The Best of Venice in 3 Days

Advisor - Lisa Van Brunt
Curated By

Lisa Van Brunt

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  • Venice

  • Italy

  • Arts & Culture

  • Food & Wine

  • Outdoors

  • Local Food

  • Sightseeing

beautiful Venice
Curator’s statement

Venice is Italy's dreamy island city and a destination like no other. It is arguably one of Italy's (and some would say Europe's) most picturesque cities. Prepare to be wowed by the gorgeous architecture, winding canals and unique bridges as you arrive via boat. One of the best things we did was wander around the city, getting off the beaten path and away from the tourists to discover our own hidden gems. I highly encourage you to do the same. Venice is Europe's best preserved big city and I'll share the must-see attractions to create your own unforgettable memories.

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Where to stay

The St. Regis Venice

Featuring idyllic views of the Grand Canal, this ultra-luxe Venetian-style hotel features beautifully appointed rooms plus a bar and two restaurants.

Fora Perks
  • $100 hotel / resort credit.

  • Breakfast daily.

  • Upgrade & extended check-in/out whenever possible.

Il Palazzo Experimental

Il Palazzo Experimental welcomes in its elegantly designed rooms and suites and a spacious back garden letting onto a quiet canal.

Fora Perks
  • Breakfast daily.

  • Welcome gift on arrival.

  • Upgrade whenever possible.

Plum Guide

Unlocking extraordinary homes for extraordinary experiences.

Advisor - Lisa Van Brunt

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Day 1: Arrive in Venice

Beautiful Venice

After settling into your hotel or apartment, buy a ticket with ACTV to ride the vaporetto up the Grand Canal. This is a great way to take in the main sights in a cost-effective and fun way! The #1 line runs approximately every 10 minutes. We left from St-Mark's Square and ended at the Rialto Bridge. After exploring this area, visit T Fondaco dei Tedeschi roof terrace for amazing views of the Grand Canal. Then make your way back on foot, visiting any sites that interest you.

Tip: T Fondaco is free to visit, but popular, so you must book ahead of time. Reservations open 21 days in advance. And it's magical at sunset!

End day one with a gondola ride. You can't come to Venice and not indulge in this iconic activity.

Tip: Gondola rides have fixed pricing, depending on the time of day, and if you want a gondolier that sings. Although daytime rides are cheaper, if you are visiting in summer and can swing it, splurge on an evening ride for cooler temps and better picture quality.

Day 2: Doge's Palace, Island of Murano and more fun

Family enjoying in Venice

If you are a history buff or traveling with teens/tweens, Doge's Palace is a must-visit and where we will start day two. My kids were mesmerized by the tiny prison cells, horrific living conditions, tales of torture and especially by Casanova's legendary escape!

Tip: Make sure to buy your ticket in advance, ensuring it includes the tour of the prison (reach out for help booking your Venice trip as it can be confusing). Not only do you get to see the prison, but you also get to walk across the Bridge of Sighs! My other tip is to book the first tour of the day if visiting in summer. It gets hot and there's no A/C!

After lunch, head over to the Island of Murano (best known for glass blowing) and Burano (best known for its rows of colorful houses and lace). You can travel here on your own via vaporetto or via a tour. We did a small group tour that included a glass-blowing and lace-making demonstration with free time to wander around both islands.

Tip: If you are a photographer, or just enjoy taking pictures, do NOT miss Burano. It was one of my favorite spots to explore and I have the most incredible pictures to look back on.

Day 3: St Mark's Basilica

Colorful Venice

Explore St Mark's Basilica before moving on to your next destination. You can add on visits to the Treasury, Pala d'Oro (golden alter piece) and museum (incredible views from the terrace here) for an additional price. Keep in mind that St Mark's Basilica is one of Venice's top attractions and I highly suggest purchasing tickets in advance with the "skip the line" option.

Need to Know

After Venice we headed west to the Dolomites but you can also head south to Florence/Tuscany.

Advisor - Lisa Van Brunt

Travel Advisor

Lisa Van Brunt

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This guide is part of our ongoing series on travel to Venice.