If you had 3 days in Venice what would be the top 5 things you would see or do in Venice (include surroundings if easily reached).
sit and drink wine on Piazza San Marco and listen to the bands, or sit in Cafe Florian and drink wine and listen to the bands. We did both.
Take a gondola ride, I felt like such a tourist but it was a great way to see Venice. Also, the front seats in the water buses are open air and give a great view of everything. We caught #82, I think that is the number, and it took us all the way from Piazza San Marco up the Grand Canal all the way to the train station.
make a point to see the neighborhood side of Venice. We stayed in a b&b in the Canereggio. The first morning I got up and wandered around, the area was full of small markets with the locals out shopping and sitting at sidewalk cafes drinking coffee. That's when I fell in love with Venice.
I know that's more than five, but there's a lot to see in Venice.
While it is great to do the touristy things like a gondola ride and see all the sights in San Marco, to me Venice was best where there were few tourists.
We loved the Rick Steves' Dorsoduro walk. We got to see the Accademia and Tintoretto's Scuola di San Rocco and the I Frari church. But equally enjoyable wer all the little churches we saw where there were hardly any tourists. Also Campo San Polo, Campo Santa Margherita and the fish and vegetable markets were lovely.
We bought a Chorus pass that gets you into 16 churches all across Venice. It is great to compare the different Bellini Madonnas!
You can find all the info at the above site.
Have a fun trip!
If you can get a guided tour of the Doges Palace, which also should take you across the Bridge of Sighs into the prison - that would be good.
Sit at a cafe, or outside in St. Marks, particularly in the evening when the bands are playing.
Walk the neighborhoods - discover wonderful shops, cafes, churhes. Venice overflows with old world charm.
The Academia has interesting medieval art.
the Guggenheim has modern.
the interior of St. Marks is impressive. Go later in the day when lines are shorter.
A gondola ride is fun -- better, more romantic (and sort of creepy in a good way) at night. This might be more appropriate for a couple. If you are a mixed group or a family, daytime might be better.
Its fun to take a boat out to Murano, Burano and Torcello also.
You won't have trouble filling in 3 days. I agree with the above. You can do a self guided tour of the Doges palace with an audio guide. I did this and it was great - you can go at your own speed and don't miss anything. You also get to walk over the Bridge of Sighs twice. Visit St Marco's - go about midday if you can when they illuminate the gold ceiling - amazing. Have a glass of wine in St Marco's square and listen to the band. Have a Bellini in Harrys bar and think of Hemmingway. Walk the streets - especialy around Dorsoduro area. Get the Chorus pass and see the amazing churches. Do a half day walking tour to understand the history of Venice.Ride the vaporetto down the Grand Canal from the Station to St Marcos square. Finally check with your hotel if there are any concerts on. When I was there they had a concert featuring Puccini arias held in a magnificent cathedral. Just superb.
I just left Venice yesterday after 3 days. First, buy yourself the 30 Euro 72 hour Vaparetto pass. You can ride as often as you want in that time. Each individual ticket costs 6 Euro. As Rick says, take the slow number 1 boat and see the canal and then get off and explore.
Those 3 days went so fast I wanted three more.
Another thought. we enjoyed taking the boat to the islands of Burano and Murano.One for the glass factories and the other for the lace.Both neat towns.
1) Get lost on purpose. There are signs everywhere pointing you back to major landmarks (Rialto, San Marco). I spent half a day roaming, hitting dead ends, and seeing actual back doors of Venice. I found a dead end where the gondolas passed by and spent an hour taking killer photos (and winking at gondoliers, boy was that fun!).
2) Take a gondola ride at night. Granted, I did this with 22 tourmates, but to see the city at night was amazing. Sadly, dark and abandoned in places, but also alive and vibrant.
3) Get lost again. I met the most beautiful old man, spoke no English, but wanted desperatly to help me find a restaurant I was looking for on a map. He walked me right to it.
4) Have a glass of wine in a real neighborhood piazza. I recommend Campo San Barnaba in the Dorsoduro. Real people heading home, meeting up, old couples strolling, just lovely.
5) Do the vapporetto thing. It's fun, the pass is pretty cheap, and you see the city that way.
All of the above.
Get lost. You will have an amazing experience.
Try to out run the gondolas! We never rode one - but followed their routes from bridge to bridge.
Check out the women's shoes on display in the finer shops between St. Mark's and Accademia. I took many lovely photos!
Look for and photograph the most outrageous Carnival Mask!
most of all, relax and absorb that which is Venice.
I bought a compass so I would not get lost. Now everybody is telling me to "Get Lost". This is nothing new because my wife says "Get Lost!" to me at least once a week. Perhaps the compass will have "Lost" as one of its directions?
Jim, you must have surprised your wife by now, no? What did she say!! :)
From what I understand, there are signs everywhere in Venice telling you where the "big" sights are like Rialto, San Marco, etc. So getting lost is great b/c it's easy to get "un-lost"
This may sound cheesy buy one of the most fun things we did was to get a 24 hour pass for the tronchetto (water bus) ride it the entire slow circuit seated in the front.
The next best thing was the secret passages tour of the doges palace.
Venice is so beautiful. I really enjoyed wandering the back streets, the local's Venice. finding little hidden treasures. Of course you want to see St. Mark's, the Doge's Palace, but going off the beaten track is wonderful. Last time I went we stayed in the Canneregio section of Venice, the working class section and it was wonderful. But no matter what you do in Venice is wonderful, heck just being there is wonderful. Enjoy!
Try a Tragehetti - its is a longer Gondola where they stand to pass where there are no bridges across the Grand Canal.
Gondola ride on a smaller internal Canal (not as choppy as the Grand Canal)
Ride a Vaparetto (bus Boat) the length of the Grand Canal out front as listed above.
Dogges Palace & St. Marks Basilica - Rialto Market