If you’re looking for a unique and beautiful travel destination, look no further than Venice, Italy. The history of the city is rich and fascinating, and there’s no better way to experience it than by exploring the countless famous landmarks in Venice.
This city is home to countless landmarks and attractions that are sure to fascinate any traveler. They are also are important to understand the history and culture of Venice.
From the Doge’s Palace to the Rialto Bridge, here are some of the most famous landmarks and attractions in Venice that you won’t want to miss.
Visiting Venice – Useful City Passes
When traveling in Venice, there are some passes which can be a good time and cost savers depending on your itinerary. Here are some thing to check out and see if they fit your plans.
- Waterbus and Mainland Bus Pass: Unlimited use of the water and bus transport to get around for a fixed period of time.
- Hop-on-Hop-off Boats: Same concept as Hop-on Hop-Off buses but on boats that runs a certain route to get to touristic points.
- Private Airport Water Taxi Transfer: If you are coming in or leaving by flight, the most convenient option to travel between your hotel and Venice Marco Polo Airport (VCE)
- Shared Airport Water Taxi Transfer: For a more budget avenue, there is a shared water taxi option as well.
- Express Bus Airport Transfer: If you prefer to travel by land, there is also a shuttle bus that gets you from Marco Polo Airport (VCE) to Venice city center.
Most Popular Landmark in Venice
Venice is famous for its stunning landscape, waterways with lots of beautiful churches, and Venetian palaces. However, the most famous iconic landmark in Venice has to be the St Mark’s Basilica.
St Mark’s Basilica
This is Venice’s most famous church and landmark featuring intricate Byzantine architecture. The basilica was built in the 11th century to house the remains of St Mark, the patron saint of Venice.
The interior of the church is very ornate, with mosaics, marble floors and walls, and a lot of gold. The exterior is also impressive, with a grand facade and two bell towers.
The basilica is located in St Mark’s Square, which is the most famous square in Venice and one of the busiest areas in the city. You can get skip-the-line access in advance to this popular attraction to save time. Most travelers will do a combination with other popular attractions like the Doge palace.
Campanil de San Marco
In addition, the Basilica is also home to the Campanil. The Campanil de San Marco is the bell tower of St. Mark’s Basilica. The tower is 98 meters (321 feet) tall and was built in the 12th century. With its height, the tall structure is unsurprisingly also another iconic landmark in Venice, offering stunning views over the city.
Religious Landmarks in Venice
Basilica di Santa Maria della Salute
This beautiful church was built in the 17th century to honor the Virgin Mary and give thanks for her protection against the devastating plague of 1630.
The building is octagonal in shape, surrounded by a portico with columns, and has an impressive dome. The interior is very ornate, with paintings and sculptures by some of Venice’s most famous artists.
You can climb up to the terrace for great views of Venice and the Grand Canal.
Basilica Santi Giovanni e Paolo
This is one of the largest churches in Venice and also one of the most important, as it’s the final resting place of 25 doges (the rulers of Venice) as well as other famous Venetians.
The basilica was built in the 14th century but wasn’t completed until the 15th century. The interior is very grand, with marble floors and walls, high ceilings, and a lot of gilding. There are also many works of art inside, by famous artists such as Tintoretto and Veronese.
Basilica Santa Maria Gloriosa dei Frari
This is another large and important church in Venice, built in the 14th century for the Franciscan order of monks.
The basilica is Gothic in style and has a very simple interior, compared to other churches in Venice. But it’s still impressive, with tall columns and high ceilings. There are also some great works of art inside, including a statue of Giovanni Bellini and paintings by Titian.
Santa Maria dei Miracoli
This small church is located in the Cannaregio district of Venice and was built in the 16th century.
The church gets its name (“Church of the Miracles”) from the fact that it houses a miraculous image of the Virgin Mary, which is said to have saved Venice from invasion by Turkish pirates in 1571.
The exterior of the church is very simple but the interior is ornate, with baroque paintings and stucco work.
Basilica Santi Giovanni e Paolo
This is the largest church in Venice and it’s one of the city’s first Gothic buildings. The basilica was built in the 14th century but wasn’t completed until the 15th century. It’s the final resting place of 27 doges (the rulers of Venice) such as Giovanni Gradenigo and Paolo Lucio Anafesto, as well as other famous Venetians.
The interior of the church is very grand, with high ceilings and a lot of marble. There are also many works of art inside, by famous artists such as Bellini and Veronese.
Natural Landmark in Venice
Canalazzo (The Grand Canal)
The Canalazzo is the main waterway in the city and one of the most famous landmarks in Venice. It’s over four kilometers long and up to 70 meters wide in some parts.
The canal is a great place to take a boat ride or simply walk along and enjoy the views. There are many bridges that cross the canal, including the Rialto Bridge and the Accademia Bridge. It is a place with lots of hustle and bustle from both tourists and local life.
Monuments in Venice – Squares and Bridges
This is the oldest bridge across the Grand Canal and one of the most iconic Venice landmarks. The first wooden bridge was built here in 1181 but it was replaced by the current stone bridge in 1588.
It is one of the four bridges that span the Grand Canal and was once the only way to cross the canal.
The Rialto Bridge is a great place to get a view of the Grand Canal. It is always full of people, especially in the mornings when the Rialto Market is open. The area is also a popular spot for souvenir shopping.
Ponte dei Sospiri (Bridge of Sighs)
This is one of Venice’s most famous landmarks and it’s located in the Doge’s Palace. The bridge was built in the 16th century and it gets its name from the fact that prisoners would cross it on their way to jail, and they would sigh at their last glimpse of freedom.
The Bridge of Sighs is a beautiful bridge, made of white limestone with baroque-style arches. It is designed by Antonio Contino and is one of the most photographed landmarks in Venice, particularly because there is a weird tradition to kiss under the bridge while on the gondola.
Ponte della Paglia (Bridge of Straw)
This bridge is in the Dorsoduro district of Venice connecting San Marco District to the Castello District. The bridge gets its name (“Bridge of the Straw Men”) from the traditional Venetian festival of Carnival when people would dress up in straw costumes.
The bridge is a beautiful bridge, made of white stone with arches on either side. It’s a popular spot for taking photos because it has a good vantage point of the Bridge of Sighs.
Ponte de Pugni (The Bridge of Fists)
This is a small bridge located in the Dorsoduro district of Venice. It’s one of the city’s most unusual landmarks because it was built to settle a feud between two groups of men who were fighting with their fists!
The bridge was built in 1574 and it’s said that the men would wash their bloodied fists in the canal below. This is, fortunately, one of the lost traditions in Venice. Nowadays, the bridge is a popular spot for couples to take photos and where some gondola vendors like to sell their goods.
This is another bridge across the Grand Canal, located in the Dorsoduro district. The current bridge was built in 1933 but there have been bridges here since 1488.
Ponte dell’Accademia is a very popular spot for visitors to Venice, as it has great views of the Grand Canal. It’s also a popular spot for photographers, as the light tends to be good here in the mornings and evenings.
Piazza San Marco (St. Mark’s Square)
This is the main square in Venice in the heart of the city, and it’s where you’ll find some of the city’s most famous landmarks, such as St Mark’s Basilica and the Palazzo Ducale.
The square is named after the patron saint of Venice, St Mark. It’s a beautiful square, with a lot of history and culture. It’s also one of the most popular famous landmarks in Venice, so it can be quite crowded.
Venice Landmarks – Museums and Palaces
Palazzo Ducale (the Doge’s Palace)
The Doge’s Palace was the seat of power and residence of the Doges (the rulers of Venice) for centuries. It was built in 1340 but has undergone many changes and additions over the years, with various architects working on it. It was greatly enlarged in the 16th century.
The palace is a beautiful building, with a mix of Gothic and Renaissance styles. It’s not just one of the most popular landmarks in Venice but also very easy to find on the Piazza San Marco.
One of the most popular museums in Venice, the Gallerie dell’Accademia was created in 1750 and it houses a collection of art from the Venetian school, as well as some important works by other Italian artists.
There is a great collection of Venetian art from the 14th to the 18th century. It also has a lot of famous paintings, such as The Marriage of Cana by Veronese. You can see works by famous artists such as Titian, Tintoretto, and Veronese.
You can find this museum in the Dorsoduro district.
This is one of the most beautiful Renaissance palaces in Venice, built in the 16th century. This Venice landmark in the Castello district was once the home of some important noble families.
Nowadays, it’s open to the public and you can visit the apartments which have been furnished with period furniture. The palace also has a beautiful garden, which is worth a visit.
Venetian Arsenal and Museum of Naval History
The Arsenal was once the largest shipyard in the world and it played an important role in the history of Venice. It was built in 110 fourth century and it’s where Venetian ships were built and repaired.
Nowadays, it’s no longer used as a shipyard but it’s still an active naval base. You can visit the Arsenal Museum which has a collection of nautical artifacts, models of ships, and paintings.
This is one of the most recognizable landmarks in Venice, and also one of the most popular tourist attractions.
This is another beautiful palace in Venice, built in the 18th century. The building features a Neoclassic architecture style It was once the home of a wealthy Venetian family and now belongs to a French – Francois Pinault.
The palace has been restored and it’s used as a venue for exhibitions and cultural events. It also houses a museum that showcases art collections of Pinault. It’s located on the Grand Canal, so it’s easy to find.
If you’re interested in art and history, then this is a place you should definitely visit. There are often interesting exhibitions taking place here.
Museo Ebraico di Venezia
The Jewish Museum of Venice is located in the ghetto, which is the oldest ghetto in the world. It was established in 1516 when the Venetian Republic ordered that all Jews had to live in this area.
The museum has a collection of artifacts and documents that tell the story of Jewish life in Venice. It’s a small but interesting museum that’s worth a visit.
Palazzo Ca’ Rezzonico
This is one of the most beautiful palaces in Venice featuring baroque and rococo architecture that is popular in the 18th and 19th centuries. You can access this palace via the gondola since it is on the grand canal.
Nowadays, it’s open to the public and serves as the Venice Museum of the 18th century. There are impressive artworks and interior designs waiting to be discovered, as well as a spectacular view of the canal from the upper floors.
Peggy Guggenheim Collection
This is a museum that’s dedicated to modern art, in the Dorsoduro district of Venice. It is housed in an 18th-century palazzo on the Grand Canal. The museum has a large collection of masterpieces by famous artists such as Pablo Picasso, Jackson Pollock, and Mark Rothko. You can expect to see 20th-century art pieces featuring different styles from Surrealism to Abstract art.
Palazzo Ca’ Loredan (Town Hall)
This is one of the most famous landmarks in Venice, facing the Grand Canal. It was built in the 13th century but has undergone many changes over the years.
The Palazzo Corner Loredan is a beautiful Venetian Byzantine building with a lot of history. It’s now the Town Hall of Venice and it’s open to the public.
You can visit the ground floor, where you’ll find a lot of interesting artworks and rooms. The Palazzo is worth a visit if you’re interested in Venice’s history and culture.
Palazzo Ca’ D’Oro (Golden House)
This is one of the most beautiful palaces on the Grand Canal, built in the 15th century. It gets its name from the gilded stucco work on the façade, which used to be even more impressive but has since faded.
The interior of the palace is just as beautiful, with richly decorated rooms and halls. It’s open to the public and there are guided tours available. This palace is now also home to the Franchetti Gallery.
Palazzo Ca’ Pessaro and Modern Art Museum
This is a beautiful palace located in the Dorsoduro district of Venice. It was built in the 13th century and has been home to many important families over the years.
Nowadays, it houses the Modern Art Museum of Venice, which is definitely worth a visit. The museum has a great collection of modern and contemporary art, with works by artists such as Marcel Duchamp, Pablo Picasso, and Andy Warhol.
This museum is in the Piazza San Marco and is one of the city’s main museums. It’s housed in three different palaces (Palazzo Ducale, Palazzo Grimani, and Palazzo Mocenigo) and has a collection of art, sculptures, furniture, and historical objects.
The museum covers a wide range of topics, from the history of Venice to art and culture. If you’re interested in learning more about Venice, this is a great place to start.
Museo Civico di Storia Naturale
This museum is located in the Castello district of Venice and is one of the oldest museums in Italy. It was founded in 1838 and has a collection of natural history objects, including minerals, animals, and plants.
The museum also has a botanical garden, which is worth a visit in itself. If you’re interested in nature or science, this is a great place to spend an afternoon.
Venice Landmarks – Districts and Islands
San Giorgio Maggiore Island
This is a small island located in the lagoon, just off the shore of Venice. It’s home to a beautiful church and monastery, as well as a bell tower with views over the city. The island is also the headquarters for Cini Foundation Arts Centre.
San Giorgio Maggiore is a great place to escape the crowds and enjoy some peace and quiet. It’s also worth visiting for the views of Venice from the bell tower.
Cannaregio – Venetian Ghetto Novo
The Cannaregio district is home to Venice’s Jewish ghetto, which was established in 1516. It was the first ghetto in Europe and remained in use until Napoleon abolished it in 1797.
Today, the ghetto is a lively and vibrant part of Venice, with narrow streets, small squares, and traditional shops and restaurants.
Be sure to visit the Jewish Museum and the Synagogue, which is one of the most important landmarks in Venice.
This is a small island to the north of Venice. It’s home to the Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta, which was built in the 12th century. The cathedral is one of the oldest in Venice and has some beautiful Byzantine mosaics.
The island is also home to a museum, which houses a collection of Roman and Byzantine artifacts. If you’re interested in history or architecture, this is a great place to visit.
Burano is an island in the Venetian lagoon, known for its colorful houses and traditional lace-making. The island is home to a small museum dedicated to lace-making, as well as several shops where you can buy traditional Burano lace.
If you’re looking for a unique and beautiful place to visit, Burano is certainly one destination to consider. You can get a boat trip to these islands.
Murano is another Venetian lagoon island known for glass making. The island is home to several glass factories and shops, as well as a museum dedicated to glassmaking.
If you’re interested in learning about the traditional glass-making process, Murano is a great place to visit. You can also buy some beautiful glassware to take home with you.
These islands are popular day trip destinations when visiting Venice.
Venice Cimitero Monumentale and San Michele Island
This is a cemetery island, just off the shore of Venice. It’s home to the Cimitero Monumentale – the final resting place for many famous Venetians, including Sergei Diaghilev, Igor Stravinsky, and Ezra Pound.
Although it may not sound like a typical tourist destination, San Michele is definitely worth a visit. The cemetery is beautiful and peaceful, and it’s a great place to appreicate the history of Venice.
Other Famous Landmarks in Venice
Scuola Grande Di San Rocco
This is a building that was once a school but is now home to a museum. The Scuola Grande Di San Rocco is known for its beautiful paintings and frescoes, which were created by Tintoretto. This is one of the six “Great Schools” of Venice and was founded in the 13th century as a religious confraternity.
The building is ornately decorated, with beautiful paintings on the ceiling and walls. The highlight is Giovanni Bellini’s “San Rocco Altarpiece”, which is a large painting that covers the entire wall.
Rialto Market is one of the most famous landmarks in Venice and it’s a must-visit for any traveler. The market has been around since the 10th century and is home to some of the best seafood and fresh produces in Venice. You can find fresh fish, clams, mussels, and other seafood at Rialto Market.
In addition, the market is a great place to buy souvenirs and gifts for friends and family. It is a popular stop for local Venice food tours for good reason.
Teatro La Fenice
This is one of the most famous opera houses in the world and is certainly a proud landmark of Venice. The theatre was built in the 1790s by Antonio Selva and has been home to many famous operas, including “La Bohème” and “Madama Butterfly”.
If you’re interested in architecture or opera, Teatro La Fenice is a great place to visit for touring. Better yet, catch a show! Even if you’re not an opera or musical fan, it’s worth checking out this world renowned landmark in Venice.
Lido di Venezia
The Lido di Venezia is a long, thin island cutting between the Venetian lagoon and the Adriatic Sea. It’s known for its beaches and resorts and is a popular destination for tourists.
If you’re looking to escape the crowds of Venice, the Lido di Venezia is definitely worth a visit. You can relax on the beach, or explore the island’s small shops and restaurants. This is the place to be for a quick beach getaway in Venice.
This is the official clock tower of Venice in St. Mark’s Square. The tower was built in the 14th century and is one of the most famous landmarks in Venice. You can find it “guarding” the entrance arch to the shopping district.
The clock tower is decorated with two bronze Moors, which strike a bell to mark the time. The astronomical clock itself is very intricate, with several moving parts. It is one of the classic buildings in venetian architecture.
Discovering Monuments and Landmarks in Venice
These are just some of the famous landmarks, buildings, and attractions in Venice Italy that travelers should visit to better understand the Venice culture. There is so much history behind each one of these places that it would be hard to pick and choose.
Nonetheless, be sure to spend some time discovering some of these landmarks in Venice when traveling there. You are sure to uncover many things that Venice is known for.