What to Do in Venice in 2 Days: An Ideal 48 Hour Itinerary

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Amazingly, people often ask me if Venice is worth it when visiting Italy. Those that say not to visit are usually the ones who visited Venice and didn’t spend enough time in the city

If you plan to stay for two days, you will be able to tell people that yes, it is crowded and it can be expensive, but it is definitely worth visiting. The key is to make sure you have a solid game plan so you can get the most out of your time. 

As rewarding as it is to visit Venice, it’s probably the most challenging city in Italy and requires that you come prepared to get the most out of it. 

Living close to Venice has allowed me to enjoy the city like a local. With this experience, I can help you experience authentic Venice like a local as well. In this guide, I will give you some great tips to create the perfect 2 days in Venice itinerary. 

Tips for Maximizing Your 2 Days in Venice Experience

To truly make the most of your 2 days in Venice itinerary, follow these essential tips that will help you save time, avoid the crowds, and ensure you don’t miss out on any of the city’s remarkable offerings.

Plan it out

Begin by planning a smart 2 days in Venice itinerary that clusters attractions close to one another, as Venice is a compact city that can be navigated with ease when your destinations are grouped. This approach allows you to delve into the distinctive charm of each neighborhood and immerse yourself in the city’s rich culture.

For instance, on day one, you might focus on the main attractions in the San Marco district, such as St. Mark’s Square, St. Mark’s Basilica, and the Doge’s Palace.

On day two, venture to the neighboring districts of Dorsoduro and San Polo, where you can explore the Rialto Bridge, the Peggy Guggenheim Collection, and the Church of Santa Maria Gloriosa dei Frari.

Book in advance

In order to maximize your time, pre-book skip-the-line tickets or guided tours for the city’s major attractions. This foresight will allow you to bypass the long queues at popular sites like St. Mark’s Basilica, the Doge’s Palace, and the Gallerie dell’Accademia.

Booking in advance often provides access to special tours, such as the St. Mark’s Basilica after-hours experience, which offers a more intimate and peaceful exploration of the famous landmark at night.

You should also look into getting passes for the major attractions, churches, museums, and even transportation so read my full guide on the most popular Venice passes here.

Use public transportation

Take advantage of Venice’s unique public transportation options, such as the vaporetto (water bus) and water taxis.

water taxi stand by san marco

Not only do these modes of transport offer an authentic Venetian experience, but they also enable you to move through the picturesque canals and the islands efficiently, cutting down on travel time and preventing disorientation.

Familiarize yourself with the vaporetto lines and routes, and consider purchasing a 24 or 48-hour travel card for unlimited rides during your stay.

Go early and stay late

Starting your days early in Venice is a smart strategy, as you’ll be able to enjoy the city’s serene atmosphere before the throngs of tourists descend upon its narrow streets and piazzas. The calm mornings provide a perfect opportunity to wander through the city’s historic alleyways, take stunning photographs of iconic landmarks, and indulge in a leisurely breakfast at a local café.

In the evenings, relish the enchanting ambiance of Venice by night, when the day tourists have departed, and the city’s romantic atmosphere comes alive.

Take a moonlit stroll along the canals, savor a traditional Venetian meal at a tucked-away trattoria, or simply lose yourself in the city’s labyrinthine streets as you absorb the magic of Venice after dark.

Read my full guide on taking a tour of Prosecco from Venice!

Visit Venice’s hidden gems

While the main attractions in Venice are certainly worth visiting, don’t miss the opportunity to explore some lesser-known interesting sights that the city has to offer.

For instance, you might venture to the Scuola Grande di San Rocco, which boasts stunning Tintoretto frescoes, or the beautiful Santa Maria della Salute.

Choose the ideal time of year to visit

Selecting the right time of year to visit Venice can significantly impact your experience. Each season has its own charm and advantages, so consider your preferences and priorities when planning your trip.

  • Spring (March to May): Spring is an excellent time to visit Venice, as the weather is generally mild and the city is less crowded than during the summer months. This season offers comfortable temperatures for exploring the city on foot and enjoying outdoor dining. However, be prepared for occasional rain showers and the possibility of acqua alta (high water) in early spring. Plan a trip during Easter in Venice and enjoy the traditional side of the touristy city.
  • Summer (June to August): Summer is peak tourist season in Venice, with warm temperatures and long days of sunlight. While the city can be crowded and hot during this time, it’s also filled with vibrant energy and hosts various events and festivals, such as the Venice Biennale and the Festa del Redentore. Be prepared for higher prices and potential queues at major attractions.
  • Autumn (Late September to November): Autumn is a lovely time to visit Venice, as the weather remains relatively mild, and the crowds begin to thin. The city’s architecture and canals take on a romantic charm as the leaves change color. However, be aware that acqua alta is more common during this season, and occasional rain showers may occur.
  • Winter (December to February): Winter in Venice can be cold and damp, but it’s also the least crowded time of the year, offering a more peaceful and intimate experience. During the winter months, you can enjoy Venice’s misty beauty and take advantage of lower accommodation prices. Additionally, the Carnevale di Venezia (Venice Carnival) takes place in late January or early February, offering a unique cultural experience.

Check out my packing list advice for what to wear in Venice!

Take a tour

Guided tours can be an invaluable investment for first-time visitors to Venice, as they provide expert insights, navigational assistance, and a curated experience tailored to your interests. Here are some guided tour ideas that will enhance your Venetian adventure:

doge's palace and st mark's square for 2 day itinerary

Venice Walking Tour with St. Mark’s Basilica and Doge’s Palace

This comprehensive tour combines the best of Venice’s iconic landmarks, offering a detailed exploration of St. Mark’s Square, St. Mark’s Basilica, and the Doge’s Palace. With a knowledgeable guide, you’ll gain an in-depth understanding of the city’s history, architecture, and cultural significance. The added benefit of skip-the-line access to these popular attractions makes this tour well worth the investment.

take a food and wine tour in venice italy

Venice Food and Wine Tour

Venice has a rich culinary tradition, and a guided food and wine tour allows you to savor its authentic flavors while learning about the city’s gastronomic history. Stroll through the vibrant Rialto Market, visit local bacari for cicchetti tastings, and sample regional wines at historic wine bars. This tour not only introduces you to the city’s culinary delights but also offers an insider’s perspective on Venetian culture and lifestyle.

spooky mask in venice italy

Venice Ghost and Legends Walking Tour

For those interested in Venice’s darker side, a ghost and legends tour offers a unique perspective on the city’s mysterious past. Led by an engaging guide, you’ll traverse hidden alleyways, hear chilling tales of murder and betrayal, and explore lesser-known sites steeped in local folklore. This tour provides a captivating alternative to traditional sightseeing and reveals a side of Venice that many tourists never experience.

Venice Secret Gardens Tour

For a truly unique and enchanting experience, consider embarking on a Venice Secret Gardens Tour. This guided excursion takes you off the beaten path and into the city’s hidden oases of greenery and tranquility. Venice is home to numerous private gardens and courtyards, many of which are tucked away behind ancient palazzos and accessible only to those who know where to look.

With an expert guide leading the way, you’ll explore a carefully curated selection of these secret gardens, each with its own story, history, and charm. Along the way, you’ll learn about the significance of gardens in Venetian life, the city’s horticultural traditions, and the architectural features that make these hidden gems so special.

The Venice Secret Gardens Tour offers a rare opportunity to immerse yourself in the city’s lesser-known beauty and provides a refreshing escape from the bustling streets and crowded tourist attractions. This tour is ideal for nature lovers, history buffs, and anyone looking to discover a different side of Venice.

Day 1: Venice’s Iconic Highlights

Morning

The best thing to do to get an early start is to find the best cafe to get an espresso and pastry that is in the neighborhood where you either arrive in the city or where your hotel is. Make sure to read my article on how to get around Venice so you don’t waste any time.

Begin your day at the heart of Venice: St. Mark’s Square

I think the best course of action for your 2 days in Venice itinerary is to visit the top Venice highlights first to get them out of the way. They are generally the most crowded areas which is why I like to see them first and then relax and take it slow on the second day when you can visit a few hidden gems with fewer tourists around.

This means hitting San Marco Square first where the major attractions are.

basilica san marco

St. Mark’s Basilica

St. Mark’s Basilica, a stunning architectural masterpiece, is an iconic symbol of Venice and is a bucket list site for many people, so it makes sense to not miss this one. Located in the heart of St. Mark’s Square, the basilica is renowned for its ornate design and intricate mosaics that showcase a unique fusion of Byzantine, Romanesque, and Gothic styles and is an integral part of Venice’s history.

From the moment you approach the basilica, its façade adorned with golden mosaics and five impressive domes captivates the eye. The exterior, featuring a blend of marble and ornamental sculptures, is a testament to the city’s rich history and its connection to the East through trade.

Once inside, you’ll be awestruck by the sheer opulence of the basilica’s interior, which is embellished with over 8,000 square meters of glittering gold mosaics covering its domes, arches, and walls. These intricate mosaics depict scenes from the Bible and the life of St. Mark, the city’s patron saint.

Though entry to the basilica is free, there are several add-ons available for a fee that further enrich your visit. For a small charge, you can access the rooftop terrace, offering a breathtaking panoramic view of St. Mark’s Square and the surrounding cityscape. The terrace also allows you to admire the Horses of St. Mark, a set of four magnificent bronze statues that once adorned the façade of the basilica.

Inside the basilica, you can pay to visit the museum, which houses a collection of artifacts, including the original Quadriga of St. Mark’s – the ancient Roman triumphal chariot – and a selection of precious liturgical objects.

The Pala d’Oro, a stunning altarpiece adorned with enamels, precious stones, and more than 1,900 pearls, can only be visited when you are part of a tour so consider hiring a guide to visit the basilica which also gives you skip the line access. This exquisite masterpiece is considered one of the finest examples of Byzantine enamel work in the world.

If you would rather not wait in line, then I recommend getting the Venice Pass, which allows you to pre-book skip-the-line tickets or get a guided tour with a set entrance time to avoid long queues.

Doge’s Palace

The Doge’s Palace, also known as Palazzo Ducale, is an architectural marvel and one of Venice’s most iconic landmarks. Situated next to St. Mark’s Basilica in the bustling Piazza San Marco, this impressive Gothic-style palace was once the residence of the Doge, the supreme authority of the Venetian Republic, and the seat of its government.

outside the doge's palace

From the outside, the Doge’s Palace captivates visitors with its ornate pink and white marble façade, adorned with a series of intricate arches and columns. Its unique design demonstrates the Venetian Gothic style, characterized by elegant lines, decorative motifs, and a harmonious blend of Eastern and Western architectural elements.

Stepping inside the palace, you’ll be transported back in time as you explore the lavish chambers, staterooms, and courtyards that bear witness to the opulence and power of the Venetian Republic. Notable highlights include the Scala d’Oro, a majestic golden staircase designed by Sansovino, and the vast Sala del Maggior Consiglio, home to the world’s largest oil painting, “Paradise” by Tintoretto.

A visit to the Doge’s Palace also provides a fascinating insight into Venice’s complex political and judicial systems. You’ll have the opportunity to explore the old prison cells, as well as the infamous Bridge of Sighs, which connects the palace to the prison and offers a poignant glimpse into the final moments of the condemned as they took their last look at the beauty of Venice before imprisonment.

The Doge’s Palace is not only an architectural masterpiece but also a significant historical and cultural site that offers a captivating window into the rich past of the Venetian Republic. A visit to this remarkable palace is undoubtedly worth it, as it unveils the stories and secrets of Venice’s glorious days and provides an unparalleled understanding of the city’s heritage. 

Campanile di San Marco

The Campanile di San Marco, or St. Mark’s Campanile, is a prominent and iconic symbol of Venice, standing tall at the eastern end of St. Mark’s Square. This elegant bell tower soars to a height of nearly 99 meters (325 feet) and is easily recognizable in the Venetian skyline. The current structure, completed in 1912, is a faithful reconstruction of the original tower, which collapsed in 1902.

campanile at piazza san marco

One of the main attractions of St. Mark’s Campanile is the opportunity to ascend to its viewing platform, which offers unparalleled 360-degree panoramic views of Venice, its lagoon, and, on a clear day, the distant Alps. An elevator provides easy access to the top, making this breathtaking vista accessible to most visitors.

From its vantage point, you can admire the city’s distinctive red-tiled roofs, winding canals, and architectural masterpieces, such as St. Mark’s Basilica and the Doge’s Palace, as well as the surrounding islands of the Venetian Lagoon.

Pro Tip: For a free panoramic view of the Grand Canal, make a reservation for the rooftop terrace of the shopping mall T Fondaco dei Tedeschi by the Rialto Bridge. Booking a time slot in advance is required which you can do here. It fills up quickly so make sure you book well in advance if possible.

Proceed to the Rialto Bridge and Market

The Rialto Bridge, or Ponte di Rialto, is one of Venice’s most iconic and recognizable landmarks. Spanning the Grand Canal, this elegant stone bridge connects the districts of San Polo and San Marco and serves as a bustling hub of activity. Built in the late 16th century, the Rialto Bridge features a single arch design and is adorned with rows of shops on both sides, offering a wide range of souvenirs, jewelry, and local crafts.

beneath rialto bridge

After getting the obligatory selfie on the bridge, stroll through the bustling market adjacent to the iconic Rialto Bridge. It’s a vibrant trading center that has been the heart of Venetian commerce for centuries. Here, you can explore the bustling Mercato del Pesce (fish market) and the Mercato della Erberia (fruit and vegetable market), where you’ll encounter an array of fresh, local produce, seafood, and traditional Venetian ingredients.

Check out my guide to shopping at the Rialto Markets for food!

Due to the popularity of the Rialto Bridge and Markets, these areas can become quite crowded, particularly during the daytime when cruise ship tourists and day-trippers are exploring the city.

To avoid the throngs of visitors and enjoy a more relaxed experience, consider visiting early in the morning, when the markets are just opening and the city is waking up. Alternatively, you can explore the area in the evening after most tourists have departed, allowing you to take in the sights and sounds at a more leisurely pace.

The lively atmosphere, colorful displays, and tantalizing aromas make the Rialto Markets a sensory feast and an essential experience for any visitor to Venice.

Afternoon

Since you will be in the area of Rialto, I have a few recommendations for some traditional Venetian restaurants in that area for lunch, as shown in the table below. Be sure to try specialties such as:

  • Sarde in Saor: fried sardines with onions, vinegar, and raisins
  • Risotto al nero di seppia: black squid ink risotto
  • Fegato alla veneziana: liver sautéed with onions
  • Bigoli in salsa: thick spaghetti with anchovy and onion sauce
  • Risi e bisi: rice and peas, a classic Venetian dish often served on St. Mark’s Day
  • Grilled octopus
  • Fried soft shelled crabs called moeche (Only in season in April and May and again in October and November)
  • Fried assorted seafood platters with local calamari, shrimp, and small lagoon fish

Explore the Dorsoduro district, a charming and artsy neighborhood

Dorsoduro is one of the six sestieri, or districts, of Venice, located in the southern part of the city. Bordered by the Grand Canal to the north and the Giudecca Canal to the south, Dorsoduro is known for its picturesque canals, charming streets, and a more laid-back atmosphere compared to the busier parts of Venice.

Gallerie dell’Accademia

The Gallerie dell’Accademia is an art museum that houses a vast collection of Renaissance art from the 14th to the 18th century. The museum’s collection includes works by some of the most notable Italian artists, such as Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, and Titian.

galleria accademia must visit on a 2 day itinerary for venice italy

The museum is an ideal spot no matter what time of year you’re visiting Venice since there are rarely crowds there. If you need to get away from the masses and heat of the summer, dip into the Accademia and enjoy the masterpieces in peace.

Make sure to cross the Grand Canal by walking over the Ponte dell’Accademia right in front of the museum. It offers spectacular views of the Grand Canal with a fraction of the crowds of the Rialto Bridge.

Church of Santa Maria della Salute

The Church of Santa Maria della Salute is a stunning baroque church that was built in the 17th century as a votive offering to the Virgin Mary, following the end of a devastating plague that had ravaged the city.

The church’s unique octagonal shape is topped by a large dome, which is supported by four pillars and decorated with intricate frescoes. The exterior of the church is adorned with statues and reliefs depicting scenes from the life of the Virgin Mary, as well as other biblical figures.

Read the full guide on the most beautiful churches in Venice for more places to see!

The interior of the church is equally impressive, featuring ornate marble floors, intricately carved altars, and numerous artworks by famous Venetian artists such as Titian, Tintoretto, and Francesco Guardi. One of the most notable features of the church is the high altar, which is decorated with a large wooden sculpture of the Virgin Mary and child, surrounded by a golden halo.

Peggy Guggenheim Collection

The Peggy Guggenheim Collection is a world-renowned modern art museum located in the heart of Venice’s Dorsoduro district and should be on everybody’s ideal Venice itinerary. Housed in the striking Palazzo Venier dei Leoni on the banks of the Grand Canal, this exceptional museum is home to an impressive array of modern masterpieces amassed by the legendary art collector, Peggy Guggenheim.

The collection showcases a diverse range of artistic styles and movements, such as Cubism, Surrealism, Abstract Expressionism, and Futurism. Visitors can admire works by some of the most celebrated names in modern art, including Pablo Picasso, Salvador Dalí, Jackson Pollock, Vasily Kandinsky, and Joan Miró, among many others.

In addition to the indoor galleries, the Peggy Guggenheim Collection features a beautiful sculpture garden where art and nature coexist in harmony. The museum also hosts temporary exhibitions, educational programs, and special events, further contributing to Venice’s vibrant art scene.

Squero di San Trovaso

The Squero di San Trovaso is a historic boatyard located in the Dorsoduro district of Venice, near the Church of San Trovaso. Established in the 17th century, this squero is one of the few remaining traditional workshops in the city, where skilled craftsmen construct and repair gondolas and other wooden boats using time-honored techniques passed down through generations.

squero san tomaso where they build gondolas

The boatyard itself presents a unique and charming scene, with its small, brightly colored wooden buildings reminiscent of Alpine architecture. This distinct appearance is due to the fact that many of Venice’s boat builders originally came from the Cadore region in the nearby Dolomite mountains.

Unfortunately, it is not possible to purchase tickets online – for now – to access the shipyard. However, guided tours lasting about 30 minutes are regularly organized. You just need to send an email to the address: info@squerosantrovaso.com and request information. The schedules will be specified directly by the organizers.

There is an osteria across the canal from the boatyard where you can eat some cicchetti and enjoy a spritz while you watch them work repairing gondolas if you can’t manage to secure a visit.

Evening

Hit the canals

No Venice itinerary is complete without taking a romantic gondola ride at sunset or vaporetto trip along the Grand Canal, watching as the city’s colors are transformed by the fading light.

2 day itineray in venice, take. agondola ride

If you are planning a gondola ride, here are some tips to help you get the most out of it:

  • Bring refreshments: To elevate your gondola ride experience, bring some snacks or drinks such as wine or prosecco. You can easily find these items in Venice at a small grocery store or market. Keep in mind that glass bottles are not allowed on the gondolas, so opt for plastic cups or bottles instead.
  • Know the gondola piers: Venice has various gondola stations, but the most popular ones are near St. Mark’s Square and the Rialto Bridge. During peak tourist season, gondola rides can be in high demand, so arrive early or book in advance to avoid the crowds.
  • No need to negotiate prices: Unlike other parts of Italy where bargaining is common, the gondola ride cost in Venice is regulated and fixed. For a 30-minute ride, expect to pay approximately 80 euros during the day and 100 euros at night.
  • Decide on your ride duration: Gondola rides can range from 30 minutes to an hour, and the price will vary accordingly. Before approaching a gondolier, decide on your preferred ride duration to negotiate a fair price.
  • Inquire about the route: Some gondoliers offer tours of the Grand Canal, while others take you through quieter side canals. Before embarking on your ride, ask the gondolier about the planned route to ensure it suits your preferences.
  • Bring cash: Most gondoliers prefer cash payments, so make sure to bring enough for your ride. Also, confirm the price with the gondolier beforehand to avoid any surprises at the end of your journey. If you want to pay by card, you can book ahead of time online as long as you know the time and place you want to take the gondola ride.

Don’t miss my full guide on how to take the ultimate gondola ride in Venice!

Campo Santa Margherita

During the day, the Campo Santa Margherita is a popular spot for locals and tourists to shop, eat, and socialize. The square is home to a bustling market where vendors sell fresh produce, clothing, and souvenirs. There are also several cafes and restaurants surrounding the square where visitors can enjoy a cup of coffee or a traditional Venetian meal.

campo santa margherita

At night, the Campo Santa Margherita comes alive with a lively bar scene. The square is a popular spot for university students, who gather here to socialize and enjoy the nightlife. Many of the bars and clubs stay open late into the night, making it a great spot for a night out on the town. If you’re looking for a cozy spot to enjoy a Spritz after your private gondola ride, this is the ideal location to do so.

The square is also a hub for cultural events and festivals throughout the year. In the summer, the square hosts outdoor concerts and film screenings, while in the winter, it is home to a popular Christmas market.

After your apertivo, head out for a walk through the charming side streets. Don’t be afraid to get lost, as that is part of the fun, especially when you find an unexpected surprise. 

After your walk, indulge in a traditional Venetian dinner at a local osteria or trattoria, savoring regional dishes and wines as you reflect on your day of exploration.

If the San Marco area was too crowded for your tastes during the day, head there at dusk when the crowds are gone to soak in the magical ambiance. You could even book a night tour of the Basilica.

Where to Stay

where to stay in venice
Booking.com

People often ask me what the best hotels are in Venice. The answer I always give is the best Venice accommodation is the one that best caters to your needs. For instance, if you are traveling with kids then you should stay in a hotel that is ideal for children either because of the amenities and services or the location. You can read my full article on where to stay here.

Here’s a quick synopsis of the different areas to stay in Venice with the top 3 hotels for each:

Cannaregio: This sestiere is the largest and most populated in Venice, offering a range of accommodation options. It’s a good choice if you want to stay in a quieter area away from the tourist crowds but still be within walking distance of major attractions. This is where most Venetians actually live so the vibe is much different than the rest of the city center.

San Marco: This is the most famous and touristy sestiere in Venice, home to St. Mark’s Square and the Basilica di San Marco. Staying here puts you right in the heart of the action, but it can also be crowded and noisy.

Castello: This sestiere is known for its historic churches, picturesque streets, and local feel. It’s a great choice if you want to experience a more authentic side of Venice and explore neighborhoods beyond the typical tourist areas.

Dorsoduro: This sestiere is home to several universities and has a vibrant nightlife scene. It’s a good choice if you want to experience the artsy and bohemian side of Venice, with plenty of galleries, bars, and live music venues.

Santa Croce: This is the smallest and least touristy sestiere in Venice, with plenty of narrow alleys and quiet squares to explore. It’s a good choice if you want a more laid-back and local experience.

San Polo: This sestiere is known for its historic markets, such as the Rialto Market, as well as its many churches and art galleries. It’s a great choice if you want to experience the authentic Venetian way of life and indulge in some local food and drink.

Murano: Murano island is famous for its glassmaking tradition and is a great choice if you want to learn more about this craft and see some stunning glass art. It’s also a quieter alternative to staying in Venice itself, with a more relaxed pace of life.

Mestre: Staying in Mestre, a town located on the mainland just outside of Venice, can be a more affordable option compared to staying in the city center. Mestre is well-connected to Venice by train, with frequent trains departing from Mestre train station to Venice’s Santa Lucia station. The journey takes around 10-15 minutes, and trains run from early in the morning until late at night. Staying in Mestre can be a good choice if you want to save money on accommodation and don’t mind a short train ride into Venice each day.

Venice Itinerary Day 2: Discovering Hidden Gems and Island Hopping

Morning

Explore lesser-known neighborhoods

Cannaregio

Cannaregio is one of the six sestieri (districts) of Venice, and it’s located in the northern part of the city. It’s one of the largest and most populated sestieri in Venice, but it’s also one of the least touristy. It’s where most of the remaining Venetians actually live. 

One of the main attractions in Cannaregio is the Jewish Ghetto, which was established in the 16th century and is one of the oldest in the world. You can take a walking tour of the ghetto and learn about the history of the Jewish community in Venice.

Castello

Castello is the largest sestiere in Venice, and it’s located in the eastern part of the city. It’s a residential neighborhood, and it’s known for its tranquil streets and authentic Venetian life. One of the highlights of Castello is the Church of San Zaccaria, which houses works by famous Venetian artists such as Giovanni Bellini and Jacopo Tintoretto and has a flooded crypt to visit as well. Another interesting attraction is the Arsenale, which was once the largest naval shipyard in the world and is now a museum.

Visit the Libreria Acqua Alta

libreria hidden gem in venice

The Libreria Acqua Alta is a unique bookstore located in the Castello neighborhood. The bookstore is known for its quirky decorations, which include gondolas and bathtubs filled with books. It’s also famous for its “fire escape,” which leads to a view of the canal. The Libreria Acqua Alta is a must-visit for book lovers and anyone looking for an unusual experience in Venice.

Scuola Grande di San Rocco

The Scuola Grande di San Rocco is a 16th-century building located in the San Polo neighborhood of Venice. It’s one of the most important art museums in Venice and is famous for its collection of paintings by Jacopo Tintoretto, one of the greatest Venetian painters of the Renaissance. 

The museum contains more than 60 paintings by Tintoretto, including his masterpiece, “The Crucifixion.” The Scuola Grande di San Rocco is a must-visit for art lovers and anyone interested in Venetian art and history.

Afternoon

Island hopping in the Venetian Lagoon

Murano: Murano is a small island in the Venetian Lagoon and is known for its glassblowing workshops and museums. Murano glass is world-famous for its intricate designs and vibrant colors, and you can watch glassblowers at work and visit the many glass shops and galleries on the island. The Glass Museum in Murano is also a must-visit, with exhibits on the history of glassmaking in the region.

N.B.: Most of the glass blowing demonstrations stop at 4pm so if you want to see how the glass is made, plan your trip accordingly.

Burano: Burano is another picturesque island in the Venetian Lagoon, known for its colorful houses and lace-making demonstrations. The island is famous for its delicate Burano lace, which has been produced on the island since the 16th century. You can visit the lace museum and watch demonstrations of lace-making by local artisans. Burano is also a great place to wander through the narrow streets and alleys, taking in the vibrant colors of the houses and shops.

Kayak tour: There are local guides that will take you out on your very own kayak to explore some of the lagoon. There are also tours that take you through the canals so you can see the city from a completely unique perspective and makes for a truly memorable thing to do while you’re in Venice. 

Evening

Cicchetti and wine tasting at a local bacaro: Cicchetti are small bites of food that are similar to tapas, and they’re a popular snack in Venice. A local bacaro is a small, traditional bar where you can sample cicchetti and enjoy a glass of wine or a spritz, a popular Venetian aperitif. Bacari are found throughout the city, and they offer a chance to mingle with locals and experience the authentic atmosphere of Venice.

traditional cicchetti in venice italy

Evening stroll and photography in picturesque neighborhoods: Venice is a beautiful and very walkable city, and it’s especially picturesque in the evening when the crowds have thinned out and the lights have come on. Take a stroll through neighborhoods like San Polo, Dorsoduro, or Santa Croce, and admire the beautiful architecture and Venetian canals. These neighborhoods are also great for photography, so don’t forget to bring your camera or smartphone.

Getting to and from Venice

There are quite a few ways to get into and out of the city even though cars are not allowed.

By Plane: Venice has its own airport, Venice Marco Polo Airport, which is located on the mainland. From the airport, you can take a taxi, bus, water bus, or water taxi to Venice. You can read all about getting from Marco Polo to Venice by clicking that link. Alternatively, you can also fly to Treviso Airport, which is about 25 kilometers away from Venice, and take a bus or taxi to reach the city.

santa lucia train station

By Train: Venice is well-connected by train to major cities in Italy and Europe. The main Venice train station is Santa Lucia train station, which is located on the western side of the city. From the train station, you can take a vaporetto (water bus) or a water taxi to your destination. Or, you can walk to your hotel.

By Bus: If you’re coming from other parts of Italy, you can take a bus to reach Venice. Several bus companies operate daily services to Venice from major cities like Milan, Florence, and Rome.

By Car: Cars are not allowed in Venice itself, but you can drive to the nearby town of Mestre and park your car there. From Mestre, you can take a train, tram, or bus to reach Venice. You can also hire a car and have the driver drop you off at the Piazzale Roma which is where the buses and trams arrive and where cars are allowed to park. You can also rent a car from Piazzale Roma to leave the city for a day trip or to head to your next destination.

piazzale roma venice how to get there

By Water: You can also reach Venice by water, with several ferry companies operating services from nearby destinations like Croatia and Greece. Alternatively, you can also take a cruise ship to Venice, with several major cruise lines stopping in the city.

getting to venice city center from marco polo airport

From the Marco Polo airport you can take a water taxi or vaporetto to get to many different spots in the city center. Water taxis are expensive, but can be shared to offset the cost. The benefit is that they can get you very close to your hotel. Hotels that have transfers with water access will allow you to take the taxi right to your accommodation.

Wrapping up the 2 Days in Venice Itinerary

Venice is a city that should be on every traveler’s bucket list. With its stunning architecture, romantic canals, and rich history and culture, there’s something for everyone in this unique city. Whether you have two days or two weeks, I hope this has helped you to create the perfect Venice itinerary so you can explore the city’s highlights and hidden gems.

Don’t forget to check out other articles that will help you get the most out of your trip to Venice. Here are a few helpful ones below.

Sal Presti

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