Are you looking for an epic Venice 3-day itinerary? You have come to the right place! From wandering its picturesque canals to visiting the impressive St Mark’s Basilica and going on an island-hopping adventure, this travel guide is perfect for first-time visitors or a long weekend getaway. It will show you all the unique things to do and see to make the most of your time in the Floating City.
I visited Venice in December for New Year’s Eve with my partner Matt, and we both loved it! We spent most of our time getting lost in its narrow alley, drinking Spritz or stopping at its many museums and galleries. It was a great and relaxing trip. It is also a destination I highly recommend to all couples on a romantic escape!
Even though Venice is a compact city, you will find plenty of places to visit and hidden gems. A short break in the Floating City offers an excellent opportunity for unforgettable experiences, such as gondola rides, delicious Venetian cuisine or sunsets over the Grand Canal.
So, are you excited? Keep reading this city guide to discover the perfect Venice 3-day itinerary covering the top things to do and enjoy your vacation stress-free, without rushing. You will also find practical eco-friendly tips for responsible travel at the end. Enjoy!
My Venice experience:
Duration 6 Days
Dates visited Dec 29 - Jan 03
Disclosure: Some of the links below are affiliate links, meaning that at no additional cost to you, we will receive a commission if you click through and make a purchase. For more information, read our full affiliate disclosure.
- Overview: what to see in Venice in 3 days
- Venice 3-day itinerary – Map
- Detailed Venice 3-day itinerary
- Day 1 – San Marco & Castello
- 1- Admire the Palazzo Contarini del Bovolo
- 2- Tour the Teatro La Fenice
- 3- Stop at the Parish Church of Saint Moisè
- 4- Explore St Mark’s Square
- 5- Visit the Doge’s Palace
- 6- Take a photo of the Bridge of Sighs
- 7- Stroll along the Riva degli Schiavoni
- 8- Step inside the Libreria Acqua Alta
- 9- Discover the Venetian Arsenal
- 10- Go on a kayaking trip at sunset
- Day 2 – Cannaregio, San Polo & Dorsoduro
- 1- Explore Cannaregio & the Venetian Ghetto
- 2- Walk across the Rialto Bridge
- 3- Wander the Rialto Market
- 4- Stop by the Basilica S.Maria Gloriosa dei Frari
- 5- Discover the Scuola Grande di San Rocco
- 6- Have a café on Campo Santa Margherita
- 7- Take in the views from Ponte dell’Accademia
- 8- Tour the Gallerie dell’Accademia
- 9- Visit the Peggy Guggenheim Collection
- 10- Marvel at the Basilica di Santa Maria della Salute
- Day 3 – Island Hopping
- Gondola tours I recommend
- How to get to Venice
- How to get around Venice
- Where to stay in Venice for 3 days
- Best time to visit Venice
- How to reduce your eco-impact in Venice
- Venice travel planning guide
- 3 days in Venice, Italy – FAQ
Overview: what to see in Venice in 3 days
1- Palazzo Contarini del Bovolo
2- Teatro La Fenice
3- Church of Saint Moisè
4- St Mark’s Square
5- Doge’s Palace
6- Bridge of Sighs
7- Riva degli Schiavoni
8- Libreria Acqua Alta
9- Venetian Arsenal
10- Kayaking tour
1- Venetian Ghetto
2- Rialto Bridge
3- Rialto Market
4- Basilica dei Frari
5- Scuola Grande di San Rocco
6- Campo Santa Margherita
7- Ponte dell’Accademia
8- Gallerie dell’Accademia
9- Peggy Guggenheim
10- Basilica della Salute
Or go island hopping:
Looking for the perfect Florence itinerary? Check out this article:
Florence Travel Guide: Epic 3-Day Itinerary
Venice 3-day itinerary – Map
Click on the top left of the map to display the list of stops and locations.
Detailed Venice 3-day itinerary
This Venice guide covers all the best things to do and see in 3 days and is perfect for travelling with family, friends or as a couple, whether it is your first time in the city or you have been there before.
On the other hand, remember that this itinerary is only a guide with recommendations. You can spend more days in the floating city or add other stops to your city break.
Day 1 – San Marco & Castello
1- Admire the Palazzo Contarini del Bovolo
Your first day in Venice begins in the San Marco district, the tourist heart of the floating city, where you will find many iconic cultural and historical landmarks.
You will first stop at the Palazzo Contarini del Bovolo (Scala Contarini del Bovolo), a restored 15th-century palace known for its distinctive and elegant architectural feature, an external multi-arch spiral staircase called the Bovolo, meaning snail in Venetian.
Marvel at the palace from the outside to get a closer look at its combination of diverse architectural styles, including Gothic, Renaissance and Byzantine elements. Then, step inside to enjoy stunning views from the arcade at the top of the stairs. You will benefit from an impressive panorama of Venice and its canals.
🎟️ Book your entrance: Palazzo Contarini del Bovolo Entrance Ticket.
2- Tour the Teatro La Fenice
Not far from the palace, you will find the Teatro La Fenice, one of the most famous and prestigious opera houses in Italy and the world. Today, it is a vital cultural institution and an iconic symbol of Venice, perfect for travellers who want to experience world-class opera performances in a stunning setting.
Its name translates to The Phoenix in English, symbolising its historical resilience and ability to rise from the ashes, as the theatre has been rebuilt and restored several times throughout its history.
The best way to truly immerse yourself in the opera world is to tour the building with an audio guide. You will be able to admire its gorgeous interior and learn more about its rich heritage. And if you are lucky enough, you can also catch a show, but check out the timetable in advance to plan your visit accordingly.
🎟️ Book your entrance: La Fenice Opera House Entry Ticket with Audio Guide.
3- Stop at the Parish Church of Saint Moisè
You will continue your journey through Venice with a stop at the Parish Church of Saint Moisè (Chiesa Parrocchiale di San Moisè), a beautiful and historic Roman Catholic church combining 8th-century origins, a Baroque facade from 1668 and an interior filled with art.
You can appreciate the church not only for its religious significance but also for its stunning architecture, beautiful artwork and its role as a cultural and musical venue in Venice.
Take the time to admire its external facade decorated with large columns and intricate adornments. Then, step inside to learn more about its past and marvel at other decorative elements, sculptures and captivating artwork.
4- Explore St Mark’s Square
It is time to explore one of the most iconic squares in Venice and the world, St Mark’s Square (Piazza San Marco), a cultural centrepiece and gathering place dating back to the 12th century, dominated by St. Mark’s Basilica, one of the most important religious sites in the city.
Once the political and religious centre of the Venetian Republic, you will find many influential monuments around the square, such as the Doge’s Palace, St. Mark’s Basilica and the Campanile. It is the ideal place to stroll around, enjoy a café with stunning views or explore its many historical buildings and galleries.
Here are a few things to do and see around the famous square:
St Mark’s Basilica
It is impossible not to mention St Mark’s Basilica (Basilica di San Marco) on this 3-day Venice itinerary. Dominating St Mark’s Square, the Basilica is an impressive cathedral known for its Byzantine architecture, beautiful mosaics and on-site museum.
Marvel at its exterior adorned with marble columns and decorative details. Then, tour its interior to learn more about the landmark and uncover captivating mosaic artworks renowned for their complex elements, golden backgrounds and vibrant colours.
You will also come across the Pala d’Oro, an exceptional altarpiece, and the Treasure Room, home to a collection of precious religious artefacts.
🎟️ Book your entrance: Mark’s Basilica Fast-Track Entry and Audio Guide.
St Mark’s Campanile
Next to the Basilica, you will find St Mark’s Campanile (Campanile di San Marco), an imposing 16th-century bell tower with an angel-topped spire and belfry offering panoramic views of Venice and the square.
The campanile rises to a height of approximately 99 meters and is a fine example of Venetian Gothic architecture, making it a popular tourist attraction on any sightseeing itinerary.
It is also accessible to everyone as you can go up via an elevator. From the top, enjoy the scenic views of Venice, the Venetian Lagoon and the surrounding islands. It is the perfect activity for a unique perspective on the layout and architecture of the city.
🎟️ Book your entrance on the official website.
5- Visit the Doge’s Palace
Still around St Mark’s Square, you will come across the Doge’s Palace (Palazzo Ducale), a magnificent example of Venetian Gothic architecture and an important historical and cultural site.
The palace is a testament to the wealth, power and artistic grandeur of the Venetian Republic. It serves today as a living museum, offering a perfect glimpse into the glorious past of the city.
The best way to discover this historic gem is by touring its interior. Book your entrance in advance to explore the centre of a 1000-year republic, marvel at its impressive architecture and walk across the Bridge of Sighs (Ponte dei Sospiri), an enclosed bridge connecting the palace to the adjacent prison.
🎟️ Book your entrance: Doge’s Palace Reserved Entry Ticket.
6- Take a photo of the Bridge of Sighs
Another way to discover the Bridge of Sighs (Ponte dei Sospiri) is by heading to Ponte della Paglia to have another perspective on the bridge and take some photos.
This iconic arched bridge was built in a Baroque style from white limestone and takes its name from the romantic legend that prisoners would sigh as they crossed it, catching their last glimpse of the outside world before entering the prison.
Today, the Bridge of Sighs is an enduring symbol of Venice, known for its unique blend of beauty and melancholy whilst it continues to capture the imagination of travellers around the world.
7- Stroll along the Riva degli Schiavoni
You continue your walk through Venice with a stroll along the Riva degli Schiavoni, a picturesque and iconic promenade located along the northern edge of the historic centre of Venice, bordering the Venetian Lagoon.
Not only a beautiful waterfront promenade with historic significance, it is also a lively area with plenty of things to do. Enjoy some of the most beautiful views of the lagoon, take a leisurely stroll, watch artists and street performers, stop at an outdoor café or treat yourself to a shopping spree with Venetian souvenirs.
And if you have time, you can also return here in the evening to relax and appreciate a stunning sunset!
8- Step inside the Libreria Acqua Alta
Your next stop on your first day in Venice will be the Libreria Acqua Alta, located in the Castello district. It is a unique and cosy bookstore well-known for its quirky and creative approach to showcasing new and used books and for its adaptation to the frequent flooding in the city.
Step inside to discover books of all genres arranged in bathtubs, waterproof bins and even a full-sized gondola in the middle of the store to keep them dry in the event of flooding – a real treat for photo enthusiasts.
And for the cat lovers out there, you have come to the right place! The bookstore is also home to several resident cats, which have become a beloved part of its character, adding to the relaxed and distinctive atmosphere.
9- Discover the Venetian Arsenal
Not far from the bookstore, you will come across the Venetian Arsenal (Arsenale di Venezia), a Byzantine shipyard and naval complex founded in 1104. It is one of the most significant and influential shipyards in the history of maritime architecture and engineering.
Today, the Venetian Arsenal is still used for a variety of purposes, including naval activities, ship repair and as a venue for cultural events, exhibitions and festivals. It is also home to the Venice Biennale, one of the most prestigious contemporary art exhibitions in the world.
Parts of the Arsenal are open to the public, such as the Naval History Museum and some historic buildings, where you can explore the rich history of the site and learn about the maritime legacy of Venice – the ideal activity for families with children.
🎟️ Check out this tour: Castello District Private Walking Tour.
10- Go on a kayaking trip at sunset
Continue exploring the Castello district by getting lost in its picturesque streets, or end your first day in Venice with an unforgettable kayaking tour at sunset.
You will explore the canals from a different perspective, meet locals and learn more about the rich history of the city thanks to an experienced local guide.
The group are kept small for an intimate experience, and beginners are, of course, welcome. Plus, it is a fun and eco-friendly way to discover the floating city, which I highly recommend you try!
🎟️ Book your tour: 5-Kilometer Sunset Kayaking Class with Gear.
Day 2 – Cannaregio, San Polo & Dorsoduro
1- Explore Cannaregio & the Venetian Ghetto
Your second day in Venice will begin in the Cannaregio district. There are many things to do and see in this neighbourhood, but your first stop will be the Venetian Ghetto (Ghetto di Venezia), one of the most historically significant Jewish quarters in the world.
In fact, it was the first ghetto in the world, and the term “ghetto” itself derives from this area. Today, the Venetian Ghetto consists of interconnected islands with five historic synagogues known for their unique architecture and artwork.
Take the time to explore the area, learn about its history and experience the local culture. In addition, stop at the Jewish Museum of Venice, showcasing the rich heritage of the Venetian Jewish community.
In the Cannaregio district, you will also find the Church of Madonna dell’Orto (Chiesa della Madonna dell’Orto), an elegant 15th-century church with a Gothic facade and cloisters.
2- Walk across the Rialto Bridge
Continue exploring the Cannaregio district and wandering its charming streets, or head south to walk across the famous Rialto Bridge (Ponte di Rialto) and admire fantastic views over the Grand Canal. It is a popular spot for photographers to capture the picturesque scenery of Venice, especially at sunset!
This 16th-century stone footbridge is one of the most iconic bridges in the floating city and an architectural masterpiece. Marvel at its captivating and elegant design, have a drink along the Grand Canal or indulge in some shopping as you will find many shops and markets nearby.
3- Wander the Rialto Market
Not far from the bridge in the San Polo district, you will find the Rialto Market (Mercato di Rialto), a vibrant and historic canal-front covered market known for its fresh produce, diverse seafood selection and local goods.
Dating back to the medieval and Renaissance eras, the market continues to be an essential part of the daily life of Venice, where locals shop for fresh ingredients and socialise, making it a perfect window into the traditional culinary culture of the city.
Once there, take the time to stroll through the market, taste local products and soak up the lively atmosphere. Not only a fantastic place for food lovers and shopping enthusiasts, it is also a delightful cultural experience for all.
4- Stop by the Basilica S.Maria Gloriosa dei Frari
Continue exploring the San Polo district with a stop at the Basilica S.Maria Gloriosa dei Frari, a significant and imposing church completed in the 14th century, renowned for its Gothic architecture, unique artworks and religious importance. It is a must-visit destination for any art and history buffs!
Located on the Campo dei Frari, a picturesque square in the heart of Venice, the basilica is a remarkable example of Venetian Gothic architecture, featuring a tall brick facade with large windows, intricate details and an elegant bell tower.
Marvel at its exterior and step through its doors to discover an interior adorned with a wealth of artistic masterpieces, such as the Assumption of the Virgin by Titian, one of his most famous works displayed above the main altar. The church also houses works by other artists, including Giovanni Bellini and Paolo Veneziano.
🎟️ Check out the official website.
5- Discover the Scuola Grande di San Rocco
Just a short walk from the basilica, you will come across the Scuola Grande di San Rocco, a 16th-century art museum renowned for its impressive architecture, its association with the confraternity of San Rocco and its extensive collection of artwork by the Venetian Renaissance painter Jacopo Tintoretto.
The museum is open to visitors and is a must-see for any art and history enthusiasts exploring the captivating culture of Venice. Discover its art collection, learn about its history and appreciate its architectural and artistic significance.
And do not miss out on the vast collection of artwork by Jacopo Tintoretto, one of the most prolific and influential painters of the 16th century. His masterpieces adorn the interior of the building, covering the walls and ceilings of various rooms and chapels.
🎟️ Book your entrance: Scuola Grande di San Rocco Audioguide.
6- Have a café on Campo Santa Margherita
You will next arrive at Campo Santa Margherita, a lively and authentic square located in the Dorsoduro district. It is a bustling hub of activity known for its vibrant atmosphere, local markets, restaurants and nightlife.
Visiting Campo Santa Margherita offers a unique opportunity to experience daily life in Venice, as it is a gathering place for both residents and travellers. For example, in the mornings, you will find a local market with fresh produce, vegetables, fruits and seafood.
The square is also lined with cafés, bars and restaurants, making it a popular destination for relaxing and socialising and a great spot to enjoy a coffee, aperitivo or a meal whilst watching the world go by.
7- Take in the views from Ponte dell’Accademia
Photography enthusiasts, you will love this next stop: the Ponte dell’Accademia, one of the four major bridges that span the Grand Canal in Venice. It is a significant and iconic landmark known for its stunning views and elegant arch.
Walk across the bridge to enjoy magnificent panoramic views of the Grand Canal, including the Gallerie dell’Accademia and the picturesque palaces that line the waterways. It is a popular spot to capture the timeless beauty of Venice.
8- Tour the Gallerie dell’Accademia
Once happy with your photos, continue your Venice itinerary with the Gallerie dell’Accademia, one of the most prestigious art museums in the city. It houses an exceptional collection of Venetian art from the 14th to the 18th century, with paintings by renowned artists such as Titian, Canaletto and Tiepolo.
The gallery is a must-visit attraction for art enthusiasts and tourists alike, as you can explore its extensive collection, marvel at celebrated masterpieces, including The Vitruvian Man by Leonardo da Vinci, and appreciate the artistic heritage of Venice.
In addition to paintings, the museum also houses sculptures, drawings, and other forms of art that provide insight into the evolution of Venetian art over the centuries.
🎟️ Book your tour: Private Accademia Gallery and Dorsoduro Tour.
9- Visit the Peggy Guggenheim Collection
Next to the gallery, you will find the Peggy Guggenheim Collection, a famous waterside palace and art museum celebrated for its impressive collection of modern and contemporary art, including works by some of the most influential artists of the 20th century.
The museum offers an intimate and immersive experience for everyone, as you can explore at your own pace and marvel at an exceptional collection of artwork, including masterpieces by artists such as Salvador Dalí, Pablo Picasso and many others.
You will also find a charming sculpture garden featuring works by renowned artists, providing a serene and picturesque environment to enjoy art.
🎟️ Book your entrance: Peggy Guggenheim Collection Ticket.
10- Marvel at the Basilica di Santa Maria della Salute
Your second day in Venice will end at the Basilica di Santa Maria della Salute, a spectacular Baroque-style church and an iconic landmark known for its impressive architecture and location at the entrance to the Grand Canal.
The church is not only a place of religious significance but also a cultural and architectural gem in Venice. It is famous for its distinctive octagonal shape and large central dome, a prominent feature adorned with a lantern and a golden statue of the Virgin Mary.
Marvel at this stunning church from the outside and step through its doors to admire an interior richly decorated with paintings and artwork. And for breathtaking views, climb up its dome, one of the highest points in Venice, which offers an unforgettable panorama.
Finally, for the evening, take a stroll along the Grand Canal, have a meal near the Rialto Bridge or enjoy the vibrant nightlife of Campo Santa Margherita.
Day 3 – Island Hopping
For your last day in Venice, you can stay in the city and explore what you have missed so far, or go on an island-hopping expedition – or both by splitting your day in half!
Here are some islands you can add to your bucket list:
The first island you can visit is Murano, a lovely island located in the Venetian Lagoon, known worldwide for its centuries-old tradition of glassmaking and its artistic and cultural contributions.
Murano has been a centre for glassmaking since the 13th century and is celebrated for its exquisite glass products, including chandeliers, vases, sculptures and glassware. It is also home to numerous glass factories and workshops, many of which offer guided tours.
Here are a few things you can do and see on Murano:
- Take a walk around the island
- Tour the Glass Museum (Museo del Vetro)
- Browse the glass stores for souvenirs
- Visit the Basilica dei Santi Maria e Donato
- See a live demonstration of glassblowing
- Admire the Palazzo Da Mula
The second island you can stop at is Burano, a charming and colourful island known for its picturesque canals, vibrant and brightly painted houses, and a strong tradition of lace-making.
From taking photos of the colourful houses to eating fresh seafood and learning more about the lace-making tradition, there is plenty to do and see on this captivating island, perfect for a day trip on a sunny summer day.
Here are a few things you should not miss on Burano:
- Photograph the colourful houses
- Stop by Casa di Bepi Suà
- See the Leaning Tower of Burano
- Relax on Piazza Baldassarre Galuppi
- Visit the Lace Museum (Museo del Merletto)
- Wander the lace stores for souvenirs
Another destination you can add to your bucket list is Torcello, a tranquil and historic island located in the northern part of the Venetian Lagoon. It is one of the oldest settlements in the lagoon and is known for its ancient architecture, historical sites and natural beauty.
Whether you are a history lover or a nature enthusiast, the island has something for everyone! Explore its many historical and cultural attractions or wander its picturesque and unspoiled natural environment.
Here are some of the best things to do and see on Torcello:
- Walk across the Ponte del Diavolo
- See the Attila’s Throne
- Visit the Basilica of Santa Maria Assunta
- Stop by the Church of Santa Fosca
- Admire the Torcello Bell Tower
- Tour the Museum of Torcello
Gondola tours I recommend
How to get to Venice
The best way to get to Venice in any season will depend on where you come from and your budget, but there are many options for reaching the Floating City.
Take the plane
One of the quickest ways to get to Venice is by plane. Venice Marco Polo Airport (VCE) is the primary international airport located on the mainland, serving the city and connecting it to the main cities in the world. But please try to prioritise direct flights to reduce your carbon footprint – if flying is the only option.
From the airport, you can reach Venice by taking a water taxi, the Alilaguna water bus or a land bus to Piazzale Roma, the transportation hub of Venice.
Another option is to fly to Treviso Airport (TSF), about 40 kilometres away. From there, you can take a bus or taxi to Venice.
Use the train
One of the most eco-friendly ways to get to Venice is by train. The city has an efficient railway network which is well-connected to other major Italian cities and European destinations thanks to its Santa Lucia train station, located at its heart on the Grand Canal.
Travel by bus
Finally, the most affordable option to get to Venice is by coach. It is a great way to reach the Italian city if you are exploring Europe on a budget as long-distance buses run between Venice and various European cities – but it can take longer. The main bus station in Venice is Piazzale Roma, and check out the Eurolines bus company.
Planning an epic road trip across Tuscany? Check out this article:
Tuscany Road Trip Guide: Perfect 3-Day Itinerary
How to get around Venice
Once in Venice, you will find a few options for getting around the network of canals and narrow streets.
One important thing to note is the absence of cars! As a result, travelling around the Floating City is an enjoyable experience, relying primarily on walking and water bus.
Here are your options:
The best way (eco-friendly, too) to travel around Venice is on foot. The city is compact with a maze of narrow streets and alleys, making it easily accessible on foot, even on a short day trip or weekend getaway.
Walking is ideal for exploring its historic neighbourhoods, discovering hidden gems and soaking up its unique atmosphere. Plus, it is the perfect way to see its best attractions whilst exercising! So be sure to wear comfortable shoes, as you will probably do a lot of walking.
Use the Vaporetto
The second best option to get around Venice is by Vaporetto (water bus). The Vaporetto is the primary public transportation system in the city, operating on the Grand Canal and various other waterways. It is an efficient and easy way to navigate the city faster and visit different islands in the Venetian Lagoon. You can buy single tickets or multi-day passes, allowing you unlimited travel during your stay.
Book a water taxi
Another option to travel around Venice is by water taxi. These are private boat services that can be convenient but more expensive in terms of transportation. They are especially useful for reaching specific destinations or getting to and from the airport. You can hire a water taxi at the airport or from diverse locations in the city.
Shop the printable travel itinerary
Plan your perfect city break & live a unique green experience.
Where to stay in Venice for 3 days
BEST NEIGHBOURHOODS IN Venice
Are you looking for the best place to stay in Venice for 3 days? Here is an overview of the top neighbourhoods in the Italian city:
- San Marco: the best neighbourhood for first-timers due to its central location, luxury hotels, exclusive boutiques, breathtaking views of the canals and access to the best landmarks on foot.
- Dorsoduro: the best area for art lovers due to its artistic heritage and vibrant cultural scene, home to prestigious museums. It is also a great place to stay for travellers seeking lively nightlife.
- San Polo: the best place to stay in Venice to soak up the vibrant local atmosphere, known for authentic charm and bustling markets. It is also a great area to stay in for families with children.
- Cannaregio: known for its picturesque and lively Jewish Ghetto, it is the best quiet and hidden area to stay in Venice, offering a more authentic experience. It is also ideal for budget travellers.
- Castello: the best district for history lovers with its winding streets, small squares and local shops. It is also home to many museums, the impressive Arsenale and the Biennale Gardens.
I visited Venice for a few days and stayed in the San Polo district, which was absolutely perfect! It has a central location, making it ideal for reaching any other neighbourhood and top attractions whilst being quieter than the bustling San Marco area.
Here is the Airbnb I stayed in: Al Campaniel Apartment in Rialto.
Looking for where to stay in Rome? Check out this article:
Where to Stay in Rome: 8 Best Areas (& Hotels)
Best time to visit Venice
The best time to visit Venice depends on your preferences and interests.
If you prefer fewer crowds and milder weather, consider visiting Venice in spring (March-May) or autumn (September-November). These two seasons offer pleasant temperatures without too many tourists and lower rates, which is the perfect combination for discovering the best of the Floating City.
If you want to experience the lively atmosphere of Venice and enjoy outdoor events, the summer months (June-August) are ideal. But keep in mind that it is also the peak tourist season, meaning you might encounter long lines at popular sites and higher prices as well as hot temperatures.
Winter (December-February) provides a quieter and more intimate experience with fewer tourists, whilst the colder weather can be part of the unique charm of a visit to Venice. But note that you might also encounter occasional flooding due to Acqua Alta (high water), so be prepared.
I visited Venice in winter, which was a lovely experience. The weather was pleasant and not too cold, and we could enjoy the city with fewer crowds. If you can, I recommend planning your visit during the shoulder seasons, such as spring and autumn, as I can not imagine how crowded it gets in summer and how hard it must be to navigate the narrow alleys.
Want more inspiration for your next city break? Check out this article:
5 Perfect Days in Rome, Italy: Complete Itinerary
How to reduce your eco-impact in Venice
Sustainable travel means exploring the world whilst being aware of your surroundings and having a positive social, environmental and economic impact on the places you visit.
READ MORE: Sustainable Travel Guide to Venice, Italy
Being a responsible traveller in Venice is not impossible and should be necessary to preserve the natural beauty of the Italian city.
There are ways to be more eco-conscious when visiting the Serenissima, and here are sustainable tourism tips to make your vacation greener:
- Use the train to reach the capital. Venice is incredibly well-connected by train to the rest of the world, so prioritise travelling this way to lower your carbon impact.
- If you need to take the plane, book direct flights (which require less fuel than indirect flights) and offset your carbon footprint. But, do not use carbon offsetting as a complete solution. Combine it with other sustainable practices, like avoiding single-use plastic on the plane and mindfully packing your suitcase for your green city break.
- Travel off-season and avoid cruises. One of the best things you can do as a responsible traveller is to visit Venice in off-peak times, such as winter (from September to February). You will enjoy the city without crowds and contribute to the local economy with year-round jobs – and be able to connect with locals!
- Select an eco-friendly accommodation. It is not always easy to determine whether a hotel has eco-conscious practices, but try to look on their website for green credentials and ask questions. You can also use Bookdifferent or Ecobnb to help you decide.
- Eat at local restaurants and markets that use produce from the area and emphasise organic and sustainability. Ask the locals where they like to eat, buy your food at local markets and go to vegetarian and vegan restaurants supporting farmers and sustainable products to contribute to the local economy.
- Shop local and support authentic artisans. Be sure to shop with small and local artisans and be aware of tourist traps and illegal vendors. Ask questions to learn more about the product you want to buy and its origin, decline objects made with animal products and refuse single-use plastic bags.
- Use public water fountains. Venice is full of free water fountains offering fresh and cold water – so bring your reusable water bottle to stay hydrated on your holiday, even in winter! There is no reason for you to buy bottled water during your stay.
- Always respect the local heritage. Treat people and their surroundings with respect. Sustainable travel is not only about the environment but also about the local communities. So always be respectful, smile and learn a few Italian words.
More inspiration for your green vacation:
- Best Travel Apps for Exploring Sustainably
- 15 Travel Books to Inspire Your Next Eco-Adventure
- Best Ecotourism Activities Around the World
Eco-friendly gear you might love:
- 10 Best Sustainable Backpacks for Travel & Hiking
- 10 Best Reusable & Eco-Friendly Travel Mugs
- 8 Best Filtered Water Bottles for Travel & Hiking
Check out this page for more inspiration on eco-friendly products & gear.
Venice travel planning guide
Yes, buying insurance is always valuable when travelling abroad. Enjoy your weekend trip to Venice stress-free with one of my favourite providers, Nomad Insurance.
Yes, tap water is safe to drink all over Venice and is considered among the best in Italy. However, I also recommend travelling with the UltraPress Purifier Bottle, a lightweight filtered water bottle perfect for reducing plastic and staying hydrated.
Yes, renting a car in Venice is easy, but only possible outside the city, at the airport for example. It is a great way to explore the Veneto region freely or reach the Dolomites. I recommend booking yours with Rentalcars.com – they offer a variety of operators for all budgets.
The best way to book your accommodation in Venice is with Booking.com – my favourite platform to compare and reserve places to stay each night, from affordable guesthouses to luxury hotels.
I recommend booking your plane with Skyscanner. It has been my favourite platform for years, as it allows me to book the cheapest flights whilst lowering my carbon emissions.
3 days in Venice, Italy – FAQ
Yes, 3 days are enough to explore Venice, wander its canals and enjoy its best attractions. It will allow you to discover its iconic landmarks, tour its museums and soak up the local Venitian culture. However, I also recommend spending more time in the city if possible, as there is so much to do and see.
Yes, Venice is generally considered an expensive city, and the cost of visiting can be relatively high compared to many other Italian cities, due to its unique location and status as a major tourist destination. But it is not impossible to explore it on a limited budget. Save in advance and be mindful of your expenses once there.
Yes, many places and attractions in Venice are open on Sundays, including St. Mark’s Basilica, the Doge’s Palace and the Gallerie dell’Accademia. But it is also essential to check the precise times of each place you plan to visit to make sure you get the most out of your trip.
Yes, Venice is ideal for a short break with friends, family or as a couple. The city is compact and relatively small, and many of its iconic attractions are within walking distance of each other, making it easy to explore its highlights in a short amount of time.
And you, have you ever visited Venice or would you like to go one day?
Let me know in the comments below!