Perfect 2 Days in Venice Itinerary: Everything You Need to Know
Ahhhh 2 days in Venice, the iconic Italian floating city is a dream travel destination for many people. Venice has become known as a couples holiday location due to its romantic gondola rides, charming canals and bridges, grand squares, carfree streets, rich history, architecture and that indescribable feeling in the air. But, it’s definitely not only for lovebirds, spending 2 days in Venice has something to do for everyone and will have you saying ciao bella! in no time.
Before I visited Venice for the first time in 2013 (I’ve been three times!), I always wondered if it would live up to its hype, and oh boy, did it ever! Even though Venice is a tourist hotspot, there is definitely authenticity and local life to be experienced here.
In this 2 day Venice itinerary, I’ve tried to combine classic tourist attractions that are must-sees, with more off-the-beaten-path locations, experiences and places to eat. Pick your top 3 from each day and then take the rest of the time to explore to your heart’s content.
This two days in Venice itinerary covers Venice travel tips like the best time to visit Venice, how to get to Venice city centre, where to stay in Venice with a handy neighbourhood guide, and what to do in Venice in 2 days and more.
HEADING TO ROME?
The Ultimate 4-Day Rome Itinerary
*This post may contain affiliate links, which means I may receive a commission, at no extra cost to you, if you make a purchase through a link. Please see my full disclosure for further information.
2 Days in Venice: Quick Guide
BEST TRAVEL INSURANCE
Check Prices of HeyMondo Insurance
ITALY BUS + TRAIN TICKETS
Check Bus + Train Ticket Prices on 12Go
ITALY CAR RENTAL
Check Prices on Discover Cars
WHERE TO STAY IN VENICE
Central: Palazzo San Luca
Modern: Palazzo Morosini Degli Spezieri
Romantic: Hotel Ai Reali
Apartment: Master Venice Apartments
CHEAP ITALY FLIGHTS
Check Flight Prices on Skyscanner
VENICE AIRPORT TRANSFER
Shared Water Taxi (top pick!)
Private Water Taxi
Express Bus to City Centre
VENICE WATERBUS PASS
Venice Public Transportation Pass
BEST VENICE GUIDED TOURS
Best Private Walking Tour
Doge’s Palace + St. Mark’s Basilica
Murano + Burano Island
Romantic Gondola Ride
Best Time to Visit Venice
Both times I spent 2 days in Venice or more, it was in the beautiful fall months of late September and October. And, for this reason, I highly recommend autumn as the best time to go to Venice, as the crowds have dispersed from the high season of May through August.
The fall in Venice may require a light sweater (highs of 18°C/64°F), but lower hotel rates and an empty canal make it worthwhile for two days in Venice.
August is also the time most Europeans take their holidays, so you will find yourself amongst crowds of people and unbearable heat. I have also been told that the canals can smell at this time of year because of the high temperatures, which doesn’t lend well to a romantic or fun-filled holiday.
For a quick overview of what to expect in Venice at other times of the year:
Winter in Venice
November – January | November, the start of the winter in Venice, still calls for pleasant weather (highs of 13°C/55°F), although you will need a good jacket, depending on where you are from in the world. Don’t count a Venice 2 day itinerary out if you are looking for a winter getaway. Imagine all bundled up, hot drink in hand, wandering lamp-lit alleys of Venice during the holiday season? Yeah, that’s an experience worth having.
Venice also has a stellar fireworks festival during New Years’ in the Piazza San Marco. Also, if you are someone who always has a camera attached to your hand like an extension of your limb, then the misty mornings during this time of year are picture-perfect.
February | Surprisingly, Venice can be expensive and crowded in February, contrary to most European destinations, because of the Venice Carnival. This festival lasts 2 weeks and is similar to Mardi Gras, featuring traditional Venetian masks and costuming.
Spring in Venice
March – Mid May | Spring in Venice is shoulder season and also a great time to visit Venice for 2 days. Mild temperatures of 13°C/55°F starting in March and increasing throughout the next couple of months make it pleasant for visiting the charming alleyways of Venice. Prices during this time will also start lower and increase, just like the temperature, so the closer to March you visit, the better if you are looking for an economical Venice trip.
Easter in Venice
Easter in Venice is worth experiencing. Whether you are religious or not, there is a unique atmosphere in Venice at this time of year. Of course, with any holiday, you should be aware of potential closures. Good Friday is a normal working day for most Italians. Combined with Saturday, you will find most shops and restaurants are still open.
Some restaurants will provide a special set menu for Sunday and Monday, but the majority of businesses will be closed.
Summer in Venice
Late May – Mid September | This is the high season in Venice. Expect high temperatures reaching 28°C/82°F and intense crowds. August is when Europeans will be visiting Venice on their summer holidays so keep in mind that you will be experiencing more difficult tourist conditions. But, if you take your time and come with a relaxed mentality, Venice in 2 days can be a pleasant time. But, if you can avoid this time of year, I suggest you do.
Autumn in Venice
Mid-September – End of October | Like mentioned above, this is the ideal time for a Venice itinerary. 2 days in Venice in Fall will offer you lower hotel rates, and dispersed crowds, with the added benefit of very pleasant weather.
Is 2 days in Venice Enough?
How many days in Venice is the right amount? Well, it really depends on your style of travel, schedule, and budget. But, what I can say is 2 days in Venice should be the minimum time spent in this city of romantic history. I’ve added a couple of extras at the end of this post if you decide to stay longer and want to experience more of what Venice has to offer.
I’d also suggest coming later in the week or eliminating Mondays and Tuesdays from your Venice itinerary because these days mark a few important closures to Venice highlights and could leave you disappointed. So, to answer the question of how many days in Venice? 2-4 days in Venice will leave you satisfied with your trip to this Italian must-see.
If spending more than 2 days in Venice, I’d suggest including a day trip to Murano and Burano.
Can You Walk All Over Venice?
The short answer is yes, you can definitely walk the entirety of the city centre, which is where most people stay during their Venice itinerary. And, to be honest, two days in Venice is not complete without a walking tour of the picturesque alleys and campi (town squares). Walking around Venice’s pedestrian-only streets is ultimately the best way to see the city.
Don’t leave without purposely getting ‘lost in Venice for 48 hours. I say ‘lost’ very lightly, as there is really no chance you will lose your way here for more than 10 minutes at a time. And, even then, getting lost in Venice is a highlight experience here. All alleys seem to lead back to the main squares so it’s easy to find your way, even without Google Maps.
Don’t worry too much about deviating from this 2 day Venice itinerary, because there is something to see around every corner, even if it’s an unexpected detour. If you want to stick closely to this Venice 2 days itinerary, I suggest downloading an offline map from Google Maps before venturing out.
How to Get to Venice
The majority of the 4.5 million visitors to Venice come via train from other parts of Italy or arrive at the Venice Marco Polo airport. Either way, your transport to the centre is a great introduction to the city of canals.
From San Marco Airport to Venice
The Marco Polo airport is located on a neighbouring mainland about 13kms North and therefore you have three different options on how you can reach the historic island centre of Venice: water taxi, land taxi and express bus.
Water Taxi from Marco Polo Airport to Venice
One of the best ways to introduce yourself to the charm of Venice is to take the water taxi from the airport to Venice San Marco square (or another main stop near your hotel along the canal). The trip is about 30 to 35 minutes and will give you stunning views of the historic architecture and canal of Venice while recovering from your trip.
I remember being super giddy the first time I experienced the water taxi coming into the city centre, so I do highly recommend this one for 2 days Venice.
Land Taxi from Marco Polo Airport to Venice
You can grab a traditional taxi cab from the Venice Marco Polo airport to the city centre. Simply follow the taxi signs on the arrivals level and look for the white cars out front.
Please note, because the historic part of Venice is carfree, you will be dropped off near the main Santa Lucia train station at Piazzale Roma, about a 15-20 minute walk from San Marco square. Price is dependent on season, public holidays, and late-night trips, but should total around $48 USD.
Bus from Marco Polo Airport to Venice
The most economical way to get from Marco Polo airport to Venice city centre is the express bus. This nonstop service will drop you off at Piazzale Roma in 20 minutes flat (traffic dependent, obviously).
From Venice Train Station to the Venice City Centre
Arriving at the Santa Lucia train station (or Stazione di Venezia Santa Lucia) will be your arrival destination if you decide to visit Venice from any other part of Italy or elsewhere via land. The train station will be the last stop before entering the car-free zone of the historic centre of Venice, which includes San Marco square and most tourist attractions.
If you carry a substantial amount of luggage, I would suggest taking a Vaporetto, or water taxi from the Santa Lucia train station (you can grab one easily out front) to the nearest stop to your hotel. But, if you have manageable luggage that you can carry on foot, you can make your way along the cobblestone streets and bridges to your hotel. This journey could take you up to 20 minutes dependent on where your Venice accommodation is located.
Where to Stay in Venice
Where is the best place to stay in Venice you may ask? Well, I think Venice has a reputation for being quite expensive in regards to accommodation in the old city centre, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t a couple of gems out there that balance budget, quality and location.
You will want to locate yourself in one of the best areas in Venice, walkable to most of the Venice attractions so you can execute this 2 days itinerary in Venice. If you’d like to read a short description of each neighbourhood with top Venice attractions, scroll to the next section.
Best Hotels in Venice
Hotel Ai Reali | Luxury
BEST FOR | Couples
Talk about a splurge, but if you are coming here for a romantic weekend, this is the place for you. Hotel Ai Reali is a traditional luxury boutique hotel located right on the Rio Della Fava canal just a few quiet blocks away from the Rialto Bridge. Hotel Ai Reali is one of the best 4 star hotels in Venice because of its value.
The quintessential Venician accommodation experience can be had here, with rooms featuring crystal chandeliers, intricate headboards, marble-esque bathrooms, and plush seating areas (all done very tastefully) for a comfortable night in with a bottle of champagne. The location is only a 5-minute walk to the Piazza San Marco or the Grand Canal for evening walks along the water to watch the gondolas go by.
Hotel Pausania | Mid-Range
BEST FOR | A Pair of Friends, Solo Traveler, Couples
Dating back to the 14th century and once an aristocratic Venezian family residence, Hotel Pausania is situated in a trendy Dorsoduro neighbourhood. The quiet charming canal location is balanced by the lively local squares a quick 2-minute walk away with many quality restaurants and bars for the choosing. This is the spot if you are looking for authentic Venezian life versus the tourist hotspots, although they are only a 10-15 minutes stroll away.
Deemed one of the top 2 star hotels in Venice, it boasts a beautifully arranged gathering room on the top floor, made even more magnificent by the large windows and Canalway views. The rooms are sparkling clean and come with all the amenities for your 48 hours in Venice.
Locanda Silva | Economy
BEST FOR | Solo Travelers, Pair of Friends
Nestled on the border of San Marco and Castello, this well-situated guest house located in a historic building features canal views and clean rooms with creamy light-coloured decor and two terraces on the property. You can choose from rooms with shared bathrooms or rooms with private bathrooms. Walk 2 minutes west and you will find yourself in the famous Piazza San Marco with so much to see.
On top of the friendly hospitality and easy-to-find location, Locanda Silva offers a scrumptious and varied complimentary breakfast.
Book a Room at Locanda Silva Hotel
The Best Neighborhoods to Stay in Venice
The best neighbourhoods to stay in Venice include San Marco, Castello, Cannaregio, Dorsoduro, and San Polo. You can’t go wrong with any of these neighbourhoods since they are all located around the Grand Canal and walkable to the Piazza San Marco.
Here is a snapshot of the best neighbourhoods to stay in Venice, Italy and what they offer:
The epicentre of tourism in Venice is the striking Piazza San Marco (or St Mark’s Square). This large gathering place dates back to the 12th century and is home to the intricate Saint Mark’s Basilica, Doge Palace, Cafe Florian, and the campanile (bell tower) with expansive views of Venice and neighbouring islands.
Napoleon once called it the ‘Drawing Room of Europe’ for its innate elegance.
Sitting just west of Piazza San Marco is the neighbourhood of Castello. This area is hard to give a distinct description of its character since the area is so diverse.
Castello is great for getting lost in and experiencing a more authentic part of downtown Venice, with elderly Venetians sitting out front of their homes enjoying a quiet moment to beautiful churches to lively markets. Attractions in Castello include the San Giorgio degli Schiavoni confraternity house, San Zaccaria church, and the Arsenale historic shipyard.
If you arrive via the Santa Lucia train station, this will be the first neighbourhood you see when leaving the building. This sestiere (or district) is located north of St Mark’s Square and runs from the train station to the Rialto Bridge.
Cannaregio things to do include Ca’ d’Oro palace, Santa Maria del Miracoli church and the Fondamenta della Misericordia promenade.
The youthful Dorsoduro area is home to Venice’s Ca’ Foscari University. But don’t be deterred, the presence of the studenty residents gives Dorsoduro a lively, artistic and relaxed vibe. You will find more late-night bars here and trendy restaurants, but daytime brings the most picturesque canals and alleyways in Venice’s centre.
Popular attractions like the Peggy Guggenheim Collection, Gallerie dell’Accademia museum, Santa Maria Della Salute church (an iconic view!) are all located in Dorsoduro.
Sandwiched between the San Marco and Cannaregio neighbourhood is the quaint district of San Polo. The main attraction here is the stunning Rialto Bridge and surrounding markets. Explore the tight alleyways and secret spots of this district to your heart’s content.
Things to Do in Venice in 2 days
This Venice 2 day itinerary assumes you will be arriving in Venice during the morning hours. If this isn’t the case for you, it should be very easy to readjust your activities based on the time of day. Day 1 is designed to accommodate a one day Venice itinerary if you are short on time.
Let’s dive in!
Venice Walking Tour
Now, what to do in Venice Italy? If you are looking to get your bearings first and learn about the interesting history of the opulent city of Venice in more depth, this walking tour is for you. Your private expert guide will show you the highlights of Venice and talk about the old city’s culture in 2-3 hours.
BOOK | Venice City Walking Tour
Venice 2 day Itinerary: Day 1
Grab a Coffee at the Historic Caffe Florian
Opening its doors in 1647, Caffe Florian, located in the famous Saint Mark’s Square is the oldest cafe in all of Europe and well worth a stop. but it’s one of the most romantic things to do in Venice, whether it’s with a partner or solo. Sit outside at one of the quaint tables, listen to the beautiful music created by the cafe’s musical quartet and watch the energy of the surrounding campo (square).
I normally wouldn’t suggest eating or drinking around the Piazza San Marco, due to the plethora of tourist traps, but Caffe Florian is my only exception. Given its prestige though, the prices here are definitely inflated, and you will be expected to pay a 6-9 euro surcharge whenever the band is playing.
If you have the funds it’s just one of those quintessential things to do in Venice that I think everyone should experience. If you are completing this Venice itinerary on a budget, then take a look down one of the side streets close to Saint Mark’s Square for an espresso and brioche, the classic Venetian breakfast.
WHERE | Caffe Florian, Venice, Italy
Explore the Doge’s Palace + Saint Mark’s Basilica
These two historic sites are best experienced together and are a great place to start your journey through two days in Venice. The Doge’s Palace and Saint Mark’s Basilica are two of the top attractions in Venice. After your morning refresh at Caffe Florian, cruise on over to the front of Saint Mark’s Basilica, located on the east side of Piazza San Marco.
Saint Mark’s Basilica
Saint Mark’s Basilica is a great example of Italo-Byzantine architecture and dates back as far as 848! Two sneaky Venetian merchants stole the remains of Saint Mark from Egypt and smuggled it back to Venice in a vat of pork fat, or so the story goes. Nevertheless, Saint Mark’s Basilica houses some of the greatest treasures from Constantinople and the Crusades.
The most eye-catching for me was the four bronze horses of Saint Mark’s brought back from Constantinople. Make sure you don’t take photos or touch the artifacts, or you will be swiftly escorted out of the basilica. Other treasures of note are the icon of the Madonna Nicopeia and the golden Pala d’Oro.
WHERE | Saint Mark’s Basilica, Venice
BOOK | St Mark’s Square and Doge’s Palace with Terrace Access (top pick!)
Once home to the Doge of Venice and the city’s government, this elaborate gothic palace is a wonder to explore. Think gold ceilings, marble floors and intricate frescos, there is so much to see here. Built in 1340 after a fire destroyed the original Palazzo Ducale, and extended multiple times over the centuries, the Doge’s Palace is the perfect showcase for the wealth and power of Venice.
Highlights here include the Doge’s apartment complex, Scala Dei Giganti grand staircase and the prisons.
WHERE | Doge’s Palace, Venice
BOOK | Want to see Venice from a different perspective? Book an exclusive VIP ticket to see St Mark’s Basilica and Doge’s Palace after dark.
Bridge of Sighs
Connecting the Doge’s Palace with the city prisons, the Bridge of Sighs has become a popular landmark in Venice. If you decide to visit the Doge’s Palace, you will actually go over the bridge on your way to visit the prison, but you can also see the beautiful architecture of the enclosed bridge over the canal from the outside.
Despite its beauty, the bridge was the last place prisoners would see the stunning Venetian scenery, releasing a long sigh before being taken to their cell. Hence the name. If you are interested in seeing the exterior of the bridge, head toward the water in Piazza San Marco once you leave the entrance of Doge’s palace.
Head left and once you reach the first bridge, look to your left and see the spectacular landmark. The bridge is located over deep turquoise waters and is bordered by the intricate white architecture of the palace and the worn, yet colourful, facade of the prison. It makes for a great photo.
WHERE | Bridge of Sighs, Venice
Okay, for all you foodies out there (hi partner!), Harry’s Bar, created in 1924, will be a must-see place to visit in Venice. After a morning of viewing Venice’s top sites, make your way to this historic Venice institution.
This traditional-style bar was the favourite haunt of Ernest Hemingway and was visited by legends like Charlie Chaplin, Alfred Hitchock and George Clooney. And, to top it all off, Harry’s was where the popular prosecco and peach puree Bellini cocktail was created, along with the famous carpaccio dish. This place is the epicentre of cuisine in Venice and is a great place to relax and sit in the special ambience.
Note, Harry’s is not a plush or nicely decorated bar or even a bar with a nice view, people come here to experience the richly steeped history of the place and enjoy a cocktail and a bite. Will you pay exorbitant prices? Yup. But, just like Caffe Florian, it’s a quintessential Venice experience.
WHERE | Harry’s Bar Cipriani, Venice
Venetian Mask Shop
Now it’s time to head to the Castello district east of Piazza San Marco. Peruse this much quieter, more authentic feeling part of Venice, and make a stop at the famous Venetian mask shop, Ca Del Sol.
Walking through the door is like entering a different world, of opera, intrigue and drama. Handcrafted masks hang floor to ceiling and even from the ceiling in this charming store, creating a magical shopping experience.
Either visit Ca Del Sol to admire the artistry and importance of the Venetian mask in Venice’s history, or purchase a mask yourself! The storekeeper is always really helpful.
WHERE | Ca Del Sol, Venice
BOOK | In addition, you can create your own Venetian carnival mask!
Libreria Acqua Alta Bookstore
Okay, this spot has received some Instagram fame due to its interesting pile of books out front. Libreria Acqua Alta, meaning “Book Store of High Water“, is an old-world style place with books, magazines and maps stuffed into every corner. The store famously keeps its books in bathing tubs, waterproof bins and even an indoor full-scale gondola to battle the constant flooding of the Venetian canals.
To add to the bookstore’s quirky personality, the property is also home to more than one adorable stray cat.
WHERE | Libreria Acqua Alta, Venice
Dal Moro’s Pasta to Go
The unfortunate downside of Venice being a tourist hotspot is the food. You will be hard-pressed to find decent sit-down dinners in the San Marco district that aren’t completely catered to foreigners or aren’t the aforementioned Harry’s Bar.
So, in comes Dal Moro’s Pasta to Go. Located in the Castello district, this tiny, yet very busy take-out spot does really great, handmade pasta, packaged to easily eat while perusing the alleyways.
I suggest either the pesto, frutti di mare (seafood) or carbonara varieties and take your dinner with you to the grand canal to watch the sunset. This really is the best option if you don’t want to miss a moment of exploring Venice in 2 days time.
WHERE | Dal Moro’s Pasta to Go, Venice
Venice 2 days Itinerary: Day 2
Up until now, you’ve experienced a great one day in Venice including some of the biggest attractions in the city. Now it’s time to move out of the heart of Venice’s old town and explore further afield.
Cross the Ponte dell’Accademia
The Ponte dell’Accademia is one of four bridges to span the Grand Canal in Venice. While not as famous as the Rialto Bridge, it has a stunningly amazing view. The Ponte dell’Accademia connects the busy San Marco area with the quieter, yet trendy Dorsoduro area. This is your first stop of the day.
Make sure you look out both sides of the bridge as Grand Canal views can be seen both ways. To the east, you will see the epic Santa Maria Della Salute church jutting out over the rooftops (to be visited later today), and to the west, a winding canal heading up towards the Rialto Bridge. Both have spectacular scenes of traditional Venetian architecture and life.
Once you’ve admired the view from the Ponte dell’Accademia head towards the street of Calle Nuova Sant’Agnese. Sip on espresso and munch down on a baked good at one of the outdoor alleyway cafes here.
WHERE | Ponte dell’Accademia, Venice
Visit a Venetian Glass Store
Venice has a very long glass-blowing tradition. The best place to experience this on where the craft originated, Murano island. If you have an extra day, I’d recommend visiting the island of Murano, where you can see traditional Venetian glass blowing. But, this is the second-best option.
The Vernier at Glimpse of Venice store is a beautiful shop full of local artisan work. I bought a beautiful set of Venetian glasses here back in 2017, and it still remains one of my most treasured Italian takeaways. Vernier at Glimpse of Venice can be found on your way to the Peggy Guggenheim museum on the left-hand side.
WHERE | Vernier at Glimpse of Venice
BOOK | Alternatively, you can book your own private Venetian glass lesson
Peggy Guggenheim Collection
Venice is known for opulence, indulgence, and intricate architecture. Well, the Peggy Guggenheim Collection is a breath of modern air within the historic town of Venice. Peggy Guggenheim herself is a part of the wealthy Guggenheim family in New York.
Located right on the Grand Canal in the hip Dorsoduro area, you can experience important modern art pieces from the first half of the 20th century. Artists featured here include Salvador Dali, Pablo Picasso, Jackson Pollock and many more. Take an hour to peruse the generous collection as it’s one of the best Venice things to do.
Note that the Peggy Guggenheim is closed on Tuesdays.
WHERE | Peggy Guggenheim Collection, Venice
Basilica di Santa Maria Della Salute
You’ve seen the beautiful rooftop piercing the horizon while walking along the Ponte dell’Accademia, but now it’s time to get up close and personal with the Basilica de Santa Maria Della Salute.
This church is one of Venice’s must-sees with an interesting history built in 1631. Originally erected as an offering for the city’s deliverance (salute) from the pestilence of the black plague, the church was dedicated to Our Lady of Health and was designed in the then-popular baroque style.
The exterior is a delight all by itself, but make sure to peek inside (with free admission, why not!) to see the patterned marble floors and bright ceiling.
WHERE | Basilica di Santa Maria Della Salute, Venice
Explore the back alleyways of Dorsoduro
The Dorsoduro district is one of the best places to get lost in Venice. Charming alleyways, friendly people, cute shops and grand campi (squares). Leisurely, make your way from the Peggy Guggenheim museum to Santa Margherita square, spending some time exploring.
Campo Santa Margherita is one of the best squares in Venice, so stop here for some lunch at one of the many outside restaurants. People-watch, and enjoy traditional squid risotto.
The alleyways in this area are easy to navigate and I didn’t once require a cheeky look at Google Maps. So, don’t fret if you feel like you are getting lost and need to stick with the schedule, Venice is best explored without a strict calendar.
WHERE | Campo Santa Margherita, Venice
OPTIONAL | An optional activity during this time is a visit to the Gallerie dell’Accademia with vast airy rooms of historic Venetian art
Peruse the churches of the San Polo area
Take the afternoon to transition over into the San Polo region. This area is full of beautiful historic churches like the Basilica S. Maria Gloriosa dei Frari and the Scuola Grande di San Rocco. San Polo also has some interesting art installations along the alleyways.
Cicchetti at Bar All’Arco
This hidden gem in Venice is tucked away in the San Polo area on your way to the Rialto Bridge. Bar All’Arco is the oldest Cicchetti place in Venice. Cicchetti is similar to Spanish tapas where fresh or cooked ingredients are added to fresh crostini. Splash it down with a glass of red wine or Aperol Spritz and this is your evening’s meal.
Bar All’Arco has become an institution over the last two decades, as the first osteria to open in Venice offering this type of cuisine, and the father-son team really brings this place to life. Expect to stand or perch while enjoying a classic Venice meal. Try the anchovies with gorgonzola, shrimp or calamari if you can.
WHERE |Bar All’Arco, Venice
Rialto Bridge + Market
No 2 day Venice itineraries are complete without a visit to the awe-inspiring Rialto Bridge. The enclosed bridge connects San Polo to San Marco and is a lively market fit for exploring. The Renaissance bridge was the first one built along the Grand Canal as the winner of a design completion won back in the 1600s.
You will find shops and stalls lined along each side of the bridge with large white stone arches looking over the canal. This spot can be a bit of a congestion point for visitors to Venice, but it’s still worth a bit of patience.
Make sure to walk along the canal to see the whole miraculous view of the Rialto Bridge in its entirety at golden hour just before sunset.
WHERE | Rialto Bridge, Venice
Ah yes, gondolas. You can’t really daydream about Venice without thinking of the classic canal experience. Now, there are three main ways to go about fitting this into your 2 days in Venice itinerary: private, shared or public water bus.
I’ll have to admit, I’ve never been one to splurge on a private gondola ride, so I opted for the public water bus option which will take you down the Grand Canal for about 8 euros. This will show you much more of Venice but with the addition of sharing the experience with other people. I have no qualms about my decision as it really was a memorable time, especially at sunset.
Most people think catching a gondola ride near Piazzo San Marco is the way to go, but there is more romance to the quieter inner canals of the San Marco district. Plus if you catch it at San Marco, a part of your trip will be cruising on the open ocean, which can get a bit choppy.
I recommend grabbing a gondola (whether it’s private or shared) by the Rialto bridge and heading southwest down the grand canal and then into smaller canals for the duration of your 30 or 45-minute ride.
TIP | Make sure to agree on a price before getting into the boat and look out for the Support Hands art installation along the Grand Canal.
Grab a treat at VizioVirtu Cioccolatieri after your gondola ride for a perfect cherry on top of a wonderful Venetian day.
Map of Venice Itinerary for 2 Days
Click here to link the full interactive Venice map
Additional Things to Do in Venice
in 2 Days
Day trip to Murano and Burano
These islands are located about a 45-minute boat trip away from Piazzo San Marco and feature colourful homes, canal ways and traditional glass blowing.
BOOK | Full day tour of Murano and Burano islands
Campanile Bell Tower
Climb up the Campanile in Saint Mark’s Square for epic views of the surrounding islands. Alternatively, you can choose to climb the Scala Contarini del Bovolo which is lesser-known but comes with an epic view just as grand as the Campanile.
Ponte de Chiodo
While this bridge isn’t necessarily anything to look at, it is one of the last remaining Venitian bridges without railings. Located in the Cannaregio district, crossing this bridge will give you a bit of an adrenaline rush.
Looking to explore other picturesque parts of Italy? Dolomites Day Tour from Venice will have you exploring this stunning mountain range.
BOOK | Dramatic Dolomites Full Day Tour from Venice
Is Venice Worth Visiting?
Now, is 2 days in Venice really worth the hype? Of course, like any popular and beautiful place in the world, it will be full of tourists. But if you carve out time to visit Venice in the Spring or Fall, you are in for a real treat. There is a reason why it’s one of the top destinations in the world to visit and one of the top things that Italy is famous for.
Venice truly is a fairytale city. With most of the things to do in Venice located in the pedestrian-only historic centre, Venice is also a really easy place to visit. Book a Venice hotel a few blocks away from St. Mark’s Square, along a back alley canal. You will get a more authentic experience this way.
If visiting tourist hot spots gives you cringes, I suggest spending most of your time in the Dorsoduro area, sipping espresso in campo cafes or standing and chatting with locals while eating Cicchetti.
2 Day Venice Itinerary Conclusion
So, there you have it, my recommended 2 days in Venice itinerary. Full of exciting things to do in Venice like San Marco Basilica, Doge’s Palace, the Rialto Bridge and the modern Guggenheim Museum. Ultimately, simply getting lost in Venice’s charming alleyways makes for a perfect 2 days Venice experience.