Nighttime Magic: 7 Things to Do in Venice at Night 

Venice, one of Italy’s most beloved cities, consistently ranks among the top three most visited destinations year after year, making it a recurring favorite among travelers. And Venice at night is a special kind of magic.

Beautiful and romantic during the day (but albeit, bustling with visitors), the city transforms into a whole new world when the sun goes down, captivating visitors with its nighttime charm.

Whether you’re looking for a romantic dinner in a cozy restaurant, an evening of live music, or simply a traditional gondola ride beneath the moonlight, there’s an array of exciting ways to discover and experience Venice by night.

Empty streets of Venice, Italy at night.
One of the best parts of exploring Venice by night? Less crowds! Photo credit: Samuele Bertoli

Take an evening gondola ride

Gondola rides are one of the most quintessential Venetian activities. 
When you take a gondola right at night, you’ll be able to enjoy beautiful nighttime views of historic palaces and theaters, charming buildings, and classic canals. With the moonlight reflecting on the water (in combination with the reduced crowds), a gondola ride at night is absolutely one of the most romantic and peaceful ways to see the city.  

A gondolier operating a gondola on the canal at nighttime in Venice.
Gondoliers are recognizable by their distinctive striped shirts and straw hats. Photo credit: Sebastian Seck

Insider’s tips: 

  • How long is a gondola ride? A typical gondola ride will last around 30 minutes-1 hour, depending on the specific ride. 
  • How much does a gondola ride cost? An evening gondola ride in Venice will typically cost €100-120. Signs displaying the fares and duration should be posted around the points of entry along the canals. 
  • How many people can a gondola hold? A typical gondola can hold 5-6 people. 

See opera at Teatro La Fenice

If you’re an opera lover, don’t miss a night show at the incredible Teatro La Fenice, close to the San Marco area. 

This theatre is one of the most renowned opera houses in the world and hosts classical operas, ballets, concerts, and other musical events. It’s known for its high-quality productions, talented performers, and stunning scenery, all of which contribute to an exceptional theatrical experience. Many famous operas have been performed here, including La Traviata, Rigoletto, La Bohème, Turandot, The Marriage of Figaro, and Don Giovanni. 

Insider’s Tip: If you’re interested in attending a show, check the official website for the most up-to-date information on the current performance schedule. 

Enjoy aperitif in a bacaro 

A traditional Italian pre-dinner at a bacaro is the best way to start your evening in Venice. A Venetian bacaro (plural: bacari), is a type of ancient tavern, offering a relaxed and informal space for enjoying a glass of wine, a cocktail, or a spritz (the city and region’s signature drink), accompanied by small plates of food known as cicchetti.

Aside from enjoying delicious foods and drinks, having an aperitif in a bacaro is one of the best ways to immerse yourself in Venetian culture.

An Aperol Spritz sat on a bar.
The Aperol Spritz is one of the most famous and popular drinks in Venice. Photo credit: sunorwind

Take an authentic Venice food tour

Another great way to experience Venice by night—and taste some of the best food in the city—is by taking an authentic Venetian food tour. 

Here, you’ll discover different spots in the San Polo neighborhood that offer Venetian specialties. You’ll also get to learn about the history and traditions behind Venetian food with a local food expert guide.

During the tour, you’ll get to devour the city through an authentic lens, and immerse yourself in the vibrant and energetic atmosphere of San Polo with its large number of bars, restaurants and bacari.

A side street in Venice filled with restaurants at night.
One popular culinary tradition in Venice is the concept of “cicchetti”, which are small, bite-sized snacks or appetizers. Photo credit: Oliver Rouse

Catch live music at Venice Jazz Club

Venice boasts a vibrant jazz scene, with numerous clubs scattered throughout the city. Among them, Venice Jazz Club stands out as a favorite. This relaxed and intimate venue located in the university zone of the city, Dorsoduro, is ideal for enjoying live music and a drink. 

Not only can you enjoy some fantastic live music, but you can also dig into a delicious dinner before the show starts. You can purchase tickets online or in-person, and the ticket includes a drink. 

Tour St. Mark’s Basilica and Doge’s Palace after hours

St. Mark’s Basilica is undeniably one of the most popular landmarks in Venice and never fails to draw massive crowds of visitors. 

However, there’s a way to beat the crowds and enjoy exclusive access to these iconic places and the fascinating stories they hold. 

A view of St. Mark's square in Venice at night.
St. Mark’s square in Venice is one of the most famous and historically significant squares in the world. Photo credit: Alessio Furlan

The tour Exclusive Alone in St. Mark’s Basilica After Hours allows you to discover these landmarks with just a small group and an expert guide. It’s a perfect way to see some of Venice’s most iconic sites and absorb the fascinating history in a serene and intimate atmosphere, away from the daytime crowds. 

Walk around Venice at night 

Venice has many attractions to visit, but one of the most beautiful attractions is simply wandering around and admiring the canals, elegant bridges, and historic buildings at night. 

The nighttime ambiance will make you feel like you are walking through a completely different place from the one you saw during the day, with an extra layer of picturesque and romantic ambiance. 

Several empty gondolas floating in a canal at nightime in Venice.
Canals and gondolas: two of the most quintessential Venetian sights. Photo credit: Darwin Vegher

Don’t miss sights including St. Mark’s Square, Doge’s Palace, Rialto Bridge, Fondamenta delle Zattere, the Fenice Opera House, and the Cannaregio District. 

Insider’s Tip:  Many people wonder if Venice is safe. Generally speaking, the city is considered a safe place, even at night. That being said, always be vigilant of your surroundings and your belongings no matter the time of day, especially in touristy and otherwise crowded areas. 

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About the author

Yareli is a Dominican travel writer based in the beautiful city of Lucca, Italy. Traveling and exploring every corner of Tuscany are her passions. She enjoys trying new flavors while traveling. As well as sharing her travel experiences through her blog Wandering and Tasting and Instagram @wanderingandtasting.

More by Yareli Parra

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