Top 10 Sights in Venice
Before you travel to Venice, you should think carefully about what you want to see. Also you should have a list or a plan of attractions, which are good combinable. Many attractions in Venice are not far apart.
You should definitely plan long waiting times. At some great sights of Venice, such as museums, churches and the Doge's Palace, we waited in queues in front of the entrance for hours. This can be often avoided if you buy the tickets in advance on the Internet or take part in a guided tour.
Now the top 10 list of Venice follows from our point of view. Such lists are of course always somewhat controversial. By clicking on the name (left column) you get to the page of the attraction in this online travel guide. The second column refers to Santa Lucia Central Station, the bus station and the nearby car parks.
Other very important attractions in Venice that would make it into the top 10 in almost every other city in the world:
- Frari Church: The second most beautiful church in the lagoon town after St. Mark's. It is one of the nearest major sights of Venice from Santa Lucia Central Station. The Gothic Frari Church is full of magnificent works of art such as some of Titian's major works.
- La Fenice Theatre: Near Rialto Bridge and 2 to 5 in the list above. You can visit the theatre, there are also guided tours. It is one of the most important and beautiful operas in the world.
- Museum Accademia Venice: Another great art museum. World-famous pictures from the great Renaissance period (Tintoretto, Titian, Da Vinci, etc.)
- Burano (island): With a water bus, combinable with the island Murano (8 list above). Worth seeing on Burano are the famous lace and the colourful houses of the island. An interesting sight is the lace museum of Burano.
- Bridge of Sighs: At the Doge's Palace (see number 3 above). It is the often filmed connection between the Doge's Palace and the neighbouring prisons. All prisoners like Casanova entered the prison across this bridge. From the bridge they saw Venice one last time before a long prison sentence. Today the prison with the Bridge of Sighs is a museum.
- Market of Rialto: Not far from Rialto bridge Venice (see number 6 in the list of sights of Venice above). The famous market in the city. The fish market and the stalls with vegetables from other Venetian islands are great.
- Museum Correr: At St Mark's Square (see number 2 in the overview above). A kind of city museum of Venice with many works of art worth seeing (paintings).
The entire list of sights of Venice is of course much longer.
Brief description of Venice's top sights
1. Canal Grande: The famous, wide canal meanders in an S-shape through the old town. There are only four bridges across the Canal Grande. Many ships sail on the waterway. You can either watch the hustle and bustle from the shore or take a boat ride yourself. The public ferries are cheapest, but there are also gondolas (see: Gondolas Venice) and water taxis. It is probably the most famous city channel in the world.
2. Piazza San Marco: Absolute top attraction and one of the most famous squares in the world. On and around St Mark's Square are 4 of the top 5 sights of the lagoon city. The Doge's Palace (see 3.) is the former seat of government in the great time of Venice, St Mark's Church is the famous church of the city (see 4.), the clock tower is the landmark of the city.
3. Palazzo Ducale: One of the most visited buildings in Italy by tourists is the Doge's Palace. Inside there are world-famous works of art and a former prison. This building has been the centre of power in Venice for many centuries. Today the Doges Palace prison is a museum.
4. Basilica of San Marco: One of the most famous churches in the world is St Mark's Basilica, also called St Mark's Church. Admission is free of charge without a guided tour. Almost every tourist queues up in the often very long queue.
5. Bell tower: Next to St. Mark's Church directly at St. Mark's Square. You can go up and enjoy the view of Venice from above. The tower is the landmark of Venice.
6. Ponte di Rialto: The Rialto Bridge is the most famous bridge over the Grand Canal. A very popular photo motif, the bridge is considered extremely romantic. Another bridge over the Canal Grande, the Accademia Bridge, is also an important sight in Venice.
7. Gondola ride Venice: Hardly anything in the world is considered more romantic. Every day thousands of visitors to Venice take a gondola ride through small canals or on the wide Canal Grande (see above). Gondolas have existed in Venice for about 1,000 years.
8. Trip to Murano: The most important sight in Venice outside the main island (old town) is probably the island Murano. Murano is famous for its glass products. A highlight is the glass museum.
9. Guggenheim Collection Venice: The Museum of Modern Art is one of the 3 to 4 major art museums in Venice. In our opinion, the best art museum in the lagoon city.
10. San Rocco: The most famous scuola in Venice. Top attraction also because of the many grandiose works of art in the building (pictures).
Entrance fees for the top 10 sights in Venice
Venice isn't exactly cheap. Also the entrance fees are often high. But you can also see many great attractions for free. Below we have compiled an approximate list of entrance fees and other costs for the 10 major attractions. The prices are from spring 2018.
1. Canal Grande Venezia: Viewing the most famous waterway in a city in the world is free. A trip with the public ferries starts at 7.50 euros per person, boat taxis and gondolas are much more expensive (gondola ride about 70 to 100 euros for half an hour for up to 6 people)
2. Piazza San Marco Venice: It is a public square, which fortunately can still be visited for free. However, many local politicians want an entry fee in the future. There is hardly no tourist in Venice who does not visit St. Mark's Square, the heart of the city.
3. Doge's Palace Venice: Admission about 19 euros, booking on the Internet recommended, as long waiting times.
4. St Mark's Cathedral: No admission, but often very long waiting times, as very popular. You can avoid the queue if you want to participate in a guided tour or something similar.
5. St Mark's Campanile: Climbing the city's landmark costs about 12 euros.
6. Rialto Bridge Venezia: Crossing the pedestrian bridge is free of charge. But many visitors to Venice want to drive through it. On practically every trip on the Canal Grande (see above) you drive through the world-famous bridge
7. Gondola ride in Venice: The romantic classic usually costs about 80 to 150 euros for several people together. Many prices and offers.
8. Day trip to Murano: A day ticket for the ferries from Venice costs about 20 euros. You can also travel to Murano and many other islands. On Murano you should definitely visit the Glass Museum (10 Euro entrance fee) and one of the glass shows (less Euro, partly free of charge).
9. Peggy Guggenheim Collection: The modern art museum has an entrance fee of 15 euros.
10. School San Rocco: 10 Euro entrance fee.