An essential, practical guide to help you find the best way to get from Marco Polo Airport to Venice city center. Tips for families traveling with kids and first-time travelers to Venice.
One of the biggest headaches for first-time travelers to Venice is figuring out how to get from Venice Aiport Marco Polo to their accommodation in Venice.
This is true for most first-time travelers to Venice, but particularly true for families visiting Venice with kids, who may need to factor in tiredness, the carrying of strollers and possibly a bit of anxiety about bringing a little one to a city on water (I know this was the case for me when we first went as a family!)
Mobility in Venice is indeed different from anywhere else in Italy.
Venice proper is not only an almost entirely car-free island; it is also separated from its airport by the famous Venice lagoon (Marco Polo Airport is on the mainland) so, clearly, getting to the airport and hopping on a taxi or a private car service will not do here!
With the right tips, however, getting from Venice airport to your accommodation is not difficult.
The best way will depend on your budget, the location of your accommodation on the island, but also the amount of luggage you have, and how much walking is reasonable for your family to tackle on arrival.
In this travel guide, I share the best ways to get from Marco Polo Airport to Venice city center for all types of budgets.
If you are looking at tips to get around the city once in Venice, read instead >>> how to get around Venice (public transport and taxi guide for visitors)
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Venice Marco Polo Airport to Venice city transport option chart
At a glance, transport options to and from Marco Polo Airpot and Venice include:
|Means of Transport||Cost||Transport time||Best for|
|Private Water Taxi / NCC water transfer||High (> 100 Euro)||About 30 mins to Rialto||Comfort, speed, very early/late journeys|
|Alilaguna vaporetto||Low||About 1h to Rialto||Value|
|Shared water taxi||Medium||About 30 mins to Rialto||Value for money|
|Bus||Low||20 mins to Piazzale Roma||Travelers on a budget, travelers with accommodation close to Piazzale Roma|
|Taxi (car)||Medium||About 15 mins to Piazzale Roma||Travelers with accommodation near Piazzale Roma|
Getting to Venice from the airport by private water taxi/ transfer
Best for high-budget travelers
Getting a water taxi is the most expensive yet the most comfortable and time-efficient way to get to your accommodation from Marco Polo airport.
Water taxis are not a common means of transport for Venetians (they are very much a wealthy tourist option) and I do not recommend relying on them for inner city transport unless you have an almost limitless budget.
However, they are excellent for going to and from the airport as they are fun, efficient and able to bring you right to your door or very close by (not all Venice houses have water access).
They are also the best introduction you can have to Venice in terms of views and there is no denying it: you feel like a superstar as you zoom onto the lagoon!
Water taxis are the best mean of transport to reach Venice from the airport for:
- Families with kids who will be too tired to take the long Vaporetto ride into the city
- Families with accommodation far from Piazzale Roma and the Train Station
- Travelers who want to treat themselves to a fun ride in a motorboat
- Travelers who need to reach the airport early in the morning or anyway outside of the hours of operation of the Alilaguna service (see below)
On the other hand, I do not recommend water taxis if:
- You are traveling on a budget
- Have a lot of luggage (the extra charges can be steep, see below)
Water taxis in Venice dock outside the airport and are well indicated in the arrival hall.
To find them, you follow the signs for trasporti via d’acqua / water transport (white writing on blue background) and you find yourself on a covered path leading you to the docking area, the Darsena.
The walk to this area takes about 7 minutes (even 10 with small kids) but it has a moving walkway (tapis roulant), escalators and lifts to help you along the way.
From there, your taxi will lead you to the destination of choice.
In Italian, water taxis are also called motoscafo/motoscafi or taxi acqueo.
I highly recommend you book your water taxi in advance with one of the companies below:
- Consorzio Motoscafi Venezia – www.motoscafivenezia.it
- Consorzio Venezia Taxi – www.veneziataxi.it
- Venezia Turismo Società Consortile s.r.l. – www.veneziaturismo.net
- Consorzio Venice Water Taxi – www.venicewatertaxi.it
- ATI Venice One – www.serenissimataxi.it
- Consorzio Venezia Futura – www.consorzioveneziafutura.it
- Veneziana Motoscafi – www.venezianamotoscafi.it
The transport time depends on the location of your hotel or Venice Airbnb.
The closest area to the airport is the area of Santa Lucia station, Piazzale Roma and Cannaregio, while Rialto, San Marco and Biennale areas require a longer journey.
Things you need to consider before booking a water taxi:
- Water taxis in Venice are speed boats and you are responsible for supervising your children. Please look at the vessels’ photos on the provider’s website to know what to expect.
- If you have a lot of luggage or very voluminous items, talk to the transport company first to make sure they can accommodate it as space is inevitably limited.
Water taxi fares normally include one piece of luggage and a carry on bag, while extra luggage will incur in additional charges.
Strollers are usually free but do reconfirm this with individual providers when you ask for a quote.
- Not all Venetian houses and hotels have water access and some walking may be required on arrival.
This is usually not longer than a few minutes; however, it is a good idea to ask your host for exact access directions as orientation in Venice is not always easy.
- Please note that, despite the steep price point, your driver is not a tour guide. Water taxis are a transport service only so you may find someone chatty or not!
Alilaguna water transport – most popular choice
Best for families on a budget. Kids under 5 go free; strollers go free
Another great way to reach Venice from Marco Polo airport, far less expensive than a private taxi, is the Alilaguna ferry shuttle, a shared water transfer service by Alilaguna, the public transport provider between Marco Polo and Venice.
The Alilaguna Vaporetto is the most common way to reach Venice city center from the airport: it takes longer than a water taxi but also costs significantly less.
While a taxi will set you back well over 100 Euro, the Alilaguna ticket costs only 15 Euro!
Alilaguna vaporetto stop at the Darsena outside the airport.
On arrival, you follow the signs for trasporti via d’acqua / water transport (white writing on blue background) and follow the moving walkway, the pedestrian path to the docking area.
The walk takes about 7 minutes (a little longer with kids) but the moving walkway and the elevators make it easy enough.
Before you reach the docking area, you find the ticket counters for the different Vaporetto lines, which are as follows:
Blu (blue line) – Connecting the airport with Venice, Lido and Murano. Click here for stops
Arancione (orange line) – Connecting the airport to Rialto and Santa Maria del Giglio. Click here for stops
Rossa (red line) – At the time of writing, the line is temporarily suspended – Connecting the airport with the cruise port via Murano and San Marco. Click here for stops
Please note: while you can probably work it out with the maps provided, I highly recommend you ask your host for the stop closest to your accommodation and also for precise directions to get to your door. Venice is not the most straightforward to navigate for newcomers; finding an apartment’s entrance, in particular, can be tricky and time-consuming.
In terms of experience and comfort, vaporetto are larger boats with indoor seats and basic facilities.
Kids must be supervised at all times and there is space for strollers, which travel for free.
However, please be advised that there are low budget allowances: each ticket includes one main piece of luggage and one carry-on bag: and additional items incur an extra cost.
It is possible to buy tickets on the spot at the vending machines or the ticket window.
However, I recommend getting tickets online so you don’t have to deal with queues etc.
Children up to age 5 go free.
You can >>> purchase Alilaguna tickets here <<<
Shared water taxi
A somewhat in-between option between a private taxi and the ferry is opting for a shared water transfer.
This option is unlikely to save you much if you are traveling with several family members but it can be a great way to have the experience of the water taxi without paying the full fee if there is only a few of you (for instance, if you are traveling alone with a child).
Before booking a shared water taxi, please take into account the following:
- This is a shared service and the maximum waiting time in case of flight delays is 40 minutes.
- Luggage restrictions mean you may incur into extra fees should you have a lot of luggage – standard service includes 1 piece of luggage and 1 carry-on item.
- Should your hotel not have water access, you will be dropped off at the closest drop-off point: this may require some walking on arrival.
To get your shared water taxi on arrival, you must follow the signs for trasporto via acqua/ water transport (white writing on blue background) and walk for about 7 to 10 minutes to the docking area.
The journey has a moving walkway and elevator for the last stretch, should you have heavy luggage or a stroller.
Bus – getting from the airport to Venice by bus
Best for families with accommodation close to Piazzale Roma; families on a budget.
Venice is an island and largely car-free, but with an exception: Piazzale Roma!
Piazzale Roma is the closest place to Venice accessible by car and it s effectively a large transport hub.
Piazzale Roma is where you find the big parking lots for people driving into the city, some car rental companies and public transportation stops.
While not a place to visit itself, Piazzale Roma is close to Santa Lucia train station and the lovely areas of Cannaregio, Santa Croce and San Polo.
It is also a good place to catch a Vaporetto to a destination further from the airport in Venice proper.
Because of this, if you are staying close to Piazzale Roma, you may want to consider catching a bus here.
The bus stops immediately outside Venice airport and there are two companies covering this stretch:
The Venice Airport Bus Shuttle is operated by ATVO – This bus runs every 20 minutes and takes 20 minutes to reach Piazzale Roma, without intermediate stops.
The bus runs from 5.20 am to 01.20 am in high season (April-October) and 5.50 am to 0.50 am in low season.
Aerobus Line 5 by ACTV
Aerobus ACTV La linea 5 is operated by the same company that manages the Vaporetto and it is a great option if you need to reach Piazzale Toma and then hop on a ferry as it offers a combined ticket for land + water transport.
Have a look at prices here
The bus departs from outside the airport (door B), it goes every 15 minutes and reaches Piazzale Roma in about 25 minutes.
From here, you can walk to your accommodation on catch a second Vaporetto to get to your final destination (Rialto, Biennale and Castello would all require a rather long walk)
The most comfortable and time-efficient way to get to Piazzale Roma from Venice airport is by taxi.
Piazzale Roma is located on Venice Island but it is accessible by car and a great jump-off point to then reach the train station, walk to your accommodation (if nearby) or catch vaporetto or water taxi to your destination.
Taxi service in Venice is offered by Cooperativa Artigiana Radiotaxi and there is a fixed fare to Piazzale Roma of 40 Euro (they accept cash and card).
Please reconfirm this with the taxi driver before starting the ride to avoid being charged by the meter.
Taxis station outside the arrivals hall, on the bottom floor.
I hope you found this overview of transport options from the airport to Venice useful.
How to get from Venice Marco Plo airport to Venice city – pin this!
If you want even more help or you have any questions, please in my FREE Facebook group about traveling to Italy with kids: I will be happy to have you there and the tips from me and the other members are FREE!