If you want to visit Venice and you prefer train as a mean of transportation, then you should know that there are two Venice train stations you can stop at: Santa Lucia and Mestre.

So, which Venice train station should you stop at?

In case you do not plan to stay for a few days in Venice and you want to visit only the center of the town, then it is advisable to stop at Santa Lucia, because it is closer to your destination.

The first station is Mestre, so if you want to get to Santa Lucia it is advisable to ask if the train you take has final station Santa Lucia or you have to stop at Mestre and take another train to get there. If this is the first time you visit Venice, then you should check the timetable of the train, because it will help you know when you should get off at the station.

Book your Italy train travel on ItaliaRail.

If the train you take has final destination Santa Lucia, then you have no chance to miss the station because this is the dead end station. You will be impressed by the look of the building which is painted in white and it features the logo of the Italian State Railways on its façade.

It is a new building in town, considering that fact that the majority of buildings in Venice are hundreds of years old. When you get inside the station you might be surprised to see that there is a piano. Passersby and passengers use to take photos with it, so you should not miss the opportunity.

You have three options to get from the train station to the city center, here is everything you need to know about them.

What a vaporetto trip implies

Vaporetto is the term used by Italians to refer to their public water buses. When you get off the train at the station you will notice that it opens onto a flight of steps facing the Grand Canal. Straight ahead you will see the vaporetto docks and the tickets kiosk, so make sure you buy one before you get into the water bus. You can also get a ticket here directly online, then you don’t have to queue on site.

Because you want to get to the center you should take a vaporetto from line 2, because it is fastest than line 1 and it stops at some of the most important attractions of the city. You will find maps displayed at the Venice railway station that provide information on the main stops of the different routes.

When arriving at the docks you will see signs that will tell you what the number of the water bus is and which direction it goes. Line 2 runs every 10 minutes during the high season, but if you get to Venice off-season then it is advisable to ask the ticket provider the timetable to know exactly how long you are going to wait. You will have to pay 12 Euro for a one-person ticket with a single luggage. In case you have extra luggage you will have to pay around 10 Euro extra.

From the moment you validate the ticket you can use it for 75 minutes in one direction. If you plan to stay more in Venice, then you should buy an unlimited pass ticket, which can be used for 1, 2 or 3 days, according to your preferences. For these passes you will pay from 30, 40 or 50 Euro, but in case you are between 14 and 29 years you will get the passes cheaper. Kids under 6 travel free.

Make sure you buy the ticket, because if you don’t have it, you risk a fine of 50 euros. Tickets are available from the conductor, at the main stops and at tourist information offices. You will spend about 45 minutes on the vaporetto to get from the train station to the center of Venice, including the time you spend walking to or from the vaporetto.

From each of the stations that the vaporetto goes to, it is not far to walk to your respective destination. However, if you have more than one piece of luggage with you, you will have to pay an extra fee for it. Nevertheless, I recommend you to take the vaporetto because the walk can be over several bridges and stairs, which can be very exhausting with the luggage. Another solution to the problem for you could be a water cab (see below).

Take a walk to the Venice Centre

Venice is a great place to explore on foot, so if you have no reasons to rush and you have no issues if you get lost a little, then this may be the best option. 

You should not spend more than 40 minutes if you walk from Santa Lucia Venice train station to Venice Centre. You will find signs along the way so you should not have any difficulty in finding your destination.

I have done it all, vaporetto, water taxi and on foot. Each has its own charm, advantages and disadvantages.

Also, you can use an online app, like Google Maps, to show you on a map what direction you should go. If this is the first time when you visit Venice then you may consider its streets a windy maze, so it is advisable to get some help. One solution is to ask a local guide you, because people are willing to walk together with tourists and show them the way.

There are online platforms that offer you the possibility to ask a local to help you with getting from the train station to Venice, whether you are walking or going by vaporetto or taxi. And along the way, the locals can also help you get to know the city with very local insights about what to see, where to eat, and points of interests for tourists in Venice.

The Venice Pass

Discover Venice with the ultimate all-in-one Venice Pass! This chic pass includes everything you need for an unforgettable stay. You’ll get access to famous sights like St. Mark’s Basilica and the Doge’s Palace, and enjoy a classic gondola ride through the Venetian canals.

But that’s not all – this city pass also includes an exciting audio tour of Venice that will teach you about the city’s rich history and culture.

Best of all, you’ll get 5% off the attractions included in the pass, plus an additional 10% off any other tickets you purchase during your stay in beautiful Venice!

Experience the luxury of Venice in a water taxi

Water taxis are compared with limousines, because this is a luxury option for arriving to their destination. If you are booking accommodation in the center of the city then a taxi will take you to the door of the hotel. These water vehicles navigate the canals of Venice and take you to your destination.

A private water cab costs around €350 for a group of up to 4 people.

You will not have to wait for the vaporetto to stop in every station, you will get to the center in no more than 20 minutes. If you have luggage then this is a preferred option, because you will not have to struggle to carry your bags. If you would choose to walk, you will have to make a great effort to cross them over the bridges. And as stated before if you would take a vaporetto you would have to pay an extra fee if you have more than one bag.

How to get from Venice Marco Polo Airport to Venice city center

Shared Watertaxi

A really good option here is the “shared” water taxi, where you share the ride and the cost with others.

Discover the sights of Venice on this unique transfer, directly with the transfer from Marco Polo Airport. Enjoy a fast and stylish water taxi transfer that will take you comfortably to your destination. Experience the lagoon and famous canals as you arrive in Venice.

Experience an unforgettable water taxi service between Venice Marco Polo Airport and the hotels in the center of Venice. You have the choice of a round trip to enjoy a picturesque ride and completely relax.

Price: €35
Free cancellation up to 24 hours in advance
Journey time: 50-100 minutes

Once you’ve picked up your luggage, you can hop on the water taxi and be taken across the lagoon to your hotel or a nearby entrance – undoubtedly the most romantic way to enter the city!

With some hotels on the Grand Canal the boat/taxi can pick you up or take you directly there, as they have their own pier to stop. However, if your accommodation is in a less accessible location on the inner canals, a meeting point will be arranged in advance, always within walking distance of the hotel.

Water taxi in Venice, Italy.
Water taxi in Venice, Italy.

Vaporetto Pass

A very affordable alternative is the Vaporetto Pass, which includes all public transportation in Venice, including airport transfers (ACTV).

Unlimited use of waterbuses and buses on the Lido, the lagoon islands, in Mestre and Marghera is included, as well as unlimited use of R and RV trains in the Venice area – if the Day Pass + Trenitalia is chosen.

Price: from €13
Free cancellation up to 24 hours in advance

Depending on the option chosen, an aerobus transfer to/from Marco Polo Airport is available, as well as unlimited travel time of 75 minutes or optionally up to three weeks. This way, you can arrive at your destination relaxed after a stressful arrival and departure.

Good to know: For transfers to Venice’s Marco Polo Airport, take the number 5 Aerobus from Piazzale Roma.
For transfers to Venice from Marco Polo Airport, take the Aerobus Line 5 at the exit of the arrival halls of Marco Polo Airport.

Check out our list of unusual things to do in Venice!


  • Travel Dudes

    I'm sure you've had similar experiences I had whilst traveling. You're in a certain place and a fellow traveler, or a local, tip you off on a little-known beach, bar or accommodation. Great travel tips from other travelers or locals always add something special to our travels. That was the inspiration for Travel Dudes.