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How to Get Around Venice Using the Vaporetto

Traveling has always been one of my passions. It exposes us to new cultures and experiences and makes the world a more tolerant place.

Rialto Bridge and vaporetto on the Grand Canal

Rialto Bridge and vaporetto on the Grand Canal

Getting around in Venice is pretty much limited to two modes of transportation; you can either walk or ride the Vaporetto. Actually, you can also ride a gondola, but that's more of a "thing do to" than a mode of transportation.

The Vaporetto is basically a water bus that takes visitors to various destinations in and around Venice. They make stops just like a city bus would, and passengers can come and go at each stop depending on their destination. There are 22 different lines in the system that take passengers around the Venetian Lagoon. We won’t go over all of them but will look at the routes that traverse Venice and the popular neighboring islands of Murano, Burano, and Lido. If you are visiting Venice, these are the Vaporetto lines that you want to be familiar with.

Vaporetto - Water Bus

Vaporetto - Water Bus

Vaporetto Line 1 and 2

For most visitors to Venice, the only Vaporetto lines that you will probably need to ride are lines 1 and 2. Vaporetto lines 1 and 2 run up and down the Grand Canal between Piazzale Roma and San Marco. As most visitors to Venice will be arriving at either the train station (Ferrovia) or the bus station (Piazzale Roma) these lines are the ones that you will be taking.

The only difference between these two lines is the number of stops that they make. Line 1 takes about 45 minutes to go the length of the canal and stops at every station along the way. Line 1 also continues onto the island of Lido, which is famous as the beach island of Venice.

Line number 2 takes only about 25 minutes to traverse the Grand Canal and only makes a handful of stops at the most popular stations: Tronchetto, Piazzale Roma, Ferrovia, San Marcuola, Rialto Bridge, San Toma, Accademia Bridge, and San Marco. Line two also stops at Guidecca and only goes to Lido during the peak season.

Venice

While utilizing the Vaporetto may be required to get to your accommodations or to one of the outer islands, be sure to use it for a ride down the full length of the Grand Canal, preferably during off-peak hours. There is no better way to experience the true essence of Venice than by cruising the Grand Canal and the water bus is a much cheaper alternative than a gondola ride or a private boat. The one disadvantage to using the Vaporetto to tour the Grand Canal is that they are often very crowded so off-peak hours is recommended.

On the Grand Canal

On the Grand Canal

Vaporetto Line 3

The Vaporetto line number 3 is known as the direct Murano line. This service connects the Ferrovia (railroad station), Piazzale Roma (bus station) and five stops on the island of Murano. If you are looking for a quick trip out to Murano, line 3 might be your best bet as it avoids the crowded Grand Canal.

Vaporetto Line 4.1 and 4.2

Lines 4.1 and 4.2 make a circular route that goes around Venice and out to the island of Murano and San Michele (Cemetery Island). Line 4.1 runs in a clockwise direction while line 4.2 takes the same route but in a counterclockwise motion. On these routes, the Vaporetto leaves Murano and makes stops at San Michele, Fondamenta Nove, Ferrovia, Piazzale Roma, Guidecca, San Zaccaria, and Fondamenta Nove again before returning to Murano. To help you get your bearings the Fondamenta Nove station is located on the north shore of Venice while the Guidecca station is located on the south shore of Venice. The 4.1 and 4.2 lines do not go down the Grand Canal but rather travel around the island of Venice before heading out to Murano.

Traffic on the Grand Canal

Traffic on the Grand Canal

Vaporetto Line 12

If you are interested in visiting the islands of Murano, Burano, or Torcello then line number 12 is the way to go. Line 12 leaves from the Fondamenta Nova station located on the north side of Venice. It’s a short ten-minute ride to Murano and along the way, you will pass the cemetery island of San Michele. From Murano out to Burano is a longer ride and will take about 35 minutes. Burano is a beautiful island with a multitude of colorful homes and is worth the ride. Continuing on from Burano to Torcello is just a five-minute ride.

Burano

Burano

To get to the Fondamente Station you can either walk or you can get there via other Vaporetto lines (4.1, 4.2, 5.1, and 5.2). I would suggest a walk as this will give you a chance to see the Cannaregio district of Venice. This part of Venice is rather quiet and is home to the Jewish Ghetto and the Church of Santa Maria di Nazareth. A walk through some of the more quiet neighborhoods of Venice will give you a glimpse of a different side of Venice away from the crowds of Rialto and San Marco.

The Carnaregio District of Venice - The Quiet Side of Venice

The Carnaregio District of Venice - The Quiet Side of Venice

Vaporetto Line 14

If you are heading out to the island of Lido, the beach island, another option in addition to line number 1 is to take the number 14 Vaporetto, which leaves from the San Zaccaria station located just beyond the San Marco stop. Line number 14 makes a stop in Lido before heading out to Punta Sabbioni, which is home to the largest campground in the Venice area.

Grand Canal

Grand Canal

Vaporetto Fees

So what’s it going to cost you to get around Venice by Vaporetto? That will all depend on how often you plan on taking the water bus and how long you are staying in Venice.

For a single 75 minute ticket, which allows travel on most of the lines and includes one luggage bag the fee is 7.5 euros. The 75 minutes starts from the time you validate your ticket, which should be done as soon as you board. The ticket is good for travel in one direction and does not include the return trip. Although a round-trip ride is not technically allowed, if you can complete it within the 75 minutes you can go round-trip. You can also hop off and back on at any stops during the time period.

Before you start adding up the cost for all of your planned trips, which at 7.5 euros per trip can add up fast, there is a more economical way to use the Vaporetto system. Travel Cards are available, which allow for unlimited travel on most routes for those of you who think you will need to make multiple trips on the water bus. The Travel Cards are priced as follows:

Vaporetto Travel Cards

Travel CardCost

24 Hour

20 euro

48 Hour

30 euro

72 Hour

40 euro

7 Day

60 euro

The Travel Card options offer you the opportunity to save some money while making unlimited trips on the Vaporetto system without worrying about having to wait in line to purchase single trip tickets. Just be sure to validate your ticket on your first journey and make sure you carry your Travel Card with you as they do check for tickets. You do not want to get caught riding the Vaporetto without a valid ticket as you will incur a hefty fine.

Rialto Vaporetto Station with the Rialto Bridge.

Rialto Vaporetto Station with the Rialto Bridge.

Piazzale Roma Vaporetto Station

Piazzale Roma Vaporetto Station

Hopefully, this helps you find your way around Venice and gives you a clearer understanding of the Vaporetto system and which lines to use. When in doubt simply ask an attendant at any of the stations or look for the signs that show a map of the various lines and stops. Enjoy your visit to beautiful Venice.

Ciao for now.

Questions & Answers

Question: Is the Vaporetto boat bus a better choice than the Venice hop-on-hop-off boat?

Answer: I have never done the Venice hop-on-hop-off sightseeing boat, so I can't comment on that personally. I did go to their website, and the reviews seem mixed. Some visitors found it convenient while others thought it was overpriced and there were too few stops. To be honest, most of Venice is accessible on foot, and this is the best way to see it. But, I will say that there nothing like a boat ride down the Grand Canal so that is a must do.

The one-day travel card for the Vaporetto is 20 euro, which is the same as the 24-hour hop-on hop-off fare so no big difference in cost. With the Vaporetto you have maybe more flexibility with stops and also the option of going out to Murano, Burano, or Lido.

Question: What is the best bus and Vaporetto from the airport to hotel Locanda Al Leon, Castello 4270?

Answer: You can take the ATVO Express bus from the airport to Piazzale Roma for 8 euro. From Piazzale Roma, you take the Vaporetto, Line 1, to the San Zaccaria Terminal. Your hotel is a short walk from the terminal. You should get detailed walking directions from your hotel as it is easy to get lost in Venice.

Question: Do we have to print the Vaporetto day pass or can we use the soft copy on our phones?

Answer: When you purchase the pass online you should be able to simply print the ticket. They should also send a receipt that you can print for proof of purchase. If you have a soft copy on your phone they should also be able to read the barcode, similar to how people have their airline boarding pass available on their phones.

Question: Should I validate my ticket before or after boarding the boat?

Answer: You validate your ticket before you board the boat. The validation machines are usually located on the ramp or loading platform.

Question: How often does the Vaporetto run? And is it necessary to get a three day pass since walking is best?

Answer: It depends on which line as some run more frequently than others. Line 1 for instance, which is the most popular route, runs every 20 minutes during peak times. For me a 3-day pass is not really necessary as we walked everywhere. This really is the best way to see Venice.

Question: My elderly friend and I are going to Venice in September, we need to get from the airport to hotel Locanda Al Leon Costello 4270. What is the best way to get there and getting about in the 2 days we have?

Answer: Take the Express Bus from the airport to Piazzale Roma and then hop on the Vaporetto, Line 1, to the San Zaccaria stop. Your hotel is a short walk from the ferry stop. The best way to get around while in Venice is to walk.

Question: Is it possible to provide the timings of the water buses in Alilaguna?

Answer: This link will take you to the Alilaguna Water Bus schedule.

https://www.alilaguna.it/en/lines/line-timetables.

Most visitors will take the Orange Line as it goes down the Grand Canal. Here is the schedule for the Orange Line. Water Buses leave every 30 minutes.

https://www.alilaguna.it/en/lines/linea-arancio/or...

Question: Are Vaporetto boat bus available in all the months of the year?

Answer: Yes, the Vaporetto water boats run year round.

Question: How do you get to Venice from the airport?

Answer: You have a couple of options. You can take a taxi or the bus and both will deposit you at Piazzale Rome, which is the end of the line for land vehicles. From there the Vaporetto or walking are the only options for getting around in Venice. Another option is to take the Alilaguna water service, which departs directly from the airport to various stops around Venice.

Question: Which bus route is the most affordable to visit the main tourist area in Venice?

Answer: There are two bus services that go from Marco Polo Airport to Venice, ACTV and ATVO. Both offer a one way trip for 8 euro and a round-trip ticket for 15 euro. You did not indicate where you are visiting from so I assumed you are looking for the most affordable way to get to Venice from the airport?

© 2013 Bill De Giulio

Comments

Bill De Giulio (author) from Massachusetts on August 29, 2016:

Thank you Glenis. Always good to get confirmation on the things we write about especially when it comes to traveling. Thanks for stopping by, have a great week.

Glen Rix from UK on August 29, 2016:

I was in Venice in May and can confirm that the vaporetto is an easy and quick means of getting from place to place on the Grand Canal. The boats are very busy and often there is standing room only. Best to visit out of high season. Great pics :)

Bill De Giulio (author) from Massachusetts on November 03, 2014:

Hi Mona. No worries, the gondola are still very much there. The vaporetta is a wonderful transportation system in Venice , which makes it easy and comvenient to get pretty much anywhere around Venice. It's also a great way to see Venice by riding the vaporetta up and down the Grand Canal. Thanks for stopping by. Have a great week.

Mona Sabalones Gonzalez from Philippines on November 03, 2014:

I was only a little girl when I was in Venice, and we rode a gondola. When my sister recently mentioned a vaporretto, I had no idea what she was talking about. How interesting to know there's a whole "water bus system" now in Venice. My sister never quite explained that to me and I thought that gondolas were gone forever. Great article.

Bill De Giulio (author) from Massachusetts on October 19, 2014:

Hi Svetlana. Thank you and welcome to HubPages.

svetico on October 18, 2014:

Thank you for very useful and informative hub.

Bill De Giulio (author) from Massachusetts on February 26, 2014:

Hi titi6601. Thank you. Venice is a one of a kind place, beautiful and fascinating. Start planning your trip :)

Many thanks for stopping by and the vote.

titi6601 on February 26, 2014:

I have always wanted to visit Venice. Great informative article and I love the pictures. Voted Up!

Bill De Giulio (author) from Massachusetts on December 14, 2013:

Hi Mike. Great to see you. Thanks for stopping by and Happy Holiday's to you.

Micheal is from United Kingdom on December 14, 2013:

Great info Bill especially the day passes for the valperetto. Italy can be very expensive from what I hear. I found this hub via your youtube video on the grand canal.

I hope to visit Italy sometime soon. Your hubs have great advice. Thanks.

Bill De Giulio (author) from Massachusetts on October 15, 2013:

Hi Glimmer Twin. Thank you. There really is no other place quite like Venice. Go.... You won't regret it. Many thanks for stopping by and the share.

Claudia Mitchell on October 15, 2013:

I have always wanted to visit Venice and your photos and writing make me want to go even more. This is incredibly useful for anyone planning a trip! Thanks and shared around!

Bill De Giulio (author) from Massachusetts on September 24, 2013:

Hi Syed. Thanks for stopping by to visit Venice. It really is a beautiful place and hopefully you get to visit someday. Glad you enjoyed the Hub and many thanks for the vote, etc...

Bill De Giulio (author) from Massachusetts on September 24, 2013:

Hi rajan. It is a lot of fun to ride the vaporetto. Venice is just a fun place to visit, hopefully you get to experience it someday :) Thanks so much for the share, vote, etc...

Syed Hunbbel Meer from Karachi, Pakistan. on September 24, 2013:

This hub is full of useful information for anyone who is planning to visit Venice. Beautiful picture, too! It is indeed one of the most beautiful cities in the world. I would really love to visit it once in my lifetime. Voted up, useful and beautiful!

Rajan Singh Jolly from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA. on September 23, 2013:

Bill, what an interesting way to see Venice via the vaporettos. They sure an are enticing mode of transportation.

Lovely pictures as well. Voted up, useful and interesting. Shared as well.

Bill De Giulio (author) from Massachusetts on September 18, 2013:

Hi Linda. I hope you get there someday soon also. The pictures really do it no justice. Thanks so much for the great support. I always enjoy reading your comments and look forward to the day when I get to read your hubs on Italy :)

Linda Crampton from British Columbia, Canada on September 17, 2013:

This hub will be extremely useful for anyone who is planning a trip to Venice, Bill! As always, the photos are very enjoyable. I hope so much that I'll be able to visit Italy one day. Your wonderful collection of hubs about Italy would be a great guide on my trip.

Bill De Giulio (author) from Massachusetts on September 17, 2013:

Hi Mary. If you ever get the chance it is beautiful. It's so colorful and full of life. There really is no other place quite like it. Thanks so much for all the support, I really do appreciate this community and the way we support one another. Have a great week.

Mary Craig from New York on September 17, 2013:

Have I ever wanted to visit Venice? Well after I was in Vegas and visited the Venetian, but, having visited this hub and your wonderful explanations and marvelous pictures now I really would like to visit it. The colors along the canal are beautiful.

You make everything sound so simple with your great directions for getting around. Another great travel hub Bill!

Voted up, useful, awesome, beautiful, and interesting.

Bill De Giulio (author) from Massachusetts on September 16, 2013:

Hi Elias. Thank you, glad you enjoyed the ride on the vaporetto. Venice is a wonderful place, so unique and full of life. Have a great week.

Bill De Giulio (author) from Massachusetts on September 16, 2013:

Thank you Suzie. What can I say but thank you again and again. We've come a long way since early 2012. We've found our niches and keep plugging away. It's been a great ride so far and I certainly hope for it to continue. Thanks so much for all the support along the way. Have a great week.

Bill De Giulio (author) from Massachusetts on September 16, 2013:

Hi Chitrangada. Having been there yourself you know first hand how magical Venice can be. Thanks for stopping by and taking the time to comment.

Elias Zanetti from Athens, Greece on September 16, 2013:

Another great travel hub about Italy, Bill! Wonderful job as always!

Suzanne Ridgeway from Dublin, Ireland on September 16, 2013:

Hi Bill,

What a great addition to your Venice collection and so useful. As one who has Venice firmly on my radar when in Italy next, this run down on the invaluable vaporetto will be so useful, thank you! I can see us definitely using this and the travel card is the way to do it. I would want to go to the islands particularly Murano and Burano so knowing the right lines now is perfect.

Thanks again for another excellent hub, you really have made this niche your own and do it superbly! I am thrilled to see you grow too and your articles are such a pleasure to read, enjoy and learn from.

Votes up, useful, awesome, interesting, shared and pinned.

Chitrangada Sharan from New Delhi, India on September 16, 2013:

This again is a great hub on Italy travel!

I have seen Venice and have many-many pictures, much like yours, of this wonderful travel destination.

Thanks for sharing!

Bill De Giulio (author) from Massachusetts on September 15, 2013:

Hi Crystal. Thank you for coming along for a tour of Venice. Riding the vaporetto is actually a lot of fun. Thanks for the vote and share. Have a great week.

Bill De Giulio (author) from Massachusetts on September 15, 2013:

Hi Bill. Thanks. Our big State Fair just started also so we are planning a day there in the next week or so. We are heading into my favorite time of year here and the weather has been great lately. Glad you enjoyed Venice.

Hope you had a great weekend.

Crystal Tatum from Georgia on September 15, 2013:

Another great and very comprehensive hub. Voting up and sharing this one.

Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on September 15, 2013:

I just got back from seven hours at the state fair and now I'm taking a trip through Venice. I wasn't going to read any hubs today but no way was I missing one of yours. Thanks for the tour my friend. Looking forward to the book coming out. :)

blessings always

bill

Bill De Giulio (author) from Massachusetts on September 15, 2013:

Thank You FA. It's good to be back writing. I don't think you'll be disappointed with Italy, there is so much to love. Venice is just so unique and full of life, there really is no other place quite like it. Thanks so much for the vote, share, etc...

FlourishAnyway from USA on September 15, 2013:

This is a wonderful addition to your growing collection of Italy hubs, Bill. Thanks to you, Italy is now definitely on my list of "gotta go" places. Well written, lovely original photos, excellent tips. Voted up and sharing.