City, sovereign state, tourist hub, living museum... whatever your impression of Venice, this place continues to defy all logic.
This audacious medieval masterpiece, perilously perched in the Adriatic lagoon, boasts some of the world's finest art and architecture. The City of Love almost sinks under the weight of its incredible past, yet stands tall as a fascinating window into a bygone age.
Take in a concert Venice's nightlife is centred around performing arts rather than bars and nightclubs. The city has unusual concentration of opera houses and concert halls, which help keep the Venetian tradition of classical music alive. Many of the churches across the six sestieri organise evening concerts, which are open to members of the public through advance booking.
Dorsoduro bars The city may be short on late-night spots - held back by tradition, accessibility and noise regulations - but the upcoming Dorsoduro wants to change all that. A number of drinking establishments have opened up in this student-focused part of town in recent years, with Campo Santa Margherita increasingly active when the sun goes down. The cobbled Calle Lunga San Barnaba offers an alternative, particularly if you're looking to eat out.
Head further afield For a wilder night, the nearby university city of Padua is your best bet. You'll find a larger concentration of pubs and bars here, with more opportunities to go dancing. You'll still have to be home by midnight (the last train back to Venice is shortly after 2300) but the 25-minute trip is worth it for a night on the tiles.