Julie Italy, Itinerary 22 Comments

If you are planning your first trip to Venice, this Venice itinerary is perfect for you. With 2 days in Venice, you have just enough time to visit the highlights of this beautiful city and stroll the canals. Tour Doges Palace, visit St. Mark’s Basilica, drift through the canals on a gondola, and explore the quieter corners of Venice.

In this guide, learn how to plan a perfect 2 day visit to Venice. We cover the top sights to see, how to get around Venice, where to stay, and of course, how to plan your time.

About this Venice Itinerary

So far, we have visited Venice three times, first in 2014 as part of our trip around the world, again in 2017, and most recently in the summer of 2022.

Even though we are return visitors, I put a lot of time into researching the top sights to see and the best way to organize your time. This Venice itinerary includes a few hidden gems (cocktail bars with a view, great viewpoints of the Grand Canal, and more).

Venice is one of Europe’s most popular destinations and with that, lines can be long to visit the more popular sites. The last thing you want to do on vacation is wait in line after line after line. That’s no fun!

Fortunately, there are only a few sites in Venice that require an admission ticket and/or a wait in line. In this guide, we cover how to skip these lines or reduce your wait time. You will have to book some tickets in advance but it will save you hours once in Venice. All of the links to book your tickets are included in this guide.

Finally, all of the times in the daily schedule are rough estimates, just to give you an idea about timing throughout the day. Your times may differ, based on queues and how much time you decide to spend at each place. I did my best to anticipate waiting times and visiting times, but on very busy days (or very quiet days) these times can differ.

I do my best to keep the hours of operation and pricing up to date for each attraction, however, these can change at any time. I recommend getting updated hours and pricing for your dates of travel. The link to the official website is provided for each site.

Tourist Entry Fee in Venice: Beginning in April 2024, there will be a fee for visitors to enter Venice. This fee will cost €5. If you have plans to spend the night in Venice, you will be exempt from the fee. All visitors, even those with an overnight stay in Venice, will have to register their visit on an online website. Learn more here.

Overview of Venice

Venice is built on a group of 118 islands and these small islands are linked with 400 bridges. These islands are located in the Venetian Lagoon, which sits just off of the mainland of Italy.

With its Venetian Gothic architecture, Renaissance and Baroque buildings, wide piazzas, and narrow canals, Venice is often described as one of the most beautiful cities in the world.

Venice is made up of neighborhoods, also called sestieri (singular sestiere). Some sestieri contain Venice’s most popular sites while others are quieter, where the locals live.

San Marco is the touristy heart of Venice and home to Doge’s Palace, St. Mark’s Square, and the Rialto Bridge. Most tourists spend the majority of their time here, along with Dorsoduro (Pont dell’Accademia, Peggy Guggenheim Collection, and Basilica di Santa Maria della Salute), and San Polo.

Santa Croce, located on the western end of Venice, is the main transportation hub. The bus station, parking garages, and train station are located here.

Cannaregio, Castello, and Giudecca are where many local Venetians live, but these sestieri make great places to go for a stroll if you want to escape the tourist crowds in the heart of Venice.

Finally, Murano, Burano, and Lido make great day trips from Venice, but you need to have at least three days in Venice in order to have enough time to do this.


Gondolas in Venice | 2 Days in Venice Itinerary

How Many Days Do You Need in Venice?

Ideally, plan on spending two or more days in Venice.

With 2 days in Venice, you have just enough time to visit the highlights of Venice and stroll the canals. It will be a busy but wonderful 2 days in Venice.

With 3 days in Venice, spend two days visiting the highlights in Venice and on the third day, day trip to Murano and Burano and/or Lido. Even more time allows you to slow down and explore the quieter neighborhoods of Venice.

If you only have one day in Venice, it will be a whirlwind, but you can visit a few of the more popular sites in the morning (such as Doge’s Palace and St. Mark’s Basilica) and explore the canals in the afternoon. Learn how to do this in our One Day in Venice itinerary.

Best Things to Do with 2 Days in Venice

Below is a list of the places to visit if you have 2 days in Venice. All of these are included on the Venice itinerary in this guide.

  • Grand Canal
  • St. Mark’s Square
  • St. Mark’s Basilica
  • Doges Palace
  • Bridge of Sighs
  • Rialto Bridge
  • Gondola Ride
  • Campanile di San Marco
  • Explore the canals
  • Ponte dell’Accademia
  • Teatro La Fenice
  • Basilica di Santa Maria della Salute

Venice in September

Riva degli Schiavoni | 2 Days in Venice Itinerary

 Best Time to Visit Venice

In general, spring and fall are the best times of the year to visit Venice. During this time, the weather is great for sightseeing and crowds tend to be lower than the busy summer months. But here is a breakdown by season of what you can expect in Venice:

WINTER: It’s cold in Venice during the winter months. Daytime high’s average around 7°C (in the mid-40’s) and it can get down to freezing at night. However, this is the driest time of the year. Crowds are also at their lowest, so if you want to visit Venice without the crowds, this is the time to go…just pack your winter coat. Carnavale is one of Venice’s biggest festivals and takes place at the end of February, ending on Mardi Gras.

SPRING: As the weather warms up in the spring, rain chances also go up. Spring is one of the wettest seasons to visit Venice, but not quite as rainy as the fall months. In early spring, the high temperature is 13°C (55°F) and it continues to get warmer week by week, reaching an average high of 21°C (70°F) by June.

SUMMER: Expect big crowds and hot weather during the summer months. Daily high temperatures average 28°C (82°F) but they can easily get up to 35°C (95°F). Rainfall is low. Summer is also the most popular time to visit Venice, so crowds will be at their highest. If you plan to visit in the summer months, make your hotel reservations far in advance and purchase skip-the-line tickets if possible.

FALL: In early fall, crowds can still be high, not really quieting down until the end of October. Daytime high’s range from 21°C (70°F) in early fall and cooling off to 13°C (55°F) by late fall. Autumn is the wettest time to visit Venice (late September through early November), so bring an umbrella if you plan to be here at this time.

VERDICT: I think the best time to visit Venice is from late-April through May. The weather is nice, spring break is over, and crowds are manageable. If you don’t mind chilly weather, March into April would also be a nice time to visit Venice, just try to avoid the Easter holiday.

We have visited Venice three times: twice in mid-July and once in mid-September. Crowd levels were about the same for both visits and may have actually been a little bit higher on our September visit. 

VENICE FLOODS: Between the months of October and January, water levels in the Venetian Lagoon can rise, flooding St. Mark’s Square. This is called acqua alta, or “high water” and typically lasts a few days each year.

2 Days in Venice

Venice in September | 2 Days in Venice Itinerary

2 Days in Venice Itinerary

Venice Itinerary Day 1

St. Mark’s Square, Doge’s Palace, & the Canals of Venice

How to Use This Map: Click the tab in the top left hand corner of the map to view the layers (points of interest and the walking route). You can click the check marks to hide or show layers. If you click the icons on the map, you can get more information about each point of interest.
If you click the star next to the title of the map, this map will be added to your Google Maps account. To view it on your phone or computer, open Google Maps, click the menu button, go to “Your Places,” click Maps, and you will see this map on your list.

8 am: Breakfast

Start your day off with breakfast, either at your hotel or at one of the coffee shops or pasticcerias (pastry shops) in Venice.

Pasticceria Marchini Time gets wonderful reviews, is located in San Marco, and is just a 5-minute walk from St. Mark’s Square.

Pasticceria Da Bonifacio is another highly rated pastry shop. It is located east of St. Mark’s Square and from here it is a 4-minute walk to St. Mark’s Basilica.

9 am: St. Mark’s Square and St. Mark’s Basilica

St. Mark’s Square (also called Piazza San Marco) is the main public square in Venice. St. Marks’ Basilica and the Campanile sit at the eastern end of the square. The remainder of the square is lined with arcades, which were once the homes and offices of the officers during the days of the republic of Venice. Now, the arcades are home to shops and restaurants.

St Marks Square

St. Mark’s Square | 2 Days in Venice Itinerary

One of the most interesting sights on St. Mark’s Square is the Torre dell’Orologio (the Clock Tower). This clock and its tower dates back to the 15th century.

St Marks Clock Tower

Torre dell’Orologio | 2 Days in Venice Itinerary

St. Mark’s Basilica is even older and it dates back to the 9th century AD. Over the course of eight centuries, mosaics were added to the interior of the cathedral, as well as treasures from the Crusades. The Pala d’Oro is a Byzantine alter piece that is covered in gold and studded with almost 2,000 gems.

During your visit, you can visit the cathedral and you have the option to add on the Pala d’Oro for an additional fee (5€).

St Marks Basilica Photo

St Mark’s Basilica | 2 Days in Venice Itinerary


Pala dOro Venice

Pala d’Oro | 2 Days in Venice Itinerary

Visiting St. Mark’s Basilica

This cathedral is one of Venice’s top attractions. Lines to get in are legendary but you can now book a ticket online in advance to skip the line.

On a visit to St. Mark’s Cathedral, you will pay a few euros to enter the basilica. For an additional fee, you can add on the Pala d’Oro, the Loggia dei Cavalli, and look out over St. Mark’s Square from the terrace. We cover each of these sites and their cost in much more detail in our Guide to St. Mark’s Basilica. This also includes tips to help you have the best experience, lots of photos both inside and outside of the basilica, and information on how to skip the line.

St. Mark’s Basilica opens at 9:30 am (on Sundays, it opens at 2 pm). I recommend getting in line at 9 am, or even earlier, to minimize your wait, if you plan to purchase your ticket onsite. But for the best experience, book your entrance ticket online for a 9:30 am entry. Before you go, get updates on hours of operation here.

Hours: 9:30 am to 5:15 pm Monday to Saturday; Sunday 2 pm to 5:15 pm; last admission at 4:45 pm
Cost: 3€ onsite, 6€ online in advance; Pala d’Oro, the Museum, and Loggia dei Cavalli have additional fees which you can see here.
Website: Get updated hours and pricing on the official website
Skip-the-Line:  This tour has skip-the-line access and includes a visit to the St. Mark’s terrace for great views of the city.

Skip-the-line at St. Mark’s Basilica plus Doge’s Palace: This 3-hour skip-the-line tour includes both St. Mark’s Basilica and the Doge’s Palace. This is a great tour to consider since it includes both of these sights and you get to tour them with a knowledgeable guide. It starts at 10 am so it also gives you a little more free time in the morning.

10:30 am: Doge’s Palace

The Doges’ Palace is a palace built in Venetian Gothic styles. For centuries, this building served as the residence for the Doge, the seat of the government, and a palace of justice. Now, it is a museum.

As you tour Doge’s Palace, you will cross the Bridge of Sighs. From this window, prisoners on their way to execution would have one final view of the city.

From the Bridge of Sighs 2 days in Venice itinerary

Bridge of Sighs window | 2 Days in Venice Itinerary

The Doge’s Palace is located next to St. Mark’s Basilica. Again, expect long lines here. You can either join the ticket line (expect a long wait), book your ticket in advance (highly recommended!!), or visit on a guided tour.

Cost: 25€
Hours: 9 am to 6 pm every day
Website: Get updated hours and pricing on the official website. You can also book your entrance tickets here as well.
Entry Ticket: If tickets are sold out on your dates of travel, you can also purchase an entry ticket through GetYourGuide.

1 pm: Lunch

There are lots of restaurants located in and around St. Mark’s Square but most of these are overpriced and mediocre. However, Ristorante Quadri is a Michelin starred restaurant and would make a wonderful place for dinner. On the opposite side of St. Mark’s Square is Caffé Florian, a coffee shop that gets good reviews (they don’t open until 9 am so they aren’t a great breakfast option if you want to get in line early to visit St. Mark’s Basilica).

For a quick bite to eat, go to Ai Do Leoni. This small restaurant is located just a few steps from St. Mark’s Basilica, and they serve coffee, small sandwiches, and small plates of pasta. It’s also a great spot to return to later in the day for a cocktail.

1000 Gourmet Venezia. This restaurant gets great reviews for its pizza and pasta, but they occasionally get negative reviews for their servcie. It is located on a side street just a few blocks northeast of St. Mark’s Square.

Osteria Enoteca San Marco. This restaurant is fabulous and we had one of our best dinners in Venice here (but it’s also a good lunchtime spot). It is located near the northwest corner of St. Mark’s Square. It’s more upscale than the first two restaurants on this list and a good pick if you want a leisurely lunch with great food and wine.

Restaurant Terrazza Danieli. Hotel Danieli is a luxurious 5-star hotel located on Riva degli Schiavoni. You can have lunch or dinner on the rooftop terrace with views of the Venetian Lagoon. This is the priciest lunch option on our list.

2 pm: View from the Campanile

Before leaving the area, visit the Campanile for an unforgettable view of Venice.

Best Hotels in Venice

View from the Campanile | 2 Days in Venice Itinerary

An elevator whisks visitors to the top of the Campanile, so climbing stairs is not necessary.

To avoid waiting in line, book your tickets online on the official website in advance. You will book your ticket for a specific time slot.

Cost: 12€ online in advance, 10€ onsite
Hours: 9:30 am to 5:15 pm, last admission 4:45 pm
Website: Book your tickets and get updated hours and pricing on the official website.

Note: The Campanile will close in bad weather (strong winds, fog, and very cold temperatures).

3 pm: The Canals of Venice

For the rest of the day, you are free to explore the canals of Venice.

Strolling the canals is one of the best things to do in Venice and there are several ways to do it. You can either wander the canals on your own or take a walking tour.

The Rialto Bridge, the Grand Canal, and Ponte dell’Accademia are all on the list for tomorrow, so today I recommend staying east of the Grand Canal and exploring the San Marco, Castello, and Cannaregio.

I recommend starting on Riva degli Schiavoni, which is a wide promenade that runs along the Venetian Lagoon. As you cross Ponte della Paglia look down the canal for the iconic view of the Bridge of Sighs. As you continue east on the promenade, you will pass Hotel Danieli and to your right will be gorgeous views across the canal.

Bridge of Sighs 2 days in Venice itinerary

Bridge of Sighs | 2 Days in Venice Itinerary


Venetian Lagoon

Venetian Lagoon | 2 Days in Venice Itinerary


Riva degli Schiavoni 2 days in Venice itinerary

Riva degli Schiavoni | 2 Days in Venice Itinerary

Once you get past Hotel Danieli, you can head north and stroll the canals in Castello.

I love walking along Rio di S. Provoio and taking in the view from Ponte dei Carmini (it’s marked on our map above). But this whole area is a delight to stroll through.

Rio di S. Provoio 2 days in Venice itinerary

Rio di S. Provoio | 2 Days in Venice Itinerary

Another notable place to visit is Libreria Acqua Alta, or “Book Store of High Water.” Stacks of books are kept in bathtubs and a gondola to protect them from flooding. It’s a sight to see!

As you stroll through Venice, go shopping, have a glass of wine or aperitif at a café, snack on cicchetti, or hire a gondola.

Walking Tours of Venice

If you prefer to walk the canals with a guide, here a few great options to consider.

On this 2 to 3-hour walking tour, walk from St. Mark’s Square up to the Rialto Bridge with a guide. It also includes a gondola ride, making this tour a great deal for the price. This tour starts at 3 pm so it works well in this itinerary.

This Venice Highlights walking tour gets near perfect reviews and it covers the major highlights of the city.

Note: If you choose to take a walking tour, note the starting time and location. You may have to adjust this itinerary to work with the walking tour.

Venice Canal 2 days in Venice itinerary

Venice Canal | 2 Days in Venice Itinerary

7 pm: Dinner

For dinner, here are a few options. The restaurants I listed for lunch are also a nice place to have dinner.

Ristorante Ca’ Dolfin. This Italian restaurant gets nothing but rave reviews. They are located in Sestiere di Canareggio near the Grand Canal.

Impronta. This modern café serves Italian and seafood dishes and is a popular spot with both locals and tourists. All ingredients are locally sourced.

Osteria Fanal del Codega. This Italian restaurant has indoor and outdoor seating along a canal. It also gets 5-star reviews.

Italy Travel Guide Rome

Venice Itinerary Day 2

Grand Canal, Rialto Bridge, San Polo & Dorsoduro

8 am: Breakfast

Have breakfast at your hotel or at one of the cafes or pasticcerias in Venice.

Morning: Peggy Guggenheim Collection, Teatro al Fenice, or Basilica di Santa Maria della Salute

The Peggy Guggenheim Collection and Teatro la Fenice are two of Venice’s most popular attractions. Basilica di Santa Maria della Salute is a church on the Grand Canal and you can climb the steps to the cupola for one of the best views of Venice.

It is possible to visit two of these today, but if you want a more leisurely schedule, I recommend picking one. Combining the Basilica and Peggy Guggenheim Collection works best since they are located near each other.

Peggy Guggenheim Collection

This modern art museum is located in the Palazzo Venier dei Leoni, an 18th century palace. It contains modern art by Picasso, Dalí, Miró, and Kandinsky that was collected by American heiress Peggy Guggenheim.

Hours: 10 am to 6 pm daily; closed Tuesday
Cost: 16€
Website: Get updated hours and pricing on the official website. Purchase your ticket online in advance to avoid waiting in line.

Teatro la Fenice

This opera house is one of the most famous and historic opera houses in the world. The theater was destroyed by a fire three times, the most recent being in 1996. It reopened in December 2003, truly earning its name “the Phoenix,” as it continually rises from the ashes.

The theater is open for tours on a daily basis. Your admission fee includes the audio guide tour.

Cost: 12€
Hours: 9:30 am to 6 pm daily
Website: Get updated hours and pricing here.

Basilica di Santa Maria della Salute

The Basilica di Santa Maria della Salute is located on the Grand Canal. From Ponte dell’Accademia, this baroque cathedral is one of the main focal points.

Best Things to Do in Venice

View from the cupola of Basilica di Santa Maria della Salute | 2 Days in Venice Itinerary

Cost: free to visit the Basilica; 8€ to visit the cupola
Hours: During the summer months, the Basilica is open from 9 am to 12 pm and 3 pm to 5:30 pm. Get updated hours here before your visit. 

After your visit to the museum/theater/Basilica, walk to Ponte dell’Accademia.

11:30 pm: Ponte dell’Accademia

From Ponte dell’Accademia, you have one of the best views of the Grand Canal. This old, wooden bridge is not one of prettier bridges in town but the view from here is stunning.

Look east along the Grand Canal. You will be able to see the Basilica di Santa Maria della Salute, a 400-year-old church that is a famous Venetian landmark. This bridge also a great spot to watch as gondolas, water buses, and taxis drift up and down the Grand Canal.

Ponte dell Accademia

View from the Ponte dell’Accademia | 2 Days in Venice Itinerary

12:00 pm: Lunch

Here are three restaurants near Ponte dell’Accademia that are great picks for lunch.

Trattoria ai Cugnai dal 1911. This restaurant is open from 12 pm to 3 pm for lunch (closed on Tuesday) and later in the day for dinner. It’s more of a local restaurant than a touristy restaurant and it is a good choice if you want great Italian food.

Agli Alboretti. This restaurant serves pasta, seafood, and fish dishes with the option to dine in the courtyard.

Corner Pub. This small pub is a better pick if you don’t want to linger long over lunch. They serve coffee, paninis and small plates and they are located near the Peggy Guggenheim Collection.

1:30 pm: Vaporetto Ride on the Grand Canal

The vaporetto is a water bus that runs up and down the Grand Canal (and also out to Lido, Murano and Burano). This is the cheapest way to cruise up the Grand Canal.

From the water bus station next to Ponte dell’Accademia, ride the No. 1 or No. 2 vaporetto to the Rialto Bridge. If you are really enjoying the ride, go as far as you like and then ride the vaporetto back to the Rialto Bridge. The vaporetto will take you to Piazzale Roma, where you can get off and then board another water bus that heads back to the Rialto Bridge.

It costs 7.50€ for a one-way ticket (good for 75 minutes) or 21€ for a 24-hour ticket. For this itinerary, a one-way ticket is sufficient.

2:00 pm: The Rialto Bridge

Four bridges span the Grand Canal and this one is the oldest. It was originally built in 1173 and has been rebuilt several times. The present bridge was completed in 1591.

The Rialto Bridge is a covered footbridge that is lined with shops. Visiting this bridge is one of the best things to do in Venice.

Rialto Bridge from a Gondola 2 days in Venice itinerary

Rialto Bridge | 2 Days in Venice Itinerary

We love the views from this bridge and they are great in both directions. It’s worth it to visit both sides of the bridge for these views. This is a great spot for a time lapse video on your phone since there is so much activity along the Grand Canal.

Best Things to Do in Venice

View from the Rialto Bridge looking southwest  | 2 Days in Venice Itinerary


Grand Canal of Venice 2 days in Venice itinerary

View from the Rialto Bridge looking northeast | 2 Days in Venice Itinerary

2:30 pm Optional: T Fondaco Rooftop Terrace

While you are in the area, this is a good time to visit the T Fondaco Rooftop Terrace. The terrace is free to visit and you have a great view overlooking the Grand Canal. For the best experience, book your ticket online.

T Fondaco Terrace

T Fondaco Terrace | 2 Days in Venice Itinerary

3:00 pm: Canals of Venice & Gondola Ride

For the remainder of the day, stroll the canals of Venice. You also have enough time to visit the second attraction from this morning, so you can visit both the Peggy Guggenheim Collection and Teatro la Fenice if that interests you.

Venice Gondola Ride 2 days in Venice itinerary

Tim and Julie 2 days in Venice itinerary

On our first gondola ride | 2 Days in Venice Itinerary


Venice Gondola Ride 2 days in Venice itinerary

View from a gondola | 2 Days in Venice Itinerary

This is a good time to take a gondola ride in Venice. On our last visit, we hired a gondola on the Grand Canal next to the Rialto Bridge. This is typically a busy spot to hire a gondola, and we were visiting on a very busy day, but we had less than a 5-minute wait.

If lines are long, it can be easier to hire a gondola that is on a smaller canal (not the Grand Canal or Venetian Lagoon).

How Much Does a Gondola ride cost? The city of Venice sets the rate at €80 per 40 minutes (€100 after 7 pm) but that doesn’t mean that’s the rate you will get. You will have to negotiate with your gondolier before you ride. Make sure you agree on the price and the length of time you will ride before you get in the gondola. And if you would like him to sing, that will cost extra. Here is a great article if you want to learn more. 

You can also book your gondola ride in advance, such as this private gondola ride with a professional photographer.

This afternoon and evening, I recommend exploring the San Polo and Dorsoduro sestieri of Venice, which are located west of the Grand Canal.

Dorsoduro Venice

Dorsoduro | 2 Days in Venice Itinerary

Evening: Dinner and Drinks

In the evening, have dinner and drinks. For dinner recommendations, take a look at day one of this Venice itinerary.

For drinks, either before or after dinner, Bar Longhi, which is located at the Gritti Palace, looks like a beautiful spot to go for a drink. It is located right on the Grand Canal with a view of Basilica di Santa Maria della Salute. It’s an upscale bar so it won’t be cheap but the view looks amazing!

Venice at Night

View from Ponte dell’Accademia at night | 2 Days in Venice Itinerary

How to Get to Venice

If you are traveling by train through Italy, there is a train station in Venice (Stazione di Venezia Santa Lucia). From this train station, you can walk, take the vaporetto, or hire a water taxi to take you to your hotel.

If you will have a car, park your car at Tronchetto Parking. This large parking garage is located in Venice in Santa Croce. We parked here on one of our visits to Venice. The parking garage can hold 4500 vehicles. Learn more here.

If you are starting your trip through Italy in Venice, the main airport is the Venice Marco Polo Airport.

Getting from the Airport to Venice

To get from the airport to your hotel in Venice, you can take the bus, a taxi, a vaporetto, or a water taxi. This article does a great job describing the numerous options, which can be overwhelming to choose from. I also recommend asking your hotel for the best way to get to the hotel.

You can also book your transport using the options below:



How to Get Around Venice

Venice is a very walkable city. It’s small and compact and most of the highlights are clustered together in the heart of Venice. When we are here, we primarily walk to everything.

If you want to minimize how much walking you do, you can use the vaporetto and water taxis to get around. If you are staying in Santa Croce or Giudecca, riding the vaporetto to the Rialto Bridge, the Ponte dell’Accademia, and to San Marco can save you a lot of walking and a lot of time.

Best Venice Itinerary

Gondolas in Venice | 2 Days in Venice Itinerary

Where to Stay

With 2 days in Venice, the best place to stay is in the heart of Venice, to limit how much walking you do. San Marco, Dorsoduro, and San Polo are all great areas to choose from.

To help you choose the best location, and the best hotel, read our Venice Hotel Guide, which organizes the best hotels in Venice by location and budget.

Tours of Venice

Joining a tour can help save you time waiting in line, allow you to learn more about Venice from a knowledgeable guide, and introduce you to sights that you may not be able to do on your own. Here are some of the best tours in Venice.

For one of the best experiences in Venice, visit St. Mark’s Basilica after hours. You get to tour the Basilica with an expert guide and visit it without the crowds. We are taking this tour on our upcoming visit to Venice.

This combination tour includes both St. Mark’s Basilica and a tour of Doge’s Palace. The tour lasts 2.5 to 3 hours and is one of the best things to do if this is your first visit to Venice.

Take a private evening tour of Cannaregio. With a guide, you will explore Cannaregio, dine on local food, and enjoy wine, beer, and cocktails. 

On this 2.5 hour food tour, explore the Rialto Market with a guide and sample local foods.

Walking Tours: Take a private tour with a local guide, see a darker side of Venice on this Murders and Mysteries tour, or take an off the beaten track private city tour.

For something unique, create your own glass artwork with famous craftsman or create your own Venetian mask in this workshop.

Finally, go on a candlelight dinner cruise on the Venetian Lagoon.



Where Are You Going Next?

Italy Itineraries

If you are still planning your Italy Itinerary, we have several great itineraries to share with you.

Our article 10 Days in Italy: 5 Sample Itineraries has an overview of five different ways to plan a 10-day trip to Italy.

If you have 10 days in Italy and want to visit the top locations such as Rome, Florence, Venice and the Cinque Terre, you’ll love this 10 day Italy Itinerary.

If you like the idea of combining a few Italian cities and spectacular outdoor scenery, take a look at our Northern Italy Itinerary, which includes Venice, the Dolomites, Verona, Milan, and Lake Como.

Finally, if you have more time (lucky you!), check out our 14 Day Italy itinerary, which includes Rome, Florence, Venice, the Cinque Terre, and the Amalfi Coast.

Destinations near Venice

From Venice, you can day trip into the Dolomites. The Dolomites are one of our favorite areas of Italy (and Europe) and it is best to spend several days here. You don’t have to be a hiker to enjoy this area. The scenic drives are wonderful, the lakes look like they belong on a postcard, and cable cars can whisk you up into the mountains for spectacular views. And if you do like hiking, spend as long as possible. 

Verona is a lovely town located just a short train ride from Venice. It’s just as beautiful but doesn’t have the same level of crowds. Verona can be easily visited in one day as you tour Italy.

Not far from Verona is Lake Garda, the largest lake in Italy. Visit Sirmione, Riva del Garda, and the vineyards and smaller towns that line the lake.

More of Italy

VENICE: We cover the top experiences in Venice in our Venice Bucket List. Learn where to get the best views of Venice in our article 12 Beautiful Views of Venice.

BEST OF ITALY: In our guide to the Best Places to Visit in Italy, we list 25 beautiful destinations to consider for your next trip to Italy. 

FLORENCE & TUSCANY: If this is your first visit to Florence, read our guide to the Best Things to Do in Florence. If you plan to visit Tuscany, learn how to spend one day in Siena and the best things to do in San Gimignano.

MILAN & LAKE COMO: Learn how to visit Milan on a day trip or while traveling between the Cinque Terre, Florence and Venice. Lake Como and Bellagio are two more beautiful places in Italy that are great day trip destinations.

CINQUE TERRE: One of the best experiences in the Cinque Terre is to hike between all five towns. If you are traveling on a budget, get our money saving tips for the Cinque Terre.

ROME: For a list of the top experiences in Rome, read our article Best Things to Do in Rome. Learn how to put these together in our 2 Day Rome Itinerary, where to eat in our Rome Restaurant Guide, how to visit the Colosseum, and where to stay in our Rome Hotel Guide. And don’t miss our guide to the Best Rooftop Bars in Rome.

EUROPE TRAVEL INSPIRATION: For more great ideas on where to go in Europe, check out our article 30 Beautiful Places to Visit in Europe. You can also get more travel ideas in our One Week in Europe itinerary guide, which has lots of sample itineraries for your next trip to Europe.

We have TONS more information about Italy in our Italy Travel Guide, including Rome, Florence, Venice, Tuscany, the Dolomites, the Amalfi Coast, the Cinque Terre, and Puglia.

If you have any questions about this 2 days in Venice Itinerary, let us know in the comment section below. And if you are going in July, maybe we will see you in Venice or the Dolomites! 😊


2 Days in Venice Itinerary Italy


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Comments 22

  1. Avatar for Sherie W
    Sherie W

    HI Julie, We will be in Venice for a day and a half in Sept then leaving for the Dolomites for 3-4 days of hiking before we head to Florence. We will be renting a car (probably near Piazzale Roma) to drive to Cortina d’Ampezzo and returning to same location before taking train to Florence. Does that seem reasonable and do you have a link for rental cars in Venice?
    Thank you for your advice. Sherie

    1. Avatar for Julie Post

      Hello Sherie. Yes, that makes perfect sense. We do not have a link for rental cars unfortunately. As far as where to rent the car, someplace near Piazzale Roma would be the most convenient location to pick up the car. If that doesn’t work, you can check the Venice Airport (that should be easy and maybe cheap but of course you will have to travel to the airport) or even near the Mestre train station in Marghera (could be convenient for your train to Florence). We stayed in Marghera on our first visit to Venice and it is not too hard to get to (a quick bus ride from Piazzale Roma). Have a great time in Italy! Cheers, Julie

  2. Avatar for Rachel

    Hello and thank you for all this information. It’s really amazing and so helpful. The last time I went to Venice on a whim we did one of the boat tours to Murano, Burano & Lido Is there one in particular that you recommend although the glass blowing was interesting they spend a little too much time there. on the one we did.

    1. Avatar for Julie Post

      Hello Rachel. There is not one tour that I recommend. When we visited Murano and Burano, we traveled by ferry and walked around unguided (without a tour). You can do that, if you have already taken a guided tour in the past. Or look through the various tour options (there are quite a few on GetYourGuide) and pick the one that interests you the most. Cheers, Julie

  3. Avatar for Minal

    Hi Julie,

    I am trying to book a ticket for Dodge’s Palace but I am confused about which type of ticket I should purchase. I see the ticket for the palace along with museums in Venice. I don’t see a ticket type to just visit the palace. The language translation is also not working on the website so would really appreciate your help in deciding! Thank you in advance!!

    1. Avatar for Julie Post
  4. Avatar for Bob

    Great itinerary, Julie! Any advice for keeping pickpockets at bay in Venice or other crowded tourist attractions in Italy? 🙂 How did you and your family handle valuables while on the move? Did you leave your laptops locked in your rental cars?

    Appreciate any insights as my family will be heading to Northern Italy in July,

    1. Avatar for Julie Post

      We have used Pacsafe bags in the past. These are easily lockable so it’s a lot tougher for pickpockets to get into them. If I carry a purse, I keep my wallet in a zipper pocket and carry it to the front of me with my arm over it, which also discourages pickpocketers. When traveling from place to place, if we have a rental car, we have our luggage in the back. So far, we have had no break ins or issues yet, and have done this quite a bit, although it does make me nervous. Sometimes we will carry valuables with us (for example, we travel with a hard drive to back up photos and will take this with us). But yes, we have left our laptops in the car. Have a great time in Venice! Cheers, Julie

  5. Avatar for Mariela

    Hello! Can you tell me where the photo of the restaurant on the canal, (right above the “2 DAYS IN VENICE ITINERARY” headline) was taken? Would love to eat somewhere like this during our trip in May. Thanks!

    1. Avatar for Julie Post

      That is Ristorante da Raffaele. Google says it is temporarily closed but that may be because it is winter right now and the slow season. Have a great time in Venice! Cheers, Julie

  6. Avatar for Justine Rudman
    Justine Rudman

    Do you have a good suggestion on how best to see Murano and Burana or a tour you can suggest (is a tour necessary)? We don’t want to end up with just one hour on Burano so is the best way to go on our own and not with a tour? Is it worth seeing both Murano and Burano, my husband and I often don’t like to do big tours and not sure if we will or will not like watching the glass blowing exhibit etc. I like the idea of some of the tours as they pick you up closer to San Marco where we will be staying rather than the public boat/motonave that goes from Fondamente Nove stop which is on the east side of Venice. We will have 3 days in Paris and will visit Murano & Burano (or just Burano on the last day). There was a smaller tour that went on a smaller boat that might be quite good but I was wondering if there was one in particular you liked. I couldn’t find it on your pages.

    1. Avatar for Julie Post

      Hello Justine. We visited Murano and Burano and weren’t overly impressed (this was in 2014) but a lot of people like them. We liked Venice a lot more and you can easily fill your time in Venice by exploring the different neighborhoods. There are a bunch of GetYourGuide tours. I just looked through the latest options and there is a private tour that includes the Grand Canal, Murano, and Burano and gets very good reviews (we book tours that get a rating of 4.4 and higher and have had great experiences with GetYourGuide…this tour gets a 4.8). Here is a link to the tour (this is an affiliate link). If you click on the tour and then scroll down that page, it should give you about 4 more tour options to consider as well. Cheers, Julie

      1. Avatar for Justine Rudman
        1. Avatar for Julie Post

          Wow, you’re right. I’m sorry, I didn’t look at the price. Hopefully you can find a cheaper tour that suites your needs. Cheers, Julie

  7. Avatar for Roni
    1. Avatar for Julie Post

      Yes. If you press CTRL+P (or command +P on a mac) it will bring up the printer dialog box. From here, you can save the itinerary as a PDF and/or print it. However, our website is not optimized for printing so it will be a lot of pages. Cheers, Julie

  8. Avatar for dee

    Hi Julie,

    Thank you for your great suggestions or advise in the Venice blog. I hope you are enjoying your vacation.

    We are almost set for our big European trip in the middle of this month and we are looking forward to it. We start at London. We are planning to go from Paris to Venice, God’s will. Please advise me on the Train Station in Paris we should book the tickets and leave from. Also please advise on the name of the train that we should take from Paris to Venice.

    Thank you very much for your assistance.

    1. Avatar for Julie Post

      Hello Dee. The main train station in Paris is Gare du Nord. To get to Venice, there are several different routes to choose from. To learn more about the routes and how to reserve your train tickets, I recommend the Man in Seat 61 (we use his advice quite a bit). I hope you have a wonderful trip to Europe! Cheers, Julie

  9. Avatar for Seema

    This is one of the best itineraries I’ve found so far, thank you! Can we do Murano and Burano as a half-day during the two days or would that be too hectic?

    1. Avatar for Julie Post

      Yes, you can do that. The trick will be picking out what to skip in Venice. You can also take a look at our one day in Venice itinerary, and on day 2, split your time between a few more sights in Venice and the day trip to Murano and Burano. Cheers, Julie

  10. Avatar for Stephanie

    Where would you recommend going on day 3: Murano, Burano, or Lido? And what would you suggest to do there?


    1. Avatar for Julie Post

      Hello Stephanie. We liked Lido the most. On Lido, we rented a 4-person Surrey bike and rode around the island, which is a lot of fun with kids. You can also go to the beach on Lido. In Murano, shopping in the glass shops or attending a glass blowing workshop are things to do here. In Burano, which is a more colorful town, one of the main things to do is shop for lace. So, it depends if you want to tour the 2 colorful towns and do a little shopping or visit Lido, which is more leisurely. Personally, we liked Lido more, but then again, we were here with kids so for them, the bike ride was more entertaining than shopping. Cheers, Julie

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