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Rialto Bridge

Vacation Travel Guide
Rialto Bridge which includes heritage architecture, a bridge and a lake or waterhole

Take a stroll across Venice’s oldest and most iconic bridge for romantic views, souvenir shopping and street entertainment.

When riding a vaporetto (water bus) or gondola along the Grand Canal, look up as you round the bend by the fish market: One of Venice’s most iconic sights appears before you. The Rialto Bridge (Ponte di Rialto) has been a feature of the city since the late 1500s. It has a distinctive V-shape design, high stone arcades and balustrades from which tourists peek at the gondolas in the canal below.

The enclosed Rialto Bridge was constructed by the appropriately named Antonio Da Ponte (Antonio of the Bridge). Da Ponte beat the famous sculptor Michelangelo in getting the contract to build it. The Rialto replaced a late 12th-century bridge and combines practicality with beauty. The 24-foot (7.5-meter) arch is high enough to let ships pass beneath, while the symmetry of the arches and the heightened central peak have made this bridge an iconic image. Out of the 400 or so bridges that connect the islands of Venice, this is likely the most photographed.

As you approach the Rialto on foot, choose between the three walkways that lead to the top of the bridge. Two of the walkways are along the outer balustrades. One central passage runs between the inward facing shops, which sell local Murano glassware, jewelry and other crafts.

Street vendors and musicians lend the bridge a lively atmosphere. From the top, views of the Grand Canal curving into the distance beneath the shuttered windows of the Venetian homes and restaurants provide a classic photo opportunity.

The vibrant buzz of the daytime gives way to a quieter atmosphere at night. When the shutters go down on the shops, the bridge is illuminated by floodlights and reflections shimmer on the canal, providing the perfect backdrop for a romantic evening stroll.

The Rialto Bridge is halfway along the Grand Canal and connects the market district of San Polo with the tourist hub of San Marco. To get there take a vaporetto or gondola and get off at the Rialto stop, or walk north from the central St. Mark’s Square.

Top things to do in Rialto Bridge

Top Hotels Close to Rialto Bridge

Hotel Rialto
Hotel Rialto
4 out of 5
San Marco 5149 Ponte Di Rialto, Venice, VE
Fully refundableReserve now, pay when you stay
The price is CA $147 per night from Aug 3 to Aug 3
Located in Venice City Center, this hotel is steps from Rialto Bridge and Grand Canal. St. Mark's Basilica and St. Mark's Square are also within 10 minutes. ...
4.2/5Very Good! (965 reviews)
"The hotel is located in a perfect spot for all the tourists attractions and ferry service is right in front of the hotel. Like a 10 minute walk to all the great shopping stores. Plenty of restaurants around."

Reviewed on Jul. 21, 2021

Hotel Rialto
Palazzo Veneziano
Palazzo Veneziano
4.5 out of 5
Fondamenta delle Zattere 1413, Venice
Fully refundableReserve now, pay when you stay
The price is CA $169 per night from Aug 3 to Aug 3
Located in Dorsoduro, this luxury hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Zattere, Grand Canal, and Peggy Guggenheim Museum. La Fenice Opera House and Ca' Foscari ...
4.7/5Exceptional! (1,013 reviews)
"Absolutely exceptional! I do not type those words lightly. From Marco at the front desk, to Denbo - bellman?, to Oscar at the bar - an incredible cast of phenomenal human beings who went out of their way to make our stay enjoyable beyond expectation. It is readily apparat to that the hotel itself ..."

Reviewed on Jul. 22, 2021

Palazzo Veneziano
Bauer Palazzo
Bauer Palazzo
5 out of 5
San Marco 1459, Venice, VE
The price is CA $286 per night from Aug 2 to Aug 2
Located in Venice City Center, this luxury hotel is steps from Correr Civic Museum, Grand Canal, and St. Mark's Square. La Fenice Opera House and St. Mark's ...
4.6/5Wonderful! (971 reviews)
"Everything was great!"

Reviewed on Jul. 20, 2021

Bauer Palazzo
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.

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Best Lodging Options Near Rialto Bridge

CHC Continental, BW Premier Collection by Best Western
CHC Continental, BW Premier Collection by Best Western
4 out of 5
Lista di Spagna, Cannaregio 166, Venice, VE
The price is CA $120 per night from Aug 3 to Aug 3
CHC Continental, BW Premier Collection by Best Western
Palazzo Veneziano
Palazzo Veneziano
4.5 out of 5
Fondamenta delle Zattere 1413, Venice
The price is CA $169 per night from Aug 3 to Aug 3
Palazzo Veneziano
Hotel Rialto
Hotel Rialto
4 out of 5
San Marco 5149 Ponte Di Rialto, Venice, VE
The price is CA $147 per night from Aug 3 to Aug 3
Hotel Rialto
Bauer Palazzo
Bauer Palazzo
5 out of 5
San Marco 1459, Venice, VE
The price is CA $286 per night from Aug 2 to Aug 2
Bauer Palazzo
Splendid Venice – Starhotels Collezione
Splendid Venice – Starhotels Collezione
4 out of 5
San Marco Mercerie 760, Venice, VE
The price is CA $190 per night from Aug 3 to Aug 3
Splendid Venice – Starhotels Collezione
Riva del Vin Boutique Hotel
Riva del Vin Boutique Hotel
3.5 out of 5
Calle del Sturion 678, San Polo, Venice, VENEZIA
The price is CA $173 per night from Aug 19 to Aug 19
Riva del Vin Boutique Hotel
Maison Venezia | UNA Esperienze
Maison Venezia | UNA Esperienze
4 out of 5
Ruga Do Pozzi, 4173, Venice, VE
The price is CA $202 per night from Jul 28 to Jul 28
Maison Venezia | UNA Esperienze
Hotel Danieli, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Venice
Hotel Danieli, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Venice
5 out of 5
Riva Degli Schiavoni, 4196, Venice, VE
The price is CA $820 per night from Jul 28 to Jul 28
Hotel Danieli, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Venice
Hotel L'Orologio Venezia
Hotel L'Orologio Venezia
4.5 out of 5
Sestiere San Polo - Riva de L Ogio 1777, Venice, VE
The price is CA $215 per night from Aug 1 to Aug 1
Hotel L'Orologio Venezia
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.