This post has been updated on December 14th, 2020
There are many picturesque cities in Italy worth a visit, but Venice is the most incredible one. This city was built on a lagoon, which makes it an incredible reticulate of streets, canals and bridges. We made our little escape to this gorgeous gem in northern Italy. Be ready to experience the best 2 days in Venice itinerary.
We assure you that from the Italian point of view this city seems even more astounding. Really small, and quite narrow, it has been a powerful self-owned country for many years.
We explored Venice in 2 days without stopping, running up and down the alleys, crossing the canals through cosy bridges. Often we found ourselves lost, all the streets seem similar, even if the panorama changes from an island to another, like many little villages all together connected.
The over-tourism is something that is afflicting Venice so much, even if it is not losing the charm and romance. In a low season period the city was already packed by tourists, forcing us to visit Venice early in the morning when the town was still sleeping.
- Your Venice itinerary in 2 days
- Day 1 in Venice
- Day 2 in Venice
- Consider that before starting your journey in Venice
- Mark’s Square, Basilica & Campanile
- Enjoy the views in Piazza San Marco
- Doge’s Palace | 2 days in Venice Itinerary
- The Tower of St. Mark’s Square | The gorgeous view from the Campanile
- Riva degli Schiavoni and The Bridge of Sighs
- Early morning at Rialto Bridge and enjoy the lights on the Grand Canal
- The fish market of Rialto
- Rooftop of Fondaco dei Tedeschi
- Libreria Acqua Alta, an iconic place of Venice
- Experience Venice’s canals from the water
- Expensive way | The Gondola ride in Venice
- The Grand Canal on the Vaporetto
- Budget Way | Short Gondola Ride from a side to another of the Grand Canal
- The best landscape view of Grand Canal from Ponte dell’Accademia
- Galleries of Accademia
- Scala Contarini del Bovolo
- Peggy Guggenheim Collection
- Explore the neighbourhoods of Venice
- Where to Stay in Venice
- How to get to Venice City from the Airport?
A Romantic weekend in Venice
Your Venice itinerary in 2 days
Day 1 in Venice
- St. Mark Square
- St. Mark Basilica
- St. Mark Campanile
- Doge Palace
- Bridge of sighs
- Riva degli Schiavoni | Canalside of Venice
Day 2 in Venice
- Rialto Bridge
- Fondaco dei Tedeschi
- Mercato di Rialto
- Acqua Alta Bookstore
- Gran Canal Cruise
- Ponte dell’Accademia
- Basilica di S. Maria della Salute
Consider that before starting your journey in Venice
Venice is an amazing city, considered a masterpiece floating on the water. Even if it is beautiful, it is overcrowded and you want to like or hate this city depending on that. While visiting Venice we were skipping tourists, avoiding busy places, but the best way to skip it was to wake up early.
Early in the morning, you will have the whole city just for you. Consider leaving your hotel no later than 8 am, if necessary for shooting it’s better at the sunrise.
Venice is expensive, but there are still places mostly frequented by locals where prices are kept low. If you are in areas away from the old town, like St. Mark’s Square or Ponte of Rialto, you should avoid the morning coffee, going through the little alley far beyond the city centre. In the area of Cannaregio, you can enjoy an Italian espresso for 1 euro, with a pastry about 1,50 euro. Below this post, you will find much other advice on how to experience Venice at the best.
Is it your first time in Venice? Book here your free walking tour of the city.
Your first day in Venice
Mark’s Square, Basilica & Campanile
The key point of Venice is St. Mark’s Square, the beautiful main piazza of Venice. The stunning architecture of this place makes it one of the most visited in the world. Visiting Venice for 2 days, for sure you will pass by this square a few times.
The buzzing bars, boutique and souvenirs shops around the square attract tourists all year. Piazza San Marco is always crowded, for us even too much. You can visit the Basilica for free, going in and out of the arcades dipping to the incredible Byzantine-style mosaics. The queue to enter the church is usually really long. The waiting time usually is 45 minutes.
To avoid this long time in the queue we suggest you show up in Piazza San Marco early in the morning. The church doors usually open at 9.30 am, with the queue starting to build up from 8.30/9.00.
There is another option if you don’t like wasting your time in a queue, you can buy a 3 euros ticket to skip-the-line and enter first. This can be aggregated to a tour package which also includes the Doge’s Palace and the top balcony of the Basilica.
Enjoy the views in Piazza San Marco
Yes, you have read it right. Piazza San Marco is one of the widest squares in Italy, if not of the world. What we found interesting, obvious from a photographer point of view are the many landscapes options you have here.
The Piazza is huge and different from the others in Venice, which are called Campo, this is the only one with the status of Piazza. St. Mark’s Square has got many perspectives, that makes this spot of Venice one of the most captivating.
No exception, day or night, St. Mark’s Square is amazing. From the view over the Campanile, the tower, to the front, lagoon side with the two columns opening the scenario.
You will be surprised at how beautiful this square is from many points of view. It is appealing. You can go old fashioned with a trendy coffee at the Cafe Florian, one of the oldest in the city, or just climb the little staircase to the top balcony of the Duomo and see St. Marks square from a different point of view. More high is the view from the Campanile, which is even easy to climb thanks to the lift.
If you want to get inspired by our pictures, check our latest Instagram Spots in Venice!
Doge’s Palace | 2 days in Venice Itinerary
Right next to the Basilica there is a white detailed building, this is the Doge’s Palace. Once upon a time, this was the most powerful building in Venice. The idea to place such a building just in front of the lagoon was to impose the supremacy of the state of Venice. It was an impressive first sight to see once stepped into Venice for outsiders, merchants, politicians or military.
The Doge’s Palace was the government centre of the Venetian Empire, the council and also the apartments of the main figure of the city.
The visit to this building will take you to the decision-making room, the main chamber of consultation, held by the noble families of the city. The room was hosting up to 2000 people, making decisions about Venice and the empire. This building is also connected to the next one throughout the Bridge of Sighs, which was the last glimpse of the city for many prisoners, sentenced to death.
You can’t miss a visit to the Doge’s Palace while in Venice for 2 days. The stories behind this building need to be on your Venetian Itinerary. We recommend checking LivItaly Tours for a fantastic guide through the history of Venice.
The Tower of St. Mark’s Square | The gorgeous view from the Campanile
We have already mentioned the view from the Campanile of St. Mark’s Square, but now we want to mark it more. In between the sights of the square, the Basilica and the Doge’s Palace, there is this awesome tower standing taller than other buildings.
You can climb the top, through a lift. From the top deck you can enjoy the view of Venice and the amazing St. Mark’s Square, the Doge’s Palace, the Basilica and so the roof, the Lagoon with all the boats and gondolas, the Royal Gardens of Venice, The Church of San Giorgio Maggiore and many other sights.
Book in advance your tickets to skip the line in Venice
Visit St. Mark’s Cathedral and Doge’s Palace with a beautiful view over the Bridge of Sight. Enjoy skip-the-line access to both popular attractions.
An incredible two hours tour, discovering the awe-inspiring St. Mark’s Basilica in Venice without the headache of long lines.
Explore the seat of the once-powerful Venetian Republic on a guided visit to the Doge’s Palace. Marvel at the gorgeous Byzantine mosaics in St. Mark’s Basilica.
Riva degli Schiavoni and The Bridge of Sighs
The lagoon side of Venice is always so romantic, you will find yourself wandering along the canals quite often during your tour of Venice in 2 days.
The most fascinating one is for sure from Riva degli Schiavoni, the point where the lagoon meets the sea, and the docking point for Venetian adventurers. Riva degli Schiavoni is right opposite to the Doge’s Palace facing the lagoon, it is then following the crossing bridge with a view over the Sighs Bridge.
We were so lucky to have the chance to get breakfast with a view in Riva degli Schiavoni. The waterfront of Venice is the ideal place to wake up. The view over San Giorgio is insanely beautiful and early in the morning is even more charming.
If you go forward, following this riverside, you will arrive at the Arsenale and the Biennale.
Italian style Aperitivo and cicchetti
There is no better way to enjoy Italy if not with the local traditional aperitivo. This is maybe one of the things Italian are used to, which they want to make happen wherever we are in the World. The Aperitivo in Venice is a proper institution.
There is no right time for it, but always is delightful. Usually, the Aperitivo in Italy is a lovely snack with a drink before dinner, but you can easily do an aperitief before lunchtime, or even after dinner is some parts, like in the South, where we come from. Accompanying the alcoholic drink you can take some Cicchetti.
We have loved the area of Cannaregio to enjoy the aperitief. While you can drink and eat something even in the main touristic area, I don’t think everybody is willing to pay 20 Euros for a doubtful drink. Around St. Mark’s Square and main sights there are many tourist traps which we suggest to avoid.
Look into more local areas like Cannaregio, where you can find the proper Venetian vibes and real drinks. In that area, we had a Spritz for just 2.80 euro, which Cicchetti for one euro each. Check out Bacareto da Lele, which is incredible.
Amazing 2 Days in Venice
Early morning at Rialto Bridge and enjoy the lights on the Grand Canal
Nothing better than the early lights to enjoy the view of a new city. Venice is overcrowded, so we decided that feel the real vibes of the city we had to wake up early. We usually do in the city we are visiting. In this way we enjoy the sights that are usually packed by tourists, and believe us, Venice is overcrowded.
The awesome Gran Canal view you have from the Rialto Bridge is unique. This bridge crossing the Grand Canal side to side is the oldest in the city and the most beautiful one. We found it quite similar to Ponte Vecchio in Florence for the vibes.
In fact, like the one in Florence, even the Rialto Bridge is full of shops on both sides and is marked by gorgeous white stones. The bridge is dated back to the late 16th century in the current shape, while before there was another bridge, presumably made of wood.
The fish market of Rialto
This area of Venice is full of marvellous things to do. We decided to place this area on the second day, but you should start early in the morning to enjoy it the most. The Fishmarket of Rialto, is opening to the public early in the morning. Since 7 am you will find stands selling fish and other products next and behind. You can reach this place with the local transport the Vaporetto, which has got its stop on the Grand Canal.
The Market of Rialto is located in San Polo, and the building itself deserves a visit. Many experts dated back this market to the 11th century, and it is so an institution in the lagoon. The market is closed on Sunday and Monday, but all week.
Rooftop of Fondaco dei Tedeschi
A 360 view over the city, with the Grand Canal in good shape, the St. Mark’s Square Tower away, and some other towers of the city.
The best rooftop of Venice is for sure at Fondaco dei Tedeschi. Still not very popular among tourists it can be seen as an off the beaten path location in Venice. You can go to the top for free, but the admission can be requested online in advance.
If you are willing to spend 2 days in Venice, book your visit to the Fondaco dei Tedeschi in advance. It is not usually busy, but the places are limited. The T Fondaco as someone calls it is a picture-perfect spot in Venice. If you don’t manage to book your ticket online, just show up at the entrance, they might allow you to the top, or book it straight away. You have just 15 minutes to enjoy the view, use it wisely.
This building is today one of the largest and amazing shopping malls in the city. Completely rebuilt by the Benetton family is the best rooftop in Venice to admire the Grand Canal.
OPENING TIME | Every Day from 10:30 AM to 6:30 PM.
BOOK YOUR FREE VISIT | TF Rooftop
Libreria Acqua Alta, an iconic place of Venice
Even if you are not an avid books reader, you should cut some time off your 2 day Venice Itinerary to buzz in the Acqua Alta Library. This place is insanely beautiful, the pure Venetian way to continue business even if the problems are many. One of that is for sure the phenomena of the water flooding.
You can experience it every six hours, with the level of the canals going up and down. The Libreria Acqua Alta (Translated High Water Bookstore) is the symbol of this resistance to nature. The owners instead fight and lose, work together to create an environment unique and attractive.
They levelled up the shelves, dragged in a gondola (typical Venetian boats), and built up a staircase of books that is the new instagrammable spot of Venice.
The gorgeous Libreria Acqua Alta is one of the latest bookstores in Venice, and is even the more unique. All around the store you can find bathtubs, canoes, little boats, which leave afloat the precious books. On the side of the bookstore there is a little courtyard with a staircase of books, climb it to the top for a fabulous view over the canal.
The best views of Venice from the Canals | Take a Cruise on the Grand Canal
Experience Venice’s canals from the water
If you are spending 2 days in Venice you have to breathe the canals, to be completely tuned with the city. The water is part of Venice, and the energy of the canals parts of the personality of the locals. It is not cheap to hit the canals on a Gondola, but you can enjoy the water streams crossing the bridges. We highlighted three ways to enjoy the canals of Venice on your second day in the city.
Expensive way | The Gondola ride in Venice
This is the most expensive way to experience the canal of Venice. It is the most romantic one, with the gondolas going up and down the canals also at night. The prices for a gondola are going anywhere from 80 euro to 120 euro. There are many chances to get a lower fee, like sharing a gondola with strangers or booking in advance.
Below you will find some ways to enjoy Venice on a Gondola for a good price. It might sound like a dream to go on a gondola ride, and it is. Think your way below the Rialto Bridge, sailing the canal side, enjoying the popular landmarks of Venice.
You can grab a Gondola Ride everywhere in Venice, at every corner there is a “Gondoliere” ready for you.
The Grand Canal on the Vaporetto
We might have said already that Venice is a completely different city. There are no others like Venice in the World. Thanks to Venezia Unica, we have been able to discover the city from the canal side on Vaporetto. This city has a few streets, many are so narrow that a regular bus, or even a car doesn’t go through. That’s why the public transport here is going on the boats, everything, the taxis, the commercial vehicles, the police and ambulances are on a boat.
You will be surprised that taking the Vaporetto (The water-bus) will give you such good vibes and show you the best soul of Venice. The Vaporetto in Venice is crossing the Grand Canal, going from Piazza Roma, the Main Train Station to St. Mark’s Square and over till Venezia Lido, the beachside.
The ride is costing 7.50 Euro, but you can cut down the price just buying a ticket for 48 hours in Venice. Venezia Unica Ticket is giving you this boat ride included and many other discounts on activities already in this guide. This is a good way to enjoy the canal of Venice on a budget.
Budget Way | Short Gondola Ride from a side to another of the Grand Canal
We didn’t know that, but thanks to our guide of LivTours, we discovered that there was a cheap way to take a gondola ride in Venice.
There are just two points in the city left and are part of the public transport of Venice. One of these is close by Ponte di Rialto. You can grab a gondola ride that is crossing the Grand Canal for 2 euro each way.
This is mainly used by locals, who are bored to go all the way through the Rialto Bridge, crossing it to make it to the other side. The gondola ride only lasts a few minutes but is cheap and worth it.
The best landscape view of Grand Canal from Ponte dell’Accademia
From a photographer point of view, there is no better landscape than from Ponte dell’Accademia. About 15 minutes walking down from Ponte di Rialto toward Piazza San Marco, there is this amazing wooden bridge.
The view from this place is insane, walking you through the two sides of Venice. This is the right place to grab the latest postcard from Venice before going away.
Galleries of Accademia
If you still have time before your flight, you should visit the Galleries of the Accademia. This is a beautiful museum which has influenced the whole area with beautiful buildings and marvellous gardens.
The Academy Galleries are featuring paintings of some of the most influential painters of Venice, especially Tintoretto.
Other things that you should consider to visit during your 2 day Venice Itinerary
Scala Contarini del Bovolo
We have included the Scala Contarini del Bovolo in this list, but left at the last because you might not have time to spend going to the top. This place is another rooftop view of Venice. Becoming more popular nowadays as the latest instagrammable places in Venice.
From the top you can enjoy a considerable view of the city, but not the best of Venice, we still love the Fondaco dei Tedeschi rooftop more. What makes this place worth to be explored is the style, like in a fairytale tower.
Peggy Guggenheim Collection
This also has been left at the end, not because it is not worth, instead because it needs at least half-day exploring itself. Once the home of Peggy Guggenheim, which gives today the name, is the personal collection of
Housed in the 18th-century palace that was once the home of Peggy Guggenheim, the popular Peggy Guggenheim Collection focuses on modern art, mostly from the personal collection of Peggy Guggenheim. This awesome compendium of Art was started in the 1950s from Mrs Guggenheim herself and is today one of the most admired art galleries in the world.
Explore the neighbourhoods of Venice
There is nothing better than exploring neighbourhoods while visiting a new city. The same is true for Venice, which is a strange city, made of dozens of islands, all connected by small and large bridges. The city is made up of six Sestieri, the neighbourhoods.
Exploring all of them you can feel the differences crossing the canals you will find a different perspective in all of them. Far away from the crowds of Piazza San Marco, there is the real Venice, inherent in the Sestriere.
We have highlighted two of the most beautiful boroughs of Venice, worth a visit. We suggest you take some time to visit at least some of them, walking just through the streets and enjoy the vibes.
An amazing way to discover local use is to stroll around Cannaregio. I do believe that it has been the best neighbourhood in Venice we have enjoyed at the most. Cannaregio for many is the most lively borough, filled by buzzing clubs and bars, the perfect area for an Aperitivo in Venice.
Cannaregio is a picturesque place mainly frequented by locals, looking to avoid the tourist crowds of central Venice. It will be awesome to see locals arriving on a dock with their boat, just to get a take away drink and go back sailing the canals.
Another amazing area of Venice to explore is the Dorsoduro, the area on the right of the Rialto Bridge, looking at the Canal toward St. Marco Square. The Dorsoduro is a lovely neighbourhood embellished by the Accademia, the bridge and the Peggy Guggenheim Collection. This area has been for years the stage of Tintoretto masterpieces and features some of the most incredible scenarios in the city. Another amazing square to visit on this side of the canal is Campo Santa Margherita.
Where to Stay in Venice
Since Venice is an expensive city, we thought that you should be pointed to some incredible places. From Budget accommodation to more sophisticated luxurious places. Venice has a lot to offer, and is a tourist ready city. Remember that you don’t need to think about distances in Venice, while it is a walkable city, with the only way of public transport by Vaporetto or gondola.
While exploring Venice in 2 days we decided to take an accommodation close to the city centre, within 15 minutes walking radius, but also not that far away from Cannaregio, the lively area. It was easy to reach our accommodation by public transport, while we were 4 minutes away from the Rialto Bridge. Below are our suggestions for your accommodation in Venice for 2 days.
Can you spend more than 2 days in Venice?
Are you willing to explore for more than 2 days in Venice? Let’s say that starting from 3 days on will give you a better opportunity to understand an ancient city like Venice. You will not get bored at all in Venice, having many opportunities to explore the neighbourhood of Burano and Murano, or just going for aperitivo all day, ending up drunk.
If you are willing to stay even more than three days, you can plan to explore the surrounding area. Going away from the lagoon you can explore Verona, Padua or the Italian Dolomites in Trentino.
Check out about a visit to the Prosecco Region, for a jump in the wine tradition of Italy. If you are visiting Venice in Summer, remember that out of the city centre, just taking the Vaporetto you can lie on an amazing beach at Venezia Lido.
How to Get Around During 2 Days in Venice
Venice is a walkable city, and you will enjoy passing by a neighbourhood to another through the little bridges. From the airport of the city Marco Polo it is easy to take a ride onboard a public bus, the number 5 to Piazza Roma, which costs 8 euro each way. In Piazza Roma, you can choose to go walking toward your hotel or take a water bus. If you are travelling with luggage we suggest the second option. It is not easy to carry your bag across old pathways.
If you take the Vaporetto (the water bus) remember to book in advance your transportation pass. You can also book your taxi, to take you from the airport to your hotel. The high-speed water bus is another option to go from the Airport to the city centre, but a bit more expensive, while the scenario is insanely beautiful for a perfect welcome in Venice.
Whether your choice will be your transportation method in Venice, bear in mind that the water bus is the best way to enjoy Venice. You will walk a lot even for just two days and it will be hard to keep track of how many steps you have done.
Is it safe to visit Venice?
In a city overcrowded with tourists like Venice, the main concern might be the safe way to avoid scam and robbery. Generally speaking, Venice is really safe, and the environment is kept as it is by business and locals which are relying on tourism all year. Even if the locals do their best, there is always some concern, especially in central locations and busy places.
You should watch your belongings on board of the water bus, or in Piazza San Marco, Bridge of Sight and Ponte di Rialto. During the rush hours, those places are seen as the best place to rob unsuspecting tourists.
Apart from scams, the other concern on how to be safe in Venice, is about mobility. Being a lagoon city, with a lot of humidity and stairs it will be a challenging place for everyone. Doesn’t matter if you don’t have any mobility issues, but going up and down the bridges and walking on disconnected paths will be challenging for your joints. Due humidity as said, the surfaces are slippery, and are easy to fall (It can happen to someone to end up in the Canal).
When is the best time to visit Venice?
Venice is beautiful all year round. Unfortunately, due to the high water level some months, from December to March are making the visit really challenging and not enjoyable. If you are looking on when to spend 2 days in Venice, we can suggest you a few days after the carnival, which is in February, or in May when the temperatures are better. Those two periods also make Venice more affordable and cheap.
To be honest, there is no bad time to visit Venice, every day is beautiful even in the grey Autumn. The point is just to be lucky enough to visit the city of off-pick, which is incredibly impossible.
How to get to Venice City from the Airport?
As said before is really easy to understand how to reach the main landmarks of Venice from the Airport Marco Polo. There are many options available, from cheap with the ticket on the location, or with advance booking online.
You can take the public bus n.5 from outside the arrival of Venice Airport and buy the ticket from the Automatic Machine at the bus stop. Another option, definitely more suggestive is to reach the city centre by speed boat or private taxi. Obliviously those two ways are more expensive. The Express Vaporetto will take around half an hour and is costing about 15 to 25 Euro each way. The Taxi from the terminal of Marco Polo Airport is costing from 30 euro each way. Check the graphic before and book your ticket in advance.
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