The Venice Biennale is the essence of Venice. It is an international exhibition of modern art and architecture, attracting about 600 000 visitors each year. It is one of the famous annual events of Venice. In addition, you can explore theater, music, cinema, and even dance at this world-famous event. The Biennale started in 1895 to celebrate the 25th wedding anniversary of Umberto I and Margherita di Savoia. Today, it’s the most prestigious exhibition of its kind in the world. 

Getting there & the best time to visit

The Venice Biennale takes place every year from May to November. Each year it alternates between art and architecture. The Venice Film Festival and other festivals last from 10 days to 2 weeks. The best time to visit, though, is in September or October. At this time, there are less crowds on Venice streets than during the summer months. Arsenale and Giardini, the main exhibition spaces of the Biennale, are part of the Castello district. Check our interactive Venice map to ensure you don’t get lost. They are accessible by public transport and are where you’ll find the central hall and national pavilions. These areas are open from 10 AM until 6 PM every day except Mondays. You can get the ticket HERE, which allows you a one-time entry to each site. You can visit both in a day or divide them into several days of a fabulous Venice itinerary. The other exhibitions, scattered around the city, are usually free. There is also a lucrative opportunity for a private visit to the Biennale. 

Some history of the Venice Biennale

This incredible event was the first one of its kind. All other biennales worldwide are based on the Venice Biennale. The first time it opened to the public, in 1895, it welcomed about 200 000 visitors. It was an unbelievable success at the time. Since then, with a few interruptions, the Biennale has happened every year, even during the two World Wars. The Music Festival was the first addition, which emerged in 1930. Then, in 1932, there was the Venice Film Festival and, in 1934, the Theatre Festival. Today, the main space of the Venice Biennale is about 7000 sq. meters. Around 90 countries showcase their culture at the national pavilions. The goal is to enjoy the culture and see the trends in art and architecture. You can indulge, but you can’t buy art at the Biennale. 

Things to do in the area

During the Venice Biennale, there is always something going on in Venice. Castello is the largest neighborhood in Venice, known for its beautiful Venice churches. While in the area, we recommend visiting San Zaccaria and San Pietro di Castello. Santi Giovanni e Paolo and Santa Maria Formosa are nearby and fascinating if you’re into churches. In addition, there is San Francesco della Vigna has a beautiful vineyard. All these churches have a fascinating history and are full of masterpieces by the finest Venetian painters. The Naval History Museum and Fondazione Querini Stampalia are among the most exciting Venice museums. You can use the venicexplorer Venice map to check each location and create an effective route.