In addition to the aura of mystery and eccentricity, which has to be built on a lagoon, it is small, so you can explore Venice in 3 days perfectly. Visited by almost 30 million people each year, it is the second destination with the most influx of tourists in Italy and, traveling by Vaporetto or on foot allows us to know the history, the essential places, and the main islands that make it up.
However, you will also be able to see the crafts and natural beauties of one of the most romantic places in Italy and the world.
How to get to Venice
It is very easy to get to Venice, as it is one of the most visited destinations in Europe. The best options to get to Venice are by plane, train, bus, and car.
Getting to Venice by plane and bus
Venice has two nearby airports, the Marco Polo Venice International Airport, which receives international flights such as: Madrid, Barcelona, Paris, or national flights such as: Rome, Palermo, Naples, etc. being able to transfer you by bus to Piazzale Roma, by water taxi with the “Alilaguna” or by booking this private transfer to the hotel.
The second in importance is the Venice Treviso International Airport, where the main low-cost flight companies operate mostly and you can transfer by bus, private transport or by train to the Mestre station or the Santa Lucía station.
As we came from having done the 10-day Car Route through Sardinia, we opted for the plane and headed to Treviso. At the airport, there are two offices where you can buy tickets for the Mestre station or go to Piazzale Roma.
The price of the bus ticket is € 10 for each outward journey and € 19 for the round trip. The time it takes to reach your destination is 45 minutes to Mestre and 55 minutes to Piazzale Roma.
When to travel to Venice
Actually, there are no better times to visit Venice, as any time of the year, regardless of the weather, is the best time to be there at least once in your life. In our case, we visited Venice in July, midsummer, and we enjoyed three days of sunshine and no rain.
Where to sleep in Venice
We chose to do it in Mestre, and the accommodation that we choose and recommend is the Staycity Aparthotels Venecia Mestre since, in addition to having all the comforts, it has a location near the Mestre station, it is much cheaper (although we travel in high season) and it is only 10 minutes by train or bus from the heart of Venice.
However, Venice has an important offer in terms of accommodation, since it is one of the most sought-after tourist destinations in the world. Who has never dreamed of a gondola ride? Here is a brief description of the best areas and the most sought after places to stay:
- Mestre: cheap accommodation and close to everything.
- San Marcos: Perhaps the best area to sleep in is Venice.
- San Polo: Located in the heart of Venice, it is elegant and distinguished.
- The Grand Canal: In front of the most important waterway.
- Dorsoduro: The center of nightlife and the young scene.
- Santa Croce: Santa Lucia Station and Piazzale Roma.
Tips for a better stay in Venice
Although 3 days is not a long time, it is enough to see the best of Venice. To optimize your travel time, it is important that you plan your visits in advance. For example, knowing that the only ways you have to get around are on foot and by Vaporetto, it is necessary to have a pass that allows you to use the means of transport in an agile way and at the lowest possible cost.
For this, we acquired the Venice Pass at Get Your Guide, a pass that allows you to board buses and vaporettos for 24 or 48 hours unlimitedly.
Its use is very simple, but you must respect certain protocols, since, if you do not do it, you can be fined up to 50 euros. Every time you have to use public transport, you must validate the card in the machines enabled for this purpose, which is found at the bus and Vaporetto stops. The process consists of supporting the card and the device will tell you that it is validated.
Taking into account that you are going to walk a lot (an excursion through Venice is equivalent to a hiking route of several kilometers), you should always have comfortable shoes on hand, water to drink, some food to distract the stomach, and a hat to protect you from the sun.
Day 1: First steps in Venice
We boarded the bus at the airport to go to Mestre and when we got to our accommodation, we settled in, trying to control our anxiety so as not to rush through the streets of the island.
It was already mid-afternoon and as we were meters from the station we took the train to Venice, which only took ten minutes to reach the destination station.
When descending, the first thing we saw in front of the station was the Church of San Simeon Piccolo, one of the last churches to be built in Venice, which was completed in 1738 by Giovanni Antonio Scalfarotto. Inside you will see works of art from the 18th century, including paintings by Giovanni Battista Piazzetta, Sebastiano Ricci, Giambattista Tiepolo and Giovanni Battista Pittoni. In addition, for € 2, (the cost of a candle), you can explore a crypt that is under the church.
Stroll through the streets of Venice
Then we walked a bit through the streets, bordering the canals, crossing some bridges and at the end of the street “Fondamenta Cannaregio”, we saw one of the most beautiful and most Venetian sunsets that can be found (it reminded us of the sunsets of Oia in Santorini ).
Once this was done, we went to dinner at the Trattoria Al Poggio, where they treated us very well and we asked for a menu of the day.
The first course, how could it be otherwise, in all of Italy, was pasta for both: Spaghetti ai Frutti di mare and Spaghetti Alla bolognese.
For the second course, we chose one from Petto di Pollo al Ferri and another from Braciola di Maiale. The portions were generous, so much so that it was also enough to share with the children. In addition, we tasted the typical Aperol Spritz and they gave us a glass. In total, we paid € 32.50, a really cheap cost, with a dinner in the best Italian style.
Then we return to the hotel, since, although the buses run throughout the night, the trains only run until midnight.
Day 2: Piazza San Marco, Vaporetto trip and Gondola ride
On the second day in Venice in 3 days, we decided to visit Piazza San Marco and get to know its surroundings. We started the journey, boarding a Vaporetto to the square area and, how could it be otherwise, we went to see the Basilica di San Marco. It was built between the years 828 and 832, to house the body of the Apostle San Marco, patron of the city. It is located next to the Doge’s Palace and despite the different styles that time gave it is considered one of the most beautiful in Europe.
Walkthrough San Marco Square
As we toured the square, we passed by the Caffè Quadri, and, out of curiosity, we entered one of the oldest cafes in Europe, dating back to 1775, when it was founded by Giorgio Quadri. That is to say, our curiosity cost us 10 euros per person (the cost of each coffee), but we sat on the terrace that was once occupied by Marcel Proust, Alejandro Dumas, Lord Byron, Honoré de Balzac, and Richard Wagner, and more recently by Brad Pitt, Robert de Niro, Woody Allen, Robin Williams, Marcelo Mastroniani or Antony Quinn. An expensive taste, but … who can take away what we danced about!
After having explored the entire Piazza San Marco, we decided to take a gondola ride. We chose to do so by hiring a gondolier who was located in the “little channels” and not those of the Grand Canal, for two reasons: that the latter enters little through the internal areas and that the former do so through the secondary channels, which are much more beautiful. and in addition, they also do it through the Grand Canal, passing through the Rialto Bridge, the Bridge of Sighs, etc.
The prices for a gondola ride are between 50 and 70 euros (we paid 60 euros and we had it just for ourselves). It is very important to try to negotiate the price because it is always lowered. On the other hand, if you are lucky like us, the gondolier tells you the history of each place he passes through.
End of the morning excursion
After doing this, we walked to the Bridge of Sighs and took a short break, but accompanied by a beer and Cicchetti Veneziani, a typical hors d’oeuvre of the area, made up of different dishes. Overcome by fatigue, we return to the hotel to regain strength.
Evening and night of the second day
After a restful nap, we decided to visit some of the neighborhoods of Venice. We start at Campo Santa Margherita, which is located in the Sestiere di Dorsoduro and is the place where students and groups of friends meet for a spritz at aperitif time. There our children played and ran around for a while and then we started a long walk that ended at the Sestiere di Cannaregio, on the street “Fondamenta Cannaregio”.
We took the opportunity to have dinner at the Pizzeria Very Good, where we ate 3 pizzas: 1 margarita, 1 buffala, and 1 Venetian. One of the best pizzas we tried, especially the Venetian one. We spent a total of 31 euros, the price we paid for 3 pizzas, 2 beers and the coperto (€ 1). Then, return to the hotel and rest, since the next day would be long and hectic.
Day 3: Visit to Murano and Burano
Two of the most beautiful islands in Italy are part of Venice and are located a few kilometers from the city. Murano and Burano are characterized by their beauty and the crafts that are made in them. Although you can choose to visit the islands by taking a tour, in this case, we decided to do it on our own using the Vaporetto, so as not to be bound by schedules, since we were going with the children.
Arrival in Murano
To finish our Venice in 3 days, we had breakfast and then we went by bus to the Grand Canal to board one of the vaporettos that daily leave for these destinations. At mid-morning we took one of those that leave near the Rialto Bridge and in just over twenty minutes we reached Murano, despite the fact that the transport made an intermediate stop.
After disembarking we started the walk and after a short distance, we arrived at the Pizzeria Marlin Ristorante, where we ate sparingly. In the end, we take Fondamenta dei Vetrai street, which runs parallel to the canal, and which is where a large number of artisan glass workshops are concentrated, until we reach the Chiesa di San Pietro Mártire. A few more meters, we arrive at the Veteria Mazzega where we enter the store to observe some of the famous Murano glass since this glasswork is one of the most traditional on the island. We returned to the port and embarked for Burano by Vaporetto.
Arrival in Burano, one of the most beautiful islands in Italy
Needless to say, the view is impressive as we approached the island of, the multi-colored houses, (behind whose backs the “leaning bell tower” of the Chiesa di San Martino Vescovo stands out), they are very beautiful. We got off the boat and started walking, aimlessly and leisurely through the streets of Burano and the first thing we encountered on our way was the church that we had sighted from the Vaporetto (San Martino Vescovo).
We continue on and pass by the Lace Museum that is located in front of Galuppi square, in the historic Podestà de Torcello building. The secrets of the fascinating world of lace, its techniques, and its most used points are preserved there (Venice point, Burano point). Then we arrived at the most famous and photographed house in Burano: the Casa di Bepi, which belonged to Giuseppe Toselli, who daily painted geometric figures on the walls of his home. During the journey we visited the Piazza Baldassarre Galuppi and passed an infinity of lacemakers working, creating very fine embroidery, and shops where they displayed the elaborated products.
Return to Venice and farewell
Our idea was to visit the island of Torcello, but since it was already mid-afternoon we thought about heading back to Venice.
Upon arrival, we disembarked in front of the Rialto Bridge and had time to taste an ice cream from the famous Gelatoteca Suso that is located a few meters away and take one of the traditional photos in front of the Canal Rio della Fava.
Before taking the bus to return to the accommodation, we bought some pizzas to eat something before going to rest, because the next day we were leaving to do the 3-day itinerary in Rome. This is how our adventure through Venice in 3 days passed, with the satisfaction of having spent a pleasant stay, in one of the most interesting, beautiful, and exotic places in Europe.