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One Day In Venice- The Ultimate Guide To Exploring Venice In 24 Hours

Despite the fact that overtourism is threatening the city’s very survival, no one can deny that Venice is one of the most unique and magical cities in the world. Venice is one of the most famous cities in Northern Italy and home to some of Italy’s most notable attractions and trying to organize your one day in Venice will surely be a difficult task (because there are so many interesting places to choose from). So, whether you have a long layover or are just visiting Venice as a part of a larger Italy itinerary, this planning guide to spending one day in Venice will surely be helpful.  

Let’s start from the beginning…

Getting To Venice

one day in venice

The easiest way to get to Venice is via the city’s airport, Marco Polo International Airport. From the airport, you can get to the city via a bus that takes you to Piazzale Roma on the outskirts of Venice (this is the closest location to which vehicles are allowed and the ticket costs 8 euros). This is also where buses coming from the other cities would drop you if that’s your preferred mode of transportation.

You can also get to Venice by train to the main station, Venice Santa Lucia. Last but not least, you can also reach Venice by boat or ferry that will drop you in Zettere just 10 minutes walking from the city center.

Helpful Resources For Visiting Venice

If you’re looking to save on your flight to Italy, Qatar Airways always has some good deals (and our affiliate link gets you up to 10% off on all flights to Italy).

To save on accommodation, use our referral to get up to 15% off on all properties in Venice. 

Last but not least, let’s not forget about travel insurance because it’s always better to be safe than sorry! That’s why we always use SafetyWing. Sure, they are more expensive than most other travel insurance providers but their plans cover many more undesired events most other providers don’t and our own experience has taught us (the hard way, unfortunately) never to try to save a few bucks on travel insurance.

Liking this post? Then you may also like our guide to spending 24 hours in Paris and 24 hours in Singapore.

Choosing The Right Itinerary

one day in venice

Before planning how to spend your one day in Venice, you need to choose your priorities. For example, if you’re easily frustrated by big crowds, maybe stay away from Piazza San Marco and Rialto Bridge and instead, go for a canal ride and visit some more quiet neighborhoods like Dorsoduro, Cannaregio, and Castello. Our itinerary mostly focuses on the main attractions of Venice but even if you’re looking for some hidden gems, keep reading and you won’t be disappointed.

When To Visit Venice

visiting italy on a budget

As we briefly mentioned in the beginning, Venice struggles with overtourism throughout the year but the time of the year when it gets the most crowds is definitely the summer (June-August) and during the carnival season in February and March. So, if you’re looking to visit when there aren’t that many tourists around, the shoulder season is your only choice. Statistically, the months in which Venice gets the least number of visitors are April, May, September, and November. 

Enjoying this post? Then you may also like our guide to spending 3 days in Tuscany and this guide to Tuscany in winter.

Where To Stay In Venice

Having in mind that Venice is a walkable city and exploring the city on foot is the only way to get around, it might be a good idea to stay somewhere near the city center. After all, if you have only one day in Venice, you’d want to make the most out of your time. Here are a few of our favorite hotels in Venice.


A couple of our favorite budget hotels in Venice include Casa BoccassiniIl Lato Azzuro, and Sherazade Sailinvenice. All three provide decent quality rooms with all amenities, are located in good locations, and are relatively affordable, at least for Venetian standards. If you need more tips on traveling in Italy for cheap, make sure to check out our guide to budget travel in Italy.


If you’re looking for some good mid-range hotels in Venice, we recommend Hotel Colombina which offers the unique opportunity to stay right on a canal without paying luxury, prices, Ai Mori d’Oriente, and Santa Croce Boutique Hotel. All three are some of the best value-for-money hotels you can find in Venice.


Lastly, if you’re looking to add some luxury to your stay in Venice, some of our favorite picks include Hotel DanieliHilton Molino, and San Clemente Palace.  

Now that we have covered some basics, let’s get to the meat and potatoes of this article…

Perfect Itinerary For One Day In Venice

In this section, we’ll show you a perfect one-day itinerary for Venice but if you don’t like some of our suggestions or have already seen some of them, we also include a list of a few other interesting tourist attractions in Venice as well.

Start At Dorsoduro 

dorsoduro venice

Located less than 1 kilometer away from Piazzale Roma (the main bus station of Venice that also happens to be near the railway station and the city’s port), Dorsoduro is a great starting point for your itinerary. Dorsoduro is also one of the quieter neighborhoods of Venice and if you ask me, it’s much better to start your day in a quieter place as you make your way to the city’s main attractions. You can also find a handful of bakeries and eateries where you can try some of the best Cicchetti (Venetian version of tapas) in Venice.

If you’re looking for a great tour that will allow you to explore the area, check out this amazing Dorsoduro walking tour.

Basilica di Santa Maria della Salute

Basilica di Santa Maria della Salute

Located on the narrow finger of Punta della Dogana between the Guidecca Canal and the Grand Canal, this basilica is one of the most beautiful cathedrals in Venice. The church was built in honor of Our Lady of Health during the great plaque that took thousands of lives in the 17th century. Today, the cathedral is famous for its beautiful exterior and the recognizable dome that soon became emblematic of the city (it’s one of the first things you can see when you enter Venice via the Bacino di San Marco) and inspired many famous artists throughout the years.

Admire Ponte dell’Accademia

Ponte dell Accademia

Just a few minutes away from the cathedral, you’ll come across Ponte dell Accademia; one of the four bridges of Venice that overlook the Grand Canal. The bridge is named after the Accademia di Belle Arti di Venezia that’s home to Venice’s main gallery. If you’re looking to take some beautiful photos of the iconic Grand Canal, this is one of the best places in Venice. This bridge links Dorsoduro to one of the most frequented parts of the city, Piazza San Marco.

The first thing you shouldn’t miss once crossing the bridge is to…

Climb Scala Contarini del Bovolo

Scala Contarini del Bovolo

This might not be the best viewpoint of Venice (as you’ll see later in this article) but it’s a lot less crowded and it offers a different perspective of the city. In addition to this, the tower itself is one of the most underrated architectural gems of Venice. You can use our affiliate link to book your entrance ticket in advance and get 10% off.

Check Out Rialto Bridge

rialto bridge

Dating back to the 12th century, Rialto Bridge is the oldest bridge in Venice and one of the city’s most prominent landmarks. The city connects the districts of San Marco and San Polo and once upon a time, this bridge was the only way to get from one district to the other. Today, this is one of the most famous tourist attractions in Venice and an area lined up with shops on both sides of the bridge. Right next to the bridge, you’ll also discover Rialto Market where you can find some delicious fresh produce, fish, and seafood if you want to make your own Venetian fest after a long day of exploring the city.

Walk Across Piazza San Marco

piazza san marco

Piazza San Marco is the most famous piazza (square) in Venice. It’s set right up against the lagoon and is one of the most bustling parts of the city. The area is home to a lot of cafes where you can enjoy a cup of coffee with a beautiful view of the lagoon and a myriad of beautiful old buildings in the background but that coffee will come at a price; Piazza San Marco is one of the priciest neighborhoods of Venice.

Explore St. Mark’s Basilica

st. mark basilica

St. Mark’s Basilica is one of the most prominent landmarks in Venice and its grandiose appearance is one of the first things you notice when you reach Venice by boat. The basilica is a unique architectural masterpiece that combines Byzantine, Romanesque, and Gothic elements. Its construction began in the 10th century and for years, it served as the episcopal seat of the Patriarch of Venice.

While you’re there, you should also climb to the top of the basilica’s campanile. Here, you’ll get to enjoy some of the most spectacular views of Venice but be prepared, it will be crowded. And since you have only one day in Venice, you shouldn’t waste your time waiting in queues. That’s why it’s probably a good idea to go for this great skip-the-line guided tour of the cathedral.

Tour Doge’s Palace

doge palace one day in venice

Built in 1340, Doge’s Palace served as the residence of the Doge of Venice, the supreme authority of the former Republic. In 1923, the palace was turned into a museum, and today, it’s probably the most famous museum in Venice and one of the city’s most important historical sites. If you would like to visit, it would be wise to allocate at least one hour of your time to explore the palace. Only the main hall covers 1,300 square feet and the palace is also home to one of the world’s largest paintings (covering 205 square meters).

And again, if you don’t like to spend any time waiting in queues, you should seriously consider this skip-the-line tour that also includes a skip-the-line entrance and a guided tour of St. Mark’s Basilica (both together cost only 80 euros). 

Enjoying this post? Then you may also like our list of the most beautiful medieval towns in Italy.

Visit The Bridge Of Sighs

bridge of sighs

The Bridge of Sighs is a beautifully-decorated bridge made of shiny, white limestone that connects the New Prison to the interrogation rooms of Doge Palace. The bridge is called the “Bridge of Sighs” because this would often be the last sight that a lot of Venice convicts would see before being taken to their cells. If you’d like to get a good view of the bridge and maybe click some photos, your next stop should be Riva degli Schiavoni, located between Doge’s Palace and the San Marco Campanile.

Discover Libreria Acqua Alta

Libreria Acqua Alta

Libreria Acqua Alta is probably the only library in the world that keeps its books in bathtubs, waterproof bins, and even gondolas. That way, if the library ever gets flooded which in Venice is always a possibility, the impressive collection of books would remain safe. This unusual but still charming site has led many to proclaim Libreria Acqua Alta as the most beautiful bookstore in the world.

Go On A Gondola Ride

gondola venice

I know, it’s a cliché but can you really say that you’ve been to Venice without going on a gondola ride? When your time is limited and you only have one day in Venice, the views from the water are one thing you wouldn’t want to miss. Firstly, because gondolas can move a lot faster than your feet, allowing you to see more of the city, and secondly because the views from the water are just magical.

While you’re on the water, you may even make it to some of the less frequented parts of Venice, such as…

Murano & Burano

burano one day in venice

Murano is a group of small islands lying around 1.5 kilometers north of Venice famous for the production of Venetian glass (they even have a whole museum dedicated to it), while Burano is a colorful island at the northern end of the lagoon, lying roughly 5 kilometers away from the Murano Islands. Burano is famous for its laid-back atmosphere, its colorful houses, as well as beautiful buildings and palaces that line up across the lagoon.  

If you’re looking for a great, cheap, and easy way to explore the islands of Venice, check out this Murano and Burano half-day trip. And if you’re looking for some great day trips from Venice, you might also like our guide to hiking the Dolomites (or if you’re looking to stay for longer, check out this article that will help you choose where to stay in the Dolomites).

Other Must-Visit Attractions In Venice

If you have some spare time, we warmly recommend checking some of the city’s museums. In the Gallerie dell’Accademia, you’ll find an impressive collection of Venetian paintings, the Peggy Guggenheim Collection is arguably the most important Italian museum of American and European art of the 20th century, and the Scuola Grande di San Rocco was the headquarters of the Venetian wealthy confraternity that was turned into a museum famous for its collection of paintings that among other things features some of Tintoretto’s finest work.

Some other sites that you should seriously consider visiting include Teatro La Fenice, home to the grand opera house, Caffe Florian, a lavish 18th-century coffeehouse, the Venetian Arsenal, the city’s iconic shipyard that was built in the 12th century, the Church of San Giorgio Maggiore, located on a small floating island that overlooks the lagoon, Giardini della Biennale, one of Venice’s prettiest and most famous gardens, and last but not least- the beautiful low-key barrier island of Pellestrina and its seawall.

Tours Of Venice

If you have only one day in Venice, a great way to get a detailed overview of this beautiful city is to take a walking tour. In this section, we’ll share a few great local tours that we have attended and have the most positive reviews, according to our research.

Venice- Private Gondola Ride with a guide along Canal Grande

Venetian Lagoon Tour and Galleon Dinner

Venice 3-Hour Local Street Food Tour

Ultimate Venice Walking Tour

Venice- Ghosts & Legends Walking Tour

Venice off the beaten track guided tour

Venice City Passes

Just like most other touristy cities in the world, Venice has a number of passes that allow visitors free admissions to a number of tourist attractions once purchasing the pass. Many of those passes might not work for you if you’re planning to spend only one day in Venice but a couple of great value-for-money options are this Venice City Pass by Turbopass that lets you visit pretty much all of the places we mentioned here (and many others) for only 74 euros and the Venice Museum Pass (for only 35 euros) that allows you to visit all of Venice’s museums free of charge.

Are you planning to spend one day in Venice? Was our 24 hours guide helpful? Do you think we forgot to mention something important? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments below.

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