48 hours in Venice – What to see and what to do
If you are looking for a perfect getaway for the weekend then Venice is the perfect place!
Venice is not a huge Island so 48 hours will be enough for you to see all the main attractions and still have time to just wander around all the little streets and canals.
For you to have a better idea, we arrived late on a Friday night and left Sunday at the end of the day. There are a few things on this list that we didn’t get to do but not because of the time we had but because the weather wasn’t the best, unfortunately… but this is how a recommend spending your time in Venice:
1. Get up Early
Venice is a very touristic place and especially if you visit around summertime it will be extremely crowded.
I recommend getting up early to be able to see the main touristic areas without too many people around. Also, if you are one to want to take pictures for your IG then early morning is the best time to do it. Plus, the city just looks even more beautiful at sunrise!
At 7am we were already on the streets and there was almost no one around, after 9am the streets started to get busier and busier to the point where you can walk straight without bumping into people.
2. Piazza San Marco (St. Mark’s Square)
This is the main square in Venice and the heart of the city. Here you can find many attractions like the St Marks Basilica, Doge’s Palace, Campanile and the Bridge of Sighs. So, I recommend starting your day here.
3. St Marks Basilica and Doge’s Palace
You can find both of these at the Piazza San Marco like I mentioned before.
The Basilica is a Roman Catholic Church and it is a beautiful example of Italo-Byzantine architecture.
The Palace’s Venetian Gothic Style is just beautiful and you can either explore on your own or be part of a tour. Also, it has access to the bridge of Sighs so you can see it from the inside.
Please keep in mind that to visit the inside of these two places you might face a long line, so get there early if you don’t want to spend most of your time in Venice waiting in a line.
4. San Marco Campanile
Unfortunately, we didn’t go up because the weather was so bad and we didn’t think we would be able to enjoy the view. But being 98m height offers the best view above the Piazza and Grand Canal.
5. The Bridge of Sighs
This bridge connects the Palace to the prison (this is why you can go through it when you visit the palace) and it is built out of beautiful white limestone.
The legend says that it is called the bridge of sighs because as the prisoners were being taken to the prison going through the bridge, they would sigh at the beauty of the view as the last thing they would see before entering the cells.
The best way to take a picture with this bridge is from the other bridge in front of it, and unless you get there early prepare to fight for a spot!
6. Rialto Bridge
Definitely one landmark of this city, this is one and the oldest of the only 4 bridges over the Grand Canal.
The view from the bridge over the grand canal is just beautiful and the best place to take a picture is from one of the small docks in front of it (again, prepare to wait in line haha).
7. Gondola ride
Obviously, the most touristy thing to do in Venice!
The gondola ride is 80 euros and they say it lasts 30min (although ours was 15…). Don’t bother looking for cheaper unless you don’t mind going with a bunch of other people.
If you are looking for the typical romantic gondola ride just for you and your other half, then get ready to pay that amount.
I really enjoyed it and to me, it was worth it because I wanted to have the experience of being on a gondola in Venice, but if this is not your thing then save your money!
As I mentioned, if you don’t mind going with other people and literally just cross the canal to the other side, then you can do this for 2 euros 🙂
8. Wander around the cute little streets and canals
All of Venice is just worth seeing. All of the small little streets, small docks, the bridges over the canals, are just beautiful. Each place is more beautiful than the one before and you will just want to explore every corner. So, make sure to take time to just wander around, no specific place to go, just observe all the beauty around you as you go.
9. Riva Degli Schiavoni (San Marco Waterfront)
This is Venice’s most famous waterfront, located right behind St Mark’s square. Here you can see hundreds of gondolas by the docks and it is the most beautiful background.
From here you also have a view to the Church of San Giorgio Maggiore, just gorgeous.
10. Murano / Burano
Unfortunately, we didn’t get to visit these islands either. Again, because it was pouring rain we decided to just stay in Venice.
But I hear a visit to Burano especially is very worth taking, the colourful houses are iconic and one of the most Instragrammable places you can find.
So, these are the main things I recommend doing in Venice if you only have 48 hours. But here are a few extra little tips:
- Take the Water Bus (Alilaguna) from the airport to Venice, but make sure you make a smart decision when deciding where to stop. For example, the closest stop to our hotel was S. Marco, but to get there the water bus has to go around the Island so we saved 30 minutes by stoping at Ospedale. The Island is small so even though it wasn’t the closest stop, it only took us only 10 min to walk to our hotel.
- The accommodation in Venice is very expensive, but we managed to find little place Albergo Doni for £80 per night. It’s not fancy at all but it was clean and comfortable, and the location is PERFECT – just 5 min walk from the Piazza San Marco. Extra tip – ask for room G, it’s huge.
- When it starts to get too crowded, head to the east side of the island – just as many cute little streets and canals without half of the tourists!
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