Thinking of taking a Florence to Venice day trip?
Venice is one of the most unique and picturesque cities in the world!
It’s often referred to as the “City of Canals” and the “City of Bridges” because the city is built on a group of 118 small islands that are separated by canals. These small islands and canals are linked by over 400 bridges!
Venice is stunning, beautiful, and romantic! It will leave you in awe! Even if it’s only for a day, you just have to see Venice!
In this guide, we will talk about How to Get from Florence to Venice, Things to See and Do on a Florence to Venice Day Trip, and Travel Tips for a Florence to Venice Day Trip.
Here is your guide to an amazing and unforgettable day in Venice!
Is a Day Trip to Venice Worth it?
Absolutely!! I’m all about taking day trips if it means you can experience something new and exciting! And Venice is definitely all that and more!
Ideally, you would like to have at least 1 night in Venice, but if a day is all you can do, then DO it! It might not be the most ideal, but it’s totally worth it!
After all, you might not make your way back to Italy again and the “City of Canals” is definitely a bucket-list destination!
Still, having doubts about taking a day trip from Florence to Venice? Read one of my favorite quotes…
How to Get from Florence to Venice?
The best way to take a day trip from Florence to Venice is by high-speed train.
There are many other “slower” trains that leave from Florence to Venice, but these are NO good for a day trip.
Make sure to book the Frecciarossa train. This is approximately a 2 hr 14-minute high-speed train from Firenze Santa Maria Novella (Florence’s main train station) to Venezia Santa Lucia (Venice’s main station.)
Because you’ll have a long day ahead of you and will want to squeeze in as much as possible, take the earliest train out of Florence and take the latest train coming back out from Venice.
The earliest high-speed train leaving Florence and going to Venice usually leaves around 7:20 am. The latest train leaving Venice and going to Florence leaves around 7:30 pm.
I recommend purchasing your train tickets through Trainline. They even have a super convenient app!
I have used a few different options for purchasing train tickets in Italy but found that the Trainline app is by far my favorite for its ease of use.
Make sure to purchase as early as possible for the best prices and availability.
Navigating from Venice Train Station to the Heart of Venice
Once you reach Venezia Santa Lucia Station (Venice’s main train station) you have a couple of options to get you to the heart of the city. (San Marco area)
You can either walk or take the Vaporetto (Venice’s water bus system).
- 🚶♀️Walking from Venezia Santa Lucia to Piazza San Marco will take approximately 28 minutes.
- ⛴Taking the Vaporetto to the Rialto Bridge is approximately 20 minutes plus a 5-minute walk to Piazza San Marco.
Things to See & Do on a Florence to Venice Day Trip
Because your time in Venice is limited, here are the must-see things to see and do on a day trip from Florence to Venice.
St. Mark’s Square (Piazza San Marco)
St. Mark’s Square (Piazza San Marco) is a must on any trip to Venice. You simply can’t go to Venice and not stroll through this famous piazza.
In fact, St. Mark’s Square is one of the most famous and photographed squares in the world! This is also where you’ll find St. Mark’s Basicilia and Doge’s Palace.
There are some great cafes that line the edges of St Mark’s Square where you can enjoy a leisurely coffee (caffè) and pastry.
Coffee is cheap in Italy, but not here in St. Mark’s Square. Be prepared to pay a hefty price to enjoy your coffee(caffè) at one of these sit-down cafes such as the renowned Caffè Florian.
Caffè Florian is not your typical coffeehouse. Take a walk inside and be stunned by its elegant, interior. Check out the interior, but then dine at one of the tables outside. Drink your coffee and indulge in an Italian pastry while you listen to live Italian music and admire all the gorgeous buildings and atmosphere of St. Mark’s Square. This is what enjoying Venice is all about!
There are also some fabulous galleries and jewelry stores to walk in and browse along the edges of St. Mark’s Square. My favorite is a Murano Glass shop that sells beautiful glass home decor and jewelry. I purchased a few beautiful, affordable bracelets made from Murano glass for my daughter and me. It was my favorite thing we brought home from Italy!
Fun Fact: Piazza San Marco is the ONLY piazza in Venice! All the other squares are called “campi” in Venice.
St. Mark’s Basilica
Whether you stroll by and admire the exterior or if you decide to do a tour of the interior, St Mark’s Basilica (Basilica di San Marco) is a must-see on your Florence to Venice day trip.
This church is absolutely gorgeous! The interior has more than 8,000 square meters of mosaics, mostly made of gold. Even the flooring is stunning with over 22,000 square feet of marble.
If you would like to do a tour of St. Mark’s Basilia, the highly recommended Legendary Venice St. Mark’s Basilica with Terrace Access & Doge’s Palace is an excellent one.
This 3-hour tour includes St. Mark’s Basicilia with terrace access, Doge’s Palace, and a walk over the Bridge of Sighs.
Doge’s Palace is another stunning building located in St. Marks Square definitely worthy of visiting on your Florence to Venice day trip.
This masterpiece of Gothic architecture will stun you not only on the exterior but the interior too. Doge’s Palace housed the “doge”(leader), the seat of government, the city’s courtrooms and it was even a jail.
I recommend taking the previously mentioned Legendary Venice St. Mark’s Basilica with Terrace Access & Doge’s Palace tour to get an in-depth look into Doge’s Palace along with St. Mark’s Basilica.
Riva degli Schiavoni- the Venitian Waterfront
Riva degli Schiavoni is a lively, waterfront promenade in Venice. This area is VERY busy, with LOTS of people.
You’ll find many vendors selling snacks, souvenirs, and even paintings. We purchased a beautiful canvas painting of Venice here from an artist that is now hanging in one of the rooms of our home.
Walking along the waterfront, you’ll see gondola after gondola, and looking across the beautiful Venitian lagoon you’ll see San Giorgio Maggiore; a classical, Renaissance-style church with a stunning white marble facade.
Also, strolling along this waterfront promenade, you’ll pass a canal with a stunning white-stone enclosed bridge. This is the iconic Bridge of Sighs.
Bridge of Sighs
The Bridge of Sighs is a small, beautiful bridge that crosses over the Rio di Palazzo and connects the old prisons with the interrogation rooms of Doges Palace.
The bridge was given its name because the prisoners would “sigh” at their final view of beautiful Venice before they went to their prison cells.
This bridge is made of white limestone and has stone bars over the windows. If you take the previously mentioned Legendary Venice St. Mark’s Basilica with Terrace Access & Doge’s Palace tour, you will even be able to walk inside this iconic bridge!
Fun local legend: Legend says if a couple kisses in a gondola under the Bridge of Sighs at sunset as the bells of St. Mark’s ring, they will enjoy eternal love.
The Grand Canal
You don’t have to look too hard to find a canal in Venice. They are everywhere! After all, the city is built on over a hundred small islands that are connected by canals.
The largest and most important of these canals though is The Grand Canal.
The Grand Canal is about 2.4 miles long. At its widest, it is about 295 feet. At its narrowest, it is 98 feet. It sweeps through the city in the shape of an “S” and splits Venice into two parts.
No trip to Venice is complete without seeing The Grand Canal.
You can simply walk along the edges and admire its beauty, take a gondola ride or water taxi (Vaporetto), or cross the canal walking over one of its four bridges.
The Rialto Bridge is the main pedestrian crossing over The Grand Canal and is the oldest of the 4 bridges.
This elegant, stone-arched bridge connects the San Marco and San Polo districts. You’ll find many shops and vendors here and it’s also a great place to hop on a gondola.
Near the bridge, you’ll find many luxury brand clothing shops, jewelry, and shoe shops. Also near this bridge is the popular Rialto Market where you’ll find fresh fruits, vegetables, and fish.
Libreria Acqua Alta
About a 10-minute walk from the Rialto Bridge is a fun bookstore to check out. It’s called Libreria Acqua Alta which means “bookstore of high water.” It’s often referred to as the “most beautiful bookstore in the world.”
This is such a unique store in that the books are stored in gondolas and boats to withstand all the flooding that Venice gets.
Many people come here just to get that “instagrammable” picture with the incredible book staircase with piles and piles of books.
Ponte dell’Accademia Bridge
Another bridge that crosses over the Grand Canal is Ponte dell’Accademia. This is a wooden bridge located near the southern end of the canal that is named after the Gallerie dell’ Accademia which is located there.
It connects the neighborhoods of San Marco and Dorsoduro. It has far fewer crowds than the Rialto Bridge.
The view of the Venice skyline from Ponte dell’Accademia is just stunning!
A gondola ride is a must-do on your Florence to Venice day trip. You can’t leave Venice without doing this. Even my 9-year-old said we had to do this while here because that’s what you do in Venice.
A private gondola ride is about 80 euros for a 25-30 minute tour. No worrying about booking a gondola early. There are plenty available to hop on.
Get Lost in Venice
If you can, leave some time to “get lost in Venice.”
Even our Airbnb host said to us after she checked us in, “now go get lost in Venice.”
Getting lost in Venice is one of the best ways to discover parts of the city that you wouldn’t normally see.
There are so many great small canals, shops, and buildings to discover off the beaten path. You’ll come across some of the most picturesque places that make the most beautiful pictures!
Just make sure to keep track of time, so you don’t miss your train going back to Florence!
Travel Tips for a Florence to Venice Day Trip
- Catch that first early high-speed train from Florence to Venice. Plan to enjoy the whole day in Venice and take the last high-speed train leaving Venice from Florence that day.
- Be prepared for crowds. Venice is one of the most popular tourist destinations not only in Italy but in the world.
- If wanting to do a tour, make sure to book your tickets ahead of time!
- If traveling during the summer, be prepared for the heat. We traveled to Venice in July and the heat was pretty unbearable. There are not many shaded areas to walk.
- You only have a day, so come with the expectation that you won’t be able to do everything you want to do. Appreciate what you can do and enjoy all the beauty that Venice is.
Conclusion: Florence to Venice Day Trip
I hope you have enjoyed my guide, Florence to Venice Day Trip – Your Guide to an Amazing and Unforgettable Day!
A day trip from Florence to Venice is totally worth it!
Venice will wow you at every turn and will leave you with unforgettable memories to last a lifetime!
Enjoy your time in one of the most unique and beautiful cities in the world!
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