Venice Passes

Dec 23rd, 2008, 04:11 PM
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Venice Passes

My husband & I will be in Venice for four nights in September 2009. I have been looking into various passes available such as the museum pass, Venice cards (Blue/Orange) & vaporetto passes. I am having a difficult time determining if it is worthwhile/economical to purchase.

Some of the sights we would like to visit --- the Accademia, Peggy Gugenheim & Scuola San Rocco --- are not included in any of these passes.

Have you bought & used passes? Which ones? Did you find they were good value?


2010 is offline  
Dec 24th, 2008, 10:14 AM
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Boat passes - since a single ride costs several euros and a pass a few euros more - if taking more than one boat ride in day buy the boat pass.

Was there last Jan and yes a single ride was very expensive - just few euros less than the pass

And take a boat down the Grand Canal during the day AND at night IMO - about the best thing IMO you can do in all of Europe

and take boats thru the eastern tip of the island - the Arsenal (/) - the old shipyards and over to the glass-blowing island, etc. Merano ?
PalenQ is offline  
Dec 24th, 2008, 10:38 AM
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Since VeniceCards do not include the museums that you want to visit, no question, buy the 72-hr vaporetto pass at airport desk or at any manned (most are) vaporetto stops. Since they are valid for 72 hours, you will be able to use it over 4 days. That's what I have always done last 10 + times I was in Venice. And I will be there again tomorrow. Besides vaporetto pass, consider Choruspass to enter numerous churches. There are many free entrance churches but many important ones are not.

> Merano ?

Especially if you visit the islands, Murano, and Burano, Torcello, Lido, etc. vaporetto passes are worth.
kappa1 is offline  
Dec 24th, 2008, 11:31 AM
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Explain the Venice card versus the Vaporetto card--I thought the Venice card covered transportation (bus and vaporetto) as well as some museums and churches. Is the vaporetto card something different? I saw that the Venice card for 3 days was about 50E..
bornintheusa is offline  
Dec 24th, 2008, 01:00 PM
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Vaporetto (water bus) pass/ticket, as the name indicates is only good for vaporetto rides, as simple as that.
kappa1 is offline  
Dec 24th, 2008, 07:26 PM
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Thanks for your responses. Yes, it does seem worthwhile to purchase vaporetto pass. Is there a three-day pass?

Has anybody used the Blue or Orange Venice cards for the sights? Or, are we better off to choose what places we want to visit and pay as we go?


2010 is offline  
Dec 24th, 2008, 07:57 PM
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There are vaporetto passes for number of hours . . . 12 hours, 24 hours, 72 hours. The pass is time stamped with your first use, so you could spread a 72-hour pass over 4 days, say 12 noon Day 1 to 12 noon Day 4.
ellenem is offline  
Dec 27th, 2008, 07:26 PM
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Thanks for the information about the vaporetto passes. A 72-hour pass sounds perfect for us!

Will look at the Chorus Pass to see which churches it covers.

Any comments about the Venice cards - pros? cons?

2010 is offline  
Dec 27th, 2008, 07:51 PM
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Here are the rates for the different transit passes:

The value of a Venice card depends on if you plan to visit enough of the places to make it worthwhile. How much museum-going do you plan to do in your time in Venice? How many sighs you're considering are included in the pass? It's up to you.
ellenem is offline  
Dec 28th, 2008, 09:25 AM
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ellenem: Thanks for the website - most informative!

Yes, of course you are right regarding the value of a Venice pass being related to how many sights we plan to visit. I've done a cursory check but will go back for a closer look & do the arithmetic!

During our stays in Paris, we've always purchased the Museum Pass. Even though we don't visit all the museums on the pass, it is worth for us to have it if only to bypass the enormous lines at the Louvre, D'Orsay & L'Orangerie! So, I was wondering if there were any advantages of buying a Venice Card? (This is our first trip to Italy.)

2010 is offline  
Dec 28th, 2008, 11:07 AM
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We found the Venice cards useful mostly for the ability to bypass lines, even though the math was questionable. Venice was surprisingly crowded the last time we were there in September.

BTW, my DW is of the opinion that the included access to public bathrooms is an important benefit of the Venice Card.

If you find yourself without a vaporetto pass at an unmanned stop, the nearest convenience store will usually have them available.
Jeff801 is offline  
Dec 28th, 2008, 11:24 AM
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Be sure to get at least the vaporetto pass. You can use it to go to Murano and Burano and Lido Islands.

We have so much fun walking and shopping in Venice and going to the islands, it seems like we don't make it to the churches except for St Marks or the museums.

bratsandbeer is offline  
Dec 30th, 2008, 03:34 PM
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Dont miss the private tour of doges palace. It was a great tour seeing where Casanova was held in Prison.
KARIME2 is offline  
Dec 30th, 2008, 03:56 PM
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I find it useful to time the use of the vaporetto pass to include my last trip (i.e. back to the train station), including the time of the entire last journey. If this is your first visit you may find that the first day you're more inclined to visit by foot then venture further or use the vaporetto more frequently on days 2-4.

That means you would simply buy a 1 use ticket upon arrival.
J62 is offline  
Dec 30th, 2008, 05:56 PM
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We had a Venice Card for our last trip. We were there for a week, used the bus from the airport, and used the vaporetti extensively. We were there primarily for the Biennale and to do some work with clients. I did all the math, and the card was a good deal for us.

I'm not sure if I would buy the Venice Card for every trip. For the trip before that, we had the Chorus Pass, and we enjoyed that, too. That was a shorter trip, and we covered less ground (no lagoon islands).
tuscanlifeedit is offline  
Dec 30th, 2008, 09:53 PM
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Thank you for your responses & enthusiasm! I am considering all your suggestions as I map out our days in Venice.

We plan to take the Alilaguna from the airport to St Mark's Square & walk to our hotel nearby.

On our arrival day, we will likely not stray too far. So J62's suggestion to purchase two 72-hour vaporetti passes for Days 2-4 makes good sense! And we will time it so that the passes are still valid for our ride to the car rental office at the end of our stay!

As well, we would like to explore the lagoon by vaporetto visiting Murano & Burano and the Church of San Maggiore.

Will continue to work out whether the Venice Card that covers transportation & culture will be economical or if we should pay as we go! The Secret Itineraries Tour is definitely on our list!

tuscanlifeedit: Can you tell me a little about the Biennale?


2010 is offline  
Dec 31st, 2008, 05:03 AM
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Here you go.

notbob is offline  
Dec 31st, 2008, 05:18 AM
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And the Secret Itineraries tour is NOT in the pass, though basic Palazzo Ducale entrance is.

You can buy a transit pass whenever you like. Just don't validate it (stamp it with the date and time in the yellow box a the boat landing) until you are just about to board your first boat. Your 72 hours will begin with the validation stamp.
ellenem is offline  
Dec 31st, 2008, 05:29 AM
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I wonder about this every time I go.

My conclusion for you - if it's your first trip, you're only staying 4 nights and are staying fairly centrally (where are you staying ?), a transport card is not worth it as you will probably walk to most of the sights, maybe just getting a single vaporetto ride back at the end of the day if you are tired. (Walking around is the best single thing to do in Venice.)

If you want to go further afield, such as Murano/Burano/Torcello/San Michele, buy a 24 hour vaporetto pass & try to do all the further-flung attractions together.

Note that 24 hours means 24 hours, not a day, so you can be clever with it - e.g. buy a 24 hr pass at 9.30am one morning, spend the day visiting further flung attractions, then take the no.1 vaporetto ride the length of the Grand Canal starting early the next morning (so you're done by 9.30 - it's also much pleasanter & uncrowded early in the morning).

IMO the cards with added entry to attractions aren't worth it for most people. If you plan on visiting a lot of churches, the Chorus pass is worth it.

My conclusions after our last trip...

"Again I'd looked into buying Venice cards and decided they weren't worth it *for us*. I'm not saying they aren't worth it for others, but it's worth working it out in advance although all the possible combinations (especially if you don't have a planned itinerary) make it hard to be sure in advance.

This year, the cheapest price for a 7 day 'Transport' card is €47.90, or €69.90 with Alilaguna.

The cheapest price for a 7 day 'Transport + Culture' card is €62.90, or €84.90 with Alilaguna.

(Considerably more if not bought online in advance and I was doubly glad I hadn't done that last year, when our flight arrived so late we couldn't have picked them up anyway because everything was shut.)

What we actually spent on things covered by the cards was as follows.

As regards transport, we each spent €12 on Alilaguna from the airport on day 1 and bought a vaporetto single at €6.50 on days 3 & 4 (walked all day then got a boat back), a 72 hour pass covering days 5-7 at €31 and a single again on day 8 a total of €62.50 each. (We just walked on days 1 & 2.) So the only way we would have saved money on transport alone would have been to buy a €47.90 card without Alilaguna and a separate Alilaguna ticket at €12, which would have meant saving €3.60 each.

As regards the cultural tickets on which the card would have saved money, we went to none of the included museums or other cultural sites / events, and we bought a Chorus Pass which covered the same churches for €9 each. So it definitely wouldn't have been worth our buying a 'Transport + Culture' card.

Conclusion : for us, it may or may not be worth buying a 'Transport' card but it's a close-run thing. If we'd been going back to the airport that would have changed the calculations, and if it were a Biennale year the calculations would change again since on at least 3 days we'd be just going backwards & forwards to the Giardini/Arsenale (and you can make 2 x 24 hour cards cover 3 days). For us I don't think it would ever be worth buying a 'Transport + Culture' card as we are never likely to visit that many of the covered museums etc in one trip (and it only gives €1 off Biennale tickets)."
caroline_edinburgh is offline  
Dec 31st, 2008, 05:45 AM
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hi 2010,

yep, working out which transport ticket to buy in Venice, if any, is just as complicated as, say, buying an oystercard in london, probably deliberately.

as we were staying for just over a week, we ended up buying 7 day blue venice cards, as they worked out cheaper and more convenient than 2x 72 hour vaporetto passes, but for a 4 day stay, IMO the 72 hour pass would be ideal.

I know what Caroline says about walking is true, in theory, but we found the freedom given by the passes was great - if we felt we'd walked far enough or wanted to go further without having to walk back, we could just hop on a boat. and one trip out to the islands will more or less pay for the pass.

if you click on my name and search for "we went to Venice and we saw" you'll find my trip report from our visit at easter 2008 and how we used our cards.

I agree with the other poster that the Secret intinerary tour of the doges palace is worthwhile [and includes as long as you want in the Doge's palace thereafter, so you don't need an orange pass for that] and don't miss the Frari when you are at the scuola san rocco - the monuments are stunningly dreadful.

have a great trip,

regards, ann
annhig is offline  

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