How to Get From Marco Polo Airport to Venice
If you are planning to fly into Venice you may be wondering how most visitors get themselves out to Venice from the airport. We've made this journey twice in the last few years so I thought it was high time I got around to sharing this information with everyone.
For starters you need to know that the main international airport servicing Venice is the Macro Polo Airport (VCE) and it is located on the mainland about 13 km from Venice. While this may seem obvious to those who have visited Venice in the past, it may not be readily apparent to a new visitor or casual traveler making their first visit to Venice. You also may not be aware that there are numerous options available for getting to Venice, either by land or by boat, and the cost can vary greatly depending on which method of transportation you select. With just a little preparation and knowledge you can avoid a frustrating start to your vacation and ensure that you do not over pay for this relatively short trip.
There are two bus options that will get you to Venice; the ATVO buses, which are a private company, and the ACTV buses, which are the public transportation buses.
ATVO express buses depart from Marco Polo Airport every thirty minutes and provide express non-stop service to Piazzale Roma. Tickets cost 8 euro and can be purchased upon arrival in the airport at the automatic ticket machines in the arrivals baggage area or at the ATVO ticket office located in the arrivals hall. The ticket machines in the baggage area do not always work so I would suggest going directly to the ticket office. There are also automatic ticket machines located outside of the terminal in the ATVO departure area where you will pick up the bus. If you are worried about purchasing a ticket at the airport you can always make the transaction on-line ahead of time. Keep in mind that the ATVO buses do not have underneath luggage compartments so all of your luggage will have to be brought onto the bus with you.
ATVO Bus schedule and fare information
ACTV buses also run between Marco Polo and Piazzale Roma and cost 8 euro one-way, and 15 euro for a round trip ticket. The buses run every fifteen minutes so this is a very convenient option. The bus line that runs from Marco Polo to Piazzale Roma is bus line #5 and the one-way trip will take approximately 25 minutes. The ACTV buses have luggage compartments underneath which is convenient if you are arriving with multiple bags. Tickets can be purchased at the automatic self-service machines located in both the airport and at Piazzale Roma.
ACTV schedule and fare information
Alilaguna is the name of the company that operates the water buses that run between Marco Polo and Venice. This looks to be a neat alternative but keep in mind that the trip will run about an hour and fifteen minutes which is longer than the land bus. But, if you have time before checking in this can be a fun and relaxing option. A one-way ticket will cost you 15 euro or a round trip ticket goes for 27 euro.
The Alilaguna water buses are easy to spot as they have bright yellow bottoms. The Alilaguna fleet now totals 34 boats and they are fairly large and can accommodate many travelers with luggage. There are three lines that go into Venice from the airport; the Red, Blue and Orange lines and they each make different stops so ask before buying your ticket. The Red Line only makes stops at Murano and Lido Islands so most likely you will want either the Blue Line or the Orange Line that make multiple stops in Venice. If your accommodations happen to be close to one of the stops for the water bus then this might be a great option, as it will save you some travel time in getting from Piazzale Roma where the land buses deposit you.
Tickets can be purchased in the arrivals area of the airport and the boats are about a ten-minute walk once outside of the airport. If you have a lot of luggage allow extra time to get to the dock. The water buses leave every hour so they are a little more infrequent than the land bus but still a viable option for a reasonable price.
- Alilaguna, public service from Marco Polo airport to Venice
Buy online tickets for public transfer from Marco Polo Airport to everywhere in Venice.
The Water Taxi sounds like it would be a great option but it is by far the most expensive method of getting to Venice from the airport. A typical water taxi can run anywhere from 100 to 150 euro depending on exactly where you are going in Venice and the amount of luggage you have. If you have a large group this might be worth considering as you can split the fare. As with any taxi on land in Italy always negotiate a price before getting into the boat to avoid any surprises.
You can inquire about a water taxi at the taxi desk in the airport arrivals area and the water taxi pick-up is at the same pier as the water bus so make sure you don’t get them confused. One of the biggest advantages of the water taxi is that they will take you to the closest spot possible to your accommodations so if you have a lot of luggage this can be a benefit.
You can take a train out to Venice but this is not a recommended option for visitors arriving at Marco Polo as you would have to take a bus from the airport to the Mestre Train Station first. From here you can catch the train across the lagoon but the idea of getting on and off a bus only to get on and off a train does not sound appealing. But, should you decide on this option the bus trip from Marco Polo to the Mestre train station is just 3 euro. From here it’s just a euro for the short train ride into Santa Lucia Train Station (Venice).
A regular taxi can get you from the airport to Piazzale Roma in about fifteen minutes and will cost about 50 euro including fees for luggage. If you don’t mind dealing with one of Italy’s finest cabbies then this may be a viable option. With a taxi you won’t be making any extra stops so this might well be the quickest option.
With all of these options, other than the water taxi and water bus, you will be deposited at Piazzale Roma or the Santa Lucia Train Station. In either case, depending on where your accommodations are located you can either walk or take the Vaporetto which are the large bus like boats that patrol up and down the Grand Canal. The cost for a 75-minute ticket on the Vaporetto cost 7.5 euro but if you are going to be in Venice for a few days you may want to consider a multiple hour/day tourist card that provides unlimited use of the water bus.
The Vaporetto service is provided by ACTV, which also provides land bus service and a combined ticket can be purchased which gets you to and from the airport and gets you unlimited use of the water bus while in Venice.
All of these options apply for the reverse route in getting from Venice back to the airport. Just be sure to leave plenty of time for the transfer. Have a great visit to Venice.
Ciao for now.
Marco Polo Airport Map
Questions & Answers
20 Euro for a taxi from Marco Polo Airport to Venice seems cheap for a family of 4, but you don't sound like you recommend it. Do you have any negative experience with them? Do they charge you randomly?
That number is old and might be a typo, but definitely needs to be updated. My apologies. The current fare with luggage will run closer to 50 euro. We did have a bad experience once with a taxi on this route where he got pulled over for speeding. The 15 to 20 minute ride wound up taking close to an hour.Helpful 7
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We are going to the Best Western hotel Sant’ Elena. What is the best and cheapest option for travel?
The cheapest option depends on how many people in your group. From the airport, you can take a bus (ACTV or ATVO) or a taxi to Piazzale Roma, and from there hop on the Vaporetto (Waterbus) to the Sant’Elena stop. Look for lines 5.1 or 6. The cost for the land bus is 8 euro. If you are a group sharing expenses, perhaps a taxi would work, but expect about 30 euro from airport to Piazzale Roma. From here, the Water Bus will cost you 7.5 euro. Or you can buy a combo ticket for both land and water bus for 14 euro. This would most likely be your cheapest option.Helpful 1
We arrive in Venice at 11:30am on a Saturday. There will be two of us with four bags. We need to get to the Hotel al Ponte dei Sospiri. What is the best way to get there?
From the airport you have a few options. You can take a bus or taxi to Piazzale Roma and then take the Vaporetto, Line 1or 2, and get off at the San Marco stop. Your hotel is a short 10 minute walk from the Vaporetto terminal. Another option is to take the Alilaguna water bus directly from the airport to the San Marco stop. You will want the Orange Line. You can also take a private water taxi directly from the airport. They will get you as close as possible to your hotel, which makes this the most direct and quickest choice. This option is clearly the most expensive and will run you at least 100 euro.
One word of caution with regard to luggage. Venice is not luggage friendly and getting four bags around in Venice can prove challenging. The best option for getting from the airport into Venice depends on how much you are willing to spend and how quick and easy you want the trip to be. The easiest and quickest option is also the most expensive. The bus/taxi option followed by the Vaporetto requires a transfer from vehicle to boat, and then walking to your hotel. The Alilaguna option is just one boat trip followed by walking. If money is not an issue then the private water taxi would be my choice. If the weather is nice then the Alilaguna option would provide a nice ride through the lagoon out to Venice.
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© 2012 Bill De Giulio