Book your hotel here!
Great prices

Best attractions in Venice: Top 25

A unique and fascinating city. It is the dream of almost all tourists in the world, flipping through the guidebooks, studying the sights of Venice, and making your own list of what to see in Venice.

What to see in Venice first

Among the many Venetian sights are those that every self-respecting traveler must visit.

1. The Grand Canal

View of the Grand Canal from the Rialto Bridge

The largest and most beautiful canal in the city. You could say its central avenue, which is 4 km long. When viewed from the pleasure boat, truly postcard views open up - colorful mansions, solemn palazzos, beautiful cathedrals. And the views of the canal, which runs through the entire city, are also very picturesque.

Driving along the Grand Canal, tourists can notice what else to see in Venice and where to go first.

2. St. Mark’s Square

St. Mark's Square is the main city square in Venice

If the question arises as to what to visit in Venice, this square is sure to be on the “Mast Visit” list. The city’s calling card, San Marco is one of Italy’s main landmarks. It’s where Venice’s best attractions and the city’s most iconic events take place. And it begins with two majestic columns, on which statues of the apostle Mark and the winged lion are perched.

3. St. Mark’s Cathedral

Facade of St. Mark's Cathedral in Piazza San Marco

A very original example of ecclesiastical architecture, which does not prevent it from being one of the main attractions of Venice. It is very difficult to describe the cathedral briefly - it has a rich and unusual history. First of all, unusual for Western Europe, the main style of the cathedral is Byzantine. But due to the fact that Venice has always been an open trading city, the main word in the description of the main Venetian cathedral is eclectic.

The best of what came into the city - ideas, trends, craftsmen, and goods - were applied here. For example, where else can you find statues of horses above the church entrance? Look closely, and you’ll see many more unusual things in St. Mark’s Cathedral. Guides in Venice are happy to describe to tourists how this or that element appeared in the interior or architecture of the Catholic Church. But the main pride of the cathedral is that this is where the relics of St. Mark, brought by crusaders back in the 10th century, a century before construction of the cathedral began, are located. It continued, by the way, until the end of the 15th century.

Official website: http://www.basilicasanmarco

4. The Bell Tower of St. Mark’s Cathedral

Pyramidal spire with a weathervane in the form of a golden angel on the Bell Tower

The magnificent ensemble of St. Mark’s Square includes this landmark in Venice. The bell tower was formerly a lighthouse for the numerous ships arriving at Venetian shores. It was built in the 16th century and in its early days its interior served as a torture chamber. There are five bells on the tower, which each have a different purpose.

Official website: http://www.basilicasanmarco.

5. St. Mark’s Clock Tower

St. Mark's Clock Tower is an early Renaissance monument at the northern end of St. Mark's Square

No tour in Venice passes by this unique structure. It was built in the 15th century. The tower was designed so that all travelers arriving in the city on the Adriatic can see its astronomical dial. The top of the tower is decorated with the symbol of Venice - the figure of a winged lion.

Official website:

Be sure to watch this beautiful video about Venice!

6. Cathedral of Santa Maria della Salute

The Cathedral of Santa Maria della Salute on Venice's main street, the Grand Canal

Everyone who has been to the “city on the water” has seen it. Because it is impossible to visit Venice and not look at St. Mark’s Square, where it is located. The history of the temple is rather sad. In the 17th century, there was raging plague in the city, the epidemic was so strong that it had taken lives of one third of Venetians, and the church was built in gratitude to God for saving Venice from this disaster. It took nearly 50 years to build the cathedral.

Official website:

7. Cathedral of Santa Maria Gloriosa dei Frari

Basilica Frari and its 70-meter bell tower in Piazza San Polo

The temple appeared in the city in the 14th century, in its architecture it, like many sights in Venice, combines several styles at once, the main ones being Gothic, Venetian and Byzantine. Wealthy Venice invited the best at the time masters to decorate the interior of the cathedral. Many tourists know that in this cathedral in Venice you can see the painting “Madonna of Pesaro” by the brilliant Titian and the sculpture of John the Baptist by the great medieval master Donatello.

Official website:

8. The Island of San Giorgio Maggiore

Panorama of the Island of San Giorgio Maggiore

The question of where to go in Venice on the island of San Giorgio Maggiore usually does not arise. Its main attraction is the church of the same name. In the 10th century the island became the property of the Benedictines, they built a temple and a monastery, which were destroyed by an earthquake in the 13th century. And only by the beginning of the 16th century there was a new church built in Renaissance style, it is located on the island to this day. When you visit, it is definitely worth examining the interior walls, which are decorated with works by Tintoretto, particularly “The Last Supper” and “Manna of Heaven.”

9. Doge’s Palace

The Doge's Palace is the former residence of the Doges of the Republic of Venice

No ranking of Venice’s major landmarks is without this majestic and extremely ornate building. It was built, reconstructed and decorated for over a hundred years. After all, this is where the rulers of Venice lived, which means this palazzo should demonstrate the wealth and grandeur of the Venetians with all its appearance. Like most local landmarks, the palace is a symbol of eclecticism. Many styles are intertwined in its architecture, with Gothic, Moorish, and Byzantine influences most noticeable. The palace now houses a museum.

Official website:

10. Palazzo Ca Rezzonico

The three-story marble facade of Palazzo Ca' Rezzonico, facing the Grand Canal

This magnificent and so typical of Venice palazzo was built in the 17th century and belonged to the influential Rezzonico family. Today it’s home to a museum, where visitors can see for themselves just how lavishly the Venetian nobility decorated their interiors. The palace also displays paintings by Tintoretto, Longhi, Guardi, Piazzetto, sculptures and unique furniture.

Official website:

11. Palazzo Santa Sofia

Palazzo Santa Sofia is an elegant palace built in the Venetian style

Another interesting place in Venice. The palace was built by the famous Bona architects in the 15th century, again for one of the powerful Venetian families. The owners participated in the luxury race of the Venetian aristocracy and finished the facades with gold leaf, alas, it has not survived to this day.

Now it is a museum. At the end of the 19th century, the palace was bought by the rich Baron Frenchetti, who was fond of painting and gathered an impressive collection, which, together with the house, passed to the state after his death. If the guidebook’s recommendations specify a visit to the Palazzo Ca d’Oro - this is the same palazzo - this is its middle name.

Official website:

12. Teatro La Fenice

Central entrance to the main opera house in Venice on Campo San Fantin Square

One of the principal theaters in Venice, it has burned down several times and been rebuilt again in an even more magnificent form. For this reason it got its mythological name - La Fenice, i.e. “the phoenix”. It was here that audiences could hear Rossini’s opera for the first time.

Official website:

13. Correr City Museum

The magnificent Correr Art Museum in St. Mark's Square joergens.mi

The palace, along with its collection of paintings, was inherited to the city from the aristocrat Teodoro Correr, a member of the influential Venetian clan. Over time, the collection grew through gifts and acquisitions and gradually became the Venetian Museums Foundation.

Official website:

14. Academy Gallery

The entrance to the art museum on the south bank of the Grand Canal Mongolo1984

The building, originally built in the 18th century, was home to a school of art, and a little later began displaying exhibitions. In the 19th and 20th centuries the collection was very modest, but thanks to the efforts of patrons it gradually acquired an impressive size.

Now there are 24 exhibition halls, and the Gallery is one of the main attractions of Venice. Keep in mind that almost always there is a queue in front of the entrance. Among the works are paintings by Titian, Canaletto and Veneziano.

Official website:

15. The Peggy Guggenheim Collection

Museum of Contemporary Art in an unfinished palazzo Andrea Mancini

Modern art lovers have no question what to see in Venice, they go to see the collection of Peggy Guggenheim, the niece of the famous collector. Paintings from Peggy’s personal collection are the basis of the exhibition, but the museum often hosts temporary exhibitions.

Official website:

16. Bridge of Sighs

The covered passage between the buildings with luxurious carvings in white marble across the Palatine Canal

The graceful bridge connects the royal palazzo with the prison and is designed as an arch. It is one of the most romantic places in Venice. According to an omen, if lovers kiss while standing on this bridge, their love will be eternal.

Official website:

17. Rialto Bridge

The Rialto Bridge is the very first and oldest bridge over the Grand Canal

If you ask the guides what is a must-see in Venice in 1 day, they will answer - San Marco Square and the Rialto Bridge. It spans the Grand Canal and is one of the most beautiful structures of the “city on water”. In addition, the bridge has a rich history.

The first crossing on this site was built in the 12th century - a floating bridge. Then it was replaced by a wooden, and then a stone bridge. Characteristically, none of the constructions lasted long. However, at the end of the 16th century, a reliable structure was built, which is now photographed by all guests of Venice.

18. Cafe Florian

Cult Venetian coffee house with its own orchestra in St. Mark's Square Son of Groucho

An iconic place. The coffee house has been here since the 18th century and has been visited by many celebrities past and present. The café has several halls, and guests are entertained by its own orchestra. Visitors are delighted with the atmosphere of the place, as well as delicious desserts, interesting cocktails and unparalleled coffee.

Official website:

19. The gondola, symbol of Venice

The gondolier in the traditional black gondola glides down the Venice Canal

A rare trip to Venice is not complete without a trip in a gondola on the local canals. This Venetian boat has become the most recognizable symbol of the city. Canals are the local roads, because it is forbidden to drive cars in Venice. Therefore, a gondola ride only for tourists is an amazing and romantic pastime, while for Venetians it is a common way of travel.

20. Murano Island

View of the canal surrounded by the sights of Murano Island in the Venice Lagoon

Surely many have seen beautiful Venetian glass jewelry and heard rave reviews about it. The origins of this craft come just from the island of Murano, which is why the glass is often called Murano glass. Gorgeous necklaces, bracelets, rings and earrings - you can buy jewelry in different styles and colors. It is better to do it in specialized stores, as with a great chance to buy a fake. On the island there are a lot of such stores, offering the work of local glassblowers. You can also watch the process of creating masterpieces.

Official site:

Venice sights: what else to see in Venice?

There are less popular, but no less interesting places in this charming city. And also worthy of attention are the grandiose events, regularly held in Venice.

21. The Island of Burano

The picturesque, colorful, brightly colored houses on Burano Island

This island attracts by its peculiarity. The architecture of the local houses is quite trivial, but the color scheme unwittingly makes you smile. Each house is painted in a bright, assigned color. The locals have come up with a funny story for tourists - it was made by the wives of local drunks, so that their husbands could recognize their home in any state.

Official site:

22. Arsenal

The Arsenal Towers, connected by a wooden bridge over the canal

Here is the exhibition hall and research center. And the Arsenal was founded in the early 12th century to arm the battle galleys. The galleon, a famous battle ship, was also created here.

Official website: http://www.marina.difesa.

23. Constitution Bridge

View from below the Grand Canal to the iron spans and glass parapets of the Constitution Bridge

It’s unexpected to see this structure among the ancient Venetian landmarks. A union of metal and glass, the Constitution Bridge is made in accordance with all modern trends and is very much out of place in the overall appearance of the city. Because of that until now (it was built in 2008) there are still debates about its relevance in Venice.

24. Venice Film Festival

Celebrity guests on the red carpet at the opening of the Venice Film Festival Jean-Pierre Dalbéra

Official website:

This festival, too, is certainly a Venice landmark. It features auteur films as well as documentaries and short films. Many international stars and cinephiles are guests of the event, and the winners receive a very respected prize in the film industry, the Golden Lion.

25. Venice Carnival

Participants in carnival costumes and masks at the annual costume festival in Venice

Ten days of unbridled merriment, extravaganza and farce. The streets of Venice are filled with harlequins and people in magnificent masks, and numerous Venetian palaces host balls. It was like that centuries ago, and it’s just like that now. Carnival participants feel as if they are transported back in time - the magnificent and beautiful Renaissance.

Official website:

Venice is multi-faceted and diverse. It is impossible to explore it completely in one tour, but thanks to this list you can thoroughly get to know this magnificent and so romantic city. Read also about sights of Padua and be inspired for your future journey in Italy.

Save on hotel reservations

Popular articles