12 must-see museums in Venice

Bibliothèque Marciana

Looking for art and culture in the Serenissima? Discover the best museums to visit in Venice

With its canals, gondolas, carnival, dozens of islands, architecture and history, the City of the Doges is a museum in its own right.

But if you’d like to delve deeper into the city’s history, there’s nothing like exploring Venice’s other museums.

If you don’t know which ones to choose, Generation Voyage has put together a special guide to discovering Venetian culture.

1. Correr Museum

Musée à Venise Correr

Photo credit: Shutterstock – RossHelen

Average length of visit: 2 hours

Line-cut ticket: yes

A must-see museum in Venice, the Correr Museum is not to be missed. Located in the famous Piazza San Marco, the building houses a collection of works and objets d’art tracing thehistory of the city of the Doges.

You’ll discover Venice at different times, including the Fourth Crusade, which marked the heyday of the Venetian city.

In addition to these works, the building is of interest in its own right. As you explore this museum in Venice, you can visit Sissi’s apartments, the Ballroom and Napoleon’s Loggia.

2. Doge’s Palace

Que voir et que faire au Palais des Doges (Palais Ducal) à Venise ?

Photo credit: De PlusONE / Shutterstock.com

Average length of visit: 3 hours

Line-cut ticket: yes

A veritable institution in Venice, the Doge’s Palace not only attracts lovers of history and architecture. Known as the Palazzo Ducale in Italian, the building is also located in St. Mark’s Square, close to the Grand Canal.

It was originally built as a fortress in the 9th century. The palace played an important role in the city’s history, serving as both the residence of the Doge and the prison of the Venetian Republic.

Today, the Doge’s Palace is a combination of different architectural styles, reflecting the different eras of the Doge’s life. Byzantine, Gothic and Renaissance styles combine to create this astonishing edifice.

Inside, too, the palace is impressive, with works by Bellini, Titian, Veronese and Tintoretto.

Start your visit to this museum in Venice at the Scala d’Oro (otherwise known as the Golden Staircase). It takes you to the second floor, which houses the Doges’ residences, the balloting rooms and even the prison where Casanova was imprisoned.

Visit the Dukes’ apartment and admire the magnificent paintings by Italian artists of the period.

3. Galleria dell’Accademia

Gallerie dell Accademia

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Average length of visit: 2 hours

Line-cut ticket: no

The Galleria dell’Accademia houses an impressive collection of Venetian works dating from the 14th to the 18th centuries.

Among the highlights of this Venice museum is Leonardo da Vinci’s drawing of the Vitruvian Man. In addition to this work, the museum also houses paintings by Bellini, Tiepolo, Giorgione, Tintoretto, Veronese, as well as Tiziano’s last painting.

Located in the Dorsoduro district, the Galleria dell’Accademia dates back to 1817. It was then that all of Venice’s works of art were brought together. Gradually, the museum expanded its collection to include no fewer than 800 paintings.

To facilitate the visit, the museum is divided into three religious buildings: the church of Santa Maria della Carità, the Scuola Grande and the Canonici Lateranensi monastery.

4. Peggy Guggenheim Museum

Musee Guggenheim musée Venise

Photo credit: Shutterstock – s74

Average length of visit: 1h30

Line-cut ticket: no

Also known as the Palazzo Venier dei Leoni, this museum in Venice features a collection of abstract art. In all, no fewer than 200 European and American artists exhibit their work at the Peggy Guggenheim Museum.

During the second half of the 20th century, the art patron Peggy Guggenheim lived in the palace and assembled her art collection to create a palace that is unique in Italy. The museum was inaugurated in 1980 after the collector’s death. Today, her ashes are buried in the palace garden.

In addition to presenting these surrealist works, the museum offers a panoramic view of the Grand Canal. From here, you can admire the gardens, which house a pavilion with café, bookshop and temporary exhibitions.

The museum opens between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. and closes on Tuesdays. If you wish to visit in the late afternoon, please note that the last tickets are not sold after 5.30pm.

5. Ca’ Rezzonico

Ca'Rezzonico musée venise

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Average length of visit: 2 hours

Line-cut ticket: no

Built in the 17th century, the palace was the residence of several prominent Venetian families, most notably Pope Clement XIII.

Today, the Ca’Rezzonico houses the Museo del Settecento Veneziano. For your visit to this palace in Venice, the building is divided into three floors. Each floor showcases works of art and objects from the daily life of the nobles of yesteryear.

The palace is relatively small, but has some very majestic rooms.

Among the things to see at Palazzo Ca’ Rezzonico, don’t miss the gondola with a feize in front of the building’s staircase, and the antique pharmacy on the second floor.

6. Ca d’Oro

Ca'd'Oro

Photo credit: Shutterstock – Aliaksandr Zosimau

Average length of visit: 3 hours

Line-cut ticket: no

Situated on the banks of the Grand Canal, the Ca d’Oro is one of the most impressive monuments in the City of the Doges. Also known as the Golden House, the palace’s façade was once adorned with gold leaf.

Today made of marble, the facade still has a majestic glossy appearance. The Ca’ d’oro dates back to the 1450s and features a Gothic-Renaissance style.

Inside, you’ll find the Giorgio Franchetti Museum. The collection originates from the baron of the same name and dates back to the 19th century.

The entrance ticket is combined with that of the Galleria dell’Accademia and the Oriental Museum. This allows you to visit Venice’s most important museums at very competitive rates.

7. Ca’ Pesaro

Ca'Pesaro musée Venise

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Average length of visit: 2 hours

Line-cut ticket: yes

Ca’Pesaro is one of the must-see Baroque palaces in the City of the Doges. The building was constructed in the 17th century by the architect Baldassarre Longhena, who was also responsible for the construction of the Church of the Salute, as well as another of the city’s emblematic palaces, the Ca’Rezzonico.

The palace was home to the Pesare family and other Venetian noble families, including the Gradenigo and Bevilacqua families, who ceded the palace to the city.

The building features frescoes by Bambini, Pittoni, Crosato and Brusaferro.

Palazzo Ca’Pesaro is home to the International Gallery of Modern Art. This museum in Venice features numerous paintings and sculptures from the 19th and 20th centuries.

Not to be missed is Klimt’s magnificent painting Guiditta II. On the third floor of the palace is the Museum of Oriental Art, featuring Chinese and Japanese handicrafts.

8. National Archaeological Museum

Musée Archéologique national

Photo credit: Shutterstock – Steve Boyko

Average length of visit: 1 hour

Line-cut ticket: yes

The Venice Archaeological Museum is located in Piazza San Marco, near the Correr Museum and the Marciana Library. The building comprises a total of sixteen rooms.

Inside, you can admire magnificent bronzes and sculptures dating back to Greek and Roman times. These works are still owned by Venetian collecting families.

The museum was inaugurated in 1523 by Cardinal Domenico Grimani. Originally, the collection comprised some 200 sculptures dating from antiquity.

Gradually, the collection expanded to include a wide variety of art objects, including pottery, coins (from Egypt and Babylon) and precious stones.

9. Marciana Library

Bibliothèque Marciana

Photo credit: Shutterstock – FrimuFilms

Average length of visit: 1h30

Line-cut ticket: yes

The Marciana Library is one of the largest in the City of the Doges. With its impressive collection of Greek, Latin and Oriental manuscripts, the library is more like a museum in Venice.

The library goes by many names: Bibliothèque de Saint-Marc, Bibliothèque Sansoviniana, Bibliothèque Vecchia or simply the Marcianna.

The idea originally came from Petrarch himself, who proposed the creation of a public bookshop in the city. Although he was unable to complete the project before his death, he decided to bequeath his manuscripts to the Venetian city.

Gradually, other collectors made donations to the library, giving rise to the present-day Marciana.

10. Mocenigo Palace

Palais Mocenigo musée Venise

Photo credit: Shutterstock – Aliaksandr Antanovich

Average length of visit: 1 hour

Line-cut ticket: no

After the Second World War, the last descendant of the Moncenigo family bequeathed the palace to the Municipality of Venice. The aim was for the building to become an art gallery to complement that of the Correr Museum. The building’s rooms and furnishings thus became the property of Venice’s museums.

In 1985, after several renovation projects, the museum opened its doors to the public. In all, the museum has some twenty rooms.

The works on display evoke the lives of Venetian noblemen from the 17th to 18th centuries. You’ll also find period costumes, and a section devoted entirely to perfumes, where you can enjoy a sensory experience.

11. Museum of Naval History

Musée de l'histoire navale

Photo credit: Shutterstock – Ravenash

Average length of visit: 3 hours

Line-cut ticket: no

Thanks to its strategic position, Venice is famous for its merchant and military naval fleet. To pay tribute to it, the Museum of Naval History of the Military Navy was inaugurated in 1923.

Spread over five levels, the building features collections of armaments, ex-votos and model ships.

During your visit to this museum in Venice, discover the Ship Pavilion. This is where weapons were manufactured and stored.

12. Carlo Goldoni’s house

Maison Carlo Goldoni

Photo credit: Shutterstock – EQRoy

Average length of visit: 2 hours

Line-cut ticket: no

The last museum to visit in Venice on our list is Carlo Goldoni’s house. Built in the 15th century, it is a perfect example of the Gothic architecture of the period.

Today, the Museum of Venice is mainly dedicated to Italian dramatic art. In addition to housing numerous literary works, the Carlo Goldoni house is also home to a center fortheatrical studies.

The museum is open from Friday to Sunday between 12pm and 5pm.