The 5 Best Dolomites Day Trips From Venice [2023 Reviews]

Italy is full of beauty, there’s no question about that. However, the Dolomites or “Dolomiti” is truly one of the most breathtaking places in the entire world.

They’re about as unique to this planet as the Grand Canyon, and can be explored well by foot to get in a good hike, or by gondola or train if you’d like to relax and take in the views. Not to mention, it’s a fantastic way to escape the noisiness of the city and get back into nature.

If you want to maximize your experience and see the Dolomites in all their splendor, we highly recommend signing up for a tour or two.

Without further ado, we present to you the top day trips to the Dolomites from Venice!

Best Dolomites Day Trips From Venice

Cortina & Dolomites Mountains Day Tour From VeniceDolomite Mountains & Cortina Semi Private Day TripDolomites, Lake Misurina, and Cortina From Venice

Best Budget Tour

Best Small Group Tour

Best Full Day Tour

editors choice
Cortina & Dolomites Mountains Day Tour From VeniceDolomite Mountains & Cortina Semi Private Day TripDolomites, Lake Misurina, and Cortina From Venice
Departure:Piazzale RomaPiazzale Roma, 30135 Venezia VEOutside cafe shop Re Mida
Start:8:30 AM8:00 AM & 8:30 AM8:30 AM
Duration:8 hours9 hours9 hours
Includes:Driver, transport by air-conditioned minivan, transfer from Venice with return, photo stops, free time to exploreEnglish-speaking driver-tour escort, easy self-guided nature walk (optional), transport by air-conditioned Mercedes or similar-make minivanEnglish speaking driver-guide, Mercedes minivan, entrance fees to the Tre Cime Di Lavaredo, maximum of 8 people per van

Tour Information & Booking

Tour Information & Booking

Tour Information & Booking

Quick Answer: The 5 Best Rated Day Trips to the Dolomites from Venice

  1. Best Budget Tour: Cortina and Dolomites Mountains Day Tour From Venice
  2. Best Small Group Tour: Dolomite Mountains and Cortina Semi Private Day Trip from Venice
  3. Best Full Day Trip: Dolomites, Lake Misurina, and Cortina Day Trip From Venice
  4. Best Combination Tour: The Most Beautiful Mountains in The World, the Dolomites and Lake Braies
  5. Best Private Tour: Private Dolomites Day Trip from Venice by Mercedes Van

Dolomites Day Trips Reviews

1. Best Budget Tour: Cortina & Dolomites Mountains Day Tour From Venice

Cortina & Dolomites Mountains Day Tour From Venice

Tour Highlights:

  • Duration: 8 hours
  • Departure: Piazzale Roma
  • Departure Time: 8:30 AM
  • Includes: Driver, transport by air-conditioned minivan, transfer from Venice with return, photo stops, free time to explore

If you’re looking to escape the hustle-and-bustle of Venice and get some fresh air, we know just the thing for you.

The From Venice: Cortina and Dolomites Mountains Day Tour will fill your itinerary and camera up with majestic mountainous views, serene lakes, and charming villages nestled into it all.

With the excellent organization and vast knowledge your guides possess, don’t be surprised if this is your favorite tour in all of Italy.

Start in the morning by meeting your driver in Piazzale Roma, where you’ll then be escorted onto your transport for the day.

The air-conditioned minivan is comfortable no matter the weather, with large windows for great viewing as you drive through tunnels and on hilltops with amazing views of the valleys below. Once you arrive in Cortina, you’ll have around 1.5 hours to explore this “pearl” as you see best.

If the weather is nice enough, you can choose to head up to Faloria by cable car, which shows the area off from a fantastic 7,000-foot-high viewpoint.

Then, head over to Lake Misurina and up to the 3 monstrous peaks of Tre Cime di Lavaredo appearing to tower over you. Likely the most well-known groups of mountains in the Alps, you’ll get some insane views and photos over here.

After some time strolling around and taking in that crisp mountain air, you can grab lunch and munch on some delicious food while admiring the views or the Sorapis and Marmarole. Then, head to Lake Auronzo, stopping at the quaint villages along the way.

More Information & Tour Booking

100% refund for cancellations within 24 hours of tour experience

Other Experiences You May Enjoy:

2. Best Small Group Tour: Dolomite Mountains & Cortina Semi Private Day Trip

Dolomite Mountains & Cortina Semi Private Day Trip

Tour Highlights:

  • Duration: 9 hours
  • Departure: Piazzale Roma, 30135 Venezia VE
  • Departure Time: 8:00 AM & 8:30 AM
  • Includes: English-speaking driver-tour escort, easy self-guided nature walk (optional), transport by air-conditioned Mercedes or similar-make minivan

Next, we have the Dolomite Mountains and Cortina Semi Private Day Trip from Venice. This full-day trip packs in a ton of beauty and adventure into 9 hours, including a professional guide who knows this area very well.

While Venice is certainly enchanting, the dolomites are a wonderful contrast and equally as fascinating! You’ll also meet your guide at the Piazzale Roma, which you can access by water taxi. Hop into your comfortable minivan and set off for the Dolomites.

Not to worry – Venice’s stunning architecture will be there waiting when you get back in the evening.

The vans are so comfortable that it’s hard not to fall asleep along the way, but you’d be missing out on gorgeous views and interesting commentary from your guide! Your first stop is the ski resort town of Cortina, boasting over 140 ski runs.

You’ll have plenty of time to stroll around at your leisure and take some photos of the town that will be home to the winter Olympic games in 2026.

From here, you can take a breezy stroll or sit at the rifugio and enjoy the phenomenal views of the legendary Tre Cime di Lavaredo.

It’s certainly no wonder why Cortina is called the “pearl of the Dolomites”, with its unique landscapes and intricate architecture. You and your group will then make your way to Lago di Misurina, where you can walk around the glass-like lake.

Reflecting the towering Alps off of its surface, the lake exudes radiance and makes for a serene location that really lets you clear your head and enjoy the moment. There are some wonderful cafes nearby, so feel free to grab one while taking it all in.

More Information & Tour Booking

100% refund for cancellations within 24 hours of tour experience

3. Best Full Day Trip: Dolomites, Lake Misurina, and Cortina From Venice

Dolomites, Lake Misurina, and Cortina From Venice

Tour Highlights:

  • Duration: 9 hours
  • Departure: Outside cafe shop Re Mida
  • Departure Time: 8:30 AM
  • Includes: English speaking driver-escort, Mercedes minivan or similar make, entrance fees to the Tre Cime Di Lavaredo (from mid-May to mid-October), maximum of 8 people per van

While any trip to the Dolomites is worth going on, many of us would like the chance for a private tour. The From Venice: Dolomites, Lake Misurina, and Cortina Day Trip is all that and more!

It’s almost like having one of your local best friends show you around all the hidden gems of this magical place on Earth!

Just like the other tours we’ve covered so far, this one also clocks in at 9 hours. You’ll meet your guide outside a café called “Re Mida” which is right in front of the water bus stop of line 2. You’ll then board your Mercedes minivan for the day, which is always a smooth and comfortable ride.

As you drive around the wonderful scenery, through tunnels and around canyons, your guide will offer an educational commentary about the area. They’ll share their own personal anecdotes and fun stories, which make the drive even more entertaining.

Then, you’ll arrive at the cosmopolitan Cortina, which is known around the world for its incredible beauty and world-class skiing.

Due to the small group size, you will get a say in how you spend your tour. Perhaps you’re looking to sit back and relax while taking in the views of the Dolomites. Maybe you’d prefer to get out and walk around, or start trekking up to the Tre Cime di Lavaredo.

Whatever the case may be, the guides are very well-versed in the options available and are always willing to offer recommendations and accommodate you as best as they can.

More Information & Tour Booking

100% refund for cancellations within 24 hours of tour experience

4. Best Combination Tour: A Day Among The Most Beautiful Mountains in The World, the Dolomites and Lake Braies

A Day Among The Most Beautiful Mountains in The World, the Dolomites and Lake Braies

Tour Highlights:

  • Duration: 6 to 9 hours
  • Departure: Taxi Piazzale Roma, Santa Croce, 548, 30135 Venezia VE
  • Departure Time: 8:00 AM
  • Includes: WiFi on board, air-conditioned vehicle

Next, is one of the most comprehensive, well-planned tours we’ve come across. With this tour, you’ll spend A Day Among the Most Beautiful Mountains in the World, the Dolomites, and Lake Braies.

Lasting anywhere from 6 to 9 hours, you’ll get to see all the nooks and crannies of this beautiful location and learn all about it. With a small group size, you’ll receive more personalized attention and be able to ask any questions you may have.

Not only that, but you get more of a say in what you’d like to do, focusing on the parts that interest you the most. Meet your guide in front of the green cab taxi service at 8:00 am in Venice, and you’ll board a comfortable air-conditioned vehicle.

The vehicles are nice and spacious, and even come with wi-fi on board so you can share your experience with others in real-time. Alternatively, enjoy the wonderful views as you head to the Belluno province.

The first stop of the day is the infamous Cortina d’Ampezzo, known for its incomparable natural beauty and top-class ski resorts.

At Lago di Misurina, you’ll have time to take a leisurely stroll around the picturesque lake, reflecting the surrounding Alps off the surface. Alternatively, if you feel like resting your legs, you can stop by a nearby café or bar and enjoy the nice picture window view of the landscape.

Then, it’s time to get close to Tre Cime di Lavaredo, which may be one of the most impressive locations in all of Europe.

If you’d like to keep the fun going, you can choose to add on a trip to Lago di Braies where you can walk around, explore, or sit in one of the many lakeside cafes with phenomenal vistas.

More Information & Tour Booking

100% refund for cancellations within 24 hours of tour experience

5. Best Private Tour: Dolomites Day Trip from Venice by Mercedes Van

Dolomites Day Trip from Venice by Mercedes Van

Tour Highlights:

  • Duration: 9 hours
  • Departure: Garage San Marco, Piazzale Roma, 467, 30135 Venezia VE
  • Departure Time: 8:00 AM
  • Includes: Professional guide, private transportation

Say you really want to go all out on your tour and experience the Dolomites in the most luxurious way. If that sounds interesting to you, then look no further, because this is the tour for you!

The Private Dolomites Day Trip from Venice by Mercedes Van offers you an exclusive experience with a guide there to answer any questions you may have without the addition of other parties in your group.

Your tour will start at 8:00 am where you’ll hop onboard a luxurious Mercedes vehicle. These are usually Vianos, but it may vary depending on availability. However, comfort and a smooth ride is always guaranteed and you do get to customize your trip to fit you and your group’s interests.

Of course, you do have the ability to change up the activities and stops you take, but you’ll generally follow this course. The first stop, is Cortina which is highly recommended by just about anyone who’s ever visited this gorgeous place.

While it is known for world-class skiing, it’s stunning at any time of year and really draws quite the tourism in the summertime.

After this, you guys can all take a nice walk around Lago di Misurina and breathe in that clean mountain air. This is a favorite for families, so if you would like to bring children along, we’d say go for it. After this, you can choose to head to Lago di Dobbiaco and/or Lago di Braies.

While both lakes a certainly impressive, Lago di Braies is probably more impressive. However, there are more crowds, so it’s really up to your preferences. Its mirror-like emerald waters are simply magical and it’s probably worth navigating the extra people to get a glimpse of it and walk around.

More Information & Tour Booking

100% refund for cancellations within 24 hours of tour experience

Venice Tour Guide

Best Day Trips to the Dolomites From Venice

In TripAdvisor’s Travelers’ Choice Awards 2020, Venice was ranked as the #3 Top Destination in the World. This is no surprise for a city famous for its food, art, and architecture.

Getting There –

If you’re looking to fly directly in to Venice, you’ll fly into either Venice Marco Polo Airport (VCE) or Treviso Airport (TSF). However, VCE is the city’s primary airport and you’re likely to find more flights that serve this one. Treviso is about an hour north of Venice, so it’s not quite as convenient.

There are various airlines that have direct flights to Marco Polo Airport, but the majority are just during the high season (spring, summer, autumn). Delta Airlines, US Airways, and Alitalia all are great options.

Getting Around –

We hope you enjoy walking, because that’s genuinely the best form of transportation in Venice. While there are plenty of canals that also work well in many cases, walking is just the most efficient.

Water – You can travel the canals to get from point A to point B through vaporetto or water bus, water taxi, or gondola. The gondola is a bit expensive, so outside of going on tours you may not want to use them as your main source of transportation. However, the vaporetto/water bus is pretty cheap. Depending on where you are, you may even have to take a vaporetto to get to your destination!

Bus – If you’re heading from the VCE airport to the Venice city center, we recommend taking the ATVO bus (Venice Airport Bus Express).

Walking – Venice’s cobblestone streets are wonderful for taking a calm stroll through the city and exploring. We recommend instead of using a map, you watch out for the landmark signs which are easy to spot.

Where to Stay –

Each Venice neighborhood or sestiere has its pros and cons. So, think about for a moment what your priorities are. Do you want a quieter location that’s farther away from the main tourist sites or do you want to be in the middle of all the hustle-and-bustle?

San Marco – This is tourist central, and is really the center of Venice, too. Here, you will find the infamous St. Mark’s Square, Doge’s Palace, Rialto Bridge, and the meeting point for most of your gondola tours! If you want to be close to pretty much all of the hottest spots and restaurants, this is the neighborhood to stay in.

Luckily, there’s something for every budget, here. Hotel Serenissima is the most affordable while still maintaining good quality. Hotel Firenze is a step up, and located very close to St. Mark’s Square. If you’re going all out, Gritti Palace is the hotel. Luxury doesn’t even begin to describe this place, and its jaw-dropping views!

San Polo – This is yet another central Venice neighborhood, and the fact that Rialto Bridge is located smack dab in the middle draws a lot of tourists. However, if you just want to walk out of your hotel and into the biggest tourist draws then you’re in the right place!

Ca’ Angeli Hotel is a mid-range hotel with beautiful Grand Canal views, and the Rialto Bridge is literally a 7-minute walk away. Santa Lucia Station is also just a few minutes away walking, making it much easier to get around.

Dorsoduro – Dorsoduro is another top neighborhood, as it’s still pretty close to the top attractions while still far enough that you don’t have to worry about tons of crowds or noise. For us, this is one of the best choices you can make. You’re very close to Accademia, the Peggy Guggenheim Collection, Campo Margherita, Zattere, and more.

Pensione Accademia – Villa Maravege hotel is a great midrange option with some beautiful views of the canal. If you want something a bit more affordable (but absolutely stunning!), check out Hotel Ca’ Nobile Corner. For the best of the best, Palazzo Veneziano is the way to go.

Santa Croce – Here, you’ll find all the main transportation hubs, like Piazzale Roma bus station, tons of ferry terminals, and even massive parking garages! While Santa Croce doesn’t have many tourist attractions, it’s much cheaper here and offers some insight into the authentic local way of life. Not to mention, it’s still quite convenient to hop on a water taxi or bus and get anywhere else in just a few minutes. If you choose to walk, St. Mark’s Square is just 20 minutes away!

Restaurants and Eating Out –

As you can imagine, Venice is definitely a city where good food is prevalent on just about every street corner. However, it’s also a city where you really need to plan where you eat. Just like any other tourist-heavy city, you can easily fall into eating at overpriced tourist trap restaurants if you haven’t done your research. If you can, definitely make reservations as soon as you can.

Osteria alle Testiere – We love the way this charming restaurant showcases the city’s history as a global trading center. It may be ultra-small (only 10 tables in the whole place!) but it’s worth it. It doesn’t have a Michelin star, but it’s fresh and delicious. Each day’s menu goes off of the closely-located Rialto Market’s fresh catch, and you can expect dishes like delicate spider crab, big mantis shrimp, and other seafood delights. Don’t forget to try the Bronte Pistachio Flour Cake!

Corte Sconta – Located on the main island near Arsenal, it’s a lovely courtyard environment with a fish-heavy menu featuring traditional dishes like sarde in saor (sardines marinated in vinegar). Their Venetian-style tuna with white polenta perfectly combines an array of interesting textures and flavors.

Il Paradiso Perduto – If you enjoy the thought of eating delicious seafood at large, shared tables with locals then Il Paradiso Perduto is a spot you need to hit. Located in a kind of basement, it’s rustic yet everyone seems friendly and buzzing with positive energy.

Trattoria Ca d’Oro alla Vedova – Are you a meatball fan? If you aren’t, you will be after coming to Trattoria Ca d’Oro alla Vedova. With copper pots hanging from the ceiling, it has a very rustic, young, quirky vibe that is also a pleasant environment to be in. The Polpetta crispy meatballs are a must-try, but their local pasta with anchovies and parsley is also delicious.

Osteria La Zucca – This place is one of the top vegan and vegetarian spots for locals and tourists, alike. However, even if you aren’t into vegan food, you have to come here for the pumpkin flan!

Nightlife and Entertainment –

Venice isn’t a really party-heavy city. While there are plenty of bars, pubs, and even some nice clubs to choose from, it’s not the main event. We recommend checking out Venice Jazz Club, BAR El Borrachero, and Piccolo Mondo Disco.

Venice Jazz Club – This is such a classy place in line with much of the city’s history. They have a fantastic house quartet that plays the most famous jazz tunes as well as many modern ones. It’s a great little place to relax and enjoy a nice cocktail.

BAR El Borrachero – This is a very popular place with locals, and many students often come here on the weekends. It’s nothing big or fancy, but the tiny bar has consistently good drinks and food and the vibe is on point.

Piccolo Mondo – Touted as “the oldest and only disco in Venice”, Piccolo Mondo is a great time. Having started in the 60’s, it was originally named “El Souk” by Peggy Guggenheim when it was once an art gallery! It soon transformed into a cocktail lounge and then a disco and nightclub. Live music, DJs – they have it all!

Weather –

Weather will play a huge role in your Venice experience. While September to November tends to have the least amount of tourists and crowds, it’s for a good reason. When it starts getting colder, it can get pretty windy and flood a bit. For a city that relies so heavily on walking everywhere, this can put a damper on things. However, it can also rain quite a bit in the summertime but it’s just more pleasant because it’s warmer. Between October and January, Venice’s water levels rise quite a bit!

Attractions –

Where do we even begin? The great part about Venice is that it’s not so massive that you will feel like you missed out. Just walking around the center of the city, you’re likely to run into some of the top tourist attractions. However, let’s go ahead and cover them anyway.

St. Mark’s Basilica – As the city’s best-known church, it was originally the Doge’s private chapel. With Byzantine architecture and art brought back from Venetian ships after Constantinople’s fall, it’s absolutely stunning. The incredible Pala d’Oro altarpiece made of gold, features thousands of precious stones and gems. To really appreciate it, you need to take a tour of St Mark’s Basilica.

Piazza San Marco – This is the city’s biggest square, surrounded by gorgeous buildings on 3 sides. This is the kind of place where people love to gather for chats, coffee, a nice walk around, or whatever else. Around here, you’ll find all kinds of cafes, cute ships, and of course, St. Mark’s Basilica. Just make sure that if you go in-between October to March, you know that this plaza basically turns into a lagoon.

Palazzo Ducale/Doge’s Palace, Bridge of Sighs – The Bridge of Sighs isn’t open to public tours, but if you take a private tour you’ll be able to walk across and into the dark cells of the Prigioni. These prisons became known around the world because Casanova infamously escaped from here. Doge’s Palace is impressive on its own, with its gothic appearance and detailed architecture.

Ponte di Rialto – Built back in the late 1500’s, the Rialto Bridge is where the island’s first settlement was constructed! The bridge as we know it today was actually rebuilt from the original wooden bridge that collapsed. Now, the bridge supports two main streets and various shops.

Torre dell’Orologio/Clock Tower – This is one of the most recognizable landmarks in Venice. The clocktower comes with 2 bronze Moors which strike the big bell each hour. The face of the clock is beautiful, with the moon and zodiac glimmering against a blue background.

Santa Maria della Salute – Another one of the most famous churches in Venice, it looks like a painting! The Baroque church was built as a “thank you” for the plague ending in 1630! Due to the enormous heft of the structure, the architect, Baldassare Longhena has more than a million timbers driven into the floor of the lagoon before it could be fully constructed!

Scuola Grande di San Rocco – This White marble building was built in the 1500’s for a charitable society. Once it was completed, the 16th-century local artist, Tintoretto painted a central panel of the ceiling and later decorated the walls.

Lake Como – Check out the spectacular beauty of Lake Como with a day trip and see where the rich and famous have their summer houses.

Tips –

  1. Venice is actually quite an elegant, stylish city. Trust us when we say that you’re going to stand out like a sore thumb if you come in more dressed-down or raggedy clothes. This isn’t the place to don gym apparel everywhere, though you should bring a good pair of sneakers or walking shoes. You don’t have to wear a dress or suit everywhere, but it’s always a good idea to have it handy.
  2. Bring an umbrella! It could realistically rain at any time in Venice, and while many hotels supply them, it’s not a bad idea to bring one along.
  3. Learn some Italian. No, you don’t have to become fluent before you arrive. Just learn some of the basics to be able to communicate and get around a bit easier.
  4. Don’t tip too little nor too much. Something between 5 and 10 euros when you’ve received good service is ideal.
  5. Don’t worry too much on having a set-in-stone plan. Just walking around Venice freely can be an amazing time. The narrow streets can be confusing and you’re likely to get lost at least a couple of times but you’ll probably be pleasantly surprised each time with what you find along the way.
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The Cortina and Dolomites Mountains Day Tour is our Editors Choice for the best day trip to the Dolomites from Venice

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Robert Baker

Robert is a content writer and editor at World Guides to Travel where he shares his love for the great outdoors. He also writes in-depth travel blogs for other websites around the world. Robert is passionate about the environment and uses his writing to educate people about the advantages and importance of sustainable living. Robert enjoys creative writing. In 2009, his children’s novel Sally Hemings & the Good Associates won the Children’s Fiction section of the You Write On Book of the Year Award.
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