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Travel to Venice

Flying to Venice

Airlines operating direct flights to Venice from the UK include British Airways, easyJet, Flybe, Jet2.com and Ryanair. Cheap flights to Venice are available out of the main summer period, although you can find year-round bargains by shopping around with budget airlines. There are seasonal flights from the USA with American Airlines.

Flight times

From London - 2 hours 10 minutes; Philadelphia - 10 hours 15 minutes (including stopover); Los Angeles - 13 hours 35 minutes (including stopover); Toronto - 9 hours 40 minutes (including stopover); Sydney - 24 hours (including stopover).

Travel by road

The main road route into Venice is the A4, although once travellers arrive in Venice, driving is no longer possible. Most vehicles taken as far as the city are parked at a car park in Piazzale Roma or Tronchetto. Parking at these locations is expensive, so travellers often opt to park in Mestre on the mainland and continue their journey by train or boat.

Traffic drives on the right and the minimum driving age is 18 years. Speed limits are 130kph (80mph) on motorways, 90/110kph (56/68mph) on country roads and 50kph (30mph) in urban areas. All those without an EU licence must carry an International Driving Permit. A Green Card is useful, though not compulsory for EU nationals.

The Automobile Club d'Italia (ACI) (tel: +39 06 491 115; www.aci.it) provides a useful advisory service and can deal with breakdowns.

Emergency breakdown services

Automobile Club d’Italia (ACI) (tel: +39 803 116; 800 116 800 (for foreign tourists)).

Routes

The main route is the A4, which passes through Turin, Milan and Padua before arriving at Venice. There is good access to this road from connecting routes to other major cities, including the A13 from Bologna and the A1 from Florence, Naples and Rome.

Coaches

Eurolines (tel: +39 0861 199 1900; www.eurolines.it) and Flixbus (www.flixbus.it) provide coach services to cities across Europe. ATVO (tel: +39 0421 5944; www.atvo.it) operates a more local service and stops in Treviso, Verona, Padua and Milan from the Piazzale Roma.

Time to city

From Milan - 3 hours; Bologna - 2 hours; Rome - 5 hours 35 minutes; Paris - 11 hours 30 minutes; Barcelona - 12 hours 50 minutes.

Travel by Rail

Services

The railway service in Venice is well maintained, thanks to the fact that the majority of travellers arrive either by rail or boat. High-speed rail links connect Venice with other Italian cities.

The railway station servicing Venice is the Saint Lucia Station at the west end of the Grand Canal. You must validate paper tickets in machines on the platform before boarding regional trains. Visitors can also travel on e-tickets.

Operators

Trenitalia (tel: 892 021; www.trenitalia.com) is the national rail company, which runs a fast, efficient and good-value service throughout Italy. Italo (tel: 892 020, in Italy only; www.italotreno.it) offers a high-speed service from Venice to Bologna via Padua and Florence.

Journey times

From Bologna - 1 hour 25 minutes; Florence - 2 hours 5 minutes; Rome - 4 hours; Milan - 2 hours 30 minutes; Verona - 1 hour 10 minutes; Paris - 11 hours 55 minutes.

Travel by boat

The main ferry port in Venice is the Port of Venice (tel: +39 041 533 4111; www.port.venice.it) which operates ferries out of the Venice Passenger Terminal (tel: +39 041 240 3000; www.vtp.it) located to the west of the city centre. The port also caters for large cruise ships and is one of Europe’s busiest ports. The new Terminal Fusina (www.terminalfusina.it) is the calling port for international ferry lines like Anek Lines and Minoan Lines. The historic city centre from Venice can be easily reached from Terminal Fusina by ferry, bus and train. 

Ferry operators

Ferry services to other cities and countries are run mainly in the summer. Venezia Lines (tel: +385 52 422 896; venezialines.com) operates from April to October and provides high-speed catamaran sailings linking Venice to Istria in Croatia as well as to Slovenia.

Transfer

The People Mover, an elevated funicular, connects Piazzale Roma to the Port of Venice.

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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.