How to get from Marco Polo Airport to Venice

Venice | Source

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.

On the Grand Canal of Venice
On the Grand Canal of Venice | Source

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 6 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 | Source


ACTV buses also run between Marco Polo and Piazzale Roma and cost 6 euro one-way and 11 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 Bus | Source

Water Bus

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 Water Bus
Alilaguna Water Bus | Source
Water Taxi
Water Taxi | Source

Water Taxi

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.

All kinds of boats patrol the Grand Canal
All kinds of boats patrol the Grand Canal | Source


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).

Santa Lucia Train Station
Santa Lucia Train Station | Source


A regular taxi can get you from the airport to Piazzale Roma in about fifteen minutes and will cost about 15 euro plus 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.

The Vaporetto
The Vaporetto | Source

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 60-minute ticket on the Vaporetto cost 7 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
Marco Polo Airport map | Source
show route and directions
A markerMarco Polo Airport -
Marco Polo Airport (VCE), 30173 Venice, Italy
[get directions]

B markerVenice -
Venice, Italy
[get directions]

© 2012 Bill De Giulio

More by this Author

  • 10 Really Good Reasons to Visit Italy

    Thinking about taking that trip of a lifetime to Italy? Well it's time to stop thinking and start planning. If you're looking for a reason to go, read on for my ten really good reasons to visit Italy.

  • A Day Trip Through the Dolomites from Venice, Italy

    Everything you need to know to make a day trip from Venice to the Dolomites. Don't miss an opportunity to experience some of the most dramatic mountain scenery in the world and it's all just a short drive from...

  • Top 10 Things to Do in Sorrento, Italy

    Welcome to Sorrento. This beautiful seaside community makes a great base for visiting the Amalfi Coast, Capri, and of course Pompeii. It also has so much to offer in its own right.

Comments 18 comments

bdegiulio profile image

bdegiulio 22 months ago from Massachusetts Author

That's great advice Alun. I am very surprised that an airport like Marco Polo that handles flights from all over the world and millions of visitors every year does not have a better way of dealing with very late arriving flights. You would think that the airport could arrange for a few buses to at least get people out to Venice when something like this happens.

Greensleeves Hubs profile image

Greensleeves Hubs 22 months ago from Essex, UK

Bill, a cautionary note for tourists arriving at Marco Polo Airport, which follows on from my comment and your reply. On my recent visit to Venice, I was scheduled to arrive in the evening (about 8.00 pm). However severe thunderstorms led to a temporary detour to Bologna Airport, and a further very long delay in the luggage being unloaded when we eventually arrived at Marco Polo Airport, meant that it was after midnight before we cleared customs and security controls. By this time, there were literally no boats going to the city, or anywhere else in the Venice lagoon.

Now I was to be based on the nearby island of Murano, and there was no way to get to that island at that time of night. Many fellow travellers who were to be based in Venice, just didn't fancy the prospect of trekking across an unknown city in the small hours of the morning with a suitcase. So a lot of us ended up spending an uncomfortable night at Marco Polo Airport. And I'm sure for some who were due to spend only half a day in Venice before joining a cruise, their time in the city was ruined by this experience.

Therefore, as flight delays of one kind or another are quite common, I would not again book to arrive at Marco Polo late evening, (and certainly not if staying on another island) just in case delays led to a problem of this kind again. (I could add that an airport which caters for huge numbers of tourists offered no explanation for the luggage unloading delay, and few services were available for those who had to stay at the airport overnight). My recommendation - as you indicate in your reply to my previous comment - is not to book to arrive in Venice too late in the day. Best wishes, Alun

bdegiulio profile image

bdegiulio 22 months ago from Massachusetts Author

Hi Alun. On every trip we've made overseas a subject of debate amongst our travel group is once we get to the airport then what? We always wind up having a conversation about how best to get from the airport to where we need to go. It really does help to know the options and as you know Venice prevents some unique challenges. You bring up a good point and one that I did not consider. What happens when you arrive very late such as yourself. When we travel to Europe from the US we always fly overnight and arrive early, usually before noon. We are always tired but transportation is never a problem at this time.

Greensleeves Hubs profile image

Greensleeves Hubs 22 months ago from Essex, UK

Bill, I hadn't seen this article before, but it is a very useful guide to 'how to get to Venice'. It may not be something that many people think about in advance, but of course in an island city without cars, getting to one's hotel in Venice can be a big problem. Researching exactly where the hotel is in the city, is an important factor, but knowing how to get to the island, and then to the hotel, can prevent a lot of time wasting, frustration or unnecessary expense. This hub will surely help many to find the best mode of transport to use. (I will add a link to this in my first hub about Venice.)

A further comment follows, about a particular problem some may encounter depending on when they arrive at Marco Polo, and where they are going to.

bdegiulio profile image

bdegiulio 2 years ago from Massachusetts Author

Hi Kelly. Thank you for stopping by. Go, just go. Once you've been you'll become addicted. There is so much to see and do.

GmaGoldie profile image

GmaGoldie 2 years ago from Madison, Wisconsin

Italy is a dream for me. Oh, how wonderful! And thank you for offering the many alternatives.

bdegiulio profile image

bdegiulio 4 years ago from Massachusetts Author

Thank you Minneapolis airport. Glad you enjoyed it. Have a great day.

Minneapolis airport 4 years ago

I am very amazed by the information of this blog and i am glad i had a look over the blog. thank you so much for sharing such great information.

bdegiulio profile image

bdegiulio 4 years ago from Massachusetts Author

I'll drink to that, cheers!

carter06 profile image

carter06 4 years ago from Cronulla NSW

I think the word I'm looking for to describe how I felt about Venice is...'entranced'... let's drink to that experience shall we...cheers

bdegiulio profile image

bdegiulio 4 years ago from Massachusetts Author

Hi Carter. Any method of getting to and seeing Venice is a good thing. Hopefully you enjoyed Venice, it's another one of those amazing Italian gems. Thanks for stopping by and commenting, always appreciated. Have a great day.

carter06 profile image

carter06 4 years ago from Cronulla NSW

Hi my friend, just want to say we went with a tour to Venice but...this info is so clear and well written and gets my votes for being awesome and so useful!!!

bdegiulio profile image

bdegiulio 4 years ago from Massachusetts Author

Thanks Sandra. Same here. We went a few years ago and could have used some of this info but alas we made it also. We are going again in Septemebr so I figured we'd try to be a little better prepared. Thaks for reading and commenting.

sandrabusby profile image

sandrabusby 4 years ago from Tuscaloosa, Alabama, USA

Good explanation. I wish I had known all this several years ago. But I made it, somehow.

bdegiulio profile image

bdegiulio 4 years ago from Massachusetts Author

Thank you Robie. Very much appreciate you reading and commenting. I think the ACTV bus with maybe the multiple day travel card for the Vaporetto will be the way we go. Thanks again and have a great day.

Robie Benve profile image

Robie Benve 4 years ago from Ohio

Very detailed and accurate information, bdegiulio - the ACTV buses have been my second home throughout out high school and University. :) I love your beautiful pictures, great job!

bdegiulio profile image

bdegiulio 4 years ago from Massachusetts Author

Hi Lenzy. Thank you for the nice comments and reading. This one was of particular interest to me seeing as we are flying into Venice in September. You are correct in that this is the kind of stuff that just wastes time and money. It's always good to be prepared especially when traveling overseas to a foreign country. Thanks again and have a great day.

Lenzy profile image

Lenzy 4 years ago from Arlington, Texas

Very specific information, which will be great for the person wanting to get to Venice. Most people don't bother to get this type of very helpful information ahead of time and just have to Punt at the airport. This causes loss of time and money. I know if I ever go to Italy I will be looking up your Hubs. Lenzy

    Sign in or sign up and post using a HubPages Network account.

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No HTML is allowed in comments, but URLs will be hyperlinked. Comments are not for promoting your articles or other sites.

    Click to Rate This Article