Two days is a short time in it comes to exploring the beautiful city of Venice but it is a start. Below, I am sharing tips on must-see in Venice Italy in 2 days with some tips (and tricks) on how to arrive in Venice in style, getting around in Venice and many more as you read on.
There are plenty of things to do in Venice; museums, going for bacari, gondola rides, Vaporetto tours for a unique holiday and a unique opportunity. While Venice isn’t as big, all the cool things to do in Venice are all closely fused today around the Grand Canal and inter-connect by over 300 bridges! Yes, even with the perfect guide of a 2 day Venice itinerary, its impossible to see it all.
Venice is very much an open-air museum, there are many things to see and do around every turn. If you are short in time I highly recommend taking advantage of the many amazing tours in Venice to maximise your time and visit to Venice. From food tours, Gondola rides, skip the line museum tickets and many more.
What to do and see in two days in Venice?
If you are visiting Venice as part of a day trip and like to additional tips on how to spend a day in Venice then also read my one day guide. To make the most of the 2 days in Venice you must organize as much of yourself before arriving and then so that when you arrive you can just get exploring and kick-off to exploring using this Venice 2 day itinerary. Make sure you know what area in Venice you want to stay in, figure out how to get from Marco Polo Airport of if coming via Verona, how to get from Verona to Venice by train, car or transfer.
Day 1 In Venice – Things To Do
Once you get off the train in Venice Santa Lucia or if you arrived by car or bus to Piazzale Roma (the train and bus stations are divided by the Calatrava bridge) you could start the Venice tour by walking towards San Marco. Instead of the usual itinerary, we propose a detour to the left to enter the Cannaregio area, where you could visit the Jewish Ghetto (the oldest in Europe), outside the tourist chaos and immersed in a mystical atmosphere (after the Guglie bridge). Do not miss an opportunity to do the food tour in the Jewish Ghetto.
In the ghetto there are 5 synagogues and 1 museum or try as a snack the desserts, especially biscuits, handmade and which respect ancient recipes, such as “le recie de Aman” or “ears of Aman” (bundles made of shortcrust pastry filled with jam, almonds, poppy seeds or chocolate) which are the sweets of the Purìm festival.
Then continue towards the Rialto Bridge, where before the bridge you could find (only in the morning) the fish market to breathe the typical Venetian air and see how the inhabitants locals buy food amidst the “screams” of the traders. If, on the other hand, you are not interested and you are more interested in shopping, the area around Rialto is full of shops with big names and a photo from the top of the bridge with a fantastic view of the Lagoon.
From here, a few minutes on foot you will find the beating heart of the city: San Marco square! Here you will find the Clock Tower, the Basilica of San Marco and the Doge’s Palace. This is an unmissable on the list of must-see in Venice Italy in 2 days.
Thousands of tourists arrive in Venice every day and San Marco square could be crowded (especially during big events such as Carnival) and visiting the main attractions could involve long waits, so better to buy an online ticket to Venice tours that would allow you to skip the line and shorten the times a lot and thus avoid the queue.
Grab a quick lunch
Venice in some areas (such as San Marco) is not cheap at all, but with a little wit you could discover places where you pay little and eat well, ideal for those who have little time and want to enjoy a quick lunch.
Alternatively, being in San Marco you could try the famous Hard Rock Cafe (the smallest in Europe) which is right on the edge of it. For connoisseurs and for those who have already been to other places in Europe, you will surely remember that it is one of those places that attracts a lot of people and it is normal practice to wait for the table for some time. To avoid the queue and not waste too much time, you should buy a ticket that includes a meal at the Hard Rock Café with priority seats.
One of the things to see in two days in Venice is one of the most beautiful and important bridges in Venice, Ponte dei Sospiri (bridge of sighs, 1 minute from Piazza San Marco). Legend tells that if two lovers go by gondola under the bridge at sunset, their love will last forever. While in truth it was the sigh of the prisoners who crossed the bridge knowing that it was the last time they saw Venice.
To end the tour and walk the last of the bridges that cross the Grand Canal (after Calatrava, Rialto and Accademia) head towards the Santa Croce area (railway station) and you will find the Scalzi bridge: its name is due to the fact that the bridge it overlooks the Church of Santa Maria di Nazareth, where the mass was officiated for many centuries by the order of the barefoot Carmelites.
Pro-tip: For tips on how to save money in Venice, read my guide on how to have a budget trip to Venice.
A tour with the Vaporetto
Once you arrive at the Scalzi bridge and then at the station, from here you could take line 2 from the railway jetty which will allow you at a low cost to take the panoramic tour by boat of Venice (about 60 minutes). You can buy the ticket at the automatic ticket machines located outside the pier. Otherwise, if you already start with the idea of using the ferry, then book your ticket on the website of the public company ACTV that performs the service.
Pro tip: The best way to get around Venice is of course on foot but you will no doubt need to use Vaporettos. For tips read my post on how to get around in Venice.
The aperitif to end the evening
In Venice, the aperitif is a real ritual. If you want to enjoy a spritz or a “shadow”, you will find many bacari and taverns to toast the day just spent between a snack and a glass of wine (we recommend the area around Rialto) but search for a spot in the inner alleys to avoid the crowds.
If you like spritz or wine, but also the thought of putting something in your stomach you don’t mind, try the typical “scartosso”, that is, a foil with fried food, accompanied by a glass of wine or try one of the many typical Venetian Cicchetti (sardines in saor, crostini with cold cuts, meatballs, etc).
You can have dinner in one of the nearby taverns from 15 euros. Take a good second and a drink. Venice is not so expensive.
Day 2 In Venice – Places To Visit
Among the various alternatives on where to have breakfast in Venice (for those who do not have time to waste) are to try the pastry shops scattered throughout the city (or the classic bar).
For lovers of more classic Venice and who do not mind the wallet, instead, the advice is to sit at the tables of one of the historic cafes in Piazza San Marco, such as the Caffè Florian, just as the main characters of the history of the Italian and foreign literature and art. If you manage to book a hotel with views of the Grand Canal, likely many of these will offer breakfast with a view!
The gondola tour (typical boat)
You cannot say that you have been to Venice if you doing a Gondola ride tour that will accompany you to discover the city from the water, giving you glimpses of the city that you could not see on foot or by Vaporetto.
Lunch In Typical Osteria Or Trattoria
On your second day in Venice, you could once arrived at lunchtime or draw on the ideas of the quick lunch from first day (in places where you eat well and pay little) or choose some nice restaurant like Ristorante da Mario alla Fava.
As an alternative to all this, you could do like the Venetians and go to some typical tavern or trattoria, which perhaps has a fixed menu of the day, which with a dozen euros or a little more will make you try some local specialties (among others, Sardines in saor or cod).
Fancy a little shopping?
Once you have lunch, before visiting another historical place, one of the things to do in Venice in 2 days is to relax and do some shopping (the shops are open all day). Here it depends a lot on what your tastes are and what you mean by shopping in Venice.
There are those who want to buy the classic souvenir from Venice and those who want to see the windows of the big brands such as Chanel (San Marco area), while among the calli of Venice you could also find some shop that presents handmade objects (Murano glass or bags Leather). I could not resist and have come away from Venice with a couple of leather handbags much to the annoyance of my husband who had to wait for me to decide before buying them all in the end.
For dinner go to Cannaregio
Il Paradiso Perduto – Fondamenta della Misericordia 2540
Close to the Jewish Ghetto, this place offers an excellent and vast choice of Cicchetti, from fried foods of all kinds (try the “gran fritoin”, their workhorse!) To meatballs, from “mozzarella in Carrozza” to creamed cod. It is also a trattoria and you can stop for lunch and dinner, however we advise you to book a table or to arrive very early because it is always full. Alternatively, you can eat your fried food sitting on the bank of the Fondamenta as many do. It is open from 11 to 22 and is closed on Tuesday.
Have more than 2 days in Venice? Other Things To See In Venice
In the afternoon you could visit one of the museums that we offer below and we recommend you go to the various sites to book the ticket (you will save precious time) and look at the prices and times (as well as the closing days).
For more information on accessibility and on the possible support of a guide, we always refer to the official sites:
The Scuola Grande di San Rocco was the seat of a brotherhood of wealthy Venetians dedicated to beneficial works and takes its name from the body of San Rocco, kept here. In 1564 the Confraternity entrusted Tintoretto with the task of decorating the School. He put all his mastery into painting the Hotel Room of the Scuola di San Rocco: and he did it, because this cycle of works is considered by everyone as the Sistine Chapel of Venice. It is located in the San Polo area and can be reached on foot or by Vaporetto (line 2 San Tomà pier)
Natural History Museum recommended especially for those with children of 3rd-4th grade. The guides are prepared to speak with children and although it lasts 2 hours, the path is pleasant. Dinosaurs, fossils, the birth of life on earth, the animals of the past etc …
Visit to the exceptional, truly unique Peggy Guggenheim Museum. There are many artistic masterpieces and also those of Picasso.
How many days is enough in Venice?
It would be better to spend a few more days in Venice. To better see the city I recommend 5 days to fully grasp many of the hidden gems and secrets this city holds. If you are visiting Venice as part of a combined Italian itinerary then for additional inspiration check out my post on visiting Rome, Florence, and Venice as one Italy itinerary. You could also add cities like Milan, Verona. Italian transportation is fast and reliable in addition to being cheap so it’s hard to resist exploring more of this beautiful country.
How To Plan A Trip To Venice
How you plan your trip to Venice will very much depend on how many days you spend in Venice, how you are arriving in Venice; whether direct to Venice, via a nearby airport like Verona or via a day trip or cruise liner. Below is some additional post to help make you visit Italy and Venice smoother:
- Not sure on what to know or where else to visit in Italy? Read my post on how to plan a trip to Italy the easy way or tops cities to visit in Italy.
- Not sure what to pack for a trip to Venice? Check out my tips on essentials to pack for a trip to Europe, the best luggage to use when travelling in Europe in addition to how to put together the perfect outfits for Europe.
There you have it! Guide to the best places to visit in Venice in 2 Days! Any additional places you would add to this itinerary? Perhaps a dash to Burano or Murano if you have another day or substitute day two above with a day trip from Venice? So many options and yet so little time.
Heading To Italy? Also Read:
- The Best Towns To Visit On Lake Como
- The Nearest Airport For Lake Como
- How To Visit Florence In One Day
- How To Get To Lake Garda From Verona
- A Weekend In Milan
- How To Get From Milan To Cinque Terre
- Best Travel Tips For Europe
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