ACTV water bus ticket

Getting In And Around Venice

April 2016

Coming by train from Milalo Centrale into Venice Santa Lucia takes 2 hours 35 minutes. You may opt to stop at Venice Mestre, a stop before Santa Lucia as accommodations are cheaper here compared to those in Venice island. You can then shuttle between Mestre and Santa Lucia.

Venice Mestre train station

Venice Mestre train station. Just one stop before Santa Lucia, located on the mainland. Hotels are cheaper here.


Venice Santa Lucia train station located on Venice Island.

Venice Santa Lucia train station

Venice Santa Lucia train station.

Venice train stations

Mestre & Santa Lucia train stations are about 10 km and 10 minutes apart. There are train services between the two every 5-10 minutes.

Venice Santa Lucia train station

Venice Santa Lucia train station looking from the canal.


Exiting Santa Lucia station, you’ll be greeted by the grand canal. Those yellow booth are water bus stops. Across is the San Simeone Piccolo church.

Getting around on a water bus (vaporetto) in Venice is expansive. A one way ticket for 75 minutes cost €7.50. Alternatively, you can get a 24hrs (€20),48hrs (€30) or a 72hrs (€40) ticket at a reduced price. Other duration ticket are also available. You can obtain more information at UNICA website. The main water bus service is operated by ACTV.

When you purchase your on-line tickets thru UNICA, you’ll be given a voucher which you will be required to exchange for tickets at designated counters or automatic ticket machines. There’s one counter right in front of Santa Lucia train station by the canal and another at the Rialto water bus stop. Automatic ticket machines are also there.

ACTV water bus ticket

You can get a one way ACTV water bus ticket or 1 day (24 hours) ticket.

Water bus route

Water bus route displayed at the stops. You can determine which water bus no. to take.

ACTV water bus

The water bus no. is on the bow as well on the stern. Since there may be more than one water bus stopping at your stop, ensure you get on the correct one.                                                                         Credit :

Venice water bus

Seats in the water bus. There are also open air seating at the bow and stern.

Once you’ve got your tickets, you are ready to explore Venice. With the many small and twisting alleys, getting lost in Venice is not hard to do. About the only place you want to get your bearing when you’re ‘lost’ is to return to either Rialto or St Mark’s square. Venetians has a creative way to assist us. Just look up at any corner building and you’ll see directional sign to either location. Simple and effective.

Venice directional sign

Directional sign on every corner block.

Venice directional sign

This way to Rialto.

Venice directional sign

Quite an efficient way to guide ‘lost’ tourist.

Venice directional sign

And this way to St Mark’s square.

But when you want to get back to your hotel or need to go to a certain location, an off-line navigation apps in your smart phone is all what you require. One map app I would definitely recommend is HERE Maps. It’s available for IOS and Android devices. Being an off-line navigation app, it does not require data connection to the internet. You do need to download the map of the country you intend to visit prior to using it the first time. This can be done in your home country or wherever wi-fi or internet is accessible.

Once this is done, you can search for a location without the need to be connected to the internet. Your intended route will be displayed on a map in your smart phone and voice guidance is also available. You can use HERE Maps for your walkabout or for driving. Truly a brilliant free, off-line navigation app.

Venice navigation

Free off-line ‘HERE Maps’ navigation apps.

The phone on the left is an Apple (IOS) while the other is HTC (Android). I sort of favour the Apple as your location is denoted as a ‘pear’ shape green circle while on the HTC is just a grey circle. On the IOS, the pointed green circle shows the direction you’re facing while on the Android, you’ll need to walk a little to see where the circle moves to determine your direction.

UPDATE : Oct 2016
‘HERE’ Maps is now known as ‘HERE We Go’. I’ve changed to a new Redmi 3S Android phone that has a compass and the grey direction indicator circle on my previous phone is now a green ‘pear’ just like the Apple. So a phone with or without a compass, makes that difference.

Venice navigation

‘HERE Maps’ off-line apps installed on IOS & Android.