Venice (also known as the ‘city of canals’) is a beautiful city filled with so much to explore! Venice is made up of a series of 118 mini islands atop a lagoon, making it one of the most unique cities in the world.
This 2 days in Venice itinerary walks you through some of the highlights and best things to do in this amazing city.
Start your day the Italian way with a morning coffee and a cornet to (Italian version of a croissant)
There are loads of places you could go, but a popular place is Bar Ducale - only a short walk from Piazza San Marco. They sell great coffee and tasty pastries, and have a beautifully classic Italian interior.
WANDER THE STREETS OF VENICE
After you’ve had your coffee and are fuelled up, take a stroll around the city to get your bearings. Venice is a small island, perfect for exploring on foot, giving you the chance to find hidden treasures across the city.
Discover the true beauty of Venice by wandering aimlessly through the small streets and alleyways, admiring the canals as the city wakes up.
Explore the neighbourhood of San Marco or San Polo this morning, criss-crossing over canals by tiny footbridges, and getting lost in this beautiful city.
ST. MARK’S BASILICA
The first sight to see on the agenda is St. Mark’s Basilica. Located in the St. Mark's square (Piazza San Marco), the Basilica of St. Mark is the most important religious temple in the city of Venice.
Dripping with golden mosaics and full of amazing Byzantine-style architectural detail, St Mark’s Basilica is a beautiful church to visit. It is one of the most famous churches in the city, and one of the most unique churches in Italy.
Head inside and tour the incredible interior of the church. The church is full of history, stretching all the way back to the 9th century A.D. Book a guided tour to learn about all the interesting history and legend behind it.
PIAZZA SAN MARCO
Come out of St. Mark’s Basilica and explore the piazza surrounding it. Piazza San Marco (also known as St. Mark’s square) is in the heart of Venice, and is the only ‘piazza’ in Venice.
Whilst sitting in the famous Cafe Florian, people watch and enjoy the views in Piazza San Marco.
Also in Piazza San Marco is the Doge’s Palace, which is thought of as one of the most interesting historical sites in Venice. As well as it being the centre of government during the Venetian Republic, it was formerly the Doge’s residence. The Palace is a masterpiece of Gothic architecture, and the very symbol of Venice.
You can tour the palace and the Doge’s apartments, but the main focus of the tour here is the broader government in Venice. Several councils made up the government with each council having chambers which you visit. With gorgeous gilded ceilings, they are all incredibly beautiful and investing to look at.
ST. MARK’S CAMPANILE
Head to the top of St. Mark’s Campanile for incredible and gorgeous views over Venice. With amazing views of St. Mark’s Square, the Doge’s Palace, St. Mark’s Basilica, and the Venetian Lagoon, the views from the top of St. Mark’s Campanile are breathtaking!
BRIDGE OF SIGHS
After witnessing a breathtaking view over Venice, seeing all the great sights, it’s time to head over to the Bridge of Sighs. The bridge is known for its amazing view of Venice and its lagoon.
If you walk between the Doge’s Palace and St. Mark’s Campanile towards the Venetian Lagoon, you’ll find yourself on the Riva degli Schiavoni - the lagoons waterfront. Turn left from here to find a bridge that will take you to the most famous view of the Bridge Sigh. The views of the lagoon are lovely along the waterfront, where you’ll be able to see loads of gondolas sitting on the water, as well as San Giorgio Maggiore across the lagoon.
There are four bridges that cross Venice’s Grand Canal, but the Rialto Bridge is both the oldest and the loveliest of them all. This 16th century stone footbridge which crosses the Grand Canal, connects the sestieri or San Marco and San Polo, and is lined with shops on both sides of it.
When crossing over the bridge, take a minute to soak in the incredible views of the Grand Canal.
Located just slightly northwest of the Rialto Bridge in San Polo, the historic Rialto Market is well worth a wander! This bustling market is full of stalls selling seafood, fruit, and vegetables.
Next up on the itinerary is the iconic gondola ride. One can’t come to Venice without going on a gondola ride. It’s an absolute must do!
Gondolas allow you to see Venice from a completely different perspective, seeing parts you would otherwise miss when strolling the streets. Experiencing Venice’s canals from the water is an unforgettable one-of-a-kind experience.
Take another walk through the city to Ponte dell’Accademia, one of the other four bridges that cross the Grand Canal, where you’ll get perfect views of the Grand Canal.
TEATRO LA FENICE
With a layered and fascinating history, Venice’s open house is stunning inside and out. You could either tour the lovely interior or just admire the outside, either way, it’s definitely worth passing by the Fenice whilst strolling through the city.
SCALA CONTARINI DEL BOVOLO
Despite the Scala Contarini del Bovolo not having the best views, this fairytale-esque tower is well worth seeing. The spiral staircase is the most impressive and valuable in Venice.
Located just over the Ponte dell’Accademia, Gallerie dell’Accademia is a museum gallery of pre-19th-century art. The art showcased here is particularly works from Venetian painters, a fascinating place to visit when in Venice.
Venice is made up of six sestieri (neighbourhoods), each one with its own unique and distinct style and feel. Take a wander and explore the less well known neighbourhoods of Dorsoduro, Cannaregio, and Castello, discovering the hidden treasures that they hold. Check out Touring Highlights provider of self-guided holiday tours.