The charms of Venice are legendary, and no matter how much time you allocate to the city, it’s never going to be enough. But if you can tear yourself away, there are some wonderful day trips from Venice you can do!
From magical little islands and sandy beaches in the Venetian lagoon to picturesque lakes and mountains and historic cities easily accessed by train, there are a variety of Venice day trips from which to choose.
While there isn’t a shortage of day trips from Venice you can do by public transport, a car will definitely expand your reach and offer greater flexibility when exploring the countryside. You can even drive over to Slovenia for the day from Venice, if you have a car!
Excited? Let’s get started discovering the very best day trips from Venice!
BEST DAY TRIPS FROM VENICE
Day Trips from Venice to Venetian Lagoon Islands
Day Trips from Venice by Train
Unique River Ferry Day Trip from Venice
Other Venice Day Trips
Day Trips from Venice to Venetian Lagoon Islands
The Venetian Lagoon is made up of numerous islands, and some of them make for easy and fun day trips from Venice. In fact, a tour of Murano, Burano, and Torcello, three of these outlying islands, is one of the most popular add-ons to a trip to Venice.
Murano is one of the easiest day trips from Venice you can do. Located on a set of islands in the Venetian lagoon, Murano is famous for its glass, blown using a traditional process that’s several centuries old.
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One of the best things to do in Murano is to watch a glass-blowing demonstration. Smaller glass shops will allow you to walk right in and watch a creation in progress, no appointment needed. They may even gift you a small sample, or offer a discount on your purchases.
If you enjoy glass, also step into the small Museum of Glass, which offers some glass pieces to view from the different periods of Murano’s history, and information on the traditional techniques used by the local glass-blowers.
Do a walking tour of the island. It’s quite small, so a tour doesn’t take very long. Be sure to stop to see the striking blue glass Comet star sculpture, located in Campo San Stefano at the base of the clock tower.
Step into the Chiesa di San Pietro Martire, which features works by Venetian masters such as Veronese, Bellini, and Tintoretto, even though many of the paintings have been moved to the Accademia in Venice.
You can visit Murano any time of year, but it tends to get crowded during the day in the summer months. Visit early or late in the day to avoid crowds, but note that not all businesses may be open at these times.
Getting to Murano from Venice
You can visit Murano independently from Venice on the vaporetto. It’s just about a 15-minute ride from the stop at Fondamente Nove.
You can also take the vaporetto from the San Zaccaria stop near the Piazza San Marco or the Santa Lucia Train Station stop.
Or opt for a guided tour, which generally combines Murano with Burano (or Burano and Torcello).
This highly rated tour lasts five hours and covers Murano and Burano. It includes a glass factory tour in Murano and a lace making demo in Burano.
If you would like to visit all three islands (Murano, Burano, and Torcello), choose this popular guided tour, which lasts 4 hours and 30 minutes.
Suggested by us
Located on the Venetian lagoon just a few miles from Venice, the small fishing village of Burano features the most picturesque array of brightly colored houses.
In addition to its colorful facades, Burano is also known for its traditional lace-making.
When visiting Burano, the best thing to do is meander slowly through the colorful streets. Venture off the main road and appreciate the beauty of everyday life in this tiny fishing village.
For a delicious seafood meal, grab lunch at Al Gatto Nero, a Michelin-starred restaurant known for its simple but elegant use of fresh local ingredients.
Al Gatto Nero is a popular spot, so you will need to make a reservation in advance.
The main street in Burano, Piazza Galupe, features a selection of shops, restaurants and cafes. Here you can grab a bite to eat, enjoy a tasty gelato, or shop for authentic Burano lace.
To learn more about Burano lace making, you can also visit the Burano Lace Museum, located in the former Burano Lace School. At the time of writing, museum tickets cost 5 euros per person.
It’s possible to visit Burano year round. We’d recommend going early in the morning to avoid crowds, especially if you are visiting during the summer.
Getting to Burano from Venice
To get to Burano from Venice on your own, take the Vaporetto 12 line from Fondamente Nove, which stops in Murano en route to Burano. The ride one way to Burano takes about 40-45 minutes.
If a guided tour is more your cup of tea, then consider this well-reviewed small group tour of Murano and Burano by private boat. The maximum number is limited to 20 visitors, and the tour lasts about 5 hours.
Book this tour now!
Suggested by Sarah & Matt of Two Outliers
Lido di Venezia
Looking for a break from frenetic Venice sightseeing? Lido of Venice, an island in the Venetian lagoon with clean sandy beaches, is the perfect day trip destination for you.
The waters of the Adriatic Sea are warm and inviting, and a gentle slope and protection from several dams means that the beaches here are family friendly. Lido also hosts the Venice International Film Festival.
Private beaches on Lido Venice offer many amenities, but for a fee. Capannas are spacious cabins, with awnings and verandas. They are worth the splurge if you plan to spend the day at the beach. You can also rent beach umbrellas, chairs, and sun beds.
You will also find free beaches on the Lido. The Blue Moon public beach is a short walk from the vaporetto stop, and offers showers and restrooms. It is one of the most popular free beaches on the island.
The Oasis of Alberoni is a protected nature reserve, and the dunes here are worth seeing, even if you aren’t a beach person. Just rent a bike and explore the island, including the reserve! Or stroll the Gran Viale, the main street, and then go south to the dunes.
Malamocco, connected to Lido Venice by bridges, is a lovely little village worth wandering. Step inside the Church of Santa Maria Assunta, admire Ponte Borgo, or tour the museum, housed in the Palazzo del Podestà.
Summer is a popular time to visit the Lido if you want to enjoy the beach, but late spring and early fall may also be good options. If you want to tour the island but do not particularly wish to swim, you can visit any time of the year.
Getting to Lido of Venice from Venice
Take the vaporetto over to the Lido from the historic center of Venice. Line 1 takes about 15 minutes from the stop at the Piazza San Marco, and just over 40 minutes from the Rialto Bridge.
Lines 5.1 and 5.2 are circular routes that start and end at the Lido, with stops at various point in the historic center. There are other lines as well, depending on where in the historic center you will start.
Suggested by us
Easy Day Trips from Venice by Train
There are so many historic towns and cities that make for great day trips from Venice! We’ve rounded up the best choices for travel by train.
Of course, if you have a car, you can easily drive to all these places as well.
To book bus and train tickets for Italy in advance, consider Omio. I found the booking experience very easy, and hassle-free. They do charge a small service fee but I thought it was well worth the convenience!
Sitting pretty on the banks of the River Adige, the medieval city of Verona makes a pleasant contrast to the bustle of Venice.
Famed for being the setting of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, Verona is one of Italy’s most romantic destinations, with its pretty balconies and lively plazas.
The first stop on your one day in Verona should be the Lamberti Tower, which offers superb 360-degree views of the city.
Then head to Juliet’s House, where you can stand on the famous balcony and practice your best Shakespearean verse.
Castel San Pietro is another highlight, overlooking the river with far-reaching panoramas over Verona.
Walk the picturesque Ponte Pietra to get across the river, and either take the funicular up, or walk.
Pop inside the Duomo for dazzling frescoes and marble architecture. It’s one of the best things to do on your day in Verona.
Other beautiful churches to visit in Verona include the Basilica of Santa Anastasia, and the Basilica di San Zeno.
Verona is a treat at any time of year, but for a more chilled experience, visit in spring or fall. You’ll experience great weather at these times, and fewer other tourists.
Culture vultures will love the Opera Festival, held between June and August in the magnificent Verona Arena. There’s a summer Shakespeare Festival too, in homage to the playwright who helped put the city on the map.
This highly-rated walking tour of Verona is a great way to get an overview of the historic center in just 2 hours. The tour is limited to just 12 people, and you will learn about the sights as you stroll.
Book this tour now!
Getting to Verona from Venice
It’s easy to take a day trip to Verona from Venice as there are frequent direct trains running between the two cities. The journey takes around an hour and 20 minutes on average each way.
Suggested by Heather of Conversant Traveller
Bologna, known as “the fat, the red, and the learned,” is one of the best day trips you can take from Venice.
Particularly enticing for foodies, Bologna is home to some iconic dishes, such as the tortellini in brodo, the bolognese sauce (also known as ragu), and the famous mortadella. Thus, you cannot visit the city without trying a food tour!
The Northern Italy town is also called “the Red One” because of its iconic red-brick architecture, with the Asinelli Towers as the main point of attraction. Climb hundreds of wooden stairs and get one of the most spectacular views over the red city, surrounded by picturesque green hills.
One of the best things to do in Bologna is to spend some time in the majestic Piazza Maggiore, the main square, where you can admire the architecture. Gawk at the massive facade of the Basilica di San Petronio, and pose for a photo by the Neptune Fountain.
Park Villa Spada is another charming attraction hidden behind a 2.5-mile long portico, one of the things for which Bologna is famous. The beautiful villa is set in the middle of a lush garden, with classic Italian sculptures. It’s the perfect place to sit down and relax.
The best time to visit Bologna is either in the spring, when you can see the town in full bloom, or during the fall, when the colors of the trees complement the city’s architecture.
Consider this two-hour highly rated small group walking tour of Bologna to get a good overview of the historic center! You’ll learn a lot about local history and culture as you walk.
Book this tour now!
Getting to Bologna from Venice
The easiest way to get from Venice to Bologna is by train, with many direct connections linking the two cities. A fast train is more expensive, but can get you there in an hour and 15 minutes to an hour and 30 minutes.
The slower regional trains take about 2 hours each way, but are less expensive, and still work for a day trip from Venice, especially if you depart early.
Suggested by Ingrid of Ingrid Zen Moments
Although you really need more than one day in Florence, especially if you are an art lover, we think the Cradle of the Renaissance still makes for a fabulous day trip from Venice, especially if you just want to soak in the ambience, take in the views, and enjoy the great food and gelato.
Take an early enough train so you can join a guided small group tour that combines a skip-the-line entrance to see Michelangelo’s David at the Accademia with a walking tour of the highlights of the UNESCO-designated historic center.
Or view David independently with a timed skip-the-line entry ticket and then wander the historic center on your own, taking in the superb architecture, statuary, squares, and churches.
Have lunch at the lively Mercato Centrale, then head to the Duomo for the grueling climb up the 463 stairs to the top, for breathtaking views over the rooftops of Florence. Book your timed entry to the Duomo in advance.
If the super strenuous climb doesn’t appeal, opt for the much easier climb to the top of the Arnolfo Tower at the Palazzo Vecchio, for the iconic view that gets the Duomo di Frienze and Giotto’s Campanile in the frame.
Now it’s time to make your way across the Arno River. Either walk the famous Ponte Vecchio, or choose an adjacent bridge to take photos of Ponte Vecchio along the way.
Depending on the time you have, you can tour the Bardini Gardens before heading to Piazzale Michelangelo for an epic sunset over the city. The gardens are especially beautiful in the spring, when the wisteria is in bloom.
While you are in Firenze, don’t forget to gorge on artisanal gelato: we love La Carraia and Perchè no!
Spring and fall are ideal times to visit Florence. If you are okay with bundling up, winter is a good option as well: the crowds will the lowest in winter. The historic center of Florence can get unbearably crowded in the summer.
Getting to Florence from Venice
We recommend the fast train from Venice, since there is so much to see and do in Florence! The high-speed train takes just over two hours each way, and there’s an early morning departure that gets you to Florence before 9 a.m.
Suggested by us
Milan needs no introduction: it is definitely one of the top places to visit in Northern Italy!
Not only is Milan both the fashion capital and financial capital of Italy, but it is home to world class artwork and architecture as well, making it a top destination for a day trip from Venice.
The most famous thing to see in Milan is the The Last Supper, Leonardo da Vinci’s iconic masterpiece. This iconic piece of art is located in Santa Maria delle Grazie church. Opt for this popular skip-the-line guided tour for a hassle-free experience.
Almost as famous as The Last Supper is the Duomo di Milano. This gorgeous white building sits in the Piazza del Duomo and is the second largest cathedral in the world. Buy your skip-the-line ticket for the cathedral and rooftop in advance, or book a fast track guided tour!
Next to the Duomo is the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II. This is Italy’s oldest shopping mall and a simply stunning building to walk through after viewing the Duomo.
While in Milan, why not also pop into Italy’s first Starbucks! It is a five-minute walk from the Duomo and Galleria, and also probably the nicest Starbucks you will ever see!
To avoid crowds, visit Milan in May or early September. But if you want to be in the center of the action, time your visit with Milan Fashion Week. It happens twice a year, in late February or early March and late September or early October.
Getting to Milan from Venice
To reach Milan from Venice, take the fast train. This will take two and a half hours without any changes.
And if you have time for more than a day trip, stay a couple nights. It’s very easy to make a day trip to Lake Como from Milan!
Suggested by Em of That Travelista
Sirmione on Lake Garda
Sirmione is a lovely town located on a peninsula in the southern part of beautiful Lake Garda. It makes for a great day trip from Venice, or a stop on a complete Northern Italy 1-week itinerary.
The relatively peaceful atmosphere of Sirmione is a nice contrast to vibrant Venice. A day in the charming town will help you relax and enjoy the amazing views of the blue lake and colorful villas along the shore.
The absolute best thing to do in Sirmione is to wander around the peninsula. You can start your walk just behind Castello Scaligero di Sirmione. This medieval fortress is also worth visiting, especially for the epic views from the tower.
Right behind the castle is a trail that leads to the Grotte di Catullo, Sirmione’s most significant attraction. Here you will find the majestic ruins of an ancient Roman villa. The ruins, and the museum housing the artifacts found here, are definitely worth touring.
At the very end of the peninsula, just at the foot of Grotte di Catullo, you can relax after a walk on an unusual beach. There is no soft sand here but giant flat stones partially submerged in the water. But they are just perfect if you want to sit down and enjoy the sun.
Sirmione is perfect to visit starting from late April to early October. Yet the best time might be September, when the weather is still perfectly warm, yet there are fewer tourists.
Getting to Sirmione from Venice
You can easily reach Sirmione from Venice by taking a train to Peschiera del Garda, where you can take public bus LN026 to Sirmione. The journey takes around 2 hours in total each way, but Sirmione is definitely worth the time!
You can also take the train from Venice to Desenzano del Garda, and the bus from there to Sirmione. The total journey time is a little under 2 hours each way.
Good to know: Desenzano del Garda and Peschiera del Garda also make for great day trips from Venice! Desenzano has a beautiful Roman villa and a medieval castle, and Peschiera del Garde is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Suggested by Dominika of Sunday in Wonderland
A beautiful Renaissance city in the Emilia-Romagna region of Italy, Ferrara is one of the best day trips from Venice for history, architecture, and culture enthusiasts.
The historic center of Ferrara and the Po Delta are designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Touring the Castello Estense is undoubtedly one of the best things to do in Ferrara. The castle was built as a stronghold for the Este family. The interior of the castle features unique frescoes. From the towers of the castle, you get fabulous views of the rooftops of the city.
Near the castle is the Duomo di Ferrara, with an ornate facade. The Renaissance bell tower is unfinished. Inside you will see several works of art, although it is under restoration at the time of writing.
Wander the piazzas by the duomo, lined with beautiful architecture, restaurants and shops. At the bottom of the clock tower is a cute shop selling chocolates!
The Palazzo Schifanoia features more gorgeous frescoes. The Casa Romei also has the remains of old frescoes and has a lovely cloistered courtyard.
The Corso Ercole I d’Este boasts Renaissance palaces on either side and is a must-stroll. Stop to admire the fabulous facade of the Palazzo dei Diamante: it is made of thousands of diamond-shaped marble blocks.
Any time from May until September is a great time to visit. Although Ferrara never gets elbow-room-only crowds, the fringe months of May and September see even fewer tourists.
Getting to Ferrara from Venice
You can travel by train from Venice to Ferrara in an hour and 20 minutes, making it one of the easiest and best day trips from Venice you can do.
Suggested by us
For lovers of architecture and history, Vicenza makes for a wonderful day trip from Venice. The city of famous Renaissance architect Andrea Palladio, Vicenza boasts many fabulous buildings designed by him.
From the train station, head to the Sanctuary of Monte Berico first, for fabulous views over Vicenza. You can either walk up like the pilgrims of yore, or take a taxi to the entrance.
On the way down from the sanctuary to the city center, stop at the renowned Villa Capra “La Rotonda,” designed by Palladio. The villa has inspired many buildings around the world, including the White House. Villa Valmarana ai Nani is another beautiful villa to visit.
In the historic center, walk to the main square, where you will find many beautiful buildings to admire, including the famous Basilica Palladiana, with a loggia designed by the famous architect.
In the main square you will also see the slim Torre Bissara, with a clock that chimes the hour and half-hour. You can’t go inside, but the tower is well worthy of a photo!
Palladio’s Teatro Olimpico is another must-visit in Vicenza. The theatre stage features a spectacular 3-D backdrop. The theatre still hosts performances, and sometimes there are special tours when you can experience light, sound, and narration in the theatre.
You can visit Vicenza any time of the year, but spring and fall are especially lovely times to visit. The villa gardens are gorgeous in the spring and early summer!
Getting to Vicenza from Venice
A fast train from Venice to Vicenza takes only about 40 minutes, and a faster regional train can get you from Venice to Vicenza in 45 minutes.
There are numerous departures in both directions each day, making Vicenza a convenient and exciting day trip destination from Venice.
Padua is a must-visit city because of its long history, unique sights, and beauty. Located only 25 miles away, Padua makes for a fantastic day trip from Venice.
There are so many great things to do in Padua! Here are some of the highlights that you must definitely incorporate into your Padua day trip itinerary!
The Scrovegni Chapel, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is filled with colorful frescoes painted by Giotto. The ceiling is a stunning blue. To see this beauty, you will need to make reservations in advance.
The Padua Botanical Gardens, another UNESCO site, is the oldest academic botanic garden in the world. The gardens were first created as a medicinal resource. They have evolved into a conservation effort and currently showcase over 3,500 species of plants.
Prato della Valle, the largest square in Italy, is an elliptical square with an island at the center. Several dozen statues line the water. It is a beautiful place for a walk, especially at sunset.
The University of Padua is one of the oldest universities in the world. Galileo studied and taught here. The university created the world’s first anatomical theater, where numerous medical and scientific discoveries have been made throughout the years. You can take a guided tour to see this unique place.
The best time to visit Padua is in the spring, followed by summer. During this time, the weather is the best to fully enjoy all that Padua has to offer. The winter months can be quite cold and wet.
Getting to Padua from Venice
There are multiple transportation options to get to Padua. Trenitalia and ItaloTreno both offer frequent trains from Venice to Padua. The train trip lasts between 30 and 45 minutes.
Buses are also available, with frequent departures in both directions. The bus journey is one hour each way.
Suggested by Caitlin of Twin Family Travels
Bassano del Grappa
Bassano del Grappa is a medieval town located at the foot of Veneto’s Alps and crossed by the Brenta River. The town is only 1 hour and 20 minutes away from Venice, and one of the best places to visit in Veneto for its amazing views.
Walk on the Ponte degli Alpini (also called the Ponte Vecchio) to admire beautiful views over the river and the mountains. The bridge was designed by Andrea Palladio and originally constructed in the 16th century, but it has been rebuilt multiple times.
Wander the lovely streets and public piazzas, filled with bars and traditional restaurants. Enjoy a taste of some of Veneto’s best dishes, for example, the baccalà mantecato (creamed cod) and, during springtime, the mouthwatering risotto with DOP white asparagus, the land’s star product.
There are many other things to do in Bassano del Grappa, including museum visits to learn about its history and products. Visit the Poli museum to discover everything about the grappa distillate, and the Sturm Palace to get an insight into the ceramic production for which the town is known.
The best time to visit Bassano del Grappa is between spring and autumn, to enjoy warmer temperatures and attend local events.
Getting to Bassano del Grappa from Venice
To get from Venice to Bassano del Grappa, take the regional direct train from Venezia Santa Lucia station. The journey takes about one hour each way, and there are frequent departures in both directions.
Suggested by Dan from Urban Abroad
Trieste is a beautiful city in Northern Italy, located on the border with Slovenia.
As the coffee capital of Italy, the city should be on any Trieste and Dolomites road trip itinerary. Besides coffee, Trieste also offers piazzas, palaces, and ice cream!
Coffee (and history) lovers should definitely stop in at the historical Caffè San Marco. Founded in 1914, the cafe was a famous meeting place for intellectuals. The coffee brand Illy has its origins in Trieste.
Visit Castello di Miramare, a neo-medieval castle and historic estate located overlooking the water. You can visit by bus or by boat: the boat offers fabulous photo ops as you approach the castle. You can buy a skip-the-line entrance ticket online.
Piazza Unità d’Italia is Italy’s largest seafront square. Its sheer size will take your breath away, but there is lots of magnificent architecture to admire as well. The square looks equally stunning by day or by night.
Trieste is a port city, so you can stroll along the waterfront promenade to observe the boats. Also walk the historic center to admire the beautiful architecture, and stop by Canal Grande, a beautiful part of the harbor.
Other than excellent coffee, Trieste also offers topnotch gelato. Try the crema carsolina flavor at Gelato Marco: you’ll want seconds!
The best time to visit Trieste, from a weather perspective, is between March and October.
This hop-on, hop-off bus tour of Trieste with audio guide is a great way to tour the major sights in a time-efficient manner on a day trip. The trip includes the Miramare Castle and other major Trieste landmarks.
Book this tour now!
Getting to Trieste from Venice
You can travel from Venice to Trieste by train: the journey is a little more than 2 hours each way.
Suggested by Cosette of KarsTravels
Venetian Villas Day Trip from Venice
The Veneto region is strewn with beautiful villas, some of them designed by renowned Renaissance architect Andrea Palladio. Cruising the Brenta Canal is a romantic way of seeing many of the Venetian villas, but you can also rent a car and drive.
Brenta Canal Cruise from Venice to Padua
If you’re looking for a unique relaxed day trip from Venice, consider the one-way Brenta Canal cruise from Venice to Padua! You’ll return on the fast train from Padua, which will get you back to Venice in under 30 minutes.
The full-day cruise on the Burchiello includes a stop for lunch (you’ll pay separately for the meal). As you cruise the Brenta Riviera, you can take in the beautiful views from the open top, or from the cabin windows.
You’ll see more than two dozen Venetian villas on the tour, plus stop at three beautiful villas: Villa Pisani, Villa Widmann, and Villa Foscari.
Villa Pisani at Stra is a national museum, with gorgeous furnishings and works of art from the 18th and 19th centuries. The gardens are spectacular: do not miss the hedge maze!
Villa Widmann, in the town of Mari, is from the 18th century. The interior features many beautiful frescoes, and the garden has mature cypresses and horse chestnuts, as well as a number of statues.
Villa Foscari, also located in Mira, was designed by Andrea Palladio. It is also known as La Malcontenta. The interior of the villa features lovely frescoes. The majestic facade presides over manicured lawns and gardens.
The tour fee covers admission to the three villas.
Other Venice Day Trips
If you are planning to rent a car and drive, your options for day trips from Venice expand quite a bit. You can explore small villages in the countryside, or even drive over to neighboring Slovenia or Croatia for the day!
If you are looking to rent a car for your Italy trip, consider Discover Cars! They scour multiple providers to get the best price for you, including brands like Hertz, Enterprise, Alamo, Budget, and Sixt.
The Prosecco Region: A Guided Day Trip from Venice
If you enjoy prosecco, the renowned Italian sparkling white wine, you’ll want to visit the Prosecco region on a guided tour for tastings and to learn how the famous wine is made.
You’ll travel by private vehicle on the eight-hour tour, and visit two wineries for tastings. The scenery, with the rolling hills covered with vineyards, is enchanting.
At the wineries, you’ll learn about the wine-making process. The wineries are carefully chosen: one is a larger operation and the other a more intimate winery set on top of a hill.
As a delightful surprise, there’s a vending machine at the top of a hill where you can get chilled Prosecco from a machine, bottle or glass!
The tour also includes a four-course lunch at an osteria. The food is very generous, so you’ll want to arrive with an appetite.
The Prosecco Region is located in the rolling hills between the villages of Conegliano and Valdobbiadene. Conegliano, the beginning of the famous “Prosecco Road,” is a convenient place to start your excursion.
While we’ve described a visit on a guided tour, you can also arrive in Conegliano by train and arrange for a local driver to take you on a tour. Or, of course, you can rent a car and drive yourself.
The beautiful mountain town of Cortina D’Ampezzo is a perfect day trip from Venice for travelers who want to see the high peaks of Italy.
Cortina D’Ampezzo is called the ‘Pearl of the Dolomites’ for good reason. The UNESCO World Heritage Site of the Dolomite mountains surround the town. It’s a vibrant town and a gateway for outdoor adventures.
Cortina is an all-season destination. In the winter, alpine skiers enjoy the slopes of Cortina. The 1956 Olympic Winter Games were held here, so you are guaranteed great skiing.
In warmer months, day hikes into the Dolomites start right from the edge of the village. You can hike to an alpine lake or a mountain hut for a meal or a drink.
For experiences high in the mountains without as much effort, take a cable car to a summit for panoramic views of the Ampezzo Valley from the peak.
The charming town is wonderful for shopping and open air cafes with views of the Italian Alps surrounding you. Cortina’s Town Hall is a Tyrolean palace. Piazza Angelo Dibona, the main square, houses many landmarks.
Getting to Cortina d’Ampezzo from Venice
By car, it’s a two-hour drive north from Venice to Cortina D’Ampezzo. Although public transport options are available, they may not work for a day trip.
If you do not wish to drive, consider this highly rated full-day guided tour of Cortina and the Dolomites from Venice! The 8-hour tour showcases the beautiful mountain scenery, with stops at Cortina, Misurina Lake, and Auronzo Lake.
Book this tour now!
Suggested by Karen of Outdoor Adventure Sampler
When it comes to nature, there is no better place in Italy to go to than the Dolomites. Luck will have it that they are just on Venice’s doorstep.
The region is perfect for those looking to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city, enjoy some fresh mountain air or tackle outdoor pursuits.
The Dolomites have plenty of activities to do year-round. In the winter the region offers a wealth of winter sports activities: the best cross country and freestyle skiing, snowshoeing, ice skating, trekking/nordic walking, and ski mountaineering.
Alternatively, you can simply enjoy a beautiful day at a spa overlooking the mountains!
Summer is equally alive with activities. In this season, it is all about enjoying the majestic views while pulling up your bootstraps to go for a hike.
The pristine lakes in the Dolomites offer a welcome respite from the heat. Hike to Lago di Sorapis, take a boat ride on Lago di Braies, go swimming in Lago Dobbiaco, or tour the vineyards around Kalterersee.
Getting to the Dolomites from Venice
Getting to the Dolomites from Venice is easiest by renting a car. A car will give you the greatest flexibility to get the most bang for your sightseeing buck: you’ll get to see more of the region.
If you do not have a car, a guided tour is your best option to tour the region. This well-reviewed small group tour is restricted to just eight participants, and includes Cortina d’Ampezzo as well as stops at two beautiful mountain lakes.
Book this tour now!
Or splurge on a private full day guided tour of the Dolomites by Range Rover, where you can customize the itinerary to your preferences!
Suggested by Caroline of Veggie Wayfarer
Lago de Braies
You know the breathtaking turquoise lake in the Dolomites you see all over Instagram? The one with the pretty wooden boats and jagged mountains as a backdrop?
That’s Lago di Braies and yes, you can visit on a day trip from Venice.
The lake is so famous that people travel thousands of miles to visit, so it can be busy, but it really is worth the effort to see it. The main reason for visiting is to take photos of the lake, so get there as early as you can.
If you’re touring Italy by motorcycle or car, leave Venice really early and aim to arrive at the lake for sunrise. This way, you’ll avoid the huge crowds of tourists, who tend to arrive by tour bus around 9 a.m. Plus, the parking lot shuts down for the day at 9.30 a.m. and does not reopen until 4 p.m.
The lake is free to visit, but you must pay for parking. You’ll probably only stay an hour or two unless you decide to hike around the lake, which takes several hours. There are very few facilities though, so bring a picnic.
And in the summer you can hire one of the cute wooden boats and enjoy some time relaxing and rowing around the lake itself.
Getting to Lago di Braies from Venice
Lake di Braies is in the northern part of the Dolomites and is about 3 hours from Venice if driving. The main road is the A22 but, if you can, take the Gardena Pass via Corvara and Badia — the views are breathtaking.
It is possible to visit the lake by organized tour from Venice, and that’s the best option if you do not wish to drive.
You can get there by train from Venice to Dobbiaco, but it takes about 6 hours. The bus also takes several hours, so public transport is not viable for a day trip.
Suggested by Kat of Biker Girl Life
When looking for a day trip from Venice, look no further than Chioggia. This charming town is a quieter and more authentic alternative to Venice.
Chioggia is located on the Adriatic Coast of Italy, close to Venice and therefore perfect for a day trip. It is a picturesque town with a long history, and many landmarks to visit.
As Chioggia is considered a Little Venice, the main things to see are the canals and bridges that go through the city. The most beautiful is the Vigo Bridge.
The Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta is another beautiful landmark in Chioggia. This Gothic cathedral was built in the 14th century and has a stunning façade. Inside, the cathedral is decorated with intricate paintings and frescoes.
The Clocktower Museum is also a must-see in Chioggia. This museum is housed in the clock tower, which has one of the oldest mechanical clocks in the world.
Another thing not to miss is the Chioggia beach, Sottomarina. The beach is almost 4 miles long, and features many cafes.
Getting to Chioggia from Venice
The easiest way to get to Chioggia from Venice is by car. The trip is quite easy, and takes only 50 minutes each way.
To get there by ferry + bus, take the vaporetto from the historic center of Venice to the Lido. Then take the number 11 bus to Pellestrina, where you can board a passenger ferry to Chioggia. The total trip can take close to 2 hours one way, depending on your starting point.
You can also get to Chioggia by bus. Take the bus from Piazzale Roma in Venice to Chioggia via the mainland, for a less scenic route. The journey takes about an hour each way.
Suggested by Ania of The Travelling Twins
Goriska Brda, Slovenia
Step away from the Venetian crowds and drive to the wine region of Brda in Slovenia, where the crowds are non-existent but there is plenty of wine!
Goriska Brda is mostly cultivated with vineyards and orchards. This wine country is characterized by sparse small villages, rolling hills, and miles and miles of vineyards. The panoramic roads connecting the vineyards and the villages are well worth the drive.
Wine tasting is of course the main activity. The dominant types of wines are Rebula (Ribolla Gialla) and Friulano, both very light and fresh white wines. Slovenia also specializes in orange wines.
Besides wine, the region has the Renaissance Dobrovo Castle from the 17th century, now a museum. Vila Vipolže is a beautiful Renaissance villa that hosts many exhibitions and events.
Šmartno is a little medieval village worth the visit. Not far from here, you can visit the viewing tower of Gonjače, dedicated to the citizens of Brda who gave their lives in WWII. The tower offers breathtaking views of the region.
Slovenia is renowned for its captivating natural beauty. To sample a small slice of the country’s natural beauty, be sure to visit the Krčnik Gorge and the natural stone bridge, which is considered one of the most beautiful natural bridges in Slovenia.
Getting to Goriska Brda from Venice
Driving is the best option to travel from Venice to Goriska Brda. The drive will take you about 2 hours each way.
Suggested by Mel from BRB Travel Blog
Tri Ceme di Lavaredo
If you want a spectacular day trip from Venice, head to Tre Cime di Laverado in the Italian Dolomites, often known as the ‘Three Peaks.’
Tre Cime, located in the south Tyrol, is unlike any other mountains you’re likely to have visited before. Not only can the incredible rock formations be seen from miles away, but the views once you’re up there are breathtaking.
Hike the famous Tre Cime loop, which is a little over 6 miles long and takes about 3 to 4 hours to walk (depending how often you stop to take photos!)
The hike is family friendly and suitable for most visitors, making it one of the best day hikes you can do in the Italian Dolomites. Depending on the season, you will see lots of wildflowers. The views are stunning, and there are many rifugios along the way where you can stop.
For a shorter hike, walk up to the little Santa Maria Ausiliatrice Chapel that comes up shortly into the hike. It’s surely one of the most picturesque in the world! Enjoy a coffee in the Rifugio (cafe) at the top.
Tre Cime is only open to visitors when the snow has cleared (roughly May- November). Pay close attention to the weather forecast before your visit: if the forecast is bad, do not pay to go up the mountain. Without the views, it’s not the same.
Getting to Tri Cime di Lavaredo from Venice
To get to Tri Cime Lavaredo from Venice, hire a vehicle and drive yourself. The drive is about 2 hours and 40 minutes each way.
Suggested by Kat of Wandering Bird
That’s our round-up of the best day trips from Venice! Which ones will you choose on your next trip?
If you enjoy day trips as a means to exploring out from big cities, check out our other day trip guides for Italy!
- The Most Exciting Day Trips from Rome
- The Best Day Trips from Sorrento
- Must-Do Day Trips from Florence
- Day Trips from Bologna by Train
- The Best Day Trips from Milan
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