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One Day in Venice: Things to Do in Venice, Italy

things to do in one day in venice

Is it even possible to experience Venice in one day? The endless canals, labyrinths, and similar-looking gondolas gliding through them with their gondoliers, who for some reason, reminded me of Popeye the sailor man and the aristocratic buildings are too many that you end up feeling overwhelmed. Well, I was. But my partner and I indeed did Venice in one day, a sort of day trip from the nearby beach town Cavallino-Treporti, the tail of Jesolo, the elongated peninsula—now our favorite beach destination simply because it is the nearest from Munich, some 7 hours away by car. (Tell me about it.) When we were kinda fed up by the beach, not really, but I was simply curious to see Venice, which is reachable by boat from Cavallino-Treporti through Punta Sabbioni. So off we went and experienced one day in Venice, so consider this as your rough guide to the best things to do in Venice in one day.

Ticketed Places You Should Book Online

Here is the thing, if you only have one day in Venice, you don’t want to spend that lining up for popular destinations when in fact you can easily book them online for the same price, if not cheaper. Listed down some of the best ticketed places in Venice worth every penny. You can also browse lots of Venice tours and ticketed places on getyourguide.com or viator.com

Venice: Highlights Tour, St. Mark’s Basilica & Doge’s Palace
Venice: Doge’s Palace Reserved Entry Ticket
From Venice: Murano and Burano Half-Day Island Tour by Boat
Venice: Doge’s Palace Skip-the-Line Ticket with Guidebook
Doge’s Palace & St. Mark’s Basilica with Terrace Access Tour

Where to stay in Venice

Yeah, sure, you might be saying that I’m only in Venice for one day, but you will never know. My job here is to give you options in case you change your mind.

We Weigh in: The Best Time to Visit Venice, Italy in 2024
Is Venice Worth Visiting: Venice on a Shoestring
20 Affordable Hotels in Venice with Canal View
One Day in Venice: Things to do in Venice

Brunch at St. Mark’s Square

things to do in one day in venice
Hmm, my dress is kinda similar to the gondoliers’ summer uniform!

Venice offers some delightful brunch options near St. Mark’s Square. Here are five places where you can enjoy a morning meal. These options are conveniently situated for a brunch near St. Mark’s Square, and each provides its own unique ambiance and menu to suit different tastes and budgets.

1. Caffè Florian: One of the world’s oldest cafes, Caffè Florian, offers a luxurious brunch experience in the heart of St. Mark’s Square. Their breakfast menu includes pastries, omelets, and coffee in an opulent 18th-century setting.

2. Gran Caffè Quadri: Located right on St. Mark’s Square, Gran Caffè Quadri offers a refined brunch with a view. Their menu features a variety of pastries, omelets, and traditional Italian breakfast items.

3. Café Lavena: Another historic cafe on St. Mark’s Square, Café Lavena, offers a classic Venetian breakfast experience. Sip coffee while taking in the square’s views and enjoying pastries.

4. Ristorante Quadri: Adjacent to Gran Caffè Quadri, Ristorante Quadri offers a gourmet brunch experience. Their menu includes a selection of traditional and modern Venetian dishes.

st marks square is one of the many things you can do in venice in one day
My partner whispering to me: this is so embarrassing!

5. Gelateria Nico: If you’re looking for a more casual brunch, Gelateria Nico, located near St. Mark’s Square, serves delicious gelato and sandwiches. It’s a great spot for a quick and tasty morning bite.

St. Mark’s Square

St. Mark’s Square in Venice is where your Venetian exploration begins. This bustling square hosts St. Mark’s Basilica, the Doge’s Palace, and the Campanile. To escape the crowds and enjoy a serene experience, make it a point to arrive early in the morning. This way, you can appreciate the beauty of these landmarks at your own pace and without the usual tourist rush, making the most of your visit to this historic square

St. Mark’s Basilica

saint mark's basilica venice
Look at that 10AM line outside Saint Mark’s Basilica

When you’re in Venice, a visit to St. Mark’s Basilica is a must. Inside, you’ll be captivated by the intricate mosaics that adorn this historic church. Don’t forget to climb up to the balcony for a unique perspective, offering a cool view of both the bustling square below and the city’s charming streets.

Pro tip: Arrive early to beat the crowds, and consider wearing attire that covers your shoulders and knees as a sign of respect when visiting this religious site.

Doge’s Palace

Doge’s Palace, or Palazzo Ducale, is a captivating piece of Venetian history. This grand Venetian Gothic building once housed the city’s political center, making it a must-see. As you tour its majestic chambers, take time to appreciate the intricate architecture and the vast collection of art and artifacts.

doge's palace is one of the must visits in Venice.

Don’t miss the adjacent Bridge of Sighs, a picturesque spot with a storied history. Pro tip: Purchase a Venice Card in advance to skip the long ticket lines. Also, consider opting for a guided tour to gain deeper insights into the palace’s rich history and significance.

The Rialto Bridge

The Rialto Bridge in Venice is a historic icon that spans the Grand Canal. As one of the city’s most famous landmarks, it offers a great spot to capture stunning photos and soak in the bustling Venetian life. With its distinctive architecture and vibrant atmosphere, the bridge is not just a crossing but an attraction in itself.

Rialto Bridge, Venice 1 day in venice italy

Tip: Visit early in the morning to avoid the crowds and experience the charm of this ancient bridge in relative peace. Also, explore the shops along the bridge, offering an array of souvenirs, jewelry, and local products, but be prepared for touristy prices. By midday, this place is already so packed.

Lunch at Rialto Market

For a satisfying lunch in Venice, head to the Rialto area. After taking in the iconic Rialto Bridge, make your way to the nearby Rialto Market, a bustling hub of local flavors and fresh produce. Here, you can indulge in authentic Venetian cuisine, whether it’s a seafood risotto, a tasty panini, or a serving of cicchetti (Venetian tapas).

Indulge in fresh seafood in Rialto Market

The market’s vibrant atmosphere and diverse food options make it an ideal spot to refuel and experience the culinary side of the city. Don’t forget to pair your meal with a local wine or a refreshing Aperol spritz to complete the Venetian dining experience.

Wander its winding streets

In the afternoon, Venice invites you to wander its winding streets and picturesque canals. Embrace the spirit of discovery as you meander through the enchanting labyrinth of alleys and bridges. While it’s easy to get lost, don’t forget to find your way to the Grand Canal, the city’s main aquatic artery.

1 day itinerary venice

For a unique perspective, hop on a vaporetto, the Italian water bus, and cruise along the Grand Canal. This journey unveils the essence of Venice, showcasing its elegant palaces and lively waterfront activity. So, get lost in the city’s charm and then reorient yourself with a delightful ride along its iconic waterway.

Murano Island

A short vaporetto ride from Venice, Murano Island awaits with its renowned glass-blowing craftsmanship. As you arrive, you’ll soon understand why it’s famous worldwide for its stunning glass creations. Roam the quaint streets and visit the local workshops to witness master glassblowers at work. A glassblowing demonstration is a must-see, offering insight into the delicate artistry that has made Murano famous.

While here, you can also shop for exquisite glassware, from delicate vases to intricate jewelry, and take home a piece of this island’s artistic heritage as a lasting memento of your Venetian adventure.

From Venice: Murano and Burano Half-Day Island Tour by Boat

Late afternoon gondola ride

Late afternoon gondola rides in Venice offer a magical and serene experience. As the day gently transitions into evening, the city’s charming canals take on a golden hue, creating an enchanting atmosphere. Glide through narrow waterways and under arched bridges while the fading sunlight casts a warm glow on the historic buildings.

one day in venice: gondola rides

It’s a time when the bustling daytime crowds subside, allowing for a more intimate and peaceful journey. Whether you’re with a loved one or enjoying the solo tranquility, a late afternoon gondola ride is the perfect way to soak in the romantic ambiance of this unique city and create lasting memories. <3

Dine by the waterways

Venice is a city of romance, and dining next to the waterways adds a special touch to your evening. Here are five romantic dinner options in Venice with picturesque canal-side views.

PRO TIP: Reservations are recommended, especially during the peak tourist season, to secure the best waterside seats for your romantic dinner in Venice.

1. Antico Martini: Located near St. Mark’s Square, this historic restaurant offers an elegant dining experience with outdoor seating along the Grand Canal. Enjoy Venetian and Italian cuisine in a charming setting.

2. Ristorante Riviera: This intimate restaurant is nestled along the picturesque Zattere promenade. It’s known for its seafood and Venetian specialties, and you can savor your meal while watching gondolas pass by on the Giudecca Canal.

3. Algiubagio: Situated in the Dorsoduro district, Algiubagio provides a romantic atmosphere by the Giudecca Canal. Their menu features a fusion of traditional and modern Venetian dishes.

4. Locanda Cipriani: Located on Torcello Island, this historic inn offers a serene escape from the bustling city. Dine in their lush garden by the water and savor gourmet Venetian cuisine.

5. Il Refolo: Found in the Cannaregio neighborhood, this charming restaurant features canal-side seating. It’s perfect for a cozy, romantic evening with a menu focusing on local Venetian flavors.


There you have it. By nine or ten in the evening, you must be exhausted to the bone for cramming everything gorgeous, historical, beautiful and hopefully memorable places in Venice in one day.

Till the next city,

Jona of backpackingwithabook.com

Jona of Backpacking with a Book

Hi there, I’m Jona, originally from Cebu, Philippines, had live in Hanoi, Vietnam, and now currently based in Munich, Germany. This blog used to house thoughts on life and books, but eventually it morphed into a travel blog. For collaborations, projects, and other things, please email me at backpackingwithabook@gmail.com. For essays, creative nonfiction, and others, find me elsewhere.

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