A perfect day in Venice

From cruising the Grand Canal to taking tea on Piazza San Marco, Venice is home to a plethora of things to do. Here's our guide on how to spend the perfect 24 hours in this iconic Italian city.
Canal Grande with Basilica di Santa Maria della Salute in Venice, Italy
Canal Grande with Basilica di Santa Maria della Salute in Venice, Italy

9.00am: Meander around a morning market

Feast your eyes on the fish, fruit and vegetables of the Rialto markets where stalls have been in business for more than 1,000 years. Watch the barges offloading at the quayside, then browse in local delis for spices, coffee and cheeses.

10.00am: Cruise along the Grand Canal

From the Rialto take vaporetto (water taxi) No. 1 in the San Marco/Lido direction. Glide past the parade of palaces and alight at Accademia.

Venice's Grand Canal.Venice's Grand Canal. Photo: Shutterstock

11.00am: Make time for a gallery visit

You’re now in the sestiere of Dorsoduro, home to the Accademia and Guggenheim galleries. Explore the revamped Accademia, housing the world’s greatest collection of Venetian art, before watching the water traffic from the Accademia Bridge.

1.00pm: Dine with a view

Take your pick from the open-air cafés and restaurants on the Zattere, the panoramic quayside skirting the southern side of the Dorsoduro. For dessert try Gelateria Nico, one of the best ice cream parlours in town.

2.00pm: Take a gentle stroll

Stretch your legs along the Zattere, popping into the Gesuati church to check out the Tiepolo ceiling. Head to the tip of the peninsula where the Punta della Dogana has been transformed into a cutting-edge , then go admire the monumental La Salute basilica.

A row of gondolas moored beside the Riva degli Schiavoni in Venice, Italy.A row of gondolas moored beside the Riva degli Schiavoni in Venice, Italy. Photo: duchy / Shutterstock

3.00pm: Indulge in a Bellini... Or two!

Hop on a vaporetto to Vallaresso landing stage across the Grand Canal. Pass Harry’s Bar (popping in for a bellini if you can’t resist) and head north to Salizzada San Moisé and Calle Larga XXII Marzo to browse some of the smartest shops in town.

4.00pm: Take tea in Piazza San Marco

Splash out on tea at Caffè Florian in Piazza San Marco, then wander along the Riva degli Schiavoni quayside, taking in the views across to the island of San Giorgio Maggiore.

Venice's Piazza San Marco at sunrise.Venice's Piazza San Marco at sunrise. Photo: Shutterstock

6.30pm: Enjoy a drink with the locals

Leave the crowds behind and explore the streets and squares of the Castello region behind the Riva. Join the locals in a bar for an ombrà (glass of wine), Prosecco or spritz (a Venetian aperitif), accompanied by cichetti, tapas-like snacks.

8.00pm: Experience a romantic dinner on the Zattere

Enjoy a romantic dinner in Linea d’Ombra a simple, elegant design-conscious restaurant that is challenging Venetian stereotypes.

10.00pm: Make your last drink count... 

Cross the Giudecca canal by vaporetto to Skyline, a cool rooftop haunt in the Hilton Molino Stucky, suspended over the lagoon. With its superb views and stylish cocktails, Skyline is the best way to end your day in Venice.

Ready for a trip to Venice?

Our local experts can help you to plan, organise and book fantastic trips to Venice. Simply contact us with details of your ideas for the trip and when you would like to visit. We will then will plan an itinerary based on your personal preferences. You can amend it until you're happy with every detail before you book. Seek inspiration in our existing Venice itineraries, and don't forget that all our planned itineraries can be fully customised to suit your specific needs.

Updated 31 August, 2018