Venice is one of those cities that after the first time in Venice, you will return to periodically. With each Venice, the city reveals something new. I have seen Venice in summer, winter and autumn and with each visit, I want to return again and again. So, below I am going to share tips on the perfect one day in Venice itinerary guide, filled with places to visit in Venice in one day, where to each and link to my other posts for additional tips.
- 1 Perfect 1 Day In Venice Itinerary
- 2 Tips On Planning A Trip To Venice
- 3 Best Time To Visit Venice
- 4 How many days in Venice In Venice Is Enough?
Perfect 1 Day In Venice Itinerary
When planning a trip to Italy or Venice to be more specific, the variable most linked to tourism in Venice is the weather, so it is essential to be equipped for any eventuality, regardless of the season. It is always better to have an umbrella or a k-way with you, as well as having comfortable and well-worn shoes tested because there is a lot to walk!
In fact, you must consider that the weather in Venice can change quickly, and it is good not to be surprised by the rain to avoid having to walk for a long time with feet and wet clothing. If you are visiting Venice during Aqua Alta be sure to pack some wellies too. Aqua Alta is when Venice floods with some parts of the city not being accessible due to floods also some transportation stops too as they cannot do under the bridges safely. If you visit Venice in the summer also be prepared for the crowds! So with that in mind below is a rundown of things to do in Venice in one day!
Visit the beautiful Piazza San Marco
Even a 1 day Venice itinerary is incomplete with a stop at this square. Piazza San Marco is the first place that comes to mind when talking about Venice. The large square on which the Basilica stands, with pigeons waiting for a few crumbs, is perhaps the most famous image of Venice.
Before the arrival of the relics of San Marco and the subsequent construction of the Basilica, this area was simply a large vegetable garden, crossed by the Rio Batario, then buried at the behest of the Doge Vitale II Michiel. Piazza San Marco is the only large space in Venice which has the privilege of being called “square”, while all other areas with this feature are called “campi”.
During the years of the Serenissima Republic, it hosted fairs, tournaments, procession, and hunting for bulls, while today it is surrounded by (very) expensive bars, where you can sit and watch the passage of tourists from all over the world ecstatic with such beauty.
Sit at the “ Caffè Florian” and have a coffee, it is a very old and opulent bar, but if you want to spend 10 minutes in a very special historical place, you can’t miss it! An espresso coffee costs around 6 euros but it is an experience.
See the Doge’s Palace
The Venetians care about this building because it is the custodian of their history and the protagonist of many important events for the city of Venice.
Palazzo Ducale was exactly where it is now during the period of the Republic, it passed the successive dominations and was always on its feet when Venice was annexed to the Italian state.
The political importance of the Palace, which welcomed the Doges of the history of the Republic of Venice, was also underlined by Napoleon Bonaparte when, in 1797, he made it the center of his administration, after having conquered the city. The historical importance of the Doge’s Palace in Venice is also evidenced by the huge sum paid by the coffers of the newborn Italian State, in favor of a total renovation of the building. Don’t miss an opportunity to take the legendary tour of Doge Palace.
Lose yourself in the dim lights of the Grand Canal
The Venetians call it “Canalazzo” but it is not a derogatory name, it is only their way of identifying the Grand Canal. It would be criminal to do a Venice one day itinerary without passing through the Grand Canal.
The Grand Canal crosses Venice for 4 kilometers dividing the historic center of the city into two parts. Much older than the city itself, the canal has an S-shape on the contrary and in some places, it can even reach 5 meters in depth. Its amplitude varies according to the areas of the city, there are places where it is 70 meters wide.
If you want to observe and admire the city from a different point of view, you should choose to participate in on tour on the Grand Canal. It starts from the Santa Lucia train station up to Piazza San Marco to offer you wonderful scenery. The buildings overlooking the Grand Canal are all facing the waterway, and during the tour, they seem to be competing to catch the attention of tourists.
It is possible to take a gondola ride, typical boats. The cost may vary but it is a unique experience and a must when visiting Venice. You can have a shared ride or a private ride with your partner or family and friends.
Pro Tip: Read up on the best way to get around Venice with tips on how to get to and from Venice Airport.
The Rialto Bridge and the other bridges
It is not easy to count them one by one because there are 354 bridges in Venice! The lagoon city has a morbid relationship with its bridges because it desperately needs them to connect different areas together and make travel a little easier.
The most famous, perhaps, is that of the “Sospiri”, but not everyone knows that its name does not derive from the languid sighs of the lovers who pass under it, swearing eternal love.
It seems that the sighs that give the bridge its name are those of the condemned who were taken to nearby prisons and, looking at the city for the last time, let themselves be assaulted by despair. Sospiri bridge contends for fame with the Rialto Bridge, which shows off on the Grand Canal.
In 1593 the Rialto Bridge replaced the ancient bridge made with wooden boats that allowed passage to the very popular Rialto market. Today the bridge, covered by arches, is crowded with tourists and vendors, one of the most famous photographic points in the world.
The most recent bridge in Venice, the spectacular Ponte della Costituzione, was designed and built by the great Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava. If you are photographer, there are in enough bridges to your days when you visit Venice, not mention the Bridge of Sighs.
Pro Tip: If you only have time for one stop on this list, be sure to check out my tips on the best places for views in Venice.
Visit the Peggy Guggenheim Museum
For lovers of art then the perfect venice in one-day itinerary needs to include a stop at amazing museums in Venice. The Peggy Guggenheim collection is the most prestigious Italian collection dedicated to European and American art of the first half of the 1900s. In this museum, you will find the masterpieces of the most important and fascinating artists of the period: Pollock, De Chirico, Picasso, Kandinsky, Brancusi and Duchamp.
Particularly interesting is the Gianni Mattioli Collection, one of the greatest collectors of the twentieth century, in which the greatest Italian Futurist artists such as Sironi, Carrà, Soffici, Rosai, some paintings by Morandi and a beautiful portrait of Amedeo Modigliani stand out.
The museum is located in the only incomplete building in Venice, Palazzo Venier dei Leoni, bought by the Guggenheim to build the largest museum on modern art of the 1950s. Peggy has spent her life with the sole objective of creating a museum that would enhance the works of the avant-garde from all over the world.
Her passion was not stopped even by the outbreak of the Second World War: in the years of the conflict, in fact, the Guggenheim continued to wander around Europe, regardless of the dangers, in search of the works she intended to include in her prestigious collection. The strong personality of Peggy Guggenheim has allowed her artists to become undoubtedly the best known representatives of American Abstract Expressionism.
Eating in Venice? Here’s something good to enjoy in the day
Counters of the “bacari”, or the taverns, are a real triumph for the eyes and the palate because they are full of “cicchetti”, the typical Venetian appetizers to be savored with a “ombra de vin”. You just have to choose the one you prefer among vegetables, crab, suppressed with polenta or half egg with anchovies.
For the first courses, however, one of the most typical courses on the menu is certainly the famous “risi e bisi”, elsewhere known as risotto with peas, which was eaten by the Doges on April 25, in honor of the patron saint of the city. Spaghetti with clams are also very good, or cooked with cuttlefish ink, with strictly local fish.
In these parts, then, pasta and beans enjoy a mysterious veneration, an inevitable dish both in homes and in taverns throughout Venice. To end your lagoon lunch you just have to choose a second one: the Venetian liver is a must, only for strong stomachs.
As for food, it is known that eating in Venice tends to be quite expensive: in addition to the various fast-food restaurants available, for eating inexpensively and in a short time it is recommended to resort to taverns or trattorias that offer business lunches or in any case at affordable prices, such as the Trattoria alla Rampa, Le Spighe, Trattoria da Marisa: in all these cases it is possible to get away with about € 15 per person.
Pro tip: For an insider look into delicious places to eat I highly recommend taking the Venice food tour in the Jewish Ghetto.
Tips On Planning A Trip To Venice
Venice is so beautiful and rich in culture, tourism and even fun that choosing what to see and do, especially if you have a few hours available, can be really difficult to try and crumb everything into one day but hopefully, this guide, gives you insight into things to do in Venice in one day. Below are additional links to post to help you plan your trip to Venice. If you only have one day the last thing you want to do is waste your one day in Venice on trying to figure out these things. So read up on these below so you can spend the day in Venice just exploring and enjoying the city.
- Arriving Via Marco Polo Airport? Read tips on how to save money on the shared Venice taxi.
- Arriving Via Verona? Check out my tips on how to get from Verona to Venice by train.
- Where To Stay in Venice? See my trips on the best areas of the Grand Canal to stay plus the best hotels with views on the Grand Canal.
- Looking To Do Venice On A Budget? See my top tips on how to do a budge visit to Venice.
- Visiting Venice in Winter? Check out my tips on things to do in Venice in winter and what to pack for Venice.
- Not Sure What To Bring Back From Italy? See my guide on the most authentic souvenirs to bring back from Italy.
Best Time To Visit Venice
I covered an element of this above but when it comes to the best time to visit Venice, I highly recommend the shoulder months. Periods when kids are still in school, before or after major events and holidays, particularly if you want to avoid the crowds. If you are visiting Venice in the summer, during Venice festivals then expect hotels to be more expensive, expect crowds, expect busy water buses that have no room sometimes. My preference for the best time to visit Venice is spring and autumn. The weather is great, its busy but not too hectic.
If you are visiting towards the end of the year be mindful to check the weather daily before you leave for Venice so you can pack accordingly particularly during Aqua Alta which essentially translates to high water. This happens during tide peaks that occur periodically in the northern Adriatic Sea. The peaks reach their maximum in the Venetian Lagoon, where they cause partial flooding of Venice and a few other parts of Italy.
How many days in Venice In Venice Is Enough?
As you will no doubt realise when you visit, a day in Venice is now enough to fully take in this beautiful city. I have shared a 2-day itinerary of Venice with additional tips on things to do in Venice in 2 days, even then, that doesn’t come close to being enough. So, then how many days in Venice is enough? Remember when I mentioned that once you visit you will likely return again and again?
Many people visit Venice when they are younger so when they return, they want to experience Venice in all its romance with a significant other. Experience a romantic show at the theatre, stroll leisurely through the hidden alleys and bridges in Venice, take a romantic Gondola, dine at the many amazing restaurants with views of the Grand Canal, to really explore this city if you are looking to see as much of it as possible. Then at least 5 days to 7 days in Venice is the right start. Even then I am sure you will still very much return. Even if you have an opportunity to spend a day in Venice, TAKE IT! Worry about how many days to spend in Venice when
There you have it, the perfect one day in Venice itinerary, so how many days are you likely to visit after reading these tips?
Heading To Italy? Also Read:
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- How To Visit Florence In One Day
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- Outfit Inspiration For A Trip To Europe
- Things To Do In Verona
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