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Venice Attractions - Free Things to do in Venice

Top Venice Attractions

Top rated Free Venice Attractions and Paid Attractions list

1. Saint Mark's Basilica (Free)

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Saint Mark’s Basilica one of the famous historical places present in Venice, which was consecrated in 832 AD as a religious kind of building in order to house the relics of St. Mark the Evangelist. The design of this building is a mixture of both eastern and western architectural styles that makes it a unique architectural structure in the city of Venice.

Saint Mark’s Basilica is considered as one of the best examples of Byzantine structure and architecture in the world and this is probably the main reason that makes it a place for attraction of the tourists. This building is also known as “Church of Gold” (Chiesa d’Oro in Italian) because of its beautiful and opulent design as well as gilded interior mosaics.

The greatness of the city of Venice has always been reflected in the enrichment of Saint Mark’s Basilica as the extent of artistic work, iconographic and religious contents appeals a lot of tourists around the world.

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2. Musica A Palazzo (Paid)

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Musica A Palazzo is one of the most famous cultural associations in Venice, founded in the year 2005. The association is famous for its performances that were delivered in Palazzo BarbarigoMinotto, an astounding palace built in Venetian Gothic style. The style and aura of the place is simply breathtaking; the grand piano of the palace against the backdrop of stupendous frescos and sculptures made by the crafting hands of Tiepolo and CarpoforoTencalla. Other than the stage, the act of performance is also one of its kind. The performances follow the style of Salotto Musicale, a 19th century Italian style of musical performance. The operas are conducted without the presence of a stage so that the audience can be a part of the scene being presented.

This place is very famous for the environment it has created around it and for the Gothic style it features.

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3. St. Mark's Square (Piazza San Marco) (Free)

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This is another free attraction found in the city of Venice that is most popularly known for activities like dining, shopping and city walk sight-seeing. Napoleon himself called San Marco as “the drawing room of Europe”. St Mark’s Square has been a long lure for a large amount of pigeons that draw a massive number of tourists to this place who readily feed them.

Piazza San Marco was initially constructed as a small square dotted with trees in the 9th century. Because of being the largest square in this city, it was bestowed with designation of “piazza” while all others are referred as “campi”. It always remained the location of important government buildings and other facilities that are central to goings on in Venice.

The centre piece of the piazza is Saint Mark's Basilica (a great historical building) and another dominant building includes Doge’s Palace (a beautiful gothic structure). Presence of these buildings makes this square a tourist-driven place.

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4. Teatro La Fenice (Paid)

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Teatro La Fenice is one of the most astounding places to visit in Venice. It is an opera house and is considered one of the most renowned theatres across Europe. The reason of this stardom is the fact that this opera house has staged some of the best operatic premiers, giving it a special place in the hearts of theatre and art lovers. The name represents a long history that the opera house had to bear, with the meaning being ‘rise from the ashes’. The story incorporates the losing of theatre once to the fire and the next time due to legal issues, but still stands erect as one of the landmarks in the domain of opera and theatre. Since its name been changed to La Fenice, the theatre has seen two tragedies by being broke down by fire and by being rebuilt twice, giving i9t a comparison to the legend of phoenix

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5. San Giorgio Maggiore (Free)

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San Giorgio Maggiore is an island present in the city of Venice mainly famous because of a 16th Century Benedictine monastery or church present on it. This church’s facade is scaled in a way to present a public face to the city of Venice. This architecturally influential church was designed in 1566 by Andrea Palladio and later finished in 1610 by Vincenzo Scamozzi and located in the opposite of San Marco Basilica monumental.

San Giorgio Maggiore is one of the first sights of the city of Venice that becomes visible to a traveler who approaches by sea. This church presents a characteristic and mannerist arrangement of all the classics that is dominated by a pediment present in centre and flanked by two halves a broken pediment.

This place also attracts the tourists because of its spaciously light-filled interior, in which a screen of columns particularly separates high altar from monastic choir present behind it.

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6. Peggy Guggenheim Collection (Paid)

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Peggy Guggenheim Collection is one of the most enthralling museums in the city of Venice. Situated on the Grand Canal, the museum has a long history. It was originally a private collection owned by an American lady Peggy Guggenheim. In the year 1951, she started displaying the collection publically. The collection was passed to Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation, who then took the initiate of displaying the collection throughout the year for the people. The collection rests in the Palazzo VenierdeiLeoni, a breath taking palace from the 18th century whi9ch was originally the Guggenheim's home.

The collection is one of the biggest tourist attractions in Venice and people from all over the world make it a note to have a detailed look at the collection whenever they visit the amazing city of Venice.

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7. Santa Maria deiMiracoli (Paid)

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Santa Maria deiMiracoli is one of the most famous churches in Venice, being a part of sestiere of Cannaregio. The church is also known by the name of Marble Church due to the fact that is one of the most remarkable works of the coloured marble architecture that was constructed in the age of Venetian Renaissance. The church was built between the years 1481-1489 to be the home to the iconic Virgin Mary by the hands of Pietro Lombardo. Later in the year 1484, the church was expanded by adding a convent for nuns who belonged to St. Clare. The church was also connected to a gallery that held mesmerizing works but was later destroyed. The ceiling of the church is divided into fifty coffers, bearing the paintings of prophets, giving a different touch to the church. The environment of the church is very pleasant and calm.

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8. Rialto Bridge: (Free)

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Rialto Bridge is considered as the true heart of Venice. This bridge is a landmark in this city characterized by 24-foot arch and is built on more than 12,000 pilings that provide a support to the bridge. This bridge is the first of only four bridges that span the Grand Canal. Rialto Bridge is lined with a number of shops that provide a gateway to the famous Rialto Market.

This bridge becomes an attraction for a number of tourists around the world because its elegant design and arched stone made structure with arcades present of each side. The central archway present at its pinnacle is mainly accessed by using wide stairs that are designed on either side of Rialto Bridge. These stairs also serve as a lookout perch. Numerous shops are also built under the arcades that provide catering services to all the tourists who come here to see this famous bridge and its views.

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9. Gondola Ride (Paid)

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If you are in Venice, the gondola ride is a must to have during the entire trip, as it is the chief source of transport around the city. A gondola is a flat bottom rowing boat which is propelled by a human and can take you around the city for you to admire the beauty of it in the most splendid and traditional manner. It is very popular on routes where Grand Canal is located and has a very high demand amongst the tourists who come to look around at the scenic beauties of Venice.

The increasing popularity of these gondolas and the fact that travelling around Venice is most easy on them, many different types of gondolas have been made by the passage of time and each is unique in its own way.

Unlike many modern boats, gondola is not a paddle boat. Instead, it is rowed and this is what still displays how the ancient Venice life would have been

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10. Santi Giovanni e Paolo (Paid)

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Known as San Zanipolo in Venetian dialect, the Basilica di San Giovanni e Paolo is one of the most famous churches in the world. It is considered as one of the largest churches in Venice and pins the status of minor basilica. It has major importance as after the 15th century, the funeral services of Venice’s doges were held in the church. The church also is home to the graves of 25 doges.

The building has an extremely interesting construction, being built in the Italian Gothic style. It is also the principal Dominican church of Venice. The purpose of its construction was to preach masses and congregations. The construction of the church started in 1246 and in the year 1333, the first church was demolished and the church that stands erect now was constructed with its completion being in the year 1430.

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11. Santa Maria della Salute: (Free)

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Santa Maria della Salute (English: Saint Mary of Health), commonly known simply as the Salute, is a Roman Catholic church and minor basilica located in the Dorsoduro sestiere of the Italian city of Venice. It stands on a narrow finger of land between the Grand Canal and the Bacino di San Marco making the church visible when entering the Piazza San Marco from the water. The Salute is part of the parish of the Gesuati and is the most recent of the so-called plague-churches. One of the loveliest and most authentic neighborhoods in Venice; Cannaregio is home to Venice’s Jewish Ghetto, the train station of Santa Lucia… and to the majority of Venice’s actual residents.

The Salute is octagonal in shape and sits on a platform of 100,000 wooden piles. It is Interior of the Basilica di Santa Maria della Salute in Venice is constructed of Istrian stone and a marble-dust-covered brick known as marmorino. Though classic in design, it contains some Byzantine elements.

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12. Ca' Rezzonico (Paid)

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Ca' Rezzonico is a public Museum on the Grand Canal in the astounding city of Venice. Originally it is a palazzo but was later transformed into a museum and is handled by FondazioneMuseiCivici di Venezia. The palazzo was originally intended to become Jesuit College but due to complex inheritance issues, it was handed over to Pindemonte-Giovanelli family who sold the complete collections and furnishing of the palazzo in the year 1837. The only thing that remained was the frescos. The palazzo was once the home of the famous painter Robert Browning and later the American painter John Singer Sargent was also a tenant of the palazzo. The palazzo is famous for its architecture, the artifacts and the aura that it holds in the Venetian architecture.

This public museum not only attracts the tourist heading to this great city but also is a centre of attention of the residents of the city. That is the reason this attractions is packed with people throughout the year especially in the months of April and October.

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13. San Zaccaria (Free)

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Home to an amazing collection of artwork by some of Italy's best artists, Chiesa di San Zaccaria is one of the most photographed ecclesiastic buildings in Venice. Named for the father of St. John the Baptist, St. Zacharias Church (San Zaccaria) is situated at a quiet square not far from the waterfront, just east of St. Mark's Square. The church supposedly contains the body of Zacharias.

The original church, which sat at the same site, was built in the 9th century. It was founded by Doge Giustiniano Particiaco and an extant crypt from that church is the burial place of eight former doges.Inside, the apse is surrounded by a passageway lighted by beautiful, tall Gothic windows and the walls are lined with some of the most magnificent works of art found in Venice. Artists included in this collection are Tintoretto, Angelo Trevisani, Giuseppe Salviati, Giovanni Bellini, Antonio Balestra, Giovanni Domenico Tiepolo, Palma the Elder and Van Dyck.

San Zaccaria, Venice

The most famous painting inside the church and one that's been recently renovated is Bellini's last Madonna with child and saints, painted in 1505.

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14. Campo Santa Margherita (Free)

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Campo Santa Margherita is a popular piazza present in Venice’s Dorsoduro district. This is one of the busiest courtyards located in the Italy that is surrounded by bars, shops, cafes and a public market that is made in buildings that date back to the 14th century.

Campo Santa Margherita is considered as the social heart of Dorsoduro district. Historical buildings with markets that encircle the area are a home to mixture of private residencies, restaurants, a weekday market of flowers and some off-beat shops that give energy throughout the day. Presence of a university in near-by also adds vitality to this place. This place is considered more a spot for local residents as compared to the tourists.

People visit this place for a number of reasons. Some come here to stock up on bread, eggs, newspapers or other daily activities. Some visitors come here to shop at various boutiques or to socialize at cafes and restaurants.

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15. IlRedentore (Paid)

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Il Redentore is the first church that was product of great plague and celebrated its deliverance in 1575 from the bout. The site was chosen on purpose so it can be ceremonial in its orientation. The amazing ceremony is still held today, every year, on the third Sunday of July which attracts tourists from all over the world. In the ceremony, a bridge of boats is constructed across the grand canal of Venice. The church has the aura of a sanctuary due to its location and its structure that was selected purposefully, as was the fashion in those days. The church has an astounding grand stair entrance which captivates the tourists from a long distance.

The church has thermal windows that reflect the early Roman technology at a time when such things were nonexistent. The church is solemn in its appearance, but this was not always the case. There was a time when it was pompous in its outlooks but was mollified by the monks whom the church was handed over.

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16. Venice Jazz Club (Paid)

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One of the most exciting places to enjoy the night life at Venice is the Venice Jazz Club. It is a place where you can find exclusive live concerts for classic and modern Latin jazz, bossa nova and jazz.

One of the most unique thing about this place is that despite it is not a hotel or restaurant, they still serve some food, and you may even opt to book the entire venue for private parties, dinners and weddings too. The best part is, you may also go there and have fun with your family out there because the environment of the jazz club is suitable not only for teenagers to party there with friends, but also it is suitable for families.

The entire band there is appreciated by the listeners. They have performed all over the world and are able to blow off the minds of people there with their music, even though the venue is not attractive enough by itself.

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17. Rialto Market (Free)

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Rialto market is a type of flea or street market mainly famous because of shopping and dining activities. This market is one of the most popular free attractions found in the strange and beautiful city of Venice.

This market is rich with sea food as it befits Venice’s ocean perch. Venetian locals as well as international tourists love to visit this centuries old market of Venice for delicious fruit, fish and vegetables. Like many other markets that are for tourist’s visits, it is very hard to determine in Rialto Market too that what was a local tradition and what flowed in from far away because of colors and varieties.

But a tourist will always love to spend his or her morning in this market as the stalls here browse fresh & tasty dates, plums, oranges, figs, fennels. Watching the fishmongers that expertly slit open big fishes and serve it to their customers is another famous tradition of this place.

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18. Chiesa di San Vidal (Free)

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Chiesa di San Vidal (The church of San Vidal) was founded in the Eleventh Century during the rule of Doge Vital Falier and was rebuilt in 18th century by Andrea Tirali. Since this church has been deconsecrated, this classic style (Palladio style) building is now a day’s used as a concert hall and a popular site to hear the works by Vivaldi on historical instruments. It also provides its services as a chief venue for arts exhibitions as well as other exhibitions and a ticket point for Interpreti Veneziani.

Within this church you can admire the paintings made by Giambattista Piazzetta and Vittore Carpaccio. Inside this church is a St Vitale on Horseback and Eight Saints, a gore free and uncharacteristic work that features traces of traffic-light red and a miniaturist’s attention to detail. Chiesa di San Vidal is an interesting example of medieval Venetian work of the 11th Century that makes this place an attraction for tourists around the world.

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19. Lagoon Islands (Paid)

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A series of Island around Venice, namely Murano, Burano and Torcello, are a must see for the visitors who intend to experience the Mother Nature and its beauty more closley. Either by booking a trip online, or getting the arrangements done when you reach Venice, you can opt to take a half day ride to all three islands and enjoy. You'll see a glass-blowing display on Murano, shop for lace on Burano and visit Venice's first church on the tranquil island of Torcello.

These islands are filled with traditional and ancient monuments which date back to the 7th century, like cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta. Hence you are entitled to enjoy not only the scenic beauty, but also visit the historic places situated there, and experience the amazing tour of places where the earliest civilizations of Venice existed.

If you are someone who is interested in visiting historic places and love to admire the scenic beauty, this half-day trip to the three islands is just the thing for you.

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20. Jewish Ghetto (Free)

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Jewish ghettos in Europe existed because Jews were viewed as foreigners due to their non-Christian beliefs and Middle-Eastern origins in a Renaissance Christian environment. As a result, Jews were placed under strict regulations throughout many European cities. The character of ghettos varied through times. In some cases, they comprised a Jewish quarter, the area of a city traditionally inhabited by Jews. In many instances, ghettos were places of terrible poverty and during periods of population growth, ghettos had narrow streets and small, crowded houses.

One of the loveliest and most authentic neighborhoods in Venice, Cannaregio is home to Venice’s Jewish Ghetto, the train station of Santa Lucia… and to the majority of Venice’s actual residents.

The area is interesting since it is still an active Jewish area with active synagogues. We enjoyed the tour, which was very informative, and covered not just the synagogues, but explained the history of Jews in Italy.

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