Have time to spend 2 days in Venice?
Traveling to Venice is a unique and enchanting experience, but it’s essential to be prepared for the city’s distinct characteristics and challenges. Read on to discover how we spent our 2 days in Venice and sample what we put on our itinerary.
Venice became a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1987 and is one of the most beautiful cities in Europe (and the world!). Who wouldn’t want to spend 2 days in Venice?!
Why Visit Venice?
Venice, often referred to as the “Queen of the Adriatic” or “City of Canals,” has a rich and fascinating history that spans over a millennium.
Venice’s history begins in the 5th and 6th centuries AD when refugees fleeing from barbarian invasions on the Italian mainland settled in the marshy islands of the Venetian Lagoon. They established a system of governance based on a doge, or leader, and began to build a unique city on wooden pilings to protect against flooding and invasion.
Venice gradually became a powerful maritime and trading republic during the Middle Ages. The city’s strategic location on the Adriatic Sea allowed it to establish a vast trading empire, extending from the Eastern Mediterranean to Northern Europe. Venice’s success was driven by its powerful navy, diplomacy, and skilled merchants.
The Renaissance had a profound impact on Venice, and the city became a center of art, culture, and learning. Iconic landmarks like St. Mark’s Basilica and the Doge’s Palace were constructed during this period.
Today, Venice remains a unique and iconic destination, known for its canals, historic architecture, and vibrant culture. It is a popular tourist destination, attracting millions of visitors from around the world.
Is 2 days in Venice enough?
Two days in Venice can provide you with a taste of the city’s unique charm and attractions, but it may not be enough time to explore everything thoroughly.
While two days in Venice can give you a good introduction to its major attractions, keep in mind that the city has much more to offer. If you have additional time, you can explore more neighborhoods, visit additional museums, or simply take your time to soak in the unique atmosphere of this enchanting city.
How to get to Venice
- Train – Head to the Termini railway station. You can purchase tickets at the station, but it’s often more convenient to book your tickets in advance online.
- Bus – You can also find long-distance bus services. The journey by bus takes longer than the train, and the comfort level may vary depending on the bus service you choose. Be sure to check schedules and ticket prices in advance.
- Plane – While there is an airport in Venice (Marco Polo Airport in Venice), taking a flight is generally not the most convenient option. The train is often faster and more convenient for city-center to city-center travel. However, if you prefer to fly, you can book a domestic flight. But when you factor in the time spent traveling to and from the airports, going through security, and potential delays, the total travel time may be longer than taking the train.
The best time to do this Venice itinerary
While we visited in May specifically for our anniversary, we got rained on both days. While wearing ponchos are fun, you may not be interested in being soaked for your trip!
The best time to visit Venice depends on your preferences and what you want to experience. Venice is a beautiful city with something to offer year-round, but each season has its own unique charm and considerations. Here’s a breakdown of the different seasons:
- Spring (March to May):
- Spring is a great time to visit Venice. The weather is generally mild, and the city’s gardens and parks are in full bloom.
- Tourist crowds are smaller compared to the summer months, making it a more pleasant experience for sightseeing.
- Be prepared for occasional rain, so bring an umbrella and some waterproof clothing.
- Summer (June to August):
- Summer is the peak tourist season in Venice. The city can get extremely crowded, and prices for accommodations are at their highest.
- The weather is warm and sunny, but it can also be hot and humid. Be prepared for occasional high water levels (aqua alta) in some parts of the city.
- If you visit during this time, consider early morning and late evening for sightseeing to avoid the crowds.
- Autumn (September to November):
- Early autumn is a fantastic time to visit Venice. The weather is still pleasant, and the tourist crowds start to thin out after the summer peak.
- September and October are great months for exploring the city, as the temperatures are comfortable, and the city’s canals and squares are less crowded.
- Winter (December to February):
- Winter is the quietest and least crowded time in Venice. You’ll have many of the city’s attractions to yourself, and you can experience a more local, authentic side of Venice.
- Venice can be chilly and damp in the winter, with occasional fog and acqua alta (high water). Be prepared for the possibility of flooding in some areas.
- This is a great time to enjoy Venice’s cultural offerings, such as the opera and the Carnival of Venice, which takes place in late January to early February.
The best time to visit Venice depends on your tolerance for crowds and your weather preferences. Late spring and early autumn are the most pleasant times to visit, as the weather is generally favorable, and the crowds are more manageable. However, each season has its own unique appeal, and the city’s beauty remains on display year-round.
Where to stay in Venice
Venice is a popular tourist destination, so it’s a good idea to book your accommodations well in advance, especially if you plan to visit during peak tourist seasons.
- Our pick: Ca’ Sagredo Hotel – The Ca’ Sagredo Hotel’s 42 magnificently appointed rooms and suites are a seriously suggestive sight to behold with classic Venetian styling.
- Luxury: The St. Regis Venice (San Marco)
- Mid-Budget: Sina Palazzo Sant’Angelo (San Marco)
- Budget: Hotel San Luca (San Marco)
How to do Venice in 2 days
My 2 days in Venice were part of a larger 10 days in Italy that included stops in Amalfi, Rome, and Naples.
Visiting Venice in just two days will be a bit of a whirlwind, but it’s still possible to enjoy many of the city’s highlights. The following are our two days in Venice.
Day One in Venice
We took the train in from Naples and arrived after lunch. From the train station we were able to walk to our hotel, but it was over a mile walk (Zack and I like to walk when we visit a new city). Be prepared to grab a water taxi to get to your hotel.
Check into the Hotel
We checked into Ca’ Sagredo Hotel and got our things situated before heading out into the city. This hotel was rated 5 stars when we booked it and we were staying in Venice on the date of our anniversary.
The bathroom was gorgeous and came in handy because I took a very warm bath after spending the evening out in the pouring rain.
Take to the Waters
Take a vaporetto (water bus) ride on the Grand Canal. It’s a great way to see the city from the water. You can hop on at the San Zaccaria stop and ride the Grand Canal until you reach the Rialto Bridge. Venice’s vaporetto (water bus) system is an excellent way to get around the city, and you can purchase multi-day passes to save on transportation costs. Additionally, a Venice Card can provide discounts on waterbus fares.
You can also enjoy a ride on a Gondola for a more authentic Venice experience. While it can be expensive, a gondola ride is a quintessential Venetian experience. You can negotiate the price in advance if possible. Zack actually proposed to me on a Gondola ride at The Venetian hotel in Las Vegas!
There’s no feeling greater than walking around Venice with a gelato in hand. Venice is known for its delicious gelato, and you can find numerous gelaterias (gelato shops) throughout the city. Here are a few well-regarded places to enjoy gelato in Venice: Gelateria Nico, Grom, and Suso Gelatoteca. Mine is a cherry flavored from Gelateria Ca’ D’Oro.
Zack couldn’t wait for our waking tour to begin, so we had to stop to get a slice of pizza while walking around. Our lunch on the train consisted of only bread and meat. It wasn’t much of a sandwich.
Go on a Walking Tour
Venice is a city meant for walking. The streets are often narrow and uneven, and you’ll be exploring a lot on foot. Comfortable, sturdy shoes are a must. We strolled between the Rialto area, Cannaregio and Castello while on our walking tour.
Beware of High Water (Aqua Alta): Venice is prone to occasional flooding, especially during the winter months. Be prepared with waterproof footwear, and check the daily forecasts for high water warnings. Our feet were soaked while on the tour!
Eat Cicchetti Cantina Do Mori
Close Rialto Bridge, the Cantina Do Mori is the most ancient bacaro (tavern) of Venice. We started our Venice Walking Tour by Night: Aperitif and Legends tour here.
The tour included some “cicchetti” (small appetizers of fish, seafood, meat, or vegetables) and an aperitif or ombra (the typical glass of wine in Venice). The tour took us two other spots, but I didn’t get photos or remember the names because it was raining so much.
We had drinks after at a place near our hotel – The Irish Pub – which ended up being full of people from England. There was a lot of people inside watching a lot of soccer games.
Day Two in Venice
We took a vaporetto to the islands of Murano and Burano. Murano (above) is famous for its glassblowing, and Burano (below) is known for its colorful houses and lace-making. We spent our time exploring and maybe even watch a glassblowing demonstration on Murano.
Visit Murano and Burano
Our morning visit to Murano and Burano Islands Half Day Tour It was around 4.5 hours.
We had lunch on Burano or you can return to Venice for more dining options.
See Venice’s Highlights
While St. Mark’s Square is a must-see, don’t forget to explore the quieter neighborhoods of Venice, where you can discover a more local and authentic side of the city.
TIP: Arrive Early to avoid crowds at popular attractions like St. Mark’s Basilica and the Doge’s Palace, arrive early in the morning.
- St. Mark’s Basilica (Basilica di San Marco): This magnificent Byzantine-style basilica is one of the most iconic landmarks in Venice, known for its stunning architecture, mosaics, and gilded interiors.
- Doge’s Palace (Palazzo Ducale): Adjacent to St. Mark’s Basilica, this historic palace was the center of political power in the Venetian Republic. You can explore its ornate rooms and visit the prisons, including the famous Bridge of Sighs.
- St. Mark’s Square (Piazza San Marco): Venice’s main square is surrounded by architectural masterpieces, including the basilica and the Doge’s Palace. It’s a hub for both locals and tourists and often hosts events and music.
- Rialto Bridge: The Rialto Bridge is one of Venice’s most famous bridges, offering great views of the Grand Canal. The area around the bridge is also home to the historic Rialto Market.
- Grand Canal: Take a vaporetto (water bus) ride along the Grand Canal to admire the beautiful palaces and buildings that line this main waterway through Venice.
- Bridge of Sighs (Ponte dei Sospiri): This famous bridge connects the Doge’s Palace to the former prison. It is named for the sighs of prisoners who, upon crossing, caught their last glimpse of Venice.
Visit Libreria Acqua Alta
Libreria Acqua Alta – Visit the most beautiful bookstore in the world! The Libreria Acqua Alta is a unique and charming bookstore located in Venice, Italy. It is famous for its quirky and creative approach to dealing with the city’s frequent flooding. “Libreria Acqua Alta” translates to “Bookstore of High Water” in English, and this name is quite literal in its significance.
Venice is prone to periodic flooding, particularly during the high water events known as “aqua alta.” To protect its books from the rising waters, they put books in gondolas, canoes plastic tubs and they even have a staircase made of books.
Address: 5173 Calle Lunga 5176/B Venice, Italy
Have Traditional Venetian Cuisine on the Grand Canal
We had our anniversary dinner at Ca’ Sagredo Hotel’s restaurant: L’Alcova Restaurant which is right on the Grand Canal. The beautiful deck look out onto the glorious water front and the Rialto Market right opposite.
L’Alcova Restaurant is opened all year around, 7 days a week. Lunch is served from 12:00pm to 2:30pm. Dinner is served from 7:00pm to 10:00pm.
Map of Venice itinerary for 2 days
Where to go after this 2 days in Venice itinerary? Home!