Find out what to see in Venice in two days by reading this guide which will help you optimize your time in Venice: save the itinerary with the map day by day, find out how to move around easily (and at the best price), how to reach the islands of Murano, Burano and Torcello and get the best advice from Sara Perche Viaggio for visiting the main attractions.
Give him enough time to read it, above all because I have reserved for you a free gem, as well as an absolute must-see in Venice in 2 days, which however must be booked online a little in advance (but don’t tell anyone, otherwise seats fill up!).
Well, make yourself comfortable: we have a lot to talk about in this guide to visit Venice in 2 days.
Visiting Venice in 2 days: tips
Venice, an intricate labyrinth of narrow and sometimes low passages, canals, small and large bridges and kilometers to be covered strictly on foot, but every step hides a glimpse that repays every effort. Although I am more than certain of your “good intentions” to follow this 2-day itinerary in Venice, you will hardly be able to actually follow it. Consider that in Venice there are 417 bridges (yes, seriously) and narrow alleys where even the best GPS struggles to follow you. My advice is therefore to save the main attractions and the ways to visit them, but also enjoy getting lost among the canals, without feeling too bound to this itinerary if you want to enjoy the Serenissima properly!
One thing I want you to know right away is that getting around Venice by public transport isn’t cheap, but thanks to the transport card you can make unlimited use of the vaporetto (islands included!) and the bus network without spending a single cent more. You can choose between a one-day, two- or three-day card.
Day 1: Places to visit in Venice for Day 1
I suggest dedicating your first day in the city to the main attractions : cross the Rialto Bridge, reach Piazza San Marco, stroll along the seafront, visit the Acqua Alta bookshop and Marco Polo’s house, without forgetting to enjoy the sunset from one of the terraces overviews. You can choose to visit all of this and take part in a tour of Venice which in just two hours will take you to discover other attractions such as the Accademia Gallery and will also give you more information on Piazza San Marco.
Don’t worry about saving the map now, at the end of the article you will find links to the day-by-day itineraries to save and open directly on Google Maps while you’re in Venice
1: Rialto Bridge
It is the oldest bridge that crosses the Grand Canal and is well connected by the transport system: if your accommodation is located far from this first stage of the itinerary, know that you can reach it by vaporetto, buying a ticket for the single section at €9.50 or by selecting the transport card valid for 24, 48 or 72 hours (from €25), with which you can move around Venice unlimitedly during the chosen period. On the bridge you will find some shops and you will be able to enjoy one of the best views of Venice and the Grand Canal.
2: Basilica of San Marco
Not too far from the Rialto Bridge is Piazza San Marco, the nerve center of the city. Here are the charming Basilica of San Marco and the Campanile, the Clock Tower, as well as the Doge’s Palace with attached pier and some museums. The structure that will immediately strike you among all, will certainly be the Basilica of San Marco: not for its height, but for the beauty of its decorations, the gold of the statues on the top, the marble columns and the frescoes. Surely its interiors are also worth a visit: the entrance ticket for the Basilica of San Marco costs €6 (available on the official website), but it is better to opt for the complete queue tickets including the basilica, access to the Terrace, the Pala D’Oro and the museum for a more complete visit (you can buy it online here ). If you want to learn more about the Basilica and the history it holds, you can instead take part in a guided tour with priority entrance ticket included.
Warning : on Sundays you will not be able to enter before 2pm. If you have a weekend available to visit Venice, I suggest you follow this itinerary on Saturday, reserving Sunday for the islands.
3: What to see in Venice in 2 days: the bell tower of San Marco
Just in front of the Basilica, you cannot fail to notice the orange brick bell tower which, with its 98.6 meters in height, is one of the tallest bell towers in Italy: the good news is that you can climb to the top to enjoy a panoramic view over the city, admire the roofs of Venice and its conformation from every angle. This ticket can also be purchased online to avoid queues.
4: Doge’s Palace
Next to the Basilica of San Marco is the Palazzo Ducale, made up of a mix of Byzantine and Oriental architecture. To admire the large halls and ceilings that make it up, as well as the ancient prisons and cross the famous bridge of sighs, you can visit it independently by purchasing tickets online or, if you prefer, by participating in a guided tour.
5: Bridge of Sighs and Palazzo delle Prigioni
The Bridge of Sighs is one of the most emblematic places in Venice : located in such a position as to overlook Rio di Palazzo, this Istrian stone bridge connects the Palazzo Ducale to the Palazzo delle Prigioni. The name attributed to it derives from the long sigh that the prisoners made as they crossed it, aware that this would be the last time they would see the outside world. The Bridge of Sighs can be admired from Riva degli Schiavoni, while the visit is included in the ticket to the Doge’s Palace or in the visit to the Palazzo delle Prigioni.
6: Riva degli Schiavoni
The Riva degli Schiavoni is definitely something to see in Venice in two days : it is a sort of monumental promenade of Venice, which extends from Piazza San Marco and follows the shape of the San Marco basin. The whole wide street is adorned with stalls and various monuments, but what I suggest you do is simply enjoy a nice walk while admiring the view of the island of San Giorgio, the passing boats and the profile of the majestic buildings of Venice in distance.
7: Venice Arsenal
Walking for a while you will come to the city’s old shipyard, a large manufacturing complex that preceded the industrial age. Today it is still possible to admire the bridge over the Rio dell’Arsenale river and the gate with the lions. This may also be a quieter area away from the majority of tourists.
8: Acqua Alta bookshop: one thing to see in Venice in 2 days
A library overlooking the canal and with gondolas and a bathtub acting as “shelves”, which protect the books when the high tide arrives seriously. This is one of the more peculiar bookstores you could set foot in, but it could also be quite crowded due to the enormous popularity it has acquired in recent years. You can simply visit it (for free), but also buy books of all genres and types.
9: Marco Polo’s house
If you are trying to figure out what to see in Venice in 2 days, know that Marco Polo’s house is not one of them. The reason is very simple: the explorer’s original home was razed to the ground by fire in the 16th century and today the Malibran Theater stands in its place. At the entrance to the theater, however, there is a label stating that “Here were the houses of Marco Polo”. In short, if you like, you can pass in front of it before reaching the last stage of the day, but don’t expect anything more.
10: Rialto Bridge or Fondaco Rooftop Terrace at sunset
The Rialto Bridge will be particularly crowded at dusk, so my advice is to reach the Fondaco Rooftop Terrace. The terrace is on the roof of a luxury multi-story shopping mall, but it’s well worth reaching for a spectacular view of the Grand Canal. Furthermore, the visit is completely free, but the time of the ascent must be booked (on this site ).
Do you have time left over because you missed a few stops on this itinerary in Venice? Then you could consider participating in a Venetian mask workshop with a local craftsman (lasting about 1h).
Day 2: What to see in Venice
No, on this second day of the itinerary in Venice you won’t have to walk on water (and luckily I would say!): to reach the islands of Murano, Burano and Torcello scheduled for today, you have two options:
- Purchase vaporetto tickets and reach them independently. Consider that a single journey costs €9.50, so the most convenient choice is to purchase a transport card valid for at least one day starting from €25to travel unlimited – islands included.
- Choose the Murano and Burano or Murano, Burano and Torcello tour and take part in a tour with a guide who will be able to enrich your visit with tidbits and anecdotes.
1: Jewish Quarter
To start this second day of visiting Venice (before reaching the islands) I suggest you carve out the space to treat yourself to a less touristy area of the city. The Jewish quarter is something unique to delve into part of the history of the place and still see Jewish shops today. Or, consider a tour of the Jewish Ghetto.
2: Murano, one thing to see in Venice in 2 days
Famous for its glass, Murano is made up of 7 islands connected by bridges. Once landed here, stroll along the coasts of Rio dei Vetrai, visit the glass museum and don’t forget, keep your eyes peeled: you will see some workshops demonstrating glass working. Admiring the skill with which the craftsmen work this material at very high temperatures is something not to be missed in Murano! Before embarking again towards Burano, be sure to stroll through the shops selling beautiful objects in colorful glass for a nice souvenir to take home.
It is one of the islands of Venice famous for its colorful houses and lace. Here you will be able to see with your own eyes the old ladies embroidering the lace, while they chat among themselves. In this regard, do not miss a visit to the Lace museum.
4: Giro in gondola
Late afternoon is the best time to enjoy a gondola ride: let yourself be captivated by the charm of Venice from water, its main element. Cross the Grand Canal and the canals near Piazza San Marco, perhaps as the sun gradually sets over the city. I think there really is no better way to say goodbye to Venice because yes, I’m sure this will be just a goodbye!
How to move in Venice
In Venice you can easily get around on foot or by vaporetto : a single journey costs €9.50, but a season ticket is much cheaper. If you follow this itinerary to save money, you can buy a one-day card and visit Venice on foot on the first day, taking the vaporetto on the second day when you reach the islands. Or, if you prefer practicality or your accommodation is far from the centre, opt for the 48-hour card. Here are the available versions:
- 24 h: and € 25,00
- 48 h: and € 35,00
- 72 h: and € 45,00
Accommodation in Venice
Before choosing the hotel or rental where to stay, you must first understand the differences between its neighborhoods and identify the places to stay during your stay. Depending on your budget but also and above all depending on what you plan to see or do. Some sectors are more dynamic, others more remote, … Before the start of the trip, it is not necessarily easy to target the right sector. And yet, you have to choose your accommodation before arriving on site. It is therefore advisable to obtain a minimum of information before booking a hotel or a rental.
To begin, as a summary guide, here are the main areas where to stay in Venice:
- San Marco, the most famous of all! It is in the geographical center and full of places of interest
- San Polo, conveniently located and separated from San Marco by the famous Rialto Bridge
- San Croce, to the west and which marks the entry point to the city of the Doges (station, bus)
- Castello in the east of the city (prefer the west of Castello)
- Cannaregio in the north (prioritize the southern area)
- Dorsoduro (and the island of Giudecca) occupies the southern zone of the lake city (favor the east of this part of the city)
My recommendations are therefore classified into 3 categories:
- cheap rentals or hotels and good deals for smaller budgets
- good addresses for an intermediate budget (between 120 and 180 euros per night in a double room)
- high-end hotels , for an exceptional romantic getaway
Tips for Staying in Venice
For these recommendations of hotels to stay in Venice, I start with the small budgets. If your budget is limited, here are some good addresses that could allow you to stay in the heart of the city, without blowing your budget:
- Located in Cannaregio, the Alle Guglie Boutique Hotel is well located and still affordable. Located a good 5 minute walk from Santa Lucia station and about 10/15 minute walk from San Polo, it offers excellent value for money. The rooms are small but if you want to stay in the center without blowing your budget, this is the address to remember
- this Airbnb-like apartment is located in Cannaregio as well. Its location is good as it takes about 10 minutes on foot to reach the Grand Canal and the Rialto Bridge which also mark the entrance to the San Marco district. Unbeatable at this price, especially if you are looking for accommodation to sleep in Venice with the family because there are accommodations for 4 or 5 people
- B&B La Corte Dei Dogi is located in the west of Castello. On foot, it takes less than 15 minutes to reach Saint Mark’s Square. At less than 100 euros per night in a double room, hard to find better on a small budget. Very clean and typical Venetian decor!
Good addresses for accommodation with an intermediate budget
By average budget for sleeping in Venice, it is often necessary to understand between 120 and 180 euros per night. And yes, accommodation in the famous Italian city is expensive… Here are the addresses that I recommend for an average budget:
- Ca Dell’Arte is located in the San Marco district, right in the center. Unbeatable price level for this standing and this geographical location, it is clearly one of the best plans to stay in the historic heart.
- H10 Palazzo Canova is located in San Polo, very well located, on the edge of the Grand Canal. Pleasant sector, very good geographical location, very clean rooms with a modern / refined design (which is not the norm here). A very good address in this price range. Note, the hotel has a terrace with a magnificent view of the Grand Canal and its facades. A real nugget that is often full …
- Ca’Zose is in the Dorsoduro district. Ideally placed to reach the center on foot, as soon as you enter, the charm operates. Typically Venetian building, the rooms are very charming when one appreciates the rather busy Venetian style. Very clean, very well placed, comfortable and for less than 140 euros per night in a double room. Many restaurants in the immediate vicinity
The best luxury hotels in Venice
To close this list of places to stay in Venice, here are the most beautiful high-end establishments that I recommend. These luxury hotels are perfect for a honeymoon or a romantic stay in a 5-star Venetian hotel. On the budget side, it is necessary to count at least 350 euros per night in a double room for this type of accommodation. The price fluctuates a lot depending on the season in which you plan to stay in the city. A night in May will inevitably be more expensive than in January, in low season.
- The Gritti Palace is certainly the best address for a romantic getaway. The perfect place to sleep in Venice to visit while enjoying a Venetian palace. Located in San Marco, on the bank of the Grand Canal, everything is perfect in this 5-star hotel. Terrace for dinner with a view of the Grand Canal, magnificent rooms with a view, perfect service… And the days start in the best possible way with a sumptuous breakfast in a magical setting.
- Palazzo Venart is located in Santa Croce. This palace is located in the best part of the district, since the Rialto can be reached in about 10 minutes on foot. A magnificent establishment with an absolutely sublime garden! A very nice hotel to soak up the charm and Venetian luxury. And compared to the services provided, the price remains quite acceptable (even if we obviously stay in luxury accommodation)
- Baglioni Hotel Luna is located in the administrative area of San Marco, in the heart of the city of the Doges. Magnificent too, it is an excellent place to sleep in Venice as a couple. It is still below the 2 previous 5-star establishments mentioned above
FAQ: Questions with Answers
1: How many days are needed to visit Venice?
2 days are perfect to visit the most beautiful parts of Venice. In one day you will be able to see the main attractions of the city, while you can dedicate the second day to discover the islands of Merano and Burano.
2: Eating in Venice: what are cicchetti?
Cicchetti are offered in many Venetian bars, but remember that they are not simple snacks (those are tourist traps). The authentic cicchetti are small samples of lagoon cuisine and are served with a glass of wine.
3: What to see in a weekend in Venice?
In a weekend in Venice you will be able to see: the Rialto Bridge, Piazza San Marco, the homonymous Basilica and the Bell Tower, the Bridge of Sighs, the Acqua Alta bookshop, the Palazzo Ducale and the Palazzo delle Prigioni. Getting on board the vaporetto you can then also reach Murano and Burano.
4: What to do in Venice?
Among the unmissable things to do in Venice there are certainly: the gondola ride along the canals, the view of the city at dusk from the Rialto Bridge, Venice at night and a visit to a Venetian mask workshop.
If you have at least two days available, don’t miss a visit to the beautiful islands of Murano and Burano, where you can watch Murano glass being made and visit the Burano lace museum (in addition to its iconic colorful houses).
With this article I hope I have managed to give you a sufficiently clear overview of what to do in Venice in two days, the most efficient and cheapest ways to get around by water, the most beautiful attractions not to be missed and the experiences to be lived and treasured.
Enjoy every moment in this unique city, get lost in its alleys and let yourself be captivated by its charm.