In Venice, the mood changes dramatically as you transition from day to night. There is almost an air of intrigue as you pick up your walking pace along darkened alleys and make your escape under cover of darkness around corners. Voices come down to hushed whispers as lovers quietly walk hand in hand with each other. People gather around the piazzas, but you find yourself in an eerie solitude as you wander a little ways away from these areas.
You cannot leave Venice without seeing the Piazza San Marco at night or Santa Maria della Salute at the mouth of the Grand Canal. Spectacular!!
Dress Code: The nights can get a bit chilly. A light jacket or shawl is comfortable even in warm days.
While in Venice, I was drawn into the Piazza San Marco scene like any other tourist. It's part of the charm of visiting Italy and doing all the touristy things you will not admit to later when you've become a seasoned traveler (i.e. "I am holding up the Leaning Tower of Pisa" snapshot).
Yes, the music is great and the drinks are divine, but the price is sky high as well. If you haven't been in Italy before, you may be unfamiliar with the concept of the coperto (cover charge to sit at a table, yes, just to sit, it's part of the experience so don't complain, just enjoy it), but either way, if you want a quick drink and a bit of a stroll, just go into a bar or cafe and order your drink to go. Yes, it can be done.
If there is one place I would recommend, it would be an incredible night spot I came upon in the vecinity of the Accademmia. It doesn't have a name, at least what I recall of it, but it looks just like any other Venice entry way into a house. Once in, you see a bar, some arcade games, the loo, and a dancefloor. I was quite surprised that there was a discotheque hidden away in the calles by the Accademmia. I was lucky to have a local as my "guide" and we had an absolutely great time.
Another place I simply loved to visit was "Baccaro Jazz Club" (I don't know if I spelled it correctly) for their bruschetta and Bellinis. I loved the music, service, ambiance, and everything this great little joint has to offer. It's really close to the Rialto bridge and really accessible from San Marco as well. I had a jolly good time in this great spot that often times goes unnoticed.
Stroll the city at night- it's a must!! If you can't afford to eat at any of the restaurants, just walk around the city and people watch.
One good path: Start at the alley just off of St. Mark's Square next to the cathedral (when you are looking at St. Mark's, it is on your left). Take a right at the next path that seems relatively full of people; keep walking down that path. There will be some restaurants, some bridges (of course!), some gelato stands, some phones (in case you have a calling card) and the most gorgeous backview of the Bridge of Sighs. At night, the Bridge is lit and it seems to come out of nowhere. If you're lucky, a musician will be playing on the bridge you cross, giving you the most perfect Venetian moment you could ever ask for.
Dress Code: Anything you want!
Venice is quite safe to wander around at night - as a lone female, I didn't encounter any worries. As far as I know there are no 'No Go' areas
There are plenty of bars, cafes, restaurants to sit outside and enjoy the night air. Bear in mind that Venices restaurants close quite early around 22.30 ( I read that this was because many of the restaurant workers live in Mestre and other mainland towns, and need to get the train or bus back home)
My visit at Christmas 2007, I found that one of my favourite places for a drink was the bars around the Rialto Markets, full of locals celebrating the festvities.
The Theatre or Casino are other options for nightlife -there are a few clubs and discos. Mestre has quite a few rock and Jazz clubs, where live music can be heard.
Apparently, the Tortuga Pub off Fondamente Nuova is open to 0100 and plays music- mainly rock, with food served to the early hours (see my restaurant tips)
Classical concerts are advertised, of varying standards.
I enjoyed wandering around, seeing a different side to Venice. You can really get away from the crowds if You want.
You might come across an open air concert, or cinema in one of the campos - these usually start around 20- 2100hrs.
Riding on the vaporettos, You get a different view from the Grand Canal at night - or a more expensive way is a romantic gondola ride.
The Vaporettos run through the night, so You could travel across the lagoon to one of the other islands for a meal and a drink, then return later.
The Campanile is open June to Mid September til 2100hrs, so You can view Venice by night from on high, then treat yourself to a drink at Florians or Quadris, listening to the orchestras - expensive, but an experience!
Guided night walks, including ghost walks can be booked at tour offices.
When I was in Venice at Christmas, I came across a fun fair on Riva degli Schiavoni. I think it's only there December and January.
This Christmas, I came across many stalls selling hot mulled wine- I enjoyed a glass from the stall outside the Scalzi church
I also witnessed midnight mass on Christmas Eve in Saint Marks -2006 I stood outside, and viewed the proceedings from a doorway, watching a screen. Christmas Eve 2007, I got a seat inside, although I'd intended going to one of the smaller churches. Christmas Eve 2008, I also sat through Midnight Mass, to the end of the service, when for about 15 minutes, we were all allowed to wander around the Basillica taking photos. It was a magic moment, walking out into the Piazza at around 01.30 hours, then just wandering around taking photos from the Molo.
I enjoyed window shopping at night, especially the designer clothes shops - As they were closed, there was no danger of me upsetting my bank manager!
Dress Code: In winter, dress warmly - it can be bitterly cold, walking around at night . I tend to dress up a bit more smartly in Venice too.
Bars and enoteche are typically small in Venice, so a large crowd tends to form outside, even in cool weather. When the weather is on the warmer side, tables are even set outside. The ban on smoking has certainly fuelled the practice. When visiting Venice, make sure to go out drinking in the area surrounding Ponte di Rialto, which has the largest concentration of popular bars, especially among the locals. You will notice that most people drink wine out of a stem glass, even outdoors on the campo! Given that many of the local Venetians need to catch the last train to the mainland, Venice's bar scene tends to peak on the early side, perhaps around 8pm or so.
Dress Code: Elegant for sure!
This Grand piece of architecture looks so majestic standing proudly over The Grande Canal,but as you get closer you can see the graffitti that covers many of the wooden covers.
Some thoughtless morons can ruin a beautiful icon of a wonderful city,just with 10 minutes of stupidity.
Not a huge amount happens in Venice after dark, its not a party town by any means.
So, the best thing to do is strol, look into the little shops and maybe do some shopping.
There are a lot of cafes still open and the waterfront and San Marco are spectacular at night.
Dress Code: Comfy shoes, Something light and cool.
Venice just has to be the most romantic place on the earth, there is something special about walking through the streets of venice late at night with the moon shimmering on the beautifull canals and a beautifull woman holding your hand, now if thats not romantic i don't know what is.
With all the water and the city steeped in romance and history, watching the moon rise is an event unto itself. If you're lucky enough to be there for a full moon, so much the better. And if that full moon happens to be on the longest day of the year and also on your birthday? You're in blissful heaven.
Dress Code: However you like.
I would most certainly recommend taking in the breath taking scenes of St. Marc's Square and the golden mosaic's surrounding you, as its like nothing you've ever seen.
As the sun started to slowly desend, its rays beamed off the golden buildings lit them up like you'd found a hidden treasure of gold !
Just look at the pictures, they speak for themselves
Dress Code: In January when we went, its HIGHLY advisable to wrap up as it can get very bitter
Other than the small wine bars or the squares like Campo Santa Margherita that you bump into during a stroll,
again, (see things to do tip)
my favorite thing to do in Venice is wander late at night by myself, always taking a dark backstreet whenever there is a choice.
Venice is not a very vibrant city after midnight but that is also the charm of it.
To walk trough the small streets and campo's in the middle of the night without a map and only hearing footsteps around some corner now and then is a great experience (especially when you are walking in the "Murderers Alley") . Venice at night is very safe and a couple of boatlines are going every our of the night.
Nightlife during the summer months in Venice, is probably like any other city crowded by tourists, the restaurants are full, crowds everywhere. We decided to eat on the roadside places, avoid the fancy restaurants. And stroll the streets until late at night.
Venice does not go to sleep in summer. We bought sketches from students-artists along the way, very good(and cheap) . Of course the shops stay open until very late, and you can shop till you drop , until the small hours of the night, you seeem to buy more at night, I think you are influenced by the lights, and the night atmosphere, everything looks so much nicer.
You probably , once you are there, should try and catch an opera, or ballet.
Dress Code: One thing I really like, when I am in Italy, and every one prepares for the Passeggiata in the evening, is watching the difference between the way the Italians get dressed and the tourists. So this is your chance to "get dressed to kill" as I find normally people don't generally do this anymore.
If you really think its worth it, you could try a gondola, if you are in the company of someone special that will be worth the ride. I thought at that time it was too expensive , or we got a rip-off artist, I was speaking English? I was dressed too chic? (approx 150 euros).
So probably this could fall under Tourist Trap?
Another warning, before you order at San Marco Piazza, ask the waiter "Quanto costa", or you could be in for a nasty surprise.
We were also disappointed by the food, so be a little more discerning when you buy food on the roadside cafes.
Def worth the wait watching the sun setting down at St. Marc's Sq. We stood along with everyone else and watched the sun disappear through the misty cold evening of january, could'nt get enough pictures
Being in Venice you can't miss to see this city at night. Venice is beautiful during the day, but at night it's totally different story. Just take a walk form Piazza Roma to Piazza San Marco. You will pass close to Rialto Bridge from where you will be able to admire a great view of Canale Grande.
Just fallow the signs on the walls or just go forward, sooner or later you will get to the Piazza San Marco.