The Venice that most tourists miss is full of local life. Students and bohemians participate in a buzzing art and music scene. Families congregate for market shopping and play-time in the campo. Here’s a guide to some places where food and drink are cheap, the atmosphere is relaxed and you can get a taste of Venice as a down-to-earth Italian town. Did you know – Culture Trip now does bookable, small-group trips? Pick from authentic, immersive Epic Trips, compact and action-packed Mini Trips and sparkling, expansive Sailing Trips.
Campo Santa Margherita
This is the student center of Venice and it has a totally different energy from the rest of the city. With the exception of a few restaurants that cater to tourists, the stores in the area are mostly frequented by locals. There’s also the boat that sells gorgeous fruits and vegetables on the southern canal and a small fish market, both of which open early in the morning. In the afternoon the square fills up with children, who treat the square as their playground while moms, dads, and grandparents will drink a prosecco. The evening will bring hordes of scruffy young people and bohemians with guitars, who come for the cheap drinks and rowdy atmosphere.
Fondamenta alla Misericordia
This street in the northern part of Cannareggio is in a quiet neighborhood, but it’s full of some of the very best bars and restaurants in Venice. It’s a great place to sit down and get a drink in the evening, when revellers coming by foot and boat will turn it into a moving party. Order a bottle and a plate of snacks and sit down in front of the canal. This is the kind of nightlife that makes Venice totally unique.
This neighborhood used to be quite dangerous in the 70s and 80s, but has gone through rapid changes in the last few decades. It’s an island entirely removed from central Venice, which makes it all the more fun to explore and it’s now quite safe. It’s a residential neighborhood, so you’ll see a lot of laundry hung out on sunny days. However, there are lots of small art galleries along the main waterfront, as well as a museum called Tre Oci, which organizes great photography exhibits. There is also the restaurant La Palanca, which is an institution at Giudecca. It’s only open for lunch and the food is simple and classic.
Campo San Giacomo dell’Oro
The area around this campo is more residential and it’s lovely to stroll through during the day. There is a community garden at the center of the square, as well as various little shops and restaurants all along its periphery. Stop by Gelateria Alaska and have a chat with its owner, Carlo, who cooks up totally inventive flavors that are as interesting and original as the man himself. Hang out at the Osteria da Filo, where there’s always a chill vibe and live music some Wednesday nights. Or sit down for dinner at La Zucca, one of the very best restaurants in town.
This street on the eastern edge of Castello is teeming with thrift stores, bars, pastry shops, and specialty food stores selling salami and cheese. You can take a stroll there during the afternoon and stop for a drink before dinner at a local bar called Strani, where locals gather for their evening drink. There’s also a lovely park with a statue of Garibaldi, which rises from a little pond where turtles and carp live a life of luxurious repose. It’s a wonderful place to people-watch (or turtle-watch).
Volcanic Iceland Epic Trip
meet our Local Insider
HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN A GUIDE?
WHAT DO YOU LOVE ABOUT YOUR JOB?
It's the personal contact, the personal experiences. I love meeting people from all over the world... I really like getting to know everyone and feeling like I'm traveling with a group of friends.
WHAT DESTINATION IS ON YOUR TRAVEL BUCKET-LIST?
I have so many places on my list, but I would really lobe to go to Africa. I consider myself an “adventure girl” and Africa feels like the ULTIMATE adventure!
Every CULTURE TRIP Small-group adventure is led by a Local Insider just like Hanna.
KEEN TO EXPLORE THE WORLD?
Connect with like-minded people on our premium trips curated by local insiders and with care for the world
Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.
Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.
Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.
Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.
We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.