If there’s one thing to remember when planning a trip to Venice, it’s this: Venice is an island. That means instead of streets there are canals, and instead of cars, there are boats! When planning how you’ll get around using Venice, the options, tickets, and logistics can be challenging for visitors. In this guide, we’ll cover what you need to know about getting to and around Venice using public transportation.
Pro Tip: Planning your trip to Venice? Bookmark this post in your browser so you can easily find it when you’re on your way to the city. See our guide to Venice for more planning resources, our top Venice tours for a memorable trip, and how to see Venice in a day.
Guide To Using Public Transport in Venice
The primary means of getting where you need to go in Venice are by boat or on foot. In the lagoon and along the canals, travelers can choose between several types of public and private boat options: vaporetto, alilaguna, private water taxi, gondola, and traghetto.
In this guide, we explain the different transport options available to you, how to use public transportation to get to Venice, and how to get around the city once you’re there. You can also check out our video below on how to get around Venice easily.
- Public Transport from Venice Airports
- Public Transport from Venice Train Stations
- Asking a Venice Local
How To Get From the Airport to Venice on Public Transport
There are two airports in Venice. There’s the Marco Polo Airport, which is the closest to the city center, and the Treviso Airport. Find out how to get to Venice from both Marco Polo and Treviso airport.
Getting To Venice from Marco Polo Airport
Travelers arriving at Marco Polo Airport have four options when it comes to getting to the Venice city center. You can take the Alilaguna waterbus, a private water taxi, a bus, or a taxi to Piazzale Roma.
The Alilaguna Waterbus
Certainly, the most exciting form of Venice public transportation is the public water ferry from Venice airport to the city center called the Alilaguna. There is a combination of three lines that connect Venice’s famous Grand Canal and the Mainland (at Lido), the cruise port (Maritimma), and the Venice Airport. they are the Linea Blu (Blue line), Linea Arancia (Orange Line), and Linea Rossa (Red line, which only runs from April to September).
Tickets cost €15 one way and €27 for a roundtrip. Kids aged six and under travel free, and there is an additional charge of €3 for every extra piece of luggage you have with you after your first piece.
Tickets are available at the ticket machines and transport desk inside the Marco Polo arrivals hall. The route to San Marco takes a little over an hour. Don’t forget that you will still have some walking to do to get to your hotel or apartment from the waterbus dock.
Private Water Taxi
If you’re planning that once-in-a-lifetime trip or want to feel like James Bond on vacation in Venice, then take a private water taxi. One of the benefits of going by water taxi is that they can navigate the inner canals beyond the Grand Canal. Depending on where you’re staying, some taxis will dock right outside your hotel.
To use a water taxi, you can purchase a voucher from the water taxi transport desk in the arrivals hall at the airport, then walk down to the dock, and present the voucher at the taxi desk. Otherwise, you can contact our Italy travel experts who can book one for you in advance.
There are two different types of bus services from Marco Polo Airport to Venice. There’s the ATVO coach to Piazzale Roma (Venice) or the ACTV bus number 5 Aerobus, which stop first at Mestre and finally at Piazzale Roma in Venice.
Both services cost the same: €8 one way or €15 for a roundtrip. The bus stops can be found immediately upon exiting the arrivals terminal at Marco Polo airport. Tickets can be purchased at kiosks inside the terminal or from the attendants at the bus stops.
Car Service or Taxi to Piazzale Roma
Travelers can take a land taxi or car service from Marco Polo airport to the bridge connecting the mainland to Venice island. The cost is typically around €60, and the route takes approximately 30 minutes. The taxi stand at Marco Polo airport is found along the sidewalk immediately outside of the arrivals terminal.
Getting To Venice from Treviso Airport
Treviso Airport is a smaller airport, further from the center of Venice, that’s serviced by many inter-Europe flights on carriers such as EasyJet and RyanAir. Treviso Airport is on the mainland, so the only options for arriving in Venice are to go by bus, car service, or taxi to Piazzale Roma, and from there, go by vaporetto or on foot to your hotel or apartment.
Taking the bus is the cheapest option. There are two bus lines with services into Venice: ATVO and Barzi. The ATVO line takes up to 70 minutes to arrive because of the stops along the way. Barzi, on the other hand, takes around 40 minutes to get to Venice.
A roundtrip ATVO ticket costs €22 and the Barzi bus costs €12 one way or €22 return. Tickets for each can be purchased from the machine in the arrivals hall. Don’t forget to validate your ATVO ticket using the machine at the stop before hopping on the bus. You will find the bus stops immediately in front of the arrivals hall.
The second option is to take a land taxi or car service from Treviso airport to Venice. You’ll find the taxi stand immediately upon exiting the arrivals hall. It will take approximately 30-45 minutes to get to Piazzale Roma in Venice.
How To Get From the Train Station to Venice on Public Transport
Getting to Venice City Center from Santa Lucia Train Station
There are four ways to get from Santa Lucia Train Station to your hotel or apartment in Venice: the vaporetto, a private water taxi, or on foot. The fourth is by car, but you won’t be able to go all the way by car without using one of the other three means of transport.
Upon exiting the train station, you’ll see a series of vaporetto docks and ticket windows along the Grand Canal. The vaporetto service has several lines that take different routes in various directions, so it’s important to know which line you’ll need to take to arrive at your destination.
Tickets for the vaporetto are not cheap, so it’s also advisable to plan ahead regarding which type of ticket will be best for your trip, and whether or not to purchase a multi-day pass. Remember that there is also a €6 charge for each additional piece of luggage you bring after the first one.
To the left of the last vaporetto dock, you’ll see the water taxi desk. To take a water taxi, you must first get a voucher from the desk and then go to the dock to find the water taxi assigned to you.
Chances are good that your hotel or apartment may be within 10-20 minutes walking distance from the train station. It’s a good idea to pack light on all accounts when traveling to Venice, especially given the fact that you will likely need to walk with your luggage for at least 10 minutes no matter which way you choose to travel.
The Prontopia app can be very helpful in this case as it provides immediate in-person help when and where you need it. A popular use of Prontopia is to request a local person to show you the way to your destination. This makes navigating the city less stressful and enables you to choose the walking option with confidence.
Make no mistake about it, you cannot drive a car in Venice. If you’re arriving in Venice by car, you’ll have to plan to drive to Piazzale Roma and pay for parking. Then, you’ll take one of the means of transport described above to get to your hotel or apartment.
The parking garages in Piazzale Roma are the closest to Venice City Center, but also the most expensive. You’ll also find the rental car desks around the parking structures of Piazzale Roma. It’s possible to find cheaper paid parking in Mestre (quite a bit further away and would require taking a bus) or at the Tronchetto.
Asking a Local for Help Getting to Venice
As you may have gathered by now, the transportation system in Venice is fairly complicated. From deciding which ticket to buy or vaporetto line to take to wandering around narrow medieval streets with luggage, travelers often find themselves hoping for a Hail Mary to get where they need to go without getting lost or dealing with challenging logistics.
As mentioned above, the Prontopia app is a convenient solution as it allows you to ask for help getting around the city. Prontopia connects you to locals who can guide you to your hotel or help you get a specific product at the pharmacy, for instance. The cost is €20 per hour, calculated per minute that you use their services (with a minimum of €5). For example, assistance getting from Piazzale Roma to a hotel would cost approximately €14, whereas the example of the pharmacy would be €5.
If you install the Prontopia app now, you can pre-schedule for a connection with a local to help with your arrival. Plus, the app will also be available to you for any on-demand requests you may have during your stay or for your departure. It’s essentially a help button for local assistance.
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Very accurate explanation about transportations in Venice. Thank you so much.
Ciao! Glad you enjoyed reading our blog!