The Floating City offers more than canals and Carnival—it’s also made up of bustling markets, delicate glass factories, and off-the-beaten-path neighborhoods beloved by locals. With a bit of planning, you can see the major landmarks and engage with contemporary Venetian culture, too. Here are a few ways to spend two days in Venice.
Day 1: Cruise, Snack, and Explore
Morning: See the Floating City from the water with a scenic boat or gondola tour. Choose an authentic gondola ride complete with serenade; a canal cruise that explores smaller, peaceful waterways; or a hop-on hop-off boat tour, offering easy access to Venice’s many landmarks.
Afternoon: Spend the afternoon hours on a guided Doge’s Palace tour to learn about Venice’s royal history and gothic architecture. With prebooked skip-the-line access, you’ll beat the crowds and see more in less time.
Night: After your Doge’s Palace tour, stick around the area for an exclusive after-hours visit to St. Marks’ Basilica. You’ll see the cathedral after dark with a small group for a one-of-a-kind Venice experience.
Day 2: Glass, Home Cooking, and Ghosts
Morning: Discover the artistic side of Venice with a photography walking tour, a trip to the island of Murano for a Murano glass factory tour and workshop, or a class devoted to learning how to paint intricate Venetian Carnival masks.
Afternoon: When hunger strikes, choose a lunchtime tour of the Rialto food market complete with traditional snacks (cicchetti) and local wine, or a cooking class in the private home of a Venetian chef. Either way, you’ll get an insider’s taste of Venetian food culture.
Night: For an evening out, explore Venice’s Jewish Ghetto or Dorsoduro district on a guided neighborhood tour. Then finish your trip with a nighttime ghost-themed walking tour to hear spooky stories about restless spirits.