What you will cover in 1 day
You will spend your day in the San Marco and Santa Croce areas of Venice which are separated from one another by the Grand Canal. You’ll enjoy artwork big and small in the architecture, religion as well as paintings. You’ll hop aboard a boat getting you onto the canals which truly make Venice the spectacular city it is.
Saint Marks Basilica
The Patriarchal Cathedral Basilica of Saint Mark, as it is formally known, is an impressive site. Its many domes and marble pillars are the first things you’ll see before you enter. Inside there are 8,000 square meters of floor to ceiling mosaics. Entry is free but lines are long so book a time slot ahead of time for just €2. There are also three museums which you can pay to enter. Depending on your time and interest make the one with bacony access a priority. Be sure to have your shoulders covered for entry and no big bags or cameras.
Piazza San Marco
Visit Campo Santa Margherita
Try heading towards Campo Santa Margherita the students’ neighborhood. It will often have some evening activity. Or see if you can find a restaurant or bar with some live music; Bentigodi or Bar Torino might be the answer.
What you cannot do in a day
Famous for its glass products you can see a glass blowing demonstration on Murano Island with more time in Venice.
This is the previous residence of the Doge of Venice. In it you will find even more phenomenal artwork. It is recommended to visit the building on a guided tour to get an understanding of what it is, so in a single day you won’t be able to fit it in.
Tips to visit Venice in a day
1. Do I need advance booking of Attractions?
It’s a great idea to book a time slot for St. Marks Basilica. While you can enter for free you can also book a specific time online so as to avoid the queues. It will cost you just €2.
2. How to travel within the city?
Walk. Explore the small alleyways and hidden square. It’s the best way to get a real taste for the city. Public transport is the water taxis, these are also a highly recommended way to not only get around but also to sightsee!
3. Should I buy a City card?
Since the only thing you’ll pay for on a single day itinerary is your €2 time boking for St. Marks Basilica there is no need to buy the city pass. It gets you into other museums, which are recommended to visit if you have more time. However, the one day water taxi pass for €20 can be a great option to get around and have several rides to enjoy scenery.
4. Should I take the city sightseeing bus?
The Hop on Hop off boat costs €20 for a day pass, which is the same price for the single day water taxi ticket. We would recommend going for the water taxi pass as this gives you access to more times and routes.
With a one-day itinerary, you are obliged to use the minimum time to explore some of the major Venice’s must-sees attraction sites and landmarks. Venice is a small town, and you can easily walk across it in just an hour.
Nevertheless, I would highly recommend you to take a full tour to the main centers; San Marco and Rialto. Exploring this floating city, take a water bus from Piazzale Roma car terminal or railway station and enjoy the breathtaking view of the surrounding areas. For convenience, take line nr. 1 and get off at Rialto Mercato.
You can also visit the fish markets which are always open in the mornings from Tuesday to Saturdays. Get a ride past the famous Rialto Bridge through the Grand Canal and get to the St. Mark’s square. Remember that Venice is considered one of the cities with the highest concentration of art in the world which means that you will have the pleasures of getting to see these paintings.
The Basilica is another place you don’t want to miss. You may find a long queue but it moves fast, and entry is FREE. The interior of the Basilica features golden mosaics which are just incredible. Try and get to the top so as to have a clear view of the entire city and I can assure you the view will blow you off.
There are 3 museums of the Piazza which are spectacular places to visit, but due to the restricted time limit, you will not be able to visit all three in one day. If you are to choose one, then I would recommend the Palazzo Ducale. Here you will have the pleasures of viewing the fantastic interiors of the renowned masterpiece of the Venetian Gothic. The museum houses the former headquarters of the Government of Venice and the tight prisons formerly used.
With the day still young and having explored most of the major places in San Marco, you can have a walk West towards Via 22 Marzo which is the main route that will get you to Accademia. Here you can have a look at the shopping brands available. Then take the small alley on the right and enjoy the façade of La Fenice Opera House which is renowned worldwide. Head straight to the Accademia Bridge and S. Stefano square where you can have a stopover and grab something to eat. You can also create time to have a romantic Gondola ride though this is optional.
With time running out you need to make the most out of the remaining time. I would advise you to take a stroll in the Dorsoduro district. Enjoy every bit of the livelihood of Santa Marghenita. Here, you have the option of trying out the typical aperitive Spritz or opt for a glass of wine (Ombra is the most famous over here). Order their most finger licking food known as cicchetti from either La Bifora or Cantinone hia Schiavi which are the most recommendable places here in Santa Margherita.
If we have only one day to see Venice, I would definitely think of an itinerary, starting from the train station to Piazzale Roma on foot, that manages to touch the most important and famous points of interest: starting from Lista di Spagna, after the Ponte delle Guglie, turning left you reach the Fondamenta della Misericordia, where you can have lunch in one of the typical Venetian osterias.
At the end of the foundations, you reach Rialto, which is also an excellent area for those wishing to make some purchases. Going on you reach the most prestigious area, which is the one that connects to San Marco, full of shops and luxurious restaurants.
After admiring the fantastic Piazza and the Venetian Lagoon, you can go back, but this time passing through the Accademia bridge, until you get to Campo Santa Margherita, just in time for an aperitif. From here, the train station and Piazzale Roma are very close.