Grand Canal in Venice Italy

The Perfect Venice in a Day Itinerary

Are you planning on doing Venice in a day? Are you nervous it just might not be enough time?  No need to fear we are going to map out some fun things that you can do if you only have one day in Venice.

A lot of tourists are only in Venice for 1 day. Venice is a cruise port which means time in the city can be limited for many people. Many people are searching for a 1 day in Venice itinerary. 

If this sounds like you, you are in the right spot! 

Venice, Italy is a great city that has a lot to offer. Even if you only have 1 day in Venice Italy, you will still have an amazing time. 

In this post, we are going to create a perfect Venice one-day itinerary!  It will include all the fun things to do in Venice in one day. 

Let's explore all the options and make a 1 day in Venice itinerary that will be perfect for visiting Venice in a day!

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Venice in a day pin for pintere

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One Day Venice Itinerary

St marks Square

If you only have one day in Venice there are a few places that need to be added to your one-day Venice itinerary. Let's explore them!

1. Piazza San Marco

St Marks Square One Day in Venice

Piazza San Marco is the main public square in Venice.  It has many famous buildings. Americans usually refer to this area as St. Marks Square.

St. Marks Square is a central location where you will find most tourists! There are many things to see in this location such as St. Marks Basilica, Palazzo Ducale, and Torre dell'Orologio.

St. Marks Square should be on everyone's 1 day Venice itinerary.

2. St. Marks Basilica

ST Marks Square

St. Marks Basilica is absolutely gorgeous! It is the most famous church in Venice.


Entrance is free to the Basilica, donations welcome

You will need to purchase tickets if you want to see the golden altar, the treasury, or the San Marco Museum or if you want to skip the line!

Interesting Facts

One thing that I learned was that it was built around 829 and rebuilt in 1071 AD. I also found it fascinating that it has enough mosaics to fill an American football field.

What Makes St. Marks Basilica So Great?

Words can't even describe the beauty of this building. The floor is marble with glass inlaid. The Pala d'Oro, a Byzantine altar is gold, with hundreds of gems. 1300 pearls, 400 garnets, 300 emeralds, 300 sapphires, 100 amethyst, and many rubies and topazes.

Its incredible five domes and intricate architecture are one of the reasons this is the most popular site in Venice.

This area is very crowded, so you will most likely be waiting to enter unless you purchase a tour.

3. Palazzo Ducale (Doge Palace)

Palazzo Ducale Venice Italy

The Palazzo Ducale is also known as the Doge Palace was the home of the ruler of Venice and the power of the Venetian Republic for over 1000 years.  It is now a museum.

The Doge Palace Museum is 1 of 11 museums owned by the same group. What makes it special is it is so conveniently located to other sites.

If you only had one day in Venice and want to do as much as possible it is a good option because of its close proximity to the St. Marks Basilica.


Adults – 25 Euros which gives entrance to several of the museums in Venice.

Also located in St. Marks Square is a beautiful clock tower, however, you must book ahead of time to see it.

Helpful Tip for your 1 Day in Venice

Children under 6 are not permitted. Make sure you take note of that as you are making your Venice 1 day itinerary.

4. Grand Canal Tour 

Grand Canal in Venice Italy

The Grand Canal is the basic way of transportation in Venice.  The magnificent buildings along with the canal date back to the 13-18th century.  These buildings represent the wealth of the Venetian Republic.

Gondola Ride

One of the most famous things to do in Venice is a Gondola ride.  You can book these ahead of time.  These are an absolute must if you only have 1 day in Venice! 


If you only have one day in Venice a Vaporetto ride is essential! Vaporetto's are so much fun! They are taxis that take you from stop to stop along the canal.

You can relax and enjoy your ride along the canal!  Rick Steve's has an amazing audio tour that you can download to your phone.  It gives all sorts of history and facts as you ride down the canal.

Best Time to Ride

Certain times of the day are better to ride on the Vaporetto's. Early morning before cruise ships dock is the best time.

During crowded times of the day, it isn't as exciting because you will not be able to really enjoy the audio tour if it is really loud and you are having to stand instead of sit.

We loved going in the morning and enjoying the beauty of the canal. It is pretty magical making your Venice in a day trip worth it.

5. Rialto Bridge

1 day in Venice Itinerary Rialto Bridge

The Rialto Bridge is an iconic landmark.  The bridge connects Sestieri San Marco to San Polo. It is the oldest bridge across the canal and is known as a Renaissance masterpiece namely for its architecture and engineering achievement.

There are some of the most breathtaking views from this bridge as well as great places to walk around and “get lost in Venice.”

A trip to Venice would not be complete until stopping at this location. It is a must for you 1 day Venice itinerary! 

6. Shopping in Venice

Shops in Venice Italy

There are so many interesting shops such as fun candy shops.  We saw candy that was made to look like tools, pasta, and other objects.  It really is a fun little area.

This area will make your Venice in a day perfect.

High-End Shopping

There is also very high-end shopping in this area.  Italy is known for fashion.  Milan being the center but Venice has everything you would want.  If you like designer fashion this is where you might want to spend a few hours!

7. Basilica di Santa Maria della Salute

Venice 7 day itinerary

As you travel along the canal, there is a beautiful Roman Catholic Church called Basilica di Santa Maria della salute.

I believe salute means health in Italian.  This building was built in 1630 during the plague as an honor to “Our Lady of Health”

You do not necessarily have to go inside to appreciate the beauty.

How to Get There?

You can get there by Vaporetto or crossing a bridge.  Taking the bridge is a little bit of a walk but there are always things to explore along the way.  There is a cost if you want to enter the church as a tourist.

8. Venice Tours

one day in Venice tours


If you only have one day in Venice, you might want to look into getting a tour of the places you want to see mostA lot of times the tour groups have special entrances and can help you avoid long lines. This makes Venice in a day doable!

9. Venice Food Walking Tour

Grand Canal Venice Italy

Enjoy a 2.5 hour Venice Food Walking Tour with a local foodie.  The tour begins at 10:15 am.  This is a great way to try all the cuisine in the area!

Another option is the Taste of Venice Tour.  The best things in Venice often revolve around Food. This is a perfect Venice in a day activity.

10. Gondola and Serenade RideVenice gondola

I actually highly recommend buying this Gondola and Serenade Tour ahead of time because the starting price was $80 per person in person.  It is even more for the driver to serenade you.  Plus, you won't have to deal with bargaining and agreeing upon a price. (I hate that)

If you only have a day in Venice, a gondola ride is probably high on your list.

Another option is a Gondola and Glassblowing Tour, and Gondola Ride for Two. Both of these would be amazing!

11. Venice in a Day TourClock tower Venice

If you only have one day in Venice this is a perfect tour.  Venice in a Day Tour will show you all the highlights without the hassle of lines.  This also includes a gondola ride.

12. Venice Grand Canal Tour

Grand Canal in Venice Italy

I mentioned above that Rick Steve's has a great audio tour but if you want a Guided Tour of the Grand Canal this is a great option.  

13. Venice In A Day Tour From Milan

Venice Walking Tour

If you do not want to rent a car but still would like to see Venice in a day consider a Guided Tour from Milan!

1 Day in Venice Itinerary

1 day in Venice Itinerary

I have created a sample 1 day in Venice itinerary that might give you an idea of where to start.  

One Day Venice Itinerary 

  • TOUR GRAND CANAL – Get up early and jump on a Vaporetto (Buy Rick Steves Book , so you can get his free audio tour.) 
  • Book Venice Comprehensive Tour. This Venice tour is usually 2-3 hours and includes a Gondola ride, Rialto Bridge, Doge Palace, St. Marks Square,  and St. Marks Basilica.
  • Shop in Venice – Get lost! (make sure you have a GPS, explore all the streets of Venice)

Venice Itinerary Option 1 or 2 

Are You Ready For One Day in Venice?

Venice Grand Canal

Hopefully, this post helps you plan a 1 day Venice itinerary! There are so many great options to make your one day in Venice amazing! 

Plan a Trip to Italy

If you are planning a trip to Italy and want to explore other cities check out other Italy posts.  Also, I highly recommend getting an Italy Travel Guidebook before you plan your trip.

Planning a northern or central Italy vacation?  One Week In ItalyPisa, and Lucca, Romantic Venice, Siena, and Florence are great areas to include in your Italy itinerary.

If you are looking for a southern Italy itinerary be sure to check out Capri, Pompeii, Gaeta, and the Amalfi Coast.

In addition, if you are looking for another reason to visit Italy or some greaSafety Travel Tips for Italy before you travel be sure to check out my other post.  You may also love to look at all the great gifts for Italy Lovers, to get you thinking about souvenirs. 

Facebook Community

If you have any questions join my Facebook Travel Community.  You can ask any questions you have about upcoming trips and everyone is happy to help you plan your trip.  I also try to give exclusive travel deals that companies send me.  It is a great group to join!


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  1. These are great suggestions on what to see. Thank you. It has been a while since I have been to Italy. It must be time to go back.

  2. Looks like an amazing trip! I really want to stay in Venice in an apartment and live there for a month!

    1. We woke up at 5:00 AM because we were so jet lagged! You can get a lot more done when no one is out and about!

  3. Everyone is going to Italy, but me :,( . Will be planning a trip in the future. Thanks for sharing places to eat, you can never go wrong with great food!

  4. We loved our trip to Venice! Did you see any of the pop-up art galleries? That was the most surprising part of our trip there.

  5. This looks like a perfect day! We are hoping to visit multiple countries in Europe in the next year or two. I will have to keep this in mind!

  6. Great tips, Venice is wonderful!! We were just there, but since we were traveling with our young daughter, just scratched the surface of all that there is to see!

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  23. Our family loves Venice – it’s our favorite city. And this is a fabulous one-day tour to hit all the great things – I would love to do the food tour.

  24. Venice is so magical. I loved walking the side streets and going on a gondola ride along with all the food of course.

  25. I’ve always wanted to travel to Venice and I really hope I get to go someday. Thanks for all the great tips on how to do Venice in a day!

    1. I really don’t think you would need more than 2. It is pretty small. Unless, you want to spend more time in a museum.

  26. Wow, you saw a lot in Venice in one day! Sounds overwhelming to me; I enjoy slow travel…but, if I had only one day to spend there, I’d do it rather than forgo it!
    Italy is such a huge bucket list item for me that I’m sort of saving it for a giant trip. These suggestions for Venice will definitely be on the list – especially the canal cruise. The candy store is hilarious – before I read your caption, I could not figure out what I was looking at; unique and fun idea.

  27. Wow! So many awesome things to do in Venice! I love how unique that candy shop is! I’d love to visit The Rialto Bridge!

  28. Wow! You sure made your way around Venice! I love historic places so it is a dream of mine to visit there one day. However, I’m sure I wouldn’t want to leave! 😉

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