Venice for Visitors logo
Venice Home All topics
Where to stay Transportation

Arrow. Helping 30+ million Venice travelers since 1997
Arrow. New in 2024: Venice's tourist "access fee"

Venice > Sightseeing > Top 11 free sights > Churches


From: Venice's Top 11 Free Sights

Dogana and Santa Maria della Salute church

ABOVE: St. Mark's Basin and the Grand Canal with the Dogana (on the tip of Dorsoduro) and the Santa Maria della Salute Church.

We've already mentioned the Basilica di San Marco, but there are scores of other churches in Venice that are worth your time. Some have modest admission fees (you can save money with the Chorus Pass), but some are free.

Salute ChurchThe largest and most famous of the no-admission churches is another basilica: Santa Maria della Salute (shown above and at right), which is near the mouth of the Grand Canal and the Dogana di Mare (Venice's old customs house) at the tip of Dorsoduro. The massive eight-sided church sits on more than 100,000 wooden pilings. It was completed in 1681 as a "thank you" gift to God and the Virgin Mary for allowing the plague to kill only a third of the city's residents. Admission is free between 9 a.m to noon and 3 to 5:30 p.m., but there's a small charge to visit the sacristy.

Carmini ChurchA few smaller churches, such as the Carmini church--also known as Santa Maria del Carmelo--are also free. (The Carmini church is on its own square near the Campo Santa Margherita. It shouldn't be confused with the Scuola Grande dei Carmini, which is nearby.)

San Pietro Martire Church - MuranoOn the island of Murano, you can enter San Pietro Martire (inset photo) free of charge, but there's a small admission fee at the more interesting Basilica dei Santi Maria e Donato.

Gesuati ChurchAt other churches, admission may be free out of season, when there aren't enough visitors to justify having a ticket vendor on duty. (We wandered into the Gesuati church on a weekend in November, and there was nobody around to collect the admission fee.) Admission is also free during religious services, but you'll be expected to grab a spot in a pew and worship instead of wandering around with a guidebook in hand.

Related articles:

Santa Maria della Salute Church

Venice Chorus Pass

Next page: Shopping Streets

Top 11 Free Sights in Venice:
1. Piazza San Marco
2. Basilica di San Marco
3. Venice Waterfront (St. Mark's Basin)
4. Grand Canal
5. Rialto Bridge
6. Rialto Food Markets
7. Venetian Ghetto
8. Canali, Campi, Calli (canals, squares, back streets)
9. Churches (Salute, Carmini, and others that don't charge admission)
10. Shopping Streets
11. Islands (San Michele, Murano, Burano, Torcello, Lido)
Printable 'Top 11 Free Sights' List

About the author:

Durant Imboden photo.Durant Imboden has written about Venice, Italy since 1996. He covered Venice and European travel at for 4-1/2 years before launching Europe for Visitors (including Venice for Visitors) with Cheryl Imboden in 2001.

PC Magazine
has called this "the premier visitors' site for Venice, Italy." Over the years, it has helped more than 30 million travelers. For more information, see About our site, our Europe for Visitors press clippings, and our reader testimonials.