Photographing Venice – Best Venice photo spots
Photographing Venice is easy and definitely a pleasure – the whole city is just so incredibly photogenic! So, if I wanted to write the shortest article ever, I could say “The best Venice photo spots” are just every single spot in Venice.
There are just so many picturesque streets, doors, canals, churches, houses, boats, gondolas, rivers, gardens, statues… I could go on and on and on!
But, of course, that’s not what I’m going to do.
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Some of the best Venice photo spots
As I’ve said, the whole of Venice is one great photo spot. But there are some places that are quite famous that will give you those greatest pictures.
And these are the best photo spots in Venice for a reason.
In case you’re wondering – I’ve put them in no particular order.
Rialto bridge – the best photo spot in Venice for capturing the hustle and bustle of the Grand Canal
One of the most popular landmarks of Venice, the Rialto bridge is definitely a must for every person visiting the city.
It’s weird to say it about a bridge, but there are actually things to do on it! It’s not many things, but still.
Of course, as I said in the headline, you get to enjoy the hustle and bustle of Canal Grande. There are many vaporettos and taxis going back and forth, people walking, and even trash boats collecting trash. This is why it’s one of the best photo spots in Venice – you get to actually capture the life of the city.
The views of the buildings are interesting as well!
Don’t forget to look both ways – back as well, not just towards the lagoon.
And there are some tiny shops in the middle of the Rialto bridge! Which is quite cool. You can check how people manage to put different things to sell in pocket-sized stores. Or, you know, take a very unique picture of Venice – of the “inside” of the Rialto bridge.
Accademia bridge – the best spot for getting that iconic view of Venice
You know the one, right? Well, I just showed you, but anyways – Basilica di Santa Maria della Salute, a bit of the lagoon, a bit of Grand Canal and the amazing architecture of the houses.
Yes, the best spot for capturing this photo is on the Ponte di Accademia.
A tip: Accademia Bridge is one of the best Venice photo spots for sunrise photography
Ponte della Paglia – to take pictures of Ponte dei Sospiri
This is the best place to take pictures of the Bridge of Sighs, one of the most famous bridges in Venice. It connects the Doge’s palace to the prison of Venice.
Taking a tour of the palace and the prison is one of the coolest things to do in Venice, actually. You get to enjoy the magnificence of the Doge’s palace and then do the depressing walk over the bridge of Sighs to the prison. The bridge got named this way because the prisoners used to sigh when crossing it and see the beauty of Venice for probably the last time in their lives.
There are a lot of gondolas passing through the small Rio del Palazzo which can make the photo even more interesting.
In the back of the photo, you can see another bridge which I couldn’t find on Google maps – that’s another great location for photographing Ponte dei Sospiri.
Piazza San Marco – many of the best Venice photo spots are here
Ok, so, San Marco is probably the most photographed place in Venice. There are many things to photograph there and many angles to great amazing shots from.
There are many arches in the buildings all around the San Marco square which can give you interesting frames for the photographs.
And of course, during the day, there are people. On the one hand, it’s kind of a nuisance when they go inside the picture. On the other hand, though, if you work with the people, they can show how busy the square actually is.
Related: Venice 2 day itinerary
If you’d like as few people as possible, of course, go around sunrise time.
On the other hand, at night after sunset, the buildings are illuminated in an interesting way.
Basilica San Marco
Obviously (in Snape’s from Harry Potter voice).
One of the oldest churches in the world, it’s definitely one of the iconic Italy pictures, not just Venice.
Make sure to go explore it from all sides – the façade is, of course, the most iconic part, but if you take a picture from one of the sides, you get some unique looks.
An architectural gem located just by the Basilica. The arches all around the palace look very interesting.
Make sure to go inside, too, as the frescos are magnificent.
Plus, the courtyard has an interesting view of the cupolas of Basilica San Marco. Don’t miss the Giant’s Staircase there!
San Marco’s bell tower
A free-standing bell tower which makes the pictures of the Basilica quite interesting.
If you go up it (there’s an elevator, no need to take stairs), you get a nice bird’s eye view of the whole of Venice and more.
We went on a sunny day, and it gave us incredible views of the sea of orange roofs in Venice.
I imagine that on cloudy or foggy days the views are not so great. On the other hand, it might make for some moody images of the Piazza.
Astronomical clock – Venice clock tower
On the side of the square, there is a building with the Astronomical clock hidden on it. Well, not hidden, but not as visible as the other buildings.
You can see the blue-ish circle on the building in the lower right corner of the picture – that’s the Astronomical clock.
The shadow on the museum is the San Marco’s bell tower where the picture was taken from 🙂
Btw, if you’d like to stay in the Clock tower, there’s an aparthotel there.
Related: where to stay in Venice
Imagine a whole island full of different pastel-coloured houses that have canals between them! You get incredible views from every corner.
It’s great for everything – landscape or portraits, or even macro photography.
Make it a half a day trip from Venice, and wander around.
Basilica di Santa Maria della Salute and Punta della Dogana
The very “point” of the Dorsoduro neighbourhood offers a very interesting view of the lagoon where Venice is located and the meeting point of the Canal Grande and Canal Giudecca.
From here, you get to see such Venice landmarks as the San Marco’s bell tower from a different, much more unique angle.
The steps of Basilica di Santa Maria della Salute offer great opportunities for portraits.
Unique Venice photo spots
The previous spots are definitely some of the most popular Venice photo spots.
It doesn’t mean that you should miss them! No, definitely go there! Those places are popular for a reason.
But if you’re looking for something to add to your itinerary where you’ll get something more unique, try these.
Riva degli Schiavoni – many great places for photography
Don’t be fooled by the “riva” – it’s not a river, it’s actually a waterfront promenade that goes all the way from Piazza San Marco to Ponte della Ca di Dio, almost to the Museo Storico Navale di Venezia.
From here, you can take pictures of the San Giorgio Maggiore island from different angles. And the further you go, the more the opportunities for finding the “best” photo spots in Venice increase! You can even catch a nice cityscape of Venice.
Dorsoduro or Castello neighbourhoods – best photo spots for that authentic feel of Venice
You’ve probably seen different variations of the picture right here – laundry hanging over canals.
If you’re wondering where to photograph that, wander over to Castello or Dorsoduro, which are the two neighbourhoods where most of the locals live.
If you’d like to know how they manage to get the laundry all the way there, then I’m sorry, I’m not really sure, haha. My guess is some kind of a “hang the laundry in the room and then pull it over the canal” system. If you know, please tell me!
Palazzo Grimani – one of the best photo spots in Venice for photographing the Rialto bridge
Instead of taking a picture from the Rialto bridge, why not photograph the Rialto bridge itself? Especially during the golden hour, when the bridge is illuminated.
A great spot for it is just by the Palazzo Grimani. There are some piers there on which you can stand which offer a great and unobstructed view of the Rialto bridge.
From a gondola or vaporetto
It’s a bit harder to photograph Venice from water, that is, from a gondola, vaporetto, water taxi, etc., but still, the views offered are quite unique.
If you take a gondola ride, you get to take photos of the smaller canals and rios. That offers unique views of the houses – from the water level, no less.
Or, the gondolas generally go on Grand Canal as well, at least for a little bit. That’s how we managed to capture the Basilica di Santa Maria della Salute from an interesting angle.
Or, for example, on the way from the Santa Lucia station, we took a vaporetto, which actually let us take some interesting pictures of the bridges.
And on the way to Burano Michal managed to capture some interesting views from the vaporetto.
Calle del Traghetto Vecchio by the St Regis hotel
One of the best photo spots in Venice for capturing the Santa Maria della Salute basilica or the island of San Giorgio Maggiore is located just by the very famous St Regis hotel. Which is one of the most incredible places to stay in Venice, by the way.
If you’re looking for those popular Venice Instagram spots…
Those are pretty much the same as the best Venice photo spots.
- Rialto bridge – go to one of the waterfront streets by the Rialto bridge to get that iconic Venice Instagram shot. It doesn’t really matter which side of the bridge it is, or even which side of the Canal. They all look quite cool.
- Accademia bridge – gives you the beautiful Basilica di Santa Maria della Salute and the lagoon in the background.
- Burano – definitely Burano with all of its colourful houses.
- Piazza San Marco – the Basilica is a nice backdrop, especially if there are pigeons. Just remember some of the rules in Venice, such as not feeding the pigeons and not sitting on anything that is not a chair.
- Ponte dei Sospiri (Bridge of Sighs) – the bridge is featured on insta quite often, haha. You can either head to the Ponte della Paglia or go down to the ledge by the canal.
- The pier by the Hotel San Moise – if you’ve been researching Venice on Instagram, you’ve probably noticed a little pier on a small canal with a picturesque bridge in the background. Looks like it doesn’t have a proper name, but this cute little Venice Instagram spot is located just behind the Hotel San Moise in San Marco district. On Google maps, search for Dernamaria Srl Unipersonale.
- Riva degli Schiavoni – pretty much anywhere on this walkway. You can find parked gondolas and the San Giorgio Maggiore in the background.
- Giant’s staircase – in the palazzo Ducale, there are huuuge stairs, the ones in the picture above
And, of course, any other place mentioned in this article… and many more.
Other cool places to take pictures in Venice, a list
- Rio del Vin
- Churches all around Venice
- Libreria Acqua Alta
- Fondamenta dei Felzi
- Palazzo Morosini Sagredo
- Fondamenta dei Preti
- Bridge near Gelatoteca Suso
Tips for photographing Venice
#1 tip for photographing Venice (and almost everywhere else in the world) – Get up early
There are quite a few reasons for getting up early to photograph Venice.
First, of course, there will not be that many people which means that you can get great shots of the iconic spots.
Except, of course, there will be quite a few photographers – so make sure to get up extra early to save the best photo spots in Venice!
And second, there are many great places where the light from the sunrise will make your Venice photography especially beautiful.
#2 tip for photographing Venice – don’t be afraid of the fog or cloudy days
Of course, clear pictures are awesome. But the fog makes it moodier!
#3 – get lost in Venice
Going to the popular spots is always worth it. Again, there’s a reason why the spots are popular!
But on the other hand, Venice is such a unique place that you can find hidden gems all over it. It’s impossible to mention each and every beautiful corner and bridge in one article.
#4 tip – go and photograph Venice from above!
Make sure to go to at least one of the towers that overlook Venice.
There are some hotels with terraces on the rooftop as well!
Some places to consider:
- Campanile San Marco
- Scala Contarini del Bovolo
- Fondaco dei Tedeschi
- San Giorgio Maggiore bell tower
#5 tip – go on the water
That’s one of the Venice photo spots that I mentioned, but really, use the gondolas, vaporettos etc. to take pictures of Venice from the water line. The perspective is quite interesting!
#6 tip – protect your camera (and phone)
I think this is a given, but still, better mention it. Venice is a crowded city on water.
Make sure that your camera is safely attached to you at all times, whether in a bag or around your neck. It would be awful if it just fell out of your hands and into a canal!
And, of course, make sure to have a waterproof – and better yet theft-proof – case for your camera.
#7 tip for photographing in Venice – go in the shoulder season
Shoulder seasons – spring and autumn – have generally the least crowds. But of course, make sure that there are no festivals happening – in September, for example, it’s the biennale.
It’s not just the crowds, though, – shoulder season means the accommodation in Venice gets less expensive, as well!
Winter is the low season, but at the same time, the weather might be rather unpleasant. Fog and low clouds, of course, give your photos that moody feel, but if you want the traditional travel photography with the sights clearly visible, winter might not be the best time to go.
As for the summer, it gets very hot and humid in Venice. Plus, mosquitoes everywhere.
So, in conclusion about photographing Venice
Venice is a pretty special place to photograph, that’s for sure.
There are just so many incredible spots!
So make sure to wander around properly and find your favourite one.