Ok so this post almost seems pointless, as literally the entirety of Venice is so beautiful! There is endless potential when it comes to Instagram spots in Venice. You won’t want to stop snapping the shots. Bridges, canals, jetties and gondolas beckon around every charming yet crumbling corner. Every street in Venice can be turned into the perfect playground of history, angles and muted colours!
Walking around feels like a dream, a movies set, a fantasy land. Much like Hoi An, which I visited on my South to North Vietnam trip, it is hard to believe such a place exists in today’s world. Although unlike Hoi An, the whole thing is of course in danger of sinking away and becoming a modern day Atlantis. I was personally fortunate to visit Venice during the Covid-19 pandemic, when there were very few tourists around. This made it much easier to get good photos as there was less pressure not to be in people’s way or lurkers ruining the shot.
But I am rambling so let us crack on to the best Instagram spots I found on my travels. We will kick off with an obvious one, the island of Burano!
If you are a fan of colourful buildings, which let’s face it, who isn’t, then you need to visit Burano! This island is about a 45 minute journey on a water taxi or ‘Vaparetto’ as they are known locally! For more info on visiting the island check out my post on visiting Burano here!
On the island there is a main street lined with shops and restaurants, then a few streets off this with the iconic canals.
One bridge in particular where the canals intersect, which is reached by taking a right when you hit the main street, is great for getting in maximum canal-side colour!
You don’t want to miss a trip around the side streets either! Be sure to explore the island beyond the main street to find the extra jazzy, multicoloured house! This house, Casa Bepi, belonged to a local who apparently loved cinema as well as painting his house with geometric shapes. The story goes he used to create outdoor cinemas with a white sheet for local children.
Plus for a quieter instagram spot, the streets around the back of the island are just as colourful as the ones full of people! There are even a few sporting Italian flag’s for an added little something!
The Doge’s palace is full of stunning artwork, grand council chambers and gorgeous gothic architecture.
There is a beautiful courtyard to explore upon entry, where I got this shot looking out across which I love. For more info on visiting costs and what to expect you can check out my post on things to do in Venice here.
This is also the site of the famous bridge of sighs. Although that is best pictured from the canal or parallel bridges, you can get a cool shot looking out at the views which would have been prisoners final impressions of Venice.
Piazza San Marco
Everyone goes for the shot with St Mark’s Basilica behind them. It is one of the more obvious Instagram spots in Venice which has been drawing tourists for holidays spots long before Instagram graced our devices. And why wouldn’t you want that shot, its a remarkably beautiful building. There are lots of beautiful cafes in the square for a very European feel to your pictures, although be warned, they are expensive if you fancy a coffee!
The tower also provides a good focal point for pictures. I recommend standing at the end of the Piazza furthest from St Mark’s Campanile (the giant tower) and using the archways of the buildings around the square as a frame! The view from the top of the Campanile isn’t bad either!
If you are here after it has rained as well you can see the flooding which occurs, sometimes putting the streets of Venice in several inches of water!
People do get pictures in the square with pigeons by feeding them as well. However by law you are not supposed to feed the pigeons. Also not sure why you would want a bunch of pigeons to crowd you, but each to their own…
If you are in Venice you simply must get a gondola ride. Yes they are pricey, but they are by far the best way to see the little back canals and enjoy the more tranquil areas of the floating city. The main route, which you pay a little extra for, takes you under the Bridge of Sighs. This makes a good place to sit up front for your gondola photo. They say if you kiss on a gondola whilst gliding underneath you will be together forever. I can personally attest that is b*llocks. Thanks for nothing bridge.
However broken dreams aside, it is wonderfully romantic and I would recommend taking a ride. The gondoliers encourage you to move about the boat too to have different pictures taken which is great. Plus we got another gondolier to take a photo of us in the boat with our gondolier which was a cool photo.
This bridge was probably the busiest place we went the entire trip. Most of the shops along the bridge were closed sadly so it didn’t quite have the same feel to it. However the best photos are looking onto the bridge rather than actually on it.
Either side of the bridge you can wander parallel to the canal and find a side street or two with a little jetty. These make the perfect spot to take that twirling dress shot, or the eating street pizza photo. Sadly we didn’t do the pizza shot, which I kind of regretted when I saw lots after. Mainly because any excuse to eat pizza. I think the jetty with the red and white stipe poles to tie boats to with the Rialto Bridge behind may be the most iconic of Instagram spots in Venice.
Libreria Acqua Alta
Definite competitor for most Instagrammed book shop in the world I expect! The staircase of books out at the back of the store is legendary. The #libreriaacquaalta itself has almost 40k tags on Instagram at the time of writing and it is easy to see why.
Unconventional is the best way to describe the layout of this unique book shop. The walls are jam packed floor to ceiling with books. Casually in the middle of the store there is an old gondola piled precariously with books too. No idea what one does if they want to peruse one of the ones near the bottom!
There are several back areas of the store too. One has a tethered gondola, which you can go sit in and get a picture if you don’t fancy paying for the full experience! Although it does have a little roof on it unlike the ones you actually take out on the water, so it isn’t quite the same.
Another space already mentioned is that staircase of books, which leads to no where but makes for a cool backdrop! Especially if you are an avid bookworm like myself. Paradise!
Plus, as if it wasn’t enough to take in already, there are a whole load of cats who freely roam the store. We could only find one furry friend when we visited but there are supposed to be many more! There is certainly a wealth of cat hiding spaces in there.
Murano is Burano’s less colourful cousin. It is much closer to the main Island of Venice, with being only a 10 minute hop across on the Vaparetto. Murano is famous for its glassmaking, so there are beautiful store displays a plenty. Sadly the day we visited was a public holiday on top of covid restrictions so there wasn’t much open and we had missed the glass factories from spending so long on Burano!
The streets are still some what colourful, with more mute pastel shades lining the canals. Murano contains a much wider canal than Burano, with a lovely iron wrought bridge which is perfect for a sunset shot.
The smaller canals are really cute with a few little ice gelato places and cafe bars dotted around too if you want some shots eating and drinking.
It may not be the prettiest beach in the world, but there are some cool looking beach clubs along Venice Lido. We wanted to go to one, but as we arrived around lunch time and the numbers were very reduced due to covid, we couldn’t find any with space and went to the general beach at the end instead.
Still, any beach photo is a good photo right?
Cafes of Venice
There are so many adorable, wonky cobbled streets with little canal side cafes for a little pit stop and a pose with an unbelievably cheap Aperol Spritz.
If you want to sit along the front of the Grand Canal you can expect to pay a bit more for the beautiful terraces, but they look gorgeous. We wanted to go to Harry’s Bar, home of the Bellini, but they hadn’t reopened after restrictions were lifted in the city. Otherwise we would have got such a picture but alas.
Sitting or wandering along the waterside with some chichetti, or gelato makes for a cute, very Italian vibes shot! Bonus points if you can get some gondoliers in the background like this one!
Backstreets and Bridges
In my opinion, the best photo spots in Venice are the ones which aren’t Instagram famous! It is hard to really say exactly where they are. The little jetties jutting out into the canals.
Beautifully wrought bridges in front of pastel coloured, dilapidated yet charming buildings. With hardly any people there either. They provide a slightly more unique perspective on this tourist hotspot destination.
These winding side streets provide the true magic of Venice in my opinion. Getting lost down them with someone you love is a privilege not to be taken for granted. So don’t be afraid to wander away from the main streets and get creative!