Heading to Venice and not sure how people get from place to place without streets? There’s an answer but it’s complicated. Basically, it involves a combination of walking, private boats (water-taxi), and large ferry-like buses. Don’t worry, we’ll simplify it, so you can get the most out of your trip to Venice. Here’s how to use public transport in Venice.
Pro Tip: Planning your trip to Venice? Bookmark this post in your browser so you can easily find it when you’re on your way to the city. See our guide to Venice for more planning resources, our top Venice tours for a memorable trip, and how to see Venice in a day.
Using Public Transport In Venice
The primary means of getting where you need to go in Venice are by boat or on foot. In the lagoon and along the canals, travelers have their choice of several types of public and private boat options including vaporetto, alilaguna, private water taxi, gondola, and traghetto.
In this guide, we’ll explain the different transport options and how to use them depending on where you’re trying to go. If you’re short on time and want an easy, memorable way to see the best of Venice with local experts, check out our most popular Venice tours.
Getting To Venice From the Airport
There are two airports in Venice, Marco Polo Airport, which is the closest to the city center, and Treviso Airport. Here are the best ways to get from both airports to Venice city center.
How To Get To Venice From Marco Polo Airport
Travelers arriving at Marco Polo Airport have four options when it comes to getting to the Venice city center. You can take the Alilaguna waterbus, a land bus, a private water taxi, or a land taxi to Piazzale Roma.
Bus from Marco Polo Airport to Venice
There are two different types of bus services from Marco Polo Airport to Venice. The ATVO coach to Piazzale Roma (Venice) or the ACTV bus #5 Aerobus, which stops first at Mestre and then at Piazzale Roma in Venice.
Both services cost the same: €8 one way or €15 roundtrip. You’ll find the bus stops immediately upon exiting the arrivals terminal at Marco Polo airport. You can buy tickets at kiosks inside the terminal or from the attendants at the bus stops.
Car service or taxi from Marco Polo Airport to Piazzale Roma
You can also take a land taxi or car service from Marco Polo Airport to the bridge connecting the mainland to Venice island. It typically costs around €60 and the route takes approximately 30 minutes. The taxi stand at Marco Polo Airport is along the sidewalk immediately outside of Arrivals.
How to take the Alilaguna Waterbus from Marco Polo Airport to Venice
The most exciting form of Venice public transport is the public water ferry from the airport to the city center called the Alilaguna. There is a combination of three lines that connect Venice’s famous Grand Canal and the Mainland (at Lido), the cruise port (Maritimma), and Venice Airport. They are the Linea Blu (Blue line), Linea Arancia (Orange Line), and Linea Rossa (Red line, which only runs from April to September).
Tickets cost €15 one way and €27 roundtrip. Kids aged six and under travel free and there’s an additional charge of €3 for every extra piece of luggage you have with you after your first piece.
Tickets are available at the ticket machines and transport desk inside the Marco Polo arrivals hall. The route to San Marco takes a little over an hour. Don’t forget that you’ll still have some walking to do to get to your hotel or apartment from the waterbus dock.
Private water taxi from Marco Polo to Venice
If you’re planning a once-in-a-lifetime trip or just want to feel like James Bond on vacation in Venice, then take a private water taxi. One of the benefits of going by water taxi is that they can navigate the inner canals beyond the Grand Canal. Depending on where you’re staying, some taxis will dock right outside your hotel.
To use a water taxi, you can purchase a voucher from the water taxi transport desk in the arrivals hall at the airport. Then, walk down to the dock and present the voucher at the taxi desk. Otherwise, you can contact our Italy Travel Experts and we’ll book one for you in advance!
How To Get From Treviso Airport To Venice
The Treviso Airport is a smaller airport, further from the center of Venice, that’s serviced by many of the inter-Europe flights on carriers such as EasyJet and RyanAir. Treviso Airport is on the mainland, so the only ways to get to Venice are to go by bus, car service, or taxi to Piazzale Roma, and then, from there, to go by vaporetto or on foot to your hotel or apartment.
Bus from Treviso Airpot to Venice
Taking the bus is the cheapest option. There are two bus lines with services into Venice: ATVO and Barzi. The ATVO line takes up to 70 minutes to arrive because of stops, whereas Barzi takes around 40 minutes to get to Venice.
A roundtrip ATVO ticket costs €22 and the Barzi bus cost €12 one way or €22 roundtrip. Tickets for either can be purchased from the machine in the arrivals hall. Don’t forget to validate your ATVO ticket using the machine at the stop before hopping on the bus. You’ll find the bus stops immediately in front of the arrivals hall.
Car service or taxi from Treviso Airpot to Venice
The second option for getting to Venice from Treviso airport is to take a land taxi or car service. You’ll find the taxi stand immediately upon exiting the arrivals hall. It will approximately 30-45 minutes to get to Piazzale Roma in Venice.
Unforgettable Venice Tours
Not ready to book a tour? See our best Venice tours to take and why.
Getting To Venice From the Train Station
Santa Lucia Train Station To Venice City Center
There are three ways to get from the Santa Lucia Train Station to your hotel or apartment in Venice. Choose between the vaporetto, private water taxi, or on foot. If you’re driving to Venice, you’ll still need to take one of these three options to get to Venice as you can’t drive in the city.
Upon exiting the train station, you’ll see a series of vaporetto docks and ticket windows along the Grand Canal. The vaporetto service has several lines traveling along different routes in various directions, so it’s important to know which line you’ll need to take arrive at your destination.
Tickets for the vaporetto are not cheap, so it is also advisable to plan ahead as to which type of ticket will be best for your trip, and whether or not to purchase a multi-day pass. Remember that there is also a 6 euro supplement for each additional piece of luggage after the first one.
To the left of the last vaporetto dock, you’ll see the water taxi desk. To take a water taxi, you must first get a voucher from the desk and then go to the dock to find the water taxi assigned to you.
Chances are your hotel or apartment may be within 10-20 minutes walking distance from the train station. We advise you to pack light on all accounts when traveling to Venice, especially if you’re going to walk with your luggage to your hotel.
The Prontopia app can be very helpful in this case as it provides immediate in-person help when and where you need it. A popular use of Prontopia is to request a local person to show you the way to your destination. This makes navigating the city less stressful and allows you to choose the walking option more easily.
Make no mistake about it, you cannot drive a car in Venice. If you’re arriving in Venice by car, you’ll have to drive to Piazzale Roma and pay for parking. Next, take one of the means of transport described above to get to your hotel or apartment.
The parking garages in Piazzale Roma are the closest to Venice City Center and also the most expensive. You’ll also find the rental car desks around the parking structures of Piazzale Roma. It’s possible to find cheaper paid parking in Mestre, but it will complicate things and create additional work. Paying to park closer is worth it if you have to arrive by car.
Asking A Venice Local for Help
As you may have gathered by now, the transportation system in Venice is mostly water-based. Many travelers will jump on a vaporetto hoping it goes to the right place. Unlike a bus, drivers can’t let you out anywhere and you may be headed for a tragically long loop in the wrong direction. Study the map and make wise choices.
Prontopia connects you to locals who can guide you to your hotel or help you get a specific product at the pharmacy, for instance. The cost is €20 per hour, calculated per minute that you use their services (with a minimum of €5). For example, assistance getting from Piazzale Roma to a hotel would cost approximately €14, whereas the example of the pharmacy would be €5.
If you install the Prontopia app now, you can pre-schedule for a connection with a local to help with your arrival. Plus, the app will also be available to you for any on-demand requests you may have during your stay or for your departure. It’s essentially a help button for local assistance.