A day trip from Venice to Padua in Italy is easy, enjoyable, and a great thing to do no matter if you are travelling solo, as a couple or in a group.
Plus it gives you a chance to explore a long list of unique sights in Padua – a city that stays firmly off the beaten path and yet it has deeply influenced the history of science and art both in Italy and the world as a whole.
With a travel time of less than half an hour one way and with trains connecting Venice and Padua dozens of times throughout the day, this is easily the best day trip you can take in Italy. Don’t miss the chance!
To make it easy for you, in this blog post, I have collated all the details to make planning a day trip from Venice to Padua a success. From first-hand tried and tested information on how to travel between these two Italian cities to a shortlist of the major sights to see in Padua in a day, everything’s covered.
During my six years of living in Italy, I made the journey from Venice to Padua and from Padua to Venice dozens of times. Each time, it was so worth it and it opened yet another horizon in front of me in terms of Italian history, culture, food, and art.
Now, I would like to share my tips with you to help you have a great experience, too. Logically organised in easy chunks, below you will find the information that you need to enjoy Padua on a great day trip from Venice in Italy.
Have a look!
Venice to Padua – The Best Day Trip in Italy
Where is Padua, Italy?
Padua is one of the major cities and an important economic centre in the Northern Italian region of Veneto. The capital of its own province, Padua is within close proximity to Veneto’s other large cities, namely:
- Venice – eastwards about 40 km away from Padua;
- Vicenza – westwards about 30 km away from Padua; and
- Verona – westwards about 90 km away from Padua.
Padua is connected to all three cities by road and railway. Travel between them is easy, well-organised, and inexpensive.
A well-maintained toll motorway stretches across Northern Italy. Known as Autostrada 4 (and also called Serenissima), Venice and Padua are two of the major Italian cities connected by it. If you choose to travel by car, this motorway is the most convenient way to reach Padua. Just bear in mind that it is a very busy road with a constant flow of traffic, especially during rush hour and national holidays.
Still, the easiest and quickest way to travel from Venice to Padua is by train. High-speed and fast regional trains connect these two Italian cities all throughout the day.
Padua’s train station is one of the main hubs of the Italian railway system. As such, Padua is easy and quick to reach from a number of large Italian cities beyond the confines of Veneto like Milan, Bologna, and Turin in addition to the Italian capital Rome.
Geographically, Padua is in the Venetian Plain – an expansive flatland that stretches from Veneto to Italy’s Northeasternmost region of Friuli Venezia Giulia. Two rivers run through Padua, skirting its historic centre. Their names are Bacchiglione and Brenta. Near Padua, you can visit the Euganean Hills – a beautiful group of hills of volcanic origin.
Why Visit Padua from Venice?
If you are spending a few days in Venice and you have already visited some of the islands in the Venetian Lagoon, it’s always a good idea to take a day trip from the city of water. This way you can explore a bit of Italy’s mainland and see beautiful historic places that are famous worldwide.
For its proximity to Venice and its wealth of art, history, and culture, Padua is a top choice for such a day trip. The two cities have a centuries-old historical connection for Padua used to be part of the Republic of Venice from 1405 to 1797. Yet, Padua and Venice have completely different look and feel.
Unlike Venice, Padua is not besieged by tourist crowds, so it’s a great destination if you want to experience Italy authentically. The city has deep-running scientific and religious traditions, so it’s a good place to visit if you want to see for yourself where modern medicine was born, for example, or how the heartfelt cult of a Christian saint is celebrated here.
For full details on what makes Padua a must-see Italian destination, have a look at these two blog posts:
- Padua, Italy – 101 Facts about the City of the Saint
- 10 Reasons to Visit Padua, Italy – A Must-See Italian City
They cover in extensive detail the many things that make Padua unique – from the famous people who were born and/or lived here (the sculptor Donatello, the architect Andrea Palladio, and the polymath Galileo Galilei being among them) to the world-famous sights you can see here in a day. The first masterpiece of the Italian Renaissance and the world’s oldest academic botanical garden are only two of Padua’s unmissable landmarks.
Padua also has a very lively atmosphere. A daily market takes over the city’s main squares every morning. Excellent food is sold and served in delis and restaurants some of which have been at the same spots for decades if not centuries. In the evening, young people – students at the University of Padua (which coincidentally is Italy’s second oldest University) – come out to meet with friends and relax over an aperitivo in alfresco bars and eateries.
All in all, there are many reasons to visit Padua on a day trip from Venice. Even if you decide to travel there without a particular reason, you can spend a wonderful day in this Northern Italian city seeing a completely different side to Italy than Venice has to offer.
In a nutshell, a day trip from Venice to Padua can be a cool adventure to create memories that last a lifetime.
How to Travel from Venice to Padua?
There are several ways to travel for a day trip from Venice to Padua. The easiest one is by train. Here they are in further details:
– Venice to Padua by Train – train times are short and there are dozens of trains running between Venice and Padua all throughout the day. In general, there are two types of trains here.
Here is how it works:
High-speed trains (Frecciarossa and ItaloTreno):
- On average they take about 27 mins from Venezia Santa Lucia train station to Padova train station.
- They cost more and the tickets for them get more expensive the closer to the date of travel you buy them.
- My advice is not to use this type of trains for a day trip from Venice to Padua unless you really crave the experience of travelling on an Italian high-speed train (they are very well-appointed!).
Regional trains (Regionale Veloce and Regionale):
- A Regionale Veloce train is a fast regional train that only stops at the major train stations along the way.
- A Regionale train is a slow regional train which stops at every train station – no matter how small – along the way.
- The tickets for both cost the same, don’t increase in price no matter how close to departure you buy them, can be used for both a Regionale Veloce or a Regionale train, and can be bought on the day of travel from the ticket machines or the ticket kiosks at the train station.
- My advice is to use the Regionale Veloce trains for a day trip from Venice to Padua. It takes about 28 mins to do the journey and the trains are new, well-maintained, and very comfortable. Usually, the train carriages have two levels so you can climb the steps to the top floor of the train and enjoy the views from there.
- The Regionale trains take on average 45 mins to reach Padua from the Venezia Santa Lucia train station.
- The thing to remember for both Regionale Veloce and Regionale trains is that once you buy your ticket, you need to validate it! Basically, you need to place your ticket in the slot of one of the validating machines. You will find them affixed to the walls and pillars of the train station. The machine will make a whirring noise and print a code on your ticket. If you don’t do it, your ticket is not valid and fines are large.
Depending on where you are staying in Venice, there are two train stations from which to start your day trip to Padua. Both of these train stations are on the same train line:
- Venezia Santa Lucia train station – if you are staying in Venice proper, i.e. the historic centre of Venice on the islands in the Venetian Lagoon, this is the train station you need to head to to take the train to Padua. The travel times given above apply to the journeys starting from this train station.
- Venezia Mestre train station – you need to use this train station, if you are staying in Mestre – the mainland part of Venice. Travel times will be on average 10-12 mins shorter.
Buying Tickets Online:
Omio offers the easiest way to check train travel times and buy train tickets in advance. It shows prices and travel times for all available high-speed, fast regional, and regional trains irrespective of the company that runs them. This way you can compare costs and times of departure and arrival.
Otherwise, you can use the official websites of Italy’s main railway operators:
- TrenItalia – for high-speed trains, fast regional trains, and regional trains;
- ItaloTreno – for high-speed trains only.
Both have an English user interface. The only thing to remember is that on the TrenItalia website you need to use the Italian names of the respective train stations (i.e., Venezia Santa Lucia/Venezia Mestre and Padova) when you are doing a search for tickets.
– Venice to Padua by Car – as you know, Venice is a car-free city. Yet, if you have a car at your disposal (parked on the island of Tronchetto or at Venice’s Piazzale Roma), using it to quickly and easily get to Padua from Venice can be a good idea. Click here if you need to hire a car for your day trip from Venice to Padua.
The journey by toll roads will take between 45 mins and just over an hour depending on the time and the day. This very helpful website will give you an estimate of how much the tolls are going to cost. Just be prepared for a more assertive type of driving and drivers that seem to be on the offensive.
In Padua, a convenient car park to leave your vehicle at is Padova Centro Park (also known as Car Park Padua City Centre).
– Venice to Padua by Bus – you can get bus 53E from Venezia Mestre (Venice’s mainland part) to Padua. The journey lasts over an hour and takes you through a number of small local villages. In all honesty, this is the most inconvenient way to travel from Venice to Padua. Only use it if, on your way to Padua, you want to have a look at a village which is not served by the regional trains.
– Venice to Padua by Boat – this is not a quick way to get to Padua from Venice and it certainly is not cheap. Yet, it offers a very panoramic journey and the opportunity to visit several famous for their architecture, history, frescoes, and gardens Venetian villas along the way.
The boat tour can take half a day or a whole day. It is held on board of a burchiello – a typical Venetian barge. There are several companies that organise these boat tours. Choosing to do one is a good way to gain a further understanding of the history and art of Veneto and to arrive in Padua in style. Although, it won’t give you much time to explore Padua and its sights on the same day.
Alternatively, you may choose to travel from Venice to Padua by train, spend the night in Padua, and then return to Venice on board of a burchiello. Along the way, you will take in the sight of dozens of Venetian villas from the water and stop to visit a couple or so of them. This tour is particularly good.
What to see in Padua on a Day Trip from Venice?
There are many things to see in Padua, Italy and you can certainly cover a lot of ground here in a day. The city is rich in important sights of scientific and religious interest in addition to many museums and art galleries. The local food is delicious and has centuries-old traditions, too.
Here is a shortlist to get you started planning your day trip from Venice to Padua:
- Scrovegni Chapel – the first masterpiece of the Italian Renaissance, this small chapel was fully frescoed by the renowned Florentine artist Giotto and his students in 1305.
- Palazzo Bo’ – the historic seat of the University of Padua which is the second oldest University in Italy. Taking a guided tour of Palazzo Bo’ gives you a chance to see the world’s oldest permanent anatomical theatre and the podium from which Galileo Galilei gave his very popular lectures.
- Palazzo della Ragione and the adjacent historical squares – don’t miss this medieval town hall. Its upper floor is covered with frescoes depicting the Labours of the Months. Its ground floor is taken by some of Padua’s best delis, eateries, butchers, fishmongers, and pasta makers. Two historic squares – Piazza delle Erbe and Piazza della Frutta – flank Palazzo della Ragione. A daily market has been held on both for the last 800 years.
- University of Padua Botanical Garden – this is the oldest University botanical garden in the world. Come here to see over 7,000 botanical species. Spend time exploring the historic part of the garden first before delving into the world’s climate regions which are replicated in the garden’s new Biodiversity building.
- Basilica of St. Anthony of Padua – over six and a half million pilgrims visit this enormous church in Padua, Italy each year. The tomb of St. Anthony is in a lavish chapel here.
- Prato della Valle – this is Italy’s largest square. It’s so enormous that it has its own island and an ellyptical water canal the edges of which are dotted with 78 statues. The square is surrounded by beautiful buildings and it’s a great place for walks and relaxation.
There are many more splendid sights and unique locations to visit in Padua, Italy. To make sure that you can see it all in a day, have a look at this blog post:
It gives you a detailed itinerary starting from the train station and taking in all of Padua’s must-see sights. It also has lots of tips to make your day trip from Venice to Padua the stuff that travel memories are made of.
Can I Book a Guided Visit, a Tour or an Activity in Padua, Italy?
Yes! And it’s a great idea to do it in advance in order to streamline your visit and see as much as possible in Padua on your day trip from Venice.
To get an idea of what’s on offer and the breadth of things you can see and do in Padua in a day, click here for an exhaustive list of tours and activities provided by different companies.
You can start with a two-hour guided tour of Padua. If you like keeping active, then consider seeing this vibrant University city from the saddle of a bike. Click here for a guided tour of some of Padua’s most famous and important landmarks. For a visit focused on the splendid Scrovegni Chapel and the enormous Basilica of St. Anthony, consider taking this tour. If you prefer to explore Padua’s culinary traditions, then don’t miss the market tour followed by a dining experience.
Picking one or more of these tours and activities will help you finalise your sightseeing plan for this historic city in Veneto, Italy and have a stress-free day trip from Venice.
What Is Your Personal Experience of Travelling from Venice to Padua?
I spent six years living in Vicenza – an elegant historic city just up the road from Padua and Venice in Italy. As such, I took every opportunity to travel to both Padua and Venice on day trips to explore their art, history, culture, unique events, delicious food, and lovely city settings.
Travelling by train and by car around Veneto is incredibly easy and inexpensive. Veneto is the Northern Italian region of which Venice, Padua, and Vicenza are a part. Travel distances between the three cities are very short and easy to navigate. As mentioned above, you can reach Padua from Venice and vice-versa in less than 30 minutes by train. And you can reach Vicenza from Padua in 17 minutes by train.
The trains are clean, new, and well-maintained. They feel safe. While they can get quite busy in the mornings and in the late afternoons with students and workers commuting between Venice and Padua, the journey is so short that it’s never an inconvenience to make it. In all honesty, it takes you longer to reach one end of London from the other on the tube than to travel from Venice to Padua by train. Plus, the tube stations and trains in London always feel so much busier than the Venice and Padua train stations and connecting trains.
Padua has so much to offer that a day here quickly flies away. Even when it rains, the city is still great to explore for there are long porticoes here (in other words, pavements with ceilings above), so you never get wet walking around the historic centre. Delving into the history and art of Padua in Italy is very satisfying, too for you always end up discovering new things. Even if you are here just for a day, you can explore places of great historic, artistic, and scientific importance and see where some of the world’s greatest artists and scientists used to live and work.
The local food is delicious and great coffee is served in every coffee shop. Don’t miss sampling Padua’s traditional pastries and cakes, too.
I full-heartedly recommend taking a day trip from Venice to Padua to anyone spending a few days in Venice and wanting to have an authentic Italian experience.
Taking a day trip from Venice to Padua is a great way to make your Italian holiday even more exciting.
These two Italian cities are a short distance away from one another. They are connected by multiple trains all throughout the day. So, visiting Padua from Venice is easy and inexpensive. Plus, there are many world-class sights and museums in Padua to explore at your leisure in one day.
In the above blog post, I give you detailed information on how to take a day trip from Venice to Padua. From detailed travel information to a shortlist of what to do and see in Padua, all the bases are covered.
I hope that the information provided will galvanise you to put Padua at the top of your travel wish list and that you will visit it on a day trip from Venice (or even stay longer) as soon as this is possible.
Enjoy your day trip to Padua!
More Helpful Veneto Info for You
Veneto: Best Cities to Visit, Top 15 Places, 30 Adventures, 15 Most Colourful Places
Venice: Essential Tips, Hidden Gems, Best Airports, Boats in Venice, Haunted Venice, Day Trips from Venice, Arco del Paradiso
Verona: Things to Do in One Day, Verona Opera Festival, Day Trips from Verona
Padua: Things to Do in One Day, 101 Facts About Padua, 10 Reasons to Visit Padua, Day Trips from Padua
Vicenza: Things to Do, Day Trips from Vicenza
More Helpful Italy Info for You
Day Trips in Italy: Venice to Verona, Venice to Milan, Venice to Lake Garda, Bologna to Venice, Florence to Venice, Milan to Venice, Milan to Lake Garda, Verona to Venice, Verona to Milan, Verona to Lake Garda
Best of Italy: Italian Piazzas, Italian Food, Italian Markets, Italian Coffee Culture
Northern Italy: 18 Best Cities to Visit, Major Airports
Lake Garda: Best Towns, Nearest Airports, Travel Options, Lake Garda with Kids, 10 Beautiful Castles
Lake Como: Things to See, Nesso
Lombardy: Best Cities and Towns
Friuli Venezia Giulia: Venzone, Most Beautiful Villages
Emilia Romagna: Bologna, Ravenna, Comacchio, Most Beautiful Villages
Marche: 6 Reasons to Visit, Gradara, Frasassi Caves, Temple of Valadier
Trentino: Best Cities and Towns, 15 Amazing Places, Rovereto, Lakes in Trentino, Lake Caldonazzo, Paneveggio and Pale di San Martino
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