No buses or subway system. Only boats. After all transportation in Venice isn’t by wheel but rather by floating. Ambulances, police, firemen all run by water in order to deal with emergencies faster. And it’s just the same for public transportation. Vaporetti (waterbuses), mostoscafi (taxis), motonavi (larger boat for transportation) and ferryboats guarantee connections everyday within the city and to islands among the lagoon.
Even though Venice is a small island, there are many lines that can help you reach your destination, many of which are often crowded especially during high season. Other stops take different times to reach the same places. Often though it’s considered best to go by foot instead of navigating endlessly around the city. So here then is a small guide for the main vaporetti to catch in Venice depending on your location and where you want to go.
From the Venice Airport to Venice Historical City Center (ALILAGUNA A/B)
It is a direct motorboat, of larger dimensions, perfect for people and luggage. Two different lines allow you to arrive quite quickly to the city from the airport Marco Polo. The Line B reaches the Fondamente Nove and Lido covering all the northern parts of the Cannaregio quarter and Castello. The Line A instead enters the city from Rio di Cannaregio and once it surpasses the Guglie Bridge travels through the Grand Canal up until San Marco stopping at a few strategic spots.
From Pl. Roma and the Train Station to San Marco
Often people don’t consider the external lines to reach Piazza San Marco. But if you’ve reached Venice, it could be a good idea to grab the motorboat line 4.1 (useful for those who want to reach the island of Giudecca) or line 5.1 that covers the southern part of Dorsoduro quarter up until S. Zaccaria and then Lido.
The Grand Canal
Surely the most trafficked canal in Venice, the Grand Canal hosts many lines but the two most used are lines 1 and 2. Our suggestion is to use them in few circumstances especially during high season when they are extra crowded. Both traverse the Canal from the beginning to the end the only difference is that line 1 stops at every stop and takes about 45 minutes to get from Pl. Roma to S. Marco while line 2 stops less and is consequently faster.