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City Sightseeing Venezia

The "hop on, hop off" tour-bus company now serves Venice by boat, with half a dozen stops (including the island of Murano).

City Sightseeing Venezia boat near Giudecca

ABOVE: A City Sightseeing Venezia tour boat cruises past the island of Giudecca on its way from the Marittima cruise basin to San Marco.

By Durant Imboden

City Sightseeing is a familiar name in many European cities. It operates open-top sightseeing buses and local tours in European locations from Aalborg to Zürich.

City Sightseeing Venezia boatIn 2016, City Sightseeing introduced a "hop on, hop off" boat tour in Venice. Unlike its defunct predecessor, the city's poorly-conceived Vaporette dell'Arte, City Sightseeing Venezia offers an easy way to reach many of the areas that typical visitors want to see, with access from the Santa Lucia Railroad Station and the Marittima cruise terminals.

The "hop on, hop off" tour is available in one- and two-day versions:

You can join the tour at any stop. Tickets are available on board, from red-shirted company staff near the main boat stops, or from the City Sightseeing Venezia office in the railroad station.

Is the tour worth the price?

Tourists on ACTV No 1 vaporettoFor about the same price as the City Sightseeing Venezia tour, you could buy a one- or two-day Tourist Travel Card from ACTV (Venice's transit agency) and ride frequent public water buses to locations throughout the city and the Venetian Lagoon.

City Sightseeing Venezia San Marco stopIn contrast, City Sightseeing Venezia has only half a dozen stops, although these do include the most popular tourist areas, and boats run only about once an hour from morning through mid-evening.

Still, touring with City Sightseeing Venezia does have several advantages over using public transportation:

Walking in VeniceIf you're on a budget, or if you simply like exploring, you can choose a third option: Walk around Venice on your own, as we do. Central Venice is only about twice the size of New York's Central Park, and as any local will tell you, walking is often the quickest way to get from point A to point B. (It's also the most interesting.)

Learn more before you leave home:

For more information about City Sightseeing Venezia, visit the company's Web site, where you can also download a free iOS or Android app.

More photos:

City Sightseeing Venezia boat at Venezia Santa Lucia Railroad Station

City Sightseeing Venezia tours begin and end at a landing just around the corner from the Venezia Santa Lucia Railroad Station.

City Sightseeing Venezia ticket office in Venice train station

You can pick up a brochure, ask questions, and buy tickets at an office inside the station. (The ticket office is next to the Freccia Club Trenitalia, facing the platforms near Track 14.)

City Sightseeing Venezia water bus

After you've bought your ticket, go through the station's side door. You'll see a sandwich sign and a portable gangway next to the water (and maybe the boat itself, as in this photo).

City Sightseeing Venezia water bus with crew

The boat is a large flat-bottomed water bus that accommodates wheelchairs and strollers. If you don't have a ticket, you can buy one from a City Sightseeing employee in a red shirt or jacket.

City Sightseeing Venezia stop at San Marco

The "hop on, hop off" tour nominally has seven stops, although some may not be operating during your visit:

Also see:
Sightseeing and Tours Index
Transportation Index

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