2 Days In Venice Itinerary : Best Things To Do in The City

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From leisurely strolling alleyways and eating authentic gelato while window shopping for Italian leather goods to taking a Gondola ride on the narrow canals or take a day trip to the colourful Burano, there is no other place like Venice.

During my trip to Italy, I spent 2 days in Venice and wanted to write this guide to share my favourite places to visit and things to do in Venice. Italy is truly an amazing place with historical sites like Rome, Renaissance city like Florence and city of canals like Venice. I fell in love with the people, food and the lifestyle in Venice.

This 2-day Venice itinerary will cover the majority of the signature attractions as well as some new discoveries!

Arrive In Venice

I travelled from Milan to Venice by train and reach Venice city at night. If you are travelling from other countries to Venice, I recommend arriving in Venice the night before so you have enough rest and energy to explore the city the next whole day.

If you travel to Venice by flight, you can either:

  • Take the Venice Airport water bus to Venice city. It will cost about EUR 8 and reach in 1 hour 22 minutes.
  • Take a taxi ride to the city. Cost will be higher but the journey takes only 20 minutes.

Venice Itinerary : Day 1

Piaza San Marco

St. Mark Square in the morning
St.Mark's Square in Venice.

This square, also known as St. Mark’s Square, is widely regarded as one of the finest in the world and is unquestionably Venice’s most popular tourist attraction. Here you’ll find the Basilica di San Marco, Palazzo Ducale, Campanile (the bell tower), restaurants, shops, and museums.

The square is crowded with visitors and pigeons. Taking photos with the pigeons at St. Mark’s Square becomes a popular thing to do. Here you will find the famous Cafe Florian and sipping a coffee at this cafe is also another popular thing to do in Venice.

Bridge of Sighs

Venice itinerary: visit Bridge of Sighs in Venice
Bridge of Sighs is an iconic landmark in Venice.

This is one of Italy’s most famous bridges, also known as the Ponte dei Sospiri in Italian. There is a reason why this bridge got its name. It was originally spanned across the narrow canal between the Doge’s Palace and the prisons, so prisoners had to cross the bridge and it might be the last time they could see the beautiful lagoon which caused them to sigh as they entered the prison.

There is also another saying according to the tradition, if a couple kisses while passing beneath the bridge in a gondola, they will have eternal love. This tradition is also what makes this bridge become popular.

Doge's Palace

Doge's Palace
The facade of Doge's Palace.

The Doge’s Palace is located on the Piaza San Marco. It is one of the top attractions in the city and the building has more than 1000 years of history! This place is popular with visitors all around the world, so it is best to get there early before it is open (10am) and book your ticket in advance for smooth visit experience.

As the name says, Doge’s Palace is a former palace and there were once law courts, offices, courtyards, stunning stairways, and lavishly decorated ballrooms on the inside. On the ground floor, there was also a prison that was linked to the palace via the Bridge of Sighs. You will have the unique opportunity to walk across the Bridge of Sighs when you visit the palace.

Since 1923, the Doge’s Palace has become a museum and it is open for visit. Inside of the building you can see beautiful stone arches, historical artifacts, magnificient sculptures and some of the most famous artworks in the world including Tintoretto’s masterpiece “Paradise” – the largest oil painting in the world!

Head to the top of St. Mark’s Campanile for gorgeous views over Venice.

St Mark's Campanile
St.Mark's Campanile

The views from the top of St. Mark’s Campanile are spectacular. Views of St. Mark’s Square, the Doge’s Palace, St. Mark’s Basilica, the Venetian Lagoon, and nearby outlying islands are spectacular from here.

Situated in San Marco, St. Mark’s Campanile is the bell tower of St. Mark’s Basilica. With a height of 98.6 metre high, the tower was once used as a lighthouse to lead the ships home.

Getting to the top of St. Mark’s Campanile is fun as you can get the views over Venice! The entrance fee is 8 euros for adults and you will need to get the ticket on site.

Take A Gondola Ride

Gondola Ride in Venice
Gondola ride in Venice

Gondola ride is the Venice’s signature! Although it is pricey to take a 40-minutes Gondola ride, but I think it is one of the MUST do things when in Venice. And I am not regret it! A 40-minutes Gondola ride costs 80 euros and 100 euros after 7pm.

As Venice is connected by canals , riding the gondola lets you view the architecture from a much better view and discovering sights that you would not normally see!

Rialto Bridge

Rialto Bridge in Venice
Rialto Bridge in Venice

Getting lost in Venice's Narrow Alleys

The Rialto Bridge, built in the late 16th century, is the canal’s oldest bridge and is regarded as a Renaissance architectural and engineering achievement. It has quickly become another extremely popular tourist destination. It has three walkways that lead between two rows of shops. Beware if you have a stroller or wheelchair as this bridge consists primarily of stairs.

Get lost in Venice's Narrow Alleys

Walking in the alley in Venice, italy

Venice has countless of narrow alleys and bridges and canals. Getting lost in the cobblestones streets is definitely my favourite thing to do in Venice. I can very much do this all day. Pick a direction and start walking. See what hidden gems you can unearth!

Grand Canal

Water bus at Grand canal in Venice
Admire the Grand Canal from Rialto Bridge.

At about 3800 meters long, this grand canal splits the city into two sides. In fact, all of the noble palaces were built right on the water and there is no pedestrian access. One of the best ways to see the canal is to take a gondola ride or a water bus.

Venice Itineary : Day 2

Take water bus to the Burano island

If you have ever seen photos of Venice with colourful houses along the canals online, they are actually from Burano – a small island from Venice. The bright colour of the houses are not painted for fun only. Families used to paint their homes in bright colours to distinguish between their own quarters and those of their neighbours, as well as to make their homes more visible from the sea. And this tradition has shaped the vibrant personality of Burano island!

It was fun strolling in this beautiful village and it is less crowded than the main Venice island. Take the water bus LN line to the island of Burano and you will be astonished by one of the prettiest and most colourful enclaves.

canoe stopping by the canal on the Burano island
The colourful villages in Burano island.

The main attraction of Burano is the colourful houses. Explore the beautiful island and take some photos with the colourful houses, especially the view from the bridges! Aside from street strolling, it is also recommended to visit the Lace Museum because Burano lace is well-known throughout the world for its high quality materials and intricate designs.

How to Get Around in Venice

Venice is a city built on more than 100 small islands in a lagoon, with no roads and only canals.

Walking: The most common way to get around in Venice is by walking.I personally prefer walking around Venice as there are plenty of alleyways where you can shop and find some hidden restaurant!

Water Bus : They call it Vaporetto. You can buy a day pass to travel in Venice with water bus. If you are following our guide, we recommend you to take the 2 day pass which included ride to the Burano island!

Water Taxi: When you arrive at the train station in Venice and walk out of the station, you will arrive at the main bridge and you will see the Water Taxis right in front. It is convenient to take water taxi from point to point especially if you are heading to you hotel with luggages.

Gondola : Taking a Gondola ride is pricey compared to all the other mode of transport in Venice. I would recommend to experience taking Gondola ride once when you are in Venice and then taking water taxi or walking to get around in Venice.

Venice is a fantastic place. If I had more days in Italy, I would spare more time in this city of canals. Two days is enough to explore the important places and sights of Venice for a first-timer, but if you have three to four days, that would be perfect.

Two days in Venice will give you enough of time to see the city’s numerous renowned sites and take in all of its history, culture, and art. I hope this 2-day Venice itinerary plan brings you to the top places you want to visit in Venice and have fun while in Venice!