Things to do in VENICE for 3 perfect days

You have 3 days in Venice and despite the limited time you don’t want to miss any highlights and the best things to do? No problem with the detailed travel guide from JOURNICATION. Here you can find out how you can get the most out of 72 hours in Venice and save time when planning your trip with the detailed BIG checklists and maps. 3 days in Venice are perfect not only to marvel at the famous sights such as the Piazza San Marco, the Doge’s Palace or the Rialto Bridge, but also to take a look at the less touristy areas and take excursions to the surrounding islands.

What do you learn in this article?

BIG5 Things to do in Venice in 3 days

You don’t want to miss any sights? Find all the tips and your checklist for the city trip to Venice here:

BIG5 Venice – Speed Date

Outstanding:

Strolling over the countless bridges and canals of the lagoon city is simply impressive – postcard motifs on every street corner!

Sucks:

The endless tourist crowds that hopelessly clog all small paths and bridges. The city is just not designed for that

DO:

The early bird catches the worm! Explore the city before the crowds of tourists in great lighting conditions

DO NOT:

Spend the day waiting in long lines before the main attractions – especially during the high season of the cruise ships

Don’t tell your mother:

The many pickpockets are especially “dangerous” for tourists – so be careful with your valuables

BIG5 Venice – Rapid Fire Q&A

  • A short trip to Venice, how many days should I plan? – You can discover the BIG5 of the city in one day to venture into less known corners, but you should plan for 2-3 days
  • No secret that Venice is overcrowded, go there anyway? – Unfortunately yes, the small alleys and bridges are not designed for the large tourist crowds and crusaders. Nevertheless, a visit to the lagoon city is worthwhile, you should have seen the picturesque scenery
  • Do you have to pay many admissions? – It depends on your personal interests, the city partly looks like a large museum, in which you can admire many things without separate admission
  • Should I book some activities in advance? – Yes absolutely! Otherwise you run the risk of spending valuable vacation time in the queues.
  • What is your best savings tip for Venice? – The tap water is drinkable and there are many wells to refill on the way

BIG5 Venice – Orga

Best travel time for Venice

In general, spring & autumn are recommended until October. The weather is still warm, but the peak tourist season has eased somewhat. The last time I visited Venice was in February and it was an absolute hit: not so cold, not too hot, not too many tourists – and NO cruise ships.

Arrival & Departure

Visa: Check here whether you need a visa for Italy with your passport

  • Flight: Many airlines fly directly to “Marco Polo” International Airport (IATA: VCE)
  • Flight: Aeroporto di Treviso (IATA: TSF) is particularly popular with low-cost airlines
  • Bus: Buses and cars can go to Piazzale Roma, from there you can only take the water taxi (“Vaporetto”)
  • Train: Santa Lucia train station is connected to the mainland and is located directly on the Grand Canal
  • Car: To Venice over the Ponte della Liberta bridge and park in one of the 3 large car parks Tronchetto, Garage San Marco and Autorimessa Comunale Parking

Next it goes to … Milan, Rome, Slovenia or Croatia

Accommodation / hotels in Venice

Recommended location: It is best to choose accommodation in the lagoon, but away from the tourist crowds, e.g. in Cannaregio. Generally, accommodations directly in Venice are expensive. If you want to save, you spend the night on the island of Lido (15 minutes to St. Mark’s Square) or on the mainland in Mestre, for example, near the train station (€ 1.30 for the train journey).

  • Budget: Anda Venice Hostel (Via Ortigara, 10, 30171 Mestre; ~ 20 € dormitory; DR ~ 60 €), affordable, well-equipped hostel near Mestre train station
  • Medium: Combo Venezia (Campo Dei Gesuiti Cannaregio 4878, 30123 Venice; from € 50 dormitory, from € 150 double), great atmosphere in an old Jesuit monastery in a convenient location in Cannaregio
  • Medium: Sunshine Relais Venice Central (Ponte del Megio 1666A Piano Terzo scala A, Santa Croce, 30135 Venice; from € 100 double), well-equipped apartment in a central location
  • Medium: Luxury Venetian Rooms (Calle de l’Angelo 5309, Castello, 30122 Venice; from 120 € double), dreamlike historical rooms right in the heart of Venice
  • Noble: Hotel Donà Palace (San Marco 391, San Marco, 30124 Venice; from 300 € double), luxurious 4 * hotel only 2 minutes walk from San Marco in the very center

Price Level

In Italy you pay with euros (EUR)

Withdraw money: There are ATMs everywhere in the city for withdrawing money conveniently

Beer indicator: around 4.00 euros for a small beer (0.33l) in the restaurant; Wine ~ 3.50 euros

Cost of a taxi: The water taxi Vaporetto costs a proud 7.50 euros per 75 minutes; You can easily travel with a ticket booked upfront.

Restaurants, Bars & Cafés

  • Pizzeria da Zorma (Fondamenta dei Ormesini, 2712): Inexpensive take-away pizza and eat comfortably right on the canal – do it like the locals!
  • Al Timon (Fondamenta dei Ormesini, 2754): Delicious chichettis (Venetian tapas) and good wine in a great atmosphere
  • Al Covo (Campiello de la Pescaria, 3698): Considered one of the best seafood restaurants
  • Niki Bar (Calle Traghetto Vecchio, 2884): Recommendation for a delicious breakfast
  • Pistacceria Rizzardini (S.Polo Campiello dei Meloni 1415): A paradise for lovers of sweet treats and – important to me – the best Venetian café of the del Doge brand

BIG5 Venice – Activities

  • Explore St. Mark’s Square (Piazza San Marco) with the adjacent basilica, bell tower (Campanile di San Marco) and Doge’s Palace
  • Use the local water taxis (Vaporetto) and drive along the Grand Canal – keep your camera handy!
  • Glide with a gondola over the winding canals of the lagoon city – kitschy, but still an experience! For 31 euros per person or 95-150 euros per gondola certainly not a bargain, but you can share the price with other guests (up to 5 seats). Inexpensive alternative: The crossing with an equally swinging traghetto, without romantic flair, but a similar experience.
  • Visit the imposing St. Mark’s Basilica
  • Leave the crowded city center for the islands Murano, Burano or Lido di Venezia

Special recommendation: Experience the “Carnevale di Venezia“, the famous Carnival in Venice

BIG5 Venice – Photo spots

  • Canal Grande from the Ponte dell’Accademia – with the church of Santa Maria della Salute in the background
  • Great panorama of the city and St. Mark’s Square from the bell tower of the Chiesa di San Giorgio Maggiore – without having to wait in line
  • Piazza San Marco with the basilica of the same name and the Campanile (bell tower)
  • The Rialto Bridge itself from a variety of perspectives
  • The Ponte dei Sospiri (Bridge of Sighs) with a gondola passing through

 

BIG5 Venice – Things to do off the beaten track

  • Squero di San Trovaso – a boatyard worth seeing
  • The district of Cannaregio – less touristy and great for discovery tours
  • Park and area around Via Guiseppe Garibaldi
  • Burano Island – great colorful houses and fewer tourists
  • The Lido – a little out of the way and therefore less touristy with great neighborhoods for discovery tours

BIG5 Venice – Culinary Journey

  • Chichetti – Venetian tapas
  • Spaghetti al Vongole – with mussels
  • Seafood of all kinds – you are almost in the sea!
  • Crostini – toasted bread topped with Italian sausage and cheese
  • Fegato alla Venexiana con Polenta – Venetian style liver with polenta

BIG5 Venice – Communication

In Italy you speak Italian.

  • thank you – grazie
  • yes – si
  • no – no
  • hello – Ciao / Buon giorno
  • goodbye – Ciao / Arrivederci

BIG5 Venice – Helpful Websites / Links

BIG5 Venice – Overview map for your city trip

Burano Venezia Venice daytrip island things to do Highlights: Burano with its colorful houses is a great destination from Venice

3 days in Venice 🇮🇹 – your complete overview:

Ideally suited as a checklist and for screenshots📷📝

Things to do in Venice – overview day 1:

Your morning in Venice – day 1

  • Rialto Bridge & Grand Canal
  • St. Mark’s Square
  • San Marco basilica
  • Campanile de San Marco
  • Doge’s Palace
  • Bridge of Sighs (Ponte dei Sospiri)
  • Via Guiseppe Garibaldi and the surrounding area

Your afternoon in Venice – day 1

  • San Giorgio Maggiore with bell tower
  • Ride with the gondola or the traghetto
  • Ponte della Academia – great photo spot
  • Squero di San Trovaso – old boatyard

Your evening in Venice – day 1

  • Authentic dinners, e.g. in the Cannaregio district
  • Evening stroll through Venice at night

 

Venice highlights – overview day 2:

Your morning in Venice – day 2

Your afternoon in Venice – day 2

  • Cannaregio district
  • Alternatively: day trip to the islands of Murano AND Burano

Your evening in Venice – day 2

  • Harry’s Bar
  • La Fenice Opera House

 

Venice sights – overview day 3:

Your morning in Venice – day 3

  • Excursion to the islands of Burano or Lido

Your afternoon in Venice – day 3

  • More sights from day 1
  • Castello district

Your evening in Venice – day 3

  • The grand finale with fish and seafood

 

In addition to the BIG5, I have summarized the Venice sights and the circular route in an overview map for you:

Click on the symbol in the top left to use the full range of map options!

3 days in Venice with all the hightlights of the lagoon city

Exploring Venice in three days is definitely a sporty program. You can spend as much time as you want in the famous lagoon city with its countless canals, bridges and alleys. Be inspired by the following suggestions and learn how you can make the most of 72 hours in Venice.

The highlights of Venice on day 1

For the first day in Venice there is a special article that will help you, especially if you only have a very limited time budget. Therefore, the first day in “La Serenissima” is only briefly summarized here.

It is advisable to spend a day visiting the highlights, plan time for the islands and then at the latest in the afternoon of the simply let yourself drift. The districts around the Giardini della Biennale, Castello and Cannaregio are particularly suitable for this.

Here is the first day for you in brief:

A morning full of world-famous sights

You start with the world-famous sights of Venice such as the Rialto Bridge, walk along the Grand Canal to St. Mark’s Square with its magnificent Basilica San Marco and the associated bell tower, the Campanile de San Marco.

From the Doge’s Palace (Palazzo Ducale) and the adjacent Bridge of Sighs (Ponte dei Sospiri), continue along the water to Via Guiseppe Garibaldi and the surrounding area. It’s far less touristy here, here you can enjoy a relaxed lunch break with a wonderful espresso directly on one of the countless canals.

 

 

Afternoon and evening in Venice – gondolas and great views

In the afternoon you take the traghetto to the church of San Giorgio Maggiore to have a fantastic panoramic view of the lagoon city – without the long waiting times of the Campanile di San Marco.

Then you can enjoy the city comfortably from the canal perspective and take a ride in the gondola or, cheaper, with the traghetto.

Then stroll to the Ponte della Academia – a magnificent photo spot with a view of the striking Santa Maria della Salute church – and on through the narrow streets to the old Squero di San Trovaso boatyard.

 

 

Round off your first day in Venice in the evening with a relaxed, authentic dinner (e.g. in the Cannaregio district). Afterwards, an evening stroll through Venice at night is recommended, which radiates a completely different atmosphere than on a busy day without the many people and the evening lighting.

If you only have one day in Venice, I have summarized all the important sights, information and routes in the article Experience VENICE sights in one day.

Venice in 3 days – Out on the islands on day 2

Venice sights in the morning – day 2

Last but not least, are you in the mood for a good piece of authentic Venice? No problem! Ok, there is a little problem: getting up early! Because the market at the Rialto Bridge is not for late risers. Here you get deep insights into the everyday life of the Venetians. Fresh fruit, vegetables, meat and – surprise! – of course fish and seafood offered.

Immerse yourself in the hustle and bustle of tourism, the calls of the barkers, the conversations of the locals. You can always observe and learn a lot at markets, regardless of the country. As the travel philosopher Kufeld said: “A market is the shop window of a company”. I suppose! At the market or in the nearby cafés you can also comfortably enjoy a second (or first?) Breakfast and the obligatory espresso or cappuccino.

 

 

Let’s go to the islands of Venice

The second day should take you a little out of the hustle and bustle around San Marco and the narrow streets of the old town.
A little off the beaten track and the tourist epicenter, a visit to the offshore islands such as Murano, Lido or Burano opens up completely new perspectives on and in the city.

Guided tours are ideal for this if you want to see as much as possible in a short time – including detailed explanations from local guides:

Of course, you can also go on a discovery tour on your own. For today, the islands of Murano or Burano (see day 3) are ideal.

Murano is much closer to the city center than Burano and can be reached quickly by vaporetto. To do this, leave the market and cross the old Jewish quarter of Cannaregio. From the vaporetto pier FondamentaNuova you go over to the island, which is best known for its glass factories. But there is much more to discover on the island.

So that you don’t miss any highlights on Murano, I have put together the BIG5 activities and sights in a separate article. Read on here: Things to do in Murano | Day trip from Venice

 

 

With enough time you can of course visit Murano and Burano in one day.

Venice afternoon sights – day 2

A visit to Murano can easily drag on into the afternoon.

Back from the island, your first stop in Venice’s old town is the Cannaregio district. Most of the canals and alleys here are off the typical tourist routes of the Piazzale Roma – Rialto – San Marco axis and are therefore much quieter and more authentic. The neighborhood is the city’s former Jewish ghetto. Interestingly, even the word “ghetto” comes from the Venetian “gheto”, which stands for cast metal. A clear indication of the earlier importance of Cannaregio as a place for metal production and processing.

Stroll relaxed through the quarter full of authentic little cafes, bars and trattorias, full of evidence of Jewish culture. The further you go from the center, the more locals you will meet in their everyday activities.

Do as the locals do: Enjoy dinner and take away wine on the canal

The main canal of Cannaregio is the Rio di Cannaregio, where an important part of the Venetian Carnival is celebrated with the historic water parade. Read more about Carnevale di Venezia in my dedicated article on the subject.

Venice sights in the evening – day 2

After a long day and many kilometers on the waters of Venice, are you looking for an address for a good aperitivo? Harry’s Bar! A popular place with travelers, as the famous Bellini was created here, a wonderfully refreshing drink made from peach fruit pulp and prosecco. The writer Ernest Hemingway was also a regular here.

How about an authentic Venetian trattoria tonight? Look around on the San Polo side of the Rialto Bridge.

There is something very special in Venice for music and opera lovers: La Fenice, the famous opera house where great masters such as Verdi, Bellini and Rossini had their operas performed in front of the great Doges.

Venice in 3 days – Enchanted by La Serenissima

Venice sights in the morning – day 3

You can’t give the recommendation often enough: manage to get up early and visit the alleys around San Marco before the first crowds of tourists – sunrise and great lighting conditions included!

Things to do in Venice one day 3 days itinerary tips: Tourist epicenter of Venice: the Piazza di San Marco with basilica and campanile

Again, you should lay the foundation for a long day of sightseeing in the morning. The recommendations from the first day are still valid, either your accommodation already offers a sufficient selection at the breakfast buffet, you invest time and money in one of the cafés (Niki Bar, Pistacceria Rizzardini or Pistaceria Tonolo) or your way leads you to the supermarket and breakfast is practically taken on the way to the sights.

The main destination for today is the fishing island of Burano. Since the crossing by boat takes about an hour, you should bring some time with you – and, sorry for the repetition – get up quite early. You can easily reach Burano with line 12 from the Fondamenta Nuova station. Burano is best known for its colorful houses – typical photo spots for a trip to Venice.

 

 

The drive to Burano is too far for you, but you still want to escape the hustle and bustle of San Marco on an island? Then the Lido di Venezia is just right for you! The offshore island acts like a barrier for the Venetian lagoon and is today quite modern. If you want to have some relaxing beach time during your 3 days in Venice, the beaches of the Lido are particularly recommended.

 

 

Venice highlights in the afternoon – day 3

A trip to Burano can take a long time.
Are you already back in the old town or still on an island? In any case, time for an espresso, coffee and a delicious piece of tiramisú or other Venice delicacies.

Admittedly, the first day in Venice was very busy. If you had to leave something out, you should definitely catch up on these activities today.

Have you already looked at the districts of Cannaregio and the alleys around the old arsenal in the Castello district? Simply strolling aimlessly through the alleys and turning left or right as you wish is particularly fun in Venice and always brings you to new corners, restaurants and other places to stop for a break.

 

 

Venice sights in the evening – day 3

Depending on how the first evening is organized, we recommend that you finish off your 3 days in Venice with good fish and seafood. Al Covo is considered to be one of the best fish restaurants in Venice (Campiello de la Pescaria, 3698).

 

Now you know the best sights for Venice in 3 days with the world-famous highlights such as San Marco, Rialto or the islands of Murano and Burano. Have fun in the magnificent lagoon city, let yourself be enchanted by “La Serenissima” 🇮🇹

 

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VENICE in 3 days - The ultimate travel guide with all things to do, highlights, maps & checklists

2 Comments

  1. Sue

    This is such a great guide with alot of useful information that I never thought about prior to me visiting Venice.

    Reply
    • Phil

      Thank you very much Sue 🙂

      Reply

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