If you're visiting Venice for the first time there really is only one way to arrive and that has to be by water taxi. Expensive though they may be, where else can you feel like Cary Grant in a city that is singularly the most amazing mix of fantasy architecture?

The best bars in Venice

With its narrow, winding streets and waterways, Venice is bustling with people from dawn till dusk and beyond. This floating city is well known for its historical monuments, but there is so much more to it than just the Doge’s Palace and Piazza San Marco. There are many bars in Venice worth a visit and topping the list is Harry’s Bar. A staple of Venice nightlife since the 1930s, this popular hangout is lauded as the birthplace of the Bellini and Carpaccio. It’s the perfect spot for an aperitivo, wouldn’t you agree? If you’re looking for something extra special, touch the sky over at the Skyline Rooftop Bar on the island of Giudecca. Situated on the roof of the Hilton, it boasts a fabulous view of the city so grab one of their specialty cocktails such as the Smokey Old Fashioned and watch the sun go down over the lagoon.

Head down to Già Schiavi to experience Venice like a Venetian. This wine bar is popular with everyone: locals, tourists and expats all find themselves here quaffing wine and snacking on crostini – you can even get wine to go if you like. For something a bit more modern then Osteria da Filo is a great choice. Cocktails are very reasonably priced and their house speciality, the Zaza, is a heady mix of rum and ginger.

See all bars in Venice