Public Transport Venice
The main station of Venice is called "Santa Lucia". It is a large terminus with 14 tracks in the station, plus a few outside the building. There's always a lot going on at Santa Lucia Central Station. Only a few visitors and locals come to the island by car, as there are almost no roads and only expensive parking spaces in Venice. Every few minutes trains run over a three-kilometre bridge between the mainland (Mestre) and Venice. Despite the very frequent departures, trains are often overcrowded at peak times and in the high season.
The bus station and tram stop (Piazzale Roma) is about 150 metres from the main station. It is connected to the station by a new pedestrian bridge. From the railway station of Santa Lucia you can reach the important sights of Venice in 15 to 45 minutes on foot (see: Venice on foot).
The fare between Venice and Mestre (the district of Venice on the mainland) is only about 1.25 Euro per one-way ticket (in summer 2018), the journey takes about 10 minutes. This fare applies to regional trains, not Intercity, Eurocity or Eurostar.
Not all vending machines take cash. If you don't want to pay the 1.25 with your credit card, you should look for a ticket machine with the cash symbol.
Important: All tickets for the train must be stamped on a device on the track no more than a few minutes before departure. Otherwise the ticket is invalid.
The long-distance trains from Germany (Munich) also run to Santa Lucia main station. You will also stop on the mainland at Mestre station. Most Italian long-distance trains to Venice also stop both in Mestre and on the island of Venice at Santa Lucia main station.
How to get to Venice by tram
The journey with the tram from Mestre on the mainland is like the railway very cheap, a single ticket costs only 1.50 Euro (in spirng 2018). For expensive Venice this is areal bargain.
Trams run at least every 10 minutes during the day (every
15 minutes on Sundays). The trams stop in Mestre about 10
times, in Venice only once at Piazzale Roma. This square
is not far from the bridge to the mainland and only about 150
metres on foot across an ultra-modern bridge from the main
station. You can walk from
The tram was only built a few years ago. Unfortunately, it is often very full. It is very popular with commuters and tourists.
The advantage of the tram to the normal railway is that the tram stops very often in Mestre. Many hotels in Mestre are close to a tram stop. From some hotels in Mestre you can reach Venice by tram in less than 20 minutes. The tram starts in downtown Mestre. If the accommodation is near the other tram line of Mestre (line 2), you can change in the city centre, where the two new tram lines meet.
The construction of the tram is interesting. It has only one rail in the middle and has rubber tires. This new system called Translohr is considered space-saving. The Translohr tram gets its power from an overhead line. Such trams with the modern translohr system are now also running in France, China and Medellin in Colombia. Venice is currently the only tram in the world with the Translohr system that has more than one line (it has 2 lines).
By car to Venice
Travelling to Venice by car makes little sense, but use public transport. There are two main reasons for this. Firstly, on the island of Venice Centro Storico you can hardly use your car because there are noroads. On the other hand in parking very expensive.
After reaching Venice via the almost four kilometre long bridge from the mainland near Mestre, you can park your car in one of the multi-storey car parks. Parking near the station costs about 30 euros per day. In the new multi-storey car parks in the port of Venice it is somewhat cheaper (still over 20 euros per day, as at the beginning of 2018). From there, however, it is far more than one kilometre to the old town. However, the new elevated railway (People Mover, modern system without driver) can be used for this route. However, this is again associated with costs, this time depending on the number of people.
We think it is better to leave the car in Mestre and to use park and ride offers from there to Venice (train, tram or bus). People who have a bit more money can of course drive over the bridge by car and park directly in a car park at Piazzale Roma. This is a bit faster than Park-and-Ride.
By ferry through Venice
On the main island, the vaporetto (passenger ferry) is the only public transport in Venice. There are ferries around the island and on the Canal Grande in Venice. This is a wide canal that divides the island of Venice into two parts. Departures are very frequent, every few minutes.
Passenger ships also often travel between the islands around Venice, and less frequently between the mainland and Venice, some also to the Marco Polo Airport.
A single ticket for one trip costs at least 7.50 euros (in spring 2018). However, there are day tickets for about 20 Euro and multi-day tickets (valid for 48 hours and 72 hours) at different prices). As children usually pay the full fare, water buses can be are very expensive, especially for families. Within the main island of Venice you don't necessarily need the boats. We recommend walking as much as possible. The Venetians call the water bus "vaporetto", plural "vaporetti". The water buses arevery useful if you want to visit other islands (such as Burano, Lido and Murano).
Water taxi (Motoscafi)
If you do not want or cannot carry your luggage to the hotel in Venice, you have a problem. Even with the expensive public ferries (vaporetto) you cn go anywhere. The only alternatives are a taxi boat or a carrier. The prices are extreme. To the hotel and at the holiday end again back can cost with the Wasertaxi easily over 100 euro. Venice is something special, and that also applies to some prices.
Fares: A one-way trip within Venice with a water taxi costs at least about 40 to 50 Euros, to the mainland like to the airport about 110 Euros, for example to Chioggia in the south of the lagoon about 250 Euros. There may be surcharges for luggage or for more than 4 persons (max in 10 persons). With the taximeter you pay about 15 Euro starting fee plus 2 Euro per minute. So after one hour you have around 135 Euro on the taxi meter according to this price list. There is also a night surcharge on all rates. You can also order the Motoscafi by telephone just like a normal taxi. However, this also costs a hefty surcharge.
Finding a free taxi boat is not too difficult in Venice. There are many of them despite (or because of) the high prices.
Of course there are also the famous gondolas. If you book a gondola in Venice, you usually do so for fun and not as a means of transport. The gondolas, like the Motoscafi taxis, are not exactly inexpensive. Since the gondolas do not have an engine, they are of course much slower. We have published more information about gondolas on this page.
Private boat tours in groups
In almost every holiday resort there are companies who offer day trips by bus to sights in the region. Such tours are also available on the islands of Venice. The means of transport is just not the bus, but the ship.
Especially often booked and cheap (20 Euro) is an island hopping trip to the three well-known islands Murano, Torcello and Burano. More information about such a boat trip can be found on the great website getyourguide.de.