This city lets every photographer’s heart beat faster. Venice offers photography locations on every corner: The Canale Grande, cobblestone alleys, beautiful piazzas, small canals, the famous gondolas, picturesque street scenes and colors everywhere. Although you will find plenty of wonderful sceneries worth capturing with your camera while you wander through the streets, there are certain locations you might want to know where exactly to find them and when is the best time to visit them. I’m revealing my 15 best Venice photo spots and tips coming along with each spot (+ 2).
#1 The Palazzi along the Grand Canal
They’re all lined up along the Grand Canal. The beautiful Palazzi are worth a photo, especially during the blue hour, when the sun is set and the lights are switched on. Make your way towards the Basilica di Santa Maria della Salute at the end of the Grand Canal. Find your position either with the poles or the gondolas in the foreground and get crazy with long exposure shots.
#2 Basilica di Santa Maria della Salute
This spot is just a second away from #1. The famous Basilica di Santa Maria della Salute is very well known and definitely among the most photographed sights. Well deserved. The Basilica in baroque style looks amazing during the blue hour and at night. A wide-angle lens is highly recommended in order to frame it.
#3 Basilica di Santa Maria della Salute from the other side
The Basilica deserves to be on twice the list of the 15 best Venice photo spots. This angle is just wonderful, especially before sunset. Unfortunately, I was not very lucky with the colors of the sky but I didn’t want to withhold this location. You can find it at the very end of Calle Ridotto on a small footbridge. (Google maps: Calle Ridotto, 1386, 30124 Venezia VE)
#4 Scala Contarini del Bovolo
If you search for Venice photos, this location does not rank in the top results. I loved this architectural gem which is hidden in the streets of Venice. The spiral stairway on the outside of the building looks awesome and the view of the city from the top is stunning. Remain on the gangway and try making a photo which includes the rotunda.
Scala Contarini del Bovolo, S. Marco, 4303, 30124 Venezia VE. Opening hours: 10 am – 6 pm (last entry 5.30). Admission: 7 Euro
#5 View of San Marco Cathedral
I admit. Now I’m cheating a bit. This photo with the view of San Marco Cathedral and the Campanile di San Marco was taken from the top floor of Scala Contarini del Bovolo, the photo spot no. 4. You can take different photos with different angles from one spot. That’s great, isn’t it?
#6 Mark’s Square and the Doge’s Palace
It is one of the must-visit spots and of course one of the most famous photography locations in Venice. Mark’s Square and the area around the Doge’s Palace is packed during the day. However, if you overpower your inner temptation and get up really early in the morning, you will be blessed with an almost empty square and a wonderful sunrise. As a photographer, I have to make use of the best light which is in the morning and the evening. And getting up so early is real torture for me. But when I succeeded to leave the coziness of the bed, my day is a very happy day.
#7 The Bridge of Sighs
The name of the bridge is really funny. Following the tall tails, the name comes from prisoners who sighed when they reached the bridge and could catch a glimpse of daylight. If you want to take your time to shoot this wonderful bridge, you should catch the early morning when all the other tourists are still asleep. It is a famous sight and space from where you can photograph the bridge is quite small. Everyone tries to be in the first row.
#8 Galleria Giorgio Franchetti alla Ca’ d’Oro
Galleria Giorgio Franchetti alla Ca’ d’Oro on the Grand Canal is an art gallery with a balcony on the first floor from where you have a wonderful view on the Canal and the Palazzi on the opposite side. The balcony has these columns and the arches which look just great and you can try some different perspectives bringing them into your photo. I was hoping for a sunny day and some shadows on the balcony to play with. Address: Cannaregio 3932. Admission: 11 Euro for both floors, 7 Euro for the first floor including access to the balcony.
#9 T Fondaco dei Tedeschi by DFS
T Fondaco is an exclusive shopping center right at the Rialto Bridge. On the rooftop, there is a terrace with a stunning view on the Canale Grande. And the best thing: this Venice photography spot is without admission. In busy times you have to register online in advance and book your time slot. I registered but no one checked it. Address: Calle del Fontego next to Rialto Bridge.
#10 Canale Grande view
Right beneath the Rialto Bridge before you enter the shopping center from photo spot #9 there is a spot from where you have this beautiful view on the Grand Canal with the pastel-colored Palazzi. It is a great location because you can set up the tripod and take your time to shoot. You might be surrounded by lots of tourists to take selfies but just don’t bother.
#11 A different view of the Grand Canal
One of my favorite areas in Venice is the one around the Università Ca’ Foscari. You’ll find some nice and unique shops there and it is not so packed with tourists. I found this spot here on the bridge before you reach the university. The white building on the left with the four arches houses the Venice firefighters. Another great spot for long exposure shots.
#12 Chiesa della Madonna dell’ Orto
You’ve probably read my hidden gems of Venice article covering a recommendation to stroll through the alleys and canals of Cannaregio. When you walk along the Fondamenta de la Sensa you will reach a small bridge from where you’ve got a beautiful view of the Madonna dell’ Orto church. I walked through this quarter on a foggy morning, it was quiet and peaceful and I lost myself in capturing Venice with its uniqueness.
#13 Ponte Chiodo
You get this full-on experience of Venice when you walk off the beaten paths. Ponte Chiodo is a unique stone bridge without railings in Cannaregio. I liked the narrow view here because it made me think what is behind it and I also loved the different reds of the houses on the right side.
After a day of fog and rain, I was lucky to feel the first spring sun rays on my face. And not only was I happy because it felt so good but also because I could finally spot some beautiful reflections. This photo was taken at Fondamenta de Borgo by Rio de le Romite. The water was smooth and the sun made sure that the colors of the houses pop out. This alley is not too crowded so you can easily wait until you find the scenery without people in it.
#15 Salizada dei Spechieri
You might wrinkle your nose and wonder what I saw there. Well, I see the different shades of yellow in contrast to the red, the three signs on the buildings, the symmetry and I thought this is just a great photo. Beauty is always in the eye of the beholder ;-). Well, if you’re into photos like this, you will find the corner of these three houses in Cannaregio, very close to the Vaporetto station F.te Nove.
#16 Canale Grande…another one
This is probably one of the most iconic photos of Venice. The view from Ponte dell’ Accademia towards the Chiesa San Giorgio is simply stunning and always worth a stop. Even though the bridge might be packed it is still worth enjoying the view during the golden light.
#17 Alta Acqua Book Shop
This famous book shop is very popular among Instagramers and selfie queens and you might find a long queue until it is your turn to capture the stairs made of books. Despite the popular Venice Instagram spot, the book shop itself is worth visiting though.
I would love to see your favorite Venice photo spots. Any of them you are willing to share? If you haven’t been to Venice yet, you might want to check out my comprehensive guide to Venice. Looking for some hidden gems, too?