Lovingly coined the most romantic city in Italy (and one of the most beautiful cities in Europe!), Venice gives Paris a run for its money when it comes to romance. No matter the season you choose, it’s always time to plan 3 days in Venice, both with kids or as a couple, for a romantic escape.
If you’re planning a trip to The Floating City, read on for our practical mini guide to Venice so you don’t miss any highlights.
What to do on a weekend in Venice?
Venice is oddly bustling yet peaceful. Full of vitality, this much-loved city is a sight to behold. Pairing rushing streets with desolate pathways, it’s easy to see why so many people keep coming back. If you’re visiting Venice with babies or toddlers, we recommend you leave the strollers, preferring babywearing. Much easier!
Once you’ve dropped off your bags, you’re ready to explore. Here are some of the must-dos for your trip.
Take as many pictures as possible
Whether you’re watching the locals go about their daily business or tucking into a hefty bowl of pasta, be sure to take pictures. In this city, you can really find beauty everywhere. You’ll see the city from a whole new perspective whenever you turn a corner and stumble down a side street.
PRO TIP: let’s count how many WOOOWWW you or your children will pronounce once you arrive there!!
With so much beauty in one place, not taking pictures is a cardinal sin, especially as the city could be completely submerged by 2030.
Go on a Gondola ride
Although they might look too pretty to use, the gondolas you see today in Venice used to be a respectable form of transport. As horses were outlawed, boats became the best way to get around the city’s lagoons. Be sure to take a seat and watch the world go by from the water as you lap up the Italian sunshine.
Visit San Marco Square
As a square built in the ninth century, the piazza’s spectacular architecture is a sight to behold. Home to St Mark’s Basilica, you can spot the wonderful cathedral built in 925. Step inside the Basilica and look for St. Mark’s relics, all the fantastic mosaics, and the Byzantine details that made this building unique in the world.
Take your time to explore the Doge’s Palace, arguably one of Venice’s most interesting historical sites. The Palace was the residence of the leader of the Republic of Venice. You can visit the Chamber of the Great Council, the courtrooms, and other rooms here. If you love art, you’ll be surprised by Tintoretto’s incredible and beautiful frescoes.
Stop off at Rialto Bridge
One of the most famous landmarks in Italy, the Rialto Bridge is a must-see. Bowing across the Grand Canal, this spectacular bridge was built in the late 16th century and is lined with quaint shops and independent vendors selling native products.
PRO TIP: stop at Rialto Market and have lunch there!!
- Fresh produce market (7:30am-1pm Mon-Sat)
- Pescheria market (7:30am-1pm Tue-Sat)
Listen to a concert in a deconsecrated church
Definitely, it’s one of the most charming and emotional things I remember of our first 3 days visit to Venice as a couple. Actually, I was pregnant with our eldest son, and it was an unforgettable night. Of course, if you love classical music.
We attended Vivaldi’s Four Seasons concert in a historic deconsecrated church: a live performance in a building representing a jewel of Venetian architecture!
Planning your 3 days in Venice
Although Venice is a small city (2 kilometers wide, to be precise!), a weekend can soon fly by if you’re not careful. So, after you’ve booked your flights, we recommend getting your trip off to a good start and maximizing your time, looking into transfers from Marco Polo Airport to Venice in advance.
Where to sleep in Venice
Finding budget accommodation in Venice can be quite hard in high season or during specific months of the year. For example, if you plan to visit the city during Carnival, you’ll better book the hotel one year before arrival. Otherwise, the farther you stay, the better you’ll save.
Mestre is a city located just across the Lagoon, where tourists can find affordable accommodation and bigger hotels. When matching a 3 days city escape with a seaside break, the Venetian Riviera is a marvelous choice.
If you dream of waking up in the city, you should know that Venice is divided into six districts, “Sestieri“ in Venetian: Cannaregio, Castello, Dorsoduro, San Marco, Santa Croce, and San Polo.
Sleeping at Cannaregio is a good choice, as it is located just a few minutes from the Venezia Santa Lucia train station.
Indulge in Italian food and wines
Finally, no trip to Italy would be complete without excellent food and wine. From the rich Risotto al nero di seppia (otherwise known as a squid ink risotto) to the heavenly Bigoli in salsa, you won’t want to miss out on these delicacies!
Not only Pasta! Venetian food is a journey into flavors: try the Cicchetti, a combination of fried meatballs, small sandwiches, and finger food of several Italian dishes that are perfectly served with a glass of wine or a Spritz.
Where to eat the best Cicchetti in Venice, our podium
Hey, it’s hard to find a place not to recommend to you when you visit Venice for the first time, but these are the top three to choose in different areas of the city.
Osteria all’Arco is located at Campo S. Polo, 436, 30125 Venezia VE, Italy
Salvmeria is located at Via Giuseppe Garibaldi, 1769, 30122 Venice VE, Italy
Osteria Al Squero is located at Dorsoduro, 943, 30123 Venezia VE
When to go to Venice
What time of the year should you visit Venice is one of the most frequently asked questions, and, actually, if you avoid school holidays and festivals, plus crowds, Venice can be visited year-round. It’s lovely in spring and magical both in autumn and winter when the mist covers everything. During the coldest months (from November to February), keep in mind about acqua alta, when sea level rises and you can experience some flooding.