After having experienced Venice when it was flooded (yes, really), four years later I was excited to be returning for take two. After nailing the right balance between research and winging it, I’ve come up with a handy guide on how to make the most of 24 hours in Venice.

Let’s do this! 💁

1. Have a plan (of sorts)

24 hours in Venice Italy Topdeck Europe Clare Lynton

I’m a bit of a foodie, so rather than planning my trip around the tourist sights, I looked up a few cool places to eat/drink and organised my trip around those.

Usually by simply trying to find these places you’ll end up ticking off the sights (by accident!) while also getting a feel for the local vibe.

24 hours in Venice Italy Topdeck Europe Clare Lynton

To get you started, have a little search through social media, drop pins on your map and get exploring.

But don’t be afraid to go off the beaten track. If a laneway takes your fancy, just go with the flow because let’s face it, when else can you be spontaneous if not on holiday? #yougotthis

2. Know your transport options

24 hours in Venice Italy Topdeck Europe Clare Lynton

Saving you both time and money, take the time to research in advance how you’re going to be getting around. This’ll save those precious minutes as you spend 24 hours in Venice.

Researching in advance means minimal hassle when you get there and no need to play charades in broken Italian with the locals.

24 hours in Venice Italy Topdeck Europe Clare Lynton

Staying in a hostel that’s only accessible by boat? Grab a 24-hour pass to give you ferry access for the whole time you’re there.

Get ready for a stress-free ride on the ferry as the sun sets. Priceless.

3. Discover what’s unique to the place

24 hours in Venice Italy Topdeck Europe Clare Lynton

When in Venice, do as the locals do.

Be sure to try cicchetti when you’re here. Small snacks or side dishes, they’re a bit smaller than tapas but pack just as much of a punch.

24 hours in Venice Italy Topdeck Europe Clare Lynton

Also, try to avoid the touristy restaurants! This’ll mean that you’ll get decent prices and real local food. When I saw two older Italian men in deep conversation with glasses of wine in hand outside one particular place, I knew I’d hit the foodie jackpot.

With food and wine sorted, I managed to find a space by the kerb and could munch away while people watching. You could spend hours here. And don’t be afraid to do so! You’re on holiday after all.

4. Get lost (then find your way back)

24 hours in Venice Italy Topdeck Europe Clare Lynton

These days, it’s pretty hard to get too lost. So throw caution to the wind and put that phone away. You can always find your way back by having a cheeky look at Google maps in a few hours time.

When travelling solo, I became more observant and realised Venice was signposted pretty well. Every few turns has a hand-written sign pointing the way back to St Mark’s Square or the Rialto Bridge.

So, get off the tourist track and start to imagine what everyday life is like (such as casually seeing a postman on his morning errands).

By the end of the day, you’ll be navigating Venice like a pro. Now for the rest of Italy.

Ready to take on 24 hours in Venice? Take a look at our trips to Italy and explore ones that go through Venice. 

Clare Lynton
Born and raised in Sydney, Clare took the leap and moved to London for a working holiday. When she’s not jetting off to Europe you’ll find her in her favourite cafés because good coffee exists if you look for it, even here.