It is said that Venice is a city best seen at night; the daytime crowds of tourists have left and you can walk often deserted streets while you savor the intimate atmosphere of this island city. From theater to fine dining, sophisticated bars, and outdoor concerts, the choice of after-dark activities in this enchanting city is endless. Here are some of our best things to do in Venice at night so you can make the most of your time exploring the Queen of the Adriatic.
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Teatro La Fenice
The city is home to one of the most iconic opera houses on the planet, although it has burned down and been rebuilt a couple of times its magnificent interior is worth touring whether you’re there to see a show or not. It’s the perfect place to splurge on an evening of luxury while you enjoy a fantastic night at the opera.
It may be a cliche but you simply can’t visit Venice and not have a gondola ride. The best time to enjoy a gentle gondola ride is the blue hour after the sun has set. The canals become a bit quieter, the city empties, and the entire experience has a peacefulness to it that is usually absent during the day. It will be dark enough to enjoy the magic of the canals but still light enough to be able to spot those must-see sights.
Time Social Bar
Start the night with a cocktail or two at Time Social Bar. The bar serves a variety of cocktails and other items from one season to another. There are light snacks on offer as well as many alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages. The bartenders here are very knowledgeable, polite, and know precisely how to make the best cocktails that Venice has to offer. The whole place has been set up in such a way that patrons really feel like interacting with each other, hence the name includes the word ‘social’.
Libreria Acqua Alta
A city of art would be incomplete without something for those who are fond of the written word. This is the place to get lost in the creativity of amazing writers. At Libreria Acqua Alta you will even find a lot of furniture that has been made out of books. There are not only literary works and bestsellers on display but also books about Venice itself which can be very useful for visitors needing more information about this magical city. The book shop closes at 8 pm so just remember not to get too lost in all the books they have to offer.
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Arguably the most famous bar in Venice, This bar was opened by Giuseppe Cipriani in 1931 and its success led to the opening of many more distinguished ‘Harry’s Bars’ around the word. According to legend, the name originates from a rich Bostonian student called Harry Pickering to whom Cipriani loaned some money. When Harry returned to repay the debt, some years later, he also gave Cipriani enough cash to open a bar. Famous patrons include Ernest Hemmingway, Charlie Chaplin, Woody Allen, and Peggy Guggenheim. If you are feeling adventurous, we recommend you try the Extremely Dry Martini – a kidney-shattering ten parts gin to one part vermouth.
A night of murder mystery in the City of Masks
Ditch the smartphone and follow a real paper map through the streets of Venice at night. You’ll have to find the ‘victim’ and follow the clues against the clock to solve the 19th-century crime. It’s a great thing to do if you’re looking for unusual things to do in Venice. The whole event is excellently planned for a party of four, with transportation to the activity sites. They also offer hotel pick-up and drop-off. This may be an unusual night activity, but it’s great fun if you’re a bit of a sleuth.
Tuck into cicchetti at aperitivo
Cicchetti is the Venetian answer to Spanish tapas, but some say they’re even better. These bite-sized bits of food are usually served on a slice of bread and held together with a toothpick. They’re delicious, budget-friendly small bites of food are served in bars across the city. They’re the perfect addition to your aperitivo in Venice and if you order enough of them, they can even make up an early dinner! A nighttime food tour is one of the best things to do in Venice at night and it’s a perfect way to experience the art of aperitivo in Venice while you tuck into delicious cicchetti.
Stroll passed Venice’s most iconic sights
It may sound a bit obvious, but this is without a doubt, one of the best ways to explore the city as you’ll have the streets almost to yourself. Stroll over the Rialto Bridge without having to fight through the crowds fighting crowds. Walk across Piazza San Marco and admire how enormous and empty it is at dusk. Or make your way down the Riva degli Schiavoni and marvel at how peaceful it is to enjoy the views of the twinkling city lights while you listen to the gentle sounds of the water of the lagoon.
Jive away to jazz at Venice Jazz Club
One of the best things to do in Venice at night is to jive away to the jazz at the Venice Jazz Club. Although the club does not serve food while music is being performed, the talented musicians will leave you spellbound. The jazz club does not keep regular hours so be sure to check that the club is open before you visit as it’s not open every day of the week and is also closed some months of the year. Many different genres of jazz are played here and you can expect to enjoy an assortment of Latin Jazz, Bossa Nova, Hard Bop and so much more.
General tips for the best night out in Venice
Don’t expect to be out too late in Venice, most bars and restaurants are closed by 11:00 pm so Venice is not the place if you’re looking to party into the early hours of the morning. It’s best to make dinner reservations in advance, especially if you have a well-reviewed restaurant in mind that you’d like to try. If you didn’t happen to make reservations, we recommend showing up around the time your restaurant of choice opens for dinner (usually around 7:00 PM or 7:30 PM) to have the best odds of being seated. Kickstart your time in Venice with a personalized tour of the city, it’s a great way to get yourself orientated.
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