How to visit Venice in 1 day? Here is my tour of the must-see places of Venice in 1 day, my itinerary to do on foot to see the most beautiful sites of Venice. My itinerary (map below) will allow you to discover the most beautiful monuments of the Venetian capital on foot and will end with a romantic gondola ride at sunset …
Venice 1 Day Tour – My must-see list
The trap to avoid when you only have 1 day to visit a city like Venice is to go to the heart of the city and go a bit randomly without any particular program… Indeed, there is nothing worse than to waste time, to struggle while looking for a site or to walk for miles and not see half of things.
To optimize my day and make it enjoyable, I established in advance the list of sites that I thought were the most interesting to visit in 1 day. Then, I organized them to make a nice circuit on foot but not on the run …
For this day of discovery, I had to eliminate visits to museums and many churches. The majority of the stages of this itinerary are to be visited from outside because to visit them thoroughly, it would be necessary to spend at least 2 days in Venice notably because of the interminable waitings and this even with a pass or a queue cutter.
Here is the list of my must-see places in Venice that I have programmed in my tour by foot (necessarily since there is no car or subway in Venice) and by vaporetto:
- Piazza di Roma (start of the tour);
- Venice Santa Lucia train station;
- Great Canal;
- Church of San Stae;
- Rialto Bridge;
- Saint Mark’s Clock Tower;
- Saint Mark’s Square;
- St. Mark’s Basilica;
- Bridge of Sighs;
- Doge’s Palace;
- della Paglia Bridge;
- Viewpoint Sant Giorgio Maggiore;
- Danieli Gondola Station for a romantic gondola ride.
Venice 1 Day Tour – Itinerary Map
If, like me, you arrive in Venice by car via the Liberty Bridge, you can park for the day in the car park in Piazzale Roma, which is a central square from where all the bus and vaporetto lines depart and from where my walking tour starts. From here you can follow my itinerary step by step, as shown on the interactive map below.
Venice 1 day tour – Tour of the historic center
Once you arrive in Venice, either you start like me from Piazzale Roma, (departure of my walk), or you start from my 2nd stage (from the train station of Venice-Santa-Lucia).
So from the car park of Piazzale Roma, you have to go to Via Fondamenta Santa Chiara and turn left towards the Constitution Bridge that the Italians call Ponte di Calatrava after the architect who designed it.
Taking this bridge, you cross the Big Canal and going straight on, you will arrive at the Venice Santa Lucia train station.
From the station, you must continue to the left to take the Degli Scalzi Bridge (2nd bridge over the Big Canal).
Continue towards the Church of San Stae where you can take a short break and have a small coffee. From here it is a 10 minute walk to the Rialto Bridge (the oldest and most famous bridge in Venice). There you can climb to the top to admire the view of the Great Canal and take beautiful pictures!
After crossing the Rialto Bridge, you will walk for about 5 minutes to reach the Clock Tower of San Marco, which is one of the must-see places of Piazza San Marco.
From San Marco Square, which is one of the most famous squares in the world, you will go directly to the Basilica of San Marco which is opposite.
The famous Bridge of Sighs is just behind the Basilica. It is the obligatory passage of the Gondola ride (see at the end of the article). Legend has it that if two lovers were to pass in a gondola under the Bridge of Sighs at sunset, their love would be eternal. But in truth, its name comes from the sighs of the prisoners who used to cross the bridge before being locked up in prison…
After San Marco Basilica, you will turn left to reach in 2 minutes the Doge’s Palace which is an example of simply magnificent Venetian Gothic architecture. It was the residence of the Doges of Venice until the end of the 18th century. The palace also housed a prison that once housed a certain Casanova .
Now it’s time for a romantic gondola ride!
If it is in the San Marco area that you can find the most gondoliers, especially at the Bacino Orseolo stations and near the Campo San Moise bridge, I preferred to go via the della Paglia bridge to the gondola station located in front of the Danieli hotel. This way, I was able to enjoy one of the most beautiful views of Venice (Sant Giorgio Maggiore viewpoint).
The prices of the gondolas are the same everywhere in Venice no matter where you embark. It is 80 to 85 Euros for 30 minutes during the day and 100 Euros at night.
Other must-sees in Venice
If you have a little time left and using a vaporetto, don’t miss out:
- The Church of Santa Maria della Salute which is located in the Dorsoduro district almost at the tip of the island on the other side of the Grand Canal. With its imposing size and white walls, it stands in splendour facing the Grand Canal.
- The Ca’d’Oro palace with its elegant and majestic facade which houses an art museum. It is one of the most beautiful gothic palaces in Venice!
Which hotel in Venice, where to sleep in Venice?
Of course, I would have dreamed of spending a night in a real Venetian palace and I know that there are some magnificent ones that have been transformed into luxury hotels or palaces…
But my small budget didn’t allow me to. So I opted for a nice hotel but above all very well located in the historic heart of Venice and at a rate that I would qualify as reasonable for Venice!
The rooms are small but well equipped and clean. In addition to its perfect geographical situation, the great advantage of this hotel is its roof top from which you can see the Doge’s Palace!
For my budget, it was the best value for money hotel in Venice I could find and that I can recommend.