Although the journey from Venice Marco Polo Airport (VCE) to the heart of the city is more or less pretty straightforward, there are several options to get to the enchanting city that makes it a little intimidating (especially if you don’t speak Italian).
In this article, we outline various transportation options, offer tips, and provide essential information to ensure your trip from Venice Airport is smooth and enjoyable. Let’s explore the most popular and convenient methods to reach the heart of the city.
Getting To Venice From Marco Polo Airport (VCE)
Venice has two airports: Marco Polo Airport, which is closer to the city center and commonly referred to as Venice Airport, and Treviso Airport, which is a little further out. We’re here to help you find the best ways to get from Marco Polo Airport to Venice.
When you arrive at Marco Polo Airport, you have six options to reach Venice proper: the Alilaguna waterbus, the vaporetto (another water bus), a land bus, a train via Santa Lucia Railway Station, a private water taxi, or a land taxi to Piazzale Roma.
Taking the Water Bus (Vaporetto)
One of the most popular and cost-effective ways to travel from Marco Polo Airport to Venice is by taking the Vaporetto, also known as the water bus. The journey offers a unique and scenic experience as you glide along the Venetian canals toward a ferry terminal closest to your hotel (be sure to look this up before you get on the vaporetto system).
Outside of walking, the Venetian water bus is going to be your primary means of transportation around the city. So it’s beneficial to get familiar with it before you arrive.
Schedule and Ticket Prices
The Vaporetto runs approximately every 30 minutes, with the first departure at 6:00 AM and the last one at 10:40 PM. The journey to Venice takes about 60 minutes and is a very smooth ride. I get seasick fairly easily and I take the vaporetto without any issues.
You can purchase a one-way ticket from the ticket office or a nearby kiosk. One ticket costs €15 for adults, while children aged 6-14 can travel for €7.50. Children under 6 travel for free.
Boarding the Vaporetto
Upon arriving at Marco Polo Airport, follow the signs to the boat dock, which is a 10-minute walk from the terminal. There, you can purchase tickets at the ticket booth or use the self-service machines.
Don’t worry about your luggage, there’s more than enough room, and as long as it’s not blocking someone else from boarding, there should be any issues. Now, if you have extra luggage that takes up half of the boat, you’ll have a problem, and they’ll likely ask you to use the nearby train station.
Using the Alilaguna Water Bus Service
Another option for reaching Venice by water is the Alilaguna Water Bus Service, which offers a more direct route and various lines to different parts of the city. I’ve personally never taken Alilaguna water buses, but I know multiple people who have and said it was easy to navigate.
Leaving VCE airport, there are three main lines: Blue, Red, and Orange. The Blue Line serves the San Marco area, the Red Line operates during the summer months and connects to Lido, and the Orange Line takes you to the Rialto Bridge area. Simply choose whichever is closest to your hotel or final destination.
Schedule and Ticket Prices
The Alilaguna Water Bus Service operates from 6:00 AM to midnight. The frequency of the service depends on the line and time of day, with intervals ranging from 20 to 60 minutes. A single fare is €15, and a round trip costs €27.
Using a Private Water Taxi Service
For a more private and luxurious experience, consider taking a water taxi from Marco Polo Airport to Venice. This option allows you to travel at your own pace and enjoy the breathtaking views of the Venetian Lagoon.
Reservation and Pricing
It’s advisable to book a water taxi in advance, either online or by phone. The cost of a water taxi varies depending on the destination, but you can expect to pay between €100 and €150 for a one-way trip.
The benefit of using a private taxi is you have the whole boat to yourself, you can ensure your entire party rides together, and they’ll take you directly to where you need to go. We had a great captain one year and he told us all about the lagoon and buildings as we passed them.
If you can justify the costs, it’s a great experience.
Riding the Bus to Piazzale Roma
If you prefer a land-based transportation option, taking the bus to Piazzale Roma from Marco Polo Airport is a convenient and budget-friendly choice. Piazzale Roma is the main bus station in Venice City Center and serves as a hub for various water transportation services.
Two bus companies operate the route from Marco Polo Airport to Piazzale Roma bus station: ACTV and ATVO. Both services offer comfortable coaches with ample luggage space.
The bus station is within walking distance of Santa Lucia Train Station, so there’s no noticeable walking distance for either of these options.
ACTV Bus Service
The ACTV Line 5 Aerobus departs every 15-30 minutes, and the journey takes approximately 25 minutes. A one-way ticket costs €8, and a round-trip ticket is priced at €15.
ATVO Bus Service
The ATVO Airport Shuttle departs every 20-30 minutes, and the journey takes approximately 20 minutes. A one-way ticket costs €8, and a round-trip ticket is available for €15.
You can purchase bus tickets at the airport arrivals hall from the ticket booths or vending machines. Remember to validate your ticket in the designated machines before boarding the bus.
Taking the Train from Marco Polo Airport to Santa Lucia Station
Traveling by train is another convenient option for reaching Venice from Marco Polo Airport, although it’s not as straightforward as water transport or ACTV buses.
The journey involves a combination of land and rail transport, taking you to Venezia Santa Lucia Station, the city’s main train station located in the heart of Venice.
Getting to Mestre Train Station
There is no direct train service from Marco Polo Airport to Venice. First, you’ll need to travel to Venezia Mestre Train Station, which is situated on the mainland. You can take the ACTV Line 15 bus or the ATVO Airport Shuttle to get there.
The journey takes approximately 17-25 minutes, and tickets can be purchased at the airport’s arrival hall from the ticket booths or vending machines.
Train to Venezia Santa Lucia Station
Once you arrive at Venezia Mestre Train Station, you can catch a train to Venezia Santa Lucia Station. Trains run frequently, with services operating every 10-15 minutes during peak hours. The journey across the lagoon takes approximately 10-12 minutes.
Regional trains and high-speed trains, such as Trenitalia’s Frecciargento and Italo, serve the route between Mestre and Santa Lucia. Regional train tickets cost around €1.35, while high-speed train tickets can range from €9 to €25, depending on the class of service and time of booking.
Buying Train Tickets
You can purchase train tickets from the ticket office, self-service machines, or online through the Trenitalia or Italo websites. Remember to validate your ticket at the designated machines on the platform before boarding the train.
Renting a Car
Renting a car can be an option for those who plan to explore the Veneto region beyond Venice. However, keep in mind that cars are not allowed within the city of Venice itself, so you’ll need to park at one of the designated parking facilities, such as Piazzale Roma or Tronchetto, before continuing on foot or by water transportation.
Car Rental Companies
Several car rental agencies have desks at Marco Polo Airport, including Avis, Europcar, Hertz, and Sixt. It’s a good idea to book your car in advance to ensure availability and secure the best rates.
Again, if you’re only planning on visiting Venice, you should opt to take one of the other private or public transportation options to the city: train via Santa Lucia Station, Alilaguna line, ATVO express bus, water taxis, etc.
Private Transfer Services
For a seamless and stress-free transfer, consider booking a private transfer service. This option offers door-to-door service, including assistance with your luggage.
Service Options and Pricing
Various companies provide private transfer services from Marco Polo Airport to Venice. Prices vary depending on the type of vehicle and destination but generally range from €70 to €200. You can book your transfer online in advance to guarantee availability.
- Vaporetto (Water Bus): Cost-effective, scenic, 60-minute journey; €15 for adults, €7.50 for children aged 6-14; departs every 30 minutes.
- Alilaguna Water Bus: More direct route, serves different parts of the city; €15 single fare, €27 round trip; operates from 6:00 AM to midnight.
- Private Water Taxi: Luxurious, private experience; €100-€150 one-way trip; advance booking recommended.
- Bus to Piazzale Roma: Convenient, budget-friendly, land-based option; €8 one-way, €15 round-trip; two bus companies: ACTV and ATVO.
- Train via Santa Lucia Station: Combination of land and rail transport; €1.35 for regional trains, €9-€25 for high-speed trains.
- Car Rental: Suitable for exploring the Veneto region; not allowed within Venice city; park at designated facilities before using water transportation.
- Private Transfer Services: Door-to-door service, luggage assistance; prices range from €70 to €200; advance booking recommended.
Reaching the heart of Venice from Marco Polo Airport is easy and convenient with the various transportation options available. Whether you choose to travel by water or land, each method offers unique advantages to suit your preferences and budget. I hope this guide helps you plan a smooth and enjoyable journey from Marco Polo Airport to the magical city of Venice. Safe travels!