A day in Venice: the perfect 24-hour itinerary

Looking to make the most out of your visit to the City of Canals? Here is our ultimate guide to spending a day in Venice.

Spending a day in Venice is a must-do when exploring Italy, considering all the Venice tourist attractions. Famous across the world for winding canals, breathtaking gondola rides, and mouthwatering delights, Venice is the perfect place to spend just 24 hours.

Approximately five million people visit this magical city every year, and for a good reason. Spanning over 100 islands, this city is like something out of a fairytale. A visit to Italy’s most picturesque city is undoubtedly a bucket list experience.

Here is our ultimate guide to spending a day in Venice.

Morning – an early beginning

Witness the sun come up on a day in Venice from St Mark's Square.
Credit: Pixabay / thomashendele

A visit to St. Mark’s Square (Piazza San Marco) in the morning before visitors to the city arrive is an absolute must when exploring Venice.

Head here to watch the sunrise, and you will become amazed by the peace and serenity of this magical place. So, whip out your camera and capture this jaw-dropping moment.

Start off a day in Venice with coffee at Gran Caffè Lavena.
Credit: Pixabay / webandi

It’s time to get caffeinated, so head to Gran Caffè Lavena for a delicious coffee. Although on the expensive side, this café is the perfect place to kick off your morning in Venice. Watch the world go by as you sip on elegant Italian coffee.

Address: P.za San Marco, 133/134, 30124 Venezia VE, Italy

St Mark's Basilica is truly breathtaking.
Credit: Pixabay / Sarah_Loetscher

Just a short stroll across the square leads to St. Mark’s Basilica, often referred to as the crown jewel of Venice. This impressive building is home to beautiful mosaics nestled amongst opulent architecture. A great start to a day in Venice.

Address: P.za San Marco, 328, 30100 Venezia VE, Italy

Afternoon – a bucket list afternoon

You have to experience a gondola ride on a day in Venice.
Credit: Pixabay / alefolsom

A day in Venice would be incomplete without an infamous gondola ride. Head towards Rialto Bridge, where you will find plenty of gondola rides for those wishing to explore the Grand Canal.

Be aware that these rides can be extremely pricey, so don’t be afraid to haggle beforehand!

Address: Sestiere San Polo, 30125 Venezia VE, Italy

A traghetto is a great budget alternative to a gondola.
Credit: Flickr / Joe Shlabotnik

If you’re looking to experience a gondola ride without the hefty price, then a traghetto, a public gondola ferry, is the one for you.

Costing just a few euros, these gondolas take you across the Grand Canal with other passengers. Although the ride is short, it is a must if you aren’t looking for a private gondola ride.

Grab a bite to eat at Adagio when spending a day in Venice.
Credit: Instagram / @juphoto_

It’s time for lunch. We suggest heading to Adagio for friendly service with magnificent views of Basilica dei Frari.

This is a popular bar with locals and visitors alike, serving traditional dishes using local produce. In addition, they serve an abundance of Cicchetti, traditional Venetian side dishes, and beautiful Italian wines.

Address: Calle del Scaleter, 3028, 30125 Venezia VE, Italy

Evening – enjoy like a Venetian

Liberia Acqua Alta is a must for book-lovers.
Credit: Flickr / Dimitris Kamaras

A visit to Liberia Acqua Alta, one of the most beautiful bookstores in Italy, is an absolute must.

Due to the regular flooding that Venice is subject to, this bookstore has resorted to innovative ways of storing its books. Stored in bathtubs and gondolas, this is one of Venice’s hidden gems that is an absolute must.

Address: Calle Lunga Santa Maria Formosa, 5176b, 30122 Venezia VE, Italy

You can't miss the Rialto Bridge on a day in Venice.
Credit: Flickr / Justin Mier

Marvel at Venice as the sun begins to set from the Rialto Bridge. This 16th-century stone footbridge is truly spectacular as it crosses the Grand Canal. Below, gondolas filled with couples in love will meander their way along this picturesque canal.

Settle in for the evening at Al Nono Risorto, a historical place serving real Venetian cuisine.

This laid back restaurant is one of the few in Venice that has a garden. Enjoy pizza, pasta, spirits, and more in this atmospheric local restaurant.

Address: Bettina, Santa Croce 2338, Sotoportego de Siora, 30135 Venezia VE, Italy

Night – party the night away

Caffè Rosso is a must visit.
Credit: Instagram / @lesobjo

The nightlife in Venice is truly unique. Head to Campo Santa Margherita, where young people enjoy a drink or two at some of the bars along the square. A top favourite has to be Caffè Rosso, a colourful bar that delights young and old.

Address: Sestiere Dorsoduro, 2963, 30123 Venezia VE, Italy

If you have a bit more cash to splash, then heading to the oldest casino in the world, Casino di Venezia, is an absolute must. With over 500 gaming places, professional staff and an opulent environment, this place is jaw-dropping.

Address: Cannaregio, 2040, 30121 Venezia VE, Italy

Palazzetto Madonna is the perfect place to end a day in Venice.
Credit: Facebook / @PalazzettoMadonnaVenice

Staying at Ostello S. Fosca, a friendly hostel, is worth it for those on a budget. Just a short walk from the heart of Venice, this is the perfect place to rest your head after a day in Venice.

Address: Cannaregio, 2372, 30121 Venezia VE, Italy

Looking for something a little more luxurious than a hostel? You can’t go wrong with a night in the four-star Palazzetto Madonna.

This canalside hotel is housed in a 13th-century medieval palace and is also just a short stroll to all the major attractions.

Address: Fondamenta del Forner, 2902, 30125 Venezia VE, Italy

Aoife O'Mara
Aoife O'Mara
Aoife O'Mara is a travel-hungry 21-year-old from East Clare. Having returned from a gap year in Melbourne, she discovered a newfound appreciation for the place she calls home. Now studying communications and media production in Griffith College Dublin, she is also writing for the university's magazine. When not dreaming about future trips and adventures, she can be found petting dogs, exploring Ireland's lakes and rivers, and taking photos.

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