The 15 best museums in Venice you can't miss

Known for its culture and history, Venice is a fascinating destination. Learn more about its intriguing story at the 15 best museums in Venice.

Venice is known for many things. It's one of the world's most romantic cities, and its iconic landmarks are recognized all over the world. It's also incredibly beautiful at night. There's nothing better than strolling along the canals when the sun goes down after a fascinating day at the most famous museums in Venice.

Venice's museums cover every part of the spectrum. From dinosaur skeletons to Renaissance artwork, there's something for everyone. See Jackson Pollock's originals or marvel at the luxury of the days of the Venetian Republic. Whatever you're into, the best museums in Venice are sure to impress you.

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1. Plunge into Venice's seafaring history at the Naval Museum

Maritime museum

The Museo Storico Navale is a must for anyone who wants to learn about the rise of the Venetian Republic. Venice was a true seafaring power, and this museum houses model ships and artifacts from centuries gone by, including beautiful traditional galleons.

Highlights:

Take a close look at the historic models. Many of these were made in centuries gone by when the Venetian boatmakers would create scale models of their planned ships instead of making blueprints.

Address and opening hours:

Riva San Biasio 2138, 30122 Venice. Open Wednesday-Monday, 11:00 AM-5:00 PM. Closed Tuesdays.

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2. Let the displays at St Mark's Museum take your breath away

Religious museum

Part of St Mark's Basilica, St Mark's Museum is one of the most iconic places in Venice. The bronze horses, the Treasury, and the incredible frescoes are just a few of the wonders on display here.

Highlights:

For a full experience, take a St Mark's Basilica guided tour. Your guide will explain the meaning behind the religious paintings as well as the full history and importance of the basilica.

Address and opening hours:

Piazza San Marco 328, 30100 Venice. Open Monday-Saturday, 9:30 AM-5:15 PM. Opening times vary on Sundays and holy days.

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3. Roam with dinosaurs at the Natural History Museum

Natural history museum

Venice's Natural History Museum is set in a stunning old building right on the edge of a canal. Inside, you'll find some truly impressive exhibits, including colorful butterflies, the sea life of the Venetian lagoon and beyond, and, best of all, dinosaurs. This is one of the best family-friendly museums in Venice.

Highlights:

There are dozens of intriguing sights from the natural world waiting for you at the Natural History Museum. The undeniable highlight is the enormous Ouranosaurus nigeriensis skeleton.

Address and opening hours:

Salizada del Fontego dei Turchi 1730, 30135 Venice. Open Tuesday-Sunday, 10:00 AM-6:00 PM. Closed Mondays.

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4. Learn another side of Venice's history at the Jewish Museum

Religious museum

The history of Venice's Jewish community is marked by moments of extreme difficulty, including years spent banished to a fortified island in the lagoon. The Jewish Museum showcases the good and the bad and lets you see historic, ornately-decorated synagogues.

Highlights:

For a more complete experience, try a Jewish Ghetto walking and synagogue tour, organized by the Jewish Museum. You'll see the historic and modern sights of the ghetto and learn more about the Jewish community in Venice.

Address and opening hours:

Campo di Ghetto Nuovo 2902b, 30121 Venice. Open Sunday-Thursday, 10:00 AM-5:30 PM, and Friday, 9:00 AM-3:30 PM. Closed Saturdays.

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5. Learn how a genius worked at the Leonardo da Vinci Museum

Art museum

The Leonardo da Vinci Museum is dedicated to a single man — but what a man. Artist, inventor, engineer, and more, Leonardo da Vinci worked in Venice to plan the city's naval defenses. This museum takes you deep into his world.

Highlights:

This is one of the best museums in Venice for the family. You'll see a replica of da Vinci's workshop, with prototype models of some of his brilliant designs.

Address and opening hours:

Scoletta di San Rocco, Campo San Rocco 3052, 30125 Venice. Open Monday-Sunday, 10:00 AM-6:45 PM.

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6. Admire 20th-century masters at the Peggy Guggenheim Collection

Art museum

While Venice may be best known for its Renaissance history, it has one of the finest 20th-century galleries in Europe. The Peggy Guggenheim Museum, inside a spectacular Venetian palace, holds originals by great masters like Picasso, Jackson Pollock, Magritte, and Miró.

Highlights:

If you're an art buff, you'll love a Peggy Guggenheim Collection private tour. Let your private guide lead you through the collection, showing you how the different schools developed across the 20th century.

Address and opening hours:

Dorsoduro 701-704, 30123 Venice. Open Monday-Sunday, 10:00 AM-6:00 PM.

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7. Take a trip into the Renaissance at the Gallerie dell'Accademia

Art museum

The breathtaking Gallerie dell'Accademia has an incredible collection of Renaissance art. There are works by some of Italy's finest artists, including Titian, Tiepolo, and Bellini. Best of all is da Vinci's world-famous Vitruvian Man.

Highlights:

One of the most incredible sights is the Feast in the House of Levi, a painting by Veronese. You can't miss it, as it's an unbelievable 43 feet wide.

Address and opening hours:

Calle della Carità 1050, 30123 Venice. Open Tuesday-Sunday, 8:15 AM-7:15 PM, and Monday, 8:15 AM-2:00 PM.

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8. Immerse yourself in Venetian art history at the Scuola Grande San Giovanni Evangelista

Art museum

Mauro Codussi and Tiepolo were both members of the Scuola Grande San Giovanni Evangelista, the brotherhood responsible for some of Venice's best Renaissance and Baroque art and architecture. The building itself is truly stunning, and you'll also see some stunning masterpieces on display here.

Highlights:

It's worth taking a Scuola Grande San Giovanni Evangelista tour to learn more about this historic building. As well as incredible art on display, you can see some intriguing religious relics, including fragments of the True Cross.

Address and opening hours:

San Polo 2454, 30125 Venice. Open Sunday-Monday, 9:30 AM-1:00 PM and 2:00 PM-5:30 PM. Closed Tuesday-Saturday.

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9. Soak up the luxury of the Fondazione Querini Stampalia

Art gallery

Once an aristocratic palace, today, this sumptuous building is home to an impressive art gallery. You can see works here from the 14th to the 20th century, including paintings by Tiepolo, Bellini, and Vecchio.

Highlights:

With a ticket to Fondazione Querini Stampalia, you'll enjoy the architecture just as much as the art. Don't miss the delightful secret garden.

Address and opening hours:

Campo Santa Maria Formosa 5252, 30122 Venice. Open Tuesday-Sunday, 10:00 AM-6:00 PM. Closed Mondays.

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10. Discover an exquisite art form at the Glass Museum

Decorative arts museum

The Murano district of Venice has long been famous for its glass industry. At the Glass Museum, you'll see some truly spectacular examples of glasswork. Jewelry, homewares, and exquisite flights of fancy are all on display here.

Highlights:

A visit to the Glass Museum is a great way to learn about this unique Venetian art. This is the largest Murano glass collection in the world, with historic and modern pieces to admire.

Address and opening hours:

Fondamenta Marco Giustinian 8, 30141 Venice. Open Monday-Sunday, 10:00 AM-6:00 PM.

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11. Be stunned by the details at the Lace Museum

Decorative arts museum

The Lace Museum showcases another proud Venetian artform. With examples from the 16th century onwards, this museum will mesmerize you with its intricacy.

Highlights:

While the older exhibits may be the most interesting, don't miss the museum's modern sections. It's heartwarming to see traditional lace made by Venetian children in the current era.

Address and opening hours:

Piazza Baldassarre Galuppi 187, 30142 Venice. Open Tuesday-Sunday, 10:00 AM-4:00 PM. Closed Mondays.

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12. Learn about Venetian theatrical design at the Museo Fortuny

Decorative arts museum

Dedicated to the works of Mariano Fortuny, the Fortuny Museum is a real treasure trove of design. Paintings, stage costumes, set designs, and fabrics make this a real feast for the eyes.

Highlights:

Go up to the second floor of the museum to see Mariano Fortuny's studios. You can take a look at the equipment he used to make costumes, develop photos, and make prints.

Address and opening hours:

San Marco 3958, 30124 Venice. Open Wednesday-Mondday, 10:00 AM-6:00 PM.

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13. Go back to your childhood at the Creature di Gomma Exhibition

Toy museum

What was your favorite childhood toy? No matter how obscure it was, you'll probably find it here. The Creature di Gomma Exhibition is Europe's largest collection of vintage toys, with over 6,000 displays from all around the world.

Highlights:

The Creature di Gomma Exhibition is an invitation to walk down memory lane. Among the collections, you'll find a great range of Disney toys and Japanese anime favorites.

Address and opening hours:

Calle de la Vida 2390A, 30125 Venice. Open Monday-Sunday, 10:30 AM-7:00 PM.

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14. Explore the world of Vivaldi at the Music Museum

Music museum

There are more than 200 musical instruments on display at the Music Museum. Here, you can see an incredible collection of violins, flutes, and more. Of course, there are also exhibits dedicated to Venice's finest musician, the legendary Vivaldi.

Highlights:

If you love music, it's hard to beat a Vivaldi's Four Seasons concert and Music Museum visit. You'll get to explore the museum and take in an authentic concert by Venice's Baroque orchestra.

Address and opening hours:

San Marco 2603, 30124 Venice. Open Monday-Sunday, 10:00 AM-1:00 PM and 2:30 PM-7:30 PM.

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15. Discover the wonders of the modern world at the M9 Museum

Modern history museum

The M9 Museum is intriguingly different. This anthropological museum traces the Italian lifestyle in the 20th and 21st centuries, looking at how things have changed. Its emphasis on technology, gender roles, food, and wealth gives a full overview of modern life.

Highlights:

Before you visit, check to see whether there are any temporary exhibits going on. The museum regularly hosts fascinating, unusual exhibits that showcase a unique point of view.

Address and opening hours:

Via Giovanni Pascoli 11, 30171 Venice. Open Wednesday-Sunday, 10:00 AM-6:00 PM. Closed Mondays and Tuesdays.

FAQs

What are the must-visit museums in Venice?

The museum at St Mark's Basilica is one of the best if you're interested in Venetian history. Art lovers shouldn't miss the Peggy Guggenheim, and if you are interested in the unique aspects of Venice's traditions, the Glass Museum and the Lace Museum should be high on your list.

Are there any free museums in Venice?

All museums in Venice are free to enter on the first Sunday of the month. At other times, you will usually have to pay an entry fee for most of the city's museums.

Are there any museums in Venice that are suitable for children and families?

Yes. The Leonardo da Vinci Museum is interesting for families, and kids will love the dinosaurs at the Natural History Museum. Perhaps the best option for kids is the Creature di Gomma exhibition, an enormous collection of vintage toys.

For which museums in Venice are guided tours recommended?

It's a good idea to take a guided tour of the Peggy Guggenheim Museum to get a full picture of the evolution of 20th-century art. The Jewish Museum also organizes walking tours around the Jewish Ghetto, which are highly recommended.

Are there any museum passes or discount cards available for visiting multiple museums in Venice?

The Venice Pass is a good way to save money on entry to multiple museums. You can choose a one-, two-, three-, or seven-day pass to suit your travel plans.