Planning a Trip to Venice
Over the years, I have changed my mind about how many days to spend in Venice. If you’ve visited this site before Covid-19, you’ll actually remember that I didn’t like Venice enough – there was a time in my life that I hated it.
These days, as a result of further travels and a deeper understanding, I have gone from hating Venice to loving her deeply. Age is also a part of it: the older I get, the more money I have, frankly, the more I can settle into a rhythm and an atmosphere of travel that allows Venice to shine.
Which is not to say that my suggestion for how many days to spend in Venice is “as many as you can”. While the topic of this article is ostensibly quantitative, I wrote it with the ultimate goal of improving the quality of your trip – to Venice and to Italy more generally.
Where to stay in Venice
Whatever number of days you decide to stay in Venice, it is essential to choose a central location as ‘home away from home’ in the city. Personally, I love staying in Canareggio, the area of town just north and east of the Rialto Bridge. This allows easy access to all of Venice’s main attractions and best restaurants, which makes up for the fact that it is quite busy and noisy.
As for where to stay, I generally find Airbnb properties to be in better condition and better value for money, but if money isn’t an issue, Venice hotels such as Santa Croce Charming hotel and Gritti Palace are also great options. Once you’ve found a good place to rest, it’s much easier to focus on the task of deciding how many days to visit Venice.
Best Venice Travel Ideas
Venice in 2 days
As a general rule – I’ll make an exception to this later – two days is my minimum answer for how long to stay in Venice. This gives you a day to explore top attractions such as Rialto Bridge and St. Mark’s Square. On the second day, you can either explore the side streets and small canals of the city center more deeply, or organize a museum day, which is especially handy if the weather is bad.
3 days in Venice
In my mind, 3 days is really the perfect answer for how many days in Venice you should spend. This allows you to fully explore the entire city center and take a day trip that combines the colorful and compact island of Burano with the glass pole of Murano. Plus, spending three days also really likes to diversify your dining and drinking experience in Venice.
4 days in Venice
The following few suggestions on how long to stay in Venice are ideal in two situations. With 4 days in Venice, for example, you either need to have a very specific itinerary for things to do in the city center (for example, tours of Doge’s Palace, or private gondola rides on the city’s canals) or additional day trips. I find the city of Verona (made famous by Romeo and Juliet) and nearby Garda lake are a good combination for these.
Venice for a week (approximately)
If “a week” is your answer to how many days you spend in Venice, there is another strategy you can take. Namely, getting an Airbnb (maybe a little further east than most of Venice’s top attractions) and “living” in Venice for a week. This doesn’t mean that you can’t or won’t see the tourist attractions, but it does allow you to explore the city at a slower pace, and also to frequent the local cafes, restaurants and sweets.
Venice day trip
Remember that exception I mentioned earlier? Well, “one” is usually not an answer that I recommend for how many days you should be in Venice. However, there are times when this is the only choice, for example if you are in Milan, Rome or elsewhere on a business trip. In this case, you can simply take the high-speed train as early as possible to Venice and return as late as possible at night; you will focus on the main tourist attractions and experiences.
Is Venice worth a visit?
The question for visiting Venice is “how much” – how long in Venice, more precisely – and not “yes or no”. Although my very first trip to Venice years ago left a terrible taste in my mouth, the experience of being in Venice is so unique that even a disappointing result is worth it. There is simply no place in the world like this – and I would know it, having been to almost 100 countries in 2021.
Indeed, correctly answering the question of how many days you should spend in Venice will protect you from disappointment when you finally get there. This is the eternal debate of the “Goldilocks”: you have to choose a fair duration. If you have too few days, you will be rushed and stressed; too many will cause too much downtime and the ability to stay in your head, rather than in the present moment.
Other FAQs about your trip to Venice
How many days do you need in Venice?
You can experience most of what there is to see in central Venice in two days, or a busy day if you stay there the night before. This means the Rialto Bridge and the Grand Canal, as well as St. Mark’s Square, the Bridge of Sighs, the Doge’s Palace and all the best museums. Day trips from Venice (which usually involve Burano and / or Murano, but may also see you go all the way to Verona and Lake Garda) mean that at least another day is needed.
Is 3 days in Venice enough?
For a long time, my current answer for how long to visit Venice was three days. This gives you two full days to explore the city center, plus a day to get out of the city, possibly to the outer islands of Burano and Murano. Three days also allows you to have three lunches and dinners in Venice, and explore restaurants ranging from chic canal-side dinners to simply osteria and trattoria settlements in smaller alleys.
Is 4 days in Venice too much?
Unless you have a specific goal in mind, for example taking day trips to Burano / Murano, as well as Verona and Lake Garda, I think 4 days in Venice can be too much. Too much of anything is bad, and after a while the magic of Venice itself can sink into monotony. I also feel the same for Rome in most cases, however, so it’s not necessarily a bad reflection on Venice.
The bottom line
The answer to how many days you should spend in Venice isn’t easy. Notwithstanding the number, choose an experience that optimizes the quality of your trip, so that you can enjoy Venice in all its facets and colors. Italy‘s The Floating City is as much about must-see attractions like Rialto Bridge and St. Mark’s Square as it is more subtle experiences, such as a day trip to colorful Burano and dinner on black squid ink pasta. jet. It’s also about looking into the city’s ultimate contradiction: Venice’s mass tourist allure, as stifling as it can sometimes seem, is precisely why it’s worth a visit.