10 Must See Attractions In Venice, Italy september 27, 2021 – Posted in: Italy, Travel – Tags: Attractions, Holiday, Italy, Vacations, Venice, Weekend Breaks
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Tourist attractions in Venice
There is plenty to see in Venice, and if you are only in the city on a day trip from the mainland, it is difficult to get around to it all. We can’t recommend you enough to book a night or preferably more in Venice. The beautiful city deserves to be experienced slowly, with walks through the labyrinthine streets and indeed also a boat trip out to some of the other islands in the lagoon.
Even if you have several days available, it can still be difficult to choose what to see, so here is a list of the sights in Venice that you will definitely have to visit when you are on holiday in the city.
There are many other exciting sights in Venice and you can read much more and plan your own visit here: Turismo Venezia.
10 must see attractions in Venice
The dreamy and romantic city of Venice
Before we start talking about the sights in Venice that you just have to experience, we also have to try to paint you a picture of the biggest tourist attraction: Venice as a city. Venice is just something that you can’t experience anywhere else in the world.
It’s hard to understand just how unique it is to be in a city built on wooden poles, floating on the water, it has to be experienced! In addition to the labyrinthine streets and alleys where you constantly get lost, and the endless number of stone bridges across the beautiful canals, there is also the logistical challenge of making a city work, only using the waterway.
It’s easy to be spellbound at the Grand Canal, where the many boats bring goods around the city: The beer man’s boat that unloads the large kegs on a small tow truck before they are transported to the bars. The vegetable boat that brings fresh supplies to the restaurants. And then a mail boat, a garbage boat and an ambulance boat!
The many canals, and the fact that you can’t walk through the city in a straight line, also means that it takes time to find your way around. You can read more about transportation by water and finding your way right here: How to get around Venice. A good tip is to pack a pair of good walking shoes and leave well in advance, especially if you have booked a time slot for a visit to one of the many museums.
Piazza San Marco – St. Marks’ Square
A visit to Venice starts at St. Mark’s Square, the large square at the southeast end of the island. This is where you will find St. Mark’s Church, the Campanile and the Doge’s Palace and also the famous Caffè Florian.
It is free to visit Basilica di San Marco, the Roman Catholic Cathedral. The origins of the church date back to the ninth century, when the relics of the evangelist Mark were brought to Venice. The queue for the church, the small museum and the terrace with the beautiful view over St. Mark’s Square can be long, but you can buy a ticket where you skip the queue.
The Campanile di San Marco, the bell tower belonging to St. Mark’s Church, is a reconstruction of the original tower that collapsed in 1902. The campanile is 99 meters high and one of the city’s popular landmarks. Take the elevator up to the top of the tower, where you get the most amazing view of Venice.
The Doge’s Palace, Palazzo Ducale, served as the government building for The Doge, the ruler of the city-state, from 1340 until 1797, when Napoleon conquered Venice. In 1923, the lavish palace opened to the public, and today the museum is one of the most popular sights in the city. Set aside a few hours to admire the precious decor from the time when the Venetians amassed great wealth as the most powerful trading nation in the Eastern Mediterranean.
Ponte dei Sosperi – The Bridge of Sighs
The Doge also had the power to judge, and behind the Doge’s Palace lay the infamous prison cells, Prigioni Nuove, where Casanova was imprisoned. The Bridge of Sighs connected the palace with the prison, and is named after the tormented sighs that the prisoners uttered when they got one last glimpse of Venice on the trip across the bridge.
Ponte Rialto – The Rialto Bridge
The Rialto Bridge (pictured above) was the first of four bridges today crossing the Grand Canal. The Rialto Bridge was originally built as a floating pontoon bridge in 1181 and has since been rebuilt several times. The current stone bridge, complete with the small shops across the bridge, was completed in 1591. Here you get a fantastic view of the canal. If you want to see it in peace and quiet, come early in the morning or late in the evening.
The Rialto Market
That it was just the Rialto Bridge that was built first is no coincidence. In fact, it was here on the banks of the Rialto River that the city gained its first inhabitants in the 5th century. Whether the popular Rialto market has existed for just as long, one can only guess, but references to it have been found all the way back to 1067. Here in the historic heart of the city you can today buy fish, vegetables and spices in the many small stalls on the market .
Peggy Guggenheim Museum
If you have to pick just one museum in Venice, let it be Peggy Guggenhaim’s collection of art. Niece to Solomon R. Guggenheim, founder of the famous Guggenheim Museum in New York, Peggy Guggenheim is considered one of the greatest art collectors of the 20th century. In the unfinished palace, which houses the Peggy Guggenheim Collection, you can see works by all the great artists such as Dalí, Picasso, Kandinsky and Pollock.
The Islands of Venetian Lagoon
Venice is just one of a total of 118 islands in the Venetian lagoon. A visit to Venice is not complete without a short boat trip out to one or more of the many other interesting islands. From the vibrant city of Venice, you can in a quarter of an hour be out on Murano, the glassmaker island, where the pace is slow and relaxed. Or how about a swim from Lido’s many sandy beaches? You can read much more about island hopping in Venice here: Top Islands To Visit In Venice.
More tips for your holiday in Venice
Where to stay in Venice?
There are many wonderful hotels in Venice, but where is the best place to stay? On Booking.com you can see the large selection of hotels in Venice, and in the article Where to stay in Venice you can read more about where in Venice you should book your holiday. There are several romantic hotels for couples on the list, and you also get a really good tip if you are on holiday in Venice with kids.
You can also do your own search on Booking.com for a good hotel in Venice right here:
A recommendation: Hotel Al Ponte Mocenigo
Hotel Al Ponte Mocenigo is a perfect setting for a romantic holiday in Venice. The hotel is located right in the heart of Venice, away from the tourist crowds and with a vaporetto station (San Stae) down the street. Otherwise, the Rialto Bridge is only a seven minute walk away and St. Mark’s Square a quarter of an hour.
The small boutique hotel has just 10 beautiful rooms, all decorated in Venetian 18th-century style with exposed ceiling beams, damask curtains, large chandeliers and soft beds. In the morning, the hotel offers a wonderful breakfast in the small courtyard, serving eggs and bacon, crispy croissants and most importantly: great coffee!
See more good hotels here: Where to stay in Venice
How do you get to Venice?
Venice has two airports: Marco Polo Airport, 10 km from the city center, and Treviso Airport, 40 km north of Venice. If you land in Treviso, there are airport buses to Venice all day, which cost 12 euros (2021) for a single ticket. Read more here: Treviso Airport Shuttle Bus.