3 Days in Venice: Ultimate 3-Day Itinerary

3 Days Venice Itinerary

You have decided to go to Venice for 3 days and you are wondering what to do and see?

You are in the right place!

To help you plan your stay, I have prepared the ideal itinerary for you to visit Venice in 3 days.

During your trip, you will discover all the essential sites of the city such as Saint Mark’s Basilica, the Doge’s Palace or the Rialto Bridge.

We will start with  some good tips to avoid the queues, then I will give you  the detailed day-to-day program to make your visit to Venice in an optimized way.

And so that your stay is truly perfect, I also give you my selection of the best hotels in the city according to your budget at the end of the article.

Everything is of course accompanied by my best advice and tips to make the most of your stay!

So  where to go and what to do in Venice in 3 days? 

Visit Venice in 3 days: the best itinerary

Now let’s start planning your 3-day Venice itinerary!

For each day, I give you all the details you need to organize your visits + a map that will allow you to visualize the itinerary a little better.

I assume that you will stay 3 full days in Venice and that you will use a City Pass ( Venice Pass / Venice City pass ) or that you will have purchased Skip-the-Line ticketsIt’s the best way to save time and money during your stay!

So what to visit in Venice in 3 days?

Day 1: The Essentials of Venice

Visit Venice in 3 Days – Itinerary day 1

The visits of day 1:

A. St. Mark’s Square
B. St. Mark’s Basilica
C. St. Mark’s Bell Tower
D. The Doge’s Palace
E. Optional – Correr Museum
F. Gondola Tour
G. Church of Santa Maria Formosa / Basilica of San Giovanni e Paolo / Church of Santa Maria dei Miracoli
H. Rialto Bridge

A. Place Saint-Marc

We begin your 3-day trip to Venice by the most famous public square in the city: the famous Saint Mark’s Square (Piazza San Marco, in Italian).

Heart of Venice, it is surrounded by remarkable historic buildings and is an important social, religious and political center.

This vast, open square serves as the entry point for most tourists and is a must-see on any Venice itinerary.

My favorite thing about this square is its impressive architecture and the atmosphere there, especially early in the morning, when there are fewer people. You can also have a coffee or your breakfast in one of the cafes located under the arcades of the square.

Tips for your Venice itinerary:

If your hotel is located in the center of Venice, you can easily reach St. Mark’s Square on foot.

Alternatively, you can take the vaporetto (the local public water bus) and stop at San Marco (remember that you can use the vaporetto for free if you have the Venice City Pass or the Vaporetto Pass ).

Piazza San Marco, Venice itinerary
Piazza San Marco – 3 days in Venice

B. St. Mark’s Basilica

At the eastern end of St. Mark’s Square, you will find St. Mark’s Basilica, a monument not to be missed during your 3-day stay in Venice.

This iconic cathedral features Byzantine architecture and golden mosaics, depicting scenes from the life of Saint Mark and biblical stories. It testifies to the glorious past of Venice.

Inside, you can also admire the Pala d’Oro, an exceptional piece of Byzantine craftsmanship and one of the basilica’s most precious objects. It is encrusted with thousands of precious stones.

St. Mark’s Basilica also houses the “Treasury” (a collection of precious religious objects brought back from the Fourth Crusade), the “Quadriga of St. Mark” (four bronze statues) and a museum that traces the history of the basilica.

And to end your visit, I advise you to go up to the terrace of the basilica.

As I told you before, the queue to enter the basilica can be quite long and it is not uncommon to have to wait 2 or 3 hours.

Tips for your Venice itinerary:

Beware of fake ticket resellers or websites that sell cheaper tickets but only offer ground floor access (they are useless).

If you use the links I gave you, you are sure to go through a reliable site and get official tickets for full access to the Basilica + the terrace.

Another tip: your shoulders and knees must be covered to enter the Basilica. This is a religious site, you should dress modestly.

St. Mark's Basilica, 3 days in Venice
St. Mark’s Basilica – 3-day itinerary in Venice

C. The Campanile of San Marco

The third place not to be missed in 3 days in Venice is Campanile San Marco.

From the top of its 98 meters, the bell tower offers a beautiful panoramic view of Venice.

From the lagoon to the rooftops, passing through the Dolomites (on a clear day!), you can admire a large part of the city and its surroundings.

And don’t worry if you can’t climb too many stairs, an elevator will take you straight up there.

Tips for your Venice itinerary:

As access to the Campanile Saint-Marc is not included in any pass, you must buy your ticket directly online.

When you know your travel dates, book quickly because there are only 30 tickets available per time slot!

Panorama of Venice
Panorama of Venice

D. The Doge’s Palace and the Bridge of Sighs

After visiting the 3 must-see attractions mentioned above, it’s time to head to the Doge’s Palace.

You won’t have to go far, since it is located right next to the basilica and the bell tower.

The Doge’s Palace is a jewel of Venetian Gothic architecture. Believe me, this is one of the best places to visit on your 3 day Venice itinerary.

Inside the former residence of the supreme authority of the Republic of Venice, you will find beautifully decorated rooms and interesting exhibits on the history of Venice.

During your visit to the Doge’s Palace, you can also cross the famous Bridge of Sighs.

The Bridge of Sighs, or “Ponte dei Sospiri” in Italian, is one of Venice’s most iconic landmarks. It is a magnificent ornate closed bridge, which connects the Doge’s Palace to the old prisons.

It owes its name to the fact that the prisoners often sighed when they last saw Venice through the window before being led to their cell.

If you want to see the famous bridge from the outside, after the Doge’s Palace, I advise you to go to Ponte Della Paglia, just opposite (this is where the most beautiful photos of the bridge are taken) or do a gondola ride (book it here!).

Tips for your Venice itinerary:

The Venice city Pass and the Venice Pass both include a fast-track ticket to the Doge’s Palace.

If you don’t want to buy a pass, you have several options to visit the palace without queuing:

Doge's Palace, Venice itinerary
Doge’s Palace

E. Correr Museum (optional)

As an option, you can then visit the Correr Museum. It is located in Piazza San Marco.

Plus, the museum entrance is included in the Doge’s Palace ticket, so you don’t have to pay anything extra.

It offers a dive into Venetian art, history and culture.

Venice itinerary
Correr Venice Museum

F. Gondola ride on the Grand Canal in Venice

Impossible to visit Venice in 3 days without taking a gondola ride.

It’s a bit like going to Rome and not seeing the Colosseum, or visiting New York and not seeing the Statue of Liberty. A gondola ride on Venice’s Grand Canal is a must-do on your 3-day trip to Venice.

You’ll glide along waterways, pass under picturesque bridges and past historic homes with their balconies overflowing with flowers.

And if you’re lucky, your gondolier will even push the song a little!

If you have the Venice Pass, you can enjoy the superb gondola ride included.

Otherwise, I strongly advise you to book your gondola ride in advance and online. This way, you are sure to pay a fixed price and not get ripped off.

If you have decided to spend 3 days in Venice with your lover, you might prefer to book a private sunset gondola rideTo do this, click here!

Gondola ride on the Grand Canal
Gondola ride on the Grand Canal

G. Santa Maria Formosa / Basilique San Giovanni e Paolo / Église Santa Maria dei Miracoli

There are three beautiful churches that I recommend you see during your three-day stay in Venice.

First, Santa Maria Formosa, a lovely church with some interesting legends associated with it.

According to the story, the bishop of Altino, Saint Magnus, had a vision from the Virgin Mary, who asked him to build a church on the spot where he had seen a white cloud descend. This is how Santa Maria Formosa was born – “formosa” meaning “beautiful”, in reference to the apparition of the Virgin.

Santa Maria Formosa is just a 5 minute walk from Piazza San Marco.

Next, head to the Basilica of San Giovanni e Paolo (a 4-minute walk from Santa Maria Formosa) or, as the locals call it, “San Zanipolo”.

It is one of the largest churches in the city and the final resting place of several Doges.

Finally, after a 5-minute walk, be sure to pass in front of the Santa Maria dei Miracoli church. It is smaller than the other two, but its beautiful marble facade is worth a look.

You can visit Santa Maria Formosa and the Church of Santa Maria dei Miracoli for free with the Venice City Pass.

For the San Giovanni Basilica you have to pay around €3.50. It is not included in any pass.

Tips for your Venice itinerary:

On the way to San Zanipolo, I advise you to stop at the Libreria aqua alta.

The Libreria Acqua Alta, which translates to “High Water Library”, is one of Venice’s most singular bookshops, renowned for its charming chaotic interior where books are stacked in gondolas, tubs and barrels in order to guard against the frequent flooding of Venice.

The shop has a varied collection of new and used books, in different languages ​​and genres.

The back of the store is a must-see: here you can climb a staircase made entirely of books for a picturesque view of a Venetian canal.

Venice itinerary
Basilica of San Giovanni and Paolo Venise

H. The Rialto Bridge

As your first day comes to an end, you have one last stop to make.

I advise you to go and admire the emblematic Rialto Bridge, if possible at sunset.

The sight of the sun setting over the Grand Canal is a sight not to be missed when visiting Venice in 3 days.

The Rialto Bridge is just 450 meters from the Santa Maria dei Miracoli Church.

After that, it’s time to end this first day with a good dinner!

Rialto Bridge, 3 days in Venice
Rialto Bridge

Day 2: What to do in Venice?

Venice itinerary
Visit Venice in 3 Days – Itinerary day 2

The visits of day 2:

A. Ca d’Oro
B. Rialto Market
C. Basilica of Santa Maria Gloriosa dei Frari
D. Scuola Grande di San Roco
E. Ca’Rezzonico
F. Ponte dell Accademia
G. Optional: the Academy gallery or the collection Peggy Guggenheim
H. Basilica of Santa Maria della Salute
I. Concert or opera in Venice

A. The Golden Ca

On day two of your 3-day trip to Venice, start at the Ca d’Oro (or “House of Gold”), one of the most beautiful palaces lining the Grand Canal.

Don’t be fooled by its name, it’s not actually gold. But with its ornate facade and remarkable architecture, it’s worth a look.

The Ca d’Oro is home to an art museum – the Galleria Giorgio Franchetti – which you absolutely must visit for its impressive collection of Italian and Flemish masterpieces. In particular, you can admire works by Titian and Mantegna.

The real highlight of the visit is the view from the balcony, from where you can admire breathtaking panoramas of the Grand Canal.

Neither pass to visit Venice includes access to the Ca d’Oro.

You will therefore have to book your ticket in advance by clicking here.

Tips for your Venice itinerary:

To reach Ca d’Oro, you can take the vaporetto to the “Ca d’Oro” stop.

Venice itinerary
Ca’ d’Oro – Visit Venice in 3 days

B. The Rialto Market

Then head to Rialto Market, a bustling market where locals shop for fresh produce, fish and seafood.

The market buzzes with energy and is a feast for the senses. And who knows, you might even be able to pick up a tip or two on Italian cuisine!

The market is open from Tuesday to Saturday and is best visited in the morning, when the stalls are overflowing with fresh produce. If you plan to buy anything, remember to bring cash.

If you really want to discover all the typical Italian products and above all taste them, I advise you to book this guided tour of the Rialto market.

Tips for your Venice itinerary:

As the Rialto market is right in front of Ca d’Oro (on the other side of the Grand Canal), I recommend taking a traghetto to cross it.

It is a gondola for up to ten passengers that regularly passes from one side to the other of the Grand Canal. To get to the market, take the Santa Sofia traghetto.

The price is 2 euros per person.

If you prefer, or if you have taken the Vaporetto Pass, you can also take the Vaporetto again and stop at the “Rialto Mercato” stop.

Venice itinerary
Rialto Market in Venice

C. Basilica of Santa Maria Gloriosa dei Frari

When you have finished your tour at the market, you only have to walk 10 minutes to get to the Basilica of Santa Maria Gloriosa dei Frari, one of the largest churches in the city.

As you enter this 13th century Gothic church, you will discover a treasure trove of works of art, with masterpieces by Titian and Bellini.

Not to mention the sublime choir stalls. If you like art and history, this is the place to see.

The basilica is open Monday to Saturday, from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Sunday afternoon from 1 p.m. Entrance costs 5 euros and you can hire an audio guide for an additional 2 euros.

Venice itinerary
Basilica of Santa Maria Gloriosa dei Frari

D. Great School of San Roco

Just a stone’s throw from the basilica, you’ll find the Scuola Grande di San Roco, another must-see on your 3-day Venice itinerary.

It houses an incredible collection of paintings by Tintoretto. The detail in these floor-to-ceiling paintings is absolutely stunning!

And if your neck hurts from staring at the ceiling (which is sure to happen), benches and mirrors are available for you to rest.

Tickets for the Scuola Grande can only be purchased directly on site. The entrance price is 10 euros.

Venice itinerary
Great School of San Rocco

E. Ca’Rezzonico

The Ca’Rezzonico (a 10-minute walk separates the palace from the scuola grande), a grand palazzo that offers a glimpse into the lavish lifestyle of 18th-century Venetian nobility, is the next stop on your Venice tour.

Each room is a masterpiece in itself, with opulent decor and a fine collection of artwork.

The second floor ballroom is particularly impressive. You can almost hear the laughter and music of the great parties that once took place here.

Also, don’t miss the pastel portraits of Rosalba Carriera, one of the century’s most famous painters, known for popularizing the use of pastel.

And don’t forget to admire the view of the Grand Canal from the windows!

The Venice City Pass includes entry to Ca’Rezzonico (small clarification: the palace is closed on Tuesdays).

Venice itinerary
Ca’ Rezzonico Venice

F. Academy Bridge

Then take the Vaporetto again for 5 minutes and stop at “Academia”.

The Ponte dell’Accademia is not a bridge like the others! Not only is it one of the four bridges that spans the Grand Canal in Venice, but it also offers some of the most amazing views in the city.

Surely you have already seen the classic postcard of Venice, with its gondolas against the backdrop of pastel-colored buildings? It is taken from this bridge.

This is simply the best place to take pictures on the Grand Canal in Venice!

Venice itinerary

G. Optional: Accademia Gallery or Peggy Guggenheim Collection

If you are an art lover, now you have a choice: you can visit the Accademia Gallery or the Peggy Guggenheim Collection.

The Accademia is a treasure trove of Venetian art from the 14th to the 18th century. Here you will find works by Bellini, Canaletto and Carpaccio.

You can book your tickets here. 

The Guggenheim, on the other hand, is devoted to modern art – Kandinsky, Pollock, Picasso, and so on!

Tickets are available here.

The museum also offers private guided tours with a specialized art guide by clicking here.

Venice itinerary
Collection Peggy Guggenheim Venise

H. Basilica of Santa Maria della Salute

As your day draws to a close, head to the Basilica di Santa Maria della Salute.

You can take the Vaporetto and stop at “Salute”.

Its grandiose dome and Baroque architecture make it a remarkable building, even in a city that is full of architectural marvels. I recommend that you go inside to see the details of the marble structures and the altars.

And you know what: it’s free!

The church also organizes paid guided tours of the sacristy, the dome and the balustrade. You can book them on the official website.

I also recommend that you check the opening hours of the basilica, as they vary considerably depending on the day of the week and the season.

Venice itinerary
Saint Mary of Health

I. Attend a concert or an opera in Venice

You can’t spend three days in Venice without immersing yourself in the city’s rich musical culture.

Whether it’s an intimate concert in a church  or a grand opera at the famous Teatro La Fenice, this is an experience that will allow you to truly capture the soul of Venice.

If you want to attend an opera at La Fenice, you can book your tickets on the official website of the theatre. But I warn you, tickets can be very expensive.

If you don’t want to break the bank but still want to have a good time with a quality concert, I recommend you choose between:

Tips for your Venice itinerary:

If you don’t necessarily want to pay to see an opera at the Teatro La Fenice, you can still visit the opera and discover its superb interior for only €12 per person.

Tickets are on sale here.

Guided tours are also available. To learn more, click here!

Venice itinerary
La Fenice Theater

Day 3: The Islands of Venice

Venice itinerary
Visit Venice in 3 Days – Itinerary day 3

A. Murano
B. Burano
C. Torcello

A. Murano

On the third and last day of your three-day Venice tour, I suggest you visit Murano, one of the famous islands of Venice.

Getting to Murano from Venice is super easy. You must take the vaporetto to the Fondamente Nove stop in Venice.

It’s free if you have the Vaporetto Pass.

Lines 12, 13 or N go to Murano, and the journey usually takes 10 to 20 minutes, depending on the exact starting and ending points.

Here are the things to do and see in Murano, nicknamed the Glass Island:

  • Visit a glass factory: One of the best activities is to visit a glass factory and watch a glassblowing demonstration. You will be able to watch skilled craftsmen create intricate glass works right before your eyes!

In Murano, you can also take part in a glassblowing workshop. You will carry out some gestures there yourself, under the supervision of the master glassmaker.

  • Explore the Glass Museum: The Museo del Vetro offers an in-depth look at the art of glassmaking, from antiquity to the present day. You will see exhibitions of archaeological pieces and contemporary glass art. Admission is included in the Venice City Pass.
  • Church of Santa Maria e San Donato: this beautiful church is known for its amazing Byzantine mosaics and the supposed bones of a dragon slain by Saint Donatus.
  • Walk around the island: Murano consists of seven small islands connected by bridges. Take a leisurely stroll around these islands, admiring the colorful houses and stopping at local shops for unique souvenirs.
  • Taste the Local Cuisine: After exploring the city, treat yourself to a meal at one of Murano’s local restaurants. Taste traditional Venetian dishes, especially fresh seafood!

Tips for your Venice itinerary:

If you don’t feel like the hassle of vaporetto rides, you can visit Murano, Burano, and Torcello from Venice on an organized day trip.

The 6-hour guided tour includes all three islands and begins in St. Mark’s Square.

And if you prefer a shorter circuit (4h), you can opt for the one that only goes to Murano and Burano. Just click here to book it.

B. Burano

Take the vaporetto back and head to the next stop of the day: the island of Burano.

Known for its handmade lace and charming colorful houses, this island seems straight out of a painting.

You will enjoy strolling through the pretty alleys and soaking up the lively atmosphere that reigns there. You can also visit the Lace Museum, which is included in the Venice City Pass.

If you don’t want to miss a thing of Burano and visit a lace workshop, I recommend booking this one-hour guided tour with a local from the island.

Venice itinerary

C. Torcello

The last stop of your day is the island of Torcello.

This island may be small, but it is full of history and very pleasant for its peaceful atmosphere.

Here you can visit the cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta, dating from the 7th century, which has amazing Byzantine mosaics.

You will also be able to see the famous “Throne of Attila”, an ancient stone chair.

Despite its name, it was not used by Attila the Hun, the infamous leader of the Huns in the 5th century. The throne probably served as a ceremonial seat for the magistrates of Torcello in the Middle Ages.

This is how the last day of your trip ends!

Take the Vaporetto back and spend your last night in Venice. Below is my list of the best accommodations in town .

Accommodation in Venice

Now that you know how to visit Venice in 3 days, you need to find a hotel.

To help you out, here are my favorite hotels in town, each in a different price category.

And as always, if you already know your travel dates, book your hotel now! In Venice, the best hotels fill up very quickly.

So if you don’t want to end up with a very expensive mediocre room, book your hotel now by clicking on the orange links below:

  • Generator Venice: Located on Giudecca. Beds in dormitories from 40€. Pros: very clean, comfortable bed, view. A great choice for cheap accommodation in Venice!
  • Il Lato Azzurro: Located on the picturesque island of Sant’Erasmo, a short boat ride from the bustling streets of Venice. Double rooms, from €85 per night, with breakfast included. What I liked: the peaceful location of the island, the garden, the bright rooms.
  • Casa Sulla Laguna: Located on Murano, a few minutes by boat from Venice. Double room with lagoon view, from €120. Strong points: the friendliness of the owners, the peace and quiet, the quick and easy access to Venice. This is my recommendation for its price / performance ratio!
  • Tourist House San Lio: Located in the district of Castelleo. Modern double room from €150. Highlights: Perfect location, very helpful host, near the Rialto Bridge.
  • Hotel Villa Rosa: Located in the Cannaregio district. Elegantly decorated double room from €190, breakfast included. Pros: excellent location, comfortable room, very friendly staff.
  • Hotel Moresco: Located a few steps from the Grand Canal. This 4* hotel offers spacious and sumptuously decorated double rooms, from €330 per night, breakfast included. What I liked: the quiet garden, the enchanting Venetian decor, the hotel’s short distance from the main tourist sites. This is the best hotel for a luxury stay in Venice!

If you are looking for a luxury hotel to stay in Venice, here is my selection:

  • Radisson Collection Hotel: Located on Cannaregio. Comfortable and well-decorated double room from €520, breakfast included. Pros: the spa, the beautiful interior design, the impeccable service.
  • Ca’di Dio – Small luxury hotel: Located 800 meters from the Doge’s Palace. Elegantly decorated double room from €640, breakfast included. Highlights: Stunning view, friendly and attentive staff, delicious breakfast.
  • Baglioni Hotel Luna – The largest hotels in the world: 50 meters from Piazza San Marco. Magnificent and very spacious double room from €690, breakfast €35. Most: exceptional staff, very central location, extraordinary breakfast.
  • The St Regis Venice: Located on the banks of the Grand Canal in Venice. Beautiful and elegantly decorated rooms from €1,500 per night, breakfast €50. Highlights: Exceptional services, stunning views, beautiful design.

Tips for your Venice itinerary:

If these hotels are no longer available or not suitable for you, you will find a wider selection of accommodation in my dedicated article: Where to sleep in Venice?

Venice itinerary
Radisson Collection Hotel Venice

Map of Your 3-Day Venice Itinerary

To help you visualize your  itineraries during these 3 days in Venice,  I made you a map listing the  places to visit day by day.

You can display the map legend by clicking on the top left button with a small arrow. You will then be able to view the routes for each day.

Now you know how to visit Venice in 3 days!

Need help planning your 3-day Venice itinerary? Do not hesitate to ask me your questions in the comments.

Read also:

2 Days in Venice: Ultimate 2-Day Itinerary with Maps

Camille L.

Passionate about foreign languages, cooking and writing. I wish to share with you the places, the meetings and the gastronomic discoveries which gave relief to my travels.

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