Getting to Venice

Landing in Venice. (Photo by Daniele Dalledonne)
Landing in Venice. The Grand Canal is the bit of blue curve just to the left of the propeller—and again to the left of that, curving back. The deep water cut on the lower left is a sort of service way to an even wider cut just off screen to the left where cruise ships and other big boats put in.

How to get to Venice by airplane, train, car, ferry, or cruise ship.

You can get full details on arriving in Venice by train, plane, car, or cruise ship or ferry on their own pages (which is where you'll also find all the information about the train stations, airports, and parking lots, and how to get downtown from each), but here's the basic info in brief:

Arriving in Venice by train

Useful Italian
ticket - biglietto
train - treno
train track - binario
station - stazione
coach/intercity bus - pullman
local bus - autobus
bus stop - fermata
parking - parcheggio
airport - aeroporto
ferry - traghetto
port - porto
dock - molo
city water "bus" ferry - vaporetto
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The first thing you need to know is that there are two Venices—and two Venice train stations. The first station you come to arriving by train is "Venezia-Mestre." Do not get off here! Mestre is merely the landlubbing, industrial suburb of Venice. Stay on the train as it crosses the causeway to the island-city and the station of "Venezia—Stazione Santa Lucia."

(If your ticket is to "Venezia-Mestre," never fear; every few minutes shuttle trains leave for the 10-minute, 5-mile ride halfway across the lagoon into Venice proper.) » more

Arriving in Venice by car

At the risk of stating the obvious, there are no cars allowed in Venice at all (hard to drive on all that water, see.) You'll have to park your car for the duration of your stay, and you have two options.

  1. Park in the S. Giuliano lots in the mainland suburb of Mestre for €5 a day and take a bus over to Venice.
  2. Drive across the causeway over the bay into Venice and the only bit accessible by car, Piazzale Roma, and immediately pull into the first garage on your right, the official ASM Venezia car park, cheapest of the bunch at around €24 per day.

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The airports that serve Venice

Most flights to Venice land at Venice's Marco Polo Airport, in the landlubbing suburb of Mestre.

To get downtown: Public buses and land taxis will get you as far as Piazzale Roma, where you have to switch to a vaporetto (water bus) to get deeper into Venice (total cost: from €8.30). Far better: Take the €15 public Alilaguna traghetto ferry straight to San Marco (and avoid private water taxis, which charge nearly €100).

Note that some low-cost airlines like Ryanair say they're flying you to "Venice" when they really land in the Treviso airport, about an hour's bus ride from Venice. » more

Cruise ships and ferries from Greece and from Croatia

Most big boats to or from Venice—including cruise ships and ferries from Greece and Istria—dock at one of two nearby ports in the northwest corner of the historic center (between the Piazzale Roma parking garages and Tronchetto).

The main port of Venice is called Stazione Marittima, and is where most Mediterranean cruises, Adriatic ferries to Greece, and other big ships dock. Some smaller ships and ferries to Croatia (and, in summer, even some larger boats when the Staz. Marittima's full) pull into the S. Basilio, just to the southeast of Stazione Marittima along the Zattere.

The easiest way to figure out which one you need is, if you're just arriving in Venice, simply ask as you disembark "Stazione Marittima o San Basilio?"

If you're already in Venice and need to head to the port to catch a ship, make sure you ask beforehand which dock you want.

(All things being equal, your best bet is to head first to the main Stazione Marittima; you can always make your way around to the other slip if need be.) » more

Tips & links

Transportation links & resources
Other links & resources

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  • Airport transfers: By land (to Piazzale Roma)
  • (shuttle bus: €6)
  • (city bus: €6)
  • Venice rail station
  • Venezia Santa Lucia:, Fondamenta S. Lucia (in the NW corner of the city)
  • Vaproetto to San Marco: 1, 2, N
  • Driving/parking
  • (Piazzale Rome garage: most central, €23–29; S. Giuliano lot: farthest, €12)
  • (Tronchetto garage: fairly central, €21)
  • Car resources
  • Emergency service/tow: tel. 803-116
  • Highway agency: (traffic info, serivce areas, toll calculator, weather)
  • Italian automotive club (~AAA):
  • ZTLs: (lightly outdated, but handy, links to cities' traffic-free zones)
  • Venice cruise terminal
Train tix

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Airfares, Cars, Trains, Tours, Packages, Cruises, Lodging, Itineraries, Info, Packing, Prep, Comm

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