Venice Neighborhood Guide
For more than 1,000 years, Venice has been divided into six key districts (sestieri): San Marco, San Polo, Dorsoduro, Castello, Cannaregio, and Santa Croce. But among these are a wealth of smaller neighborhoods and islands. Here are six areas every traveler needs to know.
One of a cluster of islands to the north of the city proper, Murano is actually a series of smaller islands linked by bridges. Artisans have hand-blown glass here since the 13th century, and you can still watch craftsmen in action to this day.
Still farther to the north of Venice, Burano is famous for its artisan lace—and an Instagram must-visit for its candy-colored houses. Shopping and photos are the main attractions here.
Venice Jewish Ghetto
Between the 16th and 19th century, a section of Cannaregio was reserved for Jewish people. Despite the devastation of the Nazi occupation, it’s still home to historic synagogues, pawn shops, and more, as well as kosher restaurants and eateries serving Venetian Jewish favorites.
The beating heart of Venice, San Marco is home to the city’s top sights: St. Mark’s Basilica, St. Mark’s Square, the Doge’s Palace, La Fenice Theater, and much, much more. It’s also the city’s shopping capital, with local crafts and international brand names sitting side by side on its charismatic streets.
The smallest of the city’s sestieri, San Polo runs along the Grand Canal. Highlights here include the Rialto Bridge, the Frari Church, and the historic Rialto Market.
The biggest and most populated of Venice’s neighborhoods, Cannaregio houses the train station, the Venice Jewish Ghetto, and a wealth of backstreets and squares. Less crowded than the more central districts, it’s an excellent foodie destination.