Have you ever considered all the different ways to get around Venice?
Venice is a city built on more than 100 small islands, crossed by canals and bridges, there’s no place in the world that comes close to this city’s uniqueness!
It’s also special when you consider, over centuries, the methods that the Venetians developed to get around Venice moving from one side of the lagoon to the other.
You can arrive in Venice via many different ways, using land means of transport such as trains, buses, cars and trams and by water bus (Vaporetto) or water taxis.
How to get around in Venice
Let’s start this guide by taking a closer look at how to get around Venice and looking at what is the best type of transport to use for each situation.
Can you walk everywhere in Venice?
Yes, you can walk anywhere you want in Venice! You will find that the best way to explore Venice is in fact on foot. This is the way that most locals prefer to navigate Venice and the only one to be able to make the most of the beauty of this city.
You can literally walk from one side of the city to the other in one day, Venice is relatively small, but the amount of things to see and do along the way is huge.
As I always say, be sure to try and book yourself at least 3 days in Venice to have time to cover the main attractions and visit some off-the-beaten-path gems.
Of course, it takes longer to walk than getting a water bus, but you’ll get chance to cross lesser-known bridges and end up in semi desert campi or calli of Venice.
Let’s also not forget that it’s good for your health to walk up and down bridges, for kilometres, and Venetians are so fit as they do this every single day.
The best way to get around Venice
If you ask me the best way to get around Venice, my answer will always be on foot! Venice is a car-free extremely walkable city and you get anywhere on foot.
Walking around Venice will allow you to get to know the city, discover its most hidden gems and explore its neighbourhoods slowly.
Crossing bridges and watching gondolas navigating the canals from the fondamenta (banks) and observing life passing by is priceless and displays the real essence of this city.
Are you undecided about how long you should spend in Venice? See my guide on how many days in Venice and get more ideas on what you can do with your time.
Moving around Venice on foot is a good way to stay fit even during your holidays and reduce your environmental impact.
If you want to visit other islands near Venice, then the water bus is the best solution. With the vaporetto you’d share the ride with other visitors like you and locals and gives you the freedom to spend as many hours as you want visiting another island.
Transport in Venice
With this travel guide I want to help you understand how you can get around Venice by different means of transport. Then, based on your needs, the things you want to do during your stay and your budget, you’ll be able to make an informed decision.
Venice Airport Bus Service
The land bus service is a cheap and quick way to get to Venice city centre from the airports. Most visitors arrive at the Marco Polo airport, but it’s worth knowing that if you’re flying with Ryanair or WizzAir you might arrive to Treviso airport.
Make sure to understand to which airport you’ll get to and your options to get from there to Venice. There two buses leaving from Marco Polo airport are the ACTV bus number 5 and ATVO bus number 35.
It takes 30 to 45 minutes for the bus to get to Piazzale Roma from where you can then walk to your accommodation or get a water bus or water taxi. These buses are frequent and the ticket cost is 8 euros one way. As I said, the normal bus is not the only way to get to Venice and the water bus Alilaguna is another popular option.
The cost of the ride is more expensive than the land bus, but depending on where you’ll stop, it can take a minimum of 40 minutes to 1 hour and 20 minutes.
For further information and alternative options to get from the airports to Venice, read my guides on how to get from Marco Polo airport to Venice and how to get from Treviso airport to Venice which cover these popular routes in more detail.
Venice on Foot
As I suggested earlier, the best way to move around Venice is on foot. That’s because Venice is one of the most walkable cities on Earth and there are no buses, taxis or cars driving down the streets or crossing the beautiful piazzas.
This is also the reason why Venice is one of the safest cities with basically zero risk of car accidents due to the unique urban landscape. Walking around Venice is a way to stay active and fit but more than anything, see the hidden corners of the city.
Don’t worry about getting lost, it’s normal with a poor GPS signal, and don’t be afraid to ask locals where you are and how to get where you need to.
If you’re not fluent in Italian, it will be useful if you carry this Italian Phrase Book and refer to it to ask for directions or have simple conversations with locals in Italian.
Gondola Ride In Venice
In the past, the gondolas were the most used means of transport in Venice and all around the lagoon, but today only a private sightseeing tour on the water.
Even though things have changed a lot, gondolas retain their historic charm and thousands of tourists want to ride one. If you want to learn all about gondolas, see my post what a gondola is to read about this popular mode of transport in Venice.
You can get a gondola in many places around Venice and the stazi (gondola stops) are clearly recognizable. The gondolier normally stands next to his parked gondola. The price for a gondola ride is 80 euros during the day and 100 euros at night time (from 7pm to 8am).
This is a set price all around Venice for up to 5 people. There’s no need to book in advance a gondola ride, but if you wish to do so and don’t queue in front of the stazi, I recommend booking this highly-rated gondola tour with app commentary.
Taking the Vaporetto in Venice
A popular way to get from one place to the other in Venice, in particular if the two locations are quite far one from the other, is by water bus locally called vaporetto.
This is a public service running all day long on a daily basis. The water bus stops are scattered all around Venice’s city centre and a vaporetto stops at the Grand Canal stops every 10 minutes! There are also stops on many islands in the lagoon like Murano, Burano, Torcello, San Giorgio Maggiore, Lido and Giudecca.
It’s without any doubt the best and cheapest way to get from Venice to other islands. The Vaporetto runs during the night, but with less frequent services, so make sure to consult the Vaporetto timetable through the handy Che Bateo website and app you can download on your phone.
A ticket costs 9,50 euros and valid for 75 minutes for all vaporettos and land services (buses, trains and trams), transfers from/to Marco Polo airport are not included.
If you’re planning to use the Vaporetto multiple times during your stay, then you can also purchase the 24, 48, 72 hours or 7 days pass.
💡 Local’s Tip: You can consult the ACTV vaporetto map, stops and timetable here. The map also shows where the ticket points, self-service machines and tourist information offices are located.
Moving around Venice by Water Taxi
Water taxis are a popular way to move around for tourists as they’re very comfortable and take you exactly where you want to get to.
Water taxis are not cheap at all, but if the budget is not your concern than it’s definitely an option to take into consideration.
Normally a water taxi ride cost ranges between 100 and 130 euros for up to 4 people, more people can fit inside a taxi boat but any extra passenger will have to pay an extra fee.
There are many water taxi companies and you only need to contact them directly and book the service. They also organize private tours around the city and to other islands.
You can book in advance the transfer by water taxi from Marco Polo airport to Venice city centre, don’t think about public transport or how to get to your accommodation once arrived in Venice.
Venice by Boat
Are there other ways to get around Venice by boat? Yes! Apart from the popular water buses, taxis and gondolas, not many people know that there’s a much cheaper option to riding a gondola in Venice: the traghetto da parada.
If you want to ride a gondola but think that it’s too expensive then get on a traghetto gondola! Just so you know, this gondola only crosses the Grand Canal at different points of the city. How much can you expect to pay? Only 2 euros!
The stazi from where the traghettos leave are: Dogana, Santa Maria del Giglio, San Toma’, Carbon and Santa Sofia. You can check on the Comune di Venezia website to see their location on the map.
If you’re in for an adventure and like outdoor sports, why not join this guided kayak tour and explore Venice’s canals in an alternative and sustainable way by kayak?
Got travel insurance for Venice?
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How to get around in Venice FAQs
Here are some questions people ask when it comes to transport in Venice:
Getting around Venice
Now you have a better idea of how to get around Venice and the options you have to travel to and from the airports, in the city centre and from Venice to other islands.
Do you want to know what to see in Venice? See my post covering the best tourist attractions in Venice as you get ready to explore the most beautiful city in the world!
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