Ships in Venice

Parking in Venice: You should reserve a parking space in the parking garage online in advance. Especially now at Corona time many people come to Venice by car. There is a great website for reserving parking spaces: Click Here

Insider tip:
Travel comfortably without queues, buy tickets online beforehand:


No other city in the world has more ships per inhabitant than Venice. Instead of roads there are canals in Venice. The only vehicles are ships, even bicycles and roller skates are forbidden in the big old town.

Everything that is transported elsewhere in the world by road vehicles is transported on boats in Venice. Instead of buses, there are hundreds of water buses (ferries) that run according to a fixed timetable. All goods have to be delivered by ship. Also special vehicles like taxis. Ambulance, police or garbage collection are only available as watercrafts. For tourists the many different boats in Venice are very interesting.

Large ships can only sail around Venice and not in the canals inside the old town. The small waterways are too narrow, the bridges too low. Medium sized boats can also use wide waterways such as the famous Canal Grande. Only very small boats and gondolas can go into the small canals up to the front door of the inhabitants and shops. Therefore, goods usually have to be reloaded.

Now an overview of various types of ships in Venice:

Water Buses

Water buses (Italian Vaporetti) are the public transport boats of the city of Venice. There are different sizes. The smaller ones (in the picture in front) also go on the Canal Grande and other bigger waterways within the islands. The big ones (in the picture behind) only sail in the open lagoon, thus around Venice, between islands and to the mainland.

>>>    On this link you can find the tickets for the waterbuses (for 1, 2 and 3 days)


In this guide there are several articles about water buses (public ferries), see:

What are Water Buses? Where to they go?

Waterbus tickets

The famous Line 1 Water Bus Route

Water Taxis

Water taxis are used like taxis on roads. They can either be ordered or simply boarded at taxi stations. Many tourists also take a water taxi from Marco Polo airport to the hotel:

More info about water taxis in Venice

Cruise Liners

For many ship fans, the gigantic cruise ships are the highlight. During the season, several cruise ships arrive in Venice each day, each carrying several thousand passengers.

The Giga ships are highly controversial in Venice. They cause large, high-energy waves that are supposed to destroy the foundations of Venice. Venice is built on millions of wooden piles. Some cruise ships are no longer allowed to moor directly in the old town. There are also strict speed restrictions for cruise ships near the old town.

Excursion Boats for Tourists

Very often one is also around Venice bigger excursion boats of private companies. These bring tourists to Venice and on day trips to other islands.

Our tip: 3-Island-Tour for only 20 Euro

A guided boat trip (day trip) to the 3 interesting islands in the lagoon Murano, Burano and Torcello is very inexpensive for Venice. The guided trip is especially suitable for people who have little time and still want to see several islands. On the way in the boat one is informed over loudspeakers in several languages (also German) about the islands and the lagoon. The islands are visited alone without a guide. The boat ticket is already included with the price of 20 Euro. For this price, the trip is a real bargain for the expensive Venice. The tour starts near St. Mark's Square and is easy to book on the Internet.

>>>>>>>    Mehr Infos und Buchung


A very famous classic in Venice are the gondolas. There are thousands of gondolas. For many vacationers in Venice a romantic gondola ride is the highlight of a Venice trip..

Book a gondola trip on the Internet

There is a German website where you can book a gondola ride in advance at home before your trip to Venice. The following links lead to some offers:

Classic gondola ride: You rent a gondola with driver. Departure is near St. Mark's Square, duration: about 30 minutes.  >>>>> More info and booking

Gondola tour at night: Similar to above, but in the evening. After 18 o'clock the gondola rides in Venice are a little more expensive.  >>>>> More info and booking

Savings package Venice: Gondola trip with other people, entrance without queues to the Doge's Palace and St. Mark's Cathedral and 2 hours city tour with guided tour in English: >>>> More info and booking

You can find our page about gondolas in Venice here

Our page about the only company in Venice that still produces gondolas can be found here.

Special-Purpose Vehicles

For example, there is the police, ambulance and fire brigade. The Venice police also make radar checks, there are exact speed limits for all ships in Venice. Also, one-way channels (such as one-way streets), alcohol at the wheel and much more are frequently controlled by the police.

Rescue ships, fire boats and police ships have, like the vehicles in other cities, blue lights and sirens. This gives them right of way and allows them to go faster.

Also the garbage collection comes with boats. There are even funeral boats instead of hearse.

Cargo Ships

You can see many smaller cargo ships that supply businesses and shops directly (see picture).

Almost everything is transported by ships. Examples are the goods for the many shops of Venice, the luggage of the tourists and the drinks and food for the restaurants.

Our tip: Buy Bus Tickets from the Airport to Venice in advance online

The public bus is the only really cheap way in Venice to get from the two airports to the centre of Venice and to Mestre. The modern buses often run in both directions.

For airport buses, we recommend the uncomplicated purchase of tickets in advance on the Internet. This avoids long searches for the right ticket counter, queues and language problems. On the 3 links below you will find both simple tickets and cheaper return tickets.

Tickets from the big airport Marco Polo to the center of Venice: Click here

Tickets from the big airport Marco Polo to the station Mestre: Click here

Those who arrive at the smaller airport Treviso can also buy the bus tickets in advance. These buses stop both in Mestre and downtown Venice: Click here

Private Boats

Like cars elsewhere, many locals have their own private boat. They use it to go shopping, to work or to visit friends. For this you usually need your own jetty (ship parking lot). But the majority of the inhabitants of Venice go on foot or take a public water bus.


Important: This article was translated by a non-native English speaking person. We apologize for mistakes.





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