Top Museums in Venice: Explore History, See Great Art, & Navigate the Seas

May 18, 2024

Are museums your thing? Then Venice is your kingdom! In addition to its well-known attractions, such as gondolas, a world-famous carnival, and amazing restaurants, Venice has an impressive number of museums.

Venice is home to hundreds of museums and, to be honest, it can be a bit overwhelming trying to decide which ones to visit. If you only have a few days in the city, check out our top picks for must-see Venetian museums.

St Mark's Square with basillica in the distance in Venice

Ready to explore some amazing Venetian museums?

Peggy Guggenheim Collection

The Peggy Guggenheim Collection is a modern art museum and foundation located along the Grand Canal in the 18th-century Palazzo Vernier. It houses the personal art collection of Peggy Guggenheim, an American heiress who came to Venice in 1947.

The museum has been open to the public since 1951, and features a wide selection of artwork by influential artists such as Severini, Metzinger, Dalí, Miró, and many others. In addition to the permanent collection, the Peggy Guggenehim offers ever-changing temporary exhibitions on long-term loan from private individuals and museums worldwide. When planning your Venetian trip, make sure to check the current offerings.

Hours: Daily 10 am – 6 pm; closed on Tuesdays and December 25

Location: Dorsoduro, 701-704, 30123 Venezia VE, Italy

Admission: Adults (16€), Seniors over 65 (14€), Students under 26 (9€), Children under 10, and Members (free)

Peggy Guggenheim Collection in venice with gondola and modern art out front

The Peggy Guggenheim Collection is quite easy to reach as it’s located along the Grand Canal. Known for its high-quality temporary exhibits, any art lover visiting Venice should see what’s on offer. Photo credit: bookfinch

Gallerie dell’Accademia

The Gallerie dell’Accademia is one of the must-see museums in Venice. Located on the south bank of the Grand Canal in the Scuola della Carità, it is one of the 11 civic museums run by the Fondazione Musei Civici di Venezia.

The museum boasts a large concentration of Italian paintings, including some of the finest works by artists such as Tintoretto, Giovanni Bellini, and Veronese. Art spans from 1450 to 1880, with both permanent and temporary collections.

True to its name, the Gallerie dell’Accademia was once home to the premier art school in Venice – the Accademia di Belle Arti – so it’s no surprise that they have such an impressive collection of Italian and European artists. In particular, don’t miss the amazing works by Canaletto (Giovanni Antonio Canal), an important local artist who painted some of the most famous paintings of Venice.

Hours: Mondays from 8:15 am – 2 pm and Tuesdays to Sundays from 8:15 am – 7:15 pm

Location: Campo della Carità, Dorsoduro 1050, Venice, Italy

Admission: 12€ (plus 1.50€ booking fee)

Hieronymus Bosch, Ascent of the Blessed, ca. 1505-15; Gallerie dell'Accademia, Venice

Apart from Italian masters, you’ll also find works from artists such as Bosch at Venice’s Gallerie dell’Accademia. Pictured here is Hieronymus Bosch’s Ascent of the Blessed. Photo credit: Public domain via Wiki Commons

Museo Storico Navale

If there is one place where a naval museum should exist, it would undoubtedly be Venice. And maritime connoisseurs of all stripes will enjoy this museum, which sails much further than the Venetian shores.

The Museo Storico Navale walks visitors through the maritime history of the city, as well as collections that include numerous models and scale models of ships. Kids as well as adults will enjoy perusing ceremonial Venetian gondolas, Italian military ships, Chinese fishing boats, and other vessels up close.

In addition, visitors can enjoy paintings depicting battles, navigational instruments, and other objects related to seafaring activities.

Hours: Mondays to Sundays from 11 am. – 5 pm; closed on Tuesday

Location: Riva San Biagio Castello 2148 30122 Venezia

Admission: 10€

Boat at the Museo Storico Navale in Venice

The Museo Storico Navale is the perfect place to understand Venice’s connection to the Adriatic Sea. Photo credit: Alejandro

Museo Correr (Royal Palace of Venice)

Centrally located in Piazza San Marco, the Museo Correr is a collection of art and history that was assembled by Teodoro Correr, a Venetian art collector, until his death in 1830. The varied objects include sculptures from the Veneto region, Venetian paintings up to the 16th century, maiolica ceramics, and carved ivory.

After an extensive renovation in the early 2000s, the Museo Correr also unveiled the Royal Rooms, an incredible look at 20 different rooms in the building’s royal complex. The museum’s new itinerary offers a sumptuous look at how different dynasties – notably the House of Bonaparte, Habsburg and Savoy – lived in this incredible space.

During your visit, don’t miss out on the amazing works by Paolo Veneziano, Jacopo Bellini, and Pisanello, among others. With historic rooms and incredible art, Museo Correr is a true gem for visitors wanting to uncover Venice’s past.

Hours: Every day from 10 am – 5 pm (last entry at 4 pm.)

Location: Piazza San Marco 52, 30124 Venice, Italy

Admission: Adults (30€), Seniors over 65, Students under 25, and Children under 14 (15€)

Museo Correr in Piazza San Marco, Venice

Discover weaponry, stately sculpture, rich interiors, and more at Museo Correr. Photo credit: Dimitris Kamaras

Galleria Internazionale d’Arte Moderna Ca’ Pesaro

The Ca’ Pesaro Art Gallery Museum is one of the most important venues that showcases contemporary and modern art in the city. It is housed in the Palazzo Pesaro, an 18th-century palace on the Grand Canal of Venice.

The museum brings together artworks acquired in the municipality as well as donations that have been received over time. It houses work by artists such as Pietro Fragiacomo, Giacomo Favretto, and Pietro Fragiacomo, as well as other Venetian masters from the 19th and 20th centuries onwards.

Perfer more modern art? Then you’ll also enjoy seeing Ca’ Pesaro’s 20th century collection, featuring artists such as Carlo Carrà, Giorgio de Chirico, Giorgio Morandi, and Mario Sironi.

Hours: Tuesdays to Sundays from 10 am – 5 pm (last entry at 4 pm)

Location: Santa Croce 2076, 30135 Venice, Italy

Admission: 10€

Pinault Collection

Founded in 2009, the Pinault Collection is Venice’s newest contemporary art museum. It is characterized by the triangular shape of the Punta della Dogana building, restored by architect Tadao Ando.

The collection reflects the personal tastes of François Pinault, one of the world’s leading collectors of contemporary art. The intention behind this project was to create a space to display his collection in a way that would be accessible to everyone. The museum consists of two buildings, Palazzo Grassi and Punta della Dogana with temporary and permanent exhibitions. Contemporary art lovers should leave plenty of time to explore both spaces!

Hours: Mondays to Sundays from 10 am – 7 pm, closed on Tuesdays

Location: Palazzo Grassi and Punta della Dogana

Admission: 15€ for both buildings

Modern art museum Pinault Collection in Venice

Want to shake things up with some contemporary art while in Venice? Then add the Pinault Collection to your itinerary. Photo credit: Jean-Pierre Dalbéra

Doge’s Palace (Palazzo Ducale)

The Doge’s Palace is easily one of the most visitied sites in all of Venice. A palace built in Venetian Gothic style, it is one of the main landmarks of the city of Venice. Once the residence of the Doge of Venice, the supreme authority of the former Republic of Venice, it opened as a museum in 1923.

The Doge’s Palace is located in St. Mark’s Square, just a one-minute walk from the famous Bridge of Sighs. This regal structure is a series of interconnecting buildings; among them are St Mark’s Library and an art gallery. The complex was rebuilt several times after fires destroyed previous structures, lending an air of mystery to the historic buildings.

Across the many rooms there are council chambers, the Doge’s apartments, and an incredible courtyard. There are also frescos by Veronese and Tintoretto, along with unique vantage points of St. Mark’s Square.

Hours: Every day from 9 am – 6 pm (last entry at 5 pm)

Location: Piazza San Marco 1, 30124 Venice, Italy

Admission: Adults (30€), Seniors over 65, Students under 25, and Children under 14 (15€)

Doge's Palace art with Walks tour guide explaining the history of the Palazzo Ducale

Not-so-fun fact: The little cornered-off bit in the back right corner was a torture chamber. The Doge’s Palace is a can’t-miss museum, and an experience made all the better with an expert guide.

Want to visit the Doge’s Palace after dark to learn about about Venice’s fascinating history with a local guide? Join our Exclusive Alone in St. Mark’s & Doge’s Palace Tour!

by Yareli Parra

View more by Yareli ›

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