One day in Venice is something everyone should do once in their lifetime. Spending more than one day would be even better, but plan at least 24 hours in Venice.
Most travel blogs write about things to do in Venice, but because there are already so many posts and articles about this beautiful Italian town, I have decided to rather focus on the best practical travel tips for Venice, which will make your visit much more pleasant and probably cheaper too.
Travel tips for best one day in Venice
Best time to visit Venice?
The best time to visit Venice is from late autumn to early spring – except for the Carneval, when Venice are packed with tourists.
I would definitely avoid visiting Venice during the summer, when it is its peak season. Exploring Venice in crowds is no fun and the city quickly loose its charm, which you should experience while visiting.
Venice is actually so popular that even if you will be visiting it off-season, you will still find many tourists there, but at least it will be bearable. If you will decide to make a trip during the weekdays, you will enjoy the place even more.
Venice by car
There are many ways to reach Venice – by train, by bus, by boat, by plane, but because I have normally visited it by car, I will focus on this. After all, Venice is the perfect one-day stop if you are doing a road trip around Italy.
Where to park in Venice?
The biggest issue when spending one day in Venice and you are stopping there by car is finding a good parking spot. The cheapest option (only for personal cars) can be found before you are driving over the road Via della Liberta, which takes you over the lagoon. The parking place is called Venice City Park. You will pay 5,50 EUR for a complete day (24 hours). You can reach the old Venice by bus – ACTV line 2, 4, 6 or 7, which stops just around 50 meters from the parking place. Take off at the Piazzale Roma. The bus ride costs 1,50 EUR and the ticket is valid for 75 minutes and includes tram rides as well. Before getting on the bus, validate the ticket and from then on you can transfer buses and trams for another 75 minutes. Kids up to 6 years old can take the bus/trams free of charge.
The second option for parking in Venice is the Tronchetto parking place at the Isola Nuovo del Tronchetto, over the lagoon / over the Via della Liberta. This parking is much closer to the old town and in walking distance too. The price for 24 hours parking is 22 EUR. The parking is available for all vehicles – personal cars, vans, campers, buses.
You can reach the old Venice on foot or you can eas the way with taking a train or a water bus called vaporetto – take the line 2 – towards the Piazzale Roma.
Both stations, for vaporetto and train, are outside the garage. Taking the vaporetto, you will enjoy a drive through the complete Canal Grande, all the way to San Marco square. You can get off the water bus sooner too. The standard ticket costs 7,50 EUR/pp and is valid for 75 minutes from the validation. Kids are taking the vaporetto ride free of charge up to 6 years old.
The train ride is a short one – only two stations and costs 1,50 EUR. It takes you to the Piazzale Roma. You can then decide what to do next – taking the vaporetto to reach San Marco square and other sights or just explore Venice and its canals on foot.
How to explore Venice?
To really enjoy Venice in all its glory I would suggest you a combination of exploring Venice on foot and by vaporetto too. If your wallet is thick enough, you won’t be sorry for taking a ride in traditional gondola either. A 30 minutes long ride will cost you 80 EUR.
If you will use the vaporetto more than twice, you might want to consider a one-day ticket or two-day ticket if you will be in Venice for more than a day.
Wandering around Venice is easy as the path to San Marco square and the famous Rialto bridge is well marked. But even if you miss a street or two, you will soon realize that this might be the best thing in Venice – you will have the narrow back-streets all to yourself.
Things to do in Venice
Venice in one day or for a longer period of time, you cannot leave the city without stopping at the world’s famous San Marco square. There are gathered most of the tourist attractions in Venice – Basilica of San Marco, Doges palace, The Clock Tower and San Marco tower with its 98,60 meters from where the magnificent view over Venice can be enjoyed – ticket costs 10 EUR. Not far from San Marco square, you can also see the Bridge of Sighs.
Venice are famous for its bridges too and one of the most known and visited is the Rialto Bridge, which connect the Canal Grande. Steps away from the bridge the Rialto fish market is here every morning from Monday to Saturday. Sunday is busy with tourist market.
Well, to be honest, the most famous sight in Venice is Venice. The city is so unique and charming that you will enjoy just wandering around its streets, sitting in a café and watching hustle and bustle around you.
Having more time in Venice, you won’t be sorry to take a vaporetto and visit the two beautiful and colorful islands – Burano island famous for its lace and Murano island famous for its glass. If you want to stay for the night, check out the hotels here.
Where to eat in Venice?
Venice is expensive, but you only live once, right? Well, many people come to Venice also during their low budget trip. I will have to disappoint you, but Venice does not really like low budget tourists. Did you know that sitting by the water canal and just observing the life on the water is forbidden and that there are guards watching and warning you about that?
Nevertheless, if you know where the locals go out for Prosecco, Aperol Spritz and lunch, you can still find fairly normal prices even in Venice. Try the Via Garibaldi.
Who can visit Venice?
A good thing about Venice is that they are perfect for everyone – young and old, lovers or singles. If you will be visiting Venice with kids, they will love it because of all the boats, train ride, vaporetto ride, bridges, gondolas and even architecture. You can also find a small piece of green in Venice – head to Giardini Papadopali, where a playground wait for kids to enjoy.
Where to get the cheapest Aperol Spritz in Venice?
Well, finding the cheapest Aperol Spritz is a really funny story. Simon and I were looking for one, but could not find a cheap one in the old town, so we headed back to the car at the Tronchetto garage without any. And there it was – just opposite the train station (People mover train) lies a small market with few stands selling tourist souvenirs, café and snacks. They also have Aperol Spritz and it costs only 2,50 EUR.
Warning – tourist scam in Venice
If you will be parking in Tronchetto watch out for a typical tourist’s scam in Venice. They will probably find you in the garage already, asking you where you are headed. They look nice, friendly and helpful, but if you will be saying you want to visit Venice by a vaporetto, they will bring you directly to a tourist agency, stating they sell vaporetto tickets there. Don’t be fooled and just ignore them. You will recognize the vaporetto station for its yellow-black sign and you can buy tickets from a vending machine there at the spot and for much less money than buying a boat ride with a tourist agency.
I have to admit that I just love Venice and when I first spent one day in Venice I felt in love with its charm completely. Since then Venice have become extremely popular and touristy, but luckily it is still not hard to find empty narrow streets, completely forgotten from tourists, which show us a totally different view of the city. Even if you only have one day in Venice, I know you will enjoy it a lot.