Considering a day trip to Venice? While we recommend spending more time in this enchanting city, coming in for the day is better than not seeing it at all. Admittedly, we’ve done it many times. Here is our recommended itinerary for anyone planning to visit Venice in a day!
Pro Tip: Heading to Venice for the day? Bookmark this post in your browser so you can easily find it when you’re in the city. See our guide to Venice for more planning resources, our best Venice tours for a memorable trip, and the top things to do in Venice.
Or check out our article on the best Venice tours to take and why.
How To See Venice in a Day with Itinerary
Venice is a mesmerizing city with an intriguing history. It’s well worth visiting even if you only have a day. In this article, find out how to take a day trip to Venice, how to get there from Rome, and what to see when you’re there.
After arriving at Venezia Santa Lucia train station, you can follow this itinerary to see the best of Venice in a day. If you’d prefer not to have to worry about the details, check out our Venice in a Day combo tour with a local guide.
Getting To Venice: Roma Termini To Venezia S. Lucia
Departure: 6:15 am – Arrival: 10 am
Venice is a city located in a lagoon in the Adriatic Sea. The island is actually made up of 118 smaller islands and is shaped like a fish. Italian trains make it easy to see Venice in a day. Just catch a high-speed train from any major Italian city and soon you’ll be experiencing the wonders of the Floating City.
- Rome: 3 hours and 30 minutes
- Florence: 2 hours
- Milan: 2 hours and 30 minutes
Find timetables and departure times on the Trenitalia or Italo website. Select Venezia S. Lucia as your arrival station and remember that planning ahead and leaving early in the morning is essential to getting good prices and good seats.
After you arrive in Venice, you can get almost anywhere on foot. The main tourist attractions are all within walking distance from one another. Public transportation is also available by either pricey water taxis, traditional gondola rides, or easily accessible ferry boats. Check out the ACTV website for more info on tickets and water bus information.
Address: Roma Termini | Venezia Santa Lucia
St. Mark’s Square
Arrival: 10:30 am – Departure: 11:30 am
The first real stop on your Venice day trip is St. Mark’s Square, which is around 30 minutes on foot or 20 minutes by ferry boat from the train station. It’s one of the most recognizable squares in all of Italy and is sure to leave you speechless.
St. Mark’s Square is home to the magnificent St. Mark’s Basilica, Bell Tower, and Doge’s Palace. It is the biggest square in Venice and the only one that Venetians call a piazza—all of the smaller ones are called campo.
The Bell Tower, or campanile, is 323 feet tall and used to function as a lighthouse and watchtower. It has one of the best views in Venice, especially if you visit at sunset. If you want to visit the inside of the basilica, you can either buy tickets on the Veneto Inside website or take a guided tour. You’ll be able to avoid lines that can sometimes take three hours or more.
Address: Piazza San Marco | Hours: Mon – Sat, 9 am – 5 pm; Sun, 2 – 4 pm.
Arrival: 11:35 am – Departure: 12:30 pm
You can find the Doge’s Palace on the right side of the basilica. This Gothic-style palace once belonged to the Doge and is full of myths, stories, and secret spots. If you notice two light pink columns, the ninth and tenth on the side of the palace, you’ve spotted where the Doge used to stand to read out death sentences.
Underground, hidden from most tourists, are the cellars where Casanova was once imprisoned. To learn even more secrets about the palace, join us on a tour of St. Mark’s Square that includes the Doge’s Palace and St. Mark’s Basilica.
Address: Piazza San Marco, 1 | Hours: Apr – Oct, daily, 8:30 am – 7 pm; Nov – Mar, daily, 8:30 am – 5:30 pm.
Libreria Acqua Alta
Arrival: 12:40 pm – Departure: 1:35 pm
The Libreria Acqua Alta (Library of High Water) is only a 10-minute walk from St. Mark’s Square and is a Venice treasure due to its peculiarity. Inside this unique little bookstore, you can find old traditional gondolas, used to save books from rising water levels in the lagoon, as well as a staircase made of books.
If you’re looking for somewhere to get a book to read by the canals, this is your spot—but be warned, it gets busy on the weekends.
Address: Calle Longa S. Maria Formosa, 5176/b
Casual lunch at Osteria al Portego
Arrival: 1:30 pm – Departure: 2 pm
Take a break after your busy morning with a true Venetian lunch. Osteria al Portego is the best spot to taste some delicious local cicchetti—the Venetian word for various types of finger food. There’s no better way to enjoy your lunch than with an ombra or glass of Venetian wine.
The word “ombra” means shadow and it can be traced back to a fisherman’s tradition of enjoying a glass of wine in the shadow of the bell tower during their lunch break. You can usually find a wide variety of cicchetti in Venetian bars, with choices like salami and prosciutto to seafood and baccalà, a traditional salted cod recipe. Any of them will be delicious and served on fresh, crunchy bread.
Address: Calle de la Malvasia Vechia, 6014-6015
The Rialto Bridge and Market
Arrival: 2:05 pm – Departure: 4 pm
Moving on, you’ll have a chance to visit another one of Venice’s top sightseeing attractions: the Rialto Bridge. While the top of the bridge offers another amazing view, the nearby Rialto Fish Market is even better.
You’ll be able to walk through, sample fresh produce, and soak up the vibrant atmosphere. The market offers you a peek into Venice’s history as a fishing village and it gives visitors an authentic taste of the local culture.
Address: Sestiere San Polo | Hours: Tue – Sat, 7:30 am – 12 pm; Fruit market: Mon – Sat, 7:30 am – 1:30 pm.
Cannaregio and the Jewish Ghetto
Arrival: 4:20 pm – Departure: 5 pm
Your final stop is the oldest Jewish Ghetto in the world, instituted in 1516. It is divided into two parts: the Ghetto Nuovo (New Ghetto) and the Ghetto Vecchio (Old Ghetto), and can be found in the Cannaregio sestiere area of Venice.
The Jewish Ghetto is still an important part of the Jewish community today. Stop at a bar or a cicchetteria when you get there and relax for a bit. We even run our popular Venice food tour in this neighborhood. Our favorite places are Mezzopieno, Bacaro dai Morosi, and Birreria Zanon. You can’t go wrong with ending your day in Venice with delicious food and wine.
Address: Calle Ghetto Vecchio, 1139
Take a Venice in a Day Tour
Want to be sure you get the full Venice experience? Check out our full-day Venice in a Day Combo tour with gondola ride—it’s your best choice, especially if you’re only spending a short time in the lagoon. That way, you can spend the rest of your time in Venice sipping Prosecco by the canals.
Or check out our article on the best Venice tours to take and why.
Where To Stay in Venice
Despite the size of this little island, there are endless hotel options to choose from. We’ve picked the best neighborhoods and hotels to stay in whether you prefer Italian luxury or quiet serenity—or both!
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