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Venice: Save on vaporetto tickets with a Tourist Travel Card

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A Vaporetto pulling into station. Photo: Tom Meyers
A Vaporetto pulling into station. Photo: Tom Meyers

Transportation around Venice can be very expensive—and I’m not even talking about using water taxis, which have a pricing system (yikes!) of their own. I am talking about “public transportation,” which in Venice mostly means taking the “vaporetti” (water bus) up and down the Grand Canal.

A single trip on a vaporetto costs €6.50, whether you take the boat for one stop or for a whole Grand Canal tour. Fortunately, however, there is a system designed for tourists that will help you save some serious money.

Tourist Travel Cards

In the last few years ACTV (Venice’s bus and boat system) realized that they had to come up with a tourist transportation card, so they created seven different types of “tourist travel cards,” each valid for a different period of time.

Travel cards are available for 12 hours (€16), 24 hours (€18), 36 hours (€23), 48 hours (€28), 72 hours (€33), three-day youth card (for people between 18-29 years old – €18), and seven-day cards (€50). (Prices are accurate as of March 2010. Visit the ACTV website for current prices.)

With these travel cards you can hop on and off any vaporetto (including those to the islands of Murano, Burano, and Torcello) and on all buses travelling within the city of Venice (including to Mestre and Marco Polo Airport). These cards eliminate the need to queue every time to buy a ticket and to carry change with you.

The tickets are not exactly cheap, but considering you have unlimited use of the transport system, they are well worth it. Just think how much it would cost you if you wanted to visit Murano-Burano and Torcello and you had to pay for each single trip.

Where to buy Tourist transportation tickets

You can buy these transport passes at any vaporetto stop (there are usually ticket offices at the stops, otherwise you can buy on board and the almost always speaks English), in Piazzale Roma (in the ACTV ticket office), or in any tobacco shop that displays the “ACTV” sign.

Tip: Combine transportation and museums in one pass

In 2009, the Comune di Venezia introduced a combined card for transport and museums that can save you up to 25% on a variety of museum passes. The savings varies depending on the period (low season, high season, special events, etc.).

Unfortunately, the card can only be purchased online and must be purchased more than two days before your arrival date in Venice. So the earlier you book it, the greater the saving. For more information and to buy a card, visit http://www.veniceconnected.com.

About the author

Monica Cesarato

About the author: Monica Cesarato runs her own B&B on the Riviera del Brenta, just outside Venice. She also blogs about life in Venice and the Italian lifestyle http://www.monicacesarato.com.

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58 thoughts on “Venice: Save on vaporetto tickets with a Tourist Travel Card”

  1. Hi, I need help. I will be reaching Venice on 31st July by marco polo airport and then we will take train to florence. We will return to Venice on 1st Aug and stay there for two days. We have return flight on 2nd Aug night. I was planning to buy 36 hour pass for Venice along with airport transfer. But since I need airport transfers on 31st and 2nd Aug but Venice card for 1st and 2nd Aug, is it possible to get this. Please help.

    Reply
  2. Ciao Monica,

    I’m travelling to Venice from 26 Oct till 2 Nov with my husband and three children. We will need a travel pass for 8 consecutive days. I worked out that if we buy a 7-day ACTV travel card for 50€ and we add 7€ for one vaporetto trip to the station the last day, that’s a total of 57€ per person.

    But then I saw that you can buy a monthly pass for 30€ for the vaporetti only (we don’t need buses anyway). These passes seem to be valid from 1st day to last day of the month – so we could use them from 26-31 Oct, and even with a couple of extra tickets, this would work out cheaper that the 7-day travel card.

    So my questions are: can anyone buy a monthly travel card or do you need to be a resident? Do you need a photo? And can you still buy a monthly card on 26th of the month? Can you buy it upon arrival at Santa Lucia railway station?

    Grazie mille!

    Reply
  3. Thank you very much, Monica!
    You are very kind taking the time to answer all us tourist :)
    Kind regards,
    Gergana

    Reply

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