This guide to the best things to do after dinner in Venice shows you just why it’s a destination on most people’s bucket lists. The romantic charm of a city on water, where you travel around by water taxi cabs, is magnified at night when the city is peaceful.

    The day trips and cruise ships disappear and you’re left to explore a much quieter place with locals milling about. Famous landmarks take on a different atmosphere, nighttime venues open up, and city tours show you a different Venice after dark.

    1

    Grand Canal night tour

    Sail down Venice’s biggest canal

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    Joining a Grand Canal night tour is a special way to experience Venice. You’re well worth taking one, even if you’ve been on the boats during the day. The 3.8-km-long waterway cuts through the 6 main districts of Venice in an ‘S’ shape, starting near Santa Lucia railroad station and ending at San Marco near Saint Mark's Square.

    There’s a special aura to the Grand Canal at night, with lights shimmering off the water and waves quietly lapping along the waterways. It's lined with striking Venetian architecture, such as the Doge's Palace and Rialto Bridge. You can even ask your guide to take a detour down the smaller canals, too.

    2

    Rialto Bridge

    Cross the Grand Canal’s oldest bridge and browse its shops

    The Rialto Bridge is the oldest of its kind on the Grand Canal, which makes it one of Venice's most popular attractions. It has stood in various forms since the 12th century, but the iconic stone bridge you see today is a photo op you can't pass up on your visit.

    The Rialto Bridge connects San Marco to San Polo and has a unique buzz at night. Entertainers and numerous gift shops are found along the length of the bridge, with a host of bars and restaurants at both ends. The back arches of the shops, visible from the Grand Canal, are as iconic as the view from the bridge itself.

    Location: Sestiere San Polo, 30125 Venice, Italy

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    3

    St Mark's Square

    Admire St Mark’s Basilica from an alfresco bar or café

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    St Mark’s Square is one of Venice’s most recognizable attractions. A great time to visit is after dinner when most of the day-trippers have left. What's usually a bustling square during the day changes into a peaceful plaza at night.

    St Mark’s Basilica stands proudly at the end, with either side of the square lined with Venetian architecture spanning the past few centuries. There are a few bars and cafes around the edge of the square, which often features a small orchestra. It’s a great place to sit and watch locals returning from work.

    Location: Piazza San Marco, 30100 Venice, Italy

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    4

    Teatro La Fenice Opera House

    A landmark venue of Italian opera

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    The Teatro La Fenice Opera House sits in the heart of Venice, just a few minutes' walk from St Mark’s Square. Theater (especially opera) holds a special place in the city's history, so catching a show at the landmark of Italian opera should be on your list.

    The romance of opera can be felt everywhere at the Teatro La Fenice Opera House. It was last rebuilt after a fire in the 1800s, giving rise to its name La Fenice (The Phoenix). It features 1,000 red-and-gold decorated seats, along with fantastic paintings and chandeliers. Just make sure to book ahead – its small capacity can fill up quickly.

    Location: Campo S. Fantin, 1965, 30124 Venice, Italy

    Phone: +39 04 178 6654

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    5

    Underground crypt tour at night

    Explore the hidden side of Venice

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    An underground crypt tour at night is a unique after-dinner activity in Venice. Many operators offer this tour, so it’s best to ask for details at your concierge. Venice’s history stretches back hundreds of years, and in that time, legends have become buried under the modern city. 

    Taking a tour allows you to explore forgotten crypts and study ancient murals by candlelight. If you go under St Mark’s Basilica, you’ll see St Mark’s burial place. You can also spend some time admiring the Golden Altar without the daytime crowds.

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    Skyline Rooftop Bar

    See the best views of Venice from above

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    Skyline Rooftop Bar is one of the best places to go after dinner if you want to experience one of the best views of Venice. Situated on the 8th floor of the Hilton Molino Stucky on the island of Giudecca, the view stretches over the Giudecca Canal toward the city – it’s one you won't forget.

    The beverages menu suits the view with a wide selection of cocktails. Venetian aperitifs Bellini and spritzes are local favorites, alongside Italian classics like Negronis. There are a bunch of other cocktails on the menu too, all concocted by professional mixologists. Make a reservation if you want the best seats.

    Location: Giudecca, 810, 30133 Venice, Italy

    Open: Daily from 4 pm to 11 pm

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    7

    Campo Santa Margherita

    Venetian arts and parties after dark

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    Campo Santa Margherita is a bustling public square in the Dorsoduro district of Venice. It's an artsy place that sees countless vendors, artists, and entertainers plying their trades alongside cafes and restaurants. The buildings in the square feature classic Venetian architecture from the 14th and 15th centuries. There are benches and trees dotted around for you to relax. 

    Campo Santa Margherita is one of Venice’s nightlife hotspots. Bars dotted around the square are usually packed with students from the nearby Ca' Foscari University of Venice.

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    8

    Harry's Bar

    The birthplace of the Bellini

    Harry's Bar is a beloved local bar in Venice, so make sure to come here for a few beverages after dinner. Sitting right at the San Marco end of the Grand Canal, the bar is known as the birthplace of the Bellini cocktail and carpaccio (raw beef dish). For those who prefer traditional cocktails, opt for its extra-dry martini.

    Harry's Bar is popular with the rich and famous – past patrons have included Ernest Hemingway and George Clooney. It's so well-loved that it's now a national landmark of Italy. 

    Location: Calle Vallaresso, 1323, 30124 Venice, Italy

    Open: Daily from 10.30 am to 11 pm

    Phone: +39 04 1528 5777

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    photo by Felix Haslimeier (CC BY-SA 2.0) modified

    9

    Venice Jazz Club

    Live jazz in a cozy setting

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    Venice Jazz Club is an intimate live music venue that features its own house jazz quartet and guest performers. It’s about a 30-minute walk from the Rialto Bridge in Dorsoduro, fronting the Rio de San Barnaba canal.

    Venice Jazz Club is small and cozy, with staff greeting you with a warm welcome. The cheese platter makes for a great nibble while enjoying live music, which sounds brilliant thanks to the club's intimate setting. Whether you’re a jazz fan or casual passerby, you’ll love watching the artists play at this venue.

    Location: Dorsoduro, 3102, 30123 Venice, Italy

    Open: Daily from 7 pm to 11 pm

    Phone: +39 34 0150 4985

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    10

    Venice Casino

    Intimate casino overlooking the Grand Canal

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    The Venice Casino is found in Cannaregio, facing the famous Grand Canal. By entering from the waterways and into this ornate complex, you’ll feel like you’ve stepped into a Hollywood set. Unsurprisingly, formal attire is required if you wish to enter the casino. 

    The Venice Casino is small and intimate, with cozy rooms furnished with Venetian decor and elegant chandeliers. There aren’t any noisy slots, only classic games like roulette and blackjack. Beverages are very reasonably priced, so you can still enjoy its charm if you’re on a budget. 

    Location: Cannaregio, 2040, 30121 Venice, Italy

    Open: Friday–Saturday from 7.30 pm to 2.15 am, Sunday from 5 pm to 10.45 pm (closed Mondays to Thursdays)

    Phone: +39 04 1529 7111

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    John Frodsham | Contributing Writer

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    COVID-19 Travel Alert

    Attractions and experiences recommended in our guides may be affected. Please check local guidance before you travel.

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