Venice is the city of canals, bridges, ‘campi’ and ‘sestieri’! You’ll find out more about the meaning of these words whilst walking around the city.
As one of the world’s most romantic places, it offers visitors the best views of Gothic palaces, mosaics, bridges, and the Venetian lagoon.
There is much more of which we are going to cover in this itinerary.
Table of Contents
2 days in Venice itinerary
Venice is the 1st stop in our 2-weeks in Italy and we know it’ll leave your eyes filled with Italian beauty, so let’s make the most out of the 2 days.
First, though, if you were wondering…
Is 2 days enough to see Venice?
We believe that two days in Venice is definitely better than one!
You won’t have enough time to visit some of its hidden gems or less touristy neighborhoods of the city, but if you plan well your time, you can visit all the top attractions.
We recommend visiting sights such as the St. Mark’s Basilica and the Doge’s Palace as soon as they open or more around the closing time to avoid queues at the entrance.
Try to visit all close by landmarks when you’re in the same area, as it’s easy to start wandering around streets and piazzas and lose track of time.
What is the best month to go to Venice?
The best months to go to Venice are the ones of the shoulder seasons.
We suggest visiting Venice between March and early June, and from September to November to avoid most of the tourists and enjoy pleasant temperatures.
In the summer months, the streets and attractions are overcrowded, some days temperatures can be quite high (over 30 C°) and accommodation prices go sky-high!
On the other hand, the winter months are perfect to see the city half-empty, but temperatures are quite cool and high tide is a risk to take into consideration.
Even if you can visit Venice all year round: spring and autumn are the best seasons to visit and have a fabulous time walking around its streets.
Is a gondola ride in Venice worth it?
With two days in Venice, it’s 100% worth including a gondola ride!
Normally the gondola rides last no longer than 30 minutes, so it’s absolutely easy to get to one at any point of the day, relax and enjoy the city from a different perspective.
You can spot gondoliers all over the city, and you can share a gondola ride with up to 5 people for 80 euros (daytime).
From 7 pm till 8 am, the price for the gondola ride goes up to 100 euros.
These prices are the same around the city. If you want to book in advance, we suggest this: Private Grand Canal Gondola tour.
Let’s now get into the all important itinerary:
Day 1 in Venice
This 2 day Venice itinerary is for visitors who have more time and can afford to move slower to take more time to appreciate the landmarks.
Check out our one day in Venice itinerary if you’ll be arriving at Santa Lucia train station and walking towards the main attractions of Venice.
Read below to see exaclty what you can do on your first day in Venice:
Accademia Galleries and Bridge
Before arriving at St. Mark’s Square, make a stop and enjoy the wonderful view of the Grand Canal from the Accademia Bridge.
This is the first time you’ll get to see the most important canal of Venice, the one dividing the city into two parts!
If you are interested in art and museums, take a couple of hours to visit the Accademia Galleries, one of Venice’s most significant art museums.
Part of its art collection includes worldwide famous masterpieces such as ‘The Feast in the House of Levi’ by Paolo Veronese and ‘Pietà’ of Tiziano.
Resting your feet in this neighborhood is a good idea too, with hotels such as Agli Alboretti you’ll always be a few steps from the museum.
St. Mark’s Square + Basilica + Campanile
It is no secret that Italy is known for its architecture… so welcome to one of the world’s most spectacular town squares: St. Mark’s Square!
On arrival, take your time to walk in the middle of the square and down the arcades of the Procuracies buildings surrounding the famous ‘piazza’.
These represent a stunning example of Veneto-Byzantine and Renaissance architecture.
At this point, walk towards the St. Mark’s Basilica and take a look at its facade and the sculptures and deep entrances uniquely characterizing it.
Remember to book your visit in advance in order to avoid long queues.
The highlight of the cathedral is the extensive golden mosaics located on the upper levels of the interior part, covering an area of 8000 m2.
You can also book the St. Mark’s Basilica and Doge’s Palace tour and during the same tour visit both historical buildings.
If you have time, visit the St. Mark’s Campanile, the tallest building in Venice and the one from where you can enjoy the best eye bird view of the Venetian lagoon.
Doge’s Palace + Bridge of Sighs
The Doge’s Palace is the old palace where the Doge of Venice was residing during the Serenissima Republic period.
During your visit to the Doge’s Palace, stroll around the different rooms, visit the Doge’s apartments, the institutional chambers located on both the first and second floor as well as the prisons.
At this point, you’ll cross the Bridge of Sighs, which was connecting the interrogation room of the Doge’s Palace to the prisons.
The reason why the bridge has been called this is that the view from here was the last one of Venice for prisoners.
Once finished your visit to the prisons and the palace, just step outside and take a look (and a picture) at the bridge from a different point of view.
If you decide to stay in this neighborhood you have hotel Danieli with it’s spectacular 360° views which is one of Venice’s award winning hotels.
Grand Canal sunset view from Rialto Bridge
Finally head to the Rialto Bridge, just 15 minutes walk from St. Mark’s Square. This area around and on the bridge is dotted with clothing and souvenir shops.
At this point, you can relax, find a nice spot and enjoy a romantic sunset over the Grand Canal.
This might be a good moment to book your gondola ride and ask your gondolier to show you some less crowded canals of Venice.
Here in Venice, there are thousands of places where to eat yummy food.
We recommend stopping in the Rialto Bridge and Markets area and finding the best trattoria or ‘cicchetti’ bar (bacaro) to have a lovely Italian-style aperitivo.
For the best authentic Venetian experience, take a look at the ‘Enoteca al Volto’ and ‘Cantina do Spade’.
Day 2 in Venice
These next set of landmarks in Venice are the ones that we suggest you visit on your second day after visiting all of the above.
Acqua Alta Book Shop
By spending two days in Venice, we can start adding unusual and hidden places to visit. Your first stop would be the Libreria Acqua Alta, the most beautiful bookstore in Venice (and for some people of entire the world!).
The bookshop is in Calle Lunga Santa Maria Formosa, in the district of Castello, and just along a canal.
For this reason, is subject to flooding during the ‘acqua alta’ (high tide) during the months of October and November.
The quirky bookstore features a unique collection of new and second-hand books literally stored on kayaks and gondolas!
It’s easy to lose track of time whilst visiting it and by choosing to buy a book here, you are supporting a local Venetian business.
Don’t forget to take a picture of the small terrace with the book stair and one of the gondolas just parked… outside the bookshop.
Basilica Santa Maria della Salute
The Basilica Santa Maria Della Salute is one of the most stunning Baroque-style churches in Venice.
Located in the Dorsoduro district (a less-crowded district) where you can admire views of the Grand Canal, St. Mark’s Square, and Doge’s Palace.
As many books about Italy state, the story of the church goes back more than 400 years ago. Before the church existed, in 1630 the city of Venice was hit by the Plague that was killing tens of thousands of people.
The whole city implored the Virgin Mary for protection and promised to build a church as a sign of gratitude.
Campo San Polo
Want to feel like a real Venetian? It’s possible! Stroll around Campo San Polo, the second-largest town square of the city after St. Mark’s Square.
This district is one of the oldest in the city, the one dedicated to grazing and agriculture, bull races, and fairs in the past and nowadays, where the outdoor cinema takes place during the Venice Film Festival.
This is the second-largest ‘sestiere’ (district) in Venice and the closest to the Santa Lucia train station and Strada Nova (the main road connecting the station to Rialto). You have Hotel Adua closeby too, for easy access.
This is one of the most authentic districts to walk around in Venice. Cross the two bridges of Ponte delle Guglie and Ponte ai Tre Archi.
In Cannaregio you can see university students in a rush for the next class, Venetians shouting ‘buongiorno’ across canals and the perfect place to get the most of Venice nightlife in Fondamenta Ormesini.
Do not miss a visit to the Jewish Ghetto, the narrowest street of the city (Calle Varisco is only 53 wide!) and taste the local fried fish dish at the Frito Inn, perfect for a quick lunch on the go.
In Cannaregio district is positioned the old Venetian Ghetto. This is where Hebrews were forced to live by the Doge in 1516.
Walking around the streets and the main square is an experience not to be missed during your 2 days in Venice.
You’ll see a lot of Hebrew-owned small shops, art galleries, and bakeries. Try the kosher restaurant called ‘Gam Gam’ and visit the Jewish Museum of Venice along with the most ancient synagogues of Venice.
Do you fancy staying in the Jewish Ghetto for a night? Check out Locanda del Ghetto which is located 10 minutes (walking) from the Santa Lucia railway station and just 25 minutes from St. Mark’s Square.
Venice Travel Tips
See our list of travel tips to take with you: