Venice / Tourist attractions & sightseeing

Venice tourist attractions

Top 25 Venice sightseeing, activities & things to do in Venice Italy

Venice tourist attractions

Venice sights Top 25, an overview of the tourist attractions, activities, sightseeing, tourism, famous landmarks and best things to in Venice Italy. What are the top attractions in Venice?

Top 25 Things to do in Venice - Attractions & Landmarks

Venice is a beautiful city, made up of more than 100 smaller islands. Some of these islands are closer together and are connected by the many canals. Other islands are further, however, transport by boat is the common way to get to the Venice attractions because of all the water. The Italian city is also ideally suited to discover on foot and explore the things to do in Venice. The small streets and bridges that connect neighborhoods appeal to the imagination. A number of highlights and landmarks should not be missed during your visit to Venice (Venezia in Italian), such as the Saint Mark's Square with the adjacent St. Marks's Basilica or a tour with the authentic gondolas. Click on one of these highlights for more information about these unique attractions and sights of Venice Italy.

Saint Mark's Basilica

1. St. Mark's Basilica

Whether it's your first or 10th visit to Venice, the Basilica di San Marco still will impress you. This cathedral has so many details, from golden domes with paintings on the inside to beautiful decorations and statues of animals on the outside. Every visit you will see something different in and around the church. Tip: take the time to observe the mosaic well. More info about the number 1 things to do in Venice, the 'Basilica di San Marco'.

St. Mark's Square Venice

2. Sightseeing at St. Mark's Square

The St. Mark's square is the starting point for many activities in the area. On the square are the Museo Correr, the Archaeological Museum, Torre dell'Orologio and the Basilica di San Marco and the adjacent Doge's Palace. Close to the square is the Grand Canal, where the piers for various boat trips are located. The square is especially notable for the galleries that surround it. However, choose your time well if you don't like crowds. More info of the places of interest and things to do at the 'Saint Mark's Square'.

Doge's Palace

3. Must see: Doge's Palace

The Doge's Palace – also called Palazzo Ducale – was home to the Doge, the leader of the republic that Venice used to be. This palace in Gothic-style used to house political institutions. Now the Doge's Palace is a museum, where you can visit the rooms of the Doge. From the Doge's Palace a bridge crosses the canal: the Ponte dei Sospiri ('Bridge of Sighs'). This bridge was used by convicts who had heard their sentences to enter the prison on the other side of the canal.

Tip: It is wise to purchase your combination ticket for the Doge's Palace in advance via this website.

Rialto Bridge

4. Canal Grande & Rialto Bridge

The Grand Canal – or Canal Grande – flows through the 6 districts of Venice. Many smaller canals eventually lead to this Grand Canal. This canal is beautiful to see from the shore, but a boat trip is even better to experience the Venice landmarks and sights from the water. You must have done this at least once in your life. About halfway along the Grand Canal is the famous Ponte di Rialto (Rialto Bridge). This covered pedestrian bridge has many shops where you can buy your souvenirs.

La Fenice theater sightseeing in Venice

5. Teatro la Fenice

You don't have to be a theater lover to appreciate the beautiful interior of this property. The velvet armchairs, the richly decorated balconies, the lighting and the amazing ceiling will make a visit to this theater even without a performance special. However, in the Feniks theater, various kinds of performances take place, such as Venetian opera and ballet, as well as concerts. If you wish, you can do a tour or spend an evening in Teatro La Fenice and also gaze at all the colors and paintings during the intermission.

Murano, Burano & Torcello

6. Islands by boat: Murano, Burano & Torcello

Around Venice are several islands that you can visit with a tour. Murano is the closest to Venice and is best known for its glass art and related museums or shops. Burano is a little further. Here you cannot ignore the street with colored houses. Torcello is the furthest away of these three islands. On this island is the Basilica di Santa Maria Assunta and you have a beautiful view over the lagoon. This island tour is an activity that should not be missed during your visit to Venice.

Guggenheim museum Venice

7. Peggy Guggenheim Collection

From the Grand Canal you can already see the Peggy Guggenheim Museum. The building looks sober because of a single floor, but it also makes an impression. The modern collection of paintings and the garden with sculptures behind the museum are worth visiting. You will find mainly European and American works of art. There is also a certain tranquility in this museum, which is sometimes a welcome surprise in a busy city like Venice.

Things to do in Venice - Campanile

8. Highlight: Climb the Campanile

This bell tower is located on Piazza San Marco, between the Museo Archeologico and Torre dell'Orologio. First of all, the bricks of the tower stand out, but after that you will also see the base of the tower. The pillars and decorations at the entrance are very impressive, but then your eyes need to the top of the Campanile. The green copper, the marble decorations and the golden angel on top make the tower complete. You can climb the tower to enjoy the view over Piazza San Marco and the lagoon.

Cannaregio venice

9. Cannaregio district & Campo del Ghetto

In addition to the many islands that belong to the municipality of Venezia, Venice consists of six larger districts. Cannaregio is one of these districts and is the district most north. In Cannaregio you will find the Jewish quarter with synagogues and a Jewish museum. There are also kosher restaurants and Jewish shops. Furthermore, the non-touristy Cannaregio district is known for the churches Madonna dell'Orto and Santa Maria Assunta Detta I Gesuiti. Other sights are for exampe the palace of Ca' d'Oro. A lovely neighborhood to make a walk.

Bridge of Sighs Doge's Palace

10. Bridge of Sighs

After various extensions of the Doge's Palace, the Ponte dei Sospiri - the Bridge of Sighs - was built in the 17th century. The purpose of this bridge was to connect the existing Doge's Palace with the new prison that was built on the other side of the canal. The name of the Bridge of Sighs refers to the last sigh of the convicts who were transported to prison.

Dorsoduro attractions

11. Dorsoduro district

Dorsoduro is the southernmost of the six Venetian neighborhoods and known for its culture and the students. During a walk you will come across several places of interest, such as the Peggy Guggenheim Collection, Punta della Dogana and Galleria dell'Accademia. To the east, Dorsoduro borders the Grand Canal. There are also several churches to visit, such as the Santa Maria del Rosario and the San Sebastiano. More tips for exploring Dorsoduro.


12. Things to do: Discover Venice by gondola

There are several transport options on the water, but the gondola is the most authentic way. Choose a good time so that your route is not too busy. Agree on a price for the destination and complete your gondola ride with something extra, such as classical music, a serenade or a special evening trip. Remember to bring a jacket for the gondola in the evening, because even in summer it can get chilly on the water.

Santa Maria Gloriosa dei Frari

13. Basilica di Santa Maria Gloriosa dei Frari

Dating back to the 14th century, this Gothic church in the San Polo district features two works of art by the painter Titian. The floors and decorations inside also appeal to the imagination, but what the church is especially known for is the fact that Titian's remains are buried here. The many images and colors used in the paintings contrast strongly with the austere brick exterior of the basilica.

Highlights Venice

14. Scuola Grande di San Rocco

The Scuola Grande di San Rocco is an impressive 16th-century museum that displays works of art by Tintoretto, among others. In the former 'brotherhood' you will mainly find works from the Renaissance period. It is a small museum and because of the period on display here, the museum can be experienced as dark. Scenes on ceilings and walls are painted with dark colors, but very impressive in terms of the story they portray.

Venice Italy - San Giorgio Maggiore

15. Island 'San Giorgio Maggiore'

On the islet, opposite of Saint Mark's Square, you will find is a church called Chiesa di San Giorgio Maggiore. This church with a white facade offers beautiful views of Venice from the tower. The church is also clearly visible from Castello. There are also various works of art on display in the church and there is a sailing club on the island. The island does not receive many visitors.

Spiral Staircase Venice

16. Scala Contarini del Bovolo

This building from the 15th century has been restored, preserving the special shapes of the building. The originally palace has a spiral staircase along the outside and in front of the building the stairs connect to balconies. The word 'bovolo' refers to a snail, because the appearance of the stairs resembles a snail shell. From the top part of the spiral staircase you have a nice view over Venice.


17. Traveling opera in Palazzo Barbarigo Minotti

Opera performances are held in this former palace. The building looks rustic from the outside, but once inside, the various characteristic spaces are part of the opera that is being performed. This special experience is therefore strongly influenced by the history and unique design of the palace. If you want to experience a special evening or have always wanted to attend an opera, you have come to the right place (more info opera in Venice).

Lido di Venezia landmarks

18. Visit the beach on 'Lido di Venezia'

The island Lido di Venezia is one of the neighborhoods that make up the city of Venice. The elongated island is ideal for relaxed activities, such as cycling or walking. A day at the beach is also possible on Lido. In the north you have the Faro di San Nicolò as a point of interest. As a golf lover you can also go to the south of the island. You can also walk the Diga Faro Alberoni here.

Places to visit in Venice

19. Book store 'Libreria Acqua Alta'

You will not find a bookshop like this anywhere. The interior is special because of the piles of books that you will find inside. Because of the floods that often take place in Venice every winter, there are books piled in a boat or bathtub. You will also immediately notice something when you enter the store of Libreria Acqua Alta: there are cats, who lie on the books and sit at the cash register.

T Fondaco dei Tedeschi Venice

20. Sightseeing: View from 'T Fondaco dei Tedeschi'

In shopping center 'T Fondaco dei Tedeschi' you can shop for clothes, shoes, handbags, souvenirs or wine. You will find many well-known and luxury brands and much more. Highly recommended is to reserve a free ticket for the rooftop terrace. It has one of the best views over Venice and you see the city with all its sights in a completely different way than from the small streets or from the water.

Museums Venice

21. Galleria dell'Accademia and more museums

In addition to the museums that are at the top of their list for many visitors, such as the well-known Galleria dell'Accademia with works of art from the 13th to 18th centuries, there are also lesser-known museums and places of interest in Venice Italy. Think of the Palazzo Mocenigo with information about clothing and perfume. Then there is the Museo Storica Navale, the maritime museum. At the Museo della Musica, all the string instruments on display are dizzying. More about Venice museums.

Churches in Venice

22. San Zanipolo and more Venetian churches

If you can't get enough of visiting churches, you must visit the striking Basilica di Santa Maria della Salute, the Santi Giovanni e Paolo (San Zanipolo) with numerous tombs of Doges or the San Zaccaria with its flooded crypt. Every church in Venice has a special story, so discover each one's unique architecture and artwork. More Venetian Churches.

Rialto market

23. Mercati di Rialto

This market is located on the Grand Canal and you can get all kinds of food at the Mercati di Rialto, such as vegetables, fruit, fish, meat, but also spices. All the goods are beautifully displayed so that you can take a good look. If you don't want to buy anything on the market, you will get a good impression of an Italian fresh market. Being able to observe how the locals buy fresh groceries for lunch or the extensive Italian dinner remains a unique experience.

Venice activities

24. Carnival, thé activity in Venice

The famous Carnevale di Venezia takes place every year. It is best known for the beautifully decorated masks that are worn. In the past, the mask also served a function outside of carnival time, namely to be able to move unrecognizably across the street. Now the mask is part of the festivities. Every year the most beautiful mask is chosen by an international jury of fashion designers.

Venice excursions

25. Sightseeing in Venice area

Besides all the wonderful tourist attrations and activities in Venice itself, there is also much to see and do in the vicinity of the city. Visit the islands of Murano, Burano, Torcello or the beach island of Lido by boat. Take the train if you want to go to the cities of Padua or Verona for a bit of culture. The town of Chioggia in the south of the lagoon is also worth a visit by boat. More info Venice area and excursions.

Popular activities in Venice Italy

Where are the highlights in Venice?

On the map you will find the location of our Top 25 highlights, activities and things to do in Venice Italy. When you zoom in on the map you will see more sights, landmarks and attractions around St. Mark's Square and the Grand Canal:

FAQ What to do in Venice Italy?

What are the Top 10 Sights in Venice?

The main attractions are St. Mark's Square with the adjacent St. Mark's Basilica, Palazzo Ducale and the Campanile Bell Tower. Furthermore, the Grand Canal with the famous Rialto Bridge, the La Fenice theater, the Dorsoduro district and of course the gondola rides. In this article you can read all about the Top 25 Venice sightseeing.

What are the best tours and activities in Venice?

The best activities in Venice will be on the water; take a trip with an authentic gondola, take a cruise on the Grand Canal or visit the picturesque islands of Murano, Burano and Torcello. More info on visiting Murano, Burano and Torcello.

Can I visit St. Mark's Basilica for free?

Visiting the basilica is free. To visit the basilica's museum and view from the roof terrace, you need to buy tickets on site. More info about the Saint Mark's Basilica.

Which museums can I visit?

The most famous museums are the Guggenheim Museum, Ca' Rezzonico, the Maritime Museum and the Galleria dell' Academy. In this article you can read all about the most important museums in Venice.

Things to do in Venice
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