48 Hours in Venice – 2 Day Itinerary

I took a weekend trip to Venice and created an amazing itinerary that I’m excited to share with all of you travellers out there. As a full-time traveller, I have experienc when talking about trips and what to do while visiting different places.

For those of you who are struggling to figure out what to do on your 2 days in Venice, here’s an awesome itinerary that will bring out the best of this beautiful city!

On the first day in Venice, the plan includes climbing up the Campanile di San Marco, passing by St. Mark’s Basilica, walking around Piazza San Marco, visiting Doge’s Palace, exploring the canals, and going on a gondola ride in the Grand Canal.

For the second day, the activities involve discovering art at the Peggy Guggenheim Museum, visiting Santa Maria della Salute, taking a tour at Teatro La Fenice, taking pictures at Ponte Dell’accademia, checking out San Giorgio Maggiore, and visiting the Rialto Bridge and Market. We will also provide places to eat each day to ensure you have great meal options.

Widely known as the City of Canals or the Floating City, Venice has been arguably one of Italy’s most visited cities. If you are a travel enthusiast, you will most likely have this on your must-visit bucket list. This is not surprising at all. 

Grand Canal at night, Venice

When planning your visit to Venice, it’s also essential to consider the best time to go. This way, you can enjoy activities and places without worrying about getting drenched in the rain or even soaking your wet shoes in water. Venice easily gets flooded during the rainy season so you may experience that. 

Consider visiting during the shoulder seasons of spring (April to June) or autumn (September to October). The weather during these times is usually pleasant, and you can also avoid the crowds to enjoy a more relaxed experience.

Choosing the right area or neighbourhood to stay in can significantly enhance your experience in Venice. The San Marco district, where the Grand Canal is located, is the oldest and grandest part of the city, making it an excellent location for tourists (especially first-timers) to stay in. With its central location and proximity to major attractions, you’ll find various hotels, restaurants, and shops here. 

For a more local and authentic feel, you can also consider staying in the Dorsoduro district, known for its bohemian atmosphere and charming canals. You don’t have to worry about transportation because Venezia santa lucia, the city’s central train station, can take you to all spots in the city.

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Making last-minute plans for your Venice itinerary. We’ve got you covered. Our recommended hotels and tours for a getaway to Venice are listed below.

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Overview of 2 Days in Venice Itinerary

Here’s a glance at what you’ll see and do in two days in Venice:

Day 1 in Venice

  • Grab your breakfast at Rosa Salva – San Marco
  • Climb up the Campanile di San Marco 
  • Pass by St. Mark’s Basilica
  • Stroll around the Piazza San Marco
  • Lunch at Trattoria alla Rampa
  • Check out Doge’s Palace
  • Explore the Canals of Venice
  • Go on a Gondola Ride in the Grand Canal
  • Dinner at Ristorante Ca’ Dolfin

Day 2 in Venice

  • Breakfast in La Palanca
  • Discover Art at Peggy Guggenheim Museum 
  • Visit the Santa Maria della Salute
  • Tour at the Teatro La Fenice
  • Lunch at Ostaria Boccadoro
  • Take pictures at Ponte Dell’accademia
  • Check out San Griogrio Maggiore
  • Visit the Rialto Bridge and Market
  • Dinner and Drinks at Bar Longhi
Classic panoramic view of famous Canal Grande with scenic Basilica di Santa Maria della Salute in beautiful golden evening light at sunset with retro vintage filter effect, Venice, Italy

Day 1 in Venice

Grab your breakfast at Rosa Salva – San Marco

Before starting your tour in Venice, fuel up with a delightful breakfast at Rosa Salva. This historic café offers a charming setting in San Marco, just the perfect place to start your day in the city!

Get to indulge in traditional Venetian delicacies like the classic brioche con crema, or try their delicious almond-flavoured cookies. Plus, with its prime location near the iconic St. Mark’s Square, you can easily reach the spots included on your itinerary.

Climb up the Campanile di San Marco 

Campanile di San Marco stands at a high point where you can get a bird’s eye view of the city. This bell tower stood tall at St. Mark’s Square and was believed to have once served as a watchtower for the city. 

On top of the Campanile is also the iconic Gabriel weathervane that shows the direction of the wind flying over the lagoon and piazza. 

As you ascend the tower’s elevator or take the stairs to reach the top, you’ll be rewarded with fantastic views over Venice, including stretching rooftops and the Venetian lagoon.

VENICE - : Piazza San Marco with tourists in Venice. It's the principal public square of Venice Italy where it is generally known just as "the Piazza".

Pass by St. Mark’s Basilica

St. Mark’s Basilica is just a few minutes away from the Campanile. Before exploring the rest of the Piazza San Marco, it’s a must to pass by this incredible cathedral that has served as the official cathedral of Venice ever since 1807. 

Built in the 9th century, St. Mark’s Basilica has undergone several renovations. It is designed with stunning domes, marble and mosaics, which you can admire when visiting. Some details even have 24-carat gold encrusted into them! 

Venice, Italy - St. Mark's square, San Marco is the tourist heart of Venice with iconic sights of St. Mark's basilica, campanile cathedral tower and Doge's Palace

Stroll around the Piazza San Marco

After ascending San Marco’s highest spot and checking out the Basilica, it’s time to explore and stroll around Piazza San Marco. This is one of the most famous squares in the world, where most of Venice’s tourist destinations are. 

The plaza is surrounded by architectural marvels like St. Mark’s Basilica, the Doge’s Palace, and the Procuratie buildings. As you stroll around this bustling square, you will see marvellous architectural structures and get a glimpse of the city’s history and culture. 

You’ll also come across artists busking on the street in some areas. So, just take a leisurely walk, admire the intricate details of the buildings and the iconic winged lion statue, and maybe interact with the locals.

VENICE, ITALY - St Marks Square from above, Italian: Piazza San Marco, the main square of Venice.

Lunch at Trattoria alla Rampa

After walking around the plaza the whole morning, you’ll surely want to eat good food again. Since this is your first day out of two days in Venice, we highly suggest you dine in at a famous restaurant that gives you a unique experience.

Trattoria Alla Rampa is a small, unique, charming trattoria offering a cosy atmosphere in Venice’s Castello district. What makes this special is it’s constantly changing pasta and main course menu daily. 

It opens early in the morning and also closes early in the afternoon, so make sure you come by precisely for lunch! Although it may look like a simple restaurant, you’ll enjoy authentic Italian food here. Their risotto al nero di seppia (black squid ink risotto) is a favourite here.

Check out Doge’s Palace

Also known as Palazzo Ducale, Doge’s Palace is another famous tourist spot in Piazza San Marco. This Gothic masterpiece served as the doge’s residence (the ruler of Venice) and the seat of the Venetian government way before it became a tourist destination. 

At present, Doge’s Palace serves as a local museum where many art collections are displayed. Inside,  you can also explore the opulent halls, admire the intricate architecture, and marvel at the impressive artwork displayed throughout the palace.

You can book a museum tour with several charters in the city to get an informative glimpse of the galleries. There’s even an especially tour that will let you explore the remote parts of the Palace! 

Of course, you should also take advantage of the infamous Bridge of Sighs, which connects the court to the prison and offers a hauntingly beautiful view since you’re only visiting for 48 hours in Venice.

Tour Pick
Venice, Italy - St. Mark's square, San Marco is the tourist heart of Venice with iconic sights of St. Mark's basilica, campanile cathedral tower and Doge's Palace

Small Group Tour

  • 3 hours 
  • Skip-the-line to St. Mark’s Basilica & Doge’s Palace
Venice, Italy - Doge`s Palace by San Marco in Venice. It is one of the top tourist attractions of Venice. Beautiful view of the Venice embankment with people and gondola in summer.

Explore the Canals of Venice

Every trip to Venice is complete with exploring its intricate network of canals. Yes, there is more than one canal in the city, not just the famous Grand Canal. 

With over 170 waterways dissecting the city, you can easily explore all the canals without walking! Instead, you can just take a tour by getting on a private gondola ride or water taxi that will take you touring each of Venice’s canals. 

Some of the canals you can check out include the Giudecca, Cannaregio, Venetian, Saint Peter and Rio del Greci. The city has many more canals, but these are the usual and significant spots most tourists visit.

In these areas, you can admire the vibrant facades of the buildings and watch as gondolas and vaporettos glide by. Moreover, you can also discover hidden corners, quaint squares, and picturesque views around every corner.

Take the rest of your afternoon exploring these canals, and you’ll surely immerse yourself in the residents’ local life. This is Venice’s absolute highlight, so you cannot miss out on it!

Tour Pick
Island murano in Venice Italy. View on canal with boat and motorboat water. Picturesque landscape.

Real Venetian Kayak Tour

  • 1 hour 40 mins
  • Eco-tour
  • Local Guide
Venice canals, gondola and medieval bridges, beautiful view of Italy

Take pictures at Ponte Dell’accademia

The view at Ponte Dell’accademia is probably the most photographed in Venice! It’s the area that you usually see on postcards. 

Before heading out for dinner, pass by Ponte Dell’accademia and get a great photo captured as the sun sets! 

Here you get to see the stretch of Grand Canal, with gondolas and boats cruising and elaborate and colourful buildings surrounding the area.

VENICE, ITALY - Ponte dell'Accademia bridge with boat passing under on Grand Canal, Venice, Italy

Dinner at Ristorante Ca’ Dolfin

During your weekend in Venice, you must dine in one of their most famous restaurants, Ristorante Ca’ Dolfin. If you want to indulge in authentic Italian and Venetian food, this is the place to be! 

The restaurant serves a wide range of delectable meals featuring authentic Venetian cuisine. Moreover, pair your meal with fine Italian wine and savour the flavours while you enjoy the intimate and rustic restaurant setting. Just the perfect way to end the day!

Day 2 in Venice

Breakfast in La Palanca

On the second day of your trip to Venice, you should start with a delightful breakfast at La Palanca. A favourite among many locals, La Palanca is situated in the picturesque neighbourhood of Giudecca, offering a serene setting and a delicious array of breakfast options. 

You can enjoy freshly baked pastries, croissants, and a variety of Italian coffee specialities as you dine in this charming cafe. Before heading to your next destination, you can have them while enjoying the peaceful atmosphere and waterfront views. 

Discover Art at Peggy Guggenheim Museum 

Venice also boasts of its large art scene that art enthusiasts will enjoy when in the city. Peggy Guggenheim Museum is one of Venice’s significant museums where you can see an impressive collection of modern art.

Located in the beautiful Palazzo Venier dei Leoni along the Grand Canal, this museum houses a collection of art created by famous artists such as Picasso, Pollock, Dalí, and Magritte. 

Aside from this, the museum also features an outdoor sculpture garden and a tranquil terrace overlooking the canal, providing a serene setting to appreciate art amid Venice’s beauty.

Tour Pick
Venice, Italy - Peggy Guggenheim Collection Modern Art Museum at The Grand Canal in Venice.

Skip the Line Tour

  • 2 hours 
  • Tickets museum
  • Local Venetian art historian
Venice, Italy - Peggy Guggenheim Collection Modern Art Museum at The Grand Canal in Venice.

Visit the Santa Maria della Salute

A visit to Venice would only be complete with exploring the stunning Santa Maria della Salute. This magnificent basilica, located at the entrance of the Grand Canal, is an architectural masterpiece and a favourite spot to check out among visitors and residents. 

When visiting, admire the extravagant design, intricate details, and impressive dome as you enter the church. The interior is adorned with magnificent artworks, including paintings by Tintoretto and Titian. 

Moreover, if you go on a guided walking tour of the city, you’ll have the chance to learn more informative details about the Basilica.

Venice in summer, Italy. Grand Canal, Punta della Dogana and Basilica di Santa Maria della Salute. Venice landmarks. Postcard of Venice. Beautiful sunny view of Venice.

Tour at the Teatro La Fenice

Another tour usually not included on Venice itineraries is to see how the opera scene is at Teatro La Fenice.

This opera house has hosted some of the most outstanding performances in Italy, holding great historical heritage in the opera world. 

Aside from that, Teatro La Fenice also has stunning architecture and ornate interiors that are a sight to behold.

However, visiting the Teatro with a tour group is highly suggested since it will be more worthwhile to check out the place while learning about the theatre’s rich history.

Venice, Italy - Interior of La Fenice Theatre. Teatro La Fenice, "The Phoenix", is an opera house, one of the most famous and renowned landmarks in the history of Italian theatre

Lunch at Ostaria Boccadoro

You’re probably hungry after going on a tour around the city early in the morning, which is why we included another lunch meal schedule for your second-day itinerary in Venice.

Ostaria Boccadoro, a restaurant in the Cannaregio district, is a cosy restaurant that offers authentic Venetian cuisine focusing on seafood.

Since you already had the classic pasta and wine yesterday, today is the best time to indulge in seafood dishes like fresh fish and Venetian-style risotto. 

Check out San Giorgio Maggiore

Since you’re only spending 48 hrs in Venice, you must also visit the Serene island of San Giorgio Maggiore during your trip. This peaceful island is only a few minutes from the centre of Venice, and you’ll only need to hop on a water taxi or bus to reach it. 

You don’t have to stay on the island for the whole afternoon (but you can if you spend more than 2 or 3 days in Venice) since you can easily roam around major attractions for 2 to 3 hours. 

Something you can do here is to visit major attractions like the San Giorgio Maggiore Church, designed by Andrea Palladio. You can also roam around tranquil gardens or art exhibitions to experience a peaceful atmosphere away from the bustling city. 

Tour Pick
VENICE, ITALY - Gondolas and gondolier in lagoon of Venice by Saint Mark (San Marco) square with San Giorgio di Maggiore church in background in Venice, Italy

Grand Canal by Motorboat

  • 2 hours 
  • Max of 4 people 
  • Stop at San Giorgio Maggiore
Aerial panoramic view of San Giorgio Maggiore island with Campanile San Giorgio in Venetian Lagoon, sailing boats in St. Mark Basin, Lido island, blue sky background, Venice city, Veneto region, Italy

Visit the Rialto Bridge and Market

Returning to the centre of Venice, you must visit and experience the vibrant energy of the Rialto Bridge and Market. This iconic bridge is famous because of its location, spanning the Grand Canal.

It also connects the other side of the neighbourhood to the Rialto Market, which is filled with stalls selling fresh produce, seafood, local delicacies, and artisanal goods. This is the best place to immerse yourself in the city’s sights, sounds, and scents.

Tour Pick
The old Rialto Bridge over the Grand Canal in Venice, Italy. Rialto Bridge (Ponte di Rialto) is one of the main tourist attractions of Venice.

Street Food Tour

  • 2.5 hours 
  • Max of 14 people 
  • Rialto Market Visit
VENICE - Rialto market on a sunny day in Venice. It's an area of the San Polo sestiere also known for its markets and for the Rialto Bridge across the Grand Canal.

Go on a Gondola Ride in the Grand Canal

Now that you’ve almost explored all the famous places to visit in Venice in 2 days, you should not miss going on a gondola ride at the famous Grand Canal.

Since the day is about to end, not only will you enjoy a drift along the historic waterway in an elegant gondola, gliding past magnificent palaces, ancient bridges, and bustling waterfront activity, but you will also get a great view of the sun setting over the city. 

This grand moment will be memorable enough to say that no matter how many days in Venice you spend, getting on a gondola is something you should not miss out on! 

Tour Pick
Riding a traditional gondola down the narrow canals in Venice, Italy.

Magical Gondola Journey

  • 30 minutes 
  • Max of 5 people 
  • Not a Guided Tour
Riding a traditional gondola down the narrow canals in Venice, Italy.

Dinner and Drinks at Bar Longhi

Capping off this 48 hours in Venice itinerary list, we suggest you head on to a famous bar in Venice and treat yourself to some good food and drinks. 

Bar Longhi, located in the Dorsoduro district, is an elegant establishment that offers a sophisticated setting and a menu of delectable Venetian dishes. This is just one of many bars that have become popular among residents and visitors. 

Sample traditional specialities such as sarde in saor (marinated sardines) or fegato alla veneziana (Venetian-style liver). Still, your visit’s highlight is getting a glass of regional wine or a classic Venetian cocktail. The best way to end your trip to Venice!

VENICE, ITALY: Water canals in Venice and white wine glass in hand of happy tourist on 8 October 2021. Ancient italian city and lagoon are UNESCO World Heritage Sites

Tours in Venice

Food Tour

A great addition to your things to do in Venice in 2 days is joining a local food tour. When participating in one, you’ll get to eat like a local and visit restaurants that only the residents would know of. 

During this tour, you will be accompanied by a local guide who will take you on a tasting tour around the city. While pizza and pasta are famous Italian food, there are more delicacies you should know of.

As you sample regional specialities, you’ll also hear insider information about the city’s food scene from your guide. 

In this tour, you’ll make eight stops, so ensure you have room for lots of food!

Small restaurant on venetian canal among old houses in Venice, Italy.

Walking Tour

In this Venice Walking Tour, you’ll visit significant landmarks you can cover. While it’s possible to roam around the city without joining a group tour, this will help you maximise your two days in Venice itinerary more organised and with less hassle.

Since everything will be pre-arranged already, you must follow your guide and admire the beautiful landmarks you will visit. This tour will include visiting the Grand Canal, Ponte di Rialto, St. Mark’s Square and Gondole Stazio Danieli.

Moreover, this tour takes you to Venice’s famous landmarks and includes a gondola tour around the city’s central canals, so it’s something you can add to your Venice itinerary.

2-Day Itinerary for Venice Wrap-up

That’s a wrap! We hope this rundown of your 2 days in Venice itinerary will help you decide what you’d want to do and what places you should visit during your trip to the City of Canals. So, it’s time to stop thinking – just pack your bags, and you’re ready to go!

Recommended tours in Venice

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  • Samantha King

    Sam, a seasoned traveler across four continents and 49 countries, is a leading authority in travel planning. Her website, Travelling King, offers tailored itineraries and expert guides for seamless trips. Sam's expertise in luxury travel, fast travel, and destination guides keeps her at the forefront of the travel community.

    View all posts https://www.tiktok.com/@travellingkng

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