Venice Italy itself is a striking, unique place and one of the most iconic tourist destinations in the world. But it’s also one of Italy’s major cities with a prime location in the Veneto region of Northern Italy and on the banks of Europe’s Adriatic Sea. You can find several top-notch day trips from Venice when you’re satisfied with exploring the stunning City of Canals.
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Here are some of our top picks for visiting Venice:
Our Favorite Hotels in Venice:
Our Favorite Tours in Venice
You can catch high-speed trains or drive to many Central and Northern Italy cities in under 2 hours! Closer to home base, in an hour or less, you’ll find yourself experiencing the unique islands of the Venetian Lagoon or taking a guided tour of the Venetian Villas in the lovely countryside of Veneto.
Our family spent a lot of time in Italy, living near Lake Como, and have done so many day trips in the region. This is a relatively untapped are in Italy. Visitors tend to visit Venice, and skip the rest of Northern Italy. Take some time out of your Venice trip, and explore!
So, if you’re a restless traveler like me, looking for fun day trips from Venice, I’ve got some great ideas!
Unique Day Trips from Venice – For travelers looking for some classic and out-of-the-box ideas
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- Unique Day Trips from Venice – For travelers looking for some classic and out-of-the-box ideas
You can find day trips from Venice for every type of experience. Whether you want to check out a medieval town, relax on an Italian beach, or see a glass-blowing demonstration, you can find it close to Venice.
All of the destinations below are within 2 (maybe 2.5) hours from Venice by train, bus, or car. We’ll start from the closest distance and move out to the furthest. Keep reading for day trips from Venice worth visiting!
While I always recommend taking at least several days to explore the Dolomites, sometimes there are just not enough days in your trip (or in life really). If this is your one and only trip to Northern Italy, I’d highly recommend taking a day to see these glorious mountains.
The Dolomites aren’t easily reachable by train, so you’ll need to rent a car, hire a driver, or book a tour to get there. But I promise it will be worth it! This tour from Venice tour goes to Misurina and Cortina in the Dolomites, and this small group tour visits the same locations and Auronzo Lake.
We spent a week in the Dolomites this past summer and it was absolutely heavenly! I wouldn’t recommend doing this day trip in the winter, unless you are really into the snow. It’s up to you, but if you’re driving a car, the roads will most likely be icy and dangerous. Something to think about.
For a beach day, head to Lido di Venezia, a 7-mile-long barrier island on the Venetian Lagoon. It’s known for being the location of the Venice Film Festival and you can stay in some fabulous Art Nouveau-style hotels, but you’ll want to come here for the golden-sand beaches!
From the ferry terminals in Venice, it’s a quick 20-minute boat ride to Lido. Then it’s just a short walk to the beaches on the eastern shore. You can rent umbrellas and lounge chairs, shop boutiques, or hang out at a beachfront bar. There are also bike rentals if you want to ride on the lagoon side of the island and I think Lido beaches are the best place to catch the sunset!
Murano, Burano, & Torcello
Ok, this one isn’t exactly out of the box. Many people take a day trip to Murano, Burano, OR Torcello, but very few people do all three in one day.
A great day trip from Venice is to the lagoon islands of Murano, Burano, and Torcello. That’s because you can catch a ferry at the Fondamente Nove port in Castello and see all 3 in one day if you wish! The boat trip from Venice to Murano takes about 15 minutes, but it’ll take an hour if you’re going straight to Torcello.
Murano is the closest and a very busy tourist attraction. It’s known for its glass-making studios. You can visit the glass museum, peruse glass artisan shops, and watch glass blowers at work! This is a great place to pick up some souvenirs. I bought a teeny tiny glass nativity. The pieces are about a 1/2 inch tall and they’re so cute that I just leave them up all year.
The last time I was in Murano, my daughter and I ate at this fabulous restaurant with the best pizza I’ve ever had. It was Osteria del Duomo. I had the Burrata and prosciutto pizza. Divine!
Burano is your next stop and it’s worth it. This island is famous for its lace-making, and people come from all over just to purchase Murano lace from the shops here. If you’re into photography, bring a camera and enjoy the colorful houses lining the canals.
Torcello is the farthest outlying island on the Venetian Lagoon, and it’s a quiet, rural island. In medieval times, it was larger than Venice, and remnants of that time can still be seen today in a massive church from the 7th century. Besides that, there’s not much there. Have lunch at a restaurant and enjoy a walk through town before heading back to Venice.
If you want to streamline your trip to this outer island of Venice, you can take a boat tour that will get you there a lot quicker. This highly rated tour also includes a glass-blowing demonstration on Murano.
Just north of Lido is the lagoon island of Sant’erasmo, which is known for growing most of the produce you’ll eat while in Venice! Today, the island is a quiet, rural place packed with vineyards, fields, orchards, and farmland. Back in the 1800s, the French built forts here that you can visit today.
That’s what makes Sant’erasmo one of the best day trips from Venice. Hop on a ferry and in 20 minutes you’re on a peaceful island that was an important part of Venetian history. There’s a winery near the ferry that you can check out. Rent bikes from Il Lato Azzurro and ride around. It’s nice to admire the local life and find the 250-year-old mile markers that run the entire length of Sant’erasmo!
A fascinating day trip from Venice is the charming town of Chioggia on the very southern end of the lagoon. You could drive there by land in less than an hour but the bus through Lido is a lovely, scenic 2-hours if you have the time.
Chiogga is a hidden gem of Venice, and its historic center is probably what Venice would be like if it hadn’t become a major tourist destination! Here, you’ll find narrow alleys and historic canals. And there are more amazing beaches on the main island of Chioggia.
If you love medieval and Venetian architecture and art, plan on visiting Padua. It’s possibly the best day trip from Venice, but you could easily spend at least a few days here! The city is thought to be the oldest in northern Italy, settled by Trojan Vikings in the 12th century BCE.
The biggest draw to Padua is the 13th-century Scrovegni Chapel which houses stunning frescoes by Giotto. There’s also the Basilica of St. Anthony where St. Mark is entombed. And the city is home to the University of Padua which just celebrated 1000 years in 2022! Being a college town, Padua is also home to some really great cafes, so make sure to check them out.
You can get to Padua in an easy half hour if you drive or take a train from Venice. If you want to do something a little more you unique, take the scenic cruise along the Brenta River that connects Venice to Padua. It’s a great way to spend a day, stopping at major sites and beautiful Venetian villas along the way!
Vicenza is a gorgeous city filled with the works of Renaissance architect, Andrea Palladio. The Villa la Rotunda, the Palazzo Chiericati, the Teatro Olimpico, and more were all designed and influenced by Palladio.
I also suggest heading to the beautiful Piazza dei Signori for more stunning Venetian architecture. On the piazza is the Palladian Basilica and the Renaissance-era Torre Bisarra, as well as the Loggia del Capitaniato, an old 16th-century palace.
You could spend the day on a private guided tour of the Palladian architecture or visit them yourself to enjoy views of the city from above. The Villa la Rotunda and the Villa Valmarana ai Nani are right next to each other and you can take walking tours of both.
To get to Vicenza, you can drive or take a train in about an hour.
While not a specific location, the Prosecco Region (or Prosecco Valley) is an area that covers the regions of Veneto and Friuli Venezia Giulia in northeastern Italy. It’s where the country’s famous prosecco wine originated and where it’s still produced today. The Prosecco Region is ideal for a day trip from Venice to go wine tasting.
Even though it’s only around an hour from Venice, you’ll need a car for this day trip. In Veneto, you can easily find a dozen different wineries to stop at just north of the Piave River. Or keep driving northeast into Friuli Venezia Giulia for more!
Another option is to book a private full-day guided tour with transportation to the Prosecco Region. Meet your tour guide in Venice’s Piazzale Roma where they’ll escort you through the Venetian countryside and to 2 different family-owned wineries. You’ll learn about winemaking, taste Prosecco wine, and enjoy a rustic lunch of meat, cheese, homemade bread, and local produce!
Bassano del Grappa
Bassano del Grappa is a fascinating place, and it’s absolutely beautiful as well! This historic small town is in the foothills of the Dolomite Mountains with the Brenta River running through it. Over the river leading into Bassano del Grappa is the wooden Ponte Vecchio Bridge that dates back to the 1200s.
This town is filled with layers of history and culture, and it’s only an hour’s drive from Venice. You can also take a bullet train straight from Venice’s Santa Lucia train station there in a little over an hour. Spend some time walking around the medieval city’s historical center, admiring ancient structures, and enjoying all the great shopping.
On the eastern side of the bridge is the Grappa Museum, where you can learn about the region’s unique alcoholic drink made from grapes. And a must-see is the Museo degli Alpini on the western side of the bridge. It’s a war museum commemorating World War I and the impact it had on the area.
Parco Grotte del Caglieron
If you want to get outdoors and experience local fauna and flora, you have to visit the Grotte del Caglieron(Caves of Caglieron). Located in a protected nature reserve outside of Fregona, it’s an hour by car and almost 3 by public transport.
You’ll pay a small fee for admission, and you have access to a circuit path that runs through breathtaking natural gorges. It looks like something out of Fern Gulley, with cascading waterfalls, massive caves, hanging vines, and narrow rock passages along the gorge. You can walk the path in an hour or 2. At the entrance, there’s also a bistro if you’re hungry.
If you’re looking for romantic places to visit in Italy, add a day trip to Verona from Venice! The city is famously the setting for many of Shakespeare’s works, including Romeo and Juliet. A popular location is the legendary Juliet’s house. Even if it’s not proven, the 14th-century balcony is still fun to visit with a special person!
The city is full of great historical sites from the Roman era, including the striking Ponte Pietra bridge and the well-preserved Verona Arena. And make time to explore the piazzas, especially the Piazza delle Erbe. In the winter there’s a Christmas market here, and throughout the year it’s where you’ll find produce markets, great eateries, and stunning architecture.
A Verona day trip from Venice takes about 90 minutes by train or car. If you’re driving, you could also continue for another hour to Lake Garda in the Dolomite Mountains, or you can book this tour that will take you to Verona to explore, and then on to beautiful Sirmione in Lake Garda.
A Lake Garda day trip from Venice is possible in about 90 minutes! Lake Garda is a great option to get a feel for the Dolomiti region if you don’t feel like exploring the harder-to-access mountain towns. The lake is massive, reaching 34 miles long, and is Italy’s largest lake, so don’t expect to drive around the entire thing. Instead, take a train or car to either the town of Desenzano del Garda or Pescheria del Garda on the southern shore.
The small towns along Lake Garda offer a day full of dreamy scenery with the mountains reflecting off the blue lake. You can visit beaches in the summer or go on boats out onto the lake. In the northern shore of the lake, you’ll see tons of kite surfers and wind surfers in the summer. The southern shore of Lake Garda has many Roman ruins that are worth visiting, including Desenzano del Garda, Sirmione, and Pescheria del Garda.
If this seems overwhelming to you to plan on your own, you can always book a tour. Local Italians (and Germans) love Lake Garda. We were there last summer and it was packed with vacationers, but I didn’t see a single American!
A wonderful day trip from Venice is to the far eastern city of Trieste. Nestled in an area close to the borders of Slovenia and Croatia on the Adriatic Sea, Trieste doesn’t feel like an Italian city. That’s probably because it was part of Austrian rule until 1954! You can feel the German and Slavick influences all over this interesting city.
Walk through the city’s historic Piazza della Borsa to see different architecture and food vendors. There’s the Roman Theatre of Trieste and the Unity of Italy Square on the water. And it’s a fun fact that Trieste is the home of Illy coffee! Make sure to stop in a cafe for a cup.
You can also visit the stunning Miramare Caslte in Trieste, pictured above. The train to Triest takes roughly 2 hours, or you can drive in 90 minutes.
You may not think Bologna is an option for a day trip from Venice, but it is! You can take a direct train line or drive in about 90 minutes to 2 hours. Considered to be one of Italy’s most beautiful cities, Bologna has a lot to offer tourists and is a must-visit.
Spend time exploring gorgeous piazzas and trying food that the Emilia-Romagna region is known for! Enjoy a rustic pasta dish or grab some cured meats and cheeses. There’s even FICO World Eataly, a food-themed amusement park you can visit in Bologna!
Bologna is easy to walk, or you can rent bikes and roam the city. If you’re inside the historic center, look for the 6 historic stone gateways from the 13th century. They were part of a defense wall that once circled the city!
FAQs about Venice Day Trips
While you’re looking for the best day trips from Venice, you’ll probably come up with a few questions. Below you can read a few of the most frequently asked questions on the topic of Venice day trips.
I don’t recommend Croatia as a day trip from Venice. While the ferry ride to popular cities like Rovinj only takes about 3 hours, the ferry is seasonal (April through September) and returns in the early evening. That makes for a really short day trip! It’s better as an overnight trip from Venice.
Lake Como isn’t a good choice for day trips from Venice. It’s at least 4 hours driving from Venice on the East Coast. You could also take a train or bus, but you’re looking at around 12 hours of travel. While it’s a different experience, Lake Garda is a better option for a day trip.
If you want to spend time soaking up Venice’s historic city center and also include a few day trips, I suggest aiming for 5 days in Venice. That gives you 2 full days in Venice, as well as fit in a day trip. You could also squeeze in a 2-day trip as your departure day if you’re creative.
A lot of people think it’s an easy 2-hour trip from Venice to Florence. And while Florence has a major train station, like Venice, the fastest high-speed train will take at least 3 hours (possibly 4). That means travel time is taking up so much of your day that I don’t recommend Florence for a day trip from Venice. The same goes for cities like Rome and Milan. To do these historic cities justice, you need more than a part of a day!
If you’re short on time or simply want to spend more time exploring rather than traveling, look into the Venetian Lagoon Islands or the Venetian Villas. You can reach the most popular islands on the lagoon in half an hour. And the closest villas are just a 20-minute drive away, with the longest drive about an hour.
Go on an Unforgettable Day Trip from Venice
You can stay in Venice, never leave the city, and have an amazing time! But if you’re interested in day trips from Venice, you’re in luck. The city has a strategic location between the Dolomites, Tuscany, and the Adriatic Sea. There are interesting medieval towns to explore and rich cultures to experience.
And don’t forget that Venice isn’t the only island on the Venetian Lagoon! Spend a day island hopping to the other (less visited) islands in the lagoon for a look at authentic Venetian life.
Need More Info on Venice?
- The Best Things to do in Venice
- Where to Stay in Venice
- Venice Food Guide
- Venice Packing List
- How to Get Around Venice – Transportation Guide
- Venice with Kids
- One Day in Venice Itinerary
- How Much Does a Gondola Ride Cost
- How to Book a Photoshoot in Venice
- New Venice Tourist Booking System
- Paddleboarding in Venice
- Day Trips from Venice
- Venice Home Page