Here are our suggestions for the best day trips from Venice, Italy. The Veneto region holds interesting towns and cities outside Venice, easily reached by public transportation. I've also included the islands of Venice and Venice Lido, easy day trips from central Venice.
Any of these destinations could also make stopover on the way to Venice or a base for visiting the Veneto and seeing Venice as a day trip, so I've included hotel suggestions, too.
Murano, Burano, and Torcello are the top three islands to visit on day trips from Venice. Murano is known as the island of glass-makers, Burano has canals lined with picturesque colored houses and is known for lace making, and Torcello is a green island where you can see Byzantine mosaics in the 7th century Cathedral. Get details about these islands and a couple more with the link above.
Venice Lido is along strip of land off the Venice. The Lido is lined with beaches and is a good place for nightlife, shopping, or to get away from the tourist crowds in Piazza San Marco. In early September, the Venice Film Festival is held on the Lido. There are shops, restaurants, bars, and hotels (often less expensive than in Venice) on Venice Lido, too.
- Getting To the Lido: Vaporetto Number 1 from Piazza San Marco. Vaporetti run from other parts of Venice, too. See Venice Vaporetto Tips.
- Where to Stay: Biasutti Hotel (Read reviews and book) is recommended by a reader who says it's a beautiful hotel, near the beach, and very quiet. Hotel des Bains (Read reviews and book) was the setting for Death in Venice.
Along the Brenta Canal between Venice and Padua are a number of beautiful 15th-18th century villas, some designed by famous Renaissance architect Andrea Palladio. Although most can only be viewed from outside, some of the former gardens are now public parks and a few villas are open to visitors.
- Getting There: You can take a bus that runs from Venice (from Piazzale Roma) to Padua, stopping in Mira or Stra, although the best ways to visit are by boat or car.
- Where to Stay: The town of Mira makes a good base, see our recommended places to stay and eat.
Padua (Padova) is a walled city east of Venice. It has Europe's oldest Botanical Gardens, the Basilica di Sant’Antonio, and Scrovegni Chapel frescoes by Giotto. The gardens and Basilica are across town from the train station, a pleasant walk through the historic center. Padua is one of my favorite small cities and I've stayed there several times as an alternative to staying in Venice.
- Getting to Padua: Trains from Venice to Padova take about half an hour and run frequently.
- Padua Pictures
- Where to Stay: Hotel Europa (Reviews and booking) is in the center, not far from the train station. Methis Hotel (Reviews and booking) is by the river near the center. Majestic Toscanelli (Reviews and booking) is in the historic center.
TrevisoTreviso is a pleasant medieval town north of Venice with canals and alleyways running through its center. The defensive walls, town gates, and moat can still be seen. Treviso's center, a short walk from the train station, is a nice place for wandering or enjoying a drink in a cafe.
- Getting There: Trains from Venice to Treviso take about half an hour and run frequently.
- Where to Stay: Hotel Campo Marzio (Reviews and booking) is in the historic center, near the train station and convenient for traveling to or from Treviso airport. Hotel Ca' del Galletto (Reviews and booking) is in walking distance of the historic center.
Chioggia, a fishing port in the Venetian lagoon, is sometimes called Little Venice. A wide pedestrian street lined with cafes and restaurants runs down the center of town to the port. Chioggia has a great morning seafood market, clock tower museum, and Museum of the South Lagoon. Beaches are 2 km from the center. It's a nice place for relaxing and good for day trips to Venice in summer.
- Getting to Chioggia: In summer, a direct tourist boat runs from Saint Mark's Square to Chioggia. At other times, vaporetto or train connections can take two hours.
- Chioggia Pictures
- Where to Stay: I stayed at Grande Hotel Italia (Reviews and booking), a nice hotel right by the port and boat stop. Caldin's Hotel (Reviews and booking) is a 1-star hotel in the historic center.
VicenzaVicenza was an important city from the 15th through 18th centuries. Famous Renaissance architect Palladio was from Vicenza and he designed 23 of the buildings in the city, including Palazzo Barbaran da Porto that houses the Palladio museum. The Basilica Palladiana is considered by many to be Palladio's masterpiece. With a car you can tour Palladian villas outside Vicenza.
- Getting to Vicenza: Trains from Venice to Vicenza take about forty-five minutes and run frequently.
- Where to Stay: Hotel Campo Marzio (Reviews and booking) is in the historic center, near the train station. Hotel Doge (Reviews and booking) and Hotel Continental (Reviews and booking) are each a short distance outside the historic center.
Verona, sometimes called the Florence of the North, is famous for the house and balcony said to belong to Juliet in the Shakespeare story, Romeo and Juliet. Verona has a 2000 year old Roman Arena where summer opera performances are held, a Roman bridge, and a market square that was once the Roman Forum. Verona is one of Italy's most visited cities.
Bassano del Grappa is a pretty medieval town below Monte Grappa on the Brenta River. Bassano del Grappa is known for its Alpini wooden bridge, grappa, and ceramics. It's a pleasant base for exploring the nearby Venetian villas, castles, towns, and attractions of the Veneto region.
- Getting There: Trains from Venice to Bassano del Grappa take about 1 1/2 hours.
- Bassano del Grappa Pictures
- Where to Stay: I stayed at Best Western Hotel Palladio (read my review), just outside the historic center. The nearby Bonotto Hotel Belvedere (Reviews and prices), owned by the same family, is across the street from the historic center and has luxury rooms and an excellent restaurant.