Other than being in a helicopter, the best view of Venice can be had from the top of St Mark’s Campanile in Piazza San Marco. The tower is easily one of the most recognizable sights in the city and at nearly 100 metres in height it soars above all of its neighboring buildings to give you an unobstructed 360 degree view of the city. Going to the top of this Venetian monument is definitely one of the top highlights of any visit to Venice.
Getting to Piazza San Marco is fairly easy since there are brightly painted signs for it all over the city on the sides of buildings. There’s only one entrance to the tower and there’s usually a very long queue to get into the tower but luckily for me in late August it was only a 10 minute wait. Once inside, you have to pay the entrance fee (8 euros as of Aug 2014) at the ticket window then queue a bit longer for the lift that takes you straight up to the observation deck. It’s not possible to walk up the stairs.
It can get quite crowded up there but just be patient and you’ll get your turn at taking photos from each side of the building. Trust me, it’s worth the wait 😀