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Venice Travel FAQ:
Arriving and Getting Around

From: Venice Travel FAQ

Motoscafo and Vaporetto on Grand Canal

ABOVE: Motoscafo and vaporetto water buses on Venice's Grand Canal.

  • How far is Venice from the airport, and how do I get into the city?

Venice is served by two airports:

  • Venice Marco Polo Airport, which is about 6 km or 4 miles from the city center.

  • Treviso Airport (used by Ryanair and several other budget airlines), which is 25 km or 16 miles from Venice.

From Marco Polo (VCE), you have several transportation options:

  • Alilaguna Blue and Orange Line airport boats make it easy to reach almost any neighborhood in the city. See our map of Alilaguna stops.

  • ATVO and ACTV airport buses are quick and cheap, but--like land taxis--they'll take you only as far as the Piazzale Roma (the end of the line for motorized traffic from the mainland).

  • Water taxis are quick and convenient, but they're expensive (at least €110 from the airport to most hotels), and some hotels don't have water landings nearby. Water taxis can also be difficult to board when the water level is high or low, and you'll need to haul your own luggage on and off the boat. See the Warning about Water Taxis in our Venice Travel Blog.

If you're staying in Mestre, on the mainland, you can take the Mestre airport bus from Marco Polo Airport.

Finally, if you're arriving in Treviso on Ryanair, Wizzair, or another low-cost carrier, see our article about Treviso Airport buses to Mestre and Venice's Piazzale Roma.

  • Where can I park my car, RV, or motorcycle?

Your best bets are the Tronchetto parking island (next to the historic center) or--less expensively--a parking lot on the mainland. Our Parking in Venice article has details and Web links.

  • Where is the Venice train station?

Venice has two railroad stations:

  • Venezia Santa Lucia, the main station at the edge of the historic center. From the station (called "Ferrovia" on local signs and transit maps), you can walk or take a water bus to hotels and sights.

  • Venezia Mestre, on the mainland. This is both a commuter station for locals and a "through station" for express trains between major Italian cities. Mestre to Venice trains offer frequent, inexpensive service from Mestre to Venice's historic center.

  • Where do buses from the mainland arrive?

Scheduled local and regional buses arrive and depart at designated stops in Venice's Piazzale Roma.

Tour coaches normally use the Tronchetto parking island, which has vaporetto service and a People Mover elevated tramway to the historic center.

  • Can I take a taxi directly to my hotel?

Yes, if you're staying in Mestre or one of the two hotels in the Piazzale Roma (the Hotel Santa Chiara and Ca' Doge).

Otherwise, the answer is "no" unless you're hiring a water taxi from the airport, the railroad station, or the Piazzale Roma. (A water taxi from any of those locations will be very expensive, and you'll want to heed the warning that we mentioned earlier.)

  • What about baggage?

Luggage can be a nuisance anywhere, but in Venice, it's often a serious burden. Hauling bulky suitcases over bridges or down narrow, crowded streets isn't fun, and on the vaporetto, you may be charged for an extra ticket if you travel with more than one suitcase (maximum combined height, width, and depth of 150 cm or 59 inches).

In theory, you can hire porters at the railroad station and the Piazzale Roma, but fees are stunningly high and porters often aren't available.

Our advice: Consolidate everything into one bag before you arrive, and leave any additional bags at the airport, the train station, or the Piazzale Roma if you're staying for only two or three days. See: Baggage Storage (Left Luggage)

  • What's the best way to get around the city?

On foot. Venice's city center is car-free, the pavement is mostly level and smooth (except for 400+ footbridges), and the centro storico is barely more than twice the size of New York's Central Park or London's Hampstead Heath.

For more information, see: Walking in Venice

  • Does Venice have good public transportation?

Yes, but single boat fares for non-residents are outrageous. If you plan to use water buses extensively, consider buying a 12-hour to 7-day ACTV Tourist Travel Card or (if you're staying a while) the Venezia Unica discount card for long-term visitors and residents.

For advice on using water and land buses, buying tickets, etc., see: Local Transportation

  • Are water buses wheelchair-accessible?

Most are. The most convenient boats for wheelchair users are flat-decked, single-level vaporetti (used on the popular No. 1 and No. 2 lines), but motoscafi (which have passenger cabins inside the hull) have mostly been rebuilt to accommodate wheelchairs at deck level. For more information, see: Types of Water Buses

Tip: If you're in a wheelchair, you'll qualify for a special fare (which is about one-fifth of the usual ticket price), and you can bring one companion free of charge.

Next page: Money and tipping


 

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