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Venice in Minneapolis

Trains from Mestre to Venice, and parking in Mestre

Cedar Imboden Phillips and Jackson Phillips on train in Italy

ABOVE: Cedar and Jackson Phillips ride the train between Mestre and Venice. BELOW: A sign in Mestre's railroad station, and the Linea 25 boat pier at San Giuliano.

Mestre Railroad Station sign Recently, we published the first in a series of articles about Mestre, on the Venetian mainland. This prosperous town of 180,000 is part of the comune di Venezia, and it's home to many people who work or attend university in Venice.

For tourists, Mestre is important for two reasons:

  • Its hotels are cheaper than their counterparts in Venice, and many hotels offer parking on the premises.
  • Its parking facilities are less expensive than the Tronchetto and Piazzale Roma garages in Venice's historic center, and motorists can park without worrying about traffic jams on the 4-km causeway that connects Venice to terrafirma.

From Mestre's city center, tourists can reach Venice by train in 10 to 12 minutes at the dirt-cheap price of €1,05 each way.

From the San Giuliano parking lots on the outskirts of Mestre, next to the Venetian Lagoon, parkers can take a water bus to Venice in 24 minutes for less than the cost of a vaporetto ride in the city center.

We recommend staying in Venice's historic center if you possibly can, but if budget constraints or a car make it more practical to sleep on the mainland, see the new Mestre section of Venice for Visitors for illustrated articles about the Mestre railway station, traveling by train from Mestre to Venice, the Parcheggi San Giuliano car park, and Mestre airport buses from Venice Marco Polo Airport.

No 25 vaporetto from San Giuliano car park in Venice Mestre


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While Mestre is close to Venice, it's not the prettiest place and nowadays I think you can find the same pricing in Venice if you know where to look. After living in Venice for a couple of years I highly recommend the city center. Venice for Rookies has some ways you can stay in Venice's city center for under $30/night in a hotel. But there are also sites for apartment rentals which makes the cost under $100/nt for a couple and around $120 for four people while being in historic Venice. So I feel there are plenty of options overall if you still want to keep to a minimal budget but stay in Venice.

Durant Imboden

We recommend the city center, too, but sometimes people have legitimate reasons for staying in Mestre: e.g., being able to park easily and relatively cheaply, quick access to through trains that stop in Mestre but don't stop at Venice's Santa Lucia Station, and (if they're frail or their mobility is limited) being able to walk across the street from the airport bus to a hotel instead of hauling luggage through city streets and over bridges. And Mestre is a more appealing town than most people give it credit for: The city center is surprising pleasant, with a sprinkling of historic buildings, a glassed-over shopping arcade, a large square with sidewalk cafes and restaurants in front of the cathedral, etc. The key to staying in Mestre is knowing where to stay, which--for most travelers--is directly across from the railroad station, where one can reach Venice in 10 to 12 minutes for 1,05 euros.

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