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This list is a mix of some of my favorite off-the-beaten track landmarks and a few handpicked, must-see places. Search for these spots, and other secrets tucked around the city, to discover your own unique Venice.

Good for
  • Adventure seeker
  • Peace and quiet seeker
  • Local favourite
  • Hidden gem seeker

10 Places

4 City Tips

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10 Places

Teatro La Fenice

Operas, Theatres

Santa Maria dei Miracoli

Religious Sites, Churches/ Cathedrals

Campo Santo Stefano

Landmarks/ Points of Interest

Scala Contarini del Bovolo

Landmarks/ Points of Interest, Historic Sites, Architectural Buildings

Lido di Venezia

Destinations

Squero di San Trovaso

Historic Sites

Al Bottegone

Restaurants (Contemporary)

Arsenale

Historic Sites, Landmarks/ Points of Interest

Caffe Florian

Restaurants (Italian)

Isola San Giorgio Maggiore

Destinations

Katherina N's City Tips

  • To explore the city easily on foot, put your map away and follow the yellow signs (like the ones that say “Per S. Marco” or “Per Rialto”).
  • The best way to experience Venice is to pick a direction and wander. Getting "lost" allows you to stumble upon the city's many secrets.
  • Most restaurants in Venice close in the afternoon and re-open between 7 and 8 pm for dinner.
  • There are some street markets around Venice where you can join the locals to buy fresh fruits and vegetables. Try those in Strada Nova, Rialto and Campo Santa Margherita.
  • Save
    Teatro La Fenice
    Operas, Theatres
    Katherina N Says:

    The world-famous Teatro La Fenice burnt down twice - in 1836 and then again in 1996 - before it was eventually reconstructed in 2004, like a phoenix rising from the ashes, as its Italian name suggests. Even if you are not an opera fan, don’t miss taking a tour of the interior. The theater’s magnificent beauty, complete with ornately decorated halls and golden chandeliers, is a truly awesome experience.

    Good for
    • Must see
    • Trendy traveller
    • History enthusiast
    • Art and design lover
    Tips
    • For an evening performance, it is advisable to dress elegantly.
    • To see a performance here, be sure to book your tickets well in advance on the theater website.
    • The theater is typically open to visitors during the daytime, and also offers guided tours. Check the website before visiting, as the hours sometimes vary.
    Plan to stay:
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #5 of 218 attractions in Venice
    Certificate of Excellence 2014Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Magnificent 24/10/2014
    • Dazzling! 23/10/2014
    • Teatro La Fenice
    Address:
    Campo San Fantin 1965
    Venice 30124
    Italy
    Phone:
    +39 041786607
    Other:
  • Save
    Santa Maria dei Miracoli
    Religious Sites, Churches/ Cathedrals
    Katherina N Says:

    Hidden off a quiet canal in the Cannaregio district, this lovely marble church was built with locally raised money to house a statue of the Virgin Mary that was known to work miracles (“Santa Maria dei Miracoli” means "St. Mary of Miracles." She still stands near the altar.

    Good for
    • Peace and quiet seeker
    • Budget traveller
    • Hidden gem
    • History enthusiast
    • Art and design lover
    Tips
    • Remember to respect traditions and be sure that your shoulders are covered when you enter the church.
    • The best place to eat typical Venetian food in the area is Osteria Al Portego in Calle della Malvasia, one of my favorite spots to enjoy cicchetti.
    Plan to stay:
    Less than 1 hour
    From the community
    Ranked #24 of 218 attractions in Venice
    Certificate of Excellence 2014Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • a little jewel 24/10/2014
    • The wedding church 09/10/2014
    • Santa Maria dei Miracoli
    Address:
    Campo Dei Miracoli
    Venice 6074
    Italy
    Phone:
    39 41 2750462
    Other:
  • Save
    Campo Santo Stefano
    Landmarks/ Points of Interest
    Katherina N Says:

    One of the most beautiful and spacious squares in Venice, Campo Santo Stefano is a great spot to observe the city. I love to spend a relaxing day people watching over a caffè latte on one of the many café patios. Also worth observing are the many beautiful palaces around: the breathtaking Gothic Church of Santo Stefano, the spectacular Palazzo Loredan, the elegant Marcello Conservatorium of Music and the magnificent Chiesa di San Vidal, which often hosts classical events and concerts.

    Good for
    • Budget traveller
    • Local favourite
    • History enthusiast
    • Art and design lover
    Tips
    • My favorite place for ice cream, coffee, light snacks and drinks is Gelateria Paolin (try their special dessert: gianduiotto chocolate with whipped cream).
    Plan to stay:
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #64 of 218 attractions in Venice
    • Good for Refreshments 24/10/2014
    • What a beautiful plaza 22/10/2014
    • Campo Santo Stefano
    Address:
    San Marco District
    Venice 30124
    Italy
    Phone:
    041/2750462
    Other:
  • Save
    Scala Contarini del Bovolo
    Landmarks/ Points of Interest, Historic Sites, Architectural Buildings
    Katherina N Says:

    Very close to Campo Santo Stefano is a tiny hidden courtyard. In that courtyard is an elegant spiral staircase that reflects the transition from Gothic architecture to the Renaissance style. If you love finding random treasures, Scala Contarini del Bovolo is definitely worth looking for.

    Good for
    • Peace and quiet seeker
    • Budget traveller
    • Hidden gem
    • Art and design lover
    Tips
    • At the moment it, is only possible to view the staircase from outside due to the restoration works in progress.
    • For a delightful meal, try the nearby Ai Mercanti restaurant.
    Plan to stay:
    Less than 1 hour
    From the community
    Ranked #31 of 218 attractions in Venice
    Certificate of Excellence 2014Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Worth the effort to find it 23/10/2014
    • The Snail House of Venice 10/10/2014
    • Scala Contarini del Bovolo
    Address:
    Corte del Maltese
    San Marco 2906
    Venice 30124
    Italy
    Phone:
    041.2601974
    Other:
  • Lido di Venezia
    Destinations
    Katherina N Says:

    A 12km island dividing the lagoon and the Adriatic Sea, Lido di Venezia a perfect place for a quiet afternoon walk or a day at the beach. Undiscovered, and not often frequented by tourists, history lovers will be pleased to discover elegant villas and beautiful churches, like Chiesa di San Nicolò, which houses St. Nicholas’ relics.

    Good for
    • Peace and quiet seeker
    • Beach goer
    • History enthusiast
    • Art and design lover
    • Outdoors explorer
    Tips
    • Nearby, you catch a helicopter tour around Venice from the Nicelli Airport.
    • Take water bus #6 to easily reach Lido.
    Plan to stay:
    More than 3 hours
    • Lido di Venezia
  • Save
    Squero di San Trovaso
    Historic Sites
    Katherina N Says:

    This little boatyard near Ponte di San Trovaso is the oldest place in Venice where gondolas are built and repaired. Building a gondola takes about 280 wooden pieces, 8 different kinds of wood, and up to 2 years of work, and you can catch a glimpse the process at Squero di San Trovaso.

    Good for
    • Peace and quiet seeker
    • Budget traveller
    • Hidden gem
    • History enthusiast
    Tips
    • The best way to observe gondola masters at work is from the opposite side of the canal.
    • For an affordable gondola experience, take a “traghetto” (ferry-gondola) to cross the Grand Canal from one side to the other. The cost is 2 euros for tourists.
    Plan to stay:
    Less than 1 hour
    From the community
    Ranked #77 of 218 attractions in Venice
    • Part of the REAL Venice 06/10/2014
    • What an amazing place 05/08/2014
    • Squero di San Trovaso
    Address:
    Rio San Trovaso
    Venice I-30170
    Italy
    Other:
  • Save
    Al Bottegone
    Restaurants (Contemporary)
    Katherina N Says:

    Situated next to the Ponte di San Trovaso in the Dorsoduro district, this small enoteca is always packed with locals and tourists, and for good reason. Al Bottegone is my favorite place to buy bottled wine, as most of the great wines in its wide selection cost around 6-7 euro a bottle. The cicchetti here are also excellent and cheap.

    Good for
    • Food lover
    • Budget traveller
    • Local favourite
    Tips
    • Try the delicious “baccalà mantecato” (creamed dried cod), “polipo” (squid),”tonno e porri” (tuna and leeks).
    Plan to stay:
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #132 of 1,082 restaurants in Venice
    Certificate of Excellence 2014Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Sensation, original, creative cichetti 05/10/2014
    • Cant wait to go back 03/10/2014
    • Al Bottegone
    Address:
    San Trovaso
    Venice
    Italy
  • Save
    Arsenale
    Historic Sites, Landmarks/ Points of Interest
    Katherina N Says:

    The Castello district is a perfect place to experience the typical Venetian atmosphere. It is at Arsenale that shipbuilding took place in the 13th century, when Venice was an important maritime empire. Today, this dockyard complex is mainly known for its Naval History Museum, where you can admire weapons, ship models, illustrations and paintings describing Venetian shipbuilding techniques.

    Good for
    • Peace and quiet seeker
    • Must see
    • Budget traveller
    • History enthusiast
    Tips
    • Have lunch at the nearby Trattoria alla Rampa (Via Garibaldi) or Trattoria al Diporto (Sant’Elena).
    • Nearby, you will also find the stunning Greek Orthodox Church of San Giorgio dei Greci, as well as the largest park in Venice, Biennale Gardens.
    Plan to stay:
    2-3 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #44 of 218 attractions in Venice
    Certificate of Excellence 2014Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • I enjoyed it 24/10/2014
    • Worth a visit 24/10/2014
    • Arsenale
    Address:
    Riva S. Biasio Castello, 2148
    Venice 30122
    Italy
    Phone:
    41 2441 399
    Other:
  • Save
    Caffe Florian
    Restaurants (Italian)
    Katherina N Says:

    Centrally located in St. Mark's Square, this famous spot is one of the oldest operating coffee houses in Venice. Caffe Florian's rich interior is peculiarly situated: the several lavishly decorated rooms, each with a view of the square, are all connected by one corridor. It's a luxe coffee experience to sit and draw inspiration just as Goldoni, Casanova or Byron did in their time.

    Good for
    • Food lover
    • Must see
    • Luxury traveller
    • Trendy traveller
    • Art and design lover
    Tips
    • In summer season there are often live bands playing music on the terrace, in which case an additional charge might apply.
    Plan to stay:
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #191 of 1,082 restaurants in Venice
    • Ridiculous even for the old glory 23/10/2014
    • A must when visiting Venice 22/10/2014
    • Caffe Florian
    Address:
    Piazza San Marco 56-59
    Venice
    Italy
    Phone:
    39 041 5205641
    Hours:
    Sun - Sat
    10:00 - 0:00
    Other:
  • Isola San Giorgio Maggiore
    Destinations
    Katherina N Says:

    There are lots of small islands around Venice, but San Giorgio Maggiore is a truly off-the-beaten-track gem. The highlight of the quiet island is the Church of San Giorgio Maggiore, a stunning work by Palladio.

    Good for
    • Peace and quiet seeker
    • Local favourite
    • History enthusiast
    • Outdoors explorer
    Tips
    • Visit the church's belfry for a breathtaking panoramic view of Venice.
    • Take the water bus #2 from St. Mark's Square to the island.
    • For those who love cultural events, the island has a Film Festival and an open-air Teatro Verde.
    Plan to stay:
    1-2 hours
    • Isola San Giorgio Maggiore
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