Venice is a popular place to take day trips from other areas. But if you are clever enough to spend several days in Venice, (yes, I am biased because everyone should spend at least one night there), then it can be used as a starting point for day trip in the region. You will find plenty to explore in this region of Italy, believe me.
There are many options, so whether you want to find a place close enough that you don’t have to travel too far, or if you just want to see a great spot that is closer, you have plenty of choices. Below is a list of the most popular destinations, sorted by how long it takes you to get there and back.
This is not a comprehensive list of places that you can visit on a day trip to Venice. It is meant to help you get started with your trip planning.
Guided Tours in & from Venice
These places can all be done as day trips. But if you prefer to leave the planning to others, here are some tours from and to Venice.
Context Travel Walking Tours to Venice
Viator Tours to Venice
Select Italy Tours to Venice
Walks of Italy Tours
Fast Day Trips From Venice: Take 2 Hours or Less
- Lagoon Island – It is possible to spend half a day on the islands of the Venetian Lagoon even if you are only in Venice for a brief time. Murano is the closest and most famous of all, and it’s only 10 minutes by vaporetto. It is also known for its fine glass-making. To visit the Lace Museum, take the vaporetto from Burano (35 minutes from Murano). Enjoy the beauty of multi-colored houses. Torcello, five minutes from Burano, is mostly an uninhabited reserve. However it’s worth the trip because it has the oldest structures of the original Venetian settlers. This includes a 7th-century cathedral with mosaic work that’s similar to the one at St. Mark’s Basilica. You can also take a vaporetto from San Marco/San Zaccaria to get some beach time.
- Treviso The historic city Treviso is a 30-minute train ride from Venice. It has intact 14th-century Venetian Republic walls, many churches, and palaces that were built during Venetian rule between the 14th-17th centuries. Treviso, though it doesn’t have the Venice-style canal system, is at the confluence two rivers and, therefore, is a city on water. It is also the birthplace of tiramisu, as well as one of the largest centers for prosecco production. This makes it a great spot to celebrate dessert.
- Padua The city of Padua, also known as Padova in Italian, has a magnificent 12th-century city hall, a stunning 13th-century church where Saint Anthony is buried, and a charming historic center that can be explored on foot. The main attraction is the Scrovegni Chapel. The frescoes, depicting scenes from the life of Virgin Mary, were created by Giotto around the beginning of the 14th century. They are renowned for being some of the finest frescoes anywhere in the world. Venice is just 25 minutes away by train from Padua.
- Vicenza There was once an ancient Roman city located on the spot of Vicenza. However, it was a 16th-century architect who put the city on the map. Although Andrea Palladio can be seen at many locations, Vicenza is home to 23 Palladian Villas, including the most well-known, La Rotonda, which can be found just outside of the city’s center. Vicenza can be reached by train in 43 minutes.
Medium Day Trips From Venice: 2-4 hours in Transit
- Verona The historic city of Verona is home to an impressively preserved Roman arena. This is where the Verona Opera Festival is held each summer. It also contains the remains of an old Roman theatre and city gates. Many Romanesque churches have beautiful interior decorations. However, this city is best known for its setting of Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet.” The “Juliet’s House,” a Romanesque-style house, is one of the most popular sights in the city. The small courtyard below the statue of Juliet is also a landmark. Rub her breast and you will have luck. Verona’s charms are beyond Juliet’s House, and they’re plentiful, if you ask me. It takes only ten minutes to get there by train, and it is easily accessible in just one hour. If you have a guide, Verona can also be used as a starting point for a wine tour in the Valpolicella region to the north.
- Lake Garda The most famous lakes in northern Italy can be considered day trips from Milan and Verona. However, Desenzano del Garda takes only one hour by train to get from Venice. Desenzano del Garda, on Lake Garda’s southern shore is a transport hub. You can easily hop on a ferry and travel to other areas around the lake. There are many things to do, including shopping, historical monuments, beaches, and lots to see.
- Bassano del Grappa Perhaps you’ve heard about the strong brandy “grappa?” It is believed that it was created in Bassano del Grappa. This town sits in the shadows of Monte Grappa. But that’s not the only reason you should visit. The wooden bridge that crosses Brenta River is a must-see. It was built by Andrea Palladio, a renowned architect. It’s also very beautiful and easily accessible by foot. The train takes approximately one hour and ten minutes from Venice.
- Cittadella — Cittadella is a term that means citadel or fortress. It’s not surprising then to find out that Cittadella was established in the 13th Century as a military base. They are restoring the original appearance of the walls that were constructed to protect the city. They are more than 45 feet high and surround the historic center. There are four gates and several towers. It’s an interesting step back in history that is just over an hour away from Venice (with a change of train in Castelfranco Veneto).
You can take longer day trips from Venice. It takes 4+ hours to transit.
- Trieste Trieste is the capital city of the Friuli-Venezia Giulia Region, which lies just beyond the Slovenian border. At different times it was ruled by Venice and the Austro-Hungarian empire. It also had the French as its ruler. The Friuli dialect, which is widely used throughout the region, is an independent language. A day trip to Trieste can be likened to visiting another country. You should not miss a stroll along the waterfront, a visit at the Miramare Castle (5 miles from the center of the city), or a visit at night to the Piazza Unitad’Italia – the street lights up at night. Trieste is only two hours by train from Venice.
- Ravenna If you’re just as fascinated by the mosaics at St. Mark’s Basilica, make Ravenna your day trip priority. Although it is a longer trip, just under three hours each way and you will need to change trains in Bologna, the churches have some of the most beautiful Byzantine mosaics. These churches are from the 5th-6th centuries. The mosaics are bright and vibrant today, eight structures are listed on UNESCO’s World Heritage Sites.
- Milan isn’t on most people’s itineraries, though that could change following the 2015 Expo. Milan can be a great day trip destination even from Venice. It’s only two hours and 35 minutes by train. It is easy to reach the historic center, which can be toured in one day. The tickets to Leonardo da Vinci’s “The Last Supper” fresco sell out months ahead, so make sure you get your ticket first and plan your day around it. You can climb the Duomo’s roof if it is clear.
- Bolzano The Dolomite mountains in northern Italy can be reached on a day trip starting from Venice. Three hours and fifteen minutes by train takes you to Bolzano, high up in the mountains. You can explore Bolzano and then hop on the cable car for Soprabolzano. It is located at more than 4,000ft. If you wish, you can continue on to the Collalbo stop, where the 100-year-old Ritten Railway stops. This is a great way to see the mountains and not climb them.