Itinerary of Venice in 3 days, Italy

What to see in Venice in a day

Instead of roads, there are canals and boats and boats instead of cars. With its elegant palazzo palaces and winding streets, Venice is like a stage set. Every building in the city has a story – the entire center is listed as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.

Staying in Venice is expensive: prices for three-star hotels start from 8000 P per night. Therefore, many tourists come here for a day from other Italian cities to quickly see all the iconic places.

The historic center of Venice can be walked around in half a day. I’ve made a short 6 km route that starts at the central station “Santa Lucia”, where all the trains arrive, and ends at the Basilica of Santa Maria della Salute. On the way we will see the main sights: churches, piazzas, bridges, palaces and museums.

In Venice, buses stop at Piazzale Roma. To get to the train station “Santa Lucia”, where our route begins, cross the Constitution Bridge and walk 200 m straight ahead.

Most of the trains from other Italian cities arrive at the Santa Lucia station. The first thing tourists see when they leave the station building is the Grand Canal. It is the most famous canal in Venice and essentially the main “street.” It crosses the entire center. Locals ride the canal in water streetcars and motorboats, and tourists ride gondolas. It is a picturesque and cinematic place: along the Grand Canal are ornate palaces and ancient buildings of the 13th-18th centuries .

Two hundred years ago the Grand Canal looked much the same, only instead of motorboats there were merchant ships.

The Rialto Market sells all sorts of things: fruit, vegetables, cheese, flowers, and souvenirs. The most colorful place is the fish pavilion with its impressive piles of freshly caught octopus, squid, and shrimp.

Next to the market is the oldest church in the city, San Giacomo di Rialto. There is an inscription on its facade that urges merchants to be honest. According to legend, the foundations were laid as early as 421, which makes the church the same age as Venice. Admission is free.

The Rialto Bridge is the most famous bridge in Venice, which was built in the 16th century at the site of the first crossing of the Grand Canal. It was built at the narrowest point of the canal and resembles a terrace in a summer palace. It can be difficult to walk across the bridge: hundreds of tourists try to get on it at the same time.

Fondaco dei Tedeschi is a former palace that has been converted into a shopping mall. In addition to the boutiques there is a panoramic terrace on the fifth floor which is free of charge. In my opinion, it offers the best view of Venice: you can see almost all the sights mentioned in the article.

There is an entrance to the panoramic terrace. From there you have a beautiful view of Venice.

In summer and spring is better to book a visit in advance on the website of the shopping center: too many people want to look at the city from above. The maximum visiting time is 15 minutes.

The Rialto Bridge sells souvenirs and jewelry, but the prices are appropriate for the location. Photo: Hernán Piñera/Flickr

From the terrace of Fondaco dei Tedeschi you can see an unusual sculpture. It symbolizes Venice, which is gradually going under water due to climate change. Photo: Dimitris Kamaras/Flickr

Ca d’Oro, or the Golden House, is another palace that has been called the most beautiful in the city. The façade is asymmetrical, with a monolith on the right and openwork balconies on the left. Originally the building was covered with gold leaf and painted with expensive paints.

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The Piazza and the Cathedral of San Marco. In Piazza San Marco there are: the Doge’s Palace, the Cathedral of San Marco, the tallest bell tower in the city, the Loggia and the Procurator’s Chambers. The scope of the square and the scale of the buildings almost knocked me off my feet.

According to my feeling, this is where most of the tourists and pigeons are. Feeding the birds on the square is officially forbidden: so the authorities are trying to protect the historic buildings from droppings.

St. Mark’s Cathedral is the main basilica of Venice and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Originally it was built as a Greek basilica, and then Gothic towers, Italian sculptures and Byzantine domes were added. The result is a cathedral that is unlike any other temple.

I suggest going inside to admire the golden altar, inlaid with thousands of precious stones, and the pieces of art brought here from Constantinople. Also buried in the cathedral are the relics of the Apostle Mark, the city’s patron saint. Entrance is free, but limited to 10 minutes. It is forbidden to take photos inside.

Doge’s Palace, aka Palazzo Ducale – the building, which began the history of Venice. Doges were representatives of the Venetian islands, united in the 7th century into a single state. Meetings and receptions were held in the palace. Later, over the years, the senate, supreme court, various ministries and the secret police worked in the building. Unfortunately, the first palace was destroyed by fire, but in the 15th century a new palace was built in its place according to a different project.

The Museum of the Academy is the richest museum in the city of Venice. The gallery is located in the building of the former convent of the 15th century. It contains the most complete collection of works by Venetian artists: Titian, Bellini, Carpaccio, Tintoretto and many others.

The entrance to the museum with paintings by Titian in the Basilica of Santa Maria della Salute


Food – I advise choosing places as far away from Piazza San Marco and other attractions as possible so you don’t go broke for one meal. If you come for a coffee or a glass of wine, sit at the bar counter, not at a table. Otherwise, you will be charged extra for service.

Buses, cars and motorcycles are prohibited on the island. The only public transport here is the vaporetto, a river streetcar with a glassed-in interior and a few seats on the open deck. You can ride it to save on the gondola and see the Grand Canal from the water. In all, there are more than 25 river streetcar routes in Venice, and there’s even a night tram.

Bell tower hours vary at different times of the year, check the schedule online

What to see in the neighborhood. From the main island you can quickly get to the neighboring islands. The classic route is Murano Island, where glassblowers work, and Burano, with its colored houses. I recommend Burano: rarely do you see such toy streets. You can also sail to the island of Lido with its beaches and relatively inexpensive hotels.

The inhabitants of Burano talk about the law, according to which they are obliged to renew the paint on the houses every six months. It may be a fairy tale, but such views make you believe it.

Carnival and Biennale. The Venice Carnival takes place in late February and early March. During these two weeks, the city looks like a theater: the streets are decorated, citizens and festival guests don elaborate costumes and masks, and decorated boats and gondolas ride along the Grand Canal.

The Biennale is one of the major international art fairs. It usually takes place every two years from June to November. You need to book tickets and hotels for these events a lot in advance, and prices for everything double.

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What to see in Venice

Sunny weather happens in Venice in November

What to see in Venice for 2-3 days or more? A traveler who likes to plan trips by himself and does not trust tour operators? 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 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 may 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!

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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 €.

Please note that for a thorough acquaintance with the central part of the city it is worth to have a Russian speaking guide from locals. 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 Campanile of St. Mark’s Cathedral 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 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 who want to go sailing in a sharp-sided boat (100 € per trip), directed by a surprisingly indifferent man in a striped coat and a hat with a ribbon.
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Calle Larga XXII Marzo, through another bridge, leads to 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 you can see Piazza Santo Stefano. 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 the 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!

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.”

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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 thing is, you can quickly walk to this area 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: for the right to enjoy the works of Tintoretto in the Scuola San Rocca!

A person who isn’t a painting buff would have a hard time understanding what to see inside (only three rooms, 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.

Boat trip 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. This place is lively until the night!

The way back 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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