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Venice's Top 11 Free Sights

Venice tourist with camera

ABOVE: A visitor grabs a shot of the Piazza San Marco. INSET BELOW: A wedding gondola on the Grand Canal, and the Santa Maria della Salute Church.

Wedding gondola on Grand CanalVenice, Italy has a reputation for being expensive, but don't be discouraged: Many of the city's most interesting sights are free. By spending the bulk of your time on the places and experiences that are discussed in this article, you'll have money left over for the things that really matter to you--whether your tastes run to cultural attractions like the Doge's Palace and the Accademia art gallery or to restaurants, bars, hotels, and shopping.

Most of the sights on the next 11 pages won't cost you a single euro. In a few cases, you can pay for options (such as an inexpensive traghetto ride across the Grand Canal) or you'll need to buy a waterbus ticket to get where you need to go.


  • At the end of this guide, you'll find a printable "Top 11 Free Sights" list. Print it out and tuck it into your tote, camera bag, or guidebook to use as a cheat sheet when you're in Venice.

  • For more sightseeing advice, click the "Related articles" links on each page or see our main Venice Sightseeing Articles Index.

  • The Association 360 Gradi offers free walking tours twice a day year-round.

To begin planning your tour of Venice's Top 11 Free Sights, click here or use the navigation menu below:

Next page: Piazza San Marco

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.

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Top photo copyright © Triggerphoto.
1st inset photo copyright © Marisa Allegra.
2nd inset photo copyright © Joseph Tringali.