A quick guide to seeing Venice’s highlights in only 24 hours

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Venice, also known as the “Floating City,” is a place like no other. With its stunning canals, bridges, and magnificent architecture, it’s no wonder that Venice is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world. 

Although it can be tempting to spend your whole vacation in Venice exploring every nook and cranny, sometimes you don’t have the time. If you have only 24 hours to spare, don’t worry – there are still plenty of amazing sights to see. 

From world-famous landmarks to hidden gems, here’s a quick guide to help you make the most of your time in Venice.

Wake Up Early and Head to St. Mark’s Square and Explore the Basilica and Doge’s Palace

If you want to avoid crowds, one of the best things to do is to wake up early and head to St. Mark’s Square. Once there, you can explore the magnificent St. Mark’s Basilica and Doge’s Palace. 

The basilica is one of the most iconic landmarks in Venice and is worth a visit. Built in the 11th century, this Byzantine-style church is covered in mosaics. It is home to some of the city’s most treasured artworks, including the Pala d’Oro altarpiece. 

Doge’s Palace is another must-see. This Gothic Palace was the city residence of the Doge of Venice, the supreme authority of the republic. The interior is just as stunning as the exterior, with grandiose staterooms, the Bridge of Sighs, and the Secret Itineraries tour – which takes you through hidden passages used by Venetian nobility.

Stop for a Coffee or Spritz at one of Venice’s Many Cafés

After exploring St. Mark’s Square and its surrounding landmarks, it’s time to take a break and enjoy a coffee or spritz (a traditional Venetian cocktail made with prosecco, Aperol, and soda water) at one of the many cafés in the area. 

One of the most popular spots is Café Florian, which has been serving coffee and refreshments since 1720. For something a little different, head to Segafredo Zanetti Espresso, where you can enjoy your drink with a view of the Grand Canal. 

If you’re feeling hungry, there are plenty of great places to grab a bite near St. Mark’s Square, including Trattoria da Gino, Ristorante Antico Martini, and Osteria al Portego.

Visit Some of Venice’s Famous Churches, Like San Marco Evangelista or Santa Maria Della Salute

Next on your list should be some of Venice’s famous churches. San Marco Evangelista is an excellent place to start, just a few minutes from St. Mark’s Square. This beautiful church is known for its Gothic architecture and stunning artworks, including a 13th-century altarpiece by Jacopo Tintoretto. 

Santa Maria Della Salute

Another must-see church is Santa Maria Della Salute, often referred to as “La Salute.” This grand baroque church is located on the Grand Canal and is one of Venice’s most recognizable landmarks. Inside, you can admire the magnificent high altar created by Baldassarre Longhena. 

Suppose you’re interested in learning more about the religious history of Venice. In that case, you can also visit the Scuola Grande di San Rocco. This old confraternity building is now a museum. The Scuola Grande di San Marco is another good option and houses a library with over 8,000 medical books and manuscripts.

Stroll Through the Campo Santa Margherita and Stop for an Aperitivo

After visiting some of Venice’s churches, take a leisurely stroll through the Campo Santa Margherita, one of the city’s most famous squares. This lively square is a great place to people-watch and soaks up the relaxed atmosphere of Venice. 

When you’re ready for a break, there are plenty of bars and restaurants in the area where you can enjoy an aperitivo (a pre-dinner drink). Bar al Timon and La Cantina are two local favorites.

Get Lost in the Winding Streets of Venice

One of the best things about Venice is getting lost in its winding streets and discovering hidden gems. As you explore, you’ll come across plenty of charming bridges, quaint courtyards, and atmospheric alleyways. 

Streets of Venice

Some of the most popular areas to explore are Cannaregio, Dorsoduro, and San Polo. These neighborhoods are home to several of Venice’s most famous landmarks, including the Rialto Bridge, Ponte Dei Sospiri, and Palazzo Grassi. 

Suppose you’re looking for souvenirs to take home with you, stop by one of Venice’s many markets. The Rialto Market is a great place to find fresh produce, while the Mercerie is the perfect spot for shopping.

Catch a Gondola Ride Around Venice Under the Stars

After a long day of exploring, there’s nothing better than a relaxing gondola ride around Venice. These traditional boats are synonymous with the city and offer a unique way to see Venice from the water. 

Venice from the water

For the best experience, try to catch a ride around sunset so you can see Venice’s landmarks illuminated against the night sky. If you’re lucky, your gondolier may serenade you as you glide through the canals. Gondola rides typically last around 30 minutes and cost approximately 80 euros.

End Your Day With a Delicious Meal at One of Venice’s Top Restaurants

After the Gondola ride, you will be famished! Luckily, Venice is home to some excellent restaurants where you can enjoy a delicious meal. 

If you’re looking for a truly memorable dining experience, book a table at Osteria alle Testiere. This Michelin Star restaurant is known for its seafood dishes and extensive wine list. This intimate restaurant only has 8 tables, so reservations are essential. 

For a more casual meal, head to Al Bacco Felice. This popular restaurant is located in the heart of Venice and specializes in Venetian cuisine. Try their famous dish, bigoli in salsa, which is pasta served with anchovy and onion sauce.

Sleep Soundly, Knowing You Saw Venice’s Highlights in Just One Day!

Now that you’ve packed Venice’s highlights into one action-packed day, it’s time to head back to your hotel and get some rest. The hotel Corte di Gabriela is located exactly in the center of Venice, nestled between the Grand Canal and the Rialto Bridge (North End); between Piazza San Marco and the Gran Teatro La Fenice (South End). A conscious boutique hotel with ecological sensitivity and energy recovery as the two core parameters onto which they based the design of Corte di Gabriela.

Corte Di Gabriela hotel

Their philosophy of hospitality has always been centered around sustainable choices and behaviors. While providing the most luxurious comfort. There is no better location to start and end discovering Venice.

The Best Time of The Year to Visit Venice

The best time to travel to Venice is during the shoulder season, which falls between March through May and September through November. During these months, the weather is pleasant, and there are fewer crowds than in the summer. 

If you’re looking to avoid the crowds altogether, visit during winter. Although it can be cold, you’ll have the city virtually to yourself! 

No matter when you visit, Venice is sure to impress. With its stunning architecture, charming canals, and rich history, the city is like nowhere else in the world. Click here for more climate information about Venice.

This article was last updated on December 12, 2022.