 persons). Although it is terribly expensive it is also the best way to see the city.
OFFICIAL WEBSITE: Gondolavenezia
Is the gondola ride worth it? Check Christine’s blog to find out.
PART OF MY WORLD: Is the gondola ride worth it in Venice?
CARLO GOLDONI HOUSE
Famous Italian playwright and author of Italy’s most-loved plays. Goldoni was born in Venice in 1707 ( Palazzo Centani ). This house is now museum ( Casa di Carlo Goldoni). The house was bought by grandfather of Carlo Goldoni when he moved from Modena to Venice.
OFFICIAL WEBSITE: Carlo Goldoni House
STROLL A SANDY BEACH ON LIDO
Lido is a thin long island separating Venetian lagoon from the Adriatic. It is home to Venice Film Festival. The Adriatic side of Lido is full of sandy beaches and hotels. Lido is good option if you are travelling with kids during the summer. Main street on Lido is Gran Viale Santa Maria Elisabetta, 700 meter long street lined with shops, restaurants and pubs. Why visit Lido? Lido offers a different atmosphere, you can swim, walk on the beach, cycle or just chill. During September ( first week) Lido is home to Venice film festival and if you are lucky you can catch a glimpse of your favorite actor.
Great photo gallery of empty beaches on Lido. Yes, in the summer you can actually swim here if you get tired of Venice.
HELEN KUKOVSKY: Venice Italy: Empty beaches of Venice Lido
Some say that this is the most beautiful palace in Venice. Ca’ d’Oro ( or correctly Palazzo Santa Sofia ) was built by Contarini family. This important Venetian family provided Venice with 8th Doges. Palace is built in Venetian floral Gothic style. Last owner baron Giorgio Franchetti was also famous art collector, in 1916 baron Franchetti left his collection and Ca’ d’Oro to Italy. You can visit the gallery for approximately 10 EUR.
OFFICIAL WEBSITE: Galleria Giorgio Franchetti
TICKETS: Galleria Giorgio Franchetti
Corinna has some of the best photos of Ca’ D’Oro. You can also read more about history of this beautiful palazzo on her blog.
CORINNA B’S WORLD: Venice Ca’D’Oro
SANTA MARIA DELLA SALUTE
Beautiful church dominating the entrance to Grand Canal. The church was built in 1681 after Venice survived one of the worst outbursts of plague in its history. You can not miss its monumental dome designed by Baldassare Longhena. Inside the church you will also find paintings of Titian and Tintoretto.
The history of Venice carnival goes back to early 12th century. Carnival was famous during 18th century until it was completely forbidden by Austrian Emperor in 1797. The carnival was restarted only recently ( in 1979). Today it is probably the most famous event in Venice. Carnival is organized during February ( which causes hotel prices to increase significantly). One of the main trademarks of Venice carnival are traditional masks. The masks are made from leather, porcelain or glass.