Venice by Night: What to do? Vaporetto Gondola, Tours & Opera

Venice is considered by many to be one of the most romantic cities in the world. The unique charm of its river canals and magnificent palaces makes it an ideal place for a short holiday. After hours full of experiences and discoveries with St Mark’s Basilica, Doge’s Palace, Rialto Bridge and many other emotional impressions in this fascinating city, a wonderful day comes to an end. The sun sets and Venice, hectic during the day, becomes magical, mysterious and sometimes even a little mythical.

The day tourists have almost all left the historic lagoon city, the cruisers are returning to their ships and the numerous boats on the canals are becoming fewer. What remains are the overnight guests, participants in evening events, locals and, of course, the romantics.

Venice by Night

What to do in the evening?

For my exploration of Venice at night, here are a few ideas on how to end the day. These include romantic walks, evening tours, opera and concert performances, culinary experiences and, of course, the gondola ride at night. For night owls, there is still the casino.

Romantic walks in the evening

Venice by Night

The best way to start is with an aimless stroll and enjoy the quiet canals where only a few couples in love are still taking a romantic gondola ride. The streets and squares are empty and you look into the illuminated shop windows of the vegetable or souvenir shops that are open until late, or pause on one of the numerous bridges. Now you can experience the enchanting city from a completely different perspective.

Venice by Night

A stroll through Venice’s alleys in the evening is very atmospheric. The Bacari, as the traditional wine taverns in the lagoon city are called, are ideal for a short break.

Venice by Night

The Bacari in the city on the Adriatic Sea are typical Venetian taverns with a simple ambience where you can have a glass of wine or a spritz, the typical Venetian aperitif. There are rather simple but honest red and white wines. These are accompanied by cicchetti, small dishes that are eaten as an aperitif and are reminiscent of Spanish tapas. Deliciously arranged on the counter are steamed folpetti, i.e. squid, anchovy rolls, stuffed olives, mozzarella in carrozza, artichokes from the vegetable island of Sant’Erasmo, grilled aubergines and everything that belongs to the favourite cicchetti of locals and tourists.

By the way, the Venetian term for a glass of wine is: ombra.

Bacari can be found all over Venice. The most typical of these little pubs are in the sestieri, as the districts of Venice’s historic center are called, Cannaregio and San Polo.

Venice by Night

Before returning to your accommodation, the nightly walk across the deserted San Marco is almost obligatory. Venice’s most famous square takes on a completely different appearance at night. You shouldn’t miss this and spend a little time here.

If that’s not enough, you can still admire the Bridge of Sighs and the Doge’s Palace or make a detour to the Rialto Bridge and watch the water of the Grand Canal flow calmly under the landmark, which is hopelessly crowded during the day.

Sunset tours

After a busy day of sightseeing, the best way to relax in Venice in the evening is with an aperitif on a boat at sunset. With a glass of Prosecco, you can also enjoy the view of the breathtaking lagoon city from the water. The trips take you through the St Mark’s Basin in Venice.

Venice Boat TripPriceTicket
Venetian Lagoon Evening25,00 €Book online
Sunset Cruise by
Typical Venetian Boat
85,00 €Book online

✅ For those who are ready to experience the sunset without prosecco, there is now a special suggestion.

Venice by Night

My savings tip: A little less romantic, but cheaper, is to sail around the island at sunset on a Vaporetto. For many, this is a highlight of their holiday, as the journey on the water is very atmospheric. Those who already have the day or multi-day ticket can enjoy an unobstructed view of the silhouette of the lagoon city from the water for as long as they like. 

The best way to do this is on line 4. The vaporetti circumnavigate the entire island with a short detour to Murano. However, the waterbus line with the number 4 does not appear anywhere, as it splits into Linea 4.1 and 4.2, with Linea 4.1 going counterclockwise around Venice and Linea 4.2 clockwise. However, the stops are the same. The whole tour takes about 1 hour and 20 minutes if the detour to Murano is avoided by changing trains, otherwise it is 40 minutes more.

While the trips to Murano and the other main lines run until late in the evening, you should plan your round trip here around 19:00. The exact times of Linea 4.1 and 4.2 can also be found in the timetable, which can be viewed here as PdF.

If you have a little more time and would like to interrupt your trip, the stops on the island of Giudecca or on the cemetery island of San Michele are ideal. Both destinations can only be reached by water bus.

Mythical tours

After the classic sightseeing tours during the day, Venice is the ideal city to take part in the exciting and legend-laden guided tours in the evening hours. Much can also be explored on your own, but often the hidden corners are hard to find.

✅ All tours are guided and take place in the evening city. The offers are in English!

Evening TourPriceTicket
Ghost and Legends
Walking tour
25,00 €Book online
Legends & Ghosts
Cannaregio tour
28,00 €Book online
Sunset Cruise
Typical Venetian Boat
67,00 €Book online

Many tours lead through the picturesque and authentic Cannaregio district, a special part of Venice, for which there is also a detailed article Cannaregio in the city tour section. The interesting guided tours certainly offer some unforgettable moments in the evening hours.

Gondola ride at night

Venice by Night

The most romantic experience in Venice is, of course, a gondola ride at night. Take a seat in a gondola on the typical velvet armchairs and let yourself glide through the quiet canals with the old and picturesque bridges.

Gondola ride at nightPriceTicket
Private gondola ride by Night180,00 €Book online
Gondola ride to Rialto bridge120,00 €Book online
Gondola ride to the Bridge of Sighs120,00 €Book online

The highlight of the evening gondola ride is, of course, the famous kiss when passing under the Bridge of Sighs at the Doge’s Palace or the Rialto Bridge on the Grand Canal. In my Top Attractions articles Rialto Bridge and Bridge of Sighs you will find everything about the legend of the famous kiss that never divides lovers again. An emotional experience that you won’t forget in a hurry!

Venice as a city of music

Venice by Night

Associated with the names Vivaldi, Monteverdi and Wagner, Venice was once one of the most important cities of music in the world. From the Renaissance to the modern age, important musicians worked in the city, where classical music is still very much appreciated today. The range of music concerts is vast and why not spend the evening listening to classical music when looking for things to do in Venice at night?

A special feature of classical concerts is also the venues where the orchestras play. The beautiful Chiesa di Vidal church or the Scuola Grande di San Teodoro are also among the places of interest in Venice.

For lovers of classical music, the choice may be difficult. So here is a small selection of musical events that will make for a relaxing and unforgettable evening in Venice.

EnsemblePrice*Tickets
Interpreti Veneziani - Concert32,40 €Book online
Baroque and
Opera Concert
30,00 €Book online
Four Seasons Concert30,00 €Book online
Vivaldi's "Four Seasons" in Venice30,00 €Book online

✅ All important information on the respective concerts can be found on the provider’s page. Early bookings are often recommended, as events are sometimes sold out in advance on some days.

Venice as the city of opera

Venice by Night

Another suggestion for what to do in Venice in the evening is to visit an opera. If you are looking for something unique, I recommend booking tickets for the Teatro La Fenice.

The Teatro La Fenice is the most important classical opera house in Venice. In the extensive La Fenice section you will find a detailed overview, everything about opening hours and ticket prices, as well as information about events. An evening at the opera in the Teatro La Fenice is of course a special experience, but tickets are expensive and hard to get. There is often a dress code and the performances last a long time. For opera fans, of course, all this is no problem. But if you are only interested in taking a look at this fantastic opera house, you can get tickets here. A visit is also possible in combination with a guided tour. Unfortunately, all this is only possible during the day!

This most famous Venetian theater is one of the most prestigious opera houses in the world. La Fenice is part of Venice’s history. Built in 1792, it burned down several times, but still shines today in all its rare beauty and splendour.

If you can’t get tickets for the Teatro La Fenice, check out the Teatro Malibran in Cannaregio. This oldest opera house in Venice is a little less well known but also one of the most important theaters of the 17th and 18th centuries. Definitely a good alternative to the famous La Fenice.

Operas in Venetian palaces

Venice by Night

Venice is the ideal place to listen to a classical music concert in the evening hours. You can experience opera pieces in a historic building or in one of the city’s important scuola. A scuola in Venice is not a school according to its translation, but a palatial guild building of benevolent brotherhoods of the ancient Republic of Venice.

You can see selected operas at the fascinating Barbarigo-Minotto, a 17th-century Renaissance palazzo overlooking the Grand Canal in the Sestiere San Marco.

Opera EveningsPriceTicket
Opera at Canal Grande85,00 €Book online
Musica a Palazzo87,00 €Book online

The opera experience depends on the chosen date of visit. All the important information can be found on the provider’s page. The number of seats is of course limited and experiencing masterpieces of music history in a Venice performance is of course a unique experience. So book your tickets early!

Culinary tours

Venice by Night

Nice accommodation, a romantic stroll in the evening and a meal in a hidden restaurant. That’s enough to look back on a successful day and remember Venice as a dream city.

Recommendations for restaurants, trattorias, osterias or pizzerias are always difficult. Too much depends on whether it’s meat or fish, local or European cuisine, simple or upscale. Inform yourself a little beforehand, because you can also eat and drink cheaply in Venice. My article Culinary Venice will help you with this. I also mention a few places in Cannaregio, the district where many locals live. If you like it here, there is also an extensive sightseeing tour in the evening with drinks & snacks. Of course, you can also stop for pizza and pasta in the usual tourist restaurants everywhere in Venice. Everything you need to know about restaurants and tipping is in my general rules of conduct.

The number of restaurants and pubs in Venice is large and the range of gastro tours is just as varied. This is also a good opportunity to discover this unique city at the same time. If you haven’t yet discovered the ingredients of traditional Venetian cuisine during the day, you can book your typical dinner in a trattoria or your menu at San Marco in advance.

Culinary experiencesPriceTicket
Enchanting evening tour61,00 €Book online
Eat like a local84,00 €Book online
Home dinner with a chef70,00 €Book online

Home cooking with guests is becoming increasingly popular and no host wants to disappoint his guests in a private home. In a family environment you also take part in the preparation of the menu and get to know the specialities of Venetian cuisine in a unique way – An evening with a host. Please note that your hosts speak English and Italian!

Culinary classics

Venice by Night

Of course, the classics for romantics must not be missed. You don’t get to know the city as much, as many things are connected with boats or concerts, but it’s still a great experience. Here are a few of the popular offers:

Venice Culinary ClassicPriceTicket
Lagoon tour and galleon dinner100,00 €Book online
Dinner & Concert110,00 €Book online
Gondola ride &
romantic meal
109,00 €Book online
Gondola ride, serenade & romantic dinner85,00 €Book online

Local Venetian bands and artists perform almost every evening in small pubs. They bring some life into the tranquil evening atmosphere after dark. If all this is too quiet, too boring or too traditional, there is also the noisy but centrally located Hard Rock Cafe or a typical dinner show with lots of spectacle just outside the historic center of Venice.

Beautiful photo spots in Venice

Venice by Night

The lights are reflected in the canals and the buildings reflect in the water of the lagoon. There are countless photos of Venice, its palaces, its bridges and its winding alleys.

Venice by Night

The light in the evening is ideal for photography! For many photographers, the best pictures are taken in the evening glow. If you want, you can join a professional photo tour during the day to take unforgettable pictures in the evening.

Casino visit in the late evening

Venice by Night

Venice is expensive and many people seek their fortune here not only in love but also in gambling.

Casino Di Venezia is the oldest casino in the world, dating back almost 400 years. It is located in the elegant Palazzo Vendramin-Calergi in the Sestiere Cannaregio. The composer Richard Wagner once spent the last months of his life here before he died in Venice in 1883. Today, a small museum in the rooms of the building still commemorates the late artist.

The magnificent palace, originally named after a merchant family, is located in the historic heart of Cannaregio overlooking the Grand Canal. The façade, in the style of the Venetian High Renaissance, is adorned with remarkable double-arched arcaded windows (photo by day, see above), where you can perceive the magic of Venice and its historic buildings.

The Casino municipale di Venezia has two locations in Venice. Ca’Noghera, a modern building near Marco Polo Airport (slot open daily from 11.00 a.m.to 3.00 a.m./ Fri, Sat and before public holidays until 4.00 a.m./ tables open daily from 3.30 p.m. to 2.45 a.m./ Fri, Sat and before public holidays until 3.15 a.m.) and Ca’Vendramin Calergi, described here, (slot and tables open Fri + Sat from 7.30 p.m to 2.15 a.m./ Sun until 11.45 p.m) . For current opening hours call 041 5297111. Ten minutes walk from the train station or waterbus San Marcuola stop. The dress code is casual, and everyone knows that beachwear, flip-flops and the like are out of the question.

This is the end of the journey through Venice at night, because this was the last tip to enjoy Venice in the evening…

Night in Venice

Venice by Night

Venice changes its appearance at night and, in fact, the mysterious lagoon city can only be enjoyed from the early evening hours onwards, when calm descends and alleys and canals develop their own charm. The evening with walks, events or culinary delights usually begins at 7 pm and ends before midnight, which corresponds to the rhythm of the city.

If you stay in the historic center of Venice, you won’t have far to walk to your accommodation in the evening. In any case, the water buses are on the road at least until 21:00. See also the ACTV timetable. Later in the evening, night water buses run regularly. Local transport from the island of Venice to the mainland carries visitors and locals until shortly before midnight. Everything you need to know about this can be found in Public transport. In general, Venice is not dangerous at night, but please always take the usual precautions and read my advice in Dangerous Areas & Safety.

It’s worth leaving Venice only after sunset!

Venice by Night

* All prices stated in this article are subject to change. The current offer of the provider always applies. Discounts for young people, children and other groups of people are also available on the provider’s website.


Image sources: Pixabay & Unsplash

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