Spending 2 days in Venice? Find out below how to spend your time in this Italian city.
Venice is a beautiful and unique destination. Its stunning architecture, captivating history, and network of canals attract visitors from all over the world.
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Filled with winding, narrow alleyways and with its main islands connected by bridges, it is fascinating to explore.
Prepare for an adventure, though – Venice may be one of the hardest cities in the world to navigate. But getting lost here is all part of the fun, with unexpected and beautiful sights awaiting you at every turn!
If this is your first time visiting the city, you may be wondering just what to do in Venice in 2 days. After all, there are so many interesting buildings and attractions to visit that it’s not easy to decide which are the most important.
This guide is designed to help you plan your break and ensures that you see all of the city’s main sights. We’ve also included our recommendations for some of the best places in Venice to dine and stay.
Note: You may have heard that Venice is introducing a new tourist fee from mid-January 2023. The good news is that this won’t apply if you plan to spend two days in Venice, as a tax is already included when you book a hotel for an overnight stay.
On the first of your two days in Venice, you will visit its main attractions at Piazza San Marco before exploring its fascinating network of canals.
There are lots of lovely pastry and coffee shops around Venice where you can go for breakfast, but if you want a real treat then book a table at the Restaurant Terrazza Danieli.
Located on the rooftop of the Hotel Danieli it overlooks some of the area’s main attractions, including the Grand Canal and the Doge’s Palace.
After breakfast, it’s time to explore, and your first stop is Piazza San Marco.
One of the world’s most famous squares, it gives you a real insight into Venetian culture. Locals gather here to enjoy the lively restaurants, cafes, and bars.
Many venues offer live music and there are pigeons everywhere, tempted in by the food consistently provided by tourists!
You can see the 15th-century Clock Tower of Venice (Torre dell Orologio) in the square, which displays the time, the current phase of the moon, and the dominant sign of the Zodiac.
But one of the main attractions is your next stop – the Basilica di San Marco.
This is the most important church in the city, a symbol of Venice’s tremendous historical influence. Filled with beautiful mosaics, it is equally impressive from the outside and its Italo-Byzantine architecture is quite stunning!
Be sure to dress modestly for your visit – low-cut tops and shorts are not allowed.
The Basilica is free to enter and open daily, although opening hours are shorter on Sundays to accommodate services.
Your next stop is Campanile di San Marco. This is the bell tower of the Basilica di San Marco, although you can visit it separately.
It was initially built as a lighthouse, although the 98.6-meter-high tower you see now is a 1912 reconstruction of the original.
It is Venice’s tallest building, and you can pay to take an elevator to the top. It’s well worth doing so, as the views of Venice across to the Alps are simply breathtaking!
The last stop of the morning is at the Doge’s Palace. Over the years, this building has housed court facilities, prisons, and the secret police.
It was also the residence of the doge – or chief magistrate – when he was in power. It has a beautiful pink Verona marble exterior, while its interior is now a museum.
Here you’ll find some of the most important works of art in the world, including masterpieces by Titian, Veronese, and more. You can also visit the apartments and chambers of the Doge, along with the cells of the old prison.
When seeing Venice in 2 days, taking a ride in a gondola is a must!
You can choose to drift along ‘the most beautiful street in the world’ – Venice’s Canal Grande – or pick a different route and see some of the more out-of-the-way spots.
Rides are strictly regulated, and fares are fixed, although we recommend picking the chattiest, friendliest gondolier for your trip who will be happy to discuss the sights with you along the way.
Lined with palaces and crisscrossed with bridges, the 4 km (2.5 mi) long Canal Grand is one of the best for sightseeing. It passes under the Rialto Bridge – the oldest of the four spanning the canal and one of the most famous landmarks in Venice.
Once your gondola ride is over, be sure to go back and visit the bridge on foot. It has a central arcade filled with shops.
It also offers fabulous views of the canal from the stairs on the north and south sides. If you’re spending your weekend in Venice with a partner, we recommend visiting in the evening when the bridge is beautifully illuminated and feels very romantic.
There isn’t a footpath that runs alongside the Grand Canal, but it’s still possible to do some more exploring on foot. You can walk between Piazza San Marco and Santa Lucia Railway and get a good view of the Rialto Bridge from there.
You can also take a stroll along the waterside promenade close to Piazza San Marco, where the canal opens out into the ocean.
For an unforgettable evening in Venice, book tickets to see the opera at Teatro La Fenice. Not only will you enjoy the performance, but you’ll also get the chance to see up close the jaw-dropping opulence of this world-famous venue.
Home to premieres by the likes of Verdi and Bellini, Teatro La Fenice, is one of the world’s most beautiful opera houses. Everything is exquisite, from the white marble and columns of the facade to the splendid auditorium.
On the second day of your weekend in Venice you will be visiting the city’s Jewish district, seeing more of the city’s landmarks, then relaxing at the Lido.
After breakfast, head to the Venetian Ghetto in the Cannaregio district – the first ghetto in the world. It was established when the Venetian Republic restricted the movement of Jews early in the 16th century.
The population in this area is still mainly Jewish, evidenced by the many synagogues and Jewish eateries you’ll see here.
Full of cultural importance and steeped in history, it is a fascinating place in which to spend a morning. You can visit the ancient synagogues in the district and take a guided tour of the Jewish Community Museum.
Here you’ll learn more about how the ghetto was established and what life was like for Jews living there at the time. This is also an excellent time to do some souvenir shopping, as the prices here are far lower than in Venice’s tourist hotspots.
After lunch – maybe at one of the excellent Jewish bakeries – walk up the road to Gelato di Natura. Here you can experience the very best gelato in all of the city!
It’s now time to head back to the heart of Venice to see a few more of the main attractions.
Start with the Bridge of Sighs – the bridge connecting the Doge’s Palace to the prisons on the other side of the canal. Made from white limestone, it is very beautiful, despite its rather grim history!
To get a great photo of the bridge, head to the Ponte della Paglia at the Riva degli Schiavoni promenade.
Next, take a stroll along the promenade itself. Named after the Dalmation Slavs who settled here in medieval times, it is now packed filled with souvenir stalls and cool places to eat. It is also the main docking point for the city’s various means of water transport and provides you with a scenic view of the island of San Giorgio Maggiore.
Buildings to look out for here include The Church of Santa Maria della Visitazione, which houses a statue of Vivaldi, and Ca’di Dioa, a 13th-century hospice for pilgrims making the journey to the Holy Land. From here, take the short ferry ride to visit the Basilica di Santa Maria della Salute.
Originally constructed to commemorate the end of a plague epidemic, it is now one of the city’s most famous sights and appears on many postcards.
Inside near the entrance, you can see Titian’s ‘The Descent of the Holy Spirit’. The building also houses the Cretan icon of the Madonna of Good Health from the 12th century, which is set into a beautiful baroque altar.
Finish your afternoon at the seaside resort of The Lido. It is close to the city but feels completely different, with residential streets and vehicles.
It also has long, sandy beaches – just perfect for relaxing after 2 days of sightseeing!
Before leaving Venice you need to try cicchetti – small snacks similar to Spanish tapas.
The best place to do so is at Bar All’Arco in the San Polo area. Run by a father and son, it is the oldest cicchetti house in Venice and is very popular, offering a truly authentic Venetian experience.
Are 2 Days In Venice Enough?
Because Venice is so compact and everything can be reached on foot, it’s easy to see the best of the city in 2 days.
Do remember that this itinerary for a weekend in Venice requires two full days. If you arrive late in the city or leave early on the day of your departure, we would recommend adding an extra night to your stay. You can read our complete guide to find out how many days in Venice you need.
Where To Stay In Venice
Here are some of our favorite places to stay in Venice, all within easy reach of the city’s highlights.
Best Budget Accommodation
The Hotel Casa Boccassini is located in Cannaregio, just a 10 minute walk from the Rialto Bridge. It has simple, clean rooms – some of which are en suite – and a beautiful little courtyard garden.
Best Mid-Range Accommodation
The Hotel Pausania dates back to the 14th century and was once home to an aristocratic Venetian family. It is in a quiet location just minutes from the city’s bustling squares and has beautifully appointed rooms, plus a stunning sitting room on the top floor.
Best Luxury Accommodation
For a premium experience, book a room at the Gritti Palace, which offers fabulous views of the Grand Canal. Once a noble residence, it boasts rooms decorated with antiques and Murano glass.
The La Fenice Opera House is nearby, and the vaporetto water bus stop at Santa Maria del Giglio is 450 yards away.
Final Thoughts On Two Days In Venice
Venice is one of those cities that everyone should visit at least once, appealing to lovers of culture, architecture, history, and good food alike.
We hope this itinerary has helped you plan an enjoyable and memorable visit.
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