Of all the beautiful cities in the world, Venice is, without a doubt, absolutely one of the most unique–so it stands to reason that the best views of Venice would be truly epic.
… And they absolutely live up to the hype.
After several visits to Venice, we’re still just as smitten with the city of canals as we were when we first set foot in it, and we’ve never grown tired of admiring all its best angles.
Whether you’re looking for great photography angles or just a stunning place to relax and take in the view, these Venice viewpoints have you covered.
From famous towers to tiny footbridges to iconic gondolas, here’s where to find all the best views in Venice!
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Table of Contents
Towers + Rooftops With the Best Views of Venice
St. Mark’s Campanile
The most famous view of Venice is also the one that is easiest to find: it’s hard to mistake the facade of the sturdy St. Mark’s Campanile when it towers over the corner of Piazza San Marco.
From the top of the bell tower, you can clearly admire Piazza San Marco, the Doge’s Palace, the roof of St. Mark’s Basilica (complete with its distinct domes), the Venetian Lagoon, and also enjoy the widest and most sweeping view of Venice that you can find in the city.
It’s an absolute delight–and since you reach the top by elevator rather than stairs, it’s also quite accessible and won’t require any exertion on the way up.
Scala Contarini del Bovolo
Hidden down a quiet street that you’ll almost certainly not stumble across accidentally and boasting one of the best views of Venice, the Scala Contarini del Bovolo is well worth seeking out during your trip.
While this fairytale tower has racked up a little bit of niche fame on Instagram, it still remains blissfully empty and an absolute breath of fresh air as compared to the beautiful-but-very-crowded St. Mark’s Campanile.
The downside? I’ll be honest–the view from St. Mark’s Campanile is better than the one from this tower, as the view from Scala Contarini del Bovolo is missing a very important feature of Venice: water!
That being said, the view of the city, of the rooftop of St. Mark’s Basilica and Campanile in the distance, and of the tower itself definitely make this tower worthy of being called one of the best views in Venice.
Rooftop Terrace of St. Mark’s Basilica
While the rooftop terrace of St. Mark’s Basilica doesn’t have as high as a view as St. Mark’s Campanile, the views over Piazza San Marco, the Doge’s Palace, and of course the close-up views of the basilica itself make it well worth a visit.
San Giorgio Maggiore
Situated directly across the lagoon from Piazza San Marco and the Doge’s Palace, the small island of San Giorgio Maggiore is home to one of the most unique Venice viewpoints.
From here, you can admire the crowds of Piazza San Marco and the traffic of the waterways from a blissfully peaceful distance.
Bridges With Stunning Venice Views
The view of Venice’s Grand Canal from the top of the Rialto Bridge may just be one of the most famous views on the planet.
Below the bridge, the wide expanse of the canal is a delight to behold, a busy, bustling mix of gondolas, vaporettos, delivery boats, and more.
Be sure to admire this Venice viewpoint from both sides–each side of the Rialto Bridge boasts a different, and yet very beautiful, view of the Grand Canal.
Next to the view from the Rialto Bridge, the view of the Grand Canal looking toward the Basilica di Santa Maria della Salute is probably the most iconic of all the best views of Venice: this view has ended up on countless postcards over the years, and it’s absolutely striking in real life!
As a bonus, while the Ponte dell’Accademia is far from deserted during the day, it’s not nearly as crowded as the view from the Rialto.
Bridge of Sighs
While the view of the Bridge of Sighs from the Riva degli Schiavoni is absolutely gorgeous, the view looking out from inside the Bridge of Sighs is actually the view that is most famous, and arguably its history alone makes it one of the best views in Venice.
During the Venetian Empire, the Bridge of Sighs connected the city’s prison to the courtroom.
Prisoners who left their cells to walk across the bridge to be tried (and frequently sentenced, often to death), were said to sigh at the beauty of their home when taking in what could be their last glimpse of the Venetian lagoon–hence the name “Bridge of Sighs”.
You can access the interior view of the Bridge of Sighs by touring the Doge’s Palace, and while I wouldn’t necessarily say the view alone is worth the ticket price, the palace itself is absolutely worth a visit!
Book your tour of St. Mark’s Basilica + the Doge’s Palace today!
Prefer something a bit more exclusive? This after-hours tour might be right for you!
From Venice’s Footbridges
This is perhaps the least specific of all of these best views of Venice, but with 400 footbridges criss-crossing over 150 canals, listing all the epic Venice viewpoints available would be a lifelong project.
Seriously, I promise: walk in the opposite direction of the city’s notorious crowds and wander aimlessly for a while, and you’ll likely stumble across the view of a lifetime on a tiny footbridge… more than once.
More Epic Viewpoints in Venice
From the Grand Canal
When looking for the best views in Venice, you’ll spend plenty of time looking at the wide expanse of the Grand Canal–but there’s no view quite like the one from the water.
Whether you choose to enjoy the Grand Canal from a gondola, on a Grand Canal cruise, or simply with a ride on the vaporetto, it’s absolutely worth seeking out a view from the Grand Canal itself.
From a Gondola
I’ve saved the most iconic for last: so many visitors to Venice, ourselves included, dream of the view of the canals from one of the city’s gorgeous gondolas.
The view from a gondola set low to the water, with a dramatic curve at the end and a truly unique perspective on the city, is fantastic.
There’s nothing like admiring the canals of Venice from a gondola–and if it’s in your budget, we truly recommend seeking the opportunity out if you’re looking for the best views of Venice.
Riva degli Schiavoni
Strolling along the Riva degli Schiavoni is not only a delightful way to enjoy the city, you’ll also be treated to some of the best views in Venice while you do so.
From here, you can admire the Venetian lagoon, the Bridge of Sighs, gondolas gently bobbing when parking at their docks, and San Giorgio Maggiore across the water.
If you’d like to stop in for a very expensive, yet very beautifully located, drink, duck into the Hotel Danieli for a spritz and a peek at the stunning interior of one of the most iconic hotels in Venice.
Map of the Best Views of Venice
Take This Map With You! Click each highlight to pull up the name of the destination. To save this map to “Your Places” on Google Maps, click the star to the right of the title. You’ll then be able to find it under the Maps tab of your Google Maps account! To open the map in a new window, click the button on the top right of the map.
About Kate Storm
In May 2016, I left my suburban life in the USA and became a full-time traveler. Since then, I have visited 50+ countries on 5 continents and lived in Portugal, developing a special love of traveling in Europe (especially Italy) along the way. Today, along with my husband Jeremy and dog Ranger, I’m working toward my eventual goal of splitting my life between Europe and the USA.