How to Spend a Day in Venice, Italy

Recently Daniel and I took a trip to Venice, Italy ourselves. It was our first big trip together and definitely a memorable one. We saw a lot, learned a lot, and it was a great stepping stone into the rest of our vacation to Dubrovnik, Greece, and Rome.

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Locanda Marinella

The first day we arrived, we were extremely jet lagged. I’m so happy we got a great hotel for such a good price at Locanda Marinella. Out of all the stays at hotels on our trip in Europe, this was definitely our favourite. Not only was the staff extremely friendly (they even let us borrow chargers when ours shorted out!), but it was at a great location, very close to the busses and people movers in Venice, Italy. Choosing a hotel in Venice, Italy that was close to there instead of inside the city itself was a great decision. No need to pull around our luggage over stairs, bridges, and through bustling crowds after an extremely long flight.

The hotel was also super clean and had all the basic hotel amenities you need. They even gave us two free water bottles and told us where to refill it with clean and drinkable water! When we were looking into hotels we saw a lot of reviews about many of the local hotels having lower than normal American standards. However, upon arriving, we think we found a gem amongst them all because none of the complaints about other hotels applied to ours. If you ever go to Venice, definitely give Locanda Marinella a stay if you’re on a budget! 

Since we were so jet lagged the first day, we got to the hotel, checked in early (so glad they e-mailed us ahead of time asking when we’d arrive so they could get our room ready for early check in for free!), and pretty much just passed out for hours, ultimately ruining the schedule we tried to adjust to for Europe. 

So, let’s start this Venice, Italy travel diary off on Day 2.

The Exploring Begins

We knew we wanted to keep this vacation casual and stress free, so we made a list of places prior of things we wanted to see in Venice, Italy and chose a “far” location and just walked there. We ended up bumping into a lot of the locations we planned to look at on the way there and back. 

The place we planned to visit first was Piazza San Marco, which also had St. Marks Basilica, and Doge’s Palace.

Rialto Bridge venice italy

On the way there, we passed by Rialto Bridge. It was interesting because one half of the bridge was completely empty, meanwhile the other side was full of tourists like ourselves. At first we went to the empty side to see the view of the canal, but eventually walked to the opposite side to see that there was so much more to look at. You could see boats actively delivering people, gondolas parked on the side, and many of the beautifully coloured buildings. It’s no wonder people were crowded on that side. 

When we finally arrived at Piazza San Marco, it was still early around 8am, so it was nice to see it fairly empty. It was interesting because when we arrived, we could literally see the crowds slowly walking in and filling the square. So we were able to enjoy the peaceful scenery for a bit! The square was beautiful, spacious, and memorable. I think if we arrived any later when it got really crowded, we probably wouldn’t have enjoyed ourselves as much in Venice, Italy.

venice italy st marcs basilica travel diary
St Marcs Basilica venice italy
venice italy grand canal travel diary

Afterwards, we walked down the Grand Canal. There were a lot of beautiful buildings to admire and lots of bridges to enjoy. If you’re ever visiting Venice, Italy, bring running shoes or sneakers because you don’t think you’ll be hiking, but with how many bridges you go up (some with stairs), you’ll wish you had comfortable shoes with you. 

After a bit of walking, we noticed it was getting extremely crowded. It was about to be noon and the streets began to get so congested, you’d get jam packed by other people trying to get to places. This was a sign for Daniel and I to leave this area and walk around a less touristy area. 

chiesa san giorgio dei greci venice italy
venice italy travel diary walking

There was no specific path we took, we just wandered all around town. We even went to the tiny neighbourhoods to see what the housing was like there. We passed by things like Chiesa San Giorgio dei Greci , Scoula Grande di San Marco, and many other plaza squares. Although Piazza San Marco and the Grand Canal were beautiful, once it gets congested, we definitely preferred wandering the small alleyways, away from people and the blazing hot sun. I wore a dress shirt and jeans, so I definitely regretted my fashion choices once the sun came up. 

We even walked by many water fountains in Venice, Italy! When hearing about it, it might sound odd pointing it out, but I find it to be a very unique feature. We were looking at it for a while wondering what it was, but then a local came by and told us it was drinkable. At this point, we realized, this was where our hotel front desk managers were pointing us out to go to refill our water bottles. To our surprise, the water was cold and refreshing! 

We walked and walked until we could walk no more. Unfortunately Daniel didn’t find a tie for his tie collection from Venice, Italy, but he found one later in Rome for Italy. In one day, I think we walked around everywhere in Venice, even to the police stations! I’d say it was a successful day exploring. 

Afterwards, we finished off with some food and gelato which was a great treat after a long day of constant walking.

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Looking to visit Venice, Italy soon? These might help with planning your trip:

What’s your favourite part in Venice, Italy?

Thanks to Daniel and a few kind strangers for the photos!