A visual guide with my best photos of Venice

Venice will forever remain one of the most beautiful cities I ever visited. And this is exactly the reason why I always want to return to take even more pictures. No matter how often you’ve been there before, La Serenissima will always take your breath away.

There are just so many things to do in Venice, there are some beautiful luxury hotels in Venice, and of course, there is an abundance of amazing photography spots in the city.

A traghetti gondola on the canal grande

But in all honesty, I feel that instead of running around the island, crossing bridges hither and tither, barely stopping to take a breath because you only got one day in Venice might be a big mistake.

Beauty is around every corner. You just need to take some time to appreciate it. Sometimes a scene can look totally different depending on a light. And what might be a totally dull little bridge could turn into a true spectacle at sunset.

View of Doge Palace and the Venice water front from the back of a water taxi
The Venice water front from a water taxi

And do not discount the nighttime either. If you ask me, it’s actually my favorite time of the day in Venice. Then, things really quiet down and the city is almost at peace.

a beautiful little canal with a marble bridge and a palace in Venice at night
Venice at night

Even on the famous St. Mark’s Square, you will almost find no tourists after 10 PM. And if you ask me, that’s a very special feeling – standing on a spot that sees millions of tourists each year and having it all to yourself?

The Doge's Palace and St Mark's square at night without any tourists
Venice at night

I also firmly believe in leaving the main pathways. Sure, the Canal Grande is epic and you should definitely take a water taxi or bus and enjoy the ancient Palazzos along the way.

The Canal Grande and the Rialto Bridge - a must-see if you just got one day in Venice, Italy

But, you should definitely also visit the other parts of the city that barely see any tourists. I love the area behind St. Mark’s Square where you can find the old arsenal. Such a sweet photography spot in Venice!

The entrance of the Venetian arsenal with two red brick towers to each side of the water channel and a bridge across it
The entrance of the Venetian Arsenal

In fact, just walking along the waterfront can be epic. So many, just stick to the few main attractions when in reality Venice is a city that grew over more than 1.000 years and the whole city is one big attraction – not just a few dots on a tourist map.

A bridge at the waterfront of Venice with St. Mark'S belltower in the far background

Now, I’m not saying you shouldn’t visit the Rialto Bridge. It’s beautiful and famous for a reason. But at the same time, you shouldn’t reduce the city to this one image.

The Rialto bridge with a typical Venetian street lantern in the foreground on a particular sunny day in February
The Rialto Bridge

The Doge’s Palace and St. Mark’s quite can be mentioned in the same breath. Both are worthy of your bucket list and probably 5 out of 10 postcards of Venice feature a picture of at least one of the two.

A street lantern in front of the Doge's Palace on St. Mark's square

If you walk only a couple of meters further, you can take an especially beautiful picture: The island San Giorgio Maggiore with the gondolas moored at the San Marco waterfront.

Gondolas basking in the waters in front of Saint Marc's Square in Venice

If you got the time, take a water bus from here and explore the island and its ancient convent. Climb the clock-tower for a beautiful view of the whole Venetian lagoon (the only place where you can see it all!)

View of Venice from San Giorgio maggiore - you can see the whole city from here
View of Venice from San Giorgio maggiore

I personally like the view from the little lighthouse in front of the tranquil little island even more!

The lighthouse on San GIorgio Maggiore with a view of the Doge's Palace and Venice

And talking about secret view-points. The Scala Contrarini del Bolvolo also offers a very unique view of the inner city. It’s a bit pricey (like 7 €) to climb the renaissance stairs, but worth it in my opinion.

Me at the top of the Scala Contrarini del Bolvolo - one of the best view points in venice

Now, I could rant on and on, but I actually just want the pictures to speak for themselves. But there are a couple of things you should be aware of. Believe it or not, but Venice is actually even prettier within.

So, definitely don’t miss the chance to visit one of the ancient palazzos. Or maybe even stay at one. The Aman Venice could be a very good idea – it’s certainly my favorite hotel in the city now.

The main restaurant on the second floor of AMan Venice, with golden stucco work, chandeliers and frescos all over

I visited during carnival this year and let me tell you how amazing this visit was. The city closed down only one week later and I cherish those impression like probably no other.

An acrobat attachted to a gigantic red baloon over the water channels of venice at night during carnival
The Venice Carnival at night

I finally had the time to explore beautiful Murano in full. Never really had the time on my previous vists, and what a shame that was!

View along the main water channel through the Island of Murano near Venice with three storied colorful houses on each side an a couple of boats in the foreground
The Island of Murano

Burano and Torcello also were on that list, and they might even be prettier. A waterbus will get you there in a bit over 40 minutes and you will not regret investing that time, believe me. It’s like the best Instagram spot in Venice! You’ll shoot pictures of everything – it’s all so colorful!

Incredibly colorful houses on the island of Burano near Venice

It feels a bit like a dollhouse version of Venice. When you are standing on one of the many rooftop terraces in the city, you cannot help but marvel at all the grandness – and Burano is like the cute, tiny, little sister city.

A beautiful view of the Grand Canal in Venice from the roof top of the T Fondaco department store near the Rialto bridge
The view of the Grand Canal from the rooftop of the department store

There are, however, no gondolas there. You’ll only see them crossing the Grand Canal, loaded with tourists from foreign countries, trying to catch a glimpse of the illustrious past the Venice and maybe snap a picture or two to make those who stayed at home a bit jealous.

A couple of gondolas along the grand canal in venice, italy

This is, admittedly not especially hard. It’s a bit harder to find a quiet place during the day time. But I once heard somebody tell me how pigeons and tourists are an essential part of Venice, just like the gondolas and palazzos.

Oh..and the churches. Venice has some outstanding churches, and I’m sure you will be able to get your fill there. Not all of them allow taking pictures, but they are as beautiful from within as from without.

Scene along the canal grande in venice at night

Anyway, I hope you enjoyed these pictures of Venice and my little walkthrough. These are difficult times, and I felt like adding a little joyful light. I hope I succeeded .


me in venice on the island of San Giorgio Maggiore
Me enjoying the view of Venicce from San Giorgio Maggiore
the best pictures of venice, italy


  1. Norman, I have enjoyed every post, every article, every insight you have provided over the years .. I appreciate this your last travel message … I too agree Venice provides a fond farewell for the moment … I look forward to the future .. Safe passages, my friend …..Thank you, Carey

  2. Thank you, Norman! Such a beautiful stroll through Venice, returning my mind to my only Venice visit in 2012. Such a brief visit, but my mind has always savored it! Our 3 young children at 7, 9 & 12 were enthralled, but not nearly as much as I! I love that we shared those memories together, although keeping track of 3 children while also trying to capture photos from just the right angles, in just the right light, and also not forget to be present in the moment and to allow for time to be still and just take it all in made us crazy in moments! I’m a teacher and found my way to your site this morning as I’m introducing the travels of Marco Polo in Medieval European studies this week with 3rd and 4th graders, and I wanted to share some photos and general Venetian history as the backdrop for Polo’s beginnings, and as a precursor to the age of exploration. Thank you for such a lovely stroll down memory lane! As our children are now 21, 18 & 15, I long to return for a glimpse at their faces on a gondola ride! Thank you! Godspeed, and traveling mercies in your journeys ahead!


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