The perfect 3 days trip to Venice, Italy

Welcome to Venice, the city that truly surprised me. The people that follow me on Instagram might know that I did not have very high expectations for Venice. I visited this city in the summer of 2011 and found it way too busy, too hot and too expensive. Only after my mom visited Venice during winter, I started considering giving this city a second chance. Turns out, it was one of the most fun trips I had in a long time! With this guide, I hope you will also have the perfect 3 days trip to Venice!

Venice, the floating city of tiny islands connected by hundreds of bridges is easily one of the most beautiful cities in the world. Venice took my breath away during my recent visit in January with its picturesque canals, lovely people and an endless supply of Cicchetti. Needless to say, I truly lived La Dolce Vita here.

Disclosure: When you decide to purchase through any of the shared links, I will receive an affiliate commission, at no extra cost to you! This will make a huge difference to Finding Falke and ensure I can keep sharing many more travel tips and tricks.

Venice canals Instagram spot

How to get to Venice

Venice is an extremely popular destination, meaning that there are quite a few ways to get to the city. So, no matter where you are travelling from, you’ll easily reach Venice. 

The first option would be to get to Venice is by plane. Venice has two airports: Marco Polo Venice Airport and Venice Treviso Airport. Flights from within Europe to these airports are usually pretty cheap. Afterwards, you will have to take either a bus, a car or the water bus to the city centre from the airport.

Another way to get to Venice is to take the train. I took the high-speed train from Florence to Venice. It turned out to be the easiest thing ever, and it includes two hours of some pretty amazing views. Just make sure to take the train to Santa Lucia Train Station! It is the one located right on the Venetian islands. 

Lastly, another way to get to Venice is by car. This is a great way to get to Venice if you are visiting the city as part of a road trip through Italy as a day trip. However, you will have to leave your car at an (expensive) parking garage because Venice is car-free. 

The best time to visit Venice

From my personal experience, I can only recommend Venice during the off-season. During my visit in January, I had the feeling I could actually see and enjoy this beautiful city. The city tax for tourists is also lower in comparison to the high season which is nice for budget travellers. The only con during winter is the low temperatures. But this is a solvable problem if you put the right (warm) clothes in your suitcase. 

The most popular time to visit Venice is during the summer. The weather is usually nice but sometimes it gets insanely hot. It is also the busiest time leading to hotels skyrocketing their prices. You might also not get in at certain attractions like the Palazzo Ducale unless you buy tickets well in advance. 

I would love to return in shoulder season – during spring or autumn – as the temperatures are more moderate. In those seasons, you won’t freeze during a romantic Gondola ride. And it seems that Venice is also still pretty free of the summer crowds at this time. 

How to get around in Venice

It’s pretty simple, bring your best walking shoes and walk as much as possible! It’s the cheapest and easiest way to get around Venice. You can get pretty much anywhere by using the many bridges connecting the islands. 

However, you might want to look into Vaporetto or water bus too. I loved to hop on one of their boats and enjoy Venice while cruising through the Grand Canal. A one-way ticket costs 7.50 euros and will last for 75 minutes. This is quite expensive, so you might want to look into day tickets. If you are planning a 3 days trip to Venice and you are younger than 29, make sure to look into the Rolling Ticket pack. This option includes a discount card for specific cultural locations and a 72h transport ticket for only 28 euros. You can find the different offers here.

If you want to go to the nearby islands – including Murano, Burano or Torcello – you can hop on the Vaporetto. Burano is the furthest away and takes about 40 to 45 minutes. 

Your 3 days trip for Venice

You can find a daily breakdown of your 3 days Venice trip below. I wrote this guide based on my own trip. The only difference? This guide contains some valuable tips I wish I had known in advance! 

Day 1 of your Venice trip

The Rialto Bridge

The Rialto Bridge was my first stop in Venice. This popular tourist attraction is a great spot to get an idea of the layout of Venice. Not only is this THE spot to enjoy the view of the Grand Canal (especially at sunset), this iconic bridge is also surrounded by several photo spots for the gram. 

T Fondaco dei Tedeschi

While soaking up the view from the backside of the Rialto Bridge, I suddenly saw people walking on one of the rooftops. And if you know me, I like a good rooftop, especially when it is free. So after looking around for a while, I found T Fondaco dei Tedeschi. The view from their rooftop is truly breathtaking, especially at sunset! 

Tip: You need to reserve your timeslot to visit the rooftop of T Fondaco dei Tedeschi. You can do that here. You will be allowed to stay on the rooftop for 15 minutes. I could reserve my timeslot on the spot, but I recommend doing this in advance during busier months. 

Alta Acqua Libreria

Up next is one of my personal favourites: Alta Acqua Libreria. Venice’s most famous bookstore is a dream for bookworms like me. But even if you do not like to read, this is a must-visit place. The cool thing about this store is that many of the books are stored in gondolas in case of floods. All kinds of books can be found here, including secondhand ones with hidden love notes.  

This bookstore is also the perfect place to grab an Instagram photo! If you walk through the store, towards the canal, you can find the famous staircase of books or the gondola in the canal. Don’t be surprised if one of the owner’s cats joins you for your Instagram photo! They can be found chilling between the many stacks of books. 

Gallerie dell’Accademia

After checking in at my hotel, I decided to head towards Gallerie dell’Accademia. This stunning museum is filled with mostly catholic inspired art. Nevertheless, the artworks are impressive! Fun fact: the Gallerie dell’Accademia also stores Leonardo da Vinci’s Vitruvian Man. Sadly, it’s not open to the public. 

Day 2 of your Venice trip

Bridge of Sighs

Today is for the more ‘touristy’ spots. I recommend going early to this part of Venice to avoid crowds in the high season. Another reason to go early is the stunning sunrise you can watch from this spot. 

Even in ‘normal’ daylight, the Bridge of Sighs is beautiful. But the history is not so cheerful. This bridge connects the New Prison to the interrogation rooms in the Doge’s Palace. So when crossing the bridge, prisoners got the last view of Venice before their imprisonment. 

Palazzo Ducale

I was so bummed when I couldn’t get tickets in advance for this palazzo because I really really wanted to go. But luck was on my side: the waiting line was barely 5 minutes. However, don’t take this as advice and get your tickets well in advance! 

That being said, if you visit one museum or palazzo, pick this one! I was so impressed. It kind of reminded me of an Italian version of Versailles. Room after room, you’ll be stunned by the architecture and art. On top of visiting the stunning rooms of this palazzo, you also cross the Bridge of Sighs and can visit the prison cells. 

Piazza San Marco and Basilica di San Marco 

The exit of Palazzo Ducale is located on the side of the San Marco square, so you’ll be right at your next stop. This square is surrounded by stunning buildings with the Basilica di San Marco as a highlight. 

A small warning in advance, the Piazza San Marco is not far above sea level. So during the ‘Acqua Alta’ (the ‘high water’), or heavy rain, the square is quick to flood. You’ll be able to buy temporary plastic rain boots from souvenir stands and street vendors. 

I don’t recommend eating or drinking on this square. It will be overpriced and probably not that good. However, there is one place that might be kind of an exception: Caffé Florian. This is the oldest coffee house in Italy and one of the oldest in the world. The interior is stunning and filled with history, but don’t be shocked when you see prices of more than 10 euros for a single coffee. I warned you. 

“Island-hopping”

Since I had a 72h transport ticket and the weather was amazing, I decided to start “island-hopping”. You can simply hop on and off the Vaporetto at any stop of choice. This way I found many fun spots I would never think about going to. One of these stops led me to Punta della Dogana which offers an impressive view of the touristy side of Venice with Piazza San Marco. It is also where I ended up having a whole photoshoot with a nun! And it’s also a fun way to discover many “bàcaro”. Even better, make it a bàcaro tour and fill your afternoon with trying out all the different cicheti.

Day 3 of your Venice trip

Gondola ride

Is paying for a gondola ride in Venice worth it? Yes! Gondolas are one of the most iconic symbols of Venice and are simply a must-do when in Venice. Is a gondola ride expensive? Hell yes! Prices start at 80 euros. Do I know a cheaper option? Of course, I do! If you are on a budget, you can book a spot on a group gondola ride on Get Your Guide with prices starting from £25 per person. Sounds better right? 

You can catch a gondola practically anywhere along the canals of Venice. Simply find one of the men wearing a striped shirt and you’re ready for your long-awaited gondola ride. 

Burano and Murano

The main island of Venice isn’t actually that big, you can easily hop on the Vaporetto and visit some other islands like Murano and Burano. 

Murano is located the closest to Venice. This small island is known for its glass-blowing. Murano’s glass-blowing history started in 1291 when the Venetian Republic ordered the glassmakers to move to the island out of fear of fire and the destruction of the city’s mostly wooden buildings. That’s a lot of history for such a small island! 

Extra tip: if you want to buy some glass souvenirs from Murano double check they were actually made here. If you go to a tourist shop, you might find some souvenirs made in China instead of Italy. The same principle counts for Venetian masks!  

You might have seen Burano on Instagram already! This island is an Instagrammers dream. But the brightly coloured fishermen’s houses of Burano existed long before Instagram. It was a way for the fishermen to find their way back home from the water through the fog. 

Overall 

Venice in January left me speechless! All it took was a 3 days trip to rediscover and absolutely fall in love with Venice. And you will agree with me on that one with this Venice travel guide! I am still talking everyone’s ears off about how much I loved this city and how they should also visit Venice in winter. Venice is magnificent and full of surprises! After this 3 days trip to Venice, I went back home with some of my favourite travel memories and wishing I could have stayed longer. I hope you will enjoy this city just as much as I did! 

Remember to take your time and get lost in the small streets of Venice. Some of the most beautiful spots are a little hidden and can only be found by accident. 

Disclosure: When you decide to purchase through any of the shared links, I will receive an affiliate commission, at no extra cost to you! This will make a huge difference to Finding Falke and ensure I can keep sharing many more travel tips and tricks.

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