Venice in 2-3 days
Beat the crowds to the Piazza San Marco — the large square at the heart of Venice. Sit down for a coffee if you can afford the luxurious prices.
Otherwise head inside St Mark’s Basilica (make sure you’re ‘appropriately’ dressed). Close by is the basilica’s belltower, the 99m tall Campanile. Take the lift up for some great views over Venice.
After you descend, head into the back streets in search of some lunch, then find a gondola driver to haggle with. Spend 50 minutes or so on a relaxing gondola ride down the Grand Canal.
Spend the rest of the day wandering the streets and eating gelati. Head to the Rialto Bridge and find the Bridge of Sighs (Ponte dei Sospire). This bridge is named after the sighs of prisoners crossing it on the way to the Prigioni (Prisons).
Take a boat to the colourful island of Burano and see the glass-blowers at work at Murano. Art enthusiasts should check out the amazing collection of modern art at The Guggenheim.
In one week
The best way to see Venice is slowly, so if you’ve got a week to spend in the city you should take some time to just wander aimlessly, stumbling across new areas away from the hoardes of tourists.
Visit the Palazzo Ducale and trace the cities history in The Accedemia. Brush up on your knowledge of maritime history at the Museo Storico Navale (naval museum).