Venice Water Buses
How to use public transportation in Venice
In Venice's centro
storico or historic center, which is made up of more than 100 islands,
water buses are the equivalent of buses and subways on dry land. ACTV, the
public-transportation authority in Venice, operates
vaporetti and other water buses around the clock, with a fleet of 150 boats
and routes that extend into the far corners of the Venetian Lagoon.
ABOVE: A motoscafo (foreground) and a
vaporetto on the Grand Canal.
is a small city, and you can walk nearly to nearly any street, square, monument,
or hotel within the historic center in 30 minutes or less. Still, there are
times when you'll want to take a water bus, such as:
If you're staying outside the center on an island such as
the Lido or La Giudecca (site of the Venice
When you want to visit the
islands of the Lagoon, including the glassmaking island of
When you want to spend 45 minutes or so cruising up or down
the Grand Canal on the No. 1 vaporetto line;
When you're tired after a day's sightseeing and you're
willing to pay a premium for a ride back to the neighborhood where you're
this article, we'll describe the different types of
vaporetti, motoscafi, and motonavi in Venice's ACTV
fleet. We'll also tell you how to board and use the boats, how to avoid crowds
during high season and holiday weekends, and what you need to know before
boarding a water bus with luggage.
For even more information (including
tourist passes), please click the
links in the "Related articles" menu at the
bottom of each page.
Types of water buses