TOP-30 attractions of Venice

TOP-30 attractions of Venice

Venice attractions – what to see and where to go in the city and its surroundings. Description, photos, how to get there, addresses, GPS coordinates.

Attractions overview

To understand Venice (as much as it is possible), you need to see it either from above or on a detailed map – and only then walk through it all, meter by meter, bridge by bridge, enjoying the world’s highest concentration of architectural and historical relics per square kilometer. Venice is extremely small – you can walk it from end to end in about an hour – but only if you know exactly the purpose of your walk and the way to it. If at least one of these conditions is missing (or even better, both), the traveler is guaranteed to get lost, and, with time and a bit of adventurism, will later recall this fact of their biography as one of the most exciting events in their life.

1. Piazzetta


On the Piazzetta, which for centuries has been the grand vestibule to the Piazza (as the center of San Marco and, consequently, the whole of Venice is traditionally called), two columns with long tails hanging from them attract attention. They were ‘borrowed’ in 1172 from Constantinople (actually, three were stolen, but one was sunk during unloading in Venice).

On one of them is Saint Theodore, the patron of ancient, fishing Venice; his figure was made from several Roman statues, and at his feet is a monster resembling a crocodile, composed of 50 different fragments. On the neighboring column is a 4th-century Persian chimera, which in Venice was called the ‘winged lion’, given a book under its front paws, and declared the symbol of Saint Mark and the entire Republic.

2. Doge’s Palace

The Venetian Doge’s Palace is one of the most unusual rulers’ palaces in the world. The Republic, located on islands under the protection of Europe’s most powerful fleet, could afford for its ‘government residence’ not to be a fortress.

Its lace-like lower floor supports the impressive volume of the wall, and this entire construction somewhat resembles lace. In the era of its creation, the architecture of the Doge’s Palace symbolized fearlessness and openness, as well as a somewhat audacious readiness to trade everything with everyone: Venice even defied direct prohibitions from the Vatican to trade strategic goods with the Turks.

Address: Piazza San Marco, 1 (entrance from the lagoon). Coordinates: 45.4337, 12.34038.

3. Bridge of sighs

bridge of sighs venice

An arched bridge thrown over the Palace Canal. Although guides offer various romantic versions, the harsh truth is that the Bridge of Sighs was so named because it leads from the Doge’s Palace to the prison. In a special room of the palace, the sentence was pronounced and the convict was escorted across the bridge to the cell, so it was on this bridge that the prisoners saw the sunlight for the last time and sighed about it.

By the way, this prison is known for being practically impossible to escape from (along with the usual cells, there were also the so-called ‘lead’ cells – piombi); however, it was from such a cell that one of the most famous Venetians of all time, Giacomo Casanova, managed to escape. He was there, however, not for debauchery, for which he became widely known after the publication of his biography (this was never a crime in Venice), but for espionage.

Address: Piazza San Marco, 1. Coordinates: 45.43404, 12.34085.

4. St. Mark’s Cathedral

St. Mark's Cathedral

As exotic as possible in the Catholic Europe of that time, St. Mark’s Cathedral is considered one of its architectural wonders: it was built as a place to house the relics of Saint Mark, modeled after another cathedral – the Church of the Holy Apostles in Constantinople. At that time, Venice was considered the ‘favored daughter’ of a decaying Byzantium, which, however, did not prevent the ‘daughter’ from cynically robbing and almost killing the ‘mother’ during the Fourth Crusade.

The famous Pala d’Oro altar, consisting of 250 enamels held together by precious stones, was, surprisingly, not stolen in Constantinople but was properly commissioned and paid for – this happened before Venice decided that the ‘old lady’ had finally become decrepit. For the faithful, the cathedral is valuable because it houses the relics of the holy apostle Mark, brought to Venice from another Crusade.

Address: San Marco, Piazza San Marco. Coordinates 45.43456, 12.33971.

5. The bell tower of St. Mark’s Cathedral

The bell tower of St. Mark's Cathedral

The campanile (bell tower), the tallest building in the city at 99 meters, in addition to its primary function, also served as a watchtower, a lighthouse, and a place of punishment: until the 14th century, priests caught in the sin of sodomy were hung in cages from it. The campanile acquired its current shape in 1514 when it was completely rebuilt with personal funds by Admiral Grimani: after an unsuccessful naval operation, he needed to insure himself against arrest and trial (there was such a tradition in Venice regarding unsuccessful military leaders). Grimani’s maneuver should be considered successful – six years later, he was elected Doge.

Address: San Marco, Piazza San Marco. Coordinates 45.43403, 12.33903.

6. St. Mark’s Clock Tower

The clock tower was built in St. Mark’s Square in the 15th century – it was specially oriented so that the astronomical clock face (an absolute novelty at the time) would be visible to all guests of Venice arriving on land at the Piazzetta. The complexity and sophistication of the clock mechanism still amaze experts – twice a year, on Epiphany and Ascension, an angel with magi comes out of small doors and bows to the Virgin Mary.

Address: San Marco 147, Piazza San Marco. Coordinates: 45.43473, 12.33893.

7. Square San Marko

Napoleon once called this beautiful and quite unusual square “the most elegant drawing room in Europe”.

Square San Marko

Piazza San Marco acquired its current form during the Venetian “Golden Age” of the 16th century, when the building of the Procuratie Vecchie – the house of the procurators, i.e., officials in charge of managing state property, was constructed on its side furthest from the lagoon. As in some countries today, back then in Venice, this position was highly desirable, honorable, and lucrative. However, everything was more honest in Venice – due to the “profitability” of the place, procurators were not entitled to a salary in principle. Around the same era, the Mint was established on the piazza, where the Venetian gold ducat, the most stable and backed currency of medieval Europe, akin to the modern Swiss franc, was minted.

Address: Piazza San Marco. Coordinates: 45.43395, 12.33817.

8. Cafe “Florian” and “Quadri”

Florian cafe Venice

Originally, Piazza San Marco was used for public festivities with a considerable degree of commerce – fitting for a trading republic. On the edges, money was lent at interest and taxes were collected, while in the center, knightly tournaments and carnivals were held. In those times, travelers were surprised that no one on the piazza was in a hurry (‘only those sentenced to the galleys work in Venice’ – one opinion on this matter), but today it is an extremely lively, prestigious, and expensive place.

It was here that the first establishment in Europe serving the then-unknown Turkish drink – coffee – opened. Today, the traditions of that first coffee house are admirably continued by two of Venice’s most famous cafes – ‘Florian’ and ‘Quadri’. In ‘Florian’, over its 150 years of history, all celebrities visiting the city have made their mark. The coffee there is excellent, but one must be prepared for extremely high prices – actually, this applies to all establishments located on the piazza – it’s symbolic to have a coffee here, but I wouldn’t recommend dining or having dinner.

Quadri resturant venice

The address of the Florian cafe: Piazza San Marco, 57. Coordinates: 45.4336, 12.33822.

The address of the Quadri cafe:: Piazza San Marco, 121. Coordinates: 45.43437, 12.338.

9. Museum Correr

The museum, named after its founder, Teodoro Correr, consists of a complex of three Venetian museums: the Marciana Library, the Archaeological Museum, and the Correr Museum itself. In the Correr Museum, the Historical Collection is of the greatest interest, where one can see such curious exhibits as the prayer book of the conqueror of Greece, Admiral Morosini, with a pistol hidden inside, the Doge’s cap (it becomes clear what became the prototype for the swimming cap), a weapon in the form of a key (which fired poisoned arrows), and much more.

Address: Piazza San Marco, 52. Piazza San Marco. Coordinates: 45.43353, 12.3372.

10. Church of San Moise

San Moise Church

This church stands out with its richly decorated façade, even by Venetian standards – and that is no small feat. In the 19th century, the city authorities even ordered the removal of some of its sculptures, as the building was seriously at risk of collapse. San Moise was built with the funds of the successful merchant brothers Fini – and the façade’s theme reverently glorifies their financial success. The brothers themselves are present on the façade in the form of portraits, depicted as cupids. The clients, with the flamboyance of true nouveaux riches, commissioned sculptor Heinrich Meyring to create ‘something special’ – and he delivered, depicting Mount Sinai inside the church in almost actual size.

Address: San Marco, Campo San Moisè. Coordinates 45.4331, 12.33607.

11. Palazzo Contarini del one

A bright Venetian palazzo with arches, columns, and the famous spiral staircase. In reality, the staircase turns out to be somewhat smaller than it appears on postcards – strictly speaking, it’s actually a back entrance, located inside a real Venetian residential courtyard.

Entry is not permitted – but if one wishes to see the luxurious interiors, they can be viewed in Orson Welles’ film ‘Othello’.

Address: San Marco 4299, Corte Dei Risi. Coordinates: 45.43482, 12.33461.

12. Grand Canal

Grand Canal

The Grand Canal is the main transport artery of Venice, cutting out the whole city with its smooth zigzag. Here, water is both the roadway and a pedestrian sidewalk. On the shores of the Great Canal are six medieval areas of the city – three on the right and three on the left, going to the water by the luxurious facades of its churches and the Palazzo. In an acute lack of time, a walk on a boat-vaporette along the Grand channel will help you get at least some idea of the city.

Coordinates: 45.43635, 12.33224.

13. The Church of Santo-Stepheno

The Church of Santo-Stepheno

The wooden arch of this church resembles the bottom of the ship, and the bronze tombstone of Admiral Francesco Morozini, the “Venetian Nakhimov” stands out in the floor. Interestingly, the murders took place in the church of Santo-Stepheno every now and then-because of this, she had to be consecrated six times.

To the right of the altar of the Church is a sacristy where three paintings of the late Tintoretto are stored: “Praying about the bowl”, “Bowing of the legs” and one of several Venetian “secret evening”.

Address: San Marco, Campo Santo Stefano. Coordinates: 45.43369, 12.331.

14. Theater “La Feniche”

Theater "La Feniche"

One of the best world theaters is masterfully inscribed in a tiny plot of land between the channels and gives an halo of chosenness and exclusivity adjacent to it. The name of the theater means “Phoenix”, and not casual: twice in his story he burned out to the ground. The second fire occurred on January 20, 1996 under extremely suspicious circumstances: the fire took up simultaneously on two sides, the fire alarm was disconnected, the water in the adjacent channels was lowered for cleaning. The restoration of the theater took 8 years, and the contracting companies received very good contracts.

Address: San Marco 1983, Campo San Fantin. Coordinates: 45.43366, 12.33376.

15. Church of Santa Maria del Gilio

Church of Santa Maria del Gilio

This church (Holy Maria with Lilia) was erected in the Late Baroque style – its facade was built with the money of the Barbaro family, and the philanthropists modestly insisted that their sculptures decorate it (and not at all saints, as is customary in other Christian temples). The central place is occupied by Admiral Antonio Barbaro, expelled in mutuality for incompetence during the defense of Kandia (Iraklion).

The Church owes its name to the central artistic composition depicting Virgin Mary and the Archangel Gabriel, handing her Lily – a symbol of good news.

Address: San Marco, Campo Santa Maria Zobenigo. Coordinates: 45.43259, 12.33287.

16. Gallery of the Academy

Gallery of the Academy

Academy is one of the largest museums in the world;It was founded at the end of the XVII century, immediately after the loss of independence. The emperor of France Napoleon, the “burial” of Venice, having studied its financial affairs, came into considerable bewilderment: almost all of its income, the decayed republic launched to maintain an external gloss and entertainment. In 1805, Napoleon closed most of the Venetian monasteries, and ordered their treasures to concentrate in one place – this is how the Academy Gallery appeared. Later, thanks to the gifts of philanthropists, the exposition grew to 24 halls – in them you can see the picturesque canvases of such masters as Titian, Canaleto and Veniceo.

At any time of the year, huge queues of tourists are built at the entrance to the academy – it is advisable to come as soon as possible. It is better to allocate at least half a day for inspection of the gallery halls, one or two for hours it will definitely not cost here.

Address: Dorsoduro 1050, Campo Della Carita. Coordinates: 45.43107, 12.32813.

17. Collection of Peggy Guuggenhaim

Collection of Peggy Guuggenhaim

Museum of Contemporary Art, located in the unfinished palazzo Venier dei-Leoni. In the 19th century, the building was surrendered in the same way, and one of his residents was Peter Vyazemsky-it was he, because of the lack of greenery, he called Venice the “bald beauty.”In 1948, the Palazzo bought Peggy Guuggenheim – the niece of the famous Solomon Guggenheim, whose museums of contemporary art are scattered around the world. Here, Peggy began to collect a collection of works of contemporary artists (many of whom were her friends, and some of her husbands)-surrealists and modernists. Peggy Huggenheim lived in the Palazzo for thirty years, and during this time her collection became the same integral part of the Venetian landscape as the Ka-D’Ooro Palace or Arsenal.

Address: Dorsoduro 701, Calle San Cristoforo. Coordinates: 45.43082, 12.33153.

18. Cathedral of Santa Maria-Della-Salute

Cathedral of Santa Maria-Della-Salute

The Church of Santa-Maria-Dladla-Salute (or just salute) was laid during the third and last epidemic of the plague, which occurred in 1630-1631 and claimed about a third of the then population of the city. A huge church, for which about a million wooden piles were driven into the orbelly soil, built half a century – its project was proposed by the architect Baldasser Longen at the age of 26, who saw his creation completed already in old age.

Address: Dorsoduro, Campo Della Salute. Coordinates: 45.43067, 12.33476.

19. Palace Ca’Rezzonico

Palace Ca'Rezzonico

The luxurious palazzo of the bankers-nouveau rurnso-at the same time with the palace, they bought a place in the registry of the nobility (for 100 thousand ducats-by current standards it is about ten million euros). Now in Ka ’Reaksoniko houses a museum of the 18th century, where you can see the works of Tintoretto, Guards, Longs and other masters. The museum is dedicated to that century, when the once powerful Venice was slowly dying, practically without leaving the state of a continuous carnival – the grotesque of that era is clearly visible in the painting and sculpture of the museum.

Address: Dorsoduro 3136. Coordinates: 45.43354, 12.32682.

20. Palazzo Foscari

Palazzo Foscari

The largest private house of Venice is that today the university is located here, and earlier Ka ’foskari belonged to the recruitment of Francesco Moskari, who ruled the Republic of long 34 years. Here in 1574 the young French king Henry III was settled. The Venetians approached his visit creatively and were able to hit the monarch (for example, when he swam to Venice, Muranian glass-shoes floated next to him and blew different sea monsters). Subsequently, Henry moved by reason – contemporaries were inclined to blame the monarch’s Venetian impressions.

Address: Dorsoduro 3246. Coordinates: 45.43454, 12.32665.

21. Scuola San Rocco

Scuola San Rocco

This is one of the best meetings of painting in Venice. Scuola is named after St. Roch, who was revered throughout Europe as a deliverer from diseases – and, in particular, from the plague. Residents of the boring trade city were very afraid of her and in the Middle Ages transported the relics of the saint to themselves – according to legend, Roch heal his dog himself, and in all paintings they are portrayed together. In the halls of Skuol, many tintorcto paintings are stored – for 23 years of zealous works, he filled them with almost the entire building. In addition to Tintoretto, here you can see the work of Vechellio Titian and Jacopo Palm the Younger.

Address: San Polo 3054, Campo San Rocco. Coordinates: 45.4369, 12.32541.

22. Cathedral of Santa Maria-Gloriosa-dei-Frari

Cathedral of Santa Maria-Gloriosa-dei-Frari

This basilica (whose name is translated as St. Maria in Glory) is a typical Franciscan church. The order preached asceticism in everything-including in the decoration of churches-so that Fery does not look modest in Venetian. At the same time, the best masters of the early Renaissance – for example, Donatello with his sculpture John the Baptist and Titian, who painted the painting “Madonna Pesaro” and “Ascension of the Mother of God” for the church, attached their talents to its interior decoration.

Address: San Polo, Campo Dei Frari. Coordinates: 45.43698, 12.3266.

23. Rialto bridge

Rialto bridge

Rialto is the most photogenic Venetian bridge, especially if you look at it from the water. Nearby, it is a noisy tourist bazaar, where merchants eagerly use every meter of free area. From the side of the Santa-Lucia station, the bridge is decorated with bas-reliefs depicting the holy Mark and Theodore, and from San Marco on the bridge you can see the Annunciation scene.

Coordinates: 45.43798, 12.33589.

24. Palace Ca-d’oro

The name of this palazzo, rightfully considered one of the most beautiful on the Grand channel, is translated as a “golden house” (Casa de Oro, abbreviated Ca d’Oro). During the construction, the house was finished with shameal gold, ultramarine and Kinovar (the most expensive materials of that era) – according to the plan of the architects, the floating palace in the gondola should not believe his eyes, believing that a mirage was in front of it.

Palace Ca-d'oro

Over his history, the Palazzo was replaced by several owners – one of them was Prince Trubetskoy, who gave him to the ballerina Talloni in 1847. She, believing that her sophisticated taste was injured by this pretentiousness, carried out merciless repairs in the building, destroying almost the entire Gothic. At the end of the 19th century, the Palazzo went to Baron Georgio Franketti, who collected a large collection of painting in it. After the death of the baron, the collection of paintings has gone to the city-since 1927, the public Gallery of Franketti has been working in the Palazzo Ka-d’Ooro.

Address: Fondamenta Trapolin, 3932. Coordinates: 45.44083, 12.33392.

25. Palazzo Ca’Vendramin Calergi

This magnificent Palace is an illustration of how the architectural principles of the Florentine Renaissance can be successfully transferred to the unsteady Venetian soil. The history of the Palazzo art was included in the fact that in 1883, one of the tenants died in his 15-room apartments-Richard Wagner, having initiated the desire to die in Venice among the cultural figures of that time.

Palazzo Ca'Vendramin Calergi

Palazzo Vendrammin-Kalerji is one of those palaces of the Grand channel, whose magnificent facades can be seen exclusively from the water-the front door is intended only for water transport. By the way, the entrance is used to this day – mainly by customers located in the casino palace.

Address: Cannaregio, 2040. Coordinates: 45.44268, 12.32978.

26. Arsenal


It was here, at the shipyards of the Arsenal, that the sea and trade power of the republic was injected. Having originated in the XII century, by the time of the heyday of Venice, Arsenal became, in fact, a “city -forming enterprise” – the shipyard struck contemporaries with unthinkable performance and devilish noise – the last shocked Dante even mentioned in one of the chapters of his “hell”. In the Renaissance era, 16 thousand people worked in the arsenal, whose labor was organized by the conveyor method long before the “invention” of the conveyor Henry Ford: ready -made ships passed by the windows of windows from which they received the necessary supplies.

Now in the Arsenal building an interesting naval museum is working, whose exposition reflects the history of the development of the Venetian shipbuilding.

Address: Castello, Arsenale. Coordinates: 45.43597, 12.35538.

27. Cathedral of San Giorgio-Maggiore

Cathedral of San Giorgio-Maggiore

This church, which occupies a considerable part of the island of San Jorgeo, is one of the most important attractions of Venice. Among other things, she entered the pantheon of masterpieces of world architecture thanks to her unique facade: the creator of the Church Palladio was able to bring together the history of architecture and faith, laying the pagan Greek portico on the facade of the early Christian basilica.

In San Jordgio-Majore, Rain of Leonardo Don was buried, during his lifetime, the former embodiment of Venetian free-thinking. He went down in history thanks to the answer that gave the Papal Nunce, who brought the edict of Venice’s excommunication from the church for disobedience: “We ignore your excommunication, for us it is nothing. And think about what will happen if our example is followed by others. ”

Address: Isola di San Giorgio Maggiore. Coordinates: 45.42941, 12.3432.

28. The island of Murano

The island of Murano

Murano is the distant Venetian “evicus”. In the XIII century, due to fear of fires, all city glass-shoes were moved here, which turned a small and previously unknown island into a craft center of universal significance. Until the XVIII century (when most of the Muranian clientele lured a bohemian) only here they knew how to make such wonders as glasses and mirrors.

In the era of the revival of Murano, he became the center of the intellectual life of Venice – then among the wealthy citizens it began to build a fashionable on the skeleton of the cottage. Over time, the image of Murano, as a craft center, was supplemented by another stroke – it was believed that they only do that unhurried aristocratic conversations about politics, economics and art – in the lap of nature and under the glass of wine.

Coordinates: 45.45898, 12.35234.

29. The island of Burano

The island of Burano

Burano’s fishing island is known for its houses painted in bright colors – according to legend, this was done so that every fisherman could see his house from afar. In addition to colorful houses (it is interesting that each building on Burano is officially fixed its color), the island is known for its lace – in the Middle Ages, local craftswomen were famous throughout Europe. Souvenir shops and Burano shops are literally littered with lace – however, not local, but Chinese.

Coordinates: 45.48539, 12.41665.

30. Lido island

Lido island

The official name of the long narrow island separating the Venetian lagoon from the sea sounds like Lido-Di Venice, the “beach of Venice” (“Lido” in Italian means “beach”, and many coastal cities have their own lido). In addition to the fact that Lido is a real sea resort (in the season, most of his passers -by are relaxed spa resort with inflatable mattresses), this is also one of the best places for life in Venice in the price and quality ratio. On the Lido, you can relatively inexpensively find the room of a good hotel-somewhere in the vicinity of San Marko Square for the same money you will be offered only a bed in a hostel. Despite the fact that from Lido to San Marko you can swim on a scrap boat-vaporette in 15 minutes.

Coordinates: 45.41156, 12.3695.