Itay travel enthusiasts! Here’s everything you need to know about how to spend 2 unforgettable days in Venice, including the perfect 2 days and 3 days Venice travel itinerary.
Oh, Italy! How good it felt to see you again! 🙂
Ever since my boyfriend and I started dating and traveling together, there really hasn’t been a year without a trip to Italy. (With the exception of 2020, of course…) We love this country so much!
Every time we travel to a new corner of Italy we return home to Amsterdam wanting more. 🙂 It’s the sights, the people, the food, the nature, and everything combined.
There is nothing quite like spending Valentine’s day in one of the most beautiful cities on the planet, Venice!
This time, instead of spending 1-2 days (as per our usual city trip), we decided to make it a longer visit. We ended up staying for 3 nights and (almost) 4 days in Venice (yay!)
So here I am, telling you all about it so you too can make the most out of your trip to this wonderful city!
Read on for detailed tips on the best things to do in Venice, the best time to travel as well as the 2 and 3 days travel itineraries.
How to Spend 2 Unforgettable Days in Venice
I’ve been thinking about how to organize this post for your best reading experience. Here it is:
First, we’re going to have a look at the 8 best things to do while in Venice. These are great experiences regardless of whether you are a returning tourist or a first-time visitor. This section will also give you some useful information such as ticket prices, opening hours, waiting time, and tips to avoid crowds.
Second, you will find the activities organized for 2 days and 3 days Venice itinerary.
Third, some additional information regarding the best time to visit, where to stay and covid measures we’ve experienced during our trip.
8 Best Things To Do in Venice in 2 Days
(Especially for First Time Visitors)
Here are the top must-do things when you are traveling to Venice, especially if you are visiting for the first time.
Whether you only have a few hours, 2 or 3 days in Venice, these highlights will make your trip here unforgettable.
1. Take a Gondola Ride
Of course, I’m going to put a gondola ride as #1! 🙂 A bucket list moment, which I’m 1000% sure you will love. It is an incredible experience and definitely worth the price.
The gondola fare is 80 EUR for a private 30-minute ride or 100 EUR for a nighttime cruise. We didn’t book via a certain website (even though you probably could), we simply walked to a gondola spot. There are plenty of them throughout the city.
You should know that the route generally depends on where you take the gondola from, so pick the spots you like most. We had a serene and quiet ride on the Canal Grande and into the picturesque streets of Venice, away from the noise and the crowds.
2. Go Up the Campanile (The Bell Tower of San Marco Square)
You won’t regret it, trust me. The views of the city and the lagoon are INSANE from up there!
The Campanile is the famous 99m high tower in San Marco Square. Initially built in the 12th century, the tower collapsed in 1902 and has been rebuilt in the same style.
You should expect a line for the tickets, but as it was February, we didn’t wait too long (20 minutes). The price is 10EUR per person. You will reach the top via an elevator. There is no possibility to go up by stairs (not gonna lie, I was relieved haha! 🙂 )
The Bell Tower is open every day from 9.30 am to 5.15 pm (the last admission is at 4.45 pm).
3. Visit the Basilica San Marco
An architectural masterpiece, the St. Mark’s Basilica is one of the most impressive buildings on Earth.
Take your selfies in front of it (as we all do 😉 ) but do make sure to step inside. You will be impressed by the golden mosaics which decorate its impressive, high walls.
You can also climb up to see the famous 4 horses sculpture. Fun fact: the ones you see on the outside of the church are a copy. The originals are displayed on the inside of the church.
Price: 3EUR for the entrance and an additional 7EUR if you want to visit the San Marco horses and the balcony.
Opening times: 9.30 am -5.15 pm. On Sundays, you can visit only from 2 pm.
Be prepared for queues. Even on a Monday morning, we waited for at least 30 min to get inside the Basilica San Marco. You can book your tickets online HERE.
4. Explore the Doge’s Palace (Palazzo Ducale)
An impressive Gothic-style building, The Doge’s Palace is considered the symbol of Venice.
A tour inside will take you through its long history as the heart of the political and administrative life of the Venetian Republic.
You’ll also be impressed to discover it has such a large prison at its base. The famous Bridge of Sighs (Ponte dei Sospiri) is actually a part of it and you’ll walk on it during your tour. It is said that, from here, prisoners had their last view of their city before being taken to their cells.
Inside the museum, we also visited the exhibition Venetia 1600 which tells a more detailed story of the city and its evolution through numerous paintings.
We’ve learned here that the winged lion (which you can spot everywhere in Venice) is a symbol of Saint Mark and of the city. It evokes the transformation of Venice from a small island to a large empire, centuries ago.
Price: Palace ticket 25EUR, Exhibition Venetia 1600, 12EUR.
Expect super high security and safety measures in the palace. We went through a metal detector to get inside the museum and you need to show your ID together with the super green covid pass.
5. Take the Ferry to San Giorgio island
Take a ferry ride to the island of San Giorgio, right opposite the Doge’s Palace, for some magnificent views of the city from a different angle.
You can visit here the San Giorgio Maggiore church, one of the most photographed sites of Venice and an impressive building as well.
Ferry ticket price: 10 EUR (return)
6. Have a Cocktail at the H10 Rooftop Bar
Enjoy Venice from high up and take in the fantastic view of Canal Grande with a cocktail in your hand!
What could be better after a long day of walking through the city than admiring its beauty from this rooftop terrace?
While most tourists will fight for a place at one of the restaurants on the ground, take my pro tip and head out to this beautiful bar (and restaurant). The service is great and the views magnificent.
7. Explore Venice by Night
Either on a gondola cruise or by foot, get lost on the narrow streets and quiet canals at night, away from the main attractions and crowds.
If you are visiting Venice on a weekday, I highly recommend taking a walk at night, you will have Venice all to yourself!
I will never forget the romantic walk we took after our Valentine’s Day dinner, on the empty and quiet canals. Even next to the famous Rialto Bridge, not a soul in sight. It all felt so peaceful and serene.
8. Visit Murano Island
Probably one of the most famous day trips from Venice is Murano. Here you’ll have a chance to discover how the famous Venetian (Murano) glass is made. So definitely something to consider if you have a bit more time to spend in Venice.
The Perfect Itinerary For 2 Days in Venice
If you only have 48 hours in Venice, then this is how you make the most out of your time here.
Day 1 – Discover Venice
- Hotel check-in – generally from 3 pm onwards
- Walk along to St. Mark Square and the Doge’s Palace. Take in all that architectural beauty! 🙂
- Let yourself get lost on the winding, narrow streets, less touristy places and see which areas you like most and you’d potentially like to visit again from a gondola 😉
Day 2 – Immerse yourself in the history
- Go up to the Bell Tower in St. Mark square. PRO TIP, try to be there early morning, for shorter lines.
- Take a gondola ride – 30 minutes
- Have lunch on the Grand Canal (Canal Grande) in front of the Rialto Bridge
- Visit Basilica San Marco
The Perfect Itinerary For 3 Days in Venice
If you’re considering spending 3 or 4 days in Venice, well done! This is the best choice, as it allows you to enjoy the city at a much more relaxed pace and to truly experience its beauty.
Day 1 – Discover Venice
- Hotel check in (see below my recommendation for the perfect hotel in Venice)
- Walk along to San Marco Square and the Doge’s Palace
- Let yourself get lost on the winding, narrow streets, the less touristy places
Day 2 – Enjoy Venice
- Go up to the Bell Tower in St. Mark square
- Take a gondola ride
- Have a cocktail on the Canal Grande at the H10 rooftop bar and rest a little bit from all that walking 🙂 This is the perk of spending a long time in a city
- Take the ferry to San Giorgio Island for some great sunset pictures
Day 3 – Immerse yourself in the history of Venice
- Take a tour inside the Basilica San Marco
- Visit the Doge’s Palace and the Venetia 1600 exhibition
- Visit Murano island
The Perfect Hotel for 2 Days in Venice
We spent 3 wonderful nights at the H10 Palazzo Canova and I cannot recommend it enough!
Note: we pay for all our travels and accommodations with our own money so this isn’t a sponsored post. I’m sharing with you guys our experiences and the best places we go to in order to inspire and help you make the most of your holidays.
The H10 Palazzo Canova is a gorgeous 4-stars+ hotel with an absolutely amazing location, right on Canal Grande! You can reach it in a 2-minute walk from the famous Rialto Bridge.
Stepping out every morning in the heart of Venice was truly a dream, so to me, this is the BEST place to stay when traveling to this beautiful city. You’ll have the gondolas at your feet, right at the entrance, as well as many restaurants just along the canal.
The hotel is very well connected to public transport as The Rialto water bus stop is right on the opposite side.
Everyone was very friendly and welcoming, and the rooms are super comfortable.
I loved to see their focus on sustainability, especially on reducing plastic use. There were no more single-use toiletries in the bathroom, but full-size bottles of Rituals shower gel, shampoo, hand soap, and body lotions.
(Curious how you can help remove plastics from the ocean and reduce your impact? Have a look HERE)
Even if you won’t be staying at the hotel, you should not miss its rooftop bar that offers spectacular views of the canal. Perfect for enjoying a cocktail in the afternoon sun after a long walk through the city.
The Best Time to Visit
When to book your 2-3 days trip to Venice
Spending 3 nights and almost 4 days in Venice (rather than the usual weekend trip) was the best decision!
It was incredible to experience the weekend rush but also the weekdays when we felt we had Venice all to ourselves.
So if you can, I’d definitely recommend spending at least 3 days here (weekdays rather than weekends would be best). You’ll be able to take it all in, visit museums, have a coffee, and a gondola ride without being pressed for time.
Also, the summer months are VERY busy, so I would opt for off-season travel. Even during our February trip, there were still many people around, a mix of Italian and European tourists. (our visit coincided with the Carnival start when apparently 80.000 people visited Venice that Sunday)
Covid Safety Measures and Restrictions
The covid safety measures were starting to relax in Italy during the time we visited (no mandatory outdoor mask-wearing for example) yet still very much respected. I liked to see that the majority of people were still wearing masks on the narrow streets and in crowds (as did we). Masques were still required everywhere indoors and you always need to show your covid pass at restaurants, hotels, museums, etc.
Unfortunately, no carnival parade this year, only several smaller-scale, events.
I hope you’ve enjoyed my tips and hope the 2 days and 3 days Venice itinerary will help you have a wonderful experience in this lovely city! Happy travels! 🙂
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