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Just take the Water Taxi

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Miami, Florida
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82 posts
21 reviews
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Just take the Water Taxi

Just returned from our first trip to Venice. Overall it was a wonderful experience and all the advice on this forum was of great help. I do, however, regret reading the "Beware of Water Taxi" post that garnered 76 replies...

When I arrived at the airport, I was approached by a water taxi driver and was told it was 90euros (confimed by an "official" looking guy with a notepad) to the Westing Europa. After reading the "Beware" post by Suzywong I immediately said No and we took the water bus instead. It wasn't necessarily the price but the feeling after reading that forum that I would be contributing to some kind of illicit activity etc....

Well I certainly regretted it. It was a long long ride on the water bus, around 1hr15min in cramped quarters and dirty windows. After we arrived at San Marco we were left to drag our bags through the streets and got lost. We then paid 80euros to have a gondola take us directly to the hotel so in the end we paid more than what the water taxi would have cost. We got the hotel tired and frustrated, not quite the beginning that we wanted. Needless to say we took the water taxi to the airport on the way back (took less 20 minutes).

Although I do not want to start another heated discussion with 76 posts, I would certainly recommend to first time visitors to take the water taxi regardless of cost. Venice is an expensive city and quite honestly it is more than worth it to spend the 80-90euro to arrive in Venice rested and in a great mood...

Pennsylvania
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31 posts
1 review
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1. Re: Just take the Water Taxi

I totally agree with you......

Chorley, United...
Destination Expert
for Venice
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18,419 posts
118 reviews
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2. Re: Just take the Water Taxi

I must agree with this post. Though my wife and I have been to Venice a great many times we still always take a private water taxi from Marco Polo to our hotel and also on the return back to Marco Polo. It may be expensive - it is expensive - and it is the only time I use a private water taxi. But I think the undoubted cost is well worth while - partly the sheer pleasure of the journey across the lagoon with Venice coming nearer and nearer and partly the immense convenience of being delivered to the door of our hotel. No need to lug luggage anywhere, the hotel porter takes it off the launch to our rooms.

I always recommend that, if it is within your budget, you should go for it. There are alternatives, they are all cheaper, but are they as enjoyable or as convenient?

Madrid
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290 posts
17 reviews
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3. Re: Just take the Water Taxi

You had different options:

If you read this forum, as it seems, you should have known that the Allilaguna takes 75 minutes to get to Valvaresso or Zattere.

If you were in a hurry, the Blue ATVO coach costs 3 euros and takes 20 minutes to arrive to Piazzale Roma. The ACTV bus, costs 2 euros and takes 35 minutes. The car taxi, costs 30 euros ant takes you in a quarter of an hour to Piazzale Roma.

You should have known too, if yo have red the forum, that Venice is not Manhattan, and that is very easy to get lost if you don't have a map. Maybe it would have been useful to take with you a printed map with your hotel location.

If you were lost, you could always ask where's your hotel. If far, a water taxi from Piazza San Marco to Piazzale Roma and everywhere in between would have been 50 euros "without tassamero". If you pay 80 euros for a gondola being near the hotel... what can I tell you?

Maybe you regret to have red the warning topic of Suzy, well, i regret that tourists like you exist. Is for people like you like this kind of scams happen. I know Venice is an expensive city, BUT, I will never make myself a fool and pay double just to "arrive soon", having besides wide alternatives.

Be careful if you come to Spain someday, and somene tries to sell you the Giralda or the Palacio Real, they could be scammers.

Miami, Florida
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82 posts
21 reviews
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4. Re: Just take the Water Taxi

Well, well Javi...do I detect some anger or perhaps some bitterness in your reply??? So sorry you feel that my existence is regretable.

My only goal here was to provide one person's perspective with the goal of helping people in a similar situation who have a choice. This is the same advice that I would give to my friends and family. We all travel in different ways, largely dictated by our tastes and our finances. If you are visiting Venice for the first time and can afford to take the water taxi, my advice is still to take it. By taking the water taxi you will not be contributing to the end of the world. By the way, Italy as well as Spain are market economies. Sometimes people make money...including water taxi drivers.

And yes, I've been to Spain and no, no one so far has tried to sell me a castle or a monument. I can afford the water taxi but castles and such would make the people at American Express a little suspicious.

I've tried to keep my reply to you light-hearted and have ascribed your inflammatory comments to language limitations. But I suggest you take care before you call someone a fool. This is easy for some people to do when the other person can't see your face but it's still very poor form...

Coeur D'alene, Idaho
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579 posts
25 reviews
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5. Re: Just take the Water Taxi

Thanks for posting. You echoed my sentiments from the first thread, but in a more detailed manner.

I'm sure you'll get the usual locals who have the ability, time, language skills, and know-how to argue that you are a fool, but I'm with you 100%.

It was more than worth it for us and after hearing your story, I'm even more glad I paid the 80 E and didn't attempt the water bus (with 4 people, 5 large bags, 4 carryons and in the rain).

I have no doubt that there is a problem with the water taxis and the charges in Venice, but let the authorities there try to iron it out -- don't put the entire blame on the tourist who either doesn't know the "rules" or frankly doesn't mind paying what the charge is for the service. If it's something that the authorities care about and have the intention of doing something about, let them place large signs in various languages near the taxi stop to alert tourists of the "actual price". The fact that they haven't done that leads me to believe they don't care and nothing will ever be done.

There is obviously a limit. Despite you being called a "fool", and me being labelled a "mindless tourist" who'd be "better off visiting Disneyland", I know I would have scoffed if I'd been quoted 130E, but so would most people and due to lack of usage, prices would drop. I think they're charging what people will pay. In a perfect world, the price would be just the equivalent of gas costs and a fair hourly wage for the driver, but that's not how it works in one of the most beautiful, but expensive spots in the world.

And to the poster who seems angry that you didn't do it "his way". Let us enjoy Venice the way we want. I can only tell you how nice it is to sit back in the water taxi and be dropped off at your hotel without crowded busses, long walks and lines. It was absolutely worth the 30 extra Euro for the four of us.

I'm glad you posted your experience.

UK
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181 posts
23 reviews
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6. Re: Just take the Water Taxi

I have posted this in it's own topic as it contains some ideas but I thought I would post it here too...

Just to add my penny-worth, having now been to Venice several times.

On our first visit we took the Alilaguna (the water bus) from the airport, and on the waterbus we met some people who had arrived on the same flight as us and who were coincidentally going back on the same flight home.

We simply arranged to meet in San Marco upon leaving, and we simply shared a water taxi back - only 45 Euros per couple.

Undoubtedly the most magical way to arrive (and leave) Venice is the water taxi; just factor the cost in, save up, and forget about it.

Last time we left Venice we agreed a fixed price but the driver decided to take us round the canals on a bit of a sightseeing tour anyway, telling us all sorts of things. That was good.

Incidentally you can save a fortune while you're actually in Venice simply by avoiding all eating and drinking establishments in San Marco and by eating in 'locals' places (a few 'ombra - a small glass of wine - and some snacks - cicheti - cost only a few euros and you get to eat and drink with Venetians). Just buy the Time Out guide to know ehere to go.

This is the best bit: It is well worth chatting to the taxi drivers and sitting up front with them, last time the driver even let my wife take the helm and she piloted us on the last stage of the journey to our hotel! I'm sure he would have got into a lot of trouble for that but he remains anonymous so what the hell.

Good luck.

UK
Destination Expert
for Venice
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45,862 posts
78 reviews
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7. Re: Just take the Water Taxi

I think if people want to spend 80 euros on a Water Taxi fine but I have better things to spend hard earned cash on, 3 euros on the bus and just as quick, when you think you can fly easy jet London to Venice (Two People) for the same amount puts it in perspective, you dont need to dress up in Venice smart casual is fine so you can travel quite light, suppose if you are coimg from the states on a longer holiday touring it might be different, ecconomise and come more often I say

Portugal
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98 posts
15 reviews
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8. Re: Just take the Water Taxi

That is our choice, as well. Of course we are two adults and 2 children, so that would anyway mean 40 euros. And the fuss with luggage, tiredness plus time wasted when we only have 4 days is certainly worth the other 40 euros.

I also very much agree that eating in the extremely touristy places is really a waste and that’s where I am thinking of saving that money.

Then again, it is only 4 days! I can save when I come back home :D

Madrid
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290 posts
17 reviews
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9. Re: Just take the Water Taxi

Hi Irnyn,

I hope my language limitations will not be a problem this time.

I know you are giving your advise in good faith: if you don't want to lose your time in never ending rows, pushes and slow water buses, you should consider to pay what you're asked in the pier, even knowing that you're been charged twice the official rates.

Sure that you're telling this in good faith, but I can't take it as a good advice. Is something like if I tell a tourist that when coming to Madrid, he should consider if he prefers to get to downtown in 20 minutes to his hotel door paying 50 euros for a Taxi (double of the offical price) or take more than an hour to get to the nearest metro station from his hotel for 1 euro. Do you know what I mean?

When I say that you're the kind of tourist that makes all this scams happen, I tell you again: Maybe you have enough money to spend, maybe you don't mind if you're being ripped-off, you just want to get to your hotel soon and without problems, but, what happens with people that does not think like you? That if someone asks to be charged with official rates, would be sent to hell, as five minutes later there will be another tourist that doesn't care about money.

By the way, I didn't know that "make a fool of myself" would be so offensive to you, I've always used this word as a soft one, so I beg your pardon.

And I beg your pardon again, but I still can't understand how could you get lost from Vallaresso stop to the Westing Europa, not even a 5 minutes walk, as I can't understand how a gondolier could ask you 80 euros for taking you to the hotel, being so close.

By the way, I enjoy the Allilaguna trip, surely a bit slow, but amazing too, and next week (my second visit to Venice in two months), I would catch it again. I can afford a water taxi, like anyone who travels to Venice, but my money has its value, and I don't like to give it as a gift, even if I have to suffer rows, crowds, or if i take more than an hour to get to my hotel.

I hope you'll understand my point of view.