48 hours in Venice

How To Spend 48 Hours In Venice

Though many cities are known as “The Venice of the …”, it’s a fact that no other city on the planet can hold a candle to the real deal. Visit the City of Water – even just for a couple of days – and you’ll soon see why… 48 hours in Venice will turn out to be one of the best city breaks you’ll ever take…

Think: Ambling around evocative streets, cruising down iconic canals and checking out world-class sights by day; taking in stunning views and eating very, very well as the sun goes down.

How To Spend 48 Hours In Venice

Day One:

Head Straight for the Grand Canal

Drop off your bags in your room at the centrally-located Hotel Serenissima then make a direct beeline for Venice’s main artery, the mighty Grand Canal. You can’t walk uninterrupted along this giant backwards ‘S’ that wends its way through the heart of the city so instead simply enjoy strolling through Venice’s labyrinthine streets and popping out by the canal at intermittent spots.

It’s worth noting that the canal has only four bridges, the iconic Rialto Bridge being the oldest and loveliest of them all. Gaze upon its elegant arched design and striking portico just once and you’ll be smitten for life…

Do the Tourist Thing at St Mark’s Square

Though the glorious Piazza San Marco is actually a very large square, it rarely feels that way, so packed does it get with visitors (and pigeons). Flanked on three sides by ornate arcades, this most famous of squares is a genuinely delightful place to kick back with an espresso and sneer at the relentless tour groups. If you don’t have the budget to take five in the likes of Cafe Florian then head round the corner and pitch up at the far more affordable Bar Ducale instead.

Tick Off the Church, Bell Tower and Doge’s Palace

While you’re in this neck of the words be sure to check out the ornate golden interiors of St Mark’s Basilica and take in the views from the top of its sensational 98-metre tall bell tower (Campanile). Also nearby is the jaw-dropping Doge’s Palace, a medieval masterpiece of Gothic and Renaissance design where Venice’s top man – The Doge – kept things ticking over back in the day. Be sure to take a wander behind the palace and see the exquisite Bridge of Sighs before you leave.

Take the Perfect Evening Snapshot

After treating yourself to an aperitivo of cicchetti (Venetian tapas) at a nearby cafe, walk back between the Doge’s Palace and the Campanile towards the Venetian Lagoon. In no time at all you’ll find yourself on the Riva degli Schiavoni – the lagoon’s waterfront – where you’ll be greeted with picture-postcard views of gondolas bobbing gently up and down before San Giorgio Maggiore sitting pretty across the water. It’s around this time you’ll wish you brought a spare SD card…

Day Two:

Watch the City Wake Up

Get up early and spend an hour or two strolling aimlessly around Venice’s smaller, out-of-the-way streets, exploring quiet corners and discovering small canals as the city wakes up. Trust us, this is a real treat as you’ll get the chance to experience the city – even normally bustling districts like San Marco and San Polo – in a completely different way (ie, peacefully). Hit your hunger pangs for six with a breakfast of coffee and cake at Da Bonifacio on Calle degli Albanesi when you’re done.

48 hours in Venice

See Venice From the Water

There’s no getting around it, you simply have to see the City of Water from a canal while you’re here. By all means nab yourself a gondola ride if you’re that way inclined – you certainly won’t regret it. However, you can get plenty of the same views (though admittedly, not the same ambience) from one of the city’s good value vaporettos. As well as running down the length of the Grand Canal, These affordable water taxis serve many of Venice’s outlying islands.

48 hours in Venice

Take a Trip Out to Murano

If you only have time to see one of Venice’s fringe islands then Murano is the one to plum for. It’s famed for its artisan glassmakers and time-warped workshops. But it’s perhaps the island’s impossibly pretty waterfront houses: colourful and traditional and just metres from the water, that make the greatest impression. Pure Insta-heaven.

48 hours in Venice

Wrap Up Your Trip With a Lavish Meal

Is there a better place to push the boat out than Venice? With that in mind, head on over to Campo Santa Marina and round off your time away with a top-class feed at the esteemed Osteria Campo Santa Marina. In the mood for the speciality raw fish, flavoursome house-made pastas or the chef’s tasting menu? Whatever you choose, you can be sure your visit will end on the very highest of high notes!

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Bo Heamyan
Bo Heamyan

Bo Heamyan is a British travel writer, reporter and author. When not plotting adventurous overseas japes or motoring away on off-grid road trips, Bo enjoys re-reading Walden, worshipping Nietzsche and highlighting the dangers of conformity to his six-year-old daughter.

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