Venice 2 Day Itinerary: How to Spend 2 Dreamy Days in Venice
Planning a trip to Venice but don’t know where to start? We've got you covered.
Famous the world over for its gondolas and canals, Venice is one of Europe’s most visited cities. Despite the crowds and modern day mass tourism from cruisers, Venice still manages to retain its charm. Cobbled streets wind around ancient palazzos. Gondoliers sing as they show you the city from a different perspective. A labyrinth of waterways meander up towards the iconic Grand Canal. Unsure of how to plan your time and see it all? Our Venice 2 day itinerary does the hard work for you, with an easy guide on how to see the sights. As experts on pairing great destinations with perfect accommodation, here at Plum Guide we’ve also selected some of the best neighbourhoods and places to stay, so you can really make the most of your 2 days in Venice.
Day 1: Tick off some must-sees
Morning: Head straight to San Marco
After your flight lands at Marco Polo Airport, hop on a vaporetti (water taxi) and arrive in Venice in less than 30 minutes. Head to your accommodation, unpack your bags and begin your Venice 2 day itinerary in San Marco, the tourist district of the city. Home to St Mark’s square, basilica and campanile (bell tower) it’s the beating heart of Venice. Brimming with boutique stores, high end restaurants and laid back cafe-bars, San Marco buzzes with life morning, noon and night. Although it's touristy, we’d recommend a climb up the campanile for spectacular views over the lagoon. The 14th century Doge’s Palace museum is a must, as is the Bridge of Sighs.
After ticking off San Marco’s sights, stop for a mid morning coffee in one of the many cafes that line St Mark’s square before making your way over to the Rialto district. One of the earliest areas in Venice to be formed, this part of the city is home to the 12th century Rialto Bridge. The Rialto Markets, which have been in place for almost 1000 years, are also worth a visit.
Afternoon: Visit the famous Grand Canal
Up next is the bustling Santa Lucia, home to Venice’s only train station. Often packed with commuters or day trippers, Santa Lucia welcomes frequent train arrivals from numerous Italian cities and a few bordering countries. Worked up an appetite? Stop for an alfresco lunch near the Grand Canal.
If you really want to increase your step count, take a stroll over to Venice’s Cannaregio district. This quirky neighbourhood is perfect if you want to stay away from the crowds of San Marco and Rialto. Interested in art? A visit to the Orsoni Colour Library is a good idea. A more sombre must-see is the Venetian Jewish Ghetto. Dating back to 1516, it’s one of the oldest ghetto’s in the world, with three hidden synagogues still in place today.
Evening: Eat dinner like the locals
After freshening up at your Plum Guide home (the officical selection of the world's best vacation homes, don't you know?), it’s time for dinner. Want the full Venetian experience? Eat like a local and indulge in their traditional dishes. Baccalà (creamed dried salted cod) is a popular choice, as is Sarde in Saor - fried sardines smothered in fried onions, pine nuts and raisins. As Venice is surrounded by water, seafood is a
must big deal here. Don’t just take our word for it; try it for yourself in one of the hundreds of restaurants scattered around the city. We can recommend Club del Doge, the signature restaurant at the Gritti Palace Hotel. Allow the exquisite Renaissance decor to take you back in time, and lap up views of the Grand Canal whilst enjoying a refreshing Aperol spritz. Followed by a few post dinner drinks, of course.
Day 2: Discover the different nearby islands
Morning: Leave the mainland behind at Murano
Get up early and head over to Arsenale to continue your Venice 2 day itinerary. A complex of former shipyards from the 13th century, this area was once the base of the Venetian naval industry. After a look around, make your way over to Dorsoduro, Venice’s university district. Popular with students, this area feels a world away from the hustle and bustle of San Marco. Dorsoduro shows a more local side to Venice, with food and drink a fraction of the price too.
No visit to Venice is complete without heading over to Murano and Burano. Leave the mainland behind after a mid-morning coffee break and take a water taxi over to these historic islands. Famed for its traditional glass blowing, Murano is home to Museo del Vetro which showcases its unique history of glass making through the ages. The 7th century Romanesque style Church of Santa Maria and San Donato is also worth a visit. Fascinated by ancient legends and myths? The colourful mosaic flooring of the basilica is home to the bones of a slain dragon. Allegedly.
Afternoon: Travel over to Burano
Stop for lunch at Murano and then hop aboard your next water taxi to Burano. Known for its brightly coloured fishermans houses and its intricate lace making, this tiny island is a haven for tourists. With a 17th century leaning bell tower, the Church of San Martino draws in the crowds. Wondering how much time you’ll need to see Burano? Every part of the 0.2 km² sized island can be reached on foot within 10 minutes, so you needn't worry about taking up precious time on your trip to Venice.
Next up is Lido, an 11 kilometre long island in the lagoon which separates the city from the sea. The Venice Film Festival takes place here every year during late August and early September, but we’d avoid visiting around these times due to the
people it attracts huge influx of visitors. If you’re a beach lover, Lido is the place to be. Its award winning sandy beaches offer spectacular views of the Adriatic Sea.
Evening: Enjoy dinner with a view
After island hopping, head back to the mainland and freshen up at your accommodation before enjoying your last evening in Venice. For something special, we’d recommend a visit to the island of Giudecca. Another water taxi? Yep; but it’s worth it, we promise. Overlooking the shimmering lagoon, a series of restaurants dotted along the promenade offer spectacular views whilst you dine. For an after dinner cocktail or two, check out Molino Stucky, a former 19th century flour mill. Now a luxury hotel, it’s panoramic rooftop views are some of the best in the city. Watch the stars and clink your glasses. The perfect end to an unforgettable stay in the Floating City.
Looking for the best place to stay in Venice? Plum Guide is the official selection of the world's best vacation homes. Independent home critics personally vet each home for quality, so your high standards are met every time. Our final piece of advice for your 2 days in Venice is: book a stay in one of the best vacation homes (you won't regret it).