We all know that European cities are littered with many types of private and public transportation. All you have to do is walk around the streets and you are sure to find some form of transportation that will take you to wherever you need to go. But what about when the streets are made up of water instead of stones and cement as is the case in Venice. Unless you really enjoy swimming, you’re going to have a bit of a problem just walking around any which street in Venice. So how does someone use Venice public transport?
How to get to Venice
While this post is specifically about how to get around once you are in Venice, here are some quick tips on how to arrive in Venice by public transport from either the Marco Polo Airport or the main railway station, Santa Lucia.
From Marco Polo airport
You can easily purchase a ticket voucher at the arrival terminal of the airport that you can use for either a ferry, water bus, or water-taxi. If your port is a bit too far to walk, there is a shuttle bus to carry you and you’re luggage to your port. While the ferry and water bus are going to be your most inexpensive option, the water-taxi may be your most efficient option if you want to get to your hotel faster.
From Santa Lucia Railway Station
Just like at the airport, you can purchase your ticket vouchers right at the station and choose from either water buses or water-taxis. One of the highlights of this station is that it is in the center of the historic center of Venice. AKA you will be right in the heart of the city so finding transportation will be easy or you can simply walk without the risk of encountering a watery path.
What transportation can you find in Venice?
Water Buses (Vaporetti)
Considered to be the best bang for your buck, water-buses are the most popular way to get around within Venice. They operate daily from 6 am to 9 pm with varying timetables and use four main waterways (Canal Grande, Rio Nuovo, Canale di Cannaregio, and Rio dell’Arsenale). Make sure to check where the water bus stops are in Venice
Little Bonus Tip: if you and your partner are looking for something more romantic, there are also a few night fares to some of the city’s most romantic destinations.
How to Buy Venice Waterbus Tickets
There are two ways to buy tickets for the water buses; in advance from the water-bus stops or from inside the boat from the conductor before you set off. Remember that tickets must be validated on the platforms BEFORE you board the boat.
Types of Venice Waterbus Tickets
- Monthly cards for one area only – Cost: 28 EUR – Valid for 30 days
- Regular Ticket – Cost: 6.50 EUR – Valid for 60 minutes
- Travel Cards – Cost: 14-31 EUR – Valid for 12-72 hours
- Youth Card (14-29 years old) – Cost: 18 EUR – Valid for 72 hours
For most travelers, the regular ticket is the most advantageous, costing only 6.50 EUR. But if you will be staying for a longer period of time, your best option will be a transportation card. Using cards like the Venice Card or other travel cards, you’ll be allowed unlimited transport on the mainland and islands at varying intervals of 12 hours, 24 hours, 48 hours, and 7 days.
Water Taxis (Motoscafi)
Water-taxis are probably the most convenient form of transportation in Venice, but also the most luxurious. Translation: they will not be cheap! Costing anywhere from 50 EUR upwards to over 100 EUR.
If price is not an issue for you, water-taxis will be your best friend. You can easily call and order a water-taxi or simply find one at many different ports around the city. An added benefit for the water-taxi is the comfort is provides and its ability to travel down more canals and tight fitting areas than a water bus can.
If this style of luxury intrigues you, follow this link to 15 Tips About Water-Taxis in Venice.
Let’s not forget Venice’s most iconic form of transportation: The Gondola. If one is traveling to Venice, taking a ride on a gondola is simply a must. While local authorities claim to officially regulate the length and price of each gondola ride, in reality, that is often not the case. Gondoliers tend to not follow the regulations and will often charge rates higher than the official fares, but don’t get your knickers in a twist yet, there’s still good news. You can still negotiate the fare and ride length down to a more reasonable price!
The average cost of gondola fares include:
- Evening fare – 100 EUR for 40 minutes
- Official fare – 80 EUR for 40 minutes