May 10, 2017

Venice Public Transportation: Vaporetti/Water Bus

Venice is an expensive European city to visit. Generally speaking, Europe is expensive. I am so fortunate to be able to utilize points for hotel stays near the St. Mark's Square/Grand Canal in Venice and sure looking forward to it!

Another thing that shows how expensive Venice is, is their Public Transportation. Around the Grand Canal, which is the area that I highly recommend any Venice visitors to stay around that area if possible for sightseeing and exploring Venice. The area is mostly operated through water way. They do have land buses too, but they also have the "Vaporetti" (a.k.a Water Bus). This is not the Venice's iconic Gondola. That one has separate special fare.

Vaporetti/Water Bus Fares
The Vaporetti/Water Bus is operated by the ACTV company. One single ride on the Vaporetti costs 7,50 Euro, which is around $8 USD. That is outrageous. If you will be using public transportation more often there, it may make sense to purchase the TIME tickets instead:
  • 20,00 Euro - 24 Hours/1 Day Ticket
  • 30,00 Euro - 48 Hours/2 Days Ticket 
  • 40,00 Euro - 72 Hours/3 Days Ticket
  • 60,00 Euro - 168 Hours/7 Days Ticket

The Venice Marco Polo Airport Bus Route #5 which operates on land, leaving to/from Piazzale Roma has different fare. It costs 8 Euro one-way and 15 Euro round-trips. It is worth noting that, paying extra 6 Euro, added to the time tickets (1, 2, 3, 7 Days) above, allows you to travel one-way to the airport or 12 Euro for round-trips via the airport bus route #5. 

There's a water shuttle option to/from the airport that is operated by a completely different company called Alilaguna Service. They have their own ticket fare which is more expensive than the ACTV's tickets. Their routes are also specific and pretty limited. For more information: Alilaguna Service Company

Public Transportation Tips
Fortunately, the Grand Canal or St. Mark's Square area is compact and therefore you should consider walking if you can. Otherwise, here are some tips:
  1. Forget about water taxi and private transfers. They are very expensive.
  2. Try to stay around the St. Mark's Square (Piazza San Marco) as possible. 
  3. Consider walking if you can. Venice is compact and thus easy to navigate. 
  4. If you must take the water bus to go somewhere further, for example: Burano island. Then consider purchasing the time tickets instead. Round trips will cost you 15 Euro, but a 24 hours ticket will cost you 5 more Euro and you will be able to take unlimited Water Buses for entire 24 hours. The 24 hours time start once your ticket is validated. 
  5. Talking of tickets validation, it's very important you validate the ticket prior to getting on board. The fine is pretty hefty if you don't or forget. 
  6. Determine how you get to/from the Airport or Train Station to Piazza San Marco. If it's not within walking distance, determine what type of ticket that benefits you the most. 
Here's my scenario for my trip. We'll be arriving in Venice via the Venezia Santa Lucia railway station and leaving Venice via Venice Marco Polo Airport. 
  • Day 1: Train station to hotel in San Marco - need 1 Water Bus ticket x 2 adults = 15 Euro.
  • Day 2: Walk
  • Day 3: Go to Burano Island and places that require Water Bus - need 1 Day/24 hours Water Bus ticket x 2 adults = 40 Euro.
    • If we want to add the airport bus route #5, we would pay extra 12 Euro for 2 adults to the 1 day ticket price for one-way from Piazzale Roma to the airport for Day 4. 
  • Day 4: We have two options:
    • Use the unexpired 1 day ticket to get to Piazzale Roma from our hotel, and from there take the land bus route #5 to the airport. OR
    • We go with the water option with the Alilaguna Service as they have the stop right by our hotel straight to the airport; however, the cost is 15 Euro per person. 

As you can see, it can be really expensive to use public transportations in Venice. The gist of it is, if you can walk then walk. If you cannot walk, be strategic about what type of Vaporetti/Water Bus ticket that benefits you the most and makes the most sense for money savings.

Fore more information on ACTV Vaporetti/Water Bus Ticket Fares.
For more information on Alilaguna Service Company

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