The Perfect Weekend in Venice
Collected by AFAR Editors , AFAR Staff
If you only have three days in Venice, begin with an early morning alongside the fishmongers at the Rialto Market, then follow in the footsteps of countless visitors by exploring St. Mark's Square and the central canalfront. Feast at trattorias and drink at iconic bars; hitch a gondola ride; and go island-hopping to escape the crowds and admire traditional craftsmanship.
Venice, Metropolitan City of Venice, Italy
Near the base of the landmark Rialto Bridge, the historic Rialto Market is well worth a wander. Seek it out in the early morning when it provides an authentic local experience (and awesome social-media ops), with fishmongers hawking their fresh...
Campo San Giacometto, Ponte di Rialto, 122, 30125 Venezia VE, Italy
At the foot of the Rialto Bridge with fantastic views of the Grand Canal, Osteria Bancogiro sits under the archway of the Bancogiro (a bank founded in 1600) from which the tavern gets its name. Here, you'll find a ground-floor wine bar serving...
Piazza San Marco, 328, 30124 Venezia VE, Italy
The Basilica San Marco is Venice's crown jewel. Situated at the eastern end of Piazza San Marco, the cathedral was built around 1078 on the site of an earlier house of worship. It is famously the home of the remains of the apostle Mark, which were...
Piazza San Marco, 30124 Venezia VE, Italy
Since few areas within the city of Venice afford high perspectives of the entire city, take the elevator (no stairs) to the top of San Marco's Campanile in Piazza San Marco. You may have to put up with a few elbows to get a spot against...
Piazza San Marco, 1, 30124 Venezia VE, Italy
This pink-marble waterfront edifice in Piazza San Marco dates back to the 14th century, when it was the residence and seat of government for the doges (rulers) of Venice. Today the ornate Byzantine- and Moorish-influenced Gothic Palazzo Ducale is...
Piazza San Marco, 52, 30124 Venezia VE, Italy
Few people know about the Museo Correr and yet it is in plain sight within San Marco square. For those looking for quality time within a museum dedicated to the history of Venice - from ships flags, to visiting Popes, books, maps and old coins (to...
Piazza San Marco, 1, 30122 Venezia VE, Italy
Calle Vallaresso, 1323, 30124 Venezia VE, Italy
The Bellini was born in Venice at Harry's Bar, which has been hopping since 1931. Declared a National Historic Monument by the Italian government in 2001, this San Marco bar and restaurant is a cultural institution. Even though it doesn't do the...
Campo San Fantin, 1965, 30124 Venezia VE, Italy
Aptly named after the phoenix, this opera house has risen from its own ashes three times, the last in the 1990s when it was burned in an act of arson. It was rebuilt in the same ornate style as the building that had been destroyed—a choice...
Calle Seconda de la Fava, 3604, 30122 Venezia VE, Italy
“I call this the Orange Café because there are orange banquettes inside. It’s not particularly stylish but it’s a super-friendly, family-run business. The smell inside is wonderful because they bake everything fresh each...
Calle Longa S. Maria Formosa, 5176/b, 30122 Castello, Venezia VE, Italy
Wonderful little bookstores are scattered all over Venice and Libraria Acqua Alta (Bookstore of High Water) is one of these hidden gems. Named and themed around the fact that Venice's floods are a peril to books, all of the store's stock is placed...
Sant'Elena, 30132 Venice, Metropolitan City of Venice, Italy
One of the best strolls through Venice begins in the neighborhood of Arsenale and finishes on the Island of Sant'Elena. Walk along the main drag of Via Giuseppe Garibaldi, a street full of shops and colourful local life until it dead ends. Make a...
30126 Lido, Metropolitan City of Venice, Italy
Calle Lunga S. Barnaba, 2867A, 30123 Venezia VE, Italy
“This is easily recognized as the best bakery in Venice. I’ve been coming here since I was a child. Nono Colussi is very old now, so the bakery is mostly run by his daughter, who is also of a certain age. They don’t make very...
Fondamenta Vin Castello, 30125 Venezia VE, Italy
Two things you need to know about gondola rides in Venice: They're worth it; and the price is agreed beforehand. Knowing those two things, you can happily hop aboard this traditional Venetian mode of transport and relax, because, touristy as it...
Sestiere Santa Croce, 30135 Venezia VE, Italy
In a less touristy part of Venice, where locals live and play, Campo San Giacomo all'Orio is a wonderful neighborhood square. Here you'll find Al Prosecco, a fantastic locally oriented wine bar where you can sit outside right on the square and...
Murano, 30141 Venice, Metropolitan City of Venice, Italy
Famous for its long history of handblown glassmaking, Murano sits just a few minutes' ferry ride offshore in the Venetian Lagoon. The main attraction is the Glass Museum (Museo del Vetro), which recounts the history of glass through the centuries,...
Fondamenta Marco Giustinian, 8, 30141 Venezia VE, Italy
On the charming Venetian island of Murano, Museo del Vetro is an exemplary glass museum in a wonderful old palace that's worth exploring if you have an interest in the art of blowing glass. It's been a museum since the mid-1800s and features both...
30100 Venice, Metropolitan City of Venice, Italy
While exploring Burano, break for a fabulous seafood lunch at Al Gato Nero. The "black cat" restaurant is the creation of Ruggero Bovo, who has been cooking up some of the tastiest fresh fish and seafood here since 1965. "I love the fish of the...
Fondamenta di Santa Caterina, 3, 30142 Venezia VE, Italy
Begun by the family of winemaker Gianluca Bisol, who is famous for his prosecco, the menu at this Mazzorbo restaurant is focused on seasonal and local ingredients, much of which is grown right on the estate, which is located 35 minutes from the...
Calle dei Bergamaschi, 2283, 30124 San Marco, Venezia VE, Italy
The Hotel Flora is an ivy-clad 17th-century palazzo tucked down a narrow alleyway in San Marco. It’s hidden from the crowds, but still an easy stroll to the buzz of San Marco Palazzo and the Grand Canal. Like all grand Venetian homes,...
Rio Terrà Foscarini, 979A, 30123 Dorsoduro, Venezia VE, Italy
Overlooking a postcard-perfect Venetian street (a former canal, now paved over) in the artistic Dorsoduro district, this 500-year-old merchant’s townhouse has been revamped as the boutique hotel Ca’Pisani. Behind the traditional...
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