venice itinerary 2 days - canal

Venice Itinerary for 2 days

When I asked mum where she wants to visit in Europe, Venice was her first response, amongst other beautiful European cities.

It is no surprise to me that Venice is always in vogue. People flock to this historical gem for its architectural marvel, unique culture and unreal scenery. 

Due to its unconventional circumstances, Venice sits on a throne of islands, bridges and vaporettos. Elegant gondolas cruise along its arteries. Travellers get lost walking along its veins. 

Venice is a mad maze, yet it is this beauty of hers that left us startled. 

To best enjoy Venice, you have to stay in Venice for 2 days. This 2-day Venice itinerary is the answer to your prayer on how to best enjoy Venice in 2 days! 

Day 1 - Venice Itinerary

To start off with day 1, explore as much of Venice as you can. Day 1 will tick all the must-see boxes before we move of to Day 2 of this Venice itinerary.

Trust me, you will never run out of things to do in Venice in 2 days! 

Waterbus (vaporetto services)

If the price for a gondola is too steep for you, then vaporetto is the way to go! It goes through places in Venice and you get to see many exquisite buildings from water level. It’s worth it so I highly recommend it!

The vaporetto services are provided by ACTV, which is the public transport authority of Venice. That means that they are gonna check your ticket, so you better get the right ticket.

A 1-day ticket costs 20 euros. A 2-day ticket costs 30 euros.

However, you can also get a one-way ticket (7.50 euros), if you just want to take it once to enjoy the view. However, if you take it for 3 times or more in a day, it makes more sense to get the day ticket.

I will talk more about the best route to take on the vaporetto in this post. Also, I will include some tips on how to save money too!

venice in 2 days - Basilica di Santa Maria della Salute
Basilica di Santa Maria della Salute is the most prominent church on the island. With its gigantic dome, it's really hard to miss this during your 2 days in Venice!

Basilica di Santa Maria della Salute

One of the most impressive buildings that you’ll see on the water is the Basilica of Santa Maria della Salute (Basilica of Saint Mary of Health). It’s located at the very tip of one of the peninsulas.

You won’t miss it if you’re taking one of the vaporettos – make sure you take the correct one by referring to the post above!

piazza san marco with campanile and basilica san marco
This grand plaza of San Marco has been serving its purpose for the pass few centuries. Spend some time at the basilica and the clocktower while you're here.
st mark plaza - venice itinerary 2 days
The waterfront of St. Mark Plaza is always busy.

Piazza San Marco

Piazza San Marco is the most important and the most famous square in Venice. You have got to squeeze it in for you Venice itinerary for 2 days!

Piazza San Marco is the best place to watch sunrise if you can wake up for it.

Insider tips: I was charged 6 euros in one of the cafés at Piazza San Marco because they were offering live music. Should I know that earlier, I would have stayed longer. Just bear in mind that you are paying for live music as well!

Heads up: I was charged 6 euros in one of the cafés at Piazza San Marco because they were offering live music. Should I know that earlier, I would have stayed longer. Just bear in mind that you are paying for live music as well!

basilica san marco
You can't miss visiting Basilica San Marco while you're in Venice for 2 days! This structure is so iconic to Venice. Photography is not allowed in there so take your chances to take everything in!

Basilica di San Marco

Basilica di San Marco is the most famous churches of all Venice.

As it has been re-embellished over and over, the style ranges from Byzantine to neo-classical. It now boasts gold-leaf mosaics, extravagant dome ceilings and unreal frescos.

Due to its strategic location, it’s is one of the most visited sites in Venice.

A visit inside is free but be prepared as there is always a line.

venice clock tower venice itinerary
Look at the intricate details that the clock tower in Venice has!

Torre dell’Orologio

Torre dell’Orologio is situated next to Basilica di San Marco.

It was strategically placed in the piazza where the clocktower is still visible from the waters, showing off Venice’s wealth and prowess to sailors and traders who were approaching from afar.

campanile venice itinerary for 2 days italy
Campanile is visible from afar when the sailors and traders were coming into Venetian waters.

Campanile

Still within the piazza, Campanile bell tower is one of the most iconic symbols of Venice.

The most commanding landmark is almost 100 metres high, making it the highest building in this tiny island of wealth.

It is the first sight of those who arrived in Venice by sea.

You can purchase your ticket in advance (13 euros) to avoid the long line that can go up to an hour during peak season.

rialto bridge venice itinerary italy
Name one bridge that is more touristy than Rialto Bridge in Venice! It's hard isn't it?

Rialto Bridge

All your friends who have been to Venice – they definitely had a photo of them taken at Rialto Bridge.

Being one of the best viewpoints in Venice, there’s no question why this bridge is overcrowded.

However, do hang out around the pier area to avoid the hordes of tourists. You still get an equally sublime view of Venice even though some of the boats might be in the way.

Caffè Florian

Stop by at Venice’s finest café after a busy day sightseeing Venice – Caffè Florian. This café itself should be a tourist attraction.

The interior of Caffè Florian is heavily adorned with paintings with golden frames. The chairs and tables are so posh. It is as if you are a king dining in your own suite.

It comes with a price tag. Just get the cheapest item (a coffee) and take your time to enjoy the extravagant atmosphere.

If you can’t get a seat at Caffè Florian, you can try Caffè Quadri, which is another opulent café with lavish décor.

palazzo ducale venice
People call it Palazzo Ducale, I call it multipurpose hall!

Palazzo Ducale

Built in Venetian Gothic style, Palazzo Ducale was originally just intended to be a palace.

After many fires, floods and decay, Palazzo Ducale transformed from a palace to an office space to an apartment and even to a prison!

This is the way to the Bridge Of Sighs. It is the last bridge that the prisoners will walk through before entering the prison. Hence the name.

Vino Vino

We all know how good Italian wine is. If you are overwhelmed and not sure where to start, head to Vino Vino!

You will have a passionate connoisseur teaching you all you need to know about Italian wine while you enjoy a glass of this amazing concoction.

Day 2 - Venice Itinerary

burano italy at near sunset with boats and colourful houses
Caught a glimpse of the sunset when I was leaving Burano. It is as quiet as it looks when it gets darker, and eventually you get to enjoy the whole island on your own!

Spend half a day at Burano

Burano is not the usual fishing village that you have encountered. The first impression that Burano gave me is the colourful houses that sprawl the whole island.

As the island is normally foggy, rumour has it the wives of the fishermen are worried that the fishermen might not find their houses when they finished their work. So they painted their building with bright colours so that the fishermen will come back to the correct house instead of going back to a wrong woman.

However, the cruel reality is often not as romantic as the legend.

According to historians, during the medieval era, the plague was engulfing the whole of Europe, including Burano.

People who were infected had to use white lime powder to disinfect their house.

Therefore, to distinguish themselves from the infected, people who were not infected painted their houses with flamboyant colours to signify that they were alright.

Nowadays, thanks to the generous monetary offer from the government, Burano remains colourful. Once the application to paint is handed out, the government will allow a selection of paint for them to choose from to paint their house.

Chiesa di San Martino

Saint Martin church is the biggest church on the island.

This 16th-century, Roman Catholic Church in Burano was consecrated in 1645, making it almost 400 years old!

You cannot miss this structure as it stood tall amongst the other buildings. If you look closely, the clocktower is actually very, VERY slanted!

Lace shops

If there is one thing that you must buy in Burano, that would be lace.

There are many lace shops on the island, including Merletti d’Arte and Emilia Burano.

You will find lace products for everything from curtain holders to wine bottle decorations.

Da Romano Ristorante

Da Romano Ristorante was featured in one of Anthony Bourdain’s “No Reservations”. To me, it was a way for me to pay respect to the late culinary star.

Order the seafood risotto which the whole world raves about.

The meal and the service come at a price tag. A decent meal with wine you set you back at around 30 euros per person.

Take the vaporetto back to Venice

Do you know that the best way to enjoy a sunset in Venice is to watch it over the waters? During your 2 days in Venice, make sure you have at least one good sunset.

If you don’t want to pay too much to stay on the water for the sunset, time your vaporetto well. Take it when sunset is near. You can check the sunset time at TimeandDate.com. 

This will allow you to catch a glimpse of Venice over sunset without paying too much money! 

Other interesting points

  1. Scala Contarini Del Bovolo
  2. Crypt of San Zaccaria
  3. Teatro La Fenice
  4. Basilica of Saints John & Paul
  5. Libreria Acqua Alta Book Store
  6. Gallerie Dell’Accademia
  7. Glass Making on Murano Island
  8. Canareggio District (where local Venetians live)

Places to eat in Venice

Venice is not cheap. However, there is something called “cicchetti” on this island which is an absolute winner. It is a small piece of bread topped with various toppings. 

You can sample some quality cicchetti at Cantine del Vino già Schiavi, Arcicchetti Bakaro or Cantina Arnaldi. If you can, make sure you try an authentic tramezzino!

For top-notched Italian fare, head to Taverna San Trovaso and Trattoria Alla Fontana

Where to stay

Booking early

Even though there are many accommodation options in Venice, over-tourism has caused travellers to fail to find rooms especially at peak season. 

Make sure that you book your room in advance. Some of the hotels will have an early-bird discount to encourage travellers to book earlier.

High-end

How often do you get to come to Venice? 

Pamper yourself well by staying at Rosa Salva Hotel! It is one of the most historic hotels in Venice. You can expect the interior to be lavishly decorated.

This centrally located hotel is worth every penny. The price can fluctuate a lot but if you book early, there normally is an early-bird discount. At times, it can be 50% – which ends up to be just over €200 during peak season. If you book early for your stay during the shoulder/low season, you can score a deal for a little over €150.

Moderate

Stay with Palazzo Odoni for your 2 days in Venice! During peak season, this amazing hotel by the water is priced at around €150. The price dramatically decreases to €90 if you travel to Venice during low season.

Unlike many other hotels in Venice, the room size at Palazzo Odoni is big. You will be pleasantly surprised with the quality of breakfast, staff attentiveness, room’s view and staff’s command of English.

Affordable

Affordable accommodation in Venice are hard to come by. If you are able to book Al Teatro Venice, make sure you book it ASAP because it is always booked out! 

It is one of the cheapest aparthotel on the island considering the fantastic location in Venice. For just €70- €90 (season dependant), you will be able to enjoy the views over Venetian waters all day long! The kitchenette is also well-equipped should you rather cook.

Really budget

Accommodation in Venice is quite expensive. If you can’t afford it but still wanna have a good time in Venice for 3 days, stay with Anda Hostel in Mestre for just under 20 euros per night! 

It is just a tram ride away to Venice (you can also take the train for 1.50 euros). The hostel is highly rated. Although it can be rowdy at times, it is the cheapest you can get in Venice.

Going to other cities in Europe too? 

Check out how to spend 3 days in Prague or 2 days in Budapest!

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Going to Venice soon? Make sure you check out this Ultimate Venice Itinerary in 2 days, bringing you to all the hotspots of Venice in 2 days! A Google map showing you the full route will also be attached. This guides include where to stay, what to eat, where to go have authentic Italian coffee and many more insider's tips that you need to know! Written with a help from a true Venetian! #travelguide #itinerary #venice #italy
Going to Venice soon? Make sure you check out this Ultimate Venice Itinerary in 2 days, bringing you to all the hotspots of Venice in 2 days! A Google map showing you the full route will also be attached. This guides include where to stay, what to eat, where to go have authentic Italian coffee and many more insider's tips that you need to know! Written with a help from a true Venetian! #travelguide #itinerary #venice #italy

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