Who doesn’t love the floating city? Venice is famous for sights such as Saint Mark’s Basilica, the Doge’s Palace and the Bridge of Sighs. Yet there’s a lot more to it than meets the eye. If you want to beat the crowds in Venice, we’ve rounded up 10 off the beaten path Venice attractions.

Off The Beaten Path Venice Attractions

Take time to get lost in Venice, and you’ll discover some fascinating sights. By getting off the beaten track, you’ll be rewarded with untouristy restaurants and fascinating Venetian attractions like the ones below.

As an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases.

1. The Arsenale

There have been naval shipyards in this area since 1104, although the area really came into its own in the thirteenth century. Spread over 45 hectares, the Arsenale employed up to 16,000 people at one point. Its Renaissance gate, Porta Magna, dates from 1460 and is flanked by several magnificent lions.

These days, the Arsenale is still owned by the navy and closed to the public for most of the year. However, sections of it are open during the famous Biennale art exhibition.

The Arsenale Venice - one of the 10 best off the beaten path Venice attractions

2. The Bridge with No Parapet

Ponte de Chiodo, otherwise known as the bridge with no parapet, is one of the best hidden gems in Venice. One of only two such bridges in Venice, it is perfectly safe to cross. The Cannaregio area where this unique bridge is located is untouristy and has quite a few other interesting sights.

The bridge with no parapet in Venice, Italy

3. Burano Island

If you have time, make a visit to Burano, which can be reached by vaporetto in about 45 minutes. This little island is known for its colourful houses and lace-making museum. It’s not to be confused with the nearby island of Murano, famous for its glass-making techniques and also worth a visit.

Burano is one of the most charming islands near Venice

We highly recommend lunch at one of the best restaurants in Burano, Al Gatto Nero. Make sure to book or you might have a 1 hour wait as we did. They do great seafood dishes and risotto.

Al Gatto Nero is one of the best restaurants in Burano

4. Cannaregio Canal

Another off the beaten track Venice highlight is Cannaregio. The second largest canal in Venice is located in this quiet area, one of the city’s six central districts. 

If you don’t have time to go to Burano then get your fix of colourful buildings here. Cannaregio is one of the largest residential areas of Venice and has some good neighbourhood restaurants dotted around.

The canal in Cannaregio, Venice

5. Church of Saint Zacharias

The imposing Chiesa di San Zaccaria is an interesting mix of Gothic and Renaissance styles, built from  1458 to 1515. It’s well known for its paintings by Bellini, Tintoretto, Titian and Van Dyck.

Eight doges are buried in the crypt. The church can be visited from 10 to 12 and 4 to 6 pm daily.

Just around the corner from the church, you’ll find Corte Sconta, a secret Venice seafood restaurant. Take a seat in its sunny courtyard and feast on some of the freshest seafood in Venice.

Corte Sconta, one of the best places in Venice for seafood

6. Palazzo Mocenigo

There are several interesting museums in the Santa Croce area of Venice, including Ca’ Pesaro, the International Gallery of Modern Art, and the Museum of Natural History in Fondaco dei Turchi. One of the most impressive is Palazzo Mocenigo, the Museum of Textiles and Costumes.

The Gothic palace houses an interesting display of historic fabrics and costumes. There’s also the first exhibit in Italy dedicated to the history of perfume, befitting Venice’s position as the capital of perfume in the Middle Ages. Palazzo Mocenigo is open from 10 am to 5 pm (4 pm in Winter) and closed on Mondays.

Palazzo Mocenigo in Venice, well worth a visit
Palazzo Mocenigo

For the perfect lunch or dinner nearby, head to GLAM at Palazzo Venart, just a couple of minutes away. This hidden Venice luxury hotel has a charming courtyard if the sun is out and the food is among the finest that you will taste in the city.

Hidden gems Venice - GLAM Restaurant Venice
GLAM at Palazzo Venart

7. The Venetian Ghetto

One of the darker periods in the history of Venice is that of the Venetian Ghetto. From 1516 to 1797, the city’s Jewish residents were compelled to live on this small island in the Cannaregio district.

There were up to 6,000 inhabitants living in the area in 1608, in cramped conditions. Napoleon’s troops finally liberated the residents in 1797.

The Venetian Ghetto
The Venetian Ghetto

8. The Merchant of Venice

In Campo San Fantin, you’ll find a beautiful 17th century pharmacy that has kept all its original features. It’s now the flagship store of The Merchant of Venice and one of our favourite off the beaten path Venice sights.

This upmarket perfume brand also has a shop in Palazzo Mocenigo, but don’t miss this ornate chemist shop, designed by Giambattista Meduna in a Neo-Gothic style.

The Merchant of Venice flagship store is housed in a beautiful 17th century pharmacy
The Merchant of Venice

9. Scuola Grande di San Rocco

The former religious confraternity, Scuola Grande di San Rocco, houses an astonishing masterpiece by Tintoretto. This ornate ceiling is considered to be one of his finest works.

One of the best Venice off the beaten path attractions, it was created from 1564 to 1587 by Tintoretto, his son Domenico and his assistants. If you don’t want to get neck ache admiring over 50 of his paintings, make use of the complimentary mirrors that will enable a detailed look at his scenes from the Old and New Testaments.

This stunning Venice landmark is open daily from 9.30 am to 5.30 pm.

Top Venice Attractions - Scuola Grande, a Tintoretto masterpiece
Scuola Grande di San Rocco

10. Vegetable Barge at Ponte dei Pugni

Venice is of course famous for its gondolas and other forms of water transport, but one of its most eclectic sights is the vegetable barge at Ponte dei Pugni in the picturesque Dorsoduro district. Known as the “bridge of fists”, it was apparently a place for settling scores with your rivals ;-).

These days, the Venice barge is a photogenic place to stock up on fresh vegetables, herbs and flowers.

The vegetable barge at Ponte de Pugni is a Venice institution!
Ponte dei Pugni vegetable barge

Stay Off the Beaten Path in Venice

As this guide has been all about “Venice off the beaten track”, we thought it fitting to include a hotel that’s a real hidden gem. Palazzo Venart is one of the very rare hotels in Venice to have a garden overlooking the Grand Canal, and is decorated with sumptuous antiques.

This luxurious Venice hotel is a great base from which to explore the lesser known parts of this charming city, as well as the famous sights, of course.

Palazzo Venart in Venice
Palazzo Venart

We hope that you’ve enjoyed reading our off the beaten path Venice guide, and do let us know if you have any Venice secrets that we should add to the list! Be sure to check out our guide to the best Venice hidden gems too.

You might also enjoy:

Check out our other Italy travel guides.

Which is your favourite Venice highlight?

Like these Venice off the beaten path attractions? Pin for later or share with friends.

Venice off the beaten path attractions to enjoy the City of Canals without the crowds | #Venice | #Italy | #EuropeanTravel | #TravelTips

Looking for more travel hacks and tips? From hidden gems to unique experiences, we’ve got you covered.

Join us on FacebookInstagramPinterest and Twitter.

Sharing is caring!

55 thoughts on “10 Best Off The Beaten Path Venice Attractions”

  1. Angie SilverSpoon

    Venice has to be one of my favourite cities. I’d love to go back.

    1. Suze @LuxuryColumnist

      We’ve still not scratched the surface of all there is to see there so I’ll definitely be back!

  2. Ryan Biddulph

    Burano looks so cool Suze. Any place with striking colors resonates with me. It’s why I dug Granada, Nicaragua. As an aside you run one of the best travel blogs on earth. The photos, the colors, the presentation, all are beyond smashing. So much brilliance here. Keep it up!

    Ryan

    1. Suze @LuxuryColumnist

      Oh that’s so sweet, Ryan and it means a lot coming from you. Now I know that I should visit Nicaragua, anywhere colourful is up my street!

  3. Suze @LuxuryColumnist

    You have to visit the Ponte de Chiodo, it’s so photogenic! I want to go back when it’s a lot warmer

  4. Suze @LuxuryColumnist

    Hope you get the chance, Courtney, I feel it definitely gets better the more times you go. We found some cool little restaurants this time

  5. Beautiful, wish I’d seen this before my Venice trip, Burano is supposed to be wonderful!

    1. Suze @LuxuryColumnist

      Burano is fantastic, now I just want to go back when it’s a bit warmer. It’s only a small place but every street is picturesque

  6. Shikha (whywasteannualleave)

    I honestly think Burano is one of the most enchanting places I’ve ever visited. Hust couldn’t stop staring at all the coloured houses the whole day!

    1. Suze @LuxuryColumnist

      It’s so charming isn’t it! As for the Gatto Nero restaurant there, the food was amazing

  7. Travel Pockets

    I have never been to Venice and feel like I should check out the off the beaten paths first πŸ™‚ In Burano, the colorful buildings are so pretty and picturesque. That ceiling at Scuola Grande di San Rocco is extremely breathtaking!

    1. Suze @LuxuryColumnist

      The Scuola Grande really was impressive, I’d not heard of it but my hubby suggested a visit and we weren’t disappointed!

  8. Lux @ About Life and Love

    Wow! Venice seems a place that will never run out of anything beautiful to offer.
    Hey, your photo at the bridge looks fun. How dangerous was that? πŸ™‚

    1. Suze @LuxuryColumnist

      Well surprisingly it wasn’t at all dangerous or I’d have thought twice! The bridge is quite wide so there was no chance that I’d fall off thankfully

  9. We were in Venice sometime back and we thoroughly enjoyed every moment of our stay there. It is beautiful. Your list is awesome and is definitely something people visiting Venice should check out.

  10. Thelittlelai: Beyond limits

    Wow, what a great list of off the beaten path that you have compiled. I haven’t been to Venice and some of these places are not familiar to me. They’re truly beautiful and worth the visit. The building structures are really stunning. The food looks tempting and luscious as well. There’s just so much art wherever the eye is gazing at. I would like to stand on that bridge as well and have myself being photographed.

    1. Suze @LuxuryColumnist

      The bridge is the perfect photo spot, and there aren’t many tourists in that area so you have the place to yourself!

  11. Live Learn Venture

    Thank you for sharing this great guide. You know I have to admit I’ve visited other Italian cities but have avoided Venice because I’ve been told it’s so touristy — but it looks like you know how to experience it in a more authentic way. Thanks for sharing your tips with us!

    1. Suze @LuxuryColumnist

      I thought that I wouldn’t enjoy Venice either but I’ve been twice now and it’s actually got a lot of quiet spots if you seek them out!

  12. Suze @LuxuryColumnist

    Ha ha I had fun jumping up and down there! Mind you if I’d fallen in, I wouldn’t have been laughing

  13. I think I like the look of the pharmacy best. It seems like such a fun place to go shopping. Venice seems like a gorgeous city to visit. I hope to go there some day soon.

    1. Suze @LuxuryColumnist

      The pharmacy is very cool, and what I forgot to mention is that they actually own a brand new pharmacy right next door so it’s the best of both worlds

  14. I was only in Venice for a few hours in between trains, so I certainly didn’t seen anything off the beaten path. I think of Venice as the most touristy place in the world (maybe tied with the top of the Eiffel Tower!) but this makes me wonder if I need to reconsider.

    1. Suze @LuxuryColumnist

      It is horrendously busy at peak times but you’d be surprised how quiet it is on most of the island!

  15. Love this post!! Your photos are so gorgeous. I’m headed to Italy next week for the first time, but sadly won’t have time to make it to Venice this time around! This is certainly a great guide and made me so eager to get on my plane Sunday!

    1. Suze @LuxuryColumnist

      Which part of Italy are you visiting? It’s all so photogenic, have the best time

  16. I have never been to Venice, but am planning a trip for next spring. I would love to visit Burano (a lace making museum??) and we’ll totally eat at Al Gatto Nero! Looks delicious!

    1. Suze @LuxuryColumnist

      Ooh you’ll love Al Gatto Nero, just make sure to book – we were starving by the time we finally got seated ;-). Worth the wait though – and we didn’t get time for the lace making museum but I’ve heard it’s very interesting

  17. This is gorgeous! I’ve only been to Venice one time, but it was super rushed. Therefore I missed ALL OF THESE THINGS! Boo! Next time though, I know that the vegetable barge will be a must-stop. I love that!

    1. Suze @LuxuryColumnist

      Wouldn’t it be cool if you could take a trip on the vegetable barge? That’s not the case but I’d love to!

  18. Tania Mukherjee

    The first thing that caught my eye was the picture of you standing on top of the bridge with no parapet; my eyes initially interpreted it as “you standing over the parapet of the bridge” and I was like “OMG what is she doing she will fall off” πŸ˜€ ! Ah then I focused my eyes more and read the paragraph. It is indeed a bridge without parapet!! Isn’t Burano a very colorful city? Sure one just cannot skip it! And those prawns look so delicious, my husband who is a big time seafood lover would love having them!

    1. Suze @LuxuryColumnist

      I’m no daredevil though looking at the photo it does look rather scary! The prawns were very tasty, every bit as good as they look!

  19. Miriam - londonkitchendiaries

    Venice is one of my favourite cities in Italy – would love to go back and discover attractions off the beaten path. Burano looks gorgeous as does the Scuola Grande di San Rocco!

    Miriam x

  20. Planes & Champagne

    I would love to visit Palazzo Mocenigo – the costume really do look fabulous! Burano is high up there too – I’m a sucker for colourful houses!

    1. Suze @LuxuryColumnist

      Palazzo Mocenigo was fascinating, you can smell lots of different perfume ingredients!

  21. Rocky Travel Blog

    Venice is what I call “holiday at home”, since I live only 80km away. Dorsoduro and Canareggio are also among my favourites places in Venice. Don’t miss out on a visit to the “Chiesa dei Frari”, on the corner to Scuola Grande San Rocco. There is a small entry fee, but really worth the experience!

    1. Suze @LuxuryColumnist

      I didn’t realise that you lived so close, Michela! Thanks for the tip about Chiesa dei Frari, I’ve just looked it up and it’s very impressive!

      1. Rocky Travel Blog

        It indeed is a very impressive place, one of my favourite churches in Venice, a must visit place! Next time you come make sure you let me know, it would be lovely to catch up! πŸ˜‰

  22. I found that perfume shop on my last visit to Venice in 2015. Fantastic place. My god your food photos! Brilliant.

    1. Suze @LuxuryColumnist

      Did you get any perfume? I was tempted! The food was so delicious, they really know their seafood there

      1. No I didn’t. I usually travel very light and don’t pick up a lot along the way either. Wish I had though. I had some of the best seafood anywhere in Venice. In fact I don’t know what people mean when they say they had a bad meal there. I’ve never had a bad meal there.

  23. Vibeke-TheVikingAbroad

    I have to go back to Venice. When I was there it was way to packed and couldnt see the most touristic spots. But this time I will definitely check out the off beaten paths, especially Burano looks incredible and Palazzo Mocenigo, the costumes look so interesting. Thank you for including such useful information πŸ˜€

  24. WOW this looks amazing! If I ever needed to be convinced on visiting Venice I am now!!!

  25. All That I'm Eating

    Some great suggestions for places to see, there’s so much to do in Venice and the other islands.

  26. Suzanne Jones - Travelbunny

    There are some fabulous finds here Suze, I’d love to visit the pharmacy – it looks like stepping back in time. Burano is lovely too, so colourful and good to get away from the crowds.

  27. Used York City

    I was last in Venice in high school, and I remember the pigeons so clearly, still! And the gelato, and very thick pieces of pizza. I guess you could say we stuck mostly to the “touristy” Venice back then!;-)

  28. Manoj @Bloggingtriggers

    We know that Venice is the excellent destination of the travellers. It is a rare place where we will get the mixture of history, culture and nostalgic food habits. These pictures purely reflect that. What an authentic place!

Comments are closed.

Scroll to Top