How many days in Venice? That’s the question many planning the first trip to Italy itinerary might ask themselves. And that’s why I thought I would help you make the right decision.
Whether until the end of this post you will choose to spend one day in Venice or plan a Venice 2 days itinerary it’s totally up to you. Hey, you can also end up spending more time in Venice and take a few day trips as well.
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How many days in Venice?
Whether you are planning your first trip to Italy itinerary, or you are returning to the beautiful European gem and are considering to include the city on the water to your trip, I’m sure you are wondering how many days in Venice.
First of all, there are some things you need to know before traveling to Italy.
Secondly, there are a few other things to take into consideration when planning your trip and deciding on the number of days:
- Getting around Italy and public transportation: as I’ve learned on the Amalfi Coast, public transportation timetables are just as information and not to be trusted to the minute. Thus, if you plan to spend only one day in Venice know that when planning the itinerary.
- Venice is a popular destination: thus expect to find crowds everywhere, lines at the popular attractions, and so on.
- Some islands worth visiting are outside of Venice, thus you will need some more time to see these as well.
I have personally seen Venice 3 times, and every single time was on a day trip from some other destination in Italy and I have only spent one day in Venice on each occasion.
Based on this, I would suggest you should spend more than just one day in Venice. Consequently, in this post, I have created a Venice 2 days itinerary and have added also some day trips to have in mind if you choose to spend even more here.
Venice 2 days itinerary
Whether you choose to include Venice in your one week in North Italy itinerary or want to spend just a long end of the week here, spending the night is a must-do at least once in a lifetime.
Where to stay in Venice?
- Hilton Garden Inn Venezia Mestre – offering 4* accommodation, inside and outside pools, shuttle for Marco Polo airport, and lovely views over a park.
- Chiara Lodge – only a few minutes walk from Venezia Mestre Railway Station, you can stay in an authentic Italian villa and live like locals, while still seeing one of the most beautiful cities in the world.
I must admit that choosing only one place in Venice is very damn hard because I can’t help but let myself charmed by the old Italian architectural style, the views over the canals, and the perfect locations for sightseeing.
Thus, without further ado, here are just a few options to have in mind when booking your Venice 2 days itinerary:
- Hotel Danieli a Luxury Collection Hotel – it had to be first, top of the list, just because it might be one of the most famous hotels in Venice. A few minutes away from San Marco Square and Grand Canal, the hotel has a rooftop terrace from where you can enjoy your drink with the Doge’s Palace in sight. Have I convinced you yet?
- Hotel Antiche Figure – not another 5* stay in Venice, but with a charming old Venetian flavor, only a few minutes away from Venice Santa Lucia train station, and a great price tag for Venice. And if you’re lucky, you’ll have a room overlooking the canal.
- JW Marriott Venice Resort & Spa – Stay on your private island in Venice. Does that sound like a dream? And yet it can come true if you book a room at this beautiful resort on the island of roses (Isola delle Rose).
Main Venice Landmarks to see on the 1st day
One of the most famous bridges in Venice, out of the 4 bridges over the Grand Canal and many bridges over other smaller ones, Rialto bridge is one of the most important attractions in Venice.
The bridge gets its name from the first Venetian district dating from the 9th Century.
Today, the bridge is packed with shops on both sides, so that the first time I crossed it, I didn’t really realize I was crossing the Grand Canal. Either way, getting to the steps of it is worth it for taking a picture (or many) and for going to one of the many terraces and restaurants along the canal.
Piazza San Marco – Saint Mark’s Basilica and Saint Mark’s Campanile
As we made our way from Santa Lucia train station within Venice, Pizza San Marco had always been our final destination. The place where the magic happens, and where everyone needs to get to at least once.
If you are spending more days in Venice, I suggest you plan your visit to Saint Mark’s Basilica early in the morning and hope not to wait too much in line. A good idea would even be to book your ticket online beforehand here.
Saint Mark’s Campanile is Saint Mark’s Basilica’s tower, the one you see in many Venice pictures, from the top of which the whole Venice unfolds before your eyes. Book your ticket online here and skip the line.
In just one day in Venice, arriving after 10 in the morning, without a pre-booked ticket, I had never seen these Venice landmarks from the inside. That’s why when you think of how many days in Venice you should choose more than less.
ThePalazzo Ducale or Doge’s Palace is one of the world’s museums you definitely need to see. A Gothic masterpiece which was the residence of the Doge of Venice (the supreme authority of the former Venetian Republic), now a museum from 1923.
Just remember that’s what so many other people think and act accordingly, thus be aware that you can book your tickets online before arriving in Venice.
Bridge of Sighs (Ponte dei Sospiri)
Linking the Doge’s Palace to the structure intended to house the New Prisons, the bridge was built in 1614 and is today one of the other important Venice landmarks you have surely seen in pictures of the Northern Italy town.
The view from the Bridge of Sighs was the last view of Venice that convicts saw before their imprisonment, thus its name. It is such a pity that such a beautiful structure would serve such a sad purpose.
The largest of Venice’s neighborhoods, Castello is where you can live real Venice. Less touristic, quiet, this is where you will find small squares without hundreds of people standing around.
Moreover, head to Castello if you want to spend some time relaxing in a small park, visiting a less known museum (like the Museo Storico Navale), or buying fresh Italian produce from a boat.
The Golden House is one place you should at least cross by and take a picture with. It is one of the oldest palaces of the town and today an art museum in the Northern part of Venice, on the Grand Canal.
Main Venice Landmarks to see on the 2nd day
On your second day of your Venice 2 days itinerary choose to head outside of the main island and go to see Murano and Burano.
Head to Murano for its world-renowned glass and to Burano for its beautiful colorful streets and houses on the canals (one must for anyone looking for one of the most Instagrammable places in Italy).
Getting to the islands:
- Murano – take Vaporetto (water bus) line 42 and let yourself seduced by the sights for about 40 minutes.
- Burano – take Vaporetto line 12 which will take you there in around 45 minutes.
Here you’ll find timetables and other useful information for planning your trip on both islands.
Venice as a day trip
As I’ve mentioned before I have always seen Venice as a day trip from other beautiful towns in Northern Italy.
So if you have booked a trip to one of the below towns in Northern Italy, be informed you can still plan a one day in Venice escape and rely on my above itinerary for the 1st day.
Of course, the other way is valid as well, and if you choose to spend more time in Venice you can plan to have a one day trip from Venice to some other town outside.
Since trains are so affordable if booked in advance and link all major towns in Northern Italy so perfectly, it would be a pity not to make the best out of your stay in Italy.
- Bologna – just a few hours away from Venice, “la Dotta, la Grassa, la Rossa” (the erudite one, the fat one, the red one) is both a good day trip from Venice or a more affordable location from where to take a trip for one day in Venice.
- Verona – Romeo and Juliet’s town, the place where you can attend a concert in an old Roman Arena, just a few hours away from Venice by train.
- Florence – I don’t need to say anything to sell Florence to you, but be aware that with a fast train (Freccia) you are in Florence in around 2 hours. Just book in advance on Trenitalia.it in order to get a great price.
- Trieste – I bet you haven’t heard about this destination right on the border with Slovenia, only a few hours away from Venice. But you should! I might be biased because I have studied in the city and fell for it hopelessly, but pay it a visit and you’ll understand why!
Should you visit Venice for Carnival?
One of the most famous Carnival in the world, Venice Carnival takes place yearly in February.
As you might expect for such a famous town and celebration, the Carnival draws millions of people to Venice every year. That’s why when deciding whether you want to visit Venice in February you must take this into consideration.
I have seen Venice for the first time during the Carnival and I wouldn’t recommend it. Let me elaborate on that further.
Imagine thousands of people walking along towards St. Mark’s Square, crowds and crowds not leaving you to enjoy such an amazing travel destination. Everything and each place are packed with tourists and let’s not take into consideration the higher prices both for accommodation and food.
If you really want to live true Venice avoid visiting it during February, and if you want to see the amazing costumes, head to Brussels later on and visit Floralia at Groot Bijgaarden Castle.
Italy Travel Resources
- Why not include the Amalfi Coast on your one week in South Italy Itinerary?
- Or head North for another 7 days in Northern Italy itinerary.
- Make your trip longer and stop for one day in Rome, spend 3 days in Cinque Terre, and finish it off with one day in Genoa. Or do it differently, but however, take a Cinque Terre day trip.
- Looking for those authentic Italian villages? Check out my list of 11 less known Italian towns to add to your list of places to see next in Italy.
- Taste great food and explore red streets in 2 days in Bologna.
- Take the perfect trip with my Amalfi Coast road trip Itinerary and take the perfect pictures in these Instagrammable places in Positano.
- Did you know that you can see the French Riviera on a day trip from Genoa? Check out my complete list of great day trips from Genoa.
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