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18 Unmissable Places to See in Venice

Updated: Dec 30, 2023

If you are planning to visit Venice, you found the best Venice travel guide, well done to you!

And in this article, there are listed all the best and unmissable places to see in Venice, to have a complete idea about what to see in Venice and also what to do in Venice.


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How long should I stay in Venice?


Let me start this article by telling you that one day is not enough to visit Venice, nor is a weekend.


There are so many beautiful places, museums, and islands to visit in Venice. The local restaurants offer delicious and fresh local cuisine that after every meal, you will want to try more. Because everything tastes so good that you will never get enough.


I highly recommend you to stay for at least four days, to make sure to experience everything that this magical city has to offer. Also, keep in mind that in winter the sun goes down at 4 pm so it gets dark pretty early, while during summer, it is bright till after 9 pm.


Valentina's Travel Guide, 18 Unmissable places to see in Venice

*Disclosure: This article contains a few affiliate links, which means I may receive a small commission, at no extra cost to you I guarantee, if you purchase through my links. See it as a way to thank me and support my travel blog for all the information I provide.


Did you book your entrance to Venice?

Venice has implemented a tourist fee to help preserve the city's cultural heritage. Find out how much it costs and what it covers in this informative post.



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Valentina's Travel Guide, 18 Unmissable places to see in Venice

1. Rialto bridge:


Rialto Bridge is famous for its architecture and its history. For years it was the centrepiece of Venice's economy.


The Rialto Bridge was built between 1588 and 1591, to a design by the architect Antonio da Ponte, to replace the previous wooden structure, which collapsed twice and burned on various occasions.

Valentina's Travel Guide, 18 Unmissable places to see in Venice

2. Rialto Market:


The characteristic fish, fruit and vegetable market embodies Venetian authenticity.


Visit the Rialto Market is an experience not to be missed. Full of excellent fresh products and local merchants who scream in dialect to attract the attention of buyers.

Opening times: Tue-Sat 7.30am - 12pm.


Valentina's Travel Guide, 18 Unmissable places to see in Venice

3. Canal Grande:


The Grand Canal (Venetian Canal Grando) is the central canal that crosses the historic centre of Venice. Here is where you will find the ferries and the water taxis. Many of the important churches, hotels and sights are along the canal so you will see a lot of it.

 

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Valentina's Travel Guide, 18 Unmissable places to see in Venice

4. Basilica of Santa Maria della Salute:


It is one of the most important churches in Venice.

It was founded in 1631 and was built to commemorate the end of a terrible plague outbreak that began in 1630 and killed a large portion of the Veneto population.


It was dedicated to Our Lady of Health (Salute in Italian).


Opening times:

Mon-Sun 9.30am 12pm 3.00pm-5.30pm Free entrance.


Valentina's Travel Guide, 18 Unmissable places to see in Venice

5. St. Mark's Basilica:


The Patriarchal Cathedral Basilica of Saint Mark, known as St Mark's Basilica, is the cathedral church of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Venice.


It is the most famous of the city's churches and one of the best-known examples of Italo-Byzantine architecture.


Mon-Sat 9.30am-5.00pm. Sun close at 4.30 pm Free donation


Tip: The queue to enter the Basilica can be more than 2 hours long so if you wish to skip the queue and save precious time, I highly recommend you to purchase the combined ticket skip-the-queue of St Mark's Basilica & the Doge's Palace.


Trust me, you won't regret it after you will see the infinite queue outside these two fabulous buildings.


Valentina's Travel Guide, 18 Unmissable places to see in Venice

6. Mark's Campanile:


St Mark's Campanile is the bell tower of St Mark's Basilica. It is the tallest structure in Venice and is colloquially called "el paròn de casa" (the master of the house).

It is one of the most recognizable symbols of the city.


Mon-Fri 10.30am-6.30pm Sat-Sun 10.30am-9.30pm. Ticket 10 Euro


Valentina's Travel Guide, 18 Unmissable places to see in Venice

7. St. Mark Square:


Piazza San Marco is the city's main public square and contains its most famous buildings such as St Mark's Basilica and the Doge's Palace.


Napoleon called it "the world's most beautiful drawing room" and is in Venice's heart. Absolutely an unmissable place to see in Venice.


Do you want to see everything Venice has to offer and save money at the same time?

Valentina's Travel Guide, 18 Unmissable places to see in Venice


8. Doge's Palace:


The Doge was the head of state in the Republic of Venice and this Palace was for many centuries its residence. The government and city council also met in this stunning building.


The first Palace was built at this location in the 9th century but it was destroyed by a big fire so it has been rebuilt according to the Gothic original in the 14th century.



Opening time:

Every day 9 am-7 pm.


Travel Tip:

Venice is one of the most visited cities globally, so expect to queue a lot before entering every attraction.


If, like me, you prefer to skip the queue and have more time to enjoy your holiday, click here to see all the tickets you can buy in advance online. I did it, and it saved me hours of time queuing.


Valentina's Travel Guide, 18 Unmissable places to see in Venice


9. St. Mark's Clocktower:


Legend says that after the construction of this monumental work in which mechanics, mathematics and physics mingle with the art, the Serenissima made the Ranieri brothers blind, to prevent them from repeating such a marvel.


In reality, Gian Carlo Ranieri has been asked by the Republic itself to maintain the watch by living with his family inside the tower. From that was born the figure of the "temperatore", who lives in the tower and takes care of the clock.


This figure will be present in the history of the Clock Tower until 1998 when technology will make the presence of a person inside the tower unnecessary.

The care and perfection of the construction are such that it will not be necessary to intervene drastically on the machine for 260 years.


Plan Your Vacation in Venice in the Best Way

Check out all my articles in the "Most Complete Guide of Venice" and get all the information you need to make your next travel a success.


Valentina's Travel Guide, 18 Unmissable places to see in Venice

10. The Bridge of Sighs:


The Bridge of Sighs, known as Ponte dei Sospiri in Italian, it is one of the most famous bridges in the world.


The bridge passes over the Rio di Palazzo and connects the Dogi's Palace to the Prigioni, the prisons that were built across the canal in the late 16th century and where heartbroken ladies were saying goodbye for the last time to their lovers while they were going to prison.



Opening time:

Every day 9 am-7 pm.



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Valentina's Travel Guide, 18 Unmissable places to see in Venice

11. Rive degli Schiavoni:


Rive degli Schiavoni is one of the most crowded walks in Venice. It's a scenic waterfront in the central Castello district of the city, right along the Bacino di San Marco and the narrow bridge over the Rio di Palazzo della Paglia.


Legend says that holding hands or kissing while crossing this bridge will bring you good luck and a long-lasting relationship.


So please give it a go! It is an excellent place to enjoy ice cream and relax after a long walk in the narrow alleys of Venice.

Beware that restaurants here are pretty expensive.


Valentina's Travel Guide, 18 Unmissable places to see in Venice

Travel Tip:

As in every other touristic place, I advise you to avoid tourist restaurants. You can recognize them because they all have an extensive menu outside with pictures of their dishes, and there is always a very chatty waiter ready to pull you inside the restaurant.


Those places are overpriced, and the food is average because they know you are a tourist and you won't come back anyway. So avoid them!


Check my article "Best Places Where to Have an Aperitivo or a Light Lunch in Venice" where you will find all the best local places where to eat local cheap food.


If you are looking for a place where to have a nice local dinner, check out "5 Best Local Restaurants in Venice" and if you wondering what Venice has to offer, then check out "15 Delicious food and drinks to try in Venice".


There are only really local places and typical food there.


Valentina's Travel Guide, 18 Unmissable places to see in Venice

12. Zattere Promenade:


Zattere promenade is a side of Venice that every traveller should explore.


The promenade is vast and full of restaurants and coffee shops, perfect to have a break from all the walking and enjoy the beautiful view of the Giudecca island, San Giorgio and Maggiore church.

 

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Valentina's Travel Guide, 18 Unmissable places to see in Venice

13. Contarini del Bovolo Palace:


Contarini del Bovolo Palace is another thing to see in Venice. It is a small palazzo best known for its external multi-arch spiral staircase known as the Scala Contarini del "Bovolo", literally "snail". The name derives from the distinct spiral shape of the stairs.


Family Contarini built the Palace at the end of ‘400. During the XIX Century, the Palace has also been a hotel. Now it is owned by IRE (Recovery and Educational Institution).


Opening time: every day from 10 am -6 pm. Ticket 7 Euro.


14. Campo Santa Maria Formosa:


Campo Santa Maria Formosa is one of the largest squares in Venice and it is surrounded by elegant buildings. This lovely square is somewhat away from the tourist crowds and has a vibrant atmosphere thanks to its outdoor cafés and market stalls.


Valentina's Travel Guide, 18 Unmissable places to see in Venice

15. The Squero di San Trovaso:


This is one of the oldest and most famous Venetian squeri, and you have to see it when in Venice.


The squero ("shipyard" in Venetian: from the word "square", which indicates the tool used to build boats) is the classic shipyard where small-sized boats such as gondolas and other boats typical of the naval tradition were constructed and repaired.


The San Trovaso one rises along the homonymous river and dates back to the seventeenth century. It is one of the few squeri still in operation in Venice, even if only gondolas are produced or repaired today. At the same time, the shipbuilding activity also extended to other types of boats in the past.

Tip: when you are passing by the Squero di San Trovaso, don't miss to stop for an "ombra" (glass of local wine) and a cicchetto (sliced bread with a local topping). It is one of the best places where to have a light lunch or an aperitivo.


Also, be careful of seagulls when eating outside. On my plate, there are three cicchetti, but at the beginning, there were four of them. A very mean seagull stole one from me, so watch out!

 
Do you want to see everything Venice has to offer and save money at the same time?

Valentina's Travel Guide, 18 Unmissable places to see in Venice

16. Jewish Ghetto:


The word ghetto, now used in all languages, originates from the Venetian word "geto".

In ancient times, in the early Middle Ages, in this part of the city, there was an old foundry (a "geto" in Venetian) that served to forge the "bombarde", the small cannons of Venetian ships.


When, for political reasons, in 1516, the Republic of the Serenissima established by law that all Jews should live here, the population mostly came from Central and Eastern Europe.


Because of their pronunciation, the Venetian term "geto" came crippled in "gheto", originating the word that we use today all over the world.


Valentina's Travel Guide, 18 Unmissable places to see in Venice

17. Burano Island:


Burano is unquestionably the most picturesque island in the Venice lagoon so it is an unmissable place to see in Venice.

With its tiny houses that follow one after the other, the result is a fabulous town that looks like a rainbow.


The legend says that the colours were used by fishermen who returned home to find their way in the thick fog.


Even the fishing boats are colourful and thus create a perfect backdrop for a photograph. Who has enough time to spend in Venice cannot miss the idyllic Burano - it's worth it!


Valentina's Travel Guide, 18 Unmissable places to see in Venice

How to get to Burano from Venice?


One ferry line runs from Venice to Burano: the n. 12.

It goes from Venice's San Zaccaria stop (near St. Mark's) to Burano and Murano, stopping at Venice's Fondamente Nove.


It takes about 45 minutes and costs €6.50 per person. If you also want to visit Murano and other islands, I advise you to purchase a daily ticket that will allow you to pop in and out of ferries without extra costs.


Daily Ticket: 20 euros and lasts exactly 24 hours.


Valentina's Travel Guide, 18 Unmissable places to see in Venice

If you like cookies, you cannot miss trying the delicious "Buranei/Bussolai". You will thank me for that!


You can buy them everywhere in Venice, but they are typical of Burano.

If you love to take stunning pictures, I advise you to visit Burano early in the morning.


Valentina's Travel Guide, 18 Unmissable places to see in Venice

18. Murano Islands:


Murano Island in Venice is one of the main islands in the lagoon and is famous for the tradition of blown glass. For centuries, the life of this small island has revolved around the furnaces where glass objects are sold all over the world.


Murano is also a beautiful island to be discovered, with its characteristic streets, canals, and typical restaurants.

Unmissable here is the demonstration of glass processing in the traditional Murano furnace. After the demonstration, you can visit the shop and the exhibition gallery to see the most exclusive creations.


It sounds expensive, but even with just 10 euros, you will take home with you an incredible coloured glass souvenir.


Travel Tip:

To get to Murano, I advise you to buy the daily 24-hour tickets so you can explore many islands and pop in and out of the ferry as many times as you want.


From Fondamente Nove to Murano, line 12 takes only 9 min.


The easiest way to use the "Vaporetto" (Venetian ferry) is to get a ferry map at the ferry stop, it is very easy to understand so you will move around like a local.




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About me

Hi! I'm Valentina,

but you can call me Vale.

I'm an Italian with a passion for well-planned travels and food.

In my Travel Guide, you will find everything you need to plan your perfect travel around the world.

Valentina

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