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Fly to Venice or Milan?

Old Oct 7th, 2013, 03:35 AM
  #1  
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Fly to Venice or Milan?

My husband and I are looking to take a 5 day trip to Venice in December. Flights from JFK-VCE are approximately $900. A friend suggested we fly to Milan and take the train to Venice. Flights to Milan are approximately $600, and we would add another $100pp for the train. The total travel time is about the same because we can fly non stop to Milan, but for Venice we have to make a stop.
We are usually willing to pay for added convenience, but this will be our third trip this year, so we are looking to save a little $$ if we can.
Has anyone done this before? If so, can you tell me what the proximity of the airport to the train station is, and if it is expensive to get there?
Thanks for any suggestions!
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Old Oct 7th, 2013, 03:39 AM
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The Marco Polo Airport arrival requires "further on" travel in order to get to the part of Venice you are probably staying in. Others can elaborate on all the various possibilities, and the costs which can be considerable, you can use to get to your final destination.

The main rail station, Santa Lucia is a LOT closer to things.

BTW you can get public rail transportation to the main train station from the Malpensa airport in Milan.
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Old Oct 7th, 2013, 03:41 AM
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For Milan:

http://www.malpensaexpress.it/en/

I am assuming here you are not flying into the Milan Linate airport
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Old Oct 7th, 2013, 05:12 AM
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"and we would add another $100pp for the train"

Not sure why you need to spend so much on the train. I researched recently for a friend and there seem to be plenty of high speed trains (Milan to Venice) for 19€. That's quite a savings.

There are several airlines offering sales to Milan up till March/May of 2014. If you can get a flight for about $600, it will definitely be worth taking a train to Venice, especially if you get the cheaper fares. If you're not physically fit, then you may be better off flying directly into Venice. A lot of people are too tired after an overnight flight to deal with the train.

The Malpensa Express is great. You can plan an hour on it to Milano Centrale. Then you walk a bit and find your train to Venice. The trip is two-and-a-half hours. Easy and comfortable.
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Old Oct 7th, 2013, 05:28 AM
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I prefer arriving in Venice by train and exiting the station to the fabulous sight of Venice and the vaporetti and the wonderful buildings. It was not as exciting to arrive by water from the airport.
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Old Oct 7th, 2013, 06:24 AM
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Seems to be an easy choice to me. Concur with Adrienne in that arriving at Santa Lucia is wonderful.
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Old Oct 7th, 2013, 08:36 AM
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Thanks to everyone! We are in our 40's with no health problems, so navigating the airports and train stations is no problem, even after an overnight flight. We will just stop for an espresso first!
NYCFoodSnob - Can you tell me what site you were on for the $19E train fare? I just went quickly to Rail Europe and picked out some random times from Milan to Venice. That is where I saw $108USD pp. Thanks
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Old Oct 7th, 2013, 08:52 AM
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macksix

go to the trenitalia website:

http://www.trenitalia.com/cms/v/inde...003f16f90aRCRD

there are lots of single fares at €19 and €28 on the frecciabianca. the €28 fares are for the most convenient times ie mid-morning. if you can travel earlier or later, it's the cheaper rate.
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Old Oct 7th, 2013, 09:29 AM
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I only purchase train tickets directly from trenitalia.com. The only problem with the advance cheaper tickets, there are penalties if you miss those trains. Before you purchase, you need to know the pros and cons, and know how to schedule safely. Plenty of notes on that on this board and on SlowTrav.

Some people have problems using their credit card on the Italian site. I never have. Lots of notes here on that problem, too.
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Old Oct 7th, 2013, 10:55 AM
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Thanks again.
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Old Oct 7th, 2013, 11:53 AM
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there are lots of single fares at €19 and €28 on the frecciabianca. the €28 fares are for the most convenient times ie mid-morning. if you can travel earlier or later, it's the cheaper rate>

Yes like NYCFoodSnob says you either have to leave a lot of fudge factor time if your flight is late as those tickets are non-refundable nor changeable, at the same price at least, and you'd have to buy a full fare ticket if you miss your discounted train you booked a specific seat on.

But there are regional and IC trains with fairly flat fares that you could take from Milan Centrale to Venice Santa Lucia (deadend station in the heart of Venice, right on a main canal with boats to your hotels - check www.trenitalia.com to see how little these can cost and even though the take a bit longer it is not all that much longer as Milan to Venice is not a high-speed rail line yet.
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Old Oct 7th, 2013, 12:05 PM
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Even for tomorrow, the walk up fares on fast trains are not as high as what you'll find on raileurope.com. No need to buy from them.

I would buy the JFK to Milan tickets, but rather than try to guess on the train time to Venice, I might just spend a little bit more and get the walk up tickets to suit my schedule on the spot. If I'm saving around $300, I might go for an extra bit of money in order not to worry about making my reserved train.
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Old Oct 7th, 2013, 01:16 PM
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If so, can you tell me what the proximity of the airport to the train station is, and if it is expensive to get there?>

The new Malpensa Airport trains roll frequently to Milano Centrale station - probably about $10-15 I'd wager. Are you going back to Milan to fly out as it seems?
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Old Oct 7th, 2013, 05:08 PM
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Hi PalenQ. Yes, we will fly out of Milan. I priced the trip into Milan and out of Venice, and the savings was not enough to warrant taking the train.
Tuscanlifeedit - Thanks for the idea of just buying tickets when we get there. That will probably be easier than trying to guess what time we will actually take off from NY and how long it will take us to clear customs in Milan.
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Old Oct 8th, 2013, 01:40 AM
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macksix - glad we could help you to make up your mind.

Have a great trip!

would you like to come back and tell us how it worked out?
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Old Oct 8th, 2013, 02:05 AM
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At the train station you can buy from the window or from the automated machines (multi-lingual). I prefer the machines because they show you all the options (including price). Several times, I've found that there is a cheaper train leaving ten minutes later but if you just ask at the window for a ticket, they will often sell the fastest train, assuming that as a tourist that's what you want.
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Old Oct 8th, 2013, 04:18 AM
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Annhig - I will absolutely come back and let all of you know how it worked out. I have to take care of my Fodors friends

Dreamon-Thanks for the additional tip about buying tickets from the machines.

You have all been so helpful!
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Old Oct 8th, 2013, 04:29 AM
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So far, the discussion has only been about the cost. How do the Milan flights fit into the land portion of the itinerary? Does the Milan option significantly impact what you can do in Venice? If this is the case, is the saving big enough to take time away from Venice? For your flight coming back from Milan, are you ok with your departure arrangement from Venice?
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Old Oct 10th, 2013, 04:19 AM
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OK. One more update and I hope to get a few more opinions.
My husband would like to fly Delta if possible because he has gold medallion status which gets us a few perks. The only Delta return flight from Milan is at 10:00am which does not work unless we leave Venice sometime the day before our return flight and stay overnight in Milan. That would leave us Fri afternoon (arrival day), Sat/Sun/Mon and Tues(part day) in Venice. We were thinking that we might just get to Milan in the early/mid afternoon, do some sort of walking tour, eat dinner, walk some more and head to the airport in the a.m. I work for a hotel company, so the hotel stay in Milan is the same cost as Venice.
So my questions are:
Are we cheating ourselves by leaving Venice the day before to go to Milan which gets mixed reviews as a tourist destination?

If we do decide to go to Milan, is one afternoon enough time to just get the feel of the city, have a nice dinner and head home?

Thanks again for all of your opinions and suggestions. We are stuck halfway between "Just pay the extra fare to get to Venice" and "We could really use that $500 to pay for other trip expenses"
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Old Oct 10th, 2013, 04:34 AM
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Two ways I would think about it:

1. If you follow you plan to relocate to Milano, you will have had more time than most visitors do in Venice. One afternoon/evening in Milano will give you a perfectly fine taste of the city, and then you can affirm to others whether or not YOU feel it is a good tourist destination rather than depend upon the reviews of others.

2. Is consider your vacation time valuable? Do you want to waste a few vacation hours packing a day early to get to a train station to pay to ride a train to wait for the train to travel to a new hotel in a place you're not sure that you really want to visit in order to save less than $500? (extra airfare less the train tickets to Milano) will that savings make a dramatic difference in your travel budget?
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