Venice is a city like no other. Built on a network of canals, Venice is renowned for its stunning architecture, bridges, and gondolas. If you are planning a trip and wondering how many days in Venice are enough, no worries. We got you covered.
We have explored Venice quite intimately and checked off our Italian bucket list on a short trip. In this blog post, we will share our travel tips and experiences so that you can make your Venice trip enjoyable and hassle-free!
How many days in Venice is enough – How to plan a trip to Venice Italy?
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Venice is one of the most beautiful cities in Italy, and a unique one as well that should definitely be on your travel bucket list.
A visit to Venice would not be complete without taking a ride on a gondola through the Grand Canal and admiring the beautiful buildings that line the waterway.
Venice is also home to many important historical landmarks, such as St. Mark’s Basilica and Square. With its canals and bridges, Venice is unlike any other place in the world.
If you’re looking for a truly unique and romantic travel destination, then Venice Italy is the place for you.
Whether you’re riding on a gondola through the Grand Canal or admiring the view from atop one of the city’s many bridges, Venice is sure to enchant you.
This travel guide will help you to craft the perfect itinerary depending on your travel goals.
Allow us to share our recommendation – if you are unsure how many days in Venice should you spend as part of your Italy trip. We have also tried to cover as many Venice questions as possible.
Is one day enough for Venice?
For a traveler on a budget, or when pressed for time, spending one day in Venice is all you need to explore the landmarks in the city.
If you are also a super active tourist – yes, the one who wants to check off the bucket list items then 24 hours in Venice is all you need.
There are about 3-5 attractions and experiences in Venice that are a must. And they will require time and money to visit, but it is possible to get it all done in one day.
So here is what your one day in Venice itinerary would look like, with 3 different sightseeing suggestions (this sample assumes that you are in the city the night before and have one full day in Venice),
- Breakfast by the canal
- Explore Piazza San Marco, and visit St. Mark’s Basilica
- Join a guided tour of the Doge’s Palace
- Enjoy views from Riva Degli Schiavoni
- Go on a Gondola Ride
- Sunset from the Rialto Bridge
- Wander through the pretty lanes of Dorsoduro or San Polo and go shopping
If you are arriving in Venice on the day of, then start at San Marco Square. St Mark’s and Doge Palace sightseeing with a guided tour will take about 3 hours.
St Mark’s Basilica opens at 09:30 am and this tour starts at 10:00 am.
This square is a very popular Venice Instagram spot, and sometimes people line up way early at the basilica – at around 08:30 am or so. Plan accordingly if you are visiting for photos and sightseeing.
The gondola ride is the next popular activity in Venice. Good thing is that it can be done at any time of day – morning, afternoon, and sunset.
Sunsets are uber romantic and beautiful, but also slightly pricey as compared to daytime rides.
Standard or shared gondola rides have a fixed cost of 80 euros for a private 25-30 minutes tour. It can accommodate up to 5 guests of the same family or other tourists.
At night time rides are about 120 euros. These rates are fixed, and cannot be negotiated.
We did a private gondola tour (and one with a photo shoot) and absolutely recommend it. This way you can admire the small alleyways and many smaller bridges that make Venice so unique.
- Private tour: You can book this ride here
- Shared Gondola Ride: There are a lot of options for shared rides with and without commentary or guide, which will be slightly cheaper.
If you do not wish to do a gondola ride, you can hop on a Vaporetto, navigating from one neighborhood to another. Or when you travel from the Airport to the city you can enjoy a ride on the water.
Without any gondola or water taxi ride, we recommend enjoying a stroll along the Riva Degli Schiavoni and then arriving at the Basilica di Santa Maria Della Salute which is a 400 year old church and an important landmark in Venice.
The walk is 10 minutes and is a beautiful way to see the primary attractions in the city.
Alternatively, the Rialto Bridge is a must-visit, and it is also a great spot to soak in the views of the Grand Canal, gondolas, water buses, and the promenade. The promenade is perfect for dinner or drinks before signing off for the day.
Are 2 days in Venice enough – How many days in Venice for first-time visitors?
For a first-timer in Venice, 2 full days are a great time to explore the city’s prime tourist attractions, have a relaxed dinner, go shopping, or hang out at the piazza and canalside!
Here is what you can do in Venice on a weekend,
Day 1 in Venice: San Marco Piazza, St. Mark’s Basilica, Doge Palace & Bridge of Sighs, Riva degli Schiavoni, Rialto Bridge, gondola ride, T Fondaco terrace
Just like the previous itinerary, visit the San Marco Piazza and check off the Basilica and Doge Palace. Enjoy a stroll along the Riva Degli Schiavoni and then make your way to a gondola station for a ride.
After that, hang out by the Rialto Bridge. Near this iconic bridge is the shopping mall – T Fondaco Terrace.
You can access their rooftop (by appointment) for stunning sunset views of the Grand Canal and nearby areas.
Day 2 in Venice: San Polo district (market and Frari), Palazzo Contarini del Bovolo, Castello (Libreria Acqua Alta), Peggy Guggenheim Foundation, Dorsoduro (Gallerie dell’Accademia)
Expand your sightseeing in Venice by picking 2-3 districts for today’s itinerary. Both San Polo district (market and Frari), and Dorsoduro are perfect for a wander.
If interested you can also stop at the Palazzo Contarini del Bovolo (in San Marco district).
So the San Polo is located near the Rialto Bridge and here you can go shopping or stop by churches along the way.
Dorsoduro is home to the Gallerie dell’Accademia and Peggy Guggenheim Foundation – an art gallery.
Do you wish to check out the Instagrammable bookstore by the canal – Libreria Acqua Alta, today is the time. You can spend some time shopping or taking photos here.
Something Offbeat: You can include a walking tour of the Cannaregio district and the Jewish Ghetto. This is a 2-hour tour and it covers important landmarks such as the Deportation Memorial as well as a guided walk through the Old Ghetto district at a leisurely pace.
Venice day 2 trip: Alternate option
Alternately, you can also include a day trip to the Venetian Islands for a few hours. Because the islands of Burano and Murano are best explored from Venice, you must try and add this to your Italy itinerary at some point.
Burano Island is one of the most picturesque places in Italy. This small island is home to colorful buildings, canals, and a relaxed atmosphere.
Burano is the perfect place to wander around and take photos. Be sure to try the fresh seafood at one of the many restaurants on the island.
And don’t forget to pick up a souvenir lace handkerchief to take home with you! Murano is known for glass-making factories.
You can visit both on a guided tour or take a water taxi to explore on your own.
Here is a 5.5 to 6 hour day tour, so that you can cover the 2 islands along with Torcello. Each of the three islands can be visited via motorboat from the St Mark’s area, and you will get 1.5 to 2 hours in each spot.
If you follow the alternate itinerary, you can still include the San Polo district and shopping in the evening, once you return to the city centre.
Are 3 days in Venice enough? Explore Venice in 3 days
3 days in Venice Italy will be awesome! With 3 days you can definitely cover more attractions and include a day trip to the Venetian Islands, without compromising.
You can also keep a day for shopping, and experience different districts without being rushed. It is one of those places where you should take it slow, hang out by the canalside, and get lost in the narrow alleys.
Having 3 days will ensure you have explored the important sites and experiences too.
- Day 1 of 3 day Venice Itinerary: San Marco Piazza, St. Mark’s Basilica, Doge Palace & Bridge of Sighs, Riva degli Schiavoni, Rialto Bridge, gondola ride, T Fondaco terrace
- Day 2 of 3 day Venice Itinerary: San Polo district (market and Frari), Palazzo Contarini del Bovolo, Castello (Libreria Acqua Alta), Dorsoduro (Gallerie dell’Accademia)
- Day 3 of 3 day Venice Itinerary: Day trip to Venetian Islands (Burano, Murano & Torcello), wander San Polo district
You can enrich your 3-day experience in Venice by joining a street food tour (2 hours), or a cooking class (4 hours). There are concerts that take place in the heart of the city including at the Church of San Vidal such as this one.
Day trips from Venice: Beyond 3 days
Venice can be a good base for taking day trips to the north of Italy. Although not a lot of travelers consider this option because of accommodation costs and ease of visiting and leaving Venice, you can surely look at guided excursions to these destinations if interested!
- Cortina and Dolomites Mountains Day Tour: Visit the Dolomites and explore the Cortina, Misurina, and Auronzo Lakes. This is an 8-hour tour that includes an AC bus round trip transportation with ample photo stops. Click to view this tour details
- Prosecco Wine Tasting Tour: Here is a 6-hour wine tasting tour to embark on. Each excursion includes a visit to vineyards, wine tasting, light lunch, and transportation. Check availability here
- Full-Day Trip from Venice with Guided City Tour: Milan can be easily explored from Venice. And it is possible to visit the primary attractions like the Duomo and nearby areas in a day. More details here
Read: How many days in Milan is enough? | Milan one day itinerary
Our recommendation – How many days in Venice is enough
Our recommendation for Venice is 2 days. 2 full days are enough to explore the MAIN attractions as well as enjoy a relaxed time in Venice without being rushed. Of course the more time, the better.
Ideally, include one full day for sightseeing in Venice, and use the second day for exploring the Venetian Islands.
With 3 days in Venice, you will have ample time to visit art galleries, more religious sites, and shopping time!
Sightseeing to cover in 2 days in Venice
Sightseeing spots for 2 days in Venice and tours
Venice Day 1
- Explore the San Marco Piazza
- Join a 3-hour guided tour of the St. Mark’s Basilica, Doge Palace & Bridge of Sighs
- Wander the Riva Degli Schiavoni and soak in views of the Basilica of Santa Maria Della Salute, water, and gondolas
- Enjoy a gondola ride
- Get to the Rialto Bridge
- Head to the T Fondaco terrace and take in sunset views of the Grand Canal and nearby areas
- Enjoy dinner by the canalside
Venice Day 2
- Start for a day tour to the Venetian Islands (Burano, Murano & Torcello)
- Return to Venice, and explore the San Polo district
- Visit Basilica S.Maria Gloriosa dei Frari
- Spend time shopping at the San Polo Market
Budget for 2 days in Venice – How much cash should I take to Venice for a 2 day trip?
Your flights to Italy and hotel bookings will account for most of your budget. We will cover the accommodation below, but in terms of costs – hotel, food, and sightseeing will be about $175 USD per person per day.
When we were planning our trip to Italy from Canada, flights to both Rome and Milan had better frequency from our city of departure. You can arrive at either airport and then get to Venice via high-speed train (like we did).
Marco Airport in Venice is small, and even if you find a flight there you will be connecting via a larger airport.
To get to the city centre from the airport, you can either book a bus transfer or a water taxi.
When in Venice no vehicle is needed, so you can walk or use the Vaporetto if staying outside of the central districts.
You can save money on accommodation by staying outside the city centre. If you do not wish to do the gondola ride or enter the Doge Palace you are saving money as well.
For transportation and trip to the Islands, you can get a savings card like this one
Venice Hotels Recommendation
Venice has 6 districts or sestieri. They are
- San Marco (heart of the city)
- Cannaregio (largest in the city, home to the Jewish Ghetto)
- San Polo (popular area by the Rialto Market and Campo San Polo)
- Dorsoduro (known as the University district with cool places to eat and hang out. Plus home to the famous Peggy Guggenheim gallery)
- Santa Croce (located here is the city’s main bus terminal at Piazzale Roma)
- Castello (one of the offbeat areas, and less crowded)
For accommodation, you can either stay at the heart of where the action is – San Marco or San Polo districts.
Both are great options to be surrounded by attractions, are within walking distance to various spots, and are also safe.
Hotels here will be pricey, but it has their advantages to sightseeing and access to services and restaurants and views as you are in the city centre.
To save money, consider staying in the Mestre neighborhood. You will need a bus or Vaporetto transfer to get to the main piazza, but it is quick and easy.
Luxury hotel options:
- Hotel Monaco & Grand Canal: This hotel is located near the San Marco Piazza
- This is a 4-star property with stunning rooms (many with views)
- Great for access to the city’s sightseeing areas
- Restaurants, boutique shops, and cafes nearby
- Find pictures and availability here
- Rialto Unique Venice Experience: This stunning luxury property is located in the San Marco district
- Room suites are gorgeous and clean, many suites have amazing views
- Free breakfast is included
- Plus there is a restaurant and bar on site
- Airport shuttle is available, upon request
- View more information here
- H10 Palazzo Canova: Another luxury property in the heart of Venice in the San Polo district
- The property is a 4-star hotel with modern amenities
- An airport shuttle can be arranged
- There is a restaurant on-site with a terrace offering a gorgeous view of the city!
- Book your stay here
- Bed and breakfast Venice Friends: This is a modest property located close to attractions in Venice (San Polo District)
- There is a shared lobby and a kitchen for use, perfect for long-term (and affordable stay in the heart of the city)
- Book your stay here
- Campanile Mestre: If you wish to stay away from the centre, then consider Mestre.
Note that all hotels charge a tourist tax or fee, that is usually collected in cash once you check out. It is levied per person per day.
Is Venice worth visiting?
Venice is 1000% worth visiting. It is truly a unique travel destination. There might be canals and traditional boats elsewhere in the world, but Venice is one of a kind – and a must for every travel bucket list chaser.
Visit Venice to explore the centuries-old canals, bridges, and stunning architecture – they will take your breath away. Take the moment to learn about its history.
Whether you’re riding on a gondola through the Grand Canal or admiring the view from atop one of the city’s many bridges, this Italian city is sure to enchant you.
If you wish to add an offbeat activity try a tapas food tour, or a Jewish ghetto walking tour with a local guide.
Be sure to try the fresh seafood at one of the many restaurants and go shopping in smaller alleys and boutiques.
Wander around the sestieri or district and take in the pulse of this iconic city!
To enrich your experience, add a day trip to the nearby islands of Burano and Murano, and don’t forget to pick up a souvenir lace handkerchief to take home with you!
If you’re looking for a relaxed and romantic atmosphere, then Venice is the perfect place for you. With its picturesque canals and buildings, Venezia is the ideal place to wander around and take photos with your loved ones.
No matter what your travel preferences are, the city is sure to have something for everyone. Set aside at least 2 days in the city for an amazing getaway! You won’t regret it!