Getting Around Venice
The best way to get around Venice is by foot. Although the city's labyrinth of canals and weaving roads can complicate things, getting lost is the best way to discover the city's famed allure. You can traverse the canals by vaporetto or water bus/ferry (relatively affordable), water taxi (pretty pricey) or gondola (very expensive).
To get from the Marco Polo Airport (VCE) to central Venice, you should take an ATVO bus (the Venice Airport Bus Express) or Alilaguna water bus. If you – like many other travelers – choose to take the train from other Italian or European cities, you'll be dropped off at the Venezia Santa Lucia train station, where you can take a vaporetto to your accommodations. Driving is not an option here – even the police use boats to get around. However, if you'd like to rent a car, there are several companies located at the airport.
Venice's narrow cobblestone streets are perfect for strolling. Keep in mind that street names frequently change and some of them inexplicably lead to dead ends. Instead of relying on a map, pay attention to the landmark signs posted around the city, and make sure you know how find a vaporetto (or water bus) stop. Signing up for a walking tour is another great way to orient yourself. Consult our guide to the best Venice tours for more information.
You will find both Venetians and tourists on these sleek, convenient boats, which are operated by ACTV. But the stunning vaporetti views of the Grand Canal are compromised by their expense. A standard, one-way fare, which is valid for 75 minutes, costs 7.50 euros (about $9). Grab a window seat or stand outside to really take advantage of the views. Purchasing a Venice city pass from Venezia Unica can be another way to save on public transport. Day passes cost 20 euros, or about $23, and include unlimited rides on public transport.
Popular water bus routes include the No. 2, which offers service along the Grand Canal, route nos. 4.1 and 4.2, which service the Venice perimeter and the island of Murano, and No. 12, which offers transport to Murano and Burano.
The gondolas have become almost synonymous with Venice. Although they were once used by wealthy Venetians for transportation, today they're used for tourist thrills. They start at about 80 euros (about $93.75) for a 40-minute ride, but keep in mind that the time of day, the gondolier singing, and additional time can increase the price. For that reason, it's wise to determine the price before you step aboard. You can check the current gondola fares on the city's official website.
Water taxis are very expensive. Short in-town trips range from 40 to 70 euros (the equivalent of about $47 to $82), while a trip to the lace shops of Burano will cost you 130 euros (about $152.30) one-way. Because they're so expensive, taking many water taxis during your Venice vacation isn't your best bet.
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