Venice

Italy

Venice stands on more than 100 small islands surrounded by the Adriatic Sea, making it one of the most unique cities in the world. 

On Ferryhopper, you will find useful information about your vacation in the Italian city: beaches, local delicacies and ferries to/from the Venetian capital. Take a look at the available ferry routes to Venice and book cheap ferry tickets on Ferryhopper with just a few clicks!

Here, you can find detailed travel information about:

A Venetian canal with old buildings

A typical canal in Venice with buildings appearing to rise straight from the water

Vacation in Venice

Venice is a fascinating and mysterious city, certainly one of those places to visit at least once in a lifetime. Its canals, gondolas, narrow streets, and Carnival are so famous that they attract millions of visitors every year.

Elegant, picturesque and romantic, Venice is one of the most magical places in Italy and if you haven't had the chance to go there yet, perhaps the time has come! A holiday in Venice means immersing yourself in the magical atmosphere of the city, discovering its churches, palaces, ancient bridges, monuments, and squares, among others. 

If you intend to visit Greece or Croatia, the port of Venice serves many ferry connections to both countries. Combine your holidays abroad with a stay in Venice and you won't regret it!

Tip: although Venice is beautiful all year round, the best time to visit is during spring and autumn. In winter, high water (acqua alta) could be a bit of a challenge!

How to get to Venice

Venice is one of the most well connected cities in Italy, given that it’s a world-renowned touristic destination. Reaching the city is easily possible by car, train, plane and, of course, ferry. From Croatia (Pula, Poreč and Rovinj) and from some ports of Greece (Corfu, Igoumenitsa and Patras) there are daily connections to the port of Venice.

The Santa Lucia railway station is Venice’s main station. It connects Venice with other principal Italian cities. Therefore, if you’re traveling from places like Rome or Florence, the train is certainly the best mode of transport. 

When you arrive at the station, you can then reach the city center of Venice on foot by walking along a path that leads first to the Rialto Bridge and then to Piazza San Marco. Another fun solution (even though not so cheap) is to take the 5.1 line of the ACTV public water bus. Outside the station you will find piers and ticket offices, and you will reach the center in about 20 minutes. 

Venice's Marco Polo Airport is one of the busiest, with many daily national and international flights. Moreover, low-cost flights to Venice are available via Treviso Airport (TSF), which is only 40 km from the city center. 

What to do in Venice

Visiting Venice means discovering once-in-a-lifetime sensations and emotions. Even if you think you already know it, in fact, the magic of this city will amaze you once again. You must already be familiar with Piazza San Marco, the Rialto bridge, the gondola, or the vaporetto. However, that is not all that attracts visitors to Venice. 

Visit its museums, admire its elegant buildings, its churches and spend a day in Murano, Burano or Torcello, the most famous islands of the Venetian lagoon. You can also cycle on the island of the Lido (famous for the Venice Film Festival) and relax on the beach!

During your trip, it’s worth attending some festivals and events that make the “City of Canals” come to life. Among the most beautiful and famous are the Carnival, the Historical Regatta and the Feast of the Redeemer (Festa del Redentore).

Beaches in Venice

In addition to its monuments, you can also find tranquility on the beaches of Venice. Between the Venetian lagoon and the Adriatic Sea, there are several beaches where you can lounge and relax. 

Here are the 10 most beautiful beaches in Venice to check out:

  • Lido di Venezia: located between the Venetian lagoon and the Adriatic Sea, this is a 12-km long beach. It includes several Blue Flag beaches (awarded for their cleanliness and services), a nude-friendly beach and a pine forest. You can access the Lido either by boat or with the vaporetto that departs from the Tronchetto.
  • Cavallino: wild and with pristine golden sand, it stretches for 15 km. Its nature reserve makes it a favorite camping spot. There are some amenities for visitors, such as restaurants and bars, and its waters are calm and clear. You can reach the beach from Punta Sabbioni or from Lido di Jesolo.
  • Ca' Roman: located north of the island of Pellestrina, Ca’ Roman is a natural jewel which has remained almost unchanged. It is a protected oasis with sand dunes and an uncontaminated forest rich in flora and fauna.
  • Brussa: located in the oasis of Vallevecchia, it is a 4-km long beach. There are no amenities, but thanks to its large pine forest you can find shade from the sun. Τhe Casoni, real wooden huts that were once inhabited by fishermen in the area, attract a large number of visitors every year. 
  • Pellestrina: located on Pellestrina island, south of the Venice Lagoon, it is a destination of incredible beauty. The island is 11 km long and its waters are ideal for diving. You can reach it by motorboat from Chioggia or from Venice by waterbus. 
  • Punta Sabbioni: located near the resort of Ca' Savio, Punta Sabbioni is quiet and perfect for relaxing. Popular with families, it is also a pet-friendly beach and the only one where dogs are allowed to swim. The beach has many bars and restaurants, and it is also possible to rent beach umbrellas and deck chairs.
  • Bacan: very popular with locals, it is located on the island of Sant'Erasmo and can be reached by vaporetto or by boat. The long strip of land is dominated by the Massimiliana tower. In the area, you will find various services year round.
  • Alberoni: a local favorite, this beach is located in the southern tip of the island of Lido di Venezia. It is not easy to reach Alberoni (you have to take the vaporetto and then the bus), but it will be worth it. With a hippy atmosphere, it has crystal-clear waters and very shallow waters.
  • Bibione: this 8-km long Blue Flag beach is not only a great eco-tourism destination, but also an ideal place to relax. Its soft sand comes from the Friulian Dolomites and was then transported there by the Tagliamento River. Big sport events attract thousands of sports enthusiasts to the beach every summer. 
  • Laguna del Mort in Eraclea: located in the last arm of the mouth of the Piave river, it is considered one of the most beautiful beaches in Italy. It has soft golden sand and is surrounded by lush vegetation. The sea is transparent with shallow waters. There are no amenities here, so it is advisable to arrive equipped.

Lifeguard tower on the sandy beach of Lido in Venice

Seagulls chilling at the beach on the Lido of Venice

Sightseeing and activities in Venice

The best way to experience this iconic city to the fullest is to explore its narrow streets and discover its most hidden corners. 

Here are some attractions in Venice not to be missed:

  • St. Mark's Square, among the most beautiful in the world, with the church and its famous bell tower
  • The Doge's Palace, symbol of Venice, a masterpiece of Gothic architecture and the home of the Doge (ruler of Venice)
  • The 4 bridges crossing the Grand Canal (Rialto, Accademia, Scalzi, and the Costituzione)
  • The Grand Canal, the largest and most famous canal in Venice
  • The Scuola Grande di San Rocco, one of the most important and beautifully decorated Venetian buildings 
  • The Venetian Ghetto, one of the oldest Jewish neighborhoods in Europe, where the Jewish Museum of Venice is located 
  • The church of Santa Maria della Salute, a beautiful Baroque church 
  • The Basilica S.Maria Gloriosa dei Frari, the largest in Venice
  • Palazzo Contarini del Bovolo, a Gothic building known for its spiral staircase
  • Mark’s Clock Tower, facing the most commercial street of Venice
  • The Parco delle Rimembranze, the public gardens of the city
  • Palazzo Mocenigo, house of the Center for the History of Textiles, Costume and Perfume
  • The Peggy Guggenheim Collection, one of the most important museums dedicated to the art and culture of the first half of the 20th century
  • The Arsenale of Venice, an old Venetian shipyard that now houses the Venice Biennale
  • Rialto Bridge, with the medieval church of San Giacometto 

The ancient clock tower, Torre dei Mori, in St. Mark’s Square, Venice

The famous bell tower, called Torre dei Mori, in Venice

Nightlife in Venice

When night falls, Venice empties and reveals its intimate atmosphere. In the center, there are no real nightclubs, but bars and pubs where locals and students gather to have a drink and listen to live music.

The sophisticated bars and traditional taverns of the city fill up at aperitif time (around 18:00), when most Italians meet up with friends over a Spritz before dinner. The aperitif in Venice has become a real ritual and it is always accompanied by the traditional cicchetti (small plates). 

If you’re looking to party during your stay in Venice, the most famous districts are Erbaria, Cannaregio, Campo Santa Margherita, and Piazza San Marco. For those willing to spend their evening at the disco, it is better to move to the nearby towns of Mestre, Lido di Venezia and Jesolo, which are very popular during the summer.

Food in Venice

The Venetian cuisine is dominated by seafood, vegetables and of course...pasta! 

Here are some delicious dishes that we recommend you try during your stay in Venice:

  • creamy cod
  • rice and peas
  • the Venetian liver
  • the Venetian fritole (sweet fritter filled with raisins and pine nuts)
  • polenta and schie (a type of shrimp of the Venetian lagoon)
  • fried fish 
  • bigoli (a type of fresh pasta) with anchovy sauce
  • sarde in saor (marinated sardines)
  • zaletti (cornmeal cookies)
  • tiramisu

Tip: to enjoy the best tiramisu in town, Ferryhopper suggests visiting I Tre Mercanti. Considered a true tiramisu paradise, you can try this dessert in 25 different flavors! 

Extra tip: it is said that coffee has a long history in Italy and this is largely due to Venice. Therefore, don't forget to have your morning shot of espresso at one of the most iconic cafes of Venice. Visit our blog to find out where you can drink the best coffee in Italy and get inspired!

A traditional Venetian plate of sardines in saor

A delicious dish of sardines in saor at a Venetian restaurant

Towns and villages in Venice

If you are planning to stay in Venice a bit longer we would also recommend visiting nearby destinations to explore cultural sites and natural attractions. 

Ferryhopper suggests visiting the following villages and towns around Venice:

  • Murano, Burano and Torcello: these are the three most famous islands in the Venetian lagoon and certainly need a whole day to be explored. Through various organized tours you can first reach Murano (known for its glass making), then the island of Burano with its eye popping colors, and finally Torcello, the sparsely populated “wild island”.
  • Chioggia: about 50 km from Venice, Chioggia is a very vibrant and charming town. Here you can admire the ancient buildings overlooking the canals and the colorful bragossi (traditional local boats).
  • Verona: although it’s almost 2 hours from Venice, this is one of the places you truly must not miss during your trip. Beautiful and elegant, the "City of Lovers" is famous for having been chosen as the set for Shakespeare’s romance Romeo & Juliet.

Tips for Venice

Here is everything you need to know for a perfect stay in Venice:

  • By purchasing the Venezia Unica City Pass you will be able to access public transport services (water buses included), cultural attractions and events.
  • For the best (and most romantic) view of Venice, visit the Rialto Bridge during sunset and enjoy the view!
  • Although the “City of Canals” is considered one of the most expensive cities in Italy, by booking your holiday in Venice well in advance you will find better prices.
  • Since the historic center of Venice is a pedestrian zone, it is important to remember walking on the right-hand side of the street (especially in the narrower ones). Also avoid stopping in groups on bridges!
  • If you want to relax and have a quick lunch, you will have to go to the public gardens. In Venice, it is forbidden to eat food at squares, church steps or bridges, as they are historical sites.
  • A gondola ride is a bucket-list experience for most visitors! Even though it’s pricey, the view of Venice from the water is unforgettable.

Useful information for Venice

Venice is one of the most visited cities in the world and offers many services to travelers. 

If you want to spend some time shopping during your trip to Venice, you will find all kinds of shops. Calle Larga XXII Marzo is the most famous street because it has many high fashion boutiques and shops. Do not leave Venice without purchasing a souvenir made from Murano glass or sewn with Burano lace!

As for accommodation, there are several options throughout the historic center, such as bed & breakfasts, luxury hotels, apartments, and guesthouses. If you’re looking for a cheaper option, it would be better to stay in the nearby town of Mestre, which is connected to Venice by both bus and train.

Venice is a city explored on foot, but, if you reach it by car, you should keep in mind that parking in the city is not easy. In fact, there are no free parking spaces, so you will have to leave your vehicle in a paid parking lot close to the city. On the occasion of a major event (such as the Carnival), it is also advisable to book a parking space well in advance.

In Venice, there are several public and private health facilities. In Piazza San Marco, there is also a medicine clinic for Italian and foreign tourists, open from 08:00 to 20:00 during summer.

Important phone numbers for your stay in Venice

Here are some contacts that could prove useful during your stay in Venice:

  • Police Department: +19414862444
  • Civic hospital: +390415294111
  • Castello tourist information office: +390415298711
  • Venice Port Authority: +390415334111
  • Alilaguna transport service: +390412401701
  • ACTV bus: +390412424
  • European emergency number: 112

Transportation in Venice

Getting around the “Floating City” is quite simple but, even though there are many options, it is always advisable to walk in order to fully experience the city. It is possible to get from one end of Venice to the other on foot in just half an hour!

On the mainland of Venice, you can find both buses and trams, but the vaporettos are the only way to reach the nearby islands and explore the most popular places. There are also water taxis, but the prices could be high.

The locals often travel with the so-called gondola ferry, which will allow you to cross the Grand Canal in Venice quickly for the modest sum of €0.50. This gondola was created mostly for Venetian workers and is only active for a few hours.

On the other hand, driving is not recommended. Since cars are strictly banned in Venice, if you decide to arrive in the city with your vehicle, it is advisable to leave it at one of the car parks in Piazzale Roma. A more economical option is to park in the towns of Mestre or Marghera and then take the bus or train to Venice. The journey takes only 15 minutes and tickets cost around €1.50.

It is also worth remembering that it is not allowed to ride neither bicycles nor motorbikes around the historic center. 

And how can we not mention the authentic gondola? Although it is the most expensive means of transportation and is mostly used by tourists, it is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. You can negotiate the price with the gondolier, but keep in mind that the rates are even higher in the evening!

Useful info: by downloading the AVM Venezia App you can buy vaporetto, tram, or transit tickets, pay for parking on the blue lines, calculate routes, and search for timetables!
 

Gondolas parked in front of an old brick building in Venice

Traditional gondolas parked at a gondola stop on a small canal in Venice

Ports in Venice

The port of Venice is one of the most important in Italy and in the Mediterranean, and is a key stopover for ferries and cruise ships.

The port is located inside the Venetian Lagoon between the island of Tronchetto and Piazzale Roma. It is accessible all year round 24/7 and is directly connected to the main international railroad corridors. Taxis, public transport and shuttles to the Fusina passenger terminal also depart from there.

The port area offers various services to visitors, including ATMs, duty-free shops, newsstands, tobacco shops, refreshment areas, and a luggage storage area.

Venice ferry: schedules and tickets

The port of Venice can be reached by ferry from some popular locations in Greece (Patras, Igoumenitsa and Corfu) and Croatia (Poreč, Pula and Rovinj). The companies that operate the connections are Anek Superfast, Minoan Lines and Kompas. Keep in mind that on all ships it is possible to embark your vehicle and choose to stay in a cabin

On Ferryhopper's Map of ferries, you can see all the available ferry routes from Venice, so that you can easily and conveniently plan your ferry trip. 

Here are some more details on the ferry connections to Venice:

  • Ferry Patras - Venice: the ferry route from the port of Patras to Venice is available 3-4 times a week throughout the year. The trip duration is usually around 32  hours.
  • Ferry Igoumenitsa - Venice: the ferry route to Venice from the port of of Igoumenitsa (in Greece's Epirus region) runs 2-3 times a week. The crossing lasts approximately 27 hours. 
  • Ferry Corfu - Venice: the route from Corfu to Venice is served once a week (only in the summer months) and lasts approximately 25 hours.
  • Ferry Poreč - Venice: the connection from the Croatian town of Poreč to Venice includes several weekly sailings and the ferry takes about 3 hours to reach the city. 
  • Ferry Pula - Venice:  there are usually 4 weekly ferry crossings from Pula to Venice, with the duration of the journey usually ranging from 3.5 to 4 hours. 
  • Ferry Rovinj - Venice: the connection from the port of Rovinj to Venice is daily. Crossings last from almost 3 to 4 hours.

Ferry timetables are subject to change depending on the season. You can check real-time schedules and compare prices for Venice ferry tickets at a glance on Ferryhopper.

The port of Venice full of ferries and vaporetti

Incredible view of the port of Venice

Where to book ferry tickets to Venice online

On Ferryhopper, you can find all connections to and from the Italian city, compare prices, departure times and book cheap ferry tickets to Venice online at no additional cost.

Frequent ferry connections

Nearby destinations

Venice has direct ferry connections with 9 ports :

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