Verona is a romantic city since its best-known characters are Romeo and Juliet. A visit to Verona was never at the top of my travel plans, but now I can say that it might well be one of the most amazing Italian cities.
Despite being a relatively small city, it is full of beautiful places and we easily fell in love with it 😊
Visiting Verona is a good idea at any time of the year. However, the winters are a bit cold and the thermometers reach negative temperatures sometimes. Summers, on the other hand, are very hot.
So, like many European cities, I recommend visiting Verona in spring or autumn, especially from April to June and September to October. You already know that in addition to the milder weather at these times, you will be able to escape a bit more from the summer crowds.
Verona is the perfect weekend getaway! The city is quite compact and you can easily walk from one place to another. If you have 2 days available, don’t hesitate. You will be able to enjoy the city at a slower pace and experience its spirit in a better way.
However, if you don’t have 2 days available ( it was my case!), you can still perfectly visit Verona. One day in Verona is more than enough to visit the main points of interest in the city and be delighted 🥰 Of course your day will be more packed, but it’s perfectly doable!
Verona has an airport – Valerio Catullo – where several direct flights arrive from other countries. Here are some destinations with direct connections to Verona:
- Portugal (Porto)
- Belgium (Brussels)
- Spain (Palma Majorca, Barcelona, Ibiza, Menorca)
- United Kingdom (London, Birmingham, Manchester, Edinburgh)
- France (Paris)
- Ireland (Dublin)
However, it is also possible to travel by train from other Italian cities with airports. For example:
- Venice: train journey takes at least 1 hour
- Milan: train journey takes at least 1h10
- Bologna: train journey takes at least 50 minutes
There is no public transport option that takes us directly from Verona airport to the historic city centre. However, there is an option that involves a transfer.
First of all, you should take the Airlink shuttle bus right outside the airport. The ticket costs 6€ (price in May 2022) and can be purchased from the machines at the airport exit. The trips take place every 20 minutes and the final destination of this shuttle service is the Verona Porta Nuova train station.
Depending on where you are staying, you can walk, take a taxi or a bus from Porta Nuova station. There are several buses available at this location and tickets can be purchased directly at the bus terminal or alternatively from the bus driver.
💡 EXTRA TIP: In my case, the bus ticket to the centre cost only 1.3€. Buying the ticket was easy. However, figuring out in which of the bus stations I wanted was more complicated. I saw which bus I needed on Google Maps and then went to each of the bus terminals to check the buses that passed there. I didn’t find it very simple and unfortunately, I don’t have any tips to make this process easier. Simply look for your bus number and if you can, ask someone else 😉
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I ended up choosing accommodation slightly outside the historical centre, but still within reasonable walking distance from the centre (15/20 minutes). StraVagante Hostel & Rooms surprised me in a good way. Although it is a hostel, we stayed in a double room with private bathroom.
The conditions were excellent, the cleaning was impeccable and the room was very modern. Although we did not opt to include breakfast initially, we did so on arrival as it only cost 5€.
The breakfast was disappointing, quite honestly, but it was pretty convenient as we didn’t find many cafes nearby.
Anyway, while researching accommodation for Verona I saw other options that seemed equally good:
- SALUS Locazione Turistica: despite being located 2km from the centre, it is still relatively close and has a very modern space and good value for money
- Residenza Borgo Trento: also slightly out of the centre, but well-rated and with a nice price
- La Nuova Corte Rooms: very central location, nice flats and a price still quite low for Verona’s “normal” prices
- Residence Antico San Zeno: excellent location with a more rustic atmosphere. The price is higher than the previous options.
- Hotel Leon d’Oro: located next to the train station, this option is for those seeking the comfort of a hotel without going too overboard.
Many of the places to visit in Verona require a paid entrance fee. If we add up the price of each ticket, we quickly end up with a huge expense to visit the city.
However, there is the Verona Card which gives “free” access to most points of interest in the city and also allows us unlimited access to the bus service in the city (the airport bus is not included!). This card costs 20€ for 24h or 25€ for 48h.
The Verona Card can be bought at the ticket office of most monuments and museums or at newsstands around the city. At first I had some trouble finding the card because it was sold out in many places, but I finally got it at the Arena 😉
💡 EXTRA TIP: Depending on the monuments you are interested in visiting in Verona, there is a combined option to visit 4 churches (Basilica of San Zeno, Cathedral, Basilica of Santa Anastasia and Church of San Fermo) for 8€.
Before we start the itinerary with what to visit in one day in Verona, I leave you a short map that you can download:
» Arena di Verona
We started at what is one of the most majestic points of this itinerary. Verona’s Arena is an ancient Roman amphitheatre still very well preserved! It is still used today for various concerts. I suggest you buy your Verona Card here!
📝 USEFUL INFORMATION: The Arena is generally open for visits at the following times: October to May (Tuesday to Sunday 9 am to 7 pm) and June to September (Monday 9 am to 7 pm; Tuesday to Sunday 9 am to 5 pm). Please note that these times are subject to change if there are concerts. The ticket to visit costs 10€, but is free with the Verona Card.
» Piazza Bra
I suggest you then explore the square where the Arena is located – Piazza Bra. This colourful square is the main square of the city and one of the most touristy.
Apart from the various restaurants and bars you can find here, don’t miss the Gran Guardia or the Beriberi palaces – two of the most important monuments in this square, besides Verona’s Arena.
Additionally, right next door, stop to observe the Portoni della Bra. This is an ancient accessway in the city walls that connected the more cosmopolitan area with Verona’s countryside.
» Museum CastelVecchio and Bridge
The CastelVecchio bridge is also one of the most special places in Verona. The bridge is named after the Vecchio Castle which is right next to it, on one of the banks of the Adige River. Built in the 14th century, the old castle now houses a museum about the history of the castle.
💡 EXTRA TIP: The museum is open from Tuesday to Sunday from 10 am to 6 pm and the ticket costs 6€, but is free with the Verona Card. You can consult the most up-to-date information here.
I chose not to visit the inside of the museum as I didn’t find it very interesting, but I didn’t miss crossing the bridge from one bank of the river to the other. That is well worth it 😊
💡 EXTRA TIP: Although crossing the bridge is very cute on its own, I suggest you walk a bit along one side of the river to get the perfect picture of the bridge seen from a distance.
» Gavi Arch
Right next to the Vecchio Castle, it is impossible not to notice the Gavi Arch. This arch was built during the 1st century AD and is said to have been included in the defensive system of the city, being one of the entrances to the city at the time.
» San Zeno Maggiore Basilica
Next is the Basilica of San Zeno Maggiore – the first religious monument we will visit in Verona and also one of the most important in the city. This basilica was built in the 2nd century AD and has Romanesque architecture. Supposedly, it was in its crypt that Romeo and Juliet got married.
📝 USEFUL INFORMATION: The opening times of the basilica depend on the day of the week, so I recommend you check the most up-to-date information here. The entrance ticket costs 4€, but it is free with the Verona Card.
» Via Giuseppe Mazzini and Borsari Gate
It’s time to go back! Via Giuseppe Mazzini is one of the most important pedestrian streets in the historic centre of Verona as it connects two of the city’s most important squares.
Also, take the opportunity for a short diversion to Porta Borsari (gate) – one of the ancient gates of the wall that once surrounded Verona.
» Piazza della Erbe
Follow the famous street Corso Porta Borsari until you reach another of the most important squares in the city – Piazza della Erbe. This square is one of the oldest in the city and where there used to be a Roman Forum.
Spend some time admiring some of the buildings around the square, such as Palazzo Maffeia, Casa dei Giudici or even the Lamberti Tower (where we’ll be going next!). If you are lucky, you can even enjoy the small market that takes place in this square quite often.
» Lamberti Tower
It’s time to visit one of the most amazing places in Verona. At 84 metres high, I suggest you climb to its top to see one of the best views of the historic centre of Verona.
📝 USEFUL INFORMATION: The ticket to climb to the top of the tower costs 6€, but is free with the Verona Card. However, the Verona Card does not include the lift ride. The tower can be visited Monday to Friday from 10 am to 6 pm and Saturday and Sunday from 11 am to 7 pm. For more information, click here.
» Juliet’s House
Verona is the city associated with the love story between Romeo and Juliet. This way, it is possible to visit the supposed building where the famous scene from Shakespeare’s play in which Juliet speaks to Romeo from her balcony took place.
It is possible to visit Juliet’s house inside and the famous balcony. The ticket costs 6€, but is free with the Verona Card. Quite honestly, the house is not that interesting inside and I would say to only enter if you have bought the Verona Card as you won’t pay extra for it.
In any case, a visit to the house’s outdoor patio (and from where the balcony is visible) is free. This is also where you will find the famous statue of Juliet. Don’t be surprised if you see people taking pictures with their hands on Juliet’s breast. After all, legend has it that such a gesture brings luck in love 😂
» San Fermo Maggiore Church
San Fermo Maggiore Church is a very peculiar church as it actually has two distinct zones, built at different moments in time. This difference in the construction period is clearly noticeable when visiting the church!
📝 USEFUL INFORMATION: You can check the opening hours of the church here. Entry to this church also costs 4€, but is free if you have the pass for the 4 churches of Verona or the Verona Card.
» Piazza dei Signori
Walking slightly backwards, we reach Piazza dei Signori, where we can find some buildings that deserve our attention, such as Palazzo del Capitano, Loggia del Consiglio and Casa della Pieta.
» Scaliger Tombs
A few meters from Piazza dei Signori, we find the Scaliger Tombs. These tombs are Gothic funerary monuments dedicated to the Scaliger family, which was of enormous importance in the area between the 13th and 14th centuries.
📝 USEFUL INFORMATION: It is possible to visit these tombs up close, although they are visible from outside the fences that surround them. The visit is paid but free for Verona Card holders.
» Santa Anastasia Basilica
Taking another of the city’s most famous arteries (Corso Sant’Anastasia), we come to another of the religious monuments that you should visit in Verona. Gothic in style, this church has kept the name of another church that once existed there. Although it is not the most important church in the city, it is the largest.
📝 USEFUL INFORMATION: The opening hours of the church vary depending on the day of the week so I recommend you check the most up-to-date version here. As with the other churches, the entrance ticket costs 4€, but is included in the Verona Card.
» Verona’s Cathedral
The last religious monument on this itinerary through Verona is its Cathedral. This is one of the oldest religious buildings in Verona, dating back to the 12th century. Be sure to visit its interior, especially to admire the frescoes in the dome over the main altar.
📝 USEFUL INFORMATION: You can check the opening times of the Cathedral here. The entrance fee is included in the Verona Card, but is 4€ if you do not choose to purchase the Verona pass.
» Pietra Bridge
This Verona itinerary may be ending, but I think I managed to save the best for last. Pietra bridge is one of the cutest bridges in town, with unbeatable photo opportunities over the city (especially at sunset).
» San Leonardo Fortress
But, before heading to the last point of this itinerary, let’s still make a diversion for one of the best views over the city 😁 For that, just go to the San Leonardo Fortress which is in an elevated area of the city that offers us the best panorama of the city.
📝 USEFUL INFORMATION: The only disadvantage is that getting to this viewpoint can be an arduous task. I don’t know of any transport that takes you directly to the fort. Although it is only half an hour walk from Pietra Bridge, the problem is that much of that 30 minutes walk is uphill. If you are brave, walk up. Otherwise, try to find a bus that will save you as much as possible the uphill part or take a taxi.
» San Pietro Castle
Finally, it’s time for another view over Verona (this one especially magical at sunset). The San Pietro Castle has absurdly beautiful views over the historic centre of Verona. I think a picture is worth a thousand words, right? 🥰
📝 USEFUL INFORMATION: It is possible to climb to San Pietro Castle from Pietra Bridge by funicular. The trip costs only 2.5€ (return trip) and the funicular runs from 10 am to 9 pm.
💡 EXTRA TIP: If you are short of time to cover all the points of this itinerary, I suggest you remove San Leonardo Fortress and opt to visit only the San Pietro Castle instead, which is much more central. Both views are beautiful, the big difference being that from the fortress we have a wider view as it is on a higher and more distant level.
- La Bottega della Gina XXL (€): a very affordable pasta option for take-away. The pasta was marvellous! The restaurant has a small outdoor terrace for those who want to have lunch/dinner there.
- Enoteca Segreta (€€): a nice place with interesting options at a reasonable price for Italy. We tried a pasta and meatballs and I liked the taste of both.
💡 EXTRA TIP: The city of Verona is also an excellent gateway to reach one of the most beautiful areas of Italy – the Dolomites. If you also want to visit this Italian region, check out this detailed 4-day itinerary in the Dolomites.
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