The vibrant city of Venice has a rich history, colorful culture, historical architecture, and countless bridges and canals. Regardless of whether you are looking for unique spots to have a professional photoshoot in or would simply like to add some eye-catching shots to your Instagram feed, Venice has plenty to offer. So, let’s take a look at some of the best photography spots in Venice so that you can hit both popular sites and hidden gems that may not show up in a traditional guidebook.
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Table of Contents
Best Instagrammable Photo Spots in Venice
Please keep in mind that some of the best photo spots in Venice aren’t free and require a ticket. Consequently, their opening hours must be taken into account before your visit.
1. The Foot of the Rialto Bridge
Venice’s Rialto Bridge (Ponte di Rialto) is undoubtedly the most famous bridge in Venice, if not the world, and also one of Venice’s top attractions. Each day, thousands of people cross the Rialto Bridge to witness the Grand Canal in all its splendor.
The present Rialto Bridge dates back to the late-16th century and is the oldest of the four bridges traversing the Grand Canal. Today this elegant, arched stone bridge is formed of three sets of stairs divided by arcades.
One of the best Instagram photo spots in Venice is accorded at the base of the Rialto Bridge. Though the bridge is absolutely packed during the day, you can easily snap pictures from the foot of the bridge.
The best thing is that you can take a picture from both sides. The ledge on the side of the San Marco district is a popular spot for photos that accords a slightly closer view of the Rialto Bridge. However, the concrete platform on the side of the San Polo quarter is a little more atmospheric, especially because of the striped mooring poles!
Besides having a beautiful view of the bridge, both these spots accord iconic views of the Grand Canal, with gondolas, waterbuses, and commercial boats trolling past day and night.
Best time for pics: Anytime during the day but go there early in the morning unless you want a zillion people in the background photobombing your picture.
2. T Fondaco dei Tedeschi Rooftop Terrace
One of the largest buildings on the Grand Canal, the chunky Fondaco dei Tedeschi sits next to the Rialto Bridge and directly across from the famed Rialto fish market.
It was once the headquarters of Venice’s German (Tedeschi) merchants who at the time were the most powerful foreign group in the city. Today, the building has found new life as an upmarket department store.
Being big fans of rooftop terraces, we can vouch that the rooftop terrace of Fondaco dei Tedeschi is one of the best photo spots in Venice offering sweeping views of the Grand Canal and the city.
Opening Hours: Daily from 10:30-18:30
Best time for pics: Morning or sunset
Cost: Access to the T Fondaco dei Tedeschi Rooftop Terrace is free but you must make a time slot reservation through their website in advance. You get 15 minutes which is sufficient to capture some great photos and selfies. Book well in advance during the peak season to ensure you get your desired time slot.
3. Giants’ Staircase in the Doge’s Palace
The resplendent Doge’s Palace (Palazzo Ducale) is rightfully considered as one of the major points of interest in Venice. The palace was formerly the official residence of the 120 doges who ruled Venice from 697 to 1797.
A symbol of Venice’s great prosperity and power, the Doge’s Palace was formerly also home to all of the city’s governing councils, its law courts, and even its prisons.
Upon entering the pink-and-white marble palace, you’ll be greeted by the Giants’ Staircase (Scala dei Giganti), scene of the doges’ glittering inaugurations and used by visiting dignitaries. Truly a marvel to behold, it was one of our favorite photo spots in Venice.
The colossal staircase owes its name to the two larger-than-life-size sculptures at the top of the staircase. They represent the Roman gods Mars and Neptune and symbolize the Venetian Republic’s military domination of land and naval power over the sea.
Walking on the Giants’ Staircase is prohibited so you’ll have to be content with a photograph standing at the base.
Opening Hours: Daily from 08:30-19:00 (April-October), and 08:30-17:30 (November-March)
Best time for pics: As the Doge’s Palace is one of the most visited attractions in Venice, it’s best to go there early in the morning to avoid the large crowds.
Cost: 26 EUR. We also HIGHLY recommend buying a skip-the-line ticket in advance to avoid losing valuable time queueing in long lines at the palace.
4. The Pier Behind Hotel San Moise
This unassuming pier is one of our favorite photo spots in Venice. It remains anonymous in name but due to its beautiful setting, it enjoys a ubiquitous presence on Instagram.
Overlooking the serene Rio de l’Barcaroli canal, this random little pier typifies the true beauty of Venice. Although it is one of the most famous Venice Instagram spots, it’s a surprisingly calm and quiet place.
You can take plenty of great photos at this super picturesque location in relative peace. There are plenty of gondolas passing by so you’ll also have a good opportunity to take a picture with them in the background.
The pier takes a little bit of an effort to find but coming here will be completely worth your while.
Best time for pics: Early morning or late afternoon
5. Sala Capitore in the Scuola Grande di San Rocco
One of the most overlooked attractions in Venice, the Scuola Grande di San Rocco is simply unrivaled in terms of grandeur and beauty. This confraternity meeting house, dedicated to St Roch, serves as a shrine to the celebrated Venetian artist Tintoretto, who spent 23 years working on the Scuola on and off.
Tintoretto’s much-celebrated cycle of more than fifty major paintings are on display here and some of the most dazzling ones are on display in the Sala Capitore.
The vast hall, which is often called Venice’s ‘Sistine Chapel’, is positively awe-inspiring. Your head will be in a tizzy gazing at the acres of shiny inlaid marble underfoot, sublime ceiling and wall paintings, and gilded ceiling features elaborate carvings of allegorical figures.
Opening Hours: Daily from 09:30-17:30 (last admission at 17:00)
Best time for pics: Morning but although it is one of the best photo spots in Venice it isn’t super-crowded, unlike other sights.
Cost: 10 EUR
6. St. Mark’s Square
Arguably the most popular of all the great photo spots in Venice, the majestic St. Mark’s Square (Piazza San Marco) is a sight to behold. A quick stroll around the square makes you realize why Napoleon christened St. Mark’s Square “the world’s most beautiful drawing-room.”
Being surrounded by some of the most famous buildings in Venice, such as St. Mark’s Basilica and the Doge’s Palace, St. Mark’s Square offers numerous photo opportunities and will keep your cameras busy!
One of our favorite places to take a photo in St. Mark’s Square is by one of the lamp posts in front of Doge’s Palace in the direction of the island of San Maggiore.
Best time for pics: As St. Mark’s Square is almost always inundated with people, it’s best to go there very early in the morning if you want to have a decent chance of snapping good photos.
7. Palazzo Contarini del Bovolo
Neatly tucked away in a warren of alleys in the highly-trafficked San Marco district, the Palazzo Contarini del Bovolo is certainly one of the hidden gems in Venice (if there is such a thing). The building is definitely worth seeking out for its fairytale external early Renaissance spiral staircase set into a circular Byzantine-style tower.
In the Venetian dialect, bovolo means “snail shell”, appropriate to the spiral shape of the stairway. Being virtually equidistant from the Rialto Bridge and St. Mark’s Square, this tower offers some of the best views of Venice.
As you gaze towards St. Mark’s, the view over the rooftops of La Serenissima is truly breathtaking, easily making it one of the best Venice spots.
Opening Hours: Daily from 10:00-18:00
Best time for pics: Morning
Cost: 7 EUR. You can book your ticket here.
8. Gondolas along Riva degli Schiavoni
Though you can get a picture by gondolas virtually all over Venice, one of our favorite viewpoints in Venice is by the numerous gondolas moored along Riva degli Schiavoni in front of the Doge’s Palace.
The main reason why this spot is easily one of the most Instagrammable places in Venice is that you get a gorgeous view of the magical island of San Maggiore in the background. In one picture, you get two icons of Venice at once!
Best time for pics: Anytime during the day but it will be less crowded in the morning.
9. Acqua Alta Bookstore
The increasingly popular Acqua Alta Bookstore (Libreria Acqua Alta) rightfully earns its position among the best photo spots in Venice. This illustrious and unique bookstore is renowned for its quaint decor and for the unconventional methods of storing its books.
Having opened in 2004, the bookstore’s owner resorted to ingenious ways of safeguarding the books against the notorious high waters (“Acqua Alta”) that have been known to afflict Venice in the winter. As a result, you’ll come across waterproof bins, bathtubs, canoes, and most notably, a full-size gondola.
Though the entire bookstore is highly picturesque, don’t forget to check out the courtyard of the shop where you can find a staircase made of old books. Not only is it one of the most highly Instagrammable places in Venice, but you can also get an amazing view over the canals from the top of the books as well.
Plus, what better way is there of gleaning knowledge from books than by sitting on them? 😉
Opening Hours: Daily from 09:00-19:45
Best time for pics: Morning or late afternoon
Cost: Free, though it’s nice to buy something (even a small souvenir) to help keep this magical cultural institution in Venice afloat.
10. Bridge Behind Gelatoteca SuSo
The non-descript little bridge located behind Gelatoteca SuSo, one of the most popular gelaterias in Venice, has got all the elements to make it one of Venice’s most alluring photo spots.
It is bounded by cute houses and commands a close-up view of the many gondolas passing by on the canal below. To add a bit of élan to your picture, you can get an ice cream or two from Gelatoteca SuSo.
Best time for pics: Morning or afternoon. Gelatoteca SuSo is open 10:30-23:00 (Sunday-Thursday) and 10:30-23:30 (Friday-Saturday).
11. Traghetto di Riva del Vin
The Traghetto di Riva del Vin gondola station along the Grand Canal was one of our favorite lesser-known Venice Instagram spots. You get a memorable photo on the Grand Canal with the moored gondolas and lovely palaces in the background.
While it’s actually only a two-minute walk from the Rialto Bridge, it’s surprisingly (and pleasantly) devoid of tourists.
Best time for pics: Morning or late afternoon
12. Santa Maria della Salute Viewpoint (Gondola Dogana Vallaresso)
Standing on the opposite side of the Grand Canal from St. Mark’s Square, near the triangular tip of the Dorsoduro district, the ebullient Santa Maria della Salute basilica is one of the most iconic landmarks in Venice. Such is its beauty that it deserves to be on the list of the best Venice photo spots.
One of the best places to capture a photo with the basilica in the background is the Gondola Dogana Vallaresso viewpoint, which is located in the vicinity of St. Mark’s Square.
With mooring poles, gondolas, and water buses in between, you can admire the ornate white Istrian stone exterior of the Basilica di Santa Maria della Salute.
Best time for pics: Anytime during the day
13. Ponte Chiodo
Of the myriad bridges in Venice, Ponte Chiodo is one of our favorite ones. Located in the quiet vestiges of the district of Cannaregio, this small arched bridge is one of only two remaining bridges in Venice with no parapet or balustrades (the other being Ponte del Diavolo on the island of Torcello).
Coupled with the picturesque surroundings, the sheer uniqueness of this bridge makes it one of the most Instagrammable locations in Venice. However, be careful and don’t fall into the Rio di San Felice as it might not be a pleasant swim!
Best time for pics: As Ponte Chiodo is off the beaten track, anytime during the day is fine
14. Ledge Beneath the Bridge of Sighs
The Bridge of Sighs (Ponte dei Sospiri) connects the Doge’s Palace to the dank 16th-century prison cells. This beautiful enclosed limestone bridge is one of the most beloved landmarks in Venice and ranks as the city’s second-most popular bridge behind the Rialto.
The bridge is one of Venice’s most photographed sights and owes its name to the sighs of prisoners as they stole a last glance of freedom from the bridge on their way to the notorious prisons.
In order to get a memorable photo with the Bridge of Sighs in the background, head to the small ledge in front of the Ponte della Paglia bridge. From here, you are accorded uninterrupted views of the bridge and you can even stand right next to the water.
Best time for pics: Morning or noon
15. Ponte Della Canonica
If you desire a different perspective of the Bridge of Sighs (who doesn’t), head to the Ponte della Canonica bridge on the other side of the Bridge of Sighs. This solid stone bridge with sturdy ornamental stone balustrades has been around since the 11th century making it one of the oldest bridges in Venice.
Though you’ll still be photographing the Bridge of Sighs, the view from Ponte Maria Callas looks very different and is definitely worth checking out!
Best time for pics: Early morning
16. Ponte Maria Callas
There’s nothing conspicuous about Ponte Maria Callas that will make you take special notice. However, the reason that makes it one of the best Venice Instagram spots is that you have the leaning Santo Stefano Bell Tower in the rear which grants a beautiful backdrop to photos.
Best time for pics: Noon
17. Accademia Bridge
Linking the districts of San Marco and Dorsoduro, the wooden Accademia Bridge (Ponte dell’Accademia) is undoubtedly one of the best viewpoints in Venice and in my opinion offers some of the postcard-perfect views of the Grand Canal.
From the Accademia, you can snap the entire curve of the Grand Canal toward St. Mark’s and the Venetian lagoon. The view of the magnificent palaces, the bulbous Santa Maria di Salute, and the Grand Canal traffic is absolutely mesmerizing.
Best time for pics: Morning or late afternoon
18. San Giorgio Maggiore Bell Tower
If you’re on the lookout for the best sweeping panoramic views of Venice and the lagoon, head to the San Giorgio Maggiore Bell Tower on the tranquil island of San Giorgio Maggiore. The bird’s-eye views from here are absolutely stunning and there’s nothing better than to peer across the turquoise waters.
The San Giorgio Maggiore Bell Tower is certainly one of the best viewpoints in Venice and we even enjoyed the views of Venice from here much more than from the top of the more famous St Mark’s Bell Tower.
Opening Hours: Daily from 10:00-18:00
Cost: 6 EUR
19. Anywhere on Burano
No list of best photo spots in Venice would be complete without mentioning Burano, the small fishing island in the northern Venetian lagoon. Virtually the whole of Burano is a photographer’s delight and a breeding ground for Instagram content.
As you stroll around Burano, you can’t help but be transfixed by the colorful houses shimmering with delight at their own reflections in the canals. One of the most Instagrammable places in Burano is the multicolored and geometrical facade of Casa Bepi.
Other Photo Spots in Venice
The places we have mentioned on our list are some of the most popular photo spots in Venice. However, given that Venice is so beautiful, you will surely stumble across more gorgeous photography locations.
Just stroll around the many tiny alleys of Venice and take shots wherever you like.
Practical Information Regarding the Best Photo Spots in Venice
1. Getting Around: Nearly all the attractions we’ve included in our list of best photo spots in Venice are within comfortable walking distance of each other. The islands of Burano and San Giorgio Maggiore in the Venetian lagoon are easily accessible by boat.
However, to provide some relief for your feet and to save time, you should hop aboard one of Venice’s waterbuses (Vaporetti), which are also a scenic way to get from one side of the city to another.
A single Vaporetto ticket costs 7.50 EUR and is valid for 75 minutes from the time of validation. You can also pre-book your ticket online, which I found to be most convenient.
2. Expect to encounter scaffolding: Restoration work is always taking place somewhere in Venice, and there is rarely any indication before you go in as to how much of the building is under wraps.
It’s impossible to predict which buildings or sites will be undergoing restoration in the near future so prepare to be disappointed – you are almost certain to come across scaffolding and barriers at some point.
3. Pack a pair of comfortable shoes: If you’re intending to primarily see the best Venice photo spots on foot, it pays to have appropriate footwear. Stick with a comfortable pair of flat shoes rather than heels to avoid unnecessary purple toes and white blisters.
4. Keep a close eye on your belongings: Be aware of petty crime like pickpocketing, especially at railway stations, markets, and crowded sites.
On public transport, particularly the tourist routes, hold your handbag or rucksack in front of you and be extra vigilant over your belongings when people are jostling to get on board.
Map of the Best Photo Locations in Venice
We’ve created a custom map that contains all the best Venice Instagram spots with their exact location so as to ensure you’re not missing out on anything. Don’t fret if you lose your way in finding some of the places as getting lost is a rite of passage in Venice.
Further Reading For Your Venice Visit
That summarizes our definitive guide to the best photo spots in Venice. However, we reckon you’ll find the following resources useful for planning your trip to Venice!
Further Reading For Your Venice Visit
→ Check Out the 30 Essential Things to do in Venice
→ Find Out How to Spend One Perfect Day in Venice!
→ Discover How to Spend a Blissful Weekend in Venice!
→ Read Our Comprehensive Guide to Public Transport in Venice
→ Check Out the 30+ Must-See Sights Along the Grand Canal in Venice
→ Check Out the 14 Best Traditional Souvernirs to Buy in Venice!
→ Learn About the 22 Essential Foods and Drinks to Try in Venice!
→ Find Out About the 12 Best Cicchetti Bars in Venice!
→ Find Out About the 11 Best Gelato Shops in Venice!
Do you agree with our list? What are some of your favorite photo spots and viewpoints in Venice? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below!