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Day Trips and Excursions from Venice

Being one of the most visited destinations in Europe and the world, La Serenissima offers the most varied experiences. Here is a compilation of the most interesting ones so that you can include as many as you can in your itinerary.

Katherine Betances

Katherine Betances

10 min read

Day Trips and Excursions from Venice

Grand Canal, View of the Accademia di Belle Arti di Venezia and the Basilica di Santa Maria | ©Israel Ferrera

Venice is a city truly unique in its kind, placed on the must-see list of every travel enthusiast, there is so much to see and do in Venice. That's why a guided tour is definitely the best decision you can make to make the most of your stay and not miss anything interesting. Here is a list of my personal favorites that I hope will inspire you to have an amazing vacation.

1. Excursion to Murano and Burano from Venice

Sunset on a canal in Burano| ©Fabio Mangione
Sunset on a canal in Burano| ©Fabio Mangione

This type of excursion is the ideal choice for those who are on vacation in Venice for three days or more, since it allows you to visit the traditional islands of Murano and Burano located north of the lagoon and famous for centuries for their delicate craftsmanship.

What will you see on these tours?

You will have the valuable opportunity to visit the island of Murano, with its prodigious glass industry; additionally you can visit the island of Burano famous for its lace creations and its colorful houses; Burano's gastronomy is equally spectacular. Some travel alternatives also include a visit to the island of Torcello from Burano, famous for being the first island in the lagoon to be inhabited.

Details of interest

  • Duration of the excursion: It may vary depending on the company you hire and the itinerary established, however you should reserve at least 3 hours for this type of excursion. If you contemplate a longer trip you can opt for full day options on the islands and get to know them in depth.
  • Price: You will find different excursions to Murano and Burano from Venice, with premium price options and other more general ones, with price options starting at 30€ per person.

Book your excursion to Murano and Burano

2. Night tour of the mysterious Venice

Venice by night| ©Luca Sartoni
Venice by night| ©Luca Sartoni

Those who enjoy listening to intriguing stories, supernatural legends and spooky tales will find this type of experience fascinating. With an expert guide you will have the opportunity to take a walking tour through narrow streets and labyrinths while hearing secrets and ghost stories that are rarely told in books.

What will you see on these tours?

The tour will take you through the Castello and Cannaregio districts to hear disturbing stories of the ancient Venetian leaders, its most notable citizens. Also get to know the Rialto area, once the most important commercial area of the whole island. Some alternatives combine the experience with a stop to enjoy an aperitivo at a bacari.

Details of interest

  • Duration of the excursion: The duration of the excursion may vary depending on the company you hire and the places included in the tour. The average time is a minimum of 1 hour and a maximum of 3.30 hours. This tour always takes place at sunset or dusk, so it is perfect to combine it with other options.
  • Price: The minimum payment you will have to reimburse is approximately 30€ for the tour, alternatives that include a snack may require doubling this budget.

Book a guided tour of Venice

3. Gondola ride with serenade

Rialto Bridge Gondola Ride| ©Damiano Baschiera
Rialto Bridge Gondola Ride| ©Damiano Baschiera

Where else in the world can you enjoy a similar experience? I don't think there is anything more traditional than a gondola ride on the waters of the Grand Canal. To move to Venice and not enjoy this kind of experience is really a shame. Venetian gondoliers will take you on a shared tour across the lagoon waters in gondolas that can accommodate up to 6 people; you will have the option to hire the gondola for your private use.

What will you see on these tours?

The gondola ride is combined with a tour of the Grand Canal of Venice to appreciate the architectural gems built along this important commercial waterway throughout history. In addition, a talented singer will perform for you the most romantic Venetian ballads.

Details of interest

  • Duration of the excursion: These are usually short excursions, but you will need to reserve a minimum of 30 minutes for the ride in addition to the time it will take to get to the meeting point.
  • Price: Gondola rides with serenade included are available from 30€ per person, if you require a gondola for private use you will have to pay a higher price.

Book your Gondola Ride

4. Take a walking tour through the streets of Venice.

St. Mark's Square| ©Toa Herftiba
St. Mark's Square| ©Toa Herftiba

A professional guide takes a small group of tourists to tour the main treasures of the city; these excursions usually take place during the day to admire in detail the beautiful architecture of Venetian buildings.

What will you see on these tours?

This type of excursion includes the exploration of architectural gems and important Venetian monuments. The itinerary may vary depending on the company you decide to hire but some alternatives include: Guided tour of St. Mark's Square, stop to see the Casa di Marco Polo, view of the Basilica of Santa Maria della Salutte, pass by the Teatro La Fenice, the Basilica dei Santi Giovanni e Paolo, ect.

Interesting details

  • Duration of the tour: You should reserve at least one hour of your itinerary for this tour, when combined with other alternatives such as a gondola ride the tour can be extended up to about three hours.
  • Price: Depending on the duration and the itinerary of stops included in the tour the initial price may vary between 30€ and 60€.

Book a guided tour of Venice

5. Legendary Venice: see St. Mark's Basilica and Doge's Palace

Entrance of St. Mark's Basilica| ©Mark Huguet
Entrance of St. Mark's Basilica| ©Mark Huguet

An expert guide on the architecture and history of Venice will take a small group of tourists to see two of the most opulent jewels of Venetian architecture: the Doge's Palace and St. Mark's Basilica. If you are interested in art, history or architecture this is a tour not to be missed. The best part? By hiring a guided tour you avoid the entrance line and the tour inside can be done very quickly. It is ideal for those who are only in Venice for a day.

What will you see on these tours?

You will have the opportunity to get to know the interior of the Doge's Palace with all its secrets, as well as the interior of St. Mark's Basilica with all its wonderful treasures brought from other lands and from other times long ago.

Interesting details

Book your tour to the Doge's Palace and St. Mark's Basilica

6. A day trip to discover the Padua region by cruise ship.

Touring Padua| ©Gary Bembridge
Touring Padua| ©Gary Bembridge

If you are on a Venice Trip that contemplates staying in the city for five or more days, one of the activities you should consider including in your itinerary is a cruise visit to the city of Padua. Located in the Veneto region, it has a really beautiful historic center and is located just 38 km to the west. The destination is one of the favorite day getaways for the inhabitants of greater Venice.

What will you see on these tours?

Excursions of this type contemplate a ride aboard a cruise along the Riviera del Brenta; the idea is to take tourists not only to the final destination in Padua but also to show you the outstanding destinations you might encounter along the way. Although it might change slightly depending on the company you hire, some stops that might be included in your trip are: Villa Foscari, the National Museum and gardens of Villa Pisani, the historic center of Padua.

Details of interest

  • Duration of the excursion: The complete tour including the round trip to the center of Prague has a total duration of 9 to 10 hours. For this type of tour you will need to reserve a full day of your itinerary, so it is ideal if you will be in Venice for several days.
  • Price: This type of experience is usually available from 100 €, the price includes transportation and in most cases the entrance to the gardens and palaces of the tour itinerary.

Book a tour from Venice

7. Get to know the countryside outside Venice

Tasting Prosecco wine| ©Melissa Wang
Tasting Prosecco wine| ©Melissa Wang

Take a tour to get to know the wine region located just outside of Venice. A local wine expert guide takes the tour group from the center of La Serenissima to the very countryside to soak in the beauty of the landscapes, the splendorous vineyards and the process of making this delicious beverage.

What will you see on these tours?

Enjoy tastings and learn about the step-by-step process of making prosecco, the local name for the famous Italian sparkling wine. The experience includes entrance to the vineyards, tastings in the cellars and a visit to a local restaurant at lunchtime.

Details of interest

  • Duration of the excursion: With an average duration of 6 to 7 hours, you should reserve a day for this adventure. Excursions of this type usually depart early in the morning from an important meeting point in Venice such as St. Mark's Square; heading to the Italian wine regions of Valdobbiadene Conegliano.
  • Price: This type of experience is available from €130 per participant.

Book a tour from Venice

8. Venetian gastronomic tour: Rialto Market and food tasting

Rialto Fish Market| ©VeneciaU
Rialto Fish Market| ©VeneciaU

It is impossible to leave Venice without enjoying its fabulous gastronomy. In this type of excursion, an expert guide in Italian gastronomy takes a small group of tourists to the Rialto Market, while exploring the gastronomic tradition of the Serenissima. This experience is accompanied by historical facts and secret places that usually do not appear in travel guides.

What will you see on these tours?

In addition to getting to know the famous Rialtoclick here and enjoy its curious architecture, you will have the opportunity to taste various tastings in restaurants and bars highly valued by the locals; Italian wines are usually included as part of the experience.

Interesting details

  • Duration of the tour: It may vary a bit depending on the company you hire, however I recommend booking at least 2.5 hours for this tour; some may extend up to 3.5 hours for the total tour.
  • Price: When several bars and restaurants are included the price to pay is approximately 90€ for the experience.

Book a tour of Venice

9. Take the alternative Venice tour

In Barnaba's countryside| ©Didier Descouens
In Barnaba's countryside| ©Didier Descouens

Once you've experienced the classic Venice that includes a cruise along the Grand Canal, a visit to the Doge's Palace, the Piazza and St. Mark's Basilica, next up is a tour of alternative Venice to explore those architectural and historical gems not seen on the more conventional sightseeing tours. It's an ideal add-on if you're vacationing in Venice on a four- or seven-day itinerary.

Most companies offering this type of tour use native Venetian guides, with some specialty in art, architecture and/or history, and the guides are usually able to speak at least two languages: English and Italian. Before booking you can check the availability of English speaking guides if the excursion does not specify it.

What will you see on these tours?

Your travel program includes a tour of the hidden gems of Venice and although the itinerary may change depending on the company you choose you could expect one of the following destinations: A visit to Barnaba's countryside, getting to know the more artistic side of Venice in the Dorsoduro district with its palazzos, most beautiful churches and museums.

Details of interest

  • Duration of the tour: Depending on the route you plan to take you may need to spend more time but as a general rule this type of experience usually lasts about 2 hours on average, always starting from a known point in the vicinity of the Grand Canal.
  • Price: The more specialized historical tours also tend to be a bit more expensive, you can expect an average price of 30€ for this experience.

Book a guided tour of Venice

10. Take a Jewish Ghetto Tour in Venice

Santa Maria della Salute Basilica| ©Jorge Franganillo
Santa Maria della Salute Basilica| ©Jorge Franganillo

Explore Venice away from the crowds by taking a tour of the Jewish Quarter of La Serenissima. Located in the Cannaregio area, it is known to locals as il Ghetto. The Jews who arrived in Venice from the 16th century onwards were forced to settle in this area, which was once somewhat separated from the rest by large canals. Today, centuries later, the area has a particular architecture and charm that certainly distinguishes it from the rest of what you will find in Venice.

What will you see on these tours?

With a local guide you can get to know the Cannaregio area in depth, its history and evolution; depending on the excursion you choose, a small tasting of local street food can be included. All excursions of this type include a mandatory stop at the Jewish synagogues and a visit to the majestic Basilica Santa Maria della Salute. From the Cannaregio area it is possible to view St. Mark's Basilica from another perspective, bring your camera to take pictures.

Interesting details

  • Duration of the excursion: It may vary depending on the company you hire. The minimum time required to get to know Cannaregio and its secrets is two hours, longer excursions can take up to 4 hours of itinerary.
  • Price: This type of experience is handled in small groups of tourists so the price is around 80€ or more per excursion.

Book a guided tour of Venice

Frequently asked questions

  • What are the best day trips from Venice?

    Outside of Verona, Murano and Burano, many adventurers take the high-speed train to Florence to see the popular Tuscan city. Motor enthusiasts can visit the Lamborghini headquarters and check out the Ferrari test track in Maranello.

  • What can be seen in Torcello?

    Although not as famous as Murano and Burano, Torcello offers a change of scenery from the hustle and bustle of Venice, being much quieter. The main attraction of the island is the Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta and the Devil's Bridge.

  • Is it worth visiting the Dolomites from Venice?

    Considering that the Dolomite Mountains are only 2 hours away, it is actually a perfect destination for a day trip during your stay in Venice. The Dolomite Mountains are perfect for hiking and experiencing a lesser known part of Italy.