Nightspots in and around Venice can be difficult to categorize. Pubs, of the English or Irish variety, with beer on tap and occasional live music, are easy enough to identify and are especially popular with local and traveling youth. When you're looking to dance, things get murkier: lounge-type piano bars generally have small dance floors, while dance clubs are scarce but may serve snacks and even late-night meals. Bars and cafés are even harder to classify, as availability of snacks, meals, beverages, and music varies with the time of day and the season. Many also decorate their walls with works by local artists, whose paintings are for sale.

The proximity to the university makes Campo Santa Margherita and the surrounding area one of the livelier gathering places in town after dark. The Erbaria, a wide open campo running along the Grand Canal at the foot of the Rialto Bridge on the San Polo side, and the Fondamenta Misericordia in Cannaregio are two other areas that have a happening evening scene.

It's worth noting that during Carnevale many ordinary bars, which close around dinnertime the rest of the year, stay open around the clock.

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  • 1. Il Caffè

    Dorsoduro | Bars/Pubs

    Commonly called "Bar Rosso" for its bright-red exterior, Il Caffè has far more tables outside than inside. A favorite with students and faculty...Read More

  • 2. Al Chioschetto

    Dorsoduro | Bars/Pubs

    Although this popular place consists only of a kiosk set up to serve some outdoor tables, it is located on the Zattere, and thus provides panoramic...Read More

  • 3. B Bar Lounge

    San Marco | Piano Bars

    This room in the Hotel Bauer is multipurpose: it functions more like a lounge on weekdays and an intimate dance club complete with a DJ on the...Read More

  • 4. Caffè Baglioni

    San Marco | Cafés

    Just outside Piazza San Marco (near Museo Correr), Hotel Luna Baglioni's pleasant cafe is perfect for an intimate chat in the cold winter months...Read More

  • 5. Caffè Centrale

    San Marco | Bars/Pubs

    A late-night, chilled-out crowd that looks more Hollywood than Venice assembles in this former movie theater. You'll find classic (if overpriced...Read More

  • 6. Caffè dei Frari

    San Polo | Bars/Pubs

    Just over the bridge in front of the Frari church is this old-fashioned bar, where you'll find an assortment of sandwiches and snacks; but it...Read More

  • 7. Corte dell'Orso

    San Marco | Wine Bars

    It is easy to see why this place is popular with the locals, offering fairly priced cocktails, a reasonable assortment of cicheti, and a good...Read More

  • 8. El Sbarlefo

    Cannaregio | Wine Bars

    The odd name is Venetian for "smirk," although you'll be hard-pressed to find one at this cheery, familiar bacaro with a wine selection as ample...Read More

  • 9. Enoiteca Mascareta

    Wine Bars

    Wander the long calle from Santa Maria Formosa to find this welcome spot where you're sure to find the light on. Choose from one of the best...Read More

  • 10. Impronta

    Dorsoduro | Cafés

    One of the rare locales that has a kitchen serving until midnight also offers a bar menu until 2. It's also a good spot for nightcap—you can...Read More

  • 11. Inishark

    Castello | Bars/Pubs

    The popular Italo-Irish pub Innishark, located midway between San Marco and Rialto, is known for its variety of international beers. It's open...Read More

  • 12. Margaret Duchamp

    Dorsoduro | Cafés

    The French-sounding name befits this artfully minimalist café-brasserie in Campo Santa Margherita. Classic Venetian cocktails are served alongside...Read More

  • 13. Naranzaria

    San Polo | Bars/Pubs

    At the friendliest of the several bar-restaurants that line the Erbaria, near the Rialto Market, enjoy a cocktail outside, along the Canal Grande...Read More

  • 14. Orange

    Dorsoduro | Bars/Pubs

    Modern, hip, and complemented by an internal garden, this welcoming bar anchors the south end of Campo Santa Margherita, the liveliest campo...Read More

  • 15. Osteria al Squero

    Dorsoduro | Wine Bars

    It wasn't long after this lovely little wine bar (not, as its name implies, a restaurant) appeared across from the Squero San Trovaso that it...Read More

  • 16. Palazzo Vendramin-Calergi

    Cannaregio | Casinos

    The city-run gambling casino in splendid Palazzo Vendramin-Calergi is a classic scene of well-dressed high rollers playing French roulette,...Read More

  • 17. Paradiso Perduto

    Cannaregio | Bars/Pubs

    Paradiso Perduto has been catering to night owls since the '70s with drinks, wine, and slightly overpriced fish dishes (a better option is the...Read More

  • 18. Senso Unico

    Dorsoduro | Bars/Pubs

    This popular neighborhood hangout is decorated in wood and brick and has a couple of tables that have a great view of the canal. There are beers...Read More

  • 19. The Irish Pub

    Cannaregio | Bars/Pubs

    Guinness and gab flow freely from 5 pm to 1 am. There are typically four Irish brews, plus cider, on tap, as well as sports on TV and occasional...Read More

  • 20. Un Mondo di Vino

    Cannaregio | Wine Bars

    Recharge with some wine (the selection is good) or a cicheto or two at this cozy, friendly spot near the Miracoli church....Read More

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