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Visiting Venice can be expensive. Fortunately, there are discount passes for transport in Venice (and for a few other things as well) that can help ease the strain on the budget.
Please note: The blue coloured words below are clickable links. Click on them to be taken to the appropriate page in the official websites.
A single, one hour vaporetto trip in one direction costs €7.50 for any visitor aged 6 years and over. There are no discounts for seniors. A person in a wheelchair and their carer/caretaker can travel for €1.50 per trip. Apart from these exceptions, everyone pays full fare unless a transport pass is used. The transport passes listed below are good for all for most all normal ACTV vaporetto (water bus) services around the Venetian lagoon, including out to Murano, Burano, Torcello, Guidecca and the Lido, and ACTV urban bus services in Mestre, such as to Marco Polo airport, and on the Lido. They do not cover the more expensive water taxi service or gondolas, and do not cover the Alilaguna ferry service to the airport.
Tourist Travel Cards: Tourist travel cards are time based passes usable from the time they are first validated (usually when they are purchased or picked up at an ACTV or HelloVenezia ticket window) for the period chosen, and included in the price is the transport of one luggage item of up to 150 cm as the sum of its three dimensions. They must be passed by one of the iMob validating machines located at the entrance to the ACTV vaporetto loading docks and aboard the urban buses at the beginning of each and every journey and change of vehicles.
Base prices (NOT including extra cost for travel with origin or destination at Marco polo Airport):
You must validate your ticket after purchase and before you get on the vaporetto. If you do not validate the ticket you can be fined in the case your ticket is spot-checked, as happens at random intervals. To validate the ticket you just have to pass the card in front of the sensor fitted in the centre of the validation machine, located before entering all of the boarding areas; a green light and a beep will confirm that the validation has been successful. A red light and buzz indicates that there is a problem, and the ticket has not been correctly validated or has expired. You must do this everytime before you board a vaporetto. If you board a vaporetto without a valid ticket, make sure you contact the ACTV staff to purchase a ticket immediately, in order to safely avoid the fine.
Note: If you buy the travelcard for a certain number of days and then add on the extra fee for the ACTV bus from the airport, your card will be validated (and the time will begin) from the moment you get on the airport bus. If you wish to delay the validation of your travelcard then buy the airport ACTV ticket seperately, at no extra cost.
Attention: currently, travel on any ACTV bus line with origin or destination at Venice Marco Airport (the n°5 Aerobus line, or the n°4, n°15 or n°45 lines) is excluded from the Tourist Travel Cards, and requires an additional special fare ticket. The cost of the single ticket is €8.00 one way, and €15.00 round trip/return. If purchased together with the Tourist Travel Card, it costs slightly less, at an additional €6.00 one way and €12.00 round trip/return compared to the above listed base prices. There is also a special "Aerobus + Water" fare which for €14.00 includes one vaporetto ride and the n°5 Aerobus to Marco Polo Airport in a 90 minute period.
VeneziaUnica Public Transport Ticket. VeneziaUnica Public Transport Ticket - Purchased online at the VeneziaUnica.it website, using a credit card, at least 4 days in advance, you can purchase the above ACTV Tourist Travel Card at the exact same price (at the same time as purchasing other services such as museum passes, parking, toilet passes, WiFi, if desired). This is currently the same price available for the passes, and no better deal for visitors than purchasing the same passes in Venice. Passes become activated when collected at one of the several HelloVenezia Ticket Points located at the main entrance points to Venice or from the automatic machines listed below. You must specify the day of pickup when booking the pass that cannot be changed. There is a full list of Collection Points on the website. Some Internet websites still indicate that purchasing ACTV tickets and travel passes through the old Venice Connected site will give a discount, though this is no longer true, and VeneziaUnica has completely substituted the old VeniceConnected site.
Using the unique PNR provided upon confirmation of the original order, it is also possible to collect your pre-booked transport passes from one of the many 24 hour automated ACTV ticket machines at one of the following locations, rather than from one of the staffed HelloVenezia Points, located throughout the city, on Lido and the mainland, and Chioggia, all listed on the VeneziaUnica or ACTV website. Be aware that it can be a slow business to pick up your card from a HelloVenezia booth. It is MUCH QUICKER to buy a card from one of the many ACTV machines using a credit card, as there is no discount for buying in advance from HelloVenezia.
This video tutorial (available on YouTube) shows how to use the machines to receive the Public Transport Tickets. Like much of Venetian transport services, it is not necessarily an intuitive thing.
Rolling Venice Card RollingVenice card Only for tourists aged between 6 and 29 (inclusive), the Rolling Venice card can be purchased in Venice at HelloVenezia ticket offices and Tourist Information Offices for €6. The young person may then purchase a discounted 3 day ACTV Tourist Travel Card at €22. The Rolling VeniceCard allows considerably reduced admission charges to most museums, plus occasional other discounts. You need proof of age and identity to purchase this. The Tourist Travel Card available with this discount is considerably cheaper than any other solution available to the occasional tourist. As of 23 June 2011, the reduced price Tourist Travel Card purchased in conjunction with the Rolling Venice card DOES NOT INCLUDE any travel having as its origin or its destination Venice Marco Polo Airport, for which a separate ticket need be purchased for €6. If airport transport is purchased at the same time as the reduced price Tourist Travel Card, there is an additional €6 charge one way, or additional €12 round-trip/return.
VeneziaUnica Card (ex-CartaVenezia or Imob.venezia card) CartaVenezia - Purchased in Venice at the HelloVenezia desks, renewable on-line. For those who may visit Venice frequently there is the CartaVenezia which is a personal document entitling you to travel on ACTV buses and boats at discounted prices. The CartaVenezia can be acquired for €50 if you live outside the Veneto and then carnets (books) of tickets for the boat or the bus at substantially reduced prices (about €1.50 each) for both boat travel and bus travel around Venice and the Lido. The CartaVenezia is renewable when it expires after 5 years. For longer stays, there are also monthly passes which have validity from the 1st to the end of the given month, for €37 (vaporetti + Lido buses + Mestre urban bus lines + ). Holders of CartaVenezia or Imob.venezia cards can also purchase reduced fare Alilaguna tickets (at roughly half the full price - see Alilaguna for details). The Imob.venezia annual and monthly passes with the Mestre land network included also include travel with origin or destination at Venice Marco Polo Airport at no extra charge. The cost for a one way ticket on any bus ride with origin or destination at Venice Marco Polo Airport for those with CartaVenezia or Imob.venezia cards is now €6.00.
Alilaguna Time tickets Alilaguna Time tickets - these are available as 24-hour (€30.00) and 72-hour (€65.00) passes and allow use of the Alilaguna lines, including to and from the airport. The 72-hour also includes use of the Green Line which is "a collective excursion to the venetian isalnds Murano, Burano e Torcello [sic]" which runs 2-4 times a day. Since the schedules of all the lines are less frequent (once every half hour or hour) than the ACTV service (generally every 10-20 minutes), and schedules and stops more limited than the ACTV network of waterbus services (there is no night-time service), these time-tickets are probably best suited for people with specific travel needs between stops served by the Alilaguna services who can adapt travel plans to the Alilaguna schedules. It is not what would be generally considered a "city pass" for public transportation.
VeniceCard VeniceCard Purchased in Venice at any HelloVenezia ticket office, it offers access to the Doge's Palace, the Querini Stampalia Foundation, the Jewish Museum and the ten Civic Museums and sixteen Chorus churches (see below), as well as to the public toilets (two times) and also offers some "other reductions", such as reduced price entry to the Biennale and temporary exhibitions at the Fortuny Museum, the Peggy Guggenheim museum, and other venues. There are also discounts at some stores, shops and restaurants. This is different than the VeniceCard previously available (which in some versions overlapped other transport and culture passes), and is now available in only two versions: Junior (6-29y.o.) at €29.90, and Senior (30y.o. or over) at €39.90, both valid for 7 days.
Chorus Church Pass The Chorus Church pass can be purchased online or in Venice. This is a good idea if you plan to visit many of the churches in Venice. Most charge an entry fee, such as the Basilica di Santa Maria Gloriosa dei Frari (a.k.a. the "Frari"). Some churches, including the Basilica di San Marco and Santa Maria della Salute, do not charge an entry fee. For cheaper entry to the churches that do, the "Chorus Churches" pass can be purchased for €10.00 either online (10% discount) or at the first of the churches you visit. The pass allows free entry to all of the others on the card during the next twelve months. Children under 10 are free, and discounts are available for visitors under 29. There are also family discounts available. Details and access to online purchase are at the Chorus Organization site.
VeneziaUnica Culture Passes VeneziaUnica Culture Passes - Purchased online at the VeniceConnected.com website, using a credit card, at least 7 days in advance. The Museum passes allow for entry to multiple Civic Museums of Venice for one fee, at a reduced price compared to the sum of the single entrance fees. The exact offerings vary according to the season. Details of the specific cumulative tickets and individual museums are found at the Civic Museums website.
Other VeneziaUnica Services VeneziaUnica - Purchased online at the VeniceConnected.com website, using a credit card, at least 7 days in advance with discounts, 4 days in advance without discounts. A number of services, such as public restroom access, car parking services at the Venice Municipal Garage in Piazzale Roma, and WiFi Access through the Venice Municipal WiFi network can be purchased in advance through the VeniceConnected site, and paid for at the same time as the purchase of other services such as Public Transport Tickets and Museum Passes.
Redeeming other services purchased through the VeneziaUnica site
Redeeming Alilaguna Passes purchased through the VeneziaUnica website