Today, I’m sharing how to make the most of your time with two days to explore Venice, Italy. This is the third post in a four-part series covering our 10-day trip through Italy with stops in Rome, Sorrento, Venice and Florence.
And you will — a lot. There’s really no point in having an actual itinerary in Venice because wandering up and down the streets, strolling over the bridges and walking into a lot of dead-end streets is what you’ll spend your time doing. But you’ll see so much along the way!
Venice is made up of tons of small man-made islands (like 118)… all connected by 400 foot bridges.
Getting to Venice:
– We flew from Naples to Venice for about $75 each on EasyJet. It was about an hour flight and super cheap!
– From the airport, we took the bus into Venice — about $8 each.
– There are obviously no cars, so when we were looking for the “taxi” — we didn’t realize it was a water taxi! Haha. We hopped on the boat and took it a few stops — who knew a boat would run just like a bus!? This was actually a really cool way to see the city for the first time.
Funny story — Conrad and I were starving, so we grabbed a slice of pizza on the way to our hotel. We sat by the water for a few minutes resting because my backpack was killing me.
From there, we got up and started walking for what would end up being about TWO hours searching for our hotel. Little did we know our hotel was literally RIGHT behind us while we sat and ate our pizza.
We didn’t find that spot again until a couple hours later. Haha we were SO lost (even with our Google maps navigating for us.. and the directions from the hotel.)
We saw SO much of Venice, but, man, we were SO lost for so long. On the brightside, we got in a serious workout in carrying those backpacks though!
Definitely funny now.. but not so much at the time!
My number one tip is to take a walking tour to get yourself familiar with the area.
We booked through Viator and had an English-speaking guide tell us about so much Venetian history and lifestyle. She took us through the Rialto market early morning, which was packed with fresh fish from the Adriatic Sea and lots of local fruits and vegetables. Then, we walked for a few hours exploring the narrow streets and waterways.
Our tour included a 30-minute gondola ride, which was the selling point for us. Turns out gondola rides are crazy expensive, so with booking a tour it was basically like “Book a tour, get a gondola ride for free.” Totally worth it.
We literally sat in a gondola traffic jam, so it’s not as romantic as you would think. And the gondola drivers are kinda jerks, honestly. I couldn’t tell if they were all yelling at each other, or at us, or just at the world in general.
We kept getting in trouble for turning around or moving too much to one side to take a photo… so it was just all around a way weirder experience than I was expecting.
But still… it was a great feeling to check off “ride a gondola through Venice” off my bucket list! At some point, you have to have a reality check with yourself and let yourself take a moment to really comprehend where you are and what you’re doing — then it’s all pretty awesome again.
10 Must Do’s in Venice-
1- Ride in a gondola
2- Drink Aperol Spritz
3- Sit near the water at a sidewalk cafe
4- For a panoramic view of the city, visit the Fondaco Dei Tedeschi (it’s a shopping mall, near the Rialto Bridge) — but you can access the rooftop for free for amazing views!
5- Walk over the Rialto Bridge
6- Visit Piazza San Marco
7- Eat gelato
8- Go out at night to see the city lit up (especially the Grand Canal)
9- Visit as many churches as you can
10- Go inside St. Mark’s Basilica
So that’s the quick list of things that you can definitely do in just two days. I’ll for sure be needing another trip back to explore more, like Murano (the glass-making island).
Have you been? What did you enjoy most??