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World Travel Guide > Guides > Europe > Italy > Venice

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Getting around Venice

Public transport

The best way to get around Venice is on foot and by vaporetto (water bus), operated by Azienda del Consorzio Trasporti Veneziano (tel: +39 041 2424; actv.avmspa.it/it). Vaporetto services are frequent and run 24 hours a day, with stops dotted across the city. Four bridges cross the Grand Canal but visitors can cross by traghetto (public gondola). Journeys are cheap and short.

Taxis

For direct service to a specific destination, the only option is to take an expensive water taxi. If travelling with a group of friends who can share the cost, a water taxi is fast and comfortable way to get to your destination. Water taxis run by the Consorzio Motoscafi Venezia (tel: +39 041 240 6711; www.motoscafivenezia.it) can be ordered in advance. Taxi points are available at main locations including the Piazzale Roma, Rialto, San Marco and the Lido.

Driving

No cars are allowed in the centre of Venice. Drivers can get as close as Piazzale Roma, where there are a number of parking options and vaporetti stops.

Car hire

Car hire is available at the Piazzale Roma, but you can only use cars to drive out of Venice or on Lido island. The minimum age for hiring a car is 23 years old and drivers must carry and EU licence or International Driving Permit.

Recommended car hire companies include Avis (tel:+39 041 523 7377; www.avis.com/en/locations/it/venice), Hertz (tel: +39 041 528 4091; www.hertz.com/p/car-rental/italy/venice) and Europcar (tel: +39 041 523 8616; www.europcar.com/location/italy/venezia-ve)

Bicycle hire

No bicycles or scooters are allowed in Venice but renting bicycles on the Lido is possible.

Lido on Bike (tel: +39 041 526 8019; www.lidoonbike.it), open March to September, is by the main vaporetto station at Gran Viale Santa Maria Elisabetta 21. Open year-round on the same street is Gardin Anna Valli (tel: +39 041 276 0005).

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Featured Hotels

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JW Marriott Venice Resort and Spa

With the largest spa in Venice, this resort on a private island boasts a complimentary shuttle service to St Mark’s Square, 250 contemporary rooms and suites designed by architect Matteo Thun. This is an exclusive getaway set in acres of private garden with a rooftop pool overlooking the lagoon.

Ca Maria Adele

Just minutes from the Salute Vaporetto stop, this lush boutique hotel has Old World Venetian charm. Its beamed ceilings meet lavish furnishings as part of its eastern theme. In the evening, it's possible to have drinks on the terrace while listening to opera music.

Hotel Santa Lucia

This cheap hotel might not win any awards, but it's trim and well run and enjoys a handy location a few minutes walk from Santa Lucia train station. The rooms all have TVs and are cleaned daily; some also have their own bathrooms. Breakfast is served on the small garden terrace outside.

Hotel ai Mori d'Oriente

The 55 rooms in this 15th-century palace are designed in unique oriental style, but the elegance and grandeur of Venice is still clear. The hotel caters for breakfast but doesn’t have a restaurant, however staff will make suggestions and there is a small, intimate bar for a late night drink.

Hotel Henry

This family-run hotel is far from the grandeur of its 5-star canal-side cousins, but what it lacks in luxury, it makes up for in friendly and welcoming service. One of the best cheap hotels in Venice, visitors can expect staff on hand 24 hours a day, and reasonable room facilities including free Wi-Fi access.

Hotel Saturnia and International

Situated on one of Venice’s smartest shopping streets, this sophisticated hotel is very good value. Run by the same family since 1908, you will get a friendly welcome, a good-sized room with elegant antique furniture and a plentiful breakfast. The suntrap roof terrace is an excellent retreat.