Getting Around Venice

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Most Viewed Transportation in Venice

  • travelgourmet's Profile Photo

    THE FREEWAYS OF VENICE ARE WATER

    by travelgourmet Updated Apr 27, 2008

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    Yes, one must travel via water, if you don't want to walk up and down bridges to get around in Venice. Walking is the most used mode of transportation, but not the most romantic. I'm not talking about the vaporettas that are the true bus of Venice but the odd shaped, much ignored gondola. In fact, if you stay at a four star rated or more hotel, it must have it's own gondola dock to be worthy of the four stars.

    The canals of Venice weave in and out of the magnificent buildings that make up the city and gliding under one of the hundreds of bridges is a better means of getting someplace than to walk up and down the bridges and through the crowded walkways (streets) to get to the other side of the city. To approach the Rialto Bridge via the Grand Canal on a gondola, is a highlight of a trip to Venice. As you arrive under the bridge you want to break out in song and many of the gondoliera do. Something to do with the shower effect (echo). You do let out a sigh of pleasure as you pass under the bridges, for it is very romantic to lay back on a pillow and gaze up at the colorful structures and enchanting bridges with the sound of water so close to your ears that it lulls you into a dreamscape, but no, you are awake and enjoying Venice and her charm. That is what makes it one of the most romantic places on earth.
    The only downside is the cost of taking a ride on a gondola. Too bad, because it is one of the most relaxing, romatic, fun, interesting things to do while in Venice, and I am sure more tourists would take one if the cost wasn't so high. If you can ride in a gondola, please do. It will be a highlight and one I trust that is filled with pleasant memories for the rest of your life.

    ROMANTICA
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  • rhizd's Profile Photo

    The cheapest way to/around Venice

    by rhizd Written Mar 23, 2008

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    If flying to Venice (there are plenty of budget airlines), you'll arrive via Marco Polo International Airport at Tessera. The cheapest way to go to the historic center (Piazzale Roma) is by bus. You can buy tickets (you can buy roundtrip if your schedule is fixed) from the airport (I think 4 euros one-way). It takes about 25 minutes to Piazzale Roma.

    From Piazzale Roma, the best way to go to around, they say is by the waters. But if you're on a tight budget and not on a honeymoon, the cheapest is go by foot. Unless you plan to visit nearby islands like Murano (famous for glass-blowing), the historic center of Venice can be explored by foot. As soon as you get off the bus, buy a map so that you won't miss the must-see sites. The most famous icons are Rialto, St. Mark's Basilica, Doge's Palace - which all inspired the famous The Venetian hotel in Las Vegas - but there are less known architectural sites scattered all over the place.

    for cheapest airfares, try www.skyscanner.net

    A gondola ride costs around 80 euros.

    Doge Palace gondolas for 80 euros rialto, the most famous bridge in venice
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  • Andi14's Profile Photo

    Three Day Youth Transport Pass (Ages 14-29)

    by Andi14 Written Jan 30, 2008

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    If you are aged 14-29, you are eligible to purchase the Rolling Venice Card (4 euro) from any TI. With this card, you get discounts at museums (including the Doge's Palace), churches, and some restaurants & hotels - but most importantly, Rolling Venice Card holders can purchase a 72-hour transport pass which is good on ALL vaporettos & ACTV buses for a discounted rate of 18 euros. So the Rolling Venice Card plus the 3-day transport pass will run you 22 euro, but when you figure that you can use the card to get to and from the airport (which usually costs 8 euro by bus & vaporetto each way), you only need to take a grand canal vaporetto one other time to pay for the cost of the card. This scheme saved us a LOT of money, and made seeing the outlying islands like San Giorgio Maggiore, Murano, & Burano easy.

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  • Zeldap99's Profile Photo

    strikes in Venice

    by Zeldap99 Updated Dec 28, 2007

    when I stayed outside of Venice, what my friend and I didn't know was that the bus drivers often will take a day or two and just strike. So no buses will run at all. We were unaware of this and had to take a cab back to Venice, which was rather expensive. So if you can get a heads up about when the strikes are taking place, you can plan your days a little bit better.
    other than that walking and buses are the best way to get around.

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  • assoifer's Profile Photo

    travel light and be patient

    by assoifer Written Aug 31, 2007

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    since the whole city is surrounded by water an all the hotels check-out time is at 11 AM. guess what happens?... thousands of tourists are out urging to get out of the city. so hell breakes loose. every body is trying to get around with luggage and kids crying and screeming. the vaporetti are in greater numbers but a boat is more delicate to manoeuver than a bus and I am not talking about the line-ups at stations.
    so plan your departure from venice if have a plane to catch or a business appointment somewhere in the city.

    for the fare: do like the locals everybody just hops-in, in a week the only time I saw somebody asking for tikets was always around that time. the worst could happend, buy one.

    or find out with hotel if they have service. taxi -boats are available but expensive.

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  • msbrandysue's Profile Photo

    Watch both ways before you cross the ... canal

    by msbrandysue Written Jul 29, 2007

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    If you decide to travel the canals with your own personal transportation make sure to obey the laws of the water. Just like driving there are right-of-ways, traffic lights, and more. Here is a shot I took of one of the traffic lights that is actually hanging over the water. It was just really neat to see.

    Traffic Light over Canal

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  • msbrandysue's Profile Photo

    Enjoy the scenary

    by msbrandysue Written Jul 5, 2007

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    There are many ways to get to Venice. I arrived in a nice tour bus from Rome. I know you can fly into Venice from your home. Some people start in Rome and take a train here.

    If you are driving in or taking a train from another part of Italy I would really urge you to keep your eyes open on the countryside/scenary! Some of the people decided to sleep on the trip and boy did they miss some neat villages and ancient towns. It was really breathtaking. I really wish I could have visited them all...

    One of the villages we passed Arriving at Venice!!
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  • Trekki's Profile Photo

    Different lagoon poles for different purpose

    by Trekki Updated Jun 22, 2007

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    The driving rules in the lagoon are pretty much the same as within the city limits, but I found that some drivers (mostly motor taxis) kind of set out a bit faster, once they have reached open waters. There is speed limit, however, but not everyone accepts this. The lagoon is laid out with water streets, to avoid chaos and also to keep the boat traffic (thus water stirring and increased oxygen level) a bit more in order. And also, of course, as the lagoon is shallow (otherwise it would not be a lagoon), the water streets are the ones where navigation is safe and where no one would risk to end up on a sand bank.
    The water “roads” are marked with poles, and if you look close, you’ll see that these poles are different in size and number. The poles margining the navigable water are small and grouped as 3, the briccole (one is a briccola); photo 4. In addition to the briccole, but in a more “disorganised” way, mede (one is meda), single poles of different size, also mark the course of navigable water (photo 5). In addition, briccole do also have a number, which stands for the "street". All these water ways are given in the navigation charts for the lagoon.
    Where two or more main water channels meet, it is recognisable by the dame (one is a dama), 4 poles, the one in the middle being bigger/higher (photo 1 and 2).
    In cases where bigger water streets cross, a whole bunch of poles is put together, as in photo 3. This one was taken at Venezia’s northeastern side.
    On these first two photos, also the international designations for positioning: port (red) and starboard (green).

    Venezia - lagoon - dama - port side - rot Venezia - lagoon - dama - starboard side - gr��n 2 big water streets merge or meet Venezia - lagoon - briccole marking the streets Venezia - lagoon - mede marking the streets
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  • Trekki's Profile Photo

    Canale driving rules – same as on streets

    by Trekki Updated Jun 22, 2007

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    Now as Venezia is built on water, I found it very much fascinating how this is “organised”, compared to the streets we are used to drive on. It is practically the same, they have the same or similar signs as we are used to. There are main canales which have right of way - of course Canal Grande and some other, bigger ones. The smaller canales are often senso unico, which means one-way-canal (photo 1); consequently, passage is forbidden from the other side (photo 3). As they are quite narrow, it is logical that oncoming traffic would make navigation difficult. Most of the small canales are also only navigable for the gondolas (photo 2).
    From what I did see, gondolas have the right of way in most of the cases, as even with their enormous navigation skills, it is still tricky to move them along. I have read another fun description of the canal navigation rules: priority to rift over leght (no, no typing error). It means that boats navigate on the right side of the canals, gondolas on the left, as their rudders are on the right side of the boat. And if boat and gondola cross their ways - well, then it is rift or leght, haha :-)
    This also means that motor driven boats are mostly not allowed in the small canales, except if they are service boats, such as garbage collection or police or ambulace. Most of the motor driven boats have old tyres mounted at the side so that they won’t scratch or damage the boats that are docked at the houses (photo 4). Another reason why motor traffic is not allowed in the smaller canales is of course to reduce the impact of too much stirred water, thus oxygen level of the water, thus negative impact on the houses’ fundament. Keep this in mind please when thinking about to take a motor taxi – most probably they won’t be allowed to bring you directly in front of your hotel.

    One way street - erm, canal Only for gondolas No trespassing - erm navigation :-) Old car tyres - to minimise damaging of other boat
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  • Trekki's Profile Photo

    Water streets are illuminated at night

    by Trekki Updated Jun 14, 2007

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    Of course, boats drive around the lagoon night and day, and so it is only logical that the waterways are illuminated in the night. On top of the briccole and mede (see previous one) lamps are mounted to make navigation easy. As this involves the vast laying of underwater electrical cables, bigger metal poles with spherelike tops are placed next to some of the briccole and mede with junction boxes. And to make sure that no one lets go anchor here, big signs warn to stay off these areas.

    Canal Grande, by the way, is not much illuminated in the night. Oops, not in the evening, as the lights from vaporetto stations, houses, restaurants and fondamentas gives enough light. I don’t know for the middle of the night though. But then the occasional “street” lamp will illuminate the water boulevard. No briccole, mede or any other of these poles are in the Canalazzo.

    Briccola and lamp to guide through the night Venezia's laguna - all prepared for the night :-) Briccola and lamp to guide through the night Junction boxes for the light :-) Briccola and junction box
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  • dooleygeo's Profile Photo

    Venice City Card

    by dooleygeo Updated May 20, 2007

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    We bought the three day Venice card. It gave us immediate access to all transportation around Venice and out to Murano, Burano and Torcello. We also had free access to public toilets, free admission into places in Venice. I recommend you check them out. They more than pay for themselves.

    Bridge of Sighs
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  • pugwashman's Profile Photo

    Take the scenic route to Venice

    by pugwashman Updated May 2, 2007

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    The nicest way to get to Venice from the airport is the Alilaguna Water Bus.
    You can buy your ticket on board, and it costs E10.00 one way.
    You can get off at a number of stops, and there are 2 different routes (Red & Blue) that vary slightly.
    Both go to the main stop at San Marco, but if you're staying somewhere less well known you'll need to check which bus to catch.
    The normal water bus takes about an hour to get round to San Marco, but the journey is a nice introduction to the Venice area.
    The terminal is about a ten minute walk from the airport.
    Be aware that there are also Water Taxis that go from the same terminal but cost a lot more money. If that's not a concern then you might want to go for that option as it is a bit quicker.
    Alternatively you can catch a normal bus with wheels, but that's not as romantic is it ?

    San Zaccaria water bus stop
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  • CptCrunch767's Profile Photo

    boats and gondolas

    by CptCrunch767 Written Mar 4, 2007

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    one of the best ways to see venice is by boat, and one of the best ways to get to venice is by boat so it works out very well in that regard. also id encourage everyone to take a gondola ride they are a great way to see some of the areas few get to see. like how the houses there are built where you can step off a boat onto the front porch and back in the smaller cannals you can find remarkable bridges that you would otherwise miss. its also one thing seeing the bridge when your on it but anouther to see it from a different perspecitve from the water. id also try to take a gondola ride about an hour or two before sunset as there will be fantastic cast shawdows and reflected light off the sides of buildings, pictures you take during this time will reflect more in the water, the boat traffic isnt as heavy and as we all know its the "golden hour" for photo taking.

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  • polo_polo's Profile Photo

    trip to venice

    by polo_polo Written Dec 22, 2006

    venice is a cool place.
    I really like it.Prices are bit high so be sure while you are shopping.
    the traditional boat riding is a great experience.(auch teuer)
    but charm of venice is too good well above cost.

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  • crazyman2's Profile Photo

    entering Venice by water

    by crazyman2 Written Sep 3, 2006

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    This is something I've done a couple of times. It is in my top-10 experiences in Europe.
    Try to enter Venice through the lagoon really early in the morning ---ideally in a sea mist although you'll need to be safe! It is a magical experience!

    The cruise ships tend to spoil the experience for their passengers (and anyone in earshot) by having someone narrating the passage on the P.A.

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