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Henry James wrote that Venice was best approached by sea. That's still a good rule to follow, even in the airline era--and thanks to the motoscafi from Venice's Marco Polo International Airport, you can heed the novelist's advice for the cost of a local boat ticket.
During the daytime, two to three Alilaguna lines may be in operation, depending on the season and Alilaguna's current scheduling whims. The main routes are shown below. (Click the links for station descriptions, photos, and local hotel information.)
with stops at Murano Colonna, Fondamente Nove, Ospedale, Bacini, Certosa, Lido S.M.E., Arsenale, San Zaccaria, San Marco Giardinetti, Zattere, and Giudecca Stucky before reaching the Marittima cruise terminals.
with stops at Fondamente Nove (night only), Madonna Dell'Orto, Guglie, San Stae, Rialto, Sant'Angelo, Ca' Rezzonico, and Santa Maria del Giglio on its way to San Marco Giardinetti. (This is the line to use if you're staying along the Grand Canal.)
(The Alilaguna map also shows a "Linea Verde," or "Green Line," but this is a guided boat tour, not a transportation service.)
Tip: If all of the above seems confusing, just go to the Alilaguna ticket booth, show the location of your hotel on a map, and let the ticket clerk decide which boat you need to catch.
Adult one-way fares range from 8 to 15 euros, depending on distance, with a reduction for roundtrips on some routes. "Time tickets" (24 or 72 hours) are also available.
You'll pay an extra euro if you buy your ticket on board, and you can save a euro or two by booking online.
The fare includes transportation of one suitcase and one piece of hand luggage. Extra bags cost 3 euros each.
If you have a VeneziaUnica (formerly iMob) stored-value card for residents and long-term visitors, show it when buying your ticket for a 50 percent "Cartavenezia" discount.
Some versions of the VeneziaUnica tourist pass (formerly VeniceConnected) include Alilaguna airport transportation, but you may find it simpler just to buy a boat ticket.
Alilaguna is a separate company from ACTV, the transit authority that runs Venice's public water and land buses. ACTV's Tourist Travel Cards do not cover transportation on Alilaguna airport boats.
For up-to-date airport-boat timetables, fares, and a route map, click the Alilaguna link below.
Note: If Alilaguna doesn't stop near your hotel and you aren't on a tight budget, see Viator's Venice Transfers & Ground Transport page for information on shared and private water taxis.
After you've claimed your baggage, follow the signs for airport boats and water taxis, then take the moving walkway to the boat piers. (See our step-by-step directions with photos.)
Click the Alilaguna link below for
current timetables. (Most routes operate at one-hour intervals, but you
can kill time in the café by the pier if you've
got a long wait for the next boat.)
Normally, you buy your tickets at the Alilaguna booth by the pier. (The public-transportation counter in the arrivals terminal also sells Alilaguna tickets.) If the ticket booth is closed, use the 24/7 ticket machines.
Remember to validate your ticket before boarding the boat.
When you board the boat, the conductor will take suitcases and stow them for you. At the end of the ride, get off the boat and wait for the Alilaguna staff to unload suitcases onto the pier.
Check the airport boat's site for current timetables, fares, a route map, and other information.
Venice's public transportation system offers route maps, timetables, and other water and land bus information online. (Please note that ACTV is a separate operation from Alilaguna, with its own tickets and fares.)
Directory of ACTV and
Our guide has dedicated pages with maps, photos, and other information for 76 waterbus stations in Venice and the Venetian Lagoon--including the Alilaguna and water-taxi piers at Marco Polo Airport.
With this page from our Venice Hotel Directions guide, you can find hotels (with maps and walking directions) for any Alilaguna airport-boat route and stop.
Venice Marco Polo
VCE has a large, modern terminal building and flights to cities on four continents. Best of all, it's just 6 km (4 km) from Venice's historic center by boat, taxi, or bus.
How to Reach
the Alilaguna Waterbus and Water-Taxi Piers
Our step-by-step directions for arriving airline passengers include photos and useful tips.
Venice Airport Buses
If you decide against the boat, here's how to take the ACTV city bus or ATVO airport bus to the Piazzale Roma.
Arriving in Venice
Tips on reaching the city center from the railroad station and mainland highways, together with abridged information on the airport boat.
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