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12 Best museums in Venice

Venice is well known as the world's heart of canals, European carnival, charming bridges, palaces and basilicas. However, it has also earned the title as the city of art and in this publication you will learn about its best museums.

Carla Yaquer

Carla Yaquer

9 min read

12 Best museums in Venice

Venice | ©Garten-gg

Among the things to see and do in Venice, we first point out the gondola rides to visit the jewels of this unique city. And, among them, it is worth taking the time to appreciate its renowned museums such as the Doge's Palace, from the traditional ones like Palazzo Ca D'Oro to those that bet on modern and contemporary art like the Peggy Guggenheim or the proposal of Palazzo Grassi.

In this publication you will find the ranking with the best museums in Venice updated, according to the opinion of regular travelers and specialists from Traveler, National Geographic and TimeOut.

1. Doge's Palace

Doge's Palace| ©Michael Gaylard
Doge's Palace| ©Michael Gaylard

The entrance to the Doge's Palace is a must-see for anyone visiting Venice. It was the seat of government for hundreds of years and the residence of the Doge between the 14th and 18th centuries, when Venice was one of the most powerful and wealthy cities in Europe.

After hundreds of years of restoration, today the palace has become a conglomerate of buildings such as the institutional Chamber, the courtyard and loggias, and the Armory rooms. There are plenty of things to see inside the Doge's Palace which, in its opulence, shows the glamour and style of every era, while portraying the political and social history of Venice.

You can combine with your visit to the Doge's Palace the entrance to St. Mark's Basilica as well as your visit to the Bridge of Sighs, all located in this area of Rialto, in St. Mark's Square, less than 3 minutes walk from the Doge's Palace.

Interesting details

  • Address: Piazza San Marco, 1, 30124.
  • Hours: Monday to Sunday between 09:00 and 18:00.

Buy your tickets to the Doge's Palace

2. Leonardo da Vinci Museum of Venice

Inside the museum| ©Enrique RG
Inside the museum| ©Enrique RG

This museum enters the list of things to do in Venice with kids. It is a visit to the Leonardo da Vinci Museum in Venice, located 2 minutes from the Basilica of Santa Maria dei Frari, which houses perhaps the most complete collection of works by the renowned Renaissance genius thanks to the technology that identifies the place.

The 500 m2 of the museum are divided into six environments where the impact of Da Vinci is represented in all its facets. Why this could be the best museum of Da Vinci to date? Because in addition to digital replicas of the master's great paintings, there are also his plans, sketches and a collection with 60 machines of his invention built to scale and not only are they perfectly functional, but you can interact with them!

The intention of the Leonardo da Vinci Museum in Venice is to arouse curiosity by interacting with the Florentine polymath's flying machines, engineering, physics, medical discoveries, botany and more. This is a dream stop for the family.

Details of interest

  • Address: Campo S. Rocco, 3052.
  • Hours: Monday to Sunday between 10:30 am and 6:00 pm.

Buy your tickets to the Leonardo da Vinci Museum

3. Peggy Guggenheim Collection

Peggy Guggenheim| ©michimaya
Peggy Guggenheim| ©michimaya

Another of the impressive buildings that can be seen when taking a cruise on the Grand Canal is the Palazzo Venier dei Leoni, where the museum dedicated to the successful gallery owner Peggy Guggenheim is located.

The Peggy Guggenheim Collection houses an important collection of modern and contemporary art. Visitors can enjoy the works of artists such as Jackson Pollock, Vasili Kandinski, Max Ernst, Constantin Brâncuși and Alberto Giacometti. And as the Guggenheim heiress herself stated in her autobiographical book, she was an "Art Addict."

The museum retains the feel of a private home yet reveals the secrets of the Guggenheim family and its impact on the emergence of several of the finest exponents of art in the 20th century, as revealed by director Lisa Immordino Vreeland in the film Peggy Guggenheim.

Details of interest

  • Address: Dorsoduro, 701-704.
  • Hours: Monday to Sunday from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., except Tuesdays when it is closed.

Buy tickets for the Peggy Guggenheim Collection

4. Palazzo Ca D'Oro

Ca D'Oro Palace| ©Andrea Guagni
Ca D'Oro Palace| ©Andrea Guagni

Palazzo Ca' d'Oro is one of the most beautiful buildings in Venice. It is located just after the Rialto Bridge, on the Cannaregio side of the Grand Canal, which means that if you decide to ride a gondola, vaporetto, water cab or any other boat, this will be one of your fixed views. The facade is painted in vibrant shades of yellow and green, in a Venetian Gothic style, and looks like something out of a fairy tale.

The interior has undergone several renovations since its construction in 1428 to restore it to its original splendor. It now houses the Giorgio Franchet Art Gallery whereexquisite works by artists such as Titian, Jan Van Eyck, Mantegna and Van Dyck cover its walls.

Details of interest

  • Address: Cannaregio 3932.
  • Hours: Monday between 08:15 am and 2:00 pm. From Tuesday to Saturday between 08:15 am and 7:00 pm. Sundays and holidays between 09:00 and 19:00.

Book your gondola ride

5. San Rocco School

School of San Rocco| ©Richard Mortel
School of San Rocco| ©Richard Mortel

It is a confraternity transformed into a gallery to exhibit 24 years of the works of Jacopo Comin, known to all as Tintoretto, an innovative painter between two eras who had to take refuge in art between 1564 and 1588, until the plague ended his life.

The San Rocco School is one of the emblematic buildings of the city where "Tintorettos" such as the St. Roch cures the plague-stricken (1549) or the famous works following the lives of Jesus and the Virgin Mary, as well as the decoration of the Sala dell'Albergo, denote the drama of one of the best decorated museums in Venice.

On the two floors of this building, three rooms open their doors to the public, and what is found there is so valuable that it is considered the Sistine Chapel of Venetian painting.

Details of interest

  • Address: San Polo, 3054, a, 30125.
  • Hours: Monday to Sunday from 9:30 am to 5:30 pm.

6. Fortuny Museum

Fortuny Palace| ©Alice Barigelli
Fortuny Palace| ©Alice Barigelli

Before visiting St. Mark's Basilica, in the heart of Venice it is worth stopping by Palazzo Pesaro Orfei, better known today as the Fortuny Museum or Fortuny Palace, a recommended destination for any lover of art and photography, or interested in learning more about the history of design.

During your visit to this Gothic palace, former residence of the eclectic Spanish designer and artist Mariano Fortuny, you will find many styles of art represented: from ornamental, through naturalism, symbolism and of course, Venetian Gothic art. The collection includes works by Picasso, Matisse, Marc Chagall and Modigliani, all family friends since Mariano Fortuny y Marsal.

The foundations of this palace date back to the 15th century. However, the Fortuny Museum opened its doors to the public in 1975, twenty years after the widow of the great Catalan painter donated it to the capital of Veneto. Visitors can admire Fortuny's designs as well as his personal art collection.

Details of interest

  • Address: San Marco, 3958, 30124.
  • Hours: Monday to Sunday between 10:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m., except Tuesdays when it is closed.

7. Correr Museum

Correr Museum| ©Vanshika Datta
Correr Museum| ©Vanshika Datta

The Correr Museum is not just a museum, it is a place of inspiration and learning where the origin of the city that conquered the Mediterranean is told, and houses large art collections to portray its history from the thirteenth to the nineteenth centuries.

The Napoleonic Wing served as the abode and office of some Austrian sovereigns, as well as the Procurators of St. Mark, the highest office during the Republic of Venice. The Neoclassical Rooms exhibit works by the famous sculptor Antonio Canova, while in the Imperial Apartments of the Royal Palace the lifestyle of the Venetian empresses is laid bare. Finally, the architect Vincenzo Scamozzi portrayed the life of the Venetian nobility in the "Procuratie Nuove".

Visitors will be amazed by this remarkable building located in St. Mark's Square in Venice with a vast collection of art, coins and historical objects.

Details of interest

  • Address: Piazza San Marco, 52.
  • Hours: Monday to Sunday from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm.

8. Carlo Goldoni House

Carlo Goldoni House| ©Matthew Felix Sun
Carlo Goldoni House| ©Matthew Felix Sun

We continue with the ideal stops to share with the family in Venice, now with a museum dedicated to the pioneer of the Venetian comedy revolution in the Middle Ages, Carlo Goldoni.

The Casa Goldoni museum offers a fascinating insight into the life and work of the famous playwright, as well as the opportunity to explore the theaters and social life of 18th century Venice.

Meet Brighella, Balanzone, Colombina and Pantaleon, the puppets of Arlecchino Servitore di Due Padroni. And for those who wish to personalize their experience and take home a souvenir, you will have the opportunity to make your own Venetian puppet or mask in the museum's atelier. Like this or more interactive?

Details of interest

  • Address: Rio Terà dei Nomboli, 2794.
  • Hours: Monday to Sunday between 10:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m., except Wednesdays when the museum is closed.

9. Ca' Rezzonico

The Ca' Rezzonico| ©Reading Tom
The Ca' Rezzonico| ©Reading Tom

The 18th century was the richest period in the history of Venice, as well as a time of great extravagance and a sign of this is the Ca' Rezzonico.

The construction of the palace lasted over 100 years, and was finally completed in 1735. It is now home to the Venetian Museo del Settecento, which houses some of the art city's most exquisite works.

The museum's collection includes works by Giambattista Tiepolo and Pietro Longhi, whose frescoes are part of the construction of the building itself. In the middle, its spacious ballroom was created by Iginio Massari, and the chandelier comes directly from Giuseppe Briati's Murano and Burano glass workshop. The combination of these pieces with Ca'Rezzonico itself makes for an incredible visit.

Details of interest

  • Address: Sestiere Dorsoduro, 3136.
  • Hours: Monday to Sunday between 10:00 am and 6:00 pm, except Tuesdays when it is closed.

10. The Accademia Gallery

Galleria dell'Accademia| ©Dimitris Kamaras
Galleria dell'Accademia| ©Dimitris Kamaras

The Galleria del l'Accademia is one of the must-see stops for art lovers on the Grand Canal. Its collection of paintings spans the 13th to 17th centuries with works from the Byzantine, landscape and Gothic periods. Its collection pieces are mainly composed of works by Venetian masters such as Giovanni Battista Tiepolo, Paolo Veronese, Bosch, Titian, Giovanni Bellini and Canaletto.

The oil paintings focused on religious expressions stand out in this gallery that has been restoring and exhibiting them since 1784. One of its main attractions is the contrasts between chaos, religion and the social vision of royalty and progeny during the buoyant Veneto.

Details of interest

  • Address: Calle della Carità, 1050.
  • Hours: Monday between 08:15 am and 2:00 pm. From Tuesday to Sunday between 08:15 am and 7:15 pm.

Book your cruise on the Grand Canal of Venice

11. The Grassi Palace

Grassi Palace| ©Travel Random Notes
Grassi Palace| ©Travel Random Notes

Finally, when you cruise the Grand Canal by gondola to the Basilica of Santa Maria della Salute you will be amazed by the huge sculptures in front of this majestic Palazzo Grassi.

Built in 1772 for the Bolognese nobles of the Grassi family, you'll find this neoclassical palace with its provocative art collection of business magnate François Pinault, husband of Salma Hayek.

This palazzo-museum connects to one of Venice 's finest bridges and Punta Della Dogana, the former customs house at the tip of Dorsoduro. Rotating temporary exhibitions are one of its hallmarks and often feature a selection of contemporary and modern art with internationally renowned artists, making it one of the must-see museums in Venice according to Traveler.

Details of interest

  • Address: Campo San Samuele, 3231.
  • Hours: Wednesday to Sunday from 10:00 am to 7:00 pm. Closed on Tuesdays.

Book your gondola ride

12. Ca' Pesaro

Ca' Pesaro| ©Dietmar Schwanitz
Ca' Pesaro| ©Dietmar Schwanitz

The International Gallery of Modern Art Ca' Pesaro is an imposing 17th century baroque building that stands in front of the Grand Canal, where it preserves its original frescoes, so its architecture is worth a visit.

The Pesaros shared the same hobby as Peggy Guggenheim, they were great art collectors, and commissioned works by Titian, Gustav Klimt, Auguste Rodin, Tintoretto, Medardo Rosso and many other prominent Italian artists.

Its central hall displays works by Giorgio de Chirico, Joan Mirò and Kandinsky, collector's pieces that the city has acquired at every Venice Biennale since 1950. It is more than 100 years of modern art spread over three floors with large windows to appreciate the works in natural light.

The last private owner of the International Gallery of Modern Art of Ca Pesaro was the Duchess Felicita Bevilacqua La Masa, who donated the palace to the city of art.

Details of interest

  • Address: Santa Croce, 2076.
  • Hours: Tuesday to Sunday from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm. Closed on Mondays.

Book your cruise on the Grand Canal of Venice