Get to Know Venice in 48 Hours: The Most Important Highlights
It’s perfectly possible to enjoy a 2-day city break in Venice, and with its maze of canals, grand palaces and bridges to sigh over, you’d be mad not to go! Venice: the word alone conjures up a romantic world of glittering canals, dreamy domes, towers, bridges and white gothic arches. But it’s perfectly possible for this daydream to become a beautiful reality on a 48-hour city break in Venice. With plenty of low-cost flights and quick, easy transfers between airport and city, why not make a weekend trip to La Serenissima and savour some of these golden highlights?
Stroll through St. Mark’s Square
With its beautiful marble arches and the sounds of orchestras drifting across the piazza, St. Mark’s Square is the soul of Venice and a picture-perfect postcard backdrop. From here, be sure to stop by Doge’s Palace, the city’s iconic seat of power. You’ll love exploring the palace’s inner courtyard and its magnificent façade, which also look spectacular in photos.
Once you’re done, take the lift up the Campanile, the tower that looms over St. Mark’s Square and offers incredible views of the city and adjacent lagoon. If you’re ascending the tower on the hour, be sure to cover your ears – the ring of the bells is melodic, but can be quite deafening!
If you have time, it’s also worth venturing inside St. Mark’s Basilica to behold the beauty of the stunning golden mosaics that adorn its walls and ceiling. There is no entrance fee, but be prepared to wait in a queue.
Explore the Bridges and Canals
Get excited: it’s time to explore the many alleyways and canals that give Venice its unique character. Highlights include the famed Bridge of Sighs (so named because prisoners crossing the bridge would sigh as they saw freedom for the last time) and the world-renowned Rialto Bridge, straddling the Grand Canal at the heart of the city. Why not get yourself a scoop of Italian gelato as you enjoy these sights?
*Insider Tip: the perfect way to explore Venice, of course, is by gondola – it’s the ultimate romantic trip. You can even book your own private gondola tour for you and your significant other. Taking between 45 minutes and an hour, it’s an unforgettable experience that you’ll want to capture – have your iPhones at the ready and take some quintessential Venetian selfies!
Take a Shopping Break
A trip to La Serenissima would not be complete without taking home your very own Venetian mask. With so many boutique shops to choose from, make sure to dedicate plenty of time to some retail therapy. You’ll find a number of designer stores near both St. Mark’s Square and by the Rialto Bridge. If you’re looking for a particularly quirky mask to impress your friends back home, try the gift shop at the Mondonovo Mask Museum.
*Insider Tip: taking a city break in Venice without eating well would be criminal! With little time to fully explore what’s on offer, it’s worth planning where to go in advance – I recommend Abeccafico, a restaurant next to the glorious Accademia Bridge. With its stunning views of the Grand Canal, scrumptious seafood, and tasty tiramisu dessert, you’re in for a perfect meal after a long day of walking and boating.
How to Get There
It couldn’t be easier to enjoy a city break in Venice, thanks to plenty of affordable flights from London airports. I recommend booking a flight with Easyjet, which offers daily flights at various times, and has return flights for as little as £30 (from London Gatwick and Luton). After a short two-hour flight, you’ll already be at Venice’s Marco Polo Airport.
Upon arrival, don’t opt for unreliable public transportation. Instead, pre-book one of Shuttle Direct’s private or shared taxis, which can quickly whisk you across the water and into the city within 25 minutes. That way, there’s no need to worry about losing precious time. Our local and experienced drivers know all of the best routes around the canals, and can even take you directly to your hotel. You’ll be sipping bellinis by St. Mark’s Square before you can say prosecco!
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