Day 1 – Known and Unknown Venice
Welcome to beautiful Venice. As it is one of the most popular cities in Europe, it is the best option to wake up early and avoid the big crowds. That way you will make it much easier to do all the things to do in Venice.
1. Visit Ponte di Rialto (Rialto Bridge)
Start your morning at 6:30 AM and walk down to Ponte di Rialto, the oldest bridge over the grand canal in Venice. See how locals are unloading their fresh vegetables and fish from the boats and cross the stunning bridge.
Lastly, walk down the bridge to the square at Sotoportego de l’Erbaria. After that, enjoy a delicious espresso and croissant in the fresh morning sunshine.
2. The view from Fondaco Dei Tedeschi
From the bridge, it’s a 2-minute walk to the rooftop of Fondaco Dei Tedeschi. This might be one of the best views in Venice. The rooftop is on top of a luxury shopping mall and is free to visit.
There is however a limit of 70 people at the time, reservations can be made inside the mall or online. It is one of the best places to see the sunset but most-likely impossible to get a spot during high-season.
3. Visit Italy’s coolest bookstore
Libreria Acqua Alta is a bit off the beaten path in a quiet area where not many tourists are seen. In this crazily decorated bookstore, they sell secondhand books, postcards, maps, and calendars. There are books everywhere you look, even in a huge gondola and bathtub that’s inside the bookstore. This is because water can suddenly flood the place so it is to protect the books.
4. Get lost in the little streets – Best thing to do in Venice
The main Venice tourist spots can get extremely busy but you can get to a quiet area pretty easily. Get lost and stroll along the canals, cross bridges, locals enjoying their coffee moment and see the real beauty of this incredible city. Without a doubt one of the best things to do in Venice.
5. Gondola ride in Venice
A unique and romantic way to see Venice is by cruising its canals with a gondola, the luxury cars of Venice. The gondola price is 80 EUR per 40-minute boat ride and is officially set throughout the entire city.
Day 2 – The Highlights of Venice
Venice is well known for a couple of highlights that will be the things to do in Venice of day 2.
As every day, start your morning early but this time, make sure to grab a coffee and snack before entering the main tourist area of this city.
6. Palazzo Ducale & Bridge of Sighs
Start your morning at 08:30 AM at The Doge’s Palace. The palace is full of history and artwork that you can’t miss. From here, criminals are sentenced to prison. The prisoners crossed the Bridge of Sighs and captured one last glance of Venice. Hence the name Bridge of Sighs.
Hungry? Get a delicious and affordable takeaway pasta or pizza at Pako’s Pizza & Pasta.
7. Saint Marco Basilica
The impressive architecture and mosaics of the Saint Marco Basilica is a must-see. Parts of the cathedral are free to visit, and it’s not allowed to take any photos or videos inside. From the top of the cathedral, you have a great view of the entire square but try to be here at 09:30 AM to avoid the long lines. (opening times) Note: As you are entering a religious site, dress appropriately.
8. Piazza San Marco
Piazza San Marco (St. Mark’s Square) is the biggest square in Venice. Strategically located surrounded by some of Venice’s most famous buildings like the Saint Marco Basilica, the Campanile (bell tower), and the Palazzo Ducale. Tip: Get a delicious dinner at Ristorante Rosa Rossa
Day 3 – Relaxed Venice
Spend your last day in the city a little more relaxed or on Burano island.
9. Scala Contarini del Bovolo
Tucked away in the narrow streets of Venice is a unique piece of architecture. A spiral staircase (Scala) leading up to the top of the building that gives you a panoramic view of the city. You can see the Saint Marco Basilica from there. The entrance is 6 EUR per person and it is worth the search!
10. Basilisk Santa Maria Della Salute
Cross the bridge ‘Ponte dell’Accademia’ and walk around the student area of Venice called Dorsoduro. Make your way to the tip of the island towards Santa Maria Della Salute.
11. Sunset on the canals
Finish your day watching the sunset along the canals. So find your own private piece of pier and enjoy the orange and purple colors on the Venetian canals.
Extra: Visit the most colorful island in Europe
Burano is a 1-hour one-way boat trip from Venice. The regular bus line does this route a couple of times a day. Burano is a small island with colorful bright painted buildings. It is a nice getaway. Expect to spend at least 4 hours including the return trip.
How much does Venice cost?
- Hotel: 150 – 250 USD / night
- Food: 20 – 60 USD / day
- Entrance Fee: 5 – 80 USD
- Transport: 10 – 20 USD / day
- Water: Free from tap!
- Espresso: 1 – 2 USD
Getting to & Getting around
As you might know by now, nothing in Venice goes by car. Busses, ambulances, and even the garbage pickup go by boat but public transportation is surprisingly easy to use.
Getting from A to B
The ACTV water buses run every 5 – 15 minutes, depending on your stop and the departure times can easily be check via Google Maps. The standard one-way price for this is 7,50 EUR but you can buy a one or multiple day card starting at 20 EUR.
Getting from the airport to Venice
The airport is close to the city center. For 14 EUR a boat takes you from the airport to the city. Another option is a bus that drops you at the train station in Venice. From there you can hop on a boat. Other than the boat, the bus runs for almost 24 hours a day.
Best time to visit Venice
The best time to visit Venice is off-season when weather is cooler, and prices aren’t at their highest yet. Either visit between March and May or September to November.
Best Venice Hotels
Stay in the middle of the city but tucked away in a quiet street 5-minutes walking from San Marco Square at Novecento Boutique Hotel.
If you’re on a tight budget, your best option is to stay outside of Venice on the mainland.