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20 Fun Things to Do on a City Break to Venice

Do you also dream of visiting romantic Venice? 

But are you perhaps worried that it is an overrated city completely overrun with tourists?

We understand your concerns, because can this city live up to the expectations created in the media of this so-called most romantic city in Italy?

Well, take it from us, Venice really is definitely one of the most romantic and beautiful cities in the world.

Although you may not immediately feel that on a first visit of a few hours. 

When you follow our travel guide full of travel tips for a 2-day city trip to Venice, you too will feel the real Venice feeling and you will definitely fall in love with this city. 

Venetie, de complete reisgids voor jouw stedentrip naar Venetie. Lees nu onze Venetie reis

Day 1, your first introduction to Venice

It's finally here, Venice. Since we have two days, you have a little more time to discover Venice.


People often come to Venice for a day from another holiday destination. In that one day it is difficult to fully feel that romantic atmosphere of Venice. That's why we recommend everyone to spend at least two days in Italy's most romantic city. 

So on this first day of our 2-day city trip to Venice you can start soaking up the atmosphere of this special city. Get to know Venice. 

The first day is probably also the day you arrive in Venice. 
Tip from us, don't take too much luggage with you. We speak from experience. All those bridges are beautiful, but not for dragging your heavy suitcase over.

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1. Cannaregio, the first streets of Venice

Cannaregio is the first district of Venice that you enter as soon as you walk into this city. This northern district is located directly behind Venice station. This is literally your first introduction to this romantic city. Walk through the alleys and soak up that Venice atmosphere and enjoy a nice morning coffee on the terrace. 

Canna region


Torrefazione Cannaregio - Specialty Coffee, for the widest choice of coffee in Cannaregio, Venice

Address:Fondamenta dei Ormesini, 2804, 30121 Venice

1000 Coffee & Bakery, a delicious cup of coffee on a lively square in Venice 

Address: 30121 Venice, Metropolitan City of Venice

After your coffee and your first acquaintance with Venice, it's time to take your suitcase, or hopefully a small bag, to the hotel and really start your walk through Venice on this first day of your city break to it.

1. Ponte di Rialto, the most famous bridge in Venice

The Rialto bridge is one of the four bridges that cross the Grand Canal and is certainly the most iconic of these four bridges. The Rialto Bridge is both the oldest and the most beautiful bridge in Venice. 

This bridge is therefore one of the most important sights of Venice and a must-see stop on your city trip through this city.

For a long time, the Rialto Bridge was the only way to cross the Grand Canal without using a ferry. It is now a little easier to cross this canal, but the el Ponte di Rialto is still one of the most important crossing points. 


In the middle of the Rialto bridge you can visit all kinds of small shops. Most of these shops sell typical Venetian souvenirs. If you do buy a souvenir in Venice, it is of course extra cool to be able to say that you bought it in the middle of the Rialto bridge.


Don't forget to enjoy the view over the Grand Canal. Both on both sides of the Rialto bridge you have a beautiful view of Venice.

Address: Sestiere San Polo, 30125 Venezia VE, Italy

Buy your tickets here for the best sights and activities in Venice

2. Sotoportego de l'Erbaria, one of the most beautiful neighborhoods in Venice

Going off the Rialto, you enter one of the most popular areas of Venice, Sotoportego de l'Erbaria. This part of Venice is also wonderful to walk through, but it is also the perfect place to have lunch in one of the many restaurants overlooking the Gran Canal. 


You will find restaurants and bars everywhere in Venice. But too much choice can also lead to choice overload. Below are our suggestions for a nice lunch in this district of Venice.

SEPA, the most delicious Italian tapas

Address: Calle de la Bissa, 5482, 30124 Venezia VE, Italy

L'Bacaro de'Bischeri, delicious, luxurious lunch sandwiches
AddressRuga dei Oresi, 57, 30125 Venezia VE, Italy

Al Gobbo di Rialto, a romantic, atmospheric spot with very good Italian food
Address: San. Polo, 649, 30125 Venezia VE, Italy


3. Fondaco Dei Tedeschi, the most beautiful view of Venice

Fondaco Dei Tedeschi is a historic building on the Grand Canal. Especially from the water you can see how beautiful this building is. 

The reason we go to this building is the roof terrace. 
Today this building is used as a luxury shopping center and the roof terrace of this shopping center is accessible for free. 

From the roof terrace of Fondaco Dei Tedeschi you have perhaps the best view of Venice.

Address: Calle del Fontego dei Tedeschi, 30100 Venezia VE, Italy

4. Libreria Acqua Alta, the most beautiful shop in Venice

Libreria Acqua Alta is by far the most beautiful store in Venice. This bookstore sells books. Both new books and second-hand books and this is exactly how this bookshop feels.

There are books everywhere you look. There is even a terrace on the canal with books. Books in gondolas, books in an antique bathtub. Especially the old stacked books against the outside wall, feel like a piece of history.

Even if you don't like books, this store is really worth seeing.

Libreria Acqua Alta  also sells postcards, nice to take with you as a souvenir from Venice.  

Address: C. Longa Santa Maria Formosa, 5176b, 30122 Venezia VE, Italy

5. Wander the streets of Venice and find a dead end

Bookshop Libreria Acqua Alta is located in a somewhat quiet area of Venice. Those are the places we actually liked the most in this city. There is nothing better than buying a drink and a bag of chips in a supermarket and wandering through the alleys of Venice in search of a dead end alley that ends at a canal. That is not very far to seek, because almost all streets end at a canal. Sit on the shore and enjoy the passing boats in peace. Guaranteed that you have a great view, without tourists around you. As far as we are concerned, these are the best moments in Venice, give it a try!

6. Find a nice spot on the Grand Canal for the most beautiful sunset in Venice

A beautiful sunset in Venice is not to be missed. Because when this city turns orange, red everything feels even more romantic and magical. You have the most beautiful sunset on the Grand Canal, because then you will not be hindered by other buildings. We ourselves watched the sunset on the Rialto bridge. A beautiful place for the sunset, but you are crammed in between the other tourists. So for a more romantic setting, you might want to look for a spot somewhere on the canal. 


Below are some of our suggestions for nice restaurants in the evening. 

Al Grill, the best steaks in Venice

Address: Santa Croce, 2097, 30135 Venezia VE, Italy

La Palanka, a romantic place to dine with the sunset in the background

Address: Fondamenta Sant'Eufemia, 448, 30133 Venezia VE, Italy

Baci & Pasta,for delicious takeaway pasta to eat by the canal

Address: Campo Santa Marina, 5902/a, 30122 Venezia VE, Italy

Day 2, the highlights of Venice

Sleeping in on this second day of this Venice city trip is not an option. You don't want to miss the chance to explore Venice before the thousands of day trippers arrive. So get up early to explore the most beautiful highlights of Venice in peace. 

7. Back at the Rialto bridge, for the real early risers in Venice

If you can get up really early, it is highly recommended to go to the Rialto bridge at 06:30. You then almost have this place to yourself and have the best view of Venice's daily life. Around this time you can see how the locals transport their fresh products with the boats and the restaurants receive their products. 

Around this time you will see a piece of the real Venice.

8. Piazzo di San Marco, the largest and most famous square in Venice

Piazzo di San Marco is the most famous square in Venice and next to the Rialto bridge you will find all the famous sights here. It is therefore a very busy square in Venice, where thousands of tourists gather every day. 

When you go here between 08:00 and 09:00 it is still quiet and you almost have this square to yourself. Enjoy it, because it really is an impressive square, especially if you almost have it to yourself.

Address: San Marco, 30100 Venezia VE, Italy

9. Bridge of Sighs, a last look at Venice

We leave San Marco square behind for a while, to return in a moment. But when it's still so early and you have Venice to yourself, you should take advantage of it to visit the most beautiful places of this city, without all the day trippers. 

The Bridge of Sighs is a small bridge, but with a special history. 

Palazzo Ducale, Doge's Palace, plays an important role in this history and is the next stop on our route.

In Palazzo Ducale prisoners were sentenced. They were transferred across the Bridge of Sighs to serve their punishment and were able to take one last look at Venice.

Address: San Marco, 1, 30124 Venezia VE, Italy


A nice cup of coffee in the morning is just part of it and there is no nicer place for breakfast than the Piazzo di San Marco. 

For many, it is the ultimate Venice experience to sit on a terrace in this square, but you have to pay a lot for that. 

If you prefer to be more economical on your wallet, it is a bit cheaper to go for breakfast somewhere in one of the side streets of this square. Below are some suggestions from us. 

Caffe Florian, for the ultimate Venice experience

Address: San Marcoh, 57, 30124 Venezia VE, Italy

Bar all'Angolo, coffee overlooking the water of Venice 

AddressS. Marco, 3464, 30124 Venezia VE, Italy

In Love520 Bubbles and Tea, for the bubble tea lovers

AddressSotoportego del Cavalletto, 1099, 30124 Venezia VE, Italy

10. Palazzo Ducale, Doge's Palace, a principal palace in Venice

Palazzo Ducale, Doge's Palace, was built as a palace between the tenth and eleventh centuries. After a great fire it was rebuilt between 1172 and 1178. After that, Palazzo Ducale was used as a fortress and prison. 

For many years this building was the residence of the head of Venice, the "Doge". Hence the name of this palace. In addition to his residence, this building also housed the government of Venice. 

Today it is a museum with beautiful works of art and changing exhibitions. But the main attraction of Palazzo Ducale is of course the building itself. And when you go nice and early, it's not that busy yet. 

Address: San Marco, 1, 30124 Venezia VE, Italy

11. St. Mark's Basilica, Venice's must-see

San Marco's Basilica is an absolute must-see in Venice. Everything about this basilica is impressive. From the outside, this basilica already impresses with its special architecture, but inside San Marco's basilica, it is the mosaics that steal the show. 

Some parts can be visited for free, for other parts you have to buy tickets.

From the roof of San Marco's basilica you also have a beautiful view over San Marco square and Venice.

A small sidenote though; unfortunately it is not allowed to take photos or videos inside. San Marco, 30124 Venezia VE, Italy

12. Campanile de San Marco, the bell tower of Venice

The Campanile de San Marco is the large bell tower that cannot be missed in this square. If you don't mind climbing stairs, you can also climb this bell tower on Piazza di San Marco and from this tower you have a beautiful view over the Basilica of San Marco, San Marco square and Venice.

Address: San Marco, 30124 Venezia VE, Italy


After a full morning with the most beautiful and popular sights of Venice, it's time for lunch. Here are some restaurant suggestions in the vicinity of Piazza di San Marco. 

Ristorante Central Pizzeria, Just good Italian food.

Address: C. Specchieri, 425, 30124 Venezia VE, Italy

Ay Do Leoni,luxury sandwiches with a view of San Marco's Basilica

Address: San Marco, 355, 30124 Venezia VE, Italy

Happy Pizza,the name says it Pizzas that make you happy to pick up and eat somewhere on the banks.

Address: Calle dei Fabbri, 828, 30124 Venezia VE, Italy

13. A gondola ride I Venice from the water

It may seem a bit cliche, but when you're in Venice, a gondola ride is just part of it. We must admit that during our first visits to Venice we did not want to give in to this cliché and skipped the gondola. During our last city trip to Italy's most romantic city, we decided to do it anyway and we must admit that a visit to Venice is not complete without a gondola ride.

Venice is really the most beautiful from the water.

When you go just after lunch, it is still quite calm on the waters with gondolas. Sometimes it is really a traffic jam with the gondolas and that detracts a bit from the romantic feeling.

13. Scala Contarini del Bovolo, an undiscovered gem in Venice

Scala Contarini del Bovolo is a really undiscovered attraction in Venice. This building is truly a special piece of architecture, the highlight of which is the beautiful spiral staircase that leads to the top.

You can climb this spiral staircase and from the roof you also have a beautiful view over Venice. You can see the Basilica of San Marco for yourself.

Visit Venice

Venice is completely car-free. This means that when you come to Venice by car, you have to park the car outside Venice. There are some parking garages, but they fill up quickly. So try to drive to Venice as early as possible if you only want to visit Venice for a day.

It is easier to get to Venice by train, because the station is at the entrance of Venice. 

Venice also has an airport. From the airport there are water taxis that will take you to the center of Venice. 

explore Venice

Venice is the most fun to explore on foot. But there are also water buses available to take you from one point to another in Venice, so you don't have to walk very far to cross the Grand Canal, for example. 

These water buses run every 5 to 15 minutes. You can buy a day ticket or a multi-day ticket for this. A single journey costs approx. 7.50 euros.

Best time to visit Venice

The best time to visit Venice is spring or autumn. So April, May, June or September, October. Prices are then even lower and the temperatures are pleasant, but not too hot.

Beautiful hotels in Venice 

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