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St. Mark's Square (Piazza San Marco)

#6 in Best Things To Do in Venice

Piazza San Marco picture in Venice
Take a Seat picture in Venice
Piazza San Marco picture in Venice
Piazza San Marco picture in Venice
Take a Seat picture in Venice
Piazza San Marco picture in Venice

Key Info

Price & Hours

  • Free
  • 24/7 daily

Details

  • Sightseeing, Neighborhood/Area Type
  • 1 to 2 hours Time to Spend
4.5
Overall
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Scorecard

  • Value
    5.0
  • Food Scene
    4.0
  • Atmosphere
    4.0

Read about how we rank Things to Do.

St. Mark's Square, or Piazza San Marco, is considered by many to be the heart of Venice. As the largest square in Venice, St. Mark's Square is the only "piazza" in the city. All other squares are campo. Lining the square are multiple historical sites including St. Mark's BasilicaSt. Mark's Campanile and Doge's Palace, as well as a number of restaurants, making it the perfect spot for leisurely people-watching and wine sipping. Along with intricate architecture and hearty plates of spaghetti carbonara, visitors will also be met with throngs of tourists, pigeons and vendors selling souvenirs. If you hoped to pick up a gondola hat or a carnival mask during your trip, this is the place you will find them. 

Recent visitors stress to visit St. Mark's Square either early in the morning or late in the evening simply because of the crowds. With many tours of the city starting at the piazza, it is always busy during the day. Being a constant hub of activity, the restaurants and shops in the square are very expensive. Visitors suggest walking a few streets away from the square to find more reasonably priced meals and souvenirs. Despite the prices, some visitors said grabbing a coffee was worth being able to sit comfortably in the action and take in the surrounding architecture. You'll find St. Mark's Square in San Marco; it free to access 24/7.

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Hotels Nearby

  • Thing to Do
  • Hotel
San Marco Palace - All Suites

San Marco Palace - All Suites ...

  • 0.1 Miles Away
  • 4.0-star Hotel Class
Royal San Marco Hotel

Royal San Marco Hotel ...

  • None Miles Away
  • 4.0-star Hotel Class
Hotel San Marco

Hotel San Marco ...

  • None Miles Away
  • 3.0-star Hotel Class
See all hotels in Venice »

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#1 Saint Mark's Basilica (Basilica di San Marco) This elaborate church sits on the popular piazza by the same name. The church was built in honor of Saint Mark the evangelist, whose remains were stolen from their home ... Read more » Uschools University Images / Getty Images

#2 Grand Canal Considered to be the main street of Venice, the 2-mile-long Grand Canal is one of the city's most popular and highly photographed attractions. Recent travelers recommend hiring a gondolier ... Read more » IakovKalinin / Getty Images

#3 Rialto Bridge (Ponte di Rialto) Several centuries ago, if you wanted to cross the Grand Canal, the Rialto Bridge was the only way. There are now four major bridges that cross the canal, but Rialto ... Read more » compassandcamera / iStockphoto.com

#4 Teatro La Fenice The Teatro La Feniceis one of Italy's most popular opera houses, and one that has almost faced its demise from not one, but three big fires since opening ... Read more » Mats Silvan / Getty Images

#5 Campanile di San Marco This particular bell tower was constructed in the early 20th century, as a replica of the 16th-century original. The original structure provided the optimal setting for Galileo Galilei's presentation ... Read more » Fabrizio Romagnoli / EyeEm / Getty Images

#6 St. Mark's Square (Piazza San Marco) St. Mark's Square, or Piazza San Marco, is considered by many to be the heart of Venice. As the largest square in Venice, St. Mark's Square is the ... Read more » All Rights Reserved- Copyright / Getty Images

#7 Bridge of Sighs Centuries ago, the Bridge of Sighs, which connects the Doge's Palace to dungeons, was used to transport prisoners from the courtroom to the prisons. Legend has it that the ... Read more » Kasto80 / Getty Images

#8 Doge's Palace (Palazzo Ducale) Views from the Venetian Lagoon give the Doge's Palace an ethereal look – almost like it's floating on top of water. But it's fitting, as the Doge's ... Read more » Marc Rasmus / Getty Images

#9 Academy Gallery (Gallerie dell'Accademia) Originally an academy, this attraction was later turned into the Galleria dell'Accademia museum by none other than Napoléon. Today, it's filled with an expansive collection of Venetian art ... Read more » G.sighele / Flickr

#10 Basilica di Santa Maria Gloriosa dei Frari The Basilica di Santa Maria Gloriosa dei Frari, sometimes referred to simply as Frari,is a gothic-style church that was finished in the 14th century. The exterior is minimal ... Read more » Julia Kostecka / Flickr

#11 Jewish Ghetto (Ghetto Ebraico di Venezia) In 1516, Jews in Venice were forced to move to a small northwestern section of the island. Considered to be the world's first ghetto, residents were only allowed to ... Read more » Richard Goerg / Getty Images

#12 Peggy Guggenheim Collection Expat American art collector Peggy Guggenheim dedicated her life to gathering this impressive body of 20th-century contemporary art. The collection, which is housed in the Palazzo Venier dei Leoni on ... Read more » La Citta Vita / Flickr

#13 Correr Civic Museum (Museo Civico Correr) The Correr Civic Museum, also known as the Museo Correr, is a large museum that displays art and artifacts from Venice's history as well as the former royals quarters ... Read more » Robert Young / Flickr

# Musica A Palazzo Read more » H Matthew Howarth [flatworldsedge] / Getty Images

# T Fondaco Dei Tedeschi Read more » f0rtytw0 / Flickr

# Venice Free Tours La Bussola Read more » Peter Zelei Images / Getty Images

Saint Mark's Basilica picture in Venice
The Impressive Canal picture in Venice
Rialto Bridge at Night picture in Venice
Teatro La Fenice picture in Venice
Tower picture in Venice
Piazza San Marco picture in Venice
Bridge of Sighs picture in Venice
Doge's Palace picture in Venice
Gallerie dell'Accademia picture in Venice
Basilica di Santa Maria Gloriosa dei Frari picture in Venice
Jewish Ghetto picture in Venice
Peggy Guggenheim Collection picture in Venice
Museo Correr picture in Venice
Musica A Palazzo picture in Venice
T Fondaco dei Tedeschi picture in Venice
Walking Tour picture in Venice
Saint Mark's Basilica picture in Venice
The Impressive Canal picture in Venice
Rialto Bridge at Night picture in Venice
Teatro La Fenice picture in Venice
Tower picture in Venice
Piazza San Marco picture in Venice
Bridge of Sighs picture in Venice
Doge's Palace picture in Venice
Gallerie dell'Accademia picture in Venice
Basilica di Santa Maria Gloriosa dei Frari picture in Venice
Jewish Ghetto picture in Venice
Peggy Guggenheim Collection picture in Venice
Museo Correr picture in Venice
Musica A Palazzo picture in Venice
T Fondaco dei Tedeschi picture in Venice
Walking Tour picture in Venice

World-renowed for being a prime example of Byzantine architecture, art and architecture enthusiasts flock to Venice to feast their eyes on the Basilica di San Marco's intricate aesthetics. Uschools University Images / Getty Images

Travelers say that the Grand Canal should be visited twice: once during the day to see the action of the city and once during the night to feel the romantic allure that Venice is so famous for. IakovKalinin / Getty Images

The Rialto Bridge is so beautiful, travelers recommend seeing it from all angles by crossing it, walking along the Grand Canal and if you have the time and cash, floating under it via gondola.  compassandcamera / iStockphoto.com

The ornate Teatro La Fenice is a popular opera house. Mats Silvan / Getty Images

St. Mark's Campanile rises high in the Venice skyline.  Fabrizio Romagnoli / EyeEm / Getty Images

Piazza San Marco is beautiful, but because of the amount of popular attractions there (Doge's Palace, Museo Correr, Campanile di San Marco and Saint Mark's Basilica), it is always crowded. Plan to tour the area early in the morning or later in the evening to beat the crowds. All Rights Reserved- Copyright / Getty Images

If you plan on traveling to Venice with your significant other, make sure to take a gondola ride under the Bridge of Sighs. Legend has it if two lovers kiss as they pass under the bridge, they will be granted eternal love. Kasto80 / Getty Images

The Doge's Palace, also known as the Palazzo Ducale, acted as the official residence of the Duke of Venice. Marc Rasmus / Getty Images

As suggested by its name, the Gallerie dell'Accademia was once a school. Although ultimately transformed into a museum by Napolean, he did keep the school for a short while, hanging up artworks he collected from other churches and institutions around the city to serve as inspirations for the students. G.sighele / Flickr

You'll find lovely details on the Basilica di Santa Maria Gloriosa dei Frari. Julia Kostecka / Flickr

If you're looking to escape the crowds surrounding the Grand Canal, look no further than the Jewish Ghetto. Not only is it teeming with rich history of Venice and the Jewish community, but it has a plethora of restaurants that won't break the bank the way a plate of pasta in San Marco will. Richard Goerg / Getty Images

Unlike most of the attractions on the Grand Canal, including all that's in St. Mark's Square, the Peggy Guggenheim Collection is accessible by boat.  La Citta Vita / Flickr

Although the Museo Correr might not be at the top of your list of things to do, it's still worth making time for. If you're thinking about visiting any of the historical attractions in Piazza San Marco, the city offers inexpensive combination tickets that include multiple area attractions. Robert Young / Flickr

H Matthew Howarth [flatworldsedge] / Getty Images

Even if you're not interested in shopping at T Fondaco dei Tedeschi, Venice's glitzy department store, visitors say you should still make a trip to enjoy the rooftop, which offers stunning views of Venice. Plus, it's free.

f0rtytw0 / Flickr

Past visitors provide ample praise for the walking tours offered by La Bussola, which take travelers to the city's main landmarks. Peter Zelei Images / Getty Images

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