Italy

How To Spend Two Days In Venice

Saint Marks Basilica against a blue sky with many tourists in front

So you are looking to spend two days in Venice, maybe a long weekend or stopping here on an Italian road trip. Either way, we can help you maximize your time on the land of boats and canals so you don’t miss a thing.

There is so much to see that many books, blogs and people leave out because honestly walking along the streets and alleys your eyes want to take everything in. So if you can walk between the sites as much as possible to get a good look at Venice as a whole.

Things To Do With Two Days In Venice

Day One ? Hit The Main Sites

Depending on whether you arrive this day or the night before make sure you are prepped and ready to go. If you arrived the morning drop off your luggage at your hotel and head out to explore. You want to make sure you are making the most of your two days in Venice.

Doges Palace

Doge’s Palace now stands proud and glorious as a museum for tourists to explore more of the history of Venice and Italy. Originally the home to the Doge of Venice the supreme leader of the former Venetian Republic.

Even if you don’t get a chance to look around inside the building itself presents such beauty it is worth seeing.

I am always amazed to see such ancient structures with such detail. I don’t think anyone would create something as beautiful these days and we have the tools to do it. I loved the clover leaf style openings above the columns.

St Marks Square / Piazza San Marco

St Marks square is the largest open area in Venice, not hard to believe when you get lost walking down little tunnels and tight lanes between buildings. This is also home to the bell tower, St Marks Basilica, Doge’s Palace and more.

The square itself is stunning as it is surrounded by stunning building after a stunning building. The square was popular with tourists feeding the pigeons and seagulls along with taking plenty of pictures.

There are a couple of places you can sit and have a coffee, some more expensive than others as you are getting a front row seat to the square.

If you are really looking to make the most of your trip I would suggest booking tickets for the surrounding monuments and museums in advance. That way you can book a time slot or jump the queue and get on a tour or just be able to cut down the wait time.

Saint Marks Basilica

I was quite surprised to see how detailed this monument was, I knew it was going to be spectacular because the rest of Venice was but I was still shocked.

The construction on Saint Marks Basilica started in the 9th Century. There are more than enough stories, pictures and mosaics to keep you interested for the full day. There are stories such as the Venetians building the Basilica to house treasured items, some of which are said to be stolen!

There is no bad view of the Basilica as its beauty really does stand out no matter where you are stood. You can of course venture inside and see many of the stories come to life as you walk around the amazing building. The building has so much detail it blows the mind and that is just on the outside!

Rialto Bridge

The Rialto Bridge is one of the 4 bridges that span over the grand canal. It is also the oldest of the four. This bridge has been in place since the 12th century and has been rebuilt several times.

It has 3 different walkways for people to use, one either side and 1 through the middle. There are small stalls located in the windows and areas of the bridge that you can purchase an array of gifts.

Unfortunately, the bridge was absolutely packed full of people and I can see why. It gives tourists a great place to see a beautiful view over Venice and it is a stunning piece of architecture.

We walked over the bridge a couple of times and stood to take in the bridge itself. I was impressed with it not just being a beautiful bridge but that it was full of shops, people and more and it was still in place and undamaged…for now.

Bridge Of Sighs

The bridge of sighs is another beautiful bridge located near the Grand Canal and St Marks Square. The bridge actually connects the new prison to the interrogation rooms in Doge’s Palace.

This bridge is made of white limestone and is beautiful to look at from both sides. The bridge of sighs was named after it was said that prisoners would walk over this bridge and look through the small stone bar window to see Venice for the last time. This, in the end, would make them sigh as they were likely to never see the beautiful views of Venice again.

We decided to take a different approach at looking at the bridge, many people as you may see in the picture above would stand on the bridge nearest the Grand Canal and watch as the sun shines onto the bridge.

We decided to go to the less crowded part and headed to the bridge on the opposite side. It was a little dark but gave the bridge a more realistic view as it was easier to stand and take in the architecture and work of the construction. You can also take a tour of Doge’s Palace and the prison to allow you to walk over the Bridge of Sighs.

Campanile di San Marco / Bell Tower

The bell tower is located on St Marks Square, you can see the tower from other parts around Venice and you can use it as a guide to know where you are.

It can get a little confusing when you walk around the small streets and end up lost, it happened to us too often. The bell tower has survived many different attacks such as earthquakes and lightning.

It actually fell on 1903 when it was going under reconstruction but was unfortunately not built very well. Since then it was rebuilt with much safer and more stable foundations to maintain a long-lasting structure.

The overall look to me was quite simple, it was tall and thin and made of red brick. Though just as fascinating inside as the other monuments in Venice the facade was quite plain. The entry to the bell tower is on the back towards Doge’s Palace and can get just as busy as everywhere else.

Day Two ? Go Island Hopping

There are of course over 118 islands collectively making up the Venice area. These each have a name and there are 3 main ones I would suggest visiting after Venice itself.

If like us you are using public transport to get around and I mean using the ACTV system then you can use this to get to the other islands and back. Two days in Venice wouldn’t be complete without seeing some of the other islands that are too beautiful to miss out on.

Murano

First head to Murano, that is roughly 20 minutes by boat from the main harbour by the bus station. You can get off the bus, taxi or train walk roughly ten minutes and find the number 3 boat. This will take you to Murano.

Murano is famous for the exquisite glass they make, there are as many shops dedicated to glass as there are tourists. Visiting Murano was one of my favourite things on our two days in Venice.

Murano is a beautiful and tranquil spot that you can go and enjoy a little peace and quiet. Tip, if you are looking to have even more peace and quiet, head in the opposite direction to the crowds.

There are stunning settings of empty streets and water views away from the crowds. The boat may seem crowded but as you walk away from the main port you will be able to see how quiet the island is.

Burano

If you have had enough of the idyllic and tranquil island of Murano, head on over to Burano. Go to the main harbour area in Murano and find number 12, this will take you to Burano. Burano is known for the colourful houses that belong to the fisherman on the island.

Another island that is quiet and not as popular with the bulk of tourists. The island is small and beautiful. You can get the boat from Murano to Burano if you plan on stopping at a couple of the islands during the day.

Torcello

If you have time hop over to Torcello, it is a small and quiet island with very few residents. It is a stunning island where many tourists go to check out the Basilica di Santa Maria Assunta.

The Basilica has beautiful mosaics, features and more. There is also an amazing bridge with no parapets called Ponte del Diavolo.

You can see stunning views of Burano if you find the right spot and there are a couple of places you can find something lovely to eat while you explore the island.

Finish your two days in Venice with a well-earned glass of wine and delicious meal by the Grand Canal. There are many restaurants lined up the Grand Canal offering delicious home cooked meals, sit back relax and enjoy the sunset.

That is everything on our two days in Venice guide. If you have been to Venice and found more unique and interesting things to see and do I would love to know. Also if you have any helpful tips and tricks let us know in the comments.

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