Top 5 places to see in Venice
Venice is associated with the most romantic city on Earth. It is located in northern Italy. The name comes from the Venetian tribe that lived in this area in Roman times. To visit the best places of Venice is a dream of many tourists who come to vacation in this city.
It is a unique place on the planet.
The city is divided by 150 channels and canals, and they are connected by 400 bridges. There is nothing like it in any other country in the world. There are unique architectural masterpieces, sculptures and paintings of famous artists. Every year a huge flow of tourists comes here. It is important to know that in the summer in Venice is not so hot, the average temperature reaches 23 degrees, in winter the figure is 2.5 degrees.
In the journey is best to go in the spring, when the weather is wonderful. You can also visit the city in the fall, until early November, to avoid the rainy season.
Lovers of cultural rest and enlightenment can visit museums, get acquainted with Murano glass and lace Burano. Admiring the beauty of what they see, tourists buy and return home with the famous Venetian glass and lace, the quality of which is known throughout the world. The signature of Venice are considered romantic gondola rides. During such a trip you can look at the architecture of the city from the water – the view is stunning.
Today we will talk about the best places in Venice – the top 5 sights will leave an indelible light in your soul. It is better to visit Venice once, as it is simply impossible to describe all the beauty of this amazing city.
The heart of Venice
St. Mark’s complex is called the calling card of Venice, Piazza San Marco – “the heart of the many faces of the city”. Here you can see St. Mark’s Cathedral, the Bell Tower, the Clock Tower, the Bridge of Sighs and much more.
San Marco Cathedral is considered a symbol of the greatness of Venice, embodies its power. At first glance, the beauty of the mosaic ceilings, golden altar, marble floor and treasury are striking.
In the Doge’s Palace you can admire Venetian fine and applied arts, visit the history museum. One room, by the way, overlooks the Bridge of Sighs.
It will lead you to the prison, and then you will understand why the bridge has such an unusual name.
Life in Venice
The Rialto Bridge and the area where the market is located is the busiest place. If the people called Piazza San Marco the parlor of the city, the Rialto is a kitchen, a workshop, and a study. Here many deals were made and people’s fates were decided.
The bridge is cozy with local stores, near the oldest church in Venice, San Giacomo di Rialto, the market and access to the promenade of the Canal Grande.
Five Centuries of Painting
The Gallery of the Academy of Fine Arts is considered the most important of Venice’s art museums. It is on the list of the best galleries in the world, which includes the Louvre and Prato. All Venetian painting from the thirteenth to the eighteenth century can be seen here.
The collection will show how the Venetian school of painting developed. Art connoisseurs will be able to appreciate works by Titian, Carpaccio, Bellini, Veronese and other world-renowned artists. It is said that during a tour of the gallery you can feel the soul of Venice.
Torcelo Island – the silence you have to come for
The locals advise to visit Torcelo Island. It’s a long drive to get there, but such a trip helps you get your thoughts in order. They say that the island is where the Venetian land came from. The first city was formed on this very spot. Today, the main places recommended to visit are considered the Devil’s Bridge, two ancient churches, the mosaic wall.
The view from the bell tower is stunning, and there is nothing around but the deep silence that makes people come here. A perfect place to take a break from the hustle and bustle and think.
So why come to Venice? Venice is a must visit, you will not only broaden your horizons, but also get to know the history of a great era, see the masterpieces of architecture, visit a unique place of our planet.
Before you travel, study this information. It is important to have an idea of the city you are going to visit. To avoid wasting time, plan an itinerary and stick to it. To understand the local culture, you must learn a little history and try to be open to new knowledge, enjoy your vacation to the fullest.
What to see in Venice: 20 best places
Many tourists come to one of the most unusual and beautiful cities in the world. What to see in Venice on your own in 1, 2 and 3 days? Learn about the best sights and entrance fees.
St. Mark’s Square
Every city has its own center. In Venice, it’s the ancient Piazza San Marco. Here all the roads that lead to the ancient city on the water converge. The architectural ensemble of the main square is formed by the famous Doge’s Palace, the picturesque St. Mark’s Cathedral, library, clock tower and some other historic buildings.
The spacious square in front of the cathedral dates back to the IX century, and the gray herringbone sidewalk was made in the XIII century. People come to the square to see the slender columns of St. Mark and Theodore, to climb the observation deck of the Campanile, to listen to the melodious chime of the clock on the tower, and to feed the pigeons.
This part of town is easily accessible by vaporetto from Santa Lucia train station or Piazza Roma. Get off at the S. Marco Vallaresso stop.
St. Mark’s Square and Cathedral (Photo: unsplash.com / @dimush)
St. Mark’s Cathedral
What is a must-see in Venice? The beautiful cathedral, the city’s most popular and well-known Christian church, deserves special attention. It gained high status in the early 19th century, and before that was the Doge’s court chapel.
Admire the facades of the magnificent building and look inside. Colorful mosaic paintings cover 4,000 square meters of the temple. The earliest ones were laid out back in the 11th century. The enormous dome of the Creation has 26 mosaic scenes from the Bible. The “Golden Altar” consists of religious miniatures, which were made in the technique of cloisonne enamel. The unique treasury of the basilica has been turned into a museum.
The cathedral stands on St. Mark’s Square. Entrance to the basilica is free. A ticket to the museum costs 5 €, a pass to the “Golden Altar” 2 €, and a climb to the bell tower 8 €.
The elegant walls of St. Mark’s Basilica (Photo: unsplash.com / @timounesays)
Not far from the Basilica of San Marco is the picturesque residence of the city’s rulers, the Doge’s Palace, or Palazzo Ducale. If you haven’t yet decided what to see in Venice, include in your plan a walk through the museum inside the palace.
The ceilings of the residence are decorated by the famous artists Tintoretto and Veronese. The Hall of Maps leaves a great impression. On its walls are ancient maps, which were made by the best Italian masters.
The palace is located in Piazza San Marco. A full ticket costs 20€.
The inner courtyard of the palace (Photo: cedlambert / pixabay.com)
San Giorgio Maggiore Tower
Venice is built on 118 islands, and on one stands an ancient 17th-century cathedral. The square brick tower of San Giorgio Maggiore is understood to be 60 meters high. It serves as a bell tower and is an excellent observation point, which offers a beautiful view over the central part of Venice. An elevator takes tourists up to the top. Inside the three-aisled church are several paintings by the famous painter Tintoretto.
The tower is on a small “cypress” island, in the center of the city. Admission to the temple is free and the ascent to the tower is 6€.
What to see in Venice to experience everyday Venetian life? Visit the old market, which has operated in the center of the city since the 16th century. Its name means “high bank,” in Italian. Here they sell fish, vegetables, herbs, and fruits. The largest selection of fresh seafood is in the morning hours.
Near the market there is a chocolate store called “Visio Virtu”. Try the different kinds of chocolates that are made according to traditional Venetian recipes. Visit the Parmesan Palace store, where they sell delicious cheeses.
The market is on the right bank of the Grand Canal, just west of the Rialto Bridge. It is open Tuesday through Saturday mornings. Admission is free.
Murano attracts history buffs and art lovers. It was here, in the artisan part of town, that mirrors and glass jewelry were invented, which made Venice famous. Glass souvenirs are still sold in Murano today.
Stroll through the narrow streets and admire the medieval churches and the summer residence of the Venetian rulers, Palazzo Da Mula. During a tour of the factory, see how the famous glass is made.
The island-town is 1,5 km from the historical center of Venice. Entrance to the Museum of Glass costs 4€.
The island of Torcello with its oldest churches in Venice is a good place to see for yourself. Since the 7th century Torcello was one of the most prosperous settlements of the lagoon. Trade was active on the island, and wool products were made. Then two rivers flooded the land, and most of the inhabitants moved to the larger islands.
Go to the ancient cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta. Look at the massive stone shutters and the golden mosaic depicting Doomsday. Walk over the water on the Bridge of the Devil and peek into the temple of Santa Fosca.
Torcello is north of the Venice Lagoon and can be reached by vaporetto.
Isle of Burano
In Venice, visit the famous colorful island of Burano, the center of Venetian lacemaking. The island is divided into quarters and is famous for the colorful facades of the houses that face the canal. A photographer’s paradise!
Apart from the colorful buildings, the island’s highlights include the San Martino Church and the Museum of Lace. Products of local artisans are sold in many stores. If they are cheap, it is a factory handicraft, which were brought from afar. Real handmade lace works of Burano lacemakers are expensive.
Burano is in the north of the city, near the island of Torcello. Tickets to the Museum of lace cost 5 €.
Colorful buildings on the island (Photo: juliacasado1 / pixabay.com)
San Michele Island Cemetery
What to see in Venice for lovers of secluded walks? Perhaps the quietest place is on the square island that bears the name of Archangel Michael. The ancient cemetery is enclosed by a brick wall and occupies the whole of San Michele.
The area with cypresses is divided into Orthodox, Catholic and Jewish sections. The graves of many Venetians are located here. Tourists from Russia visit the gravesites of Joseph Brodsky, Igor Stravinsky and Sergei Diaghilev. Out of respect for the deceased people in the cemetery can not be photographed.
The island is reached by vaporetto, which go in the direction of Murano.
Island of Lido
If a walk through the San Michele cemetery makes you feel a little sad, a trip to the island of Lido can help you relax. Here you’ll find luxurious beaches and huge hotels, often referred to as the Venetian Riviera. If you’re in town in the summer, go there for some sunbathing!
The beach island is located on the south side of the Venice lagoon. It closes off the central part of the city from the Adriatic Sea.
Lido Island – Venice’s beach corner (Photo: somkuti / flickr.com)
Many tourists dream of seeing a performance at the La Fenice opera house. The theater appeared in the late eighteenth century and, like the fabulous Phoenix, was rebuilt three times after fires. If there is not enough time, the visit to the performance can be replaced by a guided tour – the theater has a permanent exhibition about opera diva Maria Callas. A guide will show the temple of the arts and tell entertaining theatrical stories. Don’t forget about the dress code!
The theater is located in the San Marco area. Tickets cost 15€-110€, a guided tour in five languages 13€. Infants up to 6 years old are free.
Full house at La Fenice (Photo: wikimedia.org / Youflavio)
Carnival mask store
Where do you buy accessories for the famous Venice Carnival? Colorful paper and plastic masks are sold on the streets, but most are Made in China. To see the real exclusive, go to the old Venetian mask store.
The small store Il Canovaccio makes and sells painted masks for carnival participants. Their traditional materials are leather, papier-mache, ceramics and metal. However, today they often use plastic. Visitors are allowed to take pictures of any items, but you can not take pictures of people in masks!
The mask store is located in the center of the city, at Calle Larga Rosa, 6076. On the street masks sell for 15-20€, but in the store a blank blank piece costs 30€. You can paint it yourself. Prices for large masks in the form of magnificent animal heads go up to 1500€.
For connoisseurs of good books we recommend the Libreria Acqua Alta – a real Aladdin’s shop for book lovers – in Venice. The unusual store is popular with tourists. The publications in it are displayed in wooden boats and gondolas, and one of the stairs is made of paper volumes. Two-thirds of the books are new. There are cats sleeping on the shelves.
The bookstore is near Piazza San Marco, at Calle Longa Santa Maria Formosa, 5176 – Castello.
Bridge of Sighs
What to see in Venice for lovers of unusual places? A suitable sight is the small bridge between the Doge’s Palace and the old prison. It was built in the early seventeenth century in the best traditions of the Baroque and decorated with carvings of marble.
The graceful bridge is enclosed by walls and has only four windows, two on each side. Once upon a time, criminals were led across the bridge. Through the small windows they looked out over the canal waters and bid farewell to their freedom. Urban legends tell of the sad sighs of the prisoners. For today’s tourists, the ancient structure evokes sighs of admiration.
The bridge spans the Rio di Palacio Canal. It is free to visit.
Bridge over the Palacio Canal (Photo: unsplash.com / @nickkarvounis)
Scuola San Rocco.
Venice is a veritable Klondike for art lovers! What to see on your own? Connoisseurs of the beautiful are advised to head to the beautiful San Rocco Gallery. The two-story Venetian Renaissance structure was laid out in 1515. Wander through the huge rooms and admire the gilded moldings, decorative panels, and paintings by Tintoretto and Titian.
The gallery is located in Piazza San Rocco. Take the vaporetto to the S.Toma stop and walk to the museum. A ticket with an audio guide costs 11€.
The Old Jewish Ghetto
In 2016, Venice’s historic district turned 500 years old, meaning the city’s Jewish ghetto is older than many countries in the world. Now isolated by canals, the plot of land is protected by the state. There are almost no Jews left in the ghetto since World War II, but there are still old bakeries, cafes and a trattoria. There is also a Jewish museum, two synagogues and a monument to Holocaust victims.
The ghetto is located in the non-touristy area of the city, Cannaregio. Visit is free.
A large island separated from the historic part of the city by the Giudecca Canal. People come here to admire the views of the San Marco buildings and see the three medieval churches.
On the Giudecca is a luxury hotel. The Neo-Gothic building was built in the 19th century and was originally intended as a pasta factory. Lovers of Art Nouveau architecture cannot pass by the spectacular Casa dei Tre Oci palace.
The colorful island is part of the urban district of Dorsoduro.
The Peggy Guggenheim Collection.
This is the name of the small museum where 400 paintings by Picasso, Dali, Modigliani, Rothko, Miró, Chagall, Malevich, Ernst, Kandinsky and other famous 20th century artists are on display.
The exhibition occupies the palazzo Venier dei Leoni, which is located in the district of Dorsoduro. A ticket costs 16.5€.
Palazzo Venier dei Leoni (Photo: wikimedia.org / Jean-Pierre Dalbéra)
Palazzo Cà d’Oro
One of the places on the Grand Canal worth seeing in Venice is called the “Golden House”. In fact, in the XV century gold leaf was used to decorate the palace. Lavishly decorated Gothic walls were visible from afar and reflected in the waters of the canal.
Since the 1920s, the Franchetti Gallery is housed inside, where rare objects of art and ancient paintings are collected. The only downside is that you can’t take pictures.
The elegant palace stands in the district of San Marco. The price of a ticket is €11.
Ca d’Oro Palace (Photo: wikimedia.org / Didier Descouens)
The old shipyard
Squero di San Trovaso is a seventeenth-century building where artisans still work. Squero means a team of people who make boats together. The yard makes long gondolas and other types of traditional Venetian vessels. Craftsmen make 10 boats a year. Tourists are not allowed inside, but the entire shipyard is clearly visible from the canal.
The place where the boats are made is in the district of Dorsoduro, 1097.
What to see in Venice in 1 day
Venice is full of sights – we suggest to see only the most important things in 1 day:
- St. Mark’s Square and the cathedral of the same name.
- Doge’s Palace.
- The tower of San Giorgio Maggiore – at least from the side.
- Grand Canal.
- Bridge of Sighs.
- Rialto Bridge and Rialto Market.
- Palazzo Cà d’Oro.
What to see in Venice in 2 days
If you have 2 days to spend in Venice, it is advisable to see its islands and enjoy the vaporettos and targhettos: