Something out of a storybook doesn’t even begin to describe Venice, Italy with it’s beautiful canals and incredible architecture. Both romantic and magical, Venice has something for every visitor, whether it be a couple on their honeymoon, a solo traveler looking for something new, or a family away on holiday.
Guest post by Dima Alsheikh
Blog: Dima The Wanderer
What’s the best time to visit Venice?
Venice is beautiful all year long, and different people will give you different “ideal” times to go. The summer months are pretty hot, and can get uncomfortably warm and have large tourist crowds, so if you don’t have schooling constraints, skipping Venice over the summer might be a good choice. Autumn and Spring have the least amount of crowds all year long, and are hosts to wonderful weather during the day and night, not too hot or cold. Winter is some people’s favorite time of year in Venice, but not recommended for first time visitors who are looking for the full Venetian experience.
A few facts about Venice
The floating city consists of 117 islands linked by bridges over the canals that separate them. Planning a trip to this wonder can be a little overwhelming, so be prepared to get lost. Even if you use Google Maps or related apps, you can get lost or directed to a dead end alley, so making time for getting lost is essential! However, everything is easily accessible via water taxi and ferry, so you needn’t worry too much.
One Day in Venice Itinerary
Top things to do in Venice, Italy
Follow this guide and make the best of your trip even if you’re short on time. These are the top sights and things to do on your one day in Venice.
Campanile di San Marco
The famous Campanile di San Marco bell tower opens at 9:00am (9:30 in the Winter time), before the Basilica itself, so visiting this first thing in the morning is a good idea to get incredible city panoramas from the very top.
Around half an hour is perfect for this stop, as it won’t take you longer than that for the elevator ride up, photo-ops, and the ride back down. Finishing this up first thing in the morning is important to avoid long lines next!
St. Marks Basilica
Since you’re already at the Basilica di San Marco, you’re pretty much in luck. This way, you get to be in line for the incredible spot before it opens at 9:45 and won’t have to wait too long in lines to get inside! The treasures and marvelous glittering mosaics are not to miss. Do pay the extra admission fee to see the Pala d’Oro altarpiece and to visit the Marciana Museum, where you will be able to see great close up views of the mosaics from the balcony level.
Rialto Bridge and Market
If you feel the need to have lunch, there are many wonderful restaurants at the Piazza San Marco before crossing the world famous Rialto bridge! Don’t forget to take a few minutes to wander the stalls of the Rialto Market on the far (S. Polo) side. When you’re done, move on south towards the Scuola Grande di San Rocco.
Visit Academia Galleries for it’s remarkable collection of paintings by the Old Masters of Italy – Titian, Tintoretto, Giovanni Bellini, Paolo Veronese, Paolo Veneziano, Giorgione, and Carpaccio. If you’re a lover of the arts, this is not to miss.
Scuola Grade di San Rocco
Scuola Grade di San Rocco is another place for the art lovers. Admire the dozens of spectacular oil paintings in this spot, described as a “Renaissance frat house” with all the famous Venetian paintings all in dark wood and big oil paintings.
Yes, it’s incredibly touristy. No, it’s not something you want to miss. Who would want to go to Venice and not ride a gondola?! They’re fun, relaxing, and very romantic. So take a seat in gondola, and enjoy the beautiful Venetian canals.
Piazza San Marco
Make your way back to the Piazza San Marco at the end of your day to grab a bite to eat and enjoy the musicians competing for attention by the tables around the cafes and enjoy the rest of your night in this magical city.
Where to stay in Venice?
Hotel Al Ponte Mocenigo
Hotel Al Ponte Mocenigo is a super stylish, classical-style hotel located in ancient Venetian building in the Santa Croce district, only a 10 minutes walk to the Rialto bridge. The rooms at Hotel Al Ponte Mocenigo are all elegantly decorated with Venetian décor and refined wood headboards.
We_Crociferi is a bright and modern hostel set in a recently restored old monastery, dating back to the twelfth century. It offers both beds in a dormitory, private rooms or apartments with a modern, functional style and is surely one of the best value deals in the city. Communal areas include a kitchen and a laundry area. The hostel also features a conference room.
Extra tips for visiting Venice
– In Venice, unlike the rest of Italy, 7-8pm is considered normal dining time. Most restaurants shut their kitchens by 9pm, so don’t forget to get your meals planned before then!
– Be very careful of pickpockets, just like you would visiting many other parts of Italy and Europe.
– Make your trip to Venice even more exciting! Check out Tripadvisor for all the activities and organized tours in Venice or around the area. Make sure to purchase your tickets to all the attractions right away to skip the queues.
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If you have any other propositions for this One Day in Venice itinerary feel free to share it in the comments below!