Venice for Visitors logo
Venice Home All topics
Where to stay Transportation

Arrow. Helping 30+ million Venice travelers since 1997
Arrow. New in 2024: Venice's tourist "access fee"

Venice > Local transportation > Waterbus stops > Tickets

If you need a ticket...

From: Venice Waterbus Stops


ABOVE: An ACTV inspector checks a passenger's ticket.

ACTV ticket readerACTV really wants you to have a ticket that you've swiped against an electronic reader before you board. It's now illegal to be on a waterbus platform without a validated ticket, and stations are gradually being upgraded with paddle-style gates to encourage compliance.

On a busy boat, the sailors who let passengers on and off don't have time to deal with fares and tickets, so you should always buy a ticket or Tourist Travel Card ahead of time if you can.

tabacchi sign in VeniceIf a vaporetto station doesn't have a ticket booth or machine, look for a nearby tabacchi shop (marked with a white "T" on a blue background) or a newsstand that sells ACTV tickets.

Still, there may be emergencies when you can't buy a ticket before boarding. When that's the case, here's what you can do--at least in theory (but read our "important warning" first):

  • Immediately upon boarding the water bus, approach the sailor who handles the boat's boarding gates and mooring lines. Ask for a "biglietto" (plural "biglietti"). If necessary, hold up your fingers to indicate how many tickets. Be prepared to pay in cash.

  • Do not wait until an inspector asks for your ticket, or you'll be hit with the full fare plus a 60-euro fine.

  • Important warning: Italian public services are seldom customer-oriented, and the left hand doesn't always know what the right hand is doing. Although the ACTV's published rules allow for paying once you're on board, the personnel on the boats may claim otherwise. If you board a water bus without a valid ticket, be aware that you're doing so at your own risk--regardless of the rules might say.

For more information on ACTV tickets and fares, see our Vaporetto Fares article.

  • Note: If you're boarding an Alilaguna airport boat, pay the boat attendant if you don't have a valid ticket. (You'll pay a small surcharge for this convenience.)

Back to: Index of Venice ACTV and Alilaguna waterbus stops

Also see:
Introduction to ACTV & Alilaguna boat stops
Types of Venice waterbus stations
What to do if you don't have a ticket

Related articles:
Venice water buses (what you need to know)
Vaporetto routes
Vaporetto Line 1 (Grand Canal)
Vaporetto fares
ACTV ticket machines
ACTV 24-hour to 7-day travel passes
ACTV maps and timetables
Alilaguna airport boats
More Venice transportation articles

About the author:

Durant Imboden photo.Durant Imboden has written about Venice, Italy since 1996. He covered Venice and European travel at for 4-1/2 years before launching Europe for Visitors (including Venice for Visitors) with Cheryl Imboden in 2001.

PC Magazine
has called this "the premier visitors' site for Venice, Italy." Over the years, it has helped more than 30 million travelers. For more information, see About our site, our Europe for Visitors press clippings, and our reader testimonials.