7 Travel Tips for a Relaxing Trip to Venice

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Transport in Venice

You can get around Venice on foot, which may be quite challenging and you will not see everything, or by water, using the vaporetto (water bus) system.

A vaporetto (a canal boat) is an integral part of Venice‘s public transport. It runs almost all the time and it will get you almost anywhere. 🙂

There are in total about 20 different lines operated by the ACTV company (each line has its own route, colour and number) and 4 Alilaguna lines.

The cheapest way of using the ACTV water bus service is combining it with a public transport pass called Venezia Unica Card, which is a card of unlimited possibilities for tourists. 🙂

With this card, you can buy discounted multi-day vaporetto tickets or, for example, discounted admission tickets to museums, churches, etc.

In addition to the vaporetto, you can also get around in Venice by gondola or water taxi. A classic 30-minute gondola ride for two will cost you €80. This applies during the day. In the evening, the price is around €100. Gondola stations can be found on every corner.

But I have a few (not-very-well-known) tips on how to pay a much lower price for a gondola ride.

A water taxi is simply a regular taxi, except it goes on water. Water taxis have their fixed stations or you can call them by phone. However, basic prices are about €100. For example, a ride from the centre to the airport will cost you around €180.

Vaporetto
Gondola
Water taxi

A map of vaporetto lines can be found at every vaporetto stop. However, it is best to print it and carry it with you all the time. This map as well as complete timetables for vaporetto, bus, tram and train lines (for easy connection between Venice and the mainland) can be found
in A Guide to Venice” >>

A map of vapretto lines at vaporetto stop

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Historical Buildings and Monuments

If you are planning your trip to Venice, check out the most interesting historical buildings and monuments in Venice that are worth visiting. However, you do not have to spend all your time in Venice; the surrounding islands are also worth visiting and charming in their own way.

Check out the photo gallery below. Each photo has a description underneath it.

There are many other interesting places in Venice that are unknown to most tourists.
Why? Because you can visit them free of charge, so there is not much talk about them. 🙂

I have been visiting Venice regularly for several years and discovered plenty of such places.
For example, places that offer the most beautiful views of Venice, places where you can experience tranquillity and unforgettable atmosphere or off-the-beaten-track squares where you will meet only a few locals and a few lost tourists. 🙂

You can learn about such places in my Guide to Venice >>

PS: Instead of “obligatory” sightseeing, you can just try to wander through the streets of Venice. You will see that in a cosy remote osteria, with a glass of wine and surrounded by locals, you will soak up much more of the true Venetian atmosphere than you ever could in all the basilicas of Venice. 🙂

 

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Prices in Venice

Refreshments and snacks

Glass of wine / Prosecco: €1.50-3
Cup of coffee: €1-5
Water (0.5 l): €0.50-2
Pizza: €6-12
“Menu-turistico” meals: €10-20

Of course, the prices can (and will:)) vary in different parts of Venice.

Transport

Bus from Mestre to Piazzale Roma: €1.5 / 75 min
Bus from Marco Polo Airport to Piazzale Roma: €8
Bus from Treviso Airport to Piazzale Roma: €12
Vaporetto: €7.50 / 75 min
Vaporetto with Venezia Unica Card: €20 / 24 h; €30 / 48 h; €40 / 72 h
Gondola: €80 / 30 min

If you are interested in complete timetables, how to create your Venezia Unica Card (a public transport pass) or how to save €190 during a three-day stay in Venice (without limiting yourself), you can find all this information here >>

Historical monuments on St Mark’s Square

Doge´s Palace: € 20

Doge's Palace and Campanile di San Marco

St Mark´s Clocktower: € 12

St Mark´s Campanile: € 8

Piazza San Marco

St Mark´s Basilica: free

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Can I have a swim in the sea in Venice?

If you are visiting Venice in summer, it is good to know where you can go for a swim after a hot day spent in the streets of Venice. Swimming is forbidden in Venice (and the surrounding sea) and the fine for ignoring the ban can reach up to €500.

Therefore, the only place suitable for swimming is the beach on the island of Lido (the longest and narrowest island lying below Venice). It takes a few minutes by vaporetto to reach the Lido from Venice. There are two types of beaches – a private one and a public one.

Admission to the private beach is not free of charge, but you can use all the services it offers: toilets, showers, refreshments, changing rooms and umbrellas. In addition, the beach is cleaner and better maintained than the public one. The public beach is free of charge. All the beaches offer easy/gradual access to the sea.

Lido island

Private beach - Lido island

Public beach- Lido island

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Restaurants, Osterie, Cafés

Anyone who has ever been to Italy knows how delicious genuine Italian cuisine is. Unfortunately (as everywhere in the world), the closer to tourist areas you go, the more the quality of food decreases, while the price increases. Given that Venice is actually one big historical centre, it is even more difficult.

Anyway, there are several restaurants and cafés where you can enjoy your meal/snack at a great price.

I share my tips on such restaurants, osterie (small snack and wine bars) and cafés in my Guide to Venice >>

Unfortunately, it is very easy to end up with a “menu turistico” in Venice. It is very expensive and you will most likely not enjoy your meal.

Avoid restaurants that have big menu boards advertising food and where barkers stand outside, almost tugging your sleeve. Unfortunately, this applies to most restaurants along the Grand Canal.

 

Restaurants along the Grand Canal

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How to get to Venice?

By plane

There are many options how to get to Venice, but the most common, comfortable and quickest way is by air.

Besides, it is often the cheapest way thanks to frequent special offers from low-cost airlines.

Below is a list of low-cost airlines that fly to Venice:

  • EasyJet
  • Flybe
  • HOP!
  • Jet2.com
  • Monarch
  • Norwegian
  • Transavia
  • Volotea
  • Vueling
  • Wizz Air

Venice has two international airports – the closer Marco Polo Airport and Treviso Airport, which is further away from Venice.

EasyJet and Wizz Air fly to Treviso Airport; all other airlines fly to Marco Polo Airport.

By train

Venice has two train stations. The Venezia Santa Lucia train station is situated right in Venice and the Venezia Mestre train station is located in Mestre (the nearest town on the mainland).

By bus

There are also two bus stations in Venice – Mestre and Tronchetto.

By car

When travelling to Venice by car, you must not forget that in addition to expenses spent on fuel and toll stickers, you will also spend money on parking.

It is up to you whether you decided for the more expensive parking option (directly in Venice) or for the cheaper option of parking in Mestre.

You have altogether three options:

  1. directly in Venice
  2. in Mestre
  3. at your hotel
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Where can I park my car in Venice?

If you are travelling to Venice by car, it is good to find a car park prior to your arrival (you may also book the car park in advance, especially if you are travelling to Venice in summer). Just like with accommodation, there are several options to park your car in Venice.

Parking in Venice

The car park situated directly in Piazzale Roma is the most expensive one, but, on the other hand, it is the closest one to Venice. This is the closest point you can reach by car. 🙂 You can park your car in two garage car parks (Piazzale Roma Car Park and Garage San Marco). Parking costs start at €24 per 24 hours.

Tronchetto

Tronchetto is a large car park situated on an island of the same name just outside Venice. You will pay €21 per 24 hours.

To get to Venice, you can either get on a vaporetto which will take you to St Mark‘s Square or you can use the „people mover“, a cable-operated tram system which will take you to Piazzale Roma.

Parking in Mestre

Other options include car parks in the town of Mestre. Parking costs start at €4 per 24 hours and there are plenty of car parks around Mestre. You can reach Venice by public transport (bus, tram or train) for €1.50. It takes about 5 to 10 minutes, depending on a particular car park.

You can read more information about parking in Venice in my Guide to Venice. The guidebook will provide you with the following information:

  • Where and how to book a parking space via the Internet
  • A list of all car parks in Venice and Mestre, including the parking costs
  • Maps of car parks, including GPS coordinates
  • The fastest connection between a particular car park and Venice (including timetables)

Parking at the hotel

If you are staying in Venice only for a few days, I recommend the last (and most economically advantageous) option – to stay in a hotel in Mestre where you can park your car free of charge and reach Venice by public transport.

More tips to make your trip to Venice easier can be found on the next page, e.g.:

  • How to get from the airport to a hotel and the centre of Venice the fastest and cheapest way
  • How to create your public transport pass (Venezia Unica Card) from the comfort of your home
  • Places that offer the most beautiful views of Venice and places locals visit to relax
  • Where you can eat the best pizza in Venice (at a great price)
  • Tips on how to save €190 during a three-day stay in Venice (without limiting yourself)

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Lucie Strnadova

 Author of the unique Guide to Venice >>

"I have always loved travelling. A 'comfortable' sort of travelling. 🙂 Lately, I have enjoyed travelling in Europe and if I should name a city where I spend most of my time (except for Prague where I live :), it is Venice. I have fallen in love with this city. I visit Venice regularly and always look for new interesting places, restaurants, cafés, osterie and various cultural and gastronomic events."
Click here to learn more about me >>