Escape to romantic San Marco! Enjoy its boating, museums and history.

Look out over the pigeon-packed square and long arcades beneath the towers and crosses topping St. Mark’s Square, the central attraction in the sestiere (district) of San Marco. Being here is an unforgettably peaceful experience, unlike others you will encounter in Italy or Europe. Wander through the open spaces of the square and enjoy this beautiful scene.

Spend hours studying the fine details of St. Mark’s Basilica, the cathedral on the eastern end of St. Mark’s Square. Its Byzantine exterior dazzles with its manifold arches and gold trim. Inside are some of the most decadent gold leaf paintings of any cathedral, which together symbolize central tenets of Christian iconography. Their beauty is so widely recognized that they have even served as the basis of scientific studies about the biology of artistic appreciation.

Another important attraction in San Marco is Doge’s Palace. Built for the Doge of Venice, the chief magistrate of the former Republic of Venice, today the site serves as a preeminent example of Venetian-Gothic architecture and houses an art museum. Take your time perusing the many chambers of this building, the design of which has been widely imitated throughout the world.

As is the case with most of Venice, San Marco is densely packed with elaborate Baroque churches. In particular, be sure to visit the Chiesa di San Salvatore, which sports a cannonball in one of its columns left behind after a skirmish with Austrian forces.

Before you leave, have a dry martini at the famous Harry’s Bar, a truly expatriate experience. This place has served as the favorite haunt of Ernest Hemingway, Alfred Hitchcock, Philippe de Rothschild and many others. Also try two Italian treats that were invented here, the carpaccio meat dish and the Bellini prosecco cocktail.

While all of Venice is a marvel, San Marco is a wonder set right in the heart of the city. Allow enough time to explore the special treats of this perfectly European sestiere.

Known for

Museums, Romantic and Cathedrals

Explore map

Top hotels in San Marco

Estimated price for 1 night / 2 adults
Hotel Cavalletto e Doge Orseolo
Hotel Cavalletto e Doge Orseolo
4 out of 5
Piazza San Marco 1107, Calle del Cavalletto, Venice, VE
£77
per night
12 Nov-13 Nov

Located in San Marco, this hotel is steps away from St. Mark's Square, Correr Civic Museum and St Mark's Campanile. Palazzo Contarini del Bovolo and Doge's Palace ...

3.8/5Good! (1,852 reviews)

"excellent location,friendly staff, clean and nice breakfast"…"

Reviewed on 12 Oct 2019

Hotel Cavalletto e Doge Orseolo
Hotel Ala (Adults Recom'd)
Hotel Ala (Adults Recom'd)
3.5 out of 5
San Marco 2494, Campo Santa Maria Del Giglio, Venice, VE
£85
per night
17 Nov-18 Nov

Located in San Marco, this hotel is steps away from Santa Maria del Giglio and La Fenice Opera House. St. Mark's Square and Basilica of St Mary of Health are ...

4.4/5Wonderful! (1,859 reviews)

"Excellent, quiet, clean, well-equipped recently-refurbished room. Superb choice for breakfast. Perfect location. Good value."…"

Reviewed on 14 Oct 2019

Hotel Ala (Adults Recom'd)
Hotel Montecarlo
Hotel Montecarlo
3 out of 5
Calle Specchieri 463 San Marco, Venice, VE
£63
per night
20 Nov-21 Nov

This family-friendly Venice hotel is located in the historical district, steps away from St. Mark's Basilica, St. Mark's Square and St Mark's Campanile. Bridge ...

4.4/5Excellent! (1,814 reviews)

"The hotel is in a great location at St Mark’s Square. We stayed in Apartment 2 which is built into the roof space hence the ceilings are very low. Not designed for people over 5’10” which caused us some issues and a bruised forehead for one of our group"…"

Reviewed on 19 Oct 2019

Hotel Montecarlo
Hotel Centauro
Hotel Centauro
3 out of 5
Campo Daniele Manin 4297, San Marco, Venice, VE
£57
per night
13 Nov-14 Nov

Located in San Marco, this hotel is steps away from Palazzo Contarini del Bovolo, Grand Canal and La Fenice Opera House. St. Mark's Square and Rialto Bridge ...

4/5Very Good! (1,627 reviews)

"Great location, good breakfast BUT no vegetables at all! No salad.... the room is VERY small."…"

Reviewed on 15 Oct 2019

Hotel Centauro
Splendid Venice Venezia – Starhotels Collezione
Splendid Venice Venezia – Starhotels Collezione
4 out of 5
San Marco Mercerie 760, Venice, VE
£176
per night
17 Nov-18 Nov

Located in San Marco, this romantic hotel is within a 5-minute walk of San Salvador Church, Grand Canal, and Rialto Bridge. St. Mark's Basilica and St. Mark's ...

4.5/5Wonderful! (2,016 reviews)

"When ordering food they didn’t give silverware when we left the restaurant but everything else was amazing!!"…"

Reviewed on 12 Oct 2019

Splendid Venice Venezia – Starhotels Collezione
Baglioni Hotel Luna - The Leading Hotels of the World
Baglioni Hotel Luna - The Leading Hotels of the World
5 out of 5
San Marco, 1243, Venice, VE
£226
per night
29 Oct-30 Oct

Located in San Marco, this luxury hotel is steps away from Correr Civic Museum, St. Mark's Square and Grand Canal. St Mark's Campanile and Doge's Palace are ...

4.5/5Wonderful! (844 reviews)

"Location 100% Lighting in bathroom 50% Lighting in bedroom for reading 50% Quality of furnishings 100% Room service €10 charge - 0% (very poor for 5 star hotel) Staff/service 110%"…"

Reviewed on 5 Oct 2019

Baglioni Hotel Luna - The Leading Hotels of the World

Popular things to do in San Marco

Rialto Bridge
Image for Rialto Bridge

Rialto Bridge

4.5/5(1,071 reviews)

Take a stroll across Venice’s oldest and most iconic bridge for romantic views, souvenir shopping and street entertainment.

St. Mark's Basilica
Image for St. Mark's Basilica

St. Mark's Basilica

4.5/5(942 reviews)

Gilded mosaics, a jewel-encrusted screen and magnificent Byzantine architecture make this cathedral one of the most stunning attractions in Venice.

St. Mark's Square
Image for St. Mark's Square

St. Mark's Square

4.5/5(1,078 reviews)

Experience the timeless charm of Venice’s glorious heart, home to the city’s most famous cultural icons, many cafés ... and several thousand pigeons.

Doge's Palace
Image for Doge's Palace

Doge's Palace

4.5/5(703 reviews)

This grand building was home to Venice’s rulers for centuries and is still a statement of wealth and power.

Bridge of Sighs
Image for Bridge of Sighs

Bridge of Sighs

4.5/5(958 reviews)

Arching high over the water, linking a palace with a prison, is a spectacular bridge steeped in local legends.  

St Mark's Campanile
Image for St Mark's Campanile

St Mark's Campanile

4.5/5(695 reviews)

Enjoy breathtaking 360-degree views from the top of this landmark bell tower, where Galileo once made his name.

Top activities in San Marco

Venetian Islands Half-Day Boat Tour: Murano, Burano & Torcello
Image for Venetian Islands Half-Day Boat Tour: Murano, Burano & Torcello

Venetian Islands Half-Day Boat Tour: Murano, Burano & Torcello

£18

Cruise across the waters of the Venetian Lagoon to visit 3 famous islands, each with its own unique ambiance and time-honored traditions. Hop off to explore colorful Burano, roam the streets of quaint Torcello, and watch the famous glass-blowing masters of Murano at work.

Legendary Venice: St. Mark's Basilica & Doge's Palace Small-Group Tour
Image for Legendary Venice: St. Mark's Basilica & Doge's Palace Small-Group Tour

Legendary Venice: St. Mark's Basilica & Doge's Palace Small-Group Tour

£61

Combine the top 2 sights in Venice in a hassle-free tour led by an expert local guide. With pre-reserved tickets and skip-the-line access, you get straight inside the Doge's Palace for an intimate small-group tour. First, step inside Venice's most important church, St.

St. Mark's Basilica & Doge's Palace Tour with Skip-the-Line
Image for St. Mark's Basilica & Doge's Palace Tour with Skip-the-Line

St. Mark's Basilica & Doge's Palace Tour with Skip-the-Line

£61

Skip the lines and step inside 2 of Venice's most iconic monuments with a knowledgeable guide. First, go behind the pink marble facade of the Doge's Palace to see all of Venice's historic wealth and power on display, and then walk under the gold mosaics and beneath the gilded domes of Saint Mark's Basilica.

Gondola serenade on Canal Grande with romantic dinner
Image for Gondola serenade on Canal Grande with romantic dinner

Gondola serenade on Canal Grande with romantic dinner

£76

Step into a page right out of a Venetian storybook as you glide along quiet canals in an authentic gondola. Cruise past ancient palazzos on the Canal Grande, and be serenaded by a troupe of Italian musicians as you pass beneath elegantly arching bridges on hidden waterways.

Grand Canal by Gondola with Commentary
Image for Grand Canal by Gondola with Commentary

Grand Canal by Gondola with Commentary

£29

Glide peacefully among the grandeur and the centuries-old palazzos of Venice during a ride on a traditional gondola. Pass under elegant bridges, sail from the postcard-perfect waters of the Canal Grande into quieter waterways and live the inimitable atmosphere of the Queen of the Adriatic.

Venice: Shared Serenade Gondola Tour - 30 minutes
Image for Venice: Shared Serenade Gondola Tour - 30 minutes

Venice: Shared Serenade Gondola Tour - 30 minutes

£60

Duration: 30 minutes Start time: 01 Apr - 31 Oct: 6:30pm / 18:30 and 7:30pm /19:30 01 Nov - 31 Mar: 3:30pm / 15:30 Meeting Point: Tour departs from “Campo Santa Maria del Giglio” in front of hotel Gritti - Please arrive the meeting point 15 minutes before starting time Ending Point: Same than departure Itinerary The meeting point for your Venice Gondola ride is Campo Santa Maria del Giglio, a guide will accompany you to board your Gondola nearby.

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San Polo
San Polo featuring heritage architecture and a bay or harbour

San Polo

Known for Cafés, Cathedrals, Boating

4.5/5(122 reviews)

The smallest of Venice’s six districts, this is also one of the oldest. It offers many tourist sites in its palaces, its churches and the Rialto Bridge.

Dorsoduro
Dorsoduro which includes a bridge and a river or creek

Dorsoduro

Known for Romantic, Boating, Cathedrals

4.5/5(242 reviews)

One of six districts in Venice, this beautiful area has many sights located along the edge of Venice and on the island of Giudecca.

Santa Croce
Santa Croce, Venice, Italy

Santa Croce

Known for Cathedrals, Romantic, Churches

4.5/5(178 reviews)

Santa Croce is known for its charming cafes, and you can make a stop by Piazzale Roma and Grand Canal while in the area.

Cannaregio
Venetian Ghetto which includes boating, a coastal town and heritage architecture

Cannaregio

Known for Boating, Cafés, Sightseeing

4.5/5(487 reviews)

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Castello
Castello which includes heritage architecture and a river or creek

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Known for Romantic, Architecture, Shopping

4.5/5(345 reviews)

Castello is beloved for its popular shops. Take some time to explore sights in the area like Basilica di San Giovanni e Paolo and Giardini della Biennale.

San Giuliano
San Giuliano, Mestre, Italy

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Known for Friendly People, Excursions, Dining

4.5/5(16 reviews)

San Giuliano is popular for its ample dining options, and you might make a stop by San Giuliano Park, a top place to visit in the area.