Spending 2 days in Venice is a perfect amount of time to get a taste of what this unique, romantic lagoon city has to offer. Many visitors come to Venice for a fleeting weekend and with so much to see and do, everyone leaves wanting more – which is always the best way to leave a city!
This grand and other-wordly part of Italy is incredibly popular with tourists. Each year over 20 million people flock to the cobbled alleyways of Venice, wanting to experience the city with canals for roads before it’s too late! With rising sea-levels and the island itself slowly sinking under the weight of the buildings, some experts say that Venice will be underwater within a century.
Alongside its famous canals, Venice is also well-known for its grandeur. There’s a thriving contemporary art scene to discover, a wonderful local Venetian culture to enjoy, not to mention some of the best gelato in the world!
So if you want to see this incredible part of the globe and discover what the hype is all about, read on to find out how best to spend your time in the city of water. Here’s what you shouldn’t miss if you have 2 days in Venice.
What you should not miss if you spend 2 days in Venice
The Grand Canal
The Grand Canal is Venice’s ‘main street’ and doesn’t just connect Venice’s top tourist attractions, it’s one of the main attractions itself. This 3.8km long water way splits this one-of-a-kind city in two and on each side you’ll find incredible buildings, beautiful sights and historic bridges to marvel at. Each day it’s buzzing with everything from gondolas and water taxis to ferries, speed boats and barges. Whether exploring by boat or on foot, you’ll be completely taken aback by the views.
San Marco Square
This famous square’s iconic beauty means that it’s something every visitor has to see at least once! From the unusual yet breathtaking Basilica San Marco and its soaring bell tower, to the oldest café in the world or the infamous pigeons who stalk the square in droves. It’s a place that Napoleon once referred to as ‘the drawing room of Europe’ and the gothic style of St Mark’s Square is truly a sight to behold.
A taste of Venetian life!
Alongside the well-known delicious Italian food, Venice also has its very own local cuisine. It’s one that the Venetians are fiercely proud of it’s a fantastic way to experience Venice like a true local. The city is also known for its charming little bacaris (wine bars), where you can order some cicchetti – Venice’s answer to Spanish tapas. These bite-sized snacks are best enjoyed with a bellini – another local favourite. Saluti!
Day one in Venice
Recommended things to do and see on your first day in Venice
If you love modern art then you can’t go past the Peggy Guggenheim Collection. You’ll find this modern art museum inside Peggy Guggenheim’s former home on the banks of the Grand Canal. Its impressive collection of art is what makes the museum one of the most popular tourist attractions in Venice. It’s the perfect way to start your first day in Venice!
Head to the water and go on a tour of the Grand Canal, where you’ll see the eye-catching Santa Maria della Salute. This 17th century Baroque church guards the entrance to the Grand Canal and is a beautiful sight in itself. The church is also home to many great pieces of art, including Tintoretto’s ‘Marriage at Cana’ which celebrates the miracles of life during the time of the plague.
The Rialto Bridge is the most famous of the four bridges that cross the Grand Canal. Head towards this 500 year-old monument in the evening when the city’s nightlife really comes into its own. Lined with arcades on either side, the bridge has beautiful views and is fantastic to see in the evening, with Venice’s twinkling lights glistening in the water.
Where to stay on your first night in Venice
Recommended activities for your first day in Venice
Day two in Venice
Recommended things to do and see on your second day in Venice
In the morning, head to the Piazza San Marco before the crowds arrive. Here you’ll find the Basilica di San Marco – the most famous church in the city. The beautiful domed building is known for its Italo-Byzantine architecture, opulent design and incredible gold mosaics, and you can visit it free of charge. Just outside you’ll also spot the slender Campanile di San Marco – the basilica’s bell tower and one of the piazza’s most recognisable landmarks.
Due to its trading history with the Arab world, Venice is actually where the tradition of coffee was born in Europe! So it’s no surprise that you’ll find a whole selection of famous cafés on this lagoon city. The most famous of all is Caffè Florian which dates back to 1720 and is known as the oldest coffeehouse in the world. It’s the perfect place to refuel with a midday coffee.
Finally, no trip to Venice is complete without a gondola ride. Find yourself a beautiful gondola that you love the look of and jump in for your own private tour of Venice from the water. For the romantics out there – time your trip right around sunset for the most beautiful views of Venice and the Grand Canal!