Day trip to Padua
Travel comfortably without queues, buy tickets online beforehand:
In our opinion, definitely. With the train one needs just 20 to 30 min, the fare is simple in the regional train under 4 Euro. There is a lot to see in Padua. It is one of the most beautiful old towns in northern Italy. Famous are for example the cathedral, the market and the university. Large parts of the old town of Padua are pedestrian zone. The city center is very compact. Even on a temporary day trip you can see many sights.
Attention: in Italian the city is called Padova, not Padua. You need to know this, for example, when you buy train tickets from a ticket machine.
Sights in Padua
Well known is the old university, one of the oldest universities in Europe. A mathematics professor at the university was Galileo Galilei. Here he built his telescope for observing the sky and revolutionized astronomy. He was probably the first person to see planets as discs through the telescope. Also from Padua he discovered the four large moons of Jupiter. The University of Padova is right in the center, just a few meters from the central squares. There are guided tours through the university and much more. Today the university has 60.000 students. So almost 30% of the 210.000 inhabitants of Padua are students. It is a young, modern city with a lot of nightlife.
Especially famous is the Botanical Garden of the University of Padova. It is one of the oldest botanical gardens in the world. Already Goethe studied plants in the "Orto Botanico di Padova" during his trip to Italy. Absolutely worth seeing, even if you cannot see everything during a day trip to Padua.
Places and market in the center
Well known squares are Piazza della Erbe and Piazza dei Frutti. Between the squares is one of the most famous buildings of Padova, the Palazzo della Ragione (see picture above). Today there is a great market for high quality food in and around the building. Among other things, fish, cheese, sausages, bread, vegetables and many other delicacies from the Veneto region are offered. The market is our tip for shopping. There are more and more organic products.
The Duoma Padova (Cathedral of the City)
You should also visit the Cathedral of Padua. The entrance to the great cathedral is free. Attention: during the lunch break from 12 to 16 o'clock the Basilica is closed during the week. The present bishop's church dates back to the 16th century (Renaissance and Baroque). The design of the huge church is by Michelangelo.
You should also visit the Baptistery of the Cathedral of Padua (right next to the main entrance of the church). The wall paintings are magnificent. The Baptistery of Padova costs admission (adults pay three euros at the beginning of 2020)
The Piazza dei Signori
The Scrovegni Chapel
Outside the center, about halfway between the train station and the city center (only about 1 km in total), there is a beautiful park with a very famous chapel, the Cappella degli Scrovegni. Well known are the works of art inside the small church, especially the frescos by Giotto di Bondone. But also the sculptures of Giovanni Pisano are definitely worth seeing.
As far as we know, it is necessary to book your visit to the chapel online in advance, as the number of visitors is limited. Of course you can also try to get a ticket on site. A ticket for the Scrovegni Chapel with museum etc. costs 13 Euro. Children over 6 years of age pay 6 Euro and small children 1 Euro. The entrance fee on Monday to the Cappella degli Scrovegni is, as far as we know, a little cheaper. Information and prices from 2018 to the beginning of 2020.
A walk in the park "Giardini dell'Arena" around the chapel is worthwhile.
Padua is also a city of street cafés, there are probably several hundred in the city. No wonder with the mostly beautiful weather. In the evening many restaurants turn into bars. The many students dominate the bars and pubs.
City map Padua
Directions from Venice to Padua
Very easy is a day trip from Venice or Mestre by train. Many trains from Venice to Bologna and Verona go via Padua. Fast regional trains only take about 20 minutes, slower ones (similar to a suburban train) about 40 minutes. The fare from Venice to Padua is not even 4 Euro easy (as of January 2020). Caution: The Intercity and the Italian ICE-like super fast trains are hardly faster, but many times more expensive and require reservations.
A ride by car is of course also possible. In the city center there is a charge for parking.
Direct buses from other places around the Venice Lagoon run for example from the seaside resorts of Sottomarina and Chioggia to Padua. There are also some direct buses from Venice's Marco Polo airport.