14 Hidden Gems in Venice Off-the-Beaten Path

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Venice is the most photographed and one of the most recognizable cities in the world. This city gets tourists from all over the world all throughout the year and it never slows down. The floating city has an unending array of mainstream and hidden gems in Venice off-the-beaten path to explore, but on a tight budget and schedule, one can only do so much. 

Most of the well-known places are fully packed all throughout the year and can be really hard to completely explore. But Venice is much more than the list of places that every tour guide’s handbook makes it out to be. There are places hidden in plain sight that most people don’t even know to exist. So here are a few hidden gems that should be a part of your Venice bucket list to enhance your Venetian experience.

Palazzo Grimani

The Palazzo Grimani is a hidden gem in Venice that you cannot miss. This hidden gem houses the collection of artifacts and items belonging to the Venetian Bishop Giovanni Grimani, an integral part of Venice’s cultural development. This beautiful building houses paintings that are splendid with interiors so beautiful that you would regret missing out on this hidden gem.

Scala Contarini del Bovolo

The Scala Contarini del Bovolo can be found in the San Marco neighborhood and another beautiful hidden gem in Venice you can explore. This spiraling staircase is a thing of beauty itself and is definitely one of the most instagrammable places in Venice. Constructed in Gothic and Renaissance styles architecture, this staircase is a hidden gem in Venice not to be missed. The eighty steps lead to the top from where you get an astounding view of the San Marco vicinity and all of its beautiful Venetian architecture. This is one of the more fun secret things to explore in Venice as not a lot of people know about this staircase.

The Flooded Crypt Of San Zaccaria

The church Of San Zaccaria is one of the many fine churches, and one of the true hidden gems in Venice off-the-beaten path. Its renaissance architecture makes it a must-visit place both for the exterior facade and the beautiful interior that are things to admire. But the place that is often overlooked by the tourists is the crypt that is hidden below the church. This half-flooded crypt houses the tomb of the namesake of the church. For a little fee of 1.5 Euros, you can go down and explore the crypt, even tread water, and get close to the tomb which is highly encouraged. This is one of the more fascinating yet exciting hidden gems of Venice that lets you get close to history with a sense of adventure.


Campo Santa Margherita

If you want to enjoy the quieter side of Venice, away from all the hustle-bustle of the tourists and the long queues then Campo Santa Margherita is the hidden gem of Venice that should be on your list. This quaint palazzo is the perfect spot to beat the crowd, even the locals come here to do the same. During the daytime, you can find a flea market selling locally produced items and at night the palazzo is home to the local student population who can be seen enjoying a night out drinking and engaging in conversation. This is the hidden gem you should visit if you want to evade the crowd and enjoy some downtime.

San Giorgio Maggiore

The island of San Giorgio Maggiore makes for a perfect day-trip that you should take to visit this beautiful hidden gem in Venice. The island houses the church which was built in 1566 and painted by Monet. It is beautiful to look at and explore. The blue waters surrounding the island make the colors of the building pop even more and that makes for some amazing photographs. You can also explore the recently opened wooden maze made as a tribute to Jorge Luis Borges, the Argentinian writer. The bell tower is another aspect of this hidden gem that should not be missed. You can get some of the best breathtaking views of the Venetian panorama from this bell tower which is accessible through a glass elevator. This is a hidden gem of Venice that should definitely be on your list.


The mask has been a part of Venetian fashion since ancient times and it still hasn’t lost its place and stood the test of time. Venetians still incorporate the wearing of masks into their fashion choices. This tradition can be further closely explored at Ca’Macana which has been creating unique masks for a very long time now. This hidden gem is known to have associations with the likes of Kubrick and the famous Opera houses of the city. You should definitely visit this hidden gem and experience the art of mask making through the courses that they provide. 

Doge’s Palace Secret Itineraries Tour

Doge’s Palace is a famous stop on anybody’s Venice itinerary but something that most people overlook is that there is a tour that takes you to rooms hidden away from the normal public tours. This is the Secret Itineraries tour that can only be accessible through pre-bookings. On this tour, you are taken into the chambers that are hidden from the public eye and get to be up close and personal with parts of Venetian history that are fascinating as well as important. The secret chambers include the Chamber of the inquisitors, the chamber of the Three Head Magistrates, the chamber of the Secret Chancellery, etc. you can also visit the prison cells where the famous Cassanova was imprisoned. This hidden gem is well hidden and worth it as well if you book the tour in advance.

The Bridge with No Parapet – Ponte di Chiodo and Ponte di Diavolo

There are over four hundred bridges in Venice and out of those four hundred, only two bridges remain that have no parapets. The first one is located in the Cannaregio area of Venice and is known as the Ponte di Chiodo, named after the family that used to own the bridge. 

The second bridge is located in the Laguna Veneta area known as the Ponte di Diavolo named after an ancient legend involving the devil. These bridges are completely safe to walk over and take amazing photographs on without the interrupting crowds. These hidden gems of Venice are not to be missed and are secret places that should be on your list when you visit Venice.

Isola Di San Michele

The Isola Di San Michele is of the less-visited islands of the Venetian lagoon and one of the true hidden gems in Venice. Although it is not a typical tourist spot it is worth your visit. The island is known as the cemetery of Venice and houses only churches and long alleys of tombs. San Michele can be a quiet getaway from the crowds of Venice where you can explore the churches and the large beautiful burial grounds. This hidden gem is a tranquil one and can be the perfect change of scenery from the noisy crowds of Venice.

Libreria Acqua Alta

This hidden gem of Venice is something out of a fantasy movie. The Libreria Acqua Alta is a place that reminds its visitors that Venice is a city that is literally floating on water. The library or bookstore is home to books old and new which you can browse through and buy. The owner keeps the books in actual antique bathtubs, canoes, barrels, and even gondolas, Yes! The ones that you can see floating all around the city. Another thing to marvel at is the staircase made of old books that stands out. This hidden gem of Venice is a great place for both book lovers and the photography aficionados.

Scuola Grande Di San Marco

The Scuola Grande Di San Marco is located in the San Marco locality and this building is now used as a city hospital. But this city hospital has a secret hidden above it. There is a staircase that leads up to a chamber which is actually a Museum of the history of medicine, which is completely free to visit and is located right above the hospital. Not a lot of tourists know about this museum which makes it an amazing hidden gem that you should visit next time you are in Venice. The museum houses ancient medical artifacts, books, and other interesting things that you can sift through and explore.

Isola Della Certosa

Isola Della Certosa is another island pretty much overlooked by people, making it another one of the best hidden gems in Venice to escape the crowds. This secret spot is the perfect place for you to take a break from all the historical buildings and architecture and have fun in the water or relax in the gardens. Certosa is home to a huge garden where you can have a little picnic or play some games while also enjoying panoramic views of the Venetian lagoon and Venice. You can also enjoy some water sports here which can actually be refreshing after long days of sightseeing. This hidden gem should for sure be on your list of places to visit in Venice.

San Francesco Della Vigna

If you are someone who likes the tranquillity and peace that silence offers then San Franceso Della Vigna is the hidden gem of Venice that you should definitely visit. This church is located at the tip end of the city and is also a monastery due to which silence is enforced on the people who visit. You can admire the beautiful frescos and paintings that adorn the interiors of the church. You can also explore the backyards of the church where you can find orange trees which are amazing to look at. This quiet hidden gem is a place that should be on your list for sure.

Basilica Della Salute 

If you like music and fancy listening to some Venetian-style music then the Basilica Della Salute is the place for you to go. There are daily Organ concertos arranged here for the public and the music is extraordinary. This hidden gem should definitely be on your bucket list for your next visit to Venice.


How can I find guided tours that focus on Venice's less-visited locations?

Explore specialised tour offerings on platforms like getyourguide.com, or directly through local Venice tour operators' websites. Many provide niche tours that include hidden gems, emphasising immersive experiences like culinary walks, artisan workshops, or historical narratives lesser-known to the average tourist. Reading reviews and contacting the operators for specifics can ensure the tour matches your interests.

What are the optimal transportation methods for exploring Venice's hidden gems?

Venice's unique layout makes walking a prime way to discover secluded spots, allowing for unplanned explorations in its intricate alleyways. For reaching distant areas or islands like Torcello and San Francesco del Deserto, the vaporetto (water bus) system is efficient and scenic. Purchasing a travel card can offer unlimited travel, making it easier to hop between locations. Additionally, renting a traditional Venetian rowboat or kayak offers a personalised and adventurous way to navigate the canals.

When is the best time to visit Venice's lesser-known attractions to avoid crowds?

Late autumn (October to November) and late winter to early spring (February to April), avoiding Carnival season, are ideal for fewer crowds. These periods offer the dual benefit of more comfortable exploration and the chance to see Venice in a more authentic light. Early mornings are particularly magical, as the city awakens and you can enjoy its beauty in solitude. Checking local event calendars can also help you plan around large gatherings or festivals.

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