The best way to get around Venice
Powered by your own muscles is the best way to tour Venice effectively. This is the best way to get to know the most interesting corners of the Old Town and is a unique opportunity to reach places that are inaccessible by water transport using your own, uncharted route. Walking is essential here as cycling is forbidden in Venice, however it is worth remembering that time is money, so you should therefore combine hiking with water transport. Venice can be visited by water taxi, gondola and the popular water bus, known as the Vaporetto.
While the first option is more atmospheric, and the second is extremely comfortable, the third is definitely the most gentle on the average tourist’s wallet. It is worth paying respect to the professional gondolier by taking a solitary ride on a gondola – after all, it is the symbol of the city. However, if you plan to devote more time to Venice, the most sensible means of transport is the Vaporetto. The water buses are managed by the municipal company ACTV and are used by most people – from restaurant and hotel employees, through to officials and uniformed people. This is another reason why it is worth choosing this means of transport – it gives you a behind-the-scenes glimpse of a typical Venetian working day.
Book attraction tickets before you go!
The water bus serves as a metro in Venice and it is cheap and extremely fast. The Vaporetto is a boat approximately twenty metres long with a roofed section and outdoor seating. Line one is the most frequently used, with the water bus running from Piazzale Roma, via Rialto, to San Marco, before ending at Lido. Tourists tend to choose this route – especially at night, when the Venetian old town is illuminated and looks most beautiful from the water. You can use the dedicated AVM Venezia official app, although it is not rated best in terms of the quality of operation by users.
There is no other place in the world like Venice. Over the last 1,100 years, the city has been ruled by 120 rulers, with its wealth and exceptional status made possible thanks to the conscientiously conducted foreign policy, diplomacy and large-scale maritime trade. Venice is the second-most visited city in Italy after Rome. The uniqueness of this place is evidenced by the fact that, due to the inability to use cars, everything is done by water – even courier parcel deliveries. The most intriguing thing is the durability of the buildings that date back hundreds of years and whose builders used stone and larch to create what was then a large city.
Don’t be tempted to rush through a visit to Venice in a day. Slow travel is the key to understanding and fully appreciating the city’s surrounding cultural heritage. Venice’s unique urban complex consists of numerous monuments, canals and bridges, with the Venetian Lagoon named on the UNESCO World Heritage List. There are six districts for the tourist to explore, four of which are located on the mainland and two on the outlying islands. The city’s flagship attraction is, of course, St. Mark’s Square, which is bustling with visitors at practically any time of the year. Similarly, the 400-year-old Bridge of Sighs and the 4km-long Grand Canal are equally popular with tourists. Calleta Varisco awaits hunters of unusual places – as the narrowest street in the world, it is just 53 centimetres wide!
How much is the Vaporetto in Venice?
Venice charges different prices to local residents and tourists for its water bus service. Visiting adventurers should opt for the multi-day ticket. The cheapest 75-minute ticket costs €9.5, but this is barely time to visit one of the Venetian Lagoon’s famous islands. A much better solution is to buy a day ticket for €25, or a weekly ticket that allows access to all of the routes for €65, which is less than a half-hour gondola ride for six people. Children under six will travel by water bus for free and the ticket price includes a piece of luggage with a total of three sides not exceeding 150 cm. All this makes the Vaporetto by far the most popular form of transport in Venice. For comparison, the prices of the city’s water taxis are many times higher and a standard lagoon cruise is at least a few hundred euros in cash for the driver.
Where to buy Vaporetto tickets?
There are three ways to buy tickets for the Vaporetto. The first is at dedicated cash desks located in front of the entrance to each station platform. The second is the AVM Venezia mobile app, which is available in the App Store or Google Play. You can also add your purchased Vaporetto tickets to T the Venezia Unica City pass.
Which water bus takes you into Venice?
Venice has a total of almost thirty Vaporetto lines, the majority of which are day lines, with three overnight lines and another three that run to the airport from different parts of the city. Water buses run every day from 5:00 to 24:00, and night lines usually run from 23:30 to 5:00. If you have more budget for your transport, you can also take a water taxi at night, as this is the fastest way to navigate the water network.
Set sail to Burano and Murano
Both islands are situated in the Venetian Lagoon and are almost 10 kilometres away from Venice. They captivate visitors with their colours, well-preserved architecture, fancy lace and legendary glass products. Gondoliers tend not to take bookings for this distance so the Vaporetto is your best bet. To get to Murano, start your journey from Roman Square, from where there are two lines to the island. The fastest way to Burano is from Fondamente Nove transfer station. Travelling this route, you have a unique opportunity to admire Venice’s greatest attractions from a slightly different perspective, giving you a better idea of the city’s historical and architectural masterpieces. The Vaporetto is also be useful when visiting the islands of Lido and Giudecca, or for a quick return to your hotel from virtually anywhere in the Old Town or wider Venetian Lagoon.