You want to visit Venice in 2 days without missing the essential? Safely, with or without a campervan? With or without dog? With a rather small budget?
We give you here, in our travel blog, all our tips, advices and favorites things to do in Venice, after we visited the town during our italian roadtrip (june 2018)
Where to park a van in Venice, public transport, visit Venice with a dog, best areas to party, our favorites…
Visit Venice in 2 days
1/ Where to park a campervan in Venice
Not big fans of camping (2 nights camping in 1 year), we have abandoned the idea of parking for free after reading all the scary comments about the car parks closest to the city. Lots of thefts, damages, break-in on van and motorhome. So we opted for serenity to visit Venice safely with 2 new nights of camping … we double the scores (4 nights camping)!
>> Parking San Giuliano (south of Mestre district)
It is located just before the bridge that leads to the main island of Venice (about 7km).
Price: 18€ for 24h (24h exactly and be careful, as for highways, don’t loose your ticket). Included: 2 pers. and our dog, location, water, shower, toilet, drain – 4 € supp. for electricity.
The manager speaks Italian, French, English, German (and probably more) and is a great help. She sells all transport tickets at the parking/caravan park reception area (except Taxi Boat). Very convenient to visit Venice.
2/ Move in Venice
Venice « Piazzale Roma » <> Parking « San Giuliano »
- Tram & Bus (individually), stop « San Giuliano »: Trams, if taken in the right direction, are all heading for Venice. Bus (No. 5, 14-29). Trams and Buses run around every 10mins until midnight, then every 20mins (also Bus n°1 after midnight).
- Price : 1,50€/people. one way (it is the same ticket for bus or tram).
- The stop is located 10 minutes walk from the car park (direction opposite Venice), passing either by the road or by the San Giuliano park. It takes 10 minutes to reach the entrance to Venice (terminus) Piazzale Roma. It’s direct, there’s no stop between.
- Dogs are allowed on leash (and have 1 muzzle with you in case of control).
- Taxi Boat: not in our budget, we totally forgot it.
- By bicycle: apparently, there is a bike path along the bridge. But once in Venice … it becomes an other game. There are bridges, stairs… every 100m.
Move in Venice center
- Vaporetto: basic transport boats. They are relatively big and therefore only pass by big axes. Like the Parisian subway, but much more glamorous, great to visit Venice. There is a map, about fifteen lines, stops, changes to make… but still € 7.50 /pers. one way. Dogs are allowed on a leash.
- Taxi Boat: still to expensive.
- Venetian Gondolas: of course. What could be more charming than being transported to Venice’s smaller canals on a Venetian gondola? But unfortunately, it’s a little expensive too… 80 € for about 30 mins, the price goes up to 100 € for 35 mins from the early evening (from 7pm to 8am) – 6pers. max. Be careful, songs and tips are extra … not for our purse sadely!
- On foot: happily, Venice town is not that big. It’s totally possible to visit Venice on foot!
- « Multi-transport » pass, included : Tram, bus and vaporetto (no Taxis boat). 20€/people. the 1 day card, or 30€ for 2 days. It’s exactly look like a normal bus or tram ticket.
3/ Visit Venice in 2 days, our choice
1st day: Round trip (Bus/Tram) (3€/people).
>> Visit the principal island of Venice on foot.
The main island of Venice (entirely pedestrian) can quite be visited on foot in a full day, taking time to enjoy the atmosphere of the different neighborhoods (you still have to walk well) …
Our journey in Venice:
Once arrived at Piazzale Roma, direction Santa Croce district: the Scuola Grande di San Rocco, the Leonard da Vinci museum, the Basilica Santa Maria Gloriosa dei Frari … before moving into the pleasant and quieter district of Dorsoduro. Here you’ll find the Accademia Gallery, the Peggy Guggenheim Collection and the Santa Maria della Salute Church.
We marvel at the Murano glass and handmade venetian masks’ workshops… we want to crack at any moment but we think about the gondolas… no extra budget we said!
We then crossed the Grand Canal towards San Marco, “The” tourist district of Venice. If you look up near the Music Museum you can see a leaning tower, as in Pisa, put this one seems well wedged between buildings. Of course you wont avoid San Marco square, its tower, the Doge’s Palace and especially the magnificent Basilica San Marco. We can only advise you to visit it!
Then we went to the district of Castello before going back to the north of Venice and the Cannaregio district and the Jewish ghetto. The neighborhood is really great, especially along the Rio de la Misericordia. Wine and beer bars follow one another with small terraces and outdoor tables. A bit like tapas in Spain, here they serve cicchetti… between 1 and 2,50€ generally. It can be very simple as delicious (slice of bread topped with ham, dried tomato, duck breast, paprika mousse, cod … ).
After dark, we went back down to the Ponte di Rialto, which we crossed to see the Rialto and San Polo neighborhood at night … great atmosphere, lights… before going back nicely to our campervan.
Tips and advices to visit Venice with a small budget
- Go to the tourist office, the city organizes free guided tours to visit Venice.
- The entrance to the church Santa Maria della Salute and especially the basilica San Marco is Free!
- Be careful, the best Osteria (to eat local and not too expensive) close very early. Generally, those open until late are very touristy.
- For the cicchetti in Venice we loved: Vino Vero and Al Timon in Cannaregio and Dai Zemei in the Rialto.
2cd day: Multi-transport pass (20€/people).
>> Visit the Murano and Burano island then back on the main island.
Starting very early, it is possible to do 1 or 2 other islands (Lido (beaches and bars), Saint-Michel, Giudecca …), but we preferred to take our time. For your info, it takes already 1h15 minimum to go to Burano (while passing by Murano).
We started the day in Venice by the Rialto market (open only in the morning until 1pm), then we went to Murano and Burano islands.
– Murano island and its venetian glass
Larger than Burano, this island is very nice. Surprisingly, the quays are crowed (Murano glass shops, bars, restaurants …) while the center is empty. The visit and the window shopping are nonetheless interesting. Regarding glass, apart from traditional figurines and jewels that you will find everywhere, you will find shops and objects more “artistic” and original than on the main Venice island, but prices are also a bit more expensive.
On arrival at the Navagero vaporetto stop, we were offered to visit a glass factory. Do not hesitate to go, it’s expeditious (10mins max) and touristy (the goal is then to make you buy in their shop, even more expensive than elsewhere) but having no obligation to buy, it is just a good opportunity if you have never visited a glass factory. It reminds me of the beautiful factory you visited in Sweden. Of course there is also the Murano glass museum.
– Burano island, the farest from Venice
3 times smaller, the Burano island is charming. Less people, it’s very pretty with all its colorful houses (certainly its main attraction). It was also famous for its lace (like Cilaos, very famous for its lace (french page) in La Reunion), but there is less and less factory. We saw some nice shops but nothing more. To find out more, there is a museum dedicated to the art of Burano lace and its history.
– Venice by night
We went back to Venice and took Vaporetto n° 1 to take a ride on the Grand Canal at dusk. Magical landscape, the light sneaks between buildings, palaces, gondolas and small bridges… Superb moment… We stopped at San Marco square, much quieter at night and well illuminated, before finishing with a good glass of wine accompanied with cicchetti…
>> How to go on Murano and Burano islands:
With vaporetto of course! But the vaporeto network may seem complicated for some people. There are of course several ways to go depending on where you are in Venice.
Here is a easy way to go on the Murano and Burano islands with vaporetto:
- To Murano: From San Marco-S.Zaccaria (be careful, there are many starts) take lines 4.1 or 7. For your info, the 4.1 is direct (just half an hour) whereas the 7 take almost 1h (it stops to Lido island). Then stop to Navagero, Faro or Colonna stops.
- To Burano: (the Northern island): Environ 45 mins depuis Murano. once in Murano, at Faro stop (near the lighthouse)… take the line 12 to Burano (Burano stop). About 45 mins from Murano.
=> So from Venice it’s easily 2h30 of vaporetto round-trip to visit both islands. A bit faster if you leave from Fondamente Nove.
4/ Visit Venice, our feeling about this town
It has been a long time since I wanted to visit Venice. Dream of a carnival in February, a domino mask on my face. Strolling along the endless alleys and bridges, the gondoliers’ refuges. Romanticism at its peak, perfect aesthetics … in short. But after Rome (very beautiful city by the way, a real open air museum), we were afraid of “the too crowed, too touristy, too expensive so not that nice in the end”.
Well, we were pleasantly surprised by this city without horns. Indeed, the most touristic areas are very busy, of course. But there are ways to escape (staying within 10/15 mins walk from the center) in more discreet streets but equally beautiful and less crowded. Find affordable prices, eat on the go picnicking in a park, but also have a drink with Venetian cicchetti … Admire the windows of Murano’s glass, Venetian masks workshops …
Venice and its cobbled streets, Murano’s glass and Venetian masks’ windows, reflections of the sun glittering on the canals…
We hope that this article on how/what to visit in Venice in 2 days in campervan will help you preparing your trip in this very beautiful Italian city.
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