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A warning about water taxis

 

Man boards water taxi in Venice, Italy

ABOVE: A passenger boards a Venice water taxi with help from the pilot.

Most recent update: June, 2019

Tips:

Maggie of Maggieinvenice.com in a water taxiWater taxis are often the quickest and most convenient way to reach a hotel or vacation apartment in the historic center of Venice, especially if you're coming from the airport. They can be expensive (a ride from Venice Marco Polo Airport can easily set you back 120 euros or more), but because water taxis hold more passengers than a land taxi does, the cost per person  isn't too bad if you can split the fare with friends or a small group.

Venice hotel warning image

However, there are several caveats that you need to know about, especially if you've lost some of the spring from your step or if  you aren't used to small boats:

  • Depending on where the water taxi drops you off, you may need to stretch or jump across a large gap between the boat and the pier or fondamenta. The boat pilot will extend a hand to help you, but you may not be ready or able to make such a leap of faith.
  • If you arrive during a high tide, you may be required to step down a foot or more when disembarking. (This can be painful or even dangerous for people with bad knees.) At low tide, you may need to step up from the boat's gunwales to the pavement, or you may have to climb several mossy and potentially slippery stone steps along the edge of the canal.
  • The water-taxi pilot isn't allowed to leave his boat, so if your luggage is large or heavy, you may need to lift your bags from the fondamenta or pier into his waiting hands (and vice versa when you reach your destination).
  • You may have to walk a reasonable distance between the water-taxi landing and your hotel. Most hotels don't have private boat landings, and many canals aren't navigable by water taxis.
  • Finally, think twice before arranging a water taxi in advance through your local travel agent. We've had multiple reports of American and British travel agents charging 150 or 160 euros for a transfer between the airport and the city, which is at least 50 percent more than you'd pay at the water-taxi cooperative's desk in the arrivals area of Venice Marco Polo Airport.

For more information about taxi acquei, see our Venice Water Taxis article at Veniceforvisitors.com, where you'll also find detailed advice on less expensive types of Venice airport transportation and local transportation in Venice.

Please note:

  • This post is about water taxis. We welcome personal observations on that topic, but please don't use the comment form to ask for hotel directions, airport check-in times, cruise transportation, and other unrelated information. To research your trip to Venice, see our comprehensive Venice for Visitors site at Veniceforvisitors.com.
 

Comments

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Madeline Corvington

We are 6 people (seniors)traveling from the cruise terminal (Marittima Fabbricato) April 13 to the hotel NH Palazzo Barocci. Would a water taxi, fee shared by all of us, be a good idea? Any other options? We will have our suitcases from the cruise. How do we get to the water taxis?

J Findley

The link to the Tariffe taxi acqueo page for a map of taxi locations is outdated. I think this might be the current one: https://www.comune.venezia.it/it/content/planning

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