The Best Bars in Dorsoduro, Venice

Sip on a spritz in sunny Dorsoduro
Sip on a spritz in sunny Dorsoduro | © Clearview / Alamy Stock Photo
Iris Pase

Famed for its art, Venice also has its share of nightlife. The district of Dorsoduro, with its traditional bars and vibrant student life, is a perfect example. Enjoy an aperitivo or have a few drinks in the best bars in this picturesque area.

Vibrant Dorsoduro is the perfect place to grab a drink by the canals

Located not far from the train station, Dorsoduro is a residential sestiere (district) known for its authentically Venetian, exuberant nightlife. Hosting the city’s major universities, Dorsoduro lies at the heart of student life, which revolves around the area’s quirky bookshops, pizza places and traditional bars. These are Dorsoduro’s best bars where you can enjoy your night in the floating city.

1. Skillà Bar

Bar, Italian

One of the pillars of Venetian nightlife, you can find Skillà Bar in Campo Santa Margherita, which can be reached in about a 10-minute walk from the train station. “Campo Santa Margherita is perfect for a night out. You have plenty of bars to go to without travelling far,” explains Raffaele Barresi, the owner of Skillà. “We opened the bar six years ago. Because we’re in the middle of student life, we offer a wide range of cocktails at easily affordable prices.” There’s a free buffet alongside your aperitivo, making this the best place to kick-start your night.

2. Il Caffè Rosso

Bar, Cafe, Italian, Wine, Beer, Cocktails, Pub Grub

Italian cafe Caffe Rosso at campo Santa Margherita, Venice, Italy
© Matthias Scholz / Alamy Stock Photo

“Campo Santa Margherita is the place to be. I wouldn’t honestly know what bars to recommend, there are just so many good places,” says Raffaele. It’s impossible, however, not to mention Il Caffè Rosso, a historical café and bar that is a Venetian institution. Founded at the end of the 19th century, the outdoor tables of this bar are the perfect spot to sip your Aperol Spritz in the sunshine. Pair your glass of wine with a tramezzino, a typically Italian triangular sandwich that comes with a range of fillings.

3. Chet Bar

Bar, Cocktail Bar, Snacks

Blessing its customers with a friendly vibe and an excellent cocktail list, Chet Bar is a small bar in Campo Santa Margherita. Venice’s residents – in particular students – love it both for its affordable prices and lively, vibrant atmosphere. The best time to visit is at the end of spring or the beginning of autumn, when the weather is still nice, the temperatures are mild and there are plenty of students filling the square.

4. Margaret Duchamp

Bar, Cocktail Bar, Pub, Pub Grub

You’ll also find the lovely Margaret Duchamp bar in Campo Santa Margherita; enjoy its outside seating, bathing under the sun as you cool off with a Spritz or wake up with a strong espresso. Margaret Duchamp is also one of the few bars that are open until late, meaning that you can party here until 2am. Like many Italian bars, it has a good range of reasonably priced meals available.

5. Osteria dei Pugni

Bar, Wine Bar, Italian, Wine, Beer, Cocktails

Corner Bar with serving hatch on the street, Calle d Chiesa, Dorsoduro, Venice, Italy
© will Perrett / Alamy Stock Photo

Just a few steps from Margaret Duchamp lies Osteria dei Pugni, a traditional bar just in front of Ponte dei Pugni, or ‘the bridge of fists’. Both the bridge and bar take their name from an old Venetian tradition: ‘the war of fists’. Every year, the two factions of Castellani and Nicolotti would fight to try to push their opponent into the waters of the canal. Nowadays, it’s more peaceful. Osteria dei Pugni is tucked away in a picturesque little corner overlooking the canal and the Campo San Barnaba floating vegetable and fruit market. Stop by for a great view and a selection of delicious wines and snacks.

6. Corner Pub

Bar, Cafe, Pub, Sandwich Shop, Italian, Fast Food, Vegetarian, Coffee

Set slightly apart from the bustle of Campo Santa Margherita, the Corner Pub is the ideal stop on your way to Basilica della Salute or as a break from visiting the nearby museums, which include the Peggy Guggenheim Collection and Gallerie dell’Accademia. This bar is the perfect combination of a British pub and a Venetian bacaro, matching a great selection of wine and beers with the tastiest of snacks. With some of the best panini in town and great customer service, Corner Pub makes any evening special.

7. Adriatico Mar

Bar, Wine Bar, Snacks, Wine

Often overlooked by mainstream tour guides, Adriatico Mar is a meeting place for locals. This tiny but traditional bacaro is a haven for smokers, as they can enjoy a “smoke with a view” from the bar’s pier, just in front of a canal. Adriatico Mar is beautifully Venetian, with residents of all ages passing through to enjoy its range of wines and tasty cicchetti (Venetian finger food).

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