Venice is regarded as one of the most beautiful cities in the world and there’s no doubt that this destination offers an incredibly romantic atmosphere. This man-made masterpiece of a city is also home to some of the world’s most popular tourist attractions.

Here are five of the best attractions in the city of Venice:

Europe’s drawing room

If you only have a few days to see the sights, just one of many people taking Venice city breaks, you mustn’t miss the Piazza San Marco. St Mark’s Square is a stunning city square and is home to the majestic Basilica of San Marco and the iconic clock tower. Sitting in the square, sipping an Italian coffee while you admire the view across the lagoon is an age old tradition for any first time visitor to Venice.

A trip to the island

San Giorgio is an idyllic little island and just a quick boat trip from the Piazza San Marco. Home to the San Giorgio Maggiore church and monastery houses this is the place to take in unparalleled views of Venice and the lagoon islands. Head to the church bell tower for the best views and don’t forget your camera.

Under the Bridge of Sighs

The Ponte dei Soprini is another item that should figure on your bucket list of places to visit around Venice. Dating back to 1602, the bridge was named by Lord Byron due to the fact that this would be the location where prisoners would have their last glimpse of Venice before moving on to their cells. A happier legend has it that lovers who kiss at sunset while sailing under this bridge will enjoy everlasting love.

The Grand Canal

Without doubt one of Venice’s most famous landmarks and one of the best ways to explore the city. A trip along the Grand Canal by gondola or water-taxi will allow you to view the city’s architecture, some of which dates back to the 13th century. A full trip means you’ll pass by around 170 buildings, with points of interest including the Gothic adjoining palaces, the Palazzi Barbaro-Curtis.

The oldest bridge on the Grand Canal

The Rialto Bridge is another major Venetian landmark. Not only is it one of the oldest city bridges, it’s one of just four that span the Grand Canal. The bridge dates back to the 16th century and is now the entrance to the Rialto Market, home to many excellent seafood restaurants. Stand on the bridge and watch the gondolas pass underneath or take a boat trip and view the bridge from the canal waters.

Venice is a city of romance and a city to be explored, whether by gondola or on foot. It’s a city to fall in love with, and to fall in love in. Make the most and enjoy both.

Images by faithx5 and timsackton, used under Creative Commons license.