A big part of what makes Venice such a famous attraction is its unique setting, connected by a network of canals and bridges. Every romantic dreams of floating down the Grand Canal on a gondola…but every practical traveler knows that before you can relax and enjoy your trip, you need to plan how to get there.
Venice’s Marco Polo airport is located not on any of the Venetian islands, but some six miles away on the mainland. This adds a slight layer of complexity to your airport transfer, since there will be a body of water between where you land and where you want to be: but not to worry, this is exactly why you’re planning ahead!
There is a Venice train station – it’s called Santa Lucia. However, to get there, you’d need to catch a bus from the airport to the Mestre train station, which is the last mainland train station on this line, and then make the ten-minute train journey across the lagoon to the islands. If you’re going to get a bus all the way to Mestre, you might as well stay on it as far as Venice: see below.
There is a road which runs from Marco Polo into Venice, and ends at a carpark at Piazzale Roma. Two kinds of buses can get you from one end of this road to the other: the public ACTV buses (basically standard city buses, except with more luggage room), and the privately-run ATVO coaches. Whichever you choose, the journey takes between twenty and thirty minutes each way and costs around eight euros. If you get to the airport at an hour when the buses are not running, you can call a cab from the airport: like a lot of airport taxi transfers, this can be mega expensive, so be warned.
Alternatively, it is technically possible to rent a car at the airport and drive it into the city. However, this is not a good idea. Once you leave your car at the parking lot at Piazzale Roma, you will have no further opportunities to drive it in Venice: there are no roads! You will be getting around on foot and by boat. If you need a car for the next stage of your trip around Italy, pick it up on the way out of Venice.
Water bus and water taxi
Getting to Venice by water bus is a slightly more expensive trip than catching a regular bus – 14 euros for a one-way trip, 25 euros for a return ticket – and a much longer trip, taking around an hour and a quarter to get into the centre of Venice. It’s certainly a hella Venetian way to travel, but remember this is public (if touristy) transit, so probably won’t be the most romantic experience.
Water taxis depart from the same pier as the water buses, and they’re more convenient as you’ll be dropped right where you’re staying rather than just at a water bus stop. However, they’re also much more expensive – and the costs can be hard to predict, as you can be charged based on the length of your journey, the amount of luggage you have, and so on.
To avoid the hidden costs of water taxi services and minimise the time spent waiting in line at the airport, choose an all-inclusive ground and canal transportation service like Blacklane. They’ll pick you up from the airport – without charging you for wait time – in a choice of vehicles, with a first class option for special occasions; then drive you to a waiting boat which will take you straight to your Venice destination. With online booking, free cancellation and drivers you can trust, this service offers the most convenient way to navigate your Venice airport transfer, with none of the uncertainty.