Understand the transportation system in Venice
Venice is the biggest pedestrian city in the world, as well as being the leader in Italy for ecological mobility thanks to its ratio between public transportation use and the number of inhabitants.
In a city without cars which are the best ways to move around?
Moving around Venice by foot
It might sound like a trivial health campaign (it is indeed a very healthy way for moving around), but truth is that every Venetian lives the city by foot, for most of the time it is the quickest way to reach your destination.
Moving by foot will also give you the possibility to explore the city, to see its little bridges and canals that you’d miss by staying on the main roads, and to enjoy a more authentic and rewarding experience of Venice as you’ll be able to discover the numerous hidden gems spread all around the city.
Related: Interactive Map of Venice
Moving around Venice by vaporetto, 'waterbus'
Public service runs 24/7 the whole year. During daytime in the Grand Canal, water-busses stops are served at least every 10 minutes. Service for the islands of Murano, Burano, and Lido is at most every 20 minutes. During night time the frequency drops down to 20 and 40 minutes respectively.
The price for a single ticket is 7,50€ and it is valid for 75minutes. Tickets can be bought at the vendors’ machines in front of the stops, at the ticket offices outside the train station, at Rialto and at San Marco (but they all have ever lasting queues) and at newspaper kiosks and tobacco shops.
In case you don’t manage to find the latter two, we hint you not to queue and to just do it on board: step on the water-bus and immediately ask the sailor to give you a ticket (only cash payment is possible in this case). At the vendors’, it is also possible to buy a 1-day ticket that lasts for 24h after the validation, at a cost of 20€. 2-day, 3-day, and 7-day tickets are available for 30€, 40€ and 60€. For more information about prices, and online purchase you can visit www.veneziaunica.it.
Moving around Venice by water taxi
Unlike every other city, taxis in Venice aren’t a mean of transportation for the locals, because of their high fixed price. Taxi service is almost exclusively used by tourists who are willing to experience a more private transportation rather than on the public boat. The price for a taxi ride is between 80 and 100 € per boat ride and will guarantee you a luxurious and private transportation over the water.
Economically speaking, a taxi is a great alternative to water buses for bigger groups: the cost of the water bus for 10 people is pretty much the same as a taxi ride, but the taxi will get you off exactly at your destination.
Moving around Venice by gondola and sandolo
Gondola and sandolo tours can be found all around the city and they offer beautiful views of the surrounding areas. The rides last 30 to 40 minutes at a cost of 80€ per boat. Keep in mind that gondolas always return to their boarding station: unlike a taxi, a gondola is used for exploring narrow canals and secret parts of the city, not for reaching a destination!
Gondolas are one of the traditional Venetian boats and they used to be the equivalent to horse carriages in other cities. Nowadays two types of services exist: the “traghetto” services, which are used for crossing the Grand Canal where there is no bridge (at a cost of 2€), and the gondola tours.
How do venetians move around Venice? What are our recommendations?
Most of the time, Venetians prefer to move by foot. Moving by foot is the fastest and most efficient mean of transportation in Venice… if you know how to get to your destination of course! Most Venetians use public transportation when necessary, as when water must be crossed. Rowing boats are mainly used for sport or for the pleasure of rowing itself, motor boats are mainly used for transportation of goods and during days off for enjoying the lagoon.
Therefore, our suggestion is clearly to move around by foot if possible, in order to live Venice like an authentic Venetian and explore Venice beyond the “touristy” places, avoiding masses and queues, as well as doing good for your health. We would also like to invite you to set some time apart to make sure to see Venice from the water, in your preferred way, to get another perspective of this unique city!
I'm visiting Venice. Why should I follow your recommendations?
Liked this article? Don’t forget to share the love!
Tips and Inspiration to experience Venice
More in Visiting Venice
Want more photos, videos, tips and stories from Venice, Italy?
We're on a mission to spread meaningful content about the authentic Venice far and wide. Try our email and see for yourself!