One Day In Venice

The Perfect One Day in Venice Itinerary


Are you looking to travel to Venice, Italy? In today’s post, we’re sharing our One Day in Venice Itinerary!


Venice, famously known as the “Floating City”, exudes a charm, unlike any other destination. With its intricate canals, historic landmarks, and vibrant atmosphere, it promises an unforgettable experience for all who visit. As passionate travelers fresh from our Venetian experience, we’ve got the inside scoop on curating the ultimate 1-Day Venice adventure.


From the must-see attractions of St. Mark’s Basilica and Doge’s Palace to hidden gems off the beaten path, this itinerary will help you make the most of your time in Venice. 

Table of Contents

Getting to Venice, Italy

Hidden Gems of Venice
Vaporetto | One Day in Venice

To begin your One Day in Venice adventure, you’ll first need to get there! The most convenient way is by flying into the Marco Polo Airport. From there, you can take a water taxi or “Vaporetto” (water bus) to the city center. We recommend purchasing a 72-hour Vaporetto pass, as it allows unlimited travel on all of Venice’s waterways. The cost is about 40 Euros (45 USD) and can be purchased at the airport or any Vaporetto stop.


It was such a neat experience, being able to get there by water, and the sights were truly beautiful. However, as soon as we arrived in Venice, we realized the walk to our hotel was going to be tricky – there are stairs everywhere, so travel light! Here’s a piece of advice: don’t bring more than one suitcase and backpack each because you’ll likely have to haul it around for 30+ minutes trying to find your hotel. Trust me; it’s not an easy walk in the heat, going up and down lots of stairs, so don’t underestimate the number of stairs you’ll encounter in Venice


If you’re traveling from another stop in Italy or a nearby country, you can also travel to Venice by train or bus. The main train station in Venice is Santa Lucia Station, which is conveniently located near the city center. Be sure to book your tickets in advance to secure the best price.

Getting Around Venice, Italy

Beautiful Venice
Grand Canal | One Day in Venice

The city of Venice is pedestrian-only, so be prepared to walk or take water transportation during your stay. The Vaporetto is the best way and most common form of public transportation and can take you to all the main attractions and neighborhoods. You can also opt for a romantic gondola ride through the picturesque canals, although this is very expensive to do regularly! Keep in mind that the stairs make it difficult to get around for those using strollers or accessibilities, such as wheelchairs or crutches. 


Something to note about Venice is how narrow the streets are! When we were there, we were surprised by this. Some of the alleyways walking around are only wide enough for 2 people to walk side by side! (Keep this in mind when choosing how much luggage to bring as well!)


1 Day in Venice: Tour Venice's Iconic Landmarks

Whenever you have 1 day in a city, you need to make sure you hit up all the iconic landmarks. Venice has no shortage of these and you can easily see them all in one day due to Venice’s compact size! Below is your one perfect day in Venice itinerary:

Head to St. Mark’s Square & St. Mark’s Basilica

St. Mark's Square in summer
St. Mark's Square | One Day in Venice

Begin your 1 day in Venice by heading to St. Mark’s Square (Piazza San Marco), the heart of the city! St. Mark’s Square is the most famous square in Venice, and for good reason. With its stunning architecture and charming cafes, it’s a must-see for any visitor. 


While in St. Mark’s Square, be sure to visit St. Mark’s Basilica, St. Mark’s Campanile, and the Doge’s Palace, three of Venice’s most iconic landmarks. St. Mark’s Basilica,  which is also known as the “church of gold”, is absolutely stunning and was originally built in 832AD. It was later burnt down in a rebellion, but rebuilt in 978 AD. St. Mark’s Basilica is also huge! It can be seen from almost everywhere in the city, so be sure to take plenty of photos from different vantage points. 


Also, within St. Mark’s Basilica is the Pala d’Oro, which is a highly ornate altarpiece. The golden altarpiece is studded with pearls, emeralds, sapphires, garnets, amethysts, rubies, and topazes. It is incredible to see up close and is considered one of the most valuable treasures in the world.


Climb St. Mark’s Campanile

St. Mark's Campanile
St. Mark's Campanile | One Day in Venice

Also at St. Mark’s Basilica is St. Mark’s Campanile (Campanile di San Marco), the famous bell tower that offers breathtaking views of the city. The current version of St. Mark’s Campanile was built in 1912 and stands at 98.6 meters tall (323 ft) making it one of the tallest buildings in Venice. When we say the current version, that’s because the original was built in the 10th century, but was destroyed and rebuilt many times due to lightning strikes! 


If you’re feeling adventurous and up for a challenge, take the 323 steps to the top! The view is well worth it because it may very well be the best view in all of Venice. On a clear day, you can see for miles and take in the beautiful architecture and vibrant colors of the city. 


You’ll also have an up-close view of St. Mark’s Basilica that you won’t get to see anywhere else! 


Tour Doge’s Palace

Doge's Palace | One Day in Venice

After St. Mark’s Basilica and Campanile, take a tour of Doge’s Palace, or “Palazzo Ducale” in Italian! A visit to Doge’s Palace is one of the best things to do in Venice and you’ll quickly understand why. It is an impressive Gothic-style structure that was once the residence of the Doge (ruler) of Venice. It is now a museum and offers visitors a glimpse into the lifestyle of Venetian rulers. Doge’s Palace is so incredible and needs to be seen by all visitors to Venice. 


While at Doge’s Palace, make sure to check out the Golden Staircase and Hall of the Great Council. The Hall of the Great Council is definitely the most impressive room in the Palace! The room is gigantic and the ceiling is incredible with all of its gold and painted canvases. It’s really hard to describe how intricate and beautiful it is, so you’ll have to see for yourself!


After the Hall of Great Council, make sure you end your visit with the famous Bridge of Sighs (Ponte dei Sospiri)! This iconic bridge connects the Doge’s Palace to the prisons and was named after the sighs of prisoners as they were taken to their cells. It may seem like a dark and ominous place, but it offers a unique perspective on the history of Venice.


Overall, Doge’s Palace is not to be missed and If you want to avoid long lines, it’s best to purchase tickets online in advance. Additionally, consider taking a private tour for a more in-depth view!

Bridge of Sighs | One Day in Venice

Church of Santa Maria Zobenigo

Church of Santa Maria Zobenigo
Church of Santa Maria Zobenigo | One Day in Venice

While you’re in the St. Mark’s Square area, you can also swing by the Church of Santa Maria Zobenigo, also known as the St. Mary of the Lily Venice. This beautiful Baroque church is often overlooked by tourists, but it’s stunning and a real quick stop. 


The Church of Santa Maria Zobenigo has a rich history dating back to the 9th century when it was first built as a small chapel. Over time, it underwent multiple renovations and expansions until it reached its current state in the 17th century. 


While in Venice, we happened to stumble across the Church and we couldn’t help, but check it out and take a photo!


Gallerie dell'Accademia & Ponte dell'Accademia

Ponte dell'Accademia
Ponte dell'Accademia | One Day in Venice

For those interested in history and art, next head over to Gallerie dell’Accademia. The Gallerie dell’Accademia is housed in an old church and monastery, which adds to its unique atmosphere. Often confused with the Accademia Gallery in Florence, this gallery is also home to some of Italy’s greatest works of art, including pieces by Bellini, Giorgione, Titian, and Tintoretto. 


Be sure to take your time and soak in the beautiful collection. Guided tours are also available for a more comprehensive experience. If you opt to go at your own pace, do not miss the opportunity to see the most iconic pieces called “The Tempest” by Giorgione and “Vitruvian Man” by Leonardo da Vinci. 


Also, next to Gallerie dell’Accademia is the Ponte dell’Accademia. This bridge is not to be missed and we believe it’s the best view in all of Venice and the best place to get amazing pictures!

Peggy Guggenheim Collection

Peggy Guggenheim Collection | One Day in Venice

After the Gallerie Dell’Accademia, you can also opt for the Peggy Guggenheim Collection. A less than 10-minute walk from Gallerie dell’Accademia, this museum is located in the beautiful Palazzo Venier dei Leoni, situated right on the Grand Canal. 


The Peggy Guggenheim Collection is a must-visit for art lovers. Peggy Guggenheim was known as an art addict and collector, and this collection is a reflection of her passion. The museum hosts works from major 20th-century artists such as Pablo Picasso, Jackson Pollock, Salvador Dali, and Max Ernst.


Since you’re limited in time, make sure to check out all the most famous pieces, and don’t forget also to explore the stunning sculpture garden outside, featuring works by renowned sculptor Henry Moore.


If you’re an avid art lover and are okay with spending a lot of time here, you can definitely opt to take a guided tour. During the guided tour, you’ll gain valuable insights into the history behind each artwork and learn about Peggy Guggenheim’s fascinating life.

Take a Stroll to the Beautiful Rialto Bridge

Rialto Bridge
Rialto Bridge | One Day in Venice

After your time exploring museums, make your way to the iconic Rialto Bridge (Ponte di Rialto), one of Venice’s most famous bridges. The Rialto Bridge was designed by architect Antonio da Ponte and was completed in 1591. Rialto Bridge was one of our favorite things to do and it is a popular spot because of its stunning views of the Grand Canal. The current bridge replaced earlier wooden bridges at this location. 


We can say for certain that Rialto Bridge is the most beautiful bridge we’ve ever seen and we spent a lot of our time in Venice on or around it. 


Something we loved while we were there was the various restaurants that had incredible views of the Grand Canal near Rialto Bridge. By this time you’ll be ready for lunch and a couple that we tried were Osteria Bancogiro and Ristorante Canal Grande. Both offered delicious food and great views of the Grand Canal. 


While at restaurants in Venice, the food you can expect is traditional Italian cuisine, such as fresh seafood, carbonara, lasagna, pizza, and risotto. You can never go wrong with Italian food! 


Rialto Market

Rialto Market
Rialto Market | One Day in Venice

Adjacent to the bridge is the Rialto Market (Mercati di Rialto). This market has been around for roughly 1,000 years and is a popular spot for both tourists and locals. Here you can find a variety of fresh produce, seafood, meats, and other local specialties. It’s a great place to try some authentic Venetian ingredients and you may also find a lot of furry friends walking around!


While at the Rialto Market, be sure to sample some of the famous cicchetti (small, appetizer-sized dishes). Some popular cicchetti include fried calamari, stuffed olives, and crostini These small bites are perfect for a quick snack while exploring the market. Some popular cicchetti include fried calamari, stuffed olives, and crostini topped with various meats and cheeses.


Aside from food, the Rialto Market also offers a variety of souvenirs and handmade goods. You can find everything from locally made jewelry and artwork to handcrafted leather purses / handbags. These items make for great gifts or memories of your trip to Venice. 


If you’d like to avoid tourists, head to Rialto Bridge and Rialto Market early in the morning. As the day goes on, it’ll become more and more crowded, much like everywhere else in Venice!


Overall, a visit to the Rialto Market is a must-do for any food lover or anyone looking to experience authentic Venetian culture. So be sure to add it to your itinerary when planning your trip!

Take a Gondola Ride

Gondola Ride near Rialto Bridge
Gondola Ride | One Day in Venice

If there’s one experience we wholeheartedly recommend, it’s the enchanting gondola ride guided by one of the city’s warm and knowledgeable gondoliers. Our gondolier, Leo, was amazing and told us so many stories / facts about his home. Some gondoliers are known for singing Italian music during your ride. 


Despite initial hesitation over the cost, we managed to haggle for a more reasonable price. (Side note: almost everything is negotiable in Venice). Once on board, the journey was a beautiful and comfortable experience, reaffirming the magic of gliding through the picturesque canals. It wouldn’t be a stay in Venice without a gondola ride and you need to make the most of your time here!

Gondola Ride with Leo
Our Gondalier Leo | One Day in Venice

Hidden Gems of Venice

Murano | One Day in Venice

As everyone knows, Venice can be very busy and touristy! If you’re looking to go off the beaten path, below are a few options for you to consider:


Island of San Giorgio Maggiore: This small island is just a short boat ride away from the main island of Venice. It offers breathtaking views of the city and a peaceful atmosphere away from the crowds.


The Jewish Ghetto: A historic and cultural area that is often overlooked by tourists. The Jewish Ghetto is known as the first “ghetto” in all of Europe! Here you can visit interesting museums and learn about the history of the Jewish community in Venice.


Lido di Venezia: This 11 kilometer long island has beautiful beaches and a quieter atmosphere compared to the main island. It’s perfect for a relaxing day by the sea.


Murano: A 10-minute ferry ride from Venice, Murano is another small island known for its glass-making. Visit one of the glass factories and watch the skilled artisans create beautiful pieces of art. Murano is a great day trip if you have multiple days in Venice.


Burano: Burano is a little further out, but less than an hour’s trip! Burano is known for its colorful houses and lace museum. We can guarantee Burano island to be a photographer’s dream! Take a stroll through the vibrant streets and try some local seafood dishes.


No matter which hidden gems of Venice destinations you choose, be sure to take your time and soak in the unique charm. Venice and its surrounding areas are more than just canals and famous landmarks. 

Best Time to Visit Venice

Venice in Spring | One Day in Venice

The best time of year to visit Venice for passionate travelers is during the spring and fall seasons. Visiting Italy in May and September is when the weather is most pleasant, with milder temperatures and fewer crowds compared to the busy summer months. It’s the perfect time of year for exploring the hidden gems of Venice. We spent our time in Venice in late Spring and it was perfect because there were far fewer tourists than there would have been in July and August.


During these seasons, you can also take a stroll through the quiet streets, admire the colorful houses on Burano Island, and enjoy a peaceful gondola ride through the canals without feeling overwhelmed by large tourist groups. 


So if you’re looking to experience Venice in a more authentic and relaxed way, plan your trip during the spring or fall. 


However, if you don’t mind braving the crowds and warmer weather, visiting in the summer can also be a great option as it allows for more outdoor activities like swimming and beach days.


Regardless of when you visit, make sure to do your research beforehand and plan accordingly. Venice is a popular tourist destination and can become very crowded during peak seasons. 


Lastly, keep in mind that Venice is a city built on water and is prone to flooding during high tide. This usually occurs between October to January but can happen at any time of year. Be prepared with waterproof shoes or boots and check the forecast before you go out exploring.

Where to Stay in Venice

Venice Neighborhoods Map | One Day in Venice

Venice, Italy is comprised of six districts, or sestieri, each with their own unique charm and character. Choosing where to stay in Venice can be confusing, but below are some short descriptions of each, with hotel options, to hopefully make the decision a little easier for you:


San Marco: Located in the heart of Venice, San Marco is home to iconic landmarks such as St. Mark’s Square and Doge’s Palace. If you want an affordable accommodation near the major landmarks, one of the best places to stay is Hotel Royal San Marco.


Dorsoduro: Known for being an artistic district, the Dorsoduro district is where you’ll find the renowned Peggy Guggenheim Collection and the Gallerie dell’Accademia. A well-known hotel with great reviews here is Palazzo Veneziano – Venice Collection.


Cannaregio: If you’re looking for a more local experience, Cannaregio is the best place to be. This neighborhood is less touristy compared to others and shows a more authentic Venetian life. Explore the Jewish Ghetto, visit the Chiesa della Madonna dell’Orto, and enjoy the peaceful atmosphere away from the crowds. If you’re looking for value in the Cannaregio district, you can stay at the #1 rated value hotel on Trip Advisor named the Carnival Palace Hotel.


Castello: Castello is the largest neighborhood in Venice, but also one of the quietest. An affordable, but highly-rated hotel here is Hotel Bisanzio.


Santa Croce: This neighborhood is perfect for those looking for a mix of both tourist attractions and local life. Santa Croce is also known for the best seafood restaurants. A few good options to stay at here are AC Hotel Venice, Hotel Palazzo Martinelli Dolfin, and Hotel Olimpia.


San Polo: San Polo is the smallest neighborhood in Venice, known for its famous Rialto Bridge. It’s a great place to stay if you want to be close to all the action. Some top-rated hotels here include Rialto Dream, Hotel Palazzo Barbarigo, and Palazzo Venart Luxury Hotel.

FAQs About One Day In Venice

Can I see all of Venice in just 1 day?

While it’s impossible to see all of Venice in just one day, you can certainly experience many of its highlights and iconic landmarks within a day’s time. Plan your itinerary carefully to make the most of your visit and wake up first thing in the morning.


What are the must-see attractions in Venice for a 1-day visit?

Some must-see attractions include St. Mark’s Square (Piazza San Marco), St. Mark’s Basilica, the Doge’s Palace, a gondola ride along the Grand Canal, and the Rialto Bridge.


Is it possible to visit the islands of Murano and Burano in one day?

While it’s technically possible to visit Murano and Burano in one day, it may be rushed. We’d recommend prioritizing only one of Murano or Burano, depending on your interests and available time. If you have two days in Venice, you could do your one day in Venice and visit Murano and Burano on your other day.


What are some tips for avoiding crowds in Venice?

To avoid crowds, visit major attractions early in the morning or later in the evening. We typically like to visit iconic landmarks as soon as they open. Venice at sunrise is extremely quiet and beautiful if you can wake up! To avoid crowds, you can also explore off-the-beaten-path neighborhoods and attractions.


Is it worth it to take a gondola ride in Venice?

Taking a gondola ride is a traditional Venetian experience and can offer a unique perspective of the city. While it can be pretty expensive, we found it to be worth it! We really didn’t think we’d do it, but we caved and we will never regret it because of the amazing memories made!


How can I make the most of my limited time in Venice?

Prioritize the attractions and experiences that are most important to you, and plan your itinerary accordingly. Be flexible and open to different attractions based on availability and times you’d have to wait in line. Also, don’t forget to take breaks at a local cafe and enjoy the beauty of Venice.


Are there any good day trips from Venice? 

Yes, there are many great day trips from Venice that you can take to explore the nearby areas! Some popular options include visiting the charming city of Verona or the picturesque town of Burano. Another hidden gem is a day trip to Lake Garda!

Final Thoughts On One Day in Venice

Picture from the Beautiful Rialto Bridge
View from Rialto Bridge | One Day in Venice

Overall, Venice is one of the most beautiful and unique cities in all of North Italy, which offers something for everyone. 


If you’re planning a day trip to Venice, it’s important to prioritize the sights and activities that are most important to you. With so much to see and do in this beautiful city, it can be overwhelming trying to fit everything into one day.


One tip is to research ahead of time and make a list of your must-see attractions. This could include famous landmarks like St. Mark’s Basilica, Rialto Bridge, Doge’s Palace, Grand Canal, as well as lesser-known gems like hidden alleyways and local markets.


It’s also important to keep in mind the logistics of getting around Venice. The city is known for its maze-like layout of canals and bridges, so plan out your route beforehand to avoid getting lost or wasting time backtracking.


Being flexible is key as well. While it’s great to have a plan, sometimes the unexpected can lead to the most memorable experiences. So don’t be afraid to deviate from your itinerary and explore new areas or try out different activities.


Lastly, remember to take breaks and enjoy some downtime during your trip. Venice is a bustling city, but it also has its quieter moments where you can relax and soak in the beauty of your surroundings. Whether it’s sipping on a cappuccino at one of the many coffee shops or taking a leisurely gondola ride through the canals, make sure to balance out your sightseeing with some rest and relaxation. It’s also going to be HOT, so make sure you’re prepared with sunscreen, sunglasses, and water!


With these tips in mind, you’ll be able to make the most out of your trip to Venice and create unforgettable memories. A top destination to visit in 2024, Venice is a must on any Italian vacation! 

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