San Marco

Venice's core neighbourhood overflows with monuments, sights, theatres, plazas, and people.

Churches, plazas, and palaces make up the streetscape of San Marco, the neighbourhood at Venice’s core. San Marco’s sheer number of iconic sites, including Saint Mark’s Basilica, Palazzo Dandolo, and La Fenice theatre, ensure the high-density of visitors Venice is so known for. There’s a reason for the swarms of people in San Marco—its historic structures and just-like-the-movies scenery evoke a romance best found aboard a gondola gliding between centuries-old cafes.

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On the Map

San Marco is bordered by Dorsoduro/Accademia, Cannaregio, San Polo, and Castello

Marco Polo Airport: 65 minutes by ferry
Piazzale Roma Bus Station: 20 minutes by vaporetto
Santa Lucia Train Station: 36 minutes by vaporetto
Piazza San Marco: You're already here!
Arsenale/Venice Biennale: It's walkable
Giardini/Venice Biennale: It's walkable

  • Public transit is Easy

Everything In the Centre of Venice

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The focal point of Venice, San Marco's squares, shops, and sights teem with people.

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Souvenir stalls line the sidewalks.

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Camera flashes fill the air.

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San Marco's energy is dense and effusive.

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It's difficult to escape the crowds in this neighbourhood.

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Cross the Rialto Bridge to San Polo and you might find a little more serenity.

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Girardini San Marco

Venture to Piazza San Marco and you surely won't find solitude.

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A certain charm comes with San Marco's unceasing activity.

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In San Marco, you won't want for entertainment.

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The neighbourhood's squares are filled with shops, stalls, and restaurants.

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Girardini San Marco

Grab a gondola and glide along the Grand Canal.

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Peaceful moments are hard to come by in San Marco.

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But they do exist.

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If only for a short time.

San Marco's Monuments, Galleries, and Theatres

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Perhaps Venice's most photogenic bridge, Rialto Bridge connects two of the city's busiest neighbourhoods, San Marco and San Polo.

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Theatres, galleries, and opera houses make their home in the centre of central Venice.

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La Fenice Theatre burned down in the 1990s. It was restored to look just as it did in the 16th century.

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Every January 1st, the theatre presents its most important concert of the year.

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From Venice's Fenice Theatre to its contemporary museums like Palazzo Grassi, San Marco is the centre of Venice's arts and culture.

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The Palazzo Contarini del Bovolo's spiral staircase continually attracts admirers.

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What's not to admire?

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Dining In San Marco

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Many of San Marco's restaurants cater to crowds that are simply passing through.

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They feature Venice's typical cuisine: cichetti.

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If you're looking for a true taste of the city, ask for a spritz.

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You can't go wrong ordering Venice's favourite beverage.

An Evening View In the Heart of Venice

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San Marco overflows with visitors during the day, but its energy abates as night falls.

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People often head to San Polo or Dorsoduro for evening festivities, and San Marco celebrates early bedtimes.

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By ten or eleven, San Marco's streets are empty.

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Crowds aren't your idea of a holiday?

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Visit Piazza San Marco in the evening.

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It's ethereal.

Photography

Airbnb works with local photographers to capture the spirit of neighbourhoods all around the world. The photography on this page includes work by:

Luca Girardini

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Luca Girardini is a freelance photographer based in Venice, Italy. He turned to photography after studying architecture at university and specialises in architectural and interior design photography. His personal work explores the contemporary landscape. Luca photographed Venice for Airbnb and set out to capture the real Venice he knows rather than its tourist persona.