What to see in Venice in one day [Itinerary with MAP]

Who I am
Alejandra Rangel
@alejandrarangel
SOURCES CONSULTED:

wikipedia.org, lonelyplanet.com

Author and references

Known for over a thousand years as La Serenissima, Venice is famous for its elaborate labyrinth of islands and canals navigated by black gondolas and spanned by hundreds of bridges.

I recently spent a day there during which I tried to indulge in all the best things to do in Venice in one day.

With this one day itinerary in Venice, I try to virtually accompany you to discover all the main points of interest not to be missed if you only have one day in the city.



Try to leave early and have the i online tickets for the attractions you want to visit: you will avoid wasting time, moreover the income due to the spacing could be reduced and you would risk being left out!

ONLINE TICKETS

GUIDED TOURS

  • Venice in 1 Day: Morning
  • Venice in 1 Day: Afternoon
  • Venice in 1 Day: Evening
  • What to see in Venice in 2 or 3 days
  • Tips for visiting Venice in one day
  • Where to eat in Venice
  • Where to sleep in Venice

Venice in 1 Day: Morning

Remember that having only one day in Venice, the sooner you start exploring it, the better it will be: not only will you have more time to spend in the beautiful city of canals, but you will have the opportunity to enjoy it without the large crowds that characterize it.

Below you will find the map of the walking itinerary of Venice in one day with the points of interest that "we will go to visit together".



FREE TOUR OF VENICE

A good idea, if you are visiting Venice for the first time, is to join a FREE tour of Venice.

-> FIND the tour here so you can see how it works and what is included!

If instead you want to learn more I advise you this complete tour of Venezia which includes the major points of interest: the center of Venice and its most important monuments: the Ducal Palace and St. Mark's Basilica.

Start your day in Venice as soon as possible, maybe even at 7:00 in the morning: walking at that time, without anyone, will be fantastic.

1 - Rialto Bridge

Your day in Venice, then, should start with a walk up to Rialto BridgeHere, in fact, every morning (except Sunday) you can browse the stalls of the famous Rialto market.

Of the four bridges that cross the Grand Canal of Venice, this one, which houses several shops on either side, is both the oldest and the most beautiful.

Just think that once the Rialto Bridge was the only way to cross the Grand Canal without embarking.

As you cross the bridge, take the time to admire the views of the Grand Canal from both sides - you will be able to take some beautiful photographs.

2 - Piazza San Marco

At this point I suggest you reach St. Mark's Square: do it by 9:00 to enjoy it to the fullest.


Piazza San Marco is the most famous square in Venice and is located right next to the lagoon.


This huge square is home to many of the most famous places in the city and for this reason it is always crowded and bustling with vendors and tourists.

Once you arrive in Piazza San Marco, take a few minutes to stroll and, if you are so brave, take an iconic photo with the famous pigeons of Venice (not my thing, but many do!).

On the square, under the Procuratie (the famous colonnades that surround it) there are numerous historic places where you can sip a coffee: the Florian coffee is the best known. But know that the prices here are very high.

From the map below you can see that some of the major attractions of Venice that we will visit together are located right here or in its immediate vicinity: St. Mark's Basilica, Ducal Palace, Campanile, Bridge of Sighs.

3 - Basilica of San Marco

When you've finished exploring the square, it's time to pay a visit to the St. Mark's Basilica: the church opens at 9:30, but people generally line up to get in much earlier.

Le queues to enter St. Mark's Basilica can be quite long and this is the main reason why I advise you to reach it by 9:00: if you are among the first to enter, you will have more time to dedicate to the rest of the city.


If you don't want to queue, you can book your entry online: the entrance to the Basilica is free, but it is absolutely recommended buy the audio guide!

ATTENTION UPDATE AUGUST 2021: the entrance to the Basilica is NO longer free. Find more information here on the official website.


An interesting alternative to visit the Basilica of San Marco without queuing is to take part in a guided tour.

Go to the GUIDED TOUR

Once you find yourself inside the church, I'm sure you will be amazed by the multitude of Byzantine-style details and numerous decorations. Majestic and opulent, the Basilica of San Marco is a true symbol of Venice and is absolutely worth a visit.

For a complete experience you may decide to visit the rich San Marco Museum which will also allow you to get on the terrace of the Basilica where are the famous four horses from Constantinople.

From there you can admire a beautiful view of Piazza San Marco.

Time your time carefully, though: a visit to the museum will surely take you at least an hour.

4 - Doge's Palace and St Mark's Campanile

If you have decided to visit Venice in one day you will inevitably have to make sacrifices and, unfortunately, you will have to make choices.

In St. Mark's Square, in addition to the Basilica of the same name, there are two other symbolic buildings of Venice: the Ducal Palace and St Mark's Campanile.

Ducal Palace it was the seat of the government of the Republic of Venice and its interior is both splendid and interesting. If you are interested in the history of Venice this is a great option.

TICKETS PALAZZO DUCALE

Il panorama of Venice from the Campanile di San Marco it is magnificent and from here you will admire Venice, the lagoon, the Basilica of San Marco and some islands from above. Climbing the bell tower takes significantly less time than the Doge's Palace and is also cheaper.

5 - Riva degli Schiavoni

After visiting the Palazzo or the Campanile or simply after exiting the Basilica of San Marco (in case you put both aside), I suggest you to walk along the Riva degli Schiavoni, a sort of Venice waterfront.

From here, you will have a splendid view of the gondolas swaying in the water, of San Giorgio Maggiore and, if you turn left while continuing to walk, of the Bridge of Sighs.

6 - Bridge of Sighs

This is probably the most photographed bridge in Venice.

Il Bridge of Sighs it is just around the corner from Piazza San Marco and is a small bridge that connects the Ducal Palace and New Prisons (Prisons' Palace).

Here you find the TICKET to visit the Palazzo delle Prigioni

Although the view for which the Bridge of Sighs is famous is the one from the inside that the prisoners had who reached the prison from there, today the most famous view is the one from the outside.

Riva degli Schiavoni is the perfect point of view to look at the bridge, so be sure to stop for a moment to appreciate the beauty of its architecture and to observe the numerous gondolas and other boats that travel below.

Venice in 1 Day: Afternoon

At this point I advise you to go back to Piazza San Marco, pass it and head towards other symbolic places of the city to make the most of your one day in Venice.

At this point of your day, in fact, it's time to take a walk because in addition to the attractions concentrated around St. Mark's Square, there is much more to see than this crowded square.

7 - Scala Contarini del Bovolo

During your afternoon around Venice I suggest you go to the Contarini del Bovolo staircase. This unusual spiral staircase is part of the homonymous palace, a historic residence in late Gothic style.

If during the morning you visited the Doge's Palace and not the Campanile di San Marco and you are left with the desire to admire Venice from above you can go up here: the view is not as stunning as that of the bell tower, but it is still beautiful and you will certainly meet fewer people.

The chances of accidentally getting under the tower during your walk are almost nil, so you'll have to go there specifically.

8- Ponte dell'Accademia

The goal of your walk this time is the Ponte dell'Accademia, where you will be greeted by an iconic view of the Grand Canal.

Don't be in a hurry, though: even if you can reach the bridge in 15 minutes, stroll slowly and enjoy every glimpse of the canals and buildings, watch the boats sail, stop in front of the shop windows that sell masks and Murano glass.

During the walk you could stop in front of the Fenice Theater, historic opera house in Venice destroyed several times by tragic fires, but always risen from its ashes as new (as the name implies!).

Right above the Accademia Bridge are the famous ones Gallerie dell'accademia. If you are interested in visiting them you will certainly have to give up visiting the Doge's Palace and the Bell Tower.

9 - Tour of the canals of Venice

You navigate the canals of Venice with any type of budget: whether you are looking for a real luxury cruise of a few hours, or if you are interested in a low cost alternative.

The cheapest solution is to use i scheduled water buses: the 75-minute navigation ticket costs 7,50 Euros and you can use it to travel on Line 1 or 2 to explore the Grand Canal from the water.

But let's face it, if you really want to have a unique experience, you should do a gondola ride.

To take a gondola ride you can choose the more expensive option, which is a private ride, or a cheap gondola cruise with shared ride (the best seller)

The private tour will cost you around 80 euros for a 30-minute ride during the day and 100 at night, while the cheap one starts at 30 euros each.

These prices, however, may vary depending on whether you book directly on site, online or through your hotel and depending on the period in which you visit Venice.

TOUR IN GONDOLA

The prices of the gondolas are fixed per boat and, since each gondola can accommodate up to six people, if you are willing to share the route you will certainly reduce the cost of the ride.

Alternatively you can book a cruise on the Grand Canal which will allow you to spend more time on the water than a normal shared gondola ride, although of course it doesn't have the same effect.

Venice in 1 Day: Evening

If you spend only one evening in Venice, you will be spoiled for choice. Here I am writing you some ideas to get the most out of your evening in the Serenissima!

10 - Free tour of the mysteries and legends of Venice

With this free tour of Venice you will discover iconic places in search of the mysteries that surround the Serenissima and you will discover its most surprising legends.

You will stroll on the banks of the Grand Canal, observing the splendid Venetian palaces, and you will walk the streets of one of the most important and ancient sestieri of Venice, Cannareggio. Here, you will visit the Jewish ghetto and we will know many interesting historical data.

A tour in my opinion not to be missed.

11 - Cruise in the Lagoon with dinner on a Venetian Galleon

Alternatively, there are evening or sunset cruises lasting two or 3 hours that will allow you to enjoy the beauty of the City of the Lagoon even with little time available.

Among the options that there are, I recommend you this 3-hour dinner cruise on the Venetian Galleon.

The lights of the sunset, a gourmet dinner, the islands of the Lagoon and a Venetian galleon are the ingredients that make this experience an unforgettable evening.

The galleon starts from pier of the Naval Museum of Venice, a fifteen minute walk from Piazza San Marco and set sail towards the northern part of the Lagoon.

On board they will offer you un welcome cocktail it's a aperitif before dinner.

From the boat you can observe Le Vignole, Sant'Erasmo, San Francesco del Deserto, Burano and its brightly colored houses, Torcello, Mazzorbo and Murano, famous for its glass.

The views of theArsenal and the islands of Santa Maria delle Grazie and St. George they will be the icing on the cake on the return trip to the canal Giudecca, where you can observe the palaces of St. Mark's Square.

12 - Campo Santa Margherita

Campo Santa Margherita it has been loved by locals ever since it was created in the XNUMXth century. During the day it hosts a famous fruit, vegetable and street food market with tasty Venetian delicacies. At night it is the place to be in Venice, to meet up with friends, have dinner or have a drink.

Dorsoduro is the main student area of ​​Venice and this square is popular with young people as it has many small taverns and trattorias with tasty local dishes at typically non-Venetian prices.

What to see in Venice in 2 or 3 days

If you have more than one day in Venice, there are so many other things you can do or see in the surroundings and I swear to you that it is really worth it.

1 - Murano, Burano and Torcello

Visit Murano, Burano and Torcello it is a must for anyone visiting Venice. Unfortunately for those who decide to go to Venice just one day, they will not be able to do this trip, but if your visit to Venice lasts longer, then consider the idea of take the ten-minute vaporetto to the island of Murano.

Murano can be seen in a couple of hours, but if you also want to visit Burano (worth it) and Torcello, you have to budget at least a full day (if you don't want to rush).

Murano is famous for its beautiful blown glass.

Burano it is one of the most beautiful islands in Venice. Its multicolored houses lining the waterfront are perfect for photographs and are consistently voted in the top 10 most colorful cities in the world.

2 - Jewish Ghetto

Venice has a long and turbulent relationship with its Jewish community.

Il Jewish ghetto of Venice it is a must-visit area.

What was one of the first Jewish quarters of Europe (among others I personally also visited the Jewish ghetto of Rome and Krakow ghetto), is today a lively and popular district of the city where Jewish religious and administrative institutions still remain and 5 synagogues some of which can be visited.

Il Jewish Museum of Venice it is an unmissable part for those who want to know this “turbulent” part of history.

Here you can find the online ticket for the Jewish Museum of Venice

3 - Cannaregio and the Church of the Madonna dell'Orto

The deeper you go into it Cannaregio, the fewer people you will see. Just to give you an idea that, if you go there, you will have made the right choice, here are some of the things to see in this neighborhood: the house of Marco Polo, the church of Santa Maria Assunta (I Gesuiti), the Fondamento Nove (seafront) and the Jewish ghetto.

As you wander the streets of Cannaregio, take a break for a fantastic cup of coffee and cookies.

Located on the north side of Piazza Canareggio, the Church of the Madonna dell'Orto it is a XNUMXth century Gothic church still in use. It was founded by the Order of the Humiliated and is dedicated to the Virgin Mary.

This church is particularly interesting for art lovers. It contains a moving statue of the Mother and Child and works by the beloved Venetian artist Tintoretto.

4 - Accademia Galleries

Le Galleries of the Academy of Venice they are the most prestigious art galleries in the city and house the most complete collection of Venetian art. Before being a museum, the complex of three buildings was used for religious purposes.

The main themes represent Venetian life, the historical characters of the city and religion. Its permanent collection has an impressive series of works by great Venetians including Titian, Canaletto, Veronese, Carpaccio.

My favorite is Canaletto, whose detailed and architecturally perfect works made me fall in love with Venice from afar. There are also changeable temporary exhibitions included in the ticket price.

5 - Acqua Alta bookshop

La Acqua Alta bookshop is one of the most unique bookstores in Europe. It is a must for any book and cat lover.

Dozens of books and magazines are stacked in a gondola in the center of the store. This is not just for attraction, but also to keep the books safe during regular floods. And it's almost impossible not to notice the cute cats lazily lying around.

At the back of the shop you will find a charming small staircase made of old books.

6 - Castello district and Basilica of Santi Giovanni e Paolo

If you can try to reach the Castello district to visit the Basilica of Saints John and Paul, one of the most impressive medieval religious buildings in Venice.

Many Venetian Doges and other important personalities were buried here. The facade with its central rose window acts as a shoulder to the candid and equally beautiful facade of theAncient School of San Marco.

Campo SS. Giovanni e Paolo, the square, is really beautiful with the equestrian statue dedicated to Bartolomeo Colleoni, and framed by a canal on which the gondolas slide slowly and silently.

7 - Basilica dei Frari

In the Sestiere di San Paolo you will find the Minor Basilica of the Frari (or Santa Maria Gloriosa dei Frari), a XNUMXth century Franciscan Gothic style church; in fact (after the Basilica of San Marco), it is the largest church in the city.

Inside you can admire incredible works, from pictorial to sculptural ones including the wonderful S. Jerome of marble.

Inside, numerous concerts and various guided tours are also organized.

8 - Basilica of Santa Maria della Salute

The history of Basilica of Santa Maria della Salute it is in the heart of many Venetians. It was designed by Baldassare Longhena and finished in the XNUMXth century.

The church was built as an ex voto to the Madonna to thank the miracle according to which the plague ended in Venice, after more than 80.000 Venetians had not survived.

It is located at the entrance to the Grand Canal and is one of the most photographed churches in Italy. Its beautiful white stone facade and elegant statues and imposing white dome ensure all who see it to admire it.

Tips for visiting Venice in one day

  1. Join the Free Walking tour of Venice: this will allow you to discover Venice with an English guide, become familiar with the city and begin to orient yourself.
  2. Buy Skip The Line Tickets: in addition to avoiding the queues, given the COVID you will be 100% sure to enter. I highly recommend you to buy the online tickets for the Doge's Palace andaudio guide of the Basilica of San Marco (unless you decide to book a guided tour)
  3. Start the day early since you only have 24 hours at your disposal and time is running out Try not to leave after 7:30. Although many points of interest are still closed at this time, you will be able to see Venice without tourists, which will give you the best experience in the city.
  4. If you visit Venice in one day, you probably won't need anything other than your own feet to get around. Put on a nice pair of comfortable shoes! The furthest points can be reached by vaporetto, which is certainly a fantastic way to visit Venice even from the water.
  5. If you can decide when to go, surely spring is the best time. I have also been in Venice during the Carnival and although a beautiful event, the prices were very high.

Where to eat in Venice

Venice has the classic reputation of a place where tourists are "screwed" and end up eating in very expensive and poor quality traps.

Let me try to dispel this myth for a second: trap restaurants are everywhere there is tourism, but Venice is also chock-full of taverns serving great food at more or less reasonable prices!

Basically you just have to know where to eat!

In fact, with a little research you can find the best restaurants, cafes, pizzerias and Bacari in the city with truthful reviews written by locals.

If you visit Venice, however, try to look for local Venetian dishes such as “Spaghetti in squid ink”, which are spaghetti served with squid and colored black with squid ink.

Or maybe try the seafood dishes, Venice is famous for the fresh fish that is caught in its lagoon. Look for grilled octopus and “creamed cod”, which is dried cod (I know it well being from Genoa).

These are 3 places to eat in Venice you should try:

San Silvestro Restaurant (San Polo): one of the best restaurants in Venice, serving elegant local specialties in a romantic setting with indoor and outdoor candlelit dinners.

Ai Mercanti (San Marco): creative dishes, seasonal ingredients and a relaxed atmosphere combine together in this tavern which, in addition to simple dishes, also offers pearls of the highest gastronomy. This is why they call themselves "gastrosteria". They also have a great wine selection.

Arnaldi Winery (Santa Croce): Incredible small wine shop offering a well curated selection of boutiques, local wine along with Italian regional wines, international naturals and craft beer (on tap or bottled). The food here is simple but delicious

Where to sleep in Venice

Okey if you want to visit Venice in one day you probably won't need to look for where to sleep, but since I'm here to write I would still like to give you some inspiration and some advice on the best hotels in the city.

Venice has some wonderful hotels, but inaccessible to most of us (myself included) for the prices that are nothing short of stratospheric.

Here I list you 3 very good hotels with acceptable prices. Keep in mind that if you go to Venice you will probably walk all day so the hotel must be a clean and comfortable place for visits, in which however you will spend little time.

Arcadia Boutique Hotel: XNUMXth century building in the Cannaregio district of Venice. This boutique hotel features elegant air-conditioned rooms with free Wi-Fi and a large Venetian-style reception hall embellished with a Murano glass pendant chandelier.

Generator Venice: Housed in a 3-storey 19th-century building on Giudecca Island, Generator Venice offers elegant rooms and dormitories and boasts views of St Mark's Square in the distance.

B&B Bloom Settimo Cielo: one of my favorite places, but more expensive than the previous ones (worth it anyway) this B&B offers a wonderful terrace with views over the city. Located in the center of Venice, a 10-minute walk from Piazza San Marco.

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