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Getting From the Venice Cruise Port to Train Station (or Venice Itself)

It’s an understatement to say Venice is one of the most beautiful cities to visit in Italy.

If cruising into or out of Venice, chances are you’ll be treated to stunning views of the Venetian Lagoon and Giudecca Canal.

Our sail-in took more than 90 minutes from the time we entered the lagoon to the time we docked at the main Venice cruise terminal, the Stazione Marittima.

It was one of the most magnificent port arrivals we’ve experienced – cruising past colorful historic palaces and St. Mark’s Square, gondolas bobbing in front, on a sunny September morning.

Once docked, how do you get from the cruise port to the center of Venice or to the train station?

A highlight of our trip was cruising into Venice along the Giudecca Canal

We spent the afternoon and night on our ship in Venice.

Then the next morning, like many cruise passengers who disembark in Venice, we took the train to explore other beautiful places in Italy.

When planning your visit to Italy, you may also want to visit other places in addition to Venice.

Florence, for example, is just over 2 hours away by high-speed train.

Another popular city to visit from Venice is Milan (also only some 2 hours away). You can easily spend 3 days in Milan – especially if you love shopping!

For us, the Puglia region was our destination.

If you too plan to catch a train from Venice at the end of your cruise, here’s how to get from the Venice port to the train station. (This should help you to avoid getting lost in Venice – something that’s very easy to do!)

There's so much to see in Venice
There’s so much to see in Venice

Venice port to train station

Cruise port in Venice

There are two cruise terminals in Venice.

Venice’s Stazione Marittima (where our ship docked) is a basin with several terminals.

Medium and large cruise ships (e.g., Holland America Line, NCL, Royal Caribbean and Carniva) often dock here. (They may also dock at piers in Marghera on the Italian mainland.)

The other cruise terminal is the San Basilio Pier, just off the Giudecca Canal. Small cruise ships may dock here.

Santa Lucia train station

Our train left from the Venezia Santa Lucia train station, which is the train station closest to the Marittima cruise port.

Getting to the Santa Lucia train station requires 3 steps

  • Exiting the Venice port
  • Walking or taking the People Mover to the Piazzale Roma
  • Crossing the glass bridge – the Ponte della Costituzione (Constitution Bridge)

Walking into Venice from cruise terminal

By the way, the instructions for getting from the port to Venice on foot are the same as those for getting to the train station, set out below.

Once at the train station, follow the signs for St. Mark’s Square – or set off on this self-guided Venice walking tour.

Step 1) Exit the Marittima Venice port

Once you’ve disembarked your ship and collected your luggage, you can either walk to the port exit or take a ship shuttle.

Most ships offer a complimentary shuttle. The walk is along a paved pedestrian walkway.

Venice port to train station
After disembarking your ship, you walk along this paved walkway for about 10 minutes to exit the Venice cruise port

We initially thought we’d take our ship’s shuttle, but decided not to wait for it.

We were traveling relatively light (two rollaway carry-ons and one larger rollaway suitcase) so the 10-minute walk was easily doable.

Step 2) Take the Venice People Mover

Venice's People Mover is a driverless elevated train that shuttles people between three stops, including the Venice cruise port.
Looking up at the elevated People Mover tracks

At the port exit, you’ll see Venice’s “People Mover.”

It’s a driverless elevated train that shuttles people between the Marittima port station to the Piazzale Roma on the edge of Venice’s historic center.

The Piazzale Roma is a square where buses, taxis and cars arrive or depart. (The People Mover also extends the other way beyond the Marittima station to the Tronchetto parking island.)

The ticket cost for the People Mover is 1.5 Euros p.p., payable at a handful of automated ticket dispensers. You can pay with cash or credit card.

You may have to wait in line, depending on whether there’s a crush of people all wanting to buy People Mover tickets.

Line-ups are a fact of life in Venice! (If you do a little advance planning, however, you’ll discover ways to skip the lines in Venice.)

Venice People Mover ticket maching
Get your Venice People Mover tickets from this machine

Note:  Even though you press the button for English, it may only display Italian for you. Thankfully, another Italian gent waiting to buy a ticket helped us with the machine.

Choose either the elevator or the escalator to take you up to the elevated train tracks.

We just missed one People Mover train and our wait time was about 10 minutes for the next. The ride itself to Piazzale Roma only took about 5 minutes.

The People Mover at Piazzale Roma
The People Mover at Piazzale Roma

Alternative to the People Mover

If you wish, you can walk the stretch from the cruise port exit to Piazzale Roma (about 20 minutes). We did it when walking into Venice (without luggage) the day before disembarking.

But, with luggage, you’ll save time and energy using the People Mover.

Step 3) Cross the glass bridge from Piazzale Roma

Venice's Constitution Bridge
Venice’s Constitution Bridge

From the Piazzale Roma, you must walk across Venice’s infamous Constitution Bridge – one of the many bridges in Venice.

Built in 2008, this glass-and-steel bridge traverses the Grand Canal, connecting the Piazzale Roma with the Santa Lucia train station.

Glass steps on the Constitution Bridge
Glass steps on the Constitution Bridge

Crossing the bridge is unfortunately not an easy feat if you’re dragging a suitcase (or two).

There’s no smooth ramp up or down the bridge.

Instead, you have to haul your wheely suitcase, bumpety-bump, up at least 50 low-rise steps, and then repeat the bumpety-bump down another 50 steps. The glass steps are a little slippery; some are cracked.

Many tourists have slipped or tripped on the bridge since it opened. The City of Venice recently fined the bridge’s Spanish architect $86,000 USD for “macroscopic negligence” for designing a bridge that isn’t tourist friendly.

The glass steps on Venice's Constitution Bridge are somewhat disorienting
These glass steps on Venice’s Constitution Bridge are somewhat disorienting

Tip:  The center strip of the bridge has concrete steps, and these are less disorienting than the glass steps.

Best option for crossing the Constitution Bridge?

Luggage porters hang around Piazzale Roma. Rates don’t appear to be regulated, and we understand they can vary considerably.

We were quoted 15 Euros by one porter to take our three pieces of baggage across the bridge.

In our view, crossing the bridge is the most difficult part of getting to the Santa Lucia train station. Depending on how heavy your suitcase is – and how game you feel – you may want to negotiate with a porter to help take your luggage across the bridge.

How long does it take to get to the train station?

We left our ship at 7:45 am and arrived at the Santa Lucia train station just over an hour later – walking from the ship through the port, then using the People Mover, and walking the last leg over the glass-step bridge to the station.

We arrived in plenty of time to have a 15-minute coffee at the station before boarding our train.

We were one of the first guests off our ship and it wasn’t very busy around 8:00 am at the People Mover. If it’s busy, it will obviously take you more than an hour to reach the train station.

Bottom line?

Budget at least 75 minutes to get from your ship to the Venezia Santa Lucia train station. (This builds in extra time that may be needed if the People Mover is busy.)

Be sure to arrive at the station some 20 minutes before your train departs.

High-speed train in Italy
Maybe you’re taking one of Italy’s high-speed trains to Florence or Bologna?

Taxi from Venice cruise port to Mestre train station

Most long-distance trains to Florence, Rome, and other popular destinations which depart from the Santa Lucia train station, Venice, also stop at the Mestre train station. Our train to Bari did.

We understand the cost of a land taxi from the cruise port to the Mestre train station is about 50 Euros, which of course saves you some hassle. Depending on the traffic, the ride takes about 15 to 30 minutes.

If you’re flush with cash or laden down with heavy luggage, you may prefer to simply take a cab to the Mestre station.

Venice cruise terminal in future

Between 25 and 30 million people visit Venice, Italy, each year.
Venice is beautiful, but too many people like visiting the city!

Sadly, Venice is over-run with tourists (like several popular destinations in Europe and elsewhere these days).

About 30 million visitors flood Venice each year; almost 6 million people disembark from some 600 cruise ships between April and October.

Venice port to train station
Venice in the morning

Large cruise ships have been banned from entering Venice’s lagoon and Giudecca Canal. But the ban hasn’t yet been enforced. The city does plan on re-routing about one-third of cruise ships away from the current cruise port in future, however.

In the meantime, if cruising to Venice, chances are your port will be the Stazione Marittima Venice port.

And if catching a train, you’ll be making your way from this cruise port in Venice to the train station.

Where to stay in Venice?

If you happen to be staying overnight before or after your cruise and are looking for a lovely hotel in Venice, we can recommend these very romantic hotels in Venice.

In particular, we highly recommend the following (all of which we’ve stayed at):

Hotel Excelsior Venice

deluxe 5-star Venice hotel on the Lido (the barrier island across the lagoon from Venice), the Hotel Excelsior Venice offers complimentary boat service to and from St. Mark’s Square.

Check rates and availability here

Hotel Palazzo Abadessa

One of the best 4-star hotels in Venice, Palazzo Abadessa is set in a former 16th century Doge’s residence.

Check rates and availability here

Hotel La Calcina

Attracting writers such as John Ruskin in the 19th century, this delightful 3-star hotel in Venice boasts a warm-weather restaurant that juts out into the Giudecca Canal.

Check rates and availability here

See our other Italy travel guides

Our top travel tips and resources

Hotels: Booking.com is great for scoring a “wow” hotel – or at least a decent one. (We especially like their flexible cancellation policy!)

Vacation homes, condos and rentals: We prefer and use Vrbo (Vacation Rentals by Owner).

Tours: For the best local food, walking and other guided tours, plus skip-the-line tickets to attractions, check out Viator (a TripAdvisor company) and GetYourGuide.

Car rental: Renting a car is often one of the best ways to explore off the beaten path. Discover Cars searches car rental companies so you get the best rates.

Travel insurance: SafetyWing is designed for frequent travelers, long-term adventurers and digital nomads. It covers medical expenses, lost checked luggage, trip interruption and more.

Travel gear: See our travel shop to find the best luggage, accessories and other travel gear. (We suggest these comfy travel sandals for city walking, the beach and kicking about.)

Need more help planning your trip? Check out our travel tips and resources guide for airline booking tips, ways to save money, how to find great hotels and other crazy useful trip planning info.

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Photo credits: © Janice and George Mucalov, SandInMySuitcase (except last photo)


About the authors

Luxury travel journalists and SATW, NATJA and TMAC “Best Travel Blog” award winners, Janice and George Mucalov are the publishers of Sand In My Suitcase. Between them, they’ve traveled to all 7 continents. See About.

Find destination guides, global food-and-wine stories, luxury hotel reviews, articles on cultural explorations and soft adventure trips, cruise reviews, insanely useful travel tips and more!

Peter Condy

Tuesday 28th of March 2023

Really liked your details on the train information, thanks!

This is our first ocean voyage and we want to know what is the earliest time you can depart from the ship? We'll only have rolling suitcases, but our train leaves Venice at 7:45 am.

Thanks in advance!

Janice and George

Tuesday 28th of March 2023

Hi Peter,

The time you can get off your ship depends on your cruise.

Some ships actually arrive in Venice the night before. When ships arrive the same day, they often dock quite early in the morning.

Your best bet is to contact your cruise company and find out the earliest time that passengers can disembark on the day of arrival.