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10 best things to do in Venice

City breaks in Venice consist of long afternoons spent in cafes on Piazza San Marco, photographing the picturesque Grand Canal, and trying to see all of Saint Mark's Basilica in the centre - Tripbod Ekaterina runs us through the best places to see when you're there!

1. Doge’s Palace

Palazzo Ducale is definitely a must-see attraction. One of the oldest buildings in town, erected in the mid-14th century as the Doge’s residence, it features typical Gothic architecture. In 1923 the Ducal Palace was turned into a museum, displaying an extensive collection of masterpieces and hosting various art exhibitions. Take a tour inside and go up the Giant’s Staircase into the Courtyard, then visit the lavishly decorated Doge’s Apartment and the Senate Hall. You will have a unique opportunity to walk through the Bridge of Sighs, the only bridge in Venice that is completely covered, where those who had to walk from the court to the prisons could take their last breath of fresh air. Discover the mysteries of the Doge’s Palace on a Secret Itineraries tour.

Address: San Marco, 1, 30124 Venezia, Italy Opening times: 8:30am–7pm Entry: €19.50 (Entry to Doge’s is included in the Museum Pass)

2. Ca’ Rezzonico Palace and Museum

Explore the Venetian art of the 18th century by paying a visit to this magnificent palace, located close to Campo San Barnaba. Discover halls and ballrooms decorated with splendid works of art by the most important Venetian artists, such as Tiepolo, Tintoretto and Longhi. If you walk to Ca’ Rezzonico from Campo San Barnaba you find yourself in a quiet little garden, where you can take a rest away from noisy touristy spots.

Address: Dorsoduro, 3136, 30123 Venezia, Italy Opening times: 10am – 6pm Entry: €10.00

3. St Mary of the Friars Church

Basilica di Santa Maria Gloriosa dei Frari, located near the Scuola Grande di San Rocco, is a wonderful example of Gothic architecture. Its beautiful façade will leave you in awe, and you’ll be surprised to find numerous art treasures inside, including masterpieces by Titian, Donatello and Bellini.

Address: San Polo, 3072, 30125 Venezia, Italy Opening times: 9am – 5.30pm Entry: Free

4. Pasticceria Tonolo

Hidden in the middle of Dorsoduro, this pastry shop, dating back to 1886, is one of the oldest and most renowned in town. This place is very popular with Venetians, offering a wide array of delicacies as well as excellent coffee. Most of the pastries cost €1, an unbeatable price for Venetian standards. Make sure you try their meringues, and during the Carnival period enjoy the delicious fritelle (round donuts with raisins and cream).

Address: Dorsoduro 3764 Opening times: 7.45am-8pm

5. Ca’ d’Oro

Also known as the ‘Golden House’, this marvellous palace on the Grand Canal is a Gothic architecture masterpiece with a beautifully decorated floral façade. At the moment it is an art museum that houses Renaissance sculptures, as well as paintings by Titian and Guardi. Don’t miss out on the chance to view the Grand Canal from the balconies of the palace.

Address: Cannaregio, 3932, 30121 Venezia Opening times: 8.15am-6.15pm Entry: €1.00

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6. Ai Mercanti Restaurant

This restaurant is well hidden in the area of Campo San Luca and Campo Manin, a bit off the beaten track but still worth going to. You will be pleasantly surprised at the creative combination of the ingredients and the elaborate fusion menu with a great wine selection. Try the sea bass tartare or rabbit terrine.

Address:Calle Fuseri, 4346/a, 30011 Venezia, Italy Opening times: 12:30–3:15pm, 7–10pm

7. Basilica of St Mary of Health

Basilica di Santa Maria della Salute, close to the Accademia Bridge, was built after the deadly plague hit Venice in 1630. This magnificent white church, often called simply ‘Salute’, is one of the most beautiful and recognizable landmarks of Venice. If you seek peace and tranquillity, step into the church and admire the works of Titian and Tintoretto adorning the interior.

Address: Fondamenta Salute, 30123 Venezia, Italy Opening times: 9am-noon & 3-5.30pm Entry: €3.00

8. Church of Santa Maria dei Miracoli

Find this hidden gem in the sestiere (district) of Cannaregio. The church was built from the money donated by locals to house the icon of the Virgin Mary known to work miracles. Escape the crowds of tourists and discover this beautiful marble church, located in a quiet area five minutes away from the Rialto Bridge.

Address: Rio dei Miracoli, 6074, Venezia, Italy Opening times: 10am – 5pm Entry: €2.50

9. Rosticceria Gislon

A stone’s throw away from the Rialto Bridge, this is a casual restaurant popular with locals. They have a variety of fried snacks (try olive ascolane and mozzarella in carrozza), fresh sandwiches (the small triangular ones are called tramezzini) and good spritz (a typical Venetian aperitif drink made with prosecco and Aperol or Campari). Here you can also find lots of great dishes that cost around €6-8: lasagna, grilled fish, salads, risottos and many more.

Address:Calle de la Bissa, 5424, 30124 San Marco, Venezia, Italy Opening times: 9am-9.30pm

10. Suso Gelatoteca

This is one of the best ice cream shops in Venice. All their ice cream is made with natural ingredients and without using any artificial colourings. Besides the classic selection, the place also offers original flavours. Ask for the Quella – a chocolate praline with Nutella on top, a specialty of the shop. If you want to taste authentic Italian gelato, you won’t be disappointed.

Address: San Marco 5453, Campo San Bartolomeo, Venezia, Italy Opening times: 10am–12am

More travel tips for Venice…

How to do Venice on a budget

You can see the most beautiful spots in Venice (like the Rialto Bridge and the Grand Canal) for free.

Our top tips for a family holiday in Venice

There are family friendly restaurants aplenty, and the vaporetti is the best way to get around with little ones.

Top 8 places to eat on the cheap in Venice

Blow your budget on a boutique hotel in the city centre, and dine in some of Venice’s best local (and affordable) restaurants. It’s a good trade off!

Get the best prices on your flights to Venice with Skyscanner – we find the best deals from multiple providers, and we don’t charge a booking fee.

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About the Author: Tripbod Ekaterina is a freelance translator and interpreter. She loves traveling and exploring new cultures. Ekaterina runs a blog – EcoCutie.net – about homemade beauty recipes and organic products.._For advice and help planning your trip to Venice you can contact Tripbod Ektarina directly on Tripbod.com.

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