How to get from Mestre to Venice

How to get from Mestre to Venice

Lying to the west of Venice Island, Mestre is an attractive suburban district under ten kilometres from the city centre. 

With just ten to twenty minutes travelling time to get from Mestre to Venice, it is also a popular base with tourists travelling on a budget, those who want to lodge away from the bustling and more expensive Venice Island, and those wishing to explore both Venice city and its surrounding Veneto areas.

A classic Italian town, Mestre is becoming an increasingly fashionable base with visitors preferring to enjoy quieter restaurants during the evenings sampling authentic Italian cuisine amongst the local resident population.

Another point to consider, while Mestre is built on solid ground and airport taxis or shuttles can drop you at your hotel, not so on Venice Island. With much of the old city centre pedestrianised and given over to canals, your driver will get you as close as possible to your destination, and that is Piazzale Roma.

From there, the options are pulling your luggage along cobbled canal paths and over narrow canal bridges, or finding a vaporetto (water bus) to complete the journey to your hotel.

To help you enjoy the best of both worlds, I’ve compiled this short article on the best ways to get from Mestre to Venice by taxi, UberX, buses, trams and trains.

How to get from Mestre to Venice

1. Tram, best way to get from Mestre to Venice

Public transport across the greater Venice area and to towns and cities across Italy is excellent, with clean, frequent, fast and cheap rail and road services.

For those staying in Mestre and wanting to day-trip from Mestre to Venice, the public transport options are bus, train and tram.

Tram line T1 journeys from Mestre downtown (it has several stops in the city centre such as Piazzale Cialdini) across the bridge and terminates on the edge of the old city at Venezia Piazzale Roma bus station.

The tram covers several stops across Mestre and Venice, with an average journey time from Mestre to Venice of around 20 minutes.

Trams begin operations at 06.00 and complete services around 23.00, depending on stops. A full timetable can be found here: https://actv.avmspa.it/en

A single tram ticket costing €1.50 is valid for 75 minutes of travel from the time it is activated on the tram and can also be used on the buses. 

Tickets are available from ticket machines, numerous tobacconists and kiosks. Tickets can also be bought from the driver at a cost of €3.

Tourist Travel Cards for Mestre and Venice are excellent value and available in a range of options from one day through seven days. 

Bought from stations, ticket machines, kiosks or online, the top range cards can give joint cover for journeys on trams, buses, trains and water-buses, and are activated from the start of your first journey. Failure to activate your card can incur a hefty fine.

2. Bus, avoid it during peak hours

The downside of public transport in any city in the world is that during peak commuting times, with people going to or travelling home from work, the services tend to be extremely busy. Travelling from Mestre to Venice during peak periods is no different.

For the same reason, journey times by bus are often protracted due to the volume of traffic on the roads during peak periods.

One word of caution during busy periods. If you want to alight before the end of the route be sure to ring the bell. Drivers often won’t stop if the bus is full unless they know passengers want to get off.

Nonetheless, using a bus to get from Mestre to Venice is still excellent value for money.

Some of the most popular routes crossing from Mestre to Venice include:

  • ACTV route no 2 from Mestre Station. 7 stops, time 15mins, cost €1.50
  • ACTV route no 4L from Mestre Town Centre, 8 stops, time 17mins, cost €1.50
  • ACTV route no 5 from Mestre Town Centre, 9 stops, 19 mins, cost €1.50

Wherever you are located in Mestre, enquire at your hotel reception about the bus route to board for Venice.

A full list of Mestre and Venice bus routes can be found here: https://avm.avmspa.it/en

The ACTV Venice Public Transport Company operates most public bus routes from Mestre, starting from 04.30 in the morning to around midnight. However, these times can vary over weekends and public holidays.

For up-to-the-minute information, check the ACTV website or download the ACTV App.

As with tram tickets, a single €1.50 bus ticket is valid for 75 minutes travel time from validation, ideal if you just want to travel from Mestre to Venice or vice-versa.

However, if you plan to travel to Venice daily for sightseeing and maybe an evening meal before returning to Mestre, purchasing one of the numerous tourist travel cards that include water buses and people movers, is probably a better option.

One-day tourist tickets costs €25 right up to seven-day tickets costing €65, and are available from tourist offices, dedicated ticket desks, kiosks or online.

For those who want to enjoy a late night in Venice while staying in Mestre, ACTV also operates two night-time routes, N1 and N2, from midnight to 05.00, and both stop at Venezia Mestre central rail station.

3. Train, the cheapest way to get from Mestre to Venize

For cheap, fast and relatively hassle-free travel, let the train take the strain. From your hotel in Mestre, make your way to Mestre’s mainline train station, Venezia Mestre.

Train services from Mestre to Venice start at 05.00am, with services to Venice totalling 195 trips a day and leaving approximately every 15 minutes. The last service departs Mestre at 23.48, and the last service from Venezia Santa Lucia to Venezia Mestre departs Venice at 23.15.

Journey time is an average 10 minutes, and one-way tickets from Venezia Mestre station to Venezia Santa Lucia station are €1.45 and can be purchased from kiosks, ticket offices in the station or online from a number of vendors, including https://www.trenitalia.com/en.html

Venezia Mestre station is a large regional rail hub with 13 platforms servicing local and long-distance routes that fan out across Italy. Once you’ve purchased your ticket, check out the numerous boards for the platform number you need to board your train to Venice.

Out of peak travelling hours, they are clean and roomy with enough space for a suitcase and carry-on bag if you are on-going from the airport.

4. Taxi, confortable and fast

Although substantially more expensive than public transport to get from Mestre to Venice, for sheer convenience and speed, a taxi has to be the way to go.

Booked from your hotel, or picked up from the central Venice Mestre Station if you’ve arrived by train, your journey to Venice will cover around ten kilometres, including 3.5km over the Ponte della Liberta or Bridge of Liberty, and take approximately ten minutes.

All registered taxis operate on a meter system, and you can expect fares to range from €20 to €30 plus any surcharges, with a journey time of around 10 to 15 minutes. Cabs are available in Mestre and Venice 24/7.

Please remember that much of old Venice City is pedestrianised, and should your destination be in this area, your driver will drop you as close as he can (Piazzale Roma). Cabs can also be booked online.

5. UberX, similar prices to taxis

If you prefer to embrace all things tech, you’ll be pleased to know that Uber operates in and around Mestre and Venice, albeit in a slightly different form. If you want to travel with Uber, follow these steps.

  • Download the Uber app
  • Tap in your pick-up point and destination
  • From the list of transport options that appear, select UberX

The app will then match you with a local taxi for 4 or 6 passengers, and the Uber cost for your journey will be displayed. 

From Mestre to Venice by UberX, the travel time will be between ten and fifteen minutes, and the costs will be very similar to taxis at €20 to €30. UberX can also be booked 24 hours a day.

6. Hire car, just don´t 

The short answer is – don’t. Venice is made up of numerous different islands with no street parking. Your only option is to park in a designated car park and explore the area by gondola, water taxi or on foot – which gives the best visitor experience anyway.

Unless you pre-booked a slot online, you can spend hours trying to find a parking space.

If you’ve hired a car from the airport to stay in Mestre and explore wider Venice areas, leave the car at your hotel when you visit Venice Island.

However, suppose you plan to spend just a couple of hours exploring Mestre and a few hours on Venice Island before heading back to continue touring Italy. In that case, one of your best options is to drive over Liberty Bridge on the SR11 road onto Tronchetto Island.

Turn right at the first set of traffic lights and follow the parking signs. Whether you stay all day or just for a couple of hours, the parking fee is around €25.

The city’s main bus station, the Piazzale Roma, sits on the edge of the island and is about as close to the old city as you can get by car or bus. The Piazzale also has a number of nearby car parks including Autorimessa Comunale, Garage S Marco and S Andrea.

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