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3 Days in Venice: Best Kept Secrets of Venice

A beautiful canal view in Venice Italy.

Venice, Italy captured our hearts as soon as our train crossed the Ponte della Libertà and the beautiful floating city came into view. In the heart of northeastern Italy, Venice stands as a tribute to Italian art, history, and of course, Italian romance. With its iconic canals, historic architecture, and vibrant culture, Venice is a destination that captivates the hearts of travelers from around the world. In todays article, we’ll guide you through an unforgettable 3 Days in Venice itinerary, unveiling the top activities, places to eat, and places to stay for an experiencing the best kept secrets of the Venice.

3 Days in Venice: Day 1: Exploring the Historic Heart

Morning Activities in Venice: Explore St. Marks Square

On your first morning in Venice, start your exploration in the historic center. With a leisurely stroll through St. Mark’s Square, the pulsating heart of Venice, you’ll immediately get a feel for the bustle of the Venice culture. Marvel at the beauty of St. Mark’s Basilica and ascend the Campanile for panoramic views of the city.

Best Kept Venice Secrets for Touring the Basilica: Entry to St. Marks Basilica is free, but wait times can be upwards of 45 minutes. With no shade in sight, the sun can be blistering in mid-morning! Hit the basilica first thing in the morning (it opens at 9:30AM) to get ahead of the long wait times and heavy tourist crowds.

A stunning front view of St. Marks Basilica from St. Marks Square.

While in St. Marks Square, take a tour through the Doge’s Palace: Visitors can explore the lavish rooms of the Doge’s Palace that hold intricate artwork, ornate furnishings, and historical artifacts. The tour also takes you across the iconic Bridge of Sighs, connecting the palace to the prison. Legend has it that prisoners would sigh at their final view of Venice before incarceration. Explore the prison cells for an added twist! Book your guided tour of both St. Marks Basilica and Doge’s Palace here!

Afternoon: Enjoy a Venetian Lunch & Explore the Rialto Market

Relax after a busy morning in St. Marks Square at a traditional Bacaro, or bar, where you can savor cicchetti – small, flavorful Venetian tapas. Head to the Rialto Bridge area, where you’ll find a myriad of charming Bacari serving local specialties of all kinds.

A view of the Rialto bridge in Venice, Italy.

Spend the rest of the afternoon exploring the Rialto Market, a bustling marketplace where locals have been trading goods for centuries. Immerse yourself in the vibrant colors and aromas of fresh produce, seafood, and spices. Visitors can explore the stalls, interact with vendors, and witness the daily rhythm of Venetian life.

Evening: Take a Gondola Ride & a Waterfront Dinner

Next, take a gondola ride through the beautiful water canals, getting a view from the city you can really only achieve through Venice’s unique waterways. Be sure to book ahead of time to ensure the best rates when booking a gondola ride. Fair warning, the rides can get to be very expensive depending on duration and peak seasons!

For dinner, choose a waterfront restaurant and indulge in some of the best seafood dishes Italy has to offer; while savoring the view of the city lights reflecting on the water. One of the best kept secrets of Venice is the Ristorante Carpaccio. A delicious seafood restaurant serving only the best fish and shellfish dishes with stunning views of the Venice waterways!

A view of the wine served at Ristorante Carpaccio and the waterway right on the edge of their patio.

3 Days in Venice: Day 2: Tour Murano & Burano Island

Morning: Take a Water Taxi to Murano Island

Explore the charming streets of Murano, characterized by picturesque canals and colorful buildings. Be sure to watch a glass workshop, where skilled artisans craft exquisite glass pieces using traditional techniques passed down through generations. A visit to one of these workshops provides insight into the intricate artistry behind Murano glass.

A picture of the special blown glass on display at a local shop on Murano Island in Venice.

Afternoon: Get Your Cultural Fill & Grab Lunch

Wandering through the Murano island, tourists can discover historic sites such as the Church of San Donato, known for its Byzantine mosaics and centuries-old architecture. Enjoy a relaxing break at one of the local trattorias, savoring traditional Venetian cuisine with a Murano twist.

An array of seafood that we ordered at a locale on Burano island for dinner.

Evening: Stop Off at Burano Island

The vibrant colors of the houses on Burano are not only aesthetically pleasing but also serve practical purposes, as they help fishermen identify their homes from a distance. Walking through the narrow streets, visitors can shop in the local stores and admire the intricate lacework displayed in the local shops.

For dinner, Burano island’s central square, Piazza Galuppi, offers a chance to relax in a charming setting surrounded by cafes and restaurants. Be sure to try some of the local fish dishes while you’re on the historic fishing town!

The colorful houses that Burano is known for!

3 Days in Venice: Day 3: Hidden Gems and Farewell

Morning: Venture Off the Beaten Path & Wake Early

On your final day in Venice, be sure to wake early to enjoy some of the best views of the city. One of the best kept secrets of Venice is that the city is best explored early! Explore the enchanting neighborhoods of Cannaregio and Castello, where you’ll encounter fewer tourists and discover the authentic charm of local life.

An empty street in Venice. a view that is only observed in the early morning hours!

Visit the Jewish Ghetto, the oldest in the world, and explore its rich history and cultural significance. Stroll along the narrow alleys, admire the synagogues, and stop off for lunch! This area has top rated restaurants and offers a chance to enjoy a great combination of Jewish and Venetian cuisine.

  • Gam Gam Kosher Restaurant: This restaurant is well-known for its kosher cuisine and is a popular choice among visitors to the Jewish Ghetto. It offers a range of traditional Jewish and Italian dishes.
  • Majer Restaurant: Situated near the Jewish Museum, Majer is a stylish restaurant offering a mix of Italian and Jewish culinary delights. It’s appreciated for its fresh ingredients and welcoming ambiance.
  • Ghetto Vecchio: This restaurant is often praised for its intimate atmosphere and a menu that combines Venetian and Jewish flavors. It’s located in a historic setting within the Jewish Ghetto.

Afternoon: Shop the Streets Surrounding St. Marks Square

Shopping near St. Mark’s Square in Venice offers a luxurious and sophisticated experience. The area surrounding this iconic square is dotted with high-end boutiques, designer stores, and elegant shops. From renowned brands to exclusive local artisans, visitors can explore a curated selection of upscale items. The boutiques often feature beautifully crafted Venetian masks, Murano glassware, and other exquisite souvenirs.

Evening: A Last Dinner and Enjoy the Vibrant Venice Nightlife

As you wander the the intertwining alleyways after dark, be sure to soak in the ambience of the floating city. Watch as the lights of the city illuminate the canal, creating a magical atmosphere. Venice offers a vibrant nightlife scene with an option for everyone! Whether you’re looking for a quiet night of appetizers or a busy evening of live music! Explore the best kept secrets Venice has to offer for your last night in the city below:

  1. Cafés and Wine Bars: Enjoy glass of wine or a cup of coffee at one of the many cafés and wine bars. Some establishments offer live music, providing a relaxed atmosphere to unwind.
  2. Live Music and Performances: Check out local venues that host live music and performances. The Teatro La Fenice, Venice’s famous opera house, often presents classical concerts and opera performances. Smaller venues in Venice feature jazz, folk, or contemporary music.
  3. Cicchetti and Aperitivo: Join locals in the tradition of cicchetti, small Venetian tapas-like dishes, often paired with aperitivo drinks.
  4. Night Cruises: Some operators offer nighttime gondola rides or boat tours. Experience the city’s canals and landmarks in a different light. This can be a romantic and memorable way to spend an evening.
  5. Late-Night Venues: While Venice may not be famous for its club scene, there are a few bars and clubs that stay open late. Particularly in the Dorsoduro district, these venues cater to those looking for a more energetic and lively atmosphere.
A view of the venice canals around dinner time.

Places to Stay for 3 Days in Venice:

Be sure to explore our favorite hotel stays in Venice, Italy below! If you’re traveling from Rome for your 3 Day Venice vacation, be sure to read up on our complete guide. “Public Transportation in Rome” for full details.

  1. A Tribute to Music Residenza – A beautiful boutique hotel overlooking the Grand Canal, with historic style rooms. (This was our favorite stay in Venice, so far!)
  2. Ca’ Sagredo Hotel – A luxurious, historic hotel overlooking the Grand Canal, offering opulent rooms and personalized service.
  3. Bauer Palazzo – Nestled in the heart of Venice, this elegant hotel provides a tranquil oasis with a private garden and stunning views of the city.
  4. Hotel Danieli – A landmark in itself, this iconic hotel boasts breathtaking views of St. Mark’s Basilica and luxurious accommodations.
The view of the grand canal in Venice from our hotel room at A Tribute to Music.

Venice promises an unforgettable experience for those who venture into its enchanting labyrinth of canals and historic streets. Our complete 3 Days in Venice itinerary provides a glimpse into the rich tapestry of Venetian culture, art, and cuisine. Be sure to follow our best kept secrets of Venice to make the most of your trip. Don’t forget to shop our online store for all of your essential travel needs for 3 Days in Venice! Enjoy your travels!

3 Days in Venice FAQ’s

  • Is it easy to get to Venice? Venice is accessed by the Ponte della Libertà bridge by train or car.
  • Is Venice stroller or wheelchair accessible? Venice is filled with many canals and bridges, making accessibility incredibly difficult. If you or your party requires a wheelchair or a stroller, be sure to book a hotel close to the train station. This will limit the need to go over so many steps.
  • Is Venice safe? Venice is a very safe city, but be aware of peddlers attempting to sell you things. Be sure to book tickets to museums and such through a reputable source.
  • Is Venice Busy With Tourist Traffic? Unfortunately, as with many historic cities, tourist traffic can be very high. Try to visit in the off peak season. Be sure to book tickets in advance to anything you’re sure you don’t want to miss!

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