A day trip from Venice to Padua in Italy is easy, enjoyable, and inexpensive.
Plus it gives you a chance to explore a long list of unique sights and visit many locations that have 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 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 in the Northern Italian region of the Veneto. It 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.
The capital of its own province, Padua is an important economic centre in Northern Italy. The city’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 the Veneto like Milan, Bologna, Turin, and even Rome.
Geographically, Padua is in the Venetian Plain – an expansive flatland that stretches from the 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 more than three days in Venice, 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 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 a completely different look and feel.
Unlike Venice, Padua is not besieged by tourist crowds, so it’s a great destination if you want to feel authentically in the heart of Italy. The city also 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.
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 there (the architect Andrea Palladio and the polymath Galileo Galilei being among them) to the world-famous sights you can see there in a day (with the first masterpiece of the Italian Renaissance and the world’s oldest academic botanical garden among them).
How to Travel from Venice to Padua?
There are several ways to travel from Venice to Padua with the easiest one being 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 train here:
- 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 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 machines affixed to the walls of the train station and wait for the machine to print a code on the ticket.
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:
To check train travel times and buy train tickets in advance, you can use one of these two websites:
- TrenItalia – for both high-speed trains and regional trains;
- ItaloTreno – for high-speed trains only.
Both are easy to navigate and 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 train stations (as given above) 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. 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 of an 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 or fast 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 the 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.
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 elliptical in shape and it’s brimmed by a water canal the edges of which are dotted with 78 statues. This enormous square is surrounded by beautiful buildings and it’s great 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 the 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.
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 the Veneto is incredibly easy and inexpensive. The Veneto is the Northern Italian region which Venice, Padua, and Vicenza are a part of. Travel distances between the tree 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 (basically 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 greatest artists and scientists (like Donatello and Galileo Galilei) 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 more than three days in Venice and wanting to have an authentic Italian experience.
A small disclaimer is due here: All the information contained in this blog post is up to date at the date of publishing it. This is not professional, exclusive advice. Just personal experiences and suggestions shared without any obligation to you and any expectations from you.
Taking a day trip from Venice to Padua is a great way to make your Italian holiday even more exciting.
With these two Italian cities a short distance from one another and connected by multiple trains all throughout the day, 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 make such a day trip. 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 on 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 Links
- Hidden Gems in Venice – 101 Things to Do in Venice, Italy Off the Beaten Track
- Padua’s 800 Years Old Market
- Day Trips from Padua, Italy – Over 35 Unmissable Destinations in the Veneto, Lombardy and Emilia-Romagna
- Best 12 Towns to Visit around Lago di Garda – Italy’s Largest Lake
- Lake Garda with Kids or The Best 11 Things to Do at Lake Garda for Families
- 10 Best Cities in Veneto, Italy to Visit and What to See in Each
- 30 Days of Adventures in the Veneto, Italy – #30daysofadventures
- Top 15 Places to Visit in the Veneto, Italy – The Ultimate Guide
- Italian Piazzas – 20 Most Beautiful Squares in the Veneto, Northern Italy
- 15 Most Colourful Places in the Veneto, Italy to Delight Photographers and Curious Travellers
- 20 Best Things to Do and See in Verona, Italy in One Day – The Ultimate Itinerary with Photos and Tips
- 25 Best Things to Do in Vicenza – Northern Italy’s Hidden Gem
- 18 of the Best Cities to Visit in Northern Italy (With Travel Tips and Nearest Airports)
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