Arriving in Venice by plane

Landing in Venice. (Photo by Daniele Dalledonne)
Tip: Most flights approach Venice aiport's landing strip from the south, so book a window seat on the right side of the plane for an unforgettable view of downtown Venice as you buzz past it just before landing.

How to get to Venice by air, and how to get to downtown Venice from the airport

The airport in Venice
The Marco Polo airport in Venice really is close to the downtown historic center, which you can see in the background of the above photo.

Most people still arrive in Venice by train, but with the rise of no-frills airlines, more and more can get here by plane.

There are now several weekly Delta flights from JFK direct into Venice, but for most connections from North America you will have to change planes (usually in Rome or Milan).

There are plenty of direct flights into Venice from the U.K. and Europe.

Venice's Marco Polo Airport ( is in the northern reaches of Venice's landlubbing suburb, Mestre. From here, you will need to get "downtown" to the historic center of Venice—you know, the bit with all the islands, canals, palaces, and gondolas (see below).

The best way to get from Marco Polo airport to downtown Venice

Note: This page assumes you want to get to the historic center of Venice for some sightseeing. If you're trying to get between the airport and the Stazione Marittima ship port for a cruise or ferry, see this page.

There are two ways to get to Venice from the airport: by water—private water taxis or the public ferry, both of take you straight downtown—or by land.

I prefer going by water—even though it is more expensive and actually slower (40–80 minutes versus 20–30 minutes) than going by land. However, taking a ferry or water taxi is way more Romantic (and didn't you come to Venice for that?), plus it is usually way more convenient.

  • Water taxis (€100) take you as close to your hotel as they can get (for an obscene price, yes). That €100 covers up to five passengers with one piece of luggage each. Additional people pay €10 plus €5 per bag.
  • Far better: Book a shared boat transfer to a central stop from €30 per person. (You can also sign up for a private motorboat transfer right to your hotel, but the lead price "from €34" assumes you are traveling with a full boatload; this can get pricey for just 2–4 people.)
  • The best option: the Alilaguna public water ferries (€15), which stop at several key points around the historic center, allowing you to walk to your hotel.

Treviso-Canova is NOT Venice
Some no-frills/low-cost flightsland at another regional airport near Treviso called Canova (—including those on popular Ryanair ( Yes, it's only about half an hour from Venice—so pretty convenient—but the fact that some airlines try to pass it off as "Venice-Treviso" is misleading.

For info on getting from Treviso into Venice, see the end of this page.

I've done the math for you. When it comes to aiport transfers,'s shared transfer is still cheaper than a water taxi for two or three people—and the public ferry remains cheaper in every situtation.

(The math in detail: For five people, a water taxi costs €100 and the ferry €75. Once you get past five, you pay an extra €15 in both cases: either for another ferry ticket, or for each additonal person plus his/her bag. That means with the ferry you always come out at least €25 ahead of the game.)

If you go by land—whether by shuttle bus or public bus (both now €6)—it will only get you as far as Piazzale Roma, which is the only part of the historic center accessible by car (just over the causeway from the mainland).

So, unless you're staying very close to Piazzale Roma (not really recommended), you'll still end up paying an additional €7 for a vaporetto from Piazzale Roma to get to your hotelbringing the total cost for the "land" option to €13—a meager €2 less than the ferry.

All things being equal—and even though I'm a cheapskate—I'd go by water.

How to get between the Venice airport and downtown Venice by water

The best option: Alilaguna ferry from the airport to Venice (45–110 min; €15)
My #1 option: Go with the slower (45–110 minutes), cheaper (€15) Alilaguna traghetto public ferry (tel. +39-041-240-1701,

You still get to arrive in Venice that oh-so-Romantic way on the water (truly, the only way to come to Venice), at a fraction of the cost.

Note that you do have to walk about 500 yards outside (with your luggage—though if you pack light, that's not a problem) from the arrivals hall: leave the building, turn left and follow signs for "Water Bus/Alilaguna" beneath a canopied walkway, across a street, and down to the boat landing stage (past the water taxi stand). Buy your ticket from the kiosk before getting on the boat (or from the blue machine in the airport; there's picture of the machine a bit further down this page on the right).

The Alilaguna traghetto (public ferry) from Marco Polo airport into Venice via Paizza San Marco.
The Alilaguna traghetto (public ferry) from Marco Polo airport into Venice via Piazza San Marco.

The Alilaguna traghetto runs two main lines (plus three seasonal ones), all of which are identified by color. Most tourists will use only Blu (blue), Arancio (orange), or the summertime Rossa (red).

(There's also Linea M for shuttling from San Marco to the cruise docks.)

If your hotel is near St. Mark's, take the blue line. The ride will take 45–100 minutes, depending on where you get off.

If you're staying closer to the Rialto, grab the faster Arancio (orange) line, which stops at Madonna dell'Orto (30 min.), Guglie (up in the hinterlands of Cannaregio above the train station; 42 min.), San Stae (for S. Croce/S. Polo; 51 min.), Rialto (57 min.) and S. Angelo (61 min.)—both ideal for hotels in the San Marco or S. Polo neighborhoods—and Ca' Rezzonico (for Dorsoduro; 67 min.).

The slower Blu line stops first at Murano (an outlying island; 30 min.), Fondamente Nove (on the north side of the Cannaregio neighborhood; 38 min.), the Lido (Venice's beach; 60–65 min.), the Arsenale (convenient for the few hotels way out in the eastern reaches of the Castello neighborhood; 77 min.), before arriving at Piazza San Marco (get off at either the San Zaccaria stop, 82 min., or San Marco Giardinetti stop, 87 min., for hotels in San Marco or the western Castello), then zipping around Dorsoduro to stop at Zattere (convenient to hotels in Dorsoduro; 102 min.), the Hotel Molino Stucky Hilton on Giudecca island (107 min.), and finally the cruise terminal (114 min.).

There's also an seasonal (Apr 30–Nov 3) express Rossa line, which stops only at Murano (30 min.), the Lido (53 min.), and finally San Marco (73 min.).

The classy option: Private boat transfer (30 min; from €34)

Only chumps shell out more than €100 for a public water taxi. If you book one ahead of time, you can get a private transfer in a motorboat—exactly like the taxi—for for only €34.

Even better (a service the public water taxis do not offer): a representative will meet you on the airport arrivals hall and escort you to the boat.

(For about €4 more, the rep will accompany you all the way to your hotel.)

The rub: That's the price if you book the whole boat. If just, say, four people are using it, the cost is more like €55 per person.

The classy cheapskate option: Shared boat transfer (50–60 min; €30)

If you want to save a few dollars off the cost of a private boat transfer, take a shared motorboat transfer instead. This is the best semi-provate boat deal for 2–3 people—still cheaper than a water taxi.

It makes up to nine scheduled stops (whichever ones the passengers need), and can alter its route to accomodate those with different destinations:

The overpriced option: Water taxi (30–50 min; €100)

A private water taxi from the Venice airport to a downtown destination will take about half an hour and costs €100–€110. (tel. +39-041-522-2303, or

To find a taxi acquei (water taxi), exit the airport arrivals hall turn left and follow signs for "Water Bus/Alilaguna" beneath a canopied walkway, across a street, and down to the kiosk (about 500 yards total).

How to get between the Venice airport and downtown Venice by land

Buses at the Venice airport
From the Venice airport, the ATVO shuttle bus (left) costs €6 and takes 20 minutes to reach downtown Venice's Piazzale Roma; the ACTV city bus no. 5 (right) also costs €6 and takes 30 minutes. (Photo courtesy of Roaming Photos.)
You could opt for one of two cheaper land methods to get from the airport into Venice.

Until 2014, the city bus was way cheaper than the airport shuttle bus—but now they both cost €6, so take the faster shuttle.

To help tell them apart, look at the photograph on the left there.

The shuttle buses are usually blue or green and say "ATVO" on them.

The local city bus no. 5 (and others) are orange and off-white and say "ACTV" somewhere on them.

ATVO shuttle bus from the airport to Venice (20 min.; €6)

Automated tickets machines for land buses (left) and water bus ferries (right) at the Venice airport.
Automated ticket machines for the ATVO land buses (left) and the Alilaguna traghetto/water bus ferries (right) at the Venice airport.
There's an ATVO airport shuttle bus (tel. +39-0421-594-518 or +39-0421-383-672, which leaves every half-hour for the 20-minute ride to Piazzale Roma, the car parking lot near(ish) the main train station, Stazione Santa Lucia.

Tickets (a pointlessly pricey €6) are easy to come by: at the ATVO ticket window in the arrivals hall, or from the automated blue ATVO machines located in the baggage claim area and also outside by the bus departure point.

Still, for that much money (€6 for this, plus another €7 for a vaporetto—assuming you aren't staying near Piazzale Roma), I'd advise just to take the Alilaguna Ferry for €15.

City bus #5 from the airport to Venice (30 min.; €6)

Since the price was raised to match the shuttle, ther is no earthly reason to take the ACTV public bus no. 5 (tel. +39-041-272-2111,, which doesn't have handy luggage storage underneath like the shuttle buses and also makes stops along the way, prolonging the arrival in Piazzale Roma to about 30 minutes

(On a personal note: I was on this bus once and it got into an accident with a Mercedes; since the bus was full—as were all the other no. 5s that whizzed by us while we sat by the roadside with our luggage—we had to wait more than an hour before they dispatched an empty bus to pick up the stranded passengers.)

How to get from Treviso Canova airport to Venice

The airport in Treviso is about a 70-minute, €10 bus ride from Piazzale Roma in Venice—don't get of at the Venezia-Mestre suburban rail station, since you'd then need to board a train for the short hop into Venice proper. (Bus info: tel. +39-0422-315-381,; buses are timed to meet incoming flights on low-cost carriers Ryanair and Basiq-Air).

Buy tickets on board the Ryanair flight, in the airport arrivals hall before leaving the building; return tickets from Venice are available at the ATVO office on Piazzale Roma.

Slightly cheaper but far more complicated option: Take Treviso public bus no. 6 ( from the airport to the Treviso Centrale train station (2–4 buses per hour; 11–17 min.; €1.30—though buy the biglietto/ticket at a newsstand in the airport before boarding or it's €3 on the bus). From there, get a train to Venice (2-4 trains per hour; 30–40 min.; €3.30); remember to wait and get off at Venezia-Santa Lucia, not the landlubbing Venezia-Mestre station. Total: 50–70 min. (depending on connections), €4.60.

You can also book a private transfer from about €35 (though the fewer people traveling together, the higher the per-person cost):

Tips & links


Venice Airport
Aeroporto Marco Polo
Tessera (just north of Mestre)
General: tel. +39-041-260-6111
Flight info: tel. +39-041-260-9260

Treviso Airport
Aeroporto di Treviso Canova
tel. +39-0422-315-111

  • Airport transfers: By land (to Piazzale Roma)
  • (shuttle bus: €6)
  • (city bus: €6)

Venice links & resources

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Venice Airport
Aeroporto Marco Polo
Tessera (just north of Mestre)
General: tel. +39-041-260-6111
Flight info: tel. +39-041-260-9260

Treviso Airport
Aeroporto di Treviso Canova
tel. +39-0422-315-111

  • Airport transfers: By land (to Piazzale Roma)
  • (shuttle bus: €6)
  • (city bus: €6)

Useful links
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