Venice Airport to Venice City, all the ways compared: don’t waste money!

How to get from “Marco Polo” Venice Airport to Venice city and back? This will be today’s topic: I’m living not far from the city, so here I compare all the possible ways to reach the city of Venice from the airport Marco Polo (VCE), to let you choose which better suits your needs and, most of all, how to not get robbed by expensive transportation costs!

There are basically 4 ways to move between Marco Polo Venice Airport and Venice city center:

  • the bus,
  • water transportations (boats): vaporetto or watertaxi (respectively public transportation and private boats),
  • the classic taxi,
  • shuttles or private transfers by road, by boat, or combining both.

In this guide we’ll see prices, pros and cons of each method. Important note: we are talking about transportation from/to Venice airport “Marco Polo” (VCE); if you’re traveling instead to Venezia-Treviso “Canova” Airport (TSF) this guide is not for you. The same transportations (except the boats) are also available from Venice airport to Mestre Railway station if you are taking a train.

I know, this guide will be pretty long, that’s because I want to give you all the details to let you choose better and save money. If you’re in a hurry you can skip to the comparison table on the bottom! 🙂 Let’s start!

ATVO bus from Venice Airport to Venice city

Pros: it may be the cheaper if your hotel is near the bus terminal
Cons: expensive if you are a big group of people
Tickets: here
Timetable: here
Price: 10€ (or 18€ for a return ticket)

Let’s start exploring the buses between Venice Airport and Venice city center. There are 2 bus companies (ATVO and ACTV), both leaving from the bus stops located just in front of the exit of the airport’s arrival area. We start talking about ATVO.

When you pass the exit doors of the airport you’ll see in front of you two car lanes. Cross both of them and you’ll reach the third (and last) lane, where you can find all the bus stops available. Each bus stop is marked by a letter, as in the picture below.

Corsie degli autobus all'aeroporto di Venezia Marco Polo
The bus lanes at Venice Airport. Each bus stop is marked by a letter.

The “C” bus stop is reserved for ATVO bus from Venice Airport to Venice city and viceversa. (The “D” bus stop is reserved instead for ATVO bus to Mestre railway station).

ATVO bus prices and timetables

There is a bus leaving each 30 minutes, approximately 05am to 01am (click here to check updated timetables on official website). Trip time is about 20 minutes.

Ticket price for the bus to Venice city is 10€ one way, or 18€ as a return ticket, baggages included. Not so cheap for a 20 min/10 km trip, but if you travel alone or in couple it may still be one of the cheapest options from Venice airport to Venice city.

Where do buses stop at Venice city?

The bus terminal in Venice city is just one for any bus, taxi and other vehicle: Piazzale Roma.

Note that whichever vehicle you’re going to choose to reach Venice, if your destination (hotel, event, and so on) is far from Piazzale Roma, you probably need to take a “Vaporetto” (boats that are the only public transportation available in the city) to reach it. A single ticket costs a huge 9,50€ for each person even if it takes just a few minutes.

If you are traveling within a group, summing up the bus tickets and the vaporetto tickets may end up being more expensive than a boat from Venice Airport or a combined private transfer that we will see later in this guide.

Where to buy ATVO bus tickets?

If you choose this bus from Venice Airport to Venice city there are plenty of options to buy the ticket:

  • on the official website, with immediate payment;
  • on Getyourguide website, where you can buy tickets with free cancellation option or late payment;
  • at the airport:
    • at the baggage retrieval area there are some automatic vending machines where you can pay by cash or cards: search for the machine with the ATVO logo;
    • when you walk out the doors of the baggage retrieval area, just on your left there is a ticket office;
    • near the bus stops “C” and “D” there are some more vending machines and sometimes also staff available for informations and ticket selling.

 

ACTV bus to Venice centre

Pros: it runs often, each 15-20 minutes
Cons: more intermediate stops on the itinerary, same ticket price of the previous
Timetable: here, choose line 5 on the list
Price: 10€ (or 18€ for a return ticket)

ACTV is the bus company running local trasportations around the city of Venice and, as well, the bus line number 5 from Venice Airport to Venice city that you can find at the “E” bus stop (or line 15 from the airport to Mestre railway station that you can find at “F” bus stop).

ACTV bus prices and timetables

There’s a bus leaving each 15 or 20 minutes, again since 4-5 am to midnight or later (click here and choose line number 5 to see current timeetables). Trip time is again about 20 minutes.

So what’s the difference between this and the previous bus? Not much difference actually: just the bus tipology, a classic city bus with less seats and also making a few more stops inbetween compared to ATVO bus that is running with a direct coachbus instead.

No surprise, ticket is again 10€ one way, or 18€ for return ticket. The arrival stop is again Piazzale Roma. So if your destination is far from that you need to spend another 9,50€ for a vaporetto, as mentioned earlier.

Where to buy ACTV bus tickets?

If you choose ACTV bus from Venice airport to Venice city you can buy tickets:

  • on the official website,
  • from you smartphone through ACTV app;
  • directly at the airport:
    • at the baggage retrieval area there are some automatic vending machines where you can pay by cash or cards: look for the machine with ACTV logo;
    • when you walk out the doors of the baggage retrieval area, just in front of you there is a ticket office for ACTV and Alilaguna public transportation;
    • near the bus stops “E” and “F” there are some more vending machines and sometimes also some staff available for informations and ticket selling.
Note that you can’t use ATVO bus tickets on ACTV bus or viceversa! Even if the service is pretty similar they are two different agencies so the ticket you buy can be used only on the chosen company bus.

Taxi from Venice airport to Venice city

Pros: fastest way to reach “piazzale Roma” in Venice city or any destination in the mainland; cheaper if you are 4 people
Cons: Expensive if you are 1-2 people
Price: 40€ set price to Venice city for each taxi (or 35€ to Mestre railway station)

Taxi is another way to reach Piazzale Roma in Venice city from the airport Marco Polo. With a taxi you can also reach Mestre railway station or any other destination that you can reach by car on the Venice mainland.

You can find taxi prices on their official website; traveling to Venice or Mestre also benefit of fixed tariffs:

  • fixed 40€ for a taxi from Venice Airport to Venice city (Piazzale Roma) or back;
  • 35€ from Venice Airport to Mestre railway station or back.

If your group counts 4 people the price to reach Venice by taxi or by bus is the same (40€ vs 10€x4); if you travel to Mestre railway station taxi is even cheaper. Always remember to agree about the price before getting on the taxi, especially if you need to reach a different address that may not be included in the fixed price.

Where can I find taxi at Venice Airport?

Exiting the doors of the arrival area of the airport, you’ll see in front of you two car lanes: don’t cross them, but just turn left. At the end of the walkpath you’ll see a few taxis waiting. If you can’t find any, just call their official phone number: +39 041-5964.

 

Alilaguna boat (public transportation)

Pros: Faster if you need to reach Murano, Lido, or any area of Venice far from Piazzale Roma, as it’s less expensive than 2 tickets for bus+vaporetto
Cons: Expensive if you are many people; the boat is not really fast.
Timetables: Here you find updated timetables (check out Blue line and Orange line); it takes 60 to 90 minutes.
Price: 15€
(or 27€ roundtrip)

Let’s now start comparing water transportations from Venice Airport to Venice city: the first is “Alilaguna” public transportation service. Alilaguna is a boat service that runs from Marco Polo airport to Venice, Murano island or Lido island.

Don’t confuse Alilaguna with the vaporetto in Venice. They are two different things and different agencies.

Hot to get to Venice with Alilaguna: lines and timing

Here you can see the current prices for Alilaguna trasportations. Venice airport to Venice city is 15€ one way or 27€ return. If you’re heading to Murano, then this is the cheapeast and fastest way: 8€ o 15€ return.

Blue line and Orange line are the only departing from Marco Polo airport. These stops in multiple points of the Venice island, making it easier to reach any destination with just a single boat. Don’t except it to be superfast though, it takes 60 to 90 minutes depending on your chosen stop.

Here you can find timetables and details about where the 2 lines stop to check if that’s your option.

Where to take boats or watertaxis at Venice Airport

You don’t need to go far to take a boat after landing at Venice Airport. The piers are just a few steps away.

How to get to the water transportation at Venice Airport? After the baggage claim area, don’t exit the airport but go upstairs (to departure area – floor 1). Now just follow the signs for “Public transportations – trasporti via acqua” (or if you can’t find them just follow signs for security check, that are towards the same direction), you’ll find a “tunnel” that in a few minutes will bring you to the piers.

At the end of the tunnel get downstairs and in front of you there will be many piers, each numbered. Alilaguna piers are the most far from the stairs (search for pier 12), the piers with lower numbers are reserved to watertaxis. So if you chose Alilaguna, while you walk towards to pier 12 just ignore all the “watertaxi drivers” that will try to convince you to travel with them.

La darsena dell'aeroporto di Venezia
Venice airport dock: on the left the way to reach the terminal and walking ahead the various piers. Note the pier numbers on the top.

Where to buy Alilaguna tickets

You can buy Alilaguna tickets:

  • On the official website;
  • at the baggage claim area there are some automatic vending machines with Alilaguna logo;
  • when you walk out the doors of the baggage retrieval area, just in front of you there is a ticket office for ACTV and Alilaguna public transportation;
  • in front of the piers 11 and 12 there’s another ticket office.

If you plan to travel early in the morning or late evening consider buying tickets in advance as ticket offices may be closed.

 

WaterTaxi

Pros: direct and fast;
Cons: expensive especially if you are only a few people;
Prezzo: It may vary between 150€ and 300€ for each boat.

What’s a watertaxi? Simply a small boat that works like a common taxi. They leave from Venice Airport dock and, after agreeing on destination and trip price, will bring you directly to the destination in Venice city or other minor islands.

We just talked about how to reach the pier at previous point.

Finding a watertaxi is easy (drivers will probably just find you as soon as you reach the dock).

The advantage of choosing a watertaxi it’s about costs that may be lower divided between your group (usually if you are 4-6 people, here you can check a few prices), or if you want something fast and direct.

The dock is a real chaos at certain hours of the day: many tourists, many drivers trying to pickup customers. My advice is: try to reach the dock with a ticket/reservation in hand because if you get there with nothing you’re risking to be charged random (high) prices.

You can book online and also choose to pay at a later stage here:

If you travel alone or in a couple, an entire watertaxi just for you may be too expensive: consider then a shared watertaxi. Avoid reaching the dock and waiting to find somebody else to share it at the moment, chaos can make it difficult or drivers may try to convince you to go immediately.

 

Shuttles and transfers between Venice airport and city

Sometimes a shuttle or private transfer from Venice airport (like this or this combined shuttle+boat) are even cheaper and faster than bus or taxi:

  • As mentioned before, on Venice island any car,bus or taxi can drive no further than Piazzale Roma. Any other destination can be reached either by foot or with a boat (vaporetto/public transportations, watertaxis, private boats). So if you travel by bus or taxi and your destination is far from the bus terminal you need to buy another vaporetto ticket (9,50€ per person), raising final costs and time.
  • If you have lots of baggage: Venice is full of stairs and bridges, often crowded: keep in mind that walking 1 kilometer through Venice may feel like 2 km especially if you’re pulling baggages;
  • If you are at least 3 people total costs of the water transfer or a combined transfer may be cheaper.

So if you don’t want to overthink about tickets, connections and timetables, you can think about one of the following transfers:

WelcomePickups

WelcomePickups, a transfer service widely spread across Europe. Similar to a taxi but the driver waits for you at the arrival area of Venice airport; they have also minivans, good if you’re more than 4 people with lot of baggages. Good for destinations that you can reach by road. On their website you can check the exact price of your trip and eventually book online with 2 cancellation options.

TaxiLeader

Another taxi and minivan transfer service widespread across Europe. On TaxiLeader website you can find the price for a shuttle from Venice airport or Venice city on your chosen cab or minivan (usually Mercedes).

Combined Transfer car+boat from Venice airport

Civitatis, a very well known website for travel and activities, offers combined transfers from Venice airport to any area of Venice island (hotel, event or similar), one big advantage is that you can book online and cancel for free until 18 hours before your trip. One of the better ways to reach areas that you can’t reach by roads. Clicking here you can get a quote and eventually book: if you are 3 people or more it’s probably between the cheapest options avaiable.

Shared watertaxi

If you still want the fastest transportation and don’t mind about sharing it with someone else, you may book a shared watertaxi: that will cost you less. You can book it online and you can also pay later if you wish. Cheaper if you travel alone or within small groups.

Still not satisfied? 🙂 Have a look at all the transportation means currently avaiable to reach Venice Airport or Venice city.

 

The cheap way if you have time

Are you traveling alone? Maybe you don’t even have baggages or just a small backpack? Or you hate being charged 10€ for what actually is a city bus?

I totally understant. That’s why now I show you another way to reach Venice (or any other destination in Venice mainland connected byt city buses) with just 1,50€ and a bit more time.

Basically you just need to leave the airport by foot and get to the first city bus stop.

When you get out of the airport, walk along the path shown on the map below until you reach the bus stop called “Tessera centro” (or “Tessera Chiesa”). It’s about 1200 meters and you need about 15 minutes by foot. Almost the entire path is on a sidewalk, except the last 200 meters after the last roundabout.

When you reach the bus stop (pay attention, to go Venice you need to wait on the bus stop at the opposite side of the street, opposite to the church) you just need to wait for ACTV bus number 5 to Venice or ACTV bus 15 to Mestre (timetables here). Yes, 5 e 15 are the same that were departing from the airport for 10€ and here, just 2 minutes away, you’ll pay 1,50€.

But most important thing is… you need to have your ticket already with you! You can buy it with the official app (the right ticket is “Biglietto ordinario automobilistico 75 minuti” priced 1,50€).

Avoid trying to buy it onboard: it’s priced 3€ but most of all, it’s not guaranteed that driver have tickets so you may lose the bus.

When onboard, still 20 minutes trip to reach Venice: it’s the same ACTV bus that left the airport 2 minutes earlier.

This option is suitable for who’s not in a hurry and does not have big baggages, basically if you have just a backpack or something that does not look like “tourists losts on the road”. Both because it would be uncomfortable and because you would need to buy extra ticket for the big baggages. At this page (in italian) you can find up to date tariffs and here the section about baggage transportation.

 

Comparison between all the ways from Venice airport to city

After this long guide… let’s see a fast comparison to decide!

How Price Arrival
point
Time to
reach
Bus
(ACTV or ATVO)
10 € Piazzale Roma about 20 min.
Alilaguna 15 € Various areas
in Venice
60-90 min.
WaterTaxi 150-300€
each boat
Any Variable
Private Transfers
or combined
car+boat
from 60€ by road
to 150€ combined
w.free cancellation
Any Variable
Taxi 40€ Piazzale Roma 15-20 min.

Now that you know how to save money while moving between Venice airport and Venice city, is time to find also a cheap flight! 🙂 Have a look with the box below that compares all the flight available:

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Find out all private transfer, shuttle buses and taxis for your hotel or airport here:

Fabio M.

I work in an airport and no, I don't have any flight discount as many ask :)
Working in the IT and planning travels in my free time.
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