Is it possible to see Venice in three days?

What to see in Venice

Venice has sunny weather in November

What to see in Venice in 2-3 days or more? A traveler who likes to plan trips by himself and does not trust such an important thing to tour operators? Eurotraveler.ru offers you routes to see Venice in all its glory!

Venice – the city seems to be not too big – in terms of inhabitants. But it covers a huge area! And some of its parts are not so close to each other.

However, this does not mean that it is hopeless to organize not too long, but rich voyage to the “City on the Water”. On the contrary, even in 2, much less 3 days you can see almost all of Venice. Anyway, none of the iconic sights of this city will be out of your sight.

You just need to organize the traffic correctly and sensibly. Know exactly where to go, how long the trip will take and the walk itself. And in general – do you want to go there? Practical information and photos are attached. Prices are valid for 2020.

The Palace on the Grand Canal in Venice

Starting point.

Day-trippers arrive at Piazzale Roma (bus) or Santa Lucia Station (train). Don’t argue – they will if you don’t have your own or rented car at your disposal.

Car enthusiasts will have to leave their vehicle in the largest parking lot in Venice, near the Troncheto ferry terminal. The pleasure costs 21 € for 12 hours (and then daily) – expensive by Italian standards. But very economical by local standards – a parking lot near Piazza Roma costs about 35 € per day.

You can get out of the parking lot by vaporetto number 2, which goes

  • Canal Giudecca towards Piazza San Marco
  • to the bus terminal in Piazzale Roma and the train station, Santa Lucia; then the Grand Canal to San Marco and to the Island of Lido.

Those who arrive by plane usually stay here for at least 4-5 days … By the way, how to get to Venice from the airport.

What to see in Venice – day 1

Once you get off at Santa Lucia train station, you go straight to the Grand Canal and stand in a line at one of the ticket offices. A single ticket costs 7.5 € and the unlimited travel for 1 day costs 20 € with the Venezia Unica card (40 € for 72 hours).

Children on presentation of an ID (passport) will be made Rolling Venice. It’s a wallet that entitles you to discounts, including fares: 3 unlimited days will cost 29 €.

Ticket office employees understand English. All you have to do is give them the information. Make sure you are understood in the right way (calculate in advance the amount of money needed and don’t deviate a single step).

Then go to the terminal vaporetto number 2. However, you choose not the shortest route, along the Grand Canal (5 stops and 20 minutes), but a traffic circle route, through Giudecca, but also in the direction of San Marco.

  • By the way, the vaporetto has a free toilet on board. It is advisable to use it, because in the rest of the city (not counting museums) you will have to pay 1.5 € for the visit!

This way you can see Venice from the other side. It might not be a bad idea to land on the island of Giudecca, unjustly neglected by tourists. And, by the way, not only to see inside the church of Il Redentore, consecrated by Palladio’s genius. For the island itself is very remarkable as the home of the few “real” Venetians that still exist in nature!

Then you board the vaporetto again and get off at another island, San Giorgio Maggiore. Because of its prominent location, it is much more famous. Most tourists are well aware of the local church of calibrated classical architecture – another Palladian masterpiece – and don’t mind climbing up to the bell tower. One of the great observatory points!

The Island and Church of San Giorgio Maggiore in Venice

San Giorgio Maggiore

Palladio’s Basilica is striking outside and inside with its laconic and powerful architecture, lack of gilding, and Tintoretto’s Last Supper. Admission is free, for climbing the bell tower charge 6 €.

The stairs are closed, you can go up only by elevator. The latter provides a “wow effect”, if not a slight panic. Because its cabin has transparent walls, the entire process of rapid ascent is visible.

Height? About 100 meters, maybe a little less. At the top there is a beautiful observation deck from which Venice is visible in all directions.

We go down, take our time, go behind the church, and rest in the monastery garden. We do this only if the next “double” does not fit, which in just 5 minutes will drop you off at Piazza San Marco (stop S. Zaccaria). Study the schedule in advance, the next trip will cost another 7.5 €.

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Please note that for a thorough acquaintance with the central part it is worth to get a local Russian speaking guide. You heard right – there are such! The tour, like everything else here, is not too cheap. But the money spent pays off – in return you get KNOWLEDGE and a much more vivid experience.

Doge’s Palace

The pier of S. Zaccaria is a 2-minute walk from the Doge’s Palace, the piazzetta (small square) of San Marco, the Campanile, the Basilica of San Marco, the square and the Carrer Museum. What is possible to see here? For starters, be careful – during the season a human ocean of a hundred (at least) nationalities splashes here.

The Doge’s Residence should probably be viewed from the inside (the ticket office and entrance are on the side facing the water). If you didn’t buy the Museum Pass (24€), tickets to the Doge’s Palace will cost 20€ for adults and 13€ for children.

A little subtlety that is not reported on the website of the palace: families with at least 1 child pay for all tickets at the “children’s price”. That is – 13 € for each visitor. The price includes a tour of the palace, the “New Prison,” and a visit to the Carrer Museum.

Doge's Palace in Venice

The main attraction of the Carrer Museum is not any paintings, but the halls of the Royal Palace. They began to decorate under Napoleon, and finished under the Austrian Empress Elisabeth, the well known Sisi.

To get into the Basilica of San Marco (admission is free), you must stand in line. At 16.45 inside the main cathedral of the city are no longer allowed, and tourists are offered for money (6.5 €) to visit the treasury and climb the loggia.

Climbing the St. Mark’s Cathedral Campanile also involves waiting in line and spending money. It’s hardly worth it – you’ve already seen all the fun from the bell tower of San Giorgio Maggiore!

San Marco area

After seeing everything, taking plenty of pictures, being once again horrified by the crowds, we go from San Marco and the Royal Palace by the street Salita S. Moise. Moise. It is unremarkable, crowded with tourists and expensive boutiques and cafes.

The S. Moise church attracts attention with its rich baroque facade, the painting “The Washing of the Feet” by Jacopo Tintoretto and a horrible story of the 18th century. The lightning struck the roof and the discharge went through the metal chain of the chandelier up to the altar, where the priest and his assistant were killed while saying mass.

  • Across the bridge we cross the canal, we meet the pier for gondolas and the line of people, wishing to swim in a sharp-sided boat (100 € per trip), led by a surprisingly indifferent man in a striped coat and a hat with a ribbon.

Calle Larga XXII Marzo, through another bridge, leads to the Calle delle Ostreghe, which leads to the church of Santa Maria del Giglio. Rich baroque decoration inside and out, paintings by Rubens and Tintoretto. There are eateries and cafes on both marked arteries – you can eat if you don’t mind paying 3€ or more for a sandwich or a slice of pizza.

A short walk along Calle Zaguri-Calle dello Spezier and Santo Stefano Square opens up. One would not expect to find such a vast undeveloped space in the heart of the “Luminosity”.

The church of the same name (chiesa) decorates the end of the square. Gothic with Renaissance elements, looking at the square sideways, it has a bell tower, which with its angle would do honor to the Tower of Pisa. According to Wikipedia, the place of worship had to be consecrated several times because Venetians liked to settle scores inside.

Note that Venice generally has plenty of curious places that the average traveler doesn’t know about. Some of them you can see and on an inexpensive sightseeing tour. Quite informative, by the way – ezhednevnaya-progulka-po-venetsii.

Dorsoduro area

We change the direction to perpendicular, through the square we reach the Akademia bridge and cross to the other side of Grand Canal. The pier is on the right and opposite is the Gallerie dell’Accademia, the main art gallery in Venice. We can’t visit it on our itinerary – not enough time. But for the second day is fine. A ticket costs 15 €

The aim of our trip is the cathedral of Santa Maria della Salute, masterpiece of Balthasar Longhena. Go left from the bridge. A few narrow streets, the inexplicable charm of the Dorsoduro area, souvenir shops with Venetian masks from 80-100 € per human size, and there it is!

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Santa Maria della Salute, Venice

The Cathedral! Looking at it, you realize that the Venetians really were grateful to God for deliverance from the plague. Inside is majestic, but simple enough: large volumes and a minimum of gilding. All eyes are on the paintings by Tintoretto and Veronese.

  • At lunch (13-15) you can’t get inside… Why not? Read our article about Italian customs!

It’s possible to go back from the pier: vaporetto number one (more 7,5 €) docks almost at the steps of the cathedral’s stairs. The trip, however, will last a long time: this vaporetto number goes around all the piers on the Grand Canal, before docking at Santa Maria.

About 40 minutes, at least; check the train schedule. And the waterbus will be full in the evening – no doubt about it. Tourists go back to their towns, employees go home. No one will give up his place for a child – do not even think about it, you are not in Russia!

Where to stay

Package tourists are forced to settle in Mestre. And only as time passes begins to realize that it is not too convenient to go back and forth by train every day. Even if one stop at a time. The routine gets tiresome, the days accumulate, the impressions shrink.

However, this should not happen in 2-3 days. And savings if anything will calm down… We recommend a very good and inexpensive hotel ao Hotel Venezia Mestre in 7-8 minutes walk from the station. And Wombats Hostel Venice Mestre, whose guests praise the fresh renovation, the friendliness of the staff and the convenient location. There is a well-equipped common kitchen, the general tone of comments is “don’t look for anything else.”

If you do decide to settle right in Venice, note that hotels and apartments in the Cannaregio area (near the Santa Lucia train station) are decently more expensive.

We recommend the Hotel Guerrini, which is warm – in the truest sense of the word, a rarity in Venice – and which is reasonably priced and has delicious breakfasts. The cozy and clean Historical Center Apartment is worth checking out. And also a comfortable and rather cheap apartment for 4 people – Appartamento Jewish Ghetto.

Day 2

A straightforward and straightforward itinerary for the second day of sightseeing. “Tram” two goes along the Grand Canal, gives the opportunity to take pictures of the palaces, admire the Rialto Bridge. We choose the pier Accademia (on Salute stops only #1) or S. Marco Vallaresso.

Then as you wish:

Accademia Gallery (paintings) + Santa Maria della Salute + Dorsoduro area (very beautiful and quiet). In this case keep in mind that the crossing to the other side only by bridge or by traghetto, a ferry boat for 3 € (you still have to wait for it).

Or Piazza San Marco and everything adjacent to it. Or the districts of Castello and Cannaregio. Or

San Polo .

The point is that this area can be quickly reached on foot right from the train station. Why do it? To see the mighty, enormous Church of the Frari. Its Campanile, the second tallest in Venice, is not a bad landmark, and is visible even from the depths of the narrow and crooked streets.

For admission take the standard 3 €, which is IMHO not the best investment – in Italy there are enough completely free and monstrously ancient churches. It’s much more reasonable to pay a tenner (under 18 – free: www.scuolagrandesanrocco.org/home-en/information/) for the right to enjoy the works of Tintoretto in the Scuola San Rocca!

A person who isn’t into painting will have a hard time understanding what to see inside (only three halls, a staircase, and a meeting room). But connoisseurs will be impressed: the walls and ceilings are covered with works of the great Venetian. The wonderfully carved wooden figures on the second floor – including an allegorical bust of Tintoretto himself – are also noteworthy.

Day 3

The proposed itinerary does not touch San Marco at all – it is entirely dedicated to the famous islands of the Venetian Lagoon.

We are talking about Murano, Burano and Torcello. Monument lovers can also stop by San Michele, where the cemetery is located. And, in particular, Sergei Diaghilev and Joseph Brodsky are buried.

The option involves a lot of walking and a thorough number of transfers: the purchase of the Venezia Unica in this case promises monstrous savings. You can get to Murano by Vaporetto No. 3 without stopping right from the station. Or you can take vaporettoes nos. 4.1 and 4.2.

Taking a boat to Murano, Venice

To Burano and Torcello goes the river streetcar number 12. Keep in mind there’s always a line in the middle of the day.

It’s better to visit the most remote island, Torcello. Because everything will be closed there from 17 o’clock. But on your way back, go see the colorful houses of Burano. It’s a lively place until dark!

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The return journey to the station (Piazzale Roma) is possible only with a transfer (vaporetto 12 – then 3 or 4.1, 4.2). At the pier you might have to rush to transfer and not wait half an hour for the next “streetcar”.

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What to see in Venice: 20 best places

What to see in Venice

Many tourists come to one of the most unusual and beautiful cities in the world. What to see in Venice on your own in 1, 2 and 3 days? Learn about the best sights and entrance fees.

St. Mark’s Square

Every city has its own center. In Venice, it’s the ancient Piazza San Marco. Here all the roads that lead to the ancient city on the water converge. The architectural ensemble of the main square is formed by the famous Doge’s Palace, the picturesque St. Mark’s Cathedral, library, clock tower and some other historic buildings.

The spacious square in front of the cathedral dates back to the IX century, and the gray herringbone sidewalk was made in the XIII century. People come to the square to see the slender columns of St. Mark and Theodore, to climb the observation deck of the Campanile, to listen to the melodious chime of the clock on the tower, and to feed the pigeons.

This part of town is easily accessible by vaporetto from Santa Lucia train station or Piazza Roma. Get off at the S. Marco Vallaresso stop.

What to see in Venice in 1 day

St. Mark’s Square and Cathedral (Photo: unsplash.com / @dimush)

St. Mark’s Cathedral

What is a must-see in Venice? The beautiful cathedral, the most popular and famous Christian church in the city, deserves special attention. It gained high status in the early 19th century, and before that was the Doge’s court chapel.

Admire the facades of the magnificent building and look inside. Colorful mosaic paintings cover 4,000 square meters of the temple. The earliest ones were laid out back in the 11th century. The enormous dome of the Creation has 26 mosaic scenes from the Bible. The “Golden Altar” consists of religious miniatures, which were made in the technique of cloisonne enamel. The unique treasury of the basilica has been turned into a museum.

The cathedral stands on St. Mark’s Square. Entrance to the basilica is free. A ticket to the museum costs 5 €, a pass to the “Golden Altar” 2 €, and a climb to the bell tower 8 €.

What to see in Venice in 2 days

The elegant walls of St. Mark’s Basilica (Photo: unsplash.com / @timounesays)

Doge’s Palace

Not far from the Basilica of San Marco is the picturesque residence of the city’s rulers, the Doge’s Palace, or Palazzo Ducale. If you haven’t yet decided what to see in Venice, include in your plan a walk through the museum inside the palace.

The ceilings of the residence are decorated by the famous artists Tintoretto and Veronese. The Hall of Cards leaves a big impression. On its walls are placed ancient maps, which were made by the best Italian masters.

The palace is located in Piazza San Marco. A full ticket costs 20€.

What to see in Venice in 3 days

The inner courtyard of the palace (Photo: cedlambert / pixabay.com)

San Giorgio Maggiore Tower

Venice is built on 118 islands, and on one stands an ancient 17th-century cathedral. The square brick tower of San Giorgio Maggiore is understood to be 60 meters high. It serves as a bell tower and an excellent viewing platform from which there is a wonderful view of the central part of Venice. An elevator takes tourists up to the top. Inside the three-aisled church are several paintings by the famous painter Tintoretto.

The tower is located on a small “cypress” island in the center of the city. Entrance to the temple is free and the climb to the tower is 6€.

Rialto Market

What to see in Venice to experience everyday Venetian life? Visit the old market, which has operated in the center of the city since the 16th century. Its name means “high bank,” in Italian. Here they sell fish, vegetables, herbs, and fruits. The largest selection of fresh seafood is in the morning hours.

Near the market there is a chocolate store called “Visio Virtu”. Try the different kinds of chocolates that are made according to traditional Venetian recipes. Visit the Parmesan Palace store, where they sell delicious cheeses.

The market is on the right bank of the Grand Canal, just west of the Rialto Bridge. It is open Tuesday through Saturday mornings. Admission is free.

Murano Island

Murano attracts history buffs and art lovers. It was here, in the artisan part of town, that mirrors and glass jewelry were invented, which made Venice famous. Glass souvenirs are still sold in Murano today.

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Stroll through the narrow streets and admire the medieval churches and the summer residence of the Venetian rulers, Palazzo Da Mula. During a tour of the factory, see how the famous glass is made.

The island-town is 1,5 km from the historical center of Venice. Entrance to the Museum of Glass costs 4€.

Torcello Island

The island of Torcello with its oldest churches in Venice is a good place to see for yourself. Since the 7th century Torcello was one of the most prosperous settlements of the lagoon. Trade was active on the island, and wool products were made. Then two rivers flooded the land, and most of the inhabitants moved to the larger islands.

Go to the ancient cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta. Look at the massive stone shutters and the golden mosaic depicting Doomsday. Walk over the water on the Bridge of the Devil and peek into the temple of Santa Fosca.

Torcello is north of the Venice Lagoon and can be reached by vaporetto.

Isle of Burano

In Venice, visit the famous colorful island of Burano, the center of Venetian lacemaking. The island is divided into quarters and is famous for the colorful facades of the houses that face the canal. A photographer’s paradise!

Apart from the colorful buildings, the island’s highlights include the San Martino Church and the Museum of Lace. Products of local artisans are sold in many stores. If they are cheap, it is a factory handicraft, which were brought from afar. Real handmade lace works of Burano lacemakers are expensive.

Burano is in the north of the city, near the island of Torcello. Tickets to the Museum of lace cost 5 €.

What to see in Venice in 4 days

Colorful buildings on the island (Photo: juliacasado1 / pixabay.com)

San Michele Island Cemetery

What to see in Venice for lovers of secluded walks? Perhaps the quietest place is on the square island that bears the name of the Archangel Michael. The ancient cemetery is enclosed by a brick wall and occupies the entire San Michele.

The area with cypresses is divided into Orthodox, Catholic and Jewish sections. The graves of many Venetians are located here. Tourists from Russia visit the gravesites of Joseph Brodsky, Igor Stravinsky and Sergei Diaghilev. Out of respect for the deceased people in the cemetery can not be photographed.

The island is reached by vaporetto, which go in the direction of Murano.

Island of the Lido

If a walk through the cemetery of San Michele makes you feel a little sad, a trip to the island of Lido will help you relax. Here you will find luxurious beaches and huge hotels, which are often called the Venetian Riviera. If you’re in town in the summer, go there for some sunbathing!

The beach island is located on the south side of the Venice lagoon. It closes off the central part of the city from the Adriatic Sea.

A must-see in Venice

Lido Island – Venice’s beach corner (Photo: somkuti / flickr.com)

La Fenice

Many tourists dream of seeing a performance at the La Fenice opera house. The theater appeared in the late eighteenth century and, like the fabulous Phoenix, was rebuilt three times after fires. If there is not enough time, the visit to the performance can be replaced by a guided tour – the theater has a permanent exhibition about opera diva Maria Callas. A guide will show the temple of the arts and tell entertaining theatrical stories. Don’t forget about the dress code!

The theater is located in the San Marco area. Tickets cost 15€-110€, a guided tour in five languages 13€. Infants up to 6 years old are free.

The sights of Venice

Full house at La Fenice (Photo: wikimedia.org / Youflavio)

Carnival mask store

Where do you buy accessories for the famous Venice Carnival? Colorful paper and plastic masks are sold on the streets, but most are Made in China. To see the real exclusive, go to the old Venetian mask store.

The small store Il Canovaccio makes and sells painted masks for carnival participants. Their traditional materials are leather, papier-mache, ceramics and metal. However, today they often use plastic. Visitors are allowed to take pictures of any items, but you can not take pictures of people in masks!

The mask store is located in the center of the city, at Calle Larga Rosa, 6076. On the street masks sell for 15-20€, but in the store a blank blank piece costs 30€. You can paint it yourself. Prices for large masks in the form of magnificent animal heads go up to 1500€.

Colorful bookstore

For connoisseurs of good books in Venice we recommend a real Aladdin’s shop for book lovers – Libreria Acqua Alta. The unusual store is popular with tourists. The publications in it are displayed in wooden boats and gondolas, and one of the stairs is made of paper volumes. Two-thirds of the books are new. There are cats sleeping on the shelves.

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The bookstore is near Piazza San Marco, at Calle Longa Santa Maria Formosa, 5176 – Castello.

Bridge of Sighs

What to see in Venice for lovers of unusual places? A suitable sight is the small bridge between the Doge’s Palace and the old prison. It was built in the early 17th century in the best traditions of the Baroque and decorated with carvings of marble.

The elegant bridge is enclosed by walls and has only four windows – two on each side. Once upon a time, criminals were led across the bridge. Through the small windows they looked out over the canal waters and bid farewell to their freedom. Urban legends tell of the sad sighs of the prisoners. For today’s tourists the ancient structure evokes sighs of admiration.

The bridge spans the Rio di Palacio Canal. It is free to visit.

See also:

Bridges and Canals of Venice

Bridge over the Palacio Canal (Photo: unsplash.com / @nickkarvounis)

Scuola San Rocco.

Venice is a veritable Klondike for art lovers! What to see on your own? Connoisseurs of the beautiful are advised to head to the beautiful San Rocco Gallery. The two-story Venetian Renaissance structure was laid out in 1515. Walk through the huge rooms and admire the gilded moldings, decorative panels, and paintings by Tintoretto and Titian.

The gallery is located in Piazza San Rocco. Take the vaporetto to the S.Toma stop and walk to the museum. A ticket with an audio guide costs 11€.

The Old Jewish Ghetto

In 2016, Venice’s historic district turned 500 years old, meaning the city’s Jewish ghetto is older than many countries in the world. Now isolated by canals, the plot of land is protected by the state. There are almost no Jews left in the ghetto since World War II, but there are still old bakeries, cafes and a trattoria. There is also a Jewish museum, two synagogues and a monument to Holocaust victims.

The ghetto is located in the non-touristy area of the city, Cannaregio. Visit is free.

Giudecca Island

A large island separated from the historic part of the city by the Giudecca Canal. People come here to admire the views of the San Marco buildings and see the three medieval churches.

On the Giudecca is a luxury hotel. The Neo-Gothic building was built in the 19th century and was originally intended as a pasta factory. Lovers of Art Nouveau architecture cannot pass by the spectacular Casa dei Tre Oci palace.

The colorful island is part of the urban district of Dorsoduro.

The Peggy Guggenheim Collection.

This is the name of the small museum where 400 paintings by Picasso, Dali, Modigliani, Rothko, Miró, Chagall, Malevich, Ernst, Kandinsky and other famous 20th century artists are on display.

The exhibition occupies the palazzo Venier dei Leoni, which is located in the district of Dorsoduro. A ticket costs 16.5€.

Photos of beautiful places in Venice

Palazzo Venier dei Leoni (Photo: wikimedia.org / Jean-Pierre Dalbéra)

Palazzo Cà d’Oro

One of the places on the Grand Canal worth seeing in Venice is called the “Golden House”. In fact, in the XV century gold leaf was used to decorate the palace. Lavishly decorated Gothic walls were visible from afar and reflected in the waters of the canal.

Since the 1920s, the Franchetti Gallery is housed inside, where rare objects of art and ancient paintings are collected. The only downside is that you can’t take pictures.

The elegant palace stands in the San Marco area. The price of a ticket is €11.

Places to see in Venice

Ca d’Oro Palace (Photo: wikimedia.org / Didier Descouens)

The old shipyard

Squero di San Trovaso is a seventeenth-century building where craftsmen still work. Squero means a team of people who make boats together. The yard makes long gondolas and other types of traditional Venetian vessels. Craftsmen make 10 boats a year. Tourists are not allowed inside, but the entire shipyard is clearly visible from the canal.

The place where the boats are made is in the district of Dorsoduro, 1097.

What to see in Venice in 1 day

Venice is overflowing with sights – we suggest to see only the essentials in 1 day:

  • St. Mark’s Square and the cathedral of the same name.
  • The Doge’s Palace.
  • The Tower of San Giorgio Maggiore – at least from the side.
  • Grand Canal.
  • Bridge of Sighs.
  • Rialto Bridge and Rialto Market.
  • Palazzo Cà d’Oro.

What to see in Venice in 2 days

If you have 2 days to spend in Venice, it is advisable to see its islands and to enjoy the vaporetto and targetto:

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