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Rising from the waters of Venice Lagoon is a place like no other, The Italian City of Venice.

This post will provide you with a great insight on the Top 10 Things To Do in Venice. The suggestions are based on my exciting trip to this unique historic city.

Without further ado, here are my top 10 picks:


1- St. Mark’s Square

Piazza San Marco, Venice  Piazza San Marco at Night, Venice

It’s called Piazza San Marco or St. Mark’s Square in English.

It is the main square and the actual centre of Venice, built between the 9th and12th century AD in front of the impressive Basilica di San Marco, nicknamed the Church of gold, a status symbol of Venetian power and influence in the world.

Basilica di San Marco, Venice

Fixed to a corner of the façade of Basilica di San Marco, you can find a famous sculpture called The Portrait of Four Tetrarchs from around 300 AD, which was stolen by the Venetians from Constantinople in the 13th century.

Campanile Bell Tower, Venice 1  Campanile Bell Tower, Venice 2

The square is also home to the famous Campanile, which is a bell tower of Basilica di San Marco.

TIP- Climb the tower to see Venice stretch out in all her marble.

View From Campanile, Venice 3  View From Campanile, Venice 1View From Campanile, Venice 2

The tower features the highest observation deck in Venice, where you can see the city from above as Galileo Galilei did in 1609 when he used the Campanile as an observatory and demonstrated his telescope to the Doge of Venice.

Just a few steps across the square you will find the clock tower, of course, featuring a big clock as well as the lion of St Mark, a symbol of the Venetian Republic.

St Mark Square is also one of the main locations of the famous Carnival of Venice.

TIP- Arrive with the dawn, and the piazza will be yours to enjoy, without the crowds.

You can discover many other impressive and unique squares in Venice such as Campo San Stin, Campo San Boldo, Campo San Trovaso, and others.

Lost in Venice 1  Lost in Venice 2

So even if you get lost in Venice, you won’t feel bad because there is a new amazing street or square just around the corner.


2- Doge’s Palace

Doges Palace Interior, Venice 2Also located on the St Mark square, below the bell tower, is one of the city’s great landmarks, Doge’s Palace.

For centuries this Venetian Gothic masterpiece was the seat of the republic’s power and prestige and considered the centre of centuries-long influence of Venice.

It was the residence of the Doge of Venice, the leader of the Venetian Republic.

Doges ruled Venice between early 8th and late 18th century and the construction of the Doge’s Palace as we know it today began in the 14th century.

The palace consists of the Doge’s apartment, institutional, and judicial offices.

Doges Palace Interior, Venice 1

You can visit the Doge’s Palace, which is now a museum, and experience a rich history of this former superpower.

 

TIP- Don’t miss the Bridge of Sighs, connecting Doge’s palace interrogation rooms to the historic prison.

Continue reading through to find out why it’s called the Bridge of Sighs…


3- Crypt at San Zaccaria Church 

Crypt of San Zaccaria Church, VeniceSan Zaccaria church, located close to the St Mark square houses is a very special attraction.

In the basement, you will find a crypt where many of the doges of Venice were buried.

But because of the water from surrounding canals, the crypt floor is always flooded, which is a common phenomenon in the buildings of Venice.

You can enter the crypt at certain times of day when the church is open, and the ticket will only cost you around1.5 EUR as far as I remember.

HIDDEN GEMS- Of course, Venice is home to many other amazing churches like the Basilica of Santa Maria della Salute with an amazing view of Venice, or San Francesco della Vigna with an adjacent monastery built on a former vineyard, another great hidden gem to discover in Venice.


4- Bridges

Did you know that Venice is situated on 118 small islands connected by over 400 bridges?

Venice is known as The City Of Bridges, many of which are works of art too and they became an important part of the city’s infrastructure, as well as amazing pieces of architecture.

Venice is home to many exceptional bridges with amazing history such as:

Rialto Bridge, Venicea. Rialto Bridge: The oldest bridge of the Grand Canal’s, for over three hundred years this was the only way to cross the canal on foot, and today still stands as the grand gateway to the Rialto Markets.

Bridge of Sighs, Veniceb. Bridge of Sighs: connects Doge’s Palace to the historic prison. From the enclosed walkway, the condemned would capture one last look at their beloved city, and sigh. Hence the name, the Bridge of Sighs.

Ponte dei Pugni, Venice

c. Ponte dei Pugni: or Bridge of Fists celebrating centuries-old Venetian tradition of fist fights between Venetian clans.

The losers would eventually fall into the canal below the bridge. Yep! You’ve read that right.

There are foot markings to indicate where each part of the clan would have to stand during the fight.

Ponte Chiodo, Venice

d. Ponte Chiodo: or Nail Bridge, an ancient bridge without rails.

Ponte dell'Accademia, Venice 2  Ponte dell'Accademia, Venice

e. Ponte dell’Accademia: a much more modern bridge crossing the Grand Canal, links the San Marco district to the Accademia Gallery, and offers some of the Grand Canal’s finest views.

Away from the Grand Canal there are hundreds more bridges to explore, from the purely functional, to the breathtaking, and to the most famous ones.


5- Grand Canal

Grand Canal, VeniceGrand Canal or Canal Grande is a 2.4-mile-long water avenue.

The canal winds through Venice, it is her main artery, her lifeblood.

It is the main water road in Venice, all along the canal you will enjoy the view of numerous palaces (once the homes of wealthy merchants), luxury hotels, and four bridges, including the famous Rialto Bridge we spoke about earlier, which actually feels more like a street because of all the shops located on the bridge.

FACT- Most of the beautiful palazzos on Canal Grande were built between the 13th and 18th century by the wealthy Venetian families to demonstrate their affluence.

Palazzo Dario, Ca’ d’Oro, and Barbaro are just some of such amazing buildings with their fascinating architecture.

Grand Canal is also home to museums, churches, a fish market, as well as the renowned Casino of Venice.


6- Gondola and Vaporetto

Gondola, Venice 1  Gondola, Venice 2

Venice would not be Venice without gondolas, an iconic rowing boat constructed specifically for use in the Venetian lagoon.

You can find gondolas in most parts of Venice, and to truly experience the ancient Venetian canals, a ride on a gondola is a one-of-a-kind romantic experience. However, gondola rides can be very expensive, from 80 to over 100 EUR for 40 minutes.

TIP- Negotiate the price for the gondola ride, trust me! If you are uncomfortable doing that, you can just squeeze in and share the ride with other tourists and split the ride cost.

You can also take a guided motorboat tour.

However, a cheaper alternative is buying a ticket for Venice public water transportation called Vaporetto. This way you will still be able to experience some of the main canals and attractions from water, which can also be an exciting experience.


7- Venetian Arsenal

Venetian ArsenalVenice was a naval superpower and in order to build ships throughout history, Venice created what is believed to be one of the largest industrial enterprises in the world before the industrial revolution.

The Arsenale di Venezia was a vast complex of shipyards, armories, and other buildings, many of which still exist today.

The production of galleys in Arsenale was unlike any other production process of its time.

NOTE- While major part of the Venetian Arsenal is closed for public, if you attend private events, or the famous Biennale of Venice, you will be able to see most of Arsenale since the Biennale takes place also in the abandoned Arsenale pavilions.

Otherwise, you can still visit the impressive exterior wall and walk along the canal that connects Arsenale with the lagoon.


8- Museums and Art Galleries

Venice is home to amazing museums and art galleries.

Located next to Arsenale you can find the Naval History Museum and ships pavilion and see some of the ships that were built here during the Venetian golden era.

It might be difficult to explore all museums and art galleries due to their large numbers; hence I’ve tried to narrow down the list as much as possible.

Ca' Rezzonico Interior, Venice  Ca' Rezzonico, Venice

Some of the top famous galleries not to miss are: dell’Accademia, Museo Civico Correr, Ca’ Rezzonico, Venice Glass Museum in Murano, Punta della Dogana, and Peggy Guggenheim Collection.


9- Venetian Ghetto

Street in the Venetian GhettoVenetian Ghetto is a Jewish part of Venice dating back to the year 1516, which makes it the first Jewish ghetto in Europe.

In fact, according to one theory, the word ghetto derives from the Venetian Ghetto.

When you reach to the square, its historical landmarks will astonish you. Some of the unique places in the square are:

  • Banco Rosso, believed to be the first pawnshop in the world, and where supposedly the term “to be in the red” derives from….quite interesting, isn’t it?
  • You can also visit the Jewish Museum with guided synagogue tours.

10- Surrounding Islands

Venice is located in the Venetian Lagoon, consisting of around 118 islands, some of which can be easily reached by Vaporetto (Venice public water transportation).

Most important islands include Murano, famous for glass blowing factories of the world-famous Venetian or Murano glass.

You can visit one of many glass factories and for a couple of Euros, you can even experience live glass blowing and glass making.

Burano Island, VeniceThe island of Burano, located further away, is known for incredible colorful facades and beautiful lace products and can be a very exciting addition to your trip to Venice.

If you have some spare time, you might want to check other interesting islands such as:

a. The quiet and beautiful Torcello Island

b. San Michele, home to impressive Venetian cemetery, or

c. Sant’Erasmo Island, also called the garden of Venice.


Venice Romantic 1  Venice Romantic 2

Venice is a city of romance and a city to get lost in, so put away your map and let her surprise you.

Is Venice on your travel bucket list?

Or have you been to Venice and to one of the places I’ve listed above?

Please share your favourite place in the comments below or if you have any questions, simply ask away and I’ll try my best to be your online tour guide 🙂

 

Categories: Next Destination

12 Replies to “Top 10 Things To Do in Venice – Why To Visit Venice”

  1. Just wonderful and inspirational – I have been to Venice and Murano. Your blog makes me want to visit this beautiful place again – I hope those who haven’t shared this experience will be inspired to add Venice to their bucket list – Think it just made it back to mine – thank you !

    1. Glad that you’ve enjoyed the post, Sandra
      I think Venice is a MUST travel destination on travellers’ bucket list due to the unique experience of visiting this fascinating city.
      Thanks very much for your comment and for dropping by, Sandra.

  2. Very thoughtful, deep, and well-to-be understand guide of Venice. Italy is my favourite country to visit, but never been in Venice thought. (Visited Sicily, Lombardy and Campania).
    I still know a lot about the city, but you provide some interesting and really new facts to me.
    I would not expect to be Gondola to be so expensive, as well, as that there is a ghetto in Venice. Ans most likely the first one.
    Thank you very much once again Adel, i think people who’ d like to visit the Venice should follow your article.
    Best luck!

    1. I’m glad that you’ve found the post insightful and I managed to provide some good tips.
      I was traveling solo when I visited Venice, hence Gondola seemed to be a bit pricey for me 😀 but probably if you are with friends or something, the cost will be less for sure when you share it.
      Thanks for your comment, and your kind words, Julius.

  3. Wow. Venice is truly a beautiful city. I’ve unfortunately never been there, but this post makes me want to go as soon as possible. The pictures you took are awesome. I honestly had no idea that there was so much to do there and now I feel like I have a pretty good idea of the must see sites. This was super helpful to get a true glimpse into the city from someone that has been there. Can’t wait to go and take some pictures of my own. Thanks for this great guide! Definitely saving it.

    1. Hey Dan, glad that you have Venice on your travel bucket list now. 🙂
      There’s definitely so much to do there and I’m happy that you found the information in this post helpful to decide where to go and what to do.
      Thanks very much for your comment, Dan and feel free to reach out for any travel tips

  4. Great post once again! I have never been to Venice, but as I like to travel and explore (especially walking), it seems like quite an interesting location. The bridges in particular are rather impressive, for 118 islands there must be many!

    I’d love to walk the Ponte dei pugni and Ponte Chiodo bridges most of the ones listed – they seem more fun without rails haha.

    Spectacular photos from Campanile, too – thanks for sharing the experience.

    James

    1. Thanks James 🙂
      If you are into walking and exploring new places, then mate this city would be the top recommendation for you.
      Trust me, you wouldn’t even need a map, you can just walk between the narrow alleys and you will find something new nearly at every corner.
      As you said there are so many bridges but they rather small and lots of fun to walk and explore them.
      Glad that you’ve enjoyed the photos, and thanks very much for your comment, James.

  5. I am traveling to Venice next week and I can not wait to see and explore this wonderful city. I already know some of the landmarks but you just gave me more places to visit and explore. I have to thank you for that.

    I look forward checking Venetian Arsenal.

    1. Oh that’s brilliant and right on time, Strahinja.
      I’m pretty sure you will fall in love with Venice 😉
      Happy that I was able to shed some light on more places to visit when you are there.

      Thanks for dropping by and have an awesome holidays.

  6. I have always wanted to go to Venice. It is on my list of places to go. Your blog makes me want to make that happen sooner. I will bookmark your site for future reference when that time comes.

    1. Hey Nicole, that’s awesome news that I managed to convey my ideas about how amazing Venice is.
      If you’d like some more tips or information when the big time comes, don’t hesitate to drop me a line 🙂

      Thanks for your comment, Nicole

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