Hi, I’m Gina – a 26 year old travel blogger who lives in the Netherlands. Welcome to my guide on how to spend a wonderful weekend in Venice.
When I was little, I already visited Venice once but all I could remember was the fact that it was so crowded. Now, with the virus going on, it was the perfect opportunity to see Venice in all its glory. I booked a last minute trip with a friend and it was the best decision I have made in a while.
A Wonderful Weekend in Venice
Our flight from Amsterdam to Venice was on a Friday at around 10 pm. We arrived quite late but luckily our Airbnb host quickly showed us the way to our apartment. We didn’t sleep very much that night – probably around four hours – because the next morning our alarm went off at 6.30 am.
We did the same on Sunday so we could see as much as possible as our flight home was on Sunday evening. We discovered all the famous highlights like the Piazza San Marco and the Ponte di Rialto, but also wandered around the small alleys so we could find hidden gems. We made a boat trip to Burano too which was amazing and highly recommended.
My Favourite Places in Venice
My favourite place in Venice was the Ponte dell’Accademia. From here you have amazing views of the Grand Canal. I could watch it for hours! I also loved the neighbourhood of Cannaregio where we stayed – especially the Fondamenta Misericordia with its restaurants. Another fantastic place was Gio’s Restaurant and the terrace there which offered superb views.
Top 5 Things To See & Do in Venice for a Weekend
Venice is a dream destination for travellers – home to marble palaces, glorious canals, marvellous churches, narrow backstreets, fantastic restaurants and beautiful fashion. You can see and do quite a lot in a weekend here, and these recommendations will help you do so:
1. Watch the Sunset at Ponte dell’Accademia
Head down to the Ponte dell’Accademia (Accademia Bridge) at golden hour on your first night in Venice to enjoy the most romantic sunset of your life. This bridge crosses the Grand Canal towards the southern end. It links the San Marco district with the Accademia gallery in Dorsoduro.
2. Take a Boat Trip to the Colourful Burano
Burano is a vibrant island near Venice with colourful houses to explore. Be sure to go off the beaten path to feel like a real local. Take photos of the houses and the reflections they make on the green waters of the channels and meet the elderly ladies who embroider original Burano lace.
3. See the Ponte di Rialto in the Early Morning
Either on Saturday morning or Sunday morning, be sure to set your alarm early and walk down to the famous Ponte di Rialto before sunrise. This is the first real stone bridge of Venice. If you tuck in behind the Corte dei Conti you can discover an amazing place to take photos as the sun rises.
4. Visit San Giorgio Maggiore for Unique Views
Seeing Venice from the island of San Giorgio Maggiore gives you a totally unique perspective of this city. I recommend heading to the top of Chiesa di San Giorgio Maggiore – a 16th-century Benedictine church – for the best views back to Venice and the surrounding waterways and canals.
5. Admire the Basilica di Santa Maria della Salute
Visiting the Basilica di Santa Maria della Salute – otherwise known as “the Salute” – is a must-do for a weekend in Venice. It’s an immense Roman Catholic church from the 17th century. Go here (click on the link for the Google Maps location) for the best view from the other side of the canal!
Meet the Amazing Locals of Venice
The locals of Venice are super nice and helpful. However, they can find all the tourists to be a bit annoying sometimes, but on that I totally agree with them. Venice became way too crowded over the years and I hope that (when travelling is normal again) they find a good system to control the crowds like a maximum number of tourists on the island every day.
It’s hard though because when I was there all the small shops and restaurants did miss the tourists. Most of them rely on the money tourists spend and times like this are hard. But, because of the quietness, I had a chance to talk with locals and that was a great experience. Italian people love it if you speak Italian, so be sure to practice some basics before you go.
Glorious Food Scene of Venice
When in Italy, eat pasta or pizza! There are many tourist restaurants with good food, but not amazing. You have to look for small restaurants with small menus and no pictures on the menu. Those are the best!
Where to Stay in Venice
My friend and I stayed in this Airbnb in Venice and I would definitely recommend something similar. It was really close to the city centre and the beds and shower were great. The place was a bit small but we only slept there as we had breakfast and dinner somewhere else. So that was perfect!
If you are looking for a luxury stay in Venice then I would recommend The St. Regis. They have beautiful rooms and a spectacular terrace with views of the Grand Canal and Basilica di Santa Maria della Salute.
My Favourite Memories of Venice
I have two memories from Venice which I find amazing. The first was when we arrived at our apartment and couldn’t sleep because of the excitement. We decided to walk around Cannaregio in the middle of the night at around 1.30 am. Everything was serene. The city has a special vibe at night.
My second-best memory of the weekend was when we arrived at Piazza San Marco early and there were just a few tourists around. The square is huge and it was weird to see it that empty. It felt special to see it like this.
Need to Know Before you Go
To make the most of your weekend trip to Venice I recommend starting your days early. That way you can see the city at its best because most of the tourists start their day at around 9 am or just after. If you want to take a picture at a touristic spot without anyone else in it: this is your chance!
Also, take an extra SD-card. You will be snapping many pictures and the extra memory space will come in handy. And last but not least, relax. I know it’s tempting to plan every second of your trip but I had the best experiences when we were just wandering instead of running to each spot.
Thanks for reading and enjoy your weekend in Venice!