Here is a complete guide to the magnificent city of Venice, one of the most fascinating and unique places in the world, for those who have two days or a weekend at their disposal. If this is your case, then you are in the right place.
In this post I will take you on a journey through the art, canals, bridges and historical attractions of Venice. Get ready to discover what to see in Venice in 2 days, optimising your time and enjoying every moment of your visit.
Here are all the secrets for experiencing Venice at its best!
What to see in Venice in 2 days: a weekend among art, canals and islands
This is the complete guide to seeing Venice in 2 days with all the stops to make so you don’t waste time. If, on the other hand, you only have one day to spare and you are an art lover, don’t miss the guide I have written with everything there is to see in Venice in one day.
WHAT TO SEE IN VENICE IN TWO DAYS: DAY 1
The first day in Venice is dedicated to the city’s main attractions. Get ready to immerse yourself in the beauty and history of La Serenissima!
Start by crossing the Rialto Bridge, admiring the majesty of the Grand Canal. Continue to St Mark’s Square, where you will find the magnificent St Mark’s Basilica and the impressive Doge’s Palace with the famous Bridge of Sighs. Along the Riva degli Schiavoni, you can enjoy a pleasant stroll with a view of the island of San Giorgio. Be sure to visit the extraordinary Acqua Alta Bookshop and discover the Marco Polo House. Finally, at sunset, I recommend you climb the Fondaco Rooftop Terrace for an unforgettable panoramic view. This day will leave you spellbound by the wonders of Venice and its timeless magic.
THE RIALTO BRIDGE – We begin our tour by crossing the Rialto Bridge, one of the oldest and most iconic symbols of Venice. This majestic bridge spanning the Grand Canal offers a spectacular view over the city. You can reach it comfortably by vaporetto, using your transport card.
BASILICA DI SAN MARCO – From the Rialto Bridge, proceed to St Mark’s Square, the beating heart of Venice. Here you can admire the magnificent St Mark’s Basilica, a masterpiece of Byzantine architecture. I recommend you visit, or rather climb, St Mark’s Campanile for a breathtaking panoramic view of the city.
PALAZZO DUCALE AND PONTE DEI SOSPIRI – Next to St Mark’s Basilica you will find the evocative Doge’s Palace in Venice, a building rich in history and charm.
Visiting this place means entering the palace that more than any other tells the story of the city and you can admire great masterpieces, such as Tiepolo’s Neptune offering gifts to Venice, but you can also visit the Doge’s flat and understand who was the ruler in the city and why Venice is also called the ‘Serenissima Republic’.
When you enter the Doge’s Palace, don’t forget to also cross the famous Bridge of Sighs, a romantic and mysterious symbol of the city.
RIVA DEGLI SCHIAVONI – After visiting the Doge’s Palace, I recommend taking a pleasant stroll along the Riva degli Schiavoni, a long street overlooking the Grand Canal from which you can admire the passing boats and enjoy the view of the beautiful island of San Giorgio.
LIBRERIA ACQUA ALTA – Stop by the Libreria Acqua Alta, a truly special bookshop that is a hidden treasure of Venice. Come in and browse through the books located among gondolas and bathtubs. Entering this bookshop is a unique experience and gives you the chance to take some memorable photos.
MARCO POLO’S HOUSE – From the Acqua Alta bookshop it is only a few steps to Marco Polo’s House. Actually, it is not a museum to visit but just a small neighbourhood, a small group of ancient houses that will immerse you in the Venetian explorer’s adventurous past. You will find a plaque indicating the location of Marco Polo’s house and a reminder that all the buildings here are among the oldest in Venice and were, therefore, built in the Middle Ages.
FONDACO ROOFTOP TERRACE AT SUNSET – End your first day in Venice admiring the sunset from the Fondaco Rooftop Terrace. From the terrace of this luxury shopping centre, you can enjoy an extraordinary panoramic view of the Grand Canal, the Rialto Bridge and the city of Venice.
If you would like to discover the sights, museums, monuments and all the unmissable attractions in Venice, take a look at the complete guide on What to see in Venice, where you will find lots of suggestions and useful links for booking tickets.
WHAT TO SEE IN VENICE IN TWO DAYS: DAY 2
On the second day, explore the fascinating islands of Murano, Burano and Torcello. Start the day with a visit to the Jewish Quarter, a less touristy area of Venice that offers a fascinating insight into the city’s history. Next, continue to Murano, renowned for the art of glassmaking. Here you can stroll along the shores of Rio dei Vetrai, admire the skilled craftsmen at work and visit the Glass Museum. After Murano, embark and sail to the island of Burano, famous for its colourful houses and handmade lace. Here you must stroll through the picturesque streets, watch the old ladies as they embroider and visit the Lace Museum to discover the centuries-old traditions linked to this precious art. Finally, reach Torcello, the oldest island of Venice, where you can admire the Basilica of Santa Maria Assunta with its magnificent mosaics and enjoy a unique atmosphere of tranquillity.
This second day will give you unforgettable experiences and make you fall even more in love with the magic of Venice and its enchanted islands.
EBRAIC QUARTER – Before setting off for the islands of Venice, treat yourself to a walk in the Jewish Quarter. This less touristy area allows you to discover a lesser-known side of Venice’s history.
MURANO – After the Jewish quarter take a boat or vaporetto to the island of Murano, famous for its glassmaking. Stroll along the shores of Rio dei Vetrai, visit the Glass Museum and admire the craftsmen as they work with this wonderful material according to customs and techniques that are centuries old.
BURANO – Reach the island of Burano, known for its colourful houses and lace embroidery. Explore the picturesque village and visit the Lace Museum to discover the island’s ancient traditions.
TORCELLO – The last of the islands I recommend you visit is Torcello, famous for its ancient history and the peaceful atmosphere that surrounds it. Torcello was once one of the most important centres of the Venetian lagoon and today, its ruins and the Basilica of Santa Maria Assunta are silent witnesses of its glorious past. The basilica has magnificent mosaics adorning its walls, dating back to the 12th century.
Enjoy a walk through the island’s picturesque fields and canals, listening only to the gentle sound of the wind and flowing water. Torcello is truly an unmissable stop for those who want to discover the most authentic side of Venice.
If your passion is sacred art and you want to discover the wonders of the churches of Venice, don’t miss the opportunity to visit the most beautiful churches in Venice, with the guide in which I explain which ones you must not miss.
GONDOLA RIDE – After a day spent visiting the main islands of the Venice lagoon, end your trip on a high note with a romantic gondola ride. Enjoy the city’s charm from the water and admire its hidden treasures.
With this complete guide, you can explore the best of Venice in 2 days. Each stage in this itinerary is designed to take you on a discovery of enchanting places steeped in history. No matter if you are an art lover or simply looking for adventure, Venice is always ready to amaze you with its unique magic.
If you want to explore the rich cultural offer of Venice, visit the Venice Museums page, where you will find tickets, cards and some useful links to book.
I hope these tips will help you to have an unforgettable experience of a unique city. Enjoy your trip to discover the timeless beauty of Venice!