What you can’t miss on your 2 Day Venice Itinerary
Venice, Italy is one of the most unique cities in the world. We’ve created a 2 day Venice itinerary to help you navigate Venice a little easier. But don’t worry, you’ll probably still get lost…and that’s totally okay and expected!
2 days in Venice might seem a little short, but if you’re hopping around to other hot spots in Italy on your trip, it’s actually the perfect amount of time to see the main attractions and explore all of downtown Venice.
Known as “the floating city,” Venice is known for its channels and canals that connect nearly 120 different islands and the only way to get around is by foot or using one of the channel’s transportation systems.
When you think of Venice, obviously you think of gondolas. But, there’s much more to Venice! You can visit numerous historical sites and enjoy delicious Italian cuisine at some of Venice’s many restaurants. Keep reading to see all the can’t miss places on your 2 day Venice Itinerary.
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Marco Polo Airport is the 4th busiest airport in Italy and it offers international flights from all around the world with many major airlines, making it extremely easy to get to and from Venice no matter where you live.
While you’re at the airport, you can enjoy free WiFi, go shopping at one of the airport’s many stores, and do other activities.
Photo Credit: Consorzio Motoscafi Venezia
After you leave the airport, you might be wondering how to get to the rest of the city.
Well, water taxis are a great option and the one we chose when we first visited Venice.
First of all, they’re faster than public transportation. A ride from the airport to a hotel in central Venice only takes about 30 minutes via water taxi!
Secondly, they’re surprisingly spacious and comfortable. Each water taxi can hold up to 10 people and 10 suitcases. Plus, the views are amazing as you weave in and out of the city by boat. It’s a great way to enter the floating city!
To hire a water taxi, look for the water taxi ticket booths which are located in the airport arrivals hall.
You can buy a voucher at the ticket booth and then make your way to the boat piers. You can also hire a water taxi by contacting the Consorzio Motoscafi Venezia, which is a cooperative of numerous different water taxi operators.
Most of the water taxis offer covered seating so you won’t need to worry about the elements on your ride into the city.
ATVO offers a fast and affordable way to get around Venice.
From the Marco Polo airport, ATVO has buses that will take you to Lignano Sabbiadoro, Lido di Jesolo, Porto Santa Margherita, Duna Verde, and more. The buses have air conditioning, plenty of baggage space, and free WiFi onboard.
There are a few different ways to purchase your ticket.
You can buy the ticket online, which will give you a discount, or you can get the ticket from the ATVO ticket machines in the baggage-claim area of Marco Polo airport.
You can also get your ticket in Venice at the ATVO ticket office, the ATVO ticket machine, and more.
Photo Credit: Hotel Ca’ dei Conti Facebook
The location at Hotel Ca’ dei Conti is especially spectacular. The hotel sits on a Venetian canal and is within a 5-minute walking distance from St. Mark’s Square, the Basilica, the Palazzo Ducale, and more. The hotel is also near the Santa Maria Formosa Church and many vaporetto (water bus) stops, which allow you to reach the Venetian lagoon islands, like Burano, Murano, and Torcello.
Hotel Montecarlo offers Venetian-style decor (they should just call it “decor” here) like Murano glass decorations and antique furniture. You can also enjoy the reading room, the bar, and the Antico Pignolo restaurant which serves a wide range of Italian cuisine and features over 900 (!!) different wines.
Each room is soundproofed and air-conditioned and has a bathtub, shower, phone, satellite TV, mini-bar, and more.
Hotel Montecarlo is conveniently located next to St. Mark’s Square, the Rialto Bridge, and the famous Bridge of Sighs.
If these options don’t tickle your fancy, click here to see all the hotel options.
When we travel, we sometimes like to rent local places to really take in the sights and live like a local. For that, we use Vrbo. To see all the Venice options, click here.
Let’s start with this important fact: Venice is an island (actually, hundreds of tiny islands) and you can’t get off it unless you take the one road in or out.
With that knowledge, Venice might seem like a difficult city to walk in, but there are actually plenty of walkways that will get you beautifully lost after a few glasses of vino! We did it and lived to tell you about it, so it’s definitely okay and recommended to get lost at least a little bit in Venice.
Outside of a water taxi, there really isn’t another form of transportation to get you around. The streets are too narrow for most cars so you’ll just have to start by walking.
You can take a stroll around the city yourself or take a walking tour with one of Venice’s several tour companies, such as Discovering Venice where you have a variety of tour options, like the Highlights of Venice tour, a historical tour, an art tour, and more.
All of the tours are led by licensed tour guides who have been in the business for over 20 years.
Water taxis are one of the best ways to get around during your 2 days in Venice since they’re fast and comfortable.
As mentioned before, you can contact Consorzio Motoscafi Venezia to hire a water taxi. There are over 100 water taxis available that can be hired 24 hours a day. The taxis are available in nearly every part of the city so that you can go directly to your hotel or any of Venice’s famous attractions.
Also, some routes can be extended so that you pass by some of Venice’s famous spots, like Rialto Bridge, Grand Canal, Gallerie dell’Accademia, and more.
Entry fees included in the pass:
- St Mark’s Square Museums: Doge’s Palace, Correr Museum (includes temporary exhibitions), Archeological Museum, Monumental Rooms of the Marciana Library
- Venice Civic Museums: Ca ‘Rezzonico, Palazzo Mocenigo Museum, Casa di Carlo Goldoni, Ca’ Pesaro, Murano Glass Museum, Burano Lace Museum, Museum of Natural History, Palazzo Fortuny
If you are interested in visiting these, you can visit all 10 for 41 euros with this ticket. To put this in perspective, you can buy a ticket to just the St. Mark’s Squaremuseums for 25 euros. The Bell Tower/Clock Tower isn’t included. For more info on the pass, please visit their website here.
HOW TO USE THIS MAP: To view the layers and see the names of the places on this map, click the tab in the top left corner. You can select the check marks to show or hide certain layers. If you select the icons on the map, you will get more information about the point of interest.
HOW TO SAVE THIS MAP: If you select the star icon next to the map name, you can save this map to your Google Maps account. To view it, open Google Maps in desktop or on your phone, select the menu button, go to “Your Places,” scroll to the right to Maps, and you will see this map.
Your 2 day Venice Itinerary wouldn’t be complete without visiting St. Mark’s Square (Piazza San Marco). St. Mark’s Square is one of Venice’s most famous attractions, and it has a rich history that dates back to the 9th century.
In the beginning, the square started out as a small open space that was lined with trees.
Soon after, the square gained popularity and it became the favorite Venetian gathering spot. Over time, the square underwent many renovations, like stone roads and marked spaces where vendors could set up their stalls.
Now, St. Mark’s Square is home to important government buildings and other facilities.
No matter where you are in the square, you’re surrounded by shops and businesses.
One of the most popular places to put on your 2 day Venice Itinerary is Caffè Quadri, which is a cafe that dates back to 1638. Not a typo. Here, you can enjoy breakfast, snacks, coffee, tea, cocktails, and more.
Another thing to do is to visit St. Mark’s Campanile (Campanile San Marco), which is the tallest building in Venice at roughly 320 feet high.
You can take an elevator all the way to the top and get an incredible view of the city. As one of the top attractions to see on your Venice in 2 days itinerary, you’ll need to plan ahead and be prepared to wait.
The Bell Tower opens daily from 9:30 a.m. to 5:15 p.m, with the last admission at 4:45 p.m. Tickets are 10 euros a person for ages 6 and up. Just a warning that they can close the tower for inclement weather conditions like strong winds or below freezing temperatures.
If you are looking for a skip-the-line option, Venetoinside offers tickets from April – November, but know you’ll pay a premium.
St. Mark’s Basilica
St. Mark’s Basilica (Basilica di San Marco) was built in the 9th century to house the remains of St. Mark, one of the four apostles. Since then, St. Mark’s Basilica has been known as an important religious landmark.
Over time, many different renovations and styles were brought to the basilica. Now, the basilica has over 4,000 square meters that are covered in gold, numerous Byzantine treasures that were stolen after the fall of Constantinople, marble floors, five domes, pointed gothic arches, and more.
The lines at St. Mark’s Basilica can get pretty long, but you can avoid them by going early in the morning or joining a tour. There’s even a special tour that “Walks of Italy” provides where you can visit the basilica after hours with an intimate group of no more than 20 people.
Photo Credit: Palazzo Ducale Facebook
Doge’s Palace (Palazzo Ducale) is one of the most famous attractions in Venice.
The palace has been rebuilt a few times, but the current one was built in the 14th century. Doge’s Palace is decorated in a gothic style with light pink marble, large arching windows, and numerous statues.
Inside, the palace is just as beautiful with grand staircases, gold ceilings covered in beautiful artwork, and much more.
Doge’s Palace used to be the home of Venice’s ruler, Doge, but the palace is now a museum, named Museo dell’Opera.
The museum is broken up into several different rooms with each one housing columns, artwork, and sculptures – all representing a different theme, like the universe, people, plants, and animals. Be sure to check out the courtyard and the Doge’s Apartments as well.
Bridge of Sighs
This iconic Venice bridge, built in 1600, is made of beautiful white limestone and is a little bit different from many of the other Venice bridges in that it is an enclosed bridge. The Bridge of Sighs connects the prison to the interrogation rooms in the Doge’s Palace on the other side of the canal.
Like most things while traveling in Italy, head here early if you want to snap your picturesque photo without tons of people/gondolas in the picture
The name of the bridge comes from the notion that this view was the last that prisoners had of Venice before being locked away and that they would let out one last sigh as they viewed the beautiful city of Venice around them.
If you want to experience this same “final view” from inside the bridge as the prisoners once did, you’ll need to book a tour of the Doge’s Palace – it’s the only way to access the bridge.
The Bridge of Sighs also has an uncle – the Rialto Bridge (mainly because Rialto is older, but also because the Bridge of Sighs’ designer was the nephew of the Rialto Bridge designer. Bridges just run in the family.
Basilica dei Frari
Photo Credit: Basilica dei Frari Facebook
A 20 minute walk from St. Mark’s Square sits Basilica dei Frari, the second largest church in Venice. The exterior of the church is done in a gothic style which may not look like much from the outside, but the inside is much more impressive with artwork done by Titian, Vivarini, Bellini, and other famous artists.
As soon as you walk in, you’ll see “Assumption of the Virgin,” a large painting depicting the Virgin Mary which was completed by Titian in 1518.
The church also houses the tomb of Antonio Canova, who was a famous Italian sculptor. If you head to the choir chapel, you’ll see more artwork by Bellini and Vivarini.
Basilica dei Frari is like a church and museum combined. If you’re an art lover, Basilica dei Frari is a must-see on your 2 day Venice itinerary. The entry fee is 3 euros and is not included on the museum pass.
The Rialto Bridge is not only the most famous bridge in Venice but the oldest one as well.
It was completed by Antonio da Ponte in 1519 and still stands strong today, attracting millions of visitors every year. Sitting right above theGrand Canal, the Rialto Bridge is the perfect place to snap some amazing pictures of Venice.
If you cross the bridge, you’ll find the Rialto Market which is said to have been around since 1097! Here, you can find fresh and delicious fruits and vegetables.
There’s also a fish market where the local fishermen sell the fish that they caught out on the sea.
San Giorgio Maggiore sits on an island by the same name that’s just opposite St. Mark’s Square. The basilica was completed in 1576 by Andrea Palladio and now it’s one of the most photographed places in Venice.
The church is made from white marble with large statues and columns near the entrance of the church. Inside, you’ll find yourself surrounded by white, untouched walls and giant, white columns on either side of you.
The basilica has three floors, with each one containing various paintings by the famous artist Tintoretto. The church is also home to “Madonna enthroned with Saints,” a famous painting by the artist Sebastiano Ricci.
If you’d like to get a magnificent view of Venice, take the elevator to the top of the bell tower. It’s almost as high as the bell tower in St. Mark’s Square!
There is also the Borges Labyrinth which is a maze just over a half-mile long made of boxwood plants.
To get to this island, you’ll need to take a water taxi from the San Marco Zaccaria stop near St. Mark’s Square. Be sure to check their website for tour info as well as opening times.
Santa Maria Della Salute
Santa Maria Della Salute is so popular that it’s hard to find a picture of Venice without it. Located near the entrance of the Grand Canal, this famous church was built in 1631 by Baldassare Longhena to mark the end of the plague that killed nearly 80,000 Venetians.
The basilica is known for its large domes that sit on top of the building, but what lies inside is even more special. Several paintings by Titian and Tintoretto line the walls of the church.
The church is open year round for prayer so you can visit for free. If you want to see the museum, the entry fee is 4 euros. For more info, please click here.
Accademia Gallery of Venice
Photo Credit: Accademia Gallery of Venice Facebook
If you’re an art lover, Accademia Gallery (Gallerie dell’Accademia) is the perfect place to add to your Venice in 2 days itinerary. The Accademia started as a school for painters and sculptors in 1750.
Between 1816 and 1856, the Accademia received numerous pieces of art from artists like Manfrin, Renier, Contarini, Molin, and more.
In 1879, Accademia Gallery separated from the Academy of Fine Arts of Venice and was registered in the Italian Ministry of Cultural Heritage. Now, the gallery holds over 800 paintings, making it the largest Venetian art collection in Venice.
All the paintings in the gallery have been done by famous Italian artists, many of which you’ve already read about, like Titian, Tintoretto, Bellini, Canaletto, Veronese, and more.
If you want to avoid the lines, book your ticket online on the Accademia Gallery website. You also have the option to book a private tour of the gallery if you’d like.
If you have googled the Accademia Gallery and left out the word “Venice”, chances are you found the infamous Statue of David. If you are looking for Michaelangelo’s David statue at the Accademia Gallery, you’ll need to head a few hours south and check out our Florence guide instead.
Would your 2 day Venice itinerary be complete without taking a famous gondola ride? Hell no, it wouldn’t be!
If you’re unfamiliar with what a gondola is, it’s a long and narrow boat that is steered by a person called a gondolier. In the past, gondolas used to be the main way to get around for most Venetians. Today, they’re mainly used for tourists, and as such, may price-gouge you.
Gondolas can take you pretty much anywhere in the city, even parts that are usually inaccessible. They’re also a great option for couples who are looking for a bit of romance.
You can even pay the gondolier extra money to sing or play an instrument while you enjoy your gondola ride with your loved one! If you don’t mind sharing the gondola with other people and are looking for cheaper prices, there are gondola tours available as well.
Gondolas and gondoliers are pretty easy to find. You’ll find them in the main tourist areas like Tronchetto, the Rialto Bridge, Doge’s Palace, and more.
Chances are if you’re in a tourist area, plenty of men in matching striped shirts will stop you and ask you if you’d like a gondola ride.
Photo Credit: La Bottiglia Facebook
La Bottiglia was established in a building that used to be a butcher’s shop, but now it’s a thriving wine bar. While the restaurant is known for their exceptional and diverse wine list, they also serve cheese and meat boards, as well as delicious paninis made with high-quality bread, meat, and cheese.
La Bottiglia is quite small with only a few tables outside and a few stools inside. But, the restaurant is great for grabbing a casual bite to eat and people watching in the small neighborhood of San Polo.
Photo Credit: Al Merca Yelp
Since there aren’t any tables, Al Mercà is the perfect place to put on your 2 day Venice itinerary if you’re just looking for a quick bite to eat. This small restaurant has an extensive wine list, a wide range of fresh mini sandwiches, and other snacks.
Plus, it’s conveniently located next to the Rialto Bridge! They’re redefining “fast food”.
Cantine del Vino Già Schiavi
Photo Credit: Cantine del Vino Già Schiavi Facebook
Cantine del Vino Già Schiavi is a popular tavern in Venice that is known for its cicchetti (small snacks), wine, and sandwiches that are prepared on the spot and made from a wide variety of fresh ingredients that you can choose from.
Cantine del Vino Già Schiavi is not only a bar, but a wine shop as well where over 500 different kinds of wine are on sale, along with whiskey, vodka, and more. Plus, they deliver wine all throughout Venice!
Like many restaurants and bars in Venice, Cantine del Vino Già Schiavi doesn’t have any seating available so you’ll have to stand. However, the tavern is right on a bridge where you can sit and enjoy your food and wine while you watch the gondolas pass by on the canal.
Photo Credit: Pizza Al Volo Facebook
Pizza Al Volo is the place to go if you’re craving tasty and authentic Italian pizza. This pizza outlet offers nearly 40 different kinds of pizza to choose from, all of which come in a thin crust and are made with fresh and delicious ingredients.
The pizzas come in a “normal” and “family” size. Keep in mind that even the “normal” size is quite large! Pizza Al Volo doesn’t have anywhere to sit, but there are benches outside where you can sit and enjoy your pizza.
Tucked away in Campo Sant’Agostin sits Pizza 2000. This small and cozy pizzeria offers numerous different varieties of pizza like the classic Margherita, four cheese, vegetable, and much more. There’s even a vegan option! Just ask for “pizza rossa” (red pizza).
The pizzas come in a “normal” and “family” size, and you can order pizza by the slice as well.
Something unique about this pizzeria is that even though it’s mostly takeaway, it has a few tables outside where you can sit and eat.
Of note, it’s so popular that they don’t have a website. Their notoriety is through word of mouth.
Photo Credit: Dal Moro’s TripAdvisor
If you’re a pasta lover, you need to put Dal Moro’s on your Venice in 2 days itinerary.
Dal Moro’s is located in a small alley just 3 minutes away from Saint Mark’s Basilica. Sometimes the line can get long, but it moves pretty fast due to the restaurant’s efficient ordering system.
You just pick a type of pasta, a sauce, meat (if any), and any additional things like spices or cheese. You can choose from 10 pre-made combinations as well! After that, the pasta is made from scratch right in front of you.
Dal Moro’s is strictly takeaway, but there are some spots nearby where you can stand and enjoy your pasta.
Given their success and popularity, they offer franchise locations across the globe. In our opinion, that doesn’t make this place any less delicious.
Squid Ink Pasta
While we aren’t going to mention any single restaurant for this section, no 2 day Venice itinerary (or any number of days for that matter) would be complete with mentioning the unique Venetian delicacy of squid ink past (Spaghetti al Nero or Spaghetti Neri).
While it may sound disgusting, it’s actually quite delicious if you can get over the look of it. Squid ink is added during the dough-making process, which gives the finished pasta the black pigment.
The dish, often fairly salty given its origins, can be somewhat chewy but is rich in protein and isn’t overpowering in its taste
Not sold yet? Well, apparently there are some health benefits of the black ink (so say the experts), including causing an increase in white blood cell production which boosts your immune system and the ink is also said to prevent the growth of new blood vessels that tumors and cancer cells use to grow. If you don’t do it for the taste/look, do it for your health!
Photo Credit: Gelato Fantasy Facebook
Located between Rialto Bridge and St. Mark’s Square, Gelato Fantasy is the perfect place to put on your 2 day Venice itinerary if you have a sweet tooth. This small ice cream shop offers a wide range of gelato flavors such as vanilla, hazelnut, chocolate, peanut butter, cheesecake, and much more.
Vegan gelato (talk about an oxymoron) is available in pistachio, almond, hazelnut, vanilla, chocolate, coffee, and choco-mint chips. If you’d like to take some gelato home, you can get a tub and have it filled with up to 6 different flavors.
Gelato Fantasy also serves crepes, milkshakes, coffee, tea, and specialties, such as banana splits and the “Temptation Cup” and the “Fantasy Cup,” which are different combinations of various flavors and ingredients.
Besides their delicious sweet treats, Gelato Fantasy has great customer service, free WiFi, and seating options.
Photo Credit: Pasticceria Tonolo TripAdvisor
If you’re looking for a place to get breakfast or just grab a sweet snack, Pasticceria Tonolo is the way to go. This small pastry shop is located in the Dorsoduro neighborhood, only about a 2-minute walk from Basilica di Santa Maria.
Pasticceria Tonolo offers a wide range of pastries including cakes, cookies, croissants, cream puffs, and much more. If you visit Venice during Carnevale season (think Mardi Gras), be sure to check out their famous frittelle, which is a kind of fried doughnut. For beverages, they offer coffee.
There is nowhere to sit at Pasticceria Tonolo, but you can eat your pastry at the coffee bar if you’d like.
Photo Credit: Il Santo Bevitore Facebook
If you’re looking for a casual place to drink beer and enjoy some food, you should visit Il Santo Bevitore during your 2 days in Venice. This pub has over 20 taps with a large majority of them being Italian craft beers. If you need help choosing what beer to order, you can ask for samples.
For food, Il Santo Bevitore offers small, pub-style snacks like grilled cheese, cured meats, and cicchetti.
Santo Bevitore has a variety of seating options. You can either sit inside and watch some TV or sit at the tables that are outside of the bar and enjoy the nice weather.
Bacaro Risorto Castello
Photo Credit: Bacaro Risorto Castello TripAdvisor
Bacaro Risorto Castello is a cozy bar located right behind St. Mark’s Square, only a 3-minute walk from the Bridge of Sighs. This bar offers a great selection of wine, beer, gin, coffee, and soft drinks.
The selection of food is great as well. They offer plenty of sandwiches, paninis, cicchetti, and more.
Besides the great food and drinks, Bacaro Risorto is full of amazing vibes. You’ll find people from all over the world chatting, listening to the restaurant’s music, and enjoying their drinks! Plus, the staff is friendly and cheerful.
Overall – 2 day Venice Itinerary
Venice is a city that will steal your heart and make you want to come back again and again. For a quick 2 day Venice itinerary, the places on this list give you enough of a snapshot of the city to know how incredible it is.
This floating city has so much to offer, whether it be learning about Venetian history at one of the city’s many art museums, marveling at famous artwork by artists like Titian and Bellini, or taking a gondola ride on one of the city’s many canals.
Plus, Venetian cuisine is unmatched. Everywhere you go you’ll find pizza, pasta, gelato, and paninis that you can enjoy in between exploring the beautiful floating city.
But where do we personally recommend? Hotel Ca’ dei Conti is our hands-down favorite.
Don’t forget to pick up an Venice guidebook for your local adventures.
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We are Samantha & Chris and we are Boozing Abroad (literally). Together, we've traveled to over 40 states and 20 countries drinking local beers, wines and spirits along the way.
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Samantha and Chris fell in love with traveling together back in 2015. They met, married, and lived together in Richmond, VA for 7 years before becoming full-time travelers in 2020.
Along the way, they’ve traveled to over 40 U.S. states and 20 countries while drinking local beers, wines, and spirits during their journeys.
Join them as they share travel resources, stories, and guides based on their personal experiences drinking locally when traveling globally.