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3-Day Itinerary in Venice

Explore the best things to do in Venice in 3 days based on recommendations from local experts.

Day 1

#3

#3 in Venice

Free
Several centuries ago, if you wanted to cross the Grand Canal, the Rialto Bridge was the only way. There are now four major bridges that cross the canal, but Rialto is by far the most famous. The bridge's current incarnation is the handiwork of Antonio da Ponte, who beat out Michelangelo and Palladio for the job. Antonio da Ponte's name translates to "Anthony of the Bridge," and he built the Rialto Bridge entirely of Istrian stone after it collapsed multiple times from previous designs. Predicted to fail by critics, the bridge still stands and is considered an engineering marvel.  
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Sightseeing Type
Less than 1 hour Time to Spend
Rialto Bridge (Ponte di Rialto)
Several centuries ago, if you wanted to cross the Grand Canal, the Rialto Bridge was the only way. There are now four major bridges that cross the canal, but Rialto is by far the most famous. The bridge's current incarnation is the handiwork of Antonio da Ponte, who beat out Michelangelo and Palladio for the job. Antonio da Ponte's name translates to "Anthony of the Bridge," and he built the Rialto Bridge entirely of Istrian stone after it collapsed multiple times from previous designs. Predicted to fail by critics, the bridge still stands and is considered an engineering marvel.  
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10 minute walk

#2

#2 in Venice

Considered to be the main street of Venice, the 2-mile-long Grand Canal is one of the city's most popular and highly photographed attractions. Recent travelers recommend hiring a gondolier for a romantic (but expensive) row along the canal. If you're hoping to do this option, plan to fork over between 80 and 100 euros (about $95 to $120) for the ride. Many others suggested hopping aboard the vaporetto, or the public waterbus, for a much cheaper experience. Vaporetto line No. 1 travels down the Grand Canal, stopping in the six sestieri, or neighborhoods, along the way. Travel experts strongly recommend purchasing a Venezia Unica City Pass if you don't plan on walking the entirety of your trip due to the high cost of one-way fare (7.50 euros, or about $9). Perpetual crowds have the potential to put a damper on the experience, so consider taking a ride during the evening for a quieter, more atmospheric ride. 
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Sightseeing Type
1 to 2 hours Time to Spend
Grand Canal
Considered to be the main street of Venice, the 2-mile-long Grand Canal is one of the city's most popular and highly photographed attractions. Recent travelers recommend hiring a gondolier for a romantic (but expensive) row along the canal. If you're hoping to do this option, plan to fork over between 80 and 100 euros (about $95 to $120) for the ride. Many others suggested hopping aboard the vaporetto, or the public waterbus, for a much cheaper experience. Vaporetto line No. 1 travels down the Grand Canal, stopping in the six sestieri, or neighborhoods, along the way. Travel experts strongly recommend purchasing a Venezia Unica City Pass if you don't plan on walking the entirety of your trip due to the high cost of one-way fare (7.50 euros, or about $9). Perpetual crowds have the potential to put a damper on the experience, so consider taking a ride during the evening for a quieter, more atmospheric ride. 
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15 minutes by ferry or 20 minute walk

#4

#4 in Venice

The Teatro La Feniceis one of Italy's most popular opera houses, and one that has almost faced its demise from not one, but three big fires since opening in 1792. Locals and visitors alike joke at the name (which translates to Theater of the Phoenix), and how it has coincides with the theater's unfortunate history: like a Phoenix rising from the ashes, La Fenice has lived on. 
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Entertainment and Nightlife Type
1 to 2 hours Time to Spend
Teatro La Fenice
The Teatro La Feniceis one of Italy's most popular opera houses, and one that has almost faced its demise from not one, but three big fires since opening in 1792. Locals and visitors alike joke at the name (which translates to Theater of the Phoenix), and how it has coincides with the theater's unfortunate history: like a Phoenix rising from the ashes, La Fenice has lived on. 
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5 minute walk

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#1

#1 in Venice

Free
This elaborate church sits on the popular piazza by the same name. The church was built in honor of Saint Mark the evangelist, whose remains were stolen from their home in Alexandria, Egypt, and hidden in barrels of pork and cabbage leaves by a couple crafty Venetians, intent on bringing him to rest in Venice.  
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Churches/Religious Sites Type
1 to 2 hours Time to Spend
Saint Mark's Basilica (Basilica di San Marco)
This elaborate church sits on the popular piazza by the same name. The church was built in honor of Saint Mark the evangelist, whose remains were stolen from their home in Alexandria, Egypt, and hidden in barrels of pork and cabbage leaves by a couple crafty Venetians, intent on bringing him to rest in Venice.  
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#6

#6 in Venice

Free
St. Mark's Square, or Piazza San Marco, is considered by many to be the heart of Venice. As the largest square in Venice, St. Mark's Square is the only "piazza" in the city. All other squares are campo. Lining the square are multiple historical sites including St. Mark's BasilicaSt. Mark's Campanile and Doge's Palace, as well as a number of restaurants, making it the perfect spot for leisurely people-watching and wine sipping. Along with intricate architecture and hearty plates of spaghetti carbonara, visitors will also be met with throngs of tourists, pigeons and vendors selling souvenirs. If you hoped to pick up a gondola hat or a carnival mask during your trip, this is the place you will find them. 
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Sightseeing Type
1 to 2 hours Time to Spend
St. Mark's Square (Piazza San Marco)
St. Mark's Square, or Piazza San Marco, is considered by many to be the heart of Venice. As the largest square in Venice, St. Mark's Square is the only "piazza" in the city. All other squares are campo. Lining the square are multiple historical sites including St. Mark's BasilicaSt. Mark's Campanile and Doge's Palace, as well as a number of restaurants, making it the perfect spot for leisurely people-watching and wine sipping. Along with intricate architecture and hearty plates of spaghetti carbonara, visitors will also be met with throngs of tourists, pigeons and vendors selling souvenirs. If you hoped to pick up a gondola hat or a carnival mask during your trip, this is the place you will find them. 
... more

#5

#5 in Venice

This particular bell tower was constructed in the early 20th century, as a replica of the 16th-century original. The original structure provided the optimal setting for Galileo Galilei's presentation of the telescope; it also served as a stage for tight rope walkers who would humor the doge with their feats during the Flight of the Angel celebration. Today's campanile is used for sightseers desiring a Venetian panorama – though one with few canal views; oddly, since most of the canals are obscured from its 325-foot height. 
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Sightseeing Type
1 to 2 hours Time to Spend
Campanile di San Marco
This particular bell tower was constructed in the early 20th century, as a replica of the 16th-century original. The original structure provided the optimal setting for Galileo Galilei's presentation of the telescope; it also served as a stage for tight rope walkers who would humor the doge with their feats during the Flight of the Angel celebration. Today's campanile is used for sightseers desiring a Venetian panorama – though one with few canal views; oddly, since most of the canals are obscured from its 325-foot height. 
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Day 2

#7

#7 in Venice

Free
Centuries ago, the Bridge of Sighs, which connects the Doge's Palace to dungeons, was used to transport prisoners from the courtroom to the prisons. Legend has it that the Bridge of Sighs, or Ponte dei Sospiriin Italian, was named for the sighs prisoners like Giacomo Casanova would utter as they took one last look at the outside world through the bridge's windows as they made their way to prison for good. On a much lighter note, Venetian lore says if two lovers kiss on a gondola under the bridge, they'll be granted eternal bliss.  
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Sightseeing Type
Less than 1 hour Time to Spend
Bridge of Sighs
Centuries ago, the Bridge of Sighs, which connects the Doge's Palace to dungeons, was used to transport prisoners from the courtroom to the prisons. Legend has it that the Bridge of Sighs, or Ponte dei Sospiriin Italian, was named for the sighs prisoners like Giacomo Casanova would utter as they took one last look at the outside world through the bridge's windows as they made their way to prison for good. On a much lighter note, Venetian lore says if two lovers kiss on a gondola under the bridge, they'll be granted eternal bliss.  
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#8

#8 in Venice

Views from the Venetian Lagoon give the Doge's Palace an ethereal look – almost like it's floating on top of water. But it's fitting, as the Doge's Palace (or Palazzo Ducale) has witnessed an intriguing history in its role as the residence of the doge (leader), the seat of government and the palace of justice. Everything from execution orders to the affairs of Venetian leaders was carried out here; and a web of secret passageways and hidden doors reveals a decidedly mysterious past. 
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Castles/Palaces Type
2 hours to Half Day Time to Spend
Doge's Palace (Palazzo Ducale)
Views from the Venetian Lagoon give the Doge's Palace an ethereal look – almost like it's floating on top of water. But it's fitting, as the Doge's Palace (or Palazzo Ducale) has witnessed an intriguing history in its role as the residence of the doge (leader), the seat of government and the palace of justice. Everything from execution orders to the affairs of Venetian leaders was carried out here; and a web of secret passageways and hidden doors reveals a decidedly mysterious past. 
... more

5 minute walk

#13

#13 in Venice

The Correr Civic Museum, also known as the Museo Correr, is a large museum that displays art and artifacts from Venice's history as well as the former royals quarters. If you're also planning to visit Doge's Palace (the former government seat and leader's residence), the standard ticket includes entry to this attraction. Many recent travelers said that's how they ended up at the Correr Museum. Those who visited the museum said they were pleasantly surprised at how much they enjoyed the museum considering it wasn't on their must-see list (though they recommend you add it to yours). Others enjoyed the museum's peace and quiet and said it's a great escape from the crowds in Piazza San Marco. Reviewers were also pleased with the on-site cafe. 
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Museums Type
1 to 2 hours Time to Spend
Correr Civic Museum (Museo Civico Correr)
The Correr Civic Museum, also known as the Museo Correr, is a large museum that displays art and artifacts from Venice's history as well as the former royals quarters. If you're also planning to visit Doge's Palace (the former government seat and leader's residence), the standard ticket includes entry to this attraction. Many recent travelers said that's how they ended up at the Correr Museum. Those who visited the museum said they were pleasantly surprised at how much they enjoyed the museum considering it wasn't on their must-see list (though they recommend you add it to yours). Others enjoyed the museum's peace and quiet and said it's a great escape from the crowds in Piazza San Marco. Reviewers were also pleased with the on-site cafe. 
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10 minutes by ferry or 15 minute walk

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#9

#9 in Venice

Originally an academy, this attraction was later turned into the Galleria dell'Accademia museum by none other than Napoléon. Today, it's filled with an expansive collection of Venetian art from the 14th to the 18th century by artists such as Bellini, Tintoretto and Veronese.  
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Museums Type
2 hours to Half Day Time to Spend
Academy Gallery (Gallerie dell'Accademia)
Originally an academy, this attraction was later turned into the Galleria dell'Accademia museum by none other than Napoléon. Today, it's filled with an expansive collection of Venetian art from the 14th to the 18th century by artists such as Bellini, Tintoretto and Veronese.  
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Day 3

#11

#11 in Venice

Free
In 1516, Jews in Venice were forced to move to a small northwestern section of the island. Considered to be the world's first ghetto, residents were only allowed to leave the neighborhood during the day and were then locked up at night and guarded. Today, this area is a part of the Cannaregio sestiere (district) and is filled with restaurants and shops (some offering kosher products), a Jewish museum as well as several synagogues, which are open for touring. Although it's free to wander around the neighborhood – and you might want to do just that – the synagogue tours do cost
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Sightseeing Type
2 hours to Half Day Time to Spend
Jewish Ghetto (Ghetto Ebraico di Venezia)
In 1516, Jews in Venice were forced to move to a small northwestern section of the island. Considered to be the world's first ghetto, residents were only allowed to leave the neighborhood during the day and were then locked up at night and guarded. Today, this area is a part of the Cannaregio sestiere (district) and is filled with restaurants and shops (some offering kosher products), a Jewish museum as well as several synagogues, which are open for touring. Although it's free to wander around the neighborhood – and you might want to do just that – the synagogue tours do cost
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15 minute walk or 15 minutes by ferry

#10

#10 in Venice

The Basilica di Santa Maria Gloriosa dei Frari, sometimes referred to simply as Frari,is a gothic-style church that was finished in the 14th century. The exterior is minimal in comparison to Saint Mark's Basilica because the Franciscans who built it wanted the building to emulate their beliefs on living a life of poverty. The interior, however, is a different story. Inside, you'll see works by Titian, Bellini and Vivarini, among other famous artists, and all for a cheaper price than the city's Venetian art museums. 
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Churches/Religious Sites Type
1 to 2 hours Time to Spend
Basilica di Santa Maria Gloriosa dei Frari
The Basilica di Santa Maria Gloriosa dei Frari, sometimes referred to simply as Frari,is a gothic-style church that was finished in the 14th century. The exterior is minimal in comparison to Saint Mark's Basilica because the Franciscans who built it wanted the building to emulate their beliefs on living a life of poverty. The interior, however, is a different story. Inside, you'll see works by Titian, Bellini and Vivarini, among other famous artists, and all for a cheaper price than the city's Venetian art museums. 
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15 minute walk or 15 minutes by ferry

#12

#12 in Venice

Expat American art collector Peggy Guggenheim dedicated her life to gathering this impressive body of 20th-century contemporary art. The collection, which is housed in the Palazzo Venier dei Leoni on the Grand Canal (also Peggy's former home), contains works by artists such as Magritte, Picasso, Pollock, Chagall and Dalí. In the sculpture garden, you can pay your respects to the late Peggy herself, as well as her beloved dogs, who are buried beside her. 
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Museums Type
2 hours to Half Day Time to Spend
Peggy Guggenheim Collection
Expat American art collector Peggy Guggenheim dedicated her life to gathering this impressive body of 20th-century contemporary art. The collection, which is housed in the Palazzo Venier dei Leoni on the Grand Canal (also Peggy's former home), contains works by artists such as Magritte, Picasso, Pollock, Chagall and Dalí. In the sculpture garden, you can pay your respects to the late Peggy herself, as well as her beloved dogs, who are buried beside her. 
... more

10 minute walk

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