- 1 14+ of the Best Things to do in Venice at Night
- 1.1 Marvel at an opera inside Teatro La Fenice
- 1.2 Visit one of the world’s most famous cocktail bars–Harry’s Bar
- 1.3 Ride in a private gondola before attending a gala dinner in a Venetian palace
- 1.4 Get lost in the city streets at night
- 1.5 Attend an opera in a historical Grand Canal palazzo
- 1.6 Enjoy panoramic views with your dinner on this lagoon boat tour
- 1.7 Photograph the light sparkling on the water from the Rialto Bridge
- 1.8 Taste traditional Venetian aperitivo on your own giro d’ombra
- 1.9 Sample local wines at a wine tasting
- 1.10 Experience Piazza San Marco at night
- 1.11 Explore the city through a Ghost & Legends walking tour
- 1.12 Check out the Fondamente de la Misericordia for an evening with locals
- 1.13 Rock out to live music at the Venice Jazz Club
- 1.14 Take in the view of Venice from a rooftop bar
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Venice, Italy is a beautiful city during the day–but it’s one you definitely need to see at night.
The streets are a little more empty into the evening hours as all of the day-tripping tourists head back to their homes.
That’s when the nightlife in Venice takes over.
Once the sun goes down and you have the city more or less to yourself, there are so many fantastic things to do in Venice at night!
14+ of the Best Things to do in Venice at Night
Marvel at an opera inside Teatro La Fenice
The Teatro La Fenice first opened its doors in the 18th century, only five years before the collapse of the Republic. It’s now regarded as one of the most significant landmarks for the history and development of opera. Operas by some of the most renowned composers, including Rossini, Bellini, Donizetti, and Verdi, have premiered here throughout its fascinating history. The current theater is a replica of the old one, which was destroyed by arson in 1996.
Fun fact: The interior of Šibenik’s Croatian National Theater was influenced by Teatro La Fenice! A photo of the inside can be seen in my guide to the top things to do in Šibenik, Croatia.
If you’ve been reading The Purposely Lost for a while, you’ll know that before I moved to Italy, I worked as an auditioning actor and certified New York City tour guide. With a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Theatre that includes history, performance, and production, seeing this theater was on my Venice bucket list. It was all I could have hoped for and more!
Since I went to a premiere night performance, we needed to follow their dress code. I love dressing up for the theater, making for an extra-romantic activity in Venice at night.
Visit one of the world’s most famous cocktail bars–Harry’s Bar
Have you ever had a Bellini in the restaurant where they were invented? The luxurious Harry’s Bar is located at the end of the Riva degli Schiavoni by Piazza San Marco.
Giuseppe Cipriani, the owner of Harry’s Bar, invented the creative cocktail with Prosecco and peach purée during the 1930s and 1940s. The drink’s name was inspired by its color. Cipriani remarked that the drink’s trademark pink tint matched that of a picture by Venetian Renaissance painter Giovanni Bellini, so the Bellini was born.
Declared a National Landmark in 2001, during the summer, Harry’s Bar is a terrific spot to get one of their renowned drinks and relax on their patio near the river. The small elite bar is open until 11 p.m. every night, making it the perfect place to have a nightcap after walking around Venice at night.
Insider Tip: If you’re interested in experiencing Prosecco from the source, you should consider taking one of these Prosecco vineyard tours from Venice while you’re in the Veneto region. You’ll have the opportunity to learn more about the process behind the wine’s signature Charmat method while sampling the light bubbly white wine surrounded by breathtaking views.
Ride in a private gondola before attending a gala dinner in a Venetian palace
Taking a gondola ride is one of those iconic, incredible experiences that is uniquely Venetian. And as beautiful as the canals are during the day, they dazzle the city at night. The light from streetlamps and palazzi reflects on the water, and it seems like it sparkles.
But instead of only a traditional gondola ride, pair it with a romantic dinner in a Venetian palace. This luxury, intimate experience starts at the Museo Dell’Accademia. You’ll enjoy a private gondola ride with an experienced gondolier as you make your way down the Grand Canal in the dark.
After your ride, you’ll stop at an undisclosed historic palazzo with a waterfront view on the Grand Canal to enjoy an excellent dinner. You can check availability and schedule your gondola and gala dinner here.
Get lost in the city streets at night
During the height of the Venetian Republic, canals served as the city’s main streets. Today’s streets we roam around Venice were once utilized to transport personnel from affluent homes, ordinary people, and animals. As a result, they were not designed with an order in mind, and it’s pretty easy to get lost.
But that’s the best part! After dark, you’ll wander into small squares filled with people enjoying a drink and a bite in the night air as you walk around the city after dark. Most streets throughout the city have streetlamps to guide your way.
Fun Fact: You can’t swim in the canals in Venice. The water is polluted, and you’ll recieve a fine if you’re caught.
Attend an opera in a historical Grand Canal palazzo
In the world of theatre, a “found space” is a venue that was not initially used for theatrical production that has now been transformed into a theater. In the case of this opera, you’ll move from room to room within the converted Palazzo Barbarigo Minotto, located on the Grand Canal, experiencing the story as you walk around.
As you move throughout the palazzo and the performances are happening all around, you’ll find yourself right next to the performers as the opera unfolds. You genuinely feel like you’ve become part of the story.
Attending a production like this is an outstanding experience.
You have an opportunity to connect with the performers and storyline in an entirely different way than you would when you’re sitting in the audience of a more traditional theater.
There are three different operas performed in this theater space depending on which day of the week you attend, so make sure you check the performance schedule before purchasing your tickets here.
Your ticket also includes your membership to Musica a Palazzo and a free glass of wine after the first act.
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Enjoy panoramic views with your dinner on this lagoon boat tour
If you’d prefer dinner with the sea experience, try taking this boat tour on the lagoon.
Encounter the city in the evening with this Venetian Lagoon Tour and Galleon Meal cruise, including a romantic candlelight dinner.
As you cruise into the lagoon, you’ll see some of Venice’s smaller islands against the backdrop of a gorgeous sunset. Then glide down the Grand Canal, watching the city lighting glisten on the lake as darkness transitions to night.
Photograph the light sparkling on the water from the Rialto Bridge
One of my favorite places to see the streetlamps sparkle on the Grand Canal is from the Ponte di Rialto. It’s one of the world’s most recognizable historic bridges and famous for the shops that line both sides of the bridge.
Walk from one side of the bridge to the other, admiring the different beautiful views of the city and how they’ve changed with nightfall and capture one of the most Instagrammable photo spots in Venice at night.
Taste traditional Venetian aperitivo on your own giro d’ombra
I’m throwing a ton of Italian terms at you right now, so let’s get that settled first:
- aperitivo – pre-dinner delicious cocktails and appetizers
- giro d’ombra – directly translating to “a turn in the shadows” in Italian, it’s used to mean a bar crawl in the Venetian dialect
- bacaro – Venetian dialect for “a good bar”
- cicchetti – directly translating in Italian to a “little” or “quick drink,” it’s the Venetian word for small plates and local snacks you’d enjoy at a bacaro
Now that you’ve mastered the fundamentals, you’ll do as the Venetians do when they go out in the evenings and do un giro d’ombra! Travel from one bacaro to the next, stopping for a spritz and a few cicchetti at each stop.
Sample local wines at a wine tasting
Are you more interested in Veneto wines than you are in classic cocktails?
Sample some unbelievable Italian wines at a wine tasting!
Vineria all’Amarone is a small wine bar. The store, found a few blocks from the Rialto Bridge, offers its own tasting menu of local and regional wines.
They have four different tasting menus that range in price from €31 to €46 per person.
Each tasting includes five different wines to try, staff recommendations and insight, and a detailed brochure you can take home that includes more information about the incredible wines you’ve tasted.
You can schedule your wine-tasting experience for any time of day the shop is open on their website.
Fun Fact: Did you know–there is no set legal drinking age in Italy!
Experience Piazza San Marco at night
The massive, magnificent Piazza San Marco is one of Italy’s most famous piazzas. It is named after Saint Mark the Evangelist, the Basilica’s patron saint, whose symbol–the winged lion–was used to symbolize the Republic of Venice.
The Piazza is located in the heart of Venice’s historic area and is bordered by some of the metropolitan city’s most beautiful structures. The Piazza is surrounded on three sides by the Procuratie. Its distinctive arcade extended around one side into the Torre dell’Orologio and the other into the Biblioteca Nazionale Marciana. Around the top of the arcade are arched lights that go on each night, adding to its beauty.
The Basilica di San Marco and the Palazzo Ducale (the Doge’s Palace) are located on the fourth side. Construction ended on the Basilica di San Marco in 1094.
The interior houses some of Europe’s most famous works of art, including works by Renaissance painters Tintoretto, Titian, and Veronese, and relics of the church’s patron saint, Saint Mark the Evangelist.
If you’ve ever wanted to go inside, take a Skip-the-Line Tour of St. Mark’s Basilica with Pala d’Oro at Night. You’ll have the opportunity to walk around the space with an expert guide and learn even more about its Venetian history. Since it’s in the evening, fewer people should be inside the landmark.
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Explore the city through a Ghost & Legends walking tour
Like any historic city, Venice has some dark history alongside its beauty. There were several notable murders and suicides, and some happened in the most famous buildings in Venice. If you’re interested in learning more about the paranormal, take this Venice Ghost & Legends Tour.
You’ll wander around after dark, learning about the spirits who are rumored to still haunt the city streets–and the woeful ways they died. You can learn more and book this tour here.
Check out the Fondamente de la Misericordia for an evening with locals
Today, Venice has a population of roughly 50,000 people, with the majority of them residing in the Canareggio and Castello districts. This is the place to go if you want to see what local life in Venice is like nowadays. There are also several fantastic eateries and lesser-known historical monuments in this area.
The Fondamente de la Misericordia is the center of local life in these neighborhoods, with many outstanding restaurants, bakeries, and shops along the boulevard. It’s beautifully lit with decorative lights that run above the street to light your way around the nightlife in Venice.
Rock out to live music at the Venice Jazz Club
Several Venetian jazz clubs host concerts featuring both well-known artists and up-and-comers. Located in the Dorsoduro district, the Venice Jazz Club is a great place to check out if you’re looking to jam out to live music at night. The venue holds up to 50 people and is close to the Ca’ Rezzonico Museum.
Take in the view of Venice from a rooftop bar
One of my favorite things to do in Venice at night, or in any city, is visiting a rooftop bar. Although there aren’t any skyscrapers towering above the city, every bar you go to will have a beautiful, unique view of the canals and historic buildings.
- It’s as modern as a millennium-old city comes at the Skyline Rooftop Bar. Enjoy their live music while sipping on one of their specialty drinks at this exclusive eighth-floor rooftop bar. They’re open only Thursdays to Sundays from 5 p.m. to midnight. Since it’s on Giudecca Island, there’s no way to walk there from the main city center of Venice.
- Another ultra-exclusive rooftop restaurant and bar is Restaurant Terrazza Danieli. You’ll have an excellent view of San Giorgio Maggiore across the canal while enjoying your delicious food.
- Found in the Dorsoduro neighborhood, Ristorante Adriatica at Il Palazzo Experimental is located next to the canal on the Fondamenta Zattere Al Ponte Lungo. This rooftop restaurant offers a fun take on traditional Italian foods and is open for breakfast, lunch, aperitivo, and dinner.
The best nightlife in Venice, Italy, is a mix between old and new, modern and classic. Ranging from fine dining in a historic palazzo to eating at a local bar with great food and live music, you’re bound to find something you enjoy. What are your favorite things to do in Venice at night?