As soon as you set foot in the legendary city of Venice, you’re bound to be enchanted with the sights of canals, bridges, romantic gondolas, and the breathtaking Grand Canal. The best time to explore this ‘City of Water’ is during the low season from November – April. During this time, the average temperatures are 30 – 40 degrees Fahrenheit, crowds are less, and you’ll get some of the best deals on room rates and sightseeing tours. Remember to bring your rain boots for the occasional high tides (Acqua alta) and flooding. In summer, from June – August, Venice is packed with tourists, and hotel rates are at their peak. Expect average temperatures in the range of 70 – 80 degrees Fahrenheit, and a somewhat strong smell around the canals at this time of the year. In the shoulder months from March – May or September – November, you will find that the crowds are less, temperatures are pleasant and room rates are reasonable. If you wish to experience the grand ‘Carnevale’ event, when the Venetian streets are filled with large mask-wearing crowds and a host of festivities, plan your trip in the month of February.
Direct international flights from the U.S. to Venice are available from Delta Air Lines and American Airlines. Other airlines that offer flights with 1 or more stops include United Airlines, British Airways, Swissair, LOT, Lufthansa, Air France, Aeroflot, Norwegian, KLM, Brussels Airlines, Alitalia, Royal Air Maroc, Austria Airlines, Vueling Airlines, Turkish Airlines, Qatar Airways, Aer Lingus, Ukraine International Airlines, Emirates, TAP Air Portugal, Air Serbia, Iberia, and SAS.
VCE is located on the mainland in the city of Tessera, approximately 5 miles from Venice. There are several options to travel from the airport to Venice. The land travel options will typically drop you at Piazzale Roma, which is the main square at the entrance of the city. However, if your accommodation is close to any of the water bus stops, then you may want to look at the water bus and water taxi options directly from the airport.
Alilaguna operates the water bus service in Venice, with stops at major locations such as San Marco, Rialto, Fondamenta Nuove, and Le Guglie. The one-way fare from the airport to Venice is €15.00 EUR. The fare allows you to carry 1 suitcase and 1 piece of hand luggage. For every additional piece of baggage, you will pay €3.00 EUR. There are 3 separate lines, Red, Blue, and Orange that go into Venice and make different stops. Check for the most convenient route when you buy your ticket.
This is one of the most expensive transportation options and typical water taxi fares can run anywhere from €100.00 – €150.00 EUR depending on the amount of luggage you’re carrying and your exact destination in Venice. If you are traveling in a large group and splitting the fare, this is a good option. Remember to agree on a price before getting onto the boat.
ATVO express bus
ATVO express buses run from VCE to Piazzale Roma every 20 – 40 minutes and provide a non-stop service with a journey time of 20 minutes. One-way fare is €8.00 EUR and tickets can be purchased at the automatic ticket machines in the arrivals baggage area, or at the ATVO ticket office located in the arrivals hall.
ACTV operated bus route #5 runs every 20 minutes between the airport and Piazzale Roma and costs €8.00 EUR per person for a one-way ticket. The journey time is approximately 25 minutes. The ACTV buses have luggage compartments underneath, which is a convenient option if you are carrying multiple bags.
A regular taxi will take about 20 minutes from the airport to Piazzale Roma and cost approximately €20.00 EUR plus additional charges for luggage.
If you are traveling light and wish to save a few euros, you can board the ACTV-operated bus routes #15, #25a, or #10a at the bus stop which is a 15-minute walk from the airport. Ride to Venezia Mestre station in about 20 minutes for a fare of €1.90 EUR. From here, ride the train to Venezia Santa Lucia station in 10 – 12 minutes for a one-way fare of €1.30 EUR. Including the walk time and bus and train journey, you should reach Venice in approximately 45 – 60 minutes for a total fare of €3.20 EUR.
For a true Venetian experience, stroll along the narrow streets, and cross the bridges over canals on foot. For faster navigation through the city, try some of these modes of transport.
Vaporetto (water bus) provides ample connectivity to most of the popular tourist attractions. Fares are time-based and a single ticket costs €7.00 EUR for travel up to 60 minutes.
Water taxis are an expensive option and charge as much as €60.00 EUR even for a short trip from one point to another. Try to negotiate the fare before boarding. Some taxi drivers allow travelers to share the costs with others.
Popular amongst tourists, Gondola, the iconic Venetian transport can be an expensive mode of transport. Prices vary by demand and season. Expect to pay €80.00 EUR – €100.00 EUR for a 40-minute ride. Remember to negotiate with the gondoliers, and agree on a price before you step into the gondola.
Venice entices and enchants all kinds of visitors including history buffs, art and architecture lovers, classical music fans, and foodies. There is so much to see and do in Venice that a single trip may not be enough. Here are a few suggestions for a classic Venetian itinerary, filled with ornate churches, artsy museums, gondolas rides, and delicious Italian fare.
Invest in a City Pass
Invest in a Venezia Unica Gold City Pass for €58.90 EUR. The pass allows you unlimited travel for 72-hours on all ACTV-operated public transport (including buses and vaporettos), as well as discounted or free access to museums and other popular attractions.
Explore the city freely
The best way to explore Venice is on foot. Expect to walk for 30 – 45 minutes to reach certain areas. At some point, you are bound to lose your way in the maze of similar-looking cobbled streets, long narrow alleys, and canals. Don’t worry if you do. Just stop a passerby and feel free to ask for directions. Keep an eye out for the landmarks, and find the nearest stop for a vaporetto or water taxi. Do not rely on GPS or mobile apps as they often fail when exploring Venice’s alleys and canals.