THINGS TO DO IN VENICE IN 2 DAYS
If you’re planning a trip to one of the most unique cities in the world, this post will help you plan your 2-day Venice itinerary. Find out about the best things to do in Venice in 2 days – where to go and what to see plus many important travel tips for your trip.
Venice, the lovely world famous place is one of my favorite cities and I cannot recommend visiting Venice enough. I had so much love that I revisited Venice and all I can say: the city doesn’t disappoint and it is one of the most beautiful places in Northern Italy.
I think 2 days in Venice is the perfect amount of time to see the best places and explore the city. And this post will help you finding out on how to spend two days in Venice– so, enjoy the 2-day itinerary (plus important travel information like where to stay and more).
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TRAVEL TIPS FOR VENICE IN 2 DAYS
Before heading to the 2 days in Venice itinerary, here is some info for your first trip to Italy.
Why Visit Venice?
Located in the northern/eastern part of Italy, Venice offers the cutest, most picturesque streets and houses you can imagine. It seems to me that Venice was just made for people who love strolling through streets and enjoying life, while not doing so much else.
Every corner has its own charm and magic and the Venetians do their best to welcome tourists friendly. And of course, there are the canals, bridges, and the gondolas.
Inhabitants: More than 250,000
Location: North-East of Italy
Language: Italian, though many have basics in other languages (English, German etc.)
Small cafes invite you to enjoy real Italian coffee and espresso. Some cafes, however, charge ridiculous prices for beverages. So do the cafes near the main attractions like the Piazza San Marco, Rialto Bridge, Palazzo Ducale or the Basilica di San Marco.
You want to enjoy a bottle of coke or cappuccino in those cafes? You’ll pay around 9€ to 10€ for one beverage (a bottle of coke). The good thing about Venice is: it is not expensive everywhere.
If you aren’t willing to pay those overcharged prices you just have to look for one of the restaurants and cafes in the side streets. There you pay only about 1/3 or even less.
While I can ́t recommend the cafes near the tourist spots I surely love the main tourist attractions. If you stroll through Venice you will cross them eventually. Though Venice enjoys worldwide fame it isn’t geographically big.
If you want to see the other side of Venice you could visit during the carnival.
Water: Bring your bottle and refill it with fresh water from water fountains. There aren’t many water fountains with freshwater but it’s an inexpensive option that allows you to save a bit of money here are there.
Where to Stay for 2 Days in Venice
I visited twice once, I stayed in Venice Lido, which meant we had to take a boat to get to Venice. It was a beautiful boat ride and Lido was cute, and so I would not mind staying there again.
Venice itself has some great 5* hotels like the Gritti Palace with a lovely view of the Grand Canal. You can check the prices for the Gritti Palace here.
There are also some 2*, 3* and 4* hotels, though accommodation is quite expensive in Venice, so make sure to check out the best prices for your Venice accommodation.
Best Time to Visit Venice for 2 Days
But the most important advice I can give for a Venice trip: select your travel time wisely. If you visit in July or August it will most likely be full of tourists crowds – Venice is always busy but at that time it gets crazy.
I suggest visiting at the end of September or even October or in spring. Venice is seriously crowded – even during the off-season (have I mentioned that before?).
If you have a sensitive nose you’ll mind the smell in those months as well. Well, does Venice really smell? I am not sure if it is just a myth or if it is true but it is said that it smells bad when the canals are drained.
I visited Venice in May/June and at the end of September and I assume it was a perfect time to enjoy this incredible Italian place and spend explore Venice in 2 days.
How Long to Stay in Venice
Many people visit Venice for one day – especially the people who arrive via a cruise ship. In one day, you surely can get a glimpse, but I do recommend to visit Venice in two days. Within 48 hours (or 36) hours you can also do a trip to at least one of the other beautiful islands close by, and you can explore Venice when the crowds have not arrived/have gone (early in the morning, after 6 pm).
P.S. Though Venice is car-free you might need these tips for driving in Italy.
Find out if Venice has made it on the list of the most beautiful places in Italy.
HOW TO SPEND 2 DAYS IN VENICE
So, finally, we can discuss your Venice itinerary.
DAY 1 IN VENICE
Ideally, you start your 2 days in Venice at Piazza San Marco. From there, you’ll move on to other Venice things to do.
STOP 1: SPIAZZA SAN MARCO
I suggest starting the day very early and visit Piazza San Marco first. This is one of the places that gets the most crowded, so it is great to not have too many other people around.
The main square of Venice used to be the place to discuss politics and trade business.
Now, you’ll find several tourist attractions (some are mentioned here later on) there as well and so it doesn’t surprise that people come here to admire the historic and fantastic buildings you have around – it is a must-see in Venice.
There are also many restaurants and cafes but keep in mind that it is extremely expensive. If you are on a budget, skip a coffee here (10€ or more is common) and have it in one of the side streets instead.
The Piazza is well signed and you can just follow the signs – or type in Piazza San Marco in your phone to get there.
Stop 2: BASILICA DI SAN MARCO
The Basilica di San Marco, also known as Saint Mark’s Basilica, is another place I recommend visiting in 2 days in Venice. It is the cathedral church of Venice and can be found on the Piazza San Marco – and is normally very crowded.
It was built in the 11th century – and has undergone many renovations since then. It looks impressive from the outside – and surely also from the inside.
We did not go inside but you can book a tour if you are interested to see the impressive interior. To get in you have to stand in line -probably the longest lines in Venice. Even early in the morning, the lines are crazy already.
Entrance to the basilica is free (donations are welcome) but it might take hours to get in.
Tip: Get there early for free (opens around 9,30 am but at that time there is already a line) or buy a skip the line ticket (and enjoy the guided tour) to have more precious time for exploring the city itself.
STOP 3: CAMPANILE DI SAN MARCO
The Campanile di San Marco (St. Mark’s Campanile) stands at 99 meters and is one of the best tourist places to visit in Venice in 2 days It was built in the 12th century and was used as a watchtower for the city. That does not really surprise – the views are still great.
Like so many other places in Venice, it is very popular – lines can be long and crazy. If you don’t book tickets in advance, I suggest being here early so you don’t have to waste too much precious time in line.
Around 10 am the lines were still short (in September though) and I got up without waiting for long.
While there are stairs, you can actually only use the lift to get up, to overlook the whole of Venice and its lagoon. It really is impressive and definitely worth the money and was one of my – many highlights – in 2 days in Venice.
If you buy your ticket at the tower and accept standing in line you pay 8€ – a bit more if you want to skip lines. Check out prices here.
STOP 4: PALAZZO DUCALE (DOGE’S PALACE)
Most people recommend visiting the Palazzo Ducale as it is apparently very impressive. Though I did not visit the museum I would have loved to visit, but the crowds scared me away, so I preferred looking at it from outside only.
The Doge’s Palace, built in the 14.th century, is also located on Piazza San Marco and is a palace that was the residence by the Doge of Venice (the main authority in former times).
The building is one of the best sights in Venice and a great example of Gothic architecture – if you decide on buying a ticket for the Doge’s Palace you can find out much about the history and the design (which apparently is beyond amazing) and walk through the place that is now a museum.
Don’t worry, the line you see in the picture is for the Basilica di San Marco – however, the lines for the Doge’s Palace aren’t much shorter (but normally, they are a bit shorter).
You can skip the lines by buying tickets in advance (I seriously think, I had enjoyed Venice even more with more planning and buying tickets in advance).
If you visit all the places I have mentioned before (and haven’t booked any tickets in advance) you probably will not have much time to do for day 1.
If you plan your day more carefully than I did – or skipped the one or other visit – than you could head to the Grand Canal on day 1 in Venice.
STOP 5: GRAND CANAL
You actually cannot miss the Grand Canal – the main “street” in Venice.
Or to be more precise one of the busiest water-traffic corridors where lots of gondolas, boats, etc. provide public transport with some lovely hotels, shops, and restaurants lined up. This is another of the main tourist spots in Venice.
I love the Piazza but I adore the Grand Canal. This, of course, it is crowded, too but strolling the Grand Canal gives you the feel of being in the most special city in the world.
Food and drinks here are overpriced, too but I saw better offers here, so this is a good place to eat if you are not on a budget and don’t mind paying a bit extra for the view.
STOP 7: RIALTO BRIDGE
The most famous bridge is the Rialto Bridge, which can get quite crowded at times but still worth to be visited.
Rialto Bridge is one of the bridges of the Grand Canal and its unique shape has made it a popular photo spot – so another must-see for your 2-day Venice itinerary.
There are also shops – on the bridge – where you can get souvenirs (like the typical Venice masks).
On the one side, there is even a little place where you can actually sit down and observe the people and gondolas even if you don’t visit a restaurant.
STOP 8: GONDOLA RIDE
For many tourists, a gondola ride is obligatory (about 90€ for a ride, one boat, accommodates up to six people).
We preferred discovering the place by foot back then (to be honest, one main reason was that we were poor students back then and even on my second trip, I wasn’t sure if a gondola ride is worth the money).
Book your own gondola rides here to get the best deals and save money.
DAY 2 IN VENICE
For the second day in Venice, I recommend taking it easier and explore Venice by just strolling for a few hours and also, to do a trip to one of the places I mention below.
GETTING LOST IN VENICE
Though boat rides are my favorite means of transport I loved strolling through Venice – those narrow cute streets and colorful houses make this a perfect place to get lost for hours.
There are some lesser frequented areas of Venice if you want to avoid the crowds, but when it comes to the beauty it doesn’t really matter where you wander.
Each turn you take with lead you to a beautiful place – the buildings, the shops, the canals – there is so much to discover in two days, that I would allow myself a few hours just for strolling Venice.
A must-visit place in Venice in 2 days is surely this stunning little island: Burano.
When I visited a few years ago, I did not know about Burano, close to Venice. You might have seen these extremely colorful houses on social media and if you have time I recommend visiting Burano.
When I visited Venice again, I totally made sure to add Burano on my 2-day Venice itinerary and I did not regret it.
It is so worth it. It takes about 40 minutes to get there with a water taxi and you should plan for at least 2 hours to stroll the little island. Find out more about how to get to Burano and what to do and see there (click here to read my blog post on Burano).
Tip: By getting to either Lido or Burano, you will also have to use a Vaporetto, which is the main form of transport in Venice and it is much cheaper than the gondola rides. You can get to many places and it is a fun way of discovering Venice.
Find guided tours for your trip to Burano from Venice.
MORE PLACES TO ADD TO VENICE ITINERARY
If you’re looking for a few more of the other top things to do in Venice – especially if you stay for more than 2 days in Venice-, then I still have a few more suggestions up my sleeve. Whether you need an extra one day in Venice itinerary, or you’re spending 2 days in Venice and would like them full to the brim with exciting activities – here’s what you should be getting up to.
VENICE LIDO ISLAND
If you have some more time, I recommend heading to Venice Lido Island.
Doing the boat rides to and from Lido (where I actually stayed) where one of the best things because you can take more beautiful pictures from within the boat.
Lido has also a beach and some more cafes, hotels, and shops and is worth to be visited. It takes about 20 minutes to get there and you will see a completely different side of “Venice”.
Another place you could squeeze in your 2-day Venice itinerary is Murano – a smaller island near Burano. You can easily combine a trip to both islands and get there by the same water taxi. However, with limited time, you might only want to visit Murano if you don’t feel stressed.
The good thing is that you can decide quite spontaneously – so on your way from Burano to Venice you could still decide where you want to see Murano or not.
CONCLUSION: WHAT TO DO IN VENICE IN 2 DAYS
Venice is known as a great place for love birds and honeymoons. Without a doubt, it is a very romantic destination and perfect for a quick get-away for couples. However, I think, Venice is NOT ONLY meant for love birds but if you aren’t there on your honeymoon 2 days in Venice are totally enough to explore the city.
I hope, this Venice in 2 days itinerary has helped you plan your trip! Enjoy and stay safe.