Transport Guide: How to Get-in & Get around Venice, Italy

April 10, 2018

Although Venice is a lagoon (an area of calm sea water that is separated from the ocean), it is well-connected to the rest of the world - through the flight, train, and road. But keep in mind, whatever the way you arrive-in, the last few kilometres of your journey will be mostly on foot or on a boat 😊. This post may provide you all the transport related information you may look for.

GETTING INTO VENICE


1. If you’re arriving by Flight:

Mostly, you'll be landing at Marco Polo Airport (VCE) - the main international airport of Venice. It is located just about 8 km from the main city center and has a good connection across Europe and worldwide.

Treviso A. Canova (TSF) is another international airport, but comparatively smaller, mostly serves budget airlines like Ryanair, EasyJet...etc. It is about 25 kilometers away from the Venice center.
From both the airports you have multiple options to reach Piazzale Roma. This is the closest point that can be reached by road; from Piazzale Roma, you’ll need boats/water taxis to go to San Marco, which is the main district - where all the top monuments and sights are situated.

From the airport, you can reach Venice either by boats or by two different types of bus services (or even combination of both bus + boat). Below are the options:

  • Local Bus ACTV: This local bus service(line#5) is probably the cheapest way. But, you should keep in mind that this line bus may be crowded and stop at every station, may not be comfortable when you have some luggage with you. The trip may take ~30 minutes from Marco Polo Airport, and an approximate ~1.5 hours from Treviso A. Canova (TSF) to reach the Piazzale Roma bus station.
  • ATVO Venezia Express: This is a point-to-point bus service between the airport and city centre. This service is bit expensive but quite comfortable and seats are guaranteed. Within 15 minutes, you’ll reach Piazzale Roma bus station from the Marco Polo Airport. 
  • Alilaguna boat service: Directly from the Marco Polo Airport (outside the airport building, within 10mins walk), you have Alilaguna boat service available. Take “blue line” from the station, that will bring you to the centre of Venice in about 1 hour and 15 minutes. This service is available at every 30 minutes from the Marco Polo airport.

2. If you’re arriving by train:

Venice has two major train stations as well - Venezia Mestre & Venezia Santa Lucia. Both have a decent connection to nearby major places in Slovenia, Bologna, and Florence. Some trains just stop at the “Mestre”, and a few cross the waters and go all the way up to Santa Lucia in the center. (refer the picture above)

3. If you’re arriving by car:

When arriving by road, find a parking at “Piazzale Roma”, that could be the convenient point to go/out the main city. Alternatively, you can choose to park near the “Mestre Train station”, where the parking charges are moderately cheaper.


GETTING AROUND VENICE


When it comes to transport within Venice, it’s all about Boats, boats and boats!. There are 3 major assortments of boat services available.


1. Gondola

These are the iconic boats that you might have seen in pictures & movies. Gondolas are traditional, nicely decorated, very romantic and beautiful; so they are super-expensive too! They charge €80 for the first 40 minutes and €40 extra for every subsequent 20 minutes. These rates are applicable only up to 6PM, it costs €100 per 40 minutes after 6PM.

Note: these are only the basic minimum charges; for sure the gondoliers will charge you extra for the singing and snacks. So always negotiate & fix the price before you board the Gondola; else you’ll be left with an unpleasant surprise.

2. Traghetti (= shared Gondola😛) 

You want to experience and enjoy the Gondola ride, but don’t want to loose all your fortune with the Gondoliers?, then Traghetti is your friend.

In Italian, Traghetto means “Ferry”, (Traghetti is the plural form). These are also the traditional Gondola boats (but without any decoration and luxurious accessories), used as a shared public transport service – all across the Grand Canal. You just pay €2 for a trip, no reservations/tickets required. You can just pay it to the gondoliers.

3. Vaporetto (Water Bus)

This is the public service water buses. Vaporetto is roughly translated to "little steamer" to refer them as a "steamboat". You may come across the term “Vaporetti ”, which is just the plural form of Vaporetto. These may be often crowded, but by far these are the most economical way of transport within Venice.

Vaporetto ticket prices will keep changing. You can check the current price here. But when you’re planning to tour Venice for more hours/days, then its well-recommended to buy travel cards; within 3-4 trips, you’ll recover the travel cards' price. Vènezia Unica is the public transport company, you can buy travel cards from almost all the train/bus stations and shops.

There are 24 hours (€20), 48 hours (€30), 72 hours (€40) and weekly (€60) travel cards available; you can have an unlimited number of trips within the purchased hours. You need to validate (put a stamp) on the travel card, before your first trip; the card will become valid only after that. You can find the entire list of travel card options here.

Hope you’ve got all the information you wanted to know about getting into and to get-around the Venice. Did I miss something? Please leave your comments, I’ll try to add them as well.

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