One Day in Venice Itinerary

| July 26, 2012 | 16 Comments

Venice is one of Italy’s most popular stops for tourists, not to mention European cities, with tourists arriving by the thousands everyday. Narrow streets open up in to beautiful Piazzas and gondolas are paddled sleepily through the picturesque canals that wind between beautiful historic buildings.

One day in Venice itinerary

 

One Day in Venice

With so many people sometimes it can feel like you are trapped in an overcrowded outdoor museum. However, the city itself is relatively small and if you are pressed for time you could easily do just one day in Venice.

What to see in Venice

While Venice is popular with tourists it actually wasn’t all that interesting for us. However we have highlighted all the top things to see and do below for your one day Venice itinerary.

Early on your will realise there are a lot of bridges in Venice. In fact there are over 400 which Cole seemed intent on finding! We actually found that the best ones were the smaller bridges that crisscross their way over the many canals between narrow alleyways. While the most popular ones, such as Ponte di Rialto, cross over the Grand Canal and can be beautiful in the sunset if there aren’t any tourists (unlikely).

Ponte di Rialto Bridge Venice

Nearby to Ponte di Rialto bridge you will also find the local Rialto markets with fruit, fish and hand-made goods available. Most close around 1 – 2pm though so get here early for the best food. Brilliant for a budget lunch option.

Many of the streets in Venice spill onto Piazza’s (squares) with churches, restaurants and bars along the edges. The most popular, and largest, is Piazza San Marco and it really is the heart of Venice.

 

Buildings tower above the crowds and outdoor restaurants line the sides of the square with musicians entertaining the patrons with their melodies. Piazza San Marco is always teaming with people during the day getting photos with the pigeons.

 

Not sure why considering they are basically flying rats and you would never do this in any other city in the world!

Basilica di San Marco is located in Piazza San Marco and the bonus is that it is free. The church is equally beautiful from the outside as the inside. Shimmering gold seems to reach even the darkest corners captivating every pair of eyes turned upwards at the ceiling. Unfortunately they don’t allow photos inside.

As your day comes to an end head to one of the cicchetti bars, pronounced chi-keh-tee. Here you can join the locals for a glass of wine and indulge in the Venetian version of tapas. Tourists frequent the ones near Rialto bridge although we found a brilliant local cicchetti bar, Osteria da Codroma, popular with students located at Centro Storico fondamenta Briati No. 2540.

Honestly the above will take up your one day in Venice but if you have time to kill you can catch a ferry to one of the nearby islands like Murano, Burano and Torcello.

Getting around Venice

The best part of Venice is the walking around. Even if you don’t do any of the above options it is easily the simplest option for seeing Venice as it gives you a chance to really explore the city. We highly recommend putting away your map and losing yourself in the maze of narrow streets. It’s not like you can get seriously lost either with water surrounding you on every side.

 

You will also find that once you get off the main tourist routes you have the streets to yourself as other tourists seem to flock towards the major attractions or ferries.

The ferries run along the Grand Canal stopping at various points. If you are going to take this option I would recommend buying an all day ticket as you can hop on and off as many times as you like and it can also get you out to the surrounding islands.

We didn’t even consider a gondola as they seemed like an waste of money for what you get. But if you do insist on taking one then make sure you agree on a price before setting off and go with one of the reputable companies found around the city.

All in all a great place to visit if you have one or two days to spare. Even though there seem to be more tourists than locals!

Where to stay in Venice – Hotel Villa Serena

We stayed at Hotel Villa Serena when we spent our weekend in Venice and found it ideal for exploring the city.

Location

Hotel Villa Serena is actually located on the mainland near Venice in Marghera . Buses run outside to Venice every 10 minutes and only takes 8 minutes. This works out cheaper than staying in Venice itself.

The Rooms

Our room was a small private room in a bright shade of pink that hurt the eyes after a while. However, it was clean and provided a haven away from the craziness of Venice.

Other Amenities

There is a restaurant onsite although we ate in Venice for all our meals. The breakfast did look great and convenient if you want to get an early start to your day. Free WiFi is available throughout the hotel as well.

Staff

The staff were very helpful providing travel tips, a free Venice map and advice on where to go and what to see.

Social Atmosphere

As Venice is on your doorstep why would you want a social atmosphere? And considering it is a hotel there was none available anyway.

Cost

Per Person: $35 Euro for a private room with a private bathroom. There are also 3 and 4 bed rooms starting at $25 Euro each. Definitely recommend it over the extortionate hotel prices in Venice.

Overall

Hotel Villa Serena is a great option if you are a couple travelling on a budget compared to staying in Venice itself. The bus is cheap and easy to catch every day while the rooms are clean and provide a place to chill out after the bustle of Venice. Recommend it for backpacking couples but not solo travellers who want to meet lots of other travellers.

Disclaimer: We were guests of HostelWorld but as always our thoughts are always our own.

About the Author ()

Adela is one half of the New Zealand Adventure Couple who have been travelling since 2009. She loves the outdoors and has a real passion for Snowboarding, Mountain Biking and Surfing (apart from being scared of sharks). She loves food and writes all our food posts. Consider following us via RSS Feed, Twitter, Facebook and subscribe to our Newsletter.

Comments (16)

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  1. Oh I am SO on board with the whole “pigeons are flying rats” school of thought. It was my least favourite part of Venice by far.

    I just loved the city for walking around and getting lost in though it was mighty cold when I was there in March. The misty atmosphere more than made up for the temperature though!
    Bethaney – Flashpacker Family recently posted..Postcards from the West CoastMy Profile

  2. Laurence says:

    The best bit of any trip to Venice, is, as you say, throwing away the map and exploring the back streets. It’s the only way to beat the crowds (of which there are many) and just discovering the city for the gem that it is :)
    Laurence recently posted..Travel blogging tips from the experts: Four JandalsMy Profile

  3. Glad to hear I wasn’t the only one who didn’t think Venice was all that. The canals are certainly cool, and the gondolier I had was hilarious. But it was smelly, touristy, and in my 12-year-old eyes lacked some o the rustic charm of Italy’s smaller towns. But I DID like the pigeons.
    Bret@ Green Global Travel recently posted..Top 5 Australia Ecotourism DestinationsMy Profile

  4. Angela says:

    Lovely pictures, very Venice. Shame on me I’m Italian and I’ve never been to Venice!
    Angela recently posted..Video: In Parco della Giara, where horses forgot to keep up with evolutionMy Profile

  5. It is hard for me to believe that I have never been to Venice…especially considering it is one of Dani’s favorite places in the world! We almost made it last year, but housesat in Tuscany instead. Can’t wait to get there – your pics make it look so fun!
    Jess | GlobetrotterGirls recently posted..Polaroid of the week: The cutest prairie dog in ColoradoMy Profile

  6. Haha, I’m amused that people would deliberately take photos with pigeons! They’re evil little birds with beady eyes and sinister intentions. Obviously.
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  7. Ali says:

    Venice is a cool city because of the canals, but not I’m not a fan of the crowds. Of course, I’ve only ever been there in the summer and during Carnivale, so maybe I should give it another chance when it’s not high season or a festival! And yes, the gondolas are too expensive, glad I did it when I was younger.
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  8. I love the walking in Venice. With that said, I don’t like the city very much. It’s very expensive and touristy and not a very authentic representation of the culture in Italy. It’s all commercialized for tourists. With that said, I did wander the canals, got lost, and wandered upon a local school with kids playing. That really was the highlight for me as I get a chance to experience a real piece of Venice.
    Jeremy Branham recently posted..5 reasons why the Olympics are the greatest sporting event in the worldMy Profile

  9. Suzy says:

    Great tips! The markets (well, and the food) were my absolute favorite part of Venice. I agree with you about the pigeons. That’s definitely something that I could go the rest of my life without seeing and not miss it. I”d recommend traveling there in the off season so that the crowds are at least a little more manageable. It’s such a stunning place. I really need to go again!
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  10. Turtle says:

    I think Venice is one of those places everyone should go to, just to say you’ve seen it. But then there seems to be a divided opinion on whether it was actually enjoyable or not. I went there years ago as a teenager and thought it was fantastic. but I’m curious to go back at some point and see how I’d react these days.
    Turtle recently posted..Jackie’s islandMy Profile

    • I think you would be able to come up with something a lot more insightful with your writing ability than we did, that’s for sure. We enjoyed it, just not the crowds. I think if we get the chance ever again then I would head there way in the off season.

  11. Ken says:

    Thanks for providing one day trips for Venice. I think you are right as we must do a lot of walking at Venice.
    Ken recently posted..Top Five Reasons why to visit ItalyMy Profile

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