Venice Map and Travel Guide

Each Sestieri of Venice Has Its Romantic Charms

Confused when folks mention the Cannaregio? Our tourist map of the neighborhoods should help.

Venice is the largest city in the Veneto region of Italy. The city is constructed masterfully upon the murky lagoon, whose waters surround it, protected from the Adriatic by a strip of land, a barrier island called the Lido.

Map of Venice Showing the Neighborhoods or “Sestieri” of Venice

city map of venice

Getting Your Bearings in Venice

The map shows Venice's six sestieri. If you counted seven it's probably because Giudecca is really part of the Dorsodouro.

You will probably arrive in Venice via one of three transportation modes. If you are coming in by train or car, you'll enter Venice on the upper left of the map. The train will stop in Mestre before taking the Venice Railway Bridge (1846) and stopping at Venice Santa Lucia station in the Canneregio sestiere. Arrivals by car veer off at the adjacent Fascist era Ponte della Liberta and will be routed to the Piazzale Roma, marked by a red box on the map--or to the ship terminal to the left marked by the white area. You will park in the lot at Piazzale Roma and leave the car. Do not try to drive in Venice as a recent tourist did, just because the city's walkways are shown on a Google map. Cars are banned in Venice. Google maps show everything on Earth. Not everything is a road.

Otherwise, you'll arrive in Venice at the Venice Marco Polo airport, about six kilometers north of the city. The NASA map below shows the bridge to the mainland, the lagoon, Venice and islands, and the airport--with a string of water taxis going back an forth that appears as a white froth in the water. You can get a transfer for a water taxi direct to your Venice hotel from Viator.

Trust me, you want to arrive on the train. Grab your bags and head for the station exit. Just outside is Venice. Not a parking lot. Real Venice. It's like getting off the train and immediately finding yourself in a movie looking down at your dream city. There is nothing like it. Italy's most unique city spreads itself before you like a steamy movie set. Bam! There is no worrying about a taxi, about how you're going to enter the city, it's just there.

There's lots here to see, lots of tickets to amazing things. Here's a page with the top 5 things to do in Venice and more from our partner Tiquets.

One other thing: don't miss the smaller islands. We liked Torcello. The Cathedral of Santa Maria Dell’Assunta, built in 639, with its Byzantine frescoes is quite spectacular. You can get there on public transportation from the island of Burano on vaporetto line 9. But a guided tour of three islands, Murano, Burano & Torcello is probably more convenient and time saving.

View of Venice From Above

Note that the photo is oriented with north to the right of the picture.

The Lido is the complete "barrier island" in the bottom center of the photo.

venice lagoon

Both maps show the central canal that snakes through the heart of Venice. This is Venice's watery Superstrada, a place where the vaporetti (big bus boats), Gondolas, Traghetti (transport Gondolas to cross the canals) and larger service vessels zoom the s-curve. It's the Grand Canal, and its main symbol is a bridge, the tourist favorite Rialto.

rialto bridge venice

Venice Neighborhoods, the Sestiere

Each of the six Sestieri have their specific charms and tourist attractions. Every traveler has a favorite. Here is a quick assessment of them.


venice fondamenta

Cannaregio is a large sestiere that stretches from Santa Lucia train station to the Rialto Bridge along the north side of Venice. Cannaregio has picturesque squares and canals and many residents live in this sestiere, giving it local flavor. The Jewish Ghetto is here, centered around the Campo di Ghetto Nuovo, marked on the map. North of the campo is a series of east-west trending fondamente. A fondamenta or riva is a sidewalk along the edge of a canal, like the one shown in the picture on the right (and note that the fondamente are wonderful to walk at night). Fondamenta Misercordia is a good place to find restaurants. There are many shops, cafes, and wine bars along the fondamente. This is a very good place to rent a vacation apartment to live like a local, especially if the apartment has an altana, a Venetian roof terrace.

Another advantage of the Cannaregio is that you won't have too far to walk with your luggage from the train station. Exploring the rest of Venice on foot is easy.

Cannaregio Vacation Rentals Cannaregio Hotels


Castello Sesteire is another place people like to stay. Castello is the quiet side of Venice. Tourists don't throng there, so in the evenings walking is pleasant. Boats for the islands of Murano and Burano leave from the Fondamenta Nove along the Northern lagoon. The Arsinale is here; the world's first assembly line whose shipbuilders were evidently fueled on great amounts of wine, could crank out a copy of a galley, the famous Venetian warship, during a typical Italian lunch.. A very interesting museum, the Venice Naval History Museum, is often overlooked by tourists. La Biennale di Venezia Arsenale is near the Museum.

Castello Vacation Rentals

San Marco

This is the sestiere most favored by tourists; it's where you'll find the famous Piazza San Marco, Europe's "drawing room". Here, besides sitting down to a very expensive coffee, you can see St. Marks Basilica and the Campanile (bell tower), Doge's Palace, Museo Correr, Archaeological Museums and the Biblioteca Nazionale Marciana.

For an off the beaten track Venice excursion, head for the campo San Maurizio to visit the Museo della Musica.

Many of Venice's top luxury hotels are stuffed into San Marco near the square, like the Baglioni Hotel Luna.

San Marco Vacation Rentals San Marco Hotels


Dorsoduro is a large sestiere located across the Accademia Bridge from San Marco. It is home to the Accademia Museum and Guggenheim Art Collection, two of Venice's top museums. It's bounded on the south by the Guidecca Canal and the walkway along the canal is tranquil and scenic. Much of Venice's university is in Dorsoduro. Campo Santa Margherita is a popular spot during the day and has a fish and vegetable market. It's one of the best areas for nightlife, too.

Dorsoduro Vacation Rentals Dorsoduro Hotels

San Polo

The Rialto Bridge connects San Marco to San Polo, one of the oldest parts of Venice. At the foot of the Rialto Bridge in San Polo you'll come across the huge Venice fish market and open-air vegetable market, a good place to visit in early morning. San Palo has many food shops and bars and very good restaurants. It's a small but pretty sestiere with remnants of its medieval roots. The Frari church holds some Titian masterpieces.

San Polo has fewer hotels but there are some good bargains here. It's also a good place for a quieter gondola ride such as the Venice Gondola Ride and Serenade that can be booked through Viator, especially if you feel uncomfortable discussing the price of a ride with the gondolier.

Santa Croce

Santa Croce is next to San Polo along the Grand Canal. If you're arriving in Venice by bus or taxi this is the closest sestiere, and it's not far from the train station. Santa Croce is one of the least touristy parts of Venice and another of the oldest areas. The oldest parts of the University are in Santa Croce. It's home to one of Venice's most expensive restaurants, la Zucca, but also many good pizzerie. The tranquil Campo San Giacomo dell'Orio is a top gathering spot in the sestiere. IN Ca' Pesaro you'll find a Baroque palace housing Venice's Museum of Modern Art.

Vacation Rentals in Santa Croce Hotels in Santa Croce

Other Venice Lodging Options

Venice presents a very nice opportunity to splurge, but if you're short on cash there are always some bargain options. Hostels, for example, aren't just for kids any more. Many offer private rooms and even suites. To see real-time prices and locations of hotels and vacation rentals, use the map below.

Compare Prices on Rated Venice Hostels venice vaporetto picture

Venice Weather and Climate

Venice can be hot and humid in July and August, so as usual it's best to go in the shoulder seasons if the climate is a major factor in your vacation travel planning. September and October tend to be good times to go, but wait later and you'll get some interesting weather, including the clouds and chop in the picture above. Venice floods often in winter, although some find it interesting to survive the Acqua Alta. Spring is possibly the best time to go to Venice; you'll have 7 hours of sunshine in May.

February is Carnevale time. Expect a foggy mist to heighten the oddity of your celebrations.

Find current weather and historic climate charts: Venice Weather and Climate.

More Venice Travel Resources

Before your trip you may wish to read what great writers have scrawled about Venice. See Historical Fiction Set in Venice.

Need to get from Florence to Venice? It's a popular route! See: How to get from Florence to Venice (and back again). If you'd like to find out the best attractions to stop at between the two major tourist cities, read Florence to Venice Travel.

Greece sound good? Here's how to get from Venice to Athens, Greece.

And then there's also: Unique things to do in Venice.

Learn How to Row a Gondola

A Gondola ride is pretty expensive, but you didn't come to Venice to save money, did you? For the price of a ride (or less) you can actually learn the basics of floating around Venice with a gondoletto, a training boat. Check out: Private Venice Gondola School: Learn How to Be a Gondolier.

venice walking tours

Tours of Venice

One of my favorite tours takes you inside the Doge's Palace and gives you a peek at the prison where Casanova was held. The Cicchetti tour introduces you to one of the joys of eating in Venice, the little bites with a little glass of local wine.

One of my favorite tours takes you inside the Doge's Palace and gives you a peek at the prison where Casanova was held. The Cicchetti tour introduces you to one of the joys of eating in Venice, the little bites with a little glass of local wine.

If you like to do things on your own time with an audio guide to help you throught the rough parts, you might explore the fascinating La Fenice Opera House with a skip-the-line ticket.

Doge's Palace Guided Visit and Secret Venice Walking TourVenice Food Tour: Cicchetti and WineTickets for La Fenice Opera House: Skip The Line + Audio Guide

Walking tours can get you in the mood to explore by taking you to the must-see places so that you can cross them off and explore the more hidden places.

Welcome to Venice: Walking Tour, St. Mark's Basilica & Gondola Ride Venice Boat Tour With Grand Canal And Tower Climb

Have fun in Venice!

The Veneto

It's Not Just Venice!

There are lots of compelling cities and villages in the Veneto, the region Venice is tucked into. See our Veneto map and Guide.


Plan Your Italy Vacation

Find out what the weather might be with our month to month climate charts for major tourism cities.


Find out about the Italian Territories

We have a huge collection of Maps for every region and many historic territories and sub regions.