Welcome to this fully detailed 2 days in Venice itinerary.
Since I started my Facebook group all about Venice and the Veneto region, some travellers have been asking me if 2 days in Venice is actually enough.
Many visitors have limited time to spend in Venice, like a weekend, or because they arrive with late flights on a Friday evening and leave early Monday morning.
I have good news! It’s possible to visit Venice in 2 days and even though you won’t be able to cover every attraction, you’ll visit the most important ones!
2 Days in Venice itinerary
Follow my personal 2 days in Venice itinerary that includes attractions to visit, bar and restaurants I personally tried and hotels located on strategic locations.
You can readapt it based on your preferences and needs.
Are you ready? Let’s go!
2 days in Venice enough?
Yes and no! 2 days in not enough to visit Venice but you can make it work.
With just 2 days, you won’t get to visit every landmark worth visiting and you probably won’t even be able to add some off-the-beaten-path corners of the city.
But despite the options you may have, check out my dedicated guide on how many days in Venice is enough? which answers this question and get a better idea.
Ideally, do that before booking any flight and accommodation and try to understand, based on your style of travelling, how long you should spend there.
If you don’t have a choice and 2 days in Venice is all that you can afford (time wise), then let me help you with this itinerary so you can maximise your stay.
Venice itinerary map
Before we get into the details, here is my 2 days in Venice itinerary walking map that you can save to your Google Maps account and use once you’re in Venice.
On the map, all the attractions that I think you can cover are included and a walking itinerary to follow (feel free to change the way you get from one place to the other!).
Why not request to Join my Facebook group to get more personalised tips from me?
Day 1 in Venice
On your first day in Venice ensure you got enough energy by starting with an Italian breakfast: see my suggestion below (unless you’ll have breakfast at your hotel!).
On this day you’ll cover the best attractions of the lagoon city and some lesser-known sights.
Morning: Breakfast at Hotel or Bakery Shop Tonolo
Unless you’ve booked accommodation with breakfast included, I really recommend having breakfast with the lovely pastries of the Pasticceria Tonolo.
It’s based in the Dorsoduro district and at their bar, you can also have a coffee. If you’re in Venice during Carnival time, make sure to try their ‘frittelle’ (fritole in Venetian dialect).
📍Pasticceria Tonolo, Calle S. Pantalon 3764
Opening times: from Tuesday to Saturday from 7.45am to 8pm, Sunday from 7.45am to 1pm and Monday closed
9am-10:30am St. Mark’s Square + St. Mark’s Basilica
The first landmark you’ll visit of your 2 days in Venice itinerary is St. Mark’s Square. It might be worth knowing that this is the only real square of the city, and the other piazzas are instead called ‘campi’ in Venetian dialect.
St. Mark’s Square is absolutely wonderful and dates back to the 12th century. It’s no secret that it’s considered one of the most beautiful squares in the world.
The piazza is eclosed by the Procuratie Vecchie and Nove, and back to the Serenissima Republic days, were the residence and workplace of St. Mark’s procurators.
On the north side, it’s impossible not to spot the magnificent St. Mark’s Basilica. The basilica also called the ‘Golden Cathedral’ for its stunning golden mosaics.
It’s the most important church in Venice and the religious heart of the city. You only have to pay a small charge of 3 euros to visit it, and a supplement if you also would like to visit the St. Mark’s Treasure and Terrace.
If you still have some time, you can also climb the St. Mark’s Campanile, from where you can admire a wonderful 360° view of the city and the Venetian lagoon.
This is the official website where you can book tickets for the Basilica and Campanile. Tickets are not refundable and can’t be changed.
The alternative is getting this skip-the-line ticket to St. Mark’s Basilica.
This ticket doesn’t include the access to the Pala d’Oro, Museum and the Loggia of the Horses but you get free cancellation up to 24 hours before the day you visit.
Opening times: St. Mark’s Basilica: from 9.30 am (Sunday and Solemnities ‘of precept’ from 2 pm) to 5.15 pm (last admission: 4.45 pm)
9-10am Doge’s Palace + Bridge of Sighs
Your next stop is the Doge’s Palace and Bridge of Sighs. The palace was the Doge’s residence and represents one of the most beautiful examples of Gothic architecture.
Venice’s doge was the chief magistrate of the Serenissima Republic and had military and political powers in the city.
The Doge’s Palace foundations date back to the 14th and 15th centuries. Today you can access and visit 3 wings and floors of the building. During your visit you can stroll around the doge’s apartments, chambers of the main government bodies of the Republic and also the prisons.
The Chamber of the Great Council is my favourite one and here you can admire some great masterpieces by famous 16th century Venetian artists like Titian and Carpaccio. By booking this guided tour of the Doge’s Palace, your guide will escort you through the palace and explain its history and share curiosities.
After visiting the main palace, you’ll cross the Bridge of Sighs that leads to the Prisons. The bridge has been named after the ‘sighs’ that the prisoners were breathing, whilst looking for their last time at the Venetian lagoon before getting to know their fateful sentence.
Then I recommend admiring the beauty of this iconic bridge and take a few pictures from the Ponte della Paglia.
Opening times: Doge’s Palace: every day 9.00 – 19.00 (last admission 18.00)
10-11am Rialto bridge + Rialto market + (optional) Fondaco dei Tedeschi panoramic view
From St. Mark’s Square you can then move towards the Rialto Bridge which is only 15 minutes walk.
The Rialto bridge the oldest bridge in the city and its Renaissance style architectural structure is pretty unique too with a main stone-arch and two arcades of souvenir shops. This bridge is one of the few spanning the Grand Canal, and more precisely crossing on its narrowest point.
Some of the best views in Venice can be admired from here, so take your time to take in all the beauty. From here you can get on a gondola ride and admire the city from the Grand Canal. Bear in mind that this area is very touristic so I recommend waiting a bit longer to get to somewhere less busy and avoid queues.
Not far from the bridge, there’s the Rialto Market. This market represented the beating heart of the Serenissima Republic and here merchants were trading spices and products coming from different parts in the then-known world.
You can also join this street food tour with a local guide during which you’ll visit the market, try some cicchetti and walk around the city.
Do you know the most popular street food in Venice you can try? Read my blog post about Venetian street food to learn more.
If you have a couple more minutes, only a few minutes walk from the Rialto Bridge, you can visit the Fondaco dei Tedeschi, the trading headquarters of German’s merchants.
Today the fondaco has been turned into a luxury multi-level shopping centre but you can access for free its rooftop terrace and enjoy (for 15 minutes) a fantastic view of Venice from the top.
Opening times: Rialto Market: from Monday to Saturday, from 7am to 8 pm (fruit and veg market) and from 7am to 2pm, closed on Sunday and Monday (fish market).
Fondaco dei Tedeschi rooftop: from 10:45 am to 7:15 pm (closing at 7:30 pm)
Lunch: Al Mercá
Al Mercà is a great spot to eat cicchetti a local wine (or Spritz) that locals love. It’s a perfect place to have a quick lunch and move to your next attractions.
📍 Campo Bella Vienna, 213 San Polo
1-2pm Libreria Acqua Alta or Scala Contarini del Bovolo
Not far from Al Mercà, if you wish to include a lesser-known sight to your 2 days in Venice itinerary (and you love books!) visit the Libreria Acqua Alta (Acqua Alta bookshop).
The eclectic bookshop features a collection of both new and second-hand books that happen to be stored inside gondolas and kayas! When there’s high tide in Venice, the shop is subject to flooding and that explains its name.
Visitors love taking pictures of its most hidden corners and from the top of the book staircase. There’s also another lovely part of the shop where you can take a picture of the canal. Here you can find some souvenirs, postcards or large prints.
In alternative to the bookshop, you can visit another hidden gem: the Contarini del Bovolo staircase. The beautiful spiral staircase is a great place from where to admire outstanding views of the city, in a more intimate location.
The stair counts 80 steps and it’s 28 meters high. The man who owned the palace called Pietro Contarini, asked to build a staircase like this one in order to get to his rooms from his horse. Whether the legend is a true story or not, staircase and palace are worth a visit.
Acqua Alta bookshop
Opening times: every day, from 9 am to 7.30 pm.
📍 Calle Longa Santa Maria Formosa, 5176b, 30122 Venezia
Scala Contarini del Bovolo
Opening times: From 9.30 am to 5.30 pm (winter) and from 10 am to 6 pm (summer)
2-3.30pm La Fenice Theatre
La Fenice Theatre is a prestigious and famous opera theatre built in Neoclassical style and considered one of the most important theatres in the world.
It opened to the public back on the 16th of May 1792 and had a difficult story of fires that brought to several restorations over the centuries.
That’s also the reason why the theatre has been named after the phoenix, the bird that is able to born again and again from its own ashes.
Many opera premieres took place here of artists like Giuseppe Verdi, Stravinsky, Vincenzo Bellini and Gioachino Rossini.
You can attend opera, ballet shows and concerts even today and buy tickets at the Fenice Opera House ticket office or at the Venezia Unica box offices.
Opening times: from Monday to Friday from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm
4-5pm Santa Maria della Salute Basilica
Moving towards one of the best neighbourhoods to stay in Venice, you’ll find the second most important church of Venice: the baroque-style Santa Maria della Salute Basilica.
The church has an octagonal plan with small chapels on each side. On some of these chapels you can see artworks by Titian and Tintoretto. It was built to express gratitude to St. Mary that protected Venice from the plague epidemic in 1631, that decimated Venice’s population.
The architect that won the competition at that time was Baldassare Longhena and it took 56 years to build the church. On the 21st of November is celebrated the ‘Festa della Salute‘, where people from all over the city and beyond commemorate St. Mary during a pilgrimage.
You can visit for free the basilica, but if you want to access the sacristy there’s an admission fee of 6 euros to pay.
Opening times: from the 1st of April to the 31st of October 9am-12pm and 3pm-5.30pm. From the 1st of November to the 31st of March 9.30am-12.30pm and 3pm-5.30pm
6-7pm Aperitivo at Osteria al Squero
Have a proper Venetian style aperitif with cicchetti and Spritz whilst watching gondolas get repaired on the other side of the canal.
The ‘squero’ is in fact a traditional boatyard where gondolas or other boats undergo maintenance. This is also one of the last boatyards of the city so make sure to check it out!
📍Dorsoduro, 943, 30123 Venice
Dinner: Agli Alboretti
A traditional restaurant where you can try the Venetian dishes like spaghetti with clams or with squid ink.
📍Antonio Foscarini, Rio Terà, 882, 30123 Venice
Day 1 in Venice
Day 2 in Venice
On your second day of this 2 days in Venice itinerary, you’ll visit some important art museums, have a taste of Venetian life by visiting its campi and end up in the Jewish Ghetto, or in alternative, visit the islands of Murano, Burano and Torcello.
Morning: Breakfast at hotel or Rosa Salva pastry shop
Historic bakery and pastry shop dating back to the year 1870, not far from St. Mark’s Square.
📍San Marco 950, 30124 Venice
9-10.30am Galleria dell’Accademia
The Gallerie dell’Accademia is an art museum featuring a large collection of Venetian artworks from the Middle Ages to the modern era.
The museum is based in the Dorsoduro district, not far from the Basilica of Santa Maria della Salute, Punta della Dogana and the Peggy Guggenheim Collection. You can admire paintings by Titian, Veronese, Canaletto, Giorgione, Tintoretto and Bellini, just to name the most famous ones.
Have you ever heard about the Vitruvian Man by Leonardo da Vinci? Well, this masterpiece is also part of these stunning art collections. The museum is quite big, and it’s up to you how long you want to stay inside but you can easily spend one hour and a half. You can book your ticket from the Gallerie dell’Accademia website.
Just in front of the Galleries, you can cross the Accademia Bridge (Ponte dell’Accademia). From this bridge you can enjoy lovely views of the Grand Canal and also spot the Basilica of Santa Maria della Salute. It’s also the one of the most important bridges in Venice and one of the only four spanning the Grand Canal.
Opening times: Mondays from 8.15 to 2 pm, from Tuesday to Sunday from 8.15 am to 7.15 pm (ticket desk closes one hour before)
📍Campo della Carità, Dorsoduro 1050, 30123 Venezia
10.30-11am Punta della Dogana (optional)
Since the second morning of your 2 days in Venice itinerary is almost all dedicated to art museums, why don’t take a break between the visits?
Punta della Dogana is a great place to admire the Venetian lagoon, the Grand Canal and also St. Mark’s Square and maybe have a quick snack on the go. It’s not far from the Santa Maria della Salute church and normally there are not many tourists hanging around it.
11.30-12.30am Peggy Guggenheim Foundation
Not far from Gallerie dell’Accademia and Punta della Dogana, you can find the Peggy Guggenheim Collection. Not only it’s one of the most important contemporary art museums in Venice but also around the world.
This collection of artworks is the result of years and years of passion and relationships between Peggy Guggenheim and artists. The museum displays European and American art of the 20th century that can be admired inside the Palazzo Venier dei Leoni.
Today the collection includes Surrealism, Cubism and Expressionism artworks of famous artists such as Dalì, Mirò, Picasso, Kandinsky and Magritte’s works, just to name a few. Get your ticket in advance and avoid wasting time at the ticket office.
Opening times: open daily from 10 am to 6 pm, closed on Tuesdays.
📍 Palazzo Venier dei Leoni, Dorsoduro 701 I-30123 Venezia
12.45am-1.15pm Campo Santa Margherita + Campo Santa Barnaba
Visiting Venice shouldn’t be just moving from one attraction to the other but also take time to observe Venetian life flowing. If you’re like me and like taking breaks whilst exploring a city, then do it in Campo Santa Margherita.
It’s not far from the museums mentioned above and here locals love hanging out, in particular evening time for aperitivo or after dinner.
Usually university students meet up as around the piazza, there’re many bars and small restaurants. In the morning you can also see the fish market and a bunch of children playing football after school.
Want to see the floating fruits and vegetables market of Venice? Then visit Campo Santa Barnaba, only a few minutes walk from Campo Santa Margherita.
Lunch: Osteria alla Bifora
This traditional restaurant is considered one of the best in Venice. Here you can sample more cicchetti and sip a nice glass of local wine.
📍Campo Santa Margherita, 2930, 30123 Venice
2.30-3.30pm Basilica Santa Maria dei Frari + Campo S. Polo
Not far from Campo Santa Margherita, you can visit the Basilica di Santa Maria Gloriosa dei Frari. This is one of the biggest churches in Venice but lesser-known compared to St. Mark’s Basilica or the Basilica of Santa Maria della Salute.
You can find in the San Polo neighbourhood and it’s an important Franciscan church in Italy. It counts on a collection of paintings and sculptures of San Francesco of Assisi and Saint Anthony of Padua. Check its opening times here.
The Altarpiece of the Assumption and the Virgin Mary is an artwork by Titian and the tryptic was painted by Giovanni Bellini, based in the sacristy of the church.
If you have some more time, make sure to visit the closeby campo San Polo. This is the largest ‘campo’ of Venice that happened to be a meeting point for many Venetians, a marketplace as well as a playing arena.
📍San Polo, 3072, 30125 Venice
4-5.30pm Jewish Ghetto + Visit of Cannaregio neighbourhood
20 minute walk from Campo San Polo, there’s the Jewish Ghetto part of the Cannaregio neighbourhood. Back in the 16th century, here it’s where the Jews were segregated at the behest of the Doge Leonardo Loredan. The Venetian ghetto is the oldest ghetto in the world.
Take your time to stroll around its small piazzas and narrow streets. There are many family-owned businesses from bakery shops to art galleries.
I recommend getting some kosher pastries from the bakery shop Giovanni Volpe. Since you’re around this part of Venice, keep exploring Cannaregio.
Take some pictures from the Ponte delle Guglie and Ponte dei Tre Archi, and if you have some spare time visit the churches of Santa Maria dei Miracoli or the hidden gem church of Madonna dell’Orto.
5.30-7pm Aperitivo al Timon
Can’t skip aperitivo time if you’re Venice, right? Here in the Cannaregio district, you should absolutely try Al Timon, canal-front bar and restaurant loved by locals, where you can try more cicchetti and feel like a real Venetian.
📍Fondamenta dei Ormesini, 2754, 30121 Venice
Dinner: Osteria Ai Promessi Sposi
📍Calle dell’Oca, 4367, 30121 Venezia
Another osteria I personally tried and recommend if you want to try all the best of the Venetian cuisine. Make sure to try their seafood and fish-based dishes.
Day 2 in Venice
Alternative half day 2 in Venice
In alternative to visiting museums in the morning or the afternoon at the Jewish Ghetto, you can spend half day visiting the islands of Murano, Burano and Torcello.
With 2 days in Venice, you can squeeze in this popular half day trip that other travellers really enjoyed.
During this boat trip you’ll stop in Murano, known for the glass blowing tecnique, Burano a fishing village, known to be one of the most colorful towns in the world and for lace making tradition and then Torcello, where you can spend some free time.
Practical Travel Tips for Venice
Here’s a list of practical tips to visit the city and make the most of your 2 days in Venice:
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2 days in Venice
This is a detailed guide with information about each attraction that you’ll visit during your 2 days in Venice. You’re free to change the itinerary based on your interests, or for example, if you’re a second-time visitor.
I hope it will really help you to find your feet in the city and contribute to have a great time in the city, without thinking about where to go next. If you’re spending an extra day here, read my 3 days in Venice itinerary.
Do you feel up to all this walking? If not, why not check out on my post what you can do with one day in Venice if you have only 24 hours to spend in Venice?
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