We should know. We already went to Venice 4 times and explored the city and area.
So, what to do for one week in Venice or even just 2-3 days?
Well, you have just landed on the right page. This guide will help you answer your doubts and worries about your trip to the Floating City.
Our full guide covers:
- Basic Introduction
- Where to stay in Venice
- How to get around
- What to see in Venice
- Things to do in Venice
- Tickets you have to buy before – must read
- Food and Restaurants
- Day Trips from Venice
- Itinerary for Venice
- Packing List
- City Map
Through this guide, we will help you have a hassle-free trip in your 7 or just 5 days in Venice Itinerary. However, it does not matter how long you are planning to stay in Venice.
Hence, we will share with you great tips on where to go, what to eat and what to do in the Floating City of Italy.
And important: We cover the sights you have to pre-book your tickets too!
Our best tip is joining the tour of exclusive access to Doge’s Palace and St. Mark’s Basilica after hours. More info here.
We guarantee that you will love Venice the way we loved it. And maybe even more by your personal experience. There is always something new to discover about this romantic city that makes you long for more.
Only in Venice for 1 day?
Then you have to make the best out of it. Join the Venice in 1 day Tour. It covers the two main sights of St. Mark’s Basilica and Doge’s Palace and even a Gondola Ride.
Most importantly, all that you need to know is right here on this guide so look no further. Let us get you all excited as we welcome you to the City of Canals!
1. Basic Introduction
We want to start with a simple intro to the things you need to know before coming to Venice.
Currency: EUR (€)
Language Spoken: Venetian or Vèneto is the native language by Venetians. It is more closely related to French and Spanish than it is to Italian.
Even more, some people do know how to speak English but most don’t. However, people who work in the tourist trade generally speak enough English to better communicate with visitors.
Population: More than 260,000
Known for: Aside from its amazing beauty and canals, Venice is also known for its great art and rich culture. Among these are their historical buildings that show elaborate architecture. And of course their picturesque canals.
Moreover, the city of romance is also known for its iconic waterway plied by gondolas, water taxis, and canal boats.
Venice is a very popular tourist destination you don’t want to miss. An iconic Italian city that has been ranked the most beautiful city in the world.
Accommodation: Similar to the other cities in Italy, you can find great accommodations in Venice. From luxurious hotels to budget-friendly hostels and apartments, the city has it. Nevertheless, the location is super important to keep in mind.
Public Transport: Since Venice is the city of waters, the only kind in the world, is crossed through waterways.
Moreover, their number one transportation is through the Vaporetto boat. These boats move on the Grand Canal and take you to the islands of Lido, Murano, Burano, and Torcello.
You will navigate the city by walking. It is the best and fastest way.
More under how to get around.
Safety: Venice is a safe city generally speaking even for solo female travelers. On the other hand, being a popular tourist destination may attract its fair share of pickpockets and purse-snatchers.
Just like any other famous destinations, safety precautions should be done to avoid leading to undesirable situations.
Commonly, you are safe as long as you don’t fall off the gondolas.
Few other tips:
- Though it may be pleasing to feed the local pigeons, however, these birds can be quite annoying. Feeding them is no longer allowed in some areas. This is due to the destruction of art pieces and building surfaces in the area.
- There is a phenomenon in Venice that generally takes place in autumn or winter. This is known as the Acqua alta or periods of high water. Thus, if you are planning to visit during these times, the safest option is to choose a hotel in the upper part of town. Close to the railway station or Piazzale Roma.
- You are not allowed to sit down at Piazza San Marco.
City name: There are so many names that they call Venice. A few to mention are the “Queen of the Adriatic”, “City of Masks” and “City of Bridges”.
But it is most commonly called “The Floating City” or “City of Canals” being built on the waters.
Electricity: 230V/50Hz (European plug). Remember to pack your travel plug adapter.
2. Where to stay in Venice
As mentioned, there is plenty of beautiful hotels, apartments and budget hotels.
More than the type of accommodation, the location is key to keep an eye on.
Furthermore, we have listed down below our handpicked recommendations where you can stay. All according to the kind of your travel since we know how hard it is to navigate a place for the first time.
We also wrote a detailed guide on where to stay in Venice for first-time visitors.
Particularly, Venice is an old town that was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO since 1987. Moreover, it is an archipelago of 118 islands connected by numerous canals and bridges.
Above all, we have also made a map to better show you where these best places to stay are located.
Besides, included in the map are sights you should and might want to visit during your one week in Venice.
Our handpicked recommendations:
- Families: Hotel Bisanzio
- Couples: Splendid Venice – Starhotels Collezione
- Luxury Travelers: Belmond Hotel Cipriani
- Design Lovers: Palazzina Grassi
- Groups: Combo Venezia
- Great Airbnb: well located Apartment
- Solo Traveler: Anda Venice Hostel
- Nightlife Traveler: Generator Hostel Venice
- On a low budget: Hotel Giudecca Venezia
Furthermore, here we cover all neighborhoods, and for which type of traveler we recommend the areas and hotels.
2.1 Hotel Bisanzio – Best for Families
With less than a 10-minute walk to the famous‘s
The hotel features a personal terrace in some rooms. Certainly, your family will surely appreciate for one week in Venice.
Rooms are made of wood floors and are equipped with Murano-glass lamps and an LCD TV.
Moreover, they got the most awesome staff. From the moment you step into the hotel until you go on your way home. You can also the reception for guided tours if you still haven’t booked one yet.
Good to know: The hotel is managed by the same family since 1969. Thus, their staff will most certainly feel the vibes of a home.
2.2 Splendid Venice – Starhotels Collezione – Best for Couples
Offering one of the most amazing rooftop views in Venice, you got Splendid Venice – Starhotels Collezione.
Not only does it have a lovely terrace for a romantic date, but also offers marvelous views of the canals of Venice.
Moreover, the hotel provides a buffet breakfast that you can take advantage of in your one week in Venice. The hotel restaurant, Le Maschere serves traditional Venetian dishes and seafood you can always try.
You can also grab a drink and have a romantic night at the hotel’s Altana rooftop terrace bar. Aside from the amazing view, you got yourself a quiet place to enjoy the Venice ambiance.
Good to know: Pets are allowed at the hotel where they offer pet bowls and baskets. Plus, hotel facilities are wheelchair-friendly.
2.3 Belmond Hotel Cipriani – Best for Luxury Travelers
Stay with luxury on your one week in Venice in a 5-star hotel. Stay at Belmond Hotel Cipriani and be treated a celebrity.
Here is a big detailed guide on Boutique Hotels in Venice.
Belmond Hotel Cipriani features an elegant interior design. Plus plenty of outdoor areas where you are welcomed to relax and enjoy the view.
Aside from offering a very private space, the hotel features a lot of outdoor areas. A classic place where you can sit, relax and simply enjoy during your 7 days in Venice.
Moreover, rooms either offer a view of the lagoon or the garden and vineyard. Also, rooms are equipped with HD flat-screen TV plus an iPod docking station.
So if you want to enjoy beyond the ordinary and be served with world-class service, choose Belmond Hotel Cipriani.
Good to know: Since the hotel can only be reached by boat, you are entitled to a FREE boat ride transfer to the center of the city.
2.4 Palazzina Grassi – Best for Design Lovers
During your one week in Venice, be surrounded by mirror designs at hotel Palazzina Grassi.
Spoil yourself with beautiful Fornasetti and the remarkable signs by Starck. Truly, be amazed by the first Italian hotel designed by Philippe Starck, the only one in Venice.
Located right in the Grand Canal itself, Palazzina Grassi puts you in a great location for history, galleries, and museums.
Moreover, you should look forward to their divine and delicious food by Chef Fabio.
Good to know: The hotel offers live music and DJs you at the bar. Also, you can join the hotel’s pub crawls, walking tours and cooking classes. Without a doubt to further make the most of your trip to Venice.
2.5 Combo Hostel Venezia – Best for Group Travelers
Just a 10-minute walk from Rialto Bridge is Combo Venezia.
A place ideal for groups. Guests can choose among a dormitory, private room or an apartment.
Furthermore, the hostel features a common kitchen, lounge, and laundry area. Plus they also have a terrace with canal views.
Even more, there is also a bar and restaurant within the hostel.
Good to know: The hostel was an ancient monastery renovated to be what it is today so the atmosphere in the area is great.
2.6 Anda Venice Hostel – Best for Solo Travelers
If you are planning to stay in Mestre for your one week in Venice, then Anda Venice Hostel is the one for you.
The hostel features a bar and a common kitchen that you take advantage of during your stay.
The rooms are clean and cozy. Perfect to catch a good night’s sleep after a long tour in the city. Even more, there are vending machines available at the hostel for your convenience. So you don’t have to bother going out when you feel too lazy and just want to stay inside the hostel.
Furthermore, there are live sports events and live music to keep you entertained. There is also table tennis to play with.
Good to know: Pets are allowed in the hostel. Plus family rooms are also available.
2.7 Generator Hostel Venice – Best for Nightlife Traveler
Offering the best views of the city from the island of Guidecca across San Marco Square, you got the Generator Hostel Venice.
But if you’re looking for life when the night comes, don’t miss out to check out the hostel’s bar. Meet new acquaintances from people all over the world and chill with a few beers on the waters.
However, if you’re done with the hostel’s bar, you can join local bar hopping and pub crawls. Thus, better appreciate your nights for one week in Venice.
Good to know: There is a billiard table you can use while you have a drink or two.
2.8 Hotel Giudecca Venezia – CHEAP Deal
Get to enjoy a great hotel with a very budget-friendly offer. Stay at Hotel Giudecca Venezia.
Located on the island of Giudecca, the hotel offers elegant rooms with a very big space. Besides, each room is equipped with a minibar and a private bathroom.
Most of the rooms offer views of the Palada Canal.
Even more, St. Mark’s Square is only 10 minutes away through public transportation.
Good to know: Expect a breakfast buffet served at their glass house breakfast room with fresh fruits.
3. How to get around Venice
So, we have your accommodation set, now let us get out and explore.
Best for sightseeing: The Waterbus and Mainland Buses is one of the most convenient ways to see the Floating City. And without a doubt, admiring the stunning city from the water is a unique experience.
Book a ticket that allows for unrestricted use of public transportation services in:
- the city of Venice
- Lido and Murano Island
- Burano Island
- Torcello island
- as well as land buses in Mestre and Marghera.
Check more info and prices from 10.50€ for the Waterbus and Mainland Buses here.
Public transport: The most used public transport in the city is through the waterways.
The Vaporetto boats are the water buses. Taking you around the Grand Canal and its surrounding islands in a total of 20 lines. A single water bus ticket costs € 7.50, including the price of luggage up to 150cm which is good for 75 mins.
However, if you want an unlimited trip, you can purchase a travel card from the ACTV Service. Hence, make the most of your trip in your one week in Venice.
Bikes: First things first; you cannot ride a bike in Venice itself. It is simply impossible due to the narrow streets, all the bridges with its stairs, and the amount of people. Even if you could enter the city with a bike, you would push it all the time.
However, on the larger islands of Lido and Pellestrina, cycling is a pleasant way to get around or reach distant beaches. But specifically, biking is banned in Central Venice.
Furthermore, you can hire bikes by renting services located near the Vaporetto stop. You need an ID for rental and you must be 18 years above.
You can also book a 4-hour bike tour in Lido here.
Walking: Another great way to see the City of Canals is through walking. Aside from its healthy and free, it is more exciting to explore Venice on foot since it has a compact neighborhood.
See far better things like romantic alleys and bridges, stop over shops and taste the foods you meet on foot. But don’t you worry, getting lost is not a problem as long as you follow the Grand Canal.
Taxi: Particularly, in Venice, you have water taxis. These are smaller ships you can rent like a normal taxi with a driver.
Just like the regular taxis in other cities, water taxis can be rented individually. It can take you wherever you want any time of the day, all throughout the year.
Boat: Aside from the Vaporetto boat and water taxis, you can also use gondola in the City of Canals.
Gondolas are the common rowing boat. It is more likely to be part of your bucket list in one week in Venice. Don’t miss out on a serenade that can be requested to the boatman.
Find more details on a traditional shared Gondola experience here.
Car and Parking: You cannot enter Venice by car. Thus, it is a floating city with endless canals. If you come to Venice by car, you can park outside the city, near the train station. There is plenty of paid parking options outside the city.
4. What to see in Venice – The Must-Do’s
What to see in Venice? A very good question!
The only one of its kind in the world, truly Venice is one magnificent city you must pay a visit to. Time to feed your curiosity on how they have come to build marble palaces on waters.
Moreover, step foot on the world’s Floating City and see for yourself the amazing tourist destinations that they are known for.
Gondola Ride – A must
Read this part, this is important.
Generally, this is the number 1 thing to do in Venice: The Gondola Ride!
You may ask, is it worth it to take a Gondola Ride in Venice? Well, it can be quite a hassle to find and take one.
Hence, some Gondoliers are not as friendly and rush it. Meaning they don’t even appreciate it if you want to take more photos in a certain place.
Therefore, I recommend booking your ride with Get Your Guide.
Most importantly, it is easy, fast and there are no discussions.
Furthermore, on my first time in Venice, I looked and waited for a Gondola ride for about an hour. It was time-consuming and I lost interest.
On the 2nd time I got back I pre-booked it – and voila! I had an awesome time!
My best tip: Take the Gondola ride as early as possible. You can even ask the guide and let them know you’d like to see the canals away from the crowds! Hence, that will enrich your overall Gondola ride :)
Besides, we have made a list of the most essential places you need to see while you’re in one week in Venice.
But please do remember that there are certain places you need to book your ticket ahead of time to skip the long lines of waiting.
The Must Do’s are:
- Cruise the Grand Canal
- Explore the Doge’s Palace
- Visit La Fenice Opera House
- Enter St. Mark’s Basilica
- Tour Peggy Guggenheim Gallery
- Check out Murano, Torcello & Burano Islands – I would recommend these only when visiting for more than 2 days!
More great sights to see in Venice are:
- Ponte di Rialto
- Venice Lido
- Bridge of Sighs
- Church of Santa Maria dei Miracoli
- Basilica di Santa Maria Della Salute
- The Venice Lace Museum (Museo del Merletto)
- Murano Glass Museum (Museo del Vetro)
- Scala Contarini del Bovolo
- Squero di San Trovaso
- Rialto Market
PLUS, here are Festivals and exhibitions in Venice you might catch during your stay in one week in Venice:
- Art Biennale by Venice Biennale – a contemporary visual art exhibition and it is held biennially (in odd-numbered years)
- Carnevale di Venezia – an annual festival that ends with the Christian celebration of Lent, forty days before Easter. World-famous for its elaborate masks. This period is always super busy and prices are up!
5. Things to do in Venice
In Venice, there are about 15,000 buildings, among them 900 palaces and 105 churches. Thus, these buildings spread over more than 120 islands.
For that reason, there are endless lists of things you could do in your one week in Venice. But to better highlight your travel, we have made a list of the most essential and most exciting things you can do in the Floating City.
Accordingly, here are the lists of things to do for one week in Venice.
We collected for you a great list of cool Things To Do in Venice:
- 33 fun and cool things to do in Venice Italy
- 15 Romantic things to do in Venice for Couples
- 10 Best things to do with KIDS in the City of Canals
- 4 Unique things to do in Venice at night
- 18 Most Instagrammable places you should capture
Here are more ideas:
- Take a Gondola ride
- Join the Venice Carnival in February
- Cross the Rialto Bridge
- Do Kayaking
- Learn the art of Venetian mask decorating
- Get lost in Venice
- Legendary St. Mark’s square and Doge’s Palace
What about Burano and Murano?
The islands of Burano, Murano and Lido are nearby Venice. It is just 30 minutes boat-ride away.
It is worth it to visit Burano and Murano?
Yes, but only if you stay longer than 2 days in Venice.
Further, when staying only 1 or 2 days in Venice, I would spend my time downtown in the main area. There is so much to explore from beautiful cafés, libraries, museums, bridges, and churches.
But if you are staying for 3 days in Venice, then yes, visit Burano and Murano.
Check out the bot excursion to the Murano, Torcello & Burano Islands.
6. Tickets you have to buy before (Must Read)
I sincerely hope you are reading this section carefully! Certainly, it will make a difference.
This is important so you actually can enter the places you would love to see from the inside.
There are exactly two tickets you have to buy beforehand:
My best tip: For the most unique experience, I recommend joining a combined tour of Exclusive Access to Doge’s Palace and St. Mark’s Basilica.
What does that mean?
It means, you and a group of max 15 people enter both sights after hour – exclusively! You will explore the crypt, the famous main alter of Byzantine altarpiece, the Pala d’Or, and the 18th century prisons.
6.1 Doge’s Palace
The Doge’s Palace is the top historical sight to see when in your Venice. It is a notorious landmark that tells a compelling tale about the city. Therefore, lines are expected to be very long.
That is why we highly suggest that you need to book your tickets ahead of time. Use your ticket to the priority entrance.
However, the secret itineraries tour is compulsory if you want to see off-limits areas of the Doge’s Palace in Venice. Explore the secret chambers and hidden corridors with an expert guide. This is highly to sell out since they have a limit in letting people in so don’t forget to book in advance.
My best tip: Join the Tour by Walks Of Italy! Their tour guides are amazing, fun and easy to listen to. We joined their tours in Venice, Barcelona and Athens already.
The tour “Legendary Venice: St. Mark’s Basilica & Doge’s Palace Tour” takes you to the inside of the both most important sights in Venice. It takes around 3 hours, you skip the lines and you always have a group of less than 25.
This is really worth it!
6.2 St. Mark’s Basilica
The number one religious sight in Venice is St. Mark’s Basilica.
Generally admired because of its incredible gilded mosaics & art from around the world up-close.
And of course, a must-see destination with the breath-taking views of the Floating City from above.
Just like the top tourist sights in Venice, St. Mark’s Basilica also has its long lines of people waiting. Especially for the reason that admission to see parts of the ground floor is free. Therefore, we suggest that you book ahead of time.
The best tour however: Exclusive Access to the St Marks Basilica after hours!
This means, you and a group of max 15 people enter this magnificent St. Mark’s Basilica all by yourself!
You will have the unique experience of the night time lighting on the ceiling of the basilica and there is no one around. It was hard to believe we are in Venice right now; so many tourists, yet we are with a small group in that main sight!
You can book this tour again only with Walks Of Italy here.
Due to limited access, it is sold out really fast. So plan ahead and pre-book your ticket!
Good to know:
- It is generally quieter in the early morning or the afternoon later than 13:00.
- However, the ceiling is usually lit from 11:30 to 12:45.
- Night visits are similarly beautiful lit but the tours are expensive
- Even fairly small bags must be handed in before getting in. But the good thing is that visitors with a checked bag get a plastic token that gives priority admission to the church.
- Proper dress code is advised; shoulders and knees should be covered, even in high summer.
6.3 Peggy Guggenheim Museum
The Peggy Guggenheim Collection is among the most important museums in Italy for European and American art of the first half of the 20th century.
Tourists can explore the museum to find art by Picasso, Ernst, Magritte, Calder, and many other avant-garde artists.
Worth visiting sight in Venice that flocks tourists. Thus, booking your tickets in advance lets you skip the long lines and lets you save more time for your trip.
6.4 Optional yet recommended: Gondola Ride
I already mentioned it before. And I want to emphasize this again.
Specifically, I recommend pre-booking your gondola ride. For this, I always use Get Your Guide.
Thus, this is much easier, less hassle and more free time for you.
Even more, I also like that I can ask the Gondolier specific requests beforehand. For instance, I mentioned earlier that I recommend taking a Gondola Ride as early as possible. This is to avoid the caravan lines of Gondolas queuing up.
Another thing, I would also ask the Gondolier to take the canal less traveled. This gives you a bit more freedom to relax and soak in the ambiance.
7. Food & Restaurants
When visiting a place especially for the first time, it will require you more than just sightseeing. You are also asked to impart yourself through their food.
Tasting and learning their food in Venice will give you a better understanding of the city. Beyond what the eyes can see, you taste their passion and history in their food.
Hence, we have made lists of places you need to try and foods you should not skip tasting before heading home from your one week in Venice.
First of all, don’t miss to try out the 5 traditional foods you can only eat in Venice.
Best read: Also, choose among these best restaurants in Venice to eat like a queen and king.
Looking for the best coffee? Check out these 5 best coffee shops in Venice to grab a great coffee.
Best Thing to do: Join a Food tour
If you want to make sure you experience all the traditional Venetian food, join a food tour.
Above all, it is the full experience, and includes all the snacks and drinks you want to try around town:
Cichetti, spritz, Fritti, Spaghetti Sepia Nera, wine, and even after meal Italian coffee to name a few.
Furthermore, the Food tour by Walks Of Italy covers everything you need to know about Venice – the food and culture.
Besides, you will also:
- take a walk through the local market
- get insider tips
- take a gondola ride in the Rialto area
We joined this Local Food Tour and were captivated by the Venetian cuisine.
8. Day Trips from Venice
Venice is a uniquely charming city and has plenty to keep you occupied.
Nevertheless, while you’re in one week in Venice, you might also want to explore beyond the Floating City. And much more, see its neighboring cities even for a day.
There are many options for you. Feel free to choose among these 7 similarly beautiful places from Venice.
- Padua and the Scrovegni Chapel
- The medieval walls and art of Treviso
- Vicenza – the city of Palladio
- Volcanic spas and butterfly farms in Montegrotto
- Dolomites Mountain (yet best for more days)
- Float down the Brenta Canal past Palladian villas
- Ferrara – a dynastic city and foodie paradise
- Florence – read my guide to one week in Florence
You can check out more details about the amazing day trips below.
9. Itinerary for 7 days
When spending a week in Venice, you can explore the city itself and its surroundings.
Just like we have mentioned in the beginning, we are here to gladly help you out on your trip for 5 or 7 days in Venice. Even more, it warms our heart to give a hand to other travelers to have an astounding trip.
7 days is quite a lot for Venice only.
Therefore, make sure you plan ahead of time. Visit as well the islands around Venice like Burano and Murano.
I would also add Bologna and Verona to your bucket list as day trips. Moreover, the area is easy to reach by train and worth to visit.
Here you can join a great Romeo&Juliet’s day trip from Venice.
Furthermore, below are guides and itineraries that can assist you in 7-days in Venice.
Only in Venice for 1 day?
Then you have to make the best out of it. Join the Venice in 1 day Tour. It covers the two main sights of St. Mark’s Basilica and Doge’s Palace and even a Gondola Ride.
10. Packing List
There are a few things we recommend for your packing list Venice.
Optional but always useful:
11. Printed Guides & Map
These guides are best for the ones looking for a printed version.
I recommend buying one of the following guides. The maps in Venice cost money. The tourism board does not hand out free maps anymore.
- Lonely Planet Pocket Travel Guide Venice
- Rick Steves Pocket Travel Guide Venice
- DK Eyewitness Travel Guide Venice and the Veneto
- National Geographic Walking Venice: The Best of the City
Here is again our map of Venice with the recommended hotels and neighborhoods.
Questions? Contact us
I tried to make this guide as useful and complete as possible. However, chances are you still have questions left.
Therefore, any questions? Anything not clear?
Please get in touch with us, I would be very happy to help. I want to make this guide as useful as possible for you. You see, your question helps me as well.
Do not be shy and send me an email.