The top 5 bars in Venice

Where's a thirsty tourist to find a drink in Venice? Read on to discover our local tips for the 5 best bars. Salute!
Escape the crowds and find the most stylish places for wine, cocktails, aperitifs and snacks with our insider guide to the Venice bar scene.

1. Best for a classy cocktail… Bar L’Incontro

This stylish bar is a magical venue for an evening aperitif. The impeccable service is consistent with its location within the 5* Ca’Sagredo Hotel, but distinctive décor that conjures up a vintage teahouse ensures Bar L’Incontro stands out as a destination in its own right. Bright and airy inside, the interiors have plenty of character: cocktails are made on a little brass trolley and the seats are quirkily mismatching. It‘s still highly refined though: the gold leaf, white marble and refined piano music add enough glamour to ensure things don’t become too bohemian.

Top tip: Order a gin martini: a classic cocktail, perfectly executed.

2. Best for a sense of history… Harrys Bar

A national treasure that’s also formally recognised as a national landmark, Harry’s Bar is the place to go for a drink with a sense of occasion. Renowned as the birthplace of the bellini, this wonderful establishment on the St Mark’s waterfront was founded by Giuseppe Cipriani in 1931 and has reigned supreme over the city’s cocktail scene ever since. As one of the grand old dames of Venice nightlife, it’s no surprise that the bar has attracted many a poetic soul (it was Ernest Hemingway‘s favourite haunt for a time), but it offers the same warm welcome to everyone.

Top tip: The signature peach-and-prosecco drinks are a must.

3. Best for wine… Enoteca Al Volto

Evening drinks doesn’t have to mean cocktails, and that’s when this wonderful wine bar comes into its own. Another bar with more than a little history, Enoteca Al Volto has been welcoming oenophiles since 1936. Located just a few steps from the Rialto Bridge in Calle Cavalli, the unpretentious and comfortable surroundings are the best antidote to the crowds and tourist-traps of central Venice. Al Volto’s extensive wine cellar beckons for you to enjoy in a space that is festooned with vintage wine labels, testament to many years of supplying fine vintages. The constant arrival of exciting finds, combined with the owners’ passion for their subject, guarantee you a memorable tipple.

Top tip: Take a perch at the bar & order some cicchetti to really feel like a local bar-hopper.

4. Best for the view… Bar Canale at Bauers L’Hotel Venezia

Venice does decadent grandeur better than almost anywhere else, and this bar in the lavish surroundings of the Bauers L’Hotel is the epitome of the city’s wholehearted embrace of sophisticated glamour. Bordering on the Grand Canal, the famed main waterway of Venice, Bar Canale is an elegant respite from the hustle and bustle of the city. Its crowning glory is the expansive outdoor terrace, an alluring oasis for well-heeled sightseers to enjoy spectacular views of the Grand Canal and the Chiesa della Salute.

Top tip: The terrace is a particularly romantic place at sunset: gaze over the historic rooftops of Venice and watch gondoliers drifting by in the company of your amato

5. Best for nibbles… La Bottega ai Promessi Sposi

If you‘ve always dreamed of meandering the streets of Venice and happening upon an amazing bar in a maze of alleyways, this is your chance to take the uncertainty out of serendipity. At first glance a hole-in-the-wall bar, La Bottega ai Promessi Sposi gives itself away by the evening crowds of locals that spill out of the door and stand on the street drinking wine and nibbling cicchetti, the Venice answer to tapas. Tucked away and hidden from the tourist world, it’s the place you will definitely boast about to your friends when you tell them about the “Real Venice” you discovered.

Top tip: Try the delicious polpette – we promise you won‘t be disappointed!

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