What to Visit in Venice?

Grand Canal - the main attraction of Venice

What to see in Venice in 2-3 days or more? From a point of view of the traveler who loves independent travel planning and does not trust such an important matter to tour operators? Good Time for Trip developed some routes, that allowed to observe the top attractions of Venice in a short time!

Venice – the city seems to be not too big – in the sense of the inhabitants. But it occupies a very vast territory! Yes, and some of its parts are not so close to each other. For example, to get to Murano from the station you will have to spend about half an hour!

However, this does not mean that organizing a not too long, but intense trip to the “City of Canals” is a hopeless business. On the contrary, even in 2, especially 3 days, you can visit the most interesting places in Venice. In any case, none of the iconic sights of this city will remain out of your sight.

It is only necessary to properly and sensibly organize the movement. Know exactly where to go, how long the trip will take and the walk itself.

And in general – do you really need to go there?! Especially during the high season? Or at the end of February, when in Venice takes place the famous carnival?

  • Practical information and photos are attached
  • Prices are valid for 2023.

Starting Point

Day trippers arrive at Piazzale Roma (bus) or Santa Lucia Station (train). Do not argue – it will be so if you do not have your own or rented car at your disposal.

Car enthusiasts will have to leave the vehicle in the largest car park in Venice, near the Troncheto ferry terminal. Pleasure costs 21 € for 12 hours (and then daily) – and this is expensive by Italian standards. But it is very budgetary for locals – parking near Piazzale Roma already costs from 35 € per day.

You can get out of the car park using vaporetto number 2, which goes:

  • Giudecca Canal towards Piazza San Marco
  • to the bus station in Piazzale Roma and the railway station, Santa Lucia; continue along the Grand Canal to San Marco and the island of Lido

Those who arrive in Venice by plane, must use water boat of route A (Allilaguna), which goes directly from Marco Polo airport. And yes, such citizens are serious – they stay in the “City of Canals” for at least 4-5 days. Which clearly does not prevent them from learning something useful in our article)))

Giudecca Island in Venice can be visited if you like silence

Venice TOP Attractions – Day 1

Leaving the Santa Lucia station, you go straight to the Grand Canal and queue up at one of the ticket offices. A single ticket costs 7.5 €, and unlimited travel for 1 day will cost 21 € with the Venezia Unica card (40 € – for 72 hours).

Children upon presentation of an ID (passport) will make Rolling Venice. This is a piece of paper that gives the right to a discount, including travel: 3 unlimited days will cost 28 €. Details see here – veneziaunica.it/ru/e-commerce/services.

Cashiers understand English. And you just have to convey information to them. Making sure you are understood the way you need to be.

Then go to the vaporetto terminal number 2. But you choose not the shortest direction, along the Grand Canal (5 stops and 20 minutes), but a circular one, through Giudecca, but also towards San Marco.

By the way, there is a free toilet on board the vaporetto. We advise you to use it, because in other places of the city (not counting museums) you will have to pay from 1.5 € for “wee-wee”!

Driving through the Giudecca canal, you can see the underside of Venice. Perhaps it would be useful to land on the island of the same name, unfairly deprived of tourist attention.

Giudecca Island

An do it, by the way, not only to see inside the church of Il Redentore, consecrated by the genius of Palladio. For the island itself is remarkable as a habitat for the few “real” Venetians still existing in nature!

Quiet, calm, immediately plunges into peaceful contemplation. A kind of zen…

You will get a special boost of energy if you come here out of season. Because, for example, although Venice is quite damp in May, there are still no crowds of tourists

Then board the vaporetto again and after about 15 minutes you get off at another island in the lagoon, San George Maggiore. Much more famous thanks to its prominent location!

Most tourists are well aware of the local church of well-considered classical architecture – another masterpiece of Palladio – and would not mind climbing the bell tower. One of the great observation points!

San Giorgio Maggiore

The Palladio Basilica strikes from the outside and inside with its laconic and powerful architecture, the absence of gilding, as well as Tintoretto’s “Last Supper”. Entrance is free, for climbing the bell tower they charge 6 €.

The staircase is closed, you can only go upstairs by elevator. The latter provides a “wow effect”, and even a slight panic. Since its cabin has transparent walls, the entire process of rapid ascent is visible.

Height? 100 meters, maybe a little less. At the top there is a beautiful observation deck from which Venice is visible in all directions.

We go down, take our time, go behind the church, rest in the monastery garden. We do this only if the next “two” does not fit, which in just 5 minutes will drop you off at Piazza San Marco (stop S. Zaccaria). We study the schedule in advance, the next trip will cost another 7.5 €.

Note that for a thorough acquaintance with the central part, it is worth enlisting the services of a local guide. The tour, like everything here, is not too cheap. But the money spent pays off – in return you will receive KNOWLEDGE and much more vivid impressions!

San Giorgio Maggiore in Venice is a must see place

Doge’s Palace

Pier S. Zaccari a located 2 minutes walk from the Doge’s Palazzo, Piazzetta (small square) San Marco, Campanile, Basilica San Marco, Piazza and Carrer Museum. What can be seen here? To begin with, be careful – during the season, a human ocean of hundreds (at least) of nationalities splashes here.

On Piazzetta San Marco, you can easily buy something to remember Italy. For the same printed T-shirts and sweatshirts are sold here for no more money than in any other place.

The residence of the Doge should probably be viewed from the inside (the ticket office and the entrance are on the side facing the water). If you have not purchased the Museum Pass (24 €), tickets to the Doge’s Palace will cost 20 € for adults and 13 € for children.

A little subtlety, which is not reported on the website of the palace: families with at least 1 child pay for all tickets at the “child price”. That is – 13 € for each visitor. The price includes a tour of the palace, the “New Prison”, as well as a visit to the Carrer Museum.

The main attraction of the Carrer Museum is not the paintings, but the halls of the Royal Palace. They began to decorate under Napoleon, and finished under the Austrian Empress Elizabeth, the well-known Sisi.

To get to the Basilica of San Marco (entrance is free), you will have to stand in line. At 16.45, they stop letting inside the main cathedral of the city, and tourists are offered for money (6.5 €) to visit the treasury and climb the loggia.

Climbing the Campanile of St. Mark’s Cathedral is also associated with waiting in line and spending money. It is hardly worth doing this – have you already seen all the most interesting things from the bell tower of San Giorge Maggiore ?!

District San Marco

Having looked at everything, taking plenty of pictures, once again horrified by the crowds, we go from San Marco and the Royal Palace along Salita S. Moise street. Unremarkable, cramped, packed with tourists, expensive boutiques and cafes.

The church of San Moise draws attention with its rich Baroque façade, Jacopo Tintoretto’s “Foot Washing” and a macabre 18th century story. Then lightning struck the roof and the discharge went through the metal chain of the chandelier right to the altar, where he killed the priest and assistant who were serving mass.

Crossing the canal across the bridge, you will see a pier for gondolas. And a line of suffering people who want to swim in a pointed canoe under the control of a surprisingly indifferent person in a striped sweatshirt and a hat with a ribbon.

Street Calle Larga XXII Marzo through another bridge leads to Calle delle Ostreghe, and that – to the church of Santa Maria del Giglio. Rich baroque decoration inside and out, paintings by Rubens and Tintoretto on the walls – it is worth visiting in person.

By the way, there are eateries and cafes on both designated arteries. And there it is quite possible to taste some dishes of the national cuisine of Italy. Or just have a snack with a sandwich (usually tastes like plastic). Unless, of course, you don’t mind paying for a piece of pizza from 3-4 €.

What  Else

Another short walk along Calle Zaguri-Calle dello Spezier and the view opens up Piazza Santo Stefano. Vast – you don’t expect to find such a huge undeveloped space in the heart of the Serenity.

The end of the square is decorated with the church of the same name (chiesa). Gothic with elements of the Renaissance, looks at the square sideways, has a bell tower, which will do honor to the Leaning Tower of Pisa with an angle of inclination. They say that the place of worship had to be consecrated several times due to the fact that inside the Venetians loved to settle blood scores.

Note that in Venice there are generally enough interesting places, that the average traveler does not suspect. Some you can see on an inexpensive sightseeing tour. Quite usually informative and often – completely unconventional!


We change direction to perpendicular, through the square we reach the Academy Bridge and cross to the other side of the Grand Canal. To the right of the bridge rises the portico of the Academy Museum (Gallerie dell’Accademia), the main art gallery of “La Serenissima”.

As part of a one-day itinerary, you won’t be able to visit – there won’t be enough time. But on the second day of inspection of Venice it’s worth a try. The ticket costs 15 €.

Our destination is the Cathedral of Santa Maria della Salute, the masterpiece of Balthazar Longhena. You need to go to the left of the bridge.

Several narrow streets, the inexplicable charm of the Dorsoduro area, canals, embankments. Souvenir shops with Venetian masks from 80-100 € per human size. And here he is!

Cathedral! Looking at him, you understand that the Venetians were really grateful to God for getting rid of the plague. Inside it is majestic, but quite simple: large volumes and a minimum of gilding. All the attention of those who entered is on the paintings of Tintoretto and Veronese.

At lunchtime (13-15) you won’t be able to get inside… Why? Read our material about the customs of Italy!

Santa Maria della Salute is one of the most notable attractions in Venice

You can go back directly from the pier: the number one vaporetto (another 7.5 €) lands almost at the steps of the cathedral stairs. The trip, however, will last a long time: this number of the water bus will bypass all the marinas on the Grand Canal before landing at Santa Maria.

40 minutes – no less, check the train schedule. And the water beads will be full in the evening – do not hesitate. Tourists return to their cities, employees – home. No one will give way to a child – don’t even think.

Where to Stay

A money-saving tourist is often forced to settle in Mestre. And only after a lapse of time he begin to understand that it is not very convenient to go from there every day. The routine is boring, the days are piling up, the impressions are being shaded.

  • However, this should not happen in 2-3 days!

In general, we recommend a very good and inexpensive hotel ao Hotel Venezia Mestre, 7-8 minutes walk from the station.

And Anda Venice Hostel, whose guests praise the fresh renovation, friendliness of the staff and convenient location. There is a well-equipped common kitchen, the general tone of the comments is “do not look for anything else.”

If you still decide to settle right in Venice, we note that hotels and apartments in the Cannaregio area (near the Santa Lucia station) are noticeably more expensive.

We recommend warm – in the literal sense, this is a rarity for Venice – Hotel Guerrini, distinguished by an adequate price and delicious breakfasts.

The cozy and clean THE ARCH historic accommodation in San-Polo deserve close attention despite the high price. Most of its guests in the reviews declare their love for this place!

What to See on Day 2

We bring to your attention a direct and frank route on the second day. “Tram” deuce goes along the Grand Canal, makes it possible to photograph the palaces, admire the Rialto Bridge.

For disembarkation, we choose the Accademia pier (only No. 1 stops at Salute) or S. Marco Vallaresso.

Further optional:

  • Accademia Gallery (paintings) + Santa Maria della Salute + Dorsoduro area (very nice and quiet). In this case, keep in mind that you can only cross to the other side by a bridge or by a traghetto, a ferry boat for 3 € (you still have to wait)
  • Or Piazza San Marco and everything adjoining it. As well as the districts of Castello and Cannaregio.

An excellent option is to study

San Polo

The fact is that this area can be quickly reached on foot directly from the station. Why do it? Yes, to look at the mighty hulk of Frari Church. Her campanile, the second highest in Venice, is a good guide. And noticeable even from the depths of narrow and crooked streets.

The entrance fee is standard 3 €, which is IMHO not the best investment – in Italy there are enough absolutely free and monstrously ancient churches.

Way better to pay ten (under 18 – free: www.scuolagrandesanrocco.org/home-en/information/) for the right to enjoy the work of Tintoretto in Scuola San Rocca! A person who does not appreciate painting so will hardly understand what to admire there: only three halls, a staircase and a meeting room.

But the connoisseur will be impressed: the walls and ceilings are hung with works of the great Venetian. The amazingly carved wooden figures on the second floor also attract attention.

  • Including the allegorical bust of Tintoretto himself!

Day 3

The itinerary proposed by us does not affect San Marco at all – it is entirely devoted to the famous islands of the Venetian lagoon.

We are talking about Murano, Burano and Torcello. Fans of monuments can also visit San Michele, where the cemetery is located. And very famous people are buried.

The option provides for numerous of walks and a substantial number of transfers: the purchase of Venezia Unica in this case promises monstrous savings.

Murano can be reached by vaporetto number 3 non-stop directly from the railway station. Or from Fondamente Nove – routes No. 4.1, 4.2.

Route number 12 leaves for Burano and Torcello. Please note – in the middle of the day there is often a long queue for it.

It is wiser to start by visiting the most remote island, Torcello. Since starting from 17 o’clock everything will be closed there. But on the way back – go look at the colorful houses of Burano. This place is lively until late at night!

The way back to the station (Piazzale Roma) is possible only with a transfer (vaporetto 12 – then 3 or 4.1, 4.2). On the pier, you may have to rush headlong in order to have time to change seats and not wait half an hour for the next boat.

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